Tag Archives: non-judgmental parenting

Chores = A Clean House (Ha Ha HA)

Yesterday was a disaster. I am pretty sure that my house mirrors what is going on inside me because the messes made–before 8 am–pretty much looked like how I feel (which is to say, my emotions were a wreck).  While there are some things I cannot control, like the messiness of my house in a given minute–at least until the kids are in bed–I can get the kiddos involved with certain tasks.  So, here are the top 5 chores I allow I encourage them to help me with and how I make it easier on all of us (i.e. me).

1. Picking up their toys.  While this might seem easy, it is actually tricky.  This is one area my degree proves useful, child development research agrees that kids cannot process “cleaning their toys,” they need specific direction.  Rather than saying, “pick up your toys!” I ask them to find their blocks, cars, or doll parts and put them in the appropriate bins (e.g. the one catch-all bin because I am not that organized).  To make things even more fun, we play educational games.  For example, I ask Emily to find the red block, and Andrew to pick up his green car.  Or we’ll count how many toys we can fit in our hands.  Pretty soon, we have picked up all the toys and are laughing because I’ve made it fun (well…I might be crying but one can easily hide tears with a chuckle) (kidding).

2. Dishes.  Since I seem to be washing dishes every 10 minutes (it’s my form of release), I have learned to involve the kiddos in this task in a painless manner by letting them play with bubbles.  Occasionally I might let them load the dishes, but as this generally turns into a fiasco as they alternate between throwing cups, silverware, and plates all over the floor and placing them haphazardly in the dishwasher, I avoid this.  Remember, I said painless.

3. Taking out the trash.  The kids love to put stuff in the trash can.  Emily is generally allowed to do this, but Andrew enjoys taking things out more than putting them in, so he is banned from that task.  However, something we can all agree on, is fresh air.  Our trash day happens to be Wednesday and on that day–if I am prepared and actually remember it is trash day–finds us outside, dragging the trash cans to the curb.  The kids like “pushing” the trash cans and I am just happy I remembered this particular chore before the sound of the garbage truck interrupted my reverie (read: morning coffee/cocoa) and made me run outside in a chaotic fashion wearing any form of clothes (usually on backwards and/or inside out).

4. Folding their laundry.  Okay, let’s be real, folding laundry with toddlers is a very messy business.  This is why I have a system of making it less hectic.  I give them a small pile of clothes to fold and put away.  They feel “big” and I am okay with them wrecking the pile over and over again.  Whatever kids, it’s a small pile and you are in charge of it (until I finally get my hands on it after bedtime and actually put it away).

5. Wiping up spills. Andrew is very adept at dumping his bowls of cereal and cups of juice (even if it has a lid) all over the table and floor.  Emily is not an innocent party in this, she finds it incredibly interesting to pour out her drinks into other objects and re-pour it into her cup.  As each of these activities–Andrew’s and Emily’s–lead to some big messes, the kids know to get a rag and clean up their spills.  However, I think knowing this might be an incentive to make the messes; but, whatever, they are learning something.  I think.

Have anything to add to the list?  And you are welcome to steal my ideas, in exchange for free baby-sitting.


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Filed under Parents Supporting Parents

Closing Shop and Other Housekeeping Items

After I went public with my disaffection/break/discontent (whatever you want to call it) from the Mormon church–the church of my upbringing–I have had conflicting feelings.  On the one hand, I want to talk about my experiences because it shaped me as a child and continues shaping me as I grow older.  (My entire mindset is Mormon–I see things from a Mormon worldview; I view religion-related things from a Mormon perspective; and many of my friends are/were Mormon.)  On the other hand, I do not want to isolate those who continue to believe in the tenets of Mormonism and, in my mind, religion in all its forms.  It isn’t that I am trying to convince people to join me in my agnosticism/atheism, it’s that I am working through my past beliefs in order to integrate them into the person I am now and the person I am becoming.

I don’t feel I am being anti-Mormon, but understand the Mormon mindset which makes certain topics uncomfortable.   But, to be frank, it isn’t just Mormonism that I have issues with.  It is God, Jesus Christ, the scriptures, and the history of all Judeo-Christian religions.  I am open to exploring different religions and am also open to opinions that are different from my own. Heck, if you have an experience that is or was similar to mine, and you stayed faithful to whatever religion you currently are, tell me about it!

