Co-Parenting Tips for Divorced Couples

Joint custody arrangements after a separation or divorce can become quite stressful. Each parent will have to learn how to let go of the desire to have their child all of the time. Sharing children after a divorce or separation is a matter of fact, unless there is a case of abuse to the children or ex-parent. More often than not the court wishes to have the two parents create a parenting plan that will work for them and their children. The court systems will usually try to get each parent to communicate, most states require the parents to take a child impact seminar that is geared towards teaching co-parents to parent together, treating their relationship much like a business.

Parent Influence Co-parenting Tips for Divorced Couples

Co-parenting isn’t easy because it’s never easy to have to communicate and share children with the person you no longer wish to be with. This is the number one reason why a divorce or separation should always be well thought out, be certain the relationship is truly dead or else co-parenting can become quite a nightmare when either of you start to date again. Now that you have become a divorced or separated parent, it’s time to learn a few co-parenting tips that can help two parents raise happy, healthy children without drama.

Separate Feelings

When you are co-parenting the situation becomes less about emotions and more about a business arrangement, the business of raising children. Feelings don’t have any place within the co-parenting structure, learn to set your feelings of protection, hurt and anger aside to ensure you can co-parent in a way that is best for the children. Your feelings and your ex-partner’s feelings no longer matter as it pertains to each other. The only thing that matters is that the children’s best interest is at heart and that you two can communicate to make easy transitions for the children without feelings getting in the way.

Only Discuss Children

Now that you are divorced or separated, it’s important to remember that your conversations should be strictly about your children. Even if you had an amicable divorce, discussing each others date nights or woes in life may not be a good idea. Learn to keep the topic of discussion on children only as a means to avoid the hurt feelings or drama that can be created when you talk personal or start pointing fingers about the hurt feelings stemming from the broken relationship. Keep an unspoken rule, if you will, that any conversations heading away from children will not be discussed and stick to it.

Parent Influence Blog - Co-Parenting Tips for Divorced Couples

Think Before Speaking

There will be times your ex-parent, known as the co-parent now, will make you angry. It’s normal to have moments of intense rage or hurt feelings in moments with your ex when co-parenting together. Remember you two aren’t married any longer for a reason! Your children shouldn’t have to pay for these moments, keep any negative thoughts to yourself. If you must discuss how you feel about something, talk to a friend in a place where the children will not hear you. Children need to feel safe, secure and confident about loving both parents without ridicule from the other parent.

Use Written Words

If you and your ex-partner are simply not able to come to a peaceful place of communication there are ways around it. Have a family member exchange the children, learn to communicate in email only unless an emergency arises. Often times making it a requirement that if one of you has an issue with something it is emailed or hand written in a letter to the other co-parent creates a more peaceful, business-like approach to co-parenting. When we take time to write down what we are feeling in a high emotional moment, we tend to relax and sometimes realize the issue isn’t stemming from a current date scenario, it’s past feelings getting in the way of co-parenting.

Remember it’s About the Children

Keep in mind, at all times, that co-parenting is no longer about you and your ex-partner. Co-parenting is strictly about raising your children in a way that allows them to thrive. Co-parents will not always have the same rules at both households nor will they always agree on how to raise the children, this is perfectly acceptable. Remember that unless your children are truly in danger, how the co-parent chooses to raise the children while in their care is their right. Learn to respect each other as co-parents who have the best interest of the children at heart.

May each of these co-parenting tips for divorced couples help guide you back to reality and cope with the world of co-parenting in a positive way.

3 Tips for Shopping with Kids

The joys of shopping with kids, it’s such a wonderful experience! The kids walk behind you in two, happy to be bored for the next couple hours as you shop for whatever it is that you need. Oh wait, this only happens in dreamland or occasionally when the kids want something … here in the real world kids aren’t so fun to shop with all of the time.  Today I am going to share a few tips for those of you who are shopping with kids in tow.

