Friday, November 22, 2013

Mid life is like being a teenager

Getting older is not at all how I thought it would be. In some ways I feel more and more like a teen all the time. Here's what I mean...
I find myself thinking why bother a lot.
My period makes me wicked crabby, crampy and bloated.
I get pimples.
I could sleep all day.
I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
I'm moody.
I don't want to cook, clean or do laundry.
I just want to have fun.
I want to be left alone.
I'm attached to my cell phone.
I love to text.
I keep things from my mom.
Sometimes it's never enough.
I have a problem, but I have no idea what it is.
I want to run away.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How to keep your sanity when you have difficult teenagers....

As you know I have a difficult teen I call drama queen. I guess you can say she's a typical teen of this time, but I don't like it one bit. It's been hard especially since she's my third child and so very different from everyone else. Maybe it is just middle child syndrome and she will be fine when she grows up and we will be best friends. But now, I find her disrespectful, rude, nasty, treats everyone in the house like crap, she does things on purpose just to be annoying and cause trouble. Oh, and the drama has no end, from her hair and clothes, to the boyfriend she wasn't supposed to have, to friend drama. She is overwhelming, loud, and stressful to put it mildly.
I wish I could say I've handled it well, with grace and maturity. Actually the opposite is true. I've let my feelings get hurt, they cloud my judgement, I over react and say things I shouldn't. I'm learning, and each day gets better, and the days I blow it, I forgive myself. This parenting journey is hard!
So, I've done some research, read some articles, tried some things, and when I pause and think instead of react this is what I do........

The first thing is to realize when your child is acting out, calling names being disrespectful is, don't take it personally. I know easier said then done. Take a breath, calmly say it’s not okay to speak to me that way, I don’t like it. Then walk away.

I don't believe in giving your child a second or third chance when he’s nasty or rude to you.

Its our job as a parent to teach our kids how to behave appropriately and to be respectful toward others as they grow up. Respect starts in the home. I often tell her to treat others how she wants to be treated.

Parenting has always been a balance between thinking and feeling, and both are very important. But don't get sucked into your teenagers disrespect, think first, then react.

This is some things to say to your teen before things get totally out of control.....
Is something wrong? Why are you using that tone with me?
How come you get sarcastic every time we talk?
It's your job to make me understand, and sarcasm doesn't help
There is no name calling around this house

I also feel parenting is not a popularity contest. You need to be in control and you need to set some limits. Your child is not your partner or your peer.

When you are setting limits, and dealing with your teen think about what lesson does my child need to learn? What should I teach her here?
The lesson should be related to the kind of person you want your child to grow into.

You also want them to learn how to think for themselves and make good choices. In the end, we want our kids to be independent thinkers who are able to function as healthy adults in society.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

21 years ago I married my best friend....

I met my husband when I was 15, a sophomore in high school. A point my teenagers like to make often. I tell them yes I did fall in love at 15, but you have to remember dad and I are the exception to the rule! You see, I was what you would call an old soul. I grew up fast, barely had a childhood, and I did a lot of living by the time I married at 19. I was more than ready to be a wife, and a mother.
The early years are some of my fondest memories. Being young, setting up our first house, having our first few babies. Those were the days! I found joy in everything I did, whether it was taking care of the kids, my husband or the house. I had so many plans, thoughts, and pictures of how I thought the rest of my life was going to go. This was my big mistake! I set myself up for disappointment. This journey, being a wife, and mother has a life of its own, and I have little control over it! My new thing now, and what I'm telling my kids is to just limit planning, let things just be, go with the flow, see where things are going, and LIVE! Enjoy being young, and don't rush everything.
When you're together over 20 years it's a long time. I'm at the point now I don't know my life without my husband. You're talking 26 years of my life!
After all these years we have weathered quite a few storms. I realize now, marriage takes a lot of give and take. It's all about compromise, protecting your marriage, and spending time together. These things don't come as easily as they do in the early years. Life is stressful, work, money issues, in laws, kids, it gets overwhelming sometimes. It's funny how easy it is to start blaming each other, not really talking, letting the kids come between you, fighting about dumb things that really aren't important. The reality is our kids grow up and move out, we will probably never have enough money, and life is stressful.
You know what I figured out? When I'm sad, mad, happy, want to go out, have fun, need a hug, you know who's always there? That's right, my best friend, the love of my life, my HUSBAND! I'm so thankful that after all these years we not only still love each other, we love to spend TIME with each other. I'm looking forward to all the years we will have together. :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers day 2013

