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.

Where Did We Spend Our Mother Daughter Day?

We recently were able to have a Mother Daughter day during February vacation. This was a planned event because my ex husband contacted me stating he had vacation time to use, he wanted to use it to take our sons an extra overnight during the vacation. I was so happy, because I only get a break from my sons for two days every other week during the school year, during Summers they see their Dad twice a week for a few days alongside their every other weekend visits. School years are long, and it’s sad the boys can’t see their Dad as much so I am always game to say YES when he asks. If the boys want to go, they can go, simple as that.

My daughter was so happy when I told her we would be having a mother daughter day during the vacation! I thought maybe we could go to the Upper Valley Humane Society and hang out in their cat community rooms or maybe go visit my sister and baby niece. Ki was game for both. We timed it just right so that we were able to visit my sister and get some fam girl time in while still head to the Humane Society afterwards to get our kitty time in.

Mother Daughter Day

Livy has grown so much, she is about 13 months old now and walking. While Livy is only saying a few words, she has a whole lot to say. She loves books and she loves her Auntie as well as her cousins. Livy is a joy to be around. My sister is shown above in the right photo getting a HIGH FIVE from Livy. The things Livy has learned amazes me, my sister is truly an amazing mother.

We had a blast just hanging out with the girls. My sister, my daughter, my niece and me laughed so hard and chatting it up. Livy even started to brush our hair, what a cutie pie!

Mother Daughter Day

This was such a great day to have with my daughter and I am happy that we enjoy visiting with family because that made the day  more special for my sister who is often home without many friends. You know how that goes, you have a baby and all of a sudden you have to find more Mom friends because those friends who don’t have kids just “don’t get it”. The joys of motherhood. It was a happy time this day though and allowed me to be in my happy place for a few days afterward.

Mother Daughter Day

Livy is climbing all over the place and laughing a real belly laugh now. What a fun thing to witness, a babies first laughter. It was adorable. Livy was trying to climb over her cousin without success because those pants were keeping her from lifting her leg high enough. It cracked us up watching her climb everywhere while babbling her own stories to us!

We had a great couple of hours visiting then ventured off to the Upper Valley Humane Society where we sat in the cat rooms trying to get shy cats to come to us, reading all of the information on the adoptable kitties and wishing that we could adopt a kitty right now. I know we can’t afford a second pet at the moment, so we simply go and socialize with the kitties from time to time in hopes that it brings the kitties some joy to have company while they are waiting for their forever homes at the Upper Valley Humane Society. 

It was a wonderful day. I am always thankful to get a mother daughter day in. It made February vacation all that more special for us.

My Juggling Act – Making Time for All Children

I have three children, for some that seems like a lot to keep up with while others have far more children than me and see it as less of a challenge. Having children, no matter how many can always lead to a juggling act. Some are juggling work, family and home while others juggle home and family only. Whatever you are juggling, we all know as parents that a 12 hour day doesn’t ever seem long enough. I am here to share with you what I do to ensure I make time for each of my children, specifically  my youngest, as well as share a few tips on how I make it all work!

How to Make Time for Each Child

With my  middle child being different than my other two, having a previous mood disorder & anxiety diagnosis but awaiting an autism evaluation, you can imagine my hands are full. It’s often difficult to realize I haven’t paid one ounce of positive attention to my other two children because Aj had me so preoccupied tending to his needs. Due to Aj needing so much of my attention, energy and strength I have to be very conscious of paying positive attention to my other two children; why? Because it’s important that my other two children know I do love them just as much as Aj and that they are just as important. It’s also important to pay positive attention to my other two children because I don’t want them to start to have bitter feelings towards myself as a Mom who may not pay them enough attention nor having those feelings about their special needs brother. It’s not Aj’s fault he requires more attention and time from me, it’s no one’s fault.

How To Juggling Your Kids

For my youngest it’s easy to spend positive attention time with him because he is pretty simple. At age 5 the most important thing you can do for K-man is to pay attention to what interests him. K-man doesn’t really care if you are truly interacting but he does care that you are physically and mentally there in the moment playing cars, Legos or blocks with him. Our most recent time together involved him setting up his many vehicles in his room and me attempting to make a race track for him. We had a blast and it only required about 15 minutes of my time before dinner. That’s another good point; the amount of minutes per child doesn’t seem to have mattered to my children. Just a simple 15 minute time allotted for each child to have your undivided attention makes for the difference between a child acting out to get any form of attention versus a child who can have patience knowing they will get the positive attention at some point that day.

