Saturday, April 30, 2011

What kids will do for money!

I will admit that James and I aren't perfect in the parenting arena... but sometimes we are just plan terrible. Like today when we decided to offer my oldest child money if she would sit in the bathroom after he father took a giant poop! We originally offered $1 for 1 minute but she declined. We then sweetened the deal to $5 but she had to stay in there for 5 minutes. She was very hesitant but she had been wanting a Justin Bieber book and this would help her earn the money for it. With that reminder as a but of encouragement she accepted the deal. Of course I had to not only video it but also put it on my blog! Yes, I am twisted but I love it. And a big thanks to Justin Bieber for giving B  something she can obsess over to the extent of enduring the stench of James.

B  has gone into the bathroom and is staying in there of her own free will. Watch the video...  
video

But just before her time ran out my toddler started throwing a tantrum so we got sidetracked and B  was in there for closer to 10 minuites. Opps, my bad!  Thankfully she can't tell time too well, so we were able to stick with only giving her $5.  
video

It's amazing what some kids (and often adults) will do for money. Yuck!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book Review of Life From Scratch by Melissa Ford

I have my Kindle and I can't honestly tell you how I stumbled across the fictional novel Life From Scratch by Melissa Ford, but let's just say I am thankful that I did.



For starters it's not a book about some 20 something socialite trying to shop or sleep her way through Manhatten (which is a nice change from most chick-lit I come across). It's real and fun. I was totally able to relate to the main character of Rachel Goldman, afterall she is a blogger who love food. She blogs and eats her way through a divorce learning her way around a kitchen and around the blog world. (I can soooo relate!) The only thing that I didn't like was how insanely easy it was for Rachel to creat a blog, get followers and not even try! I can only pray this part of the book is totally unrealistc or else I am doing something terribly, terribly wrong!

But I digress... She basically loses herself, finds herself only to realize she has redefine herslef. The story was witty and suprisignly original. And low and behold at the end I of the book I discovered the author, Melissa Ford, was a blogger and contributing editor for blogher.com and the author of a super cute blog herslef, Stirrup Queens.

Check out the book, check out the blog and for sure stay in the loop because Melissa is supposed to be working on the sequal and once you read the book you won't want to wait to find out what happens in the yummy life of Rachel Goldman.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another camping trip!

Last week was crazy. There was just so much going on and so little time to get everything done I barely had time to think so blogging was off the menu. I at least popped on last Thursday to vent about B and how I feel like I'm somehow being conned on some level but other then that I had few coherent thoughts and the week was a blur of commotion leading to my much anticipated vacation!!!

Now vacations in my family are hard to come by. For starters I have 3 dogs that have to be taken care of when we are gone and I no longer trust any of the borders in my area so we have my dad take care of them. But since it can be an imposition being gone too long seems kind of selfish. Plus James is in sales and when he is not at work our paycheck suffers plus being a supervisor he is needed there regardless so we have to really work to find time for him to take off. Throw in 2 kids in school, one of which we only get part of the time and the toddler and it's hard to find time and activities to accommodate. And of course there is the financial aspect. We can't just blow thousands on a family cruise. Besides my hubby and son are so white they can't be out in the sun too long... we are talking blistered and red burns in any area not saturated with high spf lotion. With all this in mind short stays in cabins seem to work best for us. They are relatively cheap (like average is $100/night). They have electric and all amenities except for TV and phone so you are forced to spend time together. Plus since they have full kitchens and and everything you could want except the boob tube I call it "luxury camping". Some have on site or nearby fishing, or hiking... you know "nature type stuff".

We went for our first cabin stay where everything went wrong a year ago and I blogged all about it on my "Camping... What a Trip!" post. This time things went much better.

We got to the cabin Friday afternoon.

After unloading the car we took the kids fishing. We didn't catch anything bet we had fun trying. We even had D  really fishing with her Dora Pole. At one point after she had already cast and reeled in several times she reeled in and noticed her worm on her shoe. She FREAKED OUT!!! She started running and since it was attached to the line on the pole she was still holding it looked like the worm was chasing her. When she fell over hysterical the worm jumped on her. She freaked out. It was hard to help her because I was laughing so hard. Poor kid was freaked out by EVERYTHING. Bugs, sand, you name it.



