Constantly learning from your children….

I often write about heavy stuff.  You know what I mean, the things that make you question, the things that piss people off, or things that people feel you shouldn’t discuss.  I choose to write about these things because sometimes you need to read various opinions to remember that yours isn’t the only one out there.

But sometimes, you just need to let it go. Swat away the heavy and allow yourself to be immersed into something light.  In the moment, my something light would be my children, well, that and binge watching something on Netflix or Hulu, but today lets talk about the kids.

My kids are something else! They frustrate me and make me want to pull my hair out, but often, they make me laugh or at the very least smile.  And they are constantly forcing me to learn and grow.  They often keep me from taking myself so seriously and push me to be great.  They do for me, what I ultimately feel I am supposed to do for them.  They are teaching me and helping learn about myself while watching them on their own personal journey.  I am constantly learning more about people, simply by paying attention to my kids.

Madison, the almost 16 year old, is hilarious. We butt heads often, but she can make me laugh to the point of almost peeing on myself (don’t judge, my pelvic muscles are lacking a bit after the birth of three babies and no kegel exercises).  She is quick witted and has a comeback for everything- which only works in her favor when she is being funny, not in the middle of an argument.  She always reminds me to stop criticizing myself.  And for a teenage girl growing up in the midst of such conflicting body image influences across social media and in “real life”, that is quite an accomplishment.  She has reminded me that I do not know the answers to everything and that I cannot compare my children to myself.  Because of her, I am brought back to what it was like to be a teenager in what was a much easier time and am forced to be aware of how difficult those years are regardless of the time.  And if you were having looking for the definition of humble, just look at Madison.  This young woman is talented beyond belief and practically everything she attempts to do, she excels at, and yet she still manages to have the most level headed and humble character ever.  Never boasting about her accomplishments or putting people down because of their failures.  She is about as sensitive as they come and is coming to terms with that quite quickly as she is evolving.  She is the master of doing things outside of her comfort zone.  Sometimes she needs a little nudge, but the minute she taken the dive, nothing can stop her.  She is

Myles, the 10 year old trapped in a 60 year old man’s body is wise long beyond his years.  This little boy is drawn to all things old school and basketball.  He challenges my mind daily.  He is the one that always reminds me that I am exactly where I need to be in the minute. He can put me in my place in a way that isn’t disrespectful and actually makes ME respect HIM more.  And his love for learning is so admirable.  When he cares about something, he really puts his soul into it. This is how he has managed to excel in playing the saxophone and the piano and why he uses free time practicing basketball.  I mean, maybe he is the next Lebron James.  Maybe  not, but he probably has just as much drive as that man and way more than I can ever imagine.  I mean, come on, it takes me weeks before I post a blog post.He researches things and feel s the need to share his knowledge with a anyone willing to listen.  Don’t believe me, just ask him about basketball players from the 80’s and 90’s or about some old school Latin jazz or salsa musicians. I can assure you, he knows more than you knew was possible.  Myles knows what it is like to be the underdog and still practices the act of forgiveness on a level that even bypasses me.  He is extremely intense and acknowledges his emotions better than most adults. And when it comes to special events, this little boy knows a thing or two about wearing ties and 3 piece suits. (And trust  me, he did not get this from his father)

And Mayci, my 7 (almost 8) year old free spirit.  This little girl exudes everything that I could even dream to be.  She walks to the beat of her own drum and almost always smiles.  She has one of the kindest hearts and experiences her emotions to the fullest.  She is gentle with herself and is willing to try anything.  She is has the best fashion sense ever- if she like the way it looks, then it is a style and looks good.  She reminds me that you cannot measure love on a daily basis and explains that this is why she doesn’t haven a favorite parent, grandparent, or sibling.  Her memory is impeccable and she always wants to make me happy(okay, maybe that one is just because she doesn’t want to see me flip, but I’ll take it).  Mayci is my little old lady. She loves to cook, clean, serve others, wear a bun on the top of her head and walk around with a robe on and a cup of coffee(well, hot chocolate although she does drink coffee every now and again).  And if you have had the pleasure of meeting her- you will fall in love.

How is it that my 3 little people have taught  me so much in the short times they have been in my lives.  They are not always my favorite people, but boy do they have a shit ton to offer.

