Category: Parenting

A Cynic’s View of Valentine’s Day – Celebrating Love and Grief

Valentine’s day seems to bring out two kinds of people. The ones who love everything about the holiday and the ones who hate everything about it. I used to be one of the folks that hated it. I thought it was some dumb made up holiday created to dupe people from their dollars with useless trinkets and overpriced flowers. Gift giving is easy but loving someone every day is the hard part. A total cynic, even after I found love with the man that is now my husband.

We were dating only a few weeks before Valentine’s day, so I gave my new love a card and a funny pair of joke boxers out of obligation. I was clearly in the no frills, less is more camp. Only after arriving at his apartment for a home cooked meal, a surprise dozen roses, some chocolates, gold jewelry and a sappy card did I realize he was in the other camp. And that made for some very awkward dinner conversation.

A lot has changed since our first Hallmark holiday. For our second Valentine’s day, we celebrated the birth of my nephew. Our third Valentine’s day we celebrated my niece’s victory over childhood cancer and on our fifth Valentine’s Day we attended my father’s funeral. Valentine’s day has not always been all roses and chocolates for us. We’ve watched friends marry and divorce on Valentine’s day, and we’ve watched atrocities of mass shootings unfold on Valentine’s day. This Hallmark occasion has become a mixed bag of emotions for me. I’m always torn between throwing love around like confetti or sobbing in a closet. In between all the gifts and romance, funerals and cancer diagnosis’ we’ve learned that we need this one day on the calendar to remind us to slow down and check-in with those around us. I am always thankful for that extra reminder.

Today marks our 19th Valentine’s Day and again it is a day of celegrieving
(Note to self: coin the term “celegrieving”). We lost four amazing people in the last month. Grieving on Valentine’s day isn’t new to us, but it does put a crimp in our celebratory mood. Yet in a way it doesn’t. (There’s that mixed bag of emotions. You just don’t know which one I’m going to pull out). We don’t need flowers, or grand gestures to celebrate our family and friends. We are grateful for the memories we have with our Uncle Mike, our friends Michael, Jennifer and Erica. They are among the reasons we rejoice. We celebrate them and the wonderful gifts they’ve given us. Each of them taught us something, showed us kindness in every day gestures and made us laugh. Oh, how I will miss hearing their laughter. And their smiles when we talked. The run-ins at Walmart. And our shared stories with funny inside jokes. This holiday wasn’t invented with grievers in mind, and it isn’t my fault that my grief comes with a side of glittery wrapped dark chocolates. I guess grieving on the high holy day of chocolate has this one small benefit.

Despite my sadness this morning I decorated our kitchen with red and white crepe paper and scattered chocolate kisses all over the breakfast table. I surprised my girls with some special gifts, and I wrote love notes in everyone’s card. No, my husband’s presents and impressive dinners over the years have not converted me to the commercialism of Valentine’s day. But living in a world where it is easy to become so busy that we lose track of time and each other has changed our view of what this day means for us. All the materialism celebrated on this day will fade, but the lasting memories we forge together will get us through the low points, like when we can’t make sense of death. Even if this holiday is just another day on the calendar, I can still gift my family with joy over the cynical harshness of life. And what I’ve learned from the last 19 Valentine holidays is that every second we are alive is worth celebrating. Also, if you buy your brand-new boyfriend a pair of goofy boxers for your first Valentine’s day, when you get married, you can coast along on those low standards for another two decades.

Roxanne is the head writer, creative force and marketing guru at The Whatever Mom. She started this crazy blog before her babies grew into smarty pants little people leaving messes all over her house. Eight years on the coffee wagon and still folding nine million pairs of socks. But she is a survivor and she’s gonna make it. Even if it means white knuckling through every morning until her kids’ graduation.     Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Sharing is Caring:

Why is School Picture Day Such a Struggle?

Am I the only one that hates school picture day?

I mean I love the cute pics of my kids, but the struggle leading up to the big day is one I’d rather miss thank you very much.

I love that I have very strong-willed children, but there are days I have to suck it up that I am not going to get my own way. Picture day is one of those days. I would love to have my girls dressed in something cute and fluffy with perfectly coiffed hair. The problem is they aren’t having it. I can lay out the outfit I’d like them to wear the night before, and by morning there will be a tearful protest simply because I am “making” them do something.

So here is what I did today… nothing. I let them have full control. I did not coach them on how to smile. I did not remind them to check their teeth before they go in for photos. And I did not pick out their outfits or adjust their mix of patterns. Today was just another school day. Nothing special.

