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What the what

That’s how this mama is feeling. What the what? What is happening? Why are you crying? Are you mad, why? Calm down. Chill out. Take a break. What the what is going on?!

Sometimes that’s me talking to my family, but mostly lately, that’s my self talk. I’m pretty sure I’m losing at life’s game of jumanji and I cannot remember when the game began. Wait, I’m pretty sure that I started sucking at the game like two years ago. Unfortunately now I’m stuck in the jungle and running low on lives.

How does this happen? When I feel like I’m mastering the game in the school world, I’m a shoddy mother and inferior parent and spouse at home. Or when the family is filled with warm fuzzies and life is rosy, at school someone or something is like a lion devouring its final meal, me.

So as I ponder during futsal practice, my nagging brain is stuck in what the what mode.

Is this motherhood?

Just grin and bear it.

family, parenting, small town living

Mama Bear

I never really understood the term Mama Bear until this week. To me Mama Bear was protective while also letting the “cubs” explore and learn. “Going Mama Bear” didn’t occur to me, until this week. But I did not, I kept Mama in her den glaring out, ready to strike.

A fellow player and friend on Rudi’s team referred to him as “a little kid”. He was not talking about Rudi’s smaller statue, but his soccer abilities. Now these two are within a few months apart, with Rudi being the older one. Hmm, Mama Bear thought.

The teammate went on to say that he’s better than Rudi and the other “little kids”. Wow, okay. Mama Bear pondered. He was saying this to me, an adult, not just saying this to his teammates or friends.

This attitude comes from us, the adults. We are the ones who shape and develop our youth athletic programs. Whether coaching, parenting, or our sideline demeanors; we are perpetuating these “better than thou” spirit and it’s killing team spirit, player development, and the longevity of an age group’s ability to grow together.

We have lost the perspective of growing teammates, raising youth who collaborate towards a common goal, and developing well rounded athletes. “A team is only as strong as its weakest player. ”

Our children love soccer and each have his and her own abilities and interests within the sport. We may be loud occasionally on the sidelines, but our parental aspirations isn’t necessarily the score board, but to have them to attend every practice and game with a positive attitude that will contribute to the overall success of the team and themselves. https://www.stanforddaily.com/2011/11/09/the-importance-of-teamwork-in-sports/

Mama Bear will stay in her den for awhile, hibernating until Spring soccer. Our small town has had some amazing athletic team successes this fall. Boys soccer reaching new peaks and a tennis team’s first state championship. A football team who dug its way out of a hole, learning and developing together to reach some successes this year. The emphasis, team. We’re in this together.

Some great articles:

https://soccermommanual.com/kid-want-play-pro-soccer-read/

https://www.soccerparenting.com/youth-soccer-needs-reality-check/

https://www.gftskills.com/dangers-of-being-a-top-youth-soccer-player/

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The Sound of Silence

A thousand tiny leaves silently waving hello. Watching the birds gently flapping to and fro. Feeling the cool water filling my ears. My body is hovering. Or is it? I stare at the yellow beach ball in the high afternoon sky. I hear. Nothing.

My favorite pool activity is floating. Not on a raft, or tube, or noodle. Just an unhindered back skimming the surface of the blue cool. Once I lean back and my ears begin the slow fill of water, sound leaves. I’m left in silence. It is then that I truly hear and more thoroughly see. All my thoughts inside, observe more intricately the sights above, and enter my own world.

So next time I’m seen gliding across a watery surface, don’t be alarmed. I’ve entered Julie world for a bit.*photo not mine*dissolve photo stock*

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Can’t do it all

My husband and I are both in education and have three kids at home. Each night we get home and look at their shining, eager, happy faces and see the joy and appreciate the life we live.

But looking into their eyes also reminds us of students we meet each day. The students with rough home lives, an absent parent, missing life essentials, and those struggling to navigate life. There are days as educator parents where are hearts are filled with these souls, wondering about what is happening each night, or thinking of ways to help support him or her.

Somedays our three children feel the stress of our work. Our worries for the future of education. Our fears over the home life of some. Our frustrations with a system short on funds for supporting us. Our longing to do what’s best. Our ideals about testing overcoming students. Our hopes to make a difference when sometimes it means fighting upstream. What our kids do know, is that we are passionate about education and the lives of our students.

It’s hard to shut down these feelings and thoughts when the final bell rings. We carry it in our hearts, minds, and often those mean our souls are hurting when we get home. Parenting through means we often have family meetings about what life is like for others, teaching them to be a helper and see the hurt in others, but most importantly, talking through our stress. It is hard. We can’t do it all, and often, we need time to process in order to be better parents at home.

Just a stressed filled mama trying to raise and support a Village.

family, parenting, small town living

We’re Village People

Moms and dads, let’s talk.

Raising kids is soul searching, boundless lovely, work. And Exhausting. I want, need help along the way. As I get older, the less I want to worry about how this looks and sounds and the more I want to rely on others to support in “raising” our kids. No I’m not asking for handouts or free babysitting, just good ole support from my village.

