Category: Parent

Guest Post – A Defeated Mom’s Manifesto

Guest Post- Defeated Mom Manifesto

 

Amber by lineAmber Christensen is a mom to four boys, a blogger and author of  Memoirs of Mayhem: The Good, The Bad, and The Hilarious. She is learning to find the humor in her parenting which she shares on her blog Watch This Mom. You can also find her on InstagramFacebook and Twitter!

The Problem

You know what MY problem is? (Well, one of them.) I think everything is my fault.

The kids don’t have clean clothes for school? My fault.

The kids are whining? My fault.

The kids turned the house into a disaster zone in the five minutes I left them quietly watching a movie to make a phone call? My fault.

It’s easy to feel defeated when I blame everything that happens on myself. I’ve taught my kids to do laundry. Even the two-year-old knows how to throw clothes into the washer. If they have to wear dirty clothes to school, the least I can do is let them share the blame.

You know what OUR problem is, fellow parents?

We like to pretend we have no faults. That’s why we couldn’t possibly let one of our children go to school in a shirt they wiped their face on. Other people would know we didn’t write, “Wash your disgusting shirt,” on our Pinterest-inspired, save-the-world job chart. They’d know we’re terrible parents for not teaching our kids responsibility and letting them out in public with Cheeto powder on their clothes. (You feed your kids Cheetos? What is wrong with you?!)

My Three-Part Solution

1. Make Connections by Admitting the Realities of Life

People make connections when one of them is brave enough to tell the truth and the other says, “Me too.” I’m not talking about becoming a whiner. But if someone asks how you are, it’s okay to say, “I seriously need to get out of my house. Without my kids. Like, yesterday.”

When they respond with, “Me too!” BAM! Girls Night Out!

You have a baby with eczema who scratches the heck out of his cheeks and don’t want to put steroid cream on his face so you’ve spent a lot of money looking for something that else that works? ME TOO! At least, I did. Then a mom at the doctor’s office gave me some suggestions and we got it figured out. Let’s help each other out!

2. Find Humor

I’ve learned to find humor in parenting. I even wrote a book about it. Because reality is quite funny. Watching a two-year-old get stuck trying to take his shirt off then turn in circles until he’s both stuck and dizzy is hilarious. When I laugh instead of cry (or yell), we’re all happier people.

3. Learn From Faithful Women Who Actually Had Hard Lives

The women in the scriptures have much to teach us. First and foremost, that life is hard no matter who you are. Reading about Mary, who gave birth to the Son of God under the least ideal of circumstances and had to hide him in Egypt to keep alive, really puts my life into perspective.

Hard? Hardly.

These are faithful, courageous, stalwart women who relied on faith and pushed forward despite their trials. I want to be like them.

Are You With Me?

Are you ready to stop blaming yourself for everything, admit reality, and find humor in everyday life?

Me too!

Want to read more great articles like this one? Subscribe to this blog via email (over there in the sidebar) and never miss another great post again! Follow The Whatever Mom on Twitter, Facebook and BlogLovin. If you don’t? Whatever.

Sharing is Caring:

Don’t Wish Away The Years

Don't Wish Away The Years

I remember a friend telling me at my baby shower, “don’t wish away the years because you will wish away all the good stuff too.” I remember her words so clearly, it feels like just yesterday. Here it is five years later and I see how hard that advice is to follow. I can’t tell you how many times I have wished for my babies to “just go to sleep!” or wished that potty training, or this picky eating phase would “just be over already!” In those moments it was too hard to see what I was wishing away.

My babies waking up in the night was the only time I had to snuggle them one at a time while their twin was asleep in another room. Now, I miss those precious early morning moments of feeling a tiny, fuzzy head snuggled under my chin. I miss the sound the rocking chair made in the late night hours quietly shushing us back to sleep. I miss holding those tiny bundles against my chest with their arms around my neck, the scent of their hair and the tiny wisp of their breath on my neck. Here’s the part I want to wish away: my kids are growing up and I’m feeling so unprepared. Where is the restart button? How can I go back to day one knowing all that I know now? I’d be more patient. I’d be less busy. I’d throw away perfection much sooner.

