I Made My Kid Pay Me to Help Him, and it was SO Worth it!

Too much. Overkill. Unnecessary. Mean. Wrong. I can see all the different reactions to this blog now, but I had to do it! Not just for myself, but for moms everywhere.

someecardearnAsk any of us. We’ll tell you that we’re fully convinced there must be some kind of psychosomatic censor in a kid’s head that goes off every time we try to sit down and get comfortable. EVERY time- whether it be on a couch, a kitchen chair, or a toilet, as soon as our ass hits surface, they need something. Whether it be us to get them something, reach something, answer something, feed them something, tell them something- it’s ALWAYS something.

I’ve refused many times. I JUST SAT DOWN. But there are probably more times that I haven’t refused. They actually DID kinda need my assistance, and isn’t it my job to provide it? Eeeehhhhhhh, maybe. Sometimes. Not all the time, though! Is all of my assistance, especially when I’m allowing them to yank me back up when I’ve just sat down- probably from doing something else for them- just allowing them to be lazy lumps? Helpless turds? Needy shits? Did they even VALUE the fact that I was constantly putting myself out just to assist them? I wasn’t sure, so I decided to find out.

After picking up Holden from school, I waited. Well, after I did some laundry, vacuumed, scrubbed a stain out of the carpet and did the dishes, THEN, I waited.

It didn’t take long before I heard “I need heeeeeeeeeelp!”
Holden had lost the instruction manual to his new Lego creator set.

“You gonna pay me?”

“What??”

“If you want me to get up after I’ve already sat down, you’re gonna have to be charged.”

I could see the wheels churning in his head, trying to process this request. He was going to have to PAY his mother for assistance? But…. why? Shouldn’t help from Mommy always be free of charge? If I were still standing and moving about, maybe. He had every opportunity to ask me while I was active, but to wait until after I’ve sat down? No.

“Well…. how much?”

I charged him a nickle. He gave me a dime. We didn’t find the instruction manual. It turned out to be a double lesson in responsibility.

1) Your mom isn’t your servant. Respect and value her time and how much of it she selflessly dedicates to you. Yes, it’s her job, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be thankful.

2) PUT YOUR SHIT AWAY! If you did that, you wouldn’t have lost the manual in the first place, wouldn’t have had to ask for help, or get charged for asking for help at the wrong damn time.

Now, if that’s not a lesson worth 10 cents, I don’t know what is!

Posted on April 14, 2015 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment

PAY ATTENTION to Your Kids, or Else…

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Distraction comes easily in this day and age. What with televisions, radio, cell phones, tablets, mini-tablets, handheld gaming consoles, Facebook mobile, hangnails… It’s a wonder anyone even looks UP anymore.

During all this time looking down, we’re missing out on what’s going on at eye level- and there is a LOT. Especially for us parents. Life goes by in an instant, and there are so many instances we ALL wish we could go back and look up for. Even if we NEED the break we get by looking down. Even if we absolutely DESERVE to be distracted for once. We’re missing out- and that is not good.

Our kids NEED us to look up, past the bright shiny looping GIFs and Vines. Beyond the Facebook auto-play bullshit. To pull ourselves from the depth of a Youtube spiral of shame. Look up and LOOK AT YOUR SPAWN. YOUR BEAUTIFUL, INQUISITIVE, EVIL LITTLE SPAWN! DO IT NOW OR REGRET IT LATER (or very very soon)!

Let’s cut to the point, here. I’m not telling you to do this because you’re going to be missing some kind of HUGE life-altering revelation that your child has. If it’s THAT important, they will say it on repeat until you’re begging them to STFU already.  Or because it makes them feel better about themselves to have your helicoptering mothership hover over them at every waking moment of every single day, or any of that dumb shit- I’m telling you to PAY ATTENTION because if you don’t, bad things happen.

