Who is Really Stressing You Out?

Motherhood and stress – I find those words together a lot. Mothers all over the internet complain about how their children stress them out.

“My children are fighting and the noise is stressing me out.”

“Driving my children anywhere is so stressful.”

“I can’t shop with my children. Their antics stress me out.”

“Anytime I go anywhere with my child I end up stressed.”

We know that children are high-maintenance, and I’d be lying if I said I never feel stressed. But the question is, is it really the children who are stressing you out? Or are you allowing yourself to be stressed?

Yes, I said allowing. We have the power to decide whether or not to allow a situation to stress us out. We can either let the challenges of parenting get to us, or we can learn how to overcome them.

I know it is easier said than done, but for a mother to maintain her sanity, learning to avoid stress is so important.

Here are a few things I do to keep stress at bay.

1. Exercise

We all know that exercise is a stress-buster, but most of us don’t do it, for whatever reason. We allow our own health to sit on the back burner while we tend to those around us. It might seem noble to put yourself last, but it isn’t good for you.

Exercise is one of the best stress-relievers there is. If you can’t get away from your kids for it, do it with them. Dance in the living room, run at the park, go for a walk. Any exercise is better than none at all! So make time in your schedule for exercise.

2. Breathe

When your children’s antics are getting you riled, stop and breathe. Just take a minute to compose yourself by taking a deep breath, closing your eyes, and letting it out slowly. Go ahead. Try it now and see how good it makes you feel. Look out the window at nature, or step outside for a minute and breathe, and tell yourself you can handle whatever is bothering you. I promise you will feel the stress melt away.

3. Take time for yourself

Do something for yourself every day. Nap when your child does, read a book or your favorite blog, take a shower (and don’t feel bad if it takes an extra cartoon or two). Put on some makeup or brush your hair. Get dressed. Do something that will help you feel more like a woman and not just a “mom”.

I like to get up early for exercise, then take a shower and have my coffee before the kids get up. Thankfully my kids love to sleep late so early for me is up by 6. If your child is an early riser (or has to get up for school), see when else you can fit in time for you.

4. Keep a schedule

This will help you fit in numbers 1 and 3. Time for yourself is imperative so scheduling it will make it happen.

5. Be mature

Remember, they are just children. They are still selfish and self-absorbed. Everything is about them. Don’t take personally anything they say or do.

 

Now it’s your turn. What do you do to keep stress out of your life? Tell us about it in the comments.

No More Naps – And My Schedule

Not long ago, I got frustrated with the schedule my kids were on. They were up at a decent time, but then they would nap and not fall asleep until almost 11 p.m., meaning that, even if I had them in bed by 9, they were still awake and playing around, and I’d still be busy instead of having some time off.

Last year Logan pretty much quit napping. Some days I’d make him nap just so I could have a break in the afternoon, but he didn’t really need it any more. Then Lila began to nap less frequently, so I decided to take them off of naps altogether. They were so happy the day I told them they no longer needed to nap! Of course Scarlett still needs a nap, so I put her down in my room while Logan and Lila play in their own room.

Then the kids began taking the skating lessons. Where we used to go to the playground near our house almost daily and then come home early enough for me to cook dinner, we now have to go to the slightly farther (but still walk-able distance) sports park for the classes.

They skate from 5 to 6 p.m. and then do some exercises with the coach for 30 minutes afterwards. While we don’t always stay for the exercises (how long you stay is up to you), most days the kids want to and Scarlett joins them too, so we only get out of the park by 6:30 or so. While we can walk there in 10 minutes (at Scarlett’s pace), going home can take upwards of 15 minutes since it is peak traffic hour and the area is full of construction and bad sidewalks, and I am dragging three tired kids while carrying a heavy bag full of skating gear and water bottles.

By the time we get home it is almost 7 p.m. Everyone is tired and hungry and can’t wait for me to cook. So from the beginning I switched to cooking dinner in the afternoon so that we can eat just as soon as we get in. It takes more planning for me to make dinner before going, but having food ready to feed starving tummies makes it worthwhile.