Kindergarten registration has come and gone. My kids are officially on the track to elementary education. Our first visit to the school is happening tomorrow. The girls will get to tour their classrooms with out me. They get to meet some of the kids they will spend their days with for the next 13 years. I will be in another area of the school talking with other parents about how to prepare our children for their first day of school without us. And I’m not ready to let them go.

You would think staying home with them for the last five years would feel like enough, but it doesn’t. It just doesn’t. That five years went by quicker than I could imagine. When I sit down in the rocking chair in a quiet moment I can almost feel my pregnant self sitting in that chair. I waited patiently through five months of “bed rest” for my little babes to arrive. It felt like that five months was never going to end. But it did and at the end there were two incredible little gifts that belonged to me.

I thought the first year of taking care of twin infants through the night was never going to end. They would never be out of their cribs and into their own rooms without each other. I would let them decide when they were ready I thought. But then I decided on my own when they were old enough to get out of toddler beds and get into mischief together.

I thought potty training my set of very strong willed twins was going to break me. I couldn’t imagine a day where I wasn’t wiping up potty accidents all day long. Those were really hard long years (yes, years). But now that phase is over too.

I have been so fortunate to stay home with them. I have had five years of snuggles and kisses, watching them grow and learn. I have not had to share all their amazing milestones with anyone else. It was all me. And them. And I loved it.

I have been able to watch over them, protect them and keep them safe. Now, we are moving away from our own little world to enter the big wide world. I am excited to watch them learn new things and grow. But it feels like a lot is ending for us. It’s an end to lazy morning snuggles because it’s Tuesday. It’s an end to sunny morning park dates. It’s an end to trips to the ice cream shop in the middle of the day. It’s an end to slow easy mornings where the day is ours entirely.

Now, we move on to homework struggles and rushing to the bus stop, bullies and besties. My beautiful babes are on the threshold of shedding their innocent perspectives and learning to connect with the world around them.. They will learn so much more than what I can give them by myself. Some good. Some bad.

I know the next five years will be very different than the last five years. But, I can’t help wishing I didn’t have to wish for more time.

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

 

This article also appeared on Mamapedia.com

 

 

 

Sharing is Caring:

Make Your Own Play Dough For Sick Days

How To Make Playdough

We were struck down hard by the flu bug for nearly two weeks. My poor kiddos have been lethargic with only spurts of energy. They waiver between lying on the couch taking small sips of water and short bursts of wanting something to do. They keep asking to take out the play dough. “Um, you’re a hacking pile of slime right now mayyyyybe we should pass on the play dough?” Nope. Must have play dough.

Kids are gross. I love ’em but ew. They sneeze into their hands and wipe them on the table. They use one small corner of a tissue to rearrange the snot on their face and go back to eating dry cereal with their fingers. They PROMISE me they’ve washed their hands, but I’m not entirely confident in their promises. Squishing all those germs into the play dough and then sealing it inside an air tight container feels more like a DIY petri dish experiment than play time fun. Ick!

So, I pulled out our favorite recipe for homemade play dough and started cooking. Most moms cook up a big batch of chicken soup for their sick kids (which by now you know my picky eaters won’t eat that anyway). But, this mom cooks up a batch of homemade play dough? Whatever. A mom has got to do what a mom has got to do to make it through the thousandth sick day! Am I right?

Here is what you need:

2 Cups flour

½ Cup salt

1 packet of Kool Aid

1 Cup boiling water (I ran my tap until the water was at its hottest)

3 Tablespoons oil (Sunflower, or Vegetable works best)

Instructions:

Mix the flour, salt and Kool Aid together first.  Next, add oil to the boiling water before pouring into the bowl. The fun part is watching the colors magically appear.

The dough will resemble crumbles at first. That’s when it’s time for all hands on deck! Everyone can take turns kneading the dough until it becomes a smooth ball.

play dough crumbles

After you’ve made all your play dough, store the dough in an air tight container (a plastic baggie works too). We made a few different colors.

play dough boxes2

This recipe is cheap and it makes enough play dough that I can portion out to have on hand for a few sick days. I toss it immediately after my kids sneeze into it.

