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PARENTHOOD

10 Things I Want My Daughter To Know

Below is a shared post from a fellow amazing mom on Scary Mommy

Right now my daughter is sitting in her pajamas. It is 3:30 on a snowy March afternoon and all she cares about at this moment is snuggling with her brother. Their heads are pressed together as they’re playing on her Kindle. I am pretty sure she is caught up in the moment. Her thoughts are not drifting. She does not care about boys, the size of her thighs, or if she has said the wrong thing today.

I wish she could stay this innocent, this pure, forever, but she can’t. She won’t. At 10 years old, she is on the cusp of so much—drama, boys, comparisons, trust, embarrassment, pressure, and other tumultuous situations that are unavoidable. It will all become very real, very soon. There is so much I want to tell her, and I will when the time is right. Here is what I need her to know:

1. Say ‘Fuck Off’ When It Needs to Be Said

Say it with your eyes. Say it with your actions. Say it in your head, or say it out loud. Say it by walking away. Say it however you want—just make sure you say it. Say it when you are overlooked. Say it when you are being disrespected. Say it when you are being judged. Say it when someone doesn’t treat you the way you know you deserve. Say it when someone puts their hands on you in a way that you don’t like. Say it. Make sure the person you are saying it to hears you loud and clear.

2. Know the Difference Between Desire and Value

When another person desires you, it does not always mean they value you. They may desire you so much you almost start to believe they value you, but these are two different things. If they value you, you will know it. If they don’t, you will know it.

Go ahead and kiss boys, but don’t kiss them if they are rude to you unless you want to kiss them. Never spend the night with someone who will not want you there in the morning unless you are fine with that arrangement as well.

3. Indulge

Buy the shoes, drink the coffee, have the wine, eat the chocolate, get the massage, use the good dishes, light the candle. Even if you are the only one to enjoy it, do it. There is no point in saving these things just for other people.

4. Don’t Worry About Your Thighs

Be healthy, practice moderation, and explore different physical activities. Eat real food that makes you feel alive and makes you want to do things that make you feel alive. Donuts aren’t capable of doing that. However, if you enjoy them every once in awhile, and then say, “That was nice, and now I am done with you,” donuts are wonderful. The size of your thighs (or any other body part) is not what matters in this one life we have. What matters is how we feel when we are here and how we make others feel. Focus on that.

5. Don’t Force It

If a smoky eye makes you look like you got into a bar brawl, just let it go. If you have a friend who makes you feel like shit or betrays your trust, let her go, too. Nothing should feel forced ever—not a dress, not a relationship, not a hobby. Most importantly, don’t ever try to convince someone of your worth. If they aren’t convinced all on their own, refer to number No. 1.

6. It Is OK to Be Vulnerable

If someone breaks your heart or ends a relationship with you and you are crushed, let it out in front of them if you want to. Don’t hold back: cry, scream, tell them everything you are feeling. If you are crushed, say it. Leave it all out there, then go. Don’t tell them again; they heard you the first time. Don’t hit up their phone after too many drinks. You said what you needed to say. Move on. Confide in girlfriends. Talk to me. If they want to come into your life again, they will show up.

7. Don’t Do Anything With Half Your Heart

Sometimes we have to do things with half of our heart—things like folding laundry or shopping for a vacuum cleaner. I am not talking about those things. I am talking about the big things: your career, whom you marry, where you live, your style, your friends. Do the big things with your whole heart, your whole self.

8. Be Responsible for Your Own Validation

You are amazing. Yes, you really are. I am your mother, so I will always believe this, but I want you to believe it too. Really believe it. Don’t wait for others to validate you. Even if they do but you don’t believe in your own awesomeness, it will never feel real to you.

9. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

This is a hard one—maybe the hardest. The thing is, when we compare ourselves to others, more often than not, we are comparing our worst moments, our weaknesses, to their strengths. Remember that. Just because you have different strengths does not mean you are less-than.

10. Be Gentle

Be gentle on yourself. It can be very easy to believe something bad someone says about us—easier to believe than the compliments. Just remember what you believe is what you become. Love yourself enough to focus on your gifts, your strengths. Don’t beat yourself up just because you make a mistake. Instead, learn from it. Turn it into something positive.

Some of these things might only make sense to you after some hard lessons, and maybe some of these things you will just know. Either way, life is not easy. In my 40 years, I have found that when you get torn up a bit, when life isn’t cooperating, it is best to put on your favorite outfit, listen to some badass music, and fucking handle it.

And my advice in those times is to “ROCK ON BRAVE GIRL”.

teach-daughter-things

10 Things I Want My Daughter To Know When Things Get Real

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LAUGHTER LIFE PARENTHOOD

Why I Don’t Answer The Phone

Friends and family sometime complain that I never answer my phone. There is a very simple reason why.

The short answer: BECAUSE I HAVE CHILDREN.

The long answer: BECAUSE I HAVE CHILDREN!

Read this mom’s explanation.  I love it because I feel the same.

She summed it up perfectly. Don’t expect me to answer the phone and have a QUIET conversation with you, if my kids are home.

Even though my kids are a little older than that mom’s kids, I can tell you that it NEVER CHANGES. The house is voicemailloud, the kids need me all the time, and I can’t hold a thought for more than 30 seconds.

A nice quiet conversation on the phone just doesn’t happen. The minute I pick up the phone, my kids desperately “need” me. Right that minute.

In addition to my kids, I also have 3 dogs (who all bark in unison every time a car drives by, or a squirrel climbs a tree, or a bird flies…). So even when the kids are at school, my dogs take over.

Common things yelled at my house are…

“Mom, where’s my sweatshirt?”

“MOMMMM-EEEEEE, I lost my train!!!!”

