Family Nights

fmi-family-nightIt was around the end of November when I decided that we should start doing a weekly family night. I had the vision of us all gathered around watching Christmas shows from our childhood as my child gazed upon the screen in wonder as we all drank hot chocolate, ate popcorn and snuggled in during a cold evening.

I’m pretty sure that’s the fantasy that we all have when our children are young.

The reality: nobody wants the same snack, mom and dad opt for alcohol because by the time we’ve set up the couches with blankets and pillows because we’ve already had hot chocolate spilled everywhere. By the time the movie is 5 minutes in Jr. still hasn’t found a comfy spot and has had to go pee twice. Part way it’s announced “I dumped my popcorn.” Upon trying to snuggle with said child I’ve gotten the back of his head cracking into my forehead, I’ve been elbowed and kneed so much that I no longer want him in close proximity anymore and send him back to his couch.

I start to wonder why I bother and if my son is even enjoying this, that’s when the laughter comes. When we’re watching Home Alone and he shouts that this  is the best movie ever, that watching Finding Dory at home was better than going to the theater, and that the next night he’s asking to do it all over again.

Maybe in time we’ll have that picturesque family night that I so dream of but who am I kidding thinking having a kid was going to mean that anything we were going to do was going to be peaceful?

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Hard Discipline

calvinI come from an era and household of hard discipline. I was a child whom was raised by the fear of the wooden spoon and belt. My parents beat the bad out of  me, and honestly I can’t remember what I ever did that was so bad. Oh I’m sure I mouthed off, I fought with my brother, but it’s not like I was out there stealing cars or defacing public property. I’m not a big believer nor fan of beating your kid. I can count on one hand the few “swats” to the bum that I delivered my child, I say swats because they were barely enough to do anything more than startle the crap out of  my kid to teach a hard lesson.

The first time it happened was at the terrible two stage where he let go of my hand and bolted for the car in the parking lot (granted the parking lot was dead and was for our townhouse complex.) Still I was so angry because he had been told to hold my hand whenever we were in a parking lot, I smucked his diapered little bum which padded any possible impact. He looked up at me with a quivering lip and started to cry. I got down on my knees and told him he must NEVER run away from me in a parking lot. Yes it was only a few feet that he ran and we were already pretty much by the door but my heart pounded at the possibilities of him getting hurt… and here I was the terrible enforcer had just “spanked” my child. I almost cried myself but I held it together and stood firm on the lesson.

I find that my job is a double edged sword, I get to see my son every day after school as I work; this also means I get to deal with whatever mood he is in and suddenly if the mood isn’t a great one mom is no longer a teacher or authority figure, she’s just his mom which means listening to her doesn’t overly apply. These are the days where I put him on time out and threaten him with “just wait until we get home.”

I’m sure it seems like I lock my child in a dank, dark closet, after a firm beating with the way he carries on about his awaiting punishment at home. Of course that’s not the case at all. The drive home usually means that mom is either too upset to talk and wants him sitting quietly in his seat thinking about his actions or she’s talking “firmly” to him about her expectations for his behavior in after school care. My child still hasn’t learned the fact that sorry fixes every thing… he still hasn’t learned either that his punishments are beyond laughable.

It’s not like he’s lighting fires in the school bathrooms… he’s being a 6 year old boy who just spent the day at school and is tired of the rules. He’ll run around the classroom, he’ll be asked to quiet down, to not throw the cars, to not have a temper tantrum in the gym when he’s “it” or “caught.” So when we get home he goes up to his room and is told to do some reading for a bit before dinner. Of course this beyond horrible that a child should be told to do some reading when he has hundreds of books and it’s simply considered homework anyways. The cavalry is sent in before dinner and we have another talk about his day and what he could have done better; then he comes downstairs for dinner and eats at the table with his parents (on Fridays and Saturdays we usually let him eat downstairs in his playroom so mom and dad can have an adult conversation at the dinner table.) The horror of missing one of these days is just devastating. Then depending on the day and severity of said punishment he is told he can only play in his room… his room which is a secondary playroom but doesn’t have an X-box or Lego. Usually his wind down time before bed consists of a short movie in his room with some snacks so he doesn’t starve to death. Pretty hard done by isn’t he? Of course there’s limits set too, this weekend is without video games or his tablet which he can easily live without. He gets to be in his playroom and watch television but will be incredibly hard done by because he won’t be getting McDonalds or having friends over to play… this is a pathetic way of being “grounded.”

I sometimes wonder if I’m enabling him by not having harder punishments but his “I’m sorry’s” throughout the days give me hope that he’s learning some kind of lesson.

