I Am The Mother Of A Soldier

Never did I think that I would hear those words escape from my mouth but the truth is, I am officially the mother of a soldier.

I had the honor of attending my oldest son’s graduation from basic training  in Fort Leonard Wood, MO.  And I must say that it will be one of the fondest memories I possess in my life.

mother soldier kids growing up

As a parent we raise our children in hopes that they will be successful, but for a mother of a soldier it’s just a bit of a catch 22 for me.  As proud as I am of him, we also live in a world of uncertainty right now.

I took my seat that morning and watched as each group of these young men and women marched their way to the stage and one by one called off their names and where they were from.  And when my child came forth, I barely recognized him.  He was all grown up.  He had already changed.

I thought about all their family and friends in the audience who were watching and wondering if they were all having the same feelings as me.  The feelings of pride, joy, love, fear, understanding, and of course uncertainty.  If their whirl wind of emotions, were blowing in the same direction as mine.

I sat across from my son, dressed in his Army issued tailored blues, made just for him.  And I couldn’t help but think that just yesterday he was this 10 year old little boy, with no thoughts of where he would be sitting on this very day across from me.

mother soldier kids growing up
2008
I thought about the past year and a half and what he has overcome.  That he made some bad choices but made some self discovery along the way and in the end chose the right path.

I thought about the last time I saw him and how many things were said between us.  A conversation that hasn’t been finished.

I also thought about my 4 other children, who are all growing up so fast, and that as soon as I blink my eyes, this person sitting across from me, will be my 4 year old.  All grown up and no longer needing my undivided attention and me knowing that I did my best to give her and all of her siblings the love, life skills, and childhood memories that will give them the best wings to fly.  To know that I tried to be the best mother I could…even when some days mothering required every ounce of me that I had.

Watching this ceremony and hearing of my son’s stories of his journey so far, gave me a new found respect for these young men and women who take an oath to protect and serve their country.  To protect some of the freedoms that so many of us take for granted.  To sign on a dotted line not knowing the unpredictability that lies ahead.

Basically giving up their freedom…to ensure ours.

The last night I was there, I walked my son up the sidewalk near his barracks.  I promised I wouldn’t cry.  I promised that I would be strong and send him on his way.   I hugged him tight, told him I loved him, and then as soon as I turned to head toward’s the car all those tears poured out.

I hadn’t cried like that in a long time.

But it wasn’t just because I am the mother of a soldier, it’s because I am a mother, and for the first time since becoming a mother, I had a taste of what it was like to let go, and that before long, I would have to let go of all of them.

To Bryan,

I know your blood doesn’t share my blood but I will always think of you as my son.  There are so many things that you won’t understand until you have children of your own.  

I hope you know how proud your dad and I are of the person you have become.  That you chose to be a better person, even with so many odds against you.

I hope you understand how much we love you.  And how much we never stopped loving you…even when you weren’t making the best of choices.

I hope you understand the reasons of why we had to make some of the choices we made.  I don’t regret those choices…especially if it gave you the will to prove you could make it.  That you could be a better person even with the hand of cards you had been dealt.

I hope you will always know…this is your home.

Love,

Mom

PS:  Never lose sight of the boy on the left.  He’s formed the man on the right.

mother soldier kids growing up

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Other People’s Kids

other peoples kids discipline

Before I became a mother, people used to always say “you’ll feel differently about your own kids than you do about other people’s kids”.  There couldn’t be a more truthful statement.

There was a time in my life that I never really wanted kids.  Partly because I couldn’t tolerate other people’s kids.  Sure I had plenty of friends with kids and there were times I would babysit and at one time I even had a friend and her child living with me.  I was around those kids a lot, got used to them, and grew to love them and understand their behaviors.  They were good kids.

kids babysitting humor

Then I would come across kids that weren’t so good.  Whether it was they whined too much, threw too many tantrums, talked back to their parents, or just seemed to not have any discipline WHAT. SO. EVER.  I used to dread when I would get a walk-in client and they had their kids with them (they were usually already throwing a tantrum before they even took a seat)  because inevitably this meant that it was going to take me twice as long to do my job.  Let’s face it, kids aren’t going to sit and be quiet for an hour while you get your nails done.