On Saturday after driving through the woods we found a hidden spring with a small waterfall and mini rapids.




After that we went back to the cabin and went down to the river and the kids played at the beach area. James and A  tried catching minnows and actually were pretty successful, while D and B played in the sand.





A  even wrote me a love note in the sand. 


Later that day the guys took the minnows back to the river to use as bait but had no luck. But with Easter Sunday a few hours off we did get some egg decorating in.




The next day was Sunday and Easter!!! After looking for eggs and checking out the "Easter Backpacks", we once again went down to the beach but this time we mustered up the nerve to go into the springs. Sure the water was clear but even though you may think 72 degree spring water may not be too cold let me assure you that it is!!! But I did get D to go in with me and the kids played in the current and out in the river.




We left on Monday but for less then 4 days away it was amazing.


And one of the highlights of the trip was James beating the shit out of his forehead. I will go into detials on a later post but I will say that he did it all TO HIMSELF!

And on the way home as a courtesy to my fellow Flridians, we decided to take out a large portion of the lovebug population with my car. You are welcome!

Unfortunately when we came home we came home to a collapsed ceiling and later after a storm my dinning room flooded.... but it's late so I will bitch about that another day.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It doesn't always get easier...

You would think things would get easier with B as she gets older but it's actually harder. It's tough because you feel like with time things should get easier or I at least should get to a point where I can handle everything better.

I think it's because when she was younger I had no idea that she wasn't a "normal" kid. I had a whole plethora of excuses to pin her behavior on: Of course she can't keep her hands to herself, she's just so affectionate. Well she is a messy eater but I'm clumsy and spill things too. Sure she has a hard time paying attention but it's because she's so active, sitting still too long can be tough. I know she has a speech problem but her little brain just works faster then her mouth can keep up. I realize she can't follow directions but it's because she's just immature for her age. I know she likes to sort things by shape and color, she's probably going to be very organized!

I still hold a lot of animosity toward her first pediatrician who I had addressed these concerns with. She basically gave me the same excuses to explain away these behaviors that I would give teacher, family and friends. I realized finally that both her doctor and I had no idea what we were talking about.

So we went to a new doctor. Again I addressed my concerns, again they were brushed aside in a sense and my worries about her development and behavior turned into me looking like the paranoid mom who was digging for a diagnosis. I started to believe that too. But at some point when my frustrations led to many nights on the computer and more tears then I can count I went to a new doctor in the current pediatric office (thinking a fresh set of ears may help) and said "I know in my heart something is not right". I'll spare you the details on the appointments and tests that ensued but I will say the I was right. And to this day we are still undergoing tests and her list of diagnosis continues to grow. We aren't close to done but we have come a long way.

Now as B ages the differences between her and normal kids become more apparent. Simple things like puberty and sometimes remembering basic hygiene is a challenge. Her mannerisms separate her from her peers. Her emotions further build a wall up between her and normalcy. And I do the best I can to deal with it all but it's not easy.

I am constantly second guessing how to handle her. I have no clue how to effectively discipline her because I can't tell when she is doing something because of her disability or because she's just misbehaving. How do you punish or teach a child when you honestly can't pinpoint the cause of their actions? Do you let it go? Do you treat her the same as you would a normal child who does the same? And because as she grows her responsibilities do as well it becomes an overwhelming challenge for us both.

I still don't know what to do. I feel alone all the time and I am so frustrated I cry. But I don't want sympathy. I have a child who in spite of a few problems is healthy, happy and has a good heart. I just need to vent sometimes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sure it's no pool but it's what we got.

I want a pool. It's actually funny because when we looked at houses I specifically did not want one. I figured with kids and drowning risks, maintenance and everything it was a waste. But now I really, really want one.

But since we live on a conservation lot I can't have one... but I have my jacuzzi. I love it. Sure it's just a two-seater (perfect for hubby and me) it's not really "refreshing" on a hot Florida day being a hot tub and all, but it's still wet. I have been known to put a raft in it to float. It's silly but fun. If I turn the jets on it's like a hammock! Sooooo relaxing (at least when the kids leave me alone long enough to relax).

