Please tell me if I’m raising a bully

  1. Raising a bully

Since a new school year began, I keep hearing a recurring theme on social media; kids treating other kids like shit, AKA bullying. Maybe you were one of the lucky ones that got to be apart of the “it” crowd in school and never endured bullying but I bet at some point in your life you’ve felt the effects of being bullied. Bullying is the repeated, unwanted  aggressive or intimidarng behavior of one towards another with an unbalance in power.  I know first hand that bullying sucks.

So how do we stop bullying?

I’ve heard of parents contacting principals, counselors, bus drivers but I never hear about the parents of a bully being contacted. How do they react? I could be wrong but I honestly believe that the majority of parents do not want their child to be a bully. I don’t believe they sit up at night and hope their child aspires to be a bully.

Nope.

This is what they hope for instead. They hope for their child to have a better school experience than they did. They work long hours to ensure that their child has the best of everything; the Patagonia jacket,  lululemon gym clothes, the newest Jordans, the latest iPhone with unlimited data, the list could go on forever. My point is while that parent is making sure that their child has everything they could possibly dream  of to be successful, and by successful I mean popular, they do not know what their child is doing with this new success. They are not on the bus or in the hallways to monitor their child. How do they know if they created an entitled asshole?

They don’t know and here’s why;

The majority of bullying goes unreported.

kids do not report it or if they do tell a parent, they handle it as a family and often don’t persue it further.

Please! Please! Please! Tell me if my kid is being an asshole. I want to know. Sure, I might be embarrassed but I want to rectify that problem ASAP and I can only do that if I know how he is acting while I’m busy at work. As a teacher and a parent I often notice that children find themselves entitled to certain things and that transcends to their behavior.

It is a privlege to have nice clothes.

It is a privilege to have nice sneakers.

It is a privilege to have wifi and a phone

It is a privilege to hang out with friends

It is, however, a right to have a free and appropriate education and you can receive that education without any of the privileges mentioned above.

Please tell me if my kid is being an asshole.

 

Gender Equality Starts With Our Children

Raising boys. Gender equality. Gender rolesEven before our children are born we set into motion gender identity, pink for girls and blue for boys. When we bring our babies home from the hospital, we place them in their nursery that is themed for a little boy or girl. Sometimes we might decide not to know the sex of our baby and chose to decorate a gender neutral nursery, but how long does that neutrality last? How long before relatives and friends start giving you gifts identifying gender. Girls receive dresses, dolls, and frilly pink stuff while boy receive trucks, building blocks and an array of blue clothing. Why do we do this? Why do we feel the need to prove the gender of our children to society?

I recently read an article about how Megan Fox, the actress from Transformers received a bunch of backlash when she posted pictures of her 4 year old son wearing an Elsa dress from the movie Frozen. Some comments on her Instagram account included, “No values. No morals. Promoting gay perversion.” Another comment, “It is not okay for a boy to walk around in their mother’s heels. Just like it’s NOT ok to for a child to be disrespectful.”

Raising boys. Gender equality. Gender neutrality.
This is not the only incident of mom shaming I have seen regarding a son wearing girl attire. A local women recently wrote about her experience being accosted in the middle of the street by a stranger for her son wearing a tutu.

Raising boys. Gender equality. Gender neutrality

Can we stop for one minute and think about this?

“No values. No Morals.”

Value as defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary:

Value: something (such as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable or desirable

Valuable: having desirable or esteemed characteristics or qualities

Now that we know the definition of value, lets look back at the comment that refers to Megan Fox having “no values.” Does she not hold a principle, characteristic, or quality that is intrinsically valuable to her?  I think she does.

I think Megan and every other parent who does not enforce gender roles values individuality, creativity, and perseverance.

Individuality to be the person that they want to be.

Creativity to dream big without constraint.

Perseverance to pursue those dreams and break barriers.