Of course if he turns out to be an 8 year old with attitude then I’m sure I’ll turn into a drill Sargent with extra chores and threats about boarding school but for now I’ll be on the laxer side of things.



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Syncing With Others

bestEver since my best friend moved away I’ve found it incredibly hard to get out. I think I’ve gone out all of 5 times if that with some friends. I don’t really have too many mom friends; their children are different ages than mine other than one; and with that being said most of them are single parents or work full days and are bagged by the end of the day. Not to mention they all work completely different shifts and are all over the place with work. That being said I have a small handful of friends without kids, friends who want to be out until the sun comes up and spend copious amounts of amounts of money and end up hungover where as I will be getting up the next morning to deal with a 6 year old.

When your best friend is your neighbor it’s easy to simply knock on their door and ask if they want to walk to the corner store, to hang out on the deck with the kids on sunny days and let them splash in the pool as we drink virgin margarita concoctions before noon. To simply slink over to their house and sit on the couch as they clean (and then get up and help  them so you’re not yelling as they’re running down the hallway with laundry.)

I miss my girl time, whether it was sitting on the couch eating bad food watching movies that no male would ever want to watch or dressing up and going drinking and dancing. I miss it all… the walks, the talks, finding little hidden treasures from deli’s to coffee shops.

I’ve been stuck since she’s moved, it’s hard to make friends and even when one does it seems even harder to continuously stay connected with life pulling people every direction possible.

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It Does Get Quieter

…it just takes a few years.

Hey mom’s… don’t think that the constant child needing your full attention is going to last forever. I promise a day will come where you child is old enough and independent enough that they don’t need to be in your line of sight to survive. That the golden silence that you crave will come and that nothing will be wrong, that your child will be playing quietly on their own.

There will come a day where you can sleep in, where even if your child wakes up early you can trust them to do their own thing without destroying the house or being unsafe.

You will be capable of having a day where you can physically be in your house with your child and simply do nothing and relax and enjoy some peace.

That’s what I did today; I’m exhausted from meetings this week at work, beyond the full moon delight that seems to put children in moods that make you suddenly believe that lycanthrophy is a real thing.  Last Saturday I was in a course for nearly 9 hours and last Sunday I had a day of running errands and getting things done. Today I said to hell with it and I made it a me day. I didn’t bother getting dressed, I had a nice long bath, a read, a played on my phone and all the while my son played quietly on his own and it’s been blissful.

You can do this too, do it and don’t feel guilty about it. You’re not neglecting your child by wanting some time to yourself, they’re allowed to play on their own and be left to their own devices without you entertaining them for the day. In fact it’s good for the both of you, so don’t forget that a well rested mom is a much more patient mom.

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New Year New Vanity

2013So… in 2015 I became a closet alcoholic, I also began incredibly horrible food and even though I jumped on the treadmill my weekends consisted of drinking after my son went to bed. I was at a loss, even more so when my grandfather died and I had suddenly lost my grandmother (whom is still alive but will never be the same person.) I was unhappy that our hope to sell our town home which seemed to shrink daily wasn’t going to happen as it was worth spit and we would lose quite a bit of money on it. Drinking and eating like crap on the weekends and “working out” became a balance which kept me from being 300lbs.

2016 came into play and we started renovating our kitchen with my dad’s help. A job that was supposed to take 3 weeks turned into 3 months… when your kitchen is torn apart and everything has pretty much been moved into the dining room you tend to eat out a lot. Since I still had my fridge I still had wine to consume as the stress of my house being torn apart drove me insane. Of course as the kitchen continued to be torn apart it took up  more of the family room which is  where the workouts happened, the couches that had to be moved to the sides no longer moved and I merely did meager workouts on the treadmill as I refused to bulge up and wanted to stay in shape. Yes I was in “shape” but I’m sure my liver was dying. Upon putting renovations first, listing and selling and packing the pounds packed on. 15lbs to be exact which seemed to make themselves very apparent.

Upon moving into our new house which is twice the size hubby and I actually have a room that has been set up as a gym. It’s sole purpose is for working out. It has a door so there’s no 6 year old running around and sharing the space, it has a tv for dvd workouts and more equipment than I know what to do with. Now that we are settled and the craziness of the holidays are over it’s time to physically shed the 2 years of stress weight that I’ve put on and get back to being healthy.

My goals are simple, I have a fitbit that helps track everything so I want to workout 5 times a week.

I want to hit 10,000 step every day (which 99% of the time isn’t an issue.)

I need to drink more water (and less of everything else.)

I want to be back at a healthy 125lbs by May/June.



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Wow It’s Been So Long!

I know right? Where did I go? What happened?

Well… let’s look at what happened in life.

Hubby went back to school to get training to become a heavy equipment operator.