Now I know that my kids aren’t perfect, and probably get on most people’s nerves, as there are three of them and because they are so close in age they are usually all doing the same thing and making lots of noise while doing it.

And if someone were to tell me that my kids were a lot to handle, I would in no way be offended…I would most likely nod and agree.  But  I am used to them.  And usually have a tendency to get loud and obnoxious with them.  Because they are my kids.

I think that these days we live in a society that has us programmed that disciplining our kids is somehow going to f*ck them up in the head.  Bullshit.

There are people who think that spanking your kids on the ass is a form of abuse.  Bullshit.

There are too many people running around trying to be the “cool” parents instead of saying “NO” and dealing with their kids being pissed off at them.kids discipline productive citezens  Trust me, they will get over it and talking with your kids and explaining things goes a long way.

I think it’s important that when you feel your kids are old enough and mature enough to understand the evil in the world, to explain it to them.  I think my friend Michelle at Rockin Random Mom did that best and explained it in her post about the Brock Turner Story.

This story is a perfect example of a spoiled brat whose father I am quite certain reached deep into his pockets and placed a large amount of money in that greedy judge’s hands.  In case you have been living under a rock you can read about the story here.

It’s just one of the many articles stirring the internet these days.

I have heard people talk about how they teach their kids respect yet I watch them disrespect their parents and the parents sadly don’t correct the behavior. kids respect discipline parenting Teaching them please, thank you, yes sir, no ma’am is all great but if they are then acting out at you, the parent, and you aren’t correcting it, then it’s pretty much pointless.

If they are throwing a temper tantrum because you told them NO and you coddle them instead of taking action…guess what?  Your kid just might turn out to be the next Brock Turner.

Sometimes kids need to learn lessons and not have their parents always bailing them out of these situations.  When a child, whether that child be a toddler, young child, pre-tween, tween, or teenager and they do something wrong it’s our job as parents to correct the problem not ignore it and let them continue to believe it’s ok to behave that way.

And when they are good I also believe in rewarding good behavior.  It goes both ways.

Now please note that all these opinions of raising kids are those of my own and how you choose to raise your kids is completely up to you.  But remember, someday they are going to be adults, making choices, and the better influence you had on them the better adults they will become.

Well unless they are just born with a bad gene … because I do believe too, that some human’s brains are just wired differently and you could be the best parent possible and they could still be a part of the majority of messed up individuals living in society.  Take the Duggers of “19 Kids And Counting” as a perfect example of that.  Of course the first time I ever watched that show I knew that mother was just WAAAAAAY to happy.  No one has that many kids and is that happy.  Seriously.

To All The Good Parents Out There **salutes you**

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Why Are Parents Beating Ourselves Up Over Not Spending Enough Time With Our Kids?

Lately I have seen a lot of blog posts in regards to parents beating ourselves up over not spending enough time with our kids.

The truth is there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything that we “wish” we could accomplish.  This includes spending ample time with our children.  And quite honestly what is the perfect ample time amount?

Kids grow fast, life passes by without us noticing sometimes.  Like one minute we are sipping on pumpkin lattes and the next we are sun-kissing our bodies in the middle of summer.  And in that short amount of time our kids are getting bigger and we, *gasps*, are getting older.

bad parenting raising kids

So why are we beating ourselves up over whether or not we are spending enough time with our kids?

Ask yourself at the end of the day ~

Did my child eat today?  Even if it was Top Ramen with a side of canned fruit.

Was my child clothed today? No one says your children have to look like they just walked out of a kids fashion boutique.  You can put clean clothes on the kids in the morning and before noon it looks like they have been in them for a week.  KIDS ARE FILTHY CREATURES.  And they don’t care that their clothes are dirty so why should we?  Why should we change their clothes every time they get dirty just to make more laundry for ourselves?  I say hell yes to pajama days!