Being a mother has been quite the journey for me. I have been a mom for 20 years now. When I think about that, honestly I can't believe it! I really enjoyed the early years. Having a house full of little kids was an amazing time in my life. I really didn't give much thought to how being a mom changes as your children get older. It's as if one day your mommy, making everything better and decisions seem so easy. Then suddenly your child is growing up, testing you in ways you didn't know existed! Everything seems to have changed overnight. I was unprepared to say the least for what having older kids would bring.

I went through a couple years of battling feelings I never thought I would have, and that left me feeling so lost. To be in a horrible place, feeling like why bother? I don't want this anymore, what did I do to myself? I have 7 children for crying out loud! I don't know if I'm going to make it...I have no idea what I'm doing! People say the problem with kids and teens today is we don't beat them, or discipline, or spank or use the belt. In my heart I know this can't be true. How can you love your kids too much? I was that kid and teen who was hit. Did I fear my mom? Yes. But I was literally afraid. I never wanted my children to feel that. I didn't want to walk by my kids and have them flinch thinking I was going to smack them. I didn't want them to never want to hug me, or be close to me. I treasure every hug from my kids. I wanted them to feel safe, and protected in my arms, never afraid of me. I loved when they were little and I could make everything all better, or when they had a nightmare and they came to me to feel safe.

This is what I figured out during these trying times. When it gets hard, it doesn't mean you can quit. It doesn't mean I can just stop being mom. What it means is, I have to dig deep. I have to keep on keeping on. I have to do what I think is best, even when the kids don't understand why. I have to love them, even when it's hard. Even on those days I feel like running away screaming I QUIT THIS MOMMY SHIT! THIS ISN'T HOW IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE! I have to focus on what I want to teach them, how things work in this life, how to treat people, and how to be respectful even when they don't feel like it. I need to set the example, I need to well be, the MOM. Sometimes it's not about what the kids want, or keeping them happy. It's not always fun, and as I've said before its not always rewarding. My job is to care for them, guide them, and just love them and be here for them. I do hope for the day when their life comes full circle, and they understand what I was doing. I also have to realize, they may never, and it's ok. I will always be able to say well you were so wanted and so loved. I loved you and raised you the best I knew how.

So now like anything else, I'm learning to just go with it. Im re discovering the joy of mothering. Having a grown daughter, teens, tweens, and 3 year old twins, has made me realize that I will always be mom, no matter how old my children are, and it's the best part of me. This crazy, stressful life no one understands, is my reason for being here. My purpose, my joy, my every breath.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Parenting perspective is everything..........

If you notice in life, perspective is everything.
Most people with young kids, even though they are tired, are loving every minute of it.
The women with teens/older kids that haven't really done anything against the family can't figure out what's not great about being a mom.
My life has been harder than I expected, but I am stronger because of it.
I know the pain of losing two babies
I know the toll a defiant teen takes
I know what it's like to have to fight for my son, at school, and sometimes everywhere!
I know the heartache of a daughter turning against her family and in the process suffering some bad consequences.
What I do know, is the hard times make the good times even more joyous
I know the joy of a child who I am very close with. She graduated with honors, made some bad choices, and has since come back to me, and our home. She has totally turned her life around, and I couldn't be more proud of her.
I know the joy of a child who made it to state honor band, is top of her class, and the top tennis player on her team
I know drama like no other! LOL, seriously though my drama queen cares deeply, we have had some sweet moments, she definitely has a mind of her own, and she is so talented when it comes to hair and makeup
I know the joy of progress. When I think about how far my son has come, it brings tears to my eyes. He is the most tender hearted, funny, amazing kid.
I know the joy of having a 9 year old who in some ways is more mature than her older sisters! She is curious, observant, and so smart. She has so many talents, drawing, playing the flute, she makes crafts out of everyday stuff. She loves so deeply and open.
I know the joy of twins! From the amazing pregnancy, that at 37 yes I did carry them to term! To how different their relationship is with each other than just a sister. To see how even though they are the same, they are so different. To see their own likes, and dislikes, their little personalities starting to shine. To how fun they are. Every where we go it's an adventure. They make the boring everyday nonsense less boring. I didn't know I had it in me. I was scared to death to have twins. Might sound dumb, but I'm so proud they are potty trained! That was quite the adventure!
What I have learned through all this is I try to never take a day for granted. Kids are kids, and we don't have the control people like to think we do as parents. Good kids make bad choices. When a teen is spiraling out of control, sometimes it has nothing to do with her home life, or her parents suck. Dont be so quick to judge what you don't understand. Some kindness and compassion go a long way. We all as parents want what's best for our kids, we just do it differently. What works, and motivates one kid, doesn't work for all of them. Parenting is hard, and there is no "right way" there is only the way that works for you.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Being a wife, mother and being yourself is not an easy balance