But the reason I really want a pool it for the kids. It'd be nice to all get into it together and with the jacuzzi it just wouldn't work. I'd love to let them run outside and jump into something that wouldn't kill them if they go in headfirst. But for now we have to go to the YMCA which has an amazing water park or we mooch off of friends and family (especially the ones with the heating systems). But when we don't feel like wandering away from the house the kids get in the jacuzzi every chance they get and though they enjoy it it's nothing like a real pool. Well unless your D. To a toddler the jacuzzi is like an above ground pool so since it's perfect size for her we are using it to practice swimming!

Of course my little mermaid has to have her little mermaid with her when she gets in.

I showed her how to go under the water and am trying to get her to do it for a picture. Not only is she not doing it, but she's laughing at me for having the audacity to make the request.

After some negotiation (ok bribes of candy) she lowers herself a little more but still won't go under.

I realize maybe I'm moving to fast. I talk her into putting her mouth in and blowing bubbles.

She finally goes up to her nose but that's it. I guess we'll have to try another day.

Potty Training

When it comes to parenting my methods are what many may call unconventional but they seem to work overall so I'm going with it.

Like D and potty training.

In theory I had hoped to get her fully trained in pull ups and then when she's totally gotten it move to undies but it's looking like she needs to loose her safety net. She's been doing very good so this afternoon I decided to take the leap and she is now proudly sporting her Sesame Street undies with Zoe in her full ballerina getup displayed proudly across my kids butt.



But even though I am excited to get her out of Pull Ups I'm no idiot. I know there is a very high chance she is going to pee or poo in her new undies. Ok, let's be honest... it's not a chance it's a guaranteed and inevitable fact. So while we are "testing" out the new undies I have exiled my child to the porch. No I am not joking. She is out there playing with her sister. Luckily she has no idea of why I was so eager to have her play with moon sand outside. I am not going to risk having pee (or worse, the dreaded #2) saturate my couch, carpet, bed or anything else until I'm a little more confident in D's ability to stay dry.
 
While I know my furniture is safe for now I know I have to bring her in at some point and am still debating on what to do about that. I know not to go back to diapers now that I've made such a big deal out of big girl panties but I don't want tinkles and toodles leaking all over the house. (And I'm scared if she goes on the floor my house trained dogs may try to mark over her. This may be an irrational concern but why risk it?) Cellophane seems to be the best option as of yet (kidding). Seriously though I do have those plastic diaper covers that I may stick her in when I bring her in the house but I do want her to feel what wearing just underwear feels like for a but first.
 
Would most parents put their child outside like a dog while potty training? No, probably not. And if they did they probably wouldn't admit to it. But while those parents are shaking their heads at me in disapproval I will be pointing at laughing as they scrub urine and feces out of their upholstery.

So I potty trained my way.  All three of my kids were different but this is my general method:

How did I potty train?


1. No kid will potty train before they are ready. It's a fact. You've heard it before. They can't be forced or pushed into it or it won't stick. You have to wait for the signs.

2. Look for the signs.
  • Do they stay dry all night?
  • Do they show a curiosity in the potty or what you are doing when you are in there?
  • Do they ask questions?
  • Try to help give you toilet paper or help flush?
  • Can they stay dry for a couple of hours?
  • Do they tell you when they need changed?
If they do most of these things they are probably ready.

3. I am a fan of having kids use the big potty from the start. I don't see a lot of sense in transitioning from diapers to a training potty, training potty to a training seat on a big potty, to the big potty. I just put a seat on the big potty and am good to go. Plus it eliminates a lot of confusion and frustration when going potty in places that don't have training potties.  But if they are scared of big potties do what works for them.

