Find Good In Every Day

One mom's attempt at finding good in every day of this chaotic world.

Mom Challenge – Day 23 December 31, 2012

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 11:18 pm

30 Day Mom Challenge

Day 23

Replace sarcasm with kindness.

I struggled with this today.  Not in the sense that I couldn’t get the sarcasm out of my voice, but that I couldn’t even think of myself as sarcastic with my kids.  It’s just not what I do with them.  I asked Jeremy, and he wasn’t able to twist it into something I could use.  So instead of trying to think of some incident where I may have used sarcasm and how I could have been better about being kind, I’m going to do an end-of-year post.  It’s nearing midnight on December 31st, and there is a small chance I might actually stay awake.  (Maybe if I keep writing…)

We went out to dinner as a family, and as we toasted the end of 2012, I thought about what a year it has been.  I told Jeremy that I was ready for a banner year in 2013; that 2012 just wasn’t my year.  He responded that it was a rebuilding year for me.  A football term I actually think relates to my life.  2012 was all about change, reflection, rejection, starting anew.  Here’s a quick recap…

In March I lost my job as Director of Operations for a small business in Maryland that had been taken over by a larger Pennsylvania company that didn’t quite know what to do with me.  That was after almost a year of turmoil trying to get used to a big company and corporate politics.  I saw it as a blessing in disguise.  I spent 2 months reflecting on what I could do next, enjoying time with the kids but, after getting desperate, took a horrible job that required a long commute but paid what we needed to keep living the life we had built.  Then, just when we felt we needed it the most, Jeremy got offered a job in Providence, RI.  Within 3 weeks, our house was sold, packing had begun, and we had a rental home waiting for us in Providence.  After the move, I spent the summer enjoying our Rhode Island exploration and getting our family settled in a new state.  Job searching continued, but I was getting very discouraged.  Finally, through connections, I was offered a job back in real estate – a field that has always held interest for me.  I pushed to get licensed within 7 weeks, while also getting used to a new work schedule, trying to meet new friends, making sure the kids were transitioning well, and questioning whether I had made the right choice taking a job that couldn’t support my family financially.

In all honesty, my work schedule is great.  Flexibility was the key reason I took this new job.  I have met a few friends, but I’m still waiting to find “the one” who will join me for a burger, a beer and a chick flick.  The kids have done better than I ever could have hoped for.  Mason transitioned seamlessly.  Cooper has his moments, but overall he is doing great.  I know that once we get settled in a neighborhood and he gets to Kindergarten, he will be even better.  And as for questioning my job?  I think that’s just part of the real estate world.  I don’t think there will ever be job security.  It’s a risky field, especially knowing I am basically self-employed.  But I just have to keep reminding myself that this move was all about resetting the bar.  Heck, this whole year has been about resetting the bar!  It’s tough to change your expectations in life, to let go of some unrealistic dreams, but these are the moments that will shape me and my family – for the better, I think!  We’re starting anew here in Rhode Island, and 2013 will bring even more change, but also more peace…  more confidence in our choices…  more understanding of who we are and “where” we want to be…

So I’m toasting goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013.  May it be a banner year for us and for all of you!  Happy New Year!

P.S. Writing this post got me within 45 minutes of midnight.  I think I might have to push to stay awake until midnight for the first time in years!

 

Mom Challenge – Day 22 December 30, 2012

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 8:30 pm

30 Day Mom Challenge

Day 22

How do you want your child to remember you?  Be that mom today.

Ok, where were we?  Sorry for the break, but I was focusing on enjoying the Christmas holiday with my family.  As vacation comes to a close, it’s time to refocus on this Mom Challenge.

In thinking about how I want my children to remember me, I came up with the following…

Fun

Fair

Loving

Confident

(And, of course, the best baker ever!)

Those are not always easy characteristics to embody.  Today, I focused on fun.  We woke up to a blanket of snow outside.  Heck, it was more than a blanket.  It was about 6 blankets!  So much snow – a great intro to our first New England winter.  After breakfast, the kids were eager to get outside and play.  I kept telling them that once we did the work of cleaning off the cars and shoveling the driveway and sidewalk, Mommy and Daddy could play too.  I used to keep myself dry and warm inside when it snowed in Maryland, mostly because I wasn’t fully prepared with the right gear.  But last year I bought snow pants for the sole purpose of playing with the kids!  They came in handy again today.  I made snow angels, tried to throw snowballs (the snow wasn’t cooperating), and we made our first ever “Snow-bot!”  I hope these fun memories are the ones my children will remember years down the road.

IMG_3979

 

Mom Challenge – Day 21 December 21, 2012

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 2:05 pm

30 Day Mom Challenge

Day 21

Forgive yourself when you mess up.

Sometimes I feel this entire challenge was made just for me.  So many of them are perfect for my own struggles, and it is great that I can dive into each and really figure out the root of why I do what I do as a mom.  Ok, so maybe I don’t get it all figured out, but I get a good head start thanks to this little challenge.

As I have said many times before, I am very hard on myself.  I don’t give myself too much credit, and I hold myself accountable at really high standards.  Today, though, I’m taking myself less seriously.  I am patting myself on the back for a job well done.  I think every mom needs reassurance and affirmation, and if you don’t get it from your kids, give it to yourself!  That’s what I’m doing today.  There is nothing specific TODAY that I need to forgive myself about, but the past 20 days have shown you there are many others things I can take into account.  So I’m wiping my slate clean today!  It’s the least I can do for myself.

Just a look at these two smiling faces, and I know I've done ok.

Just a look at these two smiling faces, and I know I’ve done ok.

