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Perfect Parents: What They Know and What You Can Learn

We all know that nobody’s perfect, and that the best we can aim for is to be as close as possible. But when it comes to parenting, it always feels a little different. Although objectively we know we’ll make mistakes here and there, we still strive for perfection. Our kids count on us, so nothing short of that will be good enough.Perfect Parents: What They Know and What You Can Learn

The key point to remember is that being “the perfect parent,” if it has any meaning at all, doesn’t mean never making mistakes. The perfect parent is still fallible. We are the role models our kids most look up to. Even if you did manage the full 100%, that’s an impossible model for any child to seek to emulate.

Hitting parenting out of the park means coming through when it matters. Getting the big moments right. As much as anything, it is about being someone who shows every day how much you care. Showing your kids by example what is crucial in life is the best thing you can do for them.Perfect Parents: What They Know and What You Can Learn

The Perfect Parent Knows What They Don’t Know

It’s not just with our kids, but with anyone we want to respect and admire us, but sometimes we try to hide a lack of knowledge. It’s there from an early stage. If a younger sibling asks us a question, we don’t want to admit not knowing the answer. Sometimes we end up guessing or making something up so as not to shake their worldview.

With your kids, that pressure to “know” becomes greater. At some stage in your childhood, you assumed your parents knew everything because that was how the world worked. But actually, showing your child that you don’t serves a double purpose.

First, it’s a chance to demonstrate that you’re human and fallible. Second, you can learn something yourself and show your child how that works. So if they ask something you can’t answer yourself, say so. Say “You know what, I’m not sure. Let’s find out!”. And thank God for Google.Perfect Parents: What They Know and What You Can Learn

The Perfect Parent Knows Where To Look For Help

Your child’s birthday is the perfect time to show how much you care and push the boat out for your little one. Planning a party is one thing, pulling it all together is quite another. There is a lot to get right, and doing it all yourself might be impossible.

All the things that need to be done right for a birthday party? It takes long enough to get them down on paper. Actually doing them may just take more hours than you’re ever going to have available. So you call on help from the experts.Perfect Parents: What They Know and What You Can Learn

You may take on all the planning, although getting help from friends and family is fine too. You may do as much of the literal work as you can. But maybe baking isn’t your strong point. Fine – focus on the food you know you’re good at and look at the likes of Walmart cakes instead. You can put a party playlist together. If you’re not a whiz with electrics, ask someone who is to wire the speakers to play it through the house.

The Perfect Parent Knows There Are Ups And Downs 

As a parent, you are the one your child looks to when they need answers or help. At a younger age, our kids have no reason to doubt us because to them we seem wise, powerful and strong. We may not feel like we are any of those things ourselves, but we keep up the image so our kids don’t lose confidence.Perfect Parents: What They Know and What You Can Learn

At some point, that image will become cracked. The lessons we teach, the hobbies we encourage and the authority we hold can come into question when our kids realize we’re only human. “If Mom was wrong about this one thing, how do I know she’s right about anything else?” is how a child’s thoughts may go.

As a youngster, you went through this yourself. You came out the other side still loving and respecting your parents. You still looked to them for guidance and probably still do even now. Maybe more so now you’re a parent yourself.

Perfect Parents: What They Know and What You Can Learn

It’s important to accept that at some point your child’s faith in you may be shaken. And to show at that stage that you may not be perfect, but you will always love them and be looking out for them. That, in the end, is a parent’s role. If you can see them through the tricky times, hit specialout of the park and always be honest with them, then congratulations! That is what makes the perfect parent.

What are your #MomEssentials?

I have 18 years of parenting experience. In any field of work that would make me an expert. Parenting is very different though. It’s an evolving practice, something that has lots of twists and turns. There are many lessons to be learned for both the parents and the children. There are some essentials that make each day easier, at least my day.

5 Things to Get Through The Day #MomEssentials Here is my list of essentials to get through the day

Shower Behind a Locked Door I’ve instructed the kids that unless something is on fire I am NOT to be disturbed while I’m in the shower. This is MY time that I need to relax, scrub the grime away from the day and possibly but unlikely shave my legs.

