My rose colored glasses faded as I grew up and lost my sense of innocence and childhood make believe. Just like the young boy, Jonas, in my favorite childhood book, “The Giver” who ultimately learns the true pain and pleasures of the ‘real world,’ so too do our children. Right now my two year old is in the pre-enlightenment stage if you will. She sees the world within an arms reach of us. To her, the world is us, our home, her extended family, and that one dream trip to a water park, which she does not stop talking about.
Bedtime. It is definitely not the sweetest spot of our every day. Lately Lo wants to stay up later and later, and I tend to be mush when it comes to bedtime. I am that Mom who cannot stand when her child stands at the dinner table, or when her two-year old refuses to eat decent food and instead insists on white bread with butter, but two hours of fighting bedtime and I am all like, “Oh, she is just a baby.”
Ladies I am about to debunk something for you. I am about to shed some light on the great purse debate. While these opinions are entirely my own, I feel compelled to share the following with you. A ginormous purse / bag is not a necessity. And, I am saying this as a mommy of a two-year old. You know, a mother who must tote gummy bears, juice boxes, diapers, a change of clothes, grocery store coupons, a baby doll, a book bag, baby doll’s bottle, Lo’s favorite blanket, baby doll’s rattle, all as I head to the grocery store. I know roll your eyes and gasp. Seriously!
We are back – Logisms Part 2. When I typed that in my mind I heard the voice from the Cha Cha Slide. You know when the guy says, “This is Part 2.” Is there a Part 1, Part 3? I have been to many, many weddings since the Cha Cha Slide was first introduced and to this day, I am always cha cha in again and turnin’ it out to part 2.
Because I want no reader in the dark, This is what I am talking about.
So, I am back with Logisms Part 2, and if you missed Part 1, well, you missed out. Luckily for you I care and will easily redirect you to Part 1, Here.
There is no motherhood guidebook. Sure there are great resources out there. Books, mobile apps, Pinterest links to blogs like this one, your own mother, etc – but there is no ultimate guide that we are all working from. No uniformed source, that we can reference to.
I remember the first few days when I started my job with the company I am with now. Eight years ago, my job was digitally focused. I created email campaigns, website pages and was on the brinks of something big which would one day be termed “social media.” Part of my tasks was to update the company’s website on a regular basis with the various outlet’s hours of operations. I remember asking my director, “Well, where is the guidebook? ” He looked at me quite strange. I had all these places to go to look for the many outlet hours and very few resources matched. “How am I suppose to know which of these options is correct?” I again spoke up and asked.
I could tell I puzzled the man as he blinked hard and said, “Well, you will just have to call around and ask.”
It is the same with motherhood. No real – book or resource to end all books and resources. No real “Bible” of parenting or motherhood. We are all mad collectors of information. We ask and sometimes we receive without even asking, tips and tidbits on ways to coop and handle our kids. Sleep training and potty training, building self-confidence, discipline methods, best foods for their diets and how to the lose the pacifier and the bottle. We are absorbent creatures. But how do we know if our way is the right way? Or if there is even a right way at all?
A few of my girlfriends are expecting babies and turn to social media for recommendations. They will post things such as – “Looking for a childcare recommendation. Looking for the best brand of baby monitors. What are your baby registry must haves? Do I really need a wipe warmer?” I use to thrive so much more in assisting and offering my opinion. I mean they are asking! But, I have learned that everyone has an opinion. Everyone! To the point that I have made a recommendation based on my experience and then had someone comment below me basically telling the friend, “Do not listen to Ashli. Instead do this…” Well not in those exact words. It was more like a big “NO” and a pointer finger emoji pointing to my comment and then the exact opposite advice. It hurt my feelings quite frankly. First, because someone had the nerve to call me out in front of everyone and secondly, that my personal opinion was discredited as “wrong” and hers “right.” How could it be wrong when it worked so well for me?
I often like to participate in chat loops on Instagram. Last week, a group of mommas included me in one and the one mother posed the following question, “What is one thing you said you would never do before becoming a mom and now you do?”
I actually referred back to This Post on the Blog and shared how I said I would never give a binkie, or allow them to watch too much TV or co-sleep and now my two year old sleeps in between us at night, while watching Sprout, with a binkie in her mouth. Mom fail?! No, definitely not. Motherhood has taught me many, many valuable lessons. One being – never say never, but ultimately that you have to do what is right for you and your child without the influence of others. I added, “Each parent and each child are on their own unique journey.”
