It’s been a while

It’s been a while since I have written in my blog.  I have had a lot on my plate the last 2 years.  First, we decided to move across town and then the pandemic hit.  The move was difficult for my girls and they required a lot of attention.  Then we decided to keep them home instead of returning to school after Covid struck.   So, I didn’t have much time for my career.  That all changes now.

When we decided to move we did it mostly ourselves.  We had a realtor find our new house, but we managed the sale of our old one.  I don’t recommend this unless you have a lot of time on your hands and want to test your marriage.  The stress of wondering whether your house will sell or if you will find a new one is almost unimaginable.  I staged our house and took pictures.  This part was enjoyable, but showing the house ourselves wasn’t. The biggest stressor was deciding on the list price and negotiating with multiple bidders. Realtors really earn their commission at this stage of the game!  Once the house was sold and the moving date was settled the mental stress was over.  However, the emotional and physical pain had just begun.

We only moved across town, but this meant that my kids were changing schools.  It was extremely sad to leave the school my children had gone to for years.  The staff and our friends made us cry repeatedly with their well wishes.  This took a toll on my older daughter.  She was also entering a very emotional stage in her life: adolescence.  She didn’t want to leave the house she grew up in, the school she called home and all of her friends and neighbors.  As a mother I was truly concerned with how to help her through this terrible transition. 

In the middle of selling our house, saying goodbye to our beloved school family, and normal life (work, school, Sunday school and swim team) we also had to pack up our house of 13 years.  Who needs sleep, right?  When moving day finally arrived we hugged our awesome neighbors goodbye and waved at our house for the last time.  The girls cried all the way to our new house.  This made me question our decision to move in the first place. 

Once we cleaned and unpacked at the new house we soon realized that things were going to get better.  The only hurdle left was starting school.  My youngest daughter was fine because she doesn’t worry a lot and was excited to make new friends, but my older daughter was starting middle school.  She made friends and seemed to figure out the school very easily, but the homework in conjunction with swimming was too much for her.  She physically had a rough time and her age and emotions didn’t help the situation. Our days were filled with tears and our nights were sleepless.  I was committed to seeing her through this tough time. 

We persevered and the girls started getting used to their new home and schools.  That is until last March when the world shut down.  Luckily for them I was home and could help them manage the wide range of problems and issues.  First there was the internet, then it was how to do schoolwork without live instruction from a teacher.  I kicked into high gear and ordered books and school subscriptions online.  I was determined not to let my kids fall behind with their education. 

So from early 2019 until now I took on the jobs of realtor, mover, housekeeper, interior decorator, gardener, teacher and mental health professional.  This was in addition to my usual job titles of wife, mother, chauffeur, cook and life coordinator.  I love being there for my family, but that was a lot to handle.  Now it’s my time.   My kids have learned to be more responsible for themselves and our house is more or less settled. 

Some parents really annoy me

boy in white shirt and black track pants
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I was watching a movie the other night, I won’t tell you which one, and it got me thinking about how important it is to be a good parent.  The movie wasn’t about parenthood, but there was a scene that moved me.  Sometimes people don’t realize how their actions can tremendously affect their children in the long term.  So I want to talk about how important it is to think about what’s best for our children now and in the future.  Anyone can have a child, but it takes a lot to be a good parent.  You have to think about how your everyday actions can affect your child.  Now I’m not saying you have to be perfect, but shouldn’t you want to do the very best job you can.

In this movie, the scenes would flash between the present and past.  We got a good look at the son of the main character as an adult and child.  From the beginning of the movie you could tell that this character (the son) was not right and had a lot of anger toward his father.  As the movie unfolds we find out that the father would drag the son away from his mother while she worked in their home office.  The kid wanted to be with his mother, but the father prohibited the son from even giving her a quick hug.  The mother just sat there and didn’t stand up to her husband.

