Did Our Moms Second Guess Their Parenting Choices?

Photo by June Holmes and Lisa Nolan-2

Did Our Moms Second Guess Their Parenting Choices?

A guest post by Lisa Nolan

When I was a kid, did my mom make parenting choices without second guessing herself? Broadly speaking, did moms in the 60s and 70s question their decisions? Decisions like letting kids watch too much TV? Or letting children play outside on rope swings and tire swings, or going down to the schoolyard without an adult? Probably not: There were only a hand full of television channels and very few children’s programs cartoons. And I don’t know about you, but not once did an adult ever accompany us to the playground, a local park, or even out in the front yard!

Speaking of playing outside, did moms back then question the use of rocks and sticks and mud, or the collecting of worms and snails? After all, there were plenty to go around and they were free–no online shopping, shipping, or yearly Amazon Prime charges!

Back when I was a young thang, mothers smoked during early pregnancy, drove without a seat belt, stuck kids in the back of the station wagon, and put babies on their laps.

There were no breast feeding versus bottle feeding wars, baby-wearing blogs, or crunchy moms.

There were no farmers’ markets or locally grown and raised food (unless you lived on a farm).

There were no sensory tubs, water-play walls, or brain breaks.

So what was there to second guess?

Maybe my mom did not second guess her parenting choices because there were so few of them! (Or maybe my mom did stop and ponder a bit, just not out loud, let alone on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs!)

In today’s social-media addicted, Pinterest-induced world there are just TOO MANY options to choose from, including how to spend our free time: like how much time to spend on Facebook or reading kid activity blogs versus how much time to spend playing with our children or cleaning house! But do our children really need our our constant attention anyway? (And who needs a spotless kitchen?)

I don’t feel damaged or that I some how missed out because I spent my childhood playing in the neighborhood schoolyard or park without constant adult supervision, ate a few TV dinners, or watched Bugs Bunny on Sunday mornings.

As a mom of the 21st Century I ask myself not which choices should I make, are they good ones or bad ones, but is my life balanced? Do I spend enough time playing with my family, working in my garden, reading my pile of library books, and socializing outside of the house and off the computer?

And maybe that is the reason moms of yesterday did not constantly question their parenting choices, life (it seemed) was simple back then, milk was served in a glass with dinner without question, no discussions over rice milk or soy milk or goat milk, do you want it in a pink fairy glass or blue Thomas the Train cup.

So the next time you stand in your kitchen, drive to the store, or turn on your computer, strive for balance. Go read a book, play kick ball with your kids, keep an eye on them in the yard while you work in your garden, and take one night off from cooking. And serve milk with dinner… in a glass. *** In celebration of OUR MOMS, we have throw-back, blast-from-the-past photo gallery of some amazing mom bloggers as INFANTS and KIDS to share with you (because we can never get enough pics of babies and children)! Several of these talented (and cute-as-kids) ladies are contributing authors to the newly released anthology, Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness: Mom Stories from the Trenches. (Learn more about it on Amazon, add it to your Amazon wish list, or make a purchase–sales go towards paying the contributors–and some expenses! THANK YOU!)

Throw Back Mom Bloggers 02

Throw Back Mom Bloggers 01

BEFORE YOU GO, please show these mamas some social media LOVE on Facebook, they’ve earned it! Allison B. Carter of Go Dansker Mom; Amy Denby of Dear Babies: Crazy Life, Simply Explained; Crystal Cook of The Qwiet Muse; Jenny Kanevski of In Other Words; Lea Grover of Becoming SuperMommy; Lisa Nolan of Monkey Star Press; Liz Cleland of Western New Yorker; Michelle Grewe of Crumpets and Bollocks; Shannon Day of Martinis and Motherhood; Shannon Drury of The Radical Housewife. ~Lisa Nolan Monkey Star Press

Job Title – Mother Extraordinaire. No Experience Necessary

Job Title – Mother
Experience – None necessary.
Duties – Caretaker, nurse, cook, housekeeper, educator, disciplinarian, therapist, security guard, events planner, dot. dot. dot.

*Note- Candidate must possess flexibility similar to the human pretzel lady at the circus, as the above description is subject to change without notice.

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Let’s face it, kids keep a running tally in their minds of every chore or good deed they’ve ever done – to be used as leverage when they’re campaigning for something.

