December 30, 2017

2017: The End

There’s just one day left in this year and I am actually quite ready to get ‘er done. I realized this morning that this year was rough. Though I wonder if it’s because I didn’t put in much effort to make things great.  I’m going to make things happen in 2018.

As I was making a list of goals for the new year, I broke it down into categories:

  1.  Things to try.
  2.  Things to quit.
  3.  Things to change.
  4.  Things to continue.

I want to try sewing.  I got a sewing machine for Christmas last year (2016) and it made it out of its box but I haven’t used it once.  I found it was easier to make excuses.  “I don’t know how to sew!”  or “I don’t have time to learn!”  Not going to let myself off the hook this time.

I want to quit being quick to anger.  Sometimes, when I’m having a bad day or when the boys just aren’t listening, I will become so frustrated and lose patience and then start yelling.  I immediately feel guilty after my tantrum.  I’ve been reading up on ways to not lose my temper and I’m going to implement these techniques.

I want to change my fitness routine.  Sometimes my motivation falls by the wayside after just a few weeks of working out.  Instead of doing the same old routine I”m going to shake things up.  I’ve signed up for yoga and this kills two birds; it helps me to be calm (eliminating anger) and it keeps things interesting.

I want to continue being present at home with my children.  Sometimes I worry about all the things I have to get done, but over the last few months I’ve been more conscious of time and work hard to interact with my kids in meaningful ways.  Gannon and I have read books almost daily for the last year, and I truly enjoy this time with him.  Owen and I have gone on dates together, too.  I like connecting with him one-on-one.  As the middle child I know he often feels shorted on time with me.  And with Dawson, I make a point to ask him about his day and find out what’s going on in his life.

I think 2018 will be a much better year!

Posted by Dana 9:18 PMBlogging,The Dana FilesNo comments  

December 26, 2017

Mom Guilt

Thanksgiving and Christmas have passed and the New Year is on the horizon. I always feel excitement and dread when I think of the new year approaching.  I’m excited to have a fresh start, but I dread setting resolutions and failing them.

The holiday season always makes me anxious.  The expectations, the demand that everything be perfect, the hurried days of errands and meal planning and gift buying; it’s all so exhausting.

And the guilt.  The guilt over unmet expectations or perceived failures. Life is hectic and we moms really put too much pressure on ourselves. The kids are fine.  They will live if they didn’t get the Samsung 7 they asked for this Christmas.

The most difficult part of motherhood, for me, is feeling like I’m just not that good of a mom.  I try so hard to be everything to every one of my children, on top of trying to be a good wife and an even better working woman.  The myth that you can have it all really ticks me off.  Yes, you can have it all, just not all at once.  And so I often feel like I’m setting myself up for failure.  I promise that I will be patient and loving, all the time, and then my boys decide they’re just not that into listening, and I’m quick to anger after repeating myself many times.  I yell.  I threaten.  I swear.  And then I cry and feel like a total jackass because my kids are terrified of Mean Mom.  And then I feel guilty.  And depressed.  And the cycle continues because I cannot emotionally deal with it all.

I realized this weekend that Mom Guilt steals and destroys the love and joy from my life.  I am no good to my children when I’m not feeling joyful or even content with my life.  I have to fight those nagging feelings that I’m just not good enough as a mother.  I cannot waste any more time and energy feeling guilty.  I can’t go back and “un-yell” but I can apologize to my kids for having a tantrum, and I can focus on how to be loving.

So this New Year’s my number one resolution is to quit the guilt. It ends here.  Here’s my plan:

Instead of replaying the bad parts of a day, I will focus on the good.  Instead of stressing about the laundry that didn’t get done, or the chores the kids didn’t do, I will make an effort to connect with my kids.  Talking, laughing, playing…that’s what is more important.

I will expect that some days will be off track.  I often feel like if I don’t do something, it won’t get done at all.  Enlisting my kids to help doesn’t always go as planned.  I get derailed.  And that’s okay.  The world won’t end because there are dishes in the sink.

I will accept that I’m not perfect and I am only one person.  I will not compare myself to other moms.  I will be the best mom I can be, and she is just enough.


Posted by Dana 9:23 AMBeing a Mom,The Dana FilesNo comments  

September 26, 2017

The NFL Has Gone to Hell

I’m so over this kneeling-during-the-National-Anthem insanity. Why, oh why, does politics have to ruin everything? I can’t have my football without a side of discourse? I have to see, hear and read about this mess everywhere I turn?

I have three sons, and two of them play football. They don’t play the National Anthem before flag football games, thank God. I can’t imagine seeing a bunch of 8-year-old boys taking a knee because their NFL role models are setting that example. It’s not okay.

