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This week, my little boy turned five years old.
This milestone once seemed so far away.
Now, I’m thinking about what I’ve learned in those five years.
Happy New Year!
Update and last post of 2020!
I’ll see you in January!
2020 was a rough year, but finding things to be thankful for is still important.
Right now, I know a lot of my fellow wanting-to-be-better-anti-racist white people are going through a period of self education. I can’t speak for people of color, but I can at least make a list of resources that are written by people of color that are specifically helpful to white Americans looking to improve their anti-racism knowledge.
Mid-year catch-up on creative endeavors and family life.
Today, Juneteenth 2020, marks 155 years since the official liberation of African American slaves in Texas, the final U.S. state with legal slavery.
155 years, and racism isn’t over.
The strange social norms we call “Minnesota Nice” cause us to do and accept a lot of things, some good, some bad.
Police brutality is not one of those acceptable things.
He had to take an unexpected year off when we moved. Just when we were preparing to enroll him in school again, the pandemic hit.
It’s now several weeks into stay-at-home orders and social isolation because of the pandemic, and by now, we’ve all seen plenty of the jokes that go something like, “Can’t wait to get out of quarantine so I can contact a divorce attorney! We were never meant to spend this much time together!”
It would seem like many couples are hating to have to quarantine together.
I’m thankful that I can’t relate.
Personally, I’m glad to have my spouse home with me during this time.
Tomorrow (May 9th) is our five year anniversary. 🙂
I’m making a lot of changes.
Is it okay to post about our children on social media?
In an increasingly connected world, where families often demand instant communication and constant updates, is it okay not to?
We’re living in a strange transitional time, where social media is just old enough that now, the teenagers who hopped onto the internet for the first time when it was still new and novel are now grown adults, many raising children of their own, but social media is also not quite old enough for there to be much evidence to show us what happens to adults who grew up having their parents share about them online their whole childhood, from birth to graduation.
Back when MySpace was the thing, no one was thinking of posting pictures of babies, or stories of wild toddler antics.
Now, social media is no longer just for the teens. Everyone and their great-aunt is on Facebook. Parents and grandparents are sharing photos of small children regularly. The fear of being “found” doesn’t seem to be as prevalent, but we also seem to forget that kids might be embarrassed, or just want a feeling of autonomy about what others see of them.
Are the little kids having their lives publicized going to resent the adults in their lives for it when they grow up? [click here to continue reading]
There are a lot of posts out there about self care for parents, mostly recycling the same few ideas. Do a yoga class, write 3 pages of a journal every morning, have a date night every week, yada yada…
I can’t be the only one thinking that these popular suggestions are just not doable for most people.
(Weekly date nights? Who has time? While also having a consistently available babysitter, or money to hire babysitters?)
…I wanted to compile my own list of ideas–but on this list, only ideas taking very little time and money are allowed.
The hype of the new year is dying down, so this seems like a good time to start tackling one of my biggest resolutions for 2020:
“Now that Kj is beginning to exit the neediest period of a typical child’s life, I’m also going to take a little time to figure out who I am again, separate from the “Mom” identity. Making time for my creative endeavors, as I mentioned above, is part of this. I know I’m something other than “Mom” but sometimes, I catch myself trying hard to hide that, like it’s an embarrassing thing to want more. I think I even have “Kj’s mom” in my Instagram bio. I’m a whole person, but I’m always changing. I’m going to figure out what my other parts are, and hopefully gain the courage to openly admit that “Kj’s mom” is not all of those parts.“
To start making time for those creative endeavors, I thought it would be helpful to make a list of the creative things I want to do or try this year.
Some thoughts and reflections on last year, and hopes for the future.
Have a great ’20s, everyone!
If you’re a parent, especially a parent of a young, needy child, or multiple children, you may have heard about self-care for parents, and thought,
“That’s not for me; I’m too busy / too tired / too broke / too something…”
If you think, “Self care is not for me!”