Morning Coffee One cup is usually all I need with the rare 2nd cup mid morning. It needs flavored creamer and sugar and the hotter the better!

Multiple Tubes of Chapstick One for me and one for the kids because I don’t like to share.

A Confidant or Best Friend Everyone needs a true friend they can turn to when there is news to share, good or bad. Maybe you don’t have news but just need a distraction because your kids won’t stop yammering on about iBallistic Squid and Enderman.

A Smartphone This is an obvious addition. My life is in there in my calendar and Pinterest.

This list can change at any stage in parenthood. If my kids were younger I’d have Cheddar Goldfish and crayons on my list. What is on your list of #MomEssentials?

Raising a Boy to be a Man

We are only raising one son, that is more than enough for me. He’s been a handful since day one and always pushing limits and stepping on boundaries. On one hand I appreciate this attitude towards life. I want him to question ideas and have his own opinions about the world around him. Then again I want him to know how to follow rules and have respect and realize making waves isn’t always the best way to accomplish something. I want him to grow up a successful, happy and confident man, father, husband and friend. Being a Man means different things for different people. For me it stretches across all aspects of life.

Teaching a Boy to Be a Man

A man takes care of his family. This doesn’t mean he has to be the breadwinner but he does have to contribute to the lifestyle and household. A man can do this sitting behind a desk, behind a toolbox or behind the diaperbag. The way a man takes care of his family is more about the completed task rather than how the task got done.

A man nurtures his children. Building a solid relationship with a child takes practice and effort. A man should be a listener even when he doesn’t like what he hears. A man should make his children feel secure and valued even through the tough times. A man should show his love of his love even when other emotions rise to the top.

A man is a teacher. Whether its teaching your child how to ride a bike, use the lawn mower or work the dishwasher a man should teach their children how to live their life successfully independently. Help should always be available but teaching your child to take steps on their own puts them on the road to a leading a life worth living.

A man is a role model. Celebrities and athletes have a place in our lives but our children need to look up to those that matter the most. A man recognizes his faults and actively works at improving them. This shows children that character and confidence has to be built up and earned and not handed over by popularity and material things.

Being a strong, independent man requires an equally strong and independent support. As parents we lead our children at first, walk beside them, hold them up then stand back and watch them venture out on their own.

Vowing to Be a Better Parent

I sit at the computer for hours a day as my kids circle me doing their thing. They eat, watch tv, play video games, walk the dogs, craft something fun and eat some more. I step away from my work because it’s time to do something together. I step away because my family is my number one priority.

Being a Better Parent than My Parents

I didn’t have the happiest or most fulfilling childhood. I don’t remember lots of hugs or I love yous, I don’t remember many family dinners, I don’t remember trips to the park just to play, I don’t remember soccer practice, swim lessons or play dates. My parents would disagree with me of course.  We seem to have our own perception of the past.

My kids will have these memories.  We take vacations and day trips just because I want them to have a good time. I want their memories to include smiles, hugs, laughs and fun.  Don’t get it twisted, my kids have chores, responsibilities and days when all they seem to do is argue with each other but we live a happy and rewarding life overall.

I believe my parents did the best they knew how given the circumstances surrounding our lives. I’m learning to accept the life I had and use it as a catalyst for the parent I am today.  Am I perfect? Never. I have my own faults and missteps each day but I see the bigger picture.  I don’t want my children to grow up wondering where I was for special moments. I never want them to second guess my support and love.  I will stand by my children every step of the way even when they fall. I will brush them off and push them forward. I will accept them for who they are and what they do.

Being a parent is the hardest job.  Being responsible for another person or in our case 3 people is a heavy burden to bear some days.  I tackle each day with its own set of obstacles and emotions.  This is the way that works for me. Parenting is an evolving beast. It requires new rules, new viewpoints, new understanding as soon as you think you’ve mastered it.

My kids know I love them, that’s never been a issue. I want them to  know I’m here for them always. I’m their support, their safety net, their crutch, their shoulder to cry on, their listening ear, their warm embrace and their rationale all wrapped into one.

