Tag Archives: feelings

Parenting: Contents Under Pressure

21 May

“I am so happy when I just think about kid stuff!” The comment seem to dance around the living room by a little girl struggling lately with a range of different thoughts and emotions making her feel confused and worried.

WarningIt’s been an interesting (read challenging and stressful) few days for us. I couldn’t agree more with her exclamation. However, I sadly understand and pointed out to her that the other (less fun) stuff is indeed still “kid” stuff as well. Just growing up kid stuff.

From what I remember about puberty, it was different from all this business I’m hearing about from our oldest baby. Maybe because I blocked out the awkward? Maybe because I don’t remember such specific thoughts? Maybe because I wasn’t a parent on the other side?

I know one thing for sure – I certainly did not tell my parents everything Nia tells us. I’m sure I will miss her openness when she stops sharing her thoughts with me. I just think it would be better for all of us if she didn’t share quite so much. Some thoughts should stay private. I don’t even want people to know everything I think. I could be in big trouble if I told someone my thoughts when I thought them. I told her that so she knows she’s not the only one who thinks things she doesn’t want to or understand. I told her the thoughts are normal. It’s ok to have them. It’s the choosing not to act on them that matters. I stress to her that she’s a kind, caring little girl. She worries she has a “bad” part. Don’t we all?

It’s just tough to teach a child who wants so much to do the right thing that she doesn’t need to tattle on herself for every little hiccup of growing up. We’ve talked about it and talked about it (and talked about it some more) and I’m hoping we can find a way for her to best manage her feelings without feeling like she needs to confess or seek reassurance for all things. It’s a tricky thing to balance because I tell her I’m always here to talk about her concerns but then I say – we just don’t need to talk about all things. I’ve tried to tell her she’ll soon be able to distinguish between the harmless (although maybe a bit uneasy) thoughts that she’s a-ok to keep private and the thoughts/experiences she feels that could hurt her or others. Those are shareable.

Because I don’t want to mess this whole parenting thing up, I’m planning to get guidance on how I can best handle my responses and direct her feelings the safest way. I guess that’s what Nia does when she shares with me. From one confessing, worried soul to another, this situation is fragile.

“I’m glad I don’t have a little brother.”

14 Jul

I never thought of myself as a “kid person.” I didn’t grow up dreaming of having babies and never really had plans about parenthood. I just existed. I wasn’t aware that at the time I was saying I wasn’t going to have kids yet (or soon), there was already a Bean on the way.

I guess then, I’m somewhat guilty for feeling the way Nia’s little friend did when she stayed with us. “I’m glad I don’t have a little brother,” she innocently said, not really understanding the hurt or feelings it cause. He had just been trying to hang out with them, which came across as pestering to them. Not being used to having a sibling around, that was understandably too much for the friend to handle.

I’m sure there are times when that thought may cross Nia’s mind too. What would life be like for her if she didn’t have Nate? I’ve even thought about it. What if we only had one? And, on the flip side, what if we had more children than Nia and Nate?

Here’s what I know:

  • I am so very thankful and complete to have both of our surprise blessings and adventure-makers in my life. Thinking of one without the other just doesn’t make sense and the thought only lasts for a second because it doesn’t matter. We have a big sister and a little brother and that’s all there is to it – and it’s pretty great.
  • Nia is glad to have a little brother – and he’s so lucky to have her. She just comforted him after he found out his cool red lace baseball cleats and special Dodgers t-ball shirt he forgot at summer camp are missing. When she saw his heartache, she sat next to him on the couch and rubbed his back as he softly cried. Later, as I was tucking her in, she said, “I feel really bad for Nate.”
  • Our little brother has informed he wants to be a big brother too. Asked as if we were not meeting production schedules or something, “When are you going to have another baby? I want a little brother.”

We told him that was very sweet of him but we have no plans to have another baby. Besides, we noted, the baby may be a little sister and who’s going to share a room with the baby?

“I will,” confirmed Nate. “If it’s a baby brother.”

I sure am glad we have our little brother.

You Look Like a Mom

23 Feb

I remember when I first heard that. I was 28 years old. I was, in fact, a mother. Of two. I remember that I didn’t know how to take it. In that moment, it felt like an insult. Thinking, “What does that even mean?” I was at a bar, with my husband, thinking I look pretty nice in my black sweater and jeans. Now, I wish I could go back and react to it differently. How could that be an insult? I look like a mom. Without hesitation, I should have taken it as a compliment. It’s who I am.

