My pity party, and I am the only guest….

                          self simply mommy

Today’s topic… Self Pity. 

Self pity….  So today I was so proud of me, yes me.. I Did all the shopping and fetched the need and want list for the family while saving us a few dollars. So anxious me I started handing out the items to everyone.  That is when it happened, the grunts, hum’s, eyebrow furring, and fake smiles ensued. Meanwhile I sat with tears welling up in my eyes.. I say to myself you are an adult don’t be childish.. but the truth was my feelings was hurt.

No I did not go out and work a public job today, but I journeyed around the whole city today gathering all items on my list.. the list they gave me, some of which I might add was non returnable and non refundable. I thought I was about to have a hissy fit. I didn’t get the right kind of leggin’s, I didn’t get that thing he wanted, That tool by the way.. yep wrong kind, that shirt, I like it but you forgot this…

I have had it I thought.. So I stormed out and to the bathroom I wasn’t about to let them see me cry. I stood in front of the mirror and I am scolding myself.  I am congested, dark circles where I have been sick this week, I gained the two pounds back that I lost, my hair could use a washing, my nails look dreadful, and …. and.. Then through the tears I started to laugh, I thought how silly I was being with all this self pity because I had just driven past a homeless squatting while I had to take a detour through downtown due to construction.

I had just driven past the homeless shelter as I watched mothers sitting with their children in that play area, I saw someone digging for food in a garbage can, I saw people waiting on the bus in the rain.

So I stood in that bathroom so ashamed of myself for all my self pity and being ungrateful. I looked around me and my home smells like pumpkin spice, my stomach is full and my children are playing their video games sitting in a nice place surrounded by love with full  tummy’s . Then I realized I was the only guest at my pity party. 

I Just Joined The PTA..

pta 2 I recently joined the PTA. Up until this point

in my life I had been a working  semi crunchy mom for a lot of those years a single mother. It is unfortunate that I didn’t have much time to volunteer at my childrens schools. But now here I am with my oldest daughters nearing the ages of  19 and 17, my sons are starting or somewhere in the middle of their school career. So here I am doing this at the age of 42+.

I got my first call to volunteer one night around 9 pm. A desperate plea for help at the “spooktacular” event at our elementary school. I am so embarrassed I totally didn’t know what to say or how to respond. I responded by saying yes and I will make dirt and worm cupcakes and eyeball punch… yep I said it. So it seemed that tomorrow night would be my first PTA event.

I have to admit I am a little nervous and intimidating, my semi crunchy parenting is not exactly the norm,  the fact that anyone who knows me just bursts out laughing at the thought of me in the PTA..  I am pretty sure I should be offended by that but somehow I am not.

I have come to terms that I may not be like these other mothers or I might be just like them.. ok doubtfully but I am going to go in there and do my best , I want to be a part of Daniel and logans school years , I never got to do anything with the girls so here is my chance and Ima going to take it! . I will show my kids that even us not so perfect parents are parents too. So here I will come toting my dirt and worm cupcakes, eyeball punch  (as natural as possible recipes of course) and my semi parenting attitude with me.

It turns out it wasn’t that bad and I actually enjoyed it. I have volunteered twice since then and had a blast. It has been hard work and time consuming but the kids and I have enjoyed it so much. I will continue, even though I get the raised eye brow look from time to time with some of my crunchy mom views but that is ok, I can handle it so now I have embraced that:

I am a member of the PTA…

What Was I like Before I Had Children?

Really I would say today I feel like screaming! Yep that concludes every day for me now.. I find myself wondering what  I was like before I had this house full of .. well my own little cult.. this is my circus these are my monkey’s.

My 19 year old has moved in with her girlfriend they are living 200 miles away.. Nothing about her life is as I had planned.. Did I just say that? of course I did, every mother has this ideal plan for each of her children laid out in her mind and if that said child deviates from that plan, well she is automatically a traitor. I feel awful that I think I know what she should be doing better than she should know what she should be doing.So lets talk about the well thought out plan I had. Well I thought she would go to college, maybe she will, maybe she is taking the advice I gave her.. I say take a year, live a little get  job, travel, get a life then go to college then you will see why you need to go.