I know it sounds totally crazy for those of us “control enthusiasts” who love things perfect. It definitely feels weird letting my elementary school kids have total control over pictures I am going to pay for (and I don’t even get a preview). Now that I have a few school picture days under my belt, I know those photos are a freeze frame moment in time- a time in my kids childhood when they can fully express who they are without judgement. The superhero and cutesy character t-shirts are a glimpse into the personalities and treasured favorites of their past. They have plenty of time to be perfect in the future.

Letting go of making things perfect isn’t easy. But I am learning to meet my kids half way.

Today, there were no tears. No one complained. No lines drawn in the sand. Both of my kids picked out appropriate and clean shirts to wear. One insisted on giant bows for her pigtails and the other wanted to wear the same hairstyle she does every day. We made it to the bus stop on time in glorious harmony. Zero struggle. Zero tantrums on school picture day. We even laughed at their suggestion to “dab” as their school picture pose. (Please don’t).

Today, was a much smoother send off than on previous school picture days. #totalparentwin

Also, I ordered the smallest portrait package so there will be minimal evidence if this little experiment goes sideways. #promomtip

 

 

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! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

Sharing is Caring:

Queen Girls Has 5 NEW Inspiring Stories!

I’ve partnered with Queen Girls to promote diversity and positive content in children’s books.  They have created a collection of fairy tales, inspired by the lives of real women – Marie  Curie, Isadora Duncan, Savitri Phule, Bessie Coleman and Frida Kahlo. I have not been compensated for this post. All opinions shared are my own. Read to the end for your free copy of a Queen Girls story and activity book.

Today I am excited to tell you that Queen Girls is launching a whole new series of books written to empower young girls! I only share with you the things I love most and this is one of them! I love the illustrations, the language and the stories. Most of all I love sharing these age appropriate true life stories with my own girls. I hope it plants the seed that they can be and do anything they want to in life.

Meet The Queens


This new book series includes 5 new stories about Frida Kahlo, Savitri Phule, Junko Tabei, Isadora Duncan, Bessie Coleman ​&​ Marie Curie. These are the souls behind this collection.

Each book combines reality with elements of fantasy, captivating the attention of our youngsters while at the same time showing them the power of determination. These fairy  tales are geared at girls aged 4 to 8, definitive years where perspectives are sharply  defined. They show our girls that anything is possible if we set our minds to it!     Queen Girls wants to stir the conversation around stereotypes in children’s literature. More  often than not, women are portrayed simply as exotic beauties, love seekers and  homemakers.

‘We believe that as parents, we need to be more conscientious about the content we read to our children. Story telling is an intimate, powerful and often underestimated privilege. It is not just about acquiring new vocabulary, but also instilling ideas and perspectives that will support our girls’ dreams. Telling them new stories will hopefully change theirs.’

 

Queen Girls is a collection of books for CONSCIOUS families, for parents who are  aware of the importance of the content we consume and read to our children.    

The Collection 
Diversity is at the core of this collection. Every woman portrayed comes from a different  walk of life and diverse background. The writers and illustrators are also unconventional.  Jimena Durán, Founder and Creative Director, intentionally invited different women to be  part of this adventure, hoping to create alliances beyond stereotypes.

‘We want to teach girls that our diversity makes each one of us unique beings, equally capable of doing anything we set ourselves out to do!’

How Queen Girls was born 
As a new mom, Jimena started paying closer attention to children’s literature. She found  herself changing the lyrics of songs and books because their messages didn’t always  resonate with her. She did not feel comfortable delivering much of the content to her son  and wanted to do something about it. Her sister in law, Andrea Doshi, Co Creator, speech  pathologist and passionate traveler, didn’t hesitate to jump into the adventure. Together  they brought this concept to life with their first, co authored book, ‘Bessie, Queen of the Sky’  (image above).

How to get involved? 
The first book was printed thanks to a supportive community and successful Kickstarter  campaign. They are now running a second Kickstarter campaign with 5 new titles! They need all the love you can give them to make their dream to publish this collection a reality!

Learn more here: Queen Girls Publications

SHARE to receive free e-book + coloring book + activity book of ‘Bessie, Queen of the  Sky’ – fairy tale inspired by the story of Bessie Coleman, the first black woman to receive  her pilot’s license ​https://goo.gl/DSt4vBi​ #queengirls  Share this and tag Queen Girls on social media to receive your free download of Bessie, Queen of the Sky!