Morals defined by Merriam Webster dictionary:

Morals: a person’s standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do
Is it not acceptable for a mother to want their son to value individuality, creativity, and perseverance? These are traits that I value as a mother and want to instill in my own sons. However, these traits are stunted by traditional gender roles.
I know, it’s 2017 and I bet some of you are thinking there is equality between women and men, but is there equality?
Why do women still make 80 cents to ever dollar a man makes
Why does the glass ceiling still exist?
Why are we the only industrialized nation with unpaid maternity leave?
Have you heard of the pink tax? Manufacturers will make identical items and charge more for the product geared towards females.
I hate to say it but in 2017, gender equality still does not exist in America.

Why is there still a gender gap in 2017?

“Dress up is for girls.”
“Baby dolls are for girls.”
“Princesses are for girls.”
These comments are continuing to perpetuate the gender gap. Moms and dads alike tell their daughters that they can be anything they want to be. Even Disney tells your daughters to, “Dream Big Princess”. Yet boys, they continue to be told that they can’t have that “girl” toy or they can’t dress like that because it’s “girl” clothes. We can’t have it both ways; we can’t tell our girls that they can be anything that they want to be and our boys that they can only be masculine and expect there to be equality between the genders.
Let’s look at the comment that was made about Megan Fox, “It is not okay for a boy to walk around in their mother’s heels. Just like it’s NOT ok to for a child to be disrespectful.” Are you saying it’s  not ok for my son to want to be like me? Why? Because I’m a girl? Why wouldn’t I be a good role model for my son? I’m his mother.

Are you saying it’s disrespectful for my son to want to be like me?

Raising boys. Gender equality. Gender neutrality.
My son likes to put on my jewelry and shoes! Why? Because he wants to be like me. He also likes to color coordinate with me. Why? Because he looks up to me. I’m his mentor and that’s the way it should be. Why would I tell him otherwise?
Lastly, I would like to address the comment, “promoting gay persuasion.” If you do a little research, you will find that gender and sexual orientation are two separate ideas. Gender is a social construct that distinguishes between man and woman while sexual orientation refers to a persons sexual identity and who they are sexually attracted to. Having your four year old boy wear a dress is not going to influence his sexual identity because he doesn’t have a sexual identity and if he does, I would be more concerned about that than his dress.
Raising boys. Gender neutrality. Gender equality.
My son goes to daycare with two girls and plays dress up, house, dolls, and plays with glitter. He also goes to gymnastics because he is a ball of energy. He trots around the house in my heels and wears my jewelry. I would like to think I’m raising a boy who will treat the opposite sex with respect. I’m raising a boy who idolizes his mother and wants to be like her. I’m raising a boy to be an individual, to be creative, and to persevere to be whatever he wants to be.

Dream Big Boy!

Please share your thoughts on gender roles, gender inequality and mom shaming.

 

Working Mom vs. Stay at Home Mom: I’ve done both!

Working mom vs. stay at home mom

It’s the ultimate debate in mommyhood

I’m not here to preach which one is best but wanted to share my experience with being both, a working mom and a stay at home mom. I can see the challenges and the perks of both positions and made a decision based on my experience and personal preference. But how many moms get to experience both? Not many. I wish every mom had the opportunity to experience both because it has opened my eyes to my parenting style and has changed the way I plan to parent in the future.

Working Mom

When I was a working mom, I had this mom guilt like you wouldn’t believe. I could never use a babysitter because all non-working hours were dedicated to my children. I would pick them up from daycare and make sure we were able to do something before going home for dinner and doing night routine. We went to the park, the beach, a hike, ride bikes,or the library.  The weekends were just another opportunity to up my game on the outings. We went to museums, farms, aquariums, amusement parks, longer hikes and bikes rides.

I was on a mission to make memories everyday with my children.

Why? Because I was a working mom and I needed to squeeze in these memories after 4pm on the weekdays and on the weekends. I was trying to overcompensate for the hours that I wasn’t home making memories with them. It was all about the children.

But at what cost?

Meanwhile, my marriage was suffering. I was exhausted and didn’t have time to squeeze in time for my husband. We would get a babysitter about every three months, once a season for a couple of hours to enjoy ourselves. That’s four times a year! How did we have a second child, I don’t know. We never had time for each other.

