The Often Untold Story about Preschool Drop-off

I’ve been writing this post in my head ever since we started having issues with transitioning Cooper to Preschool. I wrote a premature post at the beginning of the school year, when I thought we had things figured out. I’ve spoken about the things we’ve been dealing with on multiple occasions – to close friends and family – on various social media outlets – but, I wanted to compile everything. I wanted to tell our story, because I feel like it’s not one that is told often.

It has been my experience, as a parent, that how you think parenthood is going to look – is not really how it ends up looking. I really thrive when I know exactly what to expect out of a situation or person. I’m not some uber planner, I just have a greater peace of mind and am able to perform better when things are not unexpected. And I know. I know. You may read that and think that’s totally normal. We all feel that way Ashley. Ok, I hear you. I believe you think you’re just like me. However, I don’t think you understand the level of fear that rises within my being when dealing with the unexpected. I don’t think you understand how abruptly I can be moved to debilitating physical and mental inaction when things don’t go the way I expected or was told they would. I know that you don’t know how it devastatingly affects my ability to interact with other human beings if they all of a sudden start to do or say things that are contradictory to how they previously presented themselves. The unknown. The uncontrollable change in plan. Those things force me into crisis mode. An immense panic rises from the depths of my mind, and I am overcome with self doubt, mistrust for those around me, and I question EVERYTHING. I cannot ask for help. I only know to throw overboard all non essential tasks and focus on the monster at hand. In that moment I can only trust myself. I only know myself. No matter what you say or do – I cannot calm down until I have talked myself down.

So, I’ve totally had to adjust my expectation level when it comes to expectations in general with raising children. I can’t just break down…or shut down in the face of change. Being a parent has made me a stronger person – because I have to be strong for them. And, I’m telling you all of that about myself because I feel like Cooper is the same exact way. He’s four. He can’t articulate his feelings and thoughts as well as I can..he doesn’t completely comprehend or care about social expectations of behavior so he literally and quite loudly freaks the fuck out. He may not even fully understand all of that about himself until he’s much older – but I see that part of me in him. I understand that part of him. I get it deeply. I feel it profoundly. And I turn into a raging Mama Bear when others aren’t sympathetic to that.

I know that we’ve all seen the ‘first days of school fairy tale’ that is repeatedly told by parents and caregivers at the end of summer. That happy little picture of a child holding a sign proclaiming what school grade they are about to embark upon. You hear the parents exclaim about how HAPPY their child was to go to school. The parent says that the child was so ready to go that he or she didn’t even offer a kiss/hug goodbye! And oh. They had a FANTASTIC first day. I mean. The whole experience is just usually presented as one exploding with rainbows and sunshine. Little babes marching off to school, one by one – calmly and without any major push back. 

That’s really just all great. Honestly. But – – what happens when your child suffers from such a vast and stormy expanse of separation anxiety  that he just can’t do what he’s ‘supposed’ to do? What happens when the school you sent him to just doesn’t want to deal with his atypical behavior? What happens when the staff at that school does absolutely nothing to help ease your child’s fears? What happens when they become so annoyed by your child that he senses it and screams – and cries – and kicks – and begs you not to leave him there? What happens when you don’t realize the gravity of the situation, because you thought he’d eventually adjust, you know – as all kids do – and you tried to stick it out for two months? What happens when the school gives up on him?

What happens?

You feel like you’ve let your baby down.
You feel like you could have done things differently.
You weep over his hurt.
You fear that you’ve scarred him.
You feel hopeless.

And then, you take a moment to regroup. You let him breathe. You bring him back to a place he knows. You let those he trusts take care of him. You start researching options. You become more diligent in your inquiries. You question your expectations. You adjust your expectations. You do whatever you have to do so that your child will feel safe and be successful. You will make whatever sacrifice you need to. You will take care of your child – and you will forgive yourself for being so careless before.