4. Figure out their schedule. You probably already know when your kid is likely to need to go potty. I know my kiddo can hold it all night but will go within 5 minutes of waking up. I also know that she goes about 20 minutes after drinking her juice. If you don't know your kids schedule or triggers already start to look for them. You may need to eliminate letting them have a drink all day in exchange for drinks only at meals and snack times just so you can get them on a schedule. Once on a schedule you can get them a watch or timer. Set it for every hour or two hours or whenever they are likely to go. Make it a game. When the timer goes off see who can get to the bathroom first.

5. You can't force it. You can lead a kid to the potty but you can't make him pee. The longer they sit there the higher their chance of going in the potty. But if they get bored or start to fuss let them get off. If they associate the potty with being unhappy or bored they won't want to go. With my little one we read a book every time we were in the potty. We had potty books but we found longer books worked better since she would want to hop off as soon as the book was over. You could also play a few songs or anything to keep them seated and happy.

6. Don't get mad. That's not to say you have to pretend you are happy when they have an accident. Be honest. "I'm not mad you did pee pee in your pants but I would have been very proud of you if you had gone in the potty".  Have them take their undies or diaper off in the bathroom too. You want them to associate the bathroom with going potty every time. If they poo in their pants you can even dump it into the toilet, have them wipe and flush just to get the hang of it.

7. Don't go backwards. Once you go to a big potty you have to stick to it. Once you move from diapers to pants you should stick to it. Moving backwards is confusing. That's why it's so important to only move ahead when your child is ready. But if you do get a little over zealous and move out of diapers before they are ready do what is right for them.  Just put them in them, wait a while and try again.

8. Never underestimate the power of rewards and praise. Small rewards, a special treat, lots of attention is what your child needs to want to be successful. And praise even small milestones. So the first day didn't go so great. Tell them how proud you are that they sat on the potty 3 times. They went tinkle on the big potty but then had an accident later? Tell them you understand using the big potty is hard but you are proud they did it once and would love to see them do it again.

9. Don't be afraid to do what works for you. In my case I put my kid outside to play while in the undies. You may want to limit her access to the furniture or you may want to cover the sofa with towels. Do it! If you get stressed an upset the potty training will be much harder on you then it will be for your child. You may want to do undies during the day and pull ups at night. You know what works for you and your kid so do it.

10. Know your child. If they can't be trained maybe there is a medical explanation. If you do take my advice do it because you checked other information and you think it is what will work best for your child. If doesn't work keep trying and find a method that does.

As a side not... watch out for automatic flushing toilets. For kids who are a little apprehensive about big potties these beasts of the commode world can be really traumatizing and set you back big time in the potty training process.

It may take a day, it may take weeks, months and God forbid years... but your child will be potty trained and though it may not be easy just think of how nice it will be when you can finally get rid of diapers and that giant diaper bag!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Glad I got my butt outta the house for the MNO

Last night was the the "Post Partum Ladies Night" or as we call it the Moms Night Out. It's basically a girls night out with less alchohol, more pg rated venues and earlier curfews. Yesterday I was in a funk and just didn't want to go.

Well I did go, mostly because I had already told everyone I would so I dragged my butt to the bowling alley... and had a lot of fun. We acted crazy and cracked up at the off the walls things people said. At some point one of the gals and me stopped trying to knock down pins and just started trying to see how fast we could throw the bowling ball. Oddly enough this barely effected our score (and I don't mean because we were doing so good). Here's some shots of me acting goofy I stole from Kathryn's facebook page.

 Here I am cooling my hot ass off on the hand dryer!

 I was trying to look crazy and I pulled it off. The problem is... when I make these faces I worry people won't realize it's on purpose. I swear I don't always look like this... at least not all the time. 

Here's the girls. Only 9 showed up be we had a blast.


I don't know why it's sometimes so hard for me to want to go and do things because as I said yesterday I always feel better when I do. Other then hurting my knee because I am a dumb ass and tried to slide to make it into a picture before the camera went off and having a "panic moment" over some feet it was a perfect evening with some awesome ladies I don't get to see often enough. So glad I dragged my lazy ass out of the house. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

I hate everyone.

