Proud Mom Moment Reflection – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 84

It’s All Worth It

From Elijah’s Handwriting Folder

Today, the kids brought home their things from school.  With 2 days left of the school year, they have been slowly clearing out their desks and bringing home their work for the year.  Elijah brought home all his workbooks, and I decided to go through them to see what he’s learned and how he’s progressed.  

Proud doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Workbook after workbook, I saw such growth and comprehension from him that I always knew was there, but to see it in print left me speechless and very happy.  His math comprehension is unbelievable, his handwriting – phenomenal; his journals and reading comprehension is so spot on.  It’s made me realize that all the hard times I give him, being tough on him, making him do his spelling over and over, even when he didn’t want to and having him read that one last chapter before putting his book away has all been worth it.

I’ve got some amazing kids.  I’ve always known this, and this is not me bragging or anything, but I really do have some amazing boys.  Elijah’s signed up for Softball this summer, along with returning for a 3rd season for soccer.  Each year, he just gets better and better and I sometimes have to pinch myself to see if this is real.  It’s been a tough journey so far raising these 3 little guys, and I’ve had to fight a lot of battles with them as they get older. But I realize, that just with everything else, being consistent is what makes all the difference.  

I HAVE to keep on these boys about everything.  Believe me, there are days when I want to throw in the towel.  To be honest, I have a few times just because I felt so overwhelmed.  But, it’s definitely all worth it.  They’re thriving, growing, and maturing.  They’re going to make their mark on society – positively, of course, and I can’t wait to see how that unfolds.

For now, I will revel in the fact that my oldest has had a successful 3rd Grade (Grade 3) and anticipate that next year will be just as productive.  All 3 will be in school this fall, and I can’t wait to see how that unfolds.

He may very well kill me when he finds out I shared this.  He was feeling a little embarrassed as I was going though his books and chuckling.  Not because it was funny, but because he’s growing up.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t see that right now.  He will, someday.

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When it Comes to Motherhood, There’s No Cookie Cutter Solution – 100 Day Blog Challenge Day 8

A Mother’s Job is Never Easy (or Done)


When my boys were younger or when people would hear I’m a Mom of 3 boys, the immediate response was, “Boy, you’ve got your hands full.”  To be in honest, in the beginning, I didn’t see what was the big deal.  For the most part, they got along FAMOUSLY and were so cooperative.  I told them to do something, and they did it (most of the time) without too much arguing.  I just didn’t see the big deal.

Fast forward to 2014, and now I see the big deal.

My boys are now 8, 6 (in 2 weeks) and 4.  The way they act lately, you would think they were in their 30s or 40s.  Today felt like the day from HELL!!!  They weren’t listening, they were fighting, attitudes, meltdowns, on and on and on!!!

You know, I can totally see them
like this 10 years from now…
The first instance happened while I was taking a shower (yeah, even to do THAT takes skilled planning.)  Anyhow, I’m enjoying a little me time (I’ll take it whenever and wherever I can) and then it sounds like World War 3 hit.  First, a loud scream, followed by a screeching cry and yelling.  So much for a relaxing shower.  When I get out there to “diffuse” the situation, they’re upset because one won’t listen, another comes over to intervene and act like the “parent” so the other 2 start a mutiny and….the domino effect at its worst.

This wasn’t necessarily the first instance, but I made it crystal clear that under NO circumstances are they to wreak havoc.  Yeah, that worked out famously.  In the end, since they decided to act up with me in the room, I grounded them from video games for a week and put the fear of God in them that much worse would happen if they didn’t smarten up.

Decisions, Decisions

There are days when it feels as if EVERYTHING I’m doing as a Mom is wrong or I’ve missed the mark.  What’s the right way to raise the boys?  When do you step in and discipline?  Is it too harsh?  Is it too lenient?  Is anything getting through to them?  Do they even CARE?!?!?!  What’s the right answer?

I’ve come to realize that when it comes to parenting, there is NO right answer.  What works for one may not necessarily work for the other.  This doesn’t really give me a lot of comfort, because it would be nice if the bickering wouldn’t be at RIDICULOUS SPEED every 2 minutes!!!  I understand there will be sibling rivalry, but, my goodness must there be so many rivals?!?!?!

Take me AWAY!!!
It’s hard, VERY hard, and I’m not complaining, but, it would be nice to have the bickering stop for one day.  I’m sure this is part of the growing process and this will pass; heck, they really do get along great when the smoke clears.  It’s pretty amazing watching the three of them work together or come together on things.  It’ll usually be short lived, but I do revel those moments.