All of that led us to private school. A school we have quickly come to love and hold dear. A school that Cooper looks forward to going to each day.  I cry whenever I think about how fortunate we are to have this happy ending. We were welcomed with open arms. We were never looked down upon.

Those first three weeks – Cooper’s  Dad exclusively took him to school. It was his turn to help lighten my load, and I really felt like Coop would respond better to his Dad’s ability to not wear his emotions on his sleeve like I do (aka – his Dad wasn’t going to also break down crying at drop off…like I had been known to do). And even though I wasn’t physically dropping Coop off, I was not immune to how difficult those days were. He cried. He had to be carried to the classroom. He ran out of the school doors one morning. He screamed. His Dad would call me every.single.day. to say that he couldn’t do it anymore. BUT – every afternoon Coop said he’d had a good day. Every afternoon he had something that was happening the next day that he was looking forward to. The staff was incredibly supportive. The swept in to help. They established plans and routines that we didn’t even realize were happening. Plans and routines that made Cooper feel wanted, safe, excited, challenged, and happy. I just kept saying that if none of us gave up. If we continued to persist. If we believed in Cooper – that we’d make it through.

And, I know that life can change in an instant. I know that a child’s behavior is insanely unpredictable – but I really feel like we’ve overcome. It’s still scary to Coop when he has to walk through his classroom door. We just had a Fall Break and coming back after those five days off was rocky again – but no where near the chaos that was the beginning of his journey.

So, he still whimpers a little when he has to let go of your hand and sometimes he even cries – but he isn’t scared of where he’s going. He isn’t worried about who’s going to take care of him. He doesn’t mistrust his teachers and the other school staff. He’s just fearful of that jump. He’s just unsure of that first step away. And I tell him everyday – how that’s OK. It’s OK to be fearful. It’s OK to get scared. Big boys do cry and that doesn’t make them not a big boy. He knows that he is going to be cared for, and I see that in all the other tiny and big reactions he has to school. I’m not going to let those two minutes in the morning at his classroom door define his entire experience and neither do his teachers. 

I’m writing this so that other people will understand that children don’t and shouldn’t be expected to all fit into some predetermined mold of behavior. I’m writing this for those educators who go the extra mile, so that you know how much you are appreciated and desperately needed.

However, I’m really writing this for any parent who has or is going through what we did. I want you to know that you are not alone. This whole situation may seem so small in comparison to the seemingly insurmountable crosses that other parents have to bear – but I want you to know that I don’t think it’s insignificant. My child’s obstacles are not insignificant. Your child’s obstacles are not insignificant.  

And, whatever you’re going through – whatever your child is going through, if I had any one piece of advice… I’d say listen to your child. Really listen. Really pay attention to their behavior and reactions. And never ever distrust your Mama or Papa bear gut instincts. Don’t let other people or society tell you what your child should or shouldn’t do. I believe in routine. I believe in traditional education. However, I believe it is so much more important that my child be in an environment where he can thrive and grow and learn so that he will be able to function in this world that we live in. Sometimes, the environment that your child needs to do those things is not the one you originally planned for. If you find that to be the case, I say to you, listen to your child. He or she will help you see what’s right for them. Be willing to adjust your expectations from the Fairy Tale.

Weekend Roundup: Top 5 Posts

With a growth in readers and followers, it’s time to once again link you up to our most read posts.  Whether you’re new around here or just missed something, take a moment to go back and read our top 5 posts.

5. Three Years – an ode to Claudia Love on her third birthday

4. The Story of My Tattoo: Ashley – a tale of a spontaneous decision made in the Fort Worth Stockyards

3. From Arrest to Engagement – the story of how poor decisions can lead to something amazing

2. Nipstick – how to find the perfect nude for your lips, while nude

  1. A Drinking Problem – a response to some cowardly and ignorant accusations

 

Which of these posts is your favorite?