Making Time for All Children is Important

I must admit spending a minimum of 15 minutes positively interacting with each of my children really changes their moods. My K-man tends to enjoy any attention he can get and if you are not giving him enough positive attention, he will seek out the negative attention. Aj is more simple, he doesn’t seem to feel the need for a lot of one on one time but I am working on getting him to be more interactive at a comfortable-for-him level. My oldest and only daughter tends to drift off the grid a bit when her brothers are requiring more time from me, but I do ensure that my daughter and I get a Mom/Daughter day every so often and I also make sure to spend 15 minutes minimum with her at end of day after her brothers are asleep. This has helped us build a bond stronger than a herd of elephants.

Four Tips on How to Ensure your Children Get Positive Parent Time

  • Know Your Children – Out of everyone in the whole world you should be the one person who knows what makes your children happy.  If they enjoy Legos, play Legos. If they enjoy chatting about their life, listen to them chat. If they want to read books, pretend play or so on, do that with them. Ensure you are engaging in one on one time that is based on an activity your child loves to do.
  • Realize It’s Quality not Quantity That Counts -  Spend a minimum of 15 minutes each day with one on one time. The magic number I have found that works best is a minimum of 15 minutes each day per child. Be sure to set a timer so that when it beeps they know their time is up. Also be sure to set aside your cell phone and give your child your 100% undivided attention. Kids know when you are not “really there”.
  • Remind Your Children to Respect Their Sibling’s One on One Time – Be sure to get your other children engaged together or individually with something that will allot you the 15 minutes with their sibling. Remind each child that they too will get your undivided attention on their turn. This teaches the skills of manners, family bonding, and taking turns.
  • Get in Touch with Your Inner Child – During these one on one time sessions remember, while you are this child’s parent, that this particular time with your child is all about having fun, being silly and connecting with them on their level. Have fun with it, be silly and creative, should I dare say be goofy?! It’s suppose to be fun one on one time, make sure that it is!

There you have it, a few ways I have ensured that I am raising my children to be happy and healthy. I hope these tips will assist you in gaining more positive one on one time with your children which will increase the bond you two have from now to forever.

Do Parents Give Themselves a Harder Time Than Necessary?

Parenthood brings joy like no other and sadness like no other. I firmly believe parenthood is a method to test our sanity, and if we come out on top after raising children with a brain that still works, a smile upon our face and children that survived to become well rounded adults – that we mastered it. It’s the path along the way that gets use shook up.

Pain is only Thoughts

I blamed myself for my son Aj having issues. After all, I wasn’t prepared to be a mom for a second time when I found out I was pregnant. I didn’t want to have another baby just yet, my life was simple as a mom of one and I enjoyed having my daughter getting to that fun age of doing more. I wasn’t ready. When Aj was born, I only nursed him for 8 weeks because he was a big eater and I had a little girl to raise as well as this new baby, so bottle feeding formula was the way I went after 8 weeks of breast feeding. Aj wasn’t ever really snuggled a lot as a baby, he wasn’t kissed, hugged and shown affection in the way my first born and last born child was during those baby years. I always wondered if maybe that was partially why Aj has been struggling with moods and other symptoms. I had to have a counselor tell me multiple times that I need to stop blaming myself, what’s going on with my son is not something I did or did not do. It’s how his brain is wired, that’s out of my control.

As a parent, I sometimes raise my voice unnecessarily. It’s sometimes raised to get the kids attention because they have run a muck for far too long and I need to get them to hear me above their own chatter, then other times it’s simply because I am overtired and happen to yell instead of talk at a normal decibel to them. I hate doing that. I watch as Aj goes into full blown tears, Aj doesn’t like loud noises from anyone or anything – it puts him into frustrated mode or tearful mode. When that happens, I blame myself for making the mistake of yelling and handling a situation poorly.

I look back at all of these mistakes I make here and there in parenthood and I realize something…

Every single parent in the whole wide world has these moments, those moments when you do something and hang onto the fact that you wish you hadn’t. Parents seem to hang onto these little mistakes we make while our children happily go along with their world, easily forgiving you before you have forgiven yourself.

Kids are resilient, they truly are. I love how sweet, kind and innocent kids are. Kids are simple. It’s easy, you say sorry, you mean sorry and you do better next time – your kids know you will try to do better next time. Our kids seem to have more faith in us as parents than we sometimes have in our own selves. So the next time you want to sit and sulk, and be upset with yourself for handling a situation wrong, as it pertains to parenthood, remember that your kids are fine. The kids have moved on from that scenario and so should you!

Try to cut yourself some slack, we all make mistakes and yes, we sometimes make the same ones twice as it pertains to parenthood, but one thing is for sure YOUR KIDS THINK YOU ROCK THE PARENTING THING so go on and prove them right.

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