3 Tips for Shopping with Kids Parent Influence Blog

Shop Online

You must have realized that I was going to advise against you going out into the store with the kids, right? In all reality shopping online has become widely popular. It’s easy to do and you can do this while the kids sleep. No more dragging the kids during their nap times to the store or requiring the whole family to hop into the vehicle to head to the store. You can even get online savings with Target coupons and more when you shop online! I advise you to shop online whenever you can to avoid the store with kids any chance you have.

Go During Good Time of Day

Every parent knows the best time of day to take their kids anywhere. The good times of day to take your kids shopping usually are earlier in the morning right after they are awake or right after a nap. All too often parents take their kids shopping at a horrible time of day for the kids and then get stressed because the kids are acting amuck! Learn to work around your kids schedule the best you can and go shopping during the good time of day.

Communicate Expectations

I am super famous for this third tip, communicate expectations. Prior to heading into any store to shop with kids, inform the kids of your expectations regarding behavior and what consequences will happen if they don’t behave. When you set clear expectations immediately before entering the store for your shopping trip with kids they are more apt to behave as you have initiated the conversation immediately before the shopping situation.

You Can Survive Shopping with Kids

It’s really easy to have a tolerable experience when you have to go shopping with kids; my number one tip of shopping online really goes a long way. In this day in age of technology, there’s no reason why you can’t start shopping online for a lot of your needs. If you must enter a store to shop with kids, then be certain to set the proper time to leave and communicate with the kids. When you follow these tips I have shared today, you will soon find that shopping with kids isn’t as bad as it used to be.

Issue with Invite the Whole Class to Birthday Party Rule

I recall having a conversation with one of my children awhile back; it was in regards to inviting the whole class to a birthday party. This concept that has become the rule at most schools, when you hand out birthday invitations you must invite the whole class has me frustrated. Here I am listening to my child who most certainly doesn’t want their non-friends at their birthday party leaves me with two options, stick to the rule of inviting the whole class or hunting down each parent of my child’s friend to invite that child to the birthday party. This whole rule of having to invite the whole class leaves parents stuck, because sometimes you can’t afford having the whole class showing up for a party and other times, you don’t believe in “life is fair”.

Issue with Inviting all to Birthday party Rule in Classrooms

Here’s my thoughts on the whole invite the whole class rule many classrooms now abide by; it is not setting children up for the real world. As your child grows into the teen years they will suffer more when that teen peer invites certain people to a party while they don’t invite others. These children will grow up to think that the norm is that everyone is always invited to a special event. The real world isn’t like that. We do not always get invited to the party our friends or peers are hosting. There have been many a gatherings I haven’t been invited to, and that’s okay, because I learned to deal with the feeling of being left out. I have learned to deal with the feeling and acceptance that not everyone likes me. Children should be learning this when they are young, so they can cope with this mentality as adults.

I firmly believe the world is fair to everyone mentality is hurting our future generation of adults; we see it with the millennials. Most millennials feel entitled and the work force even molds their rules to suit this generation of adults. It sickens me that society is making this an okay thing. When it comes to birthday parties, it should be all about the birthday child. The birthday child shouldn’t feel obligated to invite people who are either not their friends simply because they have nothing in common or not their friends because the child is mean. Who wants to have to invite the class bully over to a birthday party? That’s just insane, yet the school system requires that you hand out invites to the whole class or nobody.

Parent Influence Blog Stop Inviting All to Childrens Birthday Parties

I have for a long time struggled with this concept and often times have not hosted a birthday party for my sons, who have a true difficulty with this concept. They would much rather me take the extra effort in hunting down parents than have to hand an invitation to someone who isn’t their friend. How awkward it would be as adults, having a party and having to have people there who are not your friends celebrating your birthday. Why is it okay to require children to do this? When I was growing up we had mailboxes in our classroom, we dropped the invites in our friends mailboxes and were done with it. Some children felt left out, but that’s part of life.

