Tag Archives: responsibility

Giving Your Kids Independence

Last Saturday, My 12 year old daughter asked if her and her friend could ride their bikes around town for the day.  They wanted to go to Dairy Queen for lunch, then they wanted to ride to the dollar store, target and caribou after that..which are all a couple miles of our house.  I was hesitant… she is obviously old enough for this independence but it scared me a little to let her go.

I grew up riding my bike from my house to my best friend’s house in the summer.. we did not have cellphones nor did we check in. I would leave for her house in the morning and not return until dark.  I did not check in from stop to stop, I was gone for hours and had no communication with my parents. My parents did not know my every move and nor did they hunt me down to ask. I guess they trusted me and knew where to find me, if I was needed.  This is what we did growing up in the 80s.

I know things are different growing up today with all the technology and all the apps.  My kids do not ride their bikes much and they constantly rely on me as their chauffeur.  Or maybe its just mine don’t ride their bikes much… I questioned if she even knew the rules of riding a bike. This was a moment of independence for my daughter and trust.  She had not asked to do this before, so I knew she was gaining more independence and growing up.  I also knew I could get a hold of her at any moment because of her cellphone, but I wanted her to figure this out. I wanted her to be responsible. Not feel like she had to constantly check in from place to place. I wanted her to make some decisions on her own.  If she took the wrong road, I wanted her to be able to figure out how to get back on track.  However, I am sure she would just ask google.

So, I let her go. They were gone 5 hours. I know that seems like a long time, but my daughter is very pokey and moves very cautiously in everything.  They had a blast and I think we both learned something. I learned that I needed to give her more freedom to be independent and responsible for herself.  I did not need to know her every move in the day.  It was ok if she went without checking in constantly. I knew if she needed help or something happened that day she would call me. I did not tell her how to get to all the places she wanted to go that day, I left her figure out her path and route.

I feel like we just need to give our kids the opportunity to have some space and not hover over them so much.  They need the independence to grow and learn as much as adults.  And honestly, I get annoyed at times by the amount of texts my kids send me.  I still worry as much as every other parent about their kids, however I just want to give them the opportunity to have some freedom and be responsible for themselves.

Just a mom of 3 trying to survive….

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

My Joy Bank

Growing up…..I never really understood that having joy in my life was an inside job.  I always thought there was something or someone that would fill up me up and bring joy and make my life happier. Something Out There.  LIKE….. delicious food and a fabulous pair of shoes.  A certain weight and a snazzy car.  That job with the big title, oh ya and a handsome boyfriend.  On and on it went.  My list of ‘things to bring me happiness & joy.  Not knowing until now…. 25 years later that it was, and is, and always will be… MY Job to fill MY joy bank.

I sit here today and ask Why didn’t anyone tell me?  I wouldn’t have spent the last 20+ years making so many empty choices.  Choices that didn’t even make a dent in my JOY bank.  But then, in that same breath I realize… Someone probably did tell me…. and I certainly was not listening.   Not only was I not ready to hear it.  I wasn’t ready to give up the life I lived.  The ever so important; vacationing, sun-bathing, partying, hard-working, popular, beautiful life that I lived.  The life that was happy, fun, joyful…..ahhhh… & when it wore off?  I went right back at it.

I can stand here today and think that it was so wasteful.  Now wait a minute…. that’s not true.  I did what I did for whatever reason I did it.  I can say is – I did not know.  If I knew better then, I would have made different choices.  All I can do now…. is choose now.  CHOOSE NOW.  😊  Look for things that bring joy to every day.  The little things, the big things, the simple things, the God things.  Fill my JOY bank myself.  For Myself.

And if someone or something comes along that adds value to my day… well I’ll put that into my Joy bank too.

 

Your God Girl,

Tracy

Overwhelmed Can be Debilitating

Overwhelmed can be debilitating… BUT it doesn’t have to be.

Can you remember a time you felt overwhelmed?  Was it in college when you had more on your plate than you could handle?  or was it when you were trying to get 5 kids out the door for school before 8AM?  or maybe you had a really big team project at work and you were the only one on the team?

Whenever it was that you felt overwhelmed, the mountain in front of you must have seemed a little too big to handle.  And the longer you looked at it, the worse you felt and the harder it got… or so it seemed.  Just as a hiker getting ready to go on a mountain trek must prepare, you must prepare.  So that overwhelm doesn’t sneak in, never mind take over.  The hiker can pack an extra water bottle & shirt, some snacks, warm socks, their compass and wear they’re best hiking boots.