5 Things You’re Getting Wrong About Homeschoolers

For those of you who don’t know, we are in our second year of homeschooling, after several years in the public schools.  We chose that path for many reasons, which I will write about another time, but mostly because of the flexibility.  When my ex and I decided that we would be divorcing and would live in different cities, I knew we needed a good custody solution that worked for everyone.  We both really wanted to do 50/50 custody and homeschooling was the perfect solution for our family.

While on Facebook recently, a friend remarked that she was considering homeschool so that her son could experience lots of travel – not just normal summer vacation, but more like months-long journeys all over the world.  In the comments, someone showed his obvious distaste for the homeschool lifestyle, despite never having experience it himself.  I got defensive and then just had to laugh.  Stereotypes are everywhere, but I believe homeschool families get hit with the most ridiculous ones.

So here, the top 5 things you probably have all wrong.

  1. “Kids need to socialize.”  Sure, it’s a life skill.  Is making conversation with another 12-year-old at an uncomfortable middle school dance a life skill?  Not necessarily.  How about communicating with a cashier, speaking to adults and authority figures, and asking a librarian for help?  You bet your ass.  I still have problems speaking to a bank teller without anxiety, so I am glad my kids have to go through the agony with me.  Seriously though, most homeschool families (not us, because I don’t like people) are involved in plenty of groups where they get tons of interaction.  My children get playdates and also hang out amongst lots of adults, where they are comfortable carrying on a conversation.
  2. “Your kids may fall behind.”  Behind who?  Behind what standard?  Who decides?  Every kid is different and there is no need for them to know X thing by X age.
  3. “Oh my, you’re going to be so tired of your kids.  I couldn’t spend all day with mine.”  When they go to dad’s, I rejuvenate, recharge, and spend so much time alone that I actually get sad.  And guess what, y’all?  It’s fucking AMAZING to be the one to witness them discover a new skill or finally grasp a concept.  Believe it or not, I like my kids.  We give each other space and needed and it just works.
  4. “Oh, I get it.  You want them taught in a religious manner.”  Oh hell.  You must not know me.  Did y’all know there is a HUGE community of secular home educators in the U.S.?  Yep.  There are even Christians who choose the secular route of educating, because they want their children to make their own decisions about religion.
  5. “I guess your kids won’t go to college then?”  Did you know there are colleges that seek out homeschool students because of their ability to lead their own learning and to keep themselves on task?  Universities enroll tons (super fancy stat, I know) of homeschool students.  And – gasp – my kids are undecided about college and I support that because, hell, so am I.

No matter what decisions we make as parents, or even just as single people, someone is always going to have something to say about it.  It’s crazy.  Let people do their own thing!  What have you done in your life that brought out someone’s unsolicited opinion?

Raising Children in a Godless Home

This is something that is perpetually on my mind in an on again off again fashion. I think it’s a relevant topic and worthy of bringing to light. We make a big deal of saying that we’re doing this motherhood thing…this mommy blog thing our own way. What does a god have to do with that? Well, I think that a lot of people…a lot of mommy bloggers have a belief in some sort of god as a backbone to their life and moral code. There are people who are active believers in a god who is a major and foremost character in their lives. There are people who you may never knew go to church every week and their belief in god only comes up occasionally. What I’m trying to say is that the spectrum of belief in a god is huge. I am aware of that. I’m totally ok with that. Me personally? I don’t believe in any god and I actively do and say things to make that clear to those around me…especially my children.

I am a firm believer in the simple truth  that we are all humans deserving of each other’s respect and consideration despite what each of us believes or how we choose to live our lives as long as we are not harming other humans. I do not believe that violence (of any kind) is ever a good reaction when you disagree with someone. No matter what the subject.

I don’t believe in any kind of god, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a strict moral code. I don’t believe in any kind of god, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t teach my children about god and religion.

