there really is no strategy in parenting

Posting for the daily prompt challenge and I realized, I have no strategy.

I mean don’t get me wrong…I want to ensure my kids are healthy; that they’re being raised to be kind people, help others, and that they do well in school. That they think about their future and how they can contribute to society.

But I don’t have a strategy.

I read a lot; I talk mommyhood with fellow parents.  I try to gather as much information as I can, in order to make the decision that is best for my family. But as far as what sports they will play? That’s up to them (I rotate my kids in activities so they can pick the one that is the best fit for them. Plus, they’re nearly 2 and nearly 5 1/2, so still early). What sorts of careers I will nudge them towards? That’s up to them. I’ll make sure to discuss pros and cons with them when the time comes. How to deal with today’s meltdown? Again, I read tips and see what works.  How to make them eat their veggies? I’ve learned to negotiate. 🙂

I guess it’s not as much not having a strategy; as I write this, seems my approach is to gather the info and then do what works best for my kids.  Is that a strategy? Maybe it is!

via Daily Prompt: Strategy

Taking a moment

I was little absent for a bit. I found myself a little overwhelmed with the holidays (we host Thanksgiving for my family), planning our winter vacation, and getting ready for Christmas. Work was also ramping up as the year came to an end. 

So I found I had to narrow down what I spent my time on – and unfortunately some of those things were my hobbies and the time I take for myself. But I knew it was temporary, so that was okay!

I feel more balanced now – and not like I’m behind on life. Phew!

Daily Prompt: Winsome

Some people just have this – that magnetic personality, that vibe that makes you want to talk to them, engage with them.

I know a few people like that. Being in their presence is like feeling joy; their friendliness, humility and general winsome charisma is so pleasant.

Love what they bring to the world!

via Daily Prompt: Winsome

Andddddd he tried to climb out of the crib

I knew this day was coming. But he’s only 20 months old!

The crib is on the lowest setting of course.  But he is SUCH a climber.  My now 5 year old daughter S didn’t even try until she was well over 2. But C? All boy. This morning my daughter was in playing with him and she literally stopped him from climbing out and screamed for me.

Now what? I have a sleep sack I will make sure is on at ALL times when he’s in there, but I am at a loss because he’s WAY too young to sleep in a toddler bed. But, at the same time, I’m not willing to risk him getting injured climbing out.

I thought about putting the mattress on the floor – but in our case that wouldn’t be safe as there is a gap between what would be the top of the mattress and the bottom of the crib.


Daily Gratitude

via Daily Prompt: Gratitude

As cheesy are this may sound – I feel a sense of gratitude each day.

For these beautiful kids that I get to raise.

For being married to my best friend.

For having a roof over my head and food in my fridge.

For having my family close by and therefore an extended village.

For having a job I love.

For living in a beautiful state that experiences four gorgeous seasons each year.

For being raised in a home where we always had enough…never wondered where my next meal was going to come from so I could focus on school and preparing for adulthood.

I am conscious of these things each and every day – and don’t take them for granted.

So grateful.

this kindergarten thing

I was extremely apprehensive about my daughter starting kindergarten this fall. For one, she’s my oldest so there was a bit of a “letting go” struggle on my part. Additionally, she turned 5 at the end of August (in our state, the cutoff is September 1). So she is the youngest in her class. And in this day and age where “redshirting” is so common, I couldn’t help but wonder if I should be keeping her home until she was 6.

But she (and we) have adjusted quite well.  She comes home happy and energized (this was surprising for me, I was sure she’d be exhausted). When I ask her about the best part of her day, she sometimes says “I don’t know mama, kindergarten is so much fun my whole day was the best part!” (which is awesome to hear). She is learning A TON. She went to preschool for 2 years so she knows letters, sounds, and basic sight words – but she’s so proud of how she’s learning to make her letters the right way, the difference between “I am” and “Am I” as well as learning French.

She takes the bus (that was another huge area of worry for me). But somehow, she manages to get to school and back just fine and LOVES that as well.  As a child, I remember loving the bus ride too – so it’s no wonder.

I just hope she continues to love learning.  I’ve noticed at the bus stop, the kindergarten and first graders are the most excited to go. Once the kids hit around 2nd and 3rd grade – they seem to not enjoy it as much (no doubt because there is a little less playtime). Our state is a common core state – so there is definitely more structure than I would like for a 5 year old, but somehow the school has managed to make it fun.

So I’m thrilled S loves it. And I hope her love of learning never fades!