They’re great kids, I hear it from so many people all the time, because it’s true.  I’m not just saying this because they’re mine.  They do great things all the time and it’s my hope that the lessons we’re teaching them is sinking into their brains and they remember them as they get older.  I’m also sure that when they’re parents and they’re getting together for their annual whatever, they’ll look back on these days and laugh.

I know I am, but at the time, it wasn’t very funny.

The boys are asleep, and as usual, they are always peaceful, angelic, and so awesome when they’re not talking.  It always brings me back to when they were babies – so young, innocent, and no ability to speak.  We just couldn’t skip that part of their growing process, huh?

The saga continues…
This book has many chapters, addendum’s and everything in between.  I love my boys and I am so blessed to be their Mom.  It’s a lot of fun, I wouldn’t change it for anything.  I’m also human, I have feelings and there are some days when I feel a good smack to the head just might do the trick.

Don’t judge, unless you’ve been there. 

Yeah, I’ve got my hands full.  I know this, it’s obvious, you don’t need to point it out.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  My life would be empty.  Despite it all, the craziness makes everything normal.

The saga continues…


100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 4 – Keep On Truckin’…

And the Saga Continues…


It’s Day 3 of no power, and I feel like that’s all to discuss.  It’s kind of funny because when I decided to start this challenge, I really had some good topics that I wanted to share, but this darn winter and no power has taken over. 

GAH!!!

Oh well, I will go with the flow.

The last I heard, it was down to 1,800 customers still without power, but this experience has taught me some things:

1.  Make sure you have LOTS of batteries on hand
2.  Make sure you have matches/lighters on hand
3.  A better appreciation for what God provides
4.  Bonding time with the kiddos
5.  You become a MASTER of operating the generator

I must admit, when I first had to handle the generator, I was nervous and scared and a little of the “girl” on me started to creep out.  The challenge was using the crank because it’s so powerful, but now, it’s almost a walk in the park.  It still likes to put on a fight, but I ultimately prevail!!!



UPDATE – Two minutes after I posted my blog, the power came back on.  {Insert happy dance here!!!}

The kids went back to school today…the kids went back to school today!!!  I only had ONE at home with me!!!  That may sound a little harsh, but after having them home for March Break two weeks ago and then home since last Wednesday because of storms, that’s a little too much child for me to handle on my own.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, they are my life, but they can be TOO MUCH sometimes, and having that little break keeps me sane.  I’m pretty sure my fellow Moms can relate to what I’m saying.  And there’s nothing wrong with needing and wanting some alone time.  It’s necessary and something that I need to work on more and plan to incorporate better in my daily routine.

Just Decide

I listened to a great training call from an amazing leader in our company who is also a Mom and hearing her story again really helped me put things into perspective.  All too often, we (at least I) tend to complicate things instead of just keeping it simple.  Everything always comes down to making a decision.  Once you do, things will fall into place.  It’s the Law of Attraction at its best and when I simply decide what I want, it’s amazing how the right doors open and the right people come into my life.  

So, I’ve made the decision…I’m moving forward and those who wish to follow on this amazing journey, great.  For those who choose not to, step aside.  There are plenty of people out there who are looking to make a change in their life.  Tired of the same hum-drum routine, and willing to do what it takes to go after what they want and have the life they deserve.

So, how about you?  What’s your decision?

Let me know your thoughts on what you’ve been reading.  Comment below, share your feedback.  I welcome all comments and will respond to you.  I appreciate you taking the time to learn more about me and read my thoughts.

Thanks for reading, and I will see you tomorrow for Day 5.

Rising to the Blog Challenge – 100 Day Blog Challenge

Day 1 – Another Day, Another Challenge


Challenges seem to bring out the best in me, and so I’ve decided to challenge myself once again so I can hone my blogging skills.  Hone?  How about FIND my blogging skills?!?!?!  My blogs have been very sporadic and all over the place.  I’ve got lots to say and just not sure how to say it.  So, yesterday, it hit me – if I am going to get better at blogging, I’m going to have to be consistent with blogging.


I’m not sure how this will pan out, but I am nervous, excited and looking forward to this challenge.  What will happen?  My hope is that over the next 100 days, I will develop a great desire to blog more often.  Some will be planned (i.e. reviews, essays, etc.), most will be on the fly, based on my emotions.  Some will be quick little posts, others novels.  But, I will always be honest and try to be as real as possible.

Thank you, in advance, to those who decide to follow me on this journey.  I welcome any and all feedback and hope these next 100 days will be a growing process for you and me alike.  Take care, be well, and thanks for reading.

