The Millennial Homemaker

The musings of a Stay at Home Mom

A Generation of Parenting

What, How, Why: My 20+ Years of Parenting

Its officially been over 20 years that I have been called a mother. I have four children that range in age from 21 (almost 21) down to 10. A lot has happened in these 20+ years.

As I look back on the past generation (yes, one generation equals 20 years) of this monumental calling, I realize that my experience deserves a wink. A glimpse. A shot at fifteen minutes of fame. Or, maybe nothing at all. But, here it goes.

If you are a young mom drowning in the mundane duties of side order chef, laundry loader, calm down singer, carpooler, floor scrubber, or heck…. a mammary milk supplier… rest assured THIS PHASE goes by so fast. Trust me.

In 20 years time I have traded the following life-altering experiences as a young mom for the replacement alternatives as a now “seasoned” mom:

  • Sleepless nights —> sleep-all-the-time teenagers
  • Diapers and formula/nursing —> unending trips to the grocery store to fill the always empty refrigerator and pantry
  • Baby and toddler car seats —>borrowed car keys to teen drivers that come home way too late
  • Preschool tuition —> college tuition
  • Book fair purchases —> yearbooks, college textbooks, laptops, cell phones
  • Christmas outfits —> Homecoming and/or Prom attire
  • Family outings and vacays —> “I don’t have time or want to go on a trip with you”
  • Baby wipes —> acne wipes

And the list goes on and on.

So, begs the question: Would I do it all over again?
YES. IN A HEARTBEAT.

IF only  I could turn back time.

Instead, the beating of my heart keeps me going from one moment to the next. Each beat reminds me to cherish each moment with my grown children.

Knowing I only get a limited number of heartbeats helps me stay grounded in the reality of the speed of life passing by. And, so far… it feels as fast at 186,000 miles per hour.

2016 is SOOO different from 1996

In one generation I have seen the superfluous changes in parenting. From strollers to cell phones, from scrapbooks (real photos from film) to snap chat, from email to texting…. SOOO much has changed.

I almost feel sorry for the young moms in this decade. They have so much more at their disposal, yet they are so overwhelmed by the effects of instant everything.

  • Play dates are arranged on social media, rather than by picking up the phone and CALLING a friend for a get together.
  • Fast food and COFFEE shops on every corner are shaping the expanding waistlines and the need to buy more yoga pants.
  • Home parties (for mom’s night out) have been replaced by facebook parties.
  • Cooking at home is even more rare than the nightly meals once gracing the dining room table.
  • Speaking of the dining room table, this piece of household furniture resembles more of a desk, a craft area, or a museum piece.
  • Children now want (and usually receive) more gifts than ever from classmates that may move away… tomorrow. That $25 price tag for a gift? Nobody blinks at it.

Please know I am not raining on your parade.

My hat is off to you, young mom. I get the pressure you feel to just lie down and rest for 15 minutes. I understand the need to go to the bathroom without an audience. I have been there with the baby strapped in the carseat, sitting in the stroller, crying his eyes out while you are crying because of shampoo in your eyes.

What my mission is in writing this blurb is: I want to encourage you. Keep swimming with the current. Keep getting up every day and trying to squeeze in that workout. Keep learning how to make one new meal that your babies will someday brag to a friend and sing your praises. Keep picking up those socks and finding their homes or strayed partners. Keep singing those lullabies. Keep on mommying on.

For in 20 years, you’ll be trading your young mommy hat for a seasoned hat. And hair dye.

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Lazy Days of Summer

The past few weeks of my life can be summarized into two words: (1) lazy and (2) busy. After moving my family from one home to another at the end of April, I have chosen to do as little as possible over the summer. I have chosen to be lazy.

But it’s not all bad to be lazy.

Because, at the same time, I am still a busy mama. I am still cleaning and cooking and washing and organizing and running errands. Our family has had more visitors in our new house these past three months than we have had in the past year at the old house! I have stretched way beyond my limit in hospitality and served meals, hosted overnight guests, and play dates.

My view of laziness is equal to rest.

You can’t keep the motor running all the time. You need to stop and recharge those batteries. My version of rest these days is to sit in front of the TV and binge watch an old show called Gilmore Girls. It’s a light-hearted show of two major characters (a young mom and a teen-aged daughter) who share the ups and downs of living in a small, charming New England town. They drink too much coffee, and they talk way too much. But…

It is fun to watch and pretend I am living in that Gilmore world.

I know that the lazy days of summer are quickly coming to a close. The school supplies are waiting to be purchased. The patio furniture has been cleared out of the stores, and soon the rumble of the yellow school buses will line the streets once again. It’s only a matter of a few weeks and life will churn in another direction. The summer season will bow out gracefully to the new one ushering in with the first cool breeze of fall.

Oh, how I can hardly wait to open my windows and smell the cool air again.

So for now, in the midst of July, I am basking in the laziness of summer. Just as a bear hibernates all winter in preparation for a busy spring, I am hibernating inside my air-conditioned home to prepare for the upcoming season where I can go outside and stretch my legs and run around without heat exhaustion.

