Because That’s Family

My daughter is at that age where she is starting to want to do what she wants and not want to do what the family wants to do. Although it’s a quick moment she feels this way, it is a new chapter in our lives where my first born is getting older and having two little brothers can sometimes be more annoying than it used to be. Combine the two little brothers with one having autism and really not getting the emotional side of things, more often than not, it makes it even more difficult for this tween daughter of mine to have tolerance some days.

I get it. I have low tolerance some days. I get it. I don’t like to play Mario Kart with our autistic family member either. I get it. I don’t always want to do what any of the kids want to do.

But I do it.

Why?

Because that’s family!

I am a firm believer that, within reason, a family unit learns to do things that each of us may not want to do in that moment because another family member wants to. We keep a balance in allowing each child to have some choice in what to do during the day. Being home all summer with three kids can make for a juggling act and my children need to learn how to balance and tolerate each other.

Because that’s family!

I teach my children the life lessons I want instilled within them through my own actions, leading by example is best in all situations in life. Sure I don’t much like to play Mario Kart, I never really used to like Minecraft, and I certainly don’t enjoy being chopped playing Ninja’s, but I do it. All of it.

Because that’s family!

With my example and ways of communicating properly to children, we have learned to become quite the unit together. As my daughter stated the other day, “we have a very understanding, compassionate, loving and accepting family anyone can blossom when they live with us because we accept and love everyone”!

Because that’s family!

I See you Staring, and It’s Not Okay

Raising a special needs child who’s special needs are not visible can make parenting a challenge. Really that whole sentence is bull crap and the reason I say it is bull crap is because raising a special needs child is challenging regardless of the physical appearance, level of special needs or anything else you want to compare from one special needs child to any other child. Raising children is a challenge. Period. The end.

I am raising three very different children, sure you can pinpoint a similar trait between them all, if you are around them long enough, but overall, at first glance I bet you see that one child … my middle son who happens to be special needs. You do not notice my other two children who are mingling, smiling, laughing and having a grand ole time, you notice that one child of mine who is having a difficult time transitioning from the pool to the car or from the car to the park. You are seeing that child having a hard time and you look at me. You stare. As if I am the worlds worse parent, why? I honestly cannot answer that question. I do not know why you stare.

Clearly you have never had a bad day. Clearly you have never had a difficult time with something. Clearly you simply just do not have much compassion because staring or glaring or even whispering amongst yourselves is what makes you feel good. The thing about your whispers, stares and glares is that you are damn lucky it doesn’t affect my special needs child. My middle child has autism and his difficult times have no boundaries and no limits, meltdowns can be brought on by something minimal like a deviled egg sliding the wrong on his plate to the chair being tilted slightly, to the number of people around him. My middle child has autism and he doesn’t notice a thing that you do, for he doesn’t care. My middle child may be classified as special needs but I consider him lucky, lucky that he will not bare witness to the cruel ways people will look at him when he’s having a hard time. Lucky that, unlike you, he doesn’t give a damn about you, he only cares about himself and what’s going on in his world. You all that stare could take a lesson from my special needs child, because while he was born with some special needs; he is much more than that. My special needs child is the most honest, loyal and devoted child I have ever met.

In other ways, I feel that my son is not lucky. He will form so many close bonds with people who will be cruel and mean to him. My son will suffer some social awkwardness and yes, you will stare then too. You will stare at him as if he has done lost his mind, because after all, the only thing you see is a ‘normal’ young boy, who looks overall healthy, seems fine and has no physical disability or disinformation to his body that screams out ‘special needs’. I feel the pain he doesn’t feel. I have had to learn to be stronger as a parent, because of him. My son’s siblings have learned to be stronger because of him. My son’s siblings have learned to not stare at others differences, nor judge other people for their differences. Because of special needs child with autism, we have learned to have such a deeper level of compassion, patience and love that you, who are staring at my seven year old son … will ever have.

