Friday, May 25, 2018

My Mom says I can't play with you anymore

There are a few of my son's friends that I don't care for. I know they are just kids. I know that my son likes them. But, I don't.

I can't even tell you exactly what it is about these children that I don't like. I don't think it is any one thing. Maybe it's because they are exposed to older-kid subjects through older siblings, and I don't like the way they pass that stuff on to my son. Maybe it's because every time I am around them I notice behavior that I don't like and worry that my son will forget his good behaviors. Maybe it's a combination of these things.

I try very hard to not influence who my son plays with. (With one notable exception: And I am sure his teachers are thankful for that intervention since they got each other in trouble every time they interacted.) But, I didn't always realize how much influence parenting behaviors have over their children's friendships. But this is more than just "I don't like that kid." Parents who suffer from depression or other disorders have such a negative effect on their children's lives, that it becomes difficult for children to navigate and maintain social relationships.

My son is going to have a lot of relationships in his life. He has already forgotten some of the children he used to go to pre-school with and pines over some kids who have moved away. I want my son to learn how to make and maintain friendships over his lifetime. And, hopefully, learn which friends to keep and which ones to get rid of on his own.

Which childhood friend do you miss the most? Tell me in the comments.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Moms who work for themselves

I have a lot of friends who own a business. They are successful designers, store owners, consultants and life coaches. I love this about my friends. I love their sense of adventure, and that they found a way to feed their creativity and that they are providing for their families. They are good at what they do and they are happy.

I recognize that several decades ago, being an entrepreneur wasn't a popular option for most women. For example, back in Maude's day, most women didn't have the options that my friends and I have today.

While I know that entrepreneurship is not a part of my current life goals, I admire the people who take the plunge. What I think is funny is when I read articles discussing how entrepreneurship is good for Moms.

Of course it is good for Moms! Here's a list of why:
  • Moms are not afraid to fail. Anyone who has had to bring home their newborn and completely trust their own instincts in order to keep another person alive is no longer afraid of anything. (Except maybe snakes.)
  • Moms are great negotiators. Have you ever tried talking a three-year-old out of a tantrum? That takes some mad skills.
  • Moms are creative. These are the people who have put together school projects with their children the night before they are due.
  • Moms can master a schedule. They know how to get where they need to go to the exact minute. 
I understand when my friends tell me that they only want to stay at home with their children. And I understand when my friends tell me that they want to go back to work. Neither of those choices are easy; both of those choices are brave.

So here's a toast to all the Moms out there - no matter what their choices are!

If you could own your own business, what would it be? Tell me in the comments. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

What do you have time for?

My son is very practical about his time. (I know that this is behavior that he learned from us.) He likes to tell me what his plans are over the weekends, and we've had some good conversations about finishing out one extra-curricular activity before picking up any new ones.

In the last few months, he has asked about trying a new sport, taking up chess lessons and starting music lessons. And then we talk. We talk about what activities he currently does and if he wants to give any of those up. And we talk about Mommy and Daddy's schedules, because the reality is that if our son takes on a new activity, we are all affected.

And I am glad that we talk these things through with him. Not just because I want my son to understand the importance of committing to something, but because I want him to understand that life is not meant to be over-scheduled.

I listen to other parents talk about their schedules. (Or, more accurately, their child's schedule.) And I worry. I worry about what type of time-and-space-bending technology they are using to get their children everywhere they need to be. And what that means for their downtime as a family.

Our time with our children moves so quickly...how do you want to spend it? Tell me in the comments.

Friday, May 18, 2018

How are you not tired?

Saturdays are hopping at our house.

We do chores and upgrades to the house, we prep for the week ahead, and we try have fun together along the way. My son is usually very understanding about Saturdays and most weekends he is a great helper. I try to be mindful about the amount of chores I drag him to on Saturday, because I want him to have downtime.

But he does help me with chores. And then we play. And then he tromps through the woods. And then he goes to swim class. I love watching my son swim: front crawl, back crawl, breast stroke, butterfly (butterfly!) up and down the length of the pool for a half hour.

And then swim class ends. And he is not tired. How is he not tired? I am tired just watching him.

I know that my son has a much better metabolism than I do. And I know that it takes a lot to wear him out. And yes...I am jealous. Because I am tired. At the end of our weekends, I am really, really tired and I want to sleep.

My son? He wants to stay up and delay bedtime and still has energy to burn. And it is those exact qualities that cause parental tiredness. He wears me out. (By the way...science proved that this is true...so, no, it isn't just your imagination.)

I am OK with my son wearing me out. It's a good kind of tired, and I rely on him to keep me on my toes. And because of him, I sleep like a rock afterward. And all parents love their sleep.

What activities do you do with your child that wear you out? Tell me in the comments.