I wish for the sake of helping children cope with feelings they will incur as teenagers and then adults that we stop making life fair across the board. The silliness has got to stop! As parents, it is our duty to teach our children to rise above differences, to accept that some people won’t like us and that is certainly okay. When you aren’t invited to a peer’s birthday party, it simply means that you two are not friends; it doesn’t mean you are less of a person nor does it mean you are enemies. It is simply a fact that not all human beings get along or have common interests that create that level of friendship versus just another peer in the classroom. Why do we, as parents, have to force this life is fair mentality upon our children? I for one don’t do it. I feel it’s much more important to teach my children that life isn’t fair. I teach my children that they are awesome, unique and just fantastic the way they are.

I teach my children to learn their flaws and work to be better tomorrow than they were today, without pressure to become what society pushes upon them.

My oldest is a great example of how this technique has worked, she has been in many scenarios where girls at another table in the lunch room were talking rudely about her. One of my daughter’s friends went over and informed her that these girls were being rude about her. My daughter’s reply made me proud, she said to her friend, “that’s okay, seriously it isn’t a big deal. I know people don’t like me and I am okay with that. No one has to like me, and they have a right to talk that way among themselves. It’s when they start harassing me, calling me names or being rude to me that they cross a line!” While that is paraphrased, as it happened awhile back, that is how we must raise our children.

This invite everyone to the birthday party, in my opinion, is setting our children up for failure as teenagers and adults for they will lack the experience of handling the emotions that come with being left out!

So how is it that we, as parents, handle this school rule? I am not entirely sure because the school rules apply when our children are at school. It doesn’t appear the school system will be changing this rule anytime soon. I guess all we can do, as parents, is to not force this rule upon our own children, find creative ways to invite only friends to the birthday party. Continue to teach our children to rise above our differences, to know that you can be kind to peer without having the pressure of ‘being friends’. There’s nothing wrong with children not liking other children; seriously, this concept goes well into adulthood. What a shock it will be to these children who are being raised with the “life is fair” mentality to find out that the real world isn’t so fair, that not everyone likes us. Even adult’s deal with those feelings of being left out, wondering why they aren’t good enough. It starts at a young age, these feelings of negativity. When children are raised by parents who encourage this “life is fair” mentality they struggle worse in adulthood. I firmly believe a lot of societal rules we have to deal with as parents, make parenting more difficult but we don’t have to conform to society standards.

At a young age my daughter and I worked to write and publish a book that was geared towards building confidence in others, mainly tween girls. That book is available on Amazon and is called Positive Girl – The Power of Your Thoughts. While not everyone will agree with me in how to raise children, I just wish more parents would realize the negative impact you are placing upon your child when you teach them that they will always be included in everything.

20 Summer Toys – Have Fun with Kids

Summer will be here before you know it! The weather will be warm and everyone will be trying to figure out what to do with those kiddos. Summer brings along the perfect weather to get out and enjoy those kids you are raising. Today I wanted to share a list of 20 Summer toys from Amazon that you can purchase now so that you are ready for the Summer season with kids.

20 Summer toys for Having fun with kids by parentinfluence

This list was created using our platform Roundups.io, click here to see how it works and sign up if you are a blogger or virtual assistant who spends hours creating the perfect roundups with Amazon products.

Garden Wagon Tools

Bucket Set for Kids

Gazillion Hurricane Bubble Machine

Little Tikes First Slide

Bunch of Balloons

Sidewalk Mandala

Emoji Beach Balls

Little Tikes Spiralin Water Park

Spring Sprinkling Activity

Wet Head Game

Prime Time Toys Water Rocket

Turtle Target Action

Air Scoop Ball

Splash Tunnel Water

Rocket Balloons Pump

Dazzling Toys Catch Ball Game

Portable Booster for Infant

Huge Rainbow Kite for Kids

Splash Fire Hydrant

Banzai Blast Obstacle Course

*All images are property of Amazon associates platform and used within TOS of the affiliate platform/program. All links are affiliate links, I will earn a small commission if you purchase any of the products using these links, while this doesn’t cost you any extra, it does help support my household. Thank you in advance for your support.

