Monday, July 1, 2013

Mommy Q&A

I've only been a mom for a whopping 23 months. I've been a double-mom for 10 of those months. I still feel very new at this ballgame. I continually reference books and websites for answers to questions. I learned when I was pregnant that the best resource is other moms with tried and true experience. You can always find a mom to answer your questions and, more importantly, you can always find a mom that makes you feel better when you feel like you totally suck and want to run away.

The following are a few questions I've thought about recently. Some are actually worth while. Some are just because I'm curious and hope I'm not the only one that any of these apply. [Note I didn't ask: "Have you ever spent 3 days straight in your pajamas?", because I really don't want to know the answer]. Instead of searching aimlessly through questionable authorities online, I thought I'd hit up the amazing moms I know, or I know through social networking that may also see this and chime in with their knowledge.

You may answer with "anonymous" if you wish but know this is a safe space. No judgments. You all rock the socks off of parenting even if you don't feel like it.

1) What is the worst injury you've sustained from one of your children?

2) What is the most expensive thing your child has damaged/destroyed/eaten/flushed down the toilet?

3) How messy have you let your house get because you honestly stopped caring?

4) At what age did you start doing time-outs, or other forms of discipline? Did it work?

5) When did you successfully break your baby from using a pacifier?

6) When do your children start to listen to you and do what you say? Ever? EVER!?

7) Do you have a mommy-only-hiding place in your house?
[your secret is safe with me]

8) How do you get anything done when you have children that ransack your house at every opportunity? How hard do you have to work for any semblance of productivity?*

9) Do you ever stop being completely smitten by your children when you see the sleeping? Is it a least before it starts being creepy?

*this one is particularly daunting to me right now. i try to read, they attack me. i try to do projects, they destroy the house. i try to do dishes or cook, they pull stuff out of the dishwasher or the freezer. i could go on, and on, and on. this might help explain my aforementioned pajama issue.


  1. 1 - Ashlyn accidentally poked me in the eye right before one of our favorite shows at Disney back in January. It hurt like the dickens for a while but it was only a poke in the eye so obviously it wasn't too bad.

    2 - So far we have been really, really lucky. Knocking on wood.

    3 - Bare minimum "cleaning" for a few months straight. Meaning I only did a couple loads of laundry a week and it was so we could all have clean underwear and something semi-decent to wear in public. Oh and so Brenton had his work clothes. More than one dishwasher load's worth of dishes piled up at a time before I washed some. And it was probably because we were out of bowls or cups and heaven forbid I wash something by hand. Goldfish and other snacks scattered about the house and crushed into the carpet. Have I embarrassed myself enough yet? I am happy to report that my house is NOT currently in this state (and hopefully never returns...)!

    4 - We have been doing time-outs for several months kind of works. Ashlyn knows what we mean when we threaten to send her to time-out and usually starts being more obedient after that happens. That's the only form of discipline we have tried besides saying "no" and explaining why some things are not okay.

    5 - Ashlyn quit the pacifier and bottle after a few months and only took the boob from then on.

    6 - Ashlyn is usually pretty good at listening to what we ask/tell her but I have noticed her getting more testy's like she's almost two or something. :)

    7 - No, but I'm okay with that.

    8 - see answer to #3.

    9 - I'm pretty sure I will always love that sight.

  2. 1. I'd have to go with actual childbirth.
    2. Nothing that I can recall but my memory is shot so maybe?
    3. I'd like to think that my house is not messy but that my child is having a great experience with his toys and things. I like it to look messy because that means that we're having too much fun to worry about such silly things as cleaning. Plus children will never remember how clean you kept the house but rather the memories you make having fun.
    4. We started when our little one was around 12 months. He would get a minute (some suggest one minute for every year of your child's age). He is still pretty young so not sure if it will work but he does know that he has to sit on the time out step until the timer goes off.
    5. We didn't really use a pacifier after 12 weeks. He just wasn't that into them.
    6. If you figure this out, please share :)
    7. No but that sure would be nice!
    8. I feel like I never make progress on getting things done but they are only little once so I'm okay with it (most of the time).
    9. Still enjoy watching my little ok me sleep.

  3. 1) I honestly don't know. I don't think anything seriously harmful has ever happened to me b/c of my kids (knock on wood).

    2) I am sure my kids have broken or lost expensive things in the past, but I honestly don't remember. It's probably because I don't dwell on it. I can't do anything about it, and it most likely would always be an accident.

    3) I don't know if I ever stop caring completely, but I do know that if I focus too much on cleanliness, I will go insane b/c it's impossible to keep it clean. I have a goal to go to bed with my house at least tidy, though I don't always because many times I am just too tired. I don't expect to do any deep cleaning unless Jad and I are both home and that is a dedicated project for the day.

