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Posts tagged ‘future’

Parenthood

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Being a parent is both the most rewarding and challenging thing I’ve ever done or may ever do, in my opinion anyway. I know many out there agree with me. Here are some of my thoughts and reasons I feel the way I do…

I love being a mom for many reasons. I learned the truest meaning of unconditional love when I looked at my now 17 year old for the first time. I never loved anyone as much as I have my own child, until I had another. I love them equally. I don’t always like them equally, let me make that clear, but my love for them both is immeasurable. Right behind that is my love for my mother, husband, and closest of friends. I love many and a great deal, but no more than I love my children.

Getting random hugs, without any ulterior motive and hearing them tell you they love you can change even the hardest of days sometimes. Spending time with them is such a joy, even when you’re just watching a movie or playing at the park. Sometimes the simplest moments are the best!! Getting handmade projects from them is such a treasure, totally brings smiles to my face. When you watch your kid make a good choice, do something for the first time on their own, or help someone else, the pride you feel is immense! The list goes on!!

Being a parent means making sacrifices, to give them what they need and sometimes simply to see them happy. Making sacrifices for our kids and others we love is something we all do throughout life. Something I’ve learned however is that there should be a limit to that.

One should never sacrifice or compromise their values, become someone they aren’t and don’t like, or forget who they are to begin with. In the end, doing these things not only hurts you, but it also hurts your kids, the ones you swore to protect. It’s not always easy to see, but sometimes giving in to our kids and their whims to see them happy, covering for them in the name of protecting them, stepping in at every turn to keep them from harm only does more damage than it does good. There needs to be limits on what we’ll do for them in order to truly give them the best childhood and greatest chance at having a good adult life as possible.

I have told my 17 year old, I won’t be the parent who supports a bully or worse. If you act out, you will be put in your place, just as I will fight to protect you when you’ve been hurt, to a point. Hurt my child and you will hear about it from me, however my children need to learn to fight their own battles and in a healthy way and if they’re the one that starts the fight or acts out, they will face the consequences. Good and bad, there are reactions to what we’ve done in life that we must all deal with and I’m working on making sure my kids know they’re not exempt from that.

There are those parents that act like their kids are never in the wrong and almost worse yet, those who see what they’ve done and find no fault in it. I feel that only enables people to feel entitled and keep acting out, making poor decisions, etc because they never have to answer for what they do.

Being an enforcer is hard, really hard actually and I personally find no joy in it, but it needs to be done sometimes. I used to be way to lax on my 17 year old, as our time together was limited and I didn’t want to be the bad guy for that brief time we shared. That was a mistake, as my kiddo needed that discipline and structure. Of course, you can go too far the other way too, being too hard on your kids and going too far.

Finding a healthy balance feels unobtainable many days, but it’s something I keep striving for. Whether it’s what we give them, allow them to do, what we allow them to get away with, how we punish them, how we reward good behavior, what’s sick enough to take them in, what we let them figure out on their own, or what we take care of for them, it’s a daily balancing act.

We want our kids to be well rounded, self sufficient, hardworking, healthy, successful, and happy, all while we’re trying to be that for ourselves. (All while our own parents had wished this for us, it’s a cycle that keeps going.) We do our best everyday and that’s all any of us can do, but it can be easy to second guess our decisions, especially when you’ve got others around you judging your parenting skills.

“That’s now how we do it in our house…” Well, good for you, you do things your way for your family and I’ll do things my way for mine. Seriously, why do we pick one another part for another’s methods??

“I would never let my kid eat that.” That’s your choice. Why worry about what I feed my kids? Is it your business? My kid is healthy and that’s what matters.

“Where is your kid’s coat??” She was wearing it and this the third time in 20 minutes that she’s taken it off, but you seem to have assumed she doesn’t own one.

Instead, we should do this more often…

“Hey, here’s your daughter’s coat. I see your hands are full, I get it, happens to me too.”

“Here, let me open the door for you.”

“Do you need help?”