“Mommy, I pooped, come wipe my tushy”

“I’m Hungry”

“I’m Thirsty”

“I’m BORED!”

“MOMMY, the dog just threw up on the rug”

This is on a daily basis, whether I am speaking on the phone or not.  So I usually choose NOT to be on the phone.  Answering the phone and having an intelligent conversation doesn’t work so well.  Or end so well…  the promises I have made while “shushing” my kids, are ridiculous. “What? When did I say I’d buy you a TV for your room?” 

My other issue is having the callers complain that I am not focused on them.  UH, you’re right, I’m not!  I’m sorry but my kids want all of my attention.

So please, before you dial my number, understand that I probably won’t answer.  And just text me instead. Or email me.  I like email.  And if I do answer, please understand I may only be half listening.

♥ ♥ ♥

I’m just a mom trying to keep my sanity.

parenthoodstayingsane

 

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LAUGHTER MISCELLANEOUS PARENTHOOD

4 Ways Parents Embarrass Their Slightly Older Little Ones

Ways parents embarrass their kids?  Hmmm, I’d have to say the list is endless.

Up until they were about age 4 or 5, my kids weren’t often embarrassed by me or their dad. We could say or do anything goofy, loud, silly. And they wouldn’t mind.

I just asked my cute 5-year-old if I ever embarrass him.  His answer today… “um, not so much”.  Good, I’m glad to hear that. But I’m sure he’ll answer differently in a couple of years.

My daughter is 8, and pretty much everything I do causes yells of “MOM. SERIOUSLY. STOP”. I can only imagine when she hits the tween years. I actually find it entertaining that she gets so embarrassed by me, so easily.

I’ve discovered it’s a great way to encourage better behavior.  Some may call that blackmail.  I choose to call it… persuasion.

 

I’ve compiled my current list of the best “persuasion tactics”:

1. A favorite of mine is school bus time.

Oh the horror if I try to kiss them as the bus pulls up. I have beenschoolbus warned by my daughter that I am only “allowed” to kiss her before or after the bus is GONE. Down the road, not in sight.

No one on the bus must ever see me kiss her. Or hug her. Or smile at her.

I guess a high-five is okay. She also approved a fist-bump if the bus is still there.

But NEVER, EVER a kiss.

So every morning I smooch her a lot until I hear the bus rounding the corner. Then I stop and she marches way ahead of me. Walking next to her is a no-no too. Sometimes I get lucky and get a wave from her as she gets on the bus.

But I am a smart momma, so I am saving this one in my secret “persuasion” arsenal. One day when she misbehaves, her punishment will be that I will walk her ONTO the bus, kissing her the whole way, and then I’ll yell, really loud – “I love you sweetie pie”.  Maybe I’ll even shout a very enthusiastic “hello kids” to all the others on the bus. She may not talk to me for a while, but she’ll behave after that.

 

grocery-store-calif-fresh-easy-2012-22.  Another source of embarrassment for my kids is when I sing, or worse… dance IN PUBLIC.

I have gotten to the totally uncool age where I actually like the music playing at Stop & Shop. And I love to sing along, and occasionally dance a little in the aisles.

The funny part is I don’t like to dance in public. But lately I get a kick out of doing it, just to see my kids so embarrassed they pretend they don’t know me. Even my 5-year-old. So if my two are arguing or not behaving well in the store, I just pretend I’m about to dance.  It works like a charm!

 

3.  Another source of embarrassment – using pet names in public. When my kids were babies / toddlers, I had so many cute nicknames for them. A few of my favorites –  Shmoopie, Peanut, Bunny, LoveBug, Bugsy-Boo, Shnookie-Mookie… I could go on and on. And my kids always loved these names. They’d giggle away.

But sadly, both of my kids have started requesting I REFRAIN from using these nicknames. Especially in public.

I have negotiated their usage at home. And for now, I am allowed to use them, only if no visitors are at our house. We have also agreed to limited use when other family members are around.

I took the liberty of adding my favorite nickname to my son’s birthday cake this weekend (no classmates were there, it was just his family party). I agree that this one is questionable. I’m not sure it’s usage is within our previously negotiated contract. He was slightly embarrassed by it. Especially when we all sang – “…Happy Birthday Dear Shmoopie Poopie, Happy Birthday to you”. He giggled, and it sure made me laugh! I’ve decided I’m holding onto the cute nicknames as long as I can.

shmoopie

 

4.  Yet another way my kids get embarrassed by me is the old-fashioned way to clean schmootz off their faces.

You know it. With mommy’s spit! It’s a sure-fire way to embarrass, and disgust. On many levels, I completely understand.  I wouldn’t want anyone cleaning my face with their spit. Gross. But you know you have all done it!  And if you haven’t yet, you will! When it has to be done, it has to be done. Just don’t be surprised by your kids’ shrieks when you do.

And I will admit, I have pretended there is something urgent that needs cleaning off their face, as a distraction from an on-coming meltdown.  And yes, it worked pretty well.

 

embarrassedI’m sure I will discover many, many more situations I cause my kids embarrassment.  And I’m sure when they hit the tween and teen years, it will be all the time.

It’s a little hard for me to see how uncool I am in my kids’ eyes. But I know it’s normal, and just a phase. And every mom out there is experiencing it too. Or will.  I was just kind of hoping it would start later because I’m pretty sure they will be embarrassed by me for many more years.

But I will wait patiently because I know one day they will come back around and think I am pretty cool again. Someday…

For now, I will find the funny in it and I will use this these embarrassment techniques wisely, and to my advantage, if needed.

And when I have to, I will also remind them that there are plenty of times THEY embarrass ME!

 

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~Cindie xo

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