Have you noticed how things can easily piss you off as an adult? If only we could keep our childlike attitudes, and be more easy going. One of the things I miss about being a kid is not having to worry so much about things like we do now as adults. Let nature takes it course, let things fall into place, let what’s meant to be, be. Naturally everything will work out for the best right? Wrong! Don’t burrow your eyebrows. Hear me out. As a parent, now that we are grown, we need to enforce the rules, make sure that the environment we have for our children is one that allows them to be carefree and happy. So yes it is nice to let go a little as adults, but we also have responsibilities that little ones do not and should not have. We have to make sure that they are safe and feel safe. We have to not only tell them but show them to be kind, polite, to share, to think, to feel safe talking to us. So while they are outside running around or jumping in the pool, always keep your watchful eye on them, because they are allowed to be carefree only during these years. When teenagedom and adulthood hit them, it will all be different then. So have fun, smile, live life like it’s going out of style, but remember to raise the little ones with love, understanding and with rules. Life gets tougher, our decisions impact our futures and we have to prepare them for this. Parenting is difficult but coming from a place of love can’t steer you wrong. Talk to you kids and help them understand why we do what we do and are how we are, it will only benefit you.
Summertime, a time for spontaneity, adventures and discovery. So why am I experiencing Mama’s summertime blues? Because as a full time parent, I miss out on the opportunities to do these things in the summer. My kids know that mommy and daddy have to go to work, but it lays heavy in my soul, some times more than others, that we don’t get to make as many special memories because of the lack of time. Yes I am aware, to make the moments we do have together special, and I’m aware of being grateful and looking at the bright side, but right now I just want to gripe okay? At times I want more than evenings and weekends. My mom made a good point the other day and it had me in a pensive state. As I grew up, my mom had to work all the time, sometimes crazy hours and we had to make due somehow. First I went to summer camp at the Ywca and had a wonderful time, and then as I got older, I stayed home and watched my little sister and cousin. I don’t remember spending that much time with my mom. Now as a grandparent, she gets to spend so much time with my kids, more than I do at times. So as a grandmother, she gets to enjoy her grand-kids more than she did her own kids. Deep! And so is life, the cycle of motherhood.
While I yearn to be with my babies when I know they are off from school I accept that such is life. I have to make due with the time I have and make those summertime memories in the evenings and weekends. To working parents out there, how do you handle these mixed emotions of being a being pulled in two different directions? How do you find a work/life balance that satisfies your soul?
Do you have a hard time keeping the kids educated during the summer time? I find it’s difficult to keep them in a learning mode when it’s all about play time and no school. Above is a regular evening of sitting him down to do some math, not so happy face. I can’t blame him, they work hard throughout the school year. I remember how much fun our summers were as kids, but I also didn’t have such a hard time picking up things I’ve learned like my son seems to have. So it’s something I struggle with. I’ve started making it a part of our weeks. At least every other day, which I believe is fair, we make sure to read, write and do math. After all practice is what keeps us up to date on things. Some days he fights this more than others, but parents can’t give in. I have to be stern about it or he’ll always try to wiggle his way out of it. The other day I said, let’s play school and this was such a hit. We took about an hour and I had my son and daughter play the students. I was Mrs. Studdlemuffin, but they didn’t like that name lol. So I shortened it to mrs. Muffin. It was funny to me and they smiled at it. We did some homework, had a pretend recess, had a fake trip to the zoo, had science class, did more homework, fake lunch, more homework and then it was time to go home. Of course we shortened the time for everything, first homework page was about 10 minutes, fake recess was about 5 minutes, fake zoo trip was checking out our dogs who were pretend lions and tigers and then going outside and looking for lizards and beetles, 10 minutes. You get the point, make it fun. Lunch was a quick snack of grapes and strawberries and by the end of the hour, we had done some educational work and had fun along the way.
This is week 2 of summer camp in year 2. What does this mean? Remember my post about my fear of summer camp and the anxiety I passed on to my son last year? (Read that post here). Well this is my son’s 2nd year and it’s been great! Well, almost! He hasn’t cried once and he’s had a good time on the day trips. But in the first week, he said that a girl told him and his friend about how she was naked in the pool with a boy kissing and how she made him promise her that he would marry her. My son is 7 so why is a first/second grader talking about this?! So I asked him about this girl, what’s her name, how old is she, who did she kiss, is the boy in your school, was it during a trip, followed by trying to explain this to him. I asked what he and his friend said, and the response was probably more age appropriate, he said his friend told the young girl that he was going to sabotage their wedding by throwing poop on them! Are you cracking up, oh my jeez, kids!
He claims that this young girl was supposed to be a fifth grader that stayed back to 1st grade, I did not believe him. This is not funny, how is it even possible, can a kid stay back that long? I asked him to show me who she was the next day and to my shock, she really did look like a 5th grader that stayed back to the 1st grade because she was HUGGEEE as in older looking, not chubby, and she was sitting at the 1st grade table. I don’t get it!!!! As you know parenting doesn’t come with a manual so I wasn’t sure how to address this and I’m sure many of you will disagree with me, but I just told him to avoid any conversations about topics like the one she shared and to always tell me and ask me anything. No new stories so far, but let’s see how the rest of the week goes.
In one week my blog will turn 1 year old. I feel like I should have a party. I decided to do something fun before then and share 10 things you didn’t know about me.