SO maybe just maybe she is doing exactly what I ask her to. Time will tell. But for now, I am here… living in  nice apartment, with the other 3 monkey’s in my circus. Desirae which is 17, I think she still lives here.. her clothes and things are here but that could just be a prop,, a way to mislead me. Between school, friends, Decca, boyfriend, football games, soccer games, and the countless other things she is doing I rarely see her. But she is an honor student no drugs no drinking, practices absence , I  don’t know who she took  being such a good child after. hahaha

Daniel who is 12 is also honor student who designs and develops his own video games , where did he get that? I can barley tie my shoes.. Logan.. oh my Logan.. he is 8 and the worst case of ADHD known to man. My husband is always working, doesn’t want me to work  none of kids want me to work either. they say what if we need you?. What? What if I need adult company at work? away from here? Hello? So we agree to disagree and I work 3 12 hour shifts a week and no more. I wonder if I ever had a waist line, I wonder did I ever own an outfit that wasn’t ruined from coffee stains, koolaid stains, or chocolate. I wonder did I wear make up, brush my hair, did I possess time to shave my legs, Did I really ever get to go to the bathroom alone or was that a dream?  But even with the madness and the questions that still linger in my mind.. What was I like before I had Children?

I don’t remember and I never care to  remember even on my worst days, I never want to imagine or remember my life without my children… or my husband. 

Parental guilt.. We Can’t Seem To Escape It

I woke up this morning as I do every morning… racked with guilt and shame. Why? Is because I really feel it because I have done something wrong?

No it isn’t,  It is society and other judgemental parents that make me carry this guilt around day after day. But as of today I am quitting that job, guit-carrier. Now this isn’t going to be easy after all I have a had a full time job as a guilt-parent for almost 19 years.

I have tried to play the  perfectionist, do no wrong parent, and truth is I am just not that great at it I am a semi-crunchy mom who makes plenty of mistakes. I do my best and I imagine every parent feels they are doing… their best after all there is no instruction manual when they are born to us..

 I don’t usually make every parent teacher conference, because I  work and I don’t relish the idea of going in and hearing a teacher tell me all that my child is doing wrong or right. I have four children, if I go to two of those children’s parent teacher conferences the praise is laid on thick, their grades are perfect, their behavior should be a model, they are neat, they are quiet, they are going somewhere in life, then I have the other two….. I would be hearing this.. let’s talk about their behavior, if they don’t improve their grades…. they are constantly into trouble..

So I am going to be honest I have a hard enough time not finding all the negative in those two children and focusing on what they are doing right without a teacher telling me more of what is wrong. So I answer the letters, phone calls, talk to the kids about it, put a plan in place and move on.

If I can’t move on the kids can’t either, I don’t want them constantly thinking they are doing wrong just because their right is someone else’s wrong. I am also guilty of not doing play dates, my parents didn’t get my friends for me, I don’t want to run around collecting friends for my children, they have to be social beings without my assistance when they grow up so this I leave to them, heck, they probably won’t even like the friends I pick.

I don’t do a lot of discipline on my children. I tell them why it is wrong, what can happen if they continue, the effects it has on others, give them a couple of choices on how to change it and I have to try and let them work on fixing it. My job as a parent is not to fix everything, I am raising adults, no one fixes my ,mistakes and they have to learn no one fixes theirs either, they have to .  I don’t do birthday parties… yes that is right, I take my kids out on a date sort of thing, that is just for them, we eat, we talk and it’s just about them.

I don’t give up my whole self just for them… I am sorry but this is a huge mistake women make, this leads to raising boys that expect women giving up their total existence for a man, or it leads girls  expecting her husband to give up all he is for her. I want them to love a person just for them and to be confident in who they are so they won’t have these insecurities. , If I am not  reflecting happiness with my life choices, how  am going to raise happy kids if I am never happy. And what good does it do to lose yourself, be miserable, then they may carry guilt thinking you are unhappy because you sacrifice your total being and are miserable because of them. Do I really want them bearing that on their shoulders.. that I am some how miserable  because I am a mother?