However, you are formally warned that I will be sharing my religious experiences and why I feel the way I do now.  It will be thoughtful and may also be hard to read.  So if you are uncomfortable with that and wish to say something that is not conducive to respectful conversation, do so at your own risk.  That is to say, I will not respond to hurtful comments.  In fact, I will delete your words forever.  At the same time, I have a forgiving heart.  Just be respectful to me and my views (and, by all means, disagree with me!) and I will be respectful to you.

All this is a lengthy explanation for my new Facebook rules.  I will be trimming down my current friends to those who are close friends and/or relatives.  I will not be talking about my religious angst, my political opinions, or anything that might be controversial on that account.  Instead, I have opened a new account that is dedicated to all the above plus a few other things that I will discuss a little later in this post.  You are welcome to friend me.  I am not picky and will accept everyone, who is not crazy and/or a friend whore, who asks.  I might seek you out because I am interested in what you have to say.  Again, you can find that new account here.   If you are not into that sort of thing, you are also welcome to “like” my blog.  It won’t be nearly as fun as my new account, but will apprise you of new blog posts.


My second piece of business is more momma-related.  Y’all know that I struggle with intense mental illness, right?  (If you don’t, where have you been?) (Kidding.)  As I am figuring out how to handle it (yes, my medication does not make it all better, I must do other things to keep me level), I realize that most of my current stress comes from being a mom.  To two toddlers.  To help me see the bright side of some crazy days, I will be posting quotes and/or experiences from the day to my new Facebook account‘s wall.  So if you are annoyed by that kind of thing, be warned.  It is something I realize helps me see things in a less hazy way.  I love my kids.  Oh I love them.  But mental illness often clouds my perspective and I need a metaphorical Windex-like product to wipe my windows clean.  And this is the idea that came to me.  So I’m going to try it.


Numero three.  I am revamping my weekly supporting parents write-up.  Look for more details soon.


And finally, I am taking a short break to recuperate and tackle this enormous to-do list I have.  I will most likely continue reading your blogs but need some time to gather my own thoughts before returning to writing. This whole exploration of my new feminist/religious/philosophical self is exhausting.  Literally, I pass out every day quickly because my mind is teeming with information, comments, ideas, etc.  Also, my to-do list is full of things with actual deadlines.  Deadlines that are coming up real fast.  Yikes.  So I must dedicate more time to completing these tasks (which include some exciting new adventures, I’ll keep you posted) before the end of the month.  I will continue with the Supporting Parents posts because I really do believe in my original idea and because it helps me look over my parenting with an objective magnifying glass.

If you are still reading this long post, kudos to you.


Filed under Random Thoughts

Saying Sorry

It was one of those moments.

Me: Ems, here are two vitamins.  Please give Andrew one.

Emily: Ok.  (Walks over to her brother.) Here you go, Andrew.

Five minutes later.

Andrew: Misse! [Mine] (Pointing at the vitamin Emily is eating.)

Me: Ben, did you see Emily give Andrew a vitamin?

Ben: No. I think she’s eating his right now.

Ben:  Emily, come here. Did you eat Andrew’s vitamin?

Emily: No.

Ben: Please don’t lie, did you eat it?  We saw you put it in your mouth.

Emily: No! (Begins crying.  Runs to me for comfort.  I try to send her back to her dad.)

Ben: Oh no.  (Picks up a gummy vitamin from off the coffee table.)  She did give him one.

Our eyes meet.  We have falsely accused our sweet, little girl and not believed her when she told the truth.

Ben: Oh sweetie, come here.  I am so very sorry.

After several minutes of cuddling her, she pulls away.

Emily: It’s okay daddy.

We, as parents, are fallible.  It’s a hard lesson for Ben, me, and our kids to learn.  However, we have learned to say sorry.  Thankfully.



Filed under Parents Supporting Parents

Potty Training for Dummies

It started out so well.  Emily would run to her potty, do her business, and exclaim “I went pee-pee Mommy!”  Within the first week, she went number two without any urgings from me.  Her diapers were completely dry in the morning and accidents were very, very rare.

And then something happened.  I’m not sure what, but she started freaking out whenever she needed to go number two.  I thought this was a power struggle so I refused to cave into her demands.  Soon, she started having accidents galore.

Yesterday, when I was on my knees cleaning up another mess–this of the icky variety–I kind of lost it.  As I was cleaning, she went to the toilet and peed.  She came out and very excitedly announced that she had gone pee-pee and asked for a treat.  Since I was not very happy with her, I did not give her a treat and begrudgingly told her I was glad she went pee on the toilet.  At the same time, I wasn’t happy with myself for obviously overlooking something.

