Veterans Day perspective from a 7 year old.

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An interview with Cabin Girl, age 7, about Veterans Day.

What does Veterans Day mean to you?  “We’re thanking the people who saved our country.”

What do they save our country from?  “From the people who are mean and the people who don’t really like this country and are trying to damage it.”

Who do you know that serve(d) our country?  “One of my Grandpas…”  I had to inform her that all 4 of her Great Grandpas served, as well as her Uncle and Aunt and at least 1 Great Uncle.

What do they do to save our country?  “They fight.”

Why is it important for us to have a day for them?  “So we can thank them for all that they did and do.”

Would you join the services to fight for our country?  “Maybe.”

Why?  “I don’t really know.”

Is there anything you want to say to our Veterans?

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“Thank you for fighting for our country.”

Cabin Boy, age 4, says, “Mattress.”  Not sure what that’s supposed to mean, but he enjoyed being part of the interview process.

Sunday Funday: UNDERPANTS!

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Mr. Monkey is semi-starting to potty train, so we’ve been putting him in Flips trainers during the day.

Basically, it’s a diaper cover with velcro in the front and back, so you can attach the cloth pads that absorb pee, but it has stretchy sides for pulling them up and down.  Like cloth diaper Pullups.

Mr. Monkey has also started trying to dress himself, which is AWESOME for this momma with hands full of newborn baby all the time.

These two things met in hilarity this morning, when this happened:

superherodiapercollageAnd, yes, he ran around the house like that yelling “Superhero.”  Because apparently Superheros run around in backwards undies with what looks like toilet paper dangling between their legs.

Happy Sunday!

Looking Back: 7 weeks with my parents

Remember this post about me moving back in with my parents?  No?  Go ahead and read it, I’ll wait.

Good?  Good.

What I need to add is that we moved BEFORE the Kraken arrived.  5 days past due we hauled ass across the state.  You can read about that in The Kraken’s birth story, if you like.

As an adult, I often find myself looking back on growing up with nostalgia.  As a mother, I can look back a appreciate the things my parents did for us.  But it’s rare I can compare myself to them exactly.

For 7 weeks, I was able to do just that.

Now, there are reasons I choose to parent differently than my parents.  Many of them are probably generational.  A few of them are because I remember the way it felt being parented that way, and I resented them for it.  It’s a tough place to be in, watching your children be parented the way you were, when you told yourself you’d never do it that way.  None of this is to say that my mom and dad were abusive or bad parents.

My dad has always been a worker.  Gets up between 3 and 4 a.m. to be at work early enough to get stuff done without the buzz of others around him and was usually always home by 4 p.m.  Then he’d change into grunge clothes and dive into whatever project he was working on.  For years he remodeled the house we grew up in, cleaned up the forest around our home for firewood, and had various other projects going on.

My mom has always been a do-er.  She would make sure everything was taken care of before sitting down and relaxing.  Worked evenings while we were really young, then started working days once we were all in school.  She’d work all day then come home to cook and clean.

Captain and I are so, so different from my parents.  I admit it often, I’m a bare-minimum do-er.  I keep the house clean enough; never dirty, but not spic and span.  Captain doesn’t have the DIY drive to get things done until they absolutely need it done NOW.  And we’re okay with that.  It works for us.  But I know my parents have never approved of our style.

When we moved in and I was pregnant to burst, both of my parents were incredibly helpful with the kids.  While we were in the hospital there was no doubt that our kids were well taken care of.  When The Kraken and I were released from the hospital, they were great helps and sounding boards during a hard period of extra adjustment for all of us.  When Captain left, he left knowing that his family was safe.

Really, we couldn’t have asked for better help.

But, watching my parents interact with their Grandkids on a daily basis, rather than a visiting basis, made me realize where I get some of my parenting issues from.

Short fuse and intensity: My dad.  If I have to tell you more than once, I get frustrated, and now I know why.

Need to have things done my way: My mom.  This is how I do it and this is how it should be done, and if it’s not, you’re in trouble.  Yep, I do that, too.

Suffice it to say, for years I’ve wondered where my tendencies as a parent came from, and now it’s perfectly clear.  You really do parent as you were parented, and it’s a hard thing to overcome.

It’s not all bad though.

My dad taught us the importance of physical contact.  Every night after dinner, we’d ‘wrastle.’  Dog piles, suplexes, tickling, and rolling around.  It’s why I encourage Captain to do the same with our kids.  My mom showed me that the easiest way to show someone you love them is to feed them.  Nourish their bodies with food made with love.  Make enough to feed an army so no one leaves the table hungry.  Dad was always working hard to make sure we were taken care of in every way.  Mom instilled in us a love of reading.