I find it interesting how much I realize that even when I’m not with my kids. When I am by myself, I feel like I’m missing a piece of me. I don’t remember what the me in me was like before Nia and Nate. When they’re with me, I feel like I can do anything. I feel strong. Protective. Smart. Beautiful. When they are not with me, I feel insecure. Small. Even if it’s just going to the store by myself. I need my shopping buddy, Nia. Sure, I can function without her and not have a meltdown but – it’s just – I feel her absence and I notice the difference in me.

I’ve figured out that it helps if I remember that I “look like a mom” even when they aren’t with me. That proud and heartfelt feeling is invigorating. Best. Compliment. Ever.

You're so mom.

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The Happy Faces, Boos and Memorables of the First Week

9 Aug

As I type this, the kids are sleeping like a bag of snakes (how their Papa Dave describes their extreme tossing and turning), ready to start their second week of Second Grade and Pre-K. The first week was great but there were a few speed bumps.

Ready for School!

First the happy faces:

  • Nia loves her teacher and is happy to have friends she knows from last year in her class.
  • Nate had a wonderful first week, scoring four blue days and one green. (Blue is the best and green is good. Yellow and red days mean sad face.)
  • Nia is excited to be back with her buddies at after-school.
  • Nate made it through the week without his blankey. He’s been pretty much carrying it around with him since birth. This is a milestone.
  • Nia aced her first spelling test and we received the results that she got incredible “exceeding” scores on her CRCT from last year.

Now, for the boos:

  • A little boy made Nia feel bad when he said she was “too little” to be in their classroom. Andrew says there will be a time when that kid will be begging for tiny girl to like him. So there, dude.
  • The Georgia Pre-K program revoked the funding for Nate’s school due to complications I can’t comprehend which means hardships for his school, our weekly fee goes up and others who weren’t supposed to pay will either scramble to find somewhere else, remove their child from Pre-K or struggle to pay. We are worried and praying for all involved.
  • Another child threw a rock and left a lump on Nate’s noggin.

And finally, some of the memorable:

  • One of the t-shirts I matched with a cute skirt was actually a pj top. I didn’t realize this until Nia told me she bragged to one of her friends, “I’m wearing my pj’s to school!” Great. It totally did not look like a pj shirt!
  • Nate insisted on wearing his “fast pants” every day because his the little girl he has a crush on would like them.
  • Nia says this year’s homework is going to be tough – not “easy” like it was in First Grade.
  • There’s a little boy who just stares at Nia. He doesn’t talk to her. Just stares. She says, “He’s just shy.” We’ll see.

Fingers crossed that the pros and memorables will outweigh the boos in the coming weeks!

First Grade Feelings

1 Aug

Super Excited!

Don’t let the picture fool you. Our little Bean was not very boisterous about visiting her first grade classroom. Sure, she gave the teacher a sweet little hug good-bye and she loves that she’s going to get to sit in the front of the class, but she was extremely shy the whole time, barely answering the teacher’s questions and definitely not talking to any of the other children who were checking out their desks.

All of those children seemed to tower over her too. If she’s not the tiniest first grader I’ll be surprised. She still looks like a Kindergartner and I guess I still wish she was one.

This is scary and I’m nervous. I just want her to be ok. I am fearful about what this first grade year will hold for her. Will she be shy the whole year?  There is only one kid in this class that she had class with last year and according to Nia, he wasn’t nice. I know I can’t protect her from everything. I know she’s going to have hurt feelings, have to deal with mean kids and learn by making mistakes but I just want her to be ok.

Despite the shyness, she still seems happy. That should be good enough for me, right?

Nia's Desk is in the Front

Running on E

30 Sep

Running on Exhausted
It’s not the bad kind of exhausted where you walk around and feel exhausted.  It’s more the kind where as soon as you sit down, you’re ready for sleep.  I don’t even allow myself to get comfortable until at least 8:30 pm because I know I’ll be asleep in about 30 minutes.  The big complaint I have with this early-to-bed routine is that I’m usually not in bed when my eyes close.  I end up in a deep sleep on the love seat with Andrew snoring away on the other couch.  I love how even when we don’t sleep together, we still sleep together.

Running on Excitement
I still really like my job.  It’s been almost a month and I can honestly say I am having a great time doing my work.  I enjoy being there, my coworkers and boss are super nice and fun and I am excited about what the future holds.  So far, I’ve been working on the main website, www.choa.org, by helping the other content editor maintain it.

Most of my excitement surrounds my main job – the wellness website.  This site does not exist yet.  I was hired to help create, implement and maintain it – with the goal of making it a success.  The site is planned to be launched by January/February of next year but we’re still in meeting mode.  Enter my excitement.