I once took a world lit class at a local community college in which we were studying Greek mythology stories. One of my fellow classmates raised this question, “I don’t understand how these people could believe in such fantasies and worship these gods? All these stories are just completely unbelievable as anything other than fiction!” It was later revealed and discussed how that this person was a Christian who believed in all those clearly true things that the Bible says …you know. Like Jesus walking on water..turning water into wine…resurrecting from the dead…etc. None of that sounds like fantasy…right? The truth is that person most likely blindly accepts those Christian stories and beliefs as fact, because that is how they were raised. That is what their parents taught them. Their beliefs are the only way and others are crazy notions.

I never want my children to come to that conclusion. I want them to know that I don’t believe in god. We don’t center our holidays or our daily lives around any belief in a higher power. BUT I think that it is so incredibly important that they know that other people believe in god(s). I want them to know about all the options available to them. I think that religion is sometimes necessary for certain people. I think that sometimes living with the knowledge that we are all in fact in charge of our own lives…that there’s no omnipotent being controlling/handling/guiding/whatever our lives and this world we live in…is not something they can handle. At our core we all crave some type of structure and guidelines. Some people need more than others. Some people need someone else to provide them with that structure. Things like a change of heart and mind to believe in a god that makes an alcoholic, wife beater, child abuser, tax evader, etc. turn from their wicked ways and start doing good instead of bad – well those things I can get behind when it comes to religion in this world. I’ve seen religion do the opposite though. It’s a fine line.

So anyway, what I’m trying to say – to impart to those of you who do or don’t believe in a god and teach your children the same beliefs…maybe teach them that there are children out there who don’t believe the same things as you do…and that’s ok. Cause that’s what I’m teaching my children.

I always always try to see things from the other person’s perspective. I try not to dismiss their beliefs. I think that we are all entitled to forming our own opinions. Both my children were baptized in the Catholic Church. Both sets of my children’s grandparents (and their dad) believe in a god. I’ll never stop any of them from telling my children about their beliefs. Why? Because that’s their prerogative and my children should know what they believe. And it made their grandparents happy to see them baptized. No one was harmed or traumatized. 

I grew up in a religious home. My dad was a preacher and the pastor of a Southern Baptist Church. I’ve made it a point to read about and research relevant religions and belief systems. I do not feel like I am uninformed or ignorant. I know the negativity associated with the word – atheist. There shouldn’t be any. Because the bottom line is that anyone – no matter what their belief set – is capable of injustices.  

It is incredibly important to me that my children not suffer from any kind of tunnel vision when it comes to their belief set. We can live alongside each other in harmony. We can enjoy each other. We can be kind to each other. We can be silly with each other. We can be honest to each other. We don’t all have to believe the same things in order to do all of that.

 

Lilly Belle Market

Almost two years ago TO THE DAY, Rhonda ordered her first order of Lilly Belle Market bows on Etsy.  They were purchased partly for Claudia, with some of them being given to Ashley at Sophie’s baby shower.  We have been in love since and the obsession is real.  We are so happy to announce that we will be representing Lilly Belle Market this fall, along with some other amazing ladies and their gals.

Glitter, felt, sequins, leather, and more – LBM seriously has what your little one needs for her wardrobe!

Be sure to follow the Instagram page for Lilly Belle Market and like them on Facebook.  You’re going to love the bows and headbands and the cute clothing items!

 

 

5 Things We Learned on our Journey to Pre-K

Happy Monday! Ashley here to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming. We’re postponing our Week In Review Posts until tomorrow since today is a pretty momentous day in my household. Today is Cooper’s first official day of Pre-K. If you follow our snapchat (RAtheMOMachine) or have watched our Wine Wednesday Live Videos on our Facebook page (Rage Against The Momachine), then you have a little preview of what the journey to Pre-K has looked like for Coop – but I thought he deserved a little post of me droning on about how the time as flown … and of course a little insight into the things we had to learn along the way.

As I said today is Cooper’s first day of PreK. He’s been going to daycare/school since mid June. Half days. Today starts the real deal though. He’ll be there until I get off work at five to come pick him up. He’ll be there for naps. He’ll be there everyday learning all the necessary intellectual and practical skills that he will need to enter kindergarten. And he’s definitely not happy about it. Me? I’m pretty emotional myself.

