There have been many instances in my parenthood thus far in which I’ve known exactly how I mishandled my mothering know-how. For example, when my four-year-old son told me to “go love myself,” I knew right away allowing him to listen to the Beibs was my mistake. I understand my kids are their own people, meaning I don’t push them to like one thing over another. You can imagine my total disappointment when the oldest kiddo refuses to watch Goonies or listen to classic Madonna. I have a strong urge to force them to like the things I like or liked as a kid, but it’s like trying to stuff a rabid cat into a carrier with your bare hands. I know when I’m beat. Mostly. (I’m firm on cutting off the Biebs.)
However, I do not understand why they won’t get on the Pokémon GO bandwagon. This isn’t a nostalgic trip down “but mommy loved this when she was young” lane, so what gives? What am I doing wrong? My husband downloaded the app to his phone a few days after it released. We ran out to the front yard with the kids and immediately found a Squirtle. I assumed their enthusiasm would grow. Not so much. (more…)
I had children for the same reason I got married—I wanted someone to share my life with. However, that does not mean I want to spend every waking moment with them. It’s a somewhat harsh truth, but I’m honest and not afraid to share this sentiment with my family. I’m an extreme introvert, and that means that every day I need some quiet head space to process world, local, and family issues. Too much crowding means I start down a dark path of grump. Everyone in the family suffers. Last month I reviewed a meditation app to help me keep my chill. My eldest was still in school at the time. Now that we are on summer break, not only do I have to adjust to the expectations of being a constant entertainer, but they also have to adjust to spending more time with each other. I’m going to need more than a couple of minutes of meditation to see my through to the other side.
There have been some noticeable changes in my daughter’s behavior now that her third grade teachers are powering into the second half of the school year and preparing students for the state assessment exams. She’s stressed. My little person of independence asks to spend more time cuddling in the evenings before bed. She has the “my stomach hurts” and “my head hurts” excuses as to why she should be allowed to stay home from school. From time to time, she’s even complaining of headaches at the end of the day. She comes home frustrated because there are tests every single day, sometimes more than one a day.
At some point about a year ago, a friend’s son introduced our eight-year-old to Minecraft on iPad. The game appeared harmless enough, and to be truthful, I had a parenting fail moment because I didn’t even research the game settings and environment before allowing her to dive in. In a very short time, my daughter has become a true fanatic. She owns t-shirts, action figures, stuffed characters, game manuals, fanfiction softcover books and ebooks, and the game itself on three different platforms. Do I seem like an indulgent mother? Maybe. But when her birthday or the holidays come around, she only asks for one thing—more Minecraft. It doesn’t even bother her that she can’t play a female character. (We don’t do mods, so she can only be Steve.) (more…)