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Posts tagged ‘parenthood’

We Didn’t Let Ourselves Go…

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To all of you who sometimes feel like being a parent has caused you to let your body/looks go, like you’re not the you that you were when you could just do as you pleased, or like you’re not sure who you are anymore….

You didn’t let yourself go, you let yourself grow.

Becoming a parent, at least for me, is sometimes very stressful, but it is also the most fulfilling and wonderful thing I’m able to do.

I don’t get all dolled up like the days of old, go out with friends several nights a week, plan my next grand adventure to who knows where, or think mostly of just myself and what I want. Is that sometimes depressing? Now and then, yes.

If I’m being completely honest, sometimes it’s hard watching my friends without kids have such “freedom” to go wherever and do whatever they want, well compared to me it feels that way sometimes. I can’t just go out on a Tuesday night for ladies night, drive to Colorado with my bestie just to meet her friends and do some sightseeing without worrying about what or who I’m leaving behind, or work on the music career I had hoped to have.

Well, I could, because life is a series of choices and many times when we say, “I didn’t have a choice.”, that’s not actually true. However, with one’s specific moral compass, we often feel like we didn’t have any other choice, because that other choice or choices weren’t something we could bring ourselves to do or we didn’t think we could live with the consequences.

Anyway, so I could do many things that I don’t, but I choose not to because it’s not just about me anymore. I have a husband and two children that are greatly effected by many of the choices I make. I gave up a lot for them and sometimes it is hard, but it’s so worth it. Being given the chance to raise these two kiddos and to be married to someone I consider one of my best friends, yes I have more than one best friend, are amazing blessings.

Do I ever feel like I let myself go? Sometimes. Currently, I’m sitting here in lounge wear with messy hair, feeling exhausted because I’ve been awake since 4:30am. I drove my son to Appleton in crappy weather so he could go to school and have been dealing with a cranky toddler all morning. I know I look tired and worn out. It’s worth it though, especially when my son and daughter give me hugs, tell me they love me, want to spend time with me, and make me feel what I do for them matters.

When I really think about it, I didn’t really give up on myself or my dreams and nor did I let myself go. I let myself grow. Becoming a mom has opened my heart, eyes, and way of thinking. It’s also helped me change how I live.

There’s zero shame in turning down countless invites to see local bands or to go out with friends. It is important to make time for yourself. It gives us a chance to rejuvenate, grow, learn, relax, remember what we love to do outside of being a parent or spouse, and so on. But, it’s also important to remember the life or lives we brought into the world and know that they need us. That is both humbling and empowering, knowing that we’re needed so much, needed to teach, guide, nurture, nurse, inspire, and love.

As they learn and grow, so do we. So, I will say it again, I didn’t and nor did you let yourself go. We’re allowing ourselves to grow.

 

***photo taken by me last winter***

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Perfect Parenting

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Many parents have their idea of what perfect parenting is, a style they feel works best and it will often vary from another’s. The thing to remember is just because someone’s views on how to raise their kids is different from how you raise yours, it doesn’t mean they’re wrong or less of a parent. So many sit in judgement and it’s not okay.

It doesn’t matter if you, say, breastfeed and other moms don’t. What some don’t understand is not everyone can do it. Some moms just don’t produce, no matter what they try, some babies refuse to latch, etc. And even if someone can and chooses not to, it doesn’t make them a bad parent. The same goes for whether someone makes their own baby food and another may choose to use the prepackaged stuff, such as Gerber. Either way, the kids are getting their nutrients and are developing just fine. What about potty training techniques, how one might get their baby to sleep, disciplining, how they teach their kid to read, whether or not their kid gets paid to do chores or not, how early they start helping out around the house, curfews, whether their kids go to private or public school, or perhaps neither and they do home schooling, and many other parenting topics.

I’ve been the parent that has had others point, stare, and whisper. I have also had the nosy moms that don’t know the situation butt in while at the store, throwing their unwanted two cents in and have seen it happen to others. It is infuriating to have another try to tell you how to raise your kids. If we don’t like something, fine, it’s our right to disagree. However, just because we can verbalize our difference of opinion, doesn’t necessarily mean we should. Sometimes it is best to keep our thoughts to ourselves. And honestly, where do any of us get off judging another because we don’t give into a child’s tantrum, because we let them have McDonald’s once in awhile, are on a different sleep schedule, decide to home school our kids, bottle feed, or use a different method of punishment for acting out? If the child in question isn’t being abused or neglected, it is really no one’s business how they’re being raised. If there’s genuine reason for concern, fine, but then go about it in the proper manner. If not, it is usually best to butt out.

