Friday 5, Life

Random Friday 3: How not to parent, a nice article, and a podcast

1- How Not to Parent

It’s the end of what I feel has been a very busy week. SO MUCH GOOD stuff happened, but I honestly feel a little overwhelmed.

Being gone all last weekend and getting home at 8 pm Sunday night, then rolling right into a busy week with my birthday stuff, the Pretty Woman show, and work, plus 2 early morning swim practices for Asher, lots of kid running, three appointments during work days and a couple of extra late nights has me….. feeling frazzled. Today (Friday) is my most open day of the week, and I’m feeling a little restored just knowing I don’t have any interruptions today.

Also, I just took a quick walk, and it is around 70 degrees and sunny outside. BEAUTIFUL!

random tree I just saw and photographed.

The frazzled feelings can trickle down and affect my parenting skills. This morning I sort of lost it on the boys as we were headed out the door to the bus. I glanced at the floor under the breakfast bar, and I saw crumbs. A lot of crumbs. And just yesterday, I spent a full 30 minutes tidying up the house before the piano tuner came, because the house just felt like a total mess and I was embarrassed to let him in like that.

As part of that “tidy up”, I vacuumed the kitchen, very thoroughly. So please tell me, why, not even 24 hours later, the floor is all full of crumbs again, when I have an almost 13 and 14 year old eating at that breakfast bar?!

I got into “yelly mom mode” and screeched something like, “WHY CAN YOU NOT EAT OVER THE PLATE??? WHY ARE THERE CRUMBS ALL OVER THE FLOOR?!! Are you toddlers who cannot get food into their mouth without dropping it? Can you not use a broom? Or a vacuum???” (Cue children staring like….wtf mom….). With that, I huffed over to the closet and yanked out the vacuum, forcefully, and vacuumed up the crumbs while I simultaneously glared at them, while they stood waiting to go out to the car, looking both a little guilty and a little confused.

ANYWAY, hope you enjoyed that peek into my Friday morning! 😂 Maybe don’t take any parenting advice from me. lol.

2- Speaking of parenting, I saw this nice article titled 3 Ways to Foster Your Middle Schooler’s Independence on the Raising Teens Today site.

Hopefully this author is a more skilled parent than I am and doesn’t wig out on her kids like I did, but let’s be real- I bet she does.

The 3 main takeaways were:

  • 1. Don’t hover over your middle schooler’s academic life.
  • 2. Give them plenty of space at home.
  • 3. Allow them the freedom to become who they’re meant to be.

I especially like the last one. That is SO HARD!! The article says: “As a teacher, the one thing I found is that far too many middle schoolers are focused on pleasing their parents… following their dreams of who they should be, playing sports because their parents want them to play them, trying desperately to get good grades because it’s what their parents hope and expect of them.”

It’s so tricky to know how to encourage kids/ support them/ not raise “quitters” or “slackers”, etc… while still letting them figure stuff out and become who they want to be.

3- On my little lunch break walk, I listened to this Empowered Radio podcast episode. Her weekly episodes are super short and sweet- this one was only 11 minutes.

This one was titled: “10 Weeks Left in 2022! 3 Tips for Avoiding Weight Gain”

There was nothing in there I really didn’t already know- it’s not rocket science. Eat fewer Christmas cookies and stop inhaling cheese and crackers like they’re oxygen. HA. I’m kidding, that’s not what she said. (I editorialized.)

But I found it interesting to think about: a) the fact that there are only 10 weeks left in 2022!! WHOA. And b) I just enjoyed the friendly little reminders in this episode.

The 3 takeaways here were (to hopefully not gain during holiday season):

  1. Eat 20-30 grams of protein per meal, in 3-4 meals per day.
  2. Fit in some kind of daily movement.
  3. Keep an eye on your “stats”. (Like, your scale weight, measurements, progress pics, how your clothes fit- whatever you normally use to sort of gauge your weight.)

I liked how she really emphasized you do NOT need to cut out all enjoyable foods and holiday events/activities! But with some moderate intention, you can probably maintain your weight instead of gaining 10 lbs like many people do.

She also mentioned that it’s totally fine to scale things back some in terms of workouts, if you’re super busy during the holiday season. (e.g. If you normally weight train, but it’s hard to get to the gym in this dark, cold season, that’s ok- just focus on doing something. A walk, a yoga video, a little home workout….just keep on moving.)

I do think it can be easy to sort of either spiral totally out of control and go into YOLO/ It’s Christmas!! mode for 2 months, or go way too strict and suck all the joy out of what should be fun, happy times.

Have a great weekend!!

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for my heating pad which I have been applying to my upper back intermittently today. Got one of those annoying kinks in my back last night – must have slept weird. Ugh. 

9 thoughts on “Random Friday 3: How not to parent, a nice article, and a podcast”

  1. omg maybe there was something in the air, because I was 100% that mom today too. no one was ready this morning and I had patients and a deadline to get to work and I yelled at G “WHY DID YOU MESS UP YOUR HAIRRRRR” when she was just trying to put clips in it (which . . .did mess it up. you are lucky you have no girl hairstyles to contend with!!!!)