I say to you, those who stare at something that is appearing to be an unruly child, or a mother who doesn’t know how to parent her child, stop staring. Stop glaring. Stop whispering amongst yourselves. If you have a question about my parenting or my son, ask. I would much rather you ask, let me explain or you just stay the hell out of it. Go on with your marry way and not stare. My son wasn’t bothering you by his crying, was he? My son wasn’t bothering you when I had to restrain him as a means to whack him back down to planet Earth, was he? My son did nothing to you, right? Then stop. Have some compassion and maybe, just maybe, instead of staring at me .. lend a hand. Lend me a hug. Reach out to me.

More often than not, I am holding tears back, just below the surface and one wrong transition, one bad move, one every day situation for my autistic son can pretty much put me on the verge of a full meltdown of tears myself. Stop judging others. Stop thinking you are a better parent than me, because I am the last person who would ever say, think or feel that way about you. Ever.

While I hold back how I feel about your stares, I have learned to put that on the back burner, because in that moment all that matters is that I do what has been taught to me to do when my son is having that type of situation. I have been trained on how to handle my son and one of the biggest things that ensure I handle him properly, is to ensure I ignore your stares. I have to suck it up, to be honest, and not worry about that look I can feel you giving me, that burning sensation of your eyeballs glued onto my son and me. I have to ignore it. Meanwhile, I am breaking down inside. I am hurting. I am struggling, because being a parent to a child with special needs is a challenge. Raising kids is a challenge. We all need to have more compassion for others, parenthood is rough stuff people. Love more, judge less. It takes a village.

The end.

 

 

Growing Vegetables, Slightly Later in Season

We have been wanting to have our own garden forever, but we moved into this house a bit late in the season last year and with all that comes with moving, unpacking and settling in, a garden really was last on the totem pole of our to-do list. This year, Spring 2014, however, we knew a garden was a must. Sadly, we did start late in the season, so whether we get any crop or not is uncertain. This is how I started our garden with the little man, my youngest ….

Planting Veggies with Kids

First, I purchased the type of seed starter package that will decompose in the ground, this leads to less issues when transplanting your sprouts of veggies and fruits.

Planting a Garden with Kids

Second, we had to purchase all of the seed packets of veggies and fruits that we wanted to possibly include in our garden. We have pumpkin, watermelon, green beans, peas, and the list goes on. Tip I learned this first time around - start earlier in the season with planting and purchase seeds online, they are cheaper online than in local shops.

Planting Veggies with Kids IMAGE THREE

Third step is to start putting the soil into each compartment of your seed tray. The little one loved doing this with his little shovel. It was a messy job, but that’s why I had the planter on the ground of our dining room floor; easy to sweep up afterward.

Planting Veggies with Kids IMAGE FOUR

The most important step comes now; inserting the seeds into each compartment. Sadly, when you do this with a little one, you may end up with crowded veggies but hey that’s part of having fun in learning. You can always space them out when they sprout up. Little man had fun inserting seeds into each compartment, slightly under the soil.

Planting Veggies with Kids IMAGE FIVE

Last, but certainly not least, you must water with warm water all of the soil with seeds in them. Place this outside or covered in plastic to really get that greenhouse effect. Note: Do not place outside if using this decomposable container or if you are still at risk of a freeze outside.

 

Planting Veggies with Kids IMAGE SIX

Within time, you will start to see your veggies and fruits sprout up. It’s an exciting time watching these grow and it’s also a very fun learning experience for your kids.

 

 

 

Getting Kids Into the Work Force

I think it’s important to teach kids to work for their money, from a young age they can have chores assigned to them and earn some change for their weekly “allowance”. While I am not one to pay kids to do their basic chores, I have on occasion rewarded my children for a week well done. There are so many reasons to instill a hard working mentality into your child; the biggest being we are suppose to raise our children to be responsible, independent adults. Adults who are responsible and independent must have a job in order to succeed in that way of life. Those who don’t get instilled with this work skill from a young age, and have everything given to them, handed over by a parent who can afford to do so, doesn’t teach them a single thing. I do not believe in give, give give nor take, take, take. I firmly believe the world revolves best when there is a bit of both give and take.

