Thursday, June 01, 2017

Rocking My Baby Boy to Sleep

I rocked my baby to sleep last night.

It was getting late. I was tired and he was tired. I had this nagging feeling in me to not let him go to bed upset so I picked him back up into my arms and sat back in my ancient nursing rocker - the one I’ll never allow myself to get rid of no matter how old my babies get.

I laid him across me, his head cradled in the nook of my arm and his arm around my neck and we rocked. I told him a story, one of his favorites including trucks and puppies. Then I sang songs while he drifted in and out of sleep with his soft breath warming my chest. He fell asleep smiling nestled into me as I rocked and rocked.

I don’t do this every night. It’s been a long time since I rocked him to sleep. It didn’t matter that I had an endless night of chores and work to do. It didn’t matter that I had yet to eat dinner or even see my husband for five minutes. As the minutes ticked by, I rocked and rocked purely in the moment. I rubbed his head, I touched his chubby cheek, I patted his warm back, and I kissed his nose.

I took him in in all his beautiful baby boy glory. The immense love I had for him took over and I basked in his aura still unable to imagine how I had made this human being. I couldn’t even remember not having him as a part of our family. He was made to be here and add so much life and fun (and mischief!) to our family. My baby boy.

We rocked and rocked, not allowing myself to drift off as well. I wanted to be here and present. I didn’t want to miss a thing. It’s not often I sit and stay present. My brain is usually going on autopilot planning my next steps, the next move, mentally checking lists, and waiting for the next thing. But I didn’t - wouldn’t allow it.

As my boy smiled and slept, I stared at him lovingly knowing he had the best parts of me and his daddy. I knew he has what it takes to grow and be a good person - true and kind. I knew that someday he was going to make a positive impact on this world and make us proud. I just had this feeling that he was going to be somebody - and that somebody was my son. My baby boy.

So we rocked and cuddled, me and my baby boy. Because who knows how many more times I’ll be able to rock him to sleep. This little boy full of promise and hope; growing up right before my very own eyes.

Friday, March 24, 2017

SMM: Being Bullied in First Grade

My latest piece for Suburban Misfit Mom was published recently. Though I wrote this a few weeks back, it brings back lots of emotions.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Some Kids are Assholes

My daughter was so upset. She wasn’t having fun so it was time to go.

I’m grateful for my daughter because she is smart and kind. She truly knows the difference between right and wrong. I work hard to raise her that way. I’m consistent and honest with her. She, in turn, is being molded into an amazing young person. I couldn’t be more proud. Truly, she’s an awesome kid.

So when her day was being ruined, momma bear was ready to pounce. I have to admit, like many other moms, I’m very passionate when it comes to wrongdoings towards my child. Sometimes a little too passionate. But again, I’ve made a commitment to be open and honest with my children as much as I can. Not only does it ensure trust but not sugar coating things helps them in the long run. Life isn’t all puppies and rainbows and sometimes it’s better to learn that at an early age.

However the flip side of things is very important. As soon as she came up to me upset about something and explained it (in this particular instance, kids were being crazy at an open gym and kept cutting her in line), my first response wasn’t how dare they, it was, so what about you? Are you cutting in line? Are you being assertive? Did you speak up?

I think parenting can be really hard but I feel we can not think our children are perfect angels. No matter how you raise them, you can never assume that they are never in the wrong. Every single time my daughter is upset or hurt, I don’t want to hear who did what. I want to hear how it got to that. So someone pushed you, well, what were you doing before the alleged push occurred (too many screenings of legal shows for me…)? Sometimes she is innocent but other times she’ll tell me the background and there is more to the story. She may have brought on the wrongdoing and is not totally innocent.

Having the right balance of comfort and lesson learning for these situations is really important. You have to show the child that there is a consequence for everything; sometimes good and sometimes bad. Always tell them to think before they speak or act - is that the way you’d want to be treated or talked to?

Honestly, it’s exhausting but really rewarding. We’re at a point now with my daughter, who is six, can pinpoint exactly what happened and why. I no longer have to ask. She’s also incredibly honest. She has never gotten into trouble before but recently she did. I didn’t get a call from the teacher, I didn’t have to. My daughter told me herself; crying hysterically because again she knows the difference between right and wrong and was disappointed in herself. Granted the offense was not all that bad but the whole idea of doing something against the rules at school really did a number on her. Some parents would blame the other kids for peer pressuring their child (which is really what I wanted to do). But I know my child has a mind of her own and I told her that. That can’t be the excuse.

So when she came to me upset about the kids cutting her in line, and ready to go home, she was honest with me about it. And I in turn believed her. We got into the car and she looked at me with this sad yet very mature look on her face asking me, mommy why are those kids so mean.

I was honest with her and told her, some kids are just assholes. She looked at me wide eyed and smiled. I told her not to repeat that (mentally cursing myself for slipping and talking to a six year old like that!).

I followed up with this. I told her she and her brother are very lucky. I said that mommy and daddy care so much about you both that we want to raise you to be good people. That is why we’re very strict with you about being respectful, having manners, and being kind. We drill it into you all the time and punish you when you misbehave.

I told her that some of the kids in there being crazy and being rude maybe don’t have parents like you do. Maybe their parents don’t care if they have manners or are being kind. And isn’t that sad? Don’t all kids deserve to have parents to raise them to be the best they can? So instead of being upset with those kids, be more kind to them. They aren’t getting raised like you are even though they deserve to be. Who knows, maybe a little kindness towards them will have a positive effect on them.

She really liked that answer and I could see her wheels spinning. She smiled and said thank you to me.

Yes, some kids are assholes but mine will not be.

Friday, January 20, 2017

1st Grade Conversations: Hair

This morning with my six year:

Me: Today it's gym, right? What do you want in your hair?

Lyla: Plain ponytail.

Me: That's so boring. Really?

Lyla: Yes! Just a plain ponytail!

Me: Oooh! Can I do pigtail buns in your hair today?!

Lyla: No. I don't like buns. Ever.

Me: But pigtail buns are SO much fun! I love pigtail buns. Please? Can I?

Lyla: But it's my hair so, no.

Me: Fair point. Well played...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

SMM: Six Stages of Exercise with a Toddler

Acceptance. You turn on the TV to start searching for that evil Jillian Michael’s workout and your toddler’s eyes light up! He runs to the couch with all three of his blankies, sits down as close as he can to you, and his smile lights up the whole world. He is so excited to watch TV with you!

Read the rest here!
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