Parenting Archives - JennieGScott.com
23
archive,category,category-parenting,category-23,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode_grid_1300,qode-content-sidebar-responsive,qode-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,qode-theme-ver-9.5,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.10.0,vc_responsive
11.04.2018

  I know. I know that what looks easy in your life takes great planning and coordination and a whole lot of work plus a little bit of luck.  I know that your body may be still right now, but your mind is on overdrive. You’re thinking about your to-do list and your grocery list and that thing you wish you hadn’t said and that person from middle school who still has no idea how much they hurt you. I know your brain never stops. I know you need a break but can’t seem to find the time, and I know you perform a million little tasks that aren’t noticed unless they’re not done. I know, from one woman to another, the invisible weight you always carry. I might not know all of your specifics, but I think I know how you feel. I know you wonder sometimes if any of it matters at all, if the details of your days add up together to equal anything that’s making a difference. I know you wonder if anybody really sees you -- the real you, behind the put-together facade you show the world. I know you’re afraid that you’re messing it all up, and I know you regret what you...

14.09.2017

  Tears streamed down my child's face, the frustration apparent. The frustration was clear, but the real issue wasn't. I couldn't get to the root of the matter. Was it exhaustion? A misunderstanding? Did something happen at school? What was really going on? I never figured it out. My questioning and probing did no good with the child sprawled across my bed, so I couldn't make sense of it. Which basically summarizes being a parent. I'll never forget bringing home a 5 pound newborn and listening to her cries in the night, wondering what they meant. Hunger? No, she just ate. Wet diaper? No, she was just changed. What was going on? Sometimes I never figured it out. I'm a person who likes to have answers. I sat in the front row in school, taking copious notes and comparing my answers to those in the back of the book. If I missed a question on a test, I couldn't let it go until given a thorough explanation. So even now, as an adult, I can't sleep until I feel like I've made sense of things in my mind. I don't do well with not knowing. But being a parent means often not having the right answer.  Where should...

03.04.2017

  Take a deep breath, Mama. It's going to be ok. Whatever you did or said today isn't going to ruin your kids. Whatever you bellowed or burned last night doesn't define you. Having a bad day doesn't mean you're a bad mom. I know you feel like you're messing it all up, and I know how you convince yourself that you just don't have what it takes. But you're not, and you do. Being a mama is a sacred calling, and it's also a great sacrifice. Every day, we mamas give up a lot. We sacrifice sleep, clean kitchen counters, hot meals, and the certainty that we're doing things well. Because if there's one thing I know about mothers, it's that we constantly analyze and evaluate ourselves, and we obsess over our mistakes. And goodness knows, we make plenty of them. This week alone, my failures could fill a page. I've fed my kids fast food for dinner, fussed at them for moving too slowly, yelled at them for running in the house, washed the same load of laundry twice because I forgot about it fermenting in the washing machine, gotten irritated when they forgot to pack their lunches for school, rolled my eyes when they yelled my name...

28.03.2017

  My baby girl is getting hair in her armpits. Not just peach fuzz, but honest to goodness hair - hair that's getting darker and longer every day. There's a razor in her very near future, and I can't take it. My baby boy is getting wisps of dark hair on his upper lip, and his legs are starting to look like a teenager's. My babies are changing right in front of my eyes, and my mama heart is beating fast. We can't be here already. We can't be at shaving, puberty, bodily changes and hormones. It can't be time. And I'm just not ready. Somebody should have warned me. Somebody should have said how fast they grow up...

09.03.2017

  Dear Divorced Mom, It sucks, doesn't it? This whole being divorced thing. Whether you wanted to be or not, here you are. A mom who used to be married to her kids' dad and now isn't. The divorce changed everything, didn't it? Your life as you used to know it is gone, and whether that's a good or bad thing, nothing is the same. Holidays are different. Schedules are different. Family dynamics are different. You feel like a failure, sometimes, don't you? You feel like less of a mom because your kids aren't always with you. Secretly, you feel like a fraud and a part-time parent. You think about the time you miss with your kids and are insanely jealous of people who don't have to spend weekends without their babies. You hate using a calendar to keep track of the days they're gone and the vacations they're taking without you. You cringe and feel embarrassed whenever someone asks, "Do you have the kids this weekend?" You know it's not natural. You know they should be under your roof. You walk into their empty rooms and feel an aching sadness that doesn't end until they walk back through your door. You feel sometimes that "divorced" defines who you are. It...