If you are struggling with lessons on love, life, trying harder, making someone laugh, remaining humble, being the life of the party, practicing until it hurts, taking care of family, etc………. Let me know.  I will let you borrow one of my kids for minute. Trust me- they have a great deal to offer and the world is a much better place because of these kiddos.

So the next time I am complaining about them or writing a post about the way they get under skin, if you could kindly direct back to this post- I would appreciate it.  As their mom, I sometimes lose sight of all their gifts and get stuck in the negative….Listen, this mom shit ain’t easy!

In all things find beauty,

~MRC

Mother’s Day YOUR Way

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(Photo courtesy of http://theeverymom.com

Happy Mother’s Day 2019— Even if you are not a mother or do not celebrate mother’s day for any reason, this post may be an important one for you.

Mother’s Day comes every year.  No surprises. In May on a Sunday there will be a mother’s day.  A common question to mom’s is, “How do you want/plan to spend your mother’s day?”  This question always makes me antsy at first.

For starter’s, I do not always go and visit my mom.  She lives 10 minutes from me and somehow, most often, I do not take the time to go over to her house to see her.  Sometimes the day falls on her wedding anniversary, but her and my dad are homebodies, so they are normally home.  This means that I really do  not have much of an excuse.  And a lot of people seem bothered by the fact that I don’t always have that in my plans for the day.

The second is that I almost always say that I want to spend the day without my kids.  Yup- I said it.  I don’t normally want to spend my Mother’s Day with the 3 reasons that I even “celebrate” the day.  And while it sometimes makes me antsy to say it to people, I have decided that from now on I will no longer feel guilty for that.  I completely understand that I should probably want to spend the day with them, but I don’t.  And I don’t apologize for the way that makes other people feel anymore, my children included.  Sometimes my kids don’t even want to spend the day with me.  OR rather, they are okay that I don’t feel we need to spend the day together,

And third is, I normally only want to have my house entirely cleaned by someone that isn’t me, . And for the past 14 years that I have been “celebrating”- I can tell you- that has never happened, even though it has been on my “what I want” list since Mother’s Day 2008 after I got married and had someone else living with Madison and I.

I think a lot of people assume that my not wanting to spend the day with my kids means that I must not love them as much.  I know this assumption to be true because it has been said to me. Although, Not true!!

I love all 3 of my kids.  I think the cards and gifts they make at school are adorable.  I love hearing them say Happy Mother’s Day.  I love when they sometimes make breakfast for me with or without the help from their dad.  All of those things are priceless and I am grateful for them.  I don’t want gifts that need to be purchased or are given just because it is believed that you should give your mom something.  I have them and that truly is enough (sometimes, too much to be quite honest)

And still, I would prefer to have the day to myself.  Binge watching my shows, showering and putting back on pj’s, writing, reading and listening to books/podcasts, cleaning, and sometimes even taking myself out to get something to eat if I want, etc.  Now, let me explain this further… I do these things anyway.  On any day that I really feel the need/want to. My kids are a little older so they do not need my attention 24/7 so it has become easier and easier to do them when time allows.  The difference between doing them any other time and doing them on Mother’s Day is that I feel less guilty doing them on Mother’s Day, so I crave this even more.

This year, Madison asked what I wanted. I told her for the house to be cleaned, she even told me that she knew that is what I was going to say.  It never got done.  I stopped expecting it to , but will continue to answer this way for Mother’s Day, my birthday, and Christmas.  I am optimistic that one day it will get done.  Damian asked me if I wanted the day with or without  kids.  Without kids was my response, of course.  So his plan was to take the 3 kids down to see his mom and Grandma.  And I thought that was a lovely idea.  They would get to see most of the members of that side, hang out, and definitely well.  However that did not happen.  Mayci was refusing to go because she felt very strongly that because it was Mother’s Day, she must stay home with me and hang out. This is the first time this has ever happened with any of my kids.  Madison, a typical teenager, decided last minute that she didn’t want to go and was going o stay home as well.  Now, I know that decision had nothing to do with spending time with me and that is perfectly okay.  Myles woke up super late and ended up going with Damian- he didn’t even wish me a Happy Mother’s Day, he just simply rolled out of bed, brushed his teeth, got dresses, grabbed his electronics bag, and left.  Again, I wasn’t even bothered by it.

