The Honest Mommy

Uncensored thoughts on parenting & more

Ugh. September 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 5:23 pm
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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah I am feeling so unhappy and stressed out. It’s hard to put my finger on why. I guess I’m tired of having so much to do all the time, the endless housework. Tired of being at the mercy of Mark’s moods, sleep schedule, etc. Unhappy with myself because I am feeling the effects of eating so much junk this week.

It is a holiday weekend, so I’m “supposed” to be having fun. but my day has been rough ever since my feet hit the floor this morning.

I truly feel I could just cry right now. It’s not that I’m tired (very much) or in pain (very much) or feeling ill.

The proposed trip from some friends of ours is bothering me a bit. The proposed trip from my mom is bothering me a bit. I do not want to have all of our weekends scheduled. I do not want to deal with Mark getting off schedule and over tired  and waking up super, super early like he has been this week. I do not want to have yet another argument with Hubby where he wants to go and do things (trips) and I don’t want all of the resulting hassles from them (tired, cranky kids).

I do want to get to the gym today, and I’m hoping that won’t cause too much friction between Hubby and me. I just feel that I need the extra boost from a workout.


Why Feeding My Kids Drives Me Crazy, Part II August 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 5:55 pm
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I am typing this post from the comfort of my recliner. I really need a rest after the last five hours, which were filled with laundry, dishes, vacuuming, mopping, about 8 rounds of potty assistance for my 21mo (lots of lifting and bending), and the never-ending food prep, serving, and clean-up.

Yesterday in my post about feeding my kids and why it drives me crazy, I covered the first 20 minutes or so of my day, as it relates to feeding my kids, mainly my older child, who is five years old.

In today’s post, I will cover a little more of my morning.

Before taking care of 5yo Adam’s AB-1 (Adam’s Breakfast # 1), I usually give Mark, 21 months old, a sippy cup of milk. He is very capable of drinking from a regular cup, but there are a few important drawbacks to giving him a regular cup first thing in the morning.

  1. First, he enjoys being wild with his cup of milk, so it is necessary to give him a tablespoon or so at a time. This means that I need to stay right with him and pour him a bit more each time he finishes what I gave him (and also try to keep him from throwing the cup across the room the moment he finishes). And to be perfectly honest (as I should do in order to honor the name of this blog), I don’t find it’s worth the time and attention to do things this way. Heaven knows there are thirty other things that need doing first thing in the morning!
  2. Perhaps more importantly, if Mark doesn’t get a sippy cup of milk, he gets loud. And loud is not what I want when I am doing everything in my power to keep things quiet enough for Big Brother To Sleep Just A Little Bit Longer, Please God Make It Happen. My whole day can stand or fall depending on whether Adam is well rested or not, so I get a leeetle beeeet wound up in the mornings when Mark gets up very early and, being a toddler, has no concept of or interest in being quiet.

So anyway, even though I am not a huge fan of sippy cups unless there is a really good reason to be using one, I do use one first thing in the morning for MB-1 (Mark’s Breakfast # 1).


Venting February 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 5:43 pm
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I think it’s safe to say that I didn’t feel ready to face the day when I got up this morning. I did have a good night’s sleep, and I did get to sleep in a bit since hubby is taking the day off and got up with the kids. Those things were definitely working in my favor.

But some things working against me–

  • Have spent the week eating lots of junk – candy, cake, and so on–with the main problem being, way too MUCH junk
  • Did not get to the gym this week
  • The house feels out of control, and it’s hard to get it under control with a toddler and 4yo running around making messes, not to needing snacks, diaper changes, and help in the bathroom
  • Things are out of whack around our house due to the climbing and exploring toddler. We have to keep kitchen chairs in all sorts of strange places so that the little climber doesn’t get up onto things. Also there is a gate at the top of the staircase that goes to the basement, and while having the gate there opens up another area for the toddler to explore, it is driving me batty because it is so hard to go between the basement and the main floor.
  • My 4yo was up super early this morning, to go to the bathroom, and he did not go back to sleep; as a result, he is cranky, argumentative, and emotional. I will be perfectly honest and say that I just don’t want to deal with this today. I really get a chip on my shoulder when I feel that hubby and I try very hard to get enough sleep for Adam, seemingly to no avail.
  • I also get really annoyed when my younger son is napping and all I want is for the house to be quiet-ish for one hour, maybe a bit more.

A challenging Thanksgiving visit to my in-laws November 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 1:46 pm
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Just returned from a five-day visit to my in-laws, who live a few states away. There is a lot for me to “process” from this trip. One of the main things on my mind this morning is how profoundly and completely having kids affects my husband’s and my life. Well duh, you might say, of COURSE having kids changes everything.

