I have always led an active life; that is, before I had children. I never had to plan when I could get in a run or what day would work best to go to the gym and lift. No one counted on me to pick them up after work, make them dinner, kiss boo-boos or tuck them into bed. The summer before I got married I was in the best shape of my life. Little did I know that then. I still critiqued my body and wanted to look better.
Once my son was born I would work out here and there or go for a short run. It wasn’t consistent, nor successful. I needed a routine again, but this time I had to plan it around being a Mom, which isn’t easy. Unfortunately, before that routine became part of my daily schedule, I found out I was pregnant with our 2nd child.
I stare at my daughter, who is now 3, and count my blessings for her and her brother and the life we have. I also know that it is time to take care of me and focus on my health and feeling better about myself.
My husband is a great support system. He is encouraging, supportive and understanding. I know that he loves me for who I am and for the life that we have together, and for that, I am grateful.
Here is to “Me Time”. Here is to setting goals and showing my children what it looks like to meet them. I am a Mom now. It isn’t all about me. There are little eyes watching.
I never knew that having kids would be such a rewarding job but also one of the most stressful that I have ever had. My kids are now 7 and 3 and there are a lot of things I have learned about being a mom… here are a few I would share with new moms:
- Privacy in the bathroom will never be the same.
- Your house will always be lived in and it will show.
- One option for dinner will not always work (someone will not like it or throw a fit!)
- They will get sick and it will be the hardest thing you have to watch.
- One child will be easy; two will make you go crazy (at times)!
- Bath time will result in more water on the floor than inside the tub.
- Your laundry load will double (at least).
- Gone are the days of “small” grocery bills.
- The moment your child(ren) are no longer in diapers is a huge celebration (and savings).
- Your walls may act as a canvas with their most proud “work”.
- Toys will be ALL over the floor and you will bite your tongue many times trying not to swear when you step on one of them.
- Hand-me-downs are great! Especially when they grow so quickly!
- They are an absolute miracle.
- Family adventures have never been more fun than when you are with your children.
- Their innocence is a beautiful thing- soak it up.
- If they want to sleep with you- let them. One day they won’t want the snuggles.
- When they fight, take the opportunity to teach them how to get along and/or problem solve.
- Be firm- but understanding.
- Even as adults we make mistakes, so when they make one, speak to them through love (spilled milk, writing on the walls, etc.)
- Even on those “hard” days…. remember, your life means so much more now that they are in it and you couldn’t imagine your life without them.
Here’s to children.
I like to think that I have a pretty good memory; and I think my husband would agree! If my memory is on point today, I don’t ever recall Kindergarten being so demanding when I was in school. Mind you, that was 28 years ago.
Kindergarten was a half day program, with developmental play opportunities and show and tell each week. I never felt “stressed” or “frustrated” with the work I was doing and NEVER remember having to be able to read books. It was such a fun learning experience.
Jump to present day K… I teach in a district with a full-day K program. We have 4 elementary schools and 8 classes in all. Each class has around 19-24 kids. Even with these numbers, we are expected to get these children (some of whom have never been in a social setting before), to read, write, add and subtract and much more.
What happened to learning how to get along, take turns, handle disappointment, learn how to paint and write your name, etc.?
I feel more stress as a teacher of 24 students to get them reading a Level D text and make sure they are writing more than one sentence with spaces and vowel sounds embedded within them. They came to me not knowing how to write numbers 1-5, yet I have to get them adding and subtracting fluently within 5.
Though my school is so supportive and we all work hard to give the best to our students, I can’t help but somehow feel like a failure when my students move on to first grade without that “title” of a “D Reader” and a student who consistently scores a 6 – 6.5 on their writing.
I love my job. I love “my” kids. Let’s stop putting so much pressure on them.
I have always been someone who gets up early because I don’t want to be late to anything. I am blessed that my in-laws are both retired and watch my 3-year-old daughter during the school week. I am also lucky that my father-in-law offers to come and pick her up at my house to make it easier.