Tone too! This is huge! You can say something kind with an arrogant or judgmental tone and turn it into something ugly. It takes a village to raise children and honestly, get through life. We should worry less about others doing things differently than us and focus more on being supportive of and encouraging one another. This would make for a better society. Being a parent is hard enough all on its own, we shouldn’t add to the stress.

There’s no need to harshly debate infant feeding methods, whether or not to homeschool, curfews, what shampoo you use on your kids, chore lists, consequences for our kids getting in trouble, whether or not to let your kids have juice, how to potty train, co-sleeping, etc. Calmly and kindly discussing these issues is fine, but there’s no need to be mean or rude and nor should we insert ourselves in another’s situation acting like a know it all. Your kids are yours and theirs are theirs, no one kid or situation is the exact same. If we really want to help a struggling mom or dad, fine, but there is a good way and definitely a bad way to handle things.

Right now, I’m dealing with a 17 year old that has been making a series of bad choices for years and over the last few years, it’s just been this downward spiral. It’s really hard watching your kid do stupid things, throw many chances given to make things better away, and dig their heels in, so stubborn and unwilling to do everything possible to learn and grow.

When some around you treat you like it’s all your fault, like you’re a failure, or like your kid is simply a lost cause and you should just wash your hands of it all, you find yourself feeling hopeless and depressed, also very angry and defensive as well. Now, some have been incredibly supportive and doing what they can to help and that’s something I greatly appreciate. These people are part of my village and I’m glad. I work hard to be a positive part of theirs as well. I just wish there were more among us that were like that sometimes.

I also have a daughter that turns four in April and that has its own set of challenges, but also its own greatness as well. Both of my kids bring immeasurable amounts of joy and stress to my life. Even in my toughest moments, the happy moments makes it all worth it. I look back and try to learn from the toughest moments and cherish the best ones and I look forward with hope. May my children find their wings and learn how to fly on their own, but may they also know home is also wherever I am.

To be 17 again…

I worked with a wonderful high school senior recently. Listening to her talk about her post high school is future was great. She has big plans and I just feel she’ll do absolutely amazing!

When I was 17, my plans were to go to school for theater and music. I didn’t end up doing anything big with either. I sing, for myself mostly and my daughter likes listening to me sing. Karaoke is a fun outlet I get to use once in a great while. My theater ambitions have just become dreams of old. Sometimes I’m sad for the future that never was.

When I think about where I’m at now though, I don’t feel so bad. Photography has been a passion of mine since I was 13. Getting to capture life’s moments and turn them into forever memories for others (and myself) fills me with joy.

It took me until I was in my late 30’s to go after my photography dream. Before that, it seemed like all my childhood career dreams would just be that, dreams. Finally, upon a suggestion by a good friend and an impulsive whim, I went for it. Sometimes it’s stressful. When I feel overwhelmed, I find I need to step back a bit and lighten my load. Overall though, it’s been a fantastic journey and I feel blessed I’ve been given this chance.

That’s how I started my blog too. A good friend suggested I share my story with others and on a whim, I decided to go for it. Nearly seven years later, here I am, still sharing my story with all of you. It fills me up with joy that I get to do this and that I get to be a part of your journeys as well.

That’s one dream still that I know is within my reach that I’ve only scratched the surface with, my writing. I blog and it’s terrific! I share my life, poetry, ideas, thoughts, etc with you. I want to do more. I have a couple poems published through poetry.com, but I want to reach even more people. I want to write and publish books. I’ve gotten a start to many and only finished two, back when I was 15 and 16. I never did anything with those. My style has changed as I’ve grown. I want to touch more hearts with my story. So, I’m starting to write a book, again, one I hope to finish and publish. This dream CAN happen!

With that said, if there’s anyone reading this that is wanting to take a leap and go for something they dream of and yet just haven’t yet, DO IT!!!! Don’t say that it’s not the right time. There’s often not a right time to do things, you have to create that time. Don’t let others and their doubts hold you back. Don’t hold yourself back either. DO IT, GO FOR YOUR DREAM! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND GO FOR WHAT FUELS YOU, WHAT YOU WANT MOST!!! Write. Bake. Act. Start a band. Record music. Teach. Be a doctor. Fight for injustice and be a cop or maybe a lawyer. Be a parent. Open a flower shop. DJ. Start a business. Whatever it is, GO FOR IT! Be your best you and let others see it! As long as we’re here, still living and able, it’s not too late. We don’t need to be 17 again. We can make things happen at 23, 37, 45, 51, 68, etc. We CAN! LET’S DO IT!