The Ugly Side of Business from My Perspective

This article was originally written and posted in February 2013 on a friend’s blog as part of a challenge.  I realized I never posted it to my blog, and am doing so now. Enjoy, comment, share, and come back often.  Thank you in advance.

The Ugly Side of Business from My Perspective

For many, people like to see and hear all the great things about working from home; how much money you can earn, the trips, cars, compensation plan, financial freedom, etc.  Those are all great things, they DO happen, and when it does, the world is your oyster.  However, many who decide to get into this business are not prepared for all the WORK involved.  In fact, I like to say, some are downright LAZY.  That’s right, I said it…LAZY!!!  Lazy to the fact that this doesn’t happen overnight, and the success stories of others also include plenty of struggles and hardships, sacrifices, late nights, early mornings, missed events, arguments, tears, struggles, hair pulling and many reasons to quit.  Many aren’t really prepared for what’s involved when you start your own business, and in reality, they just want the glory without all the hard work.  It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

My Life as a Work from Home Mom

Working from home has its good and bad points, and I have seen and experienced quite a few.  When I say that some are downright lazy, I mean all they see are the dollar signs; the big bucks and THAT’S all they want.  What some don’t seem to realize is that it takes TIME.  I am in a relationship business, and what that means is you have to be willing to develop relationships with others before you even approach them about what you do.  People have to feel (and know) that you care about them and are looking out for their best interests.  

I remember listening to a training call from one of our top leaders.  She talked about when she connects with someone, especially if it’s someone she hasn’t spoken to for years, she will wait a whole YEAR before she even speaks to that person about the business.  I almost fell out of my chair.  I thought, “A YEAR?!?!?!  What is she crazy or something?  I don’t have a year.  It has to happen NOW!!!”  But that has stuck with me and I realize that she’s right.  I have to be willing to invest my TIME in someone; find out all that I can about that person; show a genuine interest and let them understand that I care about THEM.  It’s hard, even tempting to jump all over them with what I have to offer, but more often than not, that tends to scare people off.  This business isn’t going anywhere; in fact, it keeps getting better and better every day.  I like to think of the story of the Tortoise and the Hare, because sometimes, slow and steady wins the race.

Working from home has been a blessing and a curse.  A blessing in that I can roll out of bed and not have to worry about gas, tolls, day care, a boss, etc.   The downside is, because you’re home, you also have your other responsibilities.  The kids need you, the house needs to be cleaned, everyone needs to be fed, the bills have to be paid, time with your spouse, time, time, time, time.  Oh, and you are running a business from home.  As I am writing this, I’ve had to stop to tend to my oldest who’s been throwing up all weekend; help my youngest who almost had an accident; feed the boys (again) and break up a few fights.  This is LIFE, people.  You can’t turn it off!!!  What I have come to understand is there really is no such thing as TIME MANAGEMENT.  We all have the same 24 hours in a day; no more, no less.  It’s how we utilize our time that makes all the difference.  I make To-Do Lists, and do my best to follow that list as much as possible.  I’d say that I am 80-85% successful with maintaining my lists, and when I do, the results are mind-blowing.

Choices, Decisions, Action

Life and business are about choices, decisions, and action.  We can choose to be happy, sad, indifferent, etc.  We can decide which mood to be in and how to act on them.  You’re going to be dealing with many different personalities that will more often than not, clash with yours.  Others will look to you for guidance, support, encouragement, and to let them know that you will be there and lift them up.  However, when things aren’t going so great, some of those same people will look to you as the blame.  I’ve come to realize that regardless of what’s going on around me, my successes and failures are a direct result of MY actions…no one else’s.  Some will choose to go with you, some will start and leave, and some will take their own path.  But as long as you stay on YOUR course, you will get to your destination.

Overall, the Benefits Outweigh the Struggles

My experience working from home has had its ups and downs.  Lately, there have been more downs, but what I have come to realize is that just like life, my business hits some bumps in the road.  I’ve experienced success, failure, I’ve helped others succeed, watched others move forward, while others have turned the other way.  I’ve met some amazing individuals who have been such an influence on me personally, professionally and spiritually.  The friendships I have made, I will cherish forever, and my mentors have been my biggest support throughout this whole experience. 