With that said, I usually leave myself about an hour to get ready for the day. These past few weeks I have been hitting the snooze button on my alarm one too many times. The first time it goes off I think to myself, “Just another 10 minutes”. It’s funny how when those 10 minutes are up I think “Ok, maybe just 10 more”. By this time I am already 20 minutes behind schedule.
Thirty minutes past my original alarm time I am slowly starting to lift the warm covers off of me and slide my legs over to the side of the bed. That initial step is such a hard one to make.
Maybe next week I will try to only hit snooze once. 🙂
I have always felt fortunate enough to have never experienced the “Terrible two’s” with my son. He was always such a happy baby. Had a good appetite and a variety of foods that he would eat. As he got older he listened well and as long as we explained our reasoning for things, he usually handled it fine (We would tell him that he could only be in the tub for 2 more minutes, or that we were going inside after 2 more shots at the hoops, etc).
When our son was 4 years old we had our 2nd child. A girl. I had a more difficult pregnancy with her. I was sick more often, had a couple of “false labors” that I went to the hospital for and then got sick for a week with a bad fever that kept me out of school. Her delivery wasn’t any different. The night of November 11th I started having contractions. The following day was my due date and I had an appointment already scheduled. I held off for as long as I could, but at 5:30 on the 12th, I told my husband we had to leave.
There we stayed. Around 7:30 that night Kenzie was born. Carson was so proud to be a big brother. When he saw her for the first time he said, “Hi Mackenzie. I’m your brother Carson and I will always take care of you.” (OH MY GOSH, right?!?!)
Fast forward 3 years later. Carson is a 2nd grader, loves history, and just enjoys life to the fullest. Mackenzie… well… she enjoys life to the fullest also. But it has to be on her terms. She is spunky and loving and sweet and I couldn’t picture life without her. However, she can be so incredibly bossy and rude to her brother. He tries to very hard to just let things go.
Kenzie loves to scream. Carson loves to egg her on. Kenzie loves to annoy her brother, which then results in Carson getting upset and Kenzie over-reacting to something he did/say.
Today was one of those days. The shrieking and laughter is wonderful to hear, but in spurts. It felt like someone was always upset today. I would put out one fire, only for another to start. It lasted until bed time routines. I could hear the both of them yelling in the bathroom. Then a cry. Then a scream. Then a “MOOOOOM”.
As I take a deep breath and remind myself they are going to bed, I get up and start walking to the bathroom only to think “Someday I will miss this. This too, shall pass…”
I am a fan of Friday’s and think those are my favorite days of the weekend. I always look forward to Friday evenings because I can relax in my sweats, lay on the couch and not worry about setting an alarm for the next day. I don’t plan for school on Friday’s because I just want to have a relaxing evening without work involved. There is very little guilt on Friday’s because I spent the majority of the day working.
Saturday mornings are made for cuddles with my 2 kids. I don’t like to get out of bed right away. In fact, I often times will get my 7-year-old breakfast and then go lay back down for a bit and enjoy the warmth of the blanket nestled right under my chin.
I love Saturday mornings because I still have the whole day to spend with my family and don’t have to think about school yet for the upcoming week. By the time Saturday night rolls around I am feeling excited about another snuggling morning with my sweet “babies”. I also feel sad that part of my Sunday will be spent grocery shopping and thinking about when I am going to plan for the school week.
Sunday rolls around and I am met with giggles and hugs from two of the sweetest people I know. How I wish that I could freeze time and just soak up every moment with them. On Sunday’s I think it would be nice to be a stay-at-home mom and not have to worry about work stuff when I am with my kids. But then again, if I didn’t have my school kids, I wouldn’t have Friday’s to look forward to.
One of the months I dread the most as a teacher is March. It is a holiday-free month, with the end of winter in sight, kids that have been cooped up for most of the winter and the month of parent/teacher conferences.
But at the same time, it is the month that makes me think “Holy cow. Where did the year go?” We are already thinking about end of the year activities and making sure we are going to get all of our content in before summer arrives.
I so badly want this month to come and go quickly, but at the same time, I want it to takes its sweet time. I have an amazing group of kids and I love spending my days with them. They truly love to learn and remind me why I love my job every day. I hope that next year I am blessed to have a group that loves learning (and their teacher), as much as this group does!