Dear Diary…..Why We Can’t Promise our Kids the Moon

Dear Diary,

Monday, Tuesday Wednesday, November (something) 2016

What to Expect When You’re Expecting said nothing about this!! Last month it was turn a pumpkin into a horse’s head (literary pumpkin decorating), this month its turn a cake into Saturn (Boy Scout Bake-Off), lol! Talk about asking for the moon! So last night we got to work…and right when we were covered in sticky rice krispies & frosting the youngest came running in blood everywhere from a bloody nose, “I might be dying” she sobbed, phone rang, darn dog took off with marshmallows, 5th grader was yelling for a charger because the iPad was dying and with it, our 3rd grader’s dream of having a Saturn cake. His immediate reaction was denial, quickly followed by doors slamming, then some crazy ideas on how we could make a ring….”mom I just want to put a ring on it!”….”you & all the single ladies, son”, lol!  Then the water works, finally followed by acceptance, yep, we went through all 5 stages of grief in that one exhausting hour. And here is the big reveal of his Boy Scout Bake-Off Saturn Cake……

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Our 3rd grader grew a lot last night, he learned that sometimes you shoot for Saturn and land on the moon…a.k.a. life is 2% what happens to you and 98% how you react. He still isn’t necessarily over the moon (see what I did there? ;)) Could I have rushed out at 10pm with all 3 kiddos in tow to get more marshmallows? Sure, but the authorities might have been called in on account of all the blood all over my youngest face, clothes, etc. 3rd grader’s red eyes, and puffy face from crying, and my 5th grader yelling about what a horrible mom I was because I let it die (the iPad)…yep, that scenario would not have ended well for me and what would my son have learned, that mom will  always fix “it”? Instead he received a good lesson in resilience, coping when things don’t go your way, and persevering…all valuable life skills that should be learned at a young age. Was it easy to watch him go through this experience, not particularly, but life wasn’t meant to always be easy, nor was parenting. It is so important that we don’t promise them the moon when they are kids. That we allow them to make their own mistakes and learn how to react appropriately when life happens….and you might just be surprised how far they will go if you let them grow. They might shoot for the moon and far exceed their own expectations and end up orbiting Saturn and it’s gosh darn ring system! 😉  

I love how multifaceted parenting becomes with each passing year. Coffee cheers to choosing joy, to seeing the humor in otherwise stressful situations, accepting all life’s challenges, allowing our children the opportunity to grow when life happens & loving our kiddos to the moon and back!

 

Mother’s Day Brunch (WTOL Segment)

What is the perfect treat for Mother’s Day brunch, that doesn’t require a long list of ingredients, slaving over the stove, or massive cleanup?  Click on the video for the answer.

 

 

For more info be sure to checkout the website.

If you could eat anything on Mother’s Day what would it be? We are talking ANYTHNG!

 

5 Signs you are an Overscheduled Mombie

I am showing all the signs of an overscheduled Mombie, are you? Here are 5 Signs you are an Overscheduled Mombie:

 

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1. No time to get the maintenance done on your 2nd home a.k.a vehicle

I had a mini panic attack while trying desperately to find a two hour window when I could get our 2nd home, our SUV, in for some much needed mechanic work. How on Earth was I going to make this happen? I need the car for morning drop-offs, preschool pick-up, play dates, dr. appointments, school pickup, after school activities. If only there was a mechanic that came to your house around midnight, took your vehicle, worked on it, ran your credit card, and then left it in your driveway so it was ready to go in the morning, could you imagine? A girl can dream. So, I have a vehicle that has been neglected maintenance for far too long and if I don’t get it in I won’t be able to maintain our busy schedule but because of our busy schedule I can’t find a window of time to get the work done…can you relate to this dilemma?

