Ideal Parent….What Does that Mean?

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If you are anything like me you have dreamed of being a mother for a very long time.  You thought about what it would be like to raise your children and what you will and will not tolerate.  You some how in your mind created this ideal of the perfect parent.  What you aspire to be.

For me that was my mother.  I wanted to be the type of mother that she was.  She created the best childhood.  She was the mother that created craft projects and got down on the floor and played with us.  She created the best forts and always put our needs above hers.  No matter how hard it was she pushed forward knowing that in her eyes she was doing the best for her children.

I mean she hosted, put together, help decorate and facilitated Fourth of July parades for all the kids on the block for many years.  Usually this was only for the parents of said kids, but we all had a blast, putting red, white and blue cray paper, and sparkles.  Even before my sister could ride a bike, she decorated a metal red wagon for her to sit in.

One year during the Olympics she put together our own Olympics for all the neighborhood kids.  Complete with some sort of medal and ceremony for the best of the best.

These are just a few examples of things that she did for us.  Totally the Pinterest Mom before Pinterest was even around.  She would have home cooked meals most nights a week.

I had some big shoes to fill when I became a mom.  I found though very quickly that I was not my mom and I was actually completely the opposite of her.  It has taken me many years to learn that even though I am not the ideal mom I thought I wanted to be I am still a great mom.

So this is where I say that it is great to have a role model of the type of parent that you want to be, but it is also okay to find what works for you and your family.

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Insights: Report From Aged Eye-Witness

Report From Aged Eye-Witness- ===Slow-Pitch Softball 5-13-13===
Sneaking up from behind Ryley,  perfectly seated upon the bench and engrossed with “crowns” and paper, he finally caught my eye, I saw the “Oh” mouth,  and heard those words again, “MaMaMa!”  I quickly put a blanket down on that cold cold bench ( under Dawn, Ryley and myself) and he then lifted his arm to hug me!  Almost the best part of the evening…. until he persuaded me to venture from the bench for a walk down the path!
 Back at the bench—- upon arrival— Morgan was not so sure who I was and I saw no dimples until I produced Cheerios and Banana flavored Little Puffs which seemed to please both she and Ryley.  Sitting on Dawn’s lap, Morgan was much more interested in them and took great pains to pick them up and eat them with her Left hand!!…….  {{ which I zeroed in on quickly and tried to make them inaccessible except by use of her right hand…….because!!!     (I know “they”say you  are Not supposed to change natural tendencies, BUT,truly  this world is configured for right handed people!!!! – who, by the way dominate!)}}…..
Back to the walk………..After a few exchanges of conversation about “crowns”: and the Marker I had brough for him to use, he took my hand and announced that we should go!
 We headed to the path toward the outdoor potty.  Then  he thought we should go straight ahead  “”Big tree” he said!!
” Yes, it is a big tree with lots of new leaves that God sends in the summer time” I said.
He wanted to go straight past it, I wanted to turn right and follow the path back toward the car lot. “No” he said. “This way!”
“I don’t think I can go that way Ryley.  It is too far for me to walk right now.”
 No” he said, “this way!”
 “Let’s go this way instead.   MaMaMa has to go back to the bench and get her coat..  It is cold”
“OK get your coat on the bench” he said. And then,as we turned and walked up the incline to the car lot I am fine!  He is puffing and breathing like it is a really heavy task!  Deep breath, audible blowing out, deep breath, louder breathing out!  and I am wondering—-is he clued in that I really would rather be sitting down? …. is he clued into my distress of walking any distance and breathing problems?- even tho I am not having any problems at this  time?-   is he trying to be funny?,  is he really tired?, or is he saying he knows the Coat thing is just a ploy to get him back to the bench?   Well…………. I am impressed with Any of these choices!   Has he figured out a way to beat me at my own game????  Is he kidding???  Well…………..  Too smart for me in any case!  I am just going to have to figure out a way to be smarter…. because it is my job!!
Once back at the bench I did put on my coat and asked Dawn to take over “the walk.”  They  left and were gone for most of the rest of the game and after a while I asked D-Dad to go get them.  Now D-Dad is gone too, the game is going to pot, the sun is gone, and it’s just Morgan and me sitting eating Cheerios and Little Puffs with cold hands.  I sang “Itsy-Bitsy” and we did Patty-Cake at least 10 times and she was ROLLING!!!!!   Clapping all the “patting” places and clearly Rolling the Roll!!!!   Good Job!!!!!  ….. Morgan is wanting to run somewhere and getting figity!  They call the game – everyone returns and only Ryley wants to keep going!  Clearly he will sleep good tonight!!  Too keyed up to even kiss me goodbye, altho once in his car seat he did say, “Bye, MaMaMa.”    Miss them already!!
Didn’t see much of the game!  Boo!   But Chris thought he was responsible for the 6 run lead they had early on but clearly it was not all his fault. and in  the inning I did see, the in-field made soooo many errors it wasn’t even funny AND the left fielder threw the ball like a girl I knew when I was in elementary school causing several runners to be safe at base!  The eventual end was just a gift St.Francis game them because of the their poor fielding.   (Think it might be smart for some of these guys to have a mid-week practice and maybe Dan might put some different players in different spots.  Just sayin’ ………..)
MaMaMa

