Hindsight Parenting: A Child’s Growing Independence Brings Change

The Winds of Change

She swings by herself. Grabs the chains that hold the brown plastic rectangle that serves as a seat. Her muscular arms pull her up deftly and her bottom plops down. Her legs that are a full two inches longer than they were in June start to pump. Feet flex as her legs straighten and toes point as legs fold. Soon, very soon, actually unbelievably soon, she has a momentum that would satisfy any child. I am sitting in the swing next to her and she is chattering away about the dog and his bone and the hole he dug, but I am lost in the sight of her wispy hair and the way it covers her round cheeks as the swing takes her back and wiggles in the air like an octopus’s tentacles as the swing moves her forward.

“Slow down,” I long to say, but I know it isn’t about the swing. It’s not about the swing at all. Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: Your Introduction to Sacrifice & Life on the Back Burner

Best Laid Plans

The spitting camel has wangled his way into the summer schedule!

We’re halfway through the summer. We’ve had a week of a vacation to the most popular destination in the country. We’ve had major Pinterest wins and Pinterest fails (don’t try the water blob…unless you want to sweat and swear…then by all means go right ahead.). We’ve had lesson after lesson; music, equine, swimming, OT and PT. We’ve begun the process of “real reading,” on the request of my daughter herself. We’ve gone to beaches, to parks, to fairs, to bouncy palaces, to zoos (where the camels got close and up front spitting on me for good measure) and to fancy schmancy concerts where we got to sit on the lawn and listen to the likes of James Taylor and our favorite Beatles tribute band. We bought an amazing sprinkler made up of individual flowers that spray water out at gentle angles and even put the kiddie pool directly underneath the kitchen window so that we could fill it up with warm water from the tap. Pretty successful huh? Not too shabby. Not too shabby at all…so why is it that the moment I realized we were at summer’s halfway point, I got a ginormous pit-of-death smack dab in the middle of my solar plexus? Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: Modeling a Positive Body Image

Modeling Self Confidence

“Sing silly words to the Doc McStuffins CD mommy!”  Ila exclaimed.  This is often a game that we play in the car to pass the time.  So I obliged.  I admit that I relish the belly giggles my daughter gets and so it is a challenge for me to make her laugh and the lyrics that I sing can be quite nonsensical.  The particular song that was on was Doc singing the virtues of eating a good diet; “Eat good food and your body will thank you. You’re gonna love the way you feeeeel.  Eat good food!”  But instead I sang, “Eat JUNK FOOD and your belly will be big.  You’re not going to like the way you feel.  Eat junk food!”  And then…..well…then nothing.  Just silence.  A LOOOONG silence.  And then Ila saying, “Turn off the music mommy.  Stop singing.”  I immediately did what she said out of worry and confusion.  There was a little more silence then I looked in the rear view mirror  and she was whispering to herself, “But my belly’s big.  But my belly’s big.  But my belly’s big.”

She pushed down on her stomach hard and pulled the seat belt strap tight to try and flatten it.  My heart broke.  Into a million pieces…it broke.  It happened–her first out loud moment of body hatred–just four years old. Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: The Rise and Fall of The “Cool” Kid

Popularity is a Bad Word

Most of know the movie and how cool kids had quite the air about them. Of course it’s not restricted to girls. Popularity and ‘cool’ kids applies to boys too.

Dear Moms and Dads of Future Cool and Popular Kids,

I’ve seen your children—in my classroom, on the playground, at my daughters preschool. I’ve seen them shun the non-conformists, the quirky kids, the ones who may be poorer, or look different, or think different. I’ve seen them. I know them. I once wanted desperately to be them (and perhaps in retrospect WAS one of them.)

It must feel mighty comfortable there on the top. It might feel good to have the daughter who is the “it” girl or the son who’s the “it” guy. However, don’t get too comfy with your child’s top of the world status. Nope. I wouldn’t. Here’s the thing, I know something because of my mighty friend, Hindsight, that was just confirmed by scientist Joseph Allen. It might be great to be on top of the school food chain but that stature is short lived and quite often those kids deemed popular flounder as young adults because they don’t learn the highly necessary skill of learning to adapt to challenges and the constructs of real life. Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: Nothing Beats Planning for the Summer

Creative planning can maximize summer fun for kids

It’s that time again!  Although I look forward to it all year, I also DREAD it as well.  Summer!