What is right for one family, one child or one parent may not necessarily work for another and that is okay. We are all dealt different circumstances that alter our wants and needs in this life. Everything little thing can add up in a big impactful way. If you ask me my opinion or my advice, know I will gladly share because I want to help you, but also know it is coming from a place that has worked for me, and may not you, and guess what – that is okay.
We all learn as we go. Some days motherhood is pretty great and others days lousy. Some days I feel like supermom and other days question my sanity. We can talk about those things too. The good and the bad. It is not all roses being parents, and having a bad day does not define who we are or how well we are at raising our kids.
Social media has a brilliant way of making us look like super stars, with perfect lives, doing it all the right way. We don’t post pictures of our grimy kids, who have not showered in two days and have dried maple syrup on their sleeves. We would be mortified if someone posted a video of us losing our minds when our kid(s) have literally pushed us to our breaking point and we would be devastated to share the not so nice words we say to our spouse over something so minuscule because we are tired, no, take that back – exhausted and completely stressed. But, that is really our real lives, and that is okay. I am here to say. I got you. I understand you. I have been there. I am there.
There is no guide to being a great parent. There is no one-stop, end-all-be-all, that will tell you exactly how to handle motherhood. There are a ton of great resources and there is a great deal of mixed advice. The best advice I can give to you – There is no wrong or right. There is only your wrong and your right.
And, as a parent, you will learn what is best for you and your own children. Learn it, love it, accept it and own it.
Here are some of my other favorite motherhood and parenting posts:
Last winter our family packed up the car and hit the road for a mini winter vacation to Splash Lagoon in Erie, PA. You can read all about it Here. The trip was not a total disaster as us adults had maybe subconsciously suspected, but instead a success! So much so, that we decided to make our joint family vacation an annual tradition, but mixing up the location a bit. An indoor water park in the middle of winter gave the kids some adventure out of the norm to look forward to and gave us adults an easy go-to trip idea that secretly makes us feel like kids again too.
It has been yet again a mild winter, despite my dear sister-in-law Amie’s wishes. She cringes as the temperature climbs and the sun comes out in January. A true winter bird, I think she even admitted traveling in this weather and lugging the kids in and out of our cars in warm temperatures versus blistering snow was actually quite nice.
It hit me this morning. It is day 22 of the new year, and we are three weeks into 2017. Time has once again fleeted me. It has a sneaky way of doing such. Being so present yet silently avoiding me.
I did not choose a typical, straightforward resolution this year. I did not set myself up for the stress of fear of failure or the guilt of changing tides when I suddenly remember, oh I was to eat better and indulged in two coffees, a slice of birthday cake, two beers and three slices of pizza today. Gulp!
No, I decided instead of pushing myself into something for sake of 2017 replacing 2016 on every check I write, that I would choose a path of self focus and inner self waking.
I am all about saving money. Why spend more when you don’t have to? Don’t answer that! There is no need to. In fact, there are so many great resources out there that are designed for you to do just that – save money.
I have been meaning to put this post together for a while now, but have put it off due to the work around building it. Since it is unlike my typical thoughts to paper (or shall I say thoughts to blog) posts, you know the ones where I ramble about life, motherhood, family, etc., I had to motivate myself to put the “work” in for this one.
Finally, after chugging along in the evenings, I was able to compile my list below. I am so happy to finally share these “hacks” and techniques for saving money when shopping with you because they are so easy and they really can pay off.
“Play-Doht” – Lo’s mispronunciation of Play-Doh. The t is not silent. No, definitely not silent. Who knew after so much consideration on her birthday and holiday presents, after money spent, that through it all, Play-Doh would rise to the top of her favorite toy list?
I did not expect such a hit from my daughter who is driven by her imagination and thoroughly loves make believe. No, not at all. My two-year old tends to entertain herself well with passed down Barbies and plenty of baby dolls. She talks to herself as she lugs her doll through the house, with a diaper bag over her little shoulder and a bottle in her hand. But, mention the word Play-Doh and she drops her toys and stops in her tracks and runs to the dining room table. I have at least successfully taught her that the we only play with Play-Doh at the table.
Sweet tooth alert! That would be my calling for sure. I definitely sway to the sweet side more than the salty. Put some ice cream, cakes, cookies, chocolate in my sight lines and I am a goner. Nathan on the other hand definitely leans more towards salty, especially for breakfast. Every weekend I could have french toast and be as happy as can be. Not he. It tends to be the classic eggs, bacon and toast kind. We may change it up with scrambled eggs, wholeheartedly attempt an omelette or make some sort of breakfast casserole or scramble, but every now and then he bends and allows my sweet tooth to rein.