I’m giddy about getting started but also nervous because I’ve never created a reputable website!  It’s just so hard to grasp how all of it is going to come together.  We’re working with three different companies and I can’t even wrap my brain around how they all will mesh together on one site.  I have confidence that I can do this, but I would just feel more comfortable if I had a little more of an idea of what to expect.

Running on Empty
Yeah, this is where I put the gas subject in here.  I’m not mad.  I’m not disgusted.  I’m curious.  I want to know how much gas the drivers who are fighting in lines, sucking the pumps dry, have in their tanks when they pull up.  I want a reporter to be there waiting to document where the gas gauge is pointing or how much gas went into their tank. Do they really need it or are they just freaking out at 3/4 of a tank thus taking it from those who really do need it because they are on empty or close to it?  I also want to know what it’s like to be a gas station worker/owner right now.  Even the tanker truck drivers probably have crazy stories to share.  I’ve heard from the panicked pumpers who’ve been stalking the stations and I’m starting to feel less and less sympathy for my fellow gas guzzler.

A positive I see in all of this is that a lot of companies are letting employees work from home to help conserve.  As a matter of fact, my work from home day is set for Friday.  If I could walk to work I would.  God knows I need the exercise.  Since I can’t, I will do my best to not freak out and swerve toward the first sign I see with numbers on it.  (Although I’m tempted to drive circles around the others who did screaming “Got gas?!” over and over again.  Of course, not with the kids in the car.  Besides, that would waste gas!  Sha!)

Running on Enamors
As much as I like work, the best part of my day is picking up my little loves.  Nate gets a huge smile and screams, “My mommy’s here!  My mommy’s here!”  He will even tell people as we walk by them, “My mommy’s here Miss Kristi!”  Nia always has a drawing for me or a note of some sort.  She’s been trying to spell words all by herself by sounding them out. The other day she even wrote a letter to a friend she met.

Some other high/lowlights are:

  • Nia really didn’t like the Beef and Broccoli I made for dinner a few days ago.  I thought she liked it. She had been eating it and was almost finished, then she said “I’m going to throw up Mommy.”  And what do you know?  Just like that.  Blah.  Right on her Ariel plate.  I felt HORRIBLE.  I told her I was sorry that she got sick and she told me, “People are just different Mommy.  Not everyone likes the same things.”  She taught me a valuable lesson that day.  I now let them sample any different food before I sit down to eat dinner and tell them, “Try one bite and if you really don’t like it I will make you something else.”  Sure, Super Nanny might say I’m spoiling them or whatever, but I’d rather make their stomachs happy than sad.
  • Nia and Nate had picture day at their schools and Nate’s are hysterically adorable.  I can’t wait to show you!  For Nia’s, Andrew fixed her hair and I let out a squeal of happiness when I picked her up that day.  Two perfectly parted ponytails.  He does such a great job!  (He even tried practicing braids!)
  • Yesterday, Nate actually ran to the potty, opened the lid and started pulling down his pants!  We were praising him so much for his big boy act that Joey was going nutso downstairs.

As for Joey – he has to have surgery on his leg because he pulled a ligament.  The vet says it just happens when a dog is over a certain weight and age.  Poor buddy.  He’s been limping around and confined to downstairs.  His surgery isn’t until October 7. I just hate to see him this way.  He wants to run and play but can’t.  We hope the surgery will have him back to his crazy self in no time.  (Please!)


The Measure of a Mom

6 Jun

Some moms:

  • Never yell at their children.
  • Never let the stress show.
  • Think their children are perfect.
  • Let their children get away with murder.
  • Have patience with their children.
  • Jump at the chance to build blocks for the millionth time in one day.
  • Feed their kids the recommended daily allowance of fruits, veggies, grains, etc.
  • Never let their children eat junk food or drink too much juice.
  • Work outside the home and still have enough time and energy to successfully balance home work.
  • Never say something they’ll regret to their children.
  • Always look put together.
  • Love their children and would do anything for them.

This mom:

  • Feels like I yell too much at my children.
  • Has stress written all over my face.
  • Would never want my children to be perfect.
  • Worries when they play rough with each other.
  • Steadily loses my patience over the course of a day.
  • Throws my head back in emotional exhaustion when asked to play anything for the millionth time in one day.
  • Is happy if my children just eat their food.
  • Lets them have a few of my chips when they catch me secretly snacking in the kitchen.
  • Doesn’t work outside the home and still finds it hard to be successful at home work.
  • Usually ends the day with regrets about something I said/did as a parent.
  • Wears shirts and jeans with holes in them and desperately needs a haircut.
  • Loves my children and would do anything for them.

