Bending backwards for your kids

When you bend over backwards for your kids and don't get a thank you, you just gotta laugh. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

The entire family was driving down the highway recently when Peeper let out a wail.

“What’s wrong?”

“My heel’s in the wrong spot!” she screamed. Turns out her sock had turned around and she couldn’t straighten it.

I tried coaching her through righting the sock to no avail. As I was in the passenger seat, I twisted all the way around and stretched my arm back.

“Put your foot next to your head,” I told her. I was just able to reach her sock and fixed it.

I waited a beat.

“Do you have something you want to say to Mom?” I asked.

While I massaged the shoulder I’d nearly dislocated, I waited for the thank you.

Peeper was silent for a minute then spoke.

“I want milk.”

It was all I could do to hold my head in my hands and laugh.

That is parenting in a nutshell: You literally bend backwards to help them recover from some ridiculous problem and instead of saying thank you, they move on to the next demand.

At least we have humor, right?

What’s the most ridiculous big-little problem you e had to solve for your kids?

If I can wash my kid’s hair, I can do ANYTHING

Oh, the screaming.

I shudder to imagine what the neighbors thought was going on at our house. But it was just bath time.

Over the last six months or so, when it came time to wash my kid’s hair, Peeper would disappear and a panicked, sobbing, shrieking beast took her place.

It was torture, apparently, for her, and it was no fun for us parents, either.

But what I ended up learning helped make all the screaming, the crying and the frustration a little more worth the struggle.

Learning parenting lessons is hard. When I finally was able to wash my kid's hair, it felt like such a win! Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Raising two kids: It gets easier

Last weekend was full—in the best way.

On Friday night, a high schooler who lives across the street babysat the girls while Eric and I went to the opera. We dressed up, met up with friends, had a fancy schmancy drink and enjoyed the Portland Opera’s The Magic Flute. We hadn’t been to the opera—something I truly love—since last Valentine’s Day.

Portland Opera The Magic Flute - Ten Thousand Hour MamaOn Saturday we met up with a friend and his kids for a round of disc golf and swimming in the river at Milo McIver Park. Then we went to my brother’s house, where we played corn hole and let Peeper plant cucumber and lettuce seedlings. To round out the day, friends and their baby came to our house for dinner.

Parenting gets easier riverFinally, on Mother’s Day, we drove up Mt. Hood for a hike along the Salmon River.

Parenting gets easier family hikeOn the drive back home, I reflected on the packed and truly fulfilling weekend. It struck me that we never could have pulled off all those activities—some planned, some impromptu—just a few months ago.  Read more

Happy Mother’s Day to Me: Celebrating All of Me

This guest post by Ali Wilkinson, the hilarious and thoughtful mama behind Run Knit Love, is part of a series called Happy Mother’s Day to Me. (If you don’t already follow her blog or Facebook page, you’re missing out!) In this series, mothers are celebrating themselves for the dedicated, loving, tireless mothers they are—and like Ali, they are celebrating all they are. Check out all the posts in the series!


 

Celebrating all of meI’m about to tell you a terrible story about myself. I know that may seem contradictory, since this is supposed to be a celebration of motherhood, but bear with me.

On Sunday night, a duck flew onto our neighbor’s roof. It felt surreal, like an omen. I mean you see ducks fly, but have you ever seen one on a roof? We debated getting a ladder to help her down, but then she casually, awkwardly flew down to our yard and started waddling around, looking pointlessly for her crew or for a lake—neither of which were within a mile of our yard.

Our neighbors across the street have an almost-two-year-old. He was playing out front with his mom, and I ran over to invite them to see the strange sight.

We admired the duck for a while, and then followed from a distance as she hopped down onto the street and began to walk away, as if it were totally natural. Taking the duck’s cue, we went our separate ways.

As I walked back up the path to our yard, my head filled with thoughts of wise and lonely ducks, the top of my left foot came sharply up on the underside of a rock overhanging the path. The pain was bright and harsh, and my foot immediately began to swell and discolor.

It’s Tuesday now, two days later, and because of a few things—namely, my three children—I haven’t had time to get it X-rayed yet. But it still looks like I have another foot growing off of it, and an angry purple C snaking around my toe.

So all this is to say, my foot hurts. Especially when I put pressure on it.

Cut to this morning’s school drop-off. Because of the three kids thing, we have (cue ominous music) a minivan. Normally my two younger kids sit in the front row and my oldest is alone in the back in a booster seat, but we temporarily have another car seat in the back row, giving my oldest two a chance to sit together. However, due to this being a (cue music again) minivan, it involves a great deal of contortion and pressure on my foot in order to strap my daughter in back there.