While we were happy with the skating lessons, it did take a little longer for them to settle into their new schedule of no naps and making it through the day. The first 2 weeks were tough, since the kids were adjusting to a different sleep schedule and more exercise, but now things are settling down.

Changing the schedule has meant moving dinner and bedtime up but that was the plan – to have them actually fall asleep at bedtime so I could have some time to myself. (Tonight I had them in bed by 8 since Logan had gotten up at 6, and he and Lila were asleep within minutes.)

 

Here is a peek at what my schedule looks like right now.

5:50 a.m.  My alarm goes off and I get up for exercise.

6:05 a.m.  I am out the door to the park for either a run or I do some strength training exercises at home.

7:00 a.m.  I get in just as Glad is heading out to the gym. Kids are (hopefully, usually) still sleeping. I shower and dress, then have my coffee and read the newspaper.

7:45 a.m.  If the kids aren’t awake already, I get them up, feed and dress them, pack their snacks for school, put on a load of laundry, eat my own breakfast, clear the table, stop a fight or two, maybe tidy up a little, and make sure they are ready to go by the time daddy is.

9:15 a.m.  Kids are gone to school with daddy. I find things to keep Scarlett busy as I clean and tidy the house. Once a week we go grocery shopping; once or twice we pick up anything else we need, like fruits and veggies, at the local shops. Sometimes we call off all work and go to the park for an hour or two. I also plan what I will make for dinner and take out meat that needs thawing or soak chickpeas for pressure cooking later.

12:00 a.m.  Prepare lunch.

12:45 a.m.  Glad and the kids are usually home by this time, so we eat right away, since Glad has to run back to work shortly afterwards. This is our family meal since daddy isn’t home for most dinners and he is at the gym while we have breakfast.

1:20 p.m.  Clean up lunch mess. Find a way to keep Lila out of trouble since she no longer naps (Logan plays well on his own so I don’t have to worry about him.) Put Scarlett down for a nap and take a short one myself for 15 – 20 minutes.

2:00 p.m.  Sit with my coffee and try to clear some cobwebs from my brain. I always need more sleep, but if I sleep longer, I can wake assured that Lila is up to no good. Just this past week she played with my glasses and broke them, put a mobile phone in the washer (we had to wait 3 days for the repair man to come get it out, meaning I had to add hand wash to my list of chores), and dumped a whole packet of glitter on the balcony. I lock the kitchen door, but she climbs through the small window between the kitchen and dining room to get into food and such, and sometimes can’t get back out. The other day I woke to the sound of her and Logan heading out the front door. No more long naps for me.

Once the cobwebs are gone, I help them with their homework, if they have any that day.

3:00 p.m.  I wake Scarlett from her nap, and then work on dinner. Meanwhile the kids entertain themselves with play or coloring or teasing each other and making it hard for me to finish quickly. Somewhere in there I give them a snack and that keeps them quiet for a while.

4:20 p.m. Roughly by this time I am done with the cooking, depending on how many times I had to intervene with the kids. I have a snack myself and then we get ready to go for skating class.

4:45 p.m. We leave the house. The sports park is close so we get there quickly. On Wednesdays we skip skating and go instead to the playground.

6:30 p.m. (or so) Head home. Wash up. Heat dinner and serve.

7:15 p.m. Kids are done eating so they have some playtime while I clean up. I also use this time to boil the milk for the next day, make yogurt (as needed), etc.

7:45 p.m. Shower time for the kids. Sometimes this is a happy time and other times they are crying until the moment they are in bed. Get into pj’s, brush teeth, have a story, drink some water, milk every minute they can of being awake. 🙂

8:30 p.m. Kids in bed. Since Logan and Lila no longer nap, they go to sleep quickly. Scarlett takes a little longer, and I often hear her singing to herself, or I catch her looking at books or playing. She is usually asleep by 9.

