{FAMILY} 8 Things That Made Me “The Worst Mom EVER” (Today)

Along with having an 8-year-old daughter comes an elevated level of sass. As she tries to navigate through her pre- pre-teen years and all of the emotions that accompany this fragile age, her strong will and desire for independence are unparalleled, and her emotional ebbs and flows completely a mystery to us as parents.

And as the cherry on top – she is idolized by her 5-year-old brother, whose stubbornness and desire for attention are equally as prominent. The two siblings have created the ultimate duo – rivalling each other some days, and other days teaming up to battle the wicked force that is “mom”.

And always on the sidelines is my littlest. Forever wanting to keep up with her older siblings, she mimics everything they do or say – duplicating and elevating her siblings’ frustrations towards their “unfair mom”.

If they are playing together nicely, I am the enemy who “ruins all the fun”, and if they are battling each other, no matter whose side I support, I become the “meanest mom” for not supporting the other. I’ve learned to accept the fact that I just can’t win – that I’m going to be known as the “worst mom EVER” for everything that I do. And I’m ok with that, because I know that one day it will pass. Right?

worst mom ever

That time when they made ninja outfits – so they could spy on me and ninja kick me.

In the meantime, here are just some of the things that I’ve done today that have earned me the title of “worst mom EVER” in the eyes of my children:

1) I asked them to get dressed for school. -> my 5-year-old son:”MOM! You ALWAYS ruin all the fun. You’re the MEANEST.”

2) I gave my 8-year-old daughter a little pat on the back when I dropped her off at school (respectfully honouring her wishes for me to stop kissing her in front of her friends) -> met with incessant eye rolls, and a loud “PSSHHT Bye MOM.”

3) I offered my youngest her favourite soother when she was acting fussy. -> she threw it at my face and yelled “NO!” and then begged for her “soo-soo” as if it hadn’t just been offered.

4) I offered to put a freshly-made blueberry muffin in my daughter’s lunch for her recess snack. -> met with “MOM! I don’t even LIKE muffins.” (funny, she did last week…)

5) I wouldn’t let my daughter skip her ballet class after school to go on a play date, but offered for her to have one the following day. -> “ugh MOM! I don’t even LIKE ballet. You’re ruining my LIFE by not letting me have a play date.”

6) My two oldest were fighting over which show to watch after school, so I suggested that we turn off the TV and do something else. -> suddenly on the same side: “Mom, you’re the WORST! Why can’t we just watch a show and relax after a busy day at school?”

7) I suggested that my son wear a rain jacket to his soccer practice so that he doesn’t get soaked. -> “I will NEVER. That’s the worst idea EVER.”

8) When asked what we were having for dinner, I responded “I’m going to bar-b-que some steaks and make rice and broccoli.” -> all 3 children “YUCK! That’s not my favourite. Gross.” (littlest just chimed in with “No, no, no” while shaking her head).

Don’t get me wrong, these comments and objections weren’t said without reprimand.

I can remember being in my children’s shoes, and I know that it is a passing phase of self-discovery and desired independence. But, seriously. Whose kids are these?

 

In My Daughter’s Shoes

I have vivid memories of what it was like to be 8. I can still remember how it felt to curl my tongue into the gaps of my missing teeth. I remember suddenly feeling butterflies in the pit of my stomach while talking to a boy in my class that I had known for years, unsure of why I was having those funny feelings. I remember feeling self-conscious about my knobby knees, and I can still remember conversations that I had with my best friend.

My oldest daughter is now 8, and I can’t believe that I’m the parent of an 8 year old. Now that she’s at an age that I can remember, parenting somehow feels a bit different to me. My daughter is developing her own personality, experiencing feelings and emotions that I can remember feeling, and I feel more confident as a mother – because I once walked in my daughter’s shoes.

Sure her experiences as an 8-year-old are different than mine were, but I’m hoping that I can help her to navigate through the confusing, exciting, overwhelming, challenging waters as she transitions from child to tween.

mother daughter

The challenge though, is that as she matures, I feel as though my status as “mom” in her eyes is maturing as well. I feel like I’m slowly moving from mom-with-an-enthusiastic-exclamation-mark, to mom-with-a-sarcastic-eye-roll, and I know that it’ll only get more difficult as she moves towards her teen years.

I can still remember suddenly feeling a tinge of embarrassment when my mom kissed me goodbye in front of my friends at school. I can remember rolling my eyes when my mom interrupted my friends and I during a play date, and I can remember crying in my pillow, convinced that my mom was ruining my life because I couldn’t watch TV until my homework was complete.

But I also remember feeling confused about my feelings towards my mom. I remember feeling guilty when I pulled away as she leaned in to give me a kiss, or rolled my eyes, not completely understanding why I was suddenly being so mean to the woman who I looked up to the most. I was suddenly annoyed by my hero – my best friend, and I didn’t understand why.

I’m learning that it’s important to give my daughter the space that she needs to mature. I need to be more conscious of how I speak to her and act around her in the presence of her friends, and most importantly, I’m realizing that it’s more important now than ever to establish a trusting relationship with her that goes beyond the because-I-told-you-so status of mom.

I’m doing my best to teach her that it’s alright to be honest with me about her feelings, even if it means that mine might get hurt. I hope that I’m doing it right, and that I don’t forget that I was once in her shoes, and that my mother was once in mine.

Preparing For Baby #3: Room Sharing

While I now have a large and diverse family, most of my childhood was spent as an only child with a single parent, so watching my children grow together as siblings has been a new experience for me.