You don’t have to reserve this recipe for your kids’ sick day. You can make it any time! 😉

How do you keep the kids entertained on sick days?

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

 

Sharing is Caring:

Friday Favorites – Special Books by Special Kids

rd autism

As I mentioned in my post on April 2nd, April is Autism Awareness Month. No one is more aware of autism than the individuals who live with this diagnosis, and their families who love them. They are the ones who live with the challenges and differences every day. But, there are some unsung heroes out there helping them find a comfortable place of acceptance: Special Education Teachers and Therapists.

Teachers and therapists working in the world of special education truly have the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve met. They have to give enthusiastically for 6-8 or more hours a day. What makes them truly special is they can breathe the power of belief into the hearts of our special kids who don’t always believe in themselves. They can bring relief to a parent filled with worries and doubts. What an amazing super power!

I am a huge fan of this guy: Christopher Ulmer. We have never met and probably won’t. But, I want to introduce you to the important work he is doing. He is working hard to open doors of acceptance for children with autism and different abilities. His passion and his energy in the videos he posts are contagious. I hope you catch it too and pass it on to friends, family and strangers. As he says in nearly every video, “we are all more alike than we are different” and no matter what our abilities are we all need one thing to thrive. Love.

Here is a PopSugar video of “Mr. Chris” (as his students call him).

Mr. Chris tried to publish a book series written by his students. It was rejected 50 times. Instead he now travels the country interviewing individuals and their families and posting those videos online. Through sharing these stories on social media he is hoping to create a platform to educate the world and invite others to learn more about neurodiversity.

Mr. Chris uses rough 1/3 of his teacher salary toward promoting this project. I encourage you all to go check out the Special Books by Special Kids website and Facebook page. If you are inspired by his work feel free to click on the donation tab on the website and contribute to his gofundme site. Mr. Chris is using donations to fund his expenses to travel to each family and to keep SBSK operating. And, if you know a publisher who would be willing to publish his book series don’t be afraid to reach out to him directly. 😉

Please share this blog post on your social media pages. We can make Mr. Chris’s work a little easier by helping create a better understanding of what it looks like to treat others with compassion despite their diagnosis.

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

Sharing is Caring:

Exciting News- The Whatever Mom Community Grows!

Introducing

 

I am excited to share with all of you wonderful readers some exciting news! The Whatever Mom Army continues to grow!

Starting TOMORROW you will see some new faces on my blog! You will see posts submitted by guest bloggers and contributors who are lending their voices to our incredible Whatever Mom community! Why is it important to have some new voices? Well, I know you could never get sick of hearing from me *wink* but my kids are growing and I am entering a new season of parenthood. In those really rough sleep deprived early months of life as a new mom, I never thought I’d get here. HERE I AM MAMAS!! One day you will be to!

My mission has always been to expose those struggles we all face as parents and ease the pressure to meet perfection. But, it wouldn’t be fair to my readers to only hear my struggles. There are new moms out there who need to know they are going to survive and they need to know there are other moms right there in the trenches with them. Mothering can be so hard. We put so much pressures on ourselves to make it all perfect.

Well, moms I am happy to share none of us are perfect. I want this site to be a place of comfort and understanding. Any parent in any stage of the game will find something they need. Whether it is connecting with someone else’s story, or a craft you need to keep the kids happy, or a recipe to hopefully get that picky eater to finally eat something (fingers crossed). Or, just simply a place to know you are not alone. We all struggle and that’s OK. *Breathe*

Thank you to everyone who reads each week. Truly, from the bottom of my heart I mean that! It is a dream come true to be able to write my thoughts down and send out to the masses. It amazes me each week that there are a couple thousand of you who look forward to what I have to say (my husband and two children do not count in that number, ha!). Someone once told me I couldn’t be a writer and I believed them. I also told myself I couldn’t be a good mom, and I believed that too. Thankfully, I was wrong on both accounts.

Guess what? You can find more really great moms to connect with right here in the very near future. Please check back often, or even better subscribe via email so you won’t miss a post again! You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Bloglovin’. Just check out the sidebar for all those links. I love getting the chance to connect!