    1. Oh thank god it’s not just me. And also, thank god I don’t have to do girl hairstyles!!! I can barely do my own, much less trying to style someone else’s!!! The universe knew what it was doing when I was given boys. 😅 I’m so not a good girly girl type!!


  2. This was me too!!! Yesterday morning I mopped the kitchen for the first time…in a while. And last night over the summer hour L dropped TWO things on the floor (he *was* being careless). The first time I let it slide gracefully, but the second time I let him know I was unimpressed. Sigh. It’s only a floor!! But there were crumbs and drips everywhere. Double sigh.

    Also: I swear every single time I mop the floors or change the kids sheets something goes awry. If I don’t mop the floors for a month, nothing big gets spilled. The instant I mop, someone will come in with muddy shoes or will drop a cup of milk. Every. single. time.


  3. i am that mom almost everyday for few minutes or seconds, Hahahah, we are all human and that’s okay. Whenever I’m crappy for something or someone, I’d easily lose patience for an otherwise innocent kid act. It might be because it’s more “ok” to be that with our kids than with your colleagues or friends. Kids are much more tolerant.


  4. A couple years ago, I read the book “How not to Lose Your Sh*t with your Kids” and…. going in, I thought it was going to be a book on how to get my kids to do what I wanted so I could stop storming and screaming at everyone, and really it was a book on how to be a calmer parent, and my main takeaways were: 1) get more sleep, and 2) stay off my phone. hah. Anyway, not the secrets to parenthood that I wanted, but also probably some really good tactics for me as a person.
    I was reading about restraint collapse, and how kids spend all day being good at school and in public so it’s a little expected that they fall apart at home, and reading your post made me realize that I have restraint collapse too – I get that same frazzled feeling from having to hold it together and adult so hard during a busy week, and then when I’m at home, everyone sees the not so good side of me.
    Have you read the books “The Self-Driven Child” or “What do you Say” by Johnson and Stixrud? The authors make some of the same points as in the article. They said that in studies they’ve found that when they ask kids what their parents want, kids will say, “They want me to get good grades.” or “They want me to do well at swimming.” But when you ask the parents what they want for their kids, parents say, “I want my kids to be happy.” So there is a disconnect between what parents want and what they are communicating to their kids. Johnson and Stixrud talk about a parent as a “consultant” in their child’s life, which I think is a great way to think about it.


    1. I know I read The Self-Drive Child not too long ago- in the last couple of years. I remember liking it! But that’s about all I remember at the moment! haha! Maybe I’ll have to re-read. I will have to check out that other one.

      It is really an interesting topic. I do think that of course all parents want their kids to be happy, but…. that being said, I definitely think that sometimes what the parents “say” and what they subconsciously actually want or maybe even portray may be a little different. You can see on the sports fields- there are definitely parents that clearly WANT their kids to really excel at that sport, maybe as sort of a wish to either have their kids be the “superstar” kid, or fulfill their own childhood dreams through their child now, or whatever. I mean, I think it’s also normal- deep down no one probably really hopes their kid will come in last place in the swim race, but obviously someone’s kid will…

      Of course, I think everyone ultimately wants the child to be happy above all, but I do think it’s a challenging thing, especially for many more type A/ driven parents. Like if you are super motivated/ a high achiever/competitive type, and maybe you have a super laid back kid who likes to draw and doesn’t care if he wins at anything, it can be difficult! Or if a kid comes from a family of doctors, the parents might really hope the kid will be a doctor! (Or other equally “successful” career.) If the kid just doesn’t really have the drive though, or isn’t motivated, or even just wants to be something else, I could see that being difficult for some people to swallow.


  5. Oh we have all had those moments. I listen to the podcast by a child psychologist, Dr. Becky, and she talks about how she loses her sh*t with her kids, too. I think it is nice to hear that other people, even experts, struggle with the same thing. And I think Diane’s point above about restraint collapse is spot-on. Oh and Phil gets sooo upset over crumbs in our kitchen and is always harping on Paul to eat over his plate. It bothers me less than him, but he is also the one who is sweeping the kitchen/vacuuming/cleaning so it’s extra annoying to him when he gets the floors nice and clean and then Paul makes a mess. He gets less annoyed with Will since Will is a toddler. But it’s still frustrating. But I get triggered by other things. And I have definitely lost my cool with the boys and feel awful afterwards!

    I hope this week is quieter! Last week was a FULL week! We had a pretty full weekend so I am feeling kind of tired but that is kind of how I always start my weeks… Weekends are just kind of tiring for me in this stage of parenting since they are soooo hands on. I look around at parents who are like reading a newspaper or on their phone and the park and I am envious! I know that will come in a couple of years. But right now, parenting is soooo hands on!


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