When I work I pay really close attention to how I look. I don’t spend hours in the bathroom getting ready, but I make sure to have makeup on and an outfit that looks like I am a teacher and will be comfortable for the 12 hours I am gone from home. When I don’t work, I wear leggings and t-shirts and while I still like to look good and feel good (click for my previous post about that), my hair is usually thrown into a bun or braid and my face will most likely be sporting day old makeup.
There are, however, some products that I have found as lifesavers for both work and non-work days.
Oh, hey. It's Monday. Can it be Friday? After a tough week last week including many meltdowns, lots of difficult things at school and gross snow, today decided to throw a few more punches.
So, if I'm going to list a thing I've learned, it is that these days suck. And they happen more than we want them to. And one way to try to get in a better mood, is finding memes that just get it.
Here is the first installment of Monday Mom Memes that 100% describe my last week:
Same is true with your fifth kid.
This photo perfectly fits the theme of this post and was taken by Jill Clayton Photography!
When kids have the same parents, I feel like there are only so many different physical and mental characteristics the kid can have. Remember in high school science class when you make those boxes to figure out blood types of people based on their parents’? It always seems like there would be one for personal characteristics too but that is the opposite of what I have found as a mom!
L is athletic. R likes drawing. E enjoys making people laugh. M likes all of the attention. When it comes to intellectual milestones they have also come at very different times. When R was 2 we started to notice a few autistic tendencies. We decided to have him evaluated and were fortunate to work with a great specialist who gave us some tips for helping with his sensory needs. What was most difficult was that we had never experienced this with L so we were overwhelmed with these new experiences.
One of the things R had a really good grasp on from early on was his vocabulary. When it was recommended he know 50 words, he knew 100. When we were told he needed to be making 2-3 word sentences, he was making 4-5 word sentences. And then it was E’s turn to start adding words to her vocabulary. Although she was consistent in making the same sounds for specific words, the words were for the most part completely unrecognizable. And even though we are still working on expanding her vocabulary, her facial expressions have always been much more animated than her other siblings.
L walked at 9 months, R at 11 months, E at 12 months and M took her good sweet time not walking until 14 months. While that allowed us to not have to worry as much about baby proofing things on most surfaces, it also had us concerned at times since all of our other kids walked so much earlier. When G continues to grow I am sure we will find other things she does or does not do compared to her siblings.
So even though it can be overwhelming when your expectations of development are not met in the same way, the thing I’ve learned: every kid is different and that is a good thing. How boring would it be to only attend one kind of sporting event for the rest of your parenthood journey? Don't get my wrong I love soccer, but watching 5+ games a week because all of my kids only liked the same thing would drive me nuts! This way I can go to L's soccer game, R's art exhibit, E's music concert (or perhaps lip sync battle cuz the girl is TALENTED), M's 4H event and G's cross country meet and get to share those special moments with each of them.
I’m going to add a second thing I’ve learned here: if you are worried about milestones your children are or are not reaching, your pediatrician and local AEA are great resources! More about our experiences in a later post!
Each year on New Years Eve, Andre and I go through our calendar that we’ve written on filled with kid activities, special occasions, new meals and just random things our kids do. It is without a doubt one of my favorite traditions during the holiday break and this year we had some really great ones.
A few highlights:
L getting to see The Sound of Music with her YaYa in Chicago and telling R: “Bud, when I grow up I’m gonna have a kid named Lightning. You can’t be the dad but you can come to my house to play with him.”
R and his sweet little voice saying, “Mommy, I just love powdered sugar” and, when I went to check on him at 11pm one night, “I...I...I just like playing house.”
E learning her colors while eating her potty training mini m&m reward and this sweet convo with her sister: L: E, do you want turkey or ham? E: Uh...cheese.
M going from sitting independently, pulling herself up to the table and eventually walking, and her NEED to have her left foot on her high chair table as soon as you put her in.
And of course the birth of our little G. She has already started rolling over in both directions, cooing and grabbing at items!
Andre and I also got to take a vacation BY OURSELVES which was an incredible blessing, we saw lots of family and friends and enjoyed many nights around the firepit making s’mores.
And while all of these particular moments are of happy and exciting events, there were just as many, if not more, times that I found myself at my breaking point. I wondered if changes at school would affect my ability to work there and if I even wanted to anymore. I stressed about how to keep my, at the time, four kids entertained all summer without going completely insane. I worried about how to make sure my kids were getting the best education I could get them that would meet all of their behavior, social and language needs. I dealt with a pregnancy that, while it turned out to be an amazing journey, began with fears of it not being viable. Finishing breastfeeding one baby and then beginning with another who I thought I would have to give up on nursing after 3 weeks because she was not gaining enough weight. Facing my anger issues that have not been present since high school and dealing with my stubbornness regarding treatment. Numerous car troubles - including hitting a deer and parts of my van falling off as I drove home. And wondering how in the world I would be able to be a good mom, good wife, good teacher and good friend while still working on being a good me.
I don’t say all of this to get pity. I say all of this to let you know that if you are feeling some of these things too, you are not alone. And, to share that my goal for 2019 is simple in theory but will take a lot of conscious effort to achieve.
In 2019 I want to find a happier me.
Sure I want to lose weight, but instead of focusing on the number, I want to focus on feeling GOOD. I want to not yell as much or have road rage when someone beats me off the line at a stop light. I have been wanting to take a year off of working to figure out my next steps, but to think about that before the end of the school year is not the right way to go. Instead, I will do my best to remember why I love my job and continue to give the best education I can to my students.
And, what I think will be the hardest thing, I am going to seek help. From family, friends and professionals. I know there is a happier me in here somewhere and finding her is not necessarily a one person job.
The thing I’ve learned about myself with New Year’s resolutions: it doesn't have to be complicated or specific. Just focus on bettering yourself anyway YOU want to.
Hi, I'm Rebecca
I’m a wife, mom to 5 kids, former choir teacher, Christian and advice giver? I can honestly say I never expected to be the one giving advice when I so frequently ask for it, but the advice I’ve received is so valuable and must be shared! Here are some of the things I’ve learned so far!