Kids awake, brimming with energy and awesomeness.
Parents arise, groggy, potentially irritable before the coffee infusion.
Kids want to play/fight/whine/negotiate. Parents want them to get dressed.
Kids want to play/fight/whine/negotiate. Parents want them to eat breakfast.
Kids want to play/fight/whine/negotiate. Parents want them to brush their teeth.
Kids want to play/fight/whine/negotiate. Parents want them to get their backpacks ready, shoes and coats on.
Repeat over and over and over and over. Tick, tick, tick.
Parents check emails, tweets, FB posts …. distraction.
Where are my library books?
I have swimming today!
Oops, I forgot to do my homework.
Do I have lunch money?
Honey, can you pick up the kids tonight, just realized I have a meeting?
Tick, tick, tick.
Repeat Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
Posted by samanthamcgarry on January 25, 2013
Stamina has always been my Achilles heel. As a school child, staying awake to complete hours of homework was a challenge; I usually had to wake up early to finish it and to study for tests and exams. As college approached, I embarked upon the opposite of sleep training so that I could stay up late and party.
This morning, as I was awoken by noisy, happy kids (is that better or worse than the alarm clock, I’m not sure?) I felt like I had been hit by a truck. The day prior was spent flying to Atlanta and back for a three-hour business meeting – my day started at 4am and ended at 10pm. It occurred to me, as I groggily got up and meandered through my work day feeling spacey, wan and unproductive, that I just don’t bounce back like I used to. That I used to be able to withstand stressful, long hours at the office, then go out to drink and party – and still wake up the next day bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, able to operate like the PR ninja that I am.
Not so much today.
The sad reality is that I’m just not as young as I used to be. And when I think more about this, the signs are clear and staring right at my ever-so-slightly wrinkly (those are laugh lines) face. Because:
- Wearing heels more than 2″ high doesn’t just make my feet sore – it makes my hips and back ache.
- A stressful day or a late night makes me feel hung over – without any of the fun.
- More than two glasses of wine gives me heartburn.
- I can barely see straight when I drive at night.
- To put mascara on, I have to get really, really close to the mirror.
- Thoughts come into my mind and then ….. oh wow, I have no clue what I was going to write ….
- I get into the car bum first, then swing my feet in. And in reverse to get out.
- Songs I love are now referred to as “oldies.”
- Fashions I used to wear are now either retro – or making a comeback.
- The belly pooch is here to stay, no matter what.
- Several of my work colleagues are technically young enough to be my offspring.
- Policemen are getting younger and younger (that’s a British expression, I think.)
The good news however, because I like to keep the glass half full is that, despite my age, I am still silly and I don’t take myself too seriously. I can hang with the young’uns at the office and hold my own. I’m down with at least 30 percent of what’s hip music-wise. I will see The Hunger Games and be culturally relevant. I still get checked out from time to time. I’m on Facebook lots (that’s still cool, right?)
And so, despite my advancing years, I guess it’s better to adopt a Mark Twain attitude than complain.
Posted by samanthamcgarry on March 22, 2012
I am by no means a perfect mother. I say ‘no’ a great deal, the naughty step is frequently used, I threaten to throw away all the toys that are widely distributed throughout our house, I bribe with chocolate and I’m not above feeding my kids a Happy Meal from time to time. I feel guilty when I put my work – or the next tweet or FB status – before their immediate need for x, y or z. My tolerance threshold for whining is very, very (did I say very?) low. There are many unanticipated realities of parenthood that keep me dazed and confused every day.
Still, there is a lot that I think I might be doing right. When I say I – I mean my husband and I – because it’s a team sport, this parenting business.
Right from the beginning, our wonderfully wise pediatrician told us not to become short order cooks for our kids. Dinner is what’s on their plates. Same thing for everyone. If you don’t eat it, it’s a long time till breakfast. We have tried our very hardest to maintain this policy, even when it’s meant our four year-old daughter going to bed with an empty tummy and waking up hungry in the night. Call me mean, but the lesson is slowing seeping into her angelic and often quirky grey matter. Last week she voraciously ate swordfish! (Of course, this week she turned it down) It’s worked with my son too – he now has a man-sized appetite and is (mostly) willing to try new foods.
Beyond the dinner table, we’ve taken this approach further. By that I mean that teaching our kids to do stuff for themselves is an everyday priority. Self-reliance, independence, resourcefulness – call it what you will, but teaching it to your kids from an early age is so important. It was tough for me at first. Being the control freak that I am, it was intolerably painful sitting by and watching my toddler figure out how to get into feety jammies and zip ‘em up by herself. Standing back as your kids pour cereal into their own bowls knowing that, at any moment, the entire contents of the Cheerio box are going to be avalanching out of the packet and cascading onto the floor. Waiting for your kid to figure how out to buckle their own car seat when you are already running ten minutes behind schedule.
The key, we discovered, was to drill this concept of self-reliance into them precisely during the “I want to do it by myself” stage (which starts around three) to the “teach me how to do it” and “can I help?” stages (which are roughly from four to seven – and who knows maybe longer.)
Patience, restraint and several large glasses of wine later …. the rewards for teaching our kids to be resourceful is paying off. Not only are they doing more stuff for themselves (and feeling proud about it,) now they are finally doing stuff for me! See what I mean? Hooray!
Posted by samanthamcgarry on February 5, 2012
Since I committed to putting my resolutions in writing for the first time, I feel compelled to report back after the first month. Here goes:
Posted by samanthamcgarry on February 1, 2012