 

Mom Challenge – Day 20 December 20, 2012

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 8:55 pm

30 Day Mom Challenge

Day 20

Today’s focus: Patience

Another big one!  Patience is the key to parenting.  I have definitely learned more patience since my kids were born, but I am far from being zen with it.  I tell myself every morning that I need to be more patient, and by the end of the day, I have to remind myself.  Today was no exception.  I woke up finally feeling better.  I was ready to take on my day and enjoy it (cough and all!)  By 7am, there was already yelling coming from upstairs.  Not a good start to the day.  I kept my cool until 7:58am when Mason was upset with me for not helping her tie her shoes and that she would be late for the bus.  I had no more patience for her attitude, and we butted heads yet again.  Way to go, Mom!  After then setting the car alarm off 5 times (very long story for another time), my patience was even less.

It took a venting to Jeremy and a venting to my mom to truly get through it all.  And by the end of the day, I was ready again – my patience back up to a high level.  Despite more Mason outbursts and Cooper’s incessant, “Do you know what?” questions, I kept my cool the rest of the evening.  (at least I think I did…  another mom trait?  selective memory)

I have the biggest test of patience coming up tomorrow.  We’re beginning our Christmas vacation with the first big drive to Maryland.  If 7 hours in the car with your kids isn’t the ultimate test of patience, I don’t know what is.  But I’m going to be ready.  Bring it on!

 

Mom Challenge – Day 19 December 19, 2012

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 10:00 pm

30 Day Mom Challenge

Day 19

Teach your child one thing he can do on his own.

It’s a double-edged sword when your kids start wanting to do everything on their own.  On the one hand, you love to see them grow and learn and become self-sufficient.  On the other hand, you hate to watch them struggle and get frustrated waiting for them to do what it would take you only a minute to do.  The good does outweigh the bad in most situations, though.

Right now we’re struggling with when to start teaching Cooper how to do more on his own.  With Mason being the first child, we were eager for her to pass those milestones – brush her own teeth, tie her own shoes, zip her own jacket.  But with Cooper, eh…  Not so much.  It is necessary that I brush his teeth every day.  I’ll be happy buying him velcro shoes for a while longer.  And well, he does zip his own jacket, so at least we have that going for us.  It’s the second-child syndrome.  You know the one…  Less pictures, no baby book, no tracking of milestones, goes with the flow, gets tortured by older sibling…  That second-child syndrome.  It’s probably time we start working with Cooper on becoming more self-sufficient, no matter how painful it will be.

Cleaning up has been a real challenge for Cooper lately (and Mason, for that matter!)  His favorite toy right now is Legos, and I’m not talking about the big Duplo ones.  Cooper loves the tiny Legos, and we have TONS of them.  And when he can’t find the exact piece he wants/needs, he dumps them all on the floor.  We’ve been working with him on picking up the Legos, but he continues to do it one by one.  Which means that when the Legos are not all put away in 5 minutes, we’re super frustrated and end up doing most of it for him.  Bad parents!  Last night and today, I really started to encourage him to make big scoops with his hands to put a lot of Legos away at one time.  That was my lesson for the day.  He did better.  I’m not sure if it will stick, but I’ll keep showing him how to do it.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll even get him to wear his Converse chucks with laces!

 

Mom Challenge – Day 18 December 18, 2012

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 8:43 pm

30 Day Mom Challenge

Day 18

Who is a mom you admire?  What quality of hers can you live out today?

I definitely admire my own mom.  She is a great woman and mother, and I learn a lot from her.  It’s funny – I actually feel closer to my mom now that we’ve moved away.  Now that may sound weird, but it’s true.  Living only an hour from her, we would see each other once a week usually – for lunch or a short visit or something.  But now that we live 8 hours from her, our time together is for longer visits.  When she is here, she really gets a feel for our every day life.  She melds right in and rolls with it all.  I appreciate that so much.  And because she is with us for longer periods of time, she actually sees us as a family, rather than the couple of hours of all of us putting on our best faces like before.  My mom recently sat me down after a long weekend and gave me some advice.

1) Take care of yourself.  Exercising is really important to mental health.

2) Treat your kids equally, no matter if one is being better than the other on any specific day.

3) Don’t be so hard on yourself.

I really took it all to heart.  My mom has been through a lot in her years, and for her to come out on the other end the way she has…  well, that’s just very admirable in my book.  I love her so much, and I hope one day I can parent my grown-up children with the same wisdom that she has with me and my sister.  (There’s that whole “wisdom” thing again.  It’s becoming my constant through this whole challenge.  I’ll have to reflect on that at the very end of it all.)

Thank you, Mom, for being there for me and for not laughing too much when I call about my exasperating kids and their antics!

 

Mom Challenge – Day 17 December 17, 2012

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 8:13 pm

30 Day Mom Challenge

Day 17

Laugh with your child today.

I’m sad this one came today.  Unfortunately I am really sick, and laughing is just not happening.  If I do laugh, my throat hurts too  much, and then I start coughing, which hurts even more.  Ugh.  So we’ve had a pretty sedate day. I did smile a lot, though, when Mason had a dance show at school.  She participated in an after-school dance program this fall, and today was the final performance.  It was adorable.  They danced to Firework and Dynamite.  I didn’t take any pictures, but Jeremy got video of it.  It was great to see her so into it and putting a lot of effort into something outside of schoolwork.

I also laughed a tiny bit (wary not to let the coughing start) when Cooper got up in the middle of dinner with a suspicious gleam in his eye.  He went into the kitchen and came back with a beer for Jeremy.  His explanation, “I just wanted to do something nice for you, Daddy.  Mason, did you want to do something nice for Daddy too?”  It was so sweet, and I got such a kick out of it.

So even though I wasn’t belly laughing or giggling a lot today, I still have some great memories to get me through this illness.