How can you prepare?  Make a list, ask for help, say no to a few things, pray?  Whatever it is for you… ensure you have what you need… take care of yourself, look at the little things, keep an eye on the goal and walk in Him.

Your God-Girl
Be the Light
Pray, Trust, Wait
I am a Conqueror

 

 

 

 

A Bunny Makes A Great Listener

As I am feeding fluids to my daughter’s new bunny with an eyedropper, I am abruptly reminded of my daughter’s first years where I had roughly the same fight each day. This bunny means so much to us and I tell him this. He needs to stick around.

There is no accurate way to describe the heavy, sick feeling of desperation and terror that accompanies having an infant who cannot breathe, who cannot nurse or easily drink. This bunny forces me to remember just how much I hate that feeling. “I can’t lose this one” should not be a mantra for your life yet it was mine for a very, very long time.

This little bunny reminds me of the painful past we both survived.

This little bunny reminds of all we do as Moms.

How we beat ourselves up, turn ourselves inside out, drag ourselves to work and back, power through a stomping child’s tantrums, emergency room visits and the landfill of toys that is your house.

This bunny reminds me of what I have done.

With complete certainty, I knew my daughter was meant for me. She was my Rory Gilmore. It was going to be rainbows and puppy dogs forever. We would hold hands and skip off into the sunset.

So why can’t we get out of our own way? Why can’t we just enjoy each other each day?

Sucked down in the muck of trudging to work (and school), the sadness of leaving them only to have your hopes dashed at the end of the day when, excited and happy to see your child, you get a possessed Linda Blair instead.

Why can’t I handle her moods better and create a warm-happy-daydream evening for us every day?

I dream of long vacations where there are no time constraints, no looming job over my head, no homework, no chores, no mess. When we do get a vacation every few years, it is bliss and flies by in a blink. So how do I create a vacation kind of bond with my child? How do I feed that tethered link of love and connection every day?

The answer I have is to listen.

Listen with my nose in my phone? Nope. I must listen with my whole being. Listening with all of my heart and my eyes wide open is like directing a beam of light shining down on her that says,
“I care. I give a crap. I want to know what you do, how you think, what you dream about.”

Obvious, right?

My challenge, see how long you can listen to your child without putting away groceries and turning away, without putting away clothes, cleaning up a mess. Just stop. Maybe it is not always feasible but the times you can, do it. Make it a habit. Research suggests it takes 21 days to form a habit so try for 21 days to take moments of the day to stop everything and listen.

I know. I am the only one that keeps us on a schedule too and in the morning I often say,
“You can tell me in the car.” ”You can tell me after we get home.”

Sometimes she just needs me to stop and I feel I have forgotten this.

This little bunny is part of my elaborate plan for everyday is a vacation, when you are doing what you love with the people you want to be with. This means mom-daughter bonding moments in the care and cuddling of bunnies and road trips to rabbit shows. We joined 4H, which means among other things, visits to farms, joining a rabbit club, holding and posing animals. “I recommend 4H for every child. There are limitless opportunities to grow and learn with 4H. Real world opportunities for kids to master their future. And for us, 4H is the vacation in everyday life that we get to repeat every week.

A lot rides on this little bunny. My daughter now has a little furry person of her own to worry about, to care for, love and cuddle. Who will hopefully drink.

Thank you little bunny. Good talk.

Bernae

The Joy Of No Responsibility

Freedom!

For the past three years, I have been sending my son to sleep away camp. Started after 4th grade for a week at the beginning of the summer and two weeks at the beginning of August. I’ll never forget how much I cried (wailed and dry heaved is more accurate) when I dropped him off that first time, feeling like I had my heart ripped out from my chest. What if something happened to him? What if I couldn’t “protect” him? I had no idea what to do with myself and my newfound freedom. As an only parent without family nearby, my son and I were/are each other’s everything for a long time. This first parting was the scariest thing on the planet for me. (Mind you, I am the anti-helicopter parent and firmly believe that I am raising a future adult.) I went to the city to walk around and people watch, eating my first meal fully alone and feeling very Carrie Bradshaw about it. It was hell.

Now, on our third year at camp, he’s going for six straight weeks. I can see him every other Sunday and plan to do so, but the chance for a real mental parenting break and lack of responsibilities for someone other than myself for a bit is truly refreshing. I’ve packed my schedule with work trips and popcorn ceiling scraping and wallpaper removing so I can make the house I am buying into a home and continue to be able to pay for it. It’s a special feeling to be able to create a magical place for us to build a lifetime of memories in a place that is completely our own. I cried on my drive home today with joy of the future to come.

