7. She carried you a lot longer than nine months.
Okay, logically and physically pregnancy takes nine months. Everyone hopes that their baby is not born premature for obvious reasons. Of course, we also hope that we do not go one minute past our due dates either. Mentally and physically at that point, you are exhausted and sick of waddling around. More importantly, in God’s great wisdom, at the end of nine months you cannot wait to begin holding and loving your child.
What we do not realize at the moment our first child is born, is that emotionally and physically you will still carry that child. God did not make us like animals, whose babies stand up and walk immediately upon birth. We spend about one year physically carrying our children while they grow and develop. Holding them in our arms and sitting them on our laps gives them a sense of security. We are created to provide them with that, and they stay with us as we both prepare to separate yet again.
Emotionally, we never stop carrying our children. Even when we let them go little by little as they mature, we carry them in our hearts every step of the way.
8. It broke her heart every time you cried.
Have I mentioned before all of the reasons that we cry as mothers? Yea, just a few. Our kids hurt our feelings and we cry. I know that as she was growing up and angry at me, “Mini Me” was positive that I was heartless as I dealt discipline. But we do have feelings, and they do get hurt. I have also mentioned that we cry with joy when our kids accomplish great things in life – like going to the bathroom and getting out of diapers. And I know that I have mentioned that when our kids hurt, no one hurts more than we do. Whether it is that a boyfriend has broken her heart, or a girl turned down a date with him, or they fell down and scraped a knee or didn’t win first prize in something, when their hearts are broken, you cry too. Sometimes we have the right to throw out an “I told you this would happen”, but somehow we never do. With discipline, there is the old saying, “This is going to hurt me more than you.” I distinctly remember my girls looking at me like I had lost my mind, when I said that after telling them they were grounded and had to miss time with that “special guy”. Broken hearts are not contained within the walls of one person’s chest. Broken hearts are shared with our children. Somehow, I think God did that to get us through the pain.
It is a gorgeous day today. Enjoy the sunshine, and give out tons of hugs to those you love!!!!
4. She was always afraid.
I don’t know about all moms, but I know there was some fear in me from the minute I knew I was pregnant. I knew enough medicine to know how many things could go wrong during development of the baby in utero. Then came the fear of whether or not I could really do this and be a good mom. And for me, good wasn’t good enough. I wanted to be great. All this is followed by the fears of what could happen. I found out over the years that you have to put your faith in God in all ways. We have an illusion of control. We can patch kids up and hug them when they hurt. Most of all we need to love them with all that God has given us. Prayer is the best answer for fear.
5. She knows she’s not perfect.
We have a standing joke in our house, that not only do I know everything but I am never wrong. It goes on to the point of “I don’t know why you don’t just save yourself the aggravation and take my advice, you know I am right.” Being right has a lot to do with experience and wisdom gained in life. It does not mean you are perfect. We all have our flaws, our strengths and our weaknesses. It is sometimes scary to admit that, especially to your kids. But it is important that they know that perfection is a goal that cannot be attained and that is okay. Still strive for that goal, and get as far as you can without making yourself so driven that you go crazy. If I am not perfect, then my kids know that they are okay not being perfect too.
6. She watched you as you slept.
Tell me that you have never done that. Especially after a long hard day with your kids, watch them as they sleep. There is not a closer picture to an angel than what you will see as you gaze at their peaceful faces. It is almost impossible not to feel the love you have pour over them in those moments. Of course, just so we don’t get too serious, some kids are absolutely hysterical when they sleep. “Mini Me” and “Max” are not only mother and daughter, but could also be clones. Both of them sleep in the same position with their mouths wide open. Picture Princess Anna from “Frozen” as she is awakened the day of the coronation. Mouth open, drool, hair messed up. Yep, that is “Mini Me” and “Max” to a “T”.
Enjoy your day, it is the only time you will get THIS day. Love your kids more today than yesterday!
I recently saw a post on Facebook that was very poignant. It really went to the heart of being a mom. Thought I would share it in bits with you and put in my two cents. I always seem to have spare change to share!
As I am out and about, I cannot help but notice parents and their children. I love watching their interactions. It is refreshing for me to sit back for once. One of my observations is that parents of “only” children are living a bit of a fantasy. First of all, they are not outnumbered by their child. Watch any parent with one child and compare them to the mom or dad that is herding two or three. Two is still manageable, but the kids can still get you. Once you hit three children, face it. You are outnumbered. They learn quickly to scatter on you. They are capable of the military tactic to divide and conquer at a very young age!
