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Parenting Without Feeling Guilty

It is hard to be a parent without feeling guilty at some point. It starts when you are pregnant and never really goes away. For some reason we all want to be the perfect parent. We don’t want to make any mistakes. We want to do it all right and we don’t want to be judged.

No matter what choices you make, there is always someone out there that would say you are making the wrong one. You really can’t win. For every parenting choice you make, there are a ton of articles out there that say you are wrong and just as many saying you are right.

IMG_8555What’s a parent to do about all that?

I think we should ignore it!

If I could do anything over again it would be to do what I feel is right and NOT feel any guilt for it. This is hard though. We moms want to know that we are making the right choices and sometimes it is hard to know what that is.

I always wanted to breastfeed. I worked so hard to do to it with my oldest and we made it to 17 months. So when I was faced with a decision to give my 2nd little boy formula at 9 months because he wasn’t growing like he should, I did what I thought was best. Maybe I was wrong, maybe I wasn’t. I don’t know. I know that once he started getting the formula he started gaining weight.

Did I feel guilty about that? Yes. Should I have? Probably not. Although I still think breastfeeding is the best way to go, sometimes formula is needed and sometimes it is just the way it needs to be. Does that kick me out of the pro-breastfeeding club? Maybe, but I have learned that it really doesn’t matter.

Guilt comes at all different times on our parenting journey. Sometime it is warranted yes, most of the time it isn’t.

How should a mom decide what is right and what is wrong? How are we supposed to know what to do? It is easy to have parenting ideals but what if they don’t add up to reality? What if life gets in the way? How do we know what we should hold onto and what we can let go?

When it comes to my kids these days, I try to do what is best. I try to do what is right. I read advice about what different people have done and go from there. And depending on the situation, sometimes I am okay with being wrong. Of learning a lesson through it. Because sometimes, it is really hard to know what is best for your child on a particular issue. And no one else can really tell you either.

So when guilt comes up, look at why you feel that way. Are you doing the best you can? If so, there is no reason to feel so guilty about things. I don’t think our goal should be to become a perfect parent.

I think our goal should be to be a good parent to the children we each have. And that is nothing we should feel guilty about.

Do you struggle with feeling guilty as a parent? How do you deal with that?

Friday Funday

10606256_10154661126145705_7525215711271235747_nHappy Friday!!!

How are things going?

This last week has been fall break at our house. I can’t believe it is over. Back to school for the boys on Monday!

Yesterday we took them all to the dentist. It was a new dentist since I really wanted to start going somewhere in-network. It went really well,  although my oldest needs to go back for some fillings. My middle son needs to work on losing a tooth and my 3.5 year old needs to stop sucking his thumb. We got lucky with our 7-year-old since he stopped the minute he saw his little baby brother do it. He didn’t want to be like a baby.

I got back from Colorado on Tuesday. I had such a great time! I had a blast hanging out with my brother and sister-in-law for a few days as well as my parents and my aunt and uncle. I wish we all lived closer to each other. It was great to see my cousin get married to the love of her life. I still remember when she was born. I was eight and remember it well as I only have one first cousin. And now she is a married women.

We spent three nights in Denver and two in Boulder. I also got to see a friend I met here at Ft. Campbell that is now at Ft. Carson. It was so nice to catch up with her. We explored Pearl street a little bit and found a used bookstore as well as a pretty cool pharmacy. Pearl street reminded me a bit of Santa Rosa. Colorado is really really amazing! Beautiful state!

I updated a few things on the blog yesterday. I went through the Blogs I Love page and deleted any sites that are dead or don’t seem to be blogging anymore. I am still working to add people to it too. I also added a Duty Station Guest Post page to have a list of duty stations that have been written about and to invite anyone who would like to write one to let me know.

I also am going to be posting a little bit differently than I have been. Not a huge change but I will be posting more about blogging, being a WAHM and my photography. I will also post more about being a mom and special needs. I will still be posting about Military life but as my life isn’t as centered around it as it used to be I wanted to start including some other topics. With the holidays coming up I might even start blogging more about baking :)

I also have a winner for my Coming Home Book giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Halloween is just a few weeks away and I am pretty excited about it. Every year I say I am going to dress up too and never do so we will see. We plan to go to a few different trick or treating type events.

