Have you heard of the Procrastinitis epidemic that is spreading like wildfire this summer? Have you succumbed to it yet? I was sure this Do Good Reading Challenge was going to ward off the Procrastinitis bug, and yet here I sit like a sack of potatoes on the couch trying to find a reason to put off my reading until tomorrow. Alas, I am out of excuses. I am no longer traveling with a 1 and 3 year old by myself as I did Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. I have succeeded in trying to find the elusive last minute Jersey shore rental in OCNJ. I’ve made a bunch of meal reservations for our Disney trip in October. There are other adults available to help entertain Thing 1 and Thing 2. I suppose I could go take a shower and that would be totally legitimate. It has been 2, maybe 3 days, since I last showered. But, the truth is that I really love writing and just the act of sitting down and typing out this intro has rejuvenated me. I want to read others’ blogs and be inspired by them. So, Days 16-21 of the Reading Challenge will all be read on Day 21 – not exactly in the rules, but hey! Rules were made to be broken, right?
Day 15: “Patience tells a toddler: You don’t have to be more than you are right now.” Profound words, right? I am a mom in the throes of the “terribles,” what I affectionately call the ages of one to four (and maybe beyond, but I haven’t made it there yet!) Yes, any mom to a toddler has come to the realization that the “terrible twos” really begins around 18 months and lasts, well, I haven’t found the end yet and my oldest will be 4 in September. There are some days I wake up with the patience of a thousand mothers and there are days that I can’t even muster enough patience to deal with the first tantrum of the day. But, I read the line above in the post My Favorite Parenting Strategy at Science of Mom and immediately I felt a little bit of peace in my soul. This is the kind of mantra I need to hold in my back pocket for those really hard days. Alice, the author of Science of Mom, goes on to write that when faced with challenging situations, “staying calm is enough.” I’ll leave you with another wise thought by Alice and encourage you to put these in your back pocket, and then have a glass of wine to unwind!
“It’s tempting to try to fix the little challenges of every stage, but so much of childhood we really can’t control.”
Day 16: How to Ruin a Toddler’s Day. Wait, there is a guide to ruining my toddler’s day? Because I thought all I had to do was put her right shoe on before her left and it would pretty much result in the worst tantrum ever. And I guess that is what the mom behind this blog is trying to get at. It is really easy to ruin a toddler’s day. Smile at the wrong time. Give her the green cup instead of the purple one. Use the Dora shampoo instead of the monkey shampoo. Horror of Horrors! I happened upon a post on this blog that is titled Motherhood, Bullying and “Being Pretty.” The post reads like an internal dialogue that every mother of daughters has at some point in her life. We want to encourage our daughters to be more than pretty, to value intelligence, creativity and individuality. There are points that I agree with and others that I don’t necessarily embrace, but the single most important thing I read in this post is that we, as parents, must strive to establish and maintain an open relationship with our children, to encourage communication, to teach them to be their own moral compass and to understand that not everyone is taught the same values. Being a parent is tough, particularly in this age of bullying, but there are tools and strategies to make our jobs easier. We just need to be diligent and seek them out.
Day 17: I am in the midst of playing a game of catch-up on the Reading Challenge. It is Sunday night, Day 21 and I am currently writing about Day 17. It is frustrating not having time to focus on this blog, which I really do enjoy. But, life gets in the way sometimes and that is why I was drawn to this post by Madi at Let The Words Escape. Her time is crunched and her blog has been hard to maintain. Life is getting in the way for her too, and, strangely, that made me feel better about my current predicament. And then I clicked on this link that she described as a gorgeous depiction of the brain and it made me smile. You see, Josie always talks about how her brain is a Rainbow Brain and this image helps me understand just a little bit. So, I will continue to push forward and get this project back on track. Life may get in the way, but it will not sideline me indefinitely.
Day 18: Parenting is so many things – exhilarating, joyful, frustrating, inspiring, maddening and, yes, often funny. That is why I was so drawn to today’s discovery, Parenting is Funny. Every parent has a funny story that is circulated over and over again at family gatherings. This blog is an outlet for those “Do you remember the time when?” and “I can’t believe my kid said that” moments. The mama behind the blog shares her moments that are better to laugh than scream about and invites her readers to contribute their moments too. So, in the spirit of sharing, here is my Parenting Is Funny Moment: I took my girls to the playground just like any other day a couple months back. Josie was all over the playground, bouncing here and there and everywhere. At one point, she slowed down and her sister and I caught up to her. She turned to me and said loudly, “Mom. Look. That girl is brown.” I gulped. Turned red. And then I responded, “Yes, honey, people come in all different colors. Isn’t that wonderful? At the time, I was mortified, though now I just recognize that she was making an observation about her surrounding. It’s these kind of moments you laugh about later, but, in the moment, you need to be fast on your feet and get through the moment. Tricia, Mom of 2 Girls