Time spent with our children–Yippee!

Time spent with our children–UGH!

The dichotomy of feelings that come with school-free children are ones that many parents feel, including me…ESPECIALLY me.  Last year, I tried to head off the dread and doom by planning, planning, planning, searching, searching, searching for fun things to keep my preschooler occupied. I began this searching/planning process in May. It was a rousing success.  Summer with my posse of “things to do” went smoother, felt better, and was enjoyable.

So this year, I decided that summer would be an even bigger success and much less stressful if I started planning in January.  I have to say I am pretty pleased with this year’s summer ideas.  I have broken them down for you into three categories as shared on my Pinterest board:  Outdoor Activities, Rainy Day Activities, and Summer Day Trips.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: The Great Balancing Act of Relationships

Positive reinforcement means longer living relationships

Some believe that the relationships you have with your children are the only “required” relationships, in that one must keep working on them for the rest of their lives. They are the only ones we’re not allowed to give up on. Some believe that parenting is a constant try and re-try. Some believe that a good parent is constantly evolving so that the connections we have with our sons and daughters remain strong.

I disagree. Not with the sentiment that as a parent we must work and work each day at the relationships that we have with our children. Not even with the idea that we shouldn’t give up on or break up (so to speak) with our children. Hindsight has taught me that our connections with them must remain the most important things that we hold on to as parents. As a parent, I do believe these things to be true.

What I don’t believe is the statement that your children are the ONLY relationships that one isn’t allowed to let go. I believe that marriage, one’s relationship with your child’s parent, also needs to be a priority and should be a relationship that we not only nurture, but hold on to, cherish, and work on, work on, work on. Now of course that isn’t to say that there aren’t toxic relationships; abusive, detrimental or one-sided that must be let go of immediately. But the OTHER kind of marriage; the-leave-the-toilet-seat-up-beer-cans-in-the-living-room-sticky-jelly-on-the-cutting-board-stop-yelling-at-me-did-you-just-flirt-with-that-waitress?-can-we-do-something-besides-watch-tv kind of marriage must not be given up on. I believe that like the relationship you have with your children, a marriage should be a perseverance for the long haul. Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: Stepping Out of Motherhood and into Yourself

The Woman in Me…

When I mothered my sons, I was consumed by it. It was my job, my calling, my duty. I let everything else go. I became mired down in the details, in doing things right and doing things wrong. Their mistakes were my mistakes. Their mountains were my mountains. Their triumphs were my triumphs. Their sadness, their anger, their tragedies; all mine. I was their mother and that is all. I lost myself. Logan the singer was gone. Logan the writer hadn’t been born. Logan the academic hid her opinions and quest for knowledge. Logan the reader only showed up on a beach in the summer for 30 minutes while the boys were securely and happily playing with their step father. I didn’t even USE my own name. When I spoke it was in the third person. “Mommy will get you a drink.” “Don’t forget, mommy will pick you up at 5.” “Mommy was so proud when you hit that homerun.” The woman in me wanted…longed for SOMETHING, but I thought it was a betrayal to my sons to go out and chase “my dreams.” When I had a chance to work as a staff developer for Columbia Teacher’s College, I turned it down. I couldn’t possibly uproot my boys. When someone asked me to join the community musical and try out for a lead role, I scoffed at the idea. Too much time away from my sons. Who would make them dinner. Who would make sure they did their homework. Who would intervene when the vitriol started between them. I played it safe. I was just their mom, and that’s all they ever saw me as–their mom. As my sons grew, I began to look forward to the day where they didn’t need a mommy as much and perhaps I’d be able to become the woman that was tucked away because of and overruled by the mother in me.  Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: Parenting An Adult

Give and Take: Parenting An Adult

Son1 is twenty, and it’s no secret that in many ways I bumbled and fumbled my way through raising him. Just as it’s no secret that I use those bumbles and fumbles to guide my parenting decisions for his four year old sister, Ila. Looking BACK has made it easy to move FORWARD…but parenting an adult…well…once again, I find myself in unchartered territory. When it comes to knowing what’s appropriate and not appropriate, what actions stay behind the imaginary line and what actions step over that line, I have no experiences to lean on. And so, I will admit, that I’ve been a bit nervous. I mean, he was a guinea pig once. I don’t want him to be one again.