 Evolution of a zombi mom

2. You look and act like a Zombie

I told myself years ago that I would never be “that mom”, you now the type, they look like Zombies with their dark circles under their eyes, expressionless faces, they have lost the will & strength to carry on a conversation, sometimes even have trouble forming words! Shuffling one child to baseball practice, another to dance, while going through the drive-thru with the 3rd before their piano lesson, only to do it all over again in a half hour. No, that wasn’t going to be me or my family. We were going to sit down every evening for dinner together, discuss our days, and after the children had cleared the table they could play with their friends outside, you know, a real life Leave it to Beaver type of a family! I was going to have more control over my children’s scheduling, they would have limited activities, and faith would remain of utmost importance. I had it all figured out back when my children were still in preschool. And then they grew!! And life threw us some curve balls.

3. The Family Table is a distant memory

After working at his old place of employment for 15 years my husband got a new job, one that involves travel. So I can kiss those dreams of all us sitting down as a family every evening goodbye.  But that’s okay, we all need to make sacrifices along the way and we made this decision together and felt it was the best for our family but that doesn’t mean it is easy.  And that idea of the children clearing the table and then going off to play with their friends, yeah, not happening. Why? Well, it’s rather simple, most of them are either at a different parent’s house, at afterschool care, or at an after school activity. So what do you do? Can’t beat them, then join ’em! And that is precisely what we did, though I didn’t realize it in the beginning. It was more like that frog in hot water analogy; it was a slow progress to arrive where I am today, as an official Zombie mom= Mombie!!

4. Your Priorities are askew

I rationalized ALL of it! First and foremost, of utmost importance is my children’s faith life. God has entrusted me with these miraculous little souls and I want to do my best to make certain I guide them and provide them with a faith driven life (you will see the irony of this in a few sentences).  And since they do not attend a Catholic school I made certain they were enrolled in religious education classes.  Thus, religious education classes were not open to a discussion attendance was mandatory and only once a week for 1-1/2 hours. That in addition to the rosary and reading the bible in the evenings was going to provide a nice foundation for their Faith lives during weekdays.

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But then our kiddos started learning about all the other fun activities that other children were participating in, like chess club, boy scouts, swimming, basketball/baseball (seasonal sports), etc.  And I rationalized it all….sports are a great way to teach teamwork & get some exercise, chess club is a fun way to exercise your brain, etc. And then suddenly in the evenings we were way too tired for the rosary and reading the bible so I did the next logical thing, or so I thought at the time, I had my daughter join Little Flower Girl’s Club because there she could learn about the virtues and about the Saints while I rushed her sibling around. Mind you the idea behind the club is that mothers and daughter spend this time together but I couldn’t be in two places at once so my mom offered to attend. Did I just delegate my child’s faith life entirely onto others? YEP!  And here’s the REAL KICKER, Boy Scouts, Little Flower girls club, and religious education all fall on the same day & times (ever been in 3 places at once!?) and since my children’s faith is of utmost importance to me I would clearly make certain they attended religious education class, right!? WRONG!

5. You have lost sight of the true Joys of Motherhood & are hearing your kids but NOT listening to them

I have to be 100% honest, before Spring Break I felt tired, overstressed, unappreciated, I was feeling like a motherhood failure. I figured it was just me; something was clearly wrong with me. I had never ever considered the thought that the problem might be with our schedule. But then we had Spring Break and no extracurricular activity and guess what I found over that week? I found the joys of motherhood again. The fog lifted, I had more patience, I wasn’t angry or stressed, I enjoyed hearing and ACTUALLY LISTENING to my little ones thoughts, dreams, questions, etc. I wasn’t simply waiting for silence and replying or nodding my head…I could actually process what they were saying, form a complete thought, share, and patiently await their reply, it was the most refreshing feeling!! I so enjoyed our leisure conversations over meals, no rushing off with dinner in hand or grabbing food  on the go.

 

Solution: If it’s broke FIX IT!