I’m sure I drove them crazy… I was not one lick of help, at all.  Emotionally, I was wrung out.  Physically, I was recovering from a freight train labor and delivery.  Every time I tried to do something (I do stuff sometimes, I swear!), a child catastrophe would occur and I’d have to stop.  I hope the few times my mom came home to folded laundry, she was pleased.  I hope the few days I managed to make real food while my mom was gone, my dad enjoyed it.  My biggest fear was becoming a burden and making them resent the kids and I.  From the way my mom teared up as we were leaving, I don’t think we did.  Unless they were tears of joy…

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All in all, for 7 weeks, my kids and I were in the hands of the best of the best.  They loved us, fed us, and sheltered us through a storm that, otherwise, I would have been facing alone, and for that I can never be grateful enough.

A Life Challenge

The domestic pirate

I wrote this post about 2 years ago after our experience circumcising Mr. Monkey.  This isn’t meant to be a pro/anti-circumcision post, but our experience with feeling helpless in a situation, and a request for people to support, not degrade, each other.

Captain is circumcised.  I suppose starting there is best, since that’s why I’m in this whole tangle of emotions.  Since he is circumcised he wants our sons to be circumcised.  Okay.  I don’t have a penis, I’m not one to really make a decision about it.  However, I still played devil’s advocate, researching the pros and cons of circumcision, telling him all my findings.  Nothing changed his mind, and I’m okay with that.  At least he’s informed.  So, after our first son, Cabin Boy, was born, I grudgingly made the appointment.  I cried the morning leading up to it.  I cried in the waiting room.  I cried when I took him in, full of guilt that I was leaving him and his little manhood in the hands of someone I didn’t know from Adam, terrified that something would go wrong.  The procedure took all of 5 minutes, went totally fine, and CB only showed discomfort the first night.  A week went by, the plastibell fell off, and VIOLA.  All done.  Happy, healthy penis.

Fast-forward to mid-August, when I had our second son, Mr. Monkey’s, circumcision appointment.  Same Dr. and all.  We’ve been through this before, it should be easy, right?  Nope.  Same guilt.  More tears.  I made the mistake of seeking comfort through my social network friends.  Most of them are moms I met through local play groups and even most of those that aren’t from the groups are parents; They’ll have words of comfort for me, right?  Even if they don’t feel that circumcision is necessary for their sons, they’ll at least have a ‘Good luck’ for us, right?  Nope.  Apparently, when it comes to the topic of circumcision, despite it being an intensely difficult and personal decision for each family, people feel the need to say something that digs the knife of guilt a little deeper in my gut.  Thankfully a few close friends had the words I needed to dry my tears and make the drive to the clinic.  Again, I cried as I left the room and sat in the lobby, once again terrified that we could be in the percentage of ‘procedures that went wrong’.   Lucky me, there was a wonderful display of teenage angst to keep me preoccupied (really, if any of my kids call me a ‘f*&^ing idiot’ in public, I will backhand them and I don’t care who’s watching- but I digress) and before I knew it the Dr. was there telling me everything went fine.  **Breath sigh of relief**  Now I felt bad that I had kind of hoped MM had peed on the Dr. like CB did. Mr. Monkey was a bit fussy but nursing and some good cuddle time calmed him down enough to help him sleep for the drive home.  Once we got home he worked on filling his diaper so, of course, I changed him… and there was blood.  Everywhere.  A lot of it.  He started screaming.  I started crying and yelling for my sister to bring my phone and the paperwork from the Dr. so I could call the ‘if a problem occurs’ number.  The nurse told me to take him to Urgent Care immediately, so Captain and I took him in.

Not to include all the gory details but several attempts at cauterization (O.M.-effing-G!!! You want to do WHAT to him now?!), using pressure, different wraps and clotting products, a discussion of plan B to remove the PlastiBell and convert to a Mogen Clamp method, and FOUR HOURS later, the bleeding finally stopped.  We’re lucky he’s such a mild mannered baby; he laid in my lap and slept for most of it (thank goodness- I can’t imagine trying to maintain pressure on his little parts had he been squirming and kicking), we managed to maneuver enough so that he could nurse while laying in my lap and not disrupt the process we were going through.  Maybe I’m trying to assuage my guilt a bit by telling myself he couldn’t have been in much discomfort since he slept nearly the entire time and barely squeaked through all the gauze changes and various pressure holds we used.

