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.

Diary of a Busy Mom

I am a Mom.  I am a Mom of 3 boys.  I am a Mom of 3 very active boys.  They are great kids, and I am proud to be their Mom.  I face many challenges every day to ensure I am doing the best to raise them to be amazing gentlemen.  Some days are better than others, and there are days when I am ready to pull my hair out.

Being a Mom is a thankless job; the most under appreciated job known to man.  We wear many hats as Moms – chauffeur, cook, doctor, nurse, lawyer, judge, jury, executioner, referee, psychiatrist, psychologist, cheerleader…the list is endless, and we’re almost EXPECTED to perform these tasks perfectly every time.  Fellow Moms, do you feel that way?  But, on those days when you are doing so much and no one seems to appreciate what you do, that’s when you feel like saying, “What’s the point?”  “Why the heck am I doing this?”  “Is this REALLY what I signed up for?”  “It’s GOT to get BETTER!!!”

Let’s just say, this weekend was the weekend where no one really appreciated Mom (at least that’s how it felt.)  It’s not a great feeling, because as a Mom, you put your heart and soul into EVERYTHING.  Many times, you don’t get the thank-you’s but, it’s nice when you are noticed for the things you do.

As a Mom, as a parent, as a person, you hope that you are making an impact on someone’s life; that you are making a difference; that you MATTER.  The rewards don’t come in bushel baskets, heck, there are times when it doesn’t show up right away.  I know in the back of my mind that my kids get it and when they get older, they will appreciate all I’ve done for them.  The thank-you’s will come then, I’m sure of it…but it would be nice to get them now, every once in a while.

So, that’s my rant for the day.  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.