How about you? How are you enjoying your summer? I hope that you are finding those moments of calm. Those moments of rest. Those moments of lazy.

May you all be blessed today, my dear reader.

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Hitting Milestones… Making Memories

Graduation from high school is a big deal to both the child and the parents who raised him or her. Thirteen years of school, countless hours of studying, and a myriad of activities all culminate to one thing: the high school diploma. A piece of paper becomes the passageway that says a child has completed a huge milestone. It says, “Welcome to Adulthood.”

When my second son was born in December 1997, I didn’t really count the number of years that would bring him to May 2016… the year of his high school graduation. As held my 9 pound 9 ounce baby boy in my arms for the first time, I just wanted to cherish that moment of his miraculous birth. I didn’t want to think of him growing up….yet. Then, thousands upon thousands of moments later I am watching him don his blue cap and gown as we cheer him on to the next milestone of his life.

As he is leaping from one milestone to the next, I am holding on to each memory.

As a mom I am so proud of each of my children’s accomplishments. I am grateful that I have been there for all of those milestones. From their first smiles and their first words, to the first day of school and then to their last day of senior year, I am so honored to be there for them. My heart leaps with joy and cries tears of mixed emotions.

I believe that all parents want to see their children succeed through life. The love, the time, the sacrifice, the tears, the joy… all of it becomes so crystal clear when that moment comes to say, “Welcome to Adulthood.”

Right now I have so much to say, yet the words are hard to form.

Dear Michael,

I prayed for you when you were in my womb.

I prayed over you when you went to kindergarten.

I prayed for you when you went to summer camp.

I prayed for you when  you were in your first play.

I prayed for you when you had your first job.

I prayed for you when you received your driver’s license.

And now, I am praying for you as you begin life after high school.

All those moments. All those days. Etched in my memory.

I’ll love you forever and forever my baby you’ll be.

Love always,

Mom

 

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Miss Wishy-Washy

I need to do a little explaining of this title. Just this week I have been called this name. In the past I would have cowered in a corner and cried. But, this time I took it like a big girl should. I pulled up my boot straps, straightened my neck, and held my face forward.

Yes, I am Miss Wishy Washy.

It’s not always a bad thing to not know what you want in this life. Everyday there are a million choices that need to be made. What should I eat? What should I wear? Should I turn left or right for better traffic? Do I drink regular or leaded coffee (or none at all)?

Life is full of choices.

Sometimes, we don’t get to make our choices. Sometimes, the choices are laid out as plain as day. For example, most of us have two bad genes: one will lead to cancer, and the other will lead to diabetes (and heart disease). We don’t have a choice in that wild card.

But, with that in mind, we can still make choices to prevent those diseases. We can choose what we want to eat. We can choose if we want to exercise. We can choose to be happier and lead stressless lives (which will reduce your chances of cancer or diabetes).

So, this is why I am Miss Wishy Washy.

I am trying to figure out the best path for my life. I have my hands in 5 network marketing groups at the moment. Yes, F I V E !!!! I have so much love for so many things, that I figured if I dabble if enough of them, then O N E of the them will make sense. It’s not about the money I’d make. It’s about the relationships and the life changing experiences.

So, go ahead and say it.

“Why can’t you just make up your mind and stick with something?”

Well, I definitely understand that question. It is a question I have asked of others several times in the past. But, now, as a mid-life woman, I see why there are variables.

Life is short. You only live once on this planet. It is okay to try a variety of things as long as it benefits your own life (without harming others).

So, take a risk. Join that network marketing group if you want. Try a new hobby. Read a good book. Take that road trip. Hike that mountain.

Be wishy-washy. And while you are at it, say HI to me🙂

 

 

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The Worthy Fight

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About three weeks before the new year I began to get nervous. I was concerned about the future. I didn’t want to face something. That something?

2016.

As a worrier by default, I am not eternally optimistic about most things. I am a realist, yet I want to be an idealist. I want to have things like hope or courage. Yet, these past few years have beaten my emotions to a pulp.

Good News!

As I woke up to January 1, 2016, the sky wasn’t falling like I had worried. The earth was still revolving. The sun was still shining. My kids were still smiling. And I was still breathing.

The past few days I have been pulling myself up by my bootstraps, so to speak. I have been putting on my mental boxing gloves, and I am gearing up for a fight.

The Worthy Fight

It’s hard to think of any fight as something worthy. So, what is so worthy that requires fighting?

FIGHT for your HEALTH

FIGHT for your MARRIAGE

FIGHT for your FAITH

FIGHT for your CHILDREN

FIGHT for your FREEDOM

FIGHT for your LIFE

I am determined to make 2016 my year to FIGHT! Fight for all of the above. This blog post is my personal reminder to keep on swimming, keep on moving forward, keep on keeping on…. especially on the bad days. Because, there will be bad days. But, there is still HOPE.

I absolutely love the song by Rachel Platten called Fight Song.

Here are a few lyrics (I hope that’s OK, Rachel):

This is my fight song

Take back my life song

Prove I’m all right song

…. ’cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Thank you, Rachel, so much for these words. They are my mantra for 2016.

AMEN.

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