The follow up appointment went well and he’s healed perfectly.

So, what’s the point of me telling you this?  I guess I felt the need to put a reminder out there.  A plea, if you will.  As parents we’re faced with difficult decisions every day.  Not that someone’s going over our every move as a parent with a fine-toothed comb, but we’re under a lot of scrutiny and the pressure to ‘do it right’ is overwhelming at the best of times.  We all feel it… I’d love to shake the hand of a parent that was exempt from receiving unwanted advice or scrutiny from someone that feels they know better.  So why on earth do we insist on putting more pressure on one another?  Why couldn’t someone have just said, I hope it goes well, instead of telling me what they think I should or shouldn’t be doing?  I have enough guilt and have avoided telling people of our experience because the LAST thing I need right now is someone saying ‘I told you so’ or ‘I never would have done that to MY son’ like it makes them a better mother than I am.  I don’t want apologies or backpedaling on things that have been said.  I just want to ask everyone to give each other a break.  We’re all doing what we feel is best for our families, wading through the myriad of choices and circumstances life throws at us.  For whatever reason though, it doesn’t make us sympathetic, it makes us more self righteous.  My boys may hate the decision we’ve made for them down the road but, you know what?  That’s something Captain and I are prepared to deal with.  We should be supporting one another in this hectic phase of our lives, not sowing seeds of doubt and guilt.

So, in conclusion, I would like to issue a challenge.  And this goes to everyone, not just parents.  The next time someone is discussing a life-choice that you don’t agree with, stay away from the soap box and just wish them good luck.  It may not be what’s right for you or your family, it may not fall in with your beliefs, but isn’t that the beauty of everyone being individual?

It’s Not Just Mommies at War

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As a blogger, I read other blogs.  It’s what I do for fun, for inspiration, for connection with other people in similar shoes to mine.  Those blogs are opinionated, told from the view of the blogger, appropriately unapologetic, and I love them.

As a follower of blogs of things dear to me heart, I come across a lot of posts about parenting.  Motherhood, to be precise.  The difficulties, the joys, the confusion, the triumphs… and I am finding that, more and more, telling a story from your point of view just isn’t enough anymore.

Stay at home moms, working moms, single moms… There is a competition for who has it the hardest.  Every mom has her own hurdles to overcome, every day.  Some days we make it over every hurdle just fine; others we trip on every single one, crossing the finish line that is bedtime broken, bruised, and bleeding.  We turn to our blogs and social media as a source of comfort and connection.  Please tell me I’m not alone in this is a common plea from all of us.

But there is a pincer movement happening around us, making a mother just looking for solace out to be self righteous and above the fold.

This movement is coming from the men, grandparents, and other people who are primary caretakers for their children.

If a woman writes about how she needs a break, there is a dad out there asking why it’s not okay for him to have one, too.

If a mother mentions the 15 minute drive her husband gets twice a day and how she is so jealous the he gets a guaranteed half hour to have his mind to himself, there is someone who can’t be a stay at home parent out there telling her that she chose her job and should just suck it up.

It doesn’t matter that we have no idea what the perspective of stay at home/work at home/single dads/grandparents are.  It doesn’t matter that there is no way we can imagine what it must feel like to be parenting the next generation which we had hoped to watch and spoil from afar.

If we don’t make a disclaimer in everything we say about our experiences as a mother, we are shamed for being intentionally exclusive or demeaning towards those parenting from a different perspective.

I don’t know what it’s like to be a dad.  Because I’m a mom.  I don’t know what it’s like to be a working parent, because I stay home with my kids.  When I write about my experiences with motherhood, I don’t generally add how a dad or working parent might feel, because there’s no way for me to know.  I am not choosing to be exclusive, I am choosing not to make assumptions.  Unless I specifically say “Boy, those stay at home dads need to x, y, z…” I’m not saying they should x, y, or z, so don’t read between the lines of my parenting musings.

Case in point: I really feel the need to say that this applies to all walks, so that no one gets their panties (or boxers) in a twist about me making insinuations or excluding them.

I am not you.  I can not even guess at what your perspective or opinion may be.

I am just a mother, trying to be a good parent.  Whether your chromosomes match or differ, if you’re married or beyond child bearing years, we’re all doing the best we can and trying to find some common ground.

