Just Another Life Flying By Way Too Fast

Some day I’m going to look back on my life and see how fast it went by.

Look at this sweetheart!



Wait a minute, I already do that.

Here’s the thing. My kids have early release at Catholic school today. They are going to get out at noon and my plans for them include cleaning the house and getting laundry done.

Sometimes I really hate that I am not a fun mom. I am not the mom taking my kids to the park or to the museum the afternoon after they get out of school early. Because we’ve been running around with school, activities, sports, workouts — the house has been woefully neglected. And Sarah’s having a friend come home after practice today to prepare to attend her high school’s homecoming football game.

I totally said to Craig this morning, “Well, we have to get this house cleaned up because it’s her first time coming over. I mean, once she’s been over a few times, I might feel a little more comfortable with her seeing how we really live.”

I literally just want to cry right now. Today is my day off work and I already worked out and showered this morning, got the kids off to school, went grocery shopping and put it away and got my laundry almost all done. I won’t even tick off the to-do list that remains because that really will start the waterfalls.

Dani and me — Taylor Swift Concert!!


There’s a lot of stress around here. I know in my head and my heart that stress can be good stress and still take its toll on my mind and body. We have a combination of good and bad stress going on right now, and I’m trying to do my best to handle it, but any of you who have been reading my blog for any length of time know that while I do my best…sometimes it’s just not good enough.

I’ve been making a serious effort to try and live in the present lately. Worrying was eating me inside-out — whether it was the future or the past. So, every day I take stock of what’s on our plates and tackle it in the best order possible and at the end of the day move over any unfinished business to the next day. it’s been awhile and I still haven’t ever been able to start with a clean list with no carryovers.

Vincent having fun

I guess that is what life is like in this stage. Five kids, ages 14 down to 4, two full-time jobs, school and activities for everyone…it’s starting to get crazy. Good crazy, but crazy, nonetheless. I’m gonna try not to beat myself up too badly for not having a fun activity planned for this afternoon. I think I’ll just be present at lunch with the four kiddos who are home for it today, listen to their school stories and laugh with them. Then, we’ll have to knuckle down and get to the business of the afternoon. And they’ll whine a little bit, but they’ll do it and we’ll make it through.

Tonight when I get into bed, I will have driven Dani to swim practice, dropped Sarah and her friend off at the football game, picked Dani up from swim practice and eagerly awaited Sarah’s arrival home. I’ll have to follow-up with Sarah about the shoes she is wearing to the dance tomorrow, finalize the schedule as to when we are planning to be where for pictures and dance drop off, figure out how Dominic is getting to a birthday party and how Craig and I can attend (however briefly) a social function at church/school.

And…I guess it will all be all right.

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Thoughts from a Mom with a Young Basketball Girl (A Mumbles Post – 79)

Good Monday Morning! How is your President’s Day? Mine is FABULOUS now that I know the snow we received last night and early this morning was not enough to compel school closing. So I have a day off work and I am free to do what I will for the next few hours. I scheduled a couple of appointments I needed to get done today and I might slip in for a pedi/mani if I have some time.

I have some lingering thoughts I wanted to write about basketball. Girls basketball in particular, since that is my experience so far. Yesterday was the end of Helen’s basketball season. She plays in a development league for our Catholic schools and it ends in a tournament each year.

1. I love helping to coach her team. A dad is the main coach for the girls and he’s terrific. I mostly just nod my head and reinforce with support. The girls are so much fun. They are all sweet. My experience coaching girls is that sometimes someone needs to step in and discipline a little or keep the girls focused on the task at hand. I have had to do this only a few times in the course of two seasons. These girls really want to learn how to play basketball. AND…they have a ton of fun together. I never have to get on any of them for picking on each other. They laugh. A lot. I love that.


2. Sitting on the bench helps me keep calm and cool perspective. From what I understand, hearing opposing teams’ parents up in the crowd would most likely cause my blood to boil. So, I am spared all that by coaching. Sad, though, that parents are actually the worst culprits of poor sportsmanship.

3. Speaking of sportsmanship…parents — your kids are watching you. They hear what you say and they see what you do. If you are poor sports, your kids will be, too. 

