My son completed first grade today. After school, we drove an hour plus to my brother’s house, swam, played, and drove home again. By the time I pulled into my driveway at 9:30 pm, the last thing I wanted to do was read a story, let alone make up a story. “Ready for my story?” I asked. My daughter pulled out a book. No, I
As a parent, you can only protect your kids from so much. I can’t reduce their risk of most types of cancers, but I can help to reduce their sun cancer risk. When people hear skin cancer, I think they often take it lightly. Maybe it’s because we all know someone who has had skin cancer; it’s the most common type often not serious. However, patients are getting diagnosed with melanoma at alarming rates in recent years.
OK, my PSA is over.
As you can see, I take my sun protection extremely seriously. I am always on the search for the best products.
Do you ever have those moments when you look at your children and think, wow, I am someone’s mother. I’m really a grown-up. Truth be told, I’m far from a young mom. I guess everyone feels that way. Time passes and suddenly, you start to sound like your mother.
Sometimes, the words come out of my mouth so fast that my inner teenager rolls her eyes and groans, “I can’t believe you just said that.”
As much as I personally rely on technology (and you can see from my blog posts that I absolutely do), I also sometimes long for the days of answering machines, CDs, and encyclopedias.
Technology creates a demand for instant gratification: we must know the answers to our questions now, you must respond to my text or email now. We cannot just sit and wait idly by. I think back to middle school when I conducted research in the library, searching through book upon book, photocopying documents and even using the time-sucking microfiche, and wonder how our children would manage. For instance, if I tell my 1st grader son that I emailed a friend’s mom to set up a play date and I don’t hear back immediately, he will ask, did you text her? If he asks me an impossibly hard question to answer and I am unsure of the answer, he inevitably asks, can you look it up online?
Is it a surprise he acts this way? When I watch a movie and an actor looks familiar but I cannot place him, I pause, read his IMDB profile, and continue the movie, content in my newfound knowledge. When I have a mundane question for a friend, I do wait until I see her next time; no, I immediately text her, expecting a response within minutes. If she cannot respond at that exact moment, I know I will receive a follow-up text explaining her delay (“Sorry, I didn’t see this earlier, we went to the movies).
This is the world in which my children will grow up.
I declare today, Day 3, a tremendous success. Even when my son ran upstairs this afternoon and warned me about “something bad, something badder than bad, something really even badder than bad,” I never lost control.
When my daughter told me she wanted toast this morning but definitely no eggs and then screamed at me that I did something wrong AGAIN when I forgot her eggs, I still did not lose my cool. She repeated her request politely and I made some eggs.
I’ve decided that it’s somewhat unfair that I know the challenge before you do. Going forward, I will post the challenge in the evenings. This way you can wake up ready to go and we can really feel like we are doing this together. So spread the word. As you can see, I am no parenting expert, rather, just another mom trying to get through
When my son got home from school today, I told him I had a surprise. I passed over my phone and asked him to read (the challenge) aloud. His eyes seriously lit up and he called his sister over to read it again to her. “Mommy is going to play with us every day!” That alone makes this challenge worthwhile.
I left them alone for a minute to discuss their “game plan” (ha). When I returned, my daughter had Candyland in her hand and my son sat busily assembling electronic Battleship. The set up alone of Battleship took 15 minutes, during which time I did sneak a few looks at my phone. We had a nice pace going in Candyland until my daughter picked a card that sent her spiraling back to the beginning, and easily added another ten minutes to our game.
In the end, however, my daughter laughed for most of the game, despite her defeat and due to technical issues, my son and I amicably agreed to end our game prematurely.
My kids are still bouncing around upstairs way too late, laundry still awaits me, and my family room looks like a playroom, but at this moment, I feel like for an hour (yes, it took an entire hour), I made the right choice this evening.
And, now for Day 2 of the challenge . . .
With summer vacation staring me in the face, I choose now to make some personal changes: 30 days of mom goals. I hope my children and I will benefit from the process.
My daughter just graduated pre-K. She has 88 days of summer break. Yes, I counted. Sure, there’s a few weeks of camp thrown in but a quarter of a year together without complete structure may possibly break me.
My kids are 5 and 7. They play together. They fight. My daughter idolizes my son. My daughter hits my son. My son teases my daughter. They wake up way too early and go to bed too late. They watch TV. They melt-down. They like to help me. They get bored helping me. They make huge messes and are “too tired” to clean. I reward chart. I bribe. I threaten. I doubt. I praise. I re-tell the adorable things they say. I yell. My blood boils. I am overly excited for bedtime. I lay down with them and read them stories. I come back for more hugs and kisses. I vow to do it better the next day.
So, this challenge is created with my own sanity in mind. I love a challenge. So, game on!
Here’s how it works. Every day, I will post a challenge to myself (and to you if you partake). If you have a suggestion, I may add it to the challenge. After all, this is a work in progress, as are we, as moms.
So, here it is Day 1 of the Challenge. . .
Yes, I realize that if you have a teenager at home or work with a group of twenty-somethings, Venmo is very old news. However, when I mention Venmo to my group of mom friends, I tend to get blank stares and radio silence. Further, when I suggest that they pay me back with Venmo, they respond, “I’ll just give you cash or a check. It’s easier.” Actually, it’s really not easier.
Now that the school year is winding down here, it seems that every time I open an email, someone is collecting money for a teacher: dance, preschool, elementary, and coaches. More often than not, that email actually comes from me as I am the class mom for both of my children. Just this morning, walking into my daughter’s preschool, a gathering of nannies and moms awaited me, shoving cash, checks, and various papers into my hand as I passed them. If it’s not apparent from my earlier posts, I do not like handling cash. I either misplace it, forget who already paid, who still owes me, and I never have the correct change on me. I create lists upon lists to keep track of everything. Don’t you wish there was an app for this? Meet Venmo.