First Day of 1st Grade!

1stGrade

I’m not gonna lie, I have been overly anxious all day yesterday, and this morning.  She wanted to ride the bus for the first time on her first day of school.  I was so nervous letting her go.  She’s too little!  She’s my baby, she can’t keep growing up so fast.  I know she will be fine.  She was super excited, and that made me excited for her.

She gets to learn Spanish this year!  And do art!  And music!  Who would have thought the DoD could do something right.  I kid, sort of, but YAY for doing something other than testing, testing, testing.

I can’t wait to hear about her first day, so my anxiety can ease.  I just want to be sure she found her class OK, that she enjoyed the bus ride, and that she wasn’t scared.  I wasn’t there to hold her hand the entire way, which is different for both of us.  It’s time to cut the cord, as they say.  She’s officially a grade-schooler.

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Let Kids Be Kids!

It’s that time of year again: Back to School shopping.  Samantha starts First Grade next week, and decided to grow like a weed over the past few months.  I’m not sure what we were feeding her, but I would sure like to figure it out so we can stop doing that.

This is Sam. She is 6, and loves art. This came costume came from an art project we did. <3

This is Sam. She is 6, and loves art. This costume came from an art project we did. ❤

Clothes shopping is a pain for me, as I hate trying on new clothes and then subsequently feeling poorly about myself.  Clothes shopping is a different kind of pain when it comes to Samantha.  She has an issue with certain types of materials touching her skin.  They make her itchy.  Like sequins on shirts.  The inside has the stitches to hold the sequins on, but it also has the material over the stitches that is supposed to help with the itching, but really doesn’t.  It sucks because she loves shiny and sparkly, but we move on with some kicks and screams.

The other issue is the types of clothing made available for purchase.  Skinny jeans are one thing, as you can buy them a size bigger and they wont be so tight.  However, now they make super skinny jeans.  For girls as young as mine, and younger.  Also low-cut shirts, mini skirts, midriff baring tops, and tennis shoes with wedges inside them (just to name a few).  When did our little girls become young women in the eyes of corporations?  OR, when did they become young women in the eyes of society?

This is Lauren. She's about to be 1 year. She's spunky, and loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. <3

This is Lauren. She’s about to be 1 year. She’s spunky, and loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. ❤

When I was a kid (yes, I went there. I also went there up hill and through the snow…one way), we didn’t have these kinds of clothes.  Sure, in the 80’s we had bright, obnoxious neon colors, with high tops, and scrunchie socks.  However, I do not recall ever seeing inappropriate clothing for my age, or clothes that read “Too pretty to study,” or some other nonsensical crap.

Why do we want our children to grow up so fast?  When did it become OK for young girls to wear shorts so short their butt cheeks hang out, or tops so low they would show cleavage if they had any to show?  I don’t want my kid to dress or look any older than she already is, but it’s so hard to find decent clothes out there for her age and size.  I miss the cute dresses with butterflies and ladybugs.  Now the clothes have stupid saying that make girls think it’s OK to be viewed as “dumb,” or clothes too short and make them think sexy is a good thing (Not for their age!).

I want my girls to know that smart is sexy AND cool.  That their looks should not define them, and that it is never OK to be objectified.  I want them to know that they are worth the same as any man, and should be treated the same, no matter what.  I want them to know that they CAN do anything they set their mind to, and that they should never let anyone tell them they can’t just because they are women.

I want them to know all these things…in time.

Right now, can they just be little girls?  Can they continue playing with My Little Ponies or dolls, and jam to Kidz Bop?  Maybe letting them be kids is the best thing for them, instead of pushing the world and all its problems on their shoulders.  They wont be little forever, so let’s try to keep them that way for as long as possible.

Kids. They Grow Up Too Fast.

Samantha starts First grade in a little over a week.  Say what?!  Yeah, First grade.

samanthababyWhere did my baby go?  She’s lost in the jumble that is my PPD memories, and this makes my heart ache.  I remember her birthday, and our time in the hospital.  After that, much of it is a blur.  A dark, overshadowed blur.  Sure, I have pictures to remind me what she looked like, and a couple of videos, but those aren’t really memories.

Since I started getting help for my depression and anxiety a few years ago, things have been better.  What I wouldn’t give to remember those early years, though.  What her first words were, when she “crawled” for the first time (or what she considered crawling, which was really more of a crab walk of sorts), all those little momentous occasions that many parents write down in the child’s baby book are lost somewhere in my head.  They will probably never be retrieved, so the best I can do is remember and make new memories.