I know moms say this all. the. time. BUT I swear when I look at him and see the little boy that he’s becoming…I cannot believe how quickly it’s all gone by. He’s the little boy I always wanted. He frustrates and tests me on a daily basis. He also makes my heart melt with those piercing eyes and the unexpected ways he can be incredibly sweet and considerate. A day does not go by that he doesn’t say to me, “Hey Mommy…know what? I love you.” So no matter how hard I try to be tough – when I’ve had to leave him (for countless mornings now) screaming for me to come back as I walk out the door of his daycare – my heart breaks. Our journey has not really been pretty. We were not prepared…I did not prepare my son like I should have. Poor guy. We can just add this to the many notches of first child problems. So what did we learn? What did we have to learn?

Prior to starting daycare/school this past June – Cooper was always watched by family. He’s spoiled. But hell. So was I and I went to daycare. The bottom line is that I was not prepared for the amount of independence he’d have to have at daycare. He sure as hell wasn’t prepared. So, I thought I’d share for all you parents out there who may have older children entering school who were previously cared for by relatives on a one on one basis the things that we had to learn. Cooper was potty trained…I thought that was enough…not so. Not so at all.

  1. We had to give up the sippy cup. Ok. Truth be told we haven’t completely gotten rid of it… BUT we did go hard core for several weeks until he mastered the regular cup. They use regular cups at school. Who knew? I should have…I just honestly didn’t think about it. To say he was devastated that he couldn’t use his sippy cup is an understatement. We survived though, and he’s pretty dang proud that he can drink out of a regular cup. 😉
  2. He had to learn how to completely undress and dress himself. People, we were NOWHERE near this skill. He could pull up his own underwear and pants…but I still did everything else for him. Why? I don’t know. I just didn’t think about it. I got him and Sophie dressed every single day. This was a major struggle and source of stress for Coop. He absolutely dreaded Wednesday water days at school which is so incredibly sad because that little boy loves being outside and he loves the water. But he had to undress himself and dress himself after the water festivities were finished. He didn’t know how to. No one told me when I registered him that he’d have to do this. I sent my baby in there with no clue. Most days he wouldn’t even get in the water because he said he wanted to stay perfect so he would be ready for pick up. Perfect as in his clothes wouldn’t be wet and wouldn’t need to be changed. Are you tearing up over there? Because I am. I can just picture him standing there watching everyone else playing..knowing that he wants to join in but won’t for fear of having to change his clothes. When water day officially ended….BOTH of us were so happy. The thing is he still dreads playing outside at school. I think it’s because he doesn’t quite trust that they won’t make him change clothes for some reason.
  3. This one is all me. I didn’t get pick up and drop off times in writing. This was such a source of annoyance and frustration for me. They let me drop him off at 7:30 for an entire month before the director called me to tell me that I was dropping him off too early. I was hot. I didn’t like the way she spoke to me and insinuated that I was knowingly bringing him early. I wasn’t. I was told that 7:30 was half day drop off. It wasn’t. 7:45 was. Maybe 15 minutes doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I have to be at work at eight. And when I registered him, one of the appeals was the 7:30 drop off time. I was also told the incorrect time for pick up. A later time. So. Lesson learned? Just get everything in writing.
  4. Nothing could prepare me for that first day of leaving him in the care of total strangers for the first time ever. He was totally fine that first week. He was excited and basically didn’t give me a second glance as he walked away to join the other kids. Me? Well that first day I got back to my car and couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t breathe and it took every bit of self control to not turn around to retrieve him. I thought to myself..”Are you literally crazy? You don’t know those people. Not really.” I’d said I would wait to call and check in on him until 10. I made it to nine. He was fine. I lived. But I can still vividly feel that feeling when I think of that day.
  5. Absolutely NOTHING could prepare me for the horrific feeling of having to leave my screaming child in the care of people who are not family as I walked out the door. The first time it happened I stayed with him for 20 minutes. I couldn’t calm him down, and I had to get to work. So one of the teachers distracted him while I slipped out of the room. Then I broke down. While still in the daycare. In front of another teacher and parent. They called me about ten minutes after I left to let me know he was fine. It’s heart wrenching…but we make it through. I say make – because that hasn’t ended. He screamed every single morning last week.