As soon as the kids are in bed, I jump in the shower, and then head for the computer. That is my only time most days. Sometimes I’d like to go to bed early, but Glad only gets in at 11 p.m., and because of the type of lock on our door, I have to stay up to let him in. We aren’t going to change it now that we are moving. If Glad is home that evening, I will go to bed earlier. Sometimes we will both be in bed by 10, or we relax with a movie together. (If I’m desperately tired, like during PMS, I’ll get into bed early and send Glad an SMS to call me when he gets home. That way I get some extra sleep.)

This is my weekday schedule.

On Saturdays we go to the park for a few hours or maybe the mall, just to spend the morning out of the house. Then I use the afternoon to catch up on stuff I can’t normally fit in.

On Sundays I work for a few hours outside the house, so daddy is in charge. I take full advantage of this “day off” from being mommy. I leave the house at noon, finish work by 3:30, eat lunch, and then take some time for shopping, visiting a mall by myself, or just walking around and enjoying the peace. I am home somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Daddy takes the kids skating this day, so that they can fit in 5 days of lessons a week.

The classes last for 3 months, so after that I’m sure the schedule will change again, as summer will be here and school will be out. And there are more changes to come involving our move to Canada. But I’m not letting them stay up late ever again. 🙂 I love the quiet.

Little Things That Drive Me Crazy (And How I Avoid Losing It To Them)

Ok, we all know that being a mother can have its trying times. You can only put up with your child’s antics for so long before you feel you are going to lose it. My 3 year old does most of those things. I don’t know where she comes up with the strange things she does.

For example, tonight after dinner, Logan hadn’t finished his noodles and I hadn’t yet cleared the table, so the plate was sitting there. I was deep into a blog I like to read that helps me relax and have a few laughs, so I wasn’t paying attention to the kids playing around me. Somehow Lila managed to grab a handful of noodles without my noticing and she began systematically spreading them around on the floor next to me. I only noticed it after she had smeared a whole lot of them. Grrr. I made her pick them up, and I scrubbed the area so it wouldn’t crust.

She has more ideas for trouble than most kids (as least it seems like it to me). She will take cups of water into her room, only to spill them around somewhere. She loves to spread water on anything. She has flooded the house by dumping buckets of water out the door while playing in the bathroom, dumped bottles of cleaning supplies, will dump a bottle of water if she is done drinking, even though I want it back with the water still in it. At the park she plays with sticks and rocks, balls and leaves. She climbs the slide with those items in hand so she can let them go down first. Daring is her middle name.

She loves smearing food anywhere and on anything – edges of the table, backs of the chairs, under the table, etc. She climbs anything, no matter how high it is. She can kangaroo hop for long distances without getting tired. And she was the one who recently walked up to an old lady and patted her large tummy, asking if there was a baby inside. I wanted to disappear.

So how do I control my frustration at her antics? I’ll admit, there are times when I scream or punish her for them. Many times she does know she shouldn’t be doing them (she hides so I can’t see what she is up to) but when it comes down to it, she is just experimenting with life. That doesn’t mean I should let her go ahead and do whatever she wants, but I need to control myself and see what she does through her eyes. I need to remember that the way children learn is by experimenting and doing things that will annoy me and keep me working all day long. They aren’t being naughty (most of the time) but they are learning in their unique way.

To keep from losing it, I make sure to take some time for myself every day. I get up early for exercise. I take a nap when the kids do. I squeeze in time for my blogs in the evenings and on weekends. Sometimes, once the kids are gone to school, I take the morning off instead of cleaning. I rest or watch t.v. or read or just sit and draw with my toddler.

I think that, no matter how busy we are, we mommies need to find ways to make time for us, if for no other reason than to maintain our sanity. Get up a little earlier, or put the kids down a little earlier, or use their nap time to do something for yourself. Whether it be exercise, blogging, reading, writing, or just drinking your coffee and staring out the window at nothing in particular; pick something that you find helps you relieve stress and do it. Your day will go better when you can fit in time for yourself.

Yes, this stinker has more ideas for trouble than a dog has fleas. 🙂

Mommies, tell us how you fit in time for yourself.