Then I lost the baby weight and then I lost more weight. I wasn’t trying to lose weight, I just didn’t have time to eat. In the morning I rushed around packing bags for daycare and in the evening I was making memories with the kids. Night time routine took forever with prepping three different meals for dinner because everyone wanted something different, two different baths, and two different bed times. I was exhausted. I didn’t stop until after my kids went to bed and my face hit the pillow. I went to sleep hungry.

I bit my nails to the quip with anxiety and I never indulged in self care. That would require time away from the children and that was just not acceptable when I already spent 40 hours away from them working.

Then I lost my job.

I am going on my second month as a stay at home mom. It was so hard the first two weeks adjusting to being a stay at home mom. The first week as a stay at home mom was awful! My toddler had tantrums all day, every day. Why? Because I no longer had mom guilt and was setting limits.  As a working mom, I was so concerned about spending time with my children that I set very few limits.

You want cookies before bed? Sure.

You don’t want to take a nap? Ok.

You want me to buy you that toy? You got it!

I was so stuck on my mom guilt and engulfed in creating these great  memories with my kids that I never stopped to see the bigger picture.

I was creating entitled, spoiled brats.

via GIPHY

Now, that I’m a stay at home mom, my guilt is gone. My kids nap everyday, they do chores, I say “no” without flinching, and I even tell them the dreaded phrase, “Because I said so!” I am the parent and I set the limits for my children. It was a challenge at first but now I love it. I use a babysitter, I go on dates with my husband, I eat, I shop, I even watch TV on my kindle when the kids are napping! It’s great! My kids are doing better, I’m doing better, the family is doing better.

All good things must come to an end

As much as I’ve enjoyed being a stay at home mom and regaining control of my household and life, it’s not for me. I enjoy working and I miss it. I miss having an identity other than “mom”. I miss excelling at something and being praised and compensated for what I do best.  I’ve decided to go back to work at a new school at the end of Summer. Being a working mom is not for everyone, same as being a stay at home mom is not for everyone. I honestly wished every mom had the opportunity to try both so they can see where they belong.

Let me Reflect

As I reflect on my experience of being a stay at home mom and returning back to work in the Fall, I know that the guilt I carried and the expectations I had for myself were unrealistic. My kids will be fine if I use a babysitter. They will be fine if I say “No”. Every day doesn’t have to be an adventure and it’s ok for my kids to be bored and wait for mommy. If there is one thing I learned from this, it’s a healthy mommy makes a healthy family.

Milk Soy Protein Intolerance: A journey to finding the silver lining

What is Milk Soy Protein Intolerance?

Milk Soy Protein Intolerance, MSPI is when a baby cannot break down the proteins in milk or soy. Depending on the severity of the intolerance, it can manifest itself it a variety of ways, including: eczema, diarrhea, irritability (that’s an understatement), refusal to eat, weight loss, and blood in the stool.

A new mother, a MSPI baby, and a journey to finding the silver lining.

WEEK 1

Our little bundle of joy couldn’t wait to meet us and arrived a week early on June 28, 2014.  My water broke at 8pm the night before. I labored at home for four hours then was admitted to the hospital. Everything went as planned. Our son was born at a healthy 7 lbs. 10 oz at 7:42am. His APGAR was great and he immediately took to the breast. He was healthy, I was healthy, we stayed the mandatory 48 hours and left the hospital with our son as new parents. The first week at home was uneventful. Our baby was a typical newborn that fed on demand, pooped, and slept a lot.  Because I was on unpaid maternity leave, my husband and I agreed that he should go back to work. That was the first week.

Week 2

The second week I started to notice a difference in our son. He appeared irritable and started to cry often. He was also hungry all the time and he started to sleep less. As a concerned mother, I mentioned this to his primary care and was told that he might have reflux and was feeding more often to soothe the discomfort. We left the doctors with a prescription for Zantac.

Week 3

I’m not a doctor but I knew something was wrong.

The third week was worse than the second week. My son cried for 18 hours of the day. I now fed him every half hour to try to console him. I was exhausted! No one was sleeping and my breast were engorged from all the breast feeding. I was in pain and I could tell my son was in pain. We went to the doctors again. This time the doctor told me that he did not have reflux, and perhaps all the dairy I was eating was making his stomach upset. I was told to take him off the reflux medication and to stop eating so much dairy. I could still eat good dairy like yogurt but was told to stop eating ice cream and milk. As I reflect back, this was one of the dumbest suggestions anyone has every told me but I was a new mother and just wanted my son to stop crying.