Parents of “only” children deal with one personality. They have the luxury of knowing their child inside and out if they choose to. Parents of multiple children can be considered a bit schizophrenic. Think about it, unless you are creating clones, you need to figure out which child you are dealing with at any moment. Birth order can effect what you say and do with each child. Let’s not forget sex. Are they male or female? Are they hormonal yet? Now combine that with birth order. And don’t forget to factor in their individual personalities. Some kids you can yell at, others you have to speak softly. Yikes!!!!
Being crazy as a parent is not necessarily a bad thing. Okay, people may look at you strangely if you start giggling for no particular reason. What they don’t know is that you are remembering some humorous incident. Okay, I am willing to admit that sometimes when I giggled it was because I was plotting against the kids, but who really needs to know that? Sometimes, I giggled to keep myself from crying after a particularly rough day. And I guess sometimes I just giggled because I was crazy! Again, crazy is not bad. It definitely keeps the kids on edge and sometimes that helps them behave better. “Is mom losing it? She is sitting there with a weird smile on her face. She is starting to scare me, maybe I will clean my room.” Don’t laugh, it works!
I smile now, when I watch my own children struggle with my grandchildren. There is a little poetic justice in it when “Mommy’s” oldest throws a temper tantrum. I wonder if it makes her remember some of the ones she threw when she didn’t get what she thought was the attention she deserved at that moment. I smile when “Mini Me” goes toe to toe with a four year old who knows more than she does. Mostly I smile because I survived and I have earned the right to enjoy these moments! Take some time to people watch. I promise it will make you smile, even on a bad day!
I have given my kids several hard and fast rules. Tattling is not allowed, but if it is something that is dangerous or someone is hurt, by all means tell. “The Ninja” has taken it a step further with the kids and always promised them that she would not rat them out. She has kept that promise with the following exceptions which are understood in advance. If they are in danger she will come to me. If I ask her a question about them, she will not lie for them.
I am pretty sure that I do not want to know how much has been concealed from me over the years. I feel like for the most part, the kids have tremendous consciences and as I have mentioned before, often tell on themselves before anyone else gets a chance. “Pook” was very adept at kicking balls in the family room. This activity was banned early on, due to my stuff getting broken. I will never forget him coming upstairs with a broken collectible house in his hands. While he was confessing about the house, he also admitted to killing the glass preacher that went with it.
Some things were kept secret for a while, but eventually came out. My boys and the nephews were playing football downstairs and knocked over an antique floor lamp. I must have been in a bad mood (I know for some of you that is difficult to believe), but they did not tell me. Instead, they took athletic tape and pieced the glass globe back together, put the lampshade back on and turned off the light. I did not notice until I insisted that the light be turned on. It made an interesting pattern – the light shining through athletic tape, I mean. The confessed and also paid for the replacement globe with their allowance.
They also learned pretty early on, that I really do have eyes in the back of my head and somehow know everything. A word of caution, don’t tell your children that they won’t get in trouble if they tell the truth. That is a lie in and of itself and does not apply in the real world, which is what you are preparing them for. If they steal something and admit it, they will still get in trouble in the real world. Be honest and compassionate. Maybe, reduce the sentence or cut your lecture short when they admit getting in trouble. There should always be a consequence. That is so important to learn! Have a great day, and be sure to check things in your house. Bet you will hear some stories!
Let me apologize first if you have received this post multiple times. I am wielding as sword against the "Dragon" as we speak!
The gang is home for Spring Break. It is always more interesting and chaotic around here when they are together. The conversations are hilarious and loud! It started instantly on Friday, once the boys arrived. We sat around in the kitchen discussing what to have for dinner. Conversations were a little disjointed but somehow, as usual led to stories of growing up. The conversation floated to the trouble they would get into and how they got caught.
I really tried hard to stay out of their squabbles. The general rule in our house was/is that you are not allowed to “tattle”. Handle it between yourselves, because I do not want to be put in a position of taking sides. Besides, they learn to deal with conflict if they don’t always run for help. Please do not believe that I left them to their own ways! God, that would be a disaster! I was always available to advise, but I did not handle the fights. Of course, if they couldn’t solve the issues and things escalated – well let’s just say that Martial Law went into effect instantly.
Anyway, our conversation worked its way to “Narking”. They laughed as we talked about “The Surprise” being tied up with karate belts and laughing about it until I walked into the room. He immediately started crying and trouble for the others ensued. A lot of times, I instinctively knew and saw. They don’t understand that. Maybe “Mommy” and “Mini Me” do now that they are parents. Sometimes they would tell on themselves. I picked “Calvin” up at school one day and simply asked how his day was. He blurted out “Fine, I might as well just tell you because you are going to find out anyway. I got a detention and my teacher is stupid!” Apparently I would have been a great interrogator for the CIA or FBI if that was all I needed to do to get information.
