I have been getting a lot of calls from school that my son just misses mom while he is in school. I have spent a lot of time reassuring him that I actually miss him to but school is important and he just simply has to be there. As I was working last night on prepping some great projects to bring a little joy to my children’s day I came up with a wonderful idea. Notes from mom. When he is at school and having one of those moments wouldn’t it be great to have a note from mom? So I grabbed a Ball Glass Jar, a few Sharpies, some colored pens, paper, scissors, tape, a ribbon, and printed a few inspirational cards and jokes off the internet and got to work.
You could jazz up the jar anyway you choose
I added 5 ‘Golden Tickets’ into the mix. The Golden Ticket gives him the opportunity to choose any activity he desires afterschool as long as he finished the day with a good attitude. He was very excited about the Golden Tickets
After I finished the jar I wrote a nice note to the teacher and explained how it works to her. The jar is to be kept by the teacher and when he is having trouble getting through the day and misses mom and home he can get 1 note from the jar. If he picks a Golden Ticket the teacher will then reserve it until the day is done. If he completed the day in a way that is expected of him then she returns the ticket to him so he can redeem it at home for that one activity of his choice. She can send me a note when we are running low and I will happily refill the jar.
I’m really hoping that this is going to help him through his days. I am also in the process of making a jar of afterschool questions and another that has fun little topics and questions that we can do at dinner time.
I’ve always been honest and open about my child’s struggles in life. We are not ashamed of them and we share our struggles openly. No child comes with a handbook but I do try to provide one for mine. I recently blogged about our Back to School Nightmare Well big surprise (note my sarcasm) the school is now having trouble handling my child. Although I tried my best to provide somewhat of a handbook for my son they rejected it and have now decided that I’m just simply ‘doing it wrong’ I have been feeling the pressure of being forced to be a parent that I don’t want to be. They are shoving unsolicited ‘suggestions’ in parenting down my throat. It’s actually not just them society itself feels the need to point out what they think I am doing wrong although its a known fact that my child has less struggles at home than anywhere else. If my son is having a bad day at school and simply “just wants to be at home and is missing home” they are suggesting that home is a candyland filled with no rules, no consequences, and that I just provide to much comfort, fun, and love.
The last few days I have been struggling emotionally as I question myself. Did I miss something along the way in my quest to be a not just a good parent but a great one? Isn’t it our goal as parents to give our children such a good home environment that that’s their favorite place to be. I understand that Disney claims the title of ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ but my kids have never been there and I was actually quite content in knowing that home is their happy place.
I gave in and tried this form of what I call socially expected parenting. I gave harsher consequences to my children’s actions. I stuck with them. I offered only the praise that was suggested. I set stricter rules. I became this stern no nonsense parent. I even spanked one time. I now feel traumatized from it. I hated every second of it. None of it felt right and it made our lives miserable. For three days home was not a happy place and I am emotionally exhausted. If this is how society expects me to parent I cant do it and I don’t want my kids to ever live like that.
Today I am taking our lives back. I am giving back the handbook that society gave me and going back to my own. I will not punish my child for something he did at school. I will encourage him to do the right thing while there and reward him when he does. I cant feel good about punishing him for something related to his disabilities while he is out of my care. I don’t expect school to enforce any punishment for things that happen at home. Home and school are two different places and both have different expectations. Sure the general ones are the same but our home is our sanctuary and I am not willing to give that up. I apologize if my child wants to be home. I have always taken that as a compliment in the past and don’t appreciate school making me question myself as if it were a bad thing.
Now some might say “I was raised that way and I turned out just fine” Well let me be the first to say I was raised that way and it took years of therapy for me to be ‘just fine’ If it makes me a bad parent and its socially unacceptable for me to use a Conscious Parenting form of parenting then so be it. My kids are happy and so am I. I would rather tell my child a thousand things I love about them in a day than focus on the one mistake they made in the day. I prefer to give them rewards instead of taking things away from them. I would rather do the fun project that we had planned instead of turning it into a punishment by not allowing we do it because a mistake was made 6 hours before. I would rather talk about the mistake that was made instead of dishing out a spanking.
Maybe the problem is in society and not with me? Maybe society is so stuck in the ‘nobody cares go harder’ to get the desired results mindset that they are missing the point entirely. Maybe I care and maybe just wanna go softer and reach the same destination but be happy along my road in getting there. At the end of the day I prefer to raise a happy conscious child than one who is more focused on being socially acceptable. Right now society is just not acceptable to me.
With the change of season comes all the yummy treats. This fall I am all about quick, easy, and tasty. Whether its after school or a weekend night around the fire pit hot chocolate is always a big hit with my kids. I found a simple way to jazz up their drinks and slightly cool them off as hot chocolate just cant be to hot for the little ones. I put a sheet of wax paper on a platter and created whip cream spirals and froze them. After an overnight in the freezer they were easy to remove from the wax paper and I store them in an air tight container in my freezer. The first day I made them they couldn’t get enough cups of cocoa. When I made another batch I added some sprinkles and some crystal covered sugar to make them look even more enticing.
I will be keeping these on hand for the duration of the fall and winter. The biggest plus is every time I make them a cup of hot chocolate they tell me how I am the best mommy ever.
I just want to take a few minutes to personally thank my family and friends for always being so kind, understanding, and supportive. Its no secret that I have a child with disabilities. I often talk openly about it because everyone I surround myself makes me so comfortable about speaking about it. Its nothing to be ashamed of and I never want my son to be ashamed of himself.
I belong to several ‘groups’ so I can talk to other moms that go through the same things I do. Lately I feel out of place in these groups because I do not relate to these moms at all. My son didn’t ask to be born this way. Its not a curse and he completely depends on me more so because of his daily struggles. Once in a great while I find a mom I do relate to and I friend request her to my personal facebook otherwise the likelihood of us talking again is pretty slim.
I cant relate to the moms who toss their kids into a cold shower when they are struggling and call it shock therapy. I cant relate to the moms who beat their children into submission for displaying behaviors related to their disability. Or the moms who don’t seem to understand that the ‘label’ their child carries includes the word defiant which to me is pretty self explanatory meaning your child is going to be defiant. I definitely don’t relate to the moms who want to give up and hate their lives. I read a post from a mom who had posted about a struggle on her personal page and was bashing her friends who offered advice. I thought to myself she should instead be grateful that she has friends who were actually trying to help her out by giving her suggestions and it really made me appreciate all the people in our lives even more.
Call me crazy but I could never fell good about myself for spanking or punishing my child for displaying things that are related to his disability. My little boy cant help the outbursts that he has but I can help him through them. He depends on me and its my responsibility to not let him down.
I am so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life that understand if I have to cut a phone call short or if I cant even squeeze one in. I love that although I often cant make it to an event I still have friends that thought enough to invite me anyway and really understand why I cant go. I appreciate each and every one of you and I don’t think I even tell you all enough so thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you do whether its an invite to an event, a kind word, or even a suggestion. Thank you all for being such wonderful, kind, understanding, and supportive people in my life. Whether you know it or not individually you all get me through my days and I love you all!