4. Evidence of #3: yesterday, Helen’s team lost in the tournament championship game by a buzzer beater put-back from the other team. Heartbreaking. She came back to me with tears. I told her to take a deep breath — it was time to congratulate the other team on a job well done. As they went through the line, the first couple of girls from the other team leaned into her face and chanted, “We won! We won!” in that nasty little girl way some girls do. When Helen told me this, what could I say? Teaching moment right there — we discussed that we still congratulate the winners on a game well-played and try to win next time. And should we win, remember how it felt to be on the receiving end of poor sportsmanship and do the right thing.

5. Oh. And one of the girls on the other team kept jabbing, pushing and pinching my daughter and when Helen asked her to stop, she said, “This is basketball!” 

As you know, the instigator in these situations, often goes unnoticed and when someone retaliates, they are often seen by the referee and called for a foul. Several times this year, my daughter and other girls on the team have gotten so frustrated with the physical play that they have pushed back. We talk with them about no pushing, but it’s so hard for 8- and 9-year-old girls to understand how to play a physical game without getting frustrated. And honestly…jabbing and pinching is really out of line. The referees weren’t seeing it because my daughter didn’t have the ball when it was going on. So…what a pain in the butt to help my daughter figure out how to stand up for herself and not take any crap from these other girls…yet, when she does push back, she is the one “caught” and called for a foul. Oh…and thanks to that girl — she thinks that THIS is basketball.

6. And honestly, I guess it IS basketball, right? I have been around girls’ basketball all my life. I played it from 7th grade through high school. I watch the women’s college game and WNBA on tv and I see that it is a much more physical game than the mens’ game. So basically, the bullies in the game are the winners. Great.

7. I had a friend mention that maybe she’d have her kid play a city rec league as opposed to our Catholic school league because the examples of poor sportsmanship were so disappointing. My daughter loves her friends and loves playing for her school so I don’t think that’s an option for her, but I understand the consideration.

8. Are we Catholics really so bad at sportsmanship? Or…are we just like everyone else, but it’s so disappointing because we should be holding ourselves and each other up to a higher standard? It is this question that I grapple with any time I am disappointed with Catholic school, church, etc. I think there is definitely a large part of it that causes disappointment simply because as Christians, we should be treating each other better.

9. I’m happy the Helen loves basketball. Maybe I will try to get her some private coaching or a camp or two this summer so she grows in her skills a little faster this year. Of course, if she’d grow a few inches…that would probably help her the most, haha.

10. Basketball is a great game. I prefer to watch when one of my kids is not on the floor because the emotional investment is so great. I had a blast playing it. Watching my kids go through this stage has made me wonder if I was one of the bullies. Of course, I didn’t start playing until 7th grade, my coordination was pretty well-developed by then so maybe it didn’t have to be as physical. I don’t know.

Any experiences out there to share? Does it get any better as the girls get older? I remember in high school that our coach said, “If you’re getting pushed around…push back and do it hard…you get one foul to make sure they know you aren’t going to let them push you around.” I don’t even recall it being that much of a problem. 

But I am 41 years old now, I might not have the best recollection. Do boys’ teams even have to discuss this sort of thing? I wonder if my experience is unique to the league we play in or if I went around town to all sorts of girls’ basketball tournaments if I would see the same stuff.

Is it really better, though?



Nostalgic Pondering

She’s getting more independent these days. All I have to do is ask, “Is your homework done?” or “How much more do you have?” There is not a lot of help required on my part.
She does her own laundry. All that’s needed from me, for the most part, is a reminder that it needs to get done and a suggestion about when would be a good time so that it’s complete in between the many commitments she sometimes has on a weekend.

Four years old?
She eats meals with the family, but often requires nourishment outside the regular meal times and is able to handle this on her own.
When I put things on my calendar to ensure we get her to appointments of all sorts – I “add” her via her e-mail address and the schedule on her phone is synched. She is able to accept or turn down babysitting jobs or social outings. Often, she will sit down with me for 5 minutes on a Sunday evening and the two of us will go through the week touching base about where she needs to be and when – and what will still be required of her at home.
Gone are the days when I must keep track baths, hair combing and teeth brushing. She took over self-care with pride when we established the time had come. And now she helps me get the younger ones ready to take over their own…we’re really only down to the boys now.



