#nannylife

For the past 8ish months, I’ve been watching my friend’s baby a few days a week in exchange for keeping my horse on her property. It isn’t always the easiest job taking care of an infant, but thanks to some imagination and excellent social media image filters, I’m managing.

Face-swap goodness

“You’re a wazard!”

We created some sick alter-egos. Meet “Mildred and Ethel”. They enjoy gossiping, pointy edged glasses, and silently judging you.

Working on her RBF

“Unlimited power!!”

This is just my son being…my son.

I Yelled at My Kids Today

This morning I yelled at my kids. I didn’t scream at them or beat them, but I yelled at them. Why? Because they weren’t listening. Most moms deal with this problem. You try to ask your kids to do or to stop doing something as nicely as you can. They don’t listen, so you ask again. Still nothing. So finally you get so frustrated that you start yelling at them to do (or stop doing) what you asked. I really hate when it gets to that point.

In my kid’s case, today was one of those mornings that we were going to be late to school if they didn’t hustle and finish getting ready for the day. Instead of doing that, they chose to bicker and mess around with each other. My oldest son was the main subject of my yelling. You see, he’s eleven, and in my opinion he’s old enough to know that when I tell him he needs to stop harassing his brother and get ready for school, I mean it. We just expect more from him because frankly he’s old enough to know better. Because of this our oldest tends to feel picked on, and he’s probably right. He does tend to get the brunt of our frustration. There are times when I feel like we should ease up on him, and then he goes and does something he knows he shouldn’t do, so we have to get after him again. It’s kind of a vicious cycle.

When I dropped my kids off at school finally this morning my son said, “Bye.” in a less than enthusiastic voice. I was feeling the same way, so I said, “Bye.” instead of my usual, cheerful “Have a good day at school, buddy! Love you!”. As soon as I said it I knew I couldn’t leave things like that, so I told him I loved him and he said “I love you too.”

No matter how upset he makes me, I just never want him to go to school without knowing that despite how our day starts, I love him. There’s no guarantee that when I drop him off at school I’ll see him again. The world can be a dangerous place, so no matter how angry your kids make you, tell them you love them. You’ll never regret telling your kids that you love them, but you would greatly regret not telling them if you ever lost them unexpectedly.

Look to the Future: A Letter To Stressed Moms

pexels-photo-568027.jpegHi Momma Bear,

If you have young kids, I bet today you got thrown up on, or pooped on, or peed on, or had a booger rubbed on you. You probably had to deal with a meltdown (or three). That coffee you had likely wasn’t enough to get you through the kind of day that awaited you. You aren’t sleeping well. Your nerves are shot. Your sex life and social life are suffering. Your hair is going on who knows how many days without being washed. You never understood how anyone could want to kill their own child until the first time your child drove you to near insanity with their refusal to nap when you desperately needed some time to decompress. Maybe you’re the mom of an uptight, hormonal teenager who makes poor life choices and thinks you’re an idiot. It isn’t just you, sister. I think it’s safe to say that basically every (normal) mother has been or is there.

If these things are all basically inevitable, where is the silver lining? How do we (and our children) survive this? I think besides the obvious things like making time for yourself whenever possible, making time for you and your spouse/partner whenever possible, and knowing when to just put your screaming child somewhere safe and leave the room for a while to prevent losing it are extremely important things, but I think that a bigger answer is that you have to look to the future.

When I have been in the darkest place I could be as a mother, the thing that got me to keep my sanity is that I thought about how quickly this time will have come and gone. I think about how one day I will actually MISS the times my kids wouldn’t leave me alone for five seconds because they needed to ask me a million questions about why the sky is blue, or when they came home from school discouraged and needed emotional support. There’s going to be a day when I’ll regret the times that I was so tired and grumpy that I didn’t give my sons a hug or kiss before bed. Obviously You wont miss the days of babies crying all night, changing gross diapers, having to physically drag your toddler out of a store because they straight up had a meltdown in aisle 7, or being told you’re the worst parent ever because you said no to your teenager. The point is that we tend to live only in the here and now, and it’s when we can’t see beyond our difficult days that we suffer. Remember that no matter what, this is just a season of your life. You’ll wake up one day in the future (faster than you think) and your kids will have grown up. I’m willing to bet you’ll look back on those times with more fondness for the sweet memories than you will disdain for the difficult days. So grab a glass of wine (even boxed wine, i’m not judging), kiss and hug your kids no matter how annoying they’re being today and remember that you are not alone. Everything is going to be ok.