 I am a happy woman because I give myself love too, that is what I wish to teach my children that you can be a good mother while still practicing self love. The greatest thing I could teach my children is to love and accept others, while maintaining self love. That is not being selfish this is what I want  for my kids, to be happy adults with the choices they have made,  and with the skills I have taught them. The thing I don’t want to teach them anymore… guilt…. So I will no longer live with Parental guilt..or at least try to dismiss it when it starts creeping in my mind.

I don’t want an old Mommy! (What I learned from having kids in my 20’s and then in my 30’s)

mommy old“I don’t want an old Mommy!” My 7 year old cried out to me one day when I was ill. I always did think he was an over-anxious child but when he said this.. well my jaw dropped and then I continued to get an assault on my ego and confidence as he told me that he was scared because I was old and he was worried I would die because I was an old mommy and that  out of all his classmates only he and 2 others had old mommy’s and they didn’t like having old mommy’s either. I just didn’t know what to say, how could I have acted, or what was I saying that led him to believe I might die soon? I also thought I was a pretty great mom, not an OLD MOMMY.

So this got me to thinking about me as a mother in my 20’s when I had my daughters, then in my 30’s when I had the boys and what I found was … I guess I really do appear old to them with the way I act, simply because I am exhausted chasing after them. So I guess to them I really am old and no fun. So what could I do to change their mind about me? I certainly can’t roll back time and be younger so what could I do?

I don’t ever remember giving much thought to being tired, or grumpy when I had my first two children in my early 20’s. I was full of life, no worry, I was super fun just ask my girls. I had a massive amount of energy to share, go and do with my daughters and that was after working a full shift 5 days a week. I was living it up and learning with them.

I don’t remember (nor do they) me nagging, complaining, tired or worried. I really enjoyed spending time with them and they were very content just doing what ever. I divorced their father when they were very young, so it was just the 3 of us for a pretty long while. We kind of grew up together and had a great time doing it. We hiked, biked, swimming, museums, parks, you name it I was always ready to take them on a new adventure. I wasn’t spastic, overbearing, over-cautious I just kind of let them be and trained, taught them, took care of them and had fun with them.

Then in my 30’s I had Daniel and Logan. By this time I had been a mother for almost 10 years, I was starting to slow down already as were my daughters. I was toying with the idea of being a nurse and I was starting to settle into my life alittle. Then I met the boy’s father in my late 20’s and then in my early 30’s he asked to have kids, which is rational we had been together several years, he didn’t have any children so I promised I would think about it. I hadn’t sworn off having anymore kids but I wasn’t flirting with the idea either so I really did have to think about it.

So around 3 months after we talked about it, I started thinking I guess I would really like to have a couple more kids and I would be done with college in a few short months after the first would be born so I said yes. So we began trying. It was difficult I miscarried twice before I finally got pregnant with our son Daniel. Early in the pregnancy my hormone levels were off and I had to take progesterone, this proved to be a very difficult pregnancy, I had to take a leave from college to continue the pregnancy. My water broke early and he was born premature. I definitely wasn’t expecting that. So it would be a long time and a lot of courage later before I would revisit having more children. But I did. I had Logan 5 years later. So now 4 children and I was nearing 40… oh boy.

This leads to today’s topic… Old mommy. I am usually the oldest at my 8 year olds functions in his class, the oldest on the playground, I get grumpy easy, I am exhausted all the time, I am overly cautious I think when we are young we think we are never going to die and we are not as overprotective of the children we have early in life. I am more attentive to their needs, I baby them more, I spoil them more,  But now I can’t stand noisy toys, television, I won’t let them have skateboards, I am .. yes a smother mother. My daughters are always rubbing it in the boys face that I was way more fun when they were kids. It just tears them down, then I just feel bad for them because I know it is the truth. But I just cant help myself, I am an old Fuddy duddy. I guess I am the “old Mommy”

Mommy… To work or not to work….? Age old debate.

mommy and babywprkin mom To Work or not to work when you become a mother this question will arise, either during pregnancy, shortly after birth, or maybe it is sometime in the future, but it will come up. Chances are you already knew or know what you want to do or maybe what you have to do. Sometimes we women are given the amazing gift of being able to be a stay at home mom, maybe some of us cringe at the very thought, maybe some of us are working and just want to be home with our babies, and maybe you are at home with the kids all day and feel like a caged animal. Every woman is different there is no right or wrong way to feel, there is no wrong or right way to be. Society has certainly shifted in the sense that anytime before the 90’s women certainly was expected to stay home with the children now it seems to have shifted to if you don’t work outside the home you really must be lazy, uneducated, unmotivated or something equally as vile..  Okay…maybe that is harsh. But you really do get that look… and that damn question I hate….”what do you do all day?” those are fighting words.