Happy reading!

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

Sharing is Caring:

Picky Eaters Party of Two – My Hidden Nutrition Mac and Cheese

Hello mamas! I have shared before how difficult it is to find foods for my super picky eaters. These girls of mine simply will NOT take even one bite if they don’t want to. So, I end up wasting a lot of food. I try not to make food a struggle at our house, but I think sometimes it just is. Other times I find myself doctoring up their most favorite food on the planet: Mac and Cheese. But, hell hath no fury like a child who does not get the right shaped pasta in her mac and cheese. It MUST be shells NOT elbows. Lesson learned.

Here is how I sneak in a little extra nutrition into their favorite boxed mac and cheese. (Yes, boxed because they won’t eat my super amazing from scratch recipe).

Picky mac and cheese

Ingredients:

Favorite Box of Mac and Cheese

Nutritional Yeast

Winter squash, pureed (can also use sweet potato, cauliflower to go unnoticed)

Avocado mayo (optional)

Why avocado mayo? Well, it’s adding in some extra healthy fats which little developing brains need.

Why nutritional yeast? The nutritional yeast is rich with B-vitamins which my kids may not get enough of because of their limited food choices. Helps sneak in a little extra fiber and minerals too.

Why veggie puree? The hidden veggies gives an extra boost of fiber and vitamins.

Here’s how I make it.

Boil macaroni according to package directions.

picky mac and cheese 2

While the pasta is draining, I put in the amount of butter specified on the package and get it melting.

picky mac and cheese 3

Once it is melted I add in the veggie puree and mayo. Once it is all mixed I add in the cheese packet and the nutritional yeast (which I have been able to convince my kids it is a “cheese booster”) and milk. Once all of that is mixed well I add the pasta back into the pot and stir.

picky mac and cheese 4

My kids will eat the entire box together. Some nights this is all they will eat despite me serving their favorite veggies and fish sticks, or chicken nuggets along side of it. Having all that extra stuff mixed inside the mac and cheese is like a little nutritional insurance policy. I don’t worry about what they aren’t eating because I know what little they are eating is still packed with good stuff.

picky mac and cheese 5

I have to admit, some of these ingredients do not seem appetizing on their own. I thought nutritional yeast just sounded so gross until I actually tried it for myself. Also, who puts mayo in their mac and cheese, right? But, none of these ingredients are even detectable when masked behind the cheese. It also helps to NEVER let your kids see what you add into the sauce! Afterall, the secret is in the sauce. 😉

If you have a picky eater making you jump through a lot of hoops to get them to eat, hang in there! Despite my kids desire to subsist on macaroni and cheese alone, they are thriving and hovering in that 80th percentile.

Got a sure fire, tried and true way to get your picky eater to eat their veggies? Please share in the comments below!

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

Sharing is Caring:

Gift Guide for New Moms

Good morning everyone! I’m so excited to introduce you to my new niece, Juliet!

Baby J

Isn’t she beautiful? And, so tiny! I haven’t held a baby this small since my girls were born. There were two to hold at the same time, so it felt different to hold one sleeping, tiny little baby. I swear my babies only slept like this a short amount of time before it was all crying all day. I think that’s just par for the course with twins.

Once Juliet arrived I wanted to get her something cute. After all, it has also been a long time since I got to shop for a cute little girly baby outfit. As much as I wanted to buy a baby gift, I really wanted to buy a gift for my sister in-law. This is child #2 for her. I feel like the more children we have the more effort we have to put into taking care of ourselves. By effort I don’t mean make up and expertly coordinated outfits. I mean managing stress and being able to feel refreshed. That’s hard to do with a newborn who doesn’t sleep through the night. Her son just turned six and I teased her that she was finally free from the sleep deprivation, but now she’s going right back in! So my gifts were inspired by those early days when self care is critical care.

