Tag Archives: relax

Happy Trails

If you know anything about our lives over the past few years, you know it’s been tough. We’ve had some tough kids in some tough situations and we’re tired.

Tired of fighting, and fixing and waiting for things to change. Tired of hoping for different outcomes to the same situation that just plays out, over and over and over. Tired of trying.

So, we’ve decided to run away for a little while. We’re taking two weeks off to enjoy our kids and do no thinking. No fighting. Just being a family.

Teachers, employers and coaches aren’t overly thrilled with us but this HAD to happen. Our kids need time to breathe and refocus too. Kevin and I chose this path for our family, and we don’t regret it for a second. But we have to remember that our choices became our kids choices and when we struggle, we ALL struggle.

I know that we’ve made it through the worst of it, and feel like we’ve now found a good groove again. The kids have all gelled and are getting along pretty well. The bigs have become much better friends, the littles are happy to have a home, and the bigs are adjusting to the millions of questions per day that the littles continually ask. Overall, we’re finding our way back to ‘normal’.

Not sure what our normal is exactly, but I feel like we’re getting there. I finally feel like I can breathe again and that’s such an amazing feeling. A fresh start is a wonderful place to begin, so we’re making one now.

As I write, the three are sound asleep as we cruise down the highway. They are beyond thrilled for the adventure that is to come their way. They’ve talked non-stop and are planning their shoe purchases and photo ops. They are already making us crazy with how much further questions and calls for more food. They are happy and laughing, and its good to see. But for now, we let them sleep and we enjoy the peace and quiet of just ‘being’.

We are 5 barreling down a highway, in a motor home heading towards sunshine, outlet malls and naps. Junk food, stupid tourist attractions and Carl’s Jr. are calling our names. An Akita, a dog sitter and some very amazing friends & family are watching over our home and the new pieces of our hearts.

At this moment, I can feel our blessings and I am so very, very thankful. Let the Happy Trails start NOW. I love my life.

Getting lost in a Moment

Sometimes life hits us really hard, like square in the face with a very large hammer kinda hard. And quite often it feels like we’re not going to get through this situation and that we’re going to be stuck in it forever. But, I’m here to remind you that these experiences are only moments. They are not “forever’s and always”, they’re moments in a much, much bigger picture.

When you’re stuck in a bad one, that’s okay because it will pass. Get mad, get sad, scream, hit something, have a good cry or just shut your eyes for a while. Give yourself permission to react and don’t just try to block it out. It’s okay to be mad, and not understand why some things happen. Truth be told, it’s quite often our anger that brings about real change in our world. It’s the fire that fuels us to do something differently or better. It’s the voice that says, I do not accept this so I’m going to do something about it. Life REALLY sucks sometimes, and we’ll never change that but we can change how we react to it. But please promise me that no matter what, you won’t let a single “moment in time” take you down.

When it’s 3:30 am and your baby hasn’t slept for more than 20 minutes in the last 18 hours, feel free to be ticked off and annoyed. You’re tired. The baby’s tired. Your husband’s probably sound asleep and you just want to scream. It’s okay. This moment will one day be nothing but a memory, but for now, it is what it is. Acknowledge it but don’t give it anymore power than it already has.

When your best friend calls you crying because her life is falling apart, cry with her. Let her vent and yell and complain until she runs out of words. Let her talk irrationally and share the feelings that confuse even her. Don’t try to figure it out or help her justify it, instead breathe and know that this moment is just that, a moment. Tomorrow there will be new ones, some good, some bad but there will always be more.

When you’re standing in the grocery store and your child has decided that now is a great time to throw a massive hissy fit and is laying on the floor screaming, remember that they’ll eventually stop. If you have to pick them up and haul them out to the car while they kick at everything, that’s okay. Take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone in this battle and it’s not like you can really reason with a 3-year-old anyways. Tomorrows a new day, and hopefully there’ll be less screaming.

When you have to put your children onto the school bus for the first time, you’re going to cry. And you’re going to have a really bad day, and probably a really bad week. But in a flash, their joy will overtake your fears. Their happiness will show you that you’ve done everything right and that they’re okay.  Savour both of those moments … the fear of letting go and the joy in realizing that your babies have become little’s, and they’re amazing.

