Shopping for my Tween Daughter

The time has come, that time when your child no longer accepts and adores your clothing selections for her. Yes, I firmly believe it happens to all of us. We all have been at that stage where the clothing choices our parents made for us would make us cringe and argue the fact that we are now too old to have our Mommy or Daddy buy us clothing. I remember being that age and I was a nightmare, I am sure, now I get to relive that stage with my oldest, which is nearing middle school age and is ready to show her true personality through clothing choices.

There are some limits you can place, as the parent, on your tweens or teens clothing choices and here are some that I have placed with my own daughter:

  • Halter tops are unacceptable as they show off too much skin for every day wear outside of the beach or pool.
  • Be appropriate in your choice of graphic tees that spread a message, make sure the messages on graphic tees are age appropriate and school acceptable.
  • Choose a variety of clothing so that you can dress appropriately for the weather.

My daughter’s current obsession is with printed leggings, she just adores leggings with a matching graphic tee shirt on top. I have recently noticed that rue21.com has a wide range of tween and teen clothing options for any picky dresser. There is a LOVE graphic tee that I know my daughter would totally wear, unless I bought it that is. Parenting gets more difficult as you head into the age of teens picking their own clothing, you must ensure that they are allotted their independence to choose high waisted jeans if they so desire but limit their clothing to age appropriate messages and ensure they cover their body fully. My rule is, the less skin showing, the better.

Shopping for tweens or teens really can give one a headache, it’s no easy task, but if you set rules and boundaries from the beginning; yes that means dressing them appropriately when you are the one choosing clothing from day one, then you will find their clothing choices will continue to be appropriate well into their teen years. Support your tween and teen in their individuality and remember; life is far too short to spend it arguing about matching clothes; let your child’s clothing be their artwork.

School Lunch Boxes and Kids Chores

I wish I was the mom who let my kids have school lunches. I have seen the school lunches and I am glad they are there as an option for some kids but my kids will not be eating them. Maybe on a rare occasion I do let them have it, but not usually. I can’t let Aj have school lunch for he gets really stuck in a routine so if he has it one week he will want it that same day next week, and so on and so forth.

This means every night of the week I am to make a new lunch for my kids. I try to spruce things up but overall they end up with similar lunches each week. I usually try to sneak in a healthy option of cucumbers or sliced peppers or something for the little man because I am determined to get that kid to like more food options besides unhealthy ones.

Kids Can do Chores From age 2 and up

After a long day of work at home, picking up kids and dealing with homework. The last thing I want to do is pack up a lunch. Sure, I have been making uncrustables from home on the weekends. It helps alleviate some time. I also slice up green or red peppers to place in sandwich bags for quick toss into the lunch boxes but that doesn’t alleviate the time needed to clean each of the three kids lunch boxes out and pack it all up for the next day.

This is where chore ideas are coming in. I need my three kids to get back on track with chores. I think their new responsibility will be to empty and clean out their own lunch boxes. Why not? They are 5, 7 and 11 plenty old enough for that task and as I have sunk into this life I am currently living, I have started to lose some of myself and that includes making kids do some chores. We are a family and the kids have always had responsibilities but I got sucked into where I am now and they have fallen backwards along with me. It’s time to start assigning lunch box cleaning to the kids.

I think the best way to alleviate the chore list for mom is to encourage more involvement from the kids! At age 2 the kids are plenty old enough to start having small tasks to do around the house. I have always explained chores to my kids like this, “we are a family and as such, we are to each do a small part to help each other lead a funner day. If we each have a task to do, that alleviates it from Mom’s hands and in turn creates more time for us to spend together having fun!”

Wish me luck …. it’s never easy to get kids BACK into chores after slacking for over a year!

 

Such Wonderful Progress and Gold Star Person

I am a human that thrives on seeing results from any of my actions. Meaning I am that “gold star” type personality more often than not. I don’t need praise, but I do like to see that anything I am doing is helping someone, somewhere, somehow. I feel blessed to know that in the parenting world of my life, I am constantly rewarded for my decisions and parenting style. My kids are such amazing children, they make it easy to love and adore them, while they make mistakes, they are always somewhat ready to accept that mistake as a learning experience and move forward. With each step in parenting I get to see a positive result.

Case in Point … my middle child, Aj.