The Lies Parents Tell to Their Kids

As parents we lie. We lie about the tooth fairy, Santa Claus and sending Fido to live on a farm. What what about those lies that we didn’t know were lies. We’ve been duped by our own parents so we didn’t know we were lying too.

Here are some things that I thought were true and still enforce with my own kids.

I Disclose

I’m OK with it

It’s taken me almost 17 years of being a mom to accept some things that are considered big no-nos in the parenting community. Society doesn’t like to accept us as we are; busy, tired, worn down, selfless. I’m here to say while lip gloss and heels are nice sometimes Here Is The Real Me.

  • I’m OK with leaving the house in yoga pants or comfy sweatsI'm OK with you I am
  • I’m OK with skipping girls night out to cuddle on sofa with husband to watch Parenthood
  • I’m OK with not buying myself new brown leather calf high boots to get a pair of Twinkle Toes for Shae
  • I’m OK with not being the perfect mom all the time but when it counts the most
  • I’m OK with not being a career driven woman
  • I’m OK with not knowing how to start the lawn mower
  • I’m OK with waiting too long between hair colorings
  • I’m OK with passing on a fun exciting event because it doesn’t fit our schedule
  • I’m OK with driving a minivan because we fit comfortably in it, it’s paid off and I feel safe
  • I’m OK with admitting my kids get on my nerves somedays and I want lock myself in my room

As a mom, non-mom, dad or other, what are you OK with. Remember these aren’t faults, they are decisions made to be happier as a whole instead of putting on a front that we can’t keep up with.

Things Every Mother Should Know

Parenting is hard.  I along with some of my PSMM friends have put together a handy little list of things every parent should know to get them through the years.  We are by no means experts but we’ve learned some thing from experience and think it’s best to share our advice, tips and tricks with you.
Some Things Every  Mother Should Know

  • Know Where The Nearest 24 hour Pharmacy is
  • Kids are Always Watching
  • Your Life Will Change Forever
  • Your Child’s Normal/Non-Sick Temperature
  • Lollipops Come in Handy
  • Magic Erasers Remove ALMOST Anything
  • The Experts Aren’t Always Right
  • You WON’T Remember Every Milestone, Write it Down
  • Sleeping in only exists when the kids are not under the same roof that night. Dana, Single Mom in the City
  • Family vacations are an expensive week long workout Dana, Single Mom in the City
  • Your house will never be clean again…As soon as you clean something your kids will come by and make it dirty again. Mychal-My Life in Mommyland
  • Always stop whatever you are doin when they ask you to read, play with magnet letters or want to do numbers. Whatever you were doing right then is never as important as fostering a love of learning. Becky, Crafty Garden Mama
  • How to Take Time for Yourself Without Guilt –Hillary-Hac Scraps
  • Once you become a parent you will look at your own parents in a different light.Jeanine-Mommy Entourage
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff – you will look back and wonder why you worried over little things Lovable Labels
  • You will leave the house countless times before having a chance to brush your hair or event attempt to look halfway decent, but your kids WILL make it to preschool on time. Jeanine-Mommy Entourage
  • Never say Never. Because whatever you thought you would NEVER do as a parent, you most likely will end up doing. Cindy-Whatever Works
  • if you say, “There is no way that he… (is hungry, has to use the potty, would climb on top of the bookcase and jump off)”, it is certainly the case that it will happen…probably about three seconds after you say it. Heather-Diapered Knights
  • Poop will become part of everyday conversation, even with other adults. Don’t try to fight it. Jessica-Delco Pa Moms
  • Every time you think you have it down, it changes. Sarah-Finnegan and the Hughes
  • Never talk about a good sleeper out loud because that is exactly when they become a bad sleeper. Sarah-Finnegan and the Hughes
  • Just like we tell them not to put things in their mouth, parents shouldn’t do it either. it might be a raisin but it might be booger too. ya never can tell until its in your mouth. Kelly-The Turnip Farmer
  • Your ability to hold a real, adult conversation my diminish but you will become an expert in toddler/preschooler translation. Stephanie-Mama Bears World
  • at all costs, don’t finish your kids’ food… you’ll regret it when they are 5 and you are still sporting a “baby bump” Dana-Single Mom in the City
  • Continue to value your relationship with your significant other as the core of the family. This relationship is the foundation of your family. Toni-Tickles and Time Outs
  • Keep your sense of humor or you’ll go INSANE! Toni-Tickles and Time Outs

Do you have anything you would like to add to this list?