    4) I think discipline should start when your kids understand you - for me probably when the kids were a little younger than two. Usually it was a pop on the butt or a stern "no." Time-outs don't really work for Rigel yet, but I think they might soon.

    5) Casey and Rigel only used pacifiers when they were really little and grew out of them on their own. I do see Rigel put Kamren's pacifier in his mouth sometimes now, and he seems too old to use one at all.

    6) Well, I haven't gotten to the point where any of my kids listen to me, at least not all the time. Casey will do things I ask him to do usually, but if he thinks I won't find out if he doesn't do something I ask him to, he'll just not do it. I can't remember the age he started to really follow instructions and help me, but it was probably 4 or later.

    7) I wish there was one. Maybe the shower when I'm taking one? lol

    8) Rigel totally destroys the house, but to get anything done, sometimes I just have to ignore it until I do something. I think it's important to feel success in even accomplishing something small. I also tend to stay up after the kid are asleep to clean or do whatever else I need to do. It's not fun to not get sleep, but it feels good to get something done in peace.

    9) I still am smitten by Rigel sleeping at 2, but I admit, I am not like that with Casey, who is 8. I think that stopped when he stopped being so soft and cuddly, like maybe at 5.

  4. 1) Nothing too serious at this point but she has hit me in the face when she really doesn't want to go to bed. I try to get her to stop and it usually works, but sometimes she just tries anything to stay up.

    2) Its not expensive, but Belle accidently broke my rooster statue from my grandma.

    3) I had this dream of keeping my house June Cleaver not the case. I always so I will at least pick up before I go to sleep but by the time she is down....I'm exhausted. I always end up frantically picking up first thing in the morning. There is NO point during the day because Belle will just destroy it. I really only CLEAN when Ty is home and can occupy her.

    4) We have started doing time outs at about 2. We have found that Belle is really emphathetic so if she hits or screams, we fake cry and Belle gets upset and hugs us and says she is sorry. Sometimes its hard to get it through to her that we are mad and its not funny. Thats when the time out comes into play. Its been working out well for now.

    5) sounds like everyone else has had an easy time of this one. We are different. Belle only used it during nighttime or nap time but it was time to go. We decided to go for it around 20 months. We started by cutting a slit in the bulb because I read that made them not want it and it helps to give it up. However...we should have just taken it away. It just pissed her off to no end. The first night she cried for 3 hours but the next day it was only 20 minutes and by the end of the first week, she was able to go to sleep completely on her own without it. We threw all but one (that I hid just in case she got sick or something) away the day after we took them away. Smartest thing we could have done. She did find one a week later and we caught her with it. We asked her to throw it away, which she cried about but did it! We rewarded her and she seemed to be offically done! It was hard but it HAD to be done.

    6) Belle listens maybe 30% of the time right now. It seems to get a little better as time goes on.

    7) No hiding place:(

    8) I have resigned myself to only getting things done when she is asleep....or else I bring my laptop to the park.

    9) Ive only been a mama for 2 1/2 years but it hasn't warn off yet!

  5. I only have one kid right now, so maybe my answers will help some.

    1. childbirth is about the worst for me, quite a few stitches for a stage 3 episiotomy.

    2. Most everything expensive we own is out of my child's reach, but she has dropped a nice dinner plate while helping me clean out the dishwasher.

    3. I am still trying to let my house be messy. I try to only clean up after she goes to bed, otherwise I find myself wasting time and energy. I am sure this will change with more kids. I am also not the only one concerned about the mess, so I try to keep in clean before my husband gets home from work.

    4.I just started time outs regularly, where she goes to her room til she is happy. It works for now, but when she is able to open the door I will have to find something else.

    5. My daughter had her pacifier til she was in nursery. I gradually had to take it away. First I did it only at naps and nighttime, but eventually it just came down to taking it away. There were at least three nights where she cried for a long time before falling asleep. She still has a blanket though.

    6. Hannah is somewhat good about listening to what I say, although since she was 18 months, she is getting more adamant about talking back and doing what she wants instead, and throwing a fit if she doesn't want to do something. I try not to get after her about too many things unless it is pretty important like going in the street, hurting someone or destroying something on purpose.

    7. My mommy hiding place, um yea the bathroom. :) It's connected to my bedroom, so double protection from the noise :)

    8. Anything done? Well, like I said, I have only one, so there are days where I can get quite a bit done. I know there will be a time when I have more kids, that this will not be the case, but I am sure when that time comes it will be the necessary things. Clean, well rested kids who are fed and have clean clothes :)

    9. Watching a child sleep? It is certainly humbling/sweet. The best time of day/night is a sleeping child. It reminds me of how innocent they really are, so I guess it hasn't stopped for me either.