I will tell you that Madison and Mayci completely surprised me by baking a cake for me and making me breakfast this morning.  I was up pretty early, so I made some coffee and then headed to my desk to work on a project that’s deadline had already passed and I didn’t even realize they were upstairs working on their own project.  20190512_091927.jpgI love how they decorated the cake with cut up strawberries, because then it became a healthy cake for me haha.  Myles didn’t participate because he has had some pretty late nights and did not get up after the several times that his sisters told him to. (Perfectly okay with me).  So the girls and I had a nice quiet day at home each doing what made our hearts happy while the guys went and filled their hearts with joy.

I think the reason I chose to write about this is because I feel that we need a reminder constantly that what works for us does NOT work for other people.  And we need to be reminded consistently that this is OKAY!

I understand that there are mommas out there that would give anything to spend the day with their child that they lost, or gave up, or don’t have this weekend, or have longed for but cannot conceive, etc.  I know there are people out there that would give anything to see their own mom again or for her to be closer to them so they could see at all.  I also know that this feeling doesn’t come and only stay for the day for them but that it is in their heart daily and for all time and on a day like Mother’s Day, it stings just a little worse sometimes.  I know there are moms that have lost children, are longing for children, are estranged from their children, are exhausted raising their children, are loving their children, are struggling with their children, are praying extra hard for their children, and the list goes on and on and on.  I also understand that it may just seem that I am not grateful for what I have been blessed with. I no longer feel the need to justify why this is how I prefer to spend my day, it just is what it is.  And I am grateful that I have a husband and children that understand and respect my feelings when it comes to this.

Regardless of your status on this Mother’s Day— please be kind to yourself!  Allow yourself to spend it in a way that makes YOU feel good, not in a way you feel obligated to.  Make sure you allow yourself to honor your feelings and allow them to show up in whatever manner they may.  If the title of mom is one you hold dear than this is YOUR day for sure-but honestly—— so is every DAMN day.  Celebrate yourself today and EVERYDAY and do not let titles or “holidays” dictate your moves, wants, needs, etc.  If gifts and spending time with your children and/or your mom is what makes your heart happy than raise your children that way and be that example to them.

Most importantly- just remember to be gentle with yourself and others.  Days like these are sometimes extra hard for some however that does not mean that you need to feel guilty if it not that way with you.  It’s all about finding ways that make the day be about what it is meant to be.  Celebration of amazing woman- regardless of their status within the “mom” role.

Happy Mother’s Day.  Now let me get back to doing nothing….

In all things find beauty,

MRC

 

Parenting & “shades of gray” thinking- and no I am not referencing the movie

Screenshot_20190425-130431_Instagram.jpgSome parents see things as black or white. It’s either this or that.  No in between.  Others see things as gray.. a little blended area where both can be “understood”.

I am more of a “seeing things as gray” parent. I used to think that was my superpower.  I believed that I was kinda special because I could see both sides of most stories so I was able to understand where people on opposing sides were coming from.

I still think it’s a pretty good quality. I really do— but sometimes, I wish I could just be ” a black or white” thinker.  Especially most recently and definitely when it comes to my role as mom and decision maker for my children. Does this mean that I am going to change who I am or change my thinking? Not necessarily- just stay with me here as I try to explain.

I am a truster. I trust everyone immediately until they give me a reason not to. And then sometimes I still trust them. Yup, I am that fool.  As a parent, many moms think I am crazy. And maybe I am.  I know that times have changed. I know we no longer live in the days where parents sent their kids outside to play right after breakfast and didn’t see them again until the streetlights were coming on and it was time for dinner.  I know this. And I know that even when I was growing up, some kids didn’t experience this kind of ignorant, naive freedom or have parents that were extremely liberal with things like playing outside. I don’t necessarily feel that because the world has changed, that I have to change my thinking. So– I send my kids to the park that is down the corner and out of my view. And these kids are 7 and 9.  I do not worry that someone is going to snatch them up in plain sight, but I am aware that it is possible.  I just struggle with feeling like I can’t give my kids the sense of some “freedom” because of fear that I have.  They know the rules about strangers and what my expectations are so I try to let them spread their wings.

I allow my kids to attend sleepovers.  Yup, I know- that is something that a lot of people disagree with and I know exactly where those feelings come from as well.  And while I respect them, I don’t follow those same guidelines.  I am not afraid that by letting my child sleep at a friends house or play at a friends house that a parent may be inappropriate towards them . Do I know that this is possible? Do I know that many frown upon this? Yes I do— and does that change my way of thinking? Not in the slightest. And when my children have friends that have parents that believe this way, I make sure my children understand that these beliefs MUST be respected always even if they do not understand the reasons behind them.