To Move Forward, We Must Stop Living in the Past…

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There’s a difference between letting the past guide us and living in it. Letting yesterday remind us of where we came from and showing us what to do and often times, not to do can be a good thing. But sometimes, we let the past consume us and forget to live for today and the days yet to come.

To see our potential, grow, and learn, we must move forward. It’s time to quit looking in the rearview mirror or else we might not see where we’re headed and crash. It can be easy to get lost in nostalgia or let the fear that the past stuck with us take over our minds, but it’s important not to forget the world keeps turning no matter what we do. We want to go along for the ride, don’t we? 😉

The Path Before You

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No longer a child and yet not an adult either

Caught in between and feeling frustrated

You don’t want to be treated with kid gloves

And yet you feel suffocated by the responsibilities

“Where am I headed?”, you wonder

 

The road ahead has many forks you could choose

The path before you is yours and yours alone

And, my son, do not let your mind worry so

There is no need to know your direction today

Just keep your eyes and options open

 

Both scared and excited about your future

You have many ideas about what you’d like to do

And unsure of which one to stick with

I truly believe that you’ll do quite well

No matter which path you choose

 

Don’t be afraid to listen to advice

Many have much wisdom to offer you

But, don’t let them dictate what you decide

In the end, your future is yours and not ours to lead

One foot in front of the other, one day at a time

On the Edge of the Future

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Standing on the edge of uncertainty

Knowing his decision would impact many

Concentrating on both paths earnestly

Wanting to make the right decision for his family

 

Fearing that whichever path he chose might be the wrong one

What if I make the wrong decision and it costs us dearly?

Stress is an unwelcome guest by anyone

And it stays close by, playing with our minds severely

 

Doubt wields itself against positive thoughts with such force

How can he combat it when it knows his weaknesses?

He grasps to a branch of hope that offers a potential course

Weighing his options, he moves forward with an air of meekness

 

Not 100% certain that his decision will work out, but ready to try

Sometimes one must leave their comfort zone to find their place

It can be frightening to leave the known to see if you can fly

So, take those first steps towards the future with confidence and grace

Dear Future Me

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So many of us have imagined what we’d say to younger versions of ourselves if we got the chance. Oh the advice we’d give, the wisdom we’d share. Perhaps then we’d have avoided some of the hard times?

I, myself, have written such letters to versions of myself that are long gone. But today, I wondered what I might say to a future versions of myself, were I given the opportunity to meet her. Might it go something like this….

Dear Future Me,

You don’t exist yet, but I’m hoping that when you do and you get the chance to read this that you’ll take what I have to say to heart.

So far, you have spent so much time worrying, over analyzing things, focusing on things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, and dwelling on what was instead of what is and what could be. Let me say this, stop. Life is too short to stress so much. If you’re here, able to read this, take a moment to count your blessings and then go out and make the most of the time you have.

How many sleepless nights have you spent worrying about things that worked themselves out in the end? How many times have you needlessly panicked? Let’s not focus so much on what is out of our control or sweat the small things.

Instead, let’s shape the moments we can into ones full of love and laughter. Give when you can. When the hard times come, remember you’ve gotten through worse and push forward believing this too is another hurdle we’ll get over. You may roll your eyes at this, but deep down you know there’s wisdom in what I’m telling you.

Things won’t always be sunshine and roses and nor will they always be dark and depressing. There’s light and dark throughout every stage in life. Find courage in the tough times, let wisdom grace you, and learn from them. Find joy in the wonderful moments, may love touch you, and may you let it do the same for others.

You’ve made it this far, keep going! I believe in you, as do many others. Here’s to tomorrow letting us see its wondrous beauty and all it has in store.