 

 

 

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! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing is Caring:

Here’s Why I am Such a Terrible Blogger

Probably not the title you want to see from someone trying to become “profesh.” But most days I feel completely terrible at my job as a blogger. It isn’t for a lack of trying, or working hard, in fact I write stuff all the time. I am usually writing it all in my head while I’m driving the kids to gymnastics or to the grocery store. I am always taking snap shots of the craziness that happens in my day, but then forget to upload them later. If only I didn’t have to mom all day I’d be a much better blogger, I say to myself every night as I turn out the light and pull the covers up to my chin.

I attempted to work outside the house for about 9 months and it totally threw off my blogging flow. I thought I’d get back into it during the summer and that was harder than I thought. I barely had enough time for my morning coffee before the kids and I were off an running. It was an amazing summer, but not much proof of it in the way of blogs and photos.

The truth is I love blogging and I love writing. But the kid noise and household demands always come first. Call me crazy, but I do enjoy having fresh undies and a clean glass to drink my wine from. #priorities I am often choosing between writing and holding it all together. It feels unfair at times because this is my creative outlet AND chance to make an income for my family. It isn’t that I don’t make it priority, it’s just that there aren’t enough hours in the day. I don’t know how my favorite bloggy moms do it!

On top of all the mom guilt I have, I can now add blogger guilt. The guilt of letting time pass without sharing. The guilt of not connecting enough. Then there is the anxiety (and reason I don’t sleep) that everyone has moved on because I’ve been too busy to stay on top of things. My blogging mission has always been to share the “realness” of my my messy life as a mom. I think I am the same as any other mom just trying to keep up with life and squeezing in a little self-care.

Maybe you can relate to this feeling even if you aren’t a blogger. Do you ever feel like you fall behind in some part of your life? How do you handle it? I wanna hear from you in the comments below! Leave me your best tips and ideas for getting back on track with your creative pursuits, self-care and general flow of life.

I hope you have a great week!

Love,

The World’s Okayist Blogger

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! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

Sharing is Caring:

What to Pack for Your Next Family Road Trip

Car with map

Summer is here and for us that means a lot of time on the road. The kids get so bored in the car, even after their fill of movies and electronics. Having a few extra activities on hand can help maintain sanity and squash boredom levels.

There are times I travel solo with the kids to see my family which makes me the ship director and the activities coordinator all in one trip. I discovered filling up a basket of new-to-you activities for the kids makes a really great co-pilot. I can pull out a new distraction with a free hand and pass it back to the kiddos before they begin their first argument. The trick is to not use all the stuff up before you get to the end of your road trip. Then you drive back home empty handed and that is no bueno.

Here is what I keep in my basket of tricks:

Books – especially ones with stickers my kids can peel off and stick again. Those keep them entertained and won’t stick to the inside of my car. Trust me, a lesson you learn only once.

Snacks – and lots of them! I’m talking the rare treats they never get like gummy things, barrels of Goldfish crackers and sticky, sweet granola bars. Kids can’t argue if their mouths are full. Rare treats also work well for bribery, “Simmer down back there or the gummies get it!”

Wet wipes – to take care of the sticky granola bars.

Bubbles – this is great for younger kids. I use them at the rest stop when we get out to stretch our legs, or to give the other kid something to do while we are in the bathroom (besides complaining sister got to go first).

Art supplies – my kids love the adult coloring books. I keep a few on hand with a mega set of colored pencils. Not only does this give them color options, but it means I won’t have to go digging for the only blue pencil they just dropped under the seat for the 10th time in the last five minutes.

White board – to use the dry erase markers to play games like Pictionary or hang man. This of course only works if they are in a amicable mood. Otherwise you’ll have to endure listening to high pitched whaling, “she drew a picture of me with 3 eyeballs!” Also get the washable, dry erase markers. (Another lesson you only need to learn once).

Patience – it is typically somewhere near the bottom of the basket. I have to rummage around under all the other stuff to search for it and eventually I find it. Traveling with kids is stressful at some point. You have to manage emotions, attitudes and temperaments along with hunger cues and bathroom breaks. Not to mention defend everyone’s personal space. Being prepared with favorite comforts can really help. But what works best is dropping any expectations for a tranquil journey. And if you pull out the electronics to find a little peace – go for it! Driving with screaming kids can contribute to road rage, so really handing your kids an iPad is a simple safety measure.

Happy travels!