I have had an opportunity to do both. I was the type of women who knew exactly what she wanted.. I did not want to stay at home with the kids I wanted a career. So I went in to nursing and along with that came many long hours. Over the years my career flourished but my relationships suffered. As well as the relationship with my children. You see I wasn’t one of those women that seemed like she had it all together, awesome mom, awesome career, awesome marriage.. what was I doing wrong? Why did I have such a struggle balancing everything.. that woman next to me.. she can do it why can’t I?

Now this leads to guilt, guilt leads to self loathing, this leads to a bad mood. None of this good for raising children or your career. So I have noted the one thing that every together woman, wife, mother has in common.. is that they prioritize very well.

It goes in this order… this is going to be a shock.. Husband. Yes that is right if you are married your husband must be at the top of your list. Our children have to have a strong stability, security, and if our relationship with our husband is strained it will cause chaos in the home. I am not saying your husband gets to decide everything, I am not saying he takes priority over the children, but he definitely is a part of this and deserves your time. Remember he will be there long after the children are grown, if you lose each other now, you may not get each other back. You will be sleeping in separate beds when your silver not a very “Notebook” kind of love I want.

The children, you have to be present… even if you work. You have to go to school functions, you have to help with homework, you have to ask about their day, you have to listen and talk to your children. I know we are so tired, it feels as though the whole world is on your shoulders, but this is why husbands were made, his shoulders were made to bear more than ours, ask him to help, he may even be glad you did. Now don’t go asking him to do stuff you know he doesn’t know how to do, but do make him feel needed by asking him to help with things you know he rocks at.

Your career.. We work so hard to stay at the top of our game. This is our way of feeding and caring for our children. So we have to be good at what we do. However your time at the office should never over ride your obligations at home. You need to draw a clear line in the sand early in the game, but give them the same amount of respect and keep your mind on work while at work and give 100% while you are there and you won’t have to compensate with lost time with your family by slacking.

I have found the only way for me to do this is tighten our budget and me only work part time. Now I have the best of both worlds. But for the mothers that can’t be home maybe you are single or money just is too tight for this, take heart in knowing as long as you try to stay involved our kids will not love us less, and mom’s who know as single mom help her out. We are women, we are mothers, we should continue to support each other in a sisterhood that was formed of love, struggle, sacrifice, hard work, tears, long nights, because no one knows the heart of a woman but another woman. It is hard to be a woman but the reward is equally as wonderful as it is hard.

Crunchy parenting ? Permissive? Uninvolved? Authoritarian? Continuum Concept? Which style are you?

tree First off lets ask you this question are you a “crunchy parent” or an “instinctive Parent” , Permissive? Authoritarian, Continuum? Maybe you don’t know. What sets these types of parenting apart? And maybe you are a combination parent. So let’s get started in all these  very different parenting styles and what the experts are saying and what some parents that practice these style’s have to say about why they practice this particular style. 

“Crunchy Mom/Dad” With this  parenting style parents practice some or all of the following while caring for their children:

