Neglectful Parenting

The news and social media has been a buzz with a public service announcement or warning for parents via a video of a dresser falling on a child.  The parents shared their story to remind parents to be safe and what could happen. For the most part all of the comments I have read in regards to the video are pretty positive toward the parents but one stuck out to me. One comment that summed up the pressure parents feel and which actually hurts our children more than anything.

Sure there were comments putting down the parents and saying how they should not have kids unless they can watch them all of the time. However, it was the comment  about how the parents were neglectful because it took them around 2 1/2 minutes to get to their children’s bedroom and render aid.  It does not matter how long it really took, it is this kind of attitude that ruins people. Okay, not ruin, but it does not help. Here was somebody accusing others of being neglectful because of 2 1/2 minutes.  Did this person know how big the house was? Did they know where the parents were in the house or what they were doing when it happened?  What really made them neglectful parents? If 2 1/2 minutes away from my children makes me neglectful, especially when they scream then I ought to join those others parents through the publish shaming them receive.

What happens if my child get hurt while I am in the bathroom? Oh wait, I cannot do that unless they are in there with me because I cannot possibly let them out of my sight or I am neglectful. No more taking a shower alone, letting my kids play in their bedroom without me. I cannot let them go outside or do anything alone because if they get hurt then it is my fault and I am neglectful because it may take a minute or two before I can come to their aide. The thing is, society has it all wrong. It is not neglectful. I do present the idea that it is more neglectful to not allow them out of your sight.

Never allowing children out of your sight neglects their need for independence from you. Of course this is just observation and opinion, so I will not go into detail but I will give you the opportunity to think about it yourself.

There are many ways to neglect children, but it probably does not include many things so easy to dismiss as such.

Parenting is never easy and it especially is not easy when the whole world judges you and has some voice (directly or indirectly). There will be accidents, there will be preventable a and there will be times that you feel like a complete failure, but those things are not what makes you a neglectful parent. You look at what you do provide, who they are, what time you do give, and what you teach and then decide what kind of parent you really are then make improvements where need to be.

Minecraft Mom

Christmas break has done me in. It is now the beginning of 2017, just a few hours in, and I just want to cry. So, while trying to get my youngest back to sleep I realized how much being a single parent is like playing the game Minecraft. You got that right. I did say that.

My daughter begged me to get the game and I have to admit, in my reluctance, I did get it and we have enjoyed playing it together.  So how does it relate to parenthood? I will explain-otherwise this would be a pointless thing to mention.

I spend my days doing many things. Taking care of kids and repeating many of the same things over and over again. In Minecraft you repeat many thing. Things get broken and you have to rebuild or make new things. It is just the regular mundane things.

Then there are the zombies and other creatures. If you are not prepared for them they will kill you in the game. Well, as a parent those monsters come at you in many forms including, but not limited to, child temper tantrums, financial crises, and anything that could possibly wear you down. In the game if you do not go to the sleep the nights seem to take forever. Same in real life.

In life we gain experience through tasks amd other things. The same goes for the game. Extra experience points for the harder things, such as killing zombies. If you die in the game you lose your experience points. I tell you what, being a parent is no different. When things go wrong you feel like all the experience you ever had, and what you learned, gets thrown out the window. You feel like you are starting over. Sometimes your “hearts” have just taken a good beating and it takes awhile to gain your energy back.

In Minecraft there are baby zombies. I swear the person who developed that part of the game had a two year old who was fully into the terrible twos.

For some reason when you play the game you keep going back for more. Not doesn’t matter how often you die either. It is like you do not mind the challenge. There seems to e enjoyment.  Maybe it is the challenge of finding the end and all those end pearls-do not ask me about those a I still do not understand them. Well, the same goes for parenthood. I keep going no matter how hard I have been it-just hoping my efforts pay off.

I am sure I could make more comparisons but I am beat. I have half a little heart left of however many I get per “life” and so I leave it there or here or wherever it ought to be to end this thought of mine.

Snow

Snow

I have two children who ride buses. I am the first one on my street to start shoveling snow. I must otherwise I cannot get my son on the bus. By the time the second bus arrived I had shoveled a second time. Two shoveling trips before noon meant we got plenty of snow for fun.

Snow also means towels all over my floor to soak up all the melted snow  that gets tracked in on boots and the wheelchair. Not to mention whatever comes in on the winter clothes which pile up at the doorway.

