Monday, June 13, 2016

They Try to Fix Everything

By: Samantha S. Daviss

My husband has always said and wondered why God put man and woman together. He really doesn’t feel that there could be two creatures more different or more opposite than one another. And I totally agree with him.

Not only are you putting the opposite gender together, but opposite brain functionality too. Women think with their hearts, whereas men think with their heads. And I guess that’s why we are the mommies. When our baby falls and skins their knee, we immediately run to their side and swoop them up in our arms to make sure they are okay, and no major physical damage has been done. 

Whereas a daddy, evaluates the situation, recognizes its severity, and reacts accordingly. Any blood? Then they are fine. Any bones poking out? Then they are fine. Tears? And none of the afore mentioned occurred, then they can suck it up and be tough.

Men are wonderful leaders, providers, and protectors. But when it comes to just a whimsy of romance or softness of the heart…well, they may need a lesson or two from the gals.

I don’t lose it very often. I am a pretty hardy and tough ol’ gal; and can hitch a trailer, drive a boat, haul logs, build something, mow something, mend something, wash something, love something and tuck something in to bed with a story every night. But there are some times that mommy/wife/working gal has just absolutely hit her wall.

Pure frustration, pure exhaustion, the fact that my husband and partner has been gone for three months and I have been managing everything on my own; yep, ol’ mom just lost it not too long ago. It was nothing bad, nothing happened, I just needed a good ol’ fashioned pity party, temper tantrum, wine guzzling kind of evening. I really didn’t want or need any attention, I just wanted to cry, melt down, throw a fit, and lose it all at once and have my spouse sit there and listen to me. It wasn’t directed at him, or anyone for that matter, it was just a moment of brief insanity and I needed to blow off some steam…girl style!

Well along comes my hero trying to fix me and make everything better, when all it ended up doing was making it worse. He couldn’t understand what was happening, he couldn’t wrap his brain around the fact that I just needed to be held and hugged, he couldn’t understand what in the world I was doing. Men don’t lose it like we do; so he thought that maybe an alien had taken over my body.

Nope just hormones, girl stuff, and exhaustion. So you see guys, we don’t always need things fixed, sometimes you just have to put up with our crazy, keep loving us, and accept our glitches and outbursts for what they are. A mere eruption of feelings, hormones, and a mild temper tantrum. It doesn’t mean we are crazy and need to be on meds, it doesn’t mean our hormones are off, it doesn’t mean we hate being a mom or a wife, it just means that everyone else gets to lose it; so why can’t we?

You have to Let Them Fail, to be able to succeed

By: Samantha S. Daviss

During my grandparents’ days of growing up, everyone in the household worked. Everyone had a job, a chore, or some sort of responsibility. A family was a team, everyone had to pull their weight in order to put food on the table. Kids were out on farms helping mom and dad, or they had small jobs in town that brought extra income home for the family.

Then the Baby Boomer generation was born. And the parents of those kids were ready to have some fun, after working so hard and dealing with one, possibly two World Wars, the baby boomers were raised with a lot of freedoms; not on their accord, but because their parents needed to let their hair down.

Now I am not going to walk through every single generation; but the one thing I am noticing about today’s parents and kids is entitlement. The kids think they deserve it; and the parent can’t help but cater to them.

As a young mother I may not have started out correctly, I was that mom that didn’t want my babies to fail, or to hurt, or to be damaged in any way. But now as I watch them grow up and turn in to young men, I realize I have no choice but to let them work and fail and get hurt. It builds character, it builds gumption, it builds strength. I never want my boys to be narcissistic hot heads, but I do want them to be able to walk in to any room, be polite, stick out their hand shake another’s with confidence, and be proud of where they came from and their background.

For example, I was able to help my oldest get a part-time summer job. I know most think that 14 may be too young, but he is working at a golf course loading and unloading bags and wiping them down; so it’s not like I stuck him in a sweat factory for three months. But it is the kind of job that encourages him to grow his personal skill, step out of his comfort zone, be helpful; but most importantly to be humble. I need my kids to learn that you don’t start at the top, you have to work your way up there.

And along the way, they are going to stumble, they are going to fall; and of course mom will be there to pick them up, set them on their feet again and encourage them to try again. But before I do, need them to understand that life isn’t perfect, and you don’t wake up on a bed of roses every morning. 

Life gets messy, life gets complicated; but the more you live it, the more you see, the more you do, the more you will be able to stand up straight with your head held high and endure whatever other complications may come your direction.