Positive Parenting Rewards

I have shared a lot about my son Aj and well he has come so far in such little time. I recall sitting in his counselors office and being led to feel that the counselor wasn’t really thinking that Aj is high functioning autistic {even though I have a paper that cites he was diagnosed this by someone who does have qualifications to be a valid person to dx people}. I feel this was a misunderstanding based loosely on the fact that few seem to realize the bond my three kids and I have. Few seem to really validate the real connection I have and power I have as an influence in their lives. With Aj, specifically, I have been able to work hard to teach him to understand some jokes, some social ques and have a level of tolerance for sharing {thinking of his siblings first} and being less agitated with sarcasm. For all of Aj’s life, the world was about him. Only him. This is totally natural for most high functioning spectrum children, from what I have heard and read. The fact that Aj can step back and take a moment to be more tolerable of scenarios he doesn’t care for and work harder to know how he works, doesn’t mean that he isn’t on the spectrum. This simply means, I have worked hard and continue to work hard as a parent.

And it’s paying off!

Working with Autism

Without medications to blur Aj’s mind and me helping to show him better ways to accept his world around him, by working with how he thinks and how his brain works, has shown to be a true blessing for Aj, his siblings and anyone a part of his world. Aj is now better able to handle sharing, taking turns, accepting my snide/sarcastic responses from time to time. Aj has come a long way but I have to be conscious of how his brain works every single day. This isn’t something that Aj does on his own completely yet, he is only 7 after all. It will take time, many years probably, for him to nail a method that works best for him as an individual. For now, I am working hard as  parent, so hard that by the end of the day I can barely speak, never-mind walk. It’s exhausting but to see my children, all 3 of them, benefit from my hard work in parenting makes the long days and tired brain worth every single moment.

So that is how I explain my “gold star” definition, I don’t need praise from the children, but when I see results … that makes me feel warm, happy and confident in the future days as a parent!

 

Let’s Get Real Honest Here. #parenthood #relationships

There is a lot in my brain these days. As the warm sun shines down and I feel my head start to clear up from the gloom Winter casts upon my soul. Spring has sprung they say, but here in New Hampshire we had a few days of 70′s then Mother Nature decided to have a hormonal swing and dumped a few inches of snow on our green grass. I won’t let a little bit of snow hold me down though, I am thankful for my mind to be more at ease. I say it’s my praying that has opened my eyes but it could also be the strength from the sunshine beaming down upon me, warming my soul and allowing my thoughts to flow more wholeheartedly.

Sunshine Warms My Soul: Thoughts from a Mom

My honesty today, all starts with parenthood; I am a Mom first and foremost, that is my job that will be mine forever. I like to say until my children are 18 years old that they are my 100% priority, but in all reality, I am sure they will be my priority long after age 18. It just sounds better to know at age 18, I may get a break from my Mom job. For now, my children are 11, 7 and 5 years of age. My 7 year old is on the spectrum, my 5 year old could be labeled as ADHD if you must place a label, and my 11 year old is my only girl who is battling the hormones that Mother Nature gave us females to deal with. It’s a juggle. Every. Single. Day.

I can honestly say I adore being a mother, it’s something that I do naturally, I was apparently blessed with a very huge maternal instinct and while no parent is perfect, I think this Mom Job has to be the most rewarding one yet and I am proud to say my three children get great grades, think for their own self, know what makes them tick and they have a heart of gold. To me, I’ve done my job and will continue to do my job. I lead by example and if I am not at my full capacity of happiness, neither are my children. All day I work to raise my children, it is my job to be their parent { and their Dad’s too, of course}. I am not one of those parents who wants anyone else to determine what’s best for my children, I am the one who spends the most time with them and I am constantly observing them to see how I can work to better them and teach them how to be well rounded individuals.

My Mom job makes it so that at the end of the night, when the children lay asleep in their beds, all I want to do is one of two things; write my little heart out on my websites OR put my feet up on the recliner watching a funny show to laugh the day away. What I don’t want to do is; have another adult around me. I will be honest with you and with myself, at the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is have another responsibility placed on my shoulders to please another human being. I don’t mind having company on occasion, I don’t mind engaging in adult conversations but reality is that I spend a predominant amount of my time working from home to make money and raising my kids; the last thing I have time for is a relationship.

