Browsing Category "parenting"
7 Jan
2015
Posted in: parenting, reading
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Power in Connecting

Over 10 years ago when I was pregnant with my second son, I started taking my toddler to a play group in the hopes of connecting with people and ridding myself of nagging loneliness. I made a passing comment about missing the act of reading. I wasn’t making me a priority. A new friend invited me to her book club and my decision to step outside my comfort zone and attend caused lasting ripple effects.

The first Tuesday of every month has become part of my schedule. It’s a mental health appointment for me. The majority of that group has been together for years, a few of us for over 10. We’ve seen each other through a myriad of life events. There’s been a lot of laughing and crying. We read a new book each month or at least attempt to read the selection. Some books garner a lot of discussion, others not so much. There’s always food and wine around that safe table where I don’t worry about what might leave my mouth before being filtered. They’ll love me no matter what and call me out if needed. We’ve been known to travel together because once a month is simply not enough time.

Wyoming mountain stream

I feel connected to those ladies, many who I don’t have daily or even weekly contact with outside of random email and text messages. It’s become a comfortable place for me even though I’ve been known to leave a meeting thinking I’m not smart enough or cool enough to hang with that crowd. My insecurities, worries, weaknesses, strengths and praises can all be laid out on that table. Something that started as a way back to reading has become much more.

There’s power in connecting with like-minded people and feeling a sense of belonging. Finding an avenue for connecting is vital as a mother. Find that thing you enjoy and invite a friend: golf, paint, cook, exercise. There’s power in the act of showing up for each other. Some of our meetings, like last night, draw a small crowd. We’re all mothers, struggling to fit everyone’s needs into a limited amount of hours. Sometimes our needs are shuffled to the bottom of the deck. We intentionally keep our group small. Too many and there’s a chance voices will get lost in the din of camaraderie.

Last night I was gifted with hours sitting around my dining room table with four women I love. A few of us talked until midnight. Time is precious, but once a month I choose to lay my to-do list aside and just be present. There’s power in connecting. If what you have to give is just showing up, that’s more than enough. I plan on showing up more in 2015. To those ladies who choose to spend hours together each and every month weaved together by words on pages, thank you. To those who aren’t there every month, you know I love you too.

 


 
Making Peace With Exhaustion in 2015
By     |    Dec 30, 2014
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Making Peace With Exhaustion in 2015

I’m exhausted, always. It really never matters how much sleep I’ve managed to enjoy. During a recent doctor’s appointment for me, the doctor asked if I thought I was more tired than normal. The thing is, I can’t actually remember not being a little tired. After chatting about my level of tiredness, I realized I’m not physically tired (well, sometimes), I’m emotionally and mentally exhausted, which rolls over to every other part of life. The thing about parenting that wears... [Read More]

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Uniting for Santa Claus
By     |    Dec 2, 2014
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Uniting for Santa Claus

There are days when it feels like this family will always be three boys vs. one girl. They bicker. The boys are rough. The girl is not. She wants to change her clothes multiple times a day. They could care less what they wear. Seven years between oldest son to only daughter sometimes feels like much more. Then there are days when I see them for what they truly are. They are four siblings who love each other despite all... [Read More]

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Being Reassured in Parenting
By     |    Nov 7, 2014
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Being Reassured in Parenting

This parenting business is tricky. I have entire days that just seem difficult from sunrise to sunset. No one is listening or has apparently never listened to any advice or direction I’ve ever offered. Parenting issues seem to spiral and compound until I’m deflated and exhausted. On any given day, I can fluctuate from completely capable parent to inept 100 times. Then there are days like yesterday. I was gifted with a strong reminder that all the effort required to... [Read More]

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Wear What I Say, Not What I Wear
By     |    Oct 1, 2014
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Wear What I Say, Not What I Wear

There are days when it’s for the best that my normally vigilant children don’t catch everything I do or say. Today is one of those days. It was a chilly 45 degrees and rainy this morning when the boys were dressing for school. Today was school picture day for the two younger boys. They came out of their room in shorts and the prerequisite polo shirt. Me: “No shorts. Change into jeans.” Nine-year-old son: “Jeans are too thick. They aren’t... [Read More]

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Being More Brave Than Mom
By     |    Sep 29, 2014
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Being More Brave Than Mom

I watched our oldest son carefully listen to the directions as he nervously played with the harness he was wearing. He had chosen an aerial obstacle course to celebrate turning 12 years old, and this past weekend we ran from our over-scheduled lives to Keystone, South Dakota to let him give it a try. He was minutes away from climbing above the earth and into the trees above our heads. I could tell he was a little nervous. His only... [Read More]

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Parenthood Not Quite Like I Imagined
By     |    Sep 16, 2014
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Parenthood Not Quite Like I Imagined

It was 9:10 p.m. We had been at the football field for three hours. The sun had set long ago, and the air was chilly. I stood with two friends and my husband when we heard the referee say the words we had been longing for, “That’s time coach.” Followed by an addition we could have done without, “There are eight plays left. Do you want to play them?” Ugh. I wanted to answer for them, ” No. Just make... [Read More]

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Story of the Missing Tooth Fairy
By     |    Sep 8, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    2 Comments

Story of the Missing Tooth Fairy

It was bound to happen. The Tooth Fairy failed to appear last week. I’ve lost track of the number of times the Tooth Fairy has visited our home, but apparently, even she was worn out from the first week of school and the early mornings that came with it. Thankfully, if we were going to fail as parents, we chose the correct child. Our third son is a laid-back, happy-go-lucky, joyful person. C woke up to find our ceramic lost... [Read More]

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Embracing the Next Step in Parenting
By     |    Sep 2, 2014
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Embracing the Next Step in Parenting

My tumultuous emotions revolving around my oldest starting middle school has everything to do with me and not much to do with him. This is my selfish mama moment. He’s ready for this next level. He’s capable. This next chapter excites him. I thought I was terrified of the big, bad middle school filled with hormones where my son will be exposed to heaven knows what. I am, a little, on-edge for the doors, both good and questionable, that will open... [Read More]

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Drive-in Theatres: Bridging the Gap Between Then and Now
By     |    Jun 27, 2014
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Drive-in Theatres: Bridging the Gap Between Then and Now

I used to play on a rickety merry-go-round trying to avoid splinters while I held on. I was biding my time while the sun dipped farther into the horizon, just waiting for that moment when the movie screen would come alive with dancing concession stand goodies. I’d run back to the car, weaving between vehicles and posts with speakers stretched toward windows. The drive-in theatre is a highlight from my childhood memory reel. We don’t live close enough to a... [Read More]

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Power of the Pan Flute
By     |    Jun 23, 2014
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Power of the Pan Flute

I believe there’s magic in a pan flute. More precisely, I believe music is magical and has the power to transform moods, circumstances and people. There are multiple studies on the topic, but I’ve witnessed it first-hand in my family this summer. Making and learning to play the pan flute was the one and only thing my 9-year-old wanted to accomplish this summer. Rewind a few months to when my Facebook status update referenced J’s desire to play the pan... [Read More]

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Mama Summer Camp Blues
By     |    Jun 10, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    1 Comment

Mama Summer Camp Blues

We entered the world of summer camp this week. We dropped off our 11-year-old at a week-long summer camp on Sunday afternoon. B was more than ready to stretch his proverbial wings, while I was a bucket of nerves. Earlier in the week my stomach knotted each time he mentioned the number of days until he left. By Saturday, he was giving me an hourly countdown, and I was contemplating ways to convince him to stay home, including payment, if... [Read More]

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