We can’t hover over them. I am sure most of you have heard the term “a helicopter mom”; I am there for my kids, I am protective so they don’t get hurt [in the physical sense], but I try to be that mom that lets them grow, fail, and learn from that failure. Because in the end, they will be strong independent adults, that make the right decisions, and can withstand the struggles that life throws their way.

We can’t protect them forever, we have to allow them to take off their rose colored glasses every now and again; because endurance for reality is the best gift you could ever give your child.

Endurance is not just the ability
to bear a hard thing, but to turn
it into glory.
–William Barclay

Endurance is nobler
than strength, and
patience than beauty.
John Ruskin

Monday, May 16, 2016

Kids living better

In the Treehouse:
By: Samantha S Daviss

I do a lot of reading on how to raise kids, especially boys to grow into young men. And the unanimous conclusion is to lead by example, both the mother and the father.

If you take your responsibilities seriously and passionately, then they will see your lead and follow in suite. I understand most people don’t have a very strong work ethic, well I shouldn’t say most; some people don’t. But my theory has always been that you can guide them and teach them at a very young age. Give them responsibilities and if they want something they have to work for it.

As such, my teenage son can’t wait to drive in two more years, but his car dreams are champagne dreams on a Boone’s Farm budget. Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t going to put him in some jalopy, but he is looking at vehicles with all the bells and whistles, that I am just now getting to enjoy at 40, on my own car.

So with that, I introduced him to the world of a summer job. I want him to learn accountability, showing up for a job, I want to teach him work ethic, and I want to teach him the value of the all mighty dollar.

I used to feel bad for being a working mom, but I recently read an article that stated the most successful kids are raised by strong, independent woman, who work outside the home. That actually kind of took me by surprise, because I have always felt guilty for working. Even though I am blessed to have a schedule that I get to pick my boys of from school every day, I figured the pre-occupation of a working mom would detract from their ability to feel completely nurtured or tended to.

But in a nutshell here is one of the lists that I have been reading that can help make your child more successful:
   1)      Parents make the kids do chores—this again goes back to the accountability, responsibility and earning things and not having it handed to them;
   2)      They teach their kids social skills—I couldn’t agree more with this one; this is a life skill that everyone needs to have. When your child is a grown adult and knows how to communicate, and not via text or Snapchat, but really talk and communicate, and have good table manners, this are life skills that will be used daily. Whether it’s in a board meeting, a business lunch, or just out for drinks with a client; good manners, make a good impression;
   3)      They have high expectations for their kids—I have never felt guilty for having expectations for my kids, especially in the classroom. If I felt they weren’t capable or couldn’t do it, then of course I wouldn’t force it, but I know my kids can do it, so I encourage them. After all I think everyone needs to be pushed a little bit, even if it is outside their comfort zone;
   4)      The parents have a good relationship—whether the parents are married or divorced, it is so important for the parents to work well together and have a good relationship; as the saying goes (especially for divorced couple) “always put the kids first”;
   5)      The parents have attained higher educational levels—I don’t think this is true across the board, because some kids see that a higher level of education is their ticket to a better life, but kids whose parents do have a higher education know that, that is their only option, they know that an education is and will only be their ticket to a better life;
   6)      Math is taught to the kids at an early age—math is the subject that interjected into the child’s life at an earlier age to start building upon those skills;
   7)      The parents have a great relationship with their kids—I feel this is true, because if the kids feel safe and know they can talk to their parents about anything, then they are more confident and successful, they know their support system is always there;
   8)      Mom’s stress level—they say stress is like a cold, it can be passed from one person to another. So if you think about it, when you are around a friend that is stressed or depressed, you start to feel a little gloomy too, but if the mom is always up and happy and not letting the stresses of juggling work, kids, and life shine through too much, then it won’t affect the children that much;
   9)      Effort over failure—Parents of successful children support them no matter what, all these parents ask for is their best effort, before they fail, they must try their hardest to success;
   10)   The mom works—it shows the kids drive and initiative, it also allows them to help out around the house a little bit more, reinforcing that work ethic again.

So you see there are many factors that play into raising a great kid. Some may affect your lifestyle and your kid, and some may not. But these are just some examples that a drew from an article I read a while back in Business Insider.

But the constant theme in all of these is to put some responsibility and accountability on your child so they are better able to find their place in the world, and have some pride in themselves.