Did I give my child love and affection sometime throughout the day?  Just a hug and an “I love you” goes a long way.

bad parenting raising kids right

Did I sacrifice something for them today?  Even if that entails not finishing a cup of coffee because in the midst of trying to drink said cup of coffee you have now refereed 3 arguments, a meltdown, hearing “STOOOOOOP” for the 100th time, and cleaned some kind of spilled food off any given surface.  **takes sip of said coffee, it’s cold, debates re-heating it in the microwave when another crisis erupts**

Did I get upset or irritated at them at least once today?  Yep, that’s right…if you aren’t getting upset with your kids at least once a day then you’re not doing it right.  We are PARENTS.  That means getting upset and fixing the situation by disciplining your kids is called PARENTING.  There’s too many parents trying to be their kids best friends and that’s partly to blame why we have youth that are out of control.

Does my kid have a warm, safe place to sleep?  A blanket and pillow on the floor is good.  Why you ask?  Because that’s where they fell asleep and I will be damned if I am going to wake the little trolls up.  **sips wine**

bad parenting raising kids right

Did I spend quality time with my child today?  This doesn’t mean that you have to pay attention to them every waking moment.  Smothering them in attention just makes them grow up NEEDING constant attention.   It’s ok to have time for yourself and let them fry their brains watching YouTube videos.  It’s ok to TAKE A SHOWER with the door locked!  It’s ok to feel like you are about to lose your mind so you put them to bed an hour early, pour yourself a cocktail, and wash the daily grind off in a nice bubble bath.

It simply means that you took time in the day to take care of their needs…2 maybe 3 dozen times…and enjoyed these tiny little lives that you created.

Truth is, unless you are just completely absent and someone else is raising your kids for you…as long as you are present and doing everything you “humanly” can to take care of them then you’re spending plenty of time with them.  Give yourself a big pat on the back.

Below are some examples of bad parenting…

bad parenting raising kids right
I am quite certain that pissing on your kids head is not real good parenting.

 

bad parenting raising kids right
Please take note that this is not keeping your child safe.

 

bad parenting raising kids right
This looks like a 70’s circa picture where this would still be considered bad parenting…even if the gun wasn’t loaded.

 

Kids are kids and actually very simple little creatures to make happy.  Does parenting take a lot of effort? Hell yes it does! Some days it sucks the life right out of you and some days you just want to smother them to death with your uncontrollable, unconditional love for them.

One day you’re looking at them wondering where the time has gone and the next you are anxiously waiting for them to get the fu*k out of the house so you can turn their room into a sex chamber for you and the spouse hobby area.

bad parenting raising kids right

They are going to grow up regardless of how much or how little time you are spending with them.  There is no perfect amount.  It’s what works for you and keeps you from going completely crazy and sometimes you aren’t going to have a choice but to spend every waking moment with them because you are their parents and that is your job.

bad parenting raising kids right

But this doesn’t mean sacrifice your sanity or beat yourself up because you decided to take 2 hours out of the day to yourself.  Hell I have taken almost entire days sometimes.  I just make sure I am loaded up on activities that they can entertain themselves with.  That don’t require any help from me to carry out.

It’s not being a bad parent or not spending enough time…it’s being HUMAN!

From one crazy, tired, stressed, happy, loving parent to another,

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Quote Of The Week ~ June 5, 2016


I had this quote in my archives from a few weeks ago where I had posted it to Instagram and Facebook.  

I had actually meant to use it for a “Quote Of The Week” a while back, but somewhere in my blogging hiatus, not writing much lately, and the new adventure I have embarked on that I will be writing about, it had gotten brushed aside.

I LOVE this quote.  It sums up motherhood perfectly.  Or even parenting in general.  We want to teach them and watch them grow into great adults but we get sad when we’ve actually accomplished it.  Sad that they are leaving us but happy that we kept them alive!

They’re no longer those babies that once looked at us with such admiration.  

They’re all grown up.

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What Kind Of Kids Are We Raising?

What Kind Of Kids Are We Raising #kids #raisingkids #parenting

It’s a question I have been asking myself A LOT lately.  What Kind Of Kids Are We Raising?

