Tag Archives: parenting

The Big But Complex

Being a parent makes a person highly aware. Aware of middle-of-the-night breathing, the size of the cut-up carrot chunks, the ingredients in fruit snacks. It also makes us highly aware of our own behavior, and if you’re me, your flaws. There’s one, in particular, that I like to call the “But Complex.” Continue reading

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When We Fail Our Children

 

FailOurChildren

A very wise and insightful friend made a statement to me a few years ago, and I’ve never forgotten it. Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: The challenges of this new life

Life is different now.

Every day, I make a list. At the end of every day, I find myself frustrated by all the things left on it.

I’m failing.

Work is piling up. Mail is piling up. Emails need to be answered.

And the vegetables don’t wait. As I stand by my sink, snipping the ends off purple beans so I can blanch and freeze them for winter, I can see one of the two drainage streams in our yard. They stretch as far as I can see from my window, and they’re so overgrown with weeds that you can’t see the water in them. This is a problem, because rainy season is coming and if they’re blocked, we’re just asking for our property to flood.

creek

Homesteading requires a ton of maintenance. There is no downtime, and we haven’t even turned our property into a homestead yet. It’s just a really big lot with a garden on it. But with my new business, the kids at 3 years and 6 months old, my husband’s overtime…it’s taking all we have to just barely keep up. And the things that need to be done? They don’t care about how hard we try. Whether we’re worn out, tired, or not in the mood, they still need to be done just the same.

The ditches are on the list. They need to be taken care of soon, and it will take an entire weekend to clear them out. But for now, I look down at my daughter with her brand new tooth, trying to perfect her downdog pose on the floor (she is so determined to crawl any minute) and I keep on snipping, trying not to look at the clock.

Because one thing at a time, mama. One thing, one day, one week at a time. You’re doing a good job, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.

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The State of Affairs: One Month Later… {Part 2}

(If you missed Part 1, read it here.)

You’ve gotta understand…this is about so much more than my job. This whole identity thing, the anxiety, the depression, the stupor, the disconnectedness…it’s huge. This might be the biggest turning point in my entire life thus far, and I’ve been lost trying to figure it out. So, for those few weeks, I pretty much took it one day  hour at a time. Luckily, after a tough pregnancy, I was kind of used to that.

And then, I decided that it was time to start crawling out. I hate life when there is no destination, so I decided to set one. This business of mine: freelance copywriter/editor. Natural lifestyle focus. A lean toward small business, local if possible. But how would I make it happen? Well, it’s already started happening a little. I have a couple of clients, and I am actively searching for more, being careful not to overbook. The time is hard to find, because the kids sure as hell don’t care if I have stuff to do. They just want me, and I’m so, so, so determined to be available to them. I work on my patience at every turn these days, and all my other parenting skills, too, because every day it’s becoming more clear to me that this job is no joke. It was a lightbulb realization: hey! I have to do more than just watch these kids…I have to engage these kids, teach these kids, stimulate and challenge these kids, and I don’t get to be too tired or sick of them or annoyed or anything but someone who can take a breath, hit the reset button and redirect them anytime the day seems to head south.

And all that parenting stuff is well and good, but when do I get my work done? (If one more person says, “Enjoy this time…money isn’t everything” to me I will wig. I have to pay my mortgage. I never was working so much for, like, pants or cookies. It’s all about the security, not the stuff.) So I started doing things I said I’d never do.

Like buying big plastic crap and sitting it in my yard.

IMG_2898

(And that’s not to knock Step2. The water table is great, really.) But anyone who knows me knows that I’ve always, always sworn that I’d never have this stuff in my yard. It’s a ‘thing’ for me, kind of like my disdain for ranch dressing based solely on principle. But a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do, and if it keeps him occupied for an hour, that’s one more hour than I had before. So I lose one punch on my crunchy card. That’s ok. (…and omg he really loves the big lug of a thing.)

And then there’s the food. I have always advocated for real food, and I’ll prioritize that over almost anything – but as an X-treme working mom, I just couldn’t pull it off. I tried…god, how I tried. But now? We’re heading off the grocery grid and looking for new suppliers for everything from chicken and cheese to wine to walnuts. No lie, it’s like a full-time job. We also have a new pantry, a new chest freezer, a huge garden and tons of ingredients. Not food, just ingredients to make food. That means lots of prepping, tons of cooking, even more planning…and not quite as much eating since half the time I’m too tired to do it all. (Think I’m losing weight? Nope. And that’s decidedly unfair.) Committing to real food all the time is just so much work, but we’re getting there, and I’m proud of our efforts.

So, to wrap up: the kid situation is new. The work situation has changed. The food, refocused. Shopping habits? Totally revamped, along with the budget, which means entertainment, and basically all habits, are being rethunk. Everything, down to the way I dress, is different now. Holy wow…what have we done? This is either going to turn out to be the best, most reaffirming decision we’re ever going to make, or we’re going to feel really stupid when we can’t do it.

Which do you think it’s going to be? I guess you’ll find out, because I’ll be here, writing about it, the whole time. Because that’s what I do. And now that I’m done for tonight, I’ve got some cherries to pit, diapers to wash and I think I just might brush my teeth today.

I’m getting there. Thanks for hanging out with me while I do it.

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The State of Affairs: One Month Later… {Part 1}

PrettyBaby

So, it’s been a whole month now. I think it’s safe to say that when it comes to Kid Town, I’ve reached full immersion.

Know how I figured that out? I woke up one morning, not too many days ago, slipshod after about 4 hours sleep, and decided that yesterday’s makeup looked OK enough that I wasn’t going to bother washing it off and redoing it.

{insert sound of squealing brakes here}

Hold up. Is that what’s acceptable to me now?! I’m actually agreeing with myself on this?

(Did I mention that showers are a hot commodity these days?)  Continue reading

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