Tidbits To Remember When My Children Are Grown

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Life is a roller coaster of ups and downs, bad decisions and good, regrets and triumphs.  Looking back at my own childhood, I have so much sympathy for what my parents endured. While they were on a journey that took them down a different path than my own jaunt so far, I see many parallels between our lives, our adventures and misfortunes.

I also see many areas that I want to learn from. Not necessarily mistakes that they made, but small divergences from the path I want to remain on, that I hope not to repeat. These lessons are not just from observing my own family and experiences, but from friends and even strangers I have watched along the way.

Knowing how my mind works (meaning it doesn’t) I think it prudent to write down these lessons, these little tidbits of advice for my future self. Seeing as I can barely find the sunglasses on my head…

Remember Your Younger Self

Remember how hard childhood can be, how difficult it is to try and discover yourself and be your own person. Remember that you feared becoming your mother as a teenager….and it’s ok if your daughter feels the same way. Remember that there were days that the world overwhelmed and terrified you to the point where all you could accomplish was curling in a chair to read a book all day, and your son may feel the same way at times and need a video game break.  Age changes your memories, it makes certain pieces of your past stronger while fading others. For your own children’s sake, endeavor to remember and to find sympathy in those memories.

establish equality when they Marry/Become Parents

Remember to treat your children and their significant others equally on their big days. Whether this be with wedding planning or baby shower gifts, each day should only be marked by the specialness of the occasion not by how one child was treated differently than another. Find a set of specific gifts to bestow on each child for their first baby, set aside a certain amount of time and money for each wedding…deviating from this path can create bitterness and hurt feelings.

Give Information

As your children grow older they will become enmeshed in their own lives; time will fly by and they will suddenly realize that they haven’t seen their grandparents often enough. Work, children, and LIFE simply gets in the way. However, when illness strikes, your children will come to visit, they will make the time. Do not shelter them from the facts, let them know what is going on. Tell them if grandma is having tests done or has planned a surgery, warn them of an impending biopsy or worries about grandpa’s memory…You may think you are protecting them by keeping such information private, but all you are doing is taking away valuable time that your children could be making memories, or saying goodbye. Give the information and let your children process it and take steps as they see fit. Have pride and trust in the in people you raised to be able to handle the news and act accordingly.

Love Your Son and Daughter In Laws Like Your Own

Giving your children away to the care of someone else is going to be hard. It’s going to bring tears of joy and sadness as your children create lives of their own with someone else. You may find this even harder if you aren’t a particularly big fan of the person your child chooses for a mate. However, your child loves that person, your child wants them in their lives forever, and one sure way to create a rift between yourself and the life they create is to openly dislike them.  Hopefully, you will fall easily in love with the person your child has chosen, but if not, you must rise above your distaste and treat them with respect and care. Make them part of your family, as your child has. Don’t show favorites between your sons and daughters in law, even if you feel them in your heart.

let go

A time will come when your children struggle, when they need your help to pick up the pieces of the life they fought so hard to create. Bouey them, be their rock and give them the support and tools they need to begin again. Give them time and love…but do not be a crutch forever. As much as they need you to pick them up, they also need you to let them go, to force them to live their life alone once again, to make their own decisions, mistakes and bask in their personal triumphs. Do not let them forget to live as much as you may love having them around again, you did not raise them to live in your basement…push them to find their own path once more.

Take Your Grandchildren/Visit Often

Once again, your life will be busy and crazy and it will be easy to let your grandkids grow up too fast with not enough of you in their memories.  Take your grandchildren often. Set aside special backyard campouts and days at the park. Take them individually for special alone weekends and big pancake breakfasts where no one tells them they used too much syrup or butter and give them their own can of whipped cream to add as much topping as they would like. Babysit them whenever possible, even if it is inconvenient. Children grow so fast, and you are only getting older, let them help keep you young.

Be Consistent

Hopefully you will have LOTS of grandchildren. Make sure that you treat them each equally. Spend time with them all and be sure not to show favorites.  Make sure presents at Christmas and Birthdays are both different for each child yet comparable. If you have some grandchildren that live farther away, be sure that you send them small gifts of love to let them know you are thinking of them even as you spend one on one time with those that live closer to you. Call them on their Birthdays and holidays that you miss, Send silly cards for the sake of saying “hi” or “thanks” and always include a big hug or kiss. You won’t be around forever, make your love known now.