Last year, when she started Kindergarten, we were both so excited.  As the year went on, she faced some struggles with her crying and subsequent behavior, so it wasn’t as smooth as I had hoped.  Now that she is starting First soon, my anxiety is running overtime.  I want her to do well, and I want her to be able to control herself.  I want this year to be awesome.  I want her to enjoy school as much as I did.  She just needs to control the emotional side of her, and be confident!  The girl is a smartie pants, and I know she will do well if she can just rein it in.

She wants to ride the bus the first day.  It’s not even here yet, and I’m already nervous and sad.  I wont get to walk her up to the school, have a pep talk, and send her on her way.  Now I have to stay back, and just wave at the bus as it drives away with my not so little girl.  Sigh, this isn’t about me, but my anxiety is so strong about this, that it’s becoming about me.  In my head.  I suppose that’s the point of this blog, to get the jumbled mess of thoughts out.

Where did my baby go?  I feel guilty for not being “there” the first years, so maybe that is why there is so much anxiety about letting go.  Why must it be so hard?  Why must they grow so fast?  Why must I be crying about it already?  haha

All I can do is hope it turns out great, and that she has the best year yet.  It’s fun watching her learn new things, and discover who she is.

I think I just found the thought I need to hold onto.

mommyandsamantha

How Do You Raise Maturity?

This is Sam. She is 6, and a nerd like her mommy. <3

This is Sam. She is 6, and a nerd like her mommy. ❤

Raising kids is hard, yo.  Seriously, trying to make sure you bring them up knowing respect, love, laughter, discipline, and everything in between is a struggle sometimes.  I want my kids to be happy, but I also want them to know boundaries, and when getting emotional is OK.

I have always told my oldest daughter, Samantha, that being upset is perfectly normal.  We all have this feeling from time to time, but it’s how we handle it that’s important.  I want her to understand that it’s OK to cry, and it’s OK to be angry, sad, happy, or whatever you happen to be feeling at that moment.  However, there are times when it’s not OK to get overly emotional.

For example, Samantha has this thing where she scream cries.  At just about everything.  OK, not everything, but the things she chooses to get emotional at, which does seem like everything from time to time.  She doesn’t get her way: scream cry.  Loud noises hurt her ears: scream cry.  She gets in trouble for whatever reason: scream cry.  She falls down: scream cry.  A friend wants to go home: scream cry.  I can’t tell you the number of times I got a yellow note home from her Kindergarten teacher because she was scream crying so loud another teacher had to come in and check on her.  All because a kid called her a name, or she didn’t get to finish her work, or whatever.

I mean, seriously, it’s just about everything.  I feel like we are to blame though.  She was an only child for over 5 years, and I had no intentions of changing that.  After my experience with postpartum depression, I wanted to steer clear of babies.  So, we spoiled her.  Gave her everything.  Gave into her cries.  You name it, we did it.

I wanted her to feel loved and special.  I felt as if I wasn’t doing that with the horrible, intrusive thoughts that were in my mind, and the darkness that surrounded me.  The days that I felt good, I wanted to make up for the days that I didn’t.  The days when I screamed at her for no reason, raged for no reason, or just was smothered by the darkness.  There was a reason.  It’s because PPD is a bitch, and so is anxiety and any other form of mental illness.

However, those bad days were not the real me, and I felt the need to compensate for them.  However, giving into her wants, like toys every time we went to the store, were not things that make up for bad days.  Spending time doing what she enjoys, such as art, is the way to do it.  I know that now, but at the time I felt it wasn’t enough.

So, here we are, 6 years into her life, and we are stuck.  She’s an emotional wreck, a bit immature if you will.  Now that her baby sister is here, she doesn’t get the attention as much anymore, so it seems like the tears are here all the time.  Or she is trying her hardest to get my attention when it’s not on her, whether in a good or bad way.  I don’t know what to do, really.  Every child needs discipline and boundaries, so how do you do that with a kid who hasn’t had much of it until recently?

Honestly, and this is probably my guilt from the past 6 years rearing its head, but I feel like she is not her bright, cheerful self anymore because of the change in discipline and boundaries.  How do I know if it’s just an act to get her way (which I know she does quite often because the sudden lack of tears and joyful attitude show me that), or if she really is blue about the changes in her life?  How do I fix that?  How do I show her she is still loved and cared about without giving in to her?

Raising maturity is hard work.  We all want our kids to grow up well-rounded, and functioning members of society.  So how do we get over the parenting guilt?  I know I’m not the only one with the guilt, so how do you get past it?  How do you teach your child boundaries, respect, and discipline while also showing them that they are still loved over the moon?