After she went to bed, and I cooled down significantly, I reflected on her recent regression and how I played into it.  Within in a few moments I had a prompting in the form of two questions: Are you listening to what your daughter is trying to communicate? Or are you pushing your own will on her? I hung my head in shame–good shame–and decided to take a step back and let her progress on her own time.

She can now request a diaper anytime she wants and I am back to giving her treats whenever she pees on the toilet.  Really, I am so proud of her for asking to potty train on her own and not rewarding something that she is obviously pleased with herself is like denying her a kiss when she really needs it.

As a mother, I am often the “dummy” when it comes to listening to my kids.  Thankfully, there is room to change. I hope I can take this lesson and use it continuously as Emily and Andrew grow older.

MakingtheMomentscount.com Are you an awesome parent? Of course you are! Write a post about a parenting style, philosophy, or moment you are proud of and let me know in the comments. (Want more details? Click on the button above or click here.)

(Apparently, I now have to pay for a subscription to Linkytools, so until I decide to do this a link list will have to wait.)


Filed under Non-judgmental parenting

A Time to Hold

I intended to write about potty training today until I picked up my little boy and felt inspired to go another direction.

My little guy needs me.  He needs me so much that he cries if any other person tries to hold him, including his dad.  This past week he has been sick.  Really sick.  This has only intensified his desire that I hold him all the time.   In a recent conversation with a friend, she remarked that it must be difficult to have a child who refuses to be comforted by anyone other than me.  I can’t remember my response but I don’t think I adequately expressed how I truly feel about this situation.   Call this my written response.

When Emily was a just born and tiny baby I knew I wanted to cherish every moment I had with her.  At that time, Ben and I were both attending school full-time.  Our days were filled with homework and parenting duties and I often felt I spent more time doing the latter rather than the former.  At one point, after bemoaning my situation incessantly inside my head, I felt it was time to stop complaining and truly enjoy every moment I spent with Emily rather than crying that I didn’t have more.  I also decided to cherish all her stages–good and bad–and not spend time wishing she were older or more mobile or could talk.

Embracing my new philosophy, I found delight in her day-to-day activities and did not despair as she continued to grow (mentally not physically) at an alarming rate.

This thinking has continued with Andrew.  Even though it does feel inconvenient at times to have him attached to my hip, I remember that he won’t always want me to hold him.  There will come a day when he might push me away.  When my importance will diminish as he enters that vast world of pre-teen and teenagedom.  And then he will grow up, move away, and find [a different] love in another woman’s arms.

So, right now I appreciate how much he loves and needs me.  I relish the moments I have holding him close and smelling his delicious scent.  I kiss his head, hands, and face and feel that familiar tug of deep and indescribable love for this child that my husband and I created together.

At the same time, as he continues to grow (he will be 2 this year!) I don’t feel sad. I recognize the importance of maturity. I also know my place is to raise him, and his sister, to be responsible, virtuous, charitable, and many other things so they can one day be mindful adults and citizens of the world.

MakingtheMomentscount.com Are you an awesome parent? Of course you are! Write a post about a parenting style, philosophy, or moment you are proud of and let us know by linking up below or commenting. (Want more details? Click on the button above or click here.)


Filed under Non-judgmental parenting

Let's Support Each Other

When I wrote about competitive parenting, Kristen asked that I “come up with a name for [my] new school of non-judgmental parenting so we can all join you and feel validated.”  Kristen, I will do more than that.

We all have our bad days. Days when nothing seems to go right. However, all of us are great parents, with our own parenting flair. To bring out this flair in a supportive environment, I decided to do a weekly meme (for lack of better term) in which I share one thing I am proud of doing as a parent. I would like to invite all of you to do the same! I even created a button for it!


<a href=”http://www.makingthemomentscount.com/2010/12/15/lets-support-each-other/&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”http://www.makingthemomentscount.com/SupportiveParentingButton.jpg&#8221; alt=”MakingtheMomentsCount.com” width=”125″ height=”125″ /></a>

I know. I’m so creative. (Don’t laugh.)

Anyway. If you care to join me, please do! I will be presenting my first post next Wednesday but you can write yours any day of the week just let me know so I can read and share it with others! (Have I used enough exclamation points?!!!)

Even if you don’t participate, I hope by reading my positive parenting posts, you will remember how awesome you already are.


Filed under Non-judgmental parenting