Daily Prompt: Enlighten

via Daily Prompt: Enlighten

I think kids have a way of doing this. Enlightening you.  I feel like before my kids were born, I definitely enjoyed life. My husband and I spent may years traveling, hanging out in coffee houses, and just relaxing.

But after kids came along, we started to sort of see things through their eyes. And I feel like doing so gave us some sort of enlightenment. As far as what is real, what is not…what is important, what is not. What our priorities should be, and what they shouldn’t be.

I feel like we have a great balance today, thanks to them. Kids have a way of centering you, and in our case, enlightening us as to what our focus in life should be.

mom guilt and vegas

I feel like I have a different kind of mom guilt these days.

My husband and I were in Vegas a couple of weeks ago.  We went back and forth between going Fri-Sat or Sat-Mon.  A lot of things factored into where we ended up (Fri-Sun); a work presentation I had to make on Monday, coordinating with my sister’s flights, and childcare since this was a kid-free getaway. One of the things we considered doing if we stayed through to Monday was the Route 91 festival, since I am a huge country music fan and it would have been a dream come true.

So we ended up coming home Sunday night. And we all know what happened late that night, when hubby and I and most people in the country were tucked safely into bed.

In the midst of this horrific event we are all still processing, I’ve been reading the stories of the helpers. The heroes.  And I’ve been feeling a tremendous amount of what I’ll call “mom guilt” because I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s not the typical feeling I get of sometimes wishing I could do better for my kids (have seen a fall coming) or of wondering if I’m doing the right thing being a working mom. I mean that I think I would have run if I was there so that I could make it home to my kids.

That hit me hard. All of these people, these helpers, that stopped to shield other people or get them to safety…they all have families and many had kids. And who knows, maybe I would have done the same thing. But when I saw those people running, I felt like I would have been one of them. And it makes me feel like I need to do some soul searching and as cheesy as it sounds, become a stronger person. That if I had run instead of stopped to help, it would be selfish.

I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it’s something that I’m constantly thinking about. Some have told me “no, knowing you, you would have stopped immediately if someone needed help.” But the truth is, in the moment, would I have? Or would I have gone into self-preservation mode picturing my kids waiting for me back home?

I hope I never have to make that choice. But watching the story on the news unfold over and over again, and feeling that it hit so close to home for many reasons, has really made me think.

my time

I always stay up WAY too late. My husband is constantly telling me, “you need to get to bed early today. You’re so tired…don’t stay up to late tonight!” But the reality is, I need it. The time, the quiet, the wind-down. My kids are usually out by 8.30 each night. Then my husband and I sometimes eat if we didn’t eat with the kids (a few times a week, this is our way of having mid-week date nights; we put on a movie or a show and eat at our own pace, and talk). Then, it’s time to pick up the house, pack lunches, fold laundry, the usual.


By the time ALL of that is done, it’s about 10. After that, you’ll find me in the bedroom, either sitting in bed with my laptop (like I am now) or sitting in my favorite chair. I usually don’t go to sleep until about 11.30 or midnight…and my alarm goes off around 6.20.

I wouldn’t trade it.  I know I’m probably getting an hour less of sleep each night. But without that time…without a few quiet minutes (or an hour) to myself, I don’t get a chance to just be ME.  Not mama, not a wife – just ME.

And isn’t that an important part of being whole? I LOVE my role. I love waking up every Saturday and making homemade pancakes or waffles for the family. Love taking my kids to their weekend activities. To birthday parties. To visit relatives.  But we all know that taking time for ourselves is critical to being our best selves. Yes, I do things for myself outside the home – an occasional girls night, mani pedis, etc. But the 60-90 minutes of sleep I may sacrifice recharges my batteries every day.

So yeah I may be a little tired the next morning. But, I know it also means I’m my best self.


Doing nothing 

That is what we will be doing this weekend. 
Well, other than one single swim class (that’s a non-negotiable skill for me, S goes every Sunday and C will be starting his baby classes soon). I am suddenly very conscious that we have but a few weekends left in the summer – and I’ve decided I’m not scheduling anything. 

So this weekend you will find us just relaxing. Maybe out back, maybe inside playing Monopoly Jr., but we aren’t going to be committing to anything other than unstructured time. 

I see my kids so free and happy, and I know before long there will be homework, stress about school and friends, and pressure to be the best they can. For now, I just want them both to run through the grass barefoot all day. 

Doing anything. Or nothing at all.