allParenting, Mommy guilt, parenting, personal

The most wonderful time of the year

Does anyone remember the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” Staples commercials from the mid 90’s? You know, the ones with the Christmas song playing in the background as the ridiculously happy parent gallivanted throughout the store buying school supplies?  Here, let me refresh your memory:

I remember watching these commercials as a young, 20-something woman thinking “Who does that? What kind of parent looks forward to spending less time with their children? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?”

Fast-forward to 2014 and here I am, sheepishly raising my hand. I am “that parent,” one of “those people,” counting down the days until summer is over and the little sanity I hold onto during the school year returns. 

This is the first summer I’ve felt this way. I remember last summer being hard — what with my husband deployed and all — but I don’t remember looking forward to the school year. In fact, I remember having a lovely summer with my boys.  I was a little sad Daddy wasn’t here to enjoy the fun times with us, and I was looking forward to heading to Europe to see him for two weeks in September, but I don’t recall desperately wishing to jump to August like I do now.

As if my guilt levels weren’t already sky-high, this is Jameson’s last summer before he starts school. Next month my littlest little will have his first day of his educational career, and for the first time since 2008 I will have time of my own.

Maybe that’s the difference.

Last year, the school year starting didn’t herald the beginning of a whole new chapter for us. It was just Benji returning to school while Mommy and Jameson went back to doing our thang. This year, everything changes.

In April, 2013, I started writing for allParenting. I still write for them; I’ve been writing a whole lot lately. And with it being summer — with both of my active boys home and needing to be entertained — finding the time to write has been hard. It has involved juggling a laptop over the head of a sleeping baby on my lap. Or staying up way past midnight and sacrificing sleep to meet deadlines. Or seeking out kid-friendly places with free wifi, and spending three hours on something that should take 45 minutes because of the non-stop flood of interruptions.

Please don’t think I’m complaining.

I’m thankful for my active, healthy kids and my work-from-home job and circumstances which allow me to be home all day. But I am looking forward to having the time to focus daily on the things I’ve been doing half-way for so long. I’m looking forward to organizing photos and cleaning (really cleaning) my home and returning to regular gym time. And I’m looking forward to writing during daylight hours, without feeling as though my children suffer when I do.

More than anything, I’m looking forward to missing my babies. I’m looking forward to looking forward to seeing them. To having the time to really appreciate these precious little miracles God entrusted me with.

I now retract my prior judgement of people just like me. I understand why those old Staples ads struck such a chord with parents. It isn’t that parents want to spend less time with their children, it’s that they want to have the mental clarity to enjoy every moment they are able to spend together.

(For good measure, here’s one more of those awesome commercials.)

 

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allParenting, deployment, military, personal

On cardboard boxes

As you may (or may not) know, I am fortunate enough to be a contributing author with AllParenting.com. I’ve always dreamed of being a paid writer so it is truly a dream come true.

The Friday before Memorial Day I wrote what I’d intended on being a blog post. I will admit, I’d indulged in two glasses of sangria and was feeling a bit sorry for myself, mostly because no one had invited us to any Memorial Day barbecues. Lame, I know. The piece started off really self-centered and a bit whiney, but for some reason (::ahem, sangria::) I sent it off to my assignment editor Nichole to see what she thought. To my surprise she liked it and asked for it to run on aP. I tweaked it a bit to make it less about me and more about the holiday, and it has been my most shared article to date.

If you’d like to read my Memorial Day Reminder, my take on patriotic holidays from  the perspective of deployed service member’s stateside spouse, I’d be honored. I’d be even more thrilled if after you read it you let me know what you think. Especially if you are, like me, celebrating holidays at home without your hero. After you read it, the title of this blog post will probably make much more sense.

 

Memorial Day Reminder

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allParenting, parenting, religion

Church cry room = parent time out

With summer ending, families will be getting back into their school-year schedule. For many, that means the return to weekly church. For some, especially those with small children, it can mean a weekly, hour-long sentence in the parent purgatory known as the Cry Room. I hate the Cry Room and refuse to take my kids in there — regardless of how many evil looks I may get when they are less than silent.

 

Read more here in my AllParenting.com article “Why I reject the church cry room”

 

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