Success Can Happen … The American Dream

As I look around the world we live in, from social media posts to everyday interactions with people in person, I am sad about society. Many people came to America all those years back for freedom, the ability to work hard and make a home for their family. Many desired to create success in America. America was the new world where hope was fueled. That all happened, jobs were created and laborers were able to make a decent living to support a family and times, albeit tough, were good. Today all I see is people complaining or asking for pity because they lost a job, they can’t find a job or that they want the rich to be taxed more because, “how dare they get away with making a fortune while the little guy is left not being able to feed their family.”

“We all have the power to rise above our circumstances, choose a more positive path and run with it.” – @brandyellen

I was That Single Mom

I was that little guy, the poor single mom living on pasta and barely able to make ends meet. I wasn’t able to buy my first born Christmas gifts, there was one Christmas that she had two gifts. Literally one gift from me, one from Toys for Tots and that was it. I was so upset, but being that she was a young toddler, maybe around one year of age, she had no idea. There was another Christmas year that her father gave me $45 to spend on her for gifts because he found me in tears over not being able to get her any gifts one year. Another year we were blessed to have a stranger’s family adopt us and there were a boat load of gifts on my office desk at the place I worked. I cried.

While I was lucky in that good things started happening to me, and one could argue that doesn’t happen for everyone. Regardless of the help or surprises that occurred for me as a single mom, I stood firm in wanting to create my own success. I had no desire to live on state assistance forever or get hand outs every holiday season. I wanted success, I wanted to create my own success story … and I did. More on that another day.

When you become humble, honest and okay with your scenario, great things start to happen. We don’t need to take from those who worked their butts off to create success, after all isn’t that why so many came to America in the first place? To have a place where they were free to create their own success story?

“We are all born of flesh, bones, thoughts and feelings which allows us to choose where you go from here.” – @brandyellen

Mom Influence Success Happens

Success is Different

Each of us has a different success story, mine is different than yours, my boyfriend’s is different than mine and that’s okay. Success has a similar definition for us all but the how we got there or how we view that definition is different across the board. I personally feel that changing who I was to be a better person as a mother to a daughter all those years back was my first taste of success. I also feel that the next portion of my life where I got married and then divorced after having two boys was a success. I once again felt success when I started to learn how to properly train my mind to be optimistic versus pessimistic. Armed with an optimistic attitude my life changed yet again when I met my current boyfriend.

Practice Mindfulness

There are little pieces of my life where I can see success, it’s not one large story, it’s many impactful moments built into one life – mine.  I have empathy and compassion for those who are struggling, for those who have divorced and are now broke and not certain what is going to come next. I feel sad for those struggling with illness and can’t seem to find their happy during these trying times. I get all of the feelings that consume one when enthralled in a bad scenario, I have been there. I have been in your shoes, with a different scenario, more often than not. With that being said, I also believe that I can feel empathy and compassion for you while still having this little thought in the back of my head that reminds me:

“We all are allowed to go downward or upward in life. We all have the free choice to learn from mistakes or just keep making the same ones again, without judgement from others.” – @brandyellen

I understand that you are all wrapped up inside of this difficult time and it’s not easy to see the light. Life was never meant to be easy, it was meant to be lived. We were all meant to have hardships, to have difficult times and in turn have beautiful moments as well. It’s all about how you look at the situation as to whether or not you choose to build your success story or not, today I invite you to think about your thoughts.

#mominfluence We all have the power to rise above our circumstances, choose a more positive path and run with it.

Ask Yourself Some Questions

  • Are you constantly focused on the problem versus the solution?
  • Do you spend more time dwelling on what occurred to create this hardship than focusing on how you can rise above it?

I now invite you to take a moment to jot down some ideas on how you can focus on a solution, focus on surviving today with a smile upon your face. Jot down some moments that you cherish among this madness of bad times. If you can start there, I promise you, life will start to look up and you will soon realize that the American dream is still very much alive within each of us. You, too, can have a little piece of success, if you only open your mind to view the situation slightly different.