I am a balance sort of chick. I like balance in my world and I believe that’s the best possible way for all to thrive!

I have slacked in the ways of teaching responsibility with my two sons, to be honest, I think every parent gets busy with life and fun that we lean off track for a bit, but we can get back on track at any moment we realize we are off track. This is my plan; to get back on track with my kids to ensure all three learn to work for a living and each strengthen their individual skills to pursue careers that make sense for them. My ideal mission is to ensure my children are able to work in some field that they love, therefore they never feel as if they have to work a day in their life; when you do what you love, you are a happier person.

With that being said, I will not raise my kids to only take on jobs that they love, sometimes we have to pick up odd and end jobs to push forward to our end goal of a job we love.

I started working at the ripe old age of 13 years old; my first job was in the pit area of a local race track. I worked in the food stands, where we made the food and served those coming in from the pit area at the race track. I honestly thought that was a great job to start with, plus back then I worked with my best friend at the time. It’s always great to be able to work at a place with friends!

As my oldest is now the age that allows her to take this local babysitting course and be a babysitting, I am saving money to pay for this class so that she can start babysitting for extra cash. At this time, my daughter mostly makes extra cash from just the sales of our book we wrote together, but that isn’t anything to live on for sure!

I plan to work each child into the job field as soon as possible, even if that means as teenagers I hire them to work for me and my websites. Whatever I can do to get these kids to start working as soon as they are old enough, I will do, it’s important to me and I feel it’s part of my Mom Job to do so.

Working from Home – Keeping Kids Busy

I have started a new job from home that requires me to work 2 hours a day five days a week. My current schedule entails me working 9-11am Tues thru Friday and Saturdays from 10am – 12pm. I am excited to be able to earn a weekly paycheck while still being at home. Summer is coming after all, so taking a job outside of the home wouldn’t be feasible. I also wanted to ensure I could continue with my business of making money online with all the other client obligations I have. This job is the perfect match for me and I am excited to be a part of a sweet  bunch of ladies!

Setting up Kids So You Can Work From Home

With that being said, I mentioned Summer break is on it’s way. This means kids home just about 24/7 and me having to still work the hours I am scheduled to work. This is no problem for my multitasking personality but it may be an issue keeping three kids busy, preoccupied while I work.

I decided to test out my preparations for work this past Saturday when the kids were home for my first Saturday of work. I took out all of the construction paper, markers and other crafty items to set up the kids with a craft area. I set it up on the dining room table, alongside my laptop where I would work from.

The kids were also allowed to have the game console on and play games during my two hour work period; again all in the same area of where I am working so I could still have one eye on them.

It was a totally awesome idea, or so I thought.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the time when the man of the house came home from work .. sigh.

I had not prepared my kids for that interruption, honestly it’s an interruption that has been causing much turmoil to me and I feel very scattered with my current living situation, but I am trying to work with it.

So the kids went haywire .. the youngest no longer had his brothers full attention because his brother wanted the big man to play a game on the game system with him, not his baby brother. It was a nightmare full of me yelling, me getting very upset and me crying eventually.

I hated this scenario and how it played out, but the kids and I made up for it by spending the remainder of the day, after my work was done together, outside of the home having fun.

One tip I have for all you work at home moms is this; prepare your kids for all things to happen during your work time and be working in the general area where your kids will be so you are easily accessed by them. But seriously, remember try to prepare them for ALL things, such as another person coming over at a specific time that may fall in between your working hours and totally shift the routine all around.

I have to master this scheduling of keeping kids preoccupied during my two hour work days for the full Summer, I think Saturdays will be my only big issue day, for now.

My Oldest & Youngest Do a Cover of Demons by Imagine Dragons

I love these two, as a parent I encourage the kids to enjoy all areas of life. This includes focusing on skills they love whether you feel they are talented or not is irrelevant, even to them. These two are just happy kids and I loved watching them do a cover of Demons by Imagine Dragons. Singing is my 11 year old daughter and on the ukelele is my  year old son ….

Don’t they look like they are just having fun?! I love them!