Sometimes we will ask for advice or help, I mean, they say it takes a village. 😉 Sometimes too, we see someone struggling and we want to be there for them. That is all well and good, but then when we’re coming from a place of kindness and not a harsh or judgmental one, we need to still respect our boundaries. Never put the parent down and don’t make it all about you and how you raise your kids and ALWAYS listen, be respectful. Parenting can be challenging at times and it makes it that much harder when we have others essentially bullying us because we’re not doing things “right”. We want our kids to turn into well rounded, kind, smart, and hardworking adults, which is made easiest when we have a good support system and try our best not to judge one another. These are just my thoughts on it today and not just in parenting, but in life. We should lift one another up, not tear one another down. ❤

Thoughts on Parenthood

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As we grow, we change, both outwardly and within as well. As babies, we need so much help. We can’t feed, dress, bathe, or clothe ourselves. We need help to get from place to place. Months go by and we’ve begun to learn. We’re rolling over, sitting up with support, and observing more of the environment around us. Then comes sitting on our own, crawling, picking things up, throwing things, learning to stand, and taking those first wobbly steps while clutching onto something. Eventually, we’re walking, climbing, and running. While all of this is going on, our bodies are changing and so are our minds.

Fast forward and now we’re talking, learning how to structure sentences as we speak, open things, match objects, count, recite the alphabet, and more. Off to school, and we learn so much more. As we grow and learn, we have been developing personalities of our own. We’re not just so and so’s kids, we’re truly our own souls. Many think kids can’t think for themselves, but sometimes I think they have a clearer and more level head on their shoulders than a lot of adults out there.

We, often times, don’t realize how complex and yet simple kids are until we’re adults and dealing with them ourselves. They’re fiery little people! Being a parent is both one of the greatest joys and most difficult things I have been given the chance to do. Some think that being a parent is all or mostly late night feedings, crying, disgusting diapers, tantrums, crayon on the walls, yelling, fighting, broken things, piles of laundry and dishes, and oh no more social life, at least one that doesn’t involve children. And others think that it’s laughter, cuddles, homemade projects, school plays and concerts, smiles, hugs, first steps, first words, braiding hair, playing catch, and love.

Parenthood is a mixture of some the greatest times in your life and some of the most difficult ones. It is late night feedings, tantrums, teenage angst, fighting, scolding, hurt feelings, and difficult times. There are days you will question your sanity, where you’ll wonder if you’re doing everything all wrong. You’ll cry in the car, lock yourself in the bathroom for a moment of peace, disagree with your partner (if you have one) on how to raise your kids time to time, panic, and overthink things. But, it is also seeing their smile and feeling so much joy, helping them unwrap their first Christmas presents, dressing them up for their school spring concert, seeing their face light up when they see you, hearing them tell you how much they love you, helping them get ready for a school dance, having fun play dates, cuddling on the couch, and the feeling of their hand in yours. You’ll smile when they bring you a handmade ornament from school, feel pride when they bring you a picture they drew just for you, (even if you don’t know what it is) laugh at the silly joke they made up, and feel more love than you ever knew was possible to feel.

When our kids grow into adults, that’s when we truly see our hard work put to the test. Did we give them tools they need to lead their own lives? Did they learn how to take care of themselves? Did we do enough? Did we do too much? What if they don’t need us anymore? What do we do now that we don’t have noses to wipe, cuts and scrapes to bandage, homework to help with, lessons to transport people to, nights to wait up, first and last days of school to anticipate, someone to read a bedtime story to, or get little snuggles from?

I am not quite to the point of having an adult child, but I do have a teenager. I also have a baby. They’re both in very different stages in life. I do often feel overwhelmed, but I also feel so very blessed. My children are the ones that inspire me daily to do and be more. I want to show them how to chase after their dreams, work hard, have fun, be good to others, and make the most of their lives by doing so myself. I don’t enjoy the fights, the attitude, messy diapers, waking in the middle of the night, or lack of time for me. However, I can’t imagine my life without the laughter, inside jokes, hugs, smiles, game nights, or feeling the love I feel for them or that they give to me return. That there is what makes it all worth it, the love. That, to me, is what life in and of itself is all about. Through every phase of our lives, it’s about the love within it, both giving and receiving. Life without love, to me, isn’t really living. My kids are the finest example of what unconditional love can do to and for someone.

I am blessed to have been able to watch them grow, learn, and become their own people. Parenthood isn’t for everyone and that’s okay. I don’t judge anyone who decides not to become parents, whether by having their own, adoption, fostering, being a step parent, etc. Some say it’s selfish if they decide not to continue their legacy, but I find it is more selfish to expect someone to have kids when that’s not what they want to do. Not all people are meant to be parents and sadly, many that are shouldn’t be. But, that’s for another blog or perhaps ones I have already written. 😉 Today, I am just counting my blessings for being able to be a parent. I make mistakes, we all do. I second guess myself a lot. I don’t always make the wisest decisions or the ones others want me to make. But, I do the best I can and my kids both have what they need and so much love.

If you have kids and you’re able to, let them know you love them today. Even if they’re grown, moved away, with the other parent, in college, or whatever the case may be….e-mail, text, call, snap chat, Skype, etc makes communication much easier. No matter how old they are, they’re always our kids. Life is short and we don’t know when our last chance will be to show love, so if you have the chance to today, don’t waste it. I got off topic a bit, but I hope you enjoyed reading today. Have a wonderful Wednesday, may you be richly blessed!