Respect the flag. Respect the veterans who fought for your right to be idiots. I don’t care if you hate our president. Go out and fight for what you believe in. Use your celebrity status to get it done, ON YOUR TIME. I’m not okay with you getting paid to demonstrate disrespect on national television.

Do you even know how ironic it was for Colin Kaepernick to take a knee during the anthem, claiming he was fighting oppression, only to come out days later wearing a Fidel Castro t-shirt? Castro, one of the most well known oppressors in his native Cuba! And Kaepernick thinks we were going to take him seriously? Right.

And here we are a year later, dealing with this same BS. I’m over it. I really think it’s time to stop watching football. It’s a hard call to make when I love the game so much, but I love this country, and that flag, more.

Posted by Dana 4:49 PMHeadlines,The Dana FilesNo comments  

September 22, 2017

Back to School: Hangin’ with the Homies

The kids are back in school as of the day after Labor Day.  I’m relieved.  I needed life to return to some form of normalcy, whatever that means.  We’re still getting accustomed to waking up early, getting everyone clothed and out the door on time. We had no routine in place during those three hot months. Summer really rocked the boat.  Don’t get me wrong, I love sunshine and beach days as much as the next mom, but my kids are wild and crazy when school is not in session.  Where they get their energy is beyond me.  (I try to limit sugar, but man, were they off the walls!)

My oldest is now in seventh grade.  Let that sink in for a moment.  I have a 13-year-old!  He celebrated his birthday last week and I could almost see him mature right before my eyes.  He says he loves junior high, he loves to ride the bus to school with his buddies (this surprises me), and he’s doing well in all of his classes thus far.  I have to confess that I obsessively check his grades and assignments on Skyward Family Access.  I love having power!

His teachers seem very nice, even if two of them scared him silly the first week of school. I chalk it up to them laying down the law so that the kids don’t even try to get away with anything. He even has some of his friends in a lot of his classes.  I know he was worried he wouldn’t know anyone at the big junior high school.  After school he goes to Cross Country practice and has had some pretty great meets, and he’s still an active Boy Scout.  This kid has a better social calendar than his mom!

The middle man is in second grade.  He’s still losing teeth at a fast pace. Each baby tooth that falls out is a reminder that my almost 8-year-old isn’t a baby anymore. This kid isn’t a fan of school.  He resists any attempt I make to get him to read for 20 minutes (I have to use The Force).  He tells me every day that the best part of school is hangin’ with his homies.  (I feel ya, bro. But you’re there to learn!  Gotta earn some dolla billz one day; you ain’t living off me the rest of your life, yo.)  In all honesty, I’d let him live with me forever.  I dread the day I become an empty nester.

My wild child seems to be adjusting well to life at school.  He really shines when it comes to math.  He loves to play football, the flag season just started, and he’s already designated himself the Flag Pulling King.  After the last game he burst through the front door and yelled, “Six Flags!” It took me a moment to realize we weren’t going to the amusement park.

And then there’s my baby, the G-man.  He’s creeping up on two and a half, and boy can he talk.  This boy repeats everything I say.  Sometimes even curse words (WHAT? I don’t curse…as much…anymore….I’m working on it).  During the last Packer game someone let the words, “stupid f—s” come out of their mouth (It was NOT me, I promise you) and Gan the Man repeated it, but to us it sounded like “Doopid Ducks!”  So all game long we began yelling at the television that those stupid ducks needed to stop pooping all over the Packers.  Falcons, ducks, same diff, no?

My little baby boy is growing too fast for my liking.  Every day I look at him and he seems older, wiser, and ready for anything.  He loves to be outdoors. Playgrounds, parks, lakes, sticks, mud puddles, sandboxes, spraying the hose on the garden and taking walks are his favorite things right now.  The “terrible two” stage only rears it’s ugly head when we have to drag him back in the house before dark.  “Hafta go ooouusssiiide!” he’ll wail, followed by a dramatic display in which he lays on the sidewalk, screaming.  Our neighbors must love this Oscar-winning performance by my toddler.  He could put Merryl Streep to shame.  (Okay not, really!)  I’ve begun bathing this child every single night because he’s filthy from all the playing in the dirt. I’d rather have him playing outside, though.  Soon as winter arrives, and that dirty S-word, we won’t venture outside very  much.  I can’t handle cold.

The Huz is happy the boys are back to their routines, too.  We’ve had only minor logistic hiccups in getting each kid where they need to be, but for the most part things are running smoothly in our household. My work weeks are chaotic during Back-to-School month, but I’ll take that job security.  At the end of the day, it’s nice to go home and hang with my homies, too.

Posted by Dana 11:41 AMThe Dana FilesNo comments  

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Dana began her Mom career in 2004 with the birth of her first child. A mother of three boys, she spends her days putting out fires, climbing mountains and chasing monsters.
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