As I saw this, all I could think about was how heartless they both were for not just explaining to the young child that his mom needed to work and that he could give her a quick hug and then let her get back to it.  It turns out that the father was raising the kids while the mother was hard at work in the home office.  All he cared about was the mother getting her work done.  Did they honestly think the kid wouldn’t be affected by this?  Did they not realize that depriving a child of attention might make him resent them later?  Why are people so clueless?

I think the parents should’ve allowed the son to see his mother for brief periods throughout the day instead of keeping him away from her.  He didn’t understand why he couldn’t see her.  He was just a little boy.  The father could’ve been more understanding of his son’s anger and shown him some compassion too.  Also, I wish the mother had fought a little harder for her son’s sake.  All she seemed to care about was pleasing her husband.  So their short term actions (dragging the child away from his mother) greatly affected this boy.  He grew up to be very insecure and had so much anger towards his father.  He couldn’t move past his strong feelings and therefore had a terrible relationship with him.  This might have been avoided if they had given him some attention and explained things to him when he was young.

In my opinion, parents don’t often take the time to put themselves in the child’s shoes.  Wouldn’t you want someone to take the time to talk to you about why things are happening?  I know I would.  I’ve worked with a lot of kids over the years and taken some child psychology classes.  Children just want what we all want: love and respect.

I try to think about my actions on a daily basis.  I think about what’s best for my kids now and what’s best for them down the road.  I don’t think a lot of people realize that.  You can’t just stick your kids in front of tablets and devices because you can’t handle them.  You need to teach them how to follow rules, communicate with others and be a good person.  Isn’t our long term goal as parents to raise healthy, happy, independent and successful adults?


What makes a good parent?


baby holding human finger
Photo by Wayne Evans on Pexels.com

After 20 years of caring for children and observing their behaviors I have formed many opinions on how to be a good parent and what not to do.  I am and always will be an advocate for children and I get really steamed when I see parents mistreating or neglecting a child.  It’s not easy to be a good parent, but I think it’s the most important job a person will ever have.

I truly believe every child needs love, stability and discipline in their daily lives.  Kids need to be hugged and nurtured, but they also need rules and schedules to help them cope with the stresses in life.  Without discipline kids develop bad behaviors which make school and friendships very difficult.  For instance, when I was little my friend’s sister was a brat.  Every time we tried to play together the sister would scream if she didn’t get her way.  My friend and I would try to ditch her every chance we got.  If parents spoil their kids and don’t teach them how to deal with disappointment then no one wants to be around them.  Do you want your kid to grow up alone with no friends or relationships?

A good parent can admit that they don’t know everything and need help from others.  It definitely takes a village to raise a child.  I don’t know how I would’ve survived getting my babies on a sleep schedule if it weren’t for books and my mother listening to me cry every day on the phone.  I thought my kids would never learn to nap.  Also a good parent can see that their child isn’t perfect and needs help.  I’m so sick of seeing kids behave wildly and know that they’re not getting the help they need.  Too many parents are in denial about their kids’ actions and don’t want to put their foot down and say “no” or take them to a doctor or therapist to find out why they are behaving in such a way that’s unacceptable in school and society.

Sometimes I don’t think parents realize the short term versus the long term when it comes to raising their children.  If today you teach them to be kind to others then they grow up happier because they think beyond themselves and give to others and our world.  If you don’t teach them right and wrong and discipline them for unacceptable behaviors today, then they grow up having trouble in school, can’t get or keep a job and possibly end up in jail.  Children need parents or guardians who guide them daily on their journey in life.  They need parents who will teach them how to survive and be successful in this world.

In my opinion, hugging your child and praising them daily while still enforcing the rules and setting expectations for them is the best way to raise a caring, independent, likable child.  Isn’t our goal as parents to raise our kids to be successful in life?  By this I mean able to function as an adult separate from us and having loving relationships in their lives that make them feel fulfilled all the while hopefully making a positive impact on our world??  There are some people that just shouldn’t be parents.  I wish more people would realize that about themselves instead of having kids and being a crappy parent.