I am finding this to be the truth, this lack of wanting or having time for a relationship, more and more as each day comes. My middle child has not been on any medications since January 20, 2014. He is excelling. My son has come so far and it’s taken a lot of hard work on my part as well as on his father’s part. We have worked so hard to ensure that our son doesn’t need medications, it’s a challenge raising children and if you are choosing to be with someone, then it should be someone who can help balance out the juggling with you. This isn’t easy to find. I am told far too often the level of parenting I do is something few see anymore. People commend me for my hard work as a Mom and honestly that makes me more happy than anyone commending me about a relationship status.

At the end of the day I find that I just, in all honesty, do not have time for another human being nor do I want that pressure placed upon me; even if that other adult isn’t placing pressure upon me himself, it’s his presence and the title of being in a relationship that can get me down. I feel weighted and the only area that is weighing me down is a relationship status. This is crazy to some, this isn’t me saying “oh my gosh I am with a total jerk”, it’s me saying at the end of the day, I am starting to see the Light …. I am simply someone who is too focused, driven and motivated in the areas of Parenthood and Running a Business to add to that. I have always been a hard worker, never been a hard relationship worker, while I feel I worked hard to try to keep my prior marriage to the father of my son’s together, it comes down to this – I am far too busy working on my children and myself to try to work on someone else being part of that. Not right now. It just weighs me down. The fact that this weighs me down, makes things a lot more clear to me, there’s nothing wrong with the relationship per say or the other person, it’s just me. I don’t do well with relationships when I am so focused on things I find more important; my children and my work. That may be selfish, but I am so unselfish with my children that I deserve a little selfishness in ensuring I am at my best!

It’s difficult to be this honest with someone, because I have had these conversations privately. They seem to go no where. It seems I walk alone on my path of ensuring my true inner happiness is always there. Few can relate to that, for society doesn’t condone us to be individuals and listen to our souls. Society wants to push us to be with someone, we can’t make it on our own, we must bow down to the powers of having that person beside us. I don’t believe that everyone is ready for a relationship when they happen into one, but they take the risk and hope it works out. Now, I am not condoning walking away from a relationship just because of a hard day or a week long funk between the two of you; relationships take work. Love takes work. I know this. I am simply saying; I don’t have the energy, time nor desire to put forth that type of energy towards a relationship right now. I am pretty sure that’s why I said yes to the ring but opted to push the wedding date out another year; something inside of me knows I am no good with relationships while raising my children right now.

My children need me at my best, that is the one gift I can make a choice to give them, even if no one understands it right away, including my children. I do my best to be honest with others and myself and this is me pouring my clear mind and warm soul out to the world.

Shopping for Jeans That Fit your Style

After giving birth to three children, I have found that my body took on a shape of its own. No longer do I have this pre-baby body that can fit into any style of jeans and it’s frustrating at times. Up until about two years ago, I wasn’t too keen on shopping for anything except comfy clothing. It seems, even though I had given birth, I wanted to stick with maternity style clothing. It was comfortable. It meant I didn’t have to try on clothing and look in mirrors. It was a safe choice.

The problem is; I love jeans. I adore bootcut jeans the best and I wouldn’t be able to gain that confidence back that everyone loves about me, unless I started to wear those beloved bootcut jeans again. I have a variety of shoes that suit jeans more than those comfy sweatpants type outfits. I wanted more, for myself and for my children. I needed to lead by example, and so it came to me one night, I needed to start looking for some womens jeans that fit the body I have today.

Once I made the decision to look into womens jeans versus comfy clothing, I found out that shopping for jeans really isn’t that difficult, or painful. There are a wide range of designer jeans for any body type these days; it’s simply a matter of owning your body type and knowing what designer jeans will work for your shape. I personally love the bootcut jeans; there is nothing sexier to me than looking in the mirror at myself wearing that style of jeans with my favorite black leather heeled boots and a sweater style top. Sure, I don’t look like a teenager, but I am a thirty-two year old woman, that is what I am supposed to look like.

Far too many of us females get caught up in what we looked like pre-baby years and that, my friends, is no way to live your life. I say to you, make a decision to love your body, own it and find that style of designer jeans that works best to uplift your confidence and accept your post-baby body. Just because you have had a child, doesn’t mean you can’t look stylish or sexy!

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