The spark that finally lit the flame was as I was glancing through one of my local Facebook pages, I find a discussion being made about some comments that were found on a website about Winnemucca’s school system.  As a mother, with one child in the school system (high school) and one starting (elementary school), of course I had to read on. It was basically some parents talking about how their kids weren’t learning anything and that the teachers were all worthless, discriminative, and only cared if you come from a family of money, your kids are actively in sports, or your last name means something.  I don’t know about you, but the last time I checked there weren’t any celebrities living here.

I will be the first to admit that when it comes to homework and teaching math and science…there is no part of it that I feel like doing.  But I also understand that as a parent it is my responsibility to help and teach my child.  On the same note, I also know that they are capable of doing certain things themselves, and will persist that point across when needed.

As a parent you can’t rely on the school system to teach them everything they need to know.  If you don’t trust in the school system, then get more actively involved ….meaning… make appointments with staff, teachers, and anyone else who will listen to what it is you need to be heard.  Get to know your children’s teachers and show them that you are concerned about your child’s school performance.

What Kind OF Kids Are We Raising #parenting #raisingkids

I think certain measures only need to be taken if the act of going to school everyday is causing serious mental anxiety on your child.  If your child comes home complaining that a teacher raised their voice at them or told them to shut up be quiet and sit down (I am talking middle school to high school)…stop and think how many times you have done that.  Try to think about the teacher who is responsible for multiple students in one class.  I can only speak for myself, but I have a lot of respect for any one person, especially a teacher, that could handle that many revolving attitudes at once.  That’s not saying that there aren’t any “bad teachers” out there either.  I do know first hand from having two teenage boys in the school system that not every teacher is justified of having the profession of teaching.

It amazes me how upset I have seen some parents get because their kid got a scolding from a teacher.  If your child one day decides they want to join the military, how do you think his/her drill sergeant is going to talk to them.  We are preparing our kids for LIFE people! Wake up and quit whining unless you have a real reason to whine about something.

What Kind Of Kids Are We Raising #parenting #raisingkids

The word bullying is thrown around so much these days that I am beginning to wonder if they are going to create a medication for it.  Yes, I understand that bullying exists…you give me a decade that it hasn’t?  I remember being bullied several times throughout my “school life” but back then we just dealt with it an moved on.   This doesn’t mean teach your kids to be bullies but rather teach them to defend themselves mentally and physically against said bullies.  Teach your kids to be smarter than the bullies.  Start this by teaching them at home that life isn’t always fair and you have to just get back up, dust your pants off, and move on!

If your child is having mental breakdowns from social media then GET THEM OFF THE INTERNET.  Close their social media accounts.  If they aren’t level-headed enough to understand that people can be hurtful via certain social medias then they aren’t mature enough to be on the computer unless it’s to look up info for a homework assignment.  If social media is causing a problem….SHUT IT DOWN!  Be parents!   Because by you letting them walk all over you, you are only teaching them to let someone else walk all over them.

Just voicing my opinion,

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Survival Tools For My Daughters

1.  Never let what other people think, change who you want to be. ((as long as you aren’t  a menace to society then what they have to say, doesn’t matter))

2.  Boys are exactly that…boys…until they are men which usually doesn’t hit them until about 30.  Therefore, regardless how much you “think” you are in love with that boy…if it’s true love, it will wait until you are done becoming an adult and becoming who you want to be without worrying about another human being.

3.  I can’t stress enough to ALWAYS be confident.  Own who you are and be responsible for what you do.  Believe in yourself and be brilliantly in love with yourself. ((keep away from being narcissistic though like your father))

4.  Never wear too much make-up.  Keep it simple and remember that less is more.  Your true beauty is what should always be seen.

5.  Travel.  Do a lot of it before you settle down and have babies.  It’s so much easier to book a trip without having to think about what you are going to do with the little one/ones.