My son now started throwing up after his feedings. I was told that this was because my son was over eating to soothe the reflux. I was told to decrease his feeds and the medicine will help with the burn of reflux. Meanwhile I stopped going to breast feeding support group at the hospital. I was embarrassed by my son’s constant crying, and my leaky, over active breast while other mother’s were struggling with their supply.  A couple of my friends had babies around the same time I did and I was so full of jealousy, envy, and spite that they were bonding with their babies while I couldn’t console my baby. I stopped going out all together.

Week 4

By the fourth week, friends, family and my ob-gyn started to question my sanity.

“She’s overtired.”

“That baby sure is colicky.”

“She might have post partum depression.”

“I think breast feeding is too much for her.”

Something needed to change; I was tired, my baby was colicky, and maybe I did have post partum depression. I switched to formula.

NOTHING CHANGED WHEN WE SWITCHED TO FORMULA.

Week 5

Week 5 I saw the doctor to tell them there were no improvements switching to formula. They told me it takes time to adjust to formula and it can take even more time to find the right one. We were put back on the zantac and told to give it time. Despite my concerns I was told that my son was gaining great weight and that’s what really matters.

Week 6

Something broke in me. I snapped.

This wasn’t colic, this wasn’t post partum, new mom jitters, or lack of sleep. I was a new mom taking the experts advice because I didn’t know any better. Well, now I know I’m my son’s strongest advocate and I will do anything to get his needs met, even if that means questioning authority. Something was seriously wrong and I was going to find out what it is and get my baby the help he needs. I scoured the internet for resources and found a childhood friend who went through a similar experience. She had some extra cans of a hypo-allergenic formula and wanted to know if I wanted to try it. Absolutely!

Instantly, my baby started to show some relief. I knew this was the answer and quickly informed my primary care of the changes that I saw in my baby and wanted her to prescribe my son this formula. Instead of seeing relief in my doctor’s eyes, I found doubt. She actually questioned my reasons for wanting this formula prescribed and treated me like I was looking for free formula. She wanted me to go back to the old formula or breast feeding for three days, so she could take a stool sample and test it for blood to prove he had MSPI.

MSPI: HEAR MY WAR CRY!

Enough is enough! I said NO! With that as my final answer, she told me there was nothing else she could do and I would need to see a children’s gastroenterologist. I thought this was progress, a specialist is what I believe my son needs. However, I was told they are located hours away from my home and that there are waiting lists that can take up to three months. Despite what I felt like were her multiple attempts to deter me from seeing one, I was adamant for a phone number to schedule the appointment.

I called Children’s hospital and was able to see a gastroenterologist the very next day!

I went there with three pages, back and front documenting my son’s feeding, crying, and sleep schedule, ready to fight. Instead, I was welcomed by a doctor who listened, heard my concerns and VALIDATED every concern I had. In fact, he told me MSPI is pretty common and my son was displaying almost all of the symptoms. He asked for a stool sample, but acknowledged that there might not be blood in the stool for a number of reasons including switching to a formula and the severity of the MSPI. He gave me a prescription for the formula and even offered to have me see a nutritionist if I wanted to start a dairy/soy free diet to start breast feeding again. It was such an amazing experience to feel heard and find the help my son needed.

My son did end up having blood in his stool at his 3 month check up, but due to the gastroenterologist ascertaining my claims, I was treated differently with my primary care doctor. My son was instantly prescribed an elemental formula and an apology for them not acting faster on my son’s MSPI.

This experience has changed me forever

I recently took a silly online personality test and was shocked to see I scored the highest in assertiveness. This was surprised me because I do not consider myself assertive at all. I was the shy child who hid behind my parents legs, the student who did all her work and never asked questions, the worker who attended every meeting and took notes. I never spoke back and always did what I was told.

That was the old me, Pre-MSPI.

