Posts tagged Parenting

Nothing But a Number..

When I was growing up it seemed to me that all of my friends’ parents were roughly the same age.  I’m not entirely sure if that was true, but it just seemed that way.  Maybe it’s because they were so much older than I was that their ages all just fit in to the same category - old.  I could probably do some homework now and figure out of it was true or not, but that’s beside the point.

I met my husband when I was 19.  I was a freshman in college.  Of course at that time, I didn’t know he’d be my husband.  That was almost 12 years ago!  We continued to date throughout college, he graduated, got a “real” job, I graduated, got a “real” job, and then we moved in together.  Within a year we were engaged.  After a year and a half engagement, we were married.  A little over a year after that, our first child, Brinley, was born.  I’ll save you time from doing the math… I was engaged at 23, married at 24 and had my first baby at 25.  Sometimes I’d hear that I was so young or moving too fast, but I never let that bother me.

Now, nearly 12 years after meeting my husband, Scott, I am happily married, have two beautiful daughters and pretty much living the life I always imagined.  My older daughter is in Kindergarten this year.  She’s involved in a slew of activities outside of school.  I’ve met lots of other moms along my journey and I wonder how Brinley perceives us all.  Does she just think we’re all old?  Does she think we’re all the same age?  I know for a fact that she has friends who’s parents are almost 20 years older than I am.  She also has friends who’s parents are younger than I am, though not by much.  I’d agree that I’m probably one of the younger moms but that doesn’t seem to have any effect on my relationships with other moms I meet, younger or older.

I hear quite a bit that I’m so young or just getting started but other than some years, I have a lot in common with the moms that are 5, 10 and even 20 years older than me.  We all have kids the same age and that is the equalizer.  Our age… it’s nothing but a number.

Days Go By

Amazing how fast time just flies by, huh?  Sometimes I have to stop and think back a few days, weeks or months to really get a grasp on what has been happening in my life.  Would you believe that I turned thirty, yeah 3-0, back in December?  Honestly, how did I get this old?  I remember graduating high school and college and getting my first apartment.  Now here I am a happily married mother of two paying a mortgage and managing a rental property.

Oh and in January, I registered my little girl for Kindergarten.  Seriously, I feel like I just brought her home from the hospital and she’s going to be starting real school in September?  Yikes!  Sometimes I feel like her four and a half years of life have just passed me by.  My little baby has become a real little girl.  She’s reading!  She dresses herself every single day {sometimes much to my dismay} and we actually have real conversations.

And my baby?  Well, she turned two on Sunday.  She’s not a baby anymore!  She can do just about anything {or at least she’ll try to}.  Walking, talking, running, jumping, you name it – she does it.  Her language amazes me.  Full sentences is an understatement.  She speaks in paragraphs.  She knows what she wants and asks for it.  She idolizes her big sister and for the most part they get along really well.

My house is free of baby swings and bottles.  In their place are ballet slippers and soccer cleats.  Gone are the days of walks in the stroller and easily being able to entertain my kids.  Now I’m scheduling play dates and preparing for dance recitals.  My kids prefer playing with each other or their friends over playing with me.

It’s crazy how quickly time passes, how fast we change and how easily we overlook certain things.  Sometimes I wish I could relive the past 5 years of my life.  So much has happened and I want to remember it all all over again.  But as the days continue to go by I look forward to the future and to all of the great things that are yet to come.

Losing Control

I have been a mother now for four years, five months and eleven days.   For the majority of that time I have felt in control of most things baby/toddler/child related.  I determine when my children eat, when they bathe, when they get to watch TV.  I determine where we are going on a given day and who we will see.  The power is in my hands.  Though, that doesn’t mean I don’t get request for other things or protests against what I say.  But the truth of the matter is, I am the parent and I make the rules.  Right?

One thing that I have really enjoyed having control over for the past four years, five months and eleven days is what my children wear and how they are presented when we’re out of the house.  By that I mean, I love dressing my girls in cute outfits and coordinating their hair accessories to match.  I take pride in their neatness and overall put-together-ness.  It’s sort of like a hobby of mine.  That might sound materialistic or even ridiculous to some, but to me, it’s just the way I like it.  It doesn’t mean that I shop at high end stores or dress my girls in fancy clothes.  In fact, 95% of their wardrobe comes from Target or Kohls.  I am a bargain shopper.  What it does mean is that I just like them to look neat, clean and presentable whenever we’re out.  I like them to be dressed properly for the day/occasion and the weather.  Up until recently, I have had complete control over this.