  • Attachment Parenting
  • Co-Sleeping
  • Baby Wearing
  • cloth diapering
  • Elimination communication
  • natural birth
  • home birth
  • water birth
  • delayed cord clamping (didn’t practice this)
  • breastfeeding
  • extended breastfeeding (not me on this but breastfeeding yes I did but only 6 months )
  • delayed vaccination
  • selective vaccination
  • vaccination exempt
  • holistic medicine
  • alternative health
  • Veg/Vegan
  • Tree Hugging drug free Hippy Mama
  • Homeschooling/Unschooling
  • Natural Products
  • Toxin Aware
  • Plastic Free
  • No Cry It Out
  • No Spanking
  • Peaceful parenting
  • Minimalist
  • Free Range Children
  • Child Led learning
  • TV Free (Not my family, but  still very limited we didn’t own a TV until I married Matt! lol)
  • Limited Media
  • Eco-Friendly Home
  • Buy WAHM
  • Buy Small Business
  • Buy Local
  • Travel Green (On foot or Bike or bus)
  • Organic Gardening
  • Buy Organics First
  • Poison Free Homes
  • Midwife Care
  • No Circumcision
  • Handmade
  • Activism
  • Human Rights / Animal Right
  • Active Parenting
  • Respect for Nature
  • Out Door Learning
  • Sustainable Living

The List Goes on… starting to sound more and more like my style…

  • Squat birth
  • Breast-crawl
  • Montessori schooling
  • Placenta encapsulation/eat (this one is gross no fricking way!!!!)
  • Mason Jar Love
  • Baby food making
  • Toxin Free Mattresses
  • Very health aware
  • Essential Oils
  • Kombucha  Drinking
  • Yogurt Making
  • Car seat specialists

Wool and Yarn Lovers…

References and Resources grabbed from: (Love this blog!)

What is Crunchy Parenting?

I have to laugh this sounds just like me! I never knew what it was called I have always parented this way. Now what experts if any are they basing their methods on with “Crunchy Parenting”? William Sears a leading pediatrician slides in on this parenting style with his theory on “Attachment Parenting” his theory /parenting philosophy explores and concludes that : 

is a parenting philosophy based on the principles of attachment theory in developmental psychology. According to attachment theory, the child forms a strong emotional bond with caregivers during childhood with lifelong consequences.[2] Sensitive and emotionally available parenting helps the child to form a secure attachment style which fosters a child’s socio-emotional development and well-being. Less sensitive and emotionally unavailable parenting or neglect of the child’s needs may result in insecure forms of attachment style, which is a risk factor for many mental health problems (e.g. depression, anxiety and eating disorders).[3][4] In extreme and rare conditions, the child may not form an attachment at all and may suffer from reactive attachment disorder.[5] Children who suffer from reactive attachment disorder have often experienced extremely traumatic childhoods with a lot of neglect and abuse. An example of such a case is for children in orphanages in Romania where babies have been known to be left for 18–20 hours by themselves in their cribs.[6] This is a very rare occurrence, however, and most children have formed at least some kind of attachment style. Principles of attachment parenting aim to increase development of a child’s secure attachment and decrease insecure attachment.

When parents are taught to increase their sensitivity to an infant’s needs and signals, this increases the development of the child’s attachment security.[7] Sears’ specific techniques of attachment parenting remain under study.

Refer to this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_parenting

Then there is Continuum parenting style/philosophy see just when you thought crunch and instinctive, permissive… oh my the list goes and goes but lets go in to continuum first I was love struck with this:

“The Continuum Concept (is a book written by Jean Liedloff) after she spent long periods of time in the jungle of Venezuela, living with the Yequana tribe. She observed their way of life, how the children were raised, and how the people were the happiest she had ever witnessed. She surmised that this happiness came from the children being raised in line with their evolutionary expectations, and that in the western world, these expectations are often not met, which interrupts the continuum. This causes us to become stuck, unable to reach our full potential and happiness, as we strive to meet those unmet needs.”

“Continuum parenting is,  parenting as nature intended. It is what you might find if there were no experts, no books just us.. parenting…”

“The primary message of the Continuum Concept is that children are social beings who want to meet the expectations of their parents and that If we expect them to be kind, helpful and trustworthy, they will work to meet those expectations. If on the other hand we expect the worse out of them, then they will  be the worst, unable to break away from their evolutionary impulse to meet their parents expectations of them”.

Reference’s and Resources: 

http://loveparenting.org/2013/02/25/continuum-parenting-and-attachment-parenting-whats-the-difference-and-what-is-love-parenting-really-all-about/

Now lets dive into “permissive parenting philosophy can’t stand the thought of this style no judging it just worries me about the type of adult this would produce but I have not researched the outcome study so that was just an opinion flying outta my mouth… sorry:

“Indulgent parenting, also called permissive, non-directive or lenient, is characterized as having few behavioral expectations for the child. “Indulgent parenting is a style of parenting in which parents are very involved with their children but place few demands or controls on them”. Taken from Wiki..