Since my experience with MSPI and the obstacles that I needed to go through to get my son the care that he needs, I have found my voice, my strength and my self-worth. I no longer second guess myself and now take charge of my life. I speak up, I share my knowledge, and I question authority.  MSPI has changed me. I hope no one ever has to experience what I went through but if you do, I hope you can turn a negative into a positive and find the silver lining.

Find Support

My journey with MSPI was a challenging and lonely experience. However, with my second son, I found support that helped tremendously during those long, sleepless nights. If you suspect MSPI, I highly recommend the Facebook support groups MSPI AND REFLUX MAMAS and REFLUX REBELS

 

The life changing decisions you make as an IVF parent

My IVF baby just turned three yesterday. It was an amazing birthday spent with Thomas the train, family and friends. I would like to share my infertility journey and the decision to do IVF, but I can’t; not yet. Despite having a happy ending to years of infertility, I’m just not ready to revisit that dark time period of my life. They say time heals all wounds but this wound still needs a little more time.

This post is about the life changing decisions you make as an IVF parent.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is when you extract an egg from a women, inseminate it in a lab and then implant the fertilized egg into the women’s womb. Simple, right? Wrong! What if something is wrong with the egg? The sperm? Or the egg doesn’t attach to the womb? This is why when you decide to do IVF, you, as the mother will inject yourself with medication that will stimulate your ovaries to make multiple eggs. You are monitored weekly to see how well your eggs are developing and then you go in for a day procedure to remove the eggs and inseminate them. You see, it’s not just one fertilized egg.

We had THREE perfect fertilized eggs as a result of the IVF procedure.

But what do you do with these fertilized eggs. Do you implant all three? Maybe. Most doctors recommend implanting two eggs in the womb for successful IVF. Why two? Two is a safe number because you increase your chances to have one of the fertile eggs to successfully implant and if by chance they both implant, the result is twins.

Wait.

What?

TWINS?

Yes, twins.

If you decide to implant two embryos, you are also taking a risk of having twins.  A life changing decision needed to be made; implant one and take the chance of having to go through the procedure again or implant two and take the chance of having twins. All I could think about was the overwhelming responsibility to care for  two children’s needs simultaneously. We decided to take a chance and only have one fertilized egg transferred and we lucked out because he attached to the uterine wall and we celebrated his third birthday yesterday!

So what about the other fertilized eggs?

This is the difficult, life changing decision that this post is about. What happens to the other fertilized eggs? We decided to freeze our other two eggs just in case we wanted to have another baby. And two years later, we did have another baby, but he was not IVF. We were blessed to become pregnant naturally. We are a happy family of four.

So once again, what about the other fertilized eggs?

My husband and I needed to make a decision about our fertilized eggs. We had the option to dispose of them or donate them. I am pro-choice, so my decision to donate them was not based on being condemned to hell for the rest of my life. No, I decided to donate my two fertilized eggs because I wanted to pay it forward. I wanted some other couple who could not do IVF due to same sex marriage, illness, heredity or some other factors that lead you to infertility to be able to experience parenthood. I wanted another couple to be able to see the first ultrasound, hear the first heartbeat, feel the first kick, and live out the rest of their lives with new purpose; being a parent.

Some argue that this was an irresponsible choice; to give my fertilized eggs away, not knowing who their parents will be or how they will be treated. That my decision was reckless because it’s ultimately my responsibility to ensure that they are safe. I hear the counter argument but I can’t live my life thinking the worst of humanity. I want to be the person that changes someones life for the better and I think giving my fertilized eggs to someone in need was one of the most selfless decisions I have ever made in my entire life.

What would you do if you were in my position? Please comment and share your thoughts with us.

 

Learning empathy: Please don’t force my son to apologize

I might sound crazy for saying this, but please don’t make my son apologize.

My son is 2 years old and is still learning social etiquette:

No, son it’s not ok to take that child’s toy,

No, son it’s not ok to throw your food,

No, son it’s not ok to use your hands to hurt someone,

but does my son need to apologize for his behavior? Not necessarily and here’s why. Every family has a set of core values that they want to instill in there child and take more time fostering that value more than others.  Whether it’s compassion, respect, generosity, kindness, dependability, honesty, or some other value, we as mother’s monitor are children and take the extra foster these values because they our what are important to us.