Today, while I was staring off into my computer screen, my kid had a full-on conversation with me. He NEVER SHUTS UP. I have to tune him out sometimes or I’ll tear out my hair. Sure, he can say some stuff that needs to be answered, but for the most part he’s going on and on about something he made up in that weird little brain of his that will melt my brain like an hour of Spongebob. I NEED my brain! YES, I pull the SMILE AND NOD. I’m not ashamed!

Unfortunately, today probably wasn’t Spongebob brain-melting day, because while I was just nodding along to what I thought was just gibberish and nonsense, he asked me to put up one or two fingers. I said “one” and he was all “NO YOU HAVE TO USE YOUR FINGERS!” and so I put up my pointer finger and he gets all wide-eyed and excited and you KNOW that can only mean bad things, and that’s when he yelled triumphantly “So I CAN be done with lunch!” and I looked at his plate and the kid had been talking so fucking much he hadn’t even taken a single damn bite of his food. WHAT THE HELL, KID? NOT COOL!
Upon realizing my egregious error, I put up two fingers, and watched him deflate like a sad, lost birthday balloon.
Sorry, kid. You’re not going to skip your lunch and then bitch at me in an hour about how HUNGRY you are. I KNOW THIS GAME! I MASTERED IT (insert number of years here to make me sound wise but not old) YEARS AGO!

In the past, I have okayed shoving a banana peel down the bathroom sink, riding down the stairs in pillowcases, eating candy at 9 in the morning, trips to get ice cream, and a plethora of other shit that I’m sure has happened that I don’t even know about. Why? Because I DIDN’T LOOK UP!

I beg of you, fellow parents- look away from Susan’s most recent rant about the mailman coming at different times every day, or Melissa’s 47th duck-faced selfie. They can wait. Your kid is shaving the dog and decorating the bathroom mirror with crusty boogers. You might wanna LOOK UP and deal with that!

You’re welcome.

Posted on April 10, 2015 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

Getting My B Back

I have lost my “B.”  Yes, you heard right, my “B,” as in Type B personality.  You are probably wondering, “what the hell is she talking about?!”  Well, let me back up a minute and give you some background.

questionI am a 37-year-old stay-at-home mom of two children (whom I ADORE), and I have NO idea what I want to be when I grow up.  There, it’s finally out there, I said it out loud!  My kids are getting to the age where they will both be in school full time, and I find myself getting more and more anxious as the days go by.

Six years ago, I felt like I had all the time in the world to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and now I feel like a ticking time bomb.  You want to know my least favorite question?  “So, what are you plans once the kids are in school?”  Ok.  I get it.  It’s perfectly acceptable to be a stay-at-home mom…until they go to school.  Well, Shit…now I feel like I’m up the creek without a paddle.  And if I thought I was stressed and overwhelmed before…my Type A just went to an A+++.

Now let me be clear (this is the part where I feel I need to defend myself as an intelligent being that knows how to earn a dollar), it’s not to say that I haven’t had my turn in the work force. On the contrary, I was working up until I gave birth to my first child six years ago.

I guess you could say I am a hands-on learner, and over the years I have worked very hard discovering what I do NOT want to do.  That should count for something, right?  Publishing, nope. Entertainment, nope. Publicist, nope. Non-Profit, nope. Human Resources, nope. Retail, nope.  I even tried the entrepreneur route, and unfortunately, that didn’t pan out either.  I am at a loss and I feel like I am on the verge of expiring.

I also want to express that being a mom has always been at the top of my list.  When people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I usually said “I have no idea.”  However, the one thing that I ALWAYS knew I wanted was to be was a mom.  So why is it when you finally have a dream fulfilled, it’s not quite as “fulfilling” as you imagined?  Because this was the one thing I was passionate about, I thought motherhood would come so naturally, be piece of cake.  How utterly naive of me.  Well, NEWSFLASH (as any parent will agree), that most certainly is NOT the case.

I have two of the sweetest children, yet somehow, my patience is not at all what I thought it would be.  I often find myself frustrated at silly little things.  There are many times when I have found myself thinking, “Crap, I just gave my kids excellent material for their therapist when they get older.”  Or times when I have been driving in the car and thought, “I wonder what would happen if I just kept on driving and never went back home.”