 

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! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

Sharing is Caring:

Free Subtraction Worksheet from Education.com

Over the summer I began using lesson plans and worksheets to beat the summer slide. This week we are home from school for our winter/holiday break and it is the perfect time to do some math practice. That’s why I am so excited to share with you this free printable math worksheet directly from the creators of Education.com!

Float through two-digit subtraction with this kayaking themed worksheet from Education.com. Your child will gain valuable practice with this cute themed worksheet. Get more fun subtraction resources here.

My first graders have mastered single-digit and double-digit addition, and single-digit subtraction, which they are really good at (obvious mom brag). Now, they are ready to move on to double-digit subtraction, which will be a challenge. But I’ll be ready to help with this kayak themed worksheet that we can use for practice at any time. Thankfully, there is also an answer sheet available. I’m pretty confident I have a handle on subtraction, but this is a great way for my kids to check their own work.

Download your free Kayak subtraction page and answer key.

 

 

My kids enjoy the  math games, worksheets, puzzles and everything else offered on this comprehensive site. It’s easy to choose activities and lessons by grade level and I trust this site to provide age appropriate content. I am confident your child will enjoy interacting with these playful learning tools as well. If you are homeschooling you can create your own custom worksheet with their worksheet generator to accommodate to your child’s needs. The best part is every family can count on this trustworthy site created by a crew of experienced educators to support their child’s learning.

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! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing is Caring:

Christmas is Made of Perfect Moments Not Perfect Gifts

The Christmas season is in full blown panic mode. It’s time to buckle down and find the PERFECT gift for everyone! All the emails filling my in box are YELLING AT ME to open to find the PERFECT gift for everyone on my list, including the postal carrier, my kids’ bus driver and the lady down the street that once stopped to chat with me for five minutes about the weather. Everyone has to have THE PERFECT gift!

Every year as I panic to make all the gifts happen and I worry if I am buying something useful and am I including everyone, I think back to one year I found exactly the perfect gift for everyone on my list and it only cost me $20. I was a poor college student in between jobs. I was determined to somehow give my friends and family a meaningful gift. Something truly from the heart, but still fit in my budget.

I had to get creative since I was down to the last $20 in my bank account. Now, to be fair at the time I was a college student $20 stretched just a little bit further than it does today, but it still couldn’t stretch as far as I needed it to. I had some really wonderful people in my life that I needed to thank and tell them just how much I love them. I decided to write each person a letter.

I purchased some pretty stationary and planned to hand write everyone a personal letter telling them what they mean to me. I was so excited I started composing letters in my head as I walked up and down the aisles of the drug store. But it didn’t feel like enough of a gift to simply add a stamp and drop in the mailbox. I keep pacing the aisles looking for inspiration. I started looking at all the pretty things I couldn’t afford and realized there was no way I could buy one gift for each person. But I could buy one thing to share and divide among my friends. I decided I would invite everyone over for a spa party and hand deliver my letters.

I scooped up some pretty candles, borrowed my mom’s best table cloth, scattered some rose petals on top and laid out all kinds of facial masks and nail polishes. I even had enough to purchase some chocolates and crackers and cheese. For a poor teenaged college student this felt super fancy! Then I invited everyone to come over for some pampering, a nosh and just spend time together.

It turned out to be one of the most memorable gifts I have ever given. We all had so much fun just being together talking and laughing. There was no pressure to exchange gifts of equal value, no worry about guessing sizes or accounting for taste. It was just all my important girl friends gathered to spend a few hours connecting and enjoying the season together.

In fact, the memory of this day drives me to slow down at every Christmas and just enjoy who I am surrounded with. I have spent many Christmas’s with many different people over the years. But the ones I cherish most are the ones with my kids. To wake up with their wide eyed wonder staring at the magic before them, with a heart so full of belief is priceless. And I could never find a gift under the tree as special as that.

So this year give up on finding perfection in gifts and material things. Instead, look for the perfect moments spent connecting with friends and family. Those moments will sustain you longer than any seasonal candle, electronic or new gadget. Take photos even if you don’t feel “perfect” and eat that extra Christmas cookie if it brings you joy vs. the perfect calorie count. And I challenge you to look for perfect moments well passed the holiday season when we expect every moment to be perfect. There is no rule saying we can’t connect with friends and family in the same way in July as we do in December.

Slow down, take a night off and stop to enjoy all the warmth surrounding you. Merry Christmas!