Yes, my girl is growing up. Time flies. She looks more like the woman she will be and less like the little girl she once was.

Five Years old
But yesterday, on a break during pool play, soon after her team had just won their fourth (or was it their sixth?) set in a row, my baby girl came back to me. Her excited, beautiful brown eyes smiled at me. I heard my little girl say, “Mommy, did you see…?”

It was almost as if I was seeing my six-year-old Sarah after she got her first hit in softball and rounded the bases to score a run; or my third-grade Sarah searching the stands after making her first basket in a basketball game; and then my fourth-grade Sarah approaching me after she remembered all her lines in the Christmas pageant; and even my seventh-grade Sarah after she earned the “A Honor Roll” the first time.
I saw my eighth-grade Sarah and heard her five-year-old voice ask me if I saw one of her kills in that last set.



After a day of volleyball

My heart melted. You see, she’s my big, teenage girl, who just last week was telling me how she hopes to attend a university far away. Yet, she is still my young baby girl who thrills for me to see every accomplishment.

She’s spreading her wings and getting ready to fly. And her heart yearns still for her Mommy and the approving affection she’s known since her birth.

So, as she called me, “Mommy” and asked “did I see?” I answered her the way I always have – with a smile and a hug and my words “Of course, I did. You did such a great job. I loved that play.”


We went to the KU-KState game together over the weekend

7 Quick Takes – 92


Thank you to Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum for hosting the 7QT. Holy Moly! I haven’t participated since October!! Yikes! Well, I know the blogging has been slow around here. But that’s the only part of my life that has been. Happy Friday!

**And then, Jen goes and changes up who is hosting! I guess I am glad that I started back up this week… hmmm, guess I should get a new header picture…I will have to see what’s going on!

— 1 —
The school Christmas program was last night. Dani, Helen and Dominic performed with their classes.

Helen and Dani look so grown up!!

Sarah kept Vincent at home and Craig had to work. It was rather odd, sitting in my chair all by my lonesome. Someone said that I must not know what to do with myself. Oh contrare! I’ve learned to appreciate the times I don’t have someone calling “Mommy!” or saying, “I need…” or “I want…”

I enjoyed the program, though. Dominic played the part of Joseph. That was cute. (Remember when Helen was Mary a few years ago?) Helen was so cute…as soon as she found me, she waved and then she and I would lock eyes and she’d grin at me whether she was singing or not! Dani was a part of a group singing a descant during the last song and it sounded so good. I really hope I can get Dani back into her music a bit more…we stopped guitar lessons a year ago, but if I can figure out how to get it back into the budget…I see how passionate she is about music, I would like to try and cultivate that, if possible. 

One of the things I cherish about my kids being in Catholic school is the opportunity to do a Christmas program. It was short, sweet and very good!

These two are so cute!!

 

— 2 —

This is a kettlebell.






Sometime before December started, someone from the Box put out the challenge to do 300 kettlebell swings for 30 days in December. Of course, crazy me, I can’t resist this sort of thing — so I signed up. Holy Moly, that’s a workout all by itself! I have been doing them before the workouts every day. I find that mentally, doing 300 swings in a day gets easier every day that goes by. I’m positive that the day I don’t do 300 swings will be the day I end (and fail) this challenge. So…I’m going to keep going to 30 I guess. My shoulders were crazy-tight yesterday and I told the chiropractor so. He worked on them, but I still feel tight through there and my lats and upper shoulders/back area.

Today I decided to run my stopwatch on my phone to get a gauge on how long this sort of thing takes (I knew the general time, though). I do these in sets of 25. 25 swings takes me about 45 seconds. So I do 4 sets of 25, resting 45 seconds in between. Then I give myself an extra minute to rest before the next 4 sets. It took right about 20 minutes.

— 3 —

Oh yes. Tonight will be my first trip back to Allen Fieldhouse to watch my Jayhawks play basketball! Yay! I’m excited.

Due to Craig’s new job and our hectic schedules, Craig’s mom has had to find others to take her to the games. 😦 But I was happy to find one I could