ENTER 4 year, 5 month, 11 day old daughter. EXIT mom’s control of outfit selection.

I love being a mom to girls.  It really suits me. {Though honestly I don’t know anything else.}  But it definitely has it’s challenges.  As much as I love dressing my girls, I simply don’t have the time or energy to argue about clothes with a four and a half year old.  The mornings are much too rushed as it is and without at least two cups of coffee in me, I just can’t stand to put up the fight.  Even if I did, a meltdown of epic proportions would ensue and I’d ultimately give in to get her to shut up! {Please do not criticize my parenting strategy, or lack there of.}

So, yesterday morning, as we were getting ready for the day, my daughter asks, “Mom, can I wear whatever I want?”  I’d say this question gets asked as average of 5 out of 7 days of the week.  Typically I say yes, but I do ask to see the outfit before it’s put on.  If the outfit is weather appropriate and suitable for whatever the day has in store, I don’t fight it {even if it’s the complete opposite of what I would have picked out for the day.}  I do have to say though, Brinley does know how to coordinate an outfit so my efforts thus far have been worth it.  The clothes she chooses almost always match and look cute.  {I, of course, do still have control over what is purchased!  Thank God!}

Anyway, back to yesterday morning… Brinley lays out her outfit of choice and I go in to her room to approve of it.  She has picked out pink leggings, a jean skirt, pink socks, and a pink, long sleeved shirt.  Sounds great, right?  Well, the pink shirt had a black cat on it with Halloween themed stars and said “Scaredy Cat”.  I mentioned to her that it was a Halloween shirt and that Halloween had already passed but I must have forgotten to put the shirt away.  I suggested another pink shirt to go with the outfit but she insisted on this one.  So, I let it go.  And I let my daughter go out, to a play date even, in a Halloween shirt in March.

No longer BFFs

For the past four years I have had the bestest best friend in the world.  We’ve done more together than I’ve done with any other one person in my life.  Countless shopping trips, hundreds of lunch dates, lots of girl talk and millions of hugs.   She is an amazing person who never ceases to amaze me or bring a smile to my face.  Sure we’ve had our ups and downs but we always manage to work our problems out.  I truly can’t imagine my life without her in it.  All of this makes it really hard for me to swallow the fact that maybe she doesn’t consider me her best friend anymore.  I know deep down inside I will always be her best friend but lately I’ve been pushed to the back burner and it hurts a little bit.

You see, my bestest best friend for the past four years has been my daughter, Brinley.  But now that she is four and growing up before my eyes, she has become quite an independent little girl.  She’s in school now and has new friends her own age.  It’s not that I’m not happy about her having friends because I am.  I love that she’s social and goes on play dates and has friends over to play.  It’s just hard to her hear say to me, “Mom, you go upstairs and leave us alone to play.”  It’s like she doesn’t need me there anymore to play with dolls or color or play school.  My role has shifted from best friend and playmate to simply Mom.  It’s a role I’ll always be more than happy to take on, but I’ll miss being the one she choose for playing games and dress up with.  Now it’s, “Can so and so come over to play” instead of “Mom, let’s play dolls.”

I know this is not the last time that my heart will ache just a little bit over my daughter.  I’m sure I’ll have many, many more experiences just like this one or even worse.  Hopefully over time they’ll be easier to swallow because right now I’m sitting upstairs typing this while I listen to my daughter downstairs playing with her friend.  Don’t get me wrong, it brings me great joy to hear their happiness and giggles, but I’m a little bit sad that I can’t be a part of it. :-(

Conversations with Brinley

Yesterday Brinley came into my room as I was getting dressed.  It’s funny how kids have no sense of privacy or the need to knock.  Not that I mind, really, and not that she hasn’t seen it all before.  But I digress…

Anyway, I was standing there in my towel drying off from my shower.  I dropped the towel, was standing there naked and about to pull on some clothes.  She looked up at me and made a strange face.  Then she said to me:

“Mom, how come you still have boobies if you don’t breast feed Nora anymore?”

I took all I had in me not to burst out laughing at her.  But I didn’t want to feel ashamed or embarrassed or like she shouldn’t ask me those types of questions.  I love how inquisitive she is but sometimes a child’s innocence is sheer hilarity.  I held in my laughter and attempted to explain to her that once you have boobies, they never go away (for the most part) even after you finish breast feeding a baby.  She seemed satisfied with that answer, thank God, and just said, “Ok, mom” and scampered out of the room.

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