 

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! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

 

Sharing is Caring:

Wishing You a Less Than Perfect Thanksgiving

 

Our Thanksgiving tradition every year is to share the stories of all the crazy things that happened to us on Thanksgivings past. It makes us laugh and realize how much we have to be thankful for, even if it is for the little things. I’ve compiled some of our most memorable to share with you today.

When I was a kid we never had the same Thanksgiving twice. The menu would change a little or sometimes we’d be in a new home. The faces gathered around our table were different every year. When my parents divorced my mom would open our home to her friends who did not have family to feast with. They were like aunts and uncles to us.

We were very poor but somehow at Thanksgiving we had abundance. Except the one year my mom had nothing and our uncle took us out for pizza the day after. I remember feeling grateful for the generosity and that we got to eat in a restaurant which was rare.

When we were older my family of six crammed into our small car to travel to another state to stay with family for Thanksgiving. They lived on the side of a mountain and it felt like an adventure just driving toward their house. Hunters we’re in their front yards firing off riffles for target practice. We may have gathered to eat turkey, but it was bear season on the mountain. An entirely different world compared to my “city” living. That wasn’t even the least perfect part of our holiday. At some point during the feast prep the water supply stopped running. My memory of why escapes me, but I’ll never forget my uncle having to walk to the creek to fill buckets of water to leave in the bathroom so we could flush the toilet. It was funny twenty six years ago and it is funny now.

When I hosted my first adult Thanksgiving and cooked for my in-laws the very first time nothing worked right. The timing was completely off and it took nearly 7 hours to cook our turkey. By the time we sat down to eat all the side dishes were cold. I was stressed because my attempts to impress my extended family failed miserably. It turned out the house we just moved into had an oven that cooked 200 degrees less than its setting. Thankfully, we had plenty of wine to ride out the wait time. My husband and I still laugh about that day.

Years later we bought our first home and we closed the week before Thanksgiving. We were running between our apartment and new house on Thanksgiving day so there was no way I was going to cook. My husband thought we could easily stop into any dinner or restaurant to get a turkey dinner. Turns out every business in our new hometown closed down. We had to settle for Swanson’s turkey TV dinner we picked up at a gas station. I’ll never forget the look on my husband’s face when I presented him with that tray of a tiny serving of turkey with no second helping in sight.

Then there was the year I went into labor the night before Thanksgiving. I was so excited to finally meet my two little turkeys, but it turned out to be false labor. After a sleepless night in the hospital we returned home and hubby had to make dinner on his own. That was the year I learned to let go of the perfect Thanksgiving. Nothing is more perfect than being served a meal I didn’t have to cook and the ability to laugh at the crazy things life brings.

I remember all the years my mom stressed to get a good meal on the table and I remember all the crazy things that happened to change our perfect plans. I don’t remember all the things that went perfectly right. Those imperfections make me so grateful to wake up with my kids now, in our warm home (with flushing toilets) and making breakfast together. Having a hot meal and plenty of food, our health and a comfy couch to watch our TV are all things we consider perfect ways to celebrate any holiday. We have limited years with our children at our table and having them to ourselves. I want to spend it laughing and enjoying whatever comes our way. I’ve learned to embrace the tradition of chaos for our holiday and really cherish the years it all goes according to plan.

May you all have a day filled with laughter and just enough imperfections to make the day memorable. Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

Feel free to share your favorite Thanksgiving memory in comments below! The less  perfect the better!!

 

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! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

Sharing is Caring:

The Let Down of A Not So Perfect Halloween

I know Halloween is over and we are already on to Christmas and that in between holiday known as Thanksgiving. So, why am I still going on about Halloween? Well, I learned a lot about how driven I am as a mom to make perfect memories at every holiday. And by perfect I mean making my family look like everyone else’s. As in going to all the same parties and activities. Navigating the social scene as a parent is way different for me than it was for my parents. I wrote this the weekend before Halloween when the pressure was high to get in on all of the festivities at once.

My how times have changed since I was a kid. We got dressed up for one party in a costume that my mom made from things we found around the house, and we hit one neighborhood for candy. We got what we got and we liked it. We didn’t complain! Not even when we were forced to pick up a penny with a fork (some adults idea of a good time on Halloween). Now it seems there are parties everywhere from church parking lots, to your local library to main street businesses. It is almost overwhelming to choose the perfect party to attend so that you don’t miss out on the fun. I’m an adult with a full case of FOMO (fear of missing out). I can only imagine how the hoopla at every holiday makes a kid feel! I don’t want to be the only one not posting my pics of free swag, or fun stuff we picked up at some party. I don’t want to be the only parent sitting on the sideline from having a fun filled day and making warm, perfect memories for us to rummage through in ten years. But I am.