But, where I’m going with this is, I don’t know if my in-laws realized to what degree our stay at their home, with our 1-year-old and 4-year-old in tow, would be defined by the kids’ needs, schedules, and so on. They weren’t completely clueless by any means. They knew we would need a highchair, and DH talked with them before our trip about the boys’ nap and nighttime schedules. Plus, my FIL raised a child (sort of) and my stepMIL raised a child, partly as a single mom.

That being said, there were aspects of our stay there that drove me up a tree. For example, I didn’t expect them to have a closet full of toys and activities for the kids, but if I had realized that my MIL was going to prepare for our visit by getting a few coloring books and puzzles at the dollar store (my 4yo doesn’t even use coloring books) – and borrowing a few books and Legos from a friend – then I would have brought a heckuva lot more toys and books than I did.

I reached desperation in finding things for the kids — especially my 1yo — to do. As I told my husband, it’s not that kids need an endless stream of toys toys TOYS to keep them “entertained.” BUT, kids do need something to do! Especially when they’re cooped up inside a house that has a lot of “don’t touch” and “don’t go in there” types of things. And especially when no one is helping us out by suggesting that we go to a park (or telling us where a park is located). A few different times, I asked MIL and FIL if there were any empty boxes (cereal boxes, shoe boxes, or anything like that) that the kids could play with. My 4yo likes to make things out of boxes, and my 1yo likes to just explore them.

Since they don’t recycle (AHEM!), there wasn’t much of anything around except for an empty beer case (insert my eye rolling here) that my FIL found in the trash. But the main thing that bothered me about that was that no one seemed very concerned about finding things for the kids to do. At my parents’ house, my mom would have emptied out boxes from the pantry, if that meant that the kids could have something fun and constructive to do….especially in light of the fact that there was very, very little in the whole house that was a toy, kid friendly, and so on. I’m not saying that everyone has to be like my mom, but I am saying that I was disappointed that my MIL and FIL seemed so clueless (and seemed not to care, perhaps?) about the kids’ needs.

I did think about asking if they had any empty Rubbermaid totes, or anything (anything!!!) along those lines, but frankly I bypassed that idea because I was afraid they wouldn’t be keen on hauling things out and making a mess. I did pull out a few kid-friendly and sturdy kitchen items for the kids to play with, but I did limit that because I was afraid 1) something would break, and 2) my MIL wouldn’t like the whole idea.

Oh and the childproofing! I don’t even know where to begin with that topic. It was a very, very, very good thing that we brought along two pressure-mounted child gates, so that at least we could have some measure of sanity (albeit limited) on the main floor. My 1yo is very much an explorer, and I believe he is to young for us to do a lot of “no no no no” with.( I am going by John Rosemond’s “Making the Terrible Twos Terrific” book where he recommends keeping your home in childproof lockdown mode until the child is around 30 months. This makes a lot of sense to me and I am very comfortable following his recommendation here.)

A few downsides with the child gates, however: First, I was afraid of what the gates were going to do to the walls as far as leaving marks or indentations. Second, my MIL has some health and joint problems that made it difficult for her to step over the gates. Third, even with the gates in place, there were a number of childproofing problems to contend with (A VCR, for example, and some lamps that we finally decided to remove entirely).

It is a good thing that our visit was the length it was, and not any longer. I know that my MIL and FIL love the kids dearly, but I also know that there are some issues (cluelessness? selfishness? misplaced priorities?) that get in the way of having a good visit at their house.

On the second morning of our stay, DH and I loaded the kids up in the van and headed over to a discount store (all of this before MIL and FIL got up for the day, but that is another topic entirely) in order to pick up a few necessities and also to buy some toys for the kids. How sad is that!



I am one crabby mommy today July 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 3:24 pm
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Today is a rough day.

I ate like a banshee all day yesterday, so today I have that yucky experience of getting back on track. Kid_1 came down with a stomach bug yesterday morning, so that was my “excuse” to comfort myself with food.

Kid_2 fell and hit his head this morning, via pulling a kitchen chair on top of himself and landing on his back on the kitchen tile. He seems to be doing all right, but it gave me quite a scare.

Kid_1’s birthday is tomorrow, and his party is on Saturday. I’m excited for his birthday, of course, but it’s hard to summon up the gumption to do everything that needs to be done. MIL will be coming for his party; that will be INTERESTING since I haven’t seen her or spoken to her in over a month. Thankfully DH and I are very much on the same page about this conflict with his mom.

I haven’t quite gotten enough sleep the last several nights, and as a consequence I feel irritable and easily overwhelmed. I hate waking up in the morning and having that feeling of “How am I going to get through today without being the crabbiest mom ever?”