But believe it or not Hindsight’s wisdom DOES provide me a road map. After all, the things that make up good parenting at four, probably make up good parenting at any age. So lately, I decided to try this theory out. Could I transfer my new parenting truths when it comes to Ila and make them parenting truths for my 20 year old? This is what I came up with: Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: When Your Child Loves Your Spouse More Than You

I Love Daddy More!

Ila’s chin quivered as I undid her car seat buckle after school a week ago.

“Is daddy home?”  She asked.

“No, sweetie, he’s working,” I replied gently.

And then…the saddest cry in all humanity came from the depths of her.  Tears swelled and cascaded down her tiny face.  She cried hard…her-little-mouth-opening-with-no-sound-coming-out hard.  I scooped her up and asked, “Sweetheart, what is the matter?” Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: Anger, Quarrels & Love

Anger: The Unvarnished Truth

We had the blowout of the century last week, my husband and I.  The blowout of the century.  The topic isn’t as important as the pure seething vitriol that came from both our mouths, flung at each other with all the might we could muster.  It was a horrific display of the worst of our humanness.  I had had it.  He had had it.  For weeks the blood boiled in both of us and reached the point where the pressure cooker burst–burst wide open.  It was late at night.  The dog was sleeping.  The cat was sleeping.   Ila was sleeping…or so I thought.

The next morning, we both did our best to paste a shiny smile on our faces so that she wouldn’t suspect that our feelings for each other at that moment were less than fond (to put it mildly).  Although I didn’t notice then (shame on me) looking back now, Ila was very quiet that morning. She moved through the routine as if she was walking through molasses.  The car ride to school wasn’t full of top-of-her-lungs “Frozen” songs and she was shy and clingy when it was time for me to leave her in her classroom.  That afternoon, after picking her up, her tiny voice cut through the silence and pulled me from my very busy mind.  “Mommy, why aren’t you married to Aidan’s daddy anymore?” Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: When Little Boys Grow Up

Not Nurse Nightengale

When Son1 was 17 he had the brilliant idea that he wanted a three person sling shot. It was made out of high tech stretchable exercise bands and was made to launch water balloons at “friends.” I immediately said no to the ludicrous idea knowing full well it wouldn’t be just water balloons that he and his friends would be launching…Nuh uh. I knew my son well enough to know that there would be lots of mischief making with a toy like that. Not surprisingly however, his father DID purchase it for him and my super mom senses were correct that he would choose to use said toy in a way that was NOT recommended…yup…that one fateful day in which he decided to put a potato in the harness that was meant for a water balloon. Yes, I said a potato.

So…picture this if you please… Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: Whining Monster vs. Angry Monster

“Let it Go” Let Me Let it Go!

I had a day last week. BOY OH BOY did I have a day! You know…one of THOSE days, where nothing goes right, nothing makes your child happy, and he or she whines and whines AND whines…and WHINES! When I was in my twenties and had THESE kinds of days with the boys, I would explode, implode…lose—my—mind! Yelling, stomping, snarling, slamming. I did it all.

But now I have Hindsight and I know that what I do is what my children, in the end, will do as well. I also know that a mother who loses it in an unpredictable way will not be a human being that her children will trust and therefore they won’t come to her with problems that might in fact make her blow a gasket. These are truths that I know.

The problem on THAT day last week is that as hard as I tried to remind myself of the things that I knew about anger and raising children, my body, my mind, my SOUL just wouldn’t respond appropriately. So as the day progressed and the whining got louder, more frequent and MUCHO irritating, the more I felt unable to keep the angry monster from jumping out of my throat. Even the heaviest iron boots wouldn’t keep him down.

Believe me, I tried. I did everything that Dr. Speed Dial and my constant companion, Hindsight, have taught me about being a mother who wasn’t a raving maniac. I reasoned. I hugged. I ignored. I distracted. I played and played and played and played. And still…and still…she whined. She whiiiiiiiiiiiiined… Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: 20 Ideas of Love

What Love Is

When you read this, Valentine’s Day 2014 will be a memory, but the column was penned the week before…so bear with me. Anyways, is there ever really any BAD time to talk about love? And truly, is there anyone more qualified to speak about this particular subject than a mother?