Don’t Forget, Everyone is Crazy

And so are you, in your own way. Try to be patient with your family when they drive you nuts rather than driving them away. There will be times when you drive everyone around you nuts as well. Your children will make decisions and act in ways that you cannot understand when they are older, try to remember that you raised them to live their own lives and not simply to abide by how you would live their life. Allow them to make their own mistakes and do not offer judgement, be humble and never jealous when they outshine you. Celebrate their every triumph, even if you do not consider it to be one.

My children grow older with every moment. Soon I will look around and find a quiet house, a clean house that I despise. Hopefully, remembering and abiding by these tidbits will keep my house busy with visits from my grown up babies and the children they have made.

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Workout Wednesday #8: Fitness Through Sickness

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I think by now everyone knows that when your body is healthy your mind will follow. You will be less prone to depression, injury and illness.

Nevertheless, germs are freaking everywhere! Between snotty kids, less than cleanly co-workers, and dirty doorknobs EVERYWHERE, everyone is bound to get sick at some point.

Think you had a hard time motivating yourself to workout when you were well? Try getting yourself geared up for a jog or a jot at the gym with a killer cold!

Here’s the thing though, you NEED to continue your workout routine through the sickness. Not only will it actually help you beat the germs faster, kind of like sweating out toxins, but you will feel better after a good hard routine.

There are, of course, some exceptions. If you are nauseous or, God forbid, have jumped straight into vomiting hell, you get a workout pass.  Barfing on the gym floor is bad form. 

Also any chest cold that causes a cough hard enough to create difficulty breathing or asthma like symptoms; you can rest on the couch for a day or so. There will be no dying while working out.

Another one to sit out for is a fever. If you are already running hot you should not get your body temperature even higher with a workout.

Everyone else, strap on your tennis shoes and get a  move on!

I have done plenty of workout outs where I am forced to pause to blow my nose constantly, or cough up a bit of phlegm mid jump rope. Power through my friend.

Yes, it’s gonna suck some serious arse while you do it, but you and your body will feel better for pushing through the burn.

You also don’t have to do your usual routine on a super sick day. You should absolutely try to, but if you just can’t manage it, take it down a notch. Take a jaunty walk around the block or do a in indoor walking workout like the one below from Jessica Smith.

There are plenty of low impact exercises you can do through illness that will still work your body but make you fell less like you want to die.

Another idea is to simply do a “Bro-Lift” day.  Rather than doing high impact HIIT, interval workouts, or compound movements designed to work your muscles while getting your heart rate up, plan on some general lifting moves. Try doing 4 rounds of 25 Bicep Curls, 25 overhead presses, 25 slow squats, 25 hammer curls,  and 25 tricep dips (or press backs). Take a good 2-3 minute break in between rounds so your heart rate doesn’t skyrocket.

Don’t get me wrong, this will get your heart going, but it will do so in less of a cardio fashion that can exacerbate a bad cold.

You can also go for a round of good old fashioned Yoga. I’m not much of a yoga fan, myself. I prefer getting my heart up rather than trying to calm it down. However, there was about a week in October of last year where I was wretchedly ill and just couldn’t do anything bouncy, so I gave it a try. I must admit that, though I prefer a different style of exercise, my muscles still got a good push from this form of fitness. The video below was one of one my favorites.

I know you don’t want to focus on fitness during your sickness. However it is important to continue to mold your body. Push yourself through the hard times and you will see results both in your physical strength and your body’s ability fight germs in the future.

In the past two years, as my husband and I have taken our fitness more seriously, we have seen a massive reduction in the amount of illness we contract and also in the time it takes to recover when we do get sick. With 5 kids bringing home nastiness, CONSTANTLY, this is a big win for us.

So grab a box of tissues and your gym bag, it’s “fitness through sickness” time!

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Workout Wednesday #5: February’s Featured Trainer

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Hello again from Workout Wednesday’s with Brandi at Big Fit Fam!

I am super excited this week to introduce a new feature of this series that will help you stay motivated, find a variety of fun, at home workouts, and try new styles of fitness!

I am super excited this week to introduce a new feature of this series that will help you stay… Click To Tweet

Also, be sure to tune back in next week for a 10 minute standing ab workout! Continue reading “Workout Wednesday #5: February’s Featured Trainer”

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Mother Of The Year Contest – LOST

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At the end of each year, every mother is excited for the start of a new year.  It’s a time for planning trips, making resolutions, and of course for a new Mother Of The Year Contest!

The winner of this contest is the BEST mother in the world. This mother never yells, she smiles and guides her children with care; she is always well dressed with her hair coiffed and make-up carefully applied. This mother volunteers at all school events, attends PTO meetings with pride, knows her children’s teacher’s birthdays and brings coffee to the school office staff on cold, frosty mornings. Continue reading “Mother Of The Year Contest – LOST”

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