Boys Should Never, Ever Hit Girls. Period.

I cannot believe the society I live in, the things I witness other parents, mostly moms, saying about their little boys. I have witnessed time and time again moms who condone a little boy hitting back a girl. I get it, yes there are girls who can hit as hard as boys and there are topics such as self-defense. I can comprehend on some level the argument that little boys should hit back a little girl, so at least with the type of society we live in today. The one where girls and boys are supposed to be on some level playing ground, but the old school lady in me feels a boy should never, ever hit a girl. Ever. I am entitled to feel that way, while I won’t tell you that you are wrong in condoning your little boy to hit a little girl; I will discuss why I personally feel I won’t condone that behavior ever from my sons.

I guess I am slightly blessed to still have a lot of the old school mentality in me. I was also raised in a violent environment for at least the first ten years of my life. I have seen an abusive man and I have had my fair share of abusive men, I also used to be that abusive girl who would provoke men to get them angry. I have hit men, I have been hit. The things I have gone through are intense, insane and still I sit here saying I would never, ever be okay with my sons hitting a girl. Ever. I firmly feel that no matter how crazy a girl gets, no matter how mean a girl gets, that your little boy shouldn’t hit that little girl. Do whatever you can to work around it. I am a firm believer that violence returns violence and I much prefer to spread happiness, peace and amicable ways to resolve conflict without laying a hand upon another person. I have learned all of this in my experiences of a 35 year old woman.

Allowing a little boy to hit back a little girl, even if said girl is “as strong as a boy” is never a good idea because you are now creating this mentality that hitting back a girl is acceptable. Little boys who are encouraged to hit back a little girl, regardless of her size and strength, will soon start to develop into teenage boys who hit girls and then become that abusive adult man who hits his spouse. Studies have shown time and time again that a boy who is allowed to hit girls at a young age will morph into that as an adult. It’s sort of common sense in my opinion.

What happened to the days when girls were raised to be well behaved little girls? No they don’t have to be princesses all dressed girly, my first born daughter is far from a princess but she was raised to be respectful, courteous and use common sense while still being a strong, leadership type young woman. My sons are still a work in progress as they are much younger, but one thing is for certain you won’t ever hear me telling them to hit a girl back. Sure, I may say if a boy hits you and you need to hit them back, go ahead but be smart about it and use violence as a last resort.

Many say that’s a double standard, sure maybe it is but that’s the uniqueness about males vs females – we are different and there should be some double standards as you call them.

When confronted with a little girl who continuously bullies your little boy, I can also see why you would say hit her back. I get it, no other methods seem to be resolving this conflict and in your protective parental role you feel that your boy has a right to “stand up for himself”. Well I am here to tell you that may be a mistake, while again I won’t tell you that you are wrong, I do feel creating this reality that your son can hit a little girl is what may lead my daughter to be in an abusive relationship and after all I have lived through, that’s the last thing I ever want for my daughter and for my sons.

I will continue keeping my mouth shut in judging you for telling that little boy to hit another little girl, after all I respect that we all raise our children as we see fit. I will sit here worried that the little boy you are telling to hit a girl is going to grow up to be an abusive man, because that’s proven to happen. I will have heartache in hearing that a woman would actually condone a boy hitting a girl. After all, I have seen what an abusive relationship can do to their offspring. I spent many years being an angry child internally because of all the violence I witnessed as a young child. I just cannot ever imagine condoning that and raising little boys who think that hitting a girl is ever okay. Please, the next time you see a little girl picking on, hitting or bullying your little boy use words to uplift that little boy. Work hard to build his self-esteem to a point where he is unbreakable. That’s the method I much prefer because it teaches my children to be who they are and never, ever let anyone allow them to feel inferior.

