*This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure here.
A Short History of the Girl Next Door
So for my first book review, I decided to pick a book from a local author. Jared Reck published his debut novel last month. A Short History of the Girl Next Door is from my favorite genre young adult. Not only is Jared Reck a local author, but he was also my daughter Brenna’s 8th grade English teacher! I think he helped her develop her love for writing. She is now pursuing a degree in English and a minor in writing.
One parenting mantra I have lived by for the last 20 years has been “pick your battles!” So she doesn’t want to wear pants today even though it is freezing outside. Okay wear the dress. So he doesn’t want to eat the veggies. Okay so just eat the chicken nuggets. Then later when I have to make someone take icky medicine, I can and will win that battle because I have to.
The Battle of the Orange Toothbrush
But when do they start to realize that “pick your battles” works both ways????? Yesterday we had to go to a follow up dentist appointment for her “sleep dentistry” that she had two weeks ago. They had removed 7 teeth and filled 3 cavities (yes, I know we need to do better with her tooth care). The dentist used an orange toothbrush to show her how to brush effectively. The only problem was that the orange toothbrush was too big for her mouth, but they used it because she likes orange. The toothbrush came home with us. I am sure you can see where this is going.
Who feels like the worst mom ever at least once a week, if not once a day? I certainly do! We all screw up once in a while.
Ways I have screwed up as a mom this week:
Dropped my daughter back off at college and drove away without making sure she got inside. Got home 45 minutes later to find 4 missed calls and 5 text messages from her. She had ran through the parking lot, waving her arms trying to catch me because the ceiling above her desk had caved in from a water leak! I never looked in the rear view mirror because I was already busy thinking of the next 10 things on my “to do” list.
It is Sunday night, and I am sitting here on the couch staring at my grocery list for tomorrow. I have been trying to make my list for 30 minutes and only have 4 things on it. I know for a fact we need more than four things. But what they are is totally beyond me right now.
I had a truly amazing night yesterday! I saw Bruno Mars in concert! First concert I have been to in 20 years.
So a little back story to get us to the amazing night. . . I got a text from my friend inviting me to go to the Bruno Mars concert in a limo with her and 4 of her other friends to celebrate her 50th birthday. Immediately red flags went up in my introverted socially anxious mind. She said four friends and I heard four strangers, in a small space for hours. But I shut down the voices and checked my calendar. I was free that night and nothing scheduled for the next day either. No excuse to say no, so I immediately texted her back that I would love to go. If I had waited even one day to respond, I would have talked myself out of going. Social situations have never been something I willing jump into.
I always feel a little bit lost in the chaos that is life. To fight this lost feeling, I surround myself with to do lists and calendars. I have a weird addiction to notebooks and journals. Maybe magically they will make my life easier. Lists get started in these pretty books, then forgotten, then I get irritated that I ruined a perfectly good notebook with 5 pages of irrelevant lists. In the end, all of the cute little notebooks end up in the trash.
But recently a new fad popped up on Pinterest. . . the Bullet Journal!
One notebook that contains ALL of your lists! Mind blowing concept here I know. I was always hesitant to try this technique because it seemed so final. What if I started a list and I didn’t like it? The whole book would be ruined. My control freak nature started to let doubts creep in.
Or rather to take swim lessons or not to take swim lessons. My youngest, Callie, took swim lessons as a preschooler and hated it! I mean one lesson she screamed the entire class and the instructor had to hold her . . . the whole time. And it was all because she hates to put her head under water. I know swim lessons are a valuable tool to help prevent drowning but for us they were torture.
Mom Tribes are great. . . as long as you are in one. But for the introverted, lonely moms out there, Mom Tribes make our loneliness even greater. When we see the other moms having fun and talking and laughing, we shrink a little smaller. We build up the walls that we think protect us but what those walls are really doing is making us unapproachable.
Even back in high school I was a loner. I had one or two close friends and a bunch of acquaintances. I was never invited to hang out, not because no one liked me but because no one ever thought about me. It almost felt like I was invisible.
Fast forward 20 years and I feel like I am back in high school. Invisible again.
Every year we as moms encounter a day that makes us dig deep down inside and remember why we love our little angels. And that day is Picture Day!
Our mornings are already filled with breakfast, brushing teeth, getting dressed, combing hair and making lunch. But today we add the enormous task of making our child look their very best because this day will be immortalized on our family room wall for the next year and at the grandparents house for all eternity. Today . . . this ordinary day will live on forever!
So the day begins like any other. Wake up the kid. Check. Eat breakfast. Check. Now the trouble starts. Brushing teeth, getting dressed and fixing the hair. For some reason step one and step two were taking forever. I even had to tell her twice to hurry up. Now she is moving at a snail’s pace and my irritation is growing.
The name of my blog is MyStory-MyBlog, so I guess the best place to start is with my story!
My story began in Colorado where I grew up and met my husband of 20 years. After living in both Alabama and Maryland, we finally decided to call Southern Pennsylvania our home. Our 3 kids are pretty much the center of our lives. My oldest daughter is 19 and is technically on her own at college right now, but comes home frequently. My son is almost 15 and a freshman in high school and my youngest daughter is in 3rd grade. So I have seen it all and lived to tell the tale!
I have a degree in English (but not in education which is what everyone assumes) and have been a stay at home mom since I graduated 20 years ago. I started substitute teaching last year to help contribute to the family while still being available for the kids before and after school and during the summer. Not really sure subbing is my life calling, but I enjoy my time with the kids. And it pays some bills until I find out what I want to do when I grow up.
Recently I realized that something has been missing from my life. I am an eternal introvert with a lot to say. But with no skills to say it out loud to actual people, I thought what better way to get my thoughts and feelings out to the world than a blog.
My family and my experiences will be the foundation about which I will write. I have some unique points of view when it comes to a variety of parenting and family topics. I hope you will come along with me and take part in my story!