I do not assume that every adult male is out to do something horrible to my daughters so I allow my daughters to go places with their friends even if only the father is present.  Am I possibly setting my children up for something bad to happen? Possibly, but I will not stop doing what I believe is right.  Am I putting my child in harm’s way? I sure as hell hope not, but understand the risk I am taking.  Will people frown upon my decisions? Abso-freakin-lutely! And are they entitled to? Abso-freakin-lutely!  And because of that, I understand why, if I am not home and my husband is that they may not allow their child over to my house or to pick their child up even if my daughter is in the car as well.  I may not believe the same way, but I respect the different way of thinking.  And I would never shame another parent because of their beliefs or rules in parenting.

I respect and understand the notion that my way of thinking surrounding being a parent and how I raise my children may cause some to not want me to look after their children. And believe me when I tell you, I get it and chances are, I don’t want to look after your children anyway.  And I understand that because of my actions and beliefs, you may not want your child to interact with mine… and you know what- that is okay also.  Hopefully you don’t think my kid is a jerk, but if you do- you are entitled. I think they are all jerks sometimes too.

Because of this,  well- I feel like I may have always known this, but neither one of us thinkers are wrong. I may be more conflicted, because I DO understand both sides- yes, but not necessarily wrong. I may be a complete whack job and naive according to your beliefs, but not necessarily wrong. My thoughts and views may not fit in to someone else’s lifestyle, but not necessarily wrong.

I want my kids to grow up understanding that people have different thoughts and opinions.  I want them to know AND understand that when they are with their friends and their friends have different thoughts or rules, that these all need to be respected. I want them to understand that their friends, while possibly different thinkers, are not wrong. They do not need to be changed.  They need to be heard and honored for their beliefs and staying true to them.  And I want them to expect the same back from the people they spend their time with.  I have no clue if I want my children to be black and white thinkers or shades of gray thinkers.  I guess it isn’t my decision at all anyway.  I want them to use their experiences, research, and knowledge to lead their thought process in all areas of life and to stand true to what they believe is right… even when others disagree.  And I want them to be honest when they are feeling conflicted and express their concerns in hopes of gaining more insight in making a more knowledgeable decision.

I want to have this same method of thinking as a parent.  Parenting is already a hard and not always rewarding job.  It is something that I do not take lightly.  I think it is even harder, when other parents feel that they are doing everything exactly right and assume that anyone not doing it the same way is automatically wrong.  Us parents, we are a judgy group of people. We all have the same goal in raising our kids to be decent people(or so I assume) but our methods of doing it can often clash.

Let me be clear— there are certainly some things that I have more of a “black and white” approach with.  Things like being disrespectful, my thoughts on bringing home decent grades, doing what I say the first time you are told, etc. And let me tell you- my thoughts behind these things are STRONG and I expect what I expect, no questions asked– something that has made people look at me like I am the worst mom ever

Please know that I say all of this as someone who has been called a horrible parent and a phenomenal parent by some of the same people. To my face and behind my back at times.  I am known as Satan by one of my own children and one of her friends.  It is what it is.  I am not out here trying to win mom of the year- I am strictly trying to just survive parenthood and make it through only mildly bruised. Many times I am definitely NOT making the best parenting choices and other times, I KNOW I am killing the parenting game.  I don’t really think that I need validation on my parenting any longer– I really just need for my kids to grow up and not be assholes….

See what I mean about the shades of gray thing?

In all things find beauty,

MRC

Finding my power in parenting

I went out for breakfast with a dear friend at the end of 2018 and as we were catching up with each other’s lives, she spoke to me about my “power”.  You see, she was breaking down for me my “power” as a mom.  I am in a constant struggle with finding my place as a mom which I know sound so weird since I have been a mom for over 15 years.  But for me- being a mom has never felt natural. It has never felt like a true calling.  I know that for many people that just doesn’t seem right, that I could feel this way. But it is in fact… the truth for me.  Let me explain why this one conversation and this word has had me thinking all sorts of things… and since it is me, you know it will be a LOOOONNNNGGGG explanation.