We don’t need violence to feel empowered; it starts deep within our souls. As parents, it’s our job to instill this self-empowerment. I firmly believe in teaching my boys that they are strong, resilient and independent souls who do not ever need to hit another human being and hitting a little girl would have tremendous consequences because it simply is just not right.

Real Mom Tips for Monitoring Electronic Usage

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

An online friend came to me the other day asking about some tips on monitoring electronic usage. You see this is one of the biggest issues most parents face. We are raising children that have technology in front of them at all times. Within my household alone we have at least 4 tablets, 3 smartphones, 3 computers, a Wii game console, a PS3 and I am sure other items that I can’t recall while writing this article. The home is full of temptations to be online and with two work at home adults in the house, it’s easy to see that the kids want to be on electronics when the parents are always on theirs working. The desire to be on technology is great, the desire that kids want to interact with game playing or get lost in something online makes sense, as this is the world they are being raised in. With that being said, you can respect your kids desires for electronics while still working to monitor limits so they learn other life skills necessary to survive as an adult.

Today I wanted to share a few ideas I have implemented over the years as a means to monitor and track electronic usage. I am a bit more laid back than other parents I have spoken to, but these ideas have worked well for me – that is when I remain consistent with implementation. Once you get off the bandwagon and let electronic time become more lax, getting back on track is harder and will take time. Give yourself some credit, it’s not easy being a parent, we all get off track.

Real Mom Tips from ParentInfluence Blog

A Chore for Electronic Time

This is a great way to get the house clean while allowing your kid a little fun. Assign electronic time based upon what chore(s) were completed. It’s quite common within our house for us to make a deal with the kids, especially my middle child who is autistic. Let’s say he wants to be on YouTube, the PS3 or some other electronic device. We try our best to assign a chore; basically it’s handled like this: if you take the trash bags down to dumpster you can have half hour on an electronic device of your choice. This never works out peacefully; you see it’s rare for any of the kids to immediately agree upon this “deal”. How I prefer to keep the peace and handle my heart rate staying steady is to tell them they can have ‘x’ amount of time on electronics when said chore is completed. I repeat that line a few times then walk away. If they come to me to ask again, I repeat that line again. It gets old, I tell you, but it works. Leave your kid alone to make the decision themselves, be certain to shut off all electronics, set them out of reach, etc. so that the kid quickly learns they have no choice but to do a chore or sit and do nothing. Within half an hour, most of my kids will step up and start doing whatever chore was assigned.

 

Children doing chores ???? #momlife #childhood

A photo posted by Brandy Ellen (@brandyellen1) on

Siblings: Encourage them to Play a Game Together

In our household we are Minecraft fanatics, yes even I am caught getting addicted to that game. One thing I like to do every so often is allow electronic time so as long as my three kiddos are paying something together. You see, this encourages team work and communication, of course it also encourages sibling rivalry but they need to work through this! Whether it is Minecraft or a new Beyblade game my sons play together over a WiFi connection on their tablets, I like to take moments to encourage teamwork by allowing electronic time only if they do something together. I truly believe this works fantastically for developing communication, teamwork and leadership skills.

Set a Schedule

This idea of setting a schedule has been something discussed within our household but we haven’t quite mastered nor tried to implement it yet. I have seen this work well for many families and with us having a child on the autism spectrum, routine is necessary. Print out a calendar template or purchase an annual calendar. Assign specific dates and times to be devoted strictly to electronic time. When you start to use a schedule, there are less meltdowns and arguments because your kids soon get used to being on that routine. When your household has a steady routine, with or without a kid on the spectrum, they simply start to thrive. It’s also not a bad idea to have your kid help you color code this schedule of electronic usage; kids tend to respect and appreciate a routine more when involved in the planning stages.