Watching your babies grow up is a beautiful thing. It makes me so happy and is one of my most favorite parts of being  a parent. Being there first hand to watch their little minds grow. To witness the development of their personalities, character, and traits. I treasure this front row seat. I am so lucky to have my babies. I am so privileged to have a role in their lives. To be their mom. But god. Putting my four year old in daycare has been one of the hardest things we’ve done. I’d have asked a shit ton more questions. I’d have waited a couple weeks and prepared Cooper for some of the things he needed to know how to do. I’d have tried to prepare myself. But we can’t go back. All I can do is share my experience…and well. Hope that the crying at drop off stops soon.

 

Week In Review: Rhonda

Fuck, y’all….like fuuuuuuuck.  It has been a hell of a week.  You’ll see.

Monday was another day of my usual – working my ass of during the day and working while sipping adult beverages at night.  It was National Tequila Day, so I celebrated accordingly.

Tuesday, I finally met in person a friend of mine from a healthy eating group.  His granddaughter was in town and curious about LipSense and I met up with her and demoed some products.  He cooked us an amazing meal of unstuffed cabbage rolls and though I had a migraine, I thoroughly enjoyed my time there before I went home to lie down.

Wednesday, though.  For fuck’s sake.  I always liked Wednesdays.  Then this.  I woke with a start at about 7:10, which is earlier than I typically get up when the kids are home.  I was foggy and not sure of what was going on around me, but I could hear SOMETHING that just didn’t sound right.  It suddenly occurred to me that it was the sound of water…and I was alone in the apartment.  I looked around and saw water in the bathroom and at first, couldn’t tell WHERE or HOW.  I leapt up and ran and then screamed…and shrieked…cursed…and flipped the FUCK OUT.  Because everywhere, there was water.  Turns out a pipe had burst behind the cabinet.  I tried to cut off the sink water, but of course the break was on the other side of the wall.   I ran around throwing towels about with one hand and texting and calling Stuart with the other.  He came home as quickly as he could after calling the apartment complex emergency maintenance line.  Within an hour there was 2 inches of downstairs because water had begun to pour through the ceiling.  Half our bedroom carpet was sopping wet.  I had run downstairs when I realized I heard water there and screamed like something out of a movie when I saw that Elizabeth, my beautiful golden best friend (MacBook), was on the kitchen table, directly underneath the water pouring through the ceiling.  Stuart and I spend all day picking shit up off the floor, moving furniture out of the house for the workers to come handle shit, and moving furniture back.  We took the Macbook to Best Buy, who recommended we put it in rice.  Um, ok, cool.  Then we gave up on life and went on a spontaneous date to Buffalo Wild Wings.  What a fucking mess.

Thursday I took care of some errands and treated myself to some coffee, then came home to work some more and cook dinner.

I decided that after the week I had, some pool time was certainly warranted.  I spent a lot of time over there, soaking up the rays and the hot ass weather.

Saturday, we went to look at some houses with our agent and we absolutely fell in DEEP love with one in particular.  It was such a nice time planning for the future with my guy.  We invited Stuart’s coworker over for grilling and we had such a great time sipping on drinks (SOME of us got drunk) and enjoying some good eats.

Sunday, we went to get the kids after two weeks of them away.  It made for a long day, as we made some stops on the way home.  It was lovely to have them back though!  It’s never dull around here.

 

 

Three Things I Said as a Non Parent….