Inside the gift bag for my little peanut Juliet I included some things I knew my sister in-law would enjoy. I didn’t want to just get her stuff she needed. I wanted to get stuff just for her to enjoy. Moms deserve a little something JUST for themselves to celebrate that giant feat of birthing another human being!  Here is my list of gift ideas for new moms:

Really Good Tea

Harney tea

A good cup of chamomile herbal tea (no caffeine) will help soothe those frazzled nerves from not getting enough sleep at night. You don’t have to break the budget to get good tea. Most grocery stores now carry some really great choices for around $5.00. Many of which look very fancy.

Chocolate

Taza Chocolate

If she doesn’t like chocolate then add in a different special little treat just for her. If you don’t know if she likes chocolate you can still put it in the basket. Worst case scenario she can always share the chocolate with hubby, or friends who stop by to see the baby.

Luxurious Lotions

HelloMellow Body Butter

A nice mild lotion with minimal fragrance so as not to irritate her skin or her baby’s skin. It’s just nice to have a soothing lotion on hand to feel pampered.

Lip Balm

Kiss My Face Lip Balm

New moms can dehydrate quickly so a lip balm will help keep lips kissable soft for baby’s tender skin.

Essential Oils

 

Essential Oil Roller Ball

A roller ball gives mom the chance to apply a mood changing, or uplifting sent when she needs to. Or, if she has a diffuser she can easily use to fill her room with a calming scent. Lavender is great for calming and soothing, and orange mixed with peppermint is great for an energy lift.

Gift Bag

RuMe organizer

You can easily put all of these lovely gifts into a paper gift bag, or even a basket. But, why not put them in a cute little accessories bag she can reuse later. Moms NEVER run of out uses for extra bags! Adding a monogram truly makes this gift personal.

What else would you add to this list of gifts for new moms?

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

 

Sharing is Caring:

April 2nd is World Autism Day

rd autism

 

Happy Saturday!

I know, I typically do not post on a Saturday. But, today is an important day to share. April 2nd is now celebrated as World Autism Day and it kicks off a month long celebration of difference and spreading awareness about Autism. Not only are the statistics alarming (1 in 68 are diagnosed), but it is more alarming how difficult it is for autistic individuals and their families to find acceptance and understanding. This boggles my mind because we are so much more alike than we are different.

Years ago, I worked as an assistant in a school for autistic children. I worked in the preschool classroom during the morning and then in the afternoon I worked in the older classrooms. I have witnessed miracles happen and I have witnessed heart breaking sadness for children working so hard to cope. That experience changed me forever. In fact, after two weeks on the job I said one day I would write a book titled, “Everything I Needed to Know about Life, I Learned from Autism.” Later, I found a deeper passion linking parents to therapeutic services for their children. My wish would be that everyone could see autism the way I do- through love, compassion and understanding.

I found this post when I logged onto Facebook this morning. It is written by my friend Erin who is an amazing mom, a “Coastie wife” the owner/designer at Rose Door Designs; and now mother of an autistic son. I agree with her message and I simply love how beautifully she has shared her and her son’s story.

Erin and Liam

erin d

“Today is World Autism Awareness Day. And while I think it’s great (really!) if you want to change your profile pic, Light It Up Blue, or even share my cover photo, those things won’t necessarily make you or anyone else more “aware” of autism. But knowing someone who is autistic might.

My Liam was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in June 2013, just before his fifth birthday. He doesn’t “look autistic;” for many people he “seems normal.” But the more time you spend with him, the more pronounced his differences become…and the more amazing you realize he is. Liam struggles every day in a world that often overwhelms and doesn’t make sense to him. He shows up and he does his best and he fights his way through. He’s brilliant and funny and talented and sweet as can be. He’s my hero.

So today, you can say you know a person with autism. One person. Because every person with autism is unique. There are no cookie cutter signs or symptoms; you can’t spot it from across the room. Autism doesn’t come wrapped in a blue puzzle piece ribbon.

For anybody out there facing an ASD diagnosis–whether it be your kid, a friend’s kid, a family member–IT’S GOING TO BE OK. I promise. You will find your way. There are helpers. Liam has been able to make remarkable progress since his initial diagnosis thanks in large part to the incredible work of some really amazing special educators, regular classroom teachers, therapists, school psychologists, aides, and paraprofessionals. So, to those of you doing that really difficult, really important work: THANK YOU. I know it doesn’t always feel like it, but you make a huge difference in the lives of kids like mine every single day.