I know, I know…I am human, and we all hit our limits and get burnt out of our jobs.  But it makes me sad that I have even referred to taking care of my children as a “job.”  They are not my job, they are living beings that are looking to me for guidance and care.  They are the loves of my life and I adore them.  However, some days, when the whining, fighting, and stubborn attitudes are in full force, they are my “boss”,  and I am their disgruntled employee.

So, you might still be wondering what this has to do with losing my “B”, but I’m getting there, I promise.

This is my revelation.  My friends have joked over the years that becoming a mother has brought out the Type A in me.  Well, they are right.  I recognize that being Type A isn’t such a horrible thing, as it means I am better prepared, more responsible and better organized.  However, it completely STRESSES me out.  I am finding that over the past 6 years, I am more stressed than ever and I can no longer pride myself on being the patient, laid back person I thought I once was.

Making sure the kids have everything they need when they need it, trying like hell to keep them on a structured schedule and constantly taking deep breaths to keep from exploding when they have hit my last nerve, has me wound so tight that some days I hardly recognize myself.  Whew!

I realize that I have spent my children’s entire existence trying to mold my life around their worlds.  Maybe this whole time I should have been fitting their worlds into my life?  Or perhaps there just needs to be a happy medium?  Of course the needs of an infant are incredibly demanding, but that doesn’t mean life needs to come to a screeching halt, does it?

I look at my sister, whose daughter is now one, and I have discovered that is exactly what I let my life do.  While my sister certainly makes her little girl a priority, I admire how she has not allowed her previous life (or personality) to disappear because of her baby.  My children are my world, literally.  I love them to pieces, but I am realizing that I don’t know who I am without them.

So, it’s time I ripped off the Type A band-aid and reintroduced myself to…well, myself again.  It’s time I got my “B” back.  I decided to make my journey into a blog to ensure that I will actually stick to the plan.  And believe me, the irony of having a plan (very Type A) for rediscovering my “B” is not lost on me.  What exactly is the plan you ask?  I have decided to challenge myself to do one thing every month for a year that forces me to rediscover my “B.”  My hope is to rediscover who I am personally and professionally outside of being a mommy.  And if I succeed, my journey will (hopefully) be a gift to my family as well.

I do have a few ideas brewing, but I welcome any suggestions you want to throw my way!

For those of you who might want a crash course on what it means to be either Type A or Type B….here is how I would describe it (and please know that absolutely no professional resources were consulted before-hand, just 100% of my biased opinion.)

Type A : impatient, organized, anxious, pro-active, reliable, highly organized, workaholic, always on time, perfectionists, planners.

Type B: Relaxed, less competitive, not as motivated, patient, careless, less stressed, procrastinators, express feelings well, not as organized, go with the flow.

Obviously both sides have their pros and cons and I believe we all exhibit a degree of both, however, since becoming a mother I feel I packed up and moved to “A Town” without looking back and now I am officially “B” bound.  ” B Town”, get ready…I’m coming home!

 

This article was written by Kasey of The B Mommy Blog. Click the link and follow her journey back to B!

Posted on April 8, 2015 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment

Netflix for ALL the Fibbers in Your Life!

If there were one thing my kids would watch repeatedly on Netflix if I let them (read: without throwing things at the TV and then running away to join the traveling circus) it would be “The Gruffalo”.

The Gruffalo is an adorable animated tale about a mouse who outwits an entire group of predators by making up a tale about a fearsome beast he calls “The Gruffalo”.
Do my kids love it so much because it’s so well done (Umm, hello? it’s voiced by Helena Bonham Carter & James Corden!), or do they love it so much because they are giant fibbers??

No matter how many times I sit them down and talk to them about the important of honesty, how many times I tell them they won’t be in trouble if they just tell the truth, but they WILL be if they lie- currently, the only thing my kids fess up to is farting. I guess I should be thankful that they don’t blame that on others, too, because deep down I know the fibbing is nearly a phase and it takes time to drill things through their thick skulls- but still. Ugh!

