Be still my mothering heart

I have been totally in denial. It started when she turned 5. It’s a milestone birthday but I didn’t let myself get all emotional and bloggy about it.

Then she graduated from preschool. And I was proud I didn’t bawl like a baby (although I did tear up).

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But there’s no avoiding the next milestone or pretending it’s not the complete end of “baby phases” for my sweet Tink.

She will start Kindergarten in 40 days (but who’s counting?) and she is beyond excited. She is such an independent little spirit and lately it seems she’s preparing me for her next big step.

She wants to do everything, and I mean everything, by herself, without help.

Walking up to swim lessons without me, fixing her own hair (heaven help us), and this morning, it was buttering her own pancakes.

Today we also got her a pair of shoes with laces so she can learn how to tie shoes before starting school. This was actually my idea because I would like to save a little of her teacher’s sanity.

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When we pulled into the driveway after buying the shoes, she unbuckled her seatbelt (by herself of course), looked at me so sweetly and said,

“In kindergarten, I’m gonna have to learn to do things by myself. Swing myself on the swings, tie my shoes, being kind, brush my teeth, talking about Jesus. All kinds of stuff.”

And then my heart broke with pride.

Independence, Kindness & Jesus.
Maybe I’m doing something right.
Happy tears, y’all.
This motherhood gig is alright.

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Mama said there’d be days like this

One thing I hope readers of my blog (that haven’t met me) never think about me…

Wow, she really has it all together.

(I say those that haven’t met me because if you met me you’d totally know I don’t have it all together.)

It’s so easy to write about the pretty part of parenting; post the cuteness all over Instagram/Facebook/Twitter. It’s not like everyone is pulling out their iPhones during a tug of war with their kid and says, “This is cute. I’m so posting this!”

Being a parent is hard.
Blended family life is hard.
Regular life is hard.

Most days are filled with awesomeness, smiles, hugs and tears of laughter.

But there are also days when your children act like crazy people, make bad choices or break your heart. Sometimes all of those in one day. It’s so easy to reflect on your kids and wonder,
“Is this my fault? Have I totally screwed this whole mom thing up? So-and-so’s kids don’t act like this. It must be something I’m not doing right.”

It is in that moment I’m reminded…
Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Don’t compare your kids or your experience with motherhood to others. It will make you overly critical of yourself and leave you feeling completely inadequate.

Try to take each day (or hour) at a time.

Pray.
Do the best you can.
Cry when you need to.
Pray.
Love them.
Love yourself.
Never give up.
Pray.

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P.S. Dear self, please come read this post when you need to be reminded that you’re a good mom whose heart is completely invested in this motherhood/stepmom gig and it’s ok to not have it all together.

Attention Walmart Customers

Dear Walmart Customers,

I want to apologize for the massive meltdown you witnessed this evening in the accessories department…and the hair care aisle…and snack foods aisle.

You see, my precious 4 (and 1/2) year old wanted something and she was not pleased with my response (“No, you don’t need that.”).

She then chose to scream and stomp and force tears and get all red faced. Bless her heart, she thought that I’d suddenly change my mind (she was wrong). Honestly, y’all, I don’t know why she hasn’t learned that this doesn’t work with me.

After our Come To Jesus Meeting between the underwear and socks didn’t convince her to find her sanity, I decided we needed to leave before I lost mine.

I went to check out and we left, pronto.

When we got to the car, she then continued her fit, hit her brother and kicked her legs like a madwoman.

All because she wanted something and had been told no.

I just spent the better part of a half our bagging up her toys to earn back. Hopefully, she will be more grateful for the toys she has. Or at the very least figure out not to start a stage 5 meltdown when being told no.

Hopefully, me sticking to my guns will make some impact on her. Because if she doesn’t learn now, she will still act that way at 14 and, well, I’d become an alcoholic and that just won’t fly.

I keep telling myself, “Sometimes being a good mom means evenings of trying to stay calm and hold your ground as they scream and throw a fit.”

I say this, not because I doubt how I handled the situation, but because sometimes you have to repeat things to yourself to keep from losing it on your kid.

Thankfully, tomorrow is a new day. Hopefully, one with fewer tears and more fun.

The difference 3 years can make

I was looking through pictures the other day and I came across these two pictures. Every year I get a picture of the kids together in their Christmas pajamas. The left is from 2009 and the other from this past Christmas.

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It’s crazy to think they have changed so much in what seems like the blink of an eye. But it’s been three years since the picture on the left was taken. Three years since AH’s first Christmas. Three years since LD wasn’t a teenager yet. And three years since JD was still a good bit shorter than I am.

AH is now almost 4 and before I know it will be in Kindergarten. LD is now 14 and almost in high school (WHAT?!!). And JD is almost 12 and it won’t be long before he is taller than I am.

Can we just freeze time for little while?
Crap. I’m getting old.

Wise words

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What I love most about this is when I read it, I hear my mother’s voice in my head. It’s a bit of advice she gave countless times when I was growing up (along with “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything”). And it’s something she has never been afraid to live by; leading by example.

Happy Wednesday,
Adrian

Metaphor for motherhood

Every night, before bed, I read AH a story. Lately, her evening selection has been her (and my) longtime favorite, Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. Every time I read it to her, I can hardly make it through without teary eyes and shaky voice as I read the final words to this metaphor for motherhood.

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I’m linking up with Momma To 4 Blessings this Wednesday! Click here to check her blog out or find other great blogs to follow.

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Happy Somewhat Wordless Wednesday,
Adrian

T-Ball & Tears

Saturday started off with with AH and I going to register her for T-ball. Yep, baseball for little kids who wear helmets two sizes too big for them while swinging a bat that’s almost as tall as they are. Adorable, right? Yes.

I spent the next 45 minutes with her in the donut shop eating what I explained to her was “brunch” instead of “Mommy’s really late at feeding you breakfast and now it’s really lunchtime.”
I also spent a good deal of time explaining that she wasn’t actually going to play T-ball right then; we just signed her up to play.

It wasn’t until later, when I was looking at old pictures, that I realized…

Dear Lord, my baby is old enough to play T-ball!!

When did this happen?

What started out as excitement turned into teary eyed memories going through my head. It all goes by so fast.

And it just adds to it that she will be turning four in April. **sniff*

Well, I’m off to find comfort in the box of T-Ball fund raiser candy…

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When have you had a moment that made you realize how fast life is going by? I have them all the time so I’d love to hear about it.

Happy Blogging,
Adrian