Sincerely,

The you you once knew

 

*What would you tell the you of tomorrow?*

Even Positive Changes Can Be Scary

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In one week from today, we close on both the home we’re selling and then the one we’re buying. Overall, I’m over the moon happy about the next steps in our journey together as a family.

I don’t like the town we currently live in anymore. It’s gone downhill so much. It’s become the norm to see cops on our block and that’s disheartening. I don’t want my kids to get accustomed to this. I want better for them and for all of us.

Part of this move is about safety and wanting to live in a better community. But, part of it is also because our current home is too small for our growing family. We’ve just outgrown this place. All in all, it’s time for us to move.

And like I said, I’m fairly happy about this move. I’m ready to see what God has planned for us. It’s going to be a good thing for our family. But, yet a part of me is sad and a bit scared too.

We’re moving to a town I’m fairly unfamiliar with and sometimes the unknown can be a bit scary. Will we find a church we like? Will we fit in? Will we become isolated? Will my kids like it?Will they make friends, especially my teenage son? There’s so many questions and I don’t yet know those answers.

I’m also a little sad about leaving because we’ll be further away from some people we’re close to. It’ll be a little difficult for us, especially me. I’m very much a social being a lot of the time. I know we’ll see our friends again, but it’s going to get even harder than it already is since having our daughter. That will definitely be an adjustment that will take getting used to. And how will I go about making new connections?

Mostly, I’m happy, been counting down the days for awhile. And I’m sure everything will work out wonderfully, just getting a little more nervous the closer we get. But, the excitement does trump the fear. Alright, let’s do this….

A World in Chaos

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As we seek to destroy one another and ourselves, I weep

Surely we are not picky about the company we keep

Hatred, greed, and jealousy continues to grow in minds throughout

But it’s love, patience, and peace we need to nurture, of that there’s no doubt

What’s in a Name?

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How did you come up with your children’s names? I’m curious to know! My son’s first name is a biblical name that means, Remembered by the Lord and I thought would be encouraging throughout his life and I also love the name, just the sound of saying it makes me smile. His middle name is also biblical, but I chose it simply because I like it. Zachariah Matthias suits him, I think. 🙂 Claralynn is a combination of two names. Clara was my grandma’s name, my dad’s mom. She passed away last September. She was a light for many and not just in our family, but in the community and at church as well. I didn’t know her well, but others told me about her through the years. Lynn was Doug’s mom’s middle name. I never met her, as she passed away a month after we’d started dating and I hadn’t met anyone in his family yet. But, I’ve heard so much about her and just by knowing my husband, his sisters, her siblings, her parents, and Phil, I can really see how wonderful she was, how she’d touched so many people. I wanted to honor both of these incredible women. Her middle name is Marie and that is both my mother’s and mine as well. I wanted to give her a piece of both of us as well. So again, what inspired your children’s names? ♡ And hey, pet parents, feel free to chime in also. They’re your kids too! Onyx came to me when I was in the pet store. Black as Midnight, but I wanted his name to be a bit more unique, just as I did for my son and daughter. ♡

Dream Big

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Little girl, asleep in your swing

After a rousing go of tummy time

And a nice filling meal

You look so at peace with the world

 

You know nothing about its troubles

You don’t hate, criticize, or judge

No barriers separate you from love

I wish that was the world I could give you forever

 

Beautiful dreamer, I watch you with adoration

I can’t keep you from all harm

But I can teach you how to love

And to take care of yourself

 

May all who know you teach you well

From spelling to math and art also

May you have the passion to learn

All the days of your life

 

And I pray you grow up to be all you dream of being

Dream big and fight hard for them

But never stepping on others to achieve those aspirations

Knowing the value of hard work, but also a kind and humble heart

 

Whatever you grow up to be

Know I’ll always love and believe in you

I see you all grown up for just a moment

But then, I look again and see my sleeping baby girl

 

My words are still the same

Dream big, baby girl

Even if it might be about cuddles and songs

Just be the you that you’re meant to be all day long

 

The Perceptions Square

In the material and spiritual realm

Upashna

In happiness my words I lack, in grief they overflow.

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