parent

A different kind of hard.

Age 46 is literally around the corner.  Like, a 15 day corner.

I’m just not feeling it though.  Not “I can’t handle turning 46.”  I’m truly not feeling 46.

Ok, ok, let’s be honest here.  Physically, I’m there at 46 if not and some.  I had to ask my husband to borrow his grocery store reading glasses yesterday to read because I couldn’t hold the book at an appropriate distance to see the words correctly, and I couldn’t find my grocery store reading glasses.  My hands feel like there is fire in my knuckles at times when my arthritis flares up.  And one of my kids told me my butt is flat two days ago.  Um, no it’s not.  That one I can’t handle.  I’m not going down like that.

Mentally and emotionally though?  I don’t feel old.  I know I’m not O-L-D, but I’m certainly old in younger circles opinions.  I was at work the other day at one of my care homes, and on the TV was on an old black and white movie.  The men were commenting on how a woman had gone down hill, and just let herself go, ‘but she was 45′ was the explanation the men gave.  Sigh.

Not feeling the 46 years in ways such as going to more concerts this summer than I have in the last 10 years combined.  I feel young and free at concerts.  I LOVE the loud music.  Grant it, one of the concerts will be Huey Lewis and the News, I won’t be rocking out, but I will be singing every word.  I’m balancing that show out with others where I will clearly be in the top 2% of the oldest people there by far.  Don’t care.  Don’t throw off my groove man.

I just signed up for a teaching credential 2 year college degree program last week.  My family witnessed me running around the house, laughing and happy singing “I’m going to college!”  I’m definitely not feeling my oncoming 46th year when I’m returning to college.  This is when I don’t feel old, because I feel like I still have a lot to give.  I’m not done yet.

Two years ago, I wrote The older I get…the more free I feel.  I vowed to make the rest of my life the best of my life.  I’ve been thrown some serious curve balls, and things haven’t gone quite as smoothly as planned since then, but always working on it.

My friends and I, while in the trenches of babies and toddlers, used to comment on how hard things were.  At that time, we also recognized that as hard as baby and toddler mom life was, teenager mom life would be a different kind of hard and tired.  Turned out to be a true story.  Rewarding and loving, but a different kind of hard.

A friend posted this article on her FB page today, it’s a long read, but I loved it.  Take the time and read it if you’re in the 40 somethings and in a not feeling it yet place like me!  Appreciate the things that the 40’s have brought.  There are many.  The post was touching and also super funny.  The fact that I have yet to step foot on our trampoline that has been in the backyard for the past couple of months directly related to the author stating getting on the trampoline would result in 3 chiropractor visits the following week!

Here is the article, make sure to check it out:  Her View From Home, This Stage of Life?  It’s Hard Too.  It’s good!

Bring it on 46!

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We are all doing the best we can.

The moments where my patience finally hits that tilt level and I begin shouting and yelling at the kids rather than taking the 10 seconds to count backwards and breathe, or any of the other ‘calm down’ tricks I’ve read about over the years, am I doing the best I can?

That’s a tricky question.

Many, many, years ago, I went to a workshop that focused on managing behaviors of children with disabilities, particularly children on the autism spectrum in school settings.  I learned two important things at that workshop.  One, peppermint helps stimulate your brain and keeps you more alert; the presenter passed out peppermint candies after our lunch break to help fight off the sleepiness that oh so often occurs after lunch!  Two, everyone is always doing the best they can at that given moment.

The presenter asked our group if we thought that our students were always doing the best they can regarding behaviors that they were known to display.  This created some grumbling, and ‘oh no way’ comments with some smiles.  Then the presenter explained that these students were doing the best they could at that given moment.  That even though you have witnessed times where your students have behaved much more positively, at that given moment, they were doing the best they could.  So, say, a student was having a meltdown, and just hit someone across the face.  Given the circumstances of their day, perhaps their night before, those details need to be taken into account, because those details lend to their present situation, and that being the best they could do.  We don’t know all the details that go into someone’s daily experience, there could be a lack of sleep, there could be trigger points that we don’t know about, there are so many things that can influence people that we are unaware of.  The point is, even if someone can do better under different circumstances, that was the very best they could do at that moment.  I hope I’m explaining her point accurately, because it’s stuck with me all this time.

The other night I came across and read a really funny, very clever blog post.  It was written from a toddler’s perspective to his/her mother.  I thought it was hysterical, probably because I related to it very well.  What surprised me as I glanced down at the comments left below her post, was that there were negative comments made by readers regarding the article.  I won’t ruin all the funny details from the post (the link is below, you’ve got to read it), but the negative comments I saw focused on the one thing I think I identified with most and laughed out loud about:

Waking up in the middle of the night to a kid’s wet bed, and placing a towel under the child rather than changing all of the sheets.

I have done this multiple times.

3:00 am waking up to crying, then cleaning up either vomit, or urine off of the floor/bed/windows/doors/walls, and cleaning the kid enough to slip them in some clean jammies then back to a bed stripped of sheets and blankets, but with laid out towels over the wet spots to lay on top of, and a throw blanket to place over them is as much as I can muster.  It’s the best I can do at that moment.  And honestly, I think it’s pretty great.  Adam Sandler in Big Daddy used newspapers, I stepped up his game and used a dry towel, and left the rest to be dealt with in the morning.

We are all doing the best we can at any given moment.  At those moments where I think I’m an utter parenting failure for x, y or z, I can count on my good friends to chime in and have a pissing contest of ‘Oh you think that’s bad?  Last week, I _____’ (fill in the blank), leaving me to feel much better after laughing, and a bit more normal (whatever that is).  We’re all in this together, doing the best we can.  I think being able to laugh at yourself while acknowledging your practices aren’t always taken out of a book on parenting is in itself, doing awesome.

If you’ve ever had a toddler, or if you may have one one day, be sure to read this from ‘The Honest Toddler’, I thought it was hysterical.  http://www.thehonesttoddler.com/2012/06/i-sorry_6.html?m=1