My husband and I left behind the house we’d intended to grow old in. We gave up the magnificent dining room that we’d hoped to one day entertain our grandchildren in. We let it all go to protect our family.
We traded a beautiful, spacious, old home for the promise of greater security; because the once-grand neighborhood in which we’d resided became a hot-bed of crime as house prices declined and gang activity increased.
So, there we were sleeping soundly (in our new, safe, country home) about a year later, when our 7 year old daughter stood in the doorway of our bedroom and announced, “The man just left.” READ the rest HERE on Raleigh Moms Blog
Sometimes holding on to stuff is a wise decision. Why purge those out-grown onesies if they can be handed-down to a younger sibling? Yes, sometimes storing up stuff is necessary. But what about when the things in your closets are simply holding you back?
Let the Stockpiling Begin
It was 1995 when my family threw me a baby shower to help me welcome my firstborn. I still remember oohing and aahing over all those tiny new outfits and the sweet, bunny print bedding.
My husband and I had hoped, right from the start, to grow a big family and by 1999 we were well on our way. Seeing as our little ones were generally arriving every other year, it seemed prudent to keep a ready supply of baby items in the attic. READ the rest HERE on Raleigh Moms Blog
“He’s on the roof again!” cried a younger son as he bounded through the back door. Not the least bit shocked, I knew exactly to whom he was referring.
Feeling compelled to do my parental due diligence, I put down my cleaning supplies and stepped outside to investigate. I wanted to be sure the accused teenager wasn’t trying to out-do himself by scaling new heights.
Not wanting to be detected, I stood, close-lipped, watching as my son mentally assessed the roof’s height and the distance to his landing target (a patio cushion). Looking on in amazement, I remembered my own fear of high places. READ the rest HERE on Raleigh Moms Blog
How diligently I’d searched for just the right hair clip to draw back my auburn locks. Although no one was likely to notice my barrette with its pale peach-colored rosettes hidden beneath my flowing, white veil, I spared no energy in my search for it. The tiny fabric flowers continued the theme of my wedding gown which was adorned with clusters of silk roses. As a young woman, preparing for my nuptials, every detail seemed incredibly important.
What care I’d taken in preparing for that whole day. From the superfluous purchases, like finding the perfect shade of blush to compliment my complexion, to the necessary arrangements, like choosing matching gold rings, a great deal of time and attention went into making our wedding day perfect.
I did my best to prepare for the day, but I wasn’t quite as thoughtful about equipping myself for the life ahead. As a blushing young bride, I never dreamed of the heartaches, disappointments, frustrations and losses that we’d face in the years to come. READ the rest HERE
My sister called to ask me for recommendations for teaching my 5 year old niece how to read. An old friend announced a few days earlier that his daughter had gotten accepted into transitional kindergarten. Someone else was touting the awesome school they’d just enrolled their toddler into.
While all of these parents want the best for their children, they’re being duped (by an education system that derailed a few generations ago and a cultural psyche that touts more as better) into believing that a focus on early academics will produce brighter students in the long run.
The trouble is that repeated studies and experience prove the opposite to be true.
An educator herself, my sister recognizes the deficits pervading her kindergartner’s lesson plans. Lists of sight words are the primary tool being used to raise her daughter to the status of reader. My niece is definitely one smart cookie, but memorizing pages of words at the tender age of 5 isn’t really her thing. And at 5 years old it shouldn’t have to be. READ more HERE
We’d just finished showering, the two-year-old and me, when I reached for the towel bar. Unfortunately, since I hadn’t planned in advance for our dual exit from the hot, steamy shower into the frigid, meat locker that is our bathroom in winter, my hands met with one dry towel and one damp one (left over from my husband’s solitary shower a few minutes earlier).
In a split second decision, I grabbed the dry cloth first and wrapped it around my little one’s pink, naked body. Then I proceeded to use the chilly, wet towel on myself. Working in high speed, I figured I could whisk away enough water from my limbs to stave off hypothermia.
Once this step was accomplished, I was forced to tip-toe across the icy tile floor to get from the bathroom mat to the laundry room rug (because again my morning brain hadn’t thought to have our clean clothes laying at the ready.) READ the rest HERE
For years, at about 3pm on Christmas Day my kiddos would hit the wall one by one. After a long Christmas Eve followed by a too-early-rising, their energy stores were depleted and just past midday they’d drop like flies: a snoring pre-schooler on the couch still clutching his new light saber, a drowsy teen sprawled out on the floor amidst her books.
Additionally, I often noticed an air of disappointment creeping in once the last gift was torn open, the evening meal digested and the boxes hauled out to the trash. Honestly, I sensed it in myself almost as much as I detected it in my family members.
READ more about the 4 ways we’ve reclaimed the Twelve Days of Christmas on Raleigh Moms Blog.
“What are you, an idiot?”
It wasn’t the first time his parents had resorted to a litany of name calling. It seemed to be their routine form of communication: an insult here, a slight there, a sprinkling of profanities, a rude retort or a less than flattering moniker. Honestly, I’d been disgusted from the start, but on this day I could no longer silently stomach the verbal assault his parents were launching rapid-fire in his direction. Continue reading
Rounding the back bumper of our 15 passenger van, we began our routine for loading up the crew. The chatty teens readily made their way to the rear seat while our younger daughter buckled in the toddler.
Dropping the stroller down to the closed position, my husband instructed our 9 year old ball of boy energy to move the bottles of water and take his seat next to his 7 year old cohort. While our feet were dog-tired from the full day of walking around the fairgrounds, the kids’ energy levels seemed to be drawing off of some endless reserve. Continue reading
School is back in session which means my social media feeds are wallpapered with snapshots of grinning, backpack-toting children posed next to miniature backboards that note their new grades. The school year starts out for most with grand expectations for growth and achievements. Perhaps, this is the year your son will master phonics, memorize those multiplication tables or excel in chemistry. Maybe over the next nine months, your daughter will learn her alphabet, make the team or tackle calculus.
But what happens if your child’s days don’t progress as planned? What happens if the bullies aren’t converted, your convictions are undermined or your child’s learning style can’t be nurtured? What if the tears don’t stop falling beyond the first week, the stress leads to stomachaches or grades don’t improve even though you know your child is capable of more?
Read the rest HERE at Raleigh Moms Blog