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Monday, December 26, 2011

a mom

When they were little it was easy.

For me, I had an easy time when my kids were babies and toddlers.
I had always known I wanted to be a mom. In fact, my mom tells me that when I was 3 years old, she asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told her," a mom."

So as I got older I based my whole life on that very subject. I babysat for every family in our neighborhood. I worked at daycares and preschools. Then eventually when thinking about college, naturally I was going to be a teacher. I worked as a nanny and at a preschool while going to college and ended up with an early childhood education degree. Had training from Eastside healthy start and Lake Washington for Parent education training to visit and counsel  young mothers with children. Had Art training in the midst's of the early childhood classes. Then after having kids of my own, went to Seattle Midwifery school and completed  Doula and Childbirth instructor training. After that owned my own business starting my own concept of teaching art to very young children. It's funny, I look at all these details and education. You think that you would be well prepared as a mother with this background. (hahaahha, the jokes on me.)

I remember while I was taking my early childhood classes in college while my siblings were having kids. I would try and give them advice about handling their children in various situations. They would just laugh at me and say, just wait till you have your own kids then you will understand. Just because you learned some method on how to discipline a kid doesn't mean it will actually work.

At the time, I thought I was so knowledgeable and that everything your teacher teaches you in college and what all the textbooks say must be right. Well, I was in for a rude awakening. Now after having 4 kids of my own. Going through the trials and tribulations of raising them, now 16, 13, 12, and 6 years old. Trying everything I learned in college. Reading back on my books. There's one thing they don't teach you. Every child is different and what works for one, may not work for another. I am not saying that the methods in these textbooks don't work. I am just saying they don't work for every child. You have to go by a case by case basis.

I have found with my children that when they were babies and toddlers it was so easy for me. It was pure instinct. There was just basic needs to be met. Only redirection was used for tantrums or scuffs with each other or friends. It seemed simple. I based my schedule around their sleep schedule. They were portable. We went out often and did activities for mine and their sanity. I had an art room that would allow them to experiment and make a mess and keep them busy and happy for hours. (which in the future this room was what I eventually based my art business on later)

Well its just the wake up of the first instance of one of them telling me "no!"
Its that moment when your sweet little innocent child has crossed over into their own existence. The moment when you feel them pulling away. This is of course, is the natural progression and healthy. So I have tried to foster and grow my children's identity. I have told them from early on that they can be anyone they want to be, and they can accomplish anything if they just try hard enough. These were the words my own mother had said to me over and over again while growing up. They definetly all have this covered. My children seem to know what they want, and stick to it, no matter what anyone else will say. Have reached their own decisions based on their knowledge, and are self sufficient. Show compassion towards others and are polite.

I am very proud at whom they have become. I feel like I won't have to worry as much when they are sent out in the world.

This strong willed personality is just hard for at
I admit it stems from all around them. This is why it has been hard dealing with them as teenagers. In my family.... all the parents, including grandparents, have a strong personality. Yes... we are all know- it- alls.

I, over the years have had to step back and realize that I don't know it all. I can give my advice based on experience and education. I can tell you things that have worked for me, but ultimately, you just have to try it on your own.

Your personality and your childs, together mixed, could be any sort of experience.
My advice is just to be patient and kind and loving  and with these three things you can't go wrong.

On a wall in Verona, Italy with my girls in 2010.

I love this picture with Grandma's face :) My kids all around her.

My kids and I

My oldest and youngest at park in Germany. 2010

Christmas Eve 2011

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