If you have any questions about Liam, what autism looks like at our house, or about ASD in general, I’d be happy to try and answer them. It is, after all, World Autism Awareness Day.

Love and light,
One Lucky Mom”

When I asked Erin for permission to share her post she asked me to really emphasize the value of the hard work special educators put into helping kids like Liam, “Special educators are absolutely saints and deserve millions of dollars and their own velvet roped VIP area in heaven. We are so, so thankful and forever indebted to his teachers and aides. They have loved him like their own and have made it possible for us to be better parents.”

I also asked Erin if she could offer any advice about what kind of support she needs as a parent, “I guess the best support anyone could offer me would be to try to understand. Ask questions, be observant, and offer to help maybe (though I’m not big on accepting help! LOL). It drives me nuts when people say things like, “Oh, he’ll be fine,” or “He looks so normal,” or “He doesn’t seem so bad.” It may be true in that moment, but they haven’t seen the day to day struggles.”

I would like to add to Erin’s advice by saying don’t judge a parent by their child’s behaviors. A child struggling to cope in public can often look like they are “misbehaving” and believe me EVERYONE has an opinion on how to handle THAT child. None of that advice is helpful. Instead, ask, “What can I do to help?” “Is there anything I can do to help you right now?” Sometimes just offering help with compassion offers enough room for a parent to take a breath and face that struggle. Sometimes knowing you are not alone in the struggle is all it takes for families living with autism to feel accepted.

autism ribbon

To learn more about Autism and how it affects families visit http://www.autism-society.org/

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

 

 

Sharing is Caring:

Spring Cleaning (Not A Guide)

Spring Cleaning

Phwew! Spring break is over and the kids are back at school FOR SIX HOURS TODAY!! We survived!                I survived!!! Now, to update you on our week!

Last year for spring break we took an amazing road trip to Mystic CT (<—click it) to see the aquarium and a few fun little museums. This year (are ya ready for this?) we stayed home to spring clean our house! I know…that crazy Whatever family! It’s all about balance right? Amazing fun doesn’t come without the price of cleaning up a mess. Don’t worry; this isn’t another blog about how to clean your house, or what schedule you should follow to spring clean in 30 minutes or less. This is a blog about survival.

Although I do love me a good clean house to live in, having me tell you how I clean my house really doesn’t matter. You know how to clean a house right? Even if you clean your house in a different order than I do mine you’re not doing it wrong. It may set you at ease to read this next confession of mine; I haven’t cleaned my home in five years. OK that’s a little misleading. I have cleaned my house, but I haven’t been able to clean my house for FIVE. YEARS. All the sticky parts were cleaned up and the most trafficked areas maintained, but cleaning any deeper just did not happen.

When you have two little kids always stuck to you like Velcro, and zero extra help you do what you can to survive. Even if that means stacking things high on top of the fridge, or into as many distant corners as possible to keep them from destroying things. That’s what you do. Survival. Survival can get dirty. I didn’t even take pictures to share with you because, well things were dirty. We cleaned behind furniture and found things we thought we lost years ago. Did you know spiders can create webs that connect your furniture TO the wall? Yep. Found a lot of those too.

We washed curtains, shampooed carpets, washed windows and here’s my favorite part: we threw things away!! If you’ve read my posts before you know I am an avid “chucker.” I love to throw out duplicate items, small random toys that have no meaning and riding my closet of tiny clothes I’ll no longer squeeze my mom bod into. I admit I felt a sharp pang in my heart when my five year olds fit into my old concert t-shirts. I’d be lucky if I could get even one of those shirts over my thigh now. *sigh*

We moved furniture to new locations and organized kitchen cabinets. So much work. But, so happy it’s all done. I am having a lot of emotions about the girls starting Kindergarten and I feel like settling things in our closets and cupboards will help me feel like I have some amount of control over this new season of parenthood (and maybe breathe a little better without the inch of dust on my walls). In some weird way it makes me feel more prepared. I feel like we are closing a chapter on their early childhood. All the baby stuff. All the toddler games. It’s all gone. We are no longer spending hours piled under tents and learning our ABC’s. My kids know their ABC’s.