What expert is behind this philosophy? The most popular ideas about parenting style stem from the work of Diane Baumrind. In the 1960s, Baumrind was interested in the different ways that parents attempted to control or socialize their kids –

Then there is Authoritarian parenting, this type of parenting emphasizes the  blind obedience, stern discipline, and controlling children through punishments–which may include the withdrawal of parental affection. 😦 I don’t like this one…..it makes my heart ache for the children…

Another similar parenting style that also rubs me the wrong way is:

 Uninvolved parents: Similar to permissive parents in their failure to enforce standards. But unlike permissive parents, uninvolved parents are not nurturing and warm. They provided kids with food and shelter, but not much else. Who discovered this or is it based off: (Maccoby and Martin 1983).

This one isn’t too bad I may have a bit of this in my parenting style:

Authoritative parenting, a more balanced approach in which parents expect kids to meet certain behavioral standards, but also encourage their children to think for themselves and to develop a sense of autonomy.

Resources and References: 

(I loved this article)

– See more at: http://www.parentingscience.com/parenting-styles.html#sthash.XikqugPp.dpuf

Instinctive Parenting: what  might be called the “old school” method of parenting, “intuition” or simply a feeling of “go with your gut.”  Jo Frost describes instinctive parenting as “very much your own personal style of parenting, usually influenced by your own upbringing.” In other words, as an instinctive parent you’re more likely to teach what you know and parent the way you were parented, whether you were brought up by your mother and father, siblings or another caregivers. In this type of parenting you will witness the “crying out method”  , “Camping out” and “Adult fading” in which these are described as “controlled-comforting methods” in direct relation to the Ferber Method I will be discussing all these various methods in much more depth in some future articles to come: 

Pediatrician Richard Ferber is the founder and former director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Since the publication of his book Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems in 1985, he’s become known as a leading – and controversial – expert on children’s sleep.

Chances are you’ve heard about Ferber’s method for teaching babies to soothe themselves to sleep – a method so closely associated with him it’s often called “Ferberizing.” This method and variations on it are also referred to as “cry it out,” although he never calls it that.

Over the years, Ferber’s method of sleep training has sparked controversy among parents, pediatricians, and sleep experts alike: Some swear by the Ferber approach, while others claim that it creates lifelong emotional scars. It’s also often exaggerated and misunderstood.

References and Resources on Ferber taken from:

http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-ferber-method-demystified_7755.bc

This theory was discussed by super nanny Jo frost and a book was written by : Ada Calhoun. Exploring this parenting style.

This one it made me laugh out loud, my being a mother of four when would I have the time to be this kind of parent? Would I drown in all their drama? I laugh too because I love my dear dad but he is definitely a Helicopter dad even with my being 42… lol 

Helicopter parenting

“Helicopter parents constantly interact with and often interfere with their children’s lives. They hover like a helicopter,” explains Frost. While helicopter parenting is fairly normal to ensure the safety and security of babies and very young children, be forewarned — smothering your child in every aspect of their life can ultimately backfire. “Too much of this style of parenting and children can become dependent on their parents’ money, time and advice past their college years and into their professional careers,” says Frost.

Resources and References taken from: (great source)

http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/819528/5-parenting-styles-for-a-new-generation

Now with all these parenting styles which one are you? Do you lean more one or the other or a combination? I will supply you with the outcome studies with different sources and links to help you decide just in case you want to change or you are expecting… this may help you decide which way to help screw up your children and how many hours they might spend on the couch in a shrink’s office…

http://www.parentingscience.com/parenting-styles.html

http://www.teendriversource.org/stats/support_teens/detail/86

Okay this last resource is a bit of a read… grab coffee if you wanna tackle this.. I like the funnier ones above but for the scholarly types:

http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1177&context=doctoral

In my next up and coming article that I have been writing and  researching , I will be exploring the subject of natural child-birth and pregnancy/versus clinical pregnancy and birth and combinations. Yay!