They all do it.

For shits and giggles, lets closely examine a mothers job description.

In fact, let’s be completely outrageous and pretend the level of acknowledgement bestowed upon her on Mothers Day depends on it.

JOB DESCRIPTION – short version

Incubate alien life for 10 months (40 weeks = 280 days = 10 months) which is likely to cause nausea, vomiting, indigestion, strained and sprained muscles, back pain, hemorrhoids, constipation and weight gain.

This is the EASY part.

Deliver alien offspring – don’t worry, if you can’t manage to push the melon sized package through your peep hole sized opening, because the valiant obstetrician will just cut it out for you.

And quit whining – you have a baby to take care of. This is no longer about you.

First five years at a glance- feed, bathe, dispose of stinky waste products, ensure minions get enough rest or they’ll morph into rabid Gremlins and eat you alive. And oh yeah – keep those adorable little buggers out of harms way.

It’s all on you Mamacita, you’ve been enlisted for a 24/7 special ops assignment that will stretch into the better part of two decades.

Believe it or not, it doesn’t get much better than this. This is the tender era of hopes, dreams and endless cuddles. Embrace it with both hands – these sunny days are numbered.

Ages 5 – 12 The fruit of your loins are becoming more independent. Add education, socialization and extra curricular activities to the above basic needs list and you have a pretty accurate picture of your new job description.

At this critical point you’ll be forced to re-evaluate and adjust goals accordingly. You’ll be comparing your initial expectations set out of sheer blissful ignorance versus the reality of your child’s actual development.

This can be a bitter pill to swallow. A colossal bummer even, as most parents have a certain ideal vision of how they’d imagined their child to be.

Newsflash – Special needs and unique circumstances happen.

If you haven’t read the incredibly witty poem Welcome to Holland written by a parent faced with a special needs child, pause here and take a moment.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welcome_to_Holland#External_links

Ages 12 – 18 The slow painful transition to young adult. The good news is that your brood is now independent in hygiene, dressing and feeding themselves. Although some days this may be highly disputed. Your role becomes supportive- in addition to holding the gavel as wise counsel and disciplinarian, you’re their primary source for nourishment, clean clothes and transportation.

You perfect the art of eating on the run, prioritizing laundry into emergency loads like towels and underwear versus the rest, and that bucket in the laundry room once designated for potty accidents is replaced with a black caldron for panties caught in the red tide.

It’s important to state here that installing an aerosol form of Xanax in your home would not be overkill.

As your child nears the date of their high school graduation you learn to thank God every single day for the little things-

My kid is NOT…

*on drugs
*pregnant with innocent life
*incarcerated
*fighting for his life in the ICU
*runaway or lost
*suicidal
*DEAD

For some, these simple things are suddenly enough. Thoughts of college and it’s importance in the big scheme of things may be shuffled to the back burner.

Again you pause to re-evaluate your once naive parental expectations versus the reality of raising actual free-thinking creatures with intricate brain wiring and complex chemistry.

Ages 18+ The struggle for independence. For a few, the transition is relatively smooth. The honor students and those gifted with superior athletic or artistic talent may not miss a beat diving into this exciting next chapter. For others, it’s the beginning of a long painful journey through a dense cloudy tunnel filled with uncertainty.

You are the parental rock that keeps them focused, encouraged and grounded.

It’s important to remember that a person in crisis cannot always see the forrest through the trees. The stress of chronic crisis often leads to tunnel vision. Life is a game of survival.

That said, common afflictions like chronic anxiety and depression amongst other mental illnesses and special needs blow a dense fog into an already hazy and uncertain forrest. It’s not uncommon for the afflicted to become self absorbed.

Most moms with a special child or situation knowingly waive any hope or expectation of being lifted onto the sacred Mom pedestal every Mother’s Day, simply because it’s not in the cards… and it never was.

The rearing of special offspring requires a delicate yet potent combination of unconditional love, dedication, endurance and often times complete selflessness.

It’s the nature of the beast.

You were given this hand in life because the powers that be – knew you were up to the challenge; you were carefully chosen to participate as a member of the Parental Special Forces.

That’s like regular parenting, except with the grit of a Marine and stamina of a Navy Seal.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the special moms most deserving of exceptional recognition – who are also the least likely to receive it.