When we bought our house, I thought we had planned it perfectly – a separate room for each of the kids, and a playroom downstairs to share. If only I had known that we would have a change of heart and make the decision to add one more to our family.

As I move through my final trimester of pregnancy, I am starting to prepare for the arrival of my third child, and am realizing that it’s a whole different planning process. The first big step: moving my two older kids into the same room.

Room Sharing

The thought of moving my son into his sister’s room has given me a little anxiety. Will he feel resentful losing the freedom of having his own space? Will it be strange for a sister and brother to share a bedroom? 

So far they’ve been in the same room for two nights, and while the sleeping at night part has gone smoothly, things have been a little different during the day. When the sun rises, so arises a few issues with their new accommodations.

This morning my daughter woke up early and wanted to turn on the lights so she could play, while my son wasn’t ready to open his eyes, hoping for a little more rest in the dark. I awoke to a frustration-fuelled squabble over the light switch. And as I rolled out of my bed to help them sort it out, it happened. “This is MY room, MY rules!” my daughter screamed at her little brother.

I talked them through it, explained that the room is now a shared space, and that they’ll need to make some compromises to make it work.  While that little spat was quickly resolved, I wondered how much more challenging it would be when the third is added to the mix.

My plan is for the two older children to share a room until their new little sister is ready to move out of her crib (and is sleeping through the night), and then we’ll build a new room, or move the girls into the same room. Until then, I’m approaching this new challenge with bated breath, and making sure that each of my children feels loved as we prepare for the arrival of their new sibling.

I’d love to hear your input – did you share a room growing up? Do your children share a room? Any tips?

How Blogging Has Changed My Life

I had started my blog as a way to foster my passion for writing and photography. I didn’t have plans to monetize it, or to generate an extensive number of followers. It was simply about having a creative outlet – somewhere to share my thoughts and stories on my journey through life as a career mama of two.

In just over a year, my blog has led me to a network of new friends who share similar interests, recognition as one of the Top 30 Vancouver Mom Bloggers, a steadily increasing number of followers, some exciting product review offers, invitations to fabulous and inspirational events, discussions with the Premier and other leading women, and now, a completely new career change. After over 8 years of working as a Marketing Manager in the corporate world, I was starting to feel like it was time for a change.

At first I wanted to move up into a senior executive role, where I would oversee a department and take on new responsibilities and challenges, but as I started to search for new opportunities – interviewing for exciting positions and dreaming of life in the potential new roles, I realized something: What I really wanted was to find that family/work balance that many of us career moms dream of. To do a job that I felt passionate about, while also having the ability to spend more time with my littles.

Since my daughter’s first day of Kindergarten, something inside me changed. I suddenly felt as though I was missing out on big mommy moments. I wasn’t able to drop her off or pick her up from school (her before/after school care was doing that for me), which meant I wasn’t getting to know her teacher or the other parents. I wasn’t able to participate in the constant opportunities for parents to help with field trips, classroom activities and school events. And it was those things, combined with my dwindling enthusiasm for my existing career, that led me to the realization that what I wanted was flexibility.

If it weren’t for the women I’ve met through my blog, through the fabulous events I’ve attended, and through conversations I’ve had through Twitter and other social media outlets, I wouldn’t have known that it was possible to have both. I’ve met so many women who have figured it out – who have thriving careers but also that family balance that seemed so out of reach to me. I realized, if they can find that balance, why can’t I?

I began to search for part time opportunities. I knew it would be a challenge – that my dream of finding something that would be challenging, advance my career, and allow me to work 5 hours a day so I could do all of the pick ups and drop offs, was next to impossible. But as they say, if you dream it, it will come.

Through having been chosen as a Top 30 Vancouver Mom Blogger, I had attended some exciting events and had discovered many new companies, blogs and websites. One of which was VancouverMom.ca – the site that had hosted the top blogger contest and the Leading Moms event I had recently enjoyed. I sent a note to the CEO/Founder of Crisp Media (host to Vancouver Mom and other City Mom Now sites across Canada) and asked if she knew of any opportunities.

Coincidentally, she had been looking for someone to take on the business development side of her company, and the qualities and experience she was looking for made me the perfect match. After a few calls it was confirmed – she invited me to join her team and I accepted!

I have officially resigned from my full time coporate career, and am taking on a new role as a WAHM. I’m nervous about all of the changes that will come, but excited to be following my heart, by both focusing more of my time on my family, and taking on a new career that fosters many of my personal passions. Wish me luck as I embark on this new journey!

Do you have any advice for me about becoming a WAHM after working in the corporate world?

Change Ahead

Today’s post is inspired by the word “change”, and by the phenomenal weekend I’ve enjoyed with my family – which has renewed my positive outlook on my busy but precious life. I’m going to start my week by focusing less on venting about the things I cannot change, and focusing more on changing my attitude towards the things I can.

C is for the chores that just keep moving down the list
H is for the hamper that is continuously remissed
A is for the adult time I neglect to enjoy each week
N is for my nagging and my constant need to speak
G is for the girl and boy I don’t get to see enough
E is for the evenings that are sleepless, long and rough

A is for the awesome job I go to every day
H is for the happy times when with my kids I play
E is for the enthusiasm I’ll try harder to maintain
A is for the amusing things from my busy life I gain
D is for the devoted wife and mother I will always be,
and for the delightful things in my life that make me a positive Bee 🙂