For me, I want my son to learn and value empathy.

According to the Marriam-Webster dictionary, empathy is “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.” In other words, it’s the ability to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

As a social service worker and a teacher for over 10 years, empathy is a core value to the job and an innate trait that you need to be good at the job. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in my field of work and I am able to get up every morning and go back to work because I have the ability to not judge and help my community. Empathy is an important character trait that I want my son to develop because it will help him develop strong interpersonal skills and help him problem solve which are both invaluable skills in the working world.

Anyone can apologize.

It’s two words, I’m sorry, and then you are off the hook to go play again. What value is my son learning from that?  The words are  meaningless unless he understands the impact of his actions. Only then can he give a genuine apology. Instead of timing out my child and telling him to apologize, remove him from the situation, explain how his actions impacted others and related the situation to him. Instead of saying, “say sorry” say this instead:

How would you feel if he took your toy?

how would you feel if he hit you?

These conversations allow my son to think about his actions and how they affect others, hence empathy. Is my son apologetic for his actions after answering these questions? Sometimes, but not always. Sometimes my son feels his actions were justified. Forcing an apology is not going to fix the problem. Instead, its going to minimize my son’s feelings and disempower him to assert himself in the future. If my son perceived he was in the right then a deeper conversation needs to be had.

You had a problem and how did you solve it. Was there another way?

If he cannot think of another way besides hitting, throwing, kicking, then we have a bigger problem than an apology can fix. My son needs to learn to problem solve and find more than one way to solve his problem. This would be the time to discuss how his actions affected others, how he could use other methods to solve his problem and how he an get back to playing.

Sometimes my son will apologize and sometimes he does not. What I do know is that by teaching empathy, my son, on his own accord has given some sincere apologies without prompting. I don’t know about you but I would take a sincere apology ten times over and insincere one.

What are your thoughts. Am I wrong to not force my child to apologize? What values do you take the most time fostering in your child?

OMG! Are those mom jeans?

Today I was getting ready for work when I slipped on my favorite pair of skinny jeans. These jeans are so soft and have so much elastic in them that they could be the equivalent of pajama jeans, but of course more socially acceptable. They are high waisted so I don’t have to worry about my rear hanging out and to my amazement they are two sizes smaller than my normal size. You would think that being super comfortable and the instant boost of self-confidence when I look at the size on the tag would be enough to make them my favorite jeans, but there is one more reason why they are my favorite jeans; they were on sale for only $9 at Kohls!

Yes! I love these jeans!

As I pondered all the aforementioned positives about these jeans. A thought occurred to me; why have I never purchased Vera Wang before? Doesn’t she make wedding dresses? But like a jig-saw puzzle, I slowly started to piece the picture together.

OMG! I’m wearing mom jeans!

super comfy √

fake size √

Super cheap √

department store √

At first I was devastated by this revelation. I’m 35 years old. I’m too young for mom jeans. But on second thought, am I too young? What is 35? If 40 is middle aged then is 35 like the equivalent of a tween,  a pre-middle aged woman, a priddle? I’m a priddle, teetering on the edge of middle-age. So now that I have succumbed to the idea that I am getting old, where do I shop?

Nowhere!

Why? Because pre-middle aged women are in denial that they are getting old. No company in there right mind would advertise the shocking truth to these women. So instead I see young, hipster advertisements for the 20 year olds or the nice cardigans and slacks for the clearly over 55 community. Clear distinction between the young and old but yet, here I am swimming in the abyss of being almost middle aged.  I can choose to shop the younger, hipster clothes and take the chance that one of my students is wearing the same outfit, only better because gravity and children hasn’t wrecked havoc on her body or I can sport some nice slacks, a cardigan and go play some Bridge at the local community center.

I’m 35 and I own a pair of mom jeans. I never thought this day would happen but here I am, looking in the mirror staring at my mom jeans. I guess growing old is inevitable and I don’t care what anyone says, these jeans look good!

THE GREY AREA OF PARENTING

Parenting is Not Easy

I chose this picture for my blog for two weeks while I was waiting for a logo. I chose this picture because I wanted something that would explain where I am coming from and where I want to go with this blog. Parenting is not black and white, instead it’s a gradient of grey where you, as a parent need to make daily decisions that will impact your children in some way. They are often not easy decisions and they are often decisions with no right or wrong answer. We go in blind and hope for the best.