11.01.2017

  At 36, my childhood feels like it was a zillion years ago. I remember playing in the creek with other neighborhood kids for hours at a time, heading home only when darkness enveloped the skies, and I remember the hours I spent playing with my Barbies. My childhood included lots of time outdoors, lots of time reading, and lots of fights with my sisters over the bathroom we shared. The world of the 1980s was drastically different from the world around us today, and when I compare my life then with kids' lives now, there are more differences than I can count. I can't help but wonder how different the world will be when my children are adults. If I'm honest, it scares me half to death. I don't want to look back with rose-colored glasses at my childhood and pretend the world had no problems then. Certainly it did. There were actual wars and a cold one, drugs on the streets and blatant discrimination. I remember a hurricane destroying part of my state and a space shuttle exploding before our eyes. People's lives were hard, and the problems they faced then hurt just like the problems we face now. But the world feels more complicated now, doesn't...

01.01.2017

  In my house live a stubbornly independent 11 year old and a precociously rambunctious 10 year old. Add in two set-in-their-way 30-somethings, and you have a delightful recipe for some conflict. We’ve moved past the days of children flinging their food on the floor and splashing in the toilet for fun, and they’ve learned not to hit and bite, but they’re still kids. And that means occasional disobedience, rowdiness, and talking back. The kids act like kids sometimes, so that means they misbehave. And when they do, I feel exhausted and depleted. I feel defeated and ineffective, and I feel like I still - 11 years later - don’t have a clue what I’m doing. (Don’t ask me where I got the idea that raising children would be picturesque and easy - I grew up in a house with four children, and our lives were never reminiscent of Mary Poppins. I guess I thought my unrivaled mothering skills would raise children who were practically perfect in every way.) On the days my children do and say things I’d rather them not, this is what goes through my mind: Um, for real? Have they not lived here their entire lives? Do they think the rules...

13.12.2016

  I tell myself I'm a really bad mom because:   I don't make homemade bread for my children's lunches. I didn't deliver my children naturally or without drugs. I don't feed them only organic food. I don't use only natural cleaning products in our home. I let them watch TV so I can have a moment's peace. When they ask if they can have a silly string fight, I say no because I don't want to clean up the mess. When they ask if they can have ice cream after school and before supper, I say yes because I'm too tired to care. I don't force them to make their beds every morning. I make them wear the same pants two days in a row because I forget to turn on the dryer sometimes. I sit on the couch and ask them to bring me a drink. I forget to move the stupid elf. I make them clean their own toilets. I don't give them an allowance. I don't check their homework unless they ask for help. I only breastfed 50% of them. I let them sleep on their bellies as babies. I let my son stay up past his bedtime to...

20.11.2016

  When I was a little girl, all I wanted to be was a mother. Sure, I played around with being a marine biologist (who knew you had to be good at science?!), and I would teach school to my dolls and stuffed animals. I dreamed of being an ice skater when the winter Olympics were on, and I toyed with the idea of being a journalist. I considered different careers, but in my heart, I knew my greatest desire was to be a mom. And now I am.   I'm the mom of two incredible human beings, and God has given me the desire of my heart. But man, is it ever hard. Before I gave birth, I knew exactly what kind of mom I would be. I'd be patient all the time, my house would always be tidy, and I'd be a phenomenal cook. But according to these standards, I'm actually a colossal failure. I lose my patience daily, my house looks like a tornado blew through, and my cooking would make Rachael Ray grimace. I am not the mom I thought I'd be, and I'm willing to bet you're not, either.  I heard from a friend recently who said, "I always wanted kids and never...

27.10.2016

  My son marched over after the post-game huddle, shoulders looking too broad in pads and white jersey. "That last touchdown for them? The ball didn't even cross the plane. It was only his head!" The outrage was clear in his voice, the disgust evident on his face. The scoreboard showed a final score of 35-13, a bitter loss bringing their overall record to a losing one. It's been a fun season, one in which he's learned a lot, but I think I've learned a lot, too. I've learned that my boy, the one who was 6 pounds at birth and wore preemie clothing home from the hospital, can be hit without breaking. I've learned he has an infinite capacity for playing Madden Mobile, and I've learned I can be one of those mamas yelling a little too loudly from the sidelines. But I've also learned that to my son, the world is black and white. The rules are the rules, and if you block him in the back, he's going to have something to say about it. If the ref misses a call, he's going to bring it up later. And by all means, if a touchdown is not really a touchdown, he's going to...