I'm just in that kind of a mood. Tonight is a "Moms Night Out" or MNO as we call it. Basically it's an older post partum version of a girls night out. And I just don't want to go. I have been in such a blah mood all day and have had to litterally force myself to do things like go to a playdate and take pictures for a friend. When I get in this homebody funk actually getting out and doing something helps but even knowing that isn't enough motivation to get me want to go. Every one and everything is irritating me today and I hate it all.  Call it bipolar or maybe pms but I'm blah and I hate everyone. Thus my theme song for the day:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Italian Sausage Pasta

This is such as simple and easy recipe but it tastes so good people will think it took way more effort than it really does! This whole meal takes less then 30 minutes to make.


Ingredients
1 lb lb Rotini Pasta (You can even buy the multi colored kind to sneak in extra veggies or grains)
1.5 lbs Italian Sausage (I use mild so the kids don't freak out), sliced to bite size pieces
2 14.5oz Cans of Hunts Diced Tomatoes (I like the Garlic, Basil, Oregano flavored)
12oz of Baby Spinach leaves (you can find them in the bagged salad section)
2 cups Mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tbsp Olive Oil

Instructions
1. Heat a large pan with olive oil. Cook sausage on med high heat until browned.
2. Meanwhile bring water for pasta to boil. Cook pasta as directed on package (usually at a rapid boil for 8 minutes.)
3. Add spinach and tomatoes to sausage pan and cook tossing until spinach is wilted then remove from heat.
4. Drain pasta and add to sausage pan mixing it all up with the Parmesan.
5. I learned through trial and error that if you add the mozzarella before you serve the cheese gets very clumpy and strings so I like to wait until it's served up to add it but my dad likes it all gooey so when he is over I throw it in the pot just for him. Do whatever tickles your fancy.
6. Serve it up and enjoy.

For some variations you can also add onion, garlic or pancetta. I like to serve this with french bread or rolls and use olive oil and Italian seasonings on the bread. My kids think this makes the meal fancier. Sometimes they are so easy to please! LOL.


Is there a God?

Today on momslikeme.com there was a poll asking Do you believe in God?

Wow, there's nothing like a theological discussion to get the old mind working in the morning.

On the poll I selected "I believe in a higher power". I have said so many times that I don't consider myself religious, I prefer to think of myself as spiritual. I believe in a lot of things but often even those beliefs contradict themselves. Thus, I'm going to let this blog post flow and type out my thoughts as they pop into my head so excuse me in advance if I seem to talk in circles and don't make sense...

I believe in a God in the sense that there is something greater in the universe then ourselves. It's hard for me not to believe that something made the earth and other planets. But as for the story of Adam and Eve I don't think I buy into that. I believe in evolution... and dinosaurs. And the fact that the bible leaves no room for things that we seem to have been able to prove leaves me to believe that perhaps the bible isn't the factual book that it claims to be.

I do believe the bible is an amazing collection of stories. I don't think it is the word of God, but I do think that reading and following the teachings of the bible is good because it if full of morals and lessons that all of man should appreciate. But even the accounting of Jesus is missing a huge chunk of his life. And many of the things contained in the bible doesn't make tons of sense. Just think of what would happen if a women came around saying "I am pregnant and have never known the touch of a man" in this day and age. The words crazy, liar and whore come to mind. Even if she went straight to the Vatican with the announcement they would think she was full of it. Thankfully paternity tests weren't available back then for Marys sake. (Ok, that was meant to be funny not blasphemy.) The bible is said to be the Word of God as written by men but we all know how men can exaggerate (sure, that's 7 inches if you say so honey (oh and I'm talking about fish so get your dirty mind outta the gutter sinner!)). Perhaps the whole Bible is fiction? But my opinion on the bible alone doesn't effect my opinion on if there is a God.

I know the story of the Tower of Babel. But to me even that doesn't make sense as to why man is so spread out around the world. I'm not talking distance, I am also talking beliefs and culture. To say that a Christian God is the only God then that means much of the world is wrong in their beliefs and if that were true would they all be left at the rapture or damned? Why would God curse his people to have different beliefs and punish them for it? You can only blame so much on free will if you ask me. That's why I'm more inclined to believe that God isn't just this one Biblical Version of an All Mighty but he would be all Gods sharing in all their aspects and seen by those who follow him in the form that they understand best. Basically belief in a God is believing in The God to me.