Motherhood is not a war.  Fatherhood is not a war.

parentwar

If you are a dad that could use a break, agree with the mom who feels the same way instead of asking her why she thinks she deserves one and you don’t.  We all have a common ground in parenting: We love our kids.  Stop making it about you, and make it about US.  We are all in this together.

Let’s start acting like it.

Whimsical Wednesday: Good Things Come in 3s

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What’s more exciting than change?

If you answered 2 changes, you’d be right.

If you answered THREE changes, you’d be a fly on my wall, eavesdropping on the goings-on in the Pirate House.  Sorry if I took a swat at you, you filthy gossip.

First, there’s the big blog move.  If you could tell me what you love, hate, could do without regarding the new page, I’d really love your feedback.  I like it, but I don’t feel like it’s quite ME just yet.

Second, if you’ve been around for a little while, you’ll know that we’re preparing for the arrival of our 4th Cabin Kid, aka The Kraken.

And third, the Captain has received a new job offer!  It’s halfway across the state, and we’ll likely be moving right when The Kraken is due, but we’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this to open up and we’re so excited.  It will put us near family, there are more opportunities for affordable property, so my homesteading dream can come true, the school districts in the area are great, and it’s not rainy 90% of the time.

So, while we’re elbow deep in home projects, sifting through baby stuff, and preparing for a big moving sale, the excitement here is palpable.

Have any easy moving tips for me?  Yard sale tips?  Ways to stay sane without drinking?

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5 Tips on Surviving Pregnancy as a Couple

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Guys, we know you don’t know.  We know you can’t understand the way having a tiny being pressing on all the corners of your abdomen from the inside can feel.  We know you don’t get rushes of inexplicable emotions, or food cravings so intense that you’re tempted to recreate the World of Warcraft freak out.  And we know that it’s hard for you to understand why we might not be as frisky as usual.
Ladies, even the most pleasant, levelheaded of us can become stark raving mad biznatches during the miracle that is pregnancy.
I’m far from a relationship expert, but I’m really good at getting knocked up and the Captain’s still hanging around, so I’m here to give a few tips, for both ladies and guys, on how to deal with pregnancy issues without becoming little more than resentful roommates before your tiny poop machine makes its debut.
Photo credit: Trish Andrus

1: Morning (read: 24/7) sickness- Guys: When your lady is spending most of her day dry heaving into the sink or making out with the toilet, spend some of that time with her.  Get her a hairband, bring her a glass of water, just sit there and rub her back.  When she’s done and has cleaned off the goop that was ricocheted back into her face, hug her for a minute.  Don’t speak.  And most importantly, don’t ask if she’s okay.  She’s not okay.  Her body is trying to turn itself inside out.  Just let her know with your actions that you’re there for her in her most vulnerable and potentially embarrassing* moments without judgement, and you’ll be raking in the brownie points. *Ever puke so hard you pee yourself or fart unintentionally?  No?  Then no complaining if she does.  Yes?  Then you’ll know the feeling and keep your trap shut.

Ladies: After you’re done heaving and your guy has been sweetly and silently doting on you, brush your teeth (or at least gargle with some mouthwash) and wipe the snot off your face before you show your gratitude with a kiss.  You don’t have to get into a full blown make-out sesh, but make sure you show him that you noticed his silent support and that you appreciate it.  No one likes hanging around someone who’s puking like they’re possessed by a demon.

2: Exhaustion- Guys: Don’t complain that your lady seems to be utterly exhausted by the most menial tasks.  She slept for 10 hours, made herself barely presentable for work, took a nap on her lunch break, and now she’s on the verge of tears because she’s out of clean underwear and is still just. so. tired?  Now’s the time to tie on your super-hero cape and offer your skills as a domestic helper.  Ask her what she needs you to do, and do it without grumbling. Within earshot.  Let’s be real.  No one likes extra chores.

Ladies: Let go.  I’m no June Cleaver, but I admit that I like things to be done a certain way.  If your guy is making your life a little easier by picking up a few of the chores around the house, don’t nit pick about how it’s done.  Thank him as often as you can while he’s helping and once he’s done, let him know how much you appreciate it.  You’ll have plenty of time for fretting and doing it yourself during the feel good trimester, and if you gripe about how he’s helping, he’s not going to do it anymore.