Parenting is the hardest journey of our lives! We start out so in love with our babes, hopeful of the future and who they will become. We have all these hopes and dreams for them whether we admit it or not. We all start this journey thinking, my mom did this and I hated it I won't do that, or I want to be the type of mother I had growing up. Add in the husbands, more kids, in laws, for some blended families and suddenly it's nothing like when you were growing up and it's definitely not how you envisioned it would be. But guess what? It's ok. Life is really just one big mystery. No one has all the answers, and what works for some families doesn't work for all. BUT, EVERYONE has their issues. Don't let anyone fool you into believing everything is great all the time. That their kids are just so perfect, follow all the rules and are "A" students. We all have our unique struggle. Always remember you were chosen to be the mom of your children.
Then if that's not complicated enough, we as women start changing. Our kids start growing up, and for some of us the process is really difficult. We know we are preparing our kids to live life on their own and be responsible adults. But when it's happening, the natural process of kids growing apart from you, it is sometimes painful and bittersweet at its best. Yes we complain, and want a break. But we want it when they are 3! Not when we see the awesome people they are, how we can have a real conversation with them now. But now they are a senior in HS and we know we have to start letting them go, or they won't be prepared for college, or how to make decisions on their own. So what do we do? We say sure go, have some fun, be safe, be home on time, wave goodbye, and when they leave the sadness creeps in. Wow, what am I going to do this summer when she's not here anymore? She won't even have to ask or tell me she's going to the movies. Will I talk to her everyday? Will she be ok? Actually the real question is will I be okay?
Well, if you're like me, you don't have a choice. I have a house full of kids, and I can't get consumed by sadness. I have to prep the younger ones that it's ok, she will be home when she can, breaks and holidays. Hey we can Skype! Meanwhile I'm crying inside. When did my baby grow up?
Then on top of all that for some reason when we hit 40, it's like being a teen all over again. Our hormones are changing, our skin, hair, body suddenly look different. Our feelings and emotions seem like they are on overdrive. For me, most of the time I get angry. Everything annoys me! Was it always like this, or am I just noticing it now? Why is it like this? I have less patience, I'm not in the mood for anything sometimes. Then out of nowhere I will feel down. For me, I'm not used to these feelings. I don't like them at all. I am the type who barely cries, some have even called me ice queen. It's not that I don't have feelings or empathy, I just don't see a need to cry about it. I'm a thinker, doer, just fix it right? Well sometimes WRONG! I'm going about my day and bam, something triggered and I feel a couple tears sneaking out. Thankfully it comes and goes, I'm getting a handle on it. It made me realize, wow, if people who are depressed feel like this alll the time, no wonder they are having such a hard time. For me, for now, I'm riding it out. I am very in touch with my feelings, talk about them, and I realized more women feel like this than they admit. We all cope in our own ways, and I guess that's why it's so hard for me to let go of the food. It makes me feel better. Started as a kid, and since I was 9 food is my best friend. Weird I know, but like I said, we all have our issues.
Thankfully I have a very understanding and supportive husband, and now I have my awesome FB page and some ladies who I call my friends. It really helps me cope. Life skills and coping skills are very important to me. I had a rough childhood to say the least and I made it out ok, if I can do that i can certainly survive mid life!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

So I had to admit something to myself today.......