Hey guys! Is it really only Tuesday?? I surely cannot believe that sad truth. 😉 Alright, so what are we talking about today? Well I was just thinking today about somethings that I used to always say as a non parent in reference to how I would parent…in the future. It’s pretty laughable the way I envisioned that things would go down. I had no clue. And poor Coop. He’s got that first child luck of getting to be right there with me as I learn to parent. He’s pretty amazing though…me? Well I try. Anyway, here’s three things I said I’d do as parent that didn’t really work out the way I planned..

  1. My Child will NEVER sleep in my bed.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I said this because I was afraid of the harm that may come to my child from co-sleeping. Not the case my friends. Don’t get me wrong…of course my children’s safety is always always my utmost concern. I’ve never been concerned with the safety issues that people rave on and on about concerning co-sleeping. I know myself. I know my sleeping habits. I know that as soon as I became a mother I became an incredibly light sleeper. I mean – I had no clue as a non parent that that last part would happen BUT anyway..my main concern with co-sleeping was that I did not want my children in my precious sleeping space. I knew they’d disrupt my comfort level. Is that selfish? Yeah. But that’s ok. I was prepared to be a hard ass and fucking savage and be able to make my children sleep on their own. In their own beds. Forever and always. ….. Wellllll, that didn’t happen. The truth is my first-born was (well is) a horrible sleeper. So I got sleep anyway that I could. We slept in the bed together. We slept in the recliner together. I’ve slept in his bed with him. You name it. We slept together in it. Listen. I am a sleep junkie…especially as a new mother. Ok. As a mother and person in general. So I get it how I can, and if that means my child is sleeping with me? That’s cool. Silly non parent me. I had no idea.

2.I’ll do crafts regularly with my children.

Just reading that statement literally makes me laugh out loud. I’ve tried. We’ve done crafts. It’s stressful AF. I read all kinds of mommy blogs before I became a parent. It seemed like they were doing crafts all the freaking time. And enjoying it. And no one wanted to just burn it all down afterwards. I know now that’s the luxury of being able to show one side of life on social media…and the internet in general. Anyway, I’m not giving up. I try to do creative hands on things with my kids. The truth is..they are littles right now. They have the attention span of a fly. So I do what we can…when I have the energy and fortitude to endure the process…but I am by no means crafting it up on the daily with my kids. It is what it is. Instead of wasting energy forcing them to sit at a table and make something with paper and glue – I take them outside. We go to parks and beaches and hike nature trails. They love it. I love it. And we are better for it. All of us.

3.We will always sit at the table and eat meals. Together. For the entirety of the time that it takes everyone to eat.

During my childhood it seemed as if we always sat at the table as a family and ate dinner together. My dad did cook two separate meals, one for my sister and one for the rest of us, but that’s another tangent of things I said I wouldn’t do as a parent…..anyway. Despite these two separate meals we still all sat down together and ate them. I am guilty of cooking two meals. One for me…and one for my kids. I am also guilty of letting them eat wherever they please. Cooper wants to eat in his room while he watches his Ipad? Sure bud. Go on ahead. Why? Because maybe I need the space. Maybe I know that he’s hardly eaten that day and he will mindlessly shove food in his mouth while he watches Transformers on the Ipad. Since they’ve gotten older … most nights I at least make them start out at the table. I refuse to let the food go to their room. I try to talk to Coop about his day. They typically last about five or ten minutes, but I keep trying. I’m not a delusional non parent any more though. I know that sitting down at the table every single night as a little family is not a reality that we will live in. I am not Betty Crocker. There are many nights that I’m scrambling to pull together a meal because I hate cooking with a passion. I try for most nights though. I sit at the table even if they aren’t there. Who knows? Maybe in two or three years it will just be something that is second nature to us…and they won’t even remember not sitting at the table for dinner every night. Maybe not. Either way..I think that we will survive.

And there you have it my friends…just a few things that my superior self-righteous non parent self used to say and think about my future parent self. 😉 Is there anything that you guys envisioned yourself doing or not doing as a parent that totally did not come to fruition??

