Watching Football With Kids

Free craft to keep them busy!

Happy Saturday everyone and welcome to FOOTBALL SEASON!!!! We are just a little excited about it over here! The weather is absolutely perfect, overcast with a cool breeze, really makes it feel like Fall. If you’re parents with young kids you may be thinking, how are we going to watch the game? I hear ya. Getting to watch anything with kids is sometimes impossible! They need attention, or food, or a new diaper, or want to play, or are getting in a fight with an older sibling. It can be rough!

I wanted to share a website with you that has these really great FREE printable playdoh mats. My kids love playdoh! I found these mats last year and the kids really got into it. You can let them add beads, leaves, flower petals and any nature the gather from outside. Let them be creative! Will this keep them occupied through the whole game… no. But it could allow you a little viewing time. Because let’s be real, kids cannot be occupied for 4 hours straight without parent intervention.

What you need to do is google : picklebums playdoh mats. It will bring up the page with lots of free options to print. I tried to do a direct link, but because the post is a few years old, it wouldn’t work. But you can still find it really easy, just like I did today. One tip is to laminate them, which I didn’t, but instead used a clear photo album page and slid the play doh mat inside. I hope this helps and……GO BUCKS!

Pressure, Pushing Down on Me

Good morning everyone! Is it just me, or does it feel like today’s society moves faster than ever before? That’s probably because it is. There is so much that we are expected to get done in a day that sometimes, I’ll admit, I’m already tired at the day’s beginning. Thank goodness for coffee! (Or tea if you prefer.)

Whether you’re a stay at home parent, a working parent, or someone who is single, there are obligations that you have to fill. There is work to be done at the office, deadlines to meet, kids activities/sports practices that you need to get to, housework, late night studying in college or to better your existing career. Pressure is always there, but we need to make sure we aren’t putting too much of it on ourselves, or on our kids.

I sometimes forget that my kids are only 4 and 6, and then am completely shocked when they act their age. Kids acting like kids you say? I know, like I said, somehow it shocks me! I have to remind myself that their little bodies can only handle so much activity, even if it’s a really fun one that they’re enjoying, it needs to be managed. Ah, time management, and not in the usual sense. I am really trying to be an energy detective, looking for clues if my children have had enough in hopes to prevent a meltdown. No one every likes to experience the full force of a child’s frustration. And, prepare for a spoiler alert, kids don’t like it either! It doesn’t make them feel good to completely lose control, not have the energy to settle down, and then face repercussions for a situation that they don’t have the ability to navigate. We, therefore, are their navigators.

I am a work in progress regarding this issue. But being aware of this, and to look for areas that need tweaking is the first step. As for the other steps, that I’ll cover another time. I’m tired! May you all have a wonderful day, and may your coffee, or tea, see you through!

Learn to swerve

Hi everyone! Here in the mid-west it’s raining and in the mid 60s…it feels like fall! I have to admit, I do love a rainy day. It’s an opportunity to cozy up, slow down just a bit, because let’s be honest, you can’t exactly run in the rain. (Well, I guess you COULD but would you really want to?) You can still be super productive, but there’s an ease to the day. It’s almost as if you have to have realistic expectations since you can only get so much done. Extra errands become less necessary. I’ve already rearranged my day because the thought of taking my youngest in and out of the car to various stores in the rain just seems ridiculous.

Life is like that sometimes. We have a set plan for our day or week and then something unexpected happens and we have to adjust. It is in this adjustment that we can either succeed with grace, or fail. I worked as a nurse for 16 years, and I’d go into the unit with my set plan and mindset for the day. Which is funny because the minute I entered my first patient’s room that all changed. I HAD to adjust to my patients, to their expectations, fears, disappointments, successes, or regressions. You prepare yourself as much as you can for your day, then see it shift once it starts.

This shifting occurs all the time as a parent! I’m actually laughing at myself because there have been mornings when I’ve gotten up extra early, got ready head to toe, and have lunches packed all before my kids wake up. Once their feet make it downstairs, any of my preparedness is out the window, blown away by the storm that is children. It’s not all bad, it’s just that they are people too, with THEIR own agenda and THEIR own internal schedule. They aren’t robots set to obey all commands.

So today, be kind to yourself. Life doesn’t go to our specific plan. If it does, consider yourself lucky! But if you’re like the rest of us, remember that it’s going to be okay. Let the rain come, bring your umbrella, and shift when you need to!

Checkered flag

You’ve made it, it’s the end of the night! Congratulations! Confetti is being tossed, you’re getting the little ones up to bed for bath, teeth brushing and stories. You hear the roar of the crowd cheering you on with each step as you march up towards the bedtime routine. The end is in sight and you can almost feel yourself sinking into your couch to relax, and possibly even watch a show that doesn’t include cartoons! You can do this!

And that’s when it happens. It’s either because they’ve had a long day and don’t have the energy to behave and listen. Or, they really do want to stay up with you because they love you, and being around you that much. Or, as I’ve realized just recently, they just don’t want to listen. Well, isn’t that just awesome? No, no it is not. It’s so awful that right before bed things can fall apart. A time, where in my mind, should be spent lovingly cuddling my sweet children and reading them a story before they fall fast asleep.

Alas, it happens and instead of seeing the checkered flag, I start waving a white flag, surrendering to a less than peaceful end to my night. But tomorrow is another day, and another chance to get it right, or closer to right than the night before.

Stormy Sea of Parenting

Self forgiveness is the hardest part of being a parent. I try to start each day with the right mindset – to be my best, kindest, most loving self. My feet hit my bedroom floor and as my morning sleepiness wears off, so does my patience. It hangs on through the first batch of “nos” and sibling disputes. But as the parental waters start to experience storm waves and sea squalls of disobedience, I find it harder and harder to navigate. To quote a friend, I’m “treading water” in a sea of uncertainty and the waves start to knock me down. Instead of being my best self, it’s every man (or woman, in this case) for themselves! My mantra meets the reality of time outs, cool downs in rooms and loss of privileges. Raising kids is hard! Some days are just harder than others, and if you’re a parent, you’ve been there and know what I mean. Bad days can really ruin our self image and parenting morale. The secret though, is forgiving yourself. This is also hard to do because if you’re like me, you have high expectations for yourself. But we must learn to be gentler and kinder to OURSELVES! So, if you’ve had one of those days, take a deep breathe and try to forgive yourself. Know that I’m right there with you, and will be back at sea tomorrow, hopefully better equipped to handle whatever weather finds me.