I really want to see Gone Girl. I am hoping that can happen sometime soon. We have also been watching Supernatual! It took me forever to get through season one but now we are in season three and I am totally hooked. I am glad there are so many seasons.

I have been reading Written in My Own Heart’s Blood and don’t want to put it down! It is getting to that point where I think I might have to stay up until 2am to finish it. I love when I feel that way about a book.

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Other than a cub scout event and a birthday party I think we are going to have a pretty low-key weekend which I think I need.

What are your plans?

* This post contains affiliate links!

The Difficulties of Solo Parenting

I have heard it said that Military wives or any wife whose husband has to go away for work should not call themselves a single mom. I agree with this. We are not single moms. We do however go through periods of time as a solo parent. It could be weeks or it could be months or even a year or longer.

Being a solo parent means you are responsible for everything in the house having to do with the kids from day-to-day to the big decisions. This might depend on where your husband might be at the moment and how often he can talk to you.

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It means being mom AND dad for a period of time. It means not as many breaks.

It means doing it all for a temporary amount of time.

People tell us that they don’t know how we do it. How we get through the solo parenting times. How we can fill the role of mom and dad.

It’s not something that I would ever consider easy. It is the hardest part of deployments for me personally. It drains you, it puts you into survival mode. It makes you handle parenting a little differently than you might otherwise handle it.

There is the day-to-day. If you have a baby, everything from the feeding a to the diapers is all you. No one to hold them when you need a 5 min break, no one to change that diaper when you have had enough for the day. It’s hard!

With toddlers and preschoolers you are always moving. You are the one planning their days and figuring out bedtime. You make all the meals and tear your hair out trying to figure out what to feed them sometimes. It’s hard!

When you have school aged kids you are the one doing all the school stuff. You are the one taking them to scouts, soccer and church programs. You are the one telling them it will be okay and that daddy will be home soon. It’s hard!

Parenting is hard for everyone, Military families or civilian ones. 

It’s tough to take care of little kids day in and day out. Adding in solo parenting just makes it even more stressful. Not having that other set of parenting hands can take it toll.

I really think having a good support group and being able to change your perspective a little can really go a long way during these periods of time. Knowing you always have another mom or friend to call and hang with when you need it can be like medicine to the soul.

Realizing that your solo parenting days are limited is also a way to help you get through it. Don’t get me wrong, some days are harder than others. Some days no matter what you tell yourself you are going to feel pretty bad about the situation. However, some days, that simple reminder that there is an end date to the madness can help you at least get through until bedtime.

I always used to tell myself that this just time that separated us from life without my husband and life where I had my husband home.

Just days on a calendar I needed to get through.

If you are in the mist of solo parenting, know that you are not alone. Know that it won’t last forever and know that you can get through it too. It’s a frustrating part of Military life but one you can endure with support from those around you and the knowledge that there is an end date in your future.

How do you handle periods of solo parenting?

 

 

The Oak Grove Butterfly Festival

 

 

Oakgrove Butterfly festival

 

It is always nice to find fun things to do with the kids around here. Especially if they are free or don’t cost too much. A friend invited us to the Oak Grove Butterfly Festival in Oak Grove, KY last weekend. I had never been to one and I didn’t know what to expect.

They had a ton of things for the kids to do such as crafts, ponies, face painting, bubbles and a train. They also had a butterfly house where you could go in and try to spot them. They also released about 1,000 butterflies to end the event.

oakgrove butterfly festival

We got there  and stood in the train line. It took forever but the kids loved it. After the train and after looking at the lines we decided to just take the kids to the little playground. We had about an hour until the butterfly release at this point. After about 15 minutes we took the kids on a little trail.  It was hot so I decided to get my kids something to drink while we waited. After that we went up on the hill to wait.

 

oakgrove butterfly festival

Right at 5pm they released all the butterflies. It was hard to see them at first but it was fun to try to catch a closeup of them as they were flying around. They are so beautiful and some of them flew really close to us.

I didn’t get so lucky taking a picture of the ones that flew right by us. Oh well, maybe next year.

Have you ever been to a butterfly festival before? 

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