5 Things I’ve Learned Since Sending My Child to Preschool

Jan 15, 2015 by

My daughter was in in-home daycare since she was 10 weeks old. She loved where she was and absolutely loved her daycare provider. But after she turned 3 we started to feel like she should be somewhere with kids her own age (she was the oldest where she was). We agonized over the decision, quite frankly, because she was so happy and we knew she was really loved. How would she handle the transition? How would we handle the transition? In the end we felt like the benefits of moving her to a pre-school environment outweighed any perceived challenges. So just about 2 weeks ago she started “school.” And in this short period of time a few things have already become clear.

Parenting Comes Full Circle

Jan 14, 2015 by

Parenthood has been peppered with tons of opportunities for introspection and growth. I’ve had some pretty powerful experiences that have flowered out of relatively ordinary situations; experiences that have allowed me to step back and gain a different perspective. And these opportunities are more common than I think I was originally aware of — the times that I spend with my mother and my daughter give me a chance to see things as an “adult child”.

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I was certainly not winning any awards for my behavior as a teenager, and continued to fail at being the greatest daughter as I crept into my adult years. I know that this caused some damage to my relationship with my mother. My behavior was sometimes downright embarrassing. Looking back now, I don’t know how she was so tolerant and forgiving. But she was. I can only imagine that she saw me, and maybe sometimes still sees me, as I see my young daughter: innocent, loving, full of hugs and kisses and silliness. It must be sad to see your child grow up and not make the choices that you had hoped for them. But my mom gave me a long leash and soft place to land. And that, I suppose, is unconditional love.

When giving choices doesn’t work…

Jan 7, 2015 by

 

“Before I married, I had six theories about raising children and no children. Now, I have six children and no theories.”

-John Wilmot

Oh, pre-kids self, you were so very naive! I know it’s been said a thousand times, but I cannot emphasize enough how actually raising children myself has taught me how very little I know about parenting. You see, everything is so neat and tidy in those parenting books. Naps are at 9:30 am, noon, and 3pm. Bedtime is at 8. No white sugar. No raised voices. Everything seemed so easy before I actually brought my babies home from the hospital and you know, started parenting. Even childbirth itself was an education in how little I knew! Easy, medication-free birth with instant nursing and bonding? HA! Bring on the epidural and weeks of nursing struggles and pain! Six years into this gig, and I’m slowly accepting that while I can control how I react to things as a parent, I really cannot control (nor should I!) everything my children do, or don’t do, for that matter.

Stop, breathe and enjoy the moment!

Jan 6, 2015 by

The best part of the holiday season was experiencing the excitement and joy of my children. This year I made an effort to stop, breathe and enjoy the moment. Sounds simple, but it was a rather difficult plan to execute. Have you ever noticed how many ways there are to sleepwalk through the events of life or plow through on a mission to complete a variety of tasks?

This week I did exactly these two things. I created a to do list to get ahead (of what I’m still trying to figure out). Rearrange the kitchen, drop off the donations items in the corner of the basement, as well as re-organize the informal storage space close by. After several hours of tackling the kitchen, I was exhausted and rushing to get to a massage appointment. Stressed and overwhelmed for my every-four month massage was a wake up call.

Growing Pains: Our Very Own Sitcom

Dec 2, 2014 by

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My obsession with 80’s comedies lives on. I admit to watching a lot of television growing up and as an adult I appreciate the value of ‘wrapping up’ life’s problems in thirty minutes with commercials. Growing Pains was a fan favorite and I freely admit to wishing our parenting problems could be so easily resolved with canned laughter.

As our daughter grows up and reaches new developmental milestones, we often take a step or two back. In the past month, we have made some major decisions about her behavioral health and there are noticeable changes in how she relates to the world. She has been able to have whole conversations with back and forth exchanges of information, opinion, and humor. Our longest conversation lasted over a half an hour, long enough to forget the novelty of communicating with our youngest child.

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