I think I've been so focused on how hard the twins are because I really can't believe my having baby days are behind me. I'm breathing heavy on 41, my oldest will be 20 in a few weeks, and I have 7 children. My husband is more than done, my body is done, and we can't afford to have anymore. I know all this, I've come to terms with it, I myself feel done, I just can't believe I'm done! Sounds crazy I know, but I just love having kids, and can't imagine my life without little ones running around. This is all I've known the last 20 years! I know everyone talks about freedom, and spending time with the husband but I just can't picture it. I think part of me is afraid. My identity is wrapped up in the children. Is this bad? I don't know, I go back and forth on this one. Sometimes I think I should have a life outside this house, but the truth is I don't want one! I don't have any regrets. I don't regret not going to college or having a career. I actually just wish I could relive the last 20 years! Getting older scares me, it's all so unknown...what will I do? Do I have to do anything? Everything is changing so fast, sometimes I feel like I can't breathe.
I'm taking my own advice, slowing down and enjoying everything! Every annoying, frustrating, minute! From washing the crayon off the walls, to those sweet snuggles I still get. For right now all 7 are home. I love it, it feels complete. By summer 2 will probably move out, but for now, I'm not thinking about it.
I'm slowly doing more for myself, finding myself again, asking for help. If I'm not showered, the house is not clean, but I hugged all my babes and told them I love them, talked to them, laughed with them, then it was a productive day. Not everyone understands, but it's ok. I'm living life the only way I know how, being here for my family, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A mothers love

Ever since I can remember I wanted to be a mom. I couldn't wait to have children. For me being an only child was lonely. I always wished I had a brother or sister. My dad remarried and had kids, but it wasn't the same, I didn't grow up with them plus I lived with my mom and she only had me. I always knew I would have a big family.
When I started having children, I never really thought about when they got older. Teenagers seem so far away when you're pregnant, and when you're dealing with toddlers, preschoolers and a newborn, you're so overwhelmed there is a part of you that can't wait for them to get older. Then one day, it feels like it happens overnight, you have a house full of older children! When you really look at them you're amazed! They're so grown up, beautiful, smart, you are so in awe of them, and the fact you had a part in who they are. Now is when you want to spend time with them, talk to them, get to know them. But this is not what actually happens.
Intellectually, you understand. This is their time, their life, their time to shine, make good choices, make mistakes, get hurt, and learn about life. This is the time I was most unprepared for. I didn't realize how much letting them go would hurt. I didn't realize how much seeing them hurt, or make a bad decision, would effect me. I never felt heartache like that before. I didn't think about how they would rather be anywhere but home. How they would have a boyfriend, how I would have to let them go, how another family would be a part of their life. Someone else cooking for them, spending time with MY babes!
I wasn't close to my parents because they couldn't be bothered. I figured when I had kids everything would be different. I would be close to my kids, and they would be close to me. I guess I thought they would want to hang out at home.
I thought they would be nicer to each other, be closer. I have talked to plenty of people and it's normal, this stage of life is right on track. I'm just off track about it! Things will turn around I'm sure, as far as kids go we are close, I guess I'm just really possessive of what's mine.
This mid life older kids, adult children is a whole new world. I can say when they want to hang out, I'm there! It makes me wonder, maybe working moms, and moms who have kept friendships and have a life outside the house have it easier. All I know is I'm soooo glad I have my littles. I just told my hubby, I'm so thankful you gave in to me and had all these kids. I'm nowhere near ready for an empty nest!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mid life have you feeling rebellious?

