My Sweeter Side

The purpose of Greener Grass Mama blog is mostly my rant on the part of motherhood that most us only talk about in small groups, with close friends, so that the world will think we really do wear aprons, bake cookies, keep a perfect house, and freshen up before our husband gets home from work. This blog is my escape from having to uphold some image of my motherfulness to the outside, and have the ability to discuss real, hard, challenging, stuggling issues of motherhood. We love our children, but let's face it, it ain't all rosy all the time. But what in life is?

I have a family blog that is the Dr. Jeckyll to this Mr. Hyde. I write about all the fun things we are sharing as a family, and the wonderful lives of our children. So just to prove I really do have a sweeter side (and it really is the side that I am able to share wtih my family day-to-day; well, MOST of the time!), I wanted to post the four sweetest faces in the world, well, in my world anyway, I understand the faces may different in yours! These are the faces that rule my every thought, decision, circumstance, and motion, until they are old enough to handle it all themselves.

But in the grand scheme of things, these four faces are what makes my grass REALLY SUPER DUPER green; so much it sparkles! (Ok, ok, my husband makes it five!) :)

Venting Machines

With a stressful beginning to our school year, and my anger-o-meter always slightly dipping into the red, I dug deep into my parenting books so I could get myself 'reset' on how to handle all the daily battles with the kiddos. Once again, I was reminded that anger is what the kids are aiming for, and therefore, it achieves nothing. They push buttons, and if they are successful, they will only push more. After all, it is fun and fulfilling to succeed!

So since we aren't suppose to vent in front of our children (to avoid them gaining satisfaction that they can accomplish their goals by misbehaving!), and we are supposed to remain calm, despite we might blow up inside. Where do we vent? Where do we release? A yoga class? Sorry, we can't wait a single minute sometimes, let alone a few days or hours. I think we Moms need a sacred spot in our own homes to sneak away from the kids, have our small vent session, and return to them all calm and cool as a cucumber. After all, it seems to be pretty general agreement in the parenting world that if they can't rattle you, they won't battle you.

So, I thought what we need is a venting machine. We need to be able to deposit our frustrations and anger and stress and out comes something delightful. When we put money into a vending machine, we choose something delicious, or soothing, or nutritious (well, not usually I guess), but anyway, we walk away happy. So with a venting machine, we could receive some peace, in some form. I haven't worked out exactly what yet. I'm still working on the kinks.

But when I googled 'venting machine', I realized that I didn't in'vent' this idea at all. I came across these images on a blog called Mental_Floss. Maybe this is what we need in a shed out back, where we can go to count to ten, take a withdrawal, release our anger, and return to our children all smiles.

I don't usually feel the need to break something when I feel angry, but I guess lots of people do, hence this machine's purpose. I tend to fall into the 'screamer' category, where I just want to yell at the top of my lungs, RELEASE! So my machine would need to suck in a really big scream and dish out some dark chocolate in return. Then I can return to my kids, grab a glass of milk, and have a nice conversation with them.

Everyone is happier when the tension is low. So, venting machine or not, my focus is giving my kids my good energy, and helping them to recognize how not to drain it!

Reference and recommendation: Love and Logic books. They are fantastic!
Mental Floss blog post (images) -

Yes! I'm THAT Mom!

I am totally THAT Mom.

The one that lets them sleep in too late to catch the bus.
The one that leaves my kids in the car with my oldest sometimes for five minutes (only at safe places when I can park right in front and always see the car, of course) while I drop one off for an activity.
The one that has to have a drink at night to wind down from the chaos.
The one that allows my kids to be in way too many activities, even if they are tired, so they are able to have opportunities and make knowledgable choices and decisions for themselves someday.
The one that yells back when they are fighting, but they still don't listen to me anyway.
The one that will let my child eat a cheese sandwich every single day and night for months on end if she'll at least eat something.
The one that doesn't shower if it means that I'll get that 10 extra minutes at my sewing machine.
The one that lets her children sleep with her, because one day they won't want to anymore and I'll be glad I let them.
The one that lets her three year old steal the binky from her brother, because she used to be the baby, and now she isn't anymore.
The one that will allow my seven year old to drive the four-wheeler, as long as she keeps it 10 miles per hour.
The one that doesn't always make them do their homework before they watch TV.
The one that sometimes does let them play video games for hours on end.
The one that doesn't get her kids to eat enough 'greens'.
The one that lets them drink Sprite and Coke, and eat Cheetohs and Fritos every now and then.
The one that doesn't allow sleepovers all that much.
The one that will let her kids choose their own activities, even if I'd prefer they be into something different.
The one that doesn't put up baby gates, because I think they need to learn to navigate stairs, among other things.
The one that does allow her kids to climb upon the counters when they're little. If they can get up there at 18 months, then consider them in training for something great.
The one that puts them to bed, even if I know they forgot to brush their teeth sometimes.
The one that will give them an extra brownie.
The one that will let them learn a hard lesson.

So, don't judge me. I mother my family and my children the way I think is best and the way I feel comfortable.

How did this post come about? The other day, I could feel another mother judge me. You know how you can tell, by the questions they ask, or the tone in their voice. She is a stay-at-home mother of ONE child. I run around crazy like a chicken with my head cut off running around four. I would feel confident to say that she and I cannot relate, and she could not possibly understand why I mother the way I do.

