Parenting Is

January 10, 2012 by  
Filed under General

Growing up, I spent a lot a time around kids, and always took on the mothering role.  I was the one in the neighborhood who offered to watch your kids for free, just so I could tote them around everywhere.

As I got a little older, and eventually got married, having a family was one of the things that I knew was important to me.  When you don’t have kids you make observations about other people’s children, you think about how you might handle the situations that arrive.  And many of us, tout how we would never do that if it was our child.

Becoming a parent though, is a reality check.  You cross over to that other side, where you seemingly lose all of those past “if that was my kid” I would…. And suddenly you step into reality mode, where everything is new, and a huge learning process.  You start getting all sorts of advice on how other people did this or that with their kids and how it all should go, right down to the kid’s first tooth.  Pediatricians have advice, neighbors have advice, and you can find yourself getting lost in all these ideals of how it should go, making developmental comparisons, and worrying about some of the silliest things.

I quickly changed how I felt about a screaming kid in the grocery store, or a kid that decides to act up in the middle of dinner, because after becoming a parent you can relate.  Kids can just start misbehaving out of the blue and I sympathized rather than judged.

Soon, as a mother, I began to realize that this isn’t how parenting should be, well at least for my own children.  I realized something very important that parenting should be intuitive based on you relationship with your child.  There should be no rules, no guidelines, no standards.  I have found my struggles with potty training, sleeping etc to be less when I just do what feels right for my kids and for myself.  When I talk to family, they asks questions like “shouldn’t they being doing this?”  My reply is simply, I dunno, but it is ok, because they will eventually.

This is not to say that my parenting is lax, my children are asked to listen, to be respectful and I attempt to challenge their little brains as best as I can.  I tell them to brush their teeth, and I expect them to pick up toys (this doesnt always happen), and there are time outs.

When it came to potty training though, I became stressed out trying to potty train twins, to make them go potty like I wanted them to and feeling the inevitable pressure that by the time they were 3 if they were still wetting their pants, that I was a miserable failure and doing something wrong with my kids.  When will I move them to their own bed?  Are they doing this or that?  My mind became preoccupied with all of this stuff, and now realize, very useless stuff.

I realized that these were my kids and whatever our routine, whenever they potty trained, was ok with me.  And after I stopped obsessing about it, it happened on its own.  Both boys potty trained right around the age of four, they are five now and still wear pull ups to bed and yes they have accidents, am I worried, absolutely not.  Does it make me a lazy parent, I don’t believe it does.  My children are happy healthy and that is what matters.

We are all in such a rush for them to grow up and do things on some developmental chart that we lose track of that connection with our child.  I am also not saying to ignore something if you feel there is a problem with your child, but for little things about where they sleep, or if they are potty trained by some set time frame, you should just let your child tell you.  Less stress equals happier parents and children.

Time Outs For Mom

February 3, 2009 by  
Filed under General, helpful hints

images

Ever wonder what you did with your time before you had kids? Since having my two, I often wonder exactly that. It seems that there aren’t enough hours in my day anymore, and I find myself wishing for a spare eight on days like today.

You need a time out:

When you have a safety gate in place at the bottom of the stairs and your toddler has made it up the stairs (in spite of your preventative efforts) and has managed to climb on the outside spindles and is dangling at the top. In turn giving mom a heart attack.

When you are stuck in the bathroom with no toilet paper trying to describe to your toddlers exactly where to find it. They brought me a diaper instead. I suppose if it were my size it would do the trick! I later got a soggy roll, that had been dropped in the other toilet, but it made me smile.

But seriously, you need to take some “me” moments when you are at home with your children all day. It will make you a much better mom in the long run. I am slowly beginning to understand that it doesn’t make me a bad person for wanting or taking a moment for myself. I have also come to the conclusion that going to the grocery store, is not a time out for me. It is a chore to go to the store, but for some, that may be a good thing to do.

Tonight, when my dear husband got home, I let him play with the boys, and I went into our bedroom, locked the door, and watched 30 min of a tv show in the dark on my laptop, then I took a hot shower. That 45 min to myself made a huge difference in how I handled the rest of the evening. I was much less crabby, the boys weren’t crabby and both my husband and I got to enjoy their bath and bedtime because, I wasn’t running around to get a million things done plus my shower. Everything was done, and I got to enjoy our family time.

Sometimes I just close the door and sit in the dark and cry, but even crying has its benefits. The best time out I have ever had was in a dark room where I cried because I loved my boys so much and couldn’t imagine life without them, and how truly thankful I was for all the stress, all the laughs and how much they have changed my life. Hormonal I guess lol.

This is why time outs are so important. And what you do for a tim eout is strictly up to you. They make you a better mommy, they make you more thankful for your life and your family, and give you a chance to reconnect with yourself and motivate you to get through the next day. Take a deep breath and take a moment for you!