Hats off to you… the few and the proud.

May the sun shine on your face today and always.

You’re loved and appreciated more than you will ever know.

It’s Mother’s Day… Dammit!

Extreme Mom:

Because it’s THAT time of year again. Prepare for Mother’s Day Armageddon. You are not alone.

Originally posted on Extreme Mom:

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As Supreme Ruler of the Kingdom, I hereby proclaim that Mother’s Day be celebrated the entire weekend this year… and forever.

It’s been a rough one, that’s why.

No way is one lousy day of cleaning up your own shit and being on excellent behavior gonna cut it, girls and boys.

Not this year, my precious offspring.

Extreme mom is going completely proactive this Mother’s Day to guarantee that it doesn’t SUCK.

You have been hereby enlisted… as a GIVER.

Therefore, specific TO DO lists will be distributed to each of my brood.

We’re gonna get it right this time.

Here we go.

Mother’s Day… Take 21!!

(The number is accurate. No. Shit.)

ACTION!!!

Here’s a preview of my short list of demands:

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*You will bathe the dogs with excellent smelling shampoo, then scrub the entire bathroom including the tub.

YES, this does need to be spelled out.

The powder…

View original 410 more words

The Truth About Dogs and Chocolate Toxicity

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Silly dog… Hershey kisses are for mommy’s!

Everyone’s heard at some point that chocolate can be harmful to dogs.

*Quick note to God, Allah or whomever’s in charge of reincarnation – I do NOT, I repeat do NOT want to come back as a dog.

I’d rather live the short happy contented 30 day lifespan of a house fly than live a life without chocolate.

Since dogs and chocolate happen to be high on the short list of things I LOVE more than anything else on the planet, it’s inevitable that the two would eventually butt heads.

Shit happens.

Quite literally, in fact, especially when speaking of mishaps in doggie digestion.

This time the furry love-of-my-life helped himself to a full bag of Lindor chocolate truffles.

The GOOD NEWS- He’s undead and frisky.

Again.

I didn’t take him to the vet though because this isn’t exactly my first (2nd or 3rd…) rodeo, so I’m somewhat of a specialist in misbehaved canines with chocolate cravings and appropriate first aid.

I’m also passing the knowledge on to you because I’m generous AND I’d like to think I got my $160 worth out of the whole vet deal.

Listen up, human parents!

Below are FACTS about DOGS and CHOCOLATE toxicity.

Chocolate contains two substances that are toxic to dogs: theobromine and caffeine, referred to as methylxanthines.

Dogs metabolize these substances much slower than humans.

Both are central nervous system stimulants that can cause a dangerous increase in blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms and even death in our canine companions.

The two most important variables predisposing your dog to toxicity are the SIZE of dog (in weight) and TYPE of chocolate they gorged on.

For example, the milk chocolate found in your run-of-the-mill vending machine candy bars is significantly less concentrated than dark chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate baking chips, baking chocolate (Baker’s) and cocoa powder. In that order.

While it may be possible for a 100 pound Lab to devour an entire box of your kids soccer fundraising bars, throw it up on your new carpet, and go about his business, the same amount of chocolate consumed by a 4 pound Yorkie could very well be it’s last meal.

In 8th grade our big dumb yellow lab-mix ate an entire box of World’s Finest Chocolate bars I was selling for a class trip to New York City. He eventually puked it up and went about his business like nothing happened. My mother was not so quick to get over it. If I remember correctly, he was a very lucky dog to have survived that daredevil stunt. Those were the good ole days – when the mother WHO WASN’T ME was in charge of cleaning up pet accidents.

Concentration of THEOBROMINE and CAFFEINE varies significantly depending on the TYPE of chocolate as stated below –

*Milk chocolate (Hershey bar) 60mg/oz Theobromine and 6mg/oz Caffeine

*Semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate – approx. 130mg/oz Theobromine and 20mg/oz caffeine

*Bakers chocolate (the bitter stuff used almost exclusively for baking)- 393mg/oz Theobromine and 47mg/oz caffeine

*Dry Cocoa Powder – 737mg/oz Theobromine and 70mg/oz caffeine

Note – the above are approximated values configured using multiple resources.