When you witness events and situations that are too horrific to even comprehend, don’t shut your eyes. Acknowledge them, and then do something to bring about change. Be happy when that story isn’t yours and be grateful for your moments that don’t include this.

And then thankfully, sometimes life brings us flashes of unspeakable joy. Things that are so amazing that words can’t even really describe how great they are. So amazing that we’re scared to close our eyes because they may disappear and be gone forever.

When you’re enjoying a good one, breathe it in and commit it to your memory. But don’t get so caught up in the wonder of it that you get stuck there. Remember it and then get ready for some new and awesome moments that are on their way.

When you see your kids interact with a puppy or a kitten for the first time, it’s worth remembering. The first time you hear your child laugh, or when they bring home their first report card. When you see someone you love achieve something that they’ve been working towards for months, stand up and cheer and remember. When your friend comes through her struggles and ends up on the other side in a much better place, rejoice.

If you can’t change it, acknowledge it, deal with it and then let it go. If you can change it, do that. Figure out why that situation sucked so badly and do something differently to ensure you don’t have to walk that path again. No one is expecting you to be perfect in any given situation so don’t be afraid to call your crappy moments exactly what they are, crap. But remember that after the rain, there is always a rainbow and your joy is coming. It may take awhile but it’s on it’s way.

Moments will always be just that. Moments. They do not need to be the end of your story.

thistooshallpass

G is for Guilt

You get mad. You get frustrated. You scream. You give totally unreasonable punishments. You promise to do things that you would never even considering doing. You slam your door and pout in your bedroom. You pay people to sit at your house so you can escape it. You do everything possible to not come straight home after a meeting.

Does any of this sound familiar? You must be a Mom.

You are going to make mistakes and screw up more times then you’ll ever be able to count. You’re going to make decisions and immediately question or regret them. You’re going to try too hard or not try hard enough. You’re always going to look back and wonder if you should’ve done things differently. Stop it.

I can remember one evening when my daughter was about 4 years old. I had put her to bed about 14 times, and it was now 11pm. On my 15th trip to her bedroom door, I lost my mind. I was screaming, and mad and quite possibly foaming at the mouth. I’m pretty sure I made horrible threats. I’m quite certain that I really scared her. The second I left the room, I was overcome with guilt and I started crying, and basically lost it all over again. Once I was calm, I went into her room, picked her up, apologized and held her until she went to sleep. I can remember thinking that I had scarred her for life. How in the world did I get that mad at someone so little? What had I done?

I asked her today if she remembered that, and she said No. She actually found that really amusing and wanted all the details of what she had to done to make me that mad??? Point is, I screwed up terribly, I apologized and we moved on. Was I a bad Mom? No. I was a tired Mom at the end of my rope, still desperately in love with my child, but worn down. It’s normal and she doesn’t even remember it.

No one is expecting you to be a perfect Mom. Not the people around you and not even your kids. It’s something that we put on ourselves, and it’s stupid. Stop getting caught up in what you see going on with other Mom’s around you. If everything about them looks perfect, if they only speak of how perfect their children are, if they spend hours telling elaborate stories of their greatness … they’re lying. It’s pretty hard to copy something that’s not even real, so quit trying.

Your kids are going to forget all of your little mistakes. They’re not going to remember all of the times that Mommy got mad or raised her voice. (Unless of course you’re screaming and freaking out every moment of the day. If so, get help. Seriously). When you mess up, apologize. Explain why you got upset, ask for forgiveness and move on. Those moments will be what they remember and frankly will teach them lessons that you couldn’t teach any other way.

If you need to work outside of the home. If you can’t afford the same toys or trips that your friends can. If your kids wear hand-me-downs. Who cares?

If you need to just run away by yourself to breathe somewhere. If you need to lock yourself in your room. If you choose a nap over reading another story. Don’t stress.

I make my children leave me alone sometimes, and I’m a much better person for it. I don’t say Yes to every request that they make, and somehow they’ve managed to survive. I’ve sent them on sleepovers at other people’s houses just so I could sleep in. I’ve let them eat nothing but cookies and pop for lunch so I could sit outside in peace and quiet, alone. All of these “breaks” have made me a better Mom and kept my children alive another day. (Be honest, we’ve all had “those” days).