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Definitions Change

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It’s 10:00 p.m. and I’m just about ready to go

My friends should be there by the time I arrive

It’s just a typical Wednesday night

The beer is 25 cents a glass, though I drink whiskey sours

Let’s dance until close, laughing and flirting the night away

 

It’s 7:30 a.m. and I’m finally going to sleep

I wake up at Noon and I’m slow to start my day

We often talk about changing how we live

But day after day, it’s the same routine

No responsibilities, so carefree and living la vida loca

 

Fast forward to today, many years later

My how life has changed

The time I used to go to bed is now the time I get up

My little girl needs to be changed and fed

It’s time for Disney, learning, and baby talk

 

We get invited to shows, parties, and other nightlife events

Most times, we decline and stay home

And most of those resounding no’s are said without regret

Some think we’ve lost our edge

Because we now prefer family nights over partying

 

But though we’ve gone from drinking on weeknights

To nightly walks with our baby and game nights with my 13 year old

That doesn’t mean we forgot how to have fun

It simply means that our definition of the word has changed

And truthfully, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

 

Terry, I was inspired by your post today! 🙂 Thank you for your inspiration! Readers, you should check out his page here: https://terry1954.wordpress.com/

 

 

For My Son

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Hands once so very small

That held mine so tightly

Once you needed me for everything

But now as the time has flown by

Your need for my help lessens

 

There is a part of me that loves watching you grow

Just to listen to your ideas for the future intrigues me

Your mind is a fascinating thing to look at

No longer filled with Blues Clues songs and little boy dreams

So ready to take on the world beyond childhood

 

But there is a part of me that is not ready to let you go just yet

Sometimes I wish I could freeze time and keep you young

Keep you from knowing the evils that await you

And prevent what innocence you have left from leaving

Stay forever young, my son

 

But then I know that I can’t hold onto your hand forever

I need to let you grow up and become the man you’re meant to be

Full of potential and such promise, such talents to share with the world

And while there are evils out there that will try to consume you

There are also such joys to discover and both friendship and love for you to find

 

While a part of me is afraid of what lies ahead

I do not wish to keep you in the past

I want you to fly, to soar higher than I could ever imagine

Chase your dreams, no matter how far away they might take you

But never forget where you came from or who you are

 

I do not want to shelter you 

And I know that I can’t always protect you

Some lessons you must learn on your own

And some unfortunately will be learned the hard way

That is just a part of life we all come to know

 

But I do hope that as you journey the path that God has laid out for you

That you never forget that I am here for you

Not to live your life for you, to always keep you from harm

But to encourage you and to love you, for as long as I shall live

Even when you are fully grown, for that is a mother’s heart

 

So as you grow, I will cherish each phase of your life

Each year poses its challenges

But also offers up great rewards

I capture your laughter and smiles in my mind

So that I may remember them always

 

And may you always remember mine

For one day, God willing, I will grow old

And I will not be as vibrant and capable as I am now

For as you age, my son

So do I, so please never forget me or the lessons that I try to teach you

 

There is a village of people who want to see you prosper

To see you strong, working hard, enjoying life, knowing love

I am grateful to them all for their help to raise you

May you never forget their roles in your life either

Know always just how loved you are

 

Today is supposed to be a day spent honoring us

Showering us with pampering, adoration, & thanks

But if it weren’t for you, we’d not have this day to begin with

So today, I would like to say thank you for the joy you bring to my life

Thank you for teaching me what it means to love

A Mother’s Heart

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From the very beginning, something changes within

Feelings & emotions new & difficult to understand begin

As a tiny life begins to grow within, you begin to see

It’s not just about you anymore, it’s now mainly about that little baby

 

As your body changes & your hormones rage out of control

You still know that this life inside you is now a part of your soul

Rough nights, so little sleep, cravings, and wait that’s just the beginning

As the end draws near, your head is just spinning

 

The awaited day inches ever closer & then it finally arrives

As the pain takes over, you begin to wonder how you’ll survive

For some it’s just a few hours & for some, labor goes on for days

And then comes that moment that completely takes your breath away

 

After the doctor has done a quick look over & cleaned up your little one

Your baby is placed into your arms & now you see who has your heart won

Looking upon an angel’s face, touching their tiny hands & ever so little feet

Vowing from that moment on that you’ll protect them from all dangers they will meet

 

As they grow, each phase presents great challenges & wondrous blessings

There are moments when you want to scream, but moments too that make you sing

From the late night feedings to the terrible twos, and beyond

You also remember their first baseball game & helping them get ready for prom

 

It doesn’t matter whether your child is two or fourty-two

You know in your heart that there’s nothing you wouldn’t do

To see your son or daughter healthy, successful, & happy

The love within that you feel for them is easy for all to see

 

How truly magnificent it is that someone so small can mean so much

That teaches you the meaning of unconditional love from the very first touch

And while it’s never really easy to one day let them make their own fresh start

You know that no matter the distance, they’ll always know they’re in their mother’s heart

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