Archive for October, 2010

19

Not So Great Expectations

Oct
2 Comments »   Posted by migratorymama |  Category:Kids, Moms

 

I often find myself in conversations with other people about appropriate expectations for young children. These conversations generally revolve around schools and preschools and the sometimes elevated expectations adults have of young children’s behavior. However, last Friday I was at a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting where the speaker was talking to us about being nurturing parents. She had a lot of really great points regarding love and discipline, but the point I have found most useful was regarding expectations. The speaker told us to expect that our children are going to do bad things because they are, and if we are expecting it we won’t be quite as shocked. She was not implying that we let our children do whatever they want or get away with inappropriate behavior. She was simply saying that kids are going to do things you don’t want them to do. If you are expecting it, you can deal with the behavior…not your own disappointment regarding their behavior. I have found this bit of advice to be most useful this week because it has spared me a lot of frustration with the girls. For instance, I prepared myself ahead of time yesterday to expect the girls to interrupt me while I was trying to clean the bathroom. I gave myself the same little reminder as I was preparing dinner last night and again while writing this blog this morning. (Not that interrupting me is “bad behavior”…just a little annoying at times.) I have also been working on anticipating situations that I know will be more difficult transitions for the girls. This has allowed me to be able to plan ahead for how to manage their behavior if or when it does occur. Changing my expectations of the girls and their behavior has really helped me be more patient with them, and it has made the time I spend with them so much more enjoyable.

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10

The True Cost of Rearing Daughters

Oct
No Comments   Posted by migratorymama |  Category:Kids

People occasionally make comments to my husband and me regarding the fact that we have two daughters and no sons. The most common comment to my husband is, “So, are you going to try for a boy?” To which he always replies, “No. I’m good with my two girls.” (FYI, this is because little girls are generally calmer and less inclined toward destruction than little boys.) The second most frequent comment we get is, “Just wait until they get to middle school. You’ll have more drama than you ever thought possible.” To which I respond, “I honestly can’t imagine much more sass and drama than we already have in our house. By the time they reach puberty, I think we’ll be immune to it.” However, there is one other comment we sometimes hear that is troubling. That comment is, “Two girls…that’s going to be expensive later on.” This comment is always in reference to the cost of future weddings…which is why we are already planting the idea of small weddings or eloping in our daughters’ minds. (If you were one of the hundreds in attendance at my wedding, you will know that I’m just kidding about small weddings…I sure do love a big event.) This comment is troubling to me, not because I’m worried about being able to retire at a reasonable age, but because no one warned me how much little girls can cost right now.

I believe the true cost in rearing daughters can be summed up in two words: toilet paper. I could be wrong, but I really don’t think mothers of boys have the same difficulty keeping their homes stocked with toilet paper. My girls are 2- and 4-years-old, and they go through toilet paper like no one’s business. How could two tiny people use so much??? I have analyzed the problem and observed my daughters, and I have decided that there are several contributing factors. They have to wipe every time they go (unlike boys), and they are often liberal in their use of paper. I’m a bit germaphobic, so I don’t get too upset about this one. They also tend to use toilet paper when they can’t reach paper towels. They haven’t quite grasped the idea that toilet paper gets really yucky when drenched with liquid. They also use toilet paper as tissues, which is also fine with me because as much as I’m complaining about toilet paper, it sure is cheaper than tissues. They have both come down with colds this week, so I can forget about conserving toilet paper for the next two weeks. I am sure that we will come to some sort of compromise regarding their over-use of toilet paper, but I still don’t see the issue going away entirely. Maybe I’ll try guilt… “Do you know how many trees died to give you that roll of toilet paper?? Sheryl Crowe only uses ONE square per wipe. Maybe you should try that.” If that fails, I’m going to start buying stock in Charmin.

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