Gone and Back Again

You know how there are days when you want to sleep in, but you can’t? Your body clock wakes you despite your best effort to go back to sleep. You wake up even before your alarm goes off, so you decide to get up and get some blogging done, since it has been so long since your last post. “The kids went to bed late,” you think “so they will sleep in.” Right!

Just as you settle down with your coffee and banana cake, the toddler, who somehow snuck into your bed in the night without you waking, is up. She wants to sit on your lap, hold a piece of cake but not eat it, then cries when you put her down. Then she wants milk so you get her a cup of milk and see your oldest is up. Tell him he can go back to sleep because today is not a school day, but he doesn’t want to. Of course not!

Try to put the t.v. on but of course, today it is acting up and doesn’t want to work. Leave it on anyway so that you can see when it decideds to turn on. Meanwhile child #3 shows up and procedes to eat the piece of cake sitting on your plate. She polishes it off lickety split and wants more, then the others want to eat. Cut some cake for all of them, see that the t.v. has finally decided to work, then try to coax them to finish the cake they so desperately wanted a few minutes before.

You see where I’m going with this. Try as I might, time alone to blog doesn’t happen, especially on weekends. It is only 8 a.m., all 3 kids are up, partially fed, and I’ve typed, well, maybe half a post. Why is it kids wake up earlier when there is no school, even though you let them stay up late the night before in the hopes that they would sleep in?

So if you have been wondering where I’ve been and why there hasn’t been a new post in so long, well, aside from no time to blog, you can read this post from my other blog that explains why else I’ve not been blogging. I hope to get back into the swing of it now. I’m aiming for one post a week, if I can. Two or three would be nice but I don’t know if I’ll be able to pull it off. We’ll see what happens.

My little stinkers. 🙂

Exercise

No matter how tired I am, I’m up at 6 every morning. I need time to myself before my kids get up. Free time is one thing most mothers don’t get much of, if any at all, so I have to make my own free time. Weekdays I work out between 6:15 and 7:00; weekends I can get an hour or more since I don’t have to wake the kids for school.

There is something to be said for early morning exercise. I find that it clears my mind, melting away any stress I may have had.  All that blood racing to my brain awakens creativity; I get some of my best writing ideas while jogging or jump-roping. When I am outside in nature, doing something good for my body, I feel free. I let the demands of the day ahead wait and I focus on me. That is my time.

Weekend mornings, when my hubby doesn’t go to the gym early, I get to go jogging at the nearby park and he wakes up with the kids. Well, it’s more them waking him up. 🙂 Ha. This morning at 6 it was raining so I slept some more, and when I got up at 7, the rain had stopped so I decided to go for my jog.

About 10 minutes into it, the rain came back. The park cleared out rapidly, but it takes more than rain to get me to leave so I kept going. I now had a clear path with no slow walkers in my way and I got a good 30 minute jog. It was so refreshing.

I aim to work out 5 or 6 mornings a week, simply because my days go better when I start with something good for my body. Exercise clears my mind, helps me relax, and of course, has helped me lose some weight that I desperately needed to get rid of. I have yet to reach my ideal weight but I’m not quitting yet.

Once I’ve had my workout, I sit with my coffee and work the daily crossword, sudoku, and a few other puzzles that come in the morning paper. That way, I’ve had both a physical and mental workout, all before my kids get up. I find I am a better mother when I get time to myself regularly.

How about you? What has exercise done for you?

Books for Moms

If you are a reader like me, than you know the delight a new book can bring. Finding time to read a whole book, however, is not so easy. No matter what, it seems interruptions happen just as soon as I sit to do something for myself. (I’m surprised not one of my kids has bothered me since I started this post.)

I don’t get a lot of time to read, but when I do, I enjoy the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and especially their books for moms. They are easy to read as they are full of short stories, so you don’t have to read the book through, nor do you have to start at the beginning. There are stories from mothers who come from all walks of life, and who have been through all sorts of situations. Some are famous, most are not, but all share their story from their heart and bring to life the true meaning of motherhood. Here are a few of my favorites.

Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler’s Soul – This was the first book of the series I ever bought and it has become a special favorite. I got it when my first two kids were just toddlers and I have read it through several times. It will make you laugh and cry. If you have preschoolers or soon-to-be preschoolers, I highly recommend this one.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms – This book comes from the perspective of stay-at-home and work-from-home moms. Since I am a SAHM, I found a lot in this book that made me think about how I can empower my life and be more than just “mom”. My favorite section is about mothers who became entrepreneurs and started their own from-home businesses, all the while managing home and family.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: On Being a Parent – Like the title says, it is on parenthood and is great for both mothers and fathers. I read this one and the previous one when I was in the hospital after my last delivery. Some of the stories are so funny that I had to skip them as laughing made my stitches hurt.

I recently bought a new book called Life Lessons for Busy Moms and as soon as I have a chance to read it, I’ll talk about it here. It is by the same authors for the Chicken Soup books so I’m sure it will be just as good.

While I have only bought books on motherhood up until now, my desire would be to have every book in the series, but I think I would need an extra large library for that as there are hundreds of them.

Do you enjoy reading? What is your favorite book or series? Who is your favorite author?

Mommies Need Exercise Too

One of the most important things to good health is exercise, yet it can be one of the most difficult things to get when you have small children. Let’s face it, caring for small children literally takes all your time.

From the time your child is born, the first thing to go out the window is time for yourself – showers, meals, doing your nails, haircuts, makeup, exercise, relaxing – all of it goes on the back burner as your priorities turn to diaper changes, never-ending loads of laundry, cooking, cleaning, and so on.

Before I had kids, I religiously exercised 6 days a week for at least 1 hour. I never missed it unless I was sick. Then when I got pregnant, I wasn’t sure what kind of exercise I could still do. I really should have researched it but I didn’t, so because I hardly exercised, I gained a lot of weight.

Fast forward past 3 pregnancies – each time I got a little more exercise but it was up and down, mainly because finding time to fit it in was so hard. I also never got back down to my original pre-pregnancy weight (maybe no one ever does, I don’t know). Then for a few months last year, I just stopped, and it took seeing some pics of me in a swimsuit (that was so hard to get into but had fit well earlier) to realise that I needed to do something drastic and exercise daily no matter what.

In January I started my new exercise plan: Get up at 6 and exercise from 6:30 to 7:30, before the kids get up. It wasn’t easy and it took me two months to get into the groove, but I can say that I am feeling much better now. Since the beginning of March, I got back into the 6 days a week routine and I know it is doing me some good. Fitting it in was the hard part.

Some days I’m tired; I don’t want to get up so early. I know my kids will sleep late so I want to sleep, but I also know that once the day starts, I won’t stop for exercise and I have to have it. So I force myself to get up. Once I’m up and out there, I feel good. I put some music on and go out onto our large balcony and enjoy the early morning fresh air and do my dance/aerobics combo. I also use 2 lb. hand weights for my arms.

I’ve promised myself that I will never again let anything, barring emergencies, get in the way of my exercise time. I need it, and not just for my health. It is a sanity saver too. That time is my time, time when I can focus on my body and what it needs.

So if you aren’t already in the exercise habit, I highly recommend that you start. Here are a few tips. Oh, and if you have just had a baby or it has been a long time, you may want to get your doctor’s ok before you begin.

1: Commit to exercising. You have to make the decision that you will do it no matter what.
2: Find the time in your day that is right for you. 
3: Pick what kind of exercise you want to do. Choose something that you enjoy because then you are more likely to keep at it.
4: Start slow and build up. Give your muscles time to get used to it and you will have less pain after each session.
5: Set reachable goals for yourself. Instead of saying “I have to lose 20 lb.” and trying to do it fast, set a goal of one or two pounds a week, or set a monthly goal.
6: Reward yourself when you reach your goal. I like earrings, bead jewelry, and shoes. (Just don’t use food.)

Do you exercise already? If so, what do you do and how do you fit it in? If not, what is your plan for starting?

