Story Time: Why I’m NOT the best Dad.

Recently I was approached by an acquaintance asking for some advice. He said I inspire him to be a better dad. He is a new, young father and just getting used to the changes that come along with fatherhood.

I’m floored he was asking for advice. I don’t consider myself an expert, a lot of times I’m aiming from the hip and just make sure what I do is in the best interest of my minions.

When I asked what he needed help with, he asked for ideas how he can make more money so he can be a better dad without working endless overtime. He said he felt that he needed to bring home more finances to be a better dad, but mama bear is upset he spends too much time working and not enough time with them.

This shook me at the core, mainly because he thought he needed more money to be a better dad. I explained to him my point of view: making or having more money doesnt make you a better dad.

My biological father was a doctor and he’s a worthless piece of trash for many reasons, and having/making more money didn’t justify the other deficits.

From this life experience I have learned spending more time with my kids is more valuable than an extra few dollars. Working passionately for the required work hours is important, but being able to “turn off” work mode and spend time with the little one(s) is more important.

My parenting situation may be different than the next guy, but we all do our best (in most cases, we all know of an intentional deadbeat parent somewhere).

Comparing our situations and saying someone else does parenting “better” isn’t fair. That’s why I don’t call myself the best dad. Someone’s ability or inability to provide financially/emotionally/physically shouldn’t hinder their portrayal as a great parent.

We went deep in conversation deciphering his thought process and my theory on fatherhood. I get it, being financially stable is very important. But at a point there are things that money cannot buy.

Bringing home an extra $100 from overtime cannot amount to the value of hearing your child’s first words, it doesn’t equate to seeing your son score his first goal or see their performances at school.

In the end I told him that bringing home a little bigger paycheck is not going to make him a better dad, but spending more time at home doesn’t make him a better dad either.

He looked at me confused in silence, then I explained to him that I obviously understand spending less time working doesn’t make more money.

However, it gives him the opportunities to be the best dad more.

And in my book, being home with my littles more each day is trade-off I’d take every time.

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How My 8 Year Old Made Me Cry

Happy Monday, #GP5Fam! It’s been a crazy start to our week here in the Grr-arrow household! I mean when is it not ever crazy in my household, psh! Who am I kidding! I live with crazies! Haha! (facepalm)

Anyways, with hockey & figure skating in full swing. I barely can keep up with the household chores and sleep– speaking of sleep, I miss doing that. And, it’s usually when everyone is asleep, is when I can bust out the phone (or laptop) and get my thoughts on paper.

So, as a warning. We are gonna get sappy in today’s post. So grab your favorite blanket, get cozy on the couch, and grab some tissues & let’s get heartfelt! On today’s post, ”How My 8 Year Old Made Me Cry.”

Today guys, I was a parenting failure! You’re probably thinking I’m being over the top dramatic. And, I wish I was. My TDL was beyond overwhelming. I had emails to tend too, tasks to complete, calls to make and let’s not even get to my list of household chores that desperately needed to get done. I got up early to do some laundry, only to realize the clothes that were previously in the dryer were still wet. So the kids helped me get the wet clothes separated from the dry clothes and placed back in the drier to get dry.

After that, I started getting the sheets off my bed and started piling clothes for the next load of laundry. Mind you I still have a load in the wash, a load in the dryer. 3 piles outside my bedroom door that STILL needs to be done. Sigh. It just seems neverending. I was also on a time crunch as I still had to get Skyler’s homeschool assignments together. And, log on to work!

Time was not on my side today, even though I woke-up decently early. As loads of laundry were going, I scrambled to make sure everyone was fed- from the dogs, turtle and of course the kids!

Once that was ”somewhat” situated I launched my laptop and started on my emails. Simultaneously, I was working on some schooling issues for the upcoming school year which resulted needing to be done via a phone call. Of course, in perfect timing. Katelynn decided to have her full-blown tantrum, complete with ”exorcist” back arches and laying on the floor. All because I told her she couldn’t have fruit snacks for breakfast. Oh, and I stood my ground while I tended to my important phone call. Honestly, I should’ve just given her the damn fruit snack so I could get through my phone conference.

But, alas, In her best, high shrill, Katelynn sang the song of her people — loud enough for the poor lady I was talking to on the phone to hear. And, she politely said, ”Shes got some lungs on her”. Oh, If she only knew how I tried to muffle the sound on the phone so she couldn’t hear and failed epically to balance the phone off my shoulder & pick up a flailing 4-year-old off the floor. All while struggling to also hold a pen & notebook.