You need to figure out what works best for you and your family, accept it and live it. No guilt needed. And if you’re still feeling like a not so great Mom … read this and enjoy all of my mistakes. You are SO not alone in this journey of fun. 

I leave you with this thought. 

Just kidding.  Kinda.  🙂

 

This post is Day 9 of the Summer Blog Challenge – 31 posts in 31 Days

Please visit the other fabulous bloggers and read their stories.

Zita at The Dulock Diaries.

Meaghan at MagzD Life               Natasha at Natural Urban Mamas

Aramelle at One Wheeler’s World              Jessica at 2plus2X2

I’m a Mom and I’m not Perfect.

I’m pretty sure that I knew being a Mom wouldn’t be all sunshine and rainbows, but I kinda hoped that it would be. I quickly figured out that my days would be filled with smiles and laughter. Hissy-fits and tears. Sleepless nights AND sleepless days. Memories and Milestones.  I knew that it was going to be hard, but I still hung on to the hope that I was going to be the perfect Mom.

I would watch the Mom’s on TV that sat with their children and did craft projects and sang songs all day, and thought that I should maybe give that a try. I was going to be the Mom of children that didn’t watch television all day and instead learned things through guided play and life experiences. I’d heard of people who had babies potty trained by the time they were one, that had never drank from a bottle and had never seen a soother.  I had great plans to be the Martha Stewart of Mommy’s and make everything from scratch, and wear pretty clothes and just love everyone all the time. And then I had children. Suffice it to say, I am no Martha.

As I look back on my 16 years of Mommyhood, I have many regrets and many situations that I’d like to do over. I wasn’t always sensitive and understanding when I should’ve been. I’ve had expectations that were too high, and expectations that weren’t high enough. I’ve sometimes forgotten that my kids are just kids, and have treated them like adults. I’ve been a screaming idiot, and I’ve handed out a silent treatment or two. I have not always been perfect, or anywhere near it really. But through it all, I did the best that I knew how to do at that time. I’ve had to let go of the guilt that I’ve carried for messing things up sometimes and not becoming the Mom that I had aspired to be. My kids are all healthy, happy and alive, so I know I did something right, somewhere. It may have been a messy journey, but I’ve got some great kids.

So, in honour of all of you that have had some non-perfect days, I give you this. It’s my tribute to you … the real Mom’s living through real problems, real flip-outs and real life. Hopefully my little list of crazy will help you feel better about where you’re at right now. Please stop being so hard on yourself, do the best that you know how and breathe.

Here it goes … do not judge me.

My daughter did in fact learn the alphabet and her colors from watching Barney. And quite possibly Wheel of Fortune. (Something about that spinning wheel made her very happy).

I may have thrown a bottle at a crib in the middle of the night because I was too tired to walk all the way to the bed. I may have actually thrown two bottles.

I have sent children to school with no socks and/or no underwear. And quite possibly without both at the same time. Those same children may have also knowingly been sent to school without coats, gloves, boots, etc, etc. Even when it was -20.

Every meal does not have vegetables. More than once a week.

There is WAY more sugar-coated, red dyed cereal in this house than healthy stuff. And cookies that have NOT been made by me.

My 9 month old has bounced her little bouncy chair right off the cupboard onto the floor. She survived.

My daughter ate nothing but Sweet Potatoes and Tutti Fruiti baby food from a jar for almost a year. She did turn kinda orangey. She may have also had an addiction to gripe water.

I did try to catch my falling toddler by the ankle which in fact made him fall harder. He may have knocked his front tooth out at 11 months.

I pierced my daughter with a safety pin. I promise you I cried WAY harder than she did.

Children will survive on hot dogs and dill pickles. And peanut butter on a spoon.

When my daughter was 3, I took her bottle away while we were on vacation by telling her that we forgot it at home. I may have also hid girls clothes in the boys section just so she’d wear something beside track pants. I think I may have lied to tricked her quite a few times over the years.

I may have left a trail of fruit snacks from my children’s bedroom door to the TV so I could sleep in. I may have also left the TV turned on all night so they wouldn’t have to wake me up to put it on the right channel.

I might have convinced my children that if they ran away in public that bad people would steal them.

I have played hide and seek with my kids with full intentions of not looking for them. Thankfully, they loved that game.

I have taken my children to Ikea for the free childcare.