Our weekend plans did not happen; mostly because they were only MY plans. No matter how much fun I threw at my kids this weekend they were not having it. One kid wanted to go to the pumpkin patch, the other kid didn’t and neither kid wanted to walk in a parade. My kids hate crowds and really noisy places. All of the fun things required us to join a mass of strangers and make things, or dress in a costume to ask for candy. I thought these all sounded like great ways to participate in Halloween. No one in my family felt the same way. And honestly, it felt a little soul sucking. I am not much of a homebody. I like to be home now and then to relax from the hustle and bustle of being social. I love the feeling of being out of the house all day enjoying time with friends, being outside and enjoying new experiences. But that is not how my kids are hardwired, and frankly neither is my husband.

Very early in the day on Saturday I became completely frustrated and about to throw in the towel on having a fun weekend making memories when my kids totally surprised me. One kid pulled out a bag of Halloween crafts we had yet to finish, while my other kid asked her dad to cue up the Halloween play list. Then a kid suggested,” why don’t we make some goody bags for our friends and teachers at school? We definitely have enough of these crafts to share! “And so the project began. When I looked up from my stickers and pom-poms I could see my kids rockin’ out and jamming along to the Munster’s them song, jumping up to dance to Thriller and completely enjoying themselves. This is their element- being at home.

By Sunday I gave up on getting us out of the house to participate in festivities. I left to go grocery shopping and returned to a fully decorated house, “they insisted” my husband reported. There were all their favorite hand print pumpkins hanging about and they hung the Halloween garland I completely forgot about. As I unloaded the groceries my daughter asked me if we could make an apple pie with the apples still left from her school apple picking trip. “Sure,” I said.

Again someone cranked up the Halloween tunes and we got to rockin’ in the kitchen, all of us together as a family. It was literally like a scene from a movie depicting an exaggerated picture of family togetherness. My daughter was singing into her wooden spoon in between stirring, my other daughter was busting out some dance moves on the spot, while I hummed away at peeling the apples. My husband dutifully played his part as the bumbling dad trying to make everyone laugh with his (not so) cool moves. It was … perfect. It wasn’t what everyone else was doing that weekend. But it was what we were doing… together. And when everyone is trading their cookie cutter weekend stories, we’ll be sharing memories that are uniquely our own.

How do you let go of the feelings of missing out on special things during the holidays?

 

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! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

Sharing is Caring:

Friday Favorites – Cool Cats GIVEAWAY!

Cool Cats Lead has generously offered promotional product to give away to one lucky The Whatever Mom reader!  I did not receive compensation for this post, but it does contain affiliate links for your shopping convenience. I may receive a small commission if you use those links to make a purchase. All honest opinions posted are my own.

At the beginning of the new school year I introduced my girls to the Cool Cats Leader Deck. We use the cards before school to review the important characteristics of a leader. It has been a great conversation starter for us, and I love that it is another tool for me to use as a parent. Teaching my girls to be leaders and independent thinkers is one of my top priorities.

So when my daughter came home with an award for being the most respectful in her class, I was one proud mama. The very next day my other daughter came home with a note from her teacher stating she was very kind to another student in her class. One of her friends was having a bad day and she offered her own teddy bear as comfort. The teacher was most impressed by her empathy and understanding of her classmates feelings (another proud parenting moment). This is not an exact result of using the card deck, because I know I have worked hard to teach my kids these characteristics. I think using the cards routinely keeps these traits front of mind for my kids. The cards make it easy to review!

Today, you can all enter for a chance to win a Cool Cats Leader 3-Pack! This amazing set includes a copy of the Growing the Leader in You book, 22 Easy Ways 2 Lead Card Deck and a Top 10 Tips for Leadership poster. All of it will soon belong to ONE LUCKY READER! (Look for my future review about some of those products)!

If you aren’t the one lucky winner don’t worry! Cool Cats is offering a FREE poster to the first 25 moms to place an order! For your convenience here are my affiliate links to take you right to their products on Amazon (links are free to use).


To enter simply click on the entry form below for directions! Get a bonus entry by visiting the Cool Cats website and clicking on the special enter button! Winner announced on Monday November 6th on The Whatever Mom Facebook page!!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

Sharing is Caring:

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)