My daughter asked if she could sit in that seat this morning, and I said, being all let’s foster independence, “I’d rather you didn’t, because it hurts my foot right now to strap you in back there.” When I came to the car to strap her in, she had chosen to sit in the back row anyway.

I smarted, I fumed, but I basically held it together, and worked through the pain to strap her in.

I then spent the entire drive to her school unsuccessfully trying to give my new insurance information to our doctor’s office so I could schedule an appointment to get my foot looked at. This was not super successful given that I was trying to give them my vision insurance. The day was starting off (forgive me) on the wrong foot.  Read more

Happy Mother’s Day to Me: My 100 year old birthday prize

This guest post is by Jenni Bost, expert party-thrower, generous extrovert and wonderful mama to two boys. She blogs about DIY entertaining projects and motherhood at A Well Crafted Party and organizes the blogging group Portland Bloggers—in addition to working outside the home. (Phew!) In this Happy Mother’s Day to Me series, Jenni and a whole slew of mothers are celebrating themselves for the dedicated, loving, tireless mamas they are. Check out all the posts in the series!


 

mother's day family photo
Family Photos by Macey Snelson of www.momentsbymacey.com

Do you remember that feeling of never being big enough, fast enough, or strong enough? Living life through the eyes of my sons—with the knowledge that comes with getting older—is humbling to say the least.

My oldest son is four years old and very much enjoys growing older. While I wince with each creak of my aging body, I hear my son talk about his next birthday (not for many months yet) and all the joy that comes with that celebration. (He is totally my kid.) He often talks about “when I get to be 100 I’ll be faster than anyone” or “when I get to be 100 I’ll be a giant.” One hundred years is not old to him.

On a recent car ride and yet another discussion about his birthday he quieted in concentration and then quite seriously asked me, “Mom, do I get a prize when I get to 100?”

“A prize?” I asked.

“Yea, like a toy or a present or something?” he asked in explanation.

I laughed at the time and joked about telling him once I get there. However, the thought stayed with me for some time—especially as I had been mulling around about what I’d write about for this “Happy Mother’s Day to Me” series.

I work in the senior living field and know firsthand that living to 100 (or much older) is no longer the complete fantasy it might have been.

I also totally believe that a prize should happen if I hit 100 years old. The thought inspired my letter to my son for when I hit 100 years old.  Read more

Happy Mother’s Day to Me: A series to celebrate ourselves

Happy Mother’s Day! (Well, almost.) This Mother’s Day on my blog, I want to do a little something different.

Happy Mother's Day to meFor the holiday, your kids and your partner might gift you a homemade card, a bouquet, a special breakfast or maybe even a much-deserved morning to sleep in. That’s totally legit. Syrup-sticky kisses in bed and hand-glued art are some of the best perks of motherhood.

But waiting for the gratitude—especially on just one day a year—isn’t enough. That’s why in the two weeks leading up to Mother’s Day this year, I’ll be featuring the stories of mothers writing themselves a message.

Too often, we moms fill the internet and our heads with self-doubt and self-criticism. That’s why this Mother’s Day, I want to flood my tiny corner of the web with mothers celebrating ourselves.

In these guest posts, you’ll hear from moms who walk slowly alongside toddlers and shuttle kids to out-of-state sports tournaments. You’ll hear from moms who kiss boo boos and battle cancer. You’ll hear from moms who delight in the everyday joys of motherhood and slog through the hard times.

These stories are authentic. And they might ring true for you, too.

I hope you join me in the coming weeks to read these Mother’s Day posts. And I hope you’ll share in the comments why you appreciate yourself this Mother’s Day.

It’s time to celebrate ourselves. Are you in?

Kiwi is 8 months

Baby dandelion Ten Thousand Hour MamaThis post is really late, but work/life/everything has been a bit much. Life ebbs and flows, and we’ve been at high tide for a while now.

But Kiwi moseys along, oblivious to deadlines and the empty fridge and the thick layer of dog hair on the unvacuumed carpet. (Ok, she actually does notice all that hair, especially considering a large amount of it ends up in her mouth.)

Kiwi is now mobile. She was so close to crawling for what seemed like forever, and then one day she finally managed to move forward instead of backward. She never looked back.

Ten Thousand Hour MamaBaby crawling Ten Thousand Hour MamaBaby with doll Ten Thousand Hour MamaNot being stuck in one place has revolutionized her life (and ours, obvi!). She is even more engaged now that she can spy something that interests her and get to it. Read more