“It’s Your Fault, Mom!”

That’s how my morning started. Sound familiar?

Actually the morning started off peaceful.  My hubby went to work early, the kids got ready, we snapped a pic of us all in green (school colors) and chaos broke loose when we hopped in the Pilot. My son hopped in front which ticked off big sister. I heard so many comments about he’s younger and should be in the back, this is embarrassing, none of my friends sit in the back, etc. Those lines don’t bother me especially when it comes to worrying about what others think. “You do you” may be one of my favorite lines. After this discussion calmed we got about halfway to school when my son realized he forgot one of his school books. And this is when it became my fault. It was my fault his book didn’t get in his backpack. It was my fault I didn’t see it laying in our living room and put it in his backpack for him. I don’t micro manage my kids or their school work. It’s on them to be responsible, to handle their homework and to study for their tests. They know my expectation is try their best and to do a good job. This became a lengthy conversation about responsibility. It did quickly switch to screen time when my son picked his phone up and started looking at it when I’m having a heart to heart conversation.

My kids love to watch YouTube and TikTok. It literally drives me batty how often I see them pick up their phone to look. This morning we talked about how fast their time at home has and will continue to fly by. I asked them tough questions like “Do they think when they go off to college they will tell stories about growing up at home playing their XBox and watching YouTube or will they tell stories about playing games, cards or me whooping them in basketball? Or the time we sat around and visited or went to our farm or the lake.”  It won’t be screen time. They won’t tell stories about their phone or gaming to friends or even farther down the road to their future spouse or kids. I know inside I was getting the oh my god, my mom is crazy. I know…I’ve been a kid and thought it myself. But I’ve also lived and I know what matters. Kids – It’s not your devices. Parents – Limit the screen time and make memories doing things together. Life is short.

I know someday my kids will look back on this morning and think dang it my mom was right. Today I know isn’t the day.  I’m sure it was eye rolls as I drove and after they hopped out to go to school I was mad at myself for getting aggravated at my kids but such is the life of a mom. It isn’t always easy. Sometimes you question yourself if you are making the right decisions or saying the right things. Sometimes you have to have the hard conversations. Tonight after school I’m pretty sure they forgot our morning conversation and they were happy as can be to see their mama.

Your cell phone has already replaced your watch, camera, calendar and alarm clock. Don’t let it replace your family.

Why You Should Make Time For Your Friends

We all have busy lives. Whether it’s a new job, new baby, ballgames or something else–it’s important to make time for our friends. Plus, it’s fun to hang with your friends. Laughing is good for your soul.

Here are 10 reasons you should make time for your friends.

  1. If you stop hanging with your friends, they will stop including you.
  2. When you really need them, they won’t be there. — Someday your kids will leave home and you will really need your girlfriends.
  3. Girlfriends are the best at listening and understand you. We all need friends to confide in and blow off steam with.
  4. It’s pretty boring reminiscing alone.
  5. Good friends know each other better than anyone.
  6. You need vacation partners! 😉
  7. You need a life outside your spouse/mama hat!
  8. You need a life outside of work.
  9. Laughter is the best medicine.
  10. Let’s face it…girls are fun!

What is the “right” age for your child to make a big decision on their own?

What is the “right” age for your child to make a big decision on their own? This has been a topic in our house and one that happened this past week.

Background information — My 13 year old daughter has played softball since she was 5 or 6 years old.  Early last season at a softball practice she was bunting left-handed and took a hit.  She had been hit so many times that season and took the hits like a champ.  This one was different. She immediately cried and her hand immediately swelled.  The next day she wanted to go to school so I let her but I set her up an appointment to be seen. Verdict — It was broke and it was broke pretty bad.  

The surgeon called it a boxers break and teased her she was really punching/picking on her brother. He hadn’t seen this break from a softball injury.

She needed surgery which leading up to was pretty hard on this chick with being nervous but after she said a breeze. She missed the rest of the season.  This past fall she ran cross country and loved it. This spring she wants to run track.  The past several weeks we have fought over starting to practice for softball. She hasn’t wanted to practice at home with her dad.

 

The Talk — One evening I decided to talk to our daughter about playing particularly practicing at home. I explained to her that when you play on a team you need to contribute to the team.  Contributing to the team is practicing so you improve your game.  If she doesn’t practice, she isn’t helping her team to improve or win.  In this conversation I told her if she doesn’t want to practice she should think about letting someone else have her spot on the team. She immediately said she wanted to quit.  I wasn’t expecting that immediate of a response. I didn’t want her to jump into a decision even though multiple times she has said she doesn’t love playing after she took the break. She has the jitters and is scared of being hit again.

My daughter also is more of a one sport kind of girl.  She doesn’t like a crazy busy schedule and takes great pride in her grades/school work. I told her to take some time and really think about it.  This wasn’t a decision to just make quickly because one she walks away, it won’t be easy to get back in if she changes her mind. And if she did decide she didn’t want to play, she would talk to her coach and write her a letter on why.

The Decision — She thought on it and was adamant she doesn’t want to play. She wants to focus on track in spring and cross country in the fall. Last week she talked to her coach and gave her a letter.  That evening we talked and I asked her how she felt.  She said it wasn’t as hard as she thought and she felt great about her decision.

Mom Thoughts — I think as a mom we always second guess ourselves and the decisions we make.  My daughter very responsible to handle a decision like this on her own. At the same time, I sit and think I hope she doesn’t regret this decision or I regret not having her stick with it a little longer but right now I’m not looking back. I will miss seeing her on the field, miss the friendships/families we met along the way but I am looking forward to seeing her on the track this spring and back at cross country in the fall.  What age did you let your child make their 1st big decision on their own?  It’s hard to know when the right time is.

How will you know if it’s the right decision if you never make it?

I know my daughter kept asking me to just talk to her coach for her.  That would be easier she said. She learned an important life lesson handling this one by herself.  Life isn’t always easy. Sometimes you have to talk about something that is hard or uncomfortable but that is part of growing up.

Celebrate the wins

Last night I had the evening to spend with just my daughter since my hubby and son had a pitching lesson and baseball practice.

The evening wasn’t anything “big”. She helped me organize my office, we did a little shopping and had dinner together.

On the way home we talked then we were listening to some jams when out of nowhere my daughter said, “Mom, I love you.” This girl tells me she loves me every night when she goes to bed but out of the blue, anyone with a teenager knows this is big. I asked where that came from and she said I love that we do things together. She went on to say she loves how we play games together, how we talk, etc. She said some girls at school say they don’t do anything with their parents and she was just thinking she is lucky. Melt my heart!

It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive you do together. It really is the little things that mean a lot to kids.

Not everyday do I feel like I’m doing this mom gig right but last night I sure felt like a winner. It’s these special moments that make me proud. I hope my daughter keeps wanting to spend time with her momma, keeps playing games with her parents and keeps talking to me through all her teen years. In the meantime, I will keep celebrating these wins – these special moments with my kids!

“In the end, kids won’t remember the fancy things you bought for them, they will remember the time you spent with them.” — Kevin Heath