I also have a hard time understanding pain. Not just the "Ouch! I stubbed my toe" kind but the "My baby was born and only lived for 6 hours" kind of pain. The kind of pain a 6 year old in radiation has to face, or the type that a faithfully Christian women who went to church every Sunday and lived as a good Christian experiences when she hobbles in to church to sit at her pew while trembling and aching with Parkinson's disease. Or the pain felt when a tsunami strikes and ripes your infant out of your arms into the sea, or a car barrels into your husband.

Why would a God allow this to happen? Some would differ to free will, other skeptics would say "If there is a God he doesn't care." This is one of the areas that stumps me. I know of miraculous recoveries that defy all odds, I also know of tragedies without explanation. Would God allow an innocent to suffer? Does he care? Does prayer help? And of course the question we all ask... Why do bad things happen to good people? I don't want to say God doesn't care... but maybe he doesn't care enough to intervene on all the bad things. There are so many tragedies happening each day maybe he only steps in on those that catch his attention. Maybe he just doesn't step in at all and any miracles or lack there of are purely chance. I'll probably never understand this one and that will always be why I have doubts. Because this makes me wonder, is God a Great and Loving God or is He a Cruel and Vengeful God. But when you do see a miracle, even one as simple as a smiling baby it's hard to think he isn't on your side... at least a little bit.

And thinking of pain and tragedy also leads me to think of prayer. I think of prayer often as a spiritual placebo. There is no scientific proof it works, but because we think it does sometimes it just does. I believe in the power of positive thinking. Not not like the type they yell about at self help seminars, but honestly hoping and thinking and sending out that positive energy. That's what prayer is after all. But when we pray we are directing it to God. It still goes out to the proverbial ether just like positive thoughts so who's to say prayers don't get answered because we think it does sometimes it just does. I believe in the power of positive thinking. Not not like the type they yell about at self help seminars, but honestly hoping and thinking and sending out that positive energy. That's what prayer is after all. But when we pray we are directing it to God. It still goes out to the proverbial ether just like pur positive thoughts so who's to say prayers don't get asnwered? I think deep down the majority of people, in spite of what they may say, believe in God. I think this because when in times of crisis even the most determined atheist may say "God, help me." When my daughter was deathly ill in the hospital I found my self praying (yes to God himself) and though part of the prayer was me apologizing for only praying when I need something I still asked God to help her recover... and she did. Was this God's intervention or a combination of surgery and a mix of antibiotics and medications? I'm not sure but I like to think it's a little of both. But when my other child was a victim of abuse I remember asking God "Why" because a child, especially one who is special needs and has never hurt another living thing shouldn't be hurt this way. Why would God allow that to happen? That one I never got an answer to. But weather I think prayer does or doesn't work I do it. I pray. Sometimes to God, sometimes to myself, sometimes to no one or everyone because even if prayer fails maybe positive thinking won't.

And since prayer makes me think of God and then I think of Angels my thoughts inevitably go to Heaven. Is there one? I don't think so. Let's start off by me saying that Heaven creeps me out a bit. Sure it's nice to think of our loved ones moving on to a better place where they can watch over us... but the idea of my sister seeing me pick a wedgie, or my fiend peek in on me in the shower, or my abuello catch a glimpse of my rear end while doing the deed with my hubby wigs me out big time! Would you want to have a recap of all your indiscretions with your loved ones who have passed on once you get past the pearly gates? I don't think so. But I also don't think I believe in Heaven or Hell. If the human soul and mind honestly thought there was life after death would we fight so hard to keep this one? Would the dad leave his daughter on life support as a vegetable if he honestly thought she could move on? Or the woman who undergoes every procedure possible making herself miserable just to extend her life by a few weeks of pain rather then enjoying a few amazing days of life? I think we fear death because deep down we know that's it. I kind of hope I'm wrong but on this one I just don't think so.