Super Mom versus Good Enough Mom.  Despite all the differences, in the end, we are the same – moms who care.

A Day of Registering

15 May

I have been dreading this day for quite some time now.  Just thinking about it ties my stomach up in knots and makes me need to take deep breaths.  I’m scared. Worried. Stressed.  Doubtful.  Questioning. Nervously excited. Scared.  I know I already wrote that feeling.  I felt it necessary to repeat it since it’s the one consuming me.

In a few hours, I will be registering Nia for Kindergarten.  I have already downloaded, printed and filled out the forms.  I’ve paper clipped them all nice and neat with all the other forms they require you to show them.  Her birth certificate – check.  Her social security card – check.  Proof that we live in the school district – check.  Proof that I am who I say I am – check. Proof that she’s had all her shots – check.  My sanity and peace of mind – ah – yeah, nope.  Those are pretty far from getting a check.

I’m just so apprehensive about so many things when it comes to this big step.  I know I felt the same feelings when I registered her for Pre-K but now it’s official.  Our baby girl is starting school- that’s difficult enough to deal with – but then there’s also all the judgments that surround school.  I hear it all the time from other mothers…”We would definitely not send our child to public school.  Private school is the only option for us.”  But then there’s the… “I don’t trust any school system to teach my child.  We are homeschooling them.”  I know I shouldn’t care what they say but it’s hard not to let their attitudes put doubt in my head.

All I can do is deal with it the best I can and not let Nia sense my feelings.  I want her to be excited and happy about starting “big kid” school.  So far, she is and that’s really the one thing that settles my stress.  I’m just going to take it one day at a time and that starts today.  Wish us luck!

Growing Up So Fast

19 May

Getting Braver Every Day

Nia started taking gymnastics lessons at the Y about 5 weeks ago and tonight she got to show her stuff with all the other little gymnasts during a “meet.”  It was so adorable and I’m so excited we got to experience it.  When she first started she was a chicken liver – now, she hardly hesitates to jump from one thing to the next.  She even walked across the balance beam all by herself for two steps!  It makes me sad to see her growing up so fast but then I’m also happy about it – she’s a lot of fun and it’s neat to see the little person she’s becoming.  Also, the more she learns about growing up, the more I learn about parenting (which is actually kind of scary).

In fact, this event gave me my first real taste of worrying about my child being left out of something.  At the end of the “meet” they passed out trophies to all the kids. Well, I had noticed that they left several of the gymnasts’ names out of the programs (Nia’s was one of them), so I was already bummed that they did that (I was suffering from the whole “how dare they forget my daughter?!?!” attitude).  Because of that, I automatically started stressing that she wouldn’t get a trophy.  They went in alphabetical order so that didn’t help the situation.  I just kept watching her stare at all the other kids whose last names fell between A and U – I wondered what she was thinking…”Wow, look at their shiny trophies…I hope I get a shiny trophy too…I wonder why I haven’t yet?”  Finally, her name was called – Andrew and I relaxed and she beamed.  She was so quick to jump up and run over to collect her shiny trophy that she didn’t even pose at the top of the mat like all the other kids did.  She just grabbed it, turned around and ran to sit down and inspect it.

Daddy & Gymnast

It just feels good to see her so happy.  She loves “bynastics” (as she calls it) and I love watching her have a blast.



Walking through the Front Door

6 Mar

During our trip back to Savannah, I stopped by WSAV and it just felt weird.  I was looking forward to visiting the station right up until I went to drive there.

It dawned on me – I have to park in the front and I have to ring the front doorbell instead of parking right behind the newsroom and using my key like I did for the majority of my grown-up years.  I’m not one of “them” anymore.  That got me thinking – should I even be going back? I mean, they are probably all busy like I always was when people would come visit and what do I really have to say to them?

I decided that since I drove there I might as well just go do it – besides I had already told Paul I would be there and I knew he would make me feel like I still belong (he even asked my opinion on a story which felt really good!). But as soon as I walked in that front door I felt the awkwardness – I could tell some people were thinking – “What in the world is she doing back?” Some people even said it to me.  I guess they were thinking “she’s free – why would she ever return?”  All I could say is I just wanted to say hi and while that is true I also wanted to see how the place was doing.

I don’t really know how to describe it but what I do know is that place was busy and felt so different to me.  Maybe it was so different because I knew I didn’t have to worry about scripts or the deadline or adding stories in at the last minute – I could be in there and just hang and I could leave whenever I wanted and then not even watch the news that night!

I guess my visit back was worth it because I did get to laugh with some of my buddies and hug others that I’ve missed – plus it made me realize I could walk away from something I loved to be a part of without any regrets.

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