After picking Kate up, she was still whining and whimpering, as she still begged for the fruit snack. I continued to stand my ground and put Kate on the couch and walked away into another room so I can somewhat pay attention to what this lady was saying to me. I think I repeated every other sentence back to the lady, to confirm we were on the same page & in all honesty, just cause nothing was clicking.

I walked back out into the living room and put the phone on mute while the lady kept talking. I quickly tried to multitask and tend to Kate. Which resulted in a bigger meltdown cause she wanted to be held — which I, unfortunately, couldn’t do as I needed both hands as I was taking notes during the phone call.

After I no longer could take the whining, I turned on the TV and Thank heavens for Nick Jr, cause whatever show was on calmed Kate. And, after realizing fruit snacks were out of the question Kate drank her milk & ate cereal. (THANK GOD!)

Mind you through this whole Katelynn ordeal, Skyler was (as always) playing hockey in the living room. So I felt like I was playing dodgeball in the house trying to weave through and not get hit. Telling him to stop seemed impossible, also I don’t think he understood my ”miming” since I was on the phone.

Thankfully, I was able to go through my phone call, multitask on the laptop & go through emails. Still, laundry wasn’t done & homeschool didn’t start. My conference and emails took up a chunk of my time.

Once I was finally off the phone the kids reminded me that we needed to get cupcakes and cookies (something I had promised them last week). I packed all my electronics and earpiece and decided that my work would have to be mobile today.

When we got to the bakery we picked out our cupcakes, cookies and headed back to the car. As I loaded the kids into the car I dropped the box which resulted in all the frosting and cupcakes to turn upside down. Fabulous. I scrambled to save what decency the cupcakes had left and headed home.

I tried my best to hold myself together and figured, “What else could go wrong today?”  when we got home, my Husband was there to greet us. I was ready to cry and go in full-Mom-meltdown. And, then Skyler said something completely surprising.

He began to tell Ric about our day, and, I was just waiting for all the epic Mom fails, I had. But, he literally didn’t mention how stressed or frustrated I was. All he took out of the day was– regardless of how busy I was I took time to make Kate food, and turn on the TV for them, and that I drove them to get cupcakes and cookies. Skyle, looked at all the positives I did today, all my multitasking and was happy they got cupcakes and cookies regardless if it was half smashed.

I teared-up and Ric just looked at me like I was insane. I later went on to explain the day from my point of view. How crazy, chaotic it felt.

My kiddo for sure just served me a slice of reality and a good one at that. Perspective.

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How To Lose Your Patience In Less Than An Hour

Hello!

I’m a day late on my post and figured I’d do a twofer since I post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday! I wanted to touch base on something that I think as parents we all get tested with once in a while. And, that my dear readers, is patience.

I don’t know about you guys but, patience disappeared from me a long time ago after having three kids. I, unfortunately, lack it at times.  As a Mom of 3 I’m constantly shuttling to and from locations with three kids, and sometimes two dogs — it would be much easier doing errands or grocery shopping or even getting around from point A to point B alone, especially if I’m on a time constraint. The busiest days are the days I wish I had like 8 arms and there was more than one of me.

I had dropped Spencer and Kate off at Grandma’s aka Mom’s house so that I could take G-Pa and Skyler-Ian to hockey. Our whole day was eventful as it was also Skyler’s pre-birthday dinner. We got to hockey and a sleepy Skyler was just having an off day. Normally, my rambunctious 8-year-old LOVES going to hockey regardless of how tired he is. But, today just wasn’t his day. We were running late as is and I was quickly trying to get his gear prepped and ready for him to put on so he could join the others on ice. I was hurrying him as time was ticking, we had less than 5 minutes to get gear on and our butts on the ice.

As we slowly got his pads on and his uniform, he finally made his way down to the rink. I could see Skyler’s face just pouting from inside his helmet. G-Pa and I also made our way down to the stand to watch. Before Skyler got onto the ice, I pulled him aside and asked him if he just wanted to skip hockey for that day due to his poor attitude and what seemed like his unwillingness to want to do it that day. Even though we were already there, and dressed, I was willing to let him pass if he just wasn’t up to it. The last thing I wanted to do was force him to go on the ice. Surprisingly, He told me, he was just tired and wanted five more minutes of sleep. But, he didn’t want to miss hockey. I told him to try his best, gave him a hug and sent him off. As they began doing their drills, I noticed Skyler struggling a bit. Normally, Skyler does pretty well on catching-on to drills and things. I saw a Coach skate over to Sky and helped him with his stick handling. After a few guided efforts & some encouragement, Skyler succeeded on his stick handling. I could see his little smile from glass window pane of the rink. That’s the Skyler that I knew on ice.