This spring cleaning was about tucking away the memories of our lives at home the last five years. It was about me carefully and lovingly packaging those moments up neat. I packed away all evidence of our preschool years now preserved in a box on a shelf. We can visit those days again, but we won’t have those moments to live again. I’ll miss being at the park at 10:15 a.m. on a Tuesday soaking up the sun while listening to my kids gleeful screeches. I’ll miss watching them in the backyard lost in a daydream while swinging higher and higher.

As I blew off the dust that collected during the last five years of survival, I began to look forward to surviving the next five years. Bullies. Heartache. Bus rides. Science. Learning. Navigating friendships. Understanding more about the world. This spring cleaning was a way of holding on and letting go at the same time. It is so hard to let go of those “little” years, but I have to let them go to make room for what’s to come in the next five years.

I know I’ll never have everything perfectly crossed off of my list. I’ll never accomplish all the things I want to with my kids as time passes by too quickly. But, I’m doing my best to hold onto who they are today, before leaving those little people in our past. Now that our house is clean I feel like we each have a fresh place to start this next leg of our journey. Join me five years from now when I “deep clean” our house once again. *wink*

Got a great been there done that survival tip for the Kindergarten year? Please share it below! You can also share it on my Facebook Page or Twitter!

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

 

Sharing is Caring:

How Far Do I Have To Run To Leave The Madness Behjnd?

IMG_20160318_185820868

Have you ever had a day just so insane you wanted to run away? That was my day today! After months of my husband working 6 day weeks and traveling I was feeling pretty streched thin!

This week my kids have been especially crazy. They are constantly arguing and not listening and just not nice to each other. I knew my nerves were shot when I sent hubby this text:

Me:”I had to take away all the chairs from our kids today. I banned them from using CHAIRS!!!!”

Hubby:”I don’t know what to say except what kind of wine do you want me to bring home?”

Me:”THE BIG ONE!”

I felt like the harder I tried to settle the kids so I could have space to do a little work and maybe wash some dishes, the harder it was to wrangle them. So , I turned on the TV, went to my own room and called my mom.

Me:” This morning I told my child to get in the car and for some reason she starts running around the car and dancing across the front yard. I have yelled so much this week I swear the neighbors set their clock, brew a nice cup of coffee and watch out the window just waiting to see what $#@+ show my kids are creating each day”

Mom: Laughter. Of course she laughed. Not because I am funny but because she remembers what it felt like (and now she’s free from the tyranny that was the “know it all” me).

As soon as my husband arrived home I ran out the door to grocery shop. I had no list. No idea what I needed to buy. But I was gonna walk every aisle in each of the stores I regularly shop! First, I’ll treat myself to a chai latte from Dunkin Donuts. Uggh…except my driver side window is stuck and won’t open!! What is this day trying to do to me?!?

Never mind. I will drive to the Quick Check gas station and get something. I settled on a decaf coffee with chemical creamer. I didn’t even care. I wanted a stinking vanilla caramel latte darn it! As I looked around for a brownie (because I like my emotions to taste sweet) a beacon of light shown forth and there it was! A gluten free chocolate chip brownie. For ME. Waiting so patiently.

I didn’t even wait to pull out of my parking spot before snarfing that little slice of perfection into my mouth!

IMG_20160318_191437910

#noregrets

I continued to my stores in absolutely no hurry. I read every single label on my food selections. I even offered to read the lables for other shoppers on their products. I am so not in a hurry to get back that I am actually sitting in the Aldi’s parking lot typing this post!

I knew I had to share this with all of you. Someone out there is having a day just like mine. Maybe they need to hear they are not alone, or permission to just laugh at the craptastic events of today. And, maybe I feel better knowing I’m not the only one who fantasizes about running away.

Whatever the reason you have read this far, thank you! Tomorrow is another day. I am hoping it is a better one. If not, I at least have the big wine! 😉

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

Sharing is Caring:

Building a community one click at a time.