Insights from a Great- Grandmother

On Monday night, I received 6 joyous blessings:
1)  I watched you play ball – one of my all-time favorite things to do!
2)  I was greeted at the field by a very small pair of open arms, fully  outstretched -( I might as well have been the most decorated VIP in history!)  with the music to my ears, “MaMaMa!!!!!” and a smile on the face of an amazingly gorgeous “replica” of You!
3) I took an important hand-in-hand walk with that “replica” – my first! – at which time we exchanged important information and ideas about cherry trees, petals, dirt, tennis court practice, airplanes, dogs, baseball……
4)  I was able to share a lovely interlude with a very pretty, sweet and always smiling young lady!  I got to hold her on my lap, hug and kiss her as well as play face-to-face peek-a-boo, and her special game of, “I Drop It – Throw It –  You Pick It Up” while D-Dad was holding her!  I also starred at Cheerios feeding and pacifier!!
5) I met a sweet-faced, thankful, well-manored puppy – – fostered?    Really!!…that one….c’mon…. is permanently placed – – who wants to be a watch dog—barking warning signals as I approached.  I saw mutual, loving moments of appreciation between Mother and rescued animal that will endure!
6)  I saw some  pretty damn fast base running, some powerfully long hits, a double, a scored run, and as always, perfect fielding posturing!   Love it!  Love it!  Love it!!
It was a Great Hour +  and I will always remember it!
(Could have been warmer!)
MaMaMa

Insights

I decided early on that we would take a family vacation every summer, no matter what our financial situation was.  We booked inexpensive trips like camping at the Jersey shore or driving to Tennessee and camping nearby so we could go to Dollywood.  We drove to Florida and stayed at an inexpensive condo outside of DisneyWorld.  It lacked the convenience or the “status” of staying in DisneyWorld, but my kids had a great time on a shoestring budget!

We cooked out on the grill on our camping trips, saving on meals.  We shopped at a local supermarket and ate sandwiches.

We went to local parks, the zoo, visited friends, went to the pool.  I did backyard Olympics with my children and their friends and we did crafts together.  They swung on trees, rode their bikes and played with friends.

Angela DiCicco

Mother of 3, Grandmother of 2

Why I Love Having Children Close in Age

When I tell people I have two children two and under, I normally get some sort of response of sympathy.  Having my children so close in age was something that my husband and I decided consciously to do.  We wanted them to grow up together and be at the same development age range.  Yes we knew that it was going to be difficult and more work on us, but my youngest is almost a year old and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

My siblings and I were 3 years apart and my mother did that consciously.  She only wanted one child in diapers at a time and that is what she got.  As we got older I remember that there were a few awkward years where we didn’t want to be around each other, or we were at different stages in our life.  Like the ages between 3, 6, and 9 or 16, 19, 21.  My sister at 3 couldn’t do or appreciate the same things as my brother at 9.  When we were teenagers we didn’t want our siblings to hang around us because it was “uncool”.  Now only in our 20’s can we appreciate each other and hang out like friends.

I didn’t want my children to go through those phases.  I wanted them to always be at the same level or at least some where around the same level. Since my son is only 16 months apart from my daughter, he is still learning a lot himself.  When we teach him something new, we also have an opportunity to teach my daughter.  He loves to help her learn.  He will interact with her while playing with his educational tools and teach her what he knows.  It is extremely heart warming to see.

For me it was easy to make the transition from one child to two.  I was already in the diaper, not sleeping through the night, not communicating well mode, so what was one more.  I was also able to use all my baby items without having to worry about them expiring or storing them for long periods of time. I know for a lot of people it is hard to see how have two children so close can be wonderful.  I am not going to lie and say that it is all wonderful, but overall I wouldn’t change it for the world. What are your thoughts on the age difference between siblings?

Ashley

10 Steps of Creativity

  1.  Don’t go with the flow- create your own current.
  2. Don’t let the sky stop you.
  3. Dare to be different.
  4. Don’t say it can’t be done.
  5. Remember, others have good ideas too!
  6. Have no limits on your imagination.
  7. Dare to be corky, wacky, weird, and outrageous.
  8. Anything that can be done, do it.
  9. Explore the known and unknown.
  10. Do not ask why, ask why not!