But let's say there is a Heaven. I wasn't baptized. And I going to Hell? I am a good person, I know many people say that but I truly believe I am. I care about everyone, I do what I can to help others whenever I can. I volunteer, I am am honest, I am giving but I do not go to church and as you have read already I have my qualms with religion. Would I be denied access to Heaven? And could being a good person in general in spite of my lack of Christianity save me from fire and brimstone? I think if I honestly believed in Hell I'd take my ass to church but I don't. I believe this is your life and what you do here determines if you are in Heaven or Hell. Heaven and Hell is the world and life we create for ourselves while we are alive. That's why it's so important to live a life that makes you happy.

So back to the original question... Do I believe in God. Well... yes, I do and my reasoning behind that belief is ever evolving and changing. I don't know if he/she is above in the ether or resides inside each of us. I think God is in our Heart and Soul and we carry him with us wherever we go. I think that whether you are Christian, Buddhist or Muslim it's not about condemning those of different faiths, it's about having faith yourself. And if believing there is a higher power helps you along the path of your life hold onto that belief no matter what may come along to shake it. Because after all if I'm right or wrong about any or all of this what matters right now is the life we are living and making the most of it and on that I am sure I'm right. So God Bless you all.

(If you can take a look at religion from an open minded perspective and like a good laugh you may enjoy reading the book The Dirty Parts of the Bible by Sam Torode or watching the movie Dogma.)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mompetition

Mothers are so terrible. They just judge one another non stop. Even when they think they don't they do. They are always sizing their kids up against other kids. Looking and critiquing the parenting styles of other moms.

Since when did one of the key things that unit us become a way to divide us? Ever since it stopped taking a village to raise a child if you ask me. The group parenting dynamic is a thing of the past. When I was younger if I did something wrong I knew my parents or grandmother would hear about it from the neighbors. And when my parents were young, if they did something wrong up the street they would get an ass woopen from every persons house on the way home. Because then people in general were friendlier and knew their neighbors and also people believed we were all responsible for raising a child... even when the child wasn't ours.

Now though, if you even ask another child to stop running in the toddler play area you have a high chance that that mom will come at you screaming "HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO MY CHILD LIKE THAT!!!". Yes this exact thing has happened to me and yes I was more then happy to let her know that she should have said something herself. Of course she didn't see it that way and a heated argument ensued and let's just say I have a mighty feisty mouth on me... but that's besides the point.

Long gone are the days where we were united in motherhood and now it seems like there is this "Every Mom For Themselves" approach to raising children. Thus we introduce Mompetitions. This is the way we compete with other moms. Your kid's 10 and a good dancer? Well mine is 3 and moving up in gymnastics. Your son is in gifted? Well mine could be but I wouldn't want to do that to him since there are so many drawbacks. GET OVER IT!

My friends don't do this (often), I think it's because as a group we all feel responsible for each others kids and we don't need to compete but we do disagree on parenting styles pretty often. Our little clique is our personal child raising village. But I know plenty of moms who compete and judge other moms. I have done it to other moms. And Lord knows countless moms have done it to me.

Just yesterday a friend of mine was babysitting and I couldn't help but to comment on how rude the kids she was sitting for were. Have they ever even heard of the phrases "Please", "Thank you", or God forbid try to use "Excuse me" prior to screaming at an adult who's mid conversation?!?! What kind of parent allows their kids to behave like that? And when the kids wanted sodas and then demanded ice cream that was promised to them my friend gave in saying "Well I did say they could have ice cream" I told her flat out "Who cares? Your the adult and you make the rules."

I just don't get the giving in. In my parenting book next to whining you will see the definition: A forfeiture of any and all privileges regardless of what may have been previously promised! But not in hers. Does that make her a bad parent? No, but it does mean she's writing her own parenting book and it's obviously different from mine. Rather then punishing whining she is choosing to show value to a promise. Not my style but definitely something worthwhile to learn.

So while we judge and compete, which lets face it... will never stop, let's at least take a minute to try to understand each other. Maybe our parenting styles are as unique as our children but we all want what's best for our kids regardless of how we go about trying to accomplish it and for that we should love and support each other in the task of motherhood. Now get off the computer and go take care of your kids!