Author: Jenn Ford

Reflections from an Only Child on Siblings Day

As I’m writing this, it’s National Siblings Day again. I’m not sure if this “holiday” has been created by Hallmark or is just a Facebook thing. I think most likely the latter as I haven’t seen any actual greeting cards at the grocery store but my Facebook feed is blowing up with adorable photos! Be it a picture from 30 years ago or 3 years ago, they are all totally cute. All of the sweet proclamations of sibling love give me hope that my two gals will be best buds someday. Hopefully when they are adults, possibly living very...

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Taking A Break

There’s nothing like the anticipation of a few days off from work, chores and a ringing alarm clock. There’s only a few times a year when us working mamas are able to look forward to a chance to unwind a little and let go of the daily responsibilities of work and a household. Two Sundays ago my husband and I laid in bed talking about how all we had to do was to just make it through three days of waking up at 5am and working all day and then we would have two full days off from work....

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Independence Day

An hour of quiet time is a rare thing when you’re a mama. I’m here to tell you it will be yours again someday. Would you believe it will happen even when the kids are home? And I’m not talking about when they’re napping! One day, they’ll be off doing their thing and you’ll look at the clock and think to yourself no one has called MOMMMMMY in over an hour. And then you might freak out and ask yourself did I leave the kids somewhere, are they ok, what have they gotten into? And then you’ll remember, they are old enough to fend for themselves for longer periods of time and you’ll celebrate! It’s not that you don’t love playing with blocks or putting tiny plastic clothes on tiny plastic dolls. You do. I’m sure you do, right? But you’ll celebrate this newfound independence day! So here’s how that aha! moment went down for me last weekend. Let me set the stage for you: The weather outside is beautiful – a warm 60 degree sunny day. We have an amazing new swing set in our backyard complete with an actual playhouse with a door that closes, a huge slide, a ladder and a rock climbing wall. (thank you neighbors who grew big!) I’ve got stuff to do in the kitchen but the kids (3 and 5 ½) are...

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Feeling Outnumbered

Confession: When it comes to taking my two children out in public without my husband, I’m afraid I’ve lost my mojo. For this only child, there’s just something about being outnumbered that scares the crap out of me. Just the thought of taking them both out to dinner, a private violin lesson, the grocery store, a birthday party or anywhere else without him fills me with anxiety. Will they listen to me? Will they run ahead? Will they cooperate and get into their car seats when it’s time to go? What if one of them has to go to the bathroom right after we sit down with our food? What if someone has a meltdown? What if it’s me? What do people think of me when they ignore me? What if I lose my temper in public? What if they start hitting/kicking/biting each other? Or worse, what if one of them is mean to another child with their body or their words? It all seemed much more doable with only one child. I had that one kid thing down. Situations are so much easier to address when you are able to focus your attention one place. When my attention is split, I feel much more vulnerable. And so lately I feel like I am avoiding public spaces. We hunker down at home. I tell myself that we are hardly...

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Dear Daughter, Please Don’t Bully

Dear Daughter, I beg of you, please don’t become someone who bullies. It’s not that I think you have it in you. I don’t. I desperately want to think of bullies as mean spirited little humans that come from mean spirited big humans. But I think bullying escalates because of mob mentality. It can start with one small thing and quickly get out of control. So let me rephrase – please don’t join the mob. I know, you’re only in kindergarten, but I get nervous when I hear (from you) that you weren’t allowed to play outside today because you were teasing someone.  You tell me you were just saying what the other kids were saying. You think it’s unfair that you were the only one who had to stay inside. You didn’t start it, you say. I explain that doesn’t matter. You were a part of it. You hurt someone. You were just doing what the other kids were doing. I get it. I’ve done it. And I’m ashamed. I’ve been a part of it and I’ve watched it happen without speaking up. I wrote the anonymous love letter to the loner kid because someone told me to. It will be funny they said. It wasn’t. I’ve laughed at the girl in the car who didn’t know the right words to the song, teasing her for not knowing what the rest of...

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