The biggest and best reward of all is that I am doing it.  When I started my journey in 2008, I was scared out of my mind.  I had no clue what I was doing or what I got myself into.  But, I believed in what I saw, my values and beliefs were in harmony with the company’s mission statement, and I wanted a piece of the action.  It’s taken some time, but every day, I wake up and I set out to make a difference in someone’s life.  There are days when I don’t want to do it.  I don’t want to deal with the craziness.  I’ve dealt with lots of no’s – I think the no’s outweigh the yes’s most of the time.  I’ve had people tell me I’m wasting my time;  I should get a “real job;” I’m taking advantage of people and I will not succeed in this business.  It’s hurtful and I have to force myself to NOT take it personally.  At the end of the day, are those people who said no going to pay my bills?  Are they going to give me the life I want?  No!!!  That is up to ME and no one else.  On those days when it seems like the odds are stacked against me, I look at why I do what I do – my boys and my husband.  They trump everything else. 

I AM a success story.  I am very critical of myself and I need to look at all I have accomplished.  I have to learn to not compare myself with anyone except me.  Today, I have to be just a little better than I was yesterday.  I am making a difference in my life and the lives of others, and I celebrate all the victories I’ve accomplished.  I am thankful I was introduced to this company, and given the chance to create my dream life.  I truly love what I do, and I love when others are on board to change their lives as well.  It’s so much fun taking the journey with others and being part of a team.  I love seeing and hearing the success stories of others because they are doing what is necessary to succeed.   My journey is ongoing, and each day is a new chapter in my book.  I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me next.

Re-reading this blog has also prompted me to do a little series on this, so be on the lookout for more content on “The Ugly Side of Business” because there are many ugly sides.

My Boys Will Thank Me Later

I will say this about how I raise my boys…

In and out of our house, we have rules.  If they ask for something, they must use the words, “Please” and “Thank you.”  They must be respectful to their elders, and any adult in the room.  If they get out of line (use a tone or language that we don’t like) they will get a slap on the hand, mouth or bum so they learn their lesson.  They must clean up after themselves, do chores and help around the house in any way we see fit.  They must ALWAYS be there for each other, because at the end of the day, they are brothers and they have each other to lean on for support.

I am a strict Mom.  I can also be a bit uptight.  When we go out in public, I fuss over them, and make sure they behave themselves.  I dislike it when they try to overstep the boundaries, and they do test the limits ALL THE TIME!!!  I’ve yelled at them in public, I have made an example of them in front of other kids, and they know I will call them out at any time.

Why do I do this?  I am their MOTHER!!!  I am not their friend, I am not their equal.  I am their superior and they must respect my authority.  They MUST listen to their parents, they must follow OUR rules.  I’m not here to cater to their every need or give them everything they want.  They’ve heard me say “No” to some of their requests, they’ve seen me blow my top; they’ve seen me cry.  They say they will listen, not do it again, but 9 times out of 10, the cycle has started all over again.

There are times I wonder if the words I’m saying get through to them or if I’m just talking to the air.  I know they understand me and get what I’m doing.  I’m also not a complete ogre who walks around with the yardstick.  We have other rules that we live by in our home.  We sit down at the table for meals all the time.  We say grace before every meal.  We say prayers every night before bed.  We say “I love you” more times than you can imagine.  We give each other lots of hugs and kisses and we say “Sorry” when we’ve done something wrong.

My boys won’t be boys for very long.  Next month, my oldest starts the 3rd grade and my middle is entering Kindergarten.  By next year, ALL 3 boys will be in school and there are going to be pressures from kids at every angle.  They are BOYS.  They are impressionable.  They are smart.  They are talented and they have a bright future ahead.   As their Mother, it is my job to ensure they are prepared for the world – the good, bad and ugly.  They will make mistakes, and hopefully they will learn from them.  We have a pretty strong bond and they feel comfortable telling us their troubles and I hope it continues as they become TEENAGE BOYS.

One day, they will grow up and become MEN.  They will hopefully have a great education, a successful career of their choosing (even if they decide not to partner up with me) and eventually (hopefully) they will fall in love, get married, and have children of their own.  Then and ONLY then, will they understand WHY I was so strict with them as babies.  One day, they may even have a baby girl (or 2 or 3) of their own who will grow up to be a teenage girl and eventually a WOMAN.  They will want their daughter to respect herself, her body and treat it like the temple it is.  They will want their daughter to know that her beauty comes from within and not have to seek it in the wrong places.  They will want their daughter to know and understand that saying “NO” is okay if something doesn’t feel right and that at ANY TIME, they can call on their Dad for help if needed.

My boys may not like and or appreciate all the rules and structure now, but when they get older, they will thank me later.  Why?  I am their Mother, I love them very much and it’s MY job to help raise them to become true GENTLE MEN!!!

Take care, and be well.