Why did I pick this Picture

This picture was taken on a nature walk with my toddler. It was an ordinary nature walk until my son decided he wanted to collect rocks. I would have brought a bag if I knew we were rock collecting but like everything else in our life, this was an impromptu decision by my toddler. As we were collecting more and more rocks, we quickly ran out of pockets to carry them all. Not satisfied with a pocket full of rocks, my determined toddler went on a mission to find a carrier. To my great surprise, out of the woods he came out with a carrier. More precisely, an empty case of Bud Light.

Character Development vs. Social Acceptability

He was so proud of himself for finding a “bag” for his rocks that he made up a rock carrying song that he sang while he swung his “bag” back and forth in his arms searching for more rocks. How could I tell my son that it was inappropriate for him to carry a case of beer? This is the dilemma that I often face; teaching my son what is socially acceptable verse character development. Is it socially acceptable for my two year old to carry a case of beer? No. Is determination a positive character trait? Yes.

The Grey Area of Parenting

Parenting is a constant battle of teaching our kids right from wrong but ultimately there is a lot of grey area that is up for debate. Did I make the right decision letting my toddler carry a bud light case? I don’t know. What I do know is that my son faced a problem, set a goal for himself and was ultimately able to solve the problem. This shows me ingenuity, creativity and the ultimate lesson in life; you can do anything if you set your mind to it.
I am constantly swimming in that grey area and I know I can’t possibly be the only one. So sit back, enjoy a glass a wine and hopefully laugh while I share some of my adventures in parenting with you.

Working mama guilt

Date night!

This weekend my husband and I went to a concert and spent the night in Boston. It was such an amazing time; to feel free and let go of all responsibility for one night and selfishly self-indulge. When your a mom, you constantly put everyone before you, and this night was all about me. Yes, I drank too much. Yes, I ate too much. Yes, I stayed up well past my bedtime. I repeat, it was AMAZING!

So why don’t I do this more often?

This was the third time in three years that we left the kids for an overnight. Part of the issue is finding someone we trust to watch the kids, then there is finding someone who has the muster to handle our two children, and lastly, I have this overwhelming feeling of guilt. That straight up, yucky, turn your stomach sour, self-hatred, bad mama, guilt.
Why? Because I’m a working mama. I feel that I’ve already asked too much of my children by working 40 hours a week. Does anyone else struggle with this? I feel like this is the working mama paradigm. On one hand, you work because you need to be financially responsible, find some sort of self-identity that is more than wiping butt and because, lets be honest with ourselves, you need a break. But on the other hand you feel guilty. You feel guilty that being a mom is not enough and you need something more. You feel guilty that you secretly enjoy that quiet ride to work or that built in lunch break. You feel guilty that you leave your kids with someone else for the majority of the week.

I carry all this guilt with me.

I carry all this guilt with me everyday and by adding a date night into the equation, it’s just too much guilt for me to handle. I know I need to make time for myself and for my marriage, and I do, about once a year. Is it as often as I want it to be? No. But is it something that I can handle right now? Yes. I know the working mama guilt will subside once my kids are in school so for now I need to just relish in the amazing night I had in Boston and dream about next year’s date night.

My kid eats dirt

My kid eats dirt and I don’t care. I know that dirt is, well, dirty and not meant for consumption but lets be real, most of the food we feed are children is not meant for consumption. McDonalds? KFC? Not real food and I can tell you why; my first son had fast food for the first time when he was a little over one years old. We decided to go on a camping trip, a story for another post, but on the way we decided to get KFC. My son had a chicken tender and some wedges. Let me tell you the green slime that oozed out of him and crept up his back in the middle of the night was enough to convince me what fast food does to your body. That stuff is not meant for human consumption and adults must have some kind of tolerance for it from years of consuming process food. Anyways, if you want to feed your child fast food, that’s fine with me but don’t judge me for my kid eating dirt. If my child wants to take a big ol’ fist full of dirt to the face, so be it. It’s organic isn’t it?