Signs of chocolate toxicity are vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, restlessness (later signs) tremors and seizures that usually occur 6-12 hours after ingestion, and can be fatal if the chocolate thieving canine ingests approximately 100-150 milligrams of theobromine per kilogram of their body weight.

Again… the SIZE of your dog matters.

Helpful Links and references-

Chocolate Toxicity Calculator for Dogs – can provide you with a rough idea regarding the seriousness of your pooches binge. In the meantime, call your veterinarian immediately.

http://www.askavetquestion.com/chocolate_toxicity.php
Treatment-

http://m.wikihow.com/Treat-a-Dog-Who-Ate-Chocolate

ASPCA Poison 24 Hour Hotline – 888-426-4435

Petmd.com
Vspn.org Veterinary Support Personnel Network

Askavetquestion.com
Pass it on – Information is Power.

The 10 Most Beat-to-death Facebook Statuses

When it comes to posting on social media the key is moderation.

Moder-fuckin-ration.

Got it?

Unfortunately, many people do not.

The guilty parties can be divided into several groups – attention seekers, extremists,
and bored clueless people with nothing better to do. The latter are completely harmless, nonetheless equally painstaking and annoying.

The following examples are polar opposites of moderation. People who cannot seem to control themselves. Post, post, post… It’s all acceleration and no brake with these lunatics.

*People posting every single vacation or holiday photo. Nobody wants their news feed polluted by your double or quadruple images. Weed that shit out. Five photos of the same three people posing in front of a giant condom is too many. This type of thing has been known to cause older PC’s to slow down to a crawl and even stroke the eff out. Your clusterfuck of photos are responsible for the sudden death of fragile elderly computers. It’s a wonder these people can sleep at night.

*Ladies constantly posting selfies or commenting on 5 year old photos of themselves to ensure said photo will reappear in their friends news feed. Here’s my face. Here’s my face. Here’s my face… youuuuuu hooo – here’s my face AGAIN in case you missed it!! These high maintenance girls are notorious for squeezing themselves into every single frame whether it’s a graduation, dance recital, sporting event or someone else’s birthday or retirement. It’s all about them. They need a Facebook thumbs up several times a day, like the rest of us need oxygen.

*Cartoons and memes. Originality is dead. Cartoons lose their funny when they’re thrown in your face over and over and over again. The ability to copy & paste does not make one an upcoming Improv star or a wild and crazy guy. Gone forever are the days when reading the Sunday comics were special. May the nostalgic funnies RIP.

*Extremist Kool aid drinking nut-cases who habitually post their intense over-the-top views on politics, special causes, sports etc. It’s safe to say many of these extremists have lost their objectivity. Math and science are examples of the few things on Earth that bear clear definitive answers. The world is more like a bazillion shades of grey. Extremist is often be synonymous with nut job.

*Achievement ho’s – the adult learner who’s taking a class and painfully posts every single one of their test grades or the star employee who uses facebook as their public resume of awesomeness. Newsflash – a certificate or promotion will not repair the obvious gaping hole in your self esteem. These are the exact same people who share results from bogus Facebook quizzes boasting their supposed incredibly super high IQ or suggested career-path – which is almost always something over-the-top spectacular like astrophysicist or neurosurgeon.

Psst… don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.

*The distributor of sensationalized bullshit– What this lady does next will totally surprise you! This mans reaction is amazing!! What this guy did will blow you away!! Blah blah blah. Teasers like this give me a strong urge to stab a kitten or dig the authors eyeballs right out of the sockets with a spork.

*Everyone is my BFF posts. The most popular definition of BEST – that which is the most excellent, outstanding or desirable; the singular blue ribbon or gold medal. When a person has 25 BFF’s not only do they lose their credibility, they qualify as a friend whore; a person who has a different BFF to meet every need. Drinking BFF, fitness BFF, work BFF, Facebook BFF, etc. Over-designating the BFF title is right up there with male-animals-in-heat overusing the I love you phrase to get laid. Sleazy. Bottom line- Don’t say things you don’t mean.

*Overly cryptic always a secret agent – this person habitually checks into Facebook from the emergency room, surgery center, police station, court room or church soliciting prayers. They also want you to keep your fingers crossed for them because something big is about to go down. My personal advisement to these wannabe movie star ninjas is this – it’s either secret or it’s not.