At this moment, I was reminded that we are all going to have our good days, bad days, and just purely exhausted days. Very much like how Skyler was feeling.  Unfortunately, I forgot that Skyler was just 8 and a kid doing what he loved. I am so used to being so busy and doing things back-to-back and running errands, etc. That Skyler wasn’t, he normally would be in school as I accomplished these tasks. I had to cut Skyler some slack. It was an epic Mom fail — because even on the busiest days we still have to put forth our efforts to accomplish the tasks at hand, regardless of time constraints. Patience will be tested, I learned that fairly quickly. But, it’s about accomplishing the goals successfully and not stressfully. No matter how I try to speed processes up, it won’t do justice if it isn’t done correctly.

Skyler, ended his drills smiling. And, much energetic than before, I had apologized to him for rushing him and pretty much draining him out with errands before practice. He understood and he knew I was just trying to get everything done before dinner. That night we celebrated Skyler-Ian’s 8th birthday particularly early. We all enjoyed it and seeing smiling kids and happy faces were well worth the crazy day I had.

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Why, I Love Elephants

images-2Random post, random thought process.. but, I thought I’d share. Its been a few difficult weeks, maybe months, possibly year. You know that saying, “when it rains, it pours?” well, I feel like I’ve been stuck in a tsunami for the past few… (insert amount of time). My mindset when it comes to obstacles, struggles and such, I try and embrace it instead of go against it and sulk. (Try to at least). I try to learn from it, accept it, and of course I’ll continually pray about it. I just always pray for more patience, strength and guidance, peace and of course help. I continue to put faith in God above all, no matter how stuck I am. I know that he is and always will be there for me and in his time will help me. Sometimes I may get bitter about it and stubborn because I’m just tired of my situation that I am in, or sometimes I’ll just force things to happen and not in God’s time. Both are wrong. You should pray and have faith in Christ in all he does, for all the obstacles you go through he walks with you, he never gives you anything you cannot handle. And, sometimes I am blindsided and think otherwise.

So, back to my story, our fridge finally gave up on us after 3 in a half years. It was a used fridge, so I’ve replaced and fixed it about 3-4 times. Finally, we got a technician to come out and look at it and they were so kind and honest to tell me the truth, to better invest my money towards a new fridge instead of trying to fix our current, broken fridge. So, of course being a single income family we budget, and try to save as much as we can. This was not in our plan to have to spend thousands on a fridge! Of course, when this happened- like a domino effect, many other bad things happened, and so on and so forth. I had bottled so much inside that I finally broke-down and cried. I was just tired. Fed-up. Mentally, physically and emotionally – DRAINED! I cried and just let it all out. I then prayed, I prayed the same things I always ask for: patience, guidance, strength, peace, and for help. The following days after I just tried to take everyday slow, and breathe in, breathe out. Accept what I couldn’t change, and work with what I had.

I did just that. I sucked it up when things got tough, I cried when I just hurt too much and I just breathed because thats all you can really do sometimes. Then randomly, I started noticing elephants. I would go on instagram, twitter, or a website and there would be an elephant. I did not really think too much of it, because well – its the internet! It happened again when Kate wore an elephant onesie, and she just would not stop pointing at her onesie. She then saw an image of an elephant on her boppy pillow and continued to point at it. Again, I just thought she wanted me to state what animal it was, and I did. It wasn’t until today, I realized this might be my sign!

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I opened the mail that I had received from a friend, I pulled out the card, and read the inside. It wasn’t until I closed the card, and saw the front of card. It was two elephants, trunks up. It finally clicked, elephants! I decided to google the meaning or symbolism of elephant as I know in the asian culture there is a meaning behind it.

“The elephant is generally considered a symbol of good luck and the animal is a symbol of good fortune. Elephants in Asia are symbolizing a kind of divinity and benevolence and that is why in the recent Asia there are still religious ceremonies where offering is made to the elephants, they wash them and anoint them with special oils and pigments so that the community be blessed with good will. They also symbolize wisdom, loyalty, strength, fidelity and longevity.” (animal-symbols).

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God shows his signs in mysterious ways, and I believe these past couple of days, I received mine. I’ve also been smelling my Dad’s cologne the past two nights. Usually, when I needed help when I was younger, my Dad was my go-to and he always helped when he could. Now, that he passed I still pray to him and ask him for help.

Always, have hope, and faith that good things come in small packages, or in my cases in elephants. Be patient. God sees your struggles and he hears your prayers.

Blessings,

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