And here is an interesting link I found. Since I had 3 caesareans, this kind of info is meaningful to me, and I hope it can help someone else too.
http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/blogs/dara-duff-bergeron-sweaty-mummy/exercise-options-for-c-section-mommies

Finding Quiet in the Chaos

Currently my life is in constant chaos. With 3 small kids running around, peace and quiet are rare occurances for me. I look forward to things like naps and bedtime, cause those are the only times when I can think.
As a mommy, you will slowly, or sometimes rapidly, lose your sanity unless you find ways to destress. Every mommy needs time to herself, something that can be so hard to get. If you are fortunate to have a husband or relatives or even a babysitter who you can rely on for some time away, that’s great.
But what if you don’t have any help at all? What do you do when you feel your head is about to explode and you have to get away from it all, but the kids are still there? Well, here are a few ideas, things I have tried that help me.
I find I can relax best once my kids are sleeping. I get them into bed, do any jobs that are left that can’t wait for the next day (why do them if they can wait, right?) and then it’s “me time”.

– Once baby is in bed, have a hot shower or bath. Focus on the water flowing over you and let everything else out of your mind. Stay as long as you can.

– No matter what anyone says, chocolate can be a sanity saver for a stressed-out mom. If you are afraid of eating too much, then put it somewhere where you have to work to get at it, or don’t keep it at home but instead, get some from the corner store on your way home from the park or your walk with baby. Eat it slowly, savoring each bite.

– Do you have a favorite drink that helps you relax? It can be whatever you like, from ice water, to lemonade, to wine, and yes, hard liquor. Sometimes I find a drink of rum and coke or vodka with juice to be so relaxing. It soothes my nerves and helps me destress. But it doesn’t have to be alcohol, if you’d rather not. Any drink you enjoy can help take the stress off life if you drink it slowly and enjoy it.
Note: you may have heard that breastfeeding moms shouldn’t have alcohol, but a drink once in a while isn’t going to hurt.

– Try combining all 3 ideas above to help you to really relax.

– Do you like slow music? Put on your favorite songs and lie back and listen to them, or if you have some energy to get rid of (you must be a rare one) then get up and dance to some fast songs. Slow or fast, music can be soothing and relaxing.

– Watch some t.v. or your favorite movie.

What ideas do you have for relaxing?

Of Books and Christmas

It’s November…you all know what that means. It’s almost Christmas! Yippee! I love Christmas – the decorating, hiding gifts, baking, snow…oh yes, I like snow at Christmas. Sometimes I wish it would snow just for that month, or even just that week. It just doesn’t have the same feel without snow. And the candy canes. I miss them so much because they remind me of Christmas. I can’t find them here. Thankfully I can bake my own fruit cakes so I don’t have to go without those, but I always wish I could find some candy canes. This year I’m thinking of making a fruit cake and decorating it to look like a candy cane. If I pull it off I’ll be sure to post a pic.

Speaking of which, I need to get a good Christmas family pic, and by that I mean it has to look Christmasy, with nice clothes, and a good background. I have no experience with Photoshop, but I wonder if I could get it done at a shop? (I’m thinking out loud here, bear with me.) I want to send it with my Christmas cards, which I need to send soon if I want them to get there on time. Gotta dig out that mailing list, the one I never use during the rest of the year. Pretty much everyone I know uses e-mail, except my grandparents. But I feel that nothing can replace a Christmas card in your hand that you can open and look at over and over. E-cards don’t do the subject justice.

What else do I have to do? Plan gifts. I’m ahead in that this year. Some are covered already, but I’m waiting on Logan’s as I have to see what he gets for his birthday. We’ve invited some people for his birthday, so as a rule, I don’t buy stuff I or the kids need or even want for our birthdays’ until I see what gifts are received. It can save money in the long run.