We talked about the speeding ticket “Pook” got when he was a senior in high school. He was allowed to spend the night at a friend’s house as long as he made it to church on time. Of course, he overslept and in his terror and rush to get home he got stopped by the police. He begged the officer to make it quick, because he was late for church and his mother was going to kill him which was worse than getting a ticket. He did make it to church – very late and explained to his dad what happened. That was because he knew I was burning holes in him with my eyes for being late. “Doc” advised him not to tell me right away because I was already upset. Church ended and “Doc” walked up to me and said “Pook got a speeding ticket.”
The conversation came to a screeching halt when “The Blonde” announced that she had never “narked” on anyone. There was an audible gasp in the room followed by a barrage of how often and when and why she “narked”. She was honestly the worst of the gang when it came to telling. For a period of time we even referred to her as the "Informer". In college when she shared an apartment with “Mini Me”, she would inform me of misdoings at least daily. I listened and laughed, remembering. My perspective is different now that we are through it all. You never have to look far when you are in a large family and you feel the bus tires running you over after you have been thrown under the bus! Have a blessed day!
One of the hardest things about being a parent is letting go. You have spent their lifetime raising them and protecting them. You soothed them when they fell down and cut their knees, you hugged them when a friend hurt their feelings. You worried when they were sick or out on a first date; actually every date. You beamed with pride when they accomplished something new or did something well. Your smiles covered everything from that first step to college graduation. You said prayers with them and hugged and kissed them with all your love, praying for God to protect them when you couldn’t.
Letting go is a process. It starts when they take those first steps. Sure, you are thrilled – at least for the first child. “Mommy” walked at ten months. Wasn’t she special and so advanced?!!! “Calvin” got close to ten months and I prayed that he would stay low to the ground. I had realized with “Mommy” that mobility means potential trouble and more supervision. “Calvin” did not walk until he was one, but I think that is more a matter of not trusting his sister. At one, he did not just toddle out a step or two, he took off across the room and never looked back. I think he was secretly practicing in his crib.
But anyway, you let go early. You let them walk and explore. You let them get into a little trouble, but not too much. You learn that if you gasp or looked concerned when the fall and get a small boo boo, they will panic and get hysterical. They build their confidence and you love them and worry and pray.
Then they go to school. More letting go. For some mom’s it brings a lot of tears. I always smiled, took pictures, made a big deal out of it. Again, if you look concerned it frightens them. So, you put them on the bus and smile as the bus drives away. It is so much fun when they come home and you get their interpretation of the day and what they view as important and memorable.
So it goes through life and you do the same process as they play their first sport, take swim lessons, go on an overnight, go to a school dance, go on a date, get a job and leave for college. College was the most difficult for me. It was a real life changer because they were just not there. They do come back after college. It is so hard for young adults to strike out on their own financially.
Give them time and space and some guidelines that you expect to have followed in your house. Do your own laundry, help with the dishes, maintain your own living space, give arrival and departure times. All things that are common courtesies. Don’t be afraid to charge them rent. It does give them a sense of responsibility and ownership. And let go. Giving advice at that point in their lives, is often unwelcome. They are all grown up after all! So, let go and start a new chapter for yourself! Happy weekend.
To snow fence or not to snow fence, that is the question. Just in case you haven’t noticed, we have had a lot of snow and cold in the Midwest! That darn global warming is a pain isn’t it? (lol!) Every day when I look out the window and see the snow, or look at the thermometer and see that we are yet again between -10 and -20 degrees, I laugh at Al Gore and all the global warming proponents. Now, that being said, I am willing to admit that I believe our property has its own weather. There have been times when everyone else is getting around fine and I cannot get out of the driveway until “Doc” gets done plowing.
But anyway, because of the way our driveway winds through the property, we get huge snow drifts. The wide open spaces across the farm fields and the fact that one side of the property sits higher than the other are recipes for disaster!
As always, being human we think we can outsmart Mother Nature. After a particularly bad winter a few years ago, I had the boys purchase some snow fencing. My plan was to line the worst parts of the driveway with fencing and keep the drifting from being obstructive. Of course, the boys grumbled all the way to the store and unceasingly as I had them place the fencing before Thanksgiving. The usual litany of complaints came from them. “This is ridiculous. It is too warm to snow. This will never work. There goes mom again with one of her brilliant ideas. This is a waste of time. Am I going to get paid for this? Will you buy me lunch?” Of course, this was all accompanied by unceasing eyeball rolling.
I got my fences up, and I am sure you guessed it. Maybe five inches of snow all winter! Okay, maybe it was a little more than that but certainly never more than an inch or two at a time. We never did put up the fences again. Looking back after this winter, maybe we should of. Even if they weren’t in place to stop the drifting, they certainly scared off the snow in general.
Enjoy another snowy day! Not many schools were closed, moms and dads! Stay safe and warm. Have a great Monday and a blessed week!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!