*The constant complainer – whether it’s their health, poor service at a restaurant, slow driver on Rte. 9 or anonymous open letter to the mom whose children were unruly in Denny’s – these people project a constant stream of negativity. When you notice their name pop up in your newsfeed you envision wavy toxic green and yellow fumes surrounding their post. This is the person you must HIDE or unfollow. Nobody will be the wiser.

*Repost in 5 minutes if you love Jesus or want to discover a pot of gold coins on your doorstep. No. Just no. It could also read- “repost in 5 min or your kids and dog will blow up” and I still wouldn’t repost. I call this… living on the edge ladies and gentlemen.

Ahhhh…. What an Awesome Bra!!!

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Finally…. The Extreme Mom Ahhh Bra review!!!

 

A big thank you to those responsible for enlightening my life by introducing me to this must-have life-changing undergarment.

It’s a win… a slam dunk, a grand slam, and a hole in one. It’s just plain awesome-sauce covered in chocolate sprinkles!

I rated this undergarment in two important categories – comfort first and appearance last.

A girls got to stand firm in her priorities.

For comfort, I gave this bra 500% (out of 100) which according to the new common core math makes perfect sense. It’s soft and shaped like a pre-teen training bra, and feels like a boys half t-shirt with wide straps and most importantly, no wires that dig into your bones.

It’s so comfortable you can sleep in it.

I speak the truth.

The Nobel Peace Prize goes to.. ??

Comfortable happy women is the definitely the first step to creating World Peace.

It’s a start anyway.

Appearance – Excellent boob coverage, although it’s definitely not the over-priced Wonder Bra or the Miraculous Bra by Victorias Secret that makes my B sized breasts appear boudaciously awesome. No free enhancements here, ladies. This is all about the Ahhhhhhhh…. the comfort level, which by the way happens to kick. ass!

Does it keep your boobs contained? Yes.

Does it conceal pointy nipples? Yes, indeed.

In fact, it keeps them neatly tucked away in a very gender-neutral kind of way…

*The flatsy patsy.

*The steam roller special.

The perfect gift for grandma, mom and teenaged girls. In fact, Farrah should’ve worn one under that red bathing suit back in the 70’s to prevent obvious eruption. Although, that would’ve been a definite buzz kill to sales.

In conclusion, the Ahhh Bra may not be the right bra for your Facebook profile picture, a night on the town, or for evading traffic tickets.

But, it’s all gooooooooood!

I’m practically half way to 100 and blissfully married for close to a quarter of a century, so perky boobs at the cost of comfort isn”t on my top 10 list of priorities.

The Ahhh Bra is a definite WIN for Team Estrogen.

Extreme Mom gives the Ahhh Bra an erect TWO titties up!

 

1000 Bloggers Writing About Compassion – #1000Speak

On February 20, 2015 One Thousand Voices will be simultaneously blogging for compassion – in an effort called #1000Speak.

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I’m very excited and proud to be participating in this virtuous effort.

While Extreme Mom is for the most part a humor based forum, I often use my voice to advocate in the areas of mental illness and special needs: Two variables that have influenced my life profoundly and have prompted me to view life with an open mind, in what I often refer to as Fifty Bazillion Shades of Grey.

Herein lies the serious, truthful root to my madness which incidentally keeps me focused and driven.

So no, I’m not giving up chocolate or Facebook for lent – I’m doing THIS.

The intent is to flood the Internet with positive energy through inspirational stories. ❤️

My favorite compassionate links and heart-felt postings from the Extreme Mom archives.

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Compassion and Depression-
http://extrememom.net/2014/08/13/the-nature-of-depression-my-uniquely-honest-first-hand-perspective/

Compassion and Special Needs –
http://extrememom.net/2013/11/08/marching-to-the-beat-of-a-different-drummer/

http://extrememom.net/2013/07/07/attack-of-the-clothing-tags-sensory-integration-dysfunction/

Compassion and Body Image/Teens-
http://extrememom.net/2014/08/01/i-met-a-girl-with-anorexia-and-she-stole-my-heart/

Compassion and Diversity –
http://extrememom.net/2014/08/14/people-are-like-snowflakes-no-two-are-exactly-alike-dont-be-judgy/

http://extrememom.net/2013/11/27/maria-kang-part-2-oh-no-she-didnt/