I recognize that I am fortunate to be in a financial position to be able to do all of this, but for those of you that say you can’t relate, I wasn’t always where I am now. Those memories are painful and will be the subject of a future post when I can bring myself to unearth them. “Ad astra per aspera”

Electra

You Are Enough-Just As You Are

Lately I have been thinking about where I would like my family to be … and where we are. There is a gap. Some days it feels like a chasm.

Both of my daughters are taking summer school this year. Not because they are learning a third language or preparing to win first place in the state science fair or taking special classes for high school students at Ivy League schools. It seems like my facebook friends’ kids are all doing these things. Seriously, who are these families??? My daughters are going to summer school to improve basic academic skills. They are both smart girls, but they are not disciplined students. This past school year has been a tough one for them and for me.

It would be easy for me to beat myself up about this. Education is something that I value. Frankly, I can be a snob about it. I am quick to point out that both of my daughters could read when they started kindergarten. When I get down, I cling to the fact that I was brave enough to go to graduate school in mid-life, and I now have a masters degree and a new career (and the student debt to prove it — LOL).

I’m sure that my attitude toward education started when I was young. When I was growing up, school was something that I knew I could do well, and where I could receive praise in spite of anything else that was going on in my life.

The year that my parents divorced, the effects showed up throughout our family. My eldest sister almost failed Algebra. I remember my mother explaining to me that my sister’s teacher had told her that “some girls just aren’t good at math” and suggested that my sister avoid math classes in the future. My mother was smart enough to dismiss this advice (and change schools the next year).

My mother was enough. And there were moments when she was down right heroic. My sister “who wasn’t good at math” went on to earn an engineering degree. This couldn’t have happened without a mother who recognized that my sister was smart and her bad grades were due to lack of focus, not lack of aptitude.

What I can do for my daughters is … my best. I can make them go to summer school even though they would rather sleep in and play electronic games and eat junk food all day. I can tell them that they have to earn their own money to have some of the privileges that they would like. In time, my daughters will blossom into women who will be beautiful and accomplished in their own ways.

I know that whether or not I always recognize it, I am enough. Just as I am. And you are, too. So hug the stuffing out of those kids. And who knows? Perhaps we all have moments when we are heroic mothers. And our kids will appreciate it. Someday. When they have kids of their own — LOL.

Liz Possible ​is a Writer and Single Mom Extraordinaire. She lives in Minnesota with her two teenage daughters and their cats, Beau and Phoebe. “Possible” is her attitude, not her legal name — but then you knew that. Follow Liz at her blog at www.lizpossible.com and her FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/MySingleMomLife/

Contribution To Other People

I have  been thinking a lot about how what really matters in life is what kind of a contribution you are to other people. So many of us go around just looking for what we can get…not many folks walking around worried about what they can give.  In the grand scheme of things seems like the only way to elevate your soul is to give till it hurts and then give more…give whatever you have…stuff, money, time, love, attention, help…all of it works…

We are the decisive element in our lives and it is by our hand that life is either enriched or destroyed…

In every moment we have the power to choose our reactions to every situation or person and our reactions shape our future…I don’t think that most people understand that.  Have you noticed that the majority of people are living at effect of their own lives instead of at cause?  I believe this is because most folks don’t want to take responsibility for anything that happens to them…it is ALWAYS somebody else’s fault.

Not to mention that somebody else should fix it…

I am of a school of thought that says, “if it happened to me, somehow—some way I have responsibility in it”—this thought process makes it near impossible to blame anyone else for anything…and quite frankly if I caused it somehow then I can also correct it…makes life much easier to understand…

 

 

 

Ranger UP!

Ranger up! What you have right now is a product of what you have spent your attention on in the past.  Whatever you give your attention to and whatever you speak is what you will manifest. Don’t be fooled into thinking that what you watch, read and talk about doesn’t matter— IT DOES.  Your life will manifest itself as you lay it out in your thinking, speaking and acting.

If you don’t like what you see in front of you start changing your actions…you can’t expect to sit around and beg God to change your life when you are polluting your mind with crap and sitting around waiting for money to fall out of the sky…get up off your ass and make a change…read some affirmations, get to the gym, take a walk, help someone else, stop whining and complaining that life isn’t working out the way you wanted it to.  YOU are responsible for what happens in your life, not your parents, not the government, not your ex….YOU!

Nobody is going to solve your issues except you…this is the cold, hard truth and it is also the key to setting you free from what is stopping you in your life.  GOD is WAITING for YOU to DO SOMETHING!!!!!  So get moving…RANGER UP, quit complaining and start being part of the solution.  Now GO!

 

RANGER UP! JUMP!