 

Parents Need Sex Too

I hear it all the time from parents and I am willing to bet that either you or one of your friends has said it.

“We don’t have time to have sex. We have small kids.”

Get the fuck out of here with that. That is a bullshit excuse.

Yeah, I hear you.  You are sooo busy.  Guess what?  Everyone is busy, but you make time for things that are important to you.  I’m too busy to feed my kids, but I know they need to eat, so I do it anyway.

Your kids don’t go to bed until 9, which is also about the time your husband falls asleep watching ESPN?  Cool.  It’s time to have a conversation with him.  Have you tried that yet?

Maybe it’s the one hour of the day that you’re going to see your husband, because your schedules just don’t align.  Girl, hand those kids some tablets and lock yourselves in the closet if you have to.  It probably won’t take long.

A friend of mine, at the ripe old age of 24 and parent of one child, told me, “My wife and I have sex about once a month.  There just isn’t time and we are tired.”  No, no, no.  Just no.

Sex is so damn important in a long-term relationship and I am here to tell you this – your marriage will not survive without some nurturing.  I am a firm believer that a marriage or partnership should be prioritized over what the children want.  Note that I said WANT.  I am not advocating starving your kids or skipping diaper changes so you can bang your spouse or cuddle in your bedroom.  What I am saying is you have to be honest with yourselves and realize you just aren’t making the time for one another….and when that happens, things go downhill.

Look, I homeschool 4 kids and work from home.  My fiance works 14-hour days.  Guess who is having sex a lot?  That would be us.

How?

  1. We lock the damn door.
  2. We put our phones away when we get in bed.
  3. We don’t limit ourselves to bedtime.  A Saturday afternoon during an obnoxious YouTube video works great, especially when you’ve had mimosas all morning.
  4. We just GO for it.  Sometimes one of us is super sleepy and clearly not in the mood, but we strip off our clothes and go for a good kiss.
  5. We stay intimate in every way.  Once that is lost, it’s hard to get back..not impossible, but hard. So we tell each other our dreams and secrets and we hug a lot and hold hands in the store.  We laugh a lot and goodness, we drink so well together.  Drinks never hurt.
  6. I take care of myself.  For some women, this isn’t as important.  For me, I feel so much sexier and in the mood when I have on a gorgeous red lip and a satin robe or a dress.  If I am constantly in leggings and a ponytail when he comes home from work, I will never feel hot.

Tonight, put on something pretty, lock the damn door and go for it.

Week In Review – Rhonda

Welcome back to another week of posts! We are SO grateful that you just keep coming back.  If this is your first time here, welcome! Be sure to look back at some fun posts we have done.

Getting the week off to a good start, I got groceries, shipped a bunch of orders, and dropped books at the library.  Nothing starts a Monday off well for me like checking off boxes!

I was home for most of Tuesday, photographing and listing makeup to sell and just generally working my ass off.

I had so much to do on Wednesday, so I took some kids with me and we made a day of it, stopping at Starbucks, the post office, and Target.  I feel like involving kids in what it takes for me to run a business and a household is really important.

Thursday was spent running more errands and doing the usual Boss Babe shit like taking product pictures on the patio with my sidekick.

Friday was just more of working, along with cleaning the house and getting the kids ready to go to their dad’s for two weeks.  Stuart came home and grilled at 10 pm.  You can’t keep that man from grilling on the weekends.

Saturday started out with makeup and a mimosa, then off to take the kids to their dad.  We hit up Starbucks on the way home, then back to the DFW to relax and grill.

Sunday, while the rest of the country was getting all amped up about Game of Thrones, Stuart and I had a full day of adventure.  After brunch at home, we went to see a house we want to rent.  It was AMAZING.  Then we went to Stuart’s workplace so he could get his Sunday work done and submit our rental application.  After that, we came back to the apartment and went to the pool for an hour before grilling again.

It was such a lovely weekend, the perfect end to a good week!

What did you do this week?  Anything exciting happen?