Is Eating At McDonald’s Really Fiscally Responsible?

Wednesday night Shaun and I went to the men’s basketball game at the University of Delaware and had a great time but I heard one thing while we were at the game that really bothered me.

There was a lady next to me with her daughter who was about four and her son who was Shaun’s age so he was around eight. I saw the daughter eating some form of candy and sharing it with her brother. What was disturbing about this scene was the son asked his mother if she could buy another bag of candy for him and the mother was complaining about the $1.75 price and had the nerve to say that she wasn’t being fiscally responsible. The reason I say this is because in the next breath she told her kids buying a $1.99 happy meal from McDonald’s was fiscally responsible because they could get more food for their money where with the candy they only got a small portion.

Now I am from the school of getting the most bang for your buck. I get duped every time Melinda and I go to the movies because the different between a small, medium and large drink and popcorn is only about 50 cents so I always go for the large. So based on this I agree you should try to get the most bang for your buck but even though McDonald’s may be fiscally responsible is that being health responsible? I think NOT!!!!!!! I think we are in a bad place when we use McDonald’s as our example of being fiscally responsible. Why not something a little healthier like Sub Way or something along those lines.

Don’t get me wrong I am not the best eater at times but we don’t eat at place like McDonald’s or Burger King and I would never tell my kids we weren’t being fiscally responsible because we weren’t eating there.

I Disclose

A Mom’s Haiku

Peace And Quiet Please

That Is All I Ever Ask

Waiting For Bedtime To Come

Don’t judge, I’m just saying what you all are thinking.

No More Mommy Guilt

Too much TV, too many cookies, not enough sunlight. I’m guilty of all of this sometimes.

I’m a mom, I’m human, I have feelings, I have stress, I have needs, I have responsibility. All of this runs through my mind each day. Each decision that is made affects everything and everyone around me. Should I take the kids to the park or do a craft indoors? If I choose staying in will they get bored faster and have too much energy later in the day. If we go to the park do I run the risk of not getting chores in the house done? There’s a consequence for everything I do. Dealing with the balance each day is a struggle that I KNOW so many other parents work through.

My own workload is backing up. I didn’t get up early enough to work in peace before the kid’s day starts. The tv acts as the entertainment for an hour while I pump through email and my checklist. A little Kick Buttowski never hurt anyone right. I mean the worst that happens is Shae picks up a phrase like “Aw, biscuits”. I DO make sure they’ve eaten a balance breakfast, brushed their teeth and made their beds. Don’t I deserve some credit here?

Friday night is Pizza and Movie night. It’s been that way for almost 4 years. This is the time Rob and I get to sit, have a meal together (sans kids) watch a show or movie we’ve been holding off on all week and spend time together. The kids suffer along the way too. They have to take their pizza and snacks into Shaun’s room and eat picnic style while watching an agreed upon movie. Poor kids with their bedroom tvs, iPods, laptops and gaming systems. Don’t get me wrong, we have many completely unplugged days. Days where board games are piling the kitchen table; days where glitter glue is covering skin up to the elbows and days where sitting on the deck just chatting has been the highlight of the week. It’s all about balance
We are a modern family with modern conveniences but that doesn’t mean we’ve lost the importance of one on one time with real talking and playing. I use what I can to keep my family happy and sane. I make no apologies about it. I’m tired of all the mommy guilt because we all don’t serve home grown organic snacks, homeschool, breastfeed till college and sew each article of clothing that touches our child’s skin.

Parents need to come together and realize that we do things differently and it’s OK. Let it go already and stop being so judgy.

I Disclose