Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Parenting Confessions

A couple months ago, a friend of mine posted some parenting confessions on Facebook. She is an awesomesauce, kicka$$, single mom and person in general. I hold her in the highest regard, but it was refreshing to see her admit her weaknesses. It actually makes me admire her more.

Audrey is less than 2 months away from turning 3, and we're already in the 3 year old stage. When people told me 3 was harder than 2, I didn't believe them. Now, I'm a believer. Let's just say that for me this is far from the most enjoyable age we've experienced as of yet. After a difficult few days, I'm feeling like some parenting confessions might cleanse my soul a little bit. So here goes!

Parenting confessions:

  • I let my daughter watch way more television than I ever thought I would. 
  • I am the perfect reflection of calm, cool and collective parenting when we are out in public; however, when we're home and the defiance and screaming seems to never cease no matter what I do or say, I yell. Sometimes I yell a lot. 
  • I am much less patient than I ever thought I was. 
  • I care too much about what other people think of me as a mom. Sometimes I find myself judging myself like someone else might be judging me, even if they aren't saying anything to me at all. 
  • I cried the first day I left her at preschool, but I actually find it a relief to have a couple hours to myself when I drop her off now. 
  • I temporarily hide books and movies we've read and watched 7 gazillion times because I think I will become certifiably insane if I have to endure them again. 
  • I have laughed at how adorable my daughter is, even when she is in tears from the photo shoot I'm putting her through.
  • I spend so much time planning activities and events and trying to make them perfect and memorable that I sometimes forget to let it all go and just have fun with her. She will remember and appreciate my words and hugs and doing things with her, more than the perfectly planned birthday party or the photo books I tell myself I'm doing for her.

Phew! That was cleansing! I will not let my weaknesses make me feel bad about myself though. I make my daughter's Halloween costumes from scratch and plan elaborate Pinterest inspired birthday parties. I photograph every moment possible. I cook wholesome, healthy homemade meals and snacks. I'm a stay-home-mom. These are my strengths, but I am not "Super Mom." I don't think I am and I don't try to be. She doesn't exist.

I don't judge you if you buy your child's Halloween costume at Walmart, throw together a birthday party last minute, choose to be in the moment instead of photographing it, order take-out every night or work 40 hours a week. {Are you judging yourself? I know I sure do.} I admire you. For the things that are your strengths, are my weaknesses. I admire your ability to let go of the illusion of perfection, to enjoy the moment and be spontaneous, your courage to entrust your child's care to someone else in order to pursue your dreams, your ability to read that book for the 8 gazillionth time!

We all have strengths and weaknesses. The sooner we admit them to ourselves, the sooner we will stop judging ourselves and others, and accept that different doesn't mean bad. I still have a journey ahead of me in that department I think. But today's confessions felt like a good start.

So...does anyone else out there care to cleanse their parenting soul and admit your weaknesses??

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween!

I was never really into Halloween growing up. I was much too serious a child! But something about having a child of my own got me excited about it. Audrey is at the stage now where she loves to pretend, so we've been looking forward to Halloween for months. Unfortunately, it was raining and miserable out, but we got our umbrella and braved the weather to still have a great time!

One of Audrey's favorite things to play outside is Little Red Riding Hood. So it was pretty obvious what this year's costume was going to be when I asked her!

I made her costume myself. The pattern for the hooded cape came from Fleece Fun. This was my most difficult sewing project to date and I was a little nervous. Usually my projects involve me winging it and coming up with something on my own, not using an actual pattern. I've never sewed with fleece before and lining the hood was a little bit tricky, but it wasn't as hard as I was expecting it to be and I was thrilled with how it came out.

The tutu I made just like all the other tutus I make her and with the apron I stuck to my typical sewing style and winged it. I used the same fabric for the apron as I used to line the inside of the hood and it really brought everything together.

Add a white shirt, tights and socks, cute shoes, and a little basket, and the costume was too adorable for words!

The best part of playing Little Red Riding Hood is the interaction. So I, of course, had to make this a family theme. Daddy fit the part of the Big Bad Wolf perfectly! So I made him a quick and easy wolf costume that he was comfortable wearing around and not taking too much attention away from Audrey.

And to pull it all together, I had to be Grandma obviously!

We had so much fun despite the rain! We knocked on a few doors, got a little candy, visited some family, and sat by a fire to warm up and dry off.

As soon as we walked in the door at 7:15 pm, the costume came off and Audrey said, "Mommy, I'm ready to go up to bed now." So that was that for this year! And now the planning for next year will have to begin because it is going to take some work to top this year!