Things need to change. In all this running children around and being the sole caregiver at home I have practically lost myself…gone are the days were I would attend book club and get out a couple times a month. This schedule is wearing me down and I think the family is suffering.  But I think what really pisses me off is the fact that I know things need to change but I have almost found comfort as a Mombie because it is familiar.  I am literally sitting at the intersect of change & comfortable, I could maintain the same course and sink further into my Mombiehood or go for change. But change is scary; I can’t even see the road ahead…which is really scary for a gal who lives in NW Ohio where it is so flat you can see miles ahead. Haha!

So, are you showing any of these signs? How do you keep your family from overscheduling? How do you say no without feeling guilty?

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The Pick Up Line

I am super excited to have Guest Blogger Brandi from withBrandi here today!! She is an amazing & relatable mommy blogger. The kid-friendly foods & activities she shares are brilliant & fun! She is a glass is half-full type of gal with her positive outlook and one of those rare peeps who you instantly feel a connection with…to sum it up, she is pretty awesome! And she has a way with words…but don’t take my word for it, read on. Enjoy!! HeadshotBRANDI

 

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Do you come here often? I know you, don’t I? Can I buy you a drink? Single pickup lines fortified by liquor courage to start up a conversation, a conversation that could lead to a relationship, or at the very least a fun night out. Oh the wonderful world of dating. AMEN, after more than seven years of marriage the days of pickup lines are over, but are they?

 

Can we just admit that meeting good quality mom friends can be just as challenging as finding the right one and I don’t know about you but having mom friends is vital to my sanity.

If you think about it meeting a new mom friend really isn’t too much different than being in the single world.

 

The Radar

I’ll see a mom at the park or in the grocery store line whose demeanor or child interaction just screams friend quality. Or maybe she orders my exact order in front of me at Starbucks. Or I overhear her on the phone using the same tone of voice as I do when talking to her husband about this or that.

 

Of course there are tons of other ways to meet great moms besides the random sightings. So many great online resources to find mom groups. I’m a member of a national and local group, Mom-mentum. I’ve also been known to turn a virtual friend I connect with through blogs and turn them into an in-person friend, including our very own Kat.

 

The Pick Up Line

I have classic mom pick-up lines I use. “How old is he/she?” or “What school does he/she attend.” referring to the child. “Busy time of the year, right?” This pretty much works anytime of the year, because let’s face it as a mom it’s a given you are busy All. The. Time.

 

If you are looking for friendships with other moms, don’t ever be afraid to reach out. One of my closest mom friend was from a conversation in line at our local deli shop.

 

Last Call

Sometimes it’s a dud attempt, but sometimes when the friend universe aligns a meaningful conversation takes place, sometimes so much so that contact information is exchanged and a friendship begins.

 

The Date

The first date with a mom may be a little nerve wrecking. What if we don’t have enough in common? What if our kids don’t get along? What if junior has a complete and utter embarrassing meltdown?

 

It’s worth the chance. It really is. You never know what great lifetime friendships can be forged if given the chance.

 

Yes, mom friendships are a lifeline for me. I have learned to stop googling for resources and support and turn to my friends who are on the motherhood track with me. When the daily drudgery is drowning me, I can always count on my mommy friends to re-energize, refocus, and recharge my spirit. Motherhood can be lonely. It just can. Sometimes it’s tough to make the time for friendships when there’s nap time, rehearsals, practices, kids getting sick, but having others who understand that is the beauty of friendships in motherhood. There’s just something about knowing I’m not alone on this mom island that makes life more doable.

 

So come be friends with me. withBrandi and be certain to stay up-to-date by liking the Facebook page.

 

Brandi Walerius is the author of withBrandi.com, a dealership wife, mom to boys, entrepreneur at Black & White Consulting, content writer, HR and business consultant,  passion seeker, former college cheerleader, outgoing introvert (yeah, it’s complicated) and a believer in pink, early mornings, coffee as a necessity, and happily ever afters. Boys and Me. 4th of July

 

New Show for Moms: Faking it! Figuring it out as we go! Coming Spring 2015!!

