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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”.

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

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LAUGHTER MISCELLANEOUS PARENTHOOD

Seriously, Just Go The F**k To Sleep

HONEST PARENTING MOMENT:

Most kids haven’t yet learned the full value of sleep. The important preciousness of catching your much needed zzzzzzz’s. So kids fight against going to sleep. Every single night.

I admit, I struggle with bedtime. I am home alone every evening with my kids and each night feels like the movie, “Groundhog Day”. I repeat the same routine every night.  I do baths, brush little teeth, read a couple books, say prayers… basically, I cover every single bedtime ritual those damn parenting books told me to.  Then kisses and hugs goodnight and I tiptoe down the stairs.

And every night, the minute my feet hit the bottom step, I hear, “MOMMMMMMMM-EEEEEEEEEE”.

“Yes?”, I call.

“I’m lonely”, the little voice upstairs says.

“It’s okay, I am right downstairs, don’t feel lonely, get some sleep”.

“Okay”, the cute little voice says. And I hear them hop in bed.

About 20 seconds later…. “MOMMMMMMMM-EEEEEEEEEEE”.

“I’m thirsty”

“I’m cold”

“I’m hot”

“I’m awake”

“I’m not tired”

“I’m hungry”

“I’m full”

“I’m scared”

“I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FALL ASLEEP”

This happens every, single, night.

I stay calm and go back upstairs and soothe the child having trouble falling asleep.

But honestly, every single night, I really want to yell, “JUST GO THE F**K TO SLEEP!”  Admit it, every mom out there knows exactly how I feel!

So when I stumbled upon this awesome book-reading by actress Jennifer Garner, I was thrilled to discover I am not alone. I did a little research and discovered it’s actually a very popular book among parents…

 

“I know you’re not thirsty. That’s bullshit. Stop lying.”

“Lie the F**k down, my darling, and sleep”.

You have to watch this video if you haven’t already. I love it….

“Go the F**k to Sleep”, read by Jennifer Garner:

jennifer-garner-book

 

Now I don’t feel so bad saying, PLEASE, kids, just GO THE F**K TO SLEEP!  lol

 

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Important Disclaimer:  I will not be reading this book TO my kids. But it does make me feel a lot better to know I am not the only mom who wants to!  ~Cindie

 

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LAUGHTER MISCELLANEOUS PARENTHOOD

16 Fun PG-Rated Ideas For Your Elf On The Shelf

Holiday season is officially here. Which means if you have children, your ELF has returned!

We’ve had an elf for the past 8 years. “Snowflake“. Named by my daughter when she was 2. Last year I lost Snowflake. I completely forgot where I had hidden him after the previous Christmas. I hunted and searched and just couldn’t find him.

So I decided to post on my town Facebook page, asking if anyone had an elf to spare. Luckily, a very nice mom replied. She said that just like me, she had lost their elf the year before and had to buy a new one, only to find the original one soon after. She offered theirs to me for free. I was so grateful since my kids were beginning to get very nervous about why the elf hadn’t returned yet.

So off I went… I picked up our new elf, hidden in a shopping bag on the other mom’s porch. I drove home feeling so happy. Planning in my head how he the elf would show up that night. Perfect!  Until, I opened the bag and discovered he had red hair and freckles and looked nothing like our elf, Snowflake. Nothing. UH OH.

So… I made up a story.  A good one. Our elf, Snowflake had an accident. He broke his leg and couldn’t fly. So Santa sent us his cousin, “Snowball“. And the kids bought the story. With not a single question.

But wait a minute….

How did this whole charade, meant solely to encourage good behavior in my kids, turn into me, the mom – LYING??????

I had no good answer to this.

In some ways, I love Elf. He does encourage the kids to behave well. In other ways, I think he is a ginormous pain in the BUTT. He drives me and most parents crazy.

So how I have decided to compensate for that, is I try to have some fun with him too. Rather than let the whole idea of the elf annoy me, he now entertains me. That’s my advice.. make the elf fun for you too.

Here are some fun (but yes, they are PG-rated) elf ideas…

 

1. This is what happens when Dad is in charge of the elf!

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2. SPLAT

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3. Just lounging.