Feelings ebb and flow. Now that we are older our hormones are fluctuating getting us ready for menopause. How exciting huh? And we thought being a teenager was hard! Ha! Add to that most of us have been at the wife and mom thing a long time now. Our emotions are on over drive, kinda like when we were pregnant, we just don't have a good excuse now. Now add in the day to day....get up, get kids ready, school, HW, cooking cleaning, sickness, the never ending wiping from the floor to little butts! Add to that some of us like myself have the uh, joy of adult children. With everything magnified, we feel over worked, under paid, taken advantage of and we have no time for ourselves. If that's not bad enough, we sleep like shit! If the kids aren't waking us up, it's the husband snoring. If its not that, our mind won't turn off. If not that you might have some insomnia. And on and on and on it goes. This vicious life sucking hole. All we really want is a break, to feel good about ourselves and some appreciation. Do we get that? Uh no. If you're cranky, you get what the hell is your problem? If your emotional you get, ok, ok, just don't cry. If you lean more towards the angry bitch like myself, you get, I'm so tired of the angry. Why does everything make you mad? What do you want from me? Stop yelling.
For me personally, I have had a hard time with all of it! My daughters are so young and beautiful, and free! Sometimes I'm jealous. Not jealous like it effects our relationship, just makes me think, wow, time flies, I wish they would........and they NEVER do what I think, and it's hard to let go! Then I can be feeling pretty good, my daughter will jump in the mirror with me, and when I see our reflection I'm like, wow, I look like an old mom! I know, duh, I am. But really realizing how youth, and beauty fade does nothing for you ego. I have such a hard time losing weight, being consistent with diet and exercise. I always end up thinking who cares? I'm married with 7 children for crying out loud, what difference does it make?
At this stage, at least for me, I feel like there is nothing exciting to look forward to. You know how when you're young it's all about getting married, having kids, buying a house, watching your kids grow etc. now it's like oh joy I'm getting older, another ache and pain, where did this come from? Etc
Then I'm keeping the kids accountable, and they test and push, add to that I have 3 year old twins! To be honest most of the time I'm amazed I made it through another day!
Then the husband, maybe it is me, I guess if I'm honest, I don't know what I always want him to do, I just feel like he's not doing it! When he's around I want help. I want him to do some of the crap work. Of course he's looking to relax, he works, blah blah. Well, I work too! When is my day off?
So what ends up happening, at least to me is I rebel. Yep, like a teenager. I think well I'm just not going to do anything I don't feel like doing. I don't put my husbands clothes away, don't make him breakfast, dumb stuff. Why am I always the responsible one? Why is it on me to keep everything together? I'm TIRED! Tired of everything!
But you know what? I only end up hurting myself. My husband is annoyed with me, kids take advantage, there is strife in the home, it's a wreck, chores are piled up, appointments need to be made, we still need to eat! And so I'm snapped back to reality, that whether it is fair or not, things have to get done, and being a stay at home mom, it is my job. I did agree to it. Does this mean I don't need help? Of course not, but I need to be the example, I need to be in charge, I need to follow through and be consistent. And even when Im not always feeling that loving feeling for the kids, cleaning, the husband etc, I must choose to keep on keeping on. When I really think about it, I wouldn't want it any other way.I love the joy of being the one to see my kids milestones, to be the one who comforts them, to be the one who everyone looks to for love and support, and encouragement. I know it will be worth it in the end. :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Respect means different things to people. I guess you can say we are an old school typical loud, tell it like it is, large Italian family. We talk about everything, have an opinion about it, discuss it, usually loudly and we will all say no I wasn't yelling!
Where I live there are not many families, or moms like me. My kids call you Mr and Mrs so and so. I have found most people don't like it, and will usually say its ok, call me by my first name. No it's not ok, it's about respect, and I expect your child to call me Mrs. We call our friends by their first name. A 5 year old is not my friend. The boy that comes to the house to pick up my daughter is not my friend. The teacher at school is not my friend, etc.
When an adult comes over, friend, family, someone new, it is appropriate to stop what you are doing, and say hello. Put your phone down, get your ass off the couch and shake hands, saying nice to meet you.
If you are a boy and you come for my daughters, you get out of your car, come to the door, come in say hello etc. Over my dead body will my daughter run out to a car beeping it's horn!
If you are at someone's house and don't like something, be polite about it. Don't say ewwww this looks gross. Try it, you might like it, and if not, just don't eat it, and say thank you anyway.
If you are a boy and are at my house for dinner, you take your hat off!
When someone is talking to you, put your phone down, and look at them
No texting during dinner
Now of course besides common courtesy, and how to treat others, respecting us as parents and your siblings is priority. If there is no respect in the home, how can they show respect when they are not?
Here is what I do in the home...
As soon as my kids can talk the prompting starts, please, thank you etc
We don't say give me, it's can I have....
The biggest thing I do which I feel really let's the kids know what's expected is we have family meetings where we sit around the table and discuss things, like rules etc. we also tell them that being a part of our family is special. We are not just out for ourselves, we work together as a team. We are a family of 9so of course everything isn't going to be your mess, or your fault, but if something needs to get done you do it anyway. Meanness is not acceptable here, angry outbursts require an apology and we honor each other in this house which means treating each other as special.
They are not allowed to say I hate you to us or their siblings. You can say its not fair, I hate the rules etc but not I hate you.
The older children sometimes like to think they are co parents, or above the rules since they are older. Um no, learn your place, you are kids, we are parents.
Ok, so of course this does not mean my kids, me or my house is perfect. Of course my kids get sassy, have bad attitudes, disrespect etc. The difference is it's not accepted, and I'm on it. Nothing bothers me more than rude kids, who don't know their place. I'm okay with being the mean mom, my kids not liking me since they are not my friends anyway, and people not understanding how I do things. Just today my sister was talking to me, and there is a lot she doesn't get. Well her kids are young right now, she will get it when it's happening and realize what I meant, one day...
this generation is really upsetting, and I don't want my kids to just not care and be like everyone else. Parents give their kids too much, too soon and wonder why at 16 they expect a car for their birthday. Or why does a 10 yr old need a smart phone? I've done some changes around here, and you know it's not just about the money. It's about respect, responsibility, sense of entitlement etc. My drama queen who is 15 no longer has a cell phone, my 17 yr old is getting switched to a regular phone. Not only am I saving $40 a month, these things are not necessity! They are luxuries, and when they can afford them for themselves, they can have them. Why are some parents working 3 jobs so their kids have material things? Or vacations? Or nice cars? What happened to just spending time together? Laughing, talking? Get crazy, play a card game, take a walk, go to the me your kids will remember that more than the iPhone you bought them.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It just doesn't make sense to me........