Survival Tools Daughters Parenting 6.  Live your twenties.  They are yours to discover who you are.  And it’s so much easier to do that when you only have yourself to think about.  ((remember that I didn’t have you two until I was 38 and 39))

7.  Always lead…never follow.  Set trends.  Be an “individual“.

8.  If you are ever on reality television….don’t get drunk!  This is very important.  Drunk people on reality television look like trash.  And inevitably they will edit it to make you look like the worst… drunk… ever!

9.  Have lots of friends but always remember that it’s best to have a handful of truly great friends then a box full of trolls.  Choose your friends wisely for who you hang out with is a reflection of who you are.  And if you don’t hang out with bad influences then you are less likely to make their same mistakes.

10. I know every girl dreams of this big fancy wedding that costs thousands of dollars but take it from your mother who has been there and done it that it is not what it’s cracked up to be.  The planning is so much stress and it’s over so fast.  I married your father in a drive-thru in Vegas and it meant so much more to me and has lasted the longest. Getting Married Survival Tools Daughters Parenting 11. Get an education.  This probably should have been in the top 3 but I am really not going in any order.  Having a brain and using it is so important.  Study.  Read lots of books.  Do the best you can in school and go as far as you can.  Never stop learning.

12. Please oh please I hope you have great common sense.  Book sense is wonderful but having both is truly a gift.

13. Take care of your “who-ha  You only have one.  Protect it and treat it with above all respect.  Go to the doctor regularly and get it checked.  Keep it trimmed or waxed or if you live in an era or have a man that loves bush ((not the band)) then by all means, lucky you, much less maintenance.

Betty White Survival Tools Daughters Parenting

14. When old enough to attend spring breaks and there are all these girls showing off their ta tas…..don’t be those girls…your ta tas are sacred and should only be seen by yourself and your lover.  Leave things to the imagination and don’t just put it on display.  It’s right up there with respect yourself and others will follow in respecting you.

Survival Tools Daughters Parenting

15.  When you get pregnant with your first child (after the age of 25 of course)….SLEEP…Take long naps and sleep every time you get a chance.  Don’t take it for granted because once babies get here your sleep never belongs to you again.

16.  If you are having problems growing into adolescence…remember I was there once too….talk to me….please always know that you can talk to me about ANYTHING…I am your mom and I will always love you and want whats best for you.

17.  Never walk in anyone’s shadow for you are the light.  You shine and anyone who is lucky enough to hold your heart should treat you like a goddess.

18.  If you find you are good at something and you love doing it…pursue it with everything you have.  Never stop dreaming.  Never stop achieving.  If something makes you happy then keep doing it.  Even if it only turns out to be a hobby.  Money isn’t everything but it does make things a little less stressful.

19.  Don’t use credit cards.  Unless you are gaining points and can pay them off every month before interest.  And always make sure you get the lowest interest rate possible.  Always pay your savings first.  Saving for retirement is crucial.  I can’t stress it enough.  Your great grandfather was a brilliant man when it came to investing and I wish he was still here so I could pick his brain.

20.  Don’t eat yellow snow….haha I just had to throw that in there for a giggle.

21.  You have 3 older brothers and a very protective father…use this to your advantage when it comes to dating.  Of course according to your father, dating won’t be acceptable until you are 30.  And let’s face it…whoever you choose has very big shoes to fill.

22.  Exercise.  Get in the habit of it.  Healthy body leads to healthy mind.  You don’t need to look like Barbie…that is a delusional f*@ked up idea for how a woman should look.  Exercise to be healthy and beat all the health history you are already going to be faced with.  Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure…all run in your bloodline.

23.  Don’t do drugs.  This is an obvious one but needs to be said.  Addiction ruins lives.  It’s better to “just say no” from the get go…regardless of how much you “think” you can handle it.

Survival Tools Daughters Parenting

24.  Remember that character isn’t about what material things you have or how popular you are…character is about how you treat people and how you carry yourself.  Be nice to those who deserve it and for those who don’t ….just tell them to fuck off.  I know this is a contradicting statement but there are going to be people in life who will try to bring you down…don’t let them. Stand up for yourself.  Speak your mind.

Survival Tools Daughters Parenting

25.   High School will be a place where you think that everything that happens is so important…let me just tell you there is so much more important life after high school.

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