 

Nothing like some #beyblades before school. #childhood

A photo posted by Brandy Ellen (@brandyellen1) on

Be the Example

Last, but certainly not least, as I mentioned my boyfriend and I both work from home full time which means we are often on our computers to get work done and provide customer service for our membership sites. It’s difficult for us to walk away from work at times and even when I walk away from work it’s hard for me to not check messages from my smartphone. I am an avid promoter of being the example for your kids. These kids look up to you first and foremost, so it’s time to start learning how to let go of your own electronic addiction as a means to show your kids that life still functions without electronic devices. If you learn to monitor your own electronic usage by putting that smartphone down and sitting to enjoy a board game, have a little chat and be certain to have a family meal together without electronics at least once per day, you will soon find that the kids start to enjoy being around you without electronics and in turn develop their own sense of balance with electronic usage.

You Can Implement Change Anytime

If you have found yourself off track today with monitoring electronic usage, I truly hope that these ideas work well to help you gain control of the household again while creating a peaceful environment full of less meltdowns and more happiness.

Today is All You’re Guaranteed

I think one of the things that most of us take for granted is that tomorrow is never a guarantee. Yesterday has gone and tomorrow may come but today is always something you can count on. Living with the mentality that today should be cherished and today is all we have guaranteed to us is a positive way to live life. With all of the fears, worries and then anxiety to fuel those emotions it’s no wonder we all get caught into the trap of over thinking tomorrow. What a wonderful life we would all have if we could pause our fears of tomorrow and remember that today is all you’re guaranteed.

 

Mom Influence - How Eyebrow Piercing Showcased Unconditional Love

Today Matters in Motherhood

Why am I talking about today on this blog about motherhood? Well it’s simple really, just as you should focus on today in your personal and business life, today matters in motherhood. Many moments pass you by as your children get older, grow taller and grow smarter. Today they are wondering if you can spare just one extra moment to read to them, listen to them, talk to them. Your children usually focus on today because that’s how simple life is to them. While the past can create anxiety within children, just as it does with adults, today is what most children focus on.

Take Time Today For Your Child

Just the other night my youngest child asked me if I could lay beside him just a little while longer. Usually I have tons of work to do at the end of the night and will tell him that I simply cannot for work is going to go into the late hours of the night if I continuously lay beside him for longer periods of time. After saying that to my son two nights in a row, I quickly noticed that his face looked disappointed. My poor son simply wanted just a few more minutes of my time. He didn’t want me to lay beside him hovered over that top bunk so he could stay awake and talk or be silly, he simply wanted his Mama there beside him for a minute longer.

 

As soon as the internal switch clicked and I realized that today is all you’re guaranteed, I stopped giving my youngest excuses to not lay beside him one moment longer. Now, when my son asks if I can lay beside him just a little longer, I do it. This thirty to sixty seconds of today isn’t going to push my work load out by hours, not at all. Sure I may have to work just a couple minutes longer if I lay with him hovered over that top bunk beside him as I watch his eyes drift off to sleep but today is all I know I have with him. That moment, as I lay beside him I watch my young son go from the high energy child into a peacefully sleeping child. In that moment I realize that these moments will pass me by, before I know it he will be a teenage boy who may not want that one moment longer of Mama being around.

Bittersweet Reality of Raising Children

The bittersweet reality of raising children is that you are but in their life as their caregiver for only a brief moment of time. You work hard to raise that child to be something. You encourage that child to think for himself, to be confident in who he is and then as this child becomes an adult you send them off into the world. No more moments to lie for just a few more seconds hovered over that bunk bed, watching him drift off to sleep. No more moments of him asking you to sit and read a book before bed. Every moment you could have said yes instead of no, will be gone in the blink of an eye.

Remember this story when you are laying your child down to bed this evening, think about your response when they ask for just a few more seconds of your time.

Sometimes, in a house where this child has to share his Mama with siblings, those few seconds before bed matter to him. This child gets to have just a few more seconds of his mother beside him, without the siblings interrupting or needing something and in those few seconds, you mean the world to your child because you took that moment to be there for him. Remember, you only have today so go on and live for today and be the Mama you desire to be, because we can’t get back those moments of our children wanting us to lay just a little longer. Cherish today, for it’s all you’re guaranteed.