Although I didn’t grow up with the best model of what love is, the older I get the more chances I have had to observe those that are experts at it. Not only have I observed it, but I’ve experienced great love from so many special friends and family, that it is impossible not to learn more and more each day and give it back to my children. And although I have a lot to learn about the strongest emotion in the world, I am beginning to understand the nuances of this complicated thing called love:  Twenty ideas of love…

Hindsight Parenting: Mother & Daughter Solitaire Extraordinare

Solitary Not-Confinement

She walks into the party.  Her patent leather shoes shine, stockings are straight and sleek.  Her hair is in a perfectly high ponytail with red grosgrain ribbon to hold it in place.  When she arrives, she is happily greeted by the other children attending.  They surround her.  Two grab her hands and lead her to the awaiting bouncy houses.  She scurries up the ramp and begins to bounce.  Her laughter mixes with the laughter of her friends.

Her mother is greeted by the other moms.  She knows them all by their first name.  She is gloriously adept at making small talk; remembering to ask about this one’s son and that one’s husband, commenting on the fierce cold, and sharing recipes for perfect Valentine treats.  She is pulled together perfectly; jeans, boots, and long sweater.  Her hair, in a high pony tail, matches her daughter.  She nods her head in sympathetic agreement as she listens intently to one of the other mothers exclaiming how she would just PERISH if she wasn’t able to go out every weekend “just to get away for a bit.”

Can you picture it?  I can…but that’s it.  I can only PICTURE it.  None of this scene has ever really happened in this girl’s world; not last year, not last month, and not at a party last weekend… Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: Top Five Most Misused Words and Phrases by Preschoolers

Fluent in Preschool

You did it!!!  It may not have been smooth sailing at times, but at least the dingy didn’t capsize! You made it through the sleepless-nights-poopy-diapers-tantrum-throwing-potty-training years of infancy and toddler-dom.  Now, you have a preschooler, and he or she can speak! What does that mean? All of that incessant crying to get what they want—done!  After all, you are living with a pint-sized communicator–all right–a rudimentary communicator, but at least able to say what he or she wants and needs.  Now it’s going to be much easier, right?

Maybe…It really depends, because you see, those teeny humans, like any human learning a new language, may use a word or utterance in a way that it is not meant to be used.  And without a translation guide, parents are…well… back in that dingy without a paddle.  Luckily, not only have I unlocked the code to the top five most misused words and phrases by preschoolers, I have devised a parental action plan to take for each, and share them with you here: Top Five Most Misused Words and Phrases by Preschoolers…

Hindsight Parenting: Teaching Yourself to Glide… and Never Stop Learning!

Fisher Girls Never Give Up!

I teach.  I have for 22 years, many grades 3rd through 8th. I parent.  I have for 20 years, making (as you know) many mistakes along the way.  I learn.  I have been for many years, vowing to use hindsight as a guide to do better.  I seek.  Perhaps for the last three years, always on the lookout for ways to improve myself and the world around me.  My trusty Doctor Speed Dial tells me that if you put all those things together, one could say that I am constructive.

Dictionary.com’s definition of “constructive”: Helping to improve; promoting further development or advancement (opposed to destructive ).

I like that last part.  “opposed to destructive”.  The phrase fits my state of mind, my evolution, and my intentions for myself, my children, and heck, for the universe itself over these past few years. I make a conscious effort to stay away from those that are destructive or mean or energy-suckers (as my husband so eloquently puts it).  Instead choosing to put emphasis on the good, on what could be learned in any situation, concentrating on a gratitude attitude… Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: Finding Hidden Gifts

Looking Back. Finding Gifts.

This past year, if you read all posts to my “Hindsight” column, you would have noticed a theme. At least I noticed one. Hindsight has taught me that the importance of seeing the positive, being grateful for the small stuff, and freely communicating appreciation is what being a family member is all about. I have discussed these realizations over the past year in many different ways. But this past week, or perhaps several weeks, those realizations, Hindsight’s realizations, have hit me over the head like a Christmas present full of rocks. Focusing on gratitude, appreciation, being positive aren’t actions that are reserved for your children. I mean, I have learned the hard way that they are all must do’s if you are a parent, but how about if you are a human? Yes, I dare say that these qualities, if you choose to live in a constructive manner, must permeate all the moments of your lives and be shared with ALL loved ones, not just your children… Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: Dispelling the Myth of the Perfect Parent

Commiserate

Recently I had an essay published on mamalode.com and the response was a writer’s dream. My story was shared and discussed and appreciated. The most touching responses came from about two dozen or so mothers who private messaged me a thanks for telling the truth about motherhood…that sometimes it isn’t all rainbows and tulle tutus. And while these parents found refuge and comfort in my story, I also took repose in the fact that I wasn’t alone as a parent who has experienced hard times with her children.