- My first name is America, but I’ve grown up going by my middle name Janeth. In elementary school and high school, kids made fun of me whenever a teacher mentioned my first name. I would turn beet red and put my head down. No one taught me the beauty of my name; I just knew I was named after my mother, who is also America. I didn’t have a story like some teased, about my parents dreaming of coming to America, hence naming me such. Nope, that wasn’t it people! All of that changed, after 9/11. Sadly, it took a horrible event like that attack on our country, to make people feel my name was patriotic, beautiful and unique. “You should use that name, not Janeth”. After security laws made names more legal, I was forced to change my name to what my birth certificate said, America. Prior to that, I was able to use Janeth as I pleased. While I still tend to go by my middle name, I am always at least A Janeth Paez or AJ in corporate America.
- I am a Jersey girl through and through. I descend from a mixed Latina heritage, Peruvian and Guatemalan with big Cuban influences, but my heart started beating in the garden state.
- When I was 13, I thought I wanted to be a nun. I lived down the block from St. Mary’s our Catholic church and through the years after my first communion and confirmation, I grew close to the nuns. After an event in the convent, I was sure I wanted to live there and be one of them. Obviously that didn’t happen, as I bloomed into a normal teenager a few years later.
- I have 5 half-sisters and 2 half-brothers. 6 of them through my dad, 1 from my mom. I didn’t get to meet some of them until after I was 7 and we’ve had some great weekends together. All of that stopped after a few years, but I still have a lot of love for them. My sister BG and I grew up in the same house though, so we had years full of sibling rivalry. J
- I love Halloween like it’s nobody’s business. One of my old posts talks about why, you can find that here, The Skeletons in my Closet. When the movie, The Nightmare before Christmas came out in 1993, I was hooked all over again and so my love for Halloween just grows and grows, it never gets old.
- I am afraid of flying. I love to travel but hate going up in the sky. When my son, who is currently 7 years old, told me he wants to live on another planet when he gets older, I tell him to stop bugging and never leave Earth! He’s so unafraid, it frightens me. I love him to pieces, my first born, my papi lindo.
- I really believe my little girl is going to be a superstar. She is 4 and fabulous. She loves to sing and dance and can’t get enough of a camera. You’ve probably seen her in videos I’ve posted of her singing and dancing. One day she’s going to be a star. My precious miracle baby, who almost wasn’t. I wrote a short story about my emotional and difficult pregnancy with her during a writing class but changed our names. It was actually the very first post on my blog, so what better way to commemorate the one year then by having you read that here, Faith Delivers Hope, a Mother’s Tale.
- Old School R&B and Jazz makes my heart sing. My first concert was to see the marvelous Phil Perry and Howard Hewett. I can listen to Luther Vandross, New Edition, Surface, Babyface, Peabo Bryson, After 7 and Mary J Blige all day, every day!
- I am a worry wart. I have gotten lot better but I worry that I’m not good enough, not a good enough mother, not a good enough writer, not worthy. A constant struggle that many of us go through. I try to stay conscious about the bad thoughts that cross my mind and battle them with good thoughts to stay positive. My friends may tell you I am the one to try to make them look at things on the bright side. Sometimes I need someone to do that for me.
10. This blog has changed my life. One year ago I was feeling unsatisfied with where I was in life. I have a goal of writing a book so last year I took a class at a local college for writers. I didn’t want to lose my momentum after that, so when a friend casually mentioned she was blogging, my eyes opened wide, my ears perked up and I got excited. In the Motherhood full of Dreams was born and over this one year, I’ve won passes to blogging conferences, learned what twitter parties are, found out about the power of the hash tags, met so many amazing bloggers, made relationships that feel like true friendships and I feel exhilarated when I write. With the encouragement of my husband, my friends and some family, I jumped in head first. I’ve recently been able to write for a few other sites and it feels so good! I am following and enjoying my passion on the side because I work in Corporate America but I am happy. I feel energized and motivated. I am so grateful to you that read and comment on my blog.
Thank you so much for stopping by and learning a little more about me. I could have added a ton of other things but this is just the beginning. Let me know which of my top 10 things you didn’t know about me surprise you the most.
A Janeth Paez
I saw the movie, August: Osage County, and really enjoyed the way they portrayed the complicated relationships between parents and children. Relationships that unfold like a repeated story, as mothers and fathers parent the way we are taught by our parents and how we are raised, regardless of whether it was good or bad. I won’t get into a movie review as you can find plenty of those online, but I will say that observing the matriarch of that family (actress Meryl Streep) along with her sister and the relationships they had with their children was enlightening. We learn as we age, the older the wiser and I believe that more with every passing year. But sometimes, someone helps us to see by opening our eyes, forcing us to look within. There is still so much I do not know about parenting and yet so much I know now than I did a decade ago. I don’t want to have a bad relationship with my children. I do not want to encourage them by discouraging them. I want to be different, I want to break the cycle. I do not want to treat them the only way I know how, I want to be better.
In this technologically advanced time, we have internet and blogs that mothers can reference to cross reference what other moms are doing. We compare ourselves and wonder if we are doing it right. But each mother, is different, each child is different and we must all find our own right ways. None of us are perfect, but we can certainly try to be the best for our kids. As they grow, they will know, they will see, that we did what we had to do, even if they didn’t like it. I am tough because I have to be and want them to learn the life lessons I try to teach them. I am weak, because I am human and I may not always be right. I want my kids to know that they can do anything, be anything but I will also let them know why something may not sound like a good idea, or why something may not turn out how they think it will. Communication is key, let’s talk to our kids like we talk to one another. Be open and let them feel your unconditional love. Unconditional in the sense that it doesn’t matter if they fail, it matters if they get up again. It doesn’t matter if they failed a test, as long as you know they did their best, it doesn’t matter that they lost a game, or missed a shot, what matters is that they try and try again. Success will come, in different forms. I love you Daniel and I love you Addison. I want to be better for you, I want you to know that I am trying to evolve and be the best that I can be for you.