…Guess what? You’re right.
And I’m here to tell you why.
(Spoiler alert: It’s not for the reasons you think.)
[click here to continue reading]
It’s been awhile.
When I last posted, I was in the middle of dealing with a life-affecting change, and since then, I’ve had to spend a lot of time and energy on packing up everything my family owns, finding a home in a new city, and then unpacking all that stuff. It’s been quite a couple of months for sure.
[click here to continue reading]
A few brief, non-rhyming verses, reflecting on the “qualifications” of a full-time mother.
Women are tired of having greater parenting expectations placed on them than on their male counterparts. So, it can be understandably cathartic to complain or make jokes about the men.
It’s a regular occurrence, and still socially acceptable, to see wives laughing at their husbands’ expense, mothers demeaning the fathers of their own children, publicly, sometimes even in front of their kids.
But are we going to start talking about what a double standard this is?
Another update on
our family, life, blog, and other endeavors.
Last night, my husband and I waited until our son was asleep, and then finally had some privacy to do something naughty:
We had a big, greasy, cheesy, unhealthy delivery pizza, then went to the couch to laze around, eating cake while taking turns playing Donkey Kong in the dark until way past our bedtime.
Because that’s exactly what we did four years ago, on our wedding night (minus the sleeping preschooler in the next room, who was merely an unknown whisper back then), and yesterday was our anniversary.
We took that time to acknowledge the four years we’ve been married…
Plus the nearly five years we knew each other prior to getting married.
Four years is a short time in a marriage, but a lot happened during those four years…
“When mom tells me to stop doing something 100 times, I only get hurt 4 of those times, therefore, listening to mom is pointless 96% of the time.”
. . . and other completely logical thoughts!
My three-year-old son gets told (approximately 8249 times per day) to stop climbing onto the kitchen table, rocking and tipping over his chair, sitting backwards on his chair, standing on his chair, climbing the back of his chair, and any number of other risky things he can come up with to do during meal times.
Yesterday during breakfast, he finally fell out of his chair (after standing on the back of it, while leaning against the table to push the chair up onto its back two legs), and smacked his head on the floor.
This is not the first time he’s gotten hurt doing things like this to his chair at the kitchen table, but it happens infrequently enough that he has yet to learn his lesson.
In that moment, I fought the urge to say, “This is exactly why I keep telling you notto do that! If you would listen, you wouldn’t get hurt!” and instead, I scooped him up, kissed the boo-boo, and waited for him to finish crying.
As one would expect of a three-year-old boy, situations where he either puts himself in danger of getting hurt, or actually hurts himself by doing the things I repeatedly warn him against doing happen all the time.
And I never know whether to say “I told you so,” or to give copious amounts of love and sympathy. Neither feels right, and either leaves me with a feeling of guilt…
I visit the grocery store Aldi on a regular basis. Usually, I go there in sweat pants and a t-shirt. (If I’m feeling fancy, I may even wear jeans, and shoes that are not crocs.) I think the same is true of most people just trying to cross everything off of their list and get their stuff home. I don’t think anyone likes grocery shopping enough to make an event of it, which is probably why it’s so common to be sporting the “I don’t care what I look like” outfit during this activity that is basically a chore, but one you get to do outside of the home (or have to do outside of home).
Most people I saw out grocery shopping confirmed this thought I had. Until recently, when I noticed a woman pushing a cart, while wearing high heeled shoes (the long, sharp, you-could-kill-someone-with-a-well-placed-kick, type of heels), fresh run-free tights, a mini skirt, a super tight, lacy blouse over what seemed to be a push-up bra, and perfect hair and makeup.
Without any conscious effort, I heard my brain immediately jump to “Who does that lady think she is, getting all dressed up for Aldi? Does she have something to prove?”
Before you worry, let me tell you that the above is not the kind of judgement I’m encouraging… [read more]
A few stories about (obviously) road rage.