Remember to encourage creativity.

Ashley

This Generation and Technology

They call my generation the technology generation, but I am learning that my children will really be the first generation.  When I was growing up, the internet was still something few families had.  I didn’t have cable for most of my childhood, video games were not as mainstream and you could still find a pay phone.  In today’s world, kids are brought up with technology; they don’t know any different.  I didn’t know how to use my smart phone till I got one when I was in my 20’s, but my 18 month old son knows how to unlock it, get to my kindle app, and turn the pages of his books on there.

My children are not going to know what it is like not to own a cell phone or what it feels like to go out and NOT be available to everyone at all times.  They won’t know what a 35mm camera is or what it’s like to wait to have photos developed.  They’re not going to know what a floppy disk is or a VHS or know what a Walkman is.   They are not going to need to know how to write a check or receive a paper bill in the mail.   They won’t know the anticipation of waiting for a season finale because they can upload it whenever they want.  They won’t know life without Google or IM’s.  The idea of waiting for anything is non-existent.

The result of this is a generation that expects instant gratification.

Those are things of the past.  In today’s world you can swipe a credit card on your IPad or phone to charge the account.  You can move money from one person to the next in a matter of minutes.  Gone are the days of hand-written notes or even opening up a book.  Today the children are being raised on IPads, E-readers, touch screen computers, TV’s with internet.  They are not going to know what Blockbuster is or even what it feels like to wait for a movie to come out on DVD.

I remember spending my summers outside playing, making crafts, going to the pool, reading, camping and being a kid.  In today’s world children are sitting inside watching TV, playing video games, being on facebook.

My mother and I were talking about all the parenting information I have and I asked her how she did research when I was young….her answer,” I went to the library and copied it from a book.”  I know that at one point my children are going to ask something like this and I am going to have to explain that we didn’t have that when I was young.

Technology is a wonderful thing, but it can also hinder a child.  We as parents have the ability to post a picture of our children on facebook in the matter of seconds from it happening.  Do we stop to take a minute and think about our children?  When our children are older they are going to have these pictures on the internet that people are always going to have access to.  Once uploaded you can view them for as long as you have them up.  Facebook is a perfect example, since they changed to timeline, I am able to look and see what I posted back in 2008!  Think if I have this same account in 20 years, what would I be able to see?

As our children are young, we make decisions for them.  Even if your profile is set to private, you are still uploading pictures of your children to people they don’t even know.  So I ask you to take a minute and think about how you would feel if for your 21st birthday your mother or father is passing around your baby picture of you in an embarrassing position ……

There is No Right Answer

As a child I always wanted to be out on my own.  I  wanted to be able to make my own decisions and do what I want.  But as I have gotten older, I’ve learned that being it is harder than it looks! Not for the obvious reasons like paying bills and  working, but for the fact that there is no right answer when making a decision. This is something that I was surprised about.

When you are child, your parents, teachers, mentors, friends and other adult figures guide you towards the right answer in every decision based on what they feel is right for you.  They help you based on their beliefs and morals.  But as an adult you make decisions based on our own beliefs and morals.  Those may be from how you grew up, or a particular situation, or from what you have seen other people go through.  Many people make irrational decisions out of emotions instead of thinking about it.

This is something I have struggled with.  I am a person who likes to have a right and a wrong answer. I have often found myself asking what is the right decision, what am I suppose to do.  I always want to do the right thing.  But, in life there are no right or wrong answers, there are only consequences to the decisions you make.

No one is here to make the decision for us and save us and since we are going to have to live with the consequences of that decision, no one can tell us what is best for  us.  Yes, you can ask friends and family their thoughts, but, ultimately it is your decision and yours alone to make.

So how do I deal with this?  I weigh the pros and cons to each decision  If it is an area that I don’t know much about, I  research.  I pray and meditate on the knowledge that I have.  I make the best decision for my family and me at the time.  I don’t know what the future holds; I can only base my decisions on what I know.  With each passing year, I learn more and more about myself and the good decisions I have made and the bad ones.  The only way I will learn is if I am willing to reflect on all the decisions I have made, both good and bad.  The hope is only to not repeat the bad decisions and to make more of the good decisions.

Ashley

Insights

Consider this- ability has nothing to do with chronological age.  It has more to do with the age of the mind and body.  Sometimes my 5 year old can do things my 8 year old can’t like blow bubbles or work the video.  I would do him an injustice to expect him to do something because his younger sister does or because he is older.  How often do we compare our children to others.  How hard is it to accept them for who and what they are?

Angela DiCicco