After the kids are tucked away in their warm beds Eric and I spend at least 4 nights a week just talking about life. By life I mean, about kids. We spend nights laughing, reflecting on those funny moments from the whirl wind of a mess that is our lives. We decompress, forgetting the screaming, and welcoming all that we have become as parents. Recently, we reflected on our childhood. Of course, its comparable right? I can honestly say, no, no it is not. Today, there is so much more to fit into a day. Times are no longer as simple as they once were.
Saying that, this, hopefully, will give you a light to sail away on. I remember spending time with my parents when I was little. I remember having a good time in my one on one time with my parents, together, and individually. Here's the kicker! We were not playing one on one with dolls, cars or running a jungle gym at the local park. Nope. None of that. Majority of the time I spent with my parents one on one was doing what my parents needed to do to make a living. AND I loved it!
Let me say, my version of childhood was different. I was raised by my dad alone from age 7 on. Rare I know. Both my parents worked and no damage was done that I can see as a grown adult from this. Many summer mornings, I woke up early, I mean early. My dad would make a nice cozy spot in the car, blanket and pillow, lifted me from my bed and tucked me back in to the car seat. That day would be a day of sales calls. I felt special to wake up to a gas station variety of breakfast treats and a McDonald's lunch. All in a days work. It WAS special.
My summer weekends were spent giving the minivan a bath in the most traditional sense, scrubby, soap and a whole lot of hose water. We would take the boat out and the day was spent with my dads friends and him being who he was as a person not filtered by fatherhood, okay maybe a little. I was that little girl playing with fish eyes and giving the best fish kisses. My dad continued on with who he was even though he was a dad, my dad. I do not believe as a dad he ever lost sight of who he was as a person, like so many of us moms do today.
Though I do not still carry these skills, I spent many nights with my dad in the garage fixing snowmobiles and other home projects. I knew the tools, where they were if he needed them and exactly where they would be returned to. I have one fond memory of testing my dad, I was asked to get my room clean. He asked once, I didn't follow through, and he dumped every dresser drawer in the center of my room, all the clothes from my closet - center of my room, and everything from the surfaces - in the center of the room. I remember his stern face, "now, clean it up." I did, and I didn't come out until it was done. I never challenged him again.
In my youth I knew my duties. I didn't have a mom there everyday to show me the duties. I had watched my dad and my mom do daily tasks. There was never a question in my mind that those things were not also my responsibility. Reflecting I back I fondly remember a conversation with a girlfriend at maybe age 12 - "why don't you just do these things for dad", I knew in my experience if I just handled what needed to be done I would get what I wanted and life would be easier for everyone.
Watching Shark Tank the other night Sonnett James Ply Dresses for Moms rolled across the screen and boy do I ever ride on this woman's dream! #supportmoms #gomoms #momsforever
I am a working mom and I often deal with the issue of being uncomfortable getting down and dirty with my kids and looking put together, but do I need to in today society? I am a mom. I have no issue with disclosing that to one of my clients. If there is an issue with me being a mother, why would I choose to work with them as a client? I have dubbed being a mom to my brand, you can tell by my Instagram feed. Would I knowingly show up with spit up on my shirt while representing my brand - well I would try not to, but I believe today it should be explainable. My spit up is no different than your juggling coffee, papers, and spilling. Likely, I was juggling coffee, papers and a child and only ended up with spit up - what does that say about your skill set?
If I am out there working hard to make a living for my children, why should they not fall into knowing that I will provide for them, whatever they need from baby to adulthood from material things to life skills. When I left home at 17 for college I did not need to call my dad and ask how to do laundry - I had been doing laundry side by side with him and having fun doing it since I was 7 and alone since age 9 and I ENJOYED doing it. It pleased my dad and took off his plate so when he got home from work we could sit and take our television time together or cook dinner together. All, again, I loved.
Am I saying never play with your child... no! I am saying the pressures of today can be uplifted by the way you are raising your child. My daughter is 2 right now, she knows dirty clothes go in the laundry or laundry basket. Grandma was over one night and put her dirty clothes in the clean clothes basket, oh she heard about it and not from me, but from my two-year-old! My mom screams, "what's she saying?" I walked in the room and said, "oh, only clean clothes in that basket," while my two-year-old nods her head and frowns at my mother. My mom laughs, and watches her unload the laundry from the dryer into the clean basket and push it to the living room where I fold it. My four-year-old folds towels like a champ.
Laugh all you want, but chores are fun and if you do them without a fuss YOU set the expectation. Enjoy the time you get with your kids doing whatever it is that you have to get done today. They will appreciate you for taking the time with them.
Maple Plain Party in the Park
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