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4. “Freeze – Don’t move!”

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5. Elfie, the Pimp.

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6.  No caption needed for this one.

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7. PARTY TIME!

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8. It was a rough night.

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9. “Argh, Matey”.

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10. What are you going to do now?

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11.  The cookies don’t look so tasty anymore.

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12. “Go home Elf, we don’t want you here!”

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13. Elf is a ladies’ man.

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14.  Elf on a hot date with Barbie.

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15.  The Elf of doom and gloom.

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16. Remember, Elf can be VERY evil if you cross him.

bad elf on the shelf

 

P.S. By the way, I found “Snowflake” soon after “Snowball” showed up. How I explained that to my kids… is a whole other story!

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LAUGHTER LIFE MISCELLANEOUS PARENTHOOD

The Many Definitions of “Mother”

What is the definition of a “Mother”?

Is it a woman who gives birth to a child?

A female parent?

A woman who nurtures, encourages and loves unconditionally?

A woman who adopts a child and raises that child as her own?

A woman who marries into a family with children and raises them with love and guidance?

Yes, those are all definitions of “Mother”, “Mom”, “Mommy”, and “Mama”.

But the word “Mother” has several other meanings.

For instance, here are a couple of my favorite definitions:

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mother3

 

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That one is a favorite of mine.

Once you are a mom, you get the honor of experiencing the never-ending public embarrassment that comes along with that title.

Pretty much on a daily basis I find myself hiding my face, slinking out of a store, sweating profusely in humiliation, or apologizing to everyone in sight. The list goes on and on.

Before children can talk, moms’ embarrassment is usually not the kids’ fault. It’s usually due to something like projectile pooping in public or screaming during an entire church service. Something the kids can’t avoid doing.

But once they can talk, the fun, I mean humiliation, increases tenfold.

SOME EXAMPLES

* I’ve had the color of my underwear announced in public.

* One of my kids once pointed to a woman at the library and said, “Oooh, look. She has a baby in her belly”… uh nope, she didn’t.

* One child announced at the grocery store that my boobs are “so fluffy”.

* At a restaurant, my other child asked me loudly whether the waitress was a boy or a girl (I should add it was while the waitress (not waiter), was standing right in front of us taking our order and turning very red).

* Another time, one kid saw a priest in town and asked him why he was wearing his bathrobe outside.

* My favorite… at a clothing store, one of my kids pointed to the lady next to me and said, “Mommy, look how giant her butt is!”.

O-M-G. – I literally ran out of the store that day. AFTER I mouthed “I’m SOOOOO sorry” to the lady with the giant butt (in my child’s defense, it actually was very large).

HANDLING THE HUMILIATION

Never in my life, before I had children, had I been subjected to such feelings of embarrassment on a daily basis. I became scared to go out in public with my kids, for fear of what they would say.

The only thing you can do as a mom is to give it a little time.

I promise it gets easier. Once the kids are old enough to reason with, they do understand the concept of saying things quietly. They also understand about saying only nice things out-loud.

But oh man. There are a few crazy years when whatever they are thinking, just comes pouring out of their mouths. They are full of honesty. They say what they think, whenever they think it. With no filter.

And that is a very tough time for moms.

HOW CAN STRANGERS HELP?

Next time you are somewhere and a kid points at you and says, “Hey, that lady’s hair looks like a bird’s nest!”, or “Mommy, is there a baby in her belly?”, please have sympathy for that kid’s mom! She is dying of embarrassment. Crumbling inside. Have some pity and tell her it’s okay.

She will really appreciate it.

I speak from experience.

THE BEST DEFINITION

All joking aside, the most accurate definition of “Mother” is this one:

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It’s not always an easy title to live up to, but the rewards that come along with the humiliations, are well worth it!

♥ Cindie

 

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LAUGHTER LIFE PARENTHOOD

5 Places To Avoid Taking Toddlers

Leaving the house with a toddler is a difficult task, only to be undertaken by the bravest of moms.

Pre-baby, mom could just grab her purse and head out the door.