I’d like to know if my kid is being a jerk or my daughter, a mean girl. Similarly I’d be ecstatic to learn that one sat with the lonely, talked with the new kid, or helped the aging. I have one entering preteen female drama years and another less than a year from teenagehood! The girl already sees and experiences the drama; you’re my friend but now not, I’m too good for you, I only talk to older girls now, yada yada yada crap. If we’re hanging out and my son is ignoring your kid, let me know. As our children grow and explore functions, events without us, you might encounter them while with friends or perhaps teammates, I hope and pray that they remember to speak to you, our village. I’d appreciate knowing either way, it’s what generations of villagers did, looked out for others small and big. As friends, I’ll lend a hand, an ear, or friendly face to you and yours. If our kids had been friends but suddenly not, I might ask. When your daughter blows off my daughter, perhaps I’ll inquire. Hopefully you, my parental posse of support, would do the same. Parenting means a village scaffolding of sorts. I’ll get your back, if you’ll support mine.

I’m not talking helicoptering, I’m talking the village, our village. I remember growing up and being acutely aware that most places I went, someone was watching. Not as in the boogie man, but the “village”. My parents people, extensions of our family. Did I mess up sometimes? Yep. Did my parents occasionally get insider information? Yep. Once, when I was 16 and out driving who knows where with a friend, I was driving a bit fast and perhaps a bit reckless. They found out, I’m not sure from whom, but I have my suspicions. And you know what, it was good. My village, the one surrounding me as I traversed my teenage years, let me grow and stumble.

We, my husband and I, are village people. We’re in it with you and we’d like you to be along for the journey. Happily we’ll be a part of your village too. Let’s together support each other’s offspring as they stumble and soar and wind their way. Villagers, friends, let’s be in it together.

Uncategorized

We’re Village People

Moms and dads, let’s talk.

Raising kids is soul searching, boundless lovely, work. And Exhausting. I want, need help along the way. As I get older, the less I want to worry about how this looks and sounds and the more I want to rely on others to support in “raising” our kids. No I’m not asking for handouts or free babysitting, just good ole support from my village.

I’d like to know if my kid is being a jerk or my daughter, a mean girl. Similarly I’d be ecstatic to learn that one sat with the lonely, talked with the new kid, or helped the aging. I have one entering preteen female drama years and another less than a year from teenagehood! The girl already sees and experiences the drama; you’re my friend but now not, I’m too good for you, I only talk to older girls now, yada yada yada crap. If we’re hanging out and my son is ignoring your kid, let me know. As our children grow and explore functions, events without us, you might encounter them while with friends or perhaps teammates, I hope and pray that they remember to speak to you, our village. I’d appreciate knowing either way, it’s what generations of villagers did, looked out for others small and big. As friends, I’ll lend a hand, an ear, or friendly face to you and yours. If our kids had been friends but suddenly not, I might ask. When your daughter blows off my daughter, perhaps I’ll inquire. Hopefully you, my parental posse of support, would do the same. Parenting means a village scaffolding of sorts. I’ll get your back, if you’ll support mine.

I’m not talking helicoptering, I’m talking the village, our village. I remember growing up and being acutely aware that most places I went, someone was watching. Not as in the boogie man, but the “village”. My parents people, extensions of our family. Did I mess up sometimes? Yep. Did my parents occasionally get insider information? Yep. Once, when I was 16 and out driving who knows where with a friend, I was driving a bit fast and perhaps a bit reckless. They found out, I’m not sure from whom, but I have my suspicions. And you know what, it was good. My village, the one surrounding me as I traversed my teenage years, let me grow and stumble.

We, my husband and I, are village people. We’re in it with you and we’d like you to be along for the journey. Happily we’ll be a part of your village too. Let’s together support each other’s offspring as they stumble and soar and wind their way. Villagers, friends, let’s be in it together.

family, parenting

Follow the Yellow Brick..,er Your Own Road

Dang this parenting gig is hard. Emotionally draining for kids and parents.

As parents we want to nurture and protect while also assuring independence and assertiveness are taught. Hovering and rolling out red carpet is not our style. Both kids and parents can expect some bumps, heartaches, and lessons learned when trying to “successfully” get kids to 18.

Successfully, that’s the key word. We could easily layer all the foundational work for our kids to avoid such bumps, trials, and aches. But truthfully is that what’s best? Will he or she be successful if I hand pick this and ensure they get that (sports, teachers, connections, friends – you pick)?

It seems that in recent years more parents are living through their kids; injecting into child relationships, hand picking friendships, teams, classes, etc. can our kids still fail? Yes. Will kids still make poor choices sometimes? Yep. Can I line kid A’s childhood with yellow bricks hoping that he makes it to the wizard successfully? Yes, but even Dorothy stumbled along the way and strayed from that mighty golden path. Hopefully like Auntie Em taught her, our children will follow Dorothy’s path. Brush things off, regain strength, and continue on to our destination.

Teaching children to have strength when left out, confidence when being overlooked, kindness when frustration settles in, and to love when you just don’t understand why something is the way that it is, that is the true yellow brick road.

Sometimes I long to make things easier for the three Z offspring. If I invite kid X over, will my kid suddenly be “in” that group? No. If only I was friends with that set of parents, then maybe my kid would be invited over. Nope. Oh that girl no longer wants to be friends after several years of friendship and now only wants to hang with the older crowd…should I smooth things over and force a relationship for my child? No. My kid didn’t make the cut and now his friend will not even say hi or play with him. It hurts, all of it, but we build them up and hope that they stay steady.

In the red rover of life, they may not be picked first or second, or even in the middle, but they will know how to hold steadfast and continue on their own path, even if clotheslined along the way.