"I Don’t Know How You Do It"

So, I’ve FINALLY gotten my act together and start my own blog.  It’s about time, since I seem to have lots to say lately.  I guess it was only fitting to start with the one topic that gets the most attention. 

“I don’t know how you do it.”  


This is the single most popular comment I have heard from hubby, family, friends, even strangers on the street or supermarket in regards to taking care of my three boys.  I decided to talk about this popular comment and offer my two cents on it.  So, I dug deep and really started to think about this question/comment.


Well, my answer is, “What’s the alternative?” 

I guess the best place to start is from the beginning.  How did this all come about in the first place?  It started in July 2006, when hubby left to work out West in Fort MacMurray, Alberta, to make more money for our family.  Elijah was 9 months, we just bought our car and hubby was going to be gone for about 2 months.  To be honest, I was a nervous wreck.  Here we were, a new family, getting our bearings and now I was going to be left alone with this little person.  “What if he cries?  What do I do if he gets hurt?  How do I handle this kid?”  Oh, you wouldn’t believe the crazy thoughts that went through my head.  


The first time I had to go shopping with Elijah was scary at the time, but now, very laughable.  It was July 5, 2006, and up until that moment, I hadn’t even put him in the car – hubby took care of that.  As I loaded him into the car and heard the seat click into place, I did the happy dance in my head.  “Whew, got through that one.”  Then I had to drive into town with him – another accomplishment.   Then came the big test – getting him out of the car and into the shopping cart.  Wow, that was so simple.  By the time I got my shopping done, I was in and out of town in about 45 minutes.  I even got gas with ease.  That first day alone with Elijah was the toughest and most rewarding for me.  I thought to myself, “I could do this.”  And I did it every day until hubby came home for Elijah’s 1st birthday.


We all established a system of sorts and we had a good groove going.  Each time I had errands to run, my trips with Elijah became more routine and we had a great flow going.  Then we got pregnant with Justus.  As the delivery grew nearer, I thought, “Dang, we had a good routine going, and now I’m going to have a newborn and a toddler…how the heck am I gonna handle THIS?!?!?!?”  Well, the first time I had to venture into town with both of them, it went well and every time after that got better and a little easier.  I thought to myself that it wasn’t so bad and they’re really well behaved boys.  They’re working with me.  Yay!!!

Then we were pregnant with Isaac.  To be honest, while I was in the hospital, as I stared at him one night, I almost had a panic attack.  I mean, a serious, full-on, palms sweating, dry throat, about to throw up panic attack.  Two babies were okay, but now I’ve got a newborn, an 18 month old and a 4 year old.  What the heck have I gotten myself into?  Hubby left after Isaac was 10 days old and for 3 weeks I had live in help with one of our cousins (thanks so much, Arlene – you were such a big help.)  I did have a lot of help in the beginning from family and friends who offered to do my shopping and get any necessary items I needed.  I literally didn’t have to leave my house for about a month and a half.


And then the big day came – New Year’s Eve 2009.  I had to venture into town with all 3 boys.  The Christmas holiday was winding down, and nothing was open all weekend until the 31st and it was also a big No Tax, Boxing Day sale.  Talk about entering the belly of the beast.  Loading them into the car required a specific system – Isaac is always first because he’s in the middle. Then Justus, then Elijah.  Loading them into the cart is a little backward – Justus, Isaac and Elijah on foot.  That afternoon in the supermarket was a madhouse.  Trying to turn the cart and get it down the aisles was a chore in and of itself.  Add to the fact that Elijah was now on foot and you can imagine what that’s like.  All the while, I kept hearing comments, including, “Such beautiful boys” and “Boy you’ve got your hands full.”  And just like all the other times I had to venture into town, nothing bad happened.


So, here we are, 8 months after that event, and I’ve established a routine with the boys.  Traveling is sometimes a challenge, but we mange.  Getting them fed, bathed and in bed works most days, other days require some tweaking.  But for me, I make it work because they are my boys.  In all honesty, it’s not like I didn’t know what I was getting into.  The stork didn’t drop them from the sky one day.  We knew we wanted a family and what it entailed.  Each new life brought on new challenges, but I’ve been able to handle them and it works for us.
 
While I appreciate all the accolades  and praises, I am really not doing anything different than what any of you as parents are doing.  I’m doing what’s best for my family to make sure my boys to give them a strong sense of family, care for others, respect themselves and others and which I hope they will take with them as they grow up to become successful men.

So, there you have it.  Hopefully you’ve gotten a glimpse of “how I do it.”

Until next time, be well.