I hate how it makes me feel, or should I say how I allow it to make me feel. We as mothers should ONLY respect how each of us must travel the path of motherhood our own way, none right, none wrong. And if it differs from our own, we should bite our tongues and encourage instead.

Because I can tell you that:
I am the mother that can take care of my own kids.
I am the mother than can give my own kids what they need.
I am the mother that they count on.
I am the mother that they listen to (okay, well sometimes listen to).
I am the mother that listens to them (okay, again, I try to listen to them most of the time--kind of hard when all four are 'talking' at once).
I am the mother that knows what is best for each of their unique selves,and for our family as a whole.
I am the mother that they want.

So I suggest that if you are a mother, and you ever feel judged, and you struggle to let it go, to brush it off your shoulder, the way I failed to let it go, read this. Or call me.

'Professional' Mom

I was listening to K-LOVE via internet and noticed the person 'On Air' was a woman who called herself a Professional Mother. God instantly delivered to me a new perspective.

Here we are, slaving day to day, emotional messes, rarely a shower, going a million miles an hour and if someone asks us what we do, we say 'Oh, I'm just a Mom.' Just a Mom.

How many other jobs must you listen to your children for twenty minutes on the way to pre-school tell you they don't want to go, over and over, and then when you drop them off, they scream and cry as the teachers tell you to 'Please just go ahead and leave. They'll be ok.' You get to spend the rest of your day with your heart shredded in more pieces than any financial office will shred papers in a year.

And what about trying to feed these tiny people? All they want to eat is crap. And we're supposed to make them be all healthy.

I spent all day trying to rework my kid's schedule so that they can do the Fall play they love, with the friends they want to do it with, and ensure they don't have to drop their other favorite activities, also with the friends they want to be with. This included exchanging emails with other parents, teachers, activity instructors, and I even accidentally emailed myself. Twice.

We have to remember what day hot lunch is, when library day is, what homework is due when, when the milk ticket is due, when early out days are, which days the bus comes early, when spirit week is so they can dress all crazy on the proper days, when school pictures are, clean PE shoes, rain jackets, snow jackets, rain boots, snow boots, hats, gloves, snowpants, oh and then take it all back again because Spring is here, and please Moms, help me out, because I am sure I missing 235 other things we remember about school.

So as I thought about what she said, about this Mom thing being a profession, my chin got higher, my chest stuck out, and I suddenly felt really important. Just because the hardest job in the world doesn't pay a dime doesn't mean we shouldn't acknowledge the pressure, the skill, the effort, the achievement, the failures, the successes, and feel the satisfaction of a hard day's work. And reap the reward.

Of course, our reward is better than money anyway. So tomorrow when I'm all strung out because I've been playing Barbies for two hours and trying to 'get stuff done' at the same time, I will remember, what I'm getting from the Barbie-time is where its at.

P.S. My house still looks like it did yesterday. :)

Does your house look like this?

I often get that question, with the subject of four kids in mind, "How do you do it?!" Well, let me tell you. Then let the pictures show you. I am rarely home alone. Therefore, I rarely pick up the house. Why bother? Ten minutes later it will look the same way it did before you picked up. I wait instead until an optimum moment, like before we are going somewhere fun, and make the kids help me. Doesn't always work out, but it's worth the wait. Or, if I am home alone and Andrew is sleeping, I might pick up around my workspaces (where I write and do projects), because my mind works better in a non-cluttered space.

The next 'how does she do it?'. House work. Simple. I don't do it! Ha! Okay, so I do try to keep up with it. But I hate it. Not my cup of coffee. I prefer it black and sitting next to my computer, where I'm writing instead of cleaning. So I just skirt by. Note my laundry room at the moment. I'll get to it. When I know my daughters will have adequate time to put their own clothes away (this can take many hours of probing and then additional hours of actually making it happen!) So, I figure, they've got plenty of clothes. As long as there is at least one item of clothing in their closet to cover their body, they're good to go. If they need something, they know where to find it. Dig through that massive pile!!

We were at a party the other day and I sewed a pair of pants for my sweet niece. They turned out so cute. I'm gonna make a bunch more. Maybe sell them. I also sew ribbons and button on plain t-shirts to jazz them up. This is fun for me. I love sewing. It gives me joy. How do I find the time? Once again, note exhibit A and B in this post. I let all else go. If I'm in the middle of a project or focusing on writing, I let all else go, except the required attention and feeding of my children. Which , of course, that can be intense too, and throw everything off for weeks!

I use to obsess over my house. Not because I am a neat freak. I'm far from it. But because I thought I should be. So now, I just try to be somewhat organized. I hate it when someone comes whining to me about where is my this and where is my that (this includes my husband), so I just want to at least have a general idea of where that item might be. So I don't drive myself crazy. I spend enough time searching the house over eighteen times to find 'that one doggy that has the blue eyes and the tiny paws with brown on the bottom and the orange nose'. Oh yeah, that one.

So, it goes in phases. I have moments (well, maybe A moment here and there) where I work the whole house over, and it's all sparkly and shiny. But it's always a disappointment, because the moment a tiny foot steps in the door, it's all over. So why bother?

I hope you've let it go too. I hope your house looks like mine.