Post-baby, juggling the amount of items needed for a simple trip to the grocery store with a toddler, rivals packing for agty_child_tantrum_nt_130124_wblog week-long vacation. Then comes the realization that a tantrum will likely ensue. Toddlers and meltdowns are synonymous. So even more items are packed to avoid the meltdown.

Going out with a toddler is a pain in the arse, to say the least.

Some excursions are worth the hassle. Others, not so much. Moms learn pretty quickly that it’s often easier to stay home than to make a trek with a toddler.

Of course staying home all the time would drive a lady stir-crazy, so getting out is a necessity for moms.

So DO go out. But choose your destination wisely. Some places should be avoided at all costs.

 

5 PLACES TO NEVER TAKE A TODDLER

1) Public Restrooms – Most adults don’t want to go into a public restroom. Add a crawling, curious toddler, who touches everything and then puts their hands in their mouths, and YUCK.

The worst that can happen is they contract e-Coli. The best case scenario is they yell, “Mommy, I see your butt”, or “Mommy why don’t you sit on the toilet?” (yep, I hover, and yep, they have announced that to everyone in the bathroom).

So trust me, don’t bring your toddler into a public restroom. Instead purchase a portable potty for your car, like the one here. And don’t be afraid to teach them to pee in the great outdoors! That skill will come in handy.

 

2) Chuck E. Cheese – Or any similar kid-themed restaurant / indoor playground.

The number of disgusting germs found on each table at these places would blow your mind. Boogers, spit, poop, and pee.

If that’s not enough to convince you, the noise is deafening. All you will hear is screaming, crying and sugar-induced tantrums.

And let’s not forget – bad food. Restaurants and playgrounds should never be combined.

Trust me, stay away.

 

3) Home Goods, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel – Or any similar store that has too many glass and breakable items to count.

Kids hate these places because mom has to whisper (between gritted teeth), “DO NOT TOUCH A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G”, the entire time spent here.  Which makes the kids even more curious about what will happen if they accidentally knock over that pretty vase. Or kick the glass lamp. Or throw their snack cup at the candle holders.

Something ultimately gets broken and mom has to slink her way out of the store apologizing profusely to everyone.

So just don’t go. Shop on-line instead.

 

4) Anywhere quiet, such as a museum, art studio, lawyer’s office, movie theater (for a non-kid movie), upscale restaurant, etc.

Similar to the “Do not touch” rule, instructing a toddler to “Be quiet”, is like speaking a foreign language to most children. It’s an impossible concept for them. If you ask them to be quiet, they will inevitably get even louder.

So avoid any place that requires silence. The constant shushing ( “SSSHHHHHHHH!”) will do nothing except raising your own stress level. Not to mention you’ll start sweating when you realize others are staring at your very loud toddler.

It’s not worth it. Get a babysitter when you need to go somewhere not kid-friendly.

 

5) Family Portrait Studio –  Avoid it at all costs.

Instead head to your backyard and take some lovely candid photos in front of your Hydrangea bushes.

Until kids are old enough to fake that perfect “photo-ready smile”, portrait studios turn into a nightmare with mom and dad and photographer, all sweating profusely and jingling toys, yelling, “say cheese”, “look here”, “smile, dammit”.

The resulting photos will show what occurred during the photo shoot. A toddler who was getting yelled at with toys shaken in his face! So you’ll have a nice photo to take home of your child, red-faced and tear-filled eyes, looking miserable. Or you may have this….

Not to mention, the cost is ridiculous. They will convince you to purchase many copies, collages, framed too, all of the horrible photos. Trust me, you’ll buy them because it’s hard to say no to the photographer who looks like he just ran a marathon trying to get your kid to smile.

So avoid this torture. Instead find a pretty setting in your own backyard and click away.

BOTTOM LINE

Moms, don’t be discouraged. There are plenty of amazing places toddlers DO love to go. Places that will not induce panic and flop sweat on your part, and tantrums and meltdowns on theirs. 

So DO get out of the house with your toddlers. Just choose the destination wisely. For everything else, do it on-line.

 

 

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