After helping three of my children into all their snow gear and then back out again after they came back inside I contemplated on my mother. How in the world she did this with so many children I do not know. I respect her efforts.  I am sure it was probably very tiring to go through this process many times a day with her children during the winter months.

This is what makes memories though. Playing in the snow, eating it too, hot chocolate, snow angels, shoveling and all thing associated with fun in the snow.

Enough Already!

I do not know what it is. I do not know if it is the holiday pressure to be a great parent at this time of year or if it is the feeling that I get from the lack of holiday spirit because of said pressure. Whatever it is I find myself utterly dreading this time of year. Personally, I think life just finally caught up to me and I have way too much on my mind to get into the spirit of things, although I will still do my best for the sake of my children.  If is something I must work on.

A lack of holiday cheer has definitely added to my ability to have as much patience as I normally have. I finally cracked. Okay, not really. I am sure that would be a gross mess and nobody wants to see that sort of thing. I just had it. A lack of sleep and a complete and utter inability to keep on top of my children’s messes threw me over the edge. Okay, I know, not really over the edge but I think you get my point.

Everywhere I turn in my tiny little home my children are creating a mess. They do it while laughing too. Really?! Are they laughing at the mess they are making or laughing at the idea I will have to clean it up?  In all honesty I do know they are laughing because they are happy and having fun. I do not fault them for that. I do enjoy their happy voices.  I just do not enjoy the disaster that is always left behind.

So began my “get the house organized to save mommy’s sanity” project. I had to start with some clean rooms. So I swept everything that was on the floor in the bedrooms (there are benefits to a hard floor home) and put all of it I the living. Yay! Instant clean rooms. Of course, my living room was a compete disaster.

The next day I started organizing and going through all of it. Two things happened. The kitchen then became a disaster and every time I turned my back on the living room disaster all my efforts thus far became undone. I owe that to my son who enjoys dumping things out. Really?!

By day three I was exhausted and not getting anywhere. So I turned my attention to the kitchen. I spent all morning on a project designed to keep that room organized and clean. Yay for a clean kitchen.  Now off to my living room.

I don’t know if my living counts as a living room. It is a room with chairs, and on that particular day a huge pile of stuff. Three or four bags later of trash and an equal amount of donations my living room was finally clean. I felt good. I felt my patience retiring. I felt success and hope that I had not been there a few days before.

I don’t really know if there is much to the point of my sharing this, except that I know we all have those moments. We all break down, lose patience, get tired, frustrated, and so forth. These are not bad feelings to have. We need them to get us moving and to inspire us to grow or make changes in our lives. We cannot just bury them and pretend they will go away because they will surface at some point. We must acknowledge them. We cannot become better people until we do. And no this is not an excuse for bad people to use when trying to justify abusing others or doing things that are just wrong.

My dream home

In the small city where I reside there is one business location where modular homes are for viewing. I enjoy visiting this place. Why? Well, because I don’t have to get permission to go in and view a handful of brand new homes.  Every once in awhile I go there to dream. I call them my mini dream houses.

Every once in awhile an employee will ask if I need help and then they assure me I am fine to dream as much and as often as I would like. So, I keep going back.

i have learned a few things about the type of home that would work for me. You see, I want a functional home. I want a home that is more than just pretty but can serve me well in the best way possible. My dream home has to have a good layout. A functional floor plan is key to a good home.

My dream home would have a sitting room and a family room-out of line of sight from each other. My home needs to have a large kitchen (that could take up a whole post). I enjoy the idea of all or most of the bedroom doors opening up to the family room. I would rather a large closet than a large bathroom. Really! What is the point of a huge master bathroom that is as large as a bedroom? So much floor space is wasted. Give me a nice shower but please spare me the extra floor space.

That extra floor space can be better served in my laundry room. No, not so more clothes can sit on my floor. I have recently discovered the concept of having dressers in the laundry room instead of the bedrooms. You see, dressers in the bedroom are pointless with children. I spend so much time folding clothes, taking piles to their dressers and then they just take everything out to leave on the floor. A huge waste of my time on so many levels. Even my oldest fails to put clothes back in her drawers. I discovered this idea when I got fed up with my laundry situation.

I easily keep up with washing and folding clothes but those clothes take a long time to get back into the bedroom dressers. So, I put a dresser in my laundry room. There is not much room, and it blocks a small part of my washing machine, but laundry has become much easier  clothes get folded and go directly to the dresser  no more clothes on the floor. So, my dream home would have a laundry room large enough for all of the dressers.

