The Rants Of A Mom

‘Oh, aren’t they just darling! You know this is the best years of your life.’

I have heard some form of that sentence multiple times already, most times it’s as we make our noisy way through a store.

We seem to draw lots of attention, and I like to think that it’s just because we are so quietly adorable and not because grocery store aisles tend to bring out the dancing and singing of a certain 6 year old.

Yup, God didn’t beat around the bush when he decided I should get rid of my dislike for drawing attention to myself.

Here’s the latest quote that’s going around… ‘You only have 18 summers with child.’

Yea, I get it. I probably even needed to hear it. Needed to be reminded that every day with my kids is a treasure not to be taken lightly.

However, mostly I just felt guilty.

I love my kids and most days it feels like time is slipping through my fingers, which is precisely why I don’t need to be reminded that I only have 18 summers.

Now I feel guilty that I don’t enjoy every single minute of parenting and sadly that quote hasn’t had the power to make me suddenly enjoy changing diapers or being the ref to countless squabbles.

Yes, I understand that the point being made, is that I should invest in my kids as much as possible for these 18 summers.

And the pressure just keeps getting heavier.

Theres already tons of pressure on getting the parenting thing right, now I must also accomplish it all in 18 summers.

And here I was, naive enough to think that I would somehow be able to influence the lives of my kids till the day I die.

Oh, and that first quote… it makes me feel like my life is going downhill. Once my kids are all grown and have moved out, the good days will all be behind me and I will live the rest of my life wishing back the days when my kids were small.

I have a really hard time imagining that though because I kinda enjoy each new stage with my kids.

I have not yet looked back and wished my kids were still in diapers, still breastfeeding or still needed my help getting a spoon in their mouth.

In reality I’m usually kinda glad to be done with all of those, though I do enjoy them (mostly)🙃 for a season,

I can’t even say that I miss those first baby smiles, or toddler giggles. Sure, they were fun but it’s just as much fun seeing them learn how to talk or experience school for the first time.

I repeat, I love my kids.

The truth is though, I need my kids to grow up, I need them to become independent, because if there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s this:

If I have to spend all 70-ish years of their lives caring for them as I do now, I will probably go crazy.

Maybe some day once my kids are grown and have moved out I’ll  get it and wonder why this blog post was even written.

In the meantime, though, I really do enjoy all the people that take the time to notice and love on my kids.

Because I do agree that they are totally adorable. (Even when they’re throwing a fit cuz we missed a sample cart at Costco and mom refused to go back.)🤦‍♀️

I guess if there’s a point to be made here it’s probably that we would all do well by dropping the cliche’ quotes.

I think someone says it and it sounds good so we repeat it and hence it spreads like wildfire.

However, most of them aren’t all that great if we take the time to think through them.

If you don’t believe it just send me a quote, I’ll have no problem pointing out the negative side to it, it’s what I do best.🥴

And that’s why they invented the term ‘pessimist.’

And I shall leave it at that and go enjoy whats left of my 18 summers!

I really hope none were lost while I spent some time behind my screen.😳

Parenting Lessons From A Groundhog

Seven plus years ago when we moved to this property, a groundhog had already laid claims to the shed out back, or at least to the area ‘under’ the shed.

I didn’t really approve of sharing our property with him but as long as he stayed out back by the shed, it wasn’t too big of a deal.

But then…

He dug a big old hole right by the front porch.

And we had just got done mulching a day or two before that.

I filled it back in.

He gave up.

And then…

He dug two holes, one on each side of the back porch.

I filled them back in.

He dug them again.

I filled them up.

He dug again.

I filled.

He dug.

I gave up.

At least on refilling the hole. I googled instead…

Coffee grounds, they said. Put coffee grounds in the hole and Mr groundhog will be repulsed by the smell and will steer clear.

Not this groundhog.

In fact, I imagine him laughing while enjoying the new aroma wafting through his home.

I unsuccessfully tried a few more google remedies.

Either, google is confused or this groundhog is one of kind.

Finally we compromised, he could stay and he could keep those two holes as long as he didn’t dig more holes.

In reality, I gave up and he won, but I don’t want him to know that.

Since we don’t own a gun and my google remedies all failed, my only hope of getting rid of this thing was that he would eventually die of old age.

So, you can imagine my horror when I realized that this groundhog added 2 babies to our backyard.

I think, my exact words were: ‘That thing was supposed to die, not multiply!’

A couple days later, the kids were standing at the window watching these three groundhogs, (which are actually really cute BTW) when Kenzie declared, ‘ these groundhogs need to die not have babies!’

There was something about hearing my words coming from her mouth…

My opinion didn’t change, I still want less groundhogs, not more! But the way I said it or maybe it was the choice of words…

Either way, I realized, that my kids aren’t learning what I tell them, they are learning what I show them.

I can tell them all day long to pick up their toys ‘with a happy heart,’ or ‘how they should be thankful for their toys and therefore not whine about picking them up.’

But as long as I’m using words such as ‘seriously guys, why did u empty all the toy baskets at once,’ or ‘let’s get this mess cleaned up!’ (Said With a stressed tone.)

Those statements or at least the tone suggests that their toys are a problem. Which leaves them with a small dilemma…

Should they do as I say and see their toys as a blessing? Or should they do as I do and see their toys as a problem?

The truth is, actions trump words, every single time.

I already knew this, but somehow the groundhog statement made me realize just how deeply this actually goes.

I want my kids to know how to pray, like really pray ‘real connected to God prayers,’ I didn’t want it to be just a thing that we do, so I need to do something to really teach them, right?

As I listened to their prayers tho, I realized that they do know how to pray, they pray things over people that I wouldn’t even have thought of praying.

They know how to pray, not because we told them, but because we showed them, because we do it.

Next step: I want them to live a Christian life by being in tune with the Holy Spirit, not by following rules or mans ideas.

Now, I just need to figure out a way to practice this with them.

It’s a good thing, really, because instead of wasting time giving long lectures, I can simply be intentional about what we practice and do on a daily basis, it’s really much easier then giving well formulated and planned out lectures.

On the other hand, it also means, that they are picking up all my bad habits as well, and it doesn’t matter how much I contradict those actions with good words. They will ‘learn’ what I’m doing not what I’m saying.

As for the groundhog, he’s still around, he still has his babies and it seems he invited his friend ‘the snake’ over one day as well.

After living here for almost 8 years, I assumed there’s no snakes here but a couple weeks ago that happy theory came to a sudden end when we found a snake in the yard.

And since Mr groundhog has a really hard time keeping his end of our little deal, I’m assuming he is to blame for the snake’s sudden appearance.

I might just need to let him stick around, though, and see if he knows more things that I should learn.🤷‍♀️