Quite often in this Facebook-Instagram-Twitter universe, parents can believe that the lives of others are so much more wonderful than the lives that their families may lead. I am truly guilty of this. If you looked upon my Facebook or Instagram page for the first time, you’d see an idyllic daughter experiencing life in ways that make fantastic photo ops. I’ve even heard whispers coming out of that small town gossip mill that I speak of often that I post WAY too many pictures of my daughter being…well…spectacular. I will cop to that. I do. I certainly do because I DO think that she is spectacular and magical, but like all other families there are moments that aren’t lollipops and lullabies and I guess I should cop to that as well.

So in the spirit of full disclosure, it’s time to dispel the myth once and for all that being a parent is always and forever fulfilling and transcendent. Nope. Not in my house…  Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: Lessons in Gratitude

The Attitude of Gratitude

When I need to rid myself of the bitter curmudgeon, when Eeyore sidles up to me wanting to bring me down (‘Oh bother…doesn’t matter anyway…’), lately when I take a moment to practice gratitude, it is my daughter’s capability to be thankful that comes to mind.

I have seen lots and lots of “November is a month for Giving Thanks” on Facebook lately. Heck, I was doing the same thing LAST November. For me, doing that; posting something that you are grateful for even on the worst of days where there seemed to be slim pickin’s in the happy department was a fruitful and enlightening exercise for me. On those seemingly desert dry days of thankfulness, I somehow found something small, a three year olds giggle, a warm bed, a glass of wine, a light bulb moment from one of my students. Those little things truly reminded me on those days of drudgery or misery that life wasn’t all bad. Of course always on the lookout for Hindsight lessons, I began to realize that this attitude of gratefulness was not an easy one for me. It was not natural. It was way too easy to focus on all that was going wrong (which was plenty a year ago)… Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: Lessons From Children

Knowing Me. Knowing You.

I scrapped the column that I had been writing all week, (ah…I’ll post it another time), because of the “ah ha” moment that I had while trick or treating with my daughter, Ila, last week. Sometimes it isn’t Hindsight that teaches me, it’s my own child. This won’t be a surprise for most parents, however I think that it is to me because I was NEVER open to that while raising my sons. So I suppose, Hindsight had a hand, in helping with knowing to look for those moments of learning that I cherish now so as a mom. A child can teach so much to the uptight adults of the world if we would just be on the lookout for the lessons…

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Hindsight Parenting: Cutting Cords

Five Things Hindsight Has Taught Me About Cutting Cords…and Cords That Cut

We all have heard the term, “cut the cord,” and most seem to generalize it to birth and our children’s transition to adulthood. However, that phrase is so much more. So-Much-More. Here are 5 things I have learned about cords and cutting:

Cutting the cord often signifies an ending–for the parent–but it is truly a beginning…for the child. The first time the cord is cut is literal and physical, but a beginning, a beautiful beginning. The tiny infant emerges from the dark in which he or she resided for nine months. It is his or hers first sweet breath of Earth’s life sustaining air. It is the eyes first experience of incredible and illuminating light. It is the ears first chance to clearly hear the veritable voices that will fill his or her head and heart for years and years to come. Cutting the cord frees the child so that he or she can be wrapped in the loving and awaiting arms of a mother who will cradle him or her in literally and figuratively for the rest of her live long life. It is often the first monumental and significant task of a father who with scissors in hand and tears in his eyes releases his child into the world. Cutting the cord is a beginning…

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Hindsight Parenting: How to Raise Emotionally Resilient Children?

Embrace Her Quirks

“Embrace her quirks,” said the world renowned pediatric neurologist.  “More importantly, help her to embrace her quirks.”

“Ah,” said Hindsight.  “Therein lies the problem because YOU my dear Logan are completely and utterly NOT equipped to teach a child that.”  (Maybe it wasn’t Hindsight who said that…maybe it was my subconscious, or the Doubter, as I like to call him.)  Anyways, that statement, “Help her embrace her quirks.” has paralyzed me.