On the topic of gifts, I have been blessed with a husband who could care less about them. He will give one if necessary, but it will be up to me to select and wrap it. That is why I never get gifts from him. On my birthday he gave me an envelope with money. That is how much he hates shopping for gifts. I’m just wondering if there is a way to talk him into actually taking the time to get me something, hide and wrap it, and give it to me. It’s just always been a tradition in my family to give gifts and I miss it. Even a simple gift means a lot to me. But I can’t get my hopes up. I figure if I give him enough gifts he will eventually get the point and get me one. (Or maybe he won’t, in which case I’ll have to ask him to do it…but I know he hates it. What a dilemma.) What do you think, Sweetie? Will you get me a gift this year?

In other news, I had the day off today, meaning someone else kept Logan and I could do what I wanted as long as I had Lila. (Sadly, mommies don’t get a full “day off” until their kids have moved out.) So at 11 this morning I went to a bookstore. I love to read and was determined to find a book for myself. I can’t remember the last time I bought myself a book. Usually I just find the e-book of what I want to read, but today I wanted a real book. I think I spent 2 hours in there. Lila took a nap on my shoulder since I couldn’t bring the stroller to the upper level of this small shop. I didn’t have Logan along so I could go slow and take my time. It isn’t easy for me to decide what I want to get if I don’t have something in mind beforehand, so it took a lot of searching, selecting and discarding, and searching some more before I made up my mind.

Under the section of “Self-help” books were a large selection of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. There was “Chicken Soup” for every possible category: the traveler, mother and daughter, father and daughter, teen, kids, love, and more. I’d love to have the whole collection because these are books I read over and over. We already have two of them in the house, so I settled for a third: “Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler’s Soul”. Yes, I knew that was for me. I also picked out a parenting book called “How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk”. I’ve read a summary of it before, but I feel it’s nice to have the whole book, in print, so I can study, mark, and store away the knowledge I will need for the day my kids start talking. 🙂 I also picked up a pocket-sized book for Glad about wine – making, harvesting, how to tell one from the other. I thought it was a find as he likes to make wine. I hope he reads it. Last of all I got a height chart for Logan. I’ll get a pic of him by it and then you’ll see why he was hugging it tonight.

I was happy with my bookstore adventure. I would have stayed longer but Lila was getting fussy and I had to get her home. After she slept, I got some coffee, a pack of chocolate cookies, and sat down with my new “Chicken Soup” book and read it cover to cover. There are some things you just don’t understand until you experience them: motherhood is one, raising children is one, and it’s so nice to hear from people who understand what you are facing and can help you laugh about it when you feel like screaming. That kind of time out can truly refresh your soul and help you keep going. Get one of those books if you don’t have one, and if you do, go read it again or get a new one. Then take a time out and read it. You’ll feel better.

It’s Bedtime

It’s almost midnight. Both kids went to sleep around 10 p.m. and both have woken up twice already. This is the only time I get to write. I’m tired. I was in the main city market all day, shopping for food and stuff for the house. Lila was in the carrier. She is so heavy now. My shoulders are sore from carrying her for so many hours. I know I’ll drop just as soon as I lie down.

Yet I need time to unwind before I get into bed. And since we only have one computer, Glad and I have to share it. It’s “first come, first serve” with the laptop. Whoever gets it can use it. Glad was using it, watching a movie. Then he went to shower and I did what I wanted. Since I wasn’t finished when he came out, he laid down to wait and in minutes was asleep. So the computer was mine. But it is so late and I have to get up tomorrow. I have to get up when the kids do, day or night. I don’t get enough sleep.

Logan was moving into our bed several times a night. It was getting bothersome to not be comfortable in bed but we didn’t know how to keep him in his bed. Last night I put the removable bars on the bed so Lila could play there and then left them there when Logan went to sleep. And you know, it worked. He stayed in his bed all night, simply because he couldn’t get out.

This is how he sleeps when the bars are out, and of course he can escape.

This is how he sleeps when the bars are out, and of course he can escape.

 

No, I’m not trying to be mean to my child. He doesn’t NEED to sleep in my bed all night, every night. I need my bed; he has his own. He is in my room and is close to me and can call if he needs me, but I prefer that my kids sleep in their own beds. I sleep better that way…at least for a few hours.

I’d better put the bars in tonight.

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