Strong willed, compliant, typical, special needs~It doesn't matter what you have or what you call it, Parenting is HARD! Whether you have 1 or 12 children it' still HARD! Married, single, blended, still HARD! Stay at home, working, still HARD! Different parenting styles, different kids~ we all still have the same goal. We want responsible, loving, well adjusted, successful children, who will always be close to their family. Do you really think parents rub their pregnant bellies saying, I hope you grow up to be the biggest asshole, I hope you give us a hard time everyday for the rest of your life? Of course not, give me a break! I still want to know why as parents, and especially women, do you waste so much time and energy competing, comparing and cutting each other down? Why can't we spend that same time and energy encouraging each other?
How much better would you feel after a shitty day with the kids for someone to come along side you, whether literally or online, and say, I UNDERSTAND, I've been there, this mom stuff isn't for wimps, hang in there, better days are coming.
How about the mom who has the out of control teenager? How nice it would be to hear, sorry you are going through that right now, you're a GOOD MOM, she will come around, you have done all you can do, I'm here if you need me to just talk, vent, or cry to.
How about the mom who is so lost and confused about the best way to help her child? How nice it would be to hear, you're doing a good job, He's lucky to have you, it must be so hard, you're a GOOD MOM, I'm here if you need me.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to fight for your child's education EVERYDAY? To see your child with love, kindness, compassion, always wanting the best for him and sending them to a place that doesn't understand him at all? Do you have any idea how much time these moms spend researching, emailing, talking, and going to meetings? Do you know the horror of sitting in a meeting with a room full of people who don't really give a shit about your child and all they say is how "low" he is, and they even have charts on it? Well if you don't, let me tell you, you are LUCKY!
How about the mom whose oldest child goes off and does her own thing, which is the complete opposite of how she was raised and what the parents expected...How nice it would be to hear, you're a GOOD MOM, she is a GOOD KID, she is just finding her way, it will be OKAY!
Do you know how that judgement feels? To be praised for your child's success, only to be judged and put down and how now you are a shitty mom, for her failures?
Next time you see "that mom" take a pause, and think how she must be feeling. Instead of a glare, snicker, or a rude comment, try offering her a warm smile, a hug, or a kind word. It will go a long way, I promise you.