There are times that my “mom guilt” becomes overwhelming.  You know the guilt–the type all moms have every once in awhile.  Was I too harsh?  I wasn’t firm enough.  Do I trust too much?  Do I not trust enough?  I missed a teaching opportunity.  Was I rescuing her?  Did I do enough?  I should have said something.  I shouldn’t have said that.  I should have let the chores slide.  I should have enforced the chores.  It can become a constant stream of  doubts, worries, and negativity.  And when the guilt and worries start to prevent sleep, I combat the negativity by journaling positive things that have happened, the good interactions I’ve had with my kids.  It brings me back up and restores my perspective.  It is a reminder to me that, yes, parenting is hard, but if my relationship with each of the kids is positive and intact, then I must be doing okay.   Having been awake since 3:00 a.m., my fuzzy brain now needs that reassurance:

*When Huh’s high school softball team went to Nevada for a softball tournament a couple of weeks ago the team left for the return trip two hours later than planned.  Consequently, I wasn’t home when Huh returned.  I was helping with the scheduled visiting teaching interviews for our ward when Huh called my cell phone and asked me how much longer I was going to be.  I told her I would be home in roughly fifteen to twenty minutes.  “Good,” she said.  “I’m hungry.”

“Haven’t you had your dinner?”  I asked.  “Hub had it almost ready when I left.”

“No.”

“Well, go ahead and eat.  I’ll be home in a few minutes and you can tell me all about your trip.”

“No.  I’m waiting to eat so that I can eat with you and tell you everything.”  (Aw, does a mom’s heart good!)

*One afternoon last week Mack had two friends come home with her to do a homework project.  I fed them dinner and talked with them a bit about boyfriends.  Out of the blue one of the friends looked at me and said, “I love you.  You are the coolest!”

Then the other girl said the same thing.  Mack grabbed me in a hug and said, “Aw mom, my friends think you’re cool.”  I reached around and gave her rear-end a big pinch.  Her friends erupted in peals of laughter.  

*The middle school that Shroom and Hoob attend is right across the street from our house.  The two kids take advantage of that and bring friends home for lunch quite often.  One day, a couple of weeks ago, I heard Shroom come in with someone.  I came downstairs to greet them and was surprised to see that the other person was a girl.  I greeted them and went about my business.  A few days later, while some of our kids were hanging out together in the family room, I couldn’t resist a little teasing.  “So, Shroom, who was the girl you brought home the other day?”

Shroom smiled and continued playing his video game.  The other kids joined in the questioning.  “Oh, you brought a girl home?  Who is she?  Is she cute?”

Shroom was stuck.  He had to confess.  “Her name is Nicole.”  And then he looked at me and said, “Your reaction was so funny.  You weren’t expecting to see a girl.”

I laughed.  “No, I wasn’t.  She was cute.  After you left I hollered at your dad in his office and asked him if you have a girlfriend.  He said he didn’t know.”

Shroom went back to playing his video game and said, “Like Dad would know anyway.”

That’s when big brother, Squid, decided to jump in.  “Shroom, you should always keep your parents in the dating loop.  That’s what keeps you out of trouble.”

Wow.  Perhaps parental teachings are sticking.

*I got the chance to pick up Juju from school on a day that she usually goes to her mom’s house.  I got to hear about her day and about some of her friends.  She thanked me for the ride.

*Last Friday I got a sub for my morning crossing so that I could participate in “Reality Town” with Hoob at her school.  She made sure to get into my line at the “Day Care” center and introduce one of her friends to me.  Another of her friends came running up and gave me a hug and told the others in the line, “This is my second mom!”  

Hoob did really well managing her finances that day and still had $1,200.00 in her account at the end of the session.  She had even donated some of her “money” to charitable causes.  Good girl!

*Yesterday Yawlin got all of his chores and homework done as soon as he got home from cub scouts.  He was the only one out of all of the kids who had his chores done early.  I gave him a high five and handed him a KitKat.  “This is a ‘High Five’ award for getting your chores done early.”  His grin was huge, and his hug was priceless.

I dunno…maybe I’m doing okay.

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