Each year we go on a yearly trek to a magical place called Rochester to visit a very informed, much respected, very busy, Dr. Mink.  He has been my daughter, Ila’s, pediatric neurologist since she was 11 months and we have always felt completely at ease with him because of his wealth of knowledge and his concrete suggestions and ideas to try and tackle what seemed to be an unidentifiable movement disorder in my daughter.

Each year, we leave his office with a plan of action that the brilliant therapists that are involved in Ila’s life play out in the utmost professional and serious of manners.  Because of their hard work, Dr. Mink was duly impressed by the level of strength that she presented with in comparison to our last visit.  However, there were still questions and concerns.  Things we needed answers to; like why she seemed to disconnect at various times—going into a trance like state?  Why was it that her interpersonal relationships didn’t seem to go smoothly?  Why do noises seem to bother her so much, and why, even though she has a very strong pair of glasses, is she still struggling with visual perception?

His answer was definitive.  She seems to fall into the category of a child with movement dyspraxia…

Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: Admitting Mistakes

Monumental Mistakes

“Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.”

I hate to break it to you…but we. are. human. Ok. Ok. Sit down and take in the statement. Breathe it in. Breathe it out. I know, I know, I know. We are parents ergo not prone to making mistakes. Right??? Um. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

What IS it about giving birth that makes some of us immediately lose our ability to admit that possibly we might have made a mistake or two…or three. I am entirely guilty of this and I was reminded this week how absolutely damaging that not correcting a wrong can be.

One of my children is going through a nightmarish time and while I am not in anyway saying or even thinking that the choices he is making, the troubles he is having and the consequences he is facing is in totality or even partially because of the parenting he received (or didn’t receive) from me, I did however have a moment with him this week that reminded me about the importance of immediately admitting and apologizing and setting straight a mistake the instant that you realize your error…

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Hindsight Parenting: Skipping the Mega Birthday Party

Birthday

Keeping it simple with close family and friends.

My daughter, Ila, turns 4 this week, and…and…and…(Ok Logan…DEEEEEEP breath!) andwearen’thavingaparty!  Phew…there I said it.  Yup.  I said it.  My name is Logan Fisher and I am not having a birthday party for my daughter.  Ok now, Martha Stewart…stop tapping your toes, unclench your fists and uncross your arms. I did NOT say we weren’t celebrating the day.  We still are, but we aren’t having a balloons-kids-favors-games-screaming-paper-ripping-streamers-hanging-get-down-with-music-party. I am not sure why this decision has been bothering me so much…ok…that isn’t all together true…I do THINK I know why it is bothering me, but that is a phrase that is probably harder for me to say than the “we are not having a party” thing…

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Hindsight Parenting: Bubbies and Body Image

Let’s Talk About Beautiful Bubbies!

The other night, my daughter Ila and I were relaxing on the couch watching Rio when she began to press her hand on my left breast (calm down…it was completely covered in pajamas AND a wrap). Now my instinct was to take hold of her hand and firmly say something like, “Stop it, Ila! That isn’t appropriate” because after all…it isn’t. But Hindsight’s voice intervened and whispered that a slicing comment like that might just be one of the reasons that my boys don’t see me as a safe person with which to carry on a conversation. So I gritted my teeth, searched the recesses of my brain that housed a voice of reason and chose to say instead, “Ila, can I ask you why you are doing that with your hand?”

She turned to face me on the couch, blinked and innocently answered, “I am trying to make your bubbies flat…”

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Hindsight Parenting: With Sacrifices Come Rewards!

Rewards & Sacrifices

A gain can often be found at the end of most sacrifices.

Before I began relying on Hindsight–actually WHILE his wisdom was being created in my early twenties and thirties, I’d have to say that I was a mighty self centered human (Then again what 20 something American grown woman isn’t a tad self centered?).

I was 24 when I had my first son and 26 when I had Son2, but let me preface this next paragraph by saying that I felt blessed to have those two boys and even though my young age made me completely inept as a mom, the love I felt for them filled every crevice of my heart. Still does. But back then, one of the main roles I thought a good mother played (mimicking my own) was the role of the great martyr–sacrificer extraordinaire. Nice huh?