Because of this, my parenting style is quite different. I am all over the place with my kids and any given time. My love for them is real, my confidence in parenting- not so much. I do not parent each of my children the same way. What works for one, may not work for the other two. As they change in age, their needs and my requirements shift. Unfortunately these shifts do not always match their needs and can sometimes be excessive, but again, this is my truth.

D and I have a lot of help with our kids. With my steady work schedule and Damian’s not so steady schedule, we need the help. This is where things begin to get tricky.  I am so darn grateful for all the help that I receive.  My older sister, who is like the world’s greatest aunt, will almost always be willing to help out with driving and babysitting if necessary. She works full-time and some of the only times she is unable to help out is due to prior work commitments. My parents will almost always be able to help out on the weekends if need be. I tend to not ask them for weekday help because of their full time work schedules and I know they help out with my niece as well.  My in-laws are almost always available for the day-to-day help. Picking kids up from the bus, from school if they are sick, weekends if possible.  They are becoming more and more busy and in demand as they are gaining more precious grandchildren and they try to make themselves available for all of them.  And again- I am so grateful for ALL of the help that my entire family receives.

And yet, oh dear- isn’t there always a contradiction with me?  And yet, sometimes the help becomes too much for me. I have an issue with boundaries. I either have far too many and don’t allow people to even scratch the surface or I allow people to have no respect for them whatsoever and get all up into my space.  This is where the trouble lies.

I need help and I appreciate help. I sometimes don’t ask for help because of my pride, but I  need it almost all the time. I will never get a mom of the year award. (I wouldn’t really want that piece of junk anyway- I mean, I wouldn’t even know where to put it)  My children probably won’t look back at their childhood and remember many family game nights or amazing family vacations – and I am okay with that. However, I don’t want them to look back and only remember the crappy times and the arguments.

Okay— so I got into all of that because this is what made my dear friend start to talk about my “power”.  As I have been navigating through these various thoughts surrounding self-care, self-love, finding myself – I have been pulling away from many people. One of these people would be my husband. I notice that as I begin to change in some areas of my life, some areas stay the same and sometimes these are the areas that need the change the most. The biggest area is my relationship with my immediate family- Damian, Madison, Myles, and Mayci. These past couple of years have been the roughest. Damian and I have drifted apart, my relationship with Myles and Mayci is not nearly as I strong as I would like it to be, Madison and I have been the worst we have ever been. So it has been quite a relationship mess in our little Curtis household.

Without going into all the nitty-gritty details, in speaking with my friend she started to tell me that as a mom I have a “power” that no one could take from me in that I am my children’s mother. I am their mom. I carried each of them for at least 37 weeks in my body and I physically brought them out into the world.  I have held them while they are upset, nursed boo-boos back to health, cheered them on during their successes, scolded them for their wrong doings… But this still didn’t seem to sit with me well. I do love my children. My love for them may be displayed in ways different from other mommas out there.  I have done all of those things mentioned above– but there are other people in their lives who have done the same for my children(and at times even more)- that my children have bonded with more. And because of that, more often than not, I feel inadequate as a mom. Especially for Myles and Mayci. I believe that in my absence, they would not look for me or feel as though they need me for anything. I do not feel like I have that “power.”

My friend insists that this is not the case. That among all of my insecurities surrounding parenting, I still hold a position in all 3 of my children’s lives. And I am starting to realize how true this is over the past several weeks.  About a month ago, my father in law brought something up to my husband.  He informed my husband that Myles (my 9 yr old) told him that he didn’t think that I loved him because I never want to spend time with him.  I did speak with Myles and got the whole story, but we won’t even get into that today.  Regardless of the “actual story”, this situation got me thinking.  I started questioning even more so about my relationship with my kids and where I stand with each of them.  From that moment – I began to realize my impact on my children’s lives. I spend time with my son watching basketball or talking about school, cherish my girly time with Mayci speaking of princesses and goals, and am starting to actually enjoy my more “grown up” teenage talks about all of those coming of age topics with Madison.  What I haven’t done to be honest is change anything about my parenting, I have just made the time I am with my children more intentional.  I don’t even know if I have truly increased the quantity of time that I have spent with my kids,  but I sure as hell am focused on the quality of that time.

Have I fully embraced my “power”? I have no freaking clue.  Do I feel that my power is diminished by others? Yeah- I think I may still feel this way a little.  The thing that is different– I am  no longer allowing the bond that my children have with other people(grandparents, friends, other family members, etc)- to make me feel like less of a mom.  I am beginning to understand just how lucky my children are to have even more people they feel bonded to and how their worlds do not begin and end with me.