3: Food- Guys: We can’t explain it.  Sometimes there are just things our body won’t tolerate.  Like vegetables.  Or the smell of cooking meat.  Or anything that doesn’t have sugar in it.  It’s a crap-shoot.  One day we could be dying for Indian food and the next day just the idea of curry makes us nauseous.  We’re just as perplexed and frustrated by it as you are.  So, if you’re the cook in the house, ask what your lady wants to eat, and always have a backup plan, lest all your cooking go to waste.  And if your lady has a particular craving while you’re out and about, get it for her!  You will earn some major brownie points for assisting her in her random indulgences.  Sometimes, there is nothing sexier than a man coming home with a take-out box full gyoza and chicken katsu.  And when your lady proceeds to stuff her face full of the desired food so fast you’re positive she isn’t even chewing it, just ask if she’d like something to drink, too.  Or, make a joke about it.  Captain’s favorite line to say at meals with me this pregnancy?  “Yes, I want you BIGGER!” in a totally creep-tastic, evil geniusy voice.  Nearly makes me choke on my gyoza.

Ladies: If it is within your power to get your craved-for food yourself, do it.  If it’s 3 a.m. and you just HAVE to have a McChicken, don’t pester your guy to give up his sleep to fetch it.  Either slap on a robe and hit the drive thru, or find something that will satisfy your taste buds until lunch tomorrow.  Whatever you do though, don’t beat yourself up about what your body is craving.  Just make good decisions where you can so that if you do have a day during which that slutty bitch Little Debbie won’t stop harassing you, you won’t feel guilty for eating the entire box of her Oatmeal Creme Pies in the car on the way home from the store.  You know, for example.

4: Personal hygiene- Guys: Here’s the deal.  Our bodies change a lot during pregnancy.  Our chemicals change so we smell different, our bodies produce more icky things than we care to admit, hair grows in thicker, darker, and faster, we break out like Argus Filch getting the side effect of Weasley’s Fever Fudge, and we get stretchmarks on top of just plain not feeling good.  It is generally pretty hard to feel sexy during pregnancy knowing that your body has become a completely different animal.  If we aren’t feeling sexy, then we sure as hell don’t think you find us sexy.  If your lady has a hard time shaving her legs and complains about it?  Offer to shower with her and help.  And don’t expect that bikini line to look very nice until she gets more than 5 minutes to shower after baby arrives.

Ladies: It sucks, but don’t gripe about it.  Do you want to hear details about your guy’s sweaty package after a long day?  He doesn’t want to hear about the nasty things your body is doing.  Hair on your nipples?  Quietly pluck it.  Pee when you sneeze?  Just go change.  Deodorant not up to par anymore?  Hit the store and get something better.  It’s kind of like the poop rule:  Everybody does it, but people aren’t too keen on seeing it, smelling it, or hearing about it.  Unless it’s theirs.  Like the saying goes: Everyone likes their own brand best.

5: Becoming as big as a house- Guys: In our fat-shaming, thinspo pushing culture, pregnancy weight gain is just about the most confusing thing ever.  Medical experts don’t help either, by putting out general limits on how much we should be gaining at certain points during pregnancy.  Even when our bodies are in the midst of doing the most amazing thing ever, we are critical of them for not fitting in with the norm that is portrayed by Photoshopped advertising.  Whatever stage in the pregnancy, there will be hitches in your lady’s self esteem.  First trimester bloating, ensuring our regular pants will see the closet sooner than we’d hoped.  Second trimester showing barely enough that you just look fat.  Third trimester you-must-be-having-twins belly.  Other people assuming that our pregnancy is open to the peanut gallery’s 2 cents, telling us we’re too small, too big, carrying too high, too low, etc.  Make your house a place of zen and acceptance.  This woman is carrying your baby, and even if you may not think she’s beautiful or sexy in the conventional sense, shower her with your affections.  Find reasons to compliment her.  Tell her that her bump looks cute in the outfit she’s wearing.  You’re half the reason she’s going through this.  Rub lotion on her stretched belly to show her that you want a better connection with her and the life blooming inside her.  Strive to be at least half of the reasons she smiles every day.

Ladies: Quit with the self depreciating remarks about your changing body.  This is what your body was designed to do.  Marvel in the way it changes to accommodate the rapid growth of your baby rather than despair at the numbers on the scale.  Share the things that make you feel good with your guy.  If you only point out the bad things, they will become the only things that you see.  And try to make light of it.  For instance, I felt like I had my own gravitational pull a few days before my due date with Cabin Boy.  So, I made a Halloween costume to showcase it.

 
In a nutshell, love each other, help each other, appreciate each other, don’t say stupid things, and, when in doubt, bring home some gyoza.  Or ice cream.  Or pickles.

Theme Thursday: Superheroes; The Real Life Kind

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I’m keeping it short and sweet today.

I don’t have a lot of opinions about Superheroes.  Sure, I enjoy movies and shows about them, but I’ve never been one to pick a favorite.  Pirates are more my thing.  If you couldn’t tell.

But I do believe that there are real life people that embody the idea of what a Superhero should be, and stand for.  Lending a hand in times of crisis, being a well of support for others, living life to the fullest despite limitations you or those around you may have, and looking on the bright side and being grateful for the positives despite a storm of negatives.

Which is why today I just want to share this little FB page with you, created by my friend Janelle, to chronicle the journey of her baby boy born with a heart condition and support other families dealing with Chronic Heart Disease.

Click here to see what Mighty Max and the Mission Squad are up to!

 

A Week of One

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This week Cabin Girl and Cabin Boy are staying with family across the state, so it’s just Mr. Monkey with the Captain and I.

Just MM.

It is so weird.

It’s quiet.  It’s less messy.  It’s more manageable.

And my awesome brain decided a while ago that, during this week, I would get shit done.

But, I’m vetoing that decision now that we’re here.

Because MM has never had the one-on-one time his siblings had.  CG was an only child for over 3 years.  CB had solo time with me for 2 years while CG was in preschool a few hours most of the week.


So this week, I am devoting myself to focusing on this one child.

Listening to this one pair of feet pitter-patter.

Feeding this one demanding mouth.

Snuggling this one warm body.

Playing with this one curious mind.

Burbling this one soft belly.

Naptimes and bedtimes have been rough already.  He doesn’t know what to think about big brother not being in the room with him at night.  And there have been a few times he’s asked for sissy, not quite understanding what I mean when I say she’s not here.

For now though, he’s enjoying the choice movie spot on the couch, without having to fight for it.

So THIS is what guilt-free parenting feels like.

orangerhino

Have you guys seen the Orange Rhino Challenge?  In a nutshell, it’s a challenge to stop yelling at your kids.

*eyeroll*  Right?  How can you be a parent and not yell?  That’s what parents DO.  It’s like, 90% of the job description.

Isn’t it?

Here’s the thing: I’m a yeller.  My family of orientation has some anger management issues that were blissfully passed on to me.  The Captain, though much better than me most of the time, feeds off of my stress, so when I yell, he yells, too.  The kicker?  We never yell at each other the way we yell at the kids.  I would never, in a million years, use it as an acceptable form of communication with him, and he is usually so even keeled that I doubt he’d yell at me if I stuck a fork in his hand (okay, that may be an exaggeration, but you get the idea).

How is it okay to speak to our kids in a way that we would never dream of using with our partner?

We’ve made excuses for a long time.  “They just don’t listen… I ask nicely 1,000 times and it’s only when I yell that we get results… We do it to keep them safe… We can’t communicate as effectively with them and we get frustrated.”  I think most parents would think these are all viable excuses.  BUT THEY ARE NOT GOOD REASONS.

Since becoming parents of multiple children, our stress and anxiety levels have increased.  Now, we’re about to add a 4th into our barely contained mass of chaos, and I’ve been thinking.  I’ve been thinking a lot.

About how I hate the way I feel when I tuck the kids in with tears on their faces, because I had to yell at them to just go to bed.  How I hate myself, because I should be doing better than this.  They deserve better than this.

About how I want to do better, and feeling guilty because I. Just. Can’t.

So, upon my frequent blog hopping, I came across another Orange Rhino post.  This time, though, instead of passing it off as a wishy-washy idea, I read about it.  And I read some more.

I mentioned it to the Captain, and he became interested.

This could be good for us.

We’re starting small.  Like, one day at a time, small.

But you know what?

I did it.  I went the whole day, and the one time my voice got to a 4 level, I quickly reigned it in, took a breath, and started over.

And it was AMAZING.

But not yelling wasn’t the only part of it.  I had to let go, too.  I had to let go of the need to control what my kids were or weren’t doing.  I had to remember that they’re kids.  One of them is barely considered more than a baby.  Cabin Boy was the toughest.  Being nearly 4, he’s picked up on my ‘start yelling if someone doesn’t do what I want’ habit, and that’s going to be a tough war to wage.  It will be so worth it though.

Because I got to say goodnight to my kids tonight without the guilt of things I said in anger, or things I yelled about, hanging over me, marking me as a less-than mom.  Less-than I want to be.  Less-than I should be.

Today, I didn’t yell.  And I will strive to do the same tomorrow.  Because my kids deserve more than the less-than mom, and so do I.

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