“Why are you crying? There’s nothing to be upset about!”
You may be used to hearing some variation of this if you have ADHD. And if you are, don’t worry–there is a reason for it.
If you’re a friend, teacher, coworker, or family member of someone with ADHD, and you’re wondering why they’re so damn sensitive, read on…
Every expectant mother has her own vision of what successful parenting looks like, and plans her own “rules” accordingly. Although my baby was a surprise to me, I was no different. I wanted to be a good mom, and do things a certain way, so of course what I would do and not do as a parent was a regular focus of my thoughts during pregnancy.
Three years later, I decided to talk back to some of those thoughts slightly-younger me had… [read more]
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great 2018 and is looking forward to an even better 2019! 🙂
…For myself and my family, 2018 was, more than any other recent year, a year of a lot of growth…
When we were kids, people would always ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” But then we grew up and found out that most of us didn’t become what we said we would be, or that many of us still don’t know. Usually, we face reality and just start working to survive.
I’m one of those who is still not sure what I want to “be”… but also who gave up a long time ago on the idea of “when I grow up”. Like many others, somewhere along the line, I stopped dreaming big. I’ve spent most of my adult life, and even teen years, keeping a distance from “unrealistic” and looking for the “practical,” setting myself up for a mediocre life.
Expecting a hard, boring life was the first step in throwing away “the dream.” … [read more]
“I’ve never been on an airplane, but I’ve heard plenty of times the reference to ‘Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others with their oxygen masks.’ The idea being that if you pass out from lack of oxygen, you won’t be able to help your children or anyone else, and then you all die.
This gets applied as a metaphor to a lot of other needs. For example: You can’t be the parent your child needs if you don’t take care of yourself.
But what if your oxygen mask is not the same as someone else’s? What if your oxygen mask is sleep, and your child’s oxygen mask is attention, and a certain amount of supervision needed to prevent him from hurting himself and/or tearing the entire apartment to pieces? What if everything he does prevents you from using your own oxygen mask? . . . ” [read more]
“. . . Why did I tell you all my reasons for being a SAHM? Because by now, I’m conditioned to defend that decision.
There have been a handful of close friends and family who supported my decision, but many people I know were not so supportive. Even people I barely know put their own two cents in…
At several points, I told myself I was done justifying my time to anyone. Unfortunately, there’s part of me that is always defensive, and cannot ever just let something go. As much as I prefer to pretend that I don’t, I actually do worry what others think of me, so of course, a simple “It’s none of your business” does not suffice, and I feel the need to argue, again and again, the point that I am making a meaningful contribution to my family. Also unfortunately, there’s part of me that doesn’t believe that. . . .” [read more]
“If you’ve ever texted me and then, when you finally received a reply hours later, breathed a sigh of relief knowing that I didn’t die, this post is for you!
I’m kidding. I know that was a major over-exaggeration, but I’ve heard my share of complaints about my texting-back speed.
To that, first: a gentle reminder that the entire point of texting instead of calling is that what you need to communicate is not an emergency and you’re prepared to wait for the recipient of your text message to get to it on his or her own time.
Second: a list of very real reasons I’ve waited to respond or didn’t respond to texts, in case anyone wants to know: . . .” [read more]
A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Things Done with ADHD
Step 1 – Identify the task you plan to do. For this example, I’ll say I’m going to sort that large, disorganized pile of papers.
Step 2 – Decide when is the appropriate time to do the task. I choose during naptime, so it’ll be quiet and I can focus.
Step 3 – Go about the rest of the morning as usual.
Step 4 – The baby is down for a nap. Time to get to work!
Step 5 – Try to remember what I was about to do. What was I about to do?
Step 6 – Look for to-do list . . . [read more]
Five Reasons Why We Ask You Not to Give Our Son Electronic Toys
An explanation to our friends and family, as well as a gentle reminder for upcoming holiday seasons to well-meaning loved ones of young children and their parents.
[click here to read]
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