Making my sons feel as if they and their needs were such burdens wasn’t a great way to grow up and I knew that first hand. However, we do what we know and so back then without the help of Hindsight, I continued to espouse and pontificate all the sacrifices I made daily for “the sake of those boys!” (I know it makes me queasy too. Go ahead and roll your eyes. I don’t blame you.)

Thankfully, my mistakes created a very large cache of “never-agains” and “should-haves” and Hindsight was created…

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Hindsight Parenting: Anything Can Be a Princess Thing

Princesses, Ila and a New Pair of Glasses

Anything can be a princess thing!

Upon finding out that the child I was carrying was a girl (maybe even eons before) I vowed the vow of a mother’s will that my daughter would not under any circumstances be one of those—ugh—princess girls.  Princesses, at least the ones that I grew up with, were weak and daft, consumed with their looks and gowns and unable to solve life’s problems without the help of that ever handsome, ever tall, ever strong, ever wise prince or knight in shining armor.  Blech.  Double blech.  It certainly didn’t help that I read voraciously over and over ‘those’ types of books my entire childhood and I BELIEVED and tried desperately to live out the scandalous lie that there would always be a man to scoop you up and set you right.

Being forty and pregnant, Hindsight was already working (although I hadn’t realized it yet.)  I had somewhat cynically learned that there were in fact no knights, no princes and even the more unsettling lesson that those of the opposite gender could actually be the ones who put the princesses in peril.  No.  I was determined that this daughter of mine was going to be strong and independent.  She was going to be her own problem solver, seeing life as a series of puzzles that she would take pleasure in solving…alone…not relying on one person except herself…

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Hindsight Parenting: Quality Experiences at the Amusement Park

Slowing Down—A Speedy Hindsight Lesson

Another lesson from Hindsight!

I quite often malign the fact that I am a 44 year old woman with a three year old.  It isn’t just that I am not as spry as I was when in my twenties or thirties, it is the fatigue from my blasted heart condition, it is the foggy brain from the medicine I take, it is the aches and the pains that attach themselves to me with every stress that comes with having two teenage boys, and it is the mental exhaustion that sometimes comes with wisdom.   Having my friend Hindsight has been an irreplaceable tool while parenting my daughter Ila, but the constant realization that what I DID the first time needs adjusting the second time around can be tiresome…

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Hindsight Parenting: Letting Go to Hold Them Close

Spontaneity

By letting go, it just might help to hold close those whom are dearest to you!

Spontaneity— def. “The state or quality of being spontaneous.” Control def. “The situation of restraint.”  Two words that are completely and utterly opposite in nature.  I would have to admit that the old mom—the one I was or the one I am trying to shake—was the latter, always and forever the latter.  Trying to control every stinkin’ situation that came or could come our way.   To me, back then…maybe a teeny tiny bit even now…controlling and anticipating every nuance, nook and cranny meant that I could head off trouble; fights between the boys, accidents, trouble with school work, etc.  You name it, I tried to control it.   Heck, if I could have controlled the time the sun rose and set, I would have.  But looking back, my controlling nature did nothing but make the household tense.  Anticipating never really stopped anything from happening.  Planning out every scenario never seemed to go the way I had imagined.  The boys still fought.  Accidents still happened.  Things still occurred that hurt or stung or caused trouble in some way.  Hindsight tells us then that controlling the outcomes, planning for each and every thing that may possibly happen only makes one weary and most definitely not happy or satisfied.

Then there’s spontaneity—which I have to admit is such a foreign concept to me.  Doing something on impulse just hasn’t happened much in this 44 year old’s life.  Things as small as a Sunday drive has to be mapped out for me otherwise it just feels like wandering.  However, really…what is so wrong with wandering?…

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Hindsight Parenting: Summer Survival Lists

Preparing for Summer

I used to hate summer. You heard me. H.A.T.E. While most educators count down the days until the end of the school year, my dread grows the closer the end of June comes. No, no…I have no aversion to heat, (at least not the kind of heat we get here in upstate NY. Now Florida’s heat…blech!). No, no it isn’t that it is because it is skimpy clothes and bathing suit season. Although, never being svelte and swarthy has always made me keep a cover up on at the beach, and really I have never been one for shorts. However my intense dislike for summer really never was about any of that. It was all about the fact that for two and a half months, I’d be in charge of entertaining my children (All right…instead of judging, could I at least get props that I admit fully to feeling that way?)…

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