Gerber Biter Biscuits July 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 5:16 pm
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Aother day in the trenches with my two boys. DS2 had a bath and an outfit change already due to some quality time with a Gerber Biter Biscuit. Those things are so messy–at our house, a biter biscuit equals a bath every time. Fellow parents — how do you deal with those biscuits???


MIL getting under my skin lately March 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 3:43 pm
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My MIL certainly has been getting under my skin lately.

1. When I make any comment to her about ANYTHING, she comes back with something that, although it may be meant to make me feel better, invariably comes across as if she’s minimizing what I’m saying.

2. She seems to think that Adam (3.5 years old) and Mark  (5 months) are so much alike; that whatever I’m going through with Mark isn’t much different from what I went through with Adam when he was a baby. Well, I am the mother, and I’m here to say that there is a world of difference between these two boys!

3. When it comes to disciplining Adam, I get the feeling that she doesn’t agree with much of anything we’re doing. For someone who has so many opinions about how children should behave, she certainly keeps mum about any and all strategies (e.g., tickets) that we use to establish expectations and consequences with Adam. Perhaps she is trying to keep out of the issue, which I appreciate, but the problem is that when someone keeps mum about a topic, it is easy (logical, even) to conclude that the person has ample reason to refrain from comment.

Overall, I would say that she thinks we are too strict with Adam and too hard on him, and our consequences are too harsh. What’s ironic is that she has very high expectations for children’s behavior, but at the same time she seems to live in a fantasy world where if you just EXPLAIN to a child why he should behave, then everything will come up roses. As a big fan of Rosemond, I do not believe that for one second.

We try to keep our expectations very specific; instead of “Don’t bother Daddy right now” we would instead put up an actual sign indicating that Daddy was off limits until the sign came down. We also keep our consequences very specific; instead of scolding him for misbehaving, we usually do something specific like take away a ticket and/or privilege. Sadly, I don’t feel she really supports any of this. Granted, a lot of people would find some of our  methods unusual, but the thing is that she doesn’t even make an effort to show support, for example by saying, “That is a creative idea. I bet he really understands what’s expected of him.” (Personally, I believe that any time a parent is making an effort to be consistent, reasonable,  and calm, that parent should be encouraged!)

As a result, I keep a lot of things private from her, which feels strange since she spends several hours per week watching Adam, and is itching to get time with Mark as well. If only she knew that each time she fails to treat me with respect, her dream of setting up a regular babysitting schedule with Mark gets just a little farther away!

I should also add that nine times out of ten, if we happen to mention a discipline issue with Mark, she comes up with some reason (excuse) for his behavior. Allergies, lack of sleep, time change, etc.; then there’s my favorite — the excuse that what he’s doing isn’t actually misbehaving or being disrespectful.

This particular issue really raises my hackles. I wish she could just spend a day in my shoes; for example, taking him to get a haircut or to a doctor’s appointment. In these situations, he refuses to comply with the simplest requests, and now that he’s getting older, it is getting quite ridiculous.

Now, I understand that with the benefit of age and experience, she has a different perspective and that this could be helpful to us at times. However, the problem is that she practically never (or, perhaps, just plain never) acknowledges that Adam’s behavior is misbehavior and should be dealt with as such. As the mom in these situations, I end up feeling like my MIL doesn’t respect my viewpoint, my decisions, or my actions. If she did, she would express some kind of agreement or support.


My MIL, the expert on teething February 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 2:46 pm
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My MIL had a somewhat rough ride with the babysitting last night, but both boys were asleep by 8:30 p.m., so in the end it wasn’t too bad. When hubby and I got home, though, MIL and I had a classic, and I mean CLASSIC, exchange.

Mark, 3 1/2 months, seems to have started teething. He is chewing on things, drooling a lot, and uncharacteristically fussy. The topic came up, and I said something to the effect of, “Oh boy, here we go with teething.” I should have known not to even go there with my MIL. She responded, “Well, the first one or two will be the worst, then it will get better.” I said, “Later on, though, the molars will come in. Those will be the worst.”

I remember teething with my oldest, and it was not fun. Crabby when awake, not sleeping well, the whole works. We couldn’t wait until it was over.

But MIL is always right, so she couldn’t leave well enough alone. “Well,” she said, “at least at that age he’ll be more able to express himself, so it won’t be so bad.” Um, excuse me, but since when is a crabby, miserable toddler easy to deal with?

Good grief! This woman will stop at nothing to have the last word and to be “right.”

Regardless of what she apparently believes to be true, I have found that teething is a miserable experience for everyone, from the first tooth right on through to the last molar.