YES- as I always like to remind everyone…my relationship with my children is different. Many other moms would frown upon it- but I think that makes my dynamic even more special.  My children will have their own stories to tell. And while I hope that these stories are fun and light, I wouldn’t be surprised if they tell of the meltdowns,scary moments, and hard times.  Those times aren’t a secret.  They aren’t anything to be ashamed of.  They are a merely just another dimension of my phenomenal power!

To all you mommas out there (and daddys too)- I will not give you advice. I have no advice to give. I have no magic tricks, no mommy win stories, nothing… just words from my experience that I would hope you wouldn’t judge me for.  And if you do…that’s cool also.  What I will tell you is this: your relationship with your kids is just that. It is YOUR relationship with YOUR kids. NOT ONE DAMN PERSON can take that away from you.

Find your power! Own your power! Embrace your power! Cherish your power!

 

In all things find beauty,

MRC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I love my kids, and yet….

God knows that I love my kids. I really do, I mean it.  And yet, which in reality is just my fancy way of writing BUT, yet sometimes I don’t like my kids or even want to be around them.  I know right now all of those perfect parents are out there thinking to themselves, “how on earth can she say those things, what kind of mother is she?”  I know people think that because people have said it to me.

Well, I feel that I am a normal mother. A real mother. A mother that isn’t afraid to speak the truth.  Maybe not a “typical” mother, but normal according to my definition of the word.  And that is all I care about.

I can honestly say that I am not one of those mothers that always misses my kids when they are away.  Sometimes, I am just so grateful that I have time to myself and don’t have to entertain anyone or fetch anyone some juice, snacks, lend a listening ear, etc.  Yup- sometimes I plain just don’t want them around.  And because of this “alone” time, I am also extremely grateful that my kids all have activities, friends, and family members that keep them busy and want to actually spend time with them.  I am one lucky lady.

Now my kids are amazing kids.  Pretty well behaved for the most part and extremely intelligent and self sufficient.  But nope, I still don’t always like them.  I have even caught myself resenting them at moments.  Yup– I am not afraid to admit that anymore. I also think that in the moments when I have felt that resentment, that it is probably best that I a, away from them for a moment. Don’t think that I wrote that I regret having my children.  I am so glad that I have each and every one of them.  They have each taught  me many different things about my life and brought a special something to our family dynamic.  With that being said, yes- I have thought about how different things may have turned out had I not had kids.

Please remember, that right out of high school, I had no intention of becoming a mom.  I never wanted kids and always wanted work to be my first priority.  Then reality set in.  I wanted to have sex, I made the not so smart decision of not being “on point” with my birth control, and then came child #1.  Fast forward a few years and I got married and then we decided to try to have a child and here comes child #2, Child #3 was not a surprise by any means (I’m not an idiot, I know how babies are made), but we weren’t exactly planning that child.

3 children was definitely the limit for me.  I know darn well that I would not be capable of handling anything more than what I have.. .even sometimes the 3 of them pose a challenge for me.  Maybe that is why I am not the super loving mom that society tells me I must be.  I am not the cuddling type.  I don’t eat after my children.  I certainly won’t kiss them on the mouth.  Yet – I do love my children and I try to show them in the best ways that I am able to.  I tell them that I love them at least once a day.  I make sure they have a place to live, food on the table, and even some extras at times.  I listen to them when they are telling me long, drawn out stories about things I have no interest in hearing about.  I help them wipe their butts when they need me to.  I stay up until the wee hours of the morning helping them straighten their hair for pictures and dance competitions.  I drive them to all of their activities and spend the majority of my money on things for them. I clean up after them.  I am the Secretary for their school’s PTO, help out at dance recitals, and let them pick out food while I am grocery shopping.  I wipe away tears when they are hurt (normally because I am the one that has upset them). Stand up for them when necessary.  I correct them when they do the wrong thing and I hold them responsible for anything they do- good or bad.  I will sit in silence with them when they have had a rough day and just need quiet time.  My ways of showing my kids love may not be conventional- but they are real.

So when you hear me saying I want time away or I need alone time, please just respect it.  It may not be your style.  You may not even approve.  And you are entitled to that.  Just know, I love my kids, and yet…