We both left our jobs that were making us incredibly unhappy, we now work better hours and make more money and all in all are happier people.

2015 was the worst year ever.

My best friend in the entire world moved away (along with her husband and little girl.) This left myself and my kiddo incredibly devastated as we both lost our best friend. Since we were neighbors I dealt with having to walk past their place every day and my son asking where aunty and his cousin were.

My grandfather became ill and was hospitalized, as this time my son ended up with pneumonia and I couldn’t go see him for a week because I didn’t want to get him sick. Furthermore once we were better I began visiting him twice a day to spend time with him. After a botched surgery and hospital screw ups there was no way to deny he was dying.

At this time there was mold found in my son’s room which became a 3 month dramatic disaster involving strata and a restoration company who further messed up the room so we had our son sleeping in our room on a cot since the wall was half take out of his (did I mention this was about mid February?)

My grandfather’s condition worsened, we said goodbye at the hospital and thought he was going to pass… he didn’t. He was moved to hospice which was a few blocks down from my house. My mother was an absolute wreck (as was my grandmother) so my uncle and I took up spending time with him in the hospice. My son visited him a few times but as his condition became worse the visits stopped happening. My grandfather passed away 5 days before my son’s 5th birthday.

His birthday was lack luster as we took him to a large tourist trap 2 towns over which had tons of dinosaurs around the playground. He was so happy but considering it was the day after my grandfather’s funeral the feeling was rather dull. The family put on a good show for him. This was the end of April 2015

Kindergarten came and to my luck my son got an out of this world kindergarten teacher who was my savior. She understood that he was an out of the box child and embraced and loved him for all his unique attributes. From making zombie teddy bears to wanted to be a special FX artist where all the other kids wanted to be doctors or mommy’s she immersed herself and encouraged his individuality.

2016 was the year of renovations. I had told my husband that if I had to have another Christmas in the townhouse we were in that I would stab myself (I wasn’t kidding.) The market was finally on the rise so we started the super annoying process of gutting and renovating the townhouse in hopes that we could get out of there as the strata was going to absolute hell to the point that we were concerned with a possible $5,000 levi hanging over our heads to fix the building. We re-did the entire kitchen, bathrooms, and re-painted the entire house.

Late July 2016 the market had finally picked up and we listed the place… it sold in 4 days and on the day it sold we found our dream home for the price that was right. Then came the process of moving (which was no fun at all.)

September 19 2016 we were moved into our new house and deeply concerned for our child’s well being as for the past few months he had been suffering stomach and headaches. He had been back and forth to the doctor nearly every week with continuous blood tests that didn’t give us any answers. In the end it was merely the stress of the house being torn apart, packing, and moving… thank goodness.

I now sit here today in my new home typing this as I had completely forgotten The Vanity Mom blog.

In the next while I’ll re-account everything that I’ve gone through with my son and husband in detail. From loss, depression, hopelessness, loneliness, to how I dealt with a million and one questions about death, to renovating with a child running around the house like crazy and much more.

I am happy to be back and writing again.



Posted in Kids Are Weird, Little Boys, Parenting, Venting | Leave a comment

Big Changes, First Week Of Daycare.

I have been away for a while, my family was hit with some very hard news and it seems that big decisions and choices had to be made all around… this came of course right as I took on a second job from home doing online programming.

It was kiddo’s first official week of daycare, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are his days, daddy will be picking him up early on the days that he has early shift. I had felt wracked with guilt, suddenly I have time to myself to work in peace, which makes me feel horrible to think about “working in peace” without my child but it’s something I need to do in order to get work done. There are all of these stay at home mothers whom dote on their children, they nurture them with every bit of their very being and I was simply not able to do that because we can’t financially afford it. The first day I dropped him off I felt horrible, I busied myself with cleaning the house in an insane amount of time and then set to work. The guilt changed when I picked him up and he didn’t want to leave, it lessened when during our snuggle time before bed he told me in such an excited tone everything he had done at daycare that day, it was even better the next morning when he bounded into my room saying “mommy I get to go to daycare today!”

The way I look at it is this will do him good, I do not have the means to be able to socialize him with other children, to teach him the way he’s being taught there, to have him out and about and doing other activities, crafts, painting, story time, parks, playgrounds and still be able to work. I’m now okay with this because even in this week alone I have noticed such an improvement in his listening, that there’s a schedule to things now, a process and routine of how things are done and it’s wonderful.

So all in all, this is good. I can’t look at it that I am failing my son because I can’t be at home. He now has a safe place to go where he can interact with other children his age, where he can play and learn, where he can be challenged and still have fun, and I am now making more money to be able to secure a better future for this family.

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