Most of my dream home would be very simple and have what most homes have but I would have what I call a snozzle room. It sounds silly but I got the idea from my son’s last school. My son loved the room-a room with sensory items in it.

My son inspires most ideas for my dream home. I need to have built in high shelves and lockable cupboards throughout the house. My kitchen would have to be somewhat closed off to him as well with half doors and whatnot.

I have to admit that I dream of a very functional bathroom that is easy for the care of my son. Yeah, I have ideas of that too.

Anyway, I dream. I dream of a functional home. I dream and I enjoy dreaming.  It is okay to dream, as long as I don’t forget to come out of the clouds.

 

 

My tiny unclean home

Every once in awhile I tend to want to just throw absolutely everything out. To just get rid of it all. I am so tired of picking everything up. I am tired of everything getting thrown on the floor as soon as I pick it up. I spent a good portion of yesterday getting my kitchen organized and clean-sure doesn’t look like it now. Today I did the same for the living room. Same thing-doesn’t look like I touched it in weeks. Granted, it isn’t that it is a large mess it just looks like it because my house is so small. But why do I even bother to have a clean house or to even attempt to clean it while children are awake?

I often wonder if there is something wrong with me.  Why can’t I keep my house clean? I must be a horrible housekeeper! Why do I even try? However, I realize those are not very positive thoughts so I gather my energy and get to work. I keep trying because I desire good. I desire peace of mind. I desire that my children at least get a minute of a clean house every once in awhile so that maybe their memories will not be just on the idea that I failed to clean well.

I have to admit that I also envision myself in a larger home. A home where there is a nice living room free of children’s mess and a family room that can be a huge mess all of the time. That room, in my dreams, is also out of sight from the living room. Get the idea?

the great thing about my house is that I rarely have visitors. That works well because I don’t even have a couch. Which I sometimes enjoy because that means I do not have to clean out under the couch cushions-because I don’t even have a vacuum. Yeah-poor me.

The benfit of my house is that there are no carpets. I got rid of the rugs-they were a pain. When it does come time to cleaning I just sweep everything into a large pile. That works well for a few benefits. The whole mess gets put into the middle of the room and the rest of the room looks clean. Want to get a room clean real quickly? Just sweep everything into the next room you need to clean. Tah dah, room clean in a minute.

I do have to remember though that it is okay to not have things perfect. Messes are a part of life. Having a home that gets cleaned and messed up often does not really mean I am a horrible housekeeper-it just means we live in our house.

Seriously?!

Really? Why? Whatever! Exactly! That is how my days go. Any time I sit the children climb on top of me. Any time I walk away they come running and screaming behind me. My sons bus driver and bus aide laugh every day at how my children run after me as if I am going to abandon them. Where do they think I am going? Do they not recognize they were doing just fine before they realized I was gone?

I could help myself feel better by saying that it is wonderful to be loved.  Of course it is. I love that they love me, but I am also trying to teach them independence.  I don’t seek to be away from them or whatnot. I take my job as a parent seriously. Part of wanting children was to teach them and help them become decent human beings–and have lots of fun doing so.

Speaking of fun–that is the “exactly” part–but being a parent can be fun. It is great to play hide and seek even if I have to work up the energy to do so. I absolutely love seeing how long it takes for them to find me. Talk about some alone time. It usually does not work though as I believe they can sense where I am. I think as they get older that sense leaves because my oldest takes the longest time finding me.

There are also the “whatever” moments.  The moments where I just get tired of telling them to stop whatever they are doing. How many times do I have to tell them to stop slashing or drinking the bath water? It doesn’t work-ever. I have to eventually tell myself to give up and just get them out. Getting them out creates screaming so then I argue with myself on getting them out and dealing with screaming or letting them splash and continue having fun. Yeah, whatever.

My absolute all time phrase that helps any time of day, even the bad ones is: “oh well.”  Oh well. It is very powerful. Powerful enough to bring me back to reality and figure out what is really important. It provides a way for me to recognize what really matters and what does not. It also provides a way for me to  back off from beating myself up and give myself some credit for what I hope I am doing right as a parent. An “oh well” is what we all need, or maybe a “so what.”  If you are trying then I think that is good. Give yourself a break for your mistakes and try to do better next time.