  6. I probably only have a few useful answers. Abraham took a pacifier and we went cold turkey on his 3rd bday. We warned him for 6 mo that when he turned 3 he got to trade his pacifier for his presents. He happily threw them all away first thing in the morning. That night was pretty miserable. The next was a little better and by night 3 he never asked for it again. My other 2 never took one.
    As far as getting things done, one of the best things I ever implemented was quiet cleaning time. Your kids are still young, but my 23 mo old participates already without trouble. Basically I use a baby gate to keep them in a designated room (that is baby proof and safe, of course) and set a timer for 30 minutes. They can play quietly while I get stuff done. With my older kids, if they fight or are loud, then their options become limited and they have to spend the reminder of quiet time on their beds doing quiet activities (books, coloring, puzzles). It has only happened a couple of times because it isn't that fun. After quiet cleaning time is over I spend a designated 30 minutes playing whatever they want with them. It is their reward and good for me to designate that unselfish time helping them. I'm more pleasant too because I feel accomplished having just spent 30 minutes doing productive things. Anyway, we started when my oldest was 5 and middle was 3 and baby was 18 mo. So, your kids may be slightly too young still, but it has my house cleaner than it has ever been!!
    One last tip. I cook dinner during naptime. As best I can, anyway. If I'm making a casserole I get it all prepped and ready to just put in the oven. Or put a meal in the crockpot. Or whatever I can. I swear right before dinner is the witching hour and to have dinner pretty much cooked and cleaned up already makes dinner time SO much more pleasant than it used to be. It is also easier for me to clean the kitchen afterwards because most of the heavy lifting has already been done!

  7. 1. I don't remember. Probably something dropped on my foot. But no scars (I don't think anyway).
    2. Edwin dropped my iPod in the Athens Sofitel bathtub, while we were evacuating. By that point I don't think I cared. Maybe.
    3. When we were in the states last, I didn't clean our rental townhouse for a month - and then I hired a service to clean it instead.
    4. Six months. Yes. If I didn't get lazy about it.
    5. They all suck thumbs, and we stop it at 3 1/2. Pacifiers, 18 months?
    6. Think of it as a continuum. Kathleen listens 75% of the time. Joseph, 10%. It improves over time.
    7. My bedroom, during nap/quiet time. It's fantastic.
    8. It gets better over time, as they get older - you're in full-on crazy time, so just do what you can. Now I make Kathleen and Sophia watch their brothers one day a week and I take that day to do my things. That wouldn't have worked a year or two ago. So don't worry, that day will come!!
    9. Nope. Never ever. I love tucking them in every night so I can forgive them for all of the rotten things they did that day.

  8. Fun! :) Ha, let's see if I remember any. I think I'll just answer a few random ones.
    2. A)
    one of our children was climbing on top of the counter to get down something way up high (naughty little thing!) and fell onto the dishwasher door which was cracked open a bit. The child was fine, the dishwasher door could never close quite the same.
    One of our children once pushed the button to close the garage when my trunk door to my van was open. Thankfully the van only got a few scratches because we stopped the garage door from fulling closing when we realized the van door was stuck to the garage door, but the garage door had some damage and we had to call a specialist to come out and fix our garage door. We made a new rule that day: never are you allowed to touch the garage door opener button unless you are an adult. This child was not super young either, I mean maybe like 6 or 7 years old.

    3. How about not necessarily not caring but throwing up so much from another pregnancy that you have zero energy and strength so you just lie on the couch and watch helplessly as they destroy (not really but more like take matters into their own hands so they serve themselves cereal and milk and it gets everywhere and they try to clean it up and it gets even worse...that sort of thing)

    4. what I'm wondering is how and when do you stop doing time-outs? Charles is 7 and Elisabeth is 9 and we mostly just do a lot of talking now which who knows, maybe they'd just prefer a time-out...I give myself time outs sometimes.

    6. I remember sitting in sacrament meeting one sunday, Charles was probably 5 years old and he was laying on the floor and I bent down so I was close to his ear and whispered kindly, "will you please sit down on the bench?" and he promptly got up and sat down. I was so shocked I'm sure there were tears in my eyes. Finally!! But that doesn't mean he always has listened since then, but hey, I'll take it!

    8. I think we get children one at a time so the Lord can slowly stretch us and help us to grow and become more and more selfless, as he is, over time. I know right now with our 5 kids and Elisabeth being 9, I rarely get a moment alone. In fact Scott and I were just talking about this tonight and the only time I really have alone is while I'm sleeping and if I wake up early while the house is still sleeping I can get in an hour sometimes (6-7am). But it's all good. I love being with them (mostly) and I can tell it's refining me and I'm slowly, very slowly, becoming more patient, more loving, more understanding etc.

    Just think, in two years they will be talking and wanting to be independent, and then they'll be in school and it'll be quiet in the house and they'll want to be with their friends and you'll wish they would just stay at home with you all the time. Ah, it goes way too fast!


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