 

 

We are setting up our show topics next week and would love to have your input. What topics would you like to see us discuss? What questions would you like to ask? Like we said, no topics are off limits and yes, we will “go there”!  Please share your thoughts & questions.

 

 

The Childless Life: Are you smart enough not to have kids?

Today I took the kiddos to the dentist for their back to school cleanings.  Each child took their turn and while they waited they occupied themselves with items in the children’s area so I saw this as a golden opportunity for me to take ten and settle into an article, or two.  There was a nice variety of magazines sprawled across the table and one title in particular really caught my eye, Time Magazine had an image of a young couple laying on the sand with the following typed across the page, The Childless Life. I couldn’t help but see the irony of the situation, here I was waiting on my children, paying an arm and a leg to get their teeth cleaned, why not see what I could be doing if I chose a life without children. So I dove in.

The article basically addressed the fact that now, more than ever people are deciding not to have children. Which, I understand is a choice and maybe it is not for everyone. But when I read a statement that expressed that those individuals who are smart, with higher IQs, who are more intelligent, who have higher achievements academically are the individuals who are deciding not to have children I couldn’t help but find that a little offensive. Does that mean that all of us who have decided to have children are not as intelligent? I disagree.  I personally feel it has to do more with sacrifice. What are you willing to sacrifice? Are you willing to give up the single life?  For example, my father is an architect and an engineer, my mother is a counselor, and they have 3 children. Now, imagine if they decided not to have any children. Think of the huge, lavishly furnished home they would have, luxury vehicles they would drive, fancy vacations, high-end, well, everything! But instead they decided to have children, make sacrifices along with some fabulous memories over the course of 33 years and today they have an architect, interior designer, and physical therapist (that is 3 children and 6 degrees) that is 3 consumers, tax payers, and contributors to society. That equals smart in my book!

As I continued to read the article a sadness filled my heart.  Last week we went on vacation. My parents rented a house on Lake Michigan and invited all 4 generations.  It was amazing!

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My children got to have breakfast every morning with their great grandfather, play hide-n-seek with their great-uncle, swim with their aunt and uncle, fly a kite, go canoeing, and horseback riding with their grandparents, and witness selfless love that was passed down from generation to generation.

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When you decide not to have children it not only affects you but what could have been…who could have been… it affects the future generations. What if my grandmother and grandfather decided not to have any children? That would be 7 children that were never born and from those 7, 12 grandchildren (so far), and from those 12, 5 great-grandchildren (so far)….that is 24 people…just think of how many lives each of those individuals have touched through the selfless love they have been taught.

The article continues on and shares childless individuals’ lives with the reader. One individual expresses how she doesn’t want to attend church anymore because it is so focused on family. Then another goes on to describe how she wants to do what she wants with her life.  The entire article felt so self-involved…how is this world going to become a better place if all we think about is ourselves? I think that becoming a parent helps us to grow and become more of the individual God intended us to be. I am the perfect example!

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Before I had children I was a perfectionist, very much an introvert, impatient, and judgmental. I have since grown with the birth of each of my children. Our first child, our little outgoing social butterfly helped me come out of my shell and taught me how to be more of an extrovert. She would walk up to perfect strangers and have a conversation, thus I had no choice but to follow. Then with the birth of our son I slowly learned that perfectionism is highly overrated. He was, and is very much his own person, if he wants to place his toys in a different tub/bin than I would prefer what is the big deal? He helped me to release my perfectionism streak.  Oh, and then our third blessing arrived and she has really enlighten me. I never understood, or could relate to those parents whose children climbed the walks, whose child was loud, or acted out…, I would totally judge those parents. I use to think why the heck can’t those parents get with the act and straighten out their child. Then God graced us with one of those children. Let me tell you, I am 100% a better person for having had children.

I think it is important that people are making the decision to live a childless life for the right reasons….what are the right reasons? Have you grown since you became a parent? Please share your thoughts.