As much as it irritates me, and as weird as this may sound- their fibbing doesn’t really concern me. They are growing up in a BRUTALLY honest household. It won’t be long before they’re being so honest that I wish they weren’t! BUT, I’m curious! What do YOU do when your kid fibs?

For all the fibbers in your life (because let’s be real- in REAL life it might be bad, but it sure is juicy to watch unfold on a TV screen!)

 

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

For your little kids:

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For your big kids:

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And for teens and parents:

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NEW ON NETFLIX for kids and families

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Posted on April 7, 2015 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment

Poopocalypse and Aiming High…..ish.

Everyone has their limit. For some people, it’s blood- there’s no possible way they can look at/deal with/patch phobiaup/clean it without either barfing or passing out. Others, maybe it’s seeing a hair in their food. Mold. A bug. I know people who simply CANNOT climb to any kind of height above the earth. Many cannot get away from barf fast enough, as they are sympathetic barfers. Just imagine if you had all three on an airplane sitting side-by-side and one of them cut their hand after getting rammed by a snack cart (seriously, those things are dangerous!) filled with rotten food. That would not be a fun flight.

I have plenty of fears (rational and irrational), but last week after lunch one day, as a flood of poo water poured out of the toilet, I realized mine.

Yes, I think poop is funny. Sometimes it can even be frickin’ HILARIOUS. I can handle years worth of diapers full of kinds of poop in colors I didn’t think possible, and consistencies I didn’t even known existed. I’ve wiped butts more times than I care to count. I’ve pooped MYSELF. I’ve been pooped on by other people. I’ve even been pooped AT. I’ve cleaned projectile poop from walls, and turds that were carried around the house and hidden like fucking Easter eggs. Maybe I gag, heave, run screaming away, tie a towel around my face like a gas mask- but I can handle poop… usually.

My limit? Wet poop. And I don’t mean the kind you have after a dangerous flirtation with Taco Bell. I mean the kind that has been fermenting in an unflushed toilet or hiding in a pipe that suddenly decides- HEY! Guess what I haven’t seen in a while? The bathroom floor! and then makes its way out of the pot like a volcano. Poo water. That’s a big fat nope. NOPE. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE.

We live in an older house, with an even older landlord, who doesn’t believe the old shit in this house is broken because if HE is still working, so should it. “Maddening” would be too kind of a word to use in this situation. The toilets cause us issues all the time. I guess people back in the stone age were a lot smaller with smaller poops because it doesn’t seem to matter how small of a turd you unload, there’s a chance the toilet will clog. Dropping a deuce in this house is like playing Russian roulette with the septic system.

Word to the wise: When you have children, update your septic system. Not only will they take craps bigger than yours, but for some Ungodly reason, they feel the need to use half of a friggin’ toilet paper roll to get their crack clean. I appreciate the attention to detail, but STAAAAAAAHP!

That is exactly what ran through my head as the poo-lava flow started creeping out of the bathroom. I’d found a toilet which contents looked more like a TPed crime scene than a bowel movement. Recoiling in absolute horror, all I could do was slam closed to lid, push down the handle, and hope for the best. What I really should have been doing is preparing for the worst because the end result was horrific. I think we will have to incinerate the dozen towels it took me to stop the spread of the Poopocalypse.

In that moment (y’know… after I was done shrieking, HEEEEEERRRRRKing, and flailing), I had a parenting revelation.

Right now, I’m not trying to build the future leader of America. I’m not trying to train the next Picasso or Beethoven. I’d like to think I’m aiming my kids down the right path, but when it comes to kids, most of the time I can’t really even be worried about their aim. I JUST WANT THEM TO FLUSH THE DAMN TOILET! Let’s do this shit one step at a time. Today: flushing the toilet. Tomorrow? THE WORLD! Or…. maybe tomorrow will be the day we just work on their aim.

Posted on April 6, 2015 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment