Our oldest son is starting kindergarten next month!! I knew that these days would come but the past 5 years have flown by entirely way too fast. Wyatt will walk into those elementary school doors and I’ll have to leave him. I’ll drive home with his little brother in the seat behind me and we’ll be lost when we get home. When Westin naps I’ll be alone, with a lazy dog, until he wakes up from his nap or Wyatt’s day ends at 3:15.
I can’t even begin to think about it, or I swear I will bawl my eyes out.
We registered Wyatt in May and I quickly learned just how much work goes into preparing a child for the classroom. Since then I have been working non-stop preparing my “little” boy for school. I’ve put together my tactics, if you will, and passing them along for good use!
Preparing your child for Kindergarten doesn’t have to be stressful
Of course I say this out of experience. At Kindergarten Round-Up there’s a good chance you received a sheet of paper reiterating all the things your child should know before stepping into the classroom on the first day of school. If you’re like me, a heated ball of anxiety and sorrow, you quietly contemplated a summer program to get a kick-start on things. Obviously that’s not necessary.
After a little bit of research, and wine, I tailored a fun program for my son and I to do together this summer!
First up, we cracked down on writing his name correctly. Capital first letter, and the rest lowercase. I found these printables on PowerfulMothering.com. They are a free, customizable download and I’ve printed out many of these babies. All of which are pinned up against our fridge for the world to see. Powerful Mothering is filled with tons of learning resources and I urge you to subscribe!
Good ole flashcards
Flash cards have always been my go-to. The simplicity of it reminds me of when I was in school, do you remember those long rectangular cards that were binded together at one corner? And you just flipped them around making one huge circle of cards?? Gosh, those were the days. Flashcards have worked wonders with my son. He’s a visible learner, much like I am, and we have fun with it.
Teachers expect your children to count to 80 when entering kindergarten, 30 at a minimum. (I’m sorry, but this one is absurd.) Any who, we’re still working our way up that ladder. Counting those little Lego looking cubes just aren’t my sons cup of tea. So, I had to break out the goods; marshmallows, M&M’s, cookies, and chocolate chips. All of which made him very eager to get his numbers in order.
Another idea would be to use big marshmallows and toss them into random things around the house, counting the winning tosses as they go.
Learning needs to be fun, and at times you need to get creative when teaching a first timer the ropes.
For bonus points, I’ve finally gotten my son used to the idea of trusting someone he’s just met; his teacher. If your child will be leaving their comfort zone, which is you, for the first time ever- try telling them that the teacher is your friend. This has helped my son tremendously. Especially since he knows mama has a couple of cool friends and in his own words, “they seem pretty cool.”.
If you have a first timer starting school next month what methods are you using to prepare your child?
When it comes to finding yourself the process can be pretty challenging. When you’re a young mother living for her family, that process becomes bewildering. I’ve never put much thought into who I was or where I’m going until I started writing.
To me, writing is a sure-fire way to determine who you are. (insert shameless selfie below)
As of right now I know 5 things about myself.
- I am a homebody. I like keeping to myself and staying off the radar.
- I put others way before myself, and that’s not particularly a good thing.
- I can be extremely hard on myself, and I think that’s pretty normal.
- I believe I am a unique type of person but I cannot own it.. As I don’t want to seem conceded.
- I am NOT a ‘fall down, get back up stronger’ person.
So yeah, you may look at those things and think they’re negative. At first glance I’d think the same thing. My mind works in mysterious ways and I have yet to find another who can relate.
Here’s my reasoning behind those 5 things. I wish I was the exact opposite of each of them. I’ve been fighting a war in my mind for quite some time now, trying to overcome who I really am and shift into someone who is not me.
It’s actually made things much more difficult in my life. Let me break down my 5 things for you.
I like staying home because I am an introvert, being alone is my favorite time of the day.
I’ve never been one to chase the crowd and shine a light on myself, not in person anyways.
I put my family before myself because that’s the kind of mother I’ve always wanted to be. I want to be the backbone and the crutch, I want to be the one that they need daily. It gives me a sense of pride knowing I’m needed.
I’m hard on myself because if I’m not, I won’t strive to prove myself wrong. I constantly tear myself apart because I am so good at building myself back up, to the point where only I am my own worst enemy. No one can speak to me with words worse than I do to myself, and that’s okay. I make myself tough enough to handle it.
I know I am a unique person, but I don’t walk around flaunting it like a vegetarian announces they don’t eat meat. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
And when I fall down, I fall down hard.. Hard enough to bring myself back to reality and see things realistically, rather than irrationally. (around my parts they call me the queen of irrational thoughts.. well, if the crown fits, right?!)
I could go on and on justifying those 5 things, but what more would it change?
Everything, actually. I highly doubt you’re ready for a novel so I’ll spare you.
Right now, as I write this, my words are flowing. I am basically talking myself out of feeling sorry for myself.. for not knowing who the hell I am.
I obviously know who I am.. I proved that 60 words ago.
You know who you are too, I can promise you that. You just haven’t quite accepted it.
In my opinion, I don’t think you ever have to fully accept yourself, as you are constantly changing. If you really wanted to accept every aspect of your being you’d be mentally exhausted your entire life. Now when you’re 80, sitting with your soul mate sipping coffee, I’m pretty sure you’ll know who you really are. However I cannot vouch for that.
Stop trying to find yourself and let yourself find you. During this process I am urging myself to make minor improvements; To get out and do things for myself every once in a while, to attend social events with mere acquaintances, to appear completely vulnerable at times, and to own what I am capable of and what I have accomplished thus far. Throwing myself into uncomfortable situations is the only way I know how to expect growth. And again, that’s totally fine.
I’m a journal keeper, turned writer, turned blogger, who just wants to morph into a socialite, and fit in with the inspiring entrepreneurs of Houston, Texas.. and Lord willing I will get there.
How well do you think you know yourself? Write down 5 things you’re sure of and elaborate why in full sentences, no lists, just as I did up above.. You’d be surprised with what your mind brings to the table.
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Can you believe Mother’s Day is upon us once again?! Where did the year go?? I love love love Mother’s Day, my husband always finds a way to make me feel special and I’m always excited to find out whats up his sleeve.
I’ve gathered up a short list of some cute Mother’s Day essentials, many of which I already have, so if you’re knocking your brain on the perfect gift, under $100*, keep on reading!
*Disclaimer: One of these things is not under $100 but its pretty much close enough, you need a splurge every now and then.
Okay now this is an item I’ve had my eyes on for quite some time. Sold at Fossil it’s definitely great quality, and with a price tag of $114.99 it’s such a STEAL. Marble has gained some popularity lately and for good reason. It’s simple, yet elegant.. just like that sweet Mama on your list.. AM I RIGHT?
I’ve been using this planner lately and I love it! It’s a spiral but you’d never guess from the hard exterior, and the spiral is GOLD. The pages aren’t thin, which is a plus, and every month has its separate laminated tab, super plus. Spend $30.00 and say hello to your chic organized Mama!
Okay I couldn’t just pick one, obviously. These dishes are from Francescas and they are included in their own Mother’s Day Gift Guide, and you need to go check it out! I love cute little trinket dishes and clever quotes, now they’re combined and I find myself in trinket dish heaven. Grab the Best Mom Ever dish for $12 and the ever so clever Mom Jean dish for $15.
Unlimited Designer Jewelry With Rocksbox
This subscription box is my newest addiction. I’ve never been one to spend money on jewelry but with Rocksbox I can use and trade in pieces whenever I want. Which is perfect for the mom on the move whose always too tired to shop.. or is that just me?? You’ll get her 3 pieces of jewelry a month styled to her liking, she has the option to either buy or use any piece as long as she wants for only $19 a month! As an added bonus theres also a buy now feature, just incase some pieces are too difficult to part with. Sound snazzy yet?? Use my code : STRINGFELLOWANDCOXOXO for your first month absolutely free!
Graphic Tees from Parentees
Ahh another favorite! Parentees makes shirts that parents get! Whether you’re a Mom, Dad, or a kiddo you’re bound to find a graphic tee to your liking. Dominique is one pretty Mama who put her heart and soul into every single shirt, and I love her for it! Bonus points because small businesses rock!
I adore this sign and I think every mother needs it. Of course I needed to include something from the fabulous Magnolia Market!! This sign speaks leaps and bounds to Mamas everywhere. We all really do design our own lives but I believe mothers are more cautious when it comes to life decisions, as we have others who depend on us. If I were to wake up and read this sign it’d be a huge reassurance that I’m on the right path and this was all meant to be. Maybe she’ll agree??
Now before we even get into this I have to clarify a thing or two. I am in no way, shape or form, a SAHM who finds working moms selfish. I think that label is completely stupid and I literally admire working mothers. I was a working mother with my first born and as tough as it was I kept at it, because I loved my job and it was great having my own “thing”. We all mother differently and I want to respect everyone rather than push someone away.
I’ve been a stay at home mom for 3 years now. The change from the working world to being home all day has to be the toughest transition I’ve ever done. However, right now in our life, its best for me to stay home with our boys.
Up next are, what I think to be, the biggest truths for SAHM. Some funny, some serious, all are brutally honest.
You’ve been warned.
Number One. You can’t really expect us to dress up everyday can you? Yoga pants and leggings. Can I get an Amen!? …I’ll wait…. Stretchy pants are a SAHM’s savior. Why dress up to the 9 when you’re just going to be cleaning a never-ending mess? Or constantly rubbing food out of your child’s hair, or is that just my kid? Just think of all the great stuff a nanny would do.. then imagine yourself as the nanny. You’re the housekeeper, the nurse, a psychiatrist, a chef, and a coach all in one day. Heck yes, you deserve to run around in tight leggings. Go on with your bad self, mama.
Number Two. Social media may be our entire life. The world is changing and gone are the days when photos took an hour to see. We live in a ‘snap and upload’ world now and that’s not entirely a bad thing. Do we overshare pictures of our kids doing random things? Probably. Do we care? Obviously not. Social media is our way to share our day, and when you’re home with infants and toddlers we tend to get stir crazy, craving the social interaction thats easy to access during nap time, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Number Three. That lovely space that you used to call your domain? That master bedroom and its spacious master bathroom? That’s just not yours anymore. Children get some kind of high breaking into forbidden rooms. It’s got to be in the handbook these little angels are given right before conception, they study it while in the womb only to come into the world acting like fools. Complete fools. “Being A Kid Handbook, Chapter 3- Thou shalt not ignore sudden urges to explore, it will forever be in your blood. You have a need to inspect forbidden places and objects, just ask Adam and Eve.”. You no longer have a space, not even your own vehicle. Let it all go.
Number Four. Sometimes we feel disconnected from the world around us. The emotional toll of being a stay at home mom is nothing to underestimate. Though, we may seen perfectly fine on the inside, we have an urge to disconnect for a while. Even then, when we do have our own time, we find ourselves wanting to get back into the swing of things. We find ourselves missing the same children that drove us to chug that bottle of wine last Tuesday night. We’ve heard all your rants and hollers about how luxurious our lives are, “I wish I could stay home all day, must be nice!”. The reality of it all is that sometimes we don’t even see the silver lining. We have our moments when we feel absolutely selfish for even thinking of going back to work because of some of the things we are told. On the other hand, society makes us feel like were taking the easy way out just because we do stay home. It’s a constant battle, at least for me, to accept my choice and believe that I am capable of going back into the workforce one day.
Number Five. Some days we’ll conquer the world, other days are, for lack of a better word, pointless. There will be days where we wake up with a twinkle in our eye and stay on top of EV-ERY-THANG. We put make up on our face ever so delicately, our kids actually change out of pajamas, and we may even bust out the surface cleaner just because. Then we have days where the worlds spinning entirely too fast. Our kids act uncivilized and we totally throw in the towel and roll with it. We find ourselves counting down the hours until our husbands get home. Its the one time of the day where the weight of a 20 ton boulder is lifted off our shoulders and we sneak into the bathroom to just be. Believe me when I say that’s OKAY.
Whats a good SAHM truth of your own?
Thanksgiving is only a couple days away! What are you doing for the holiday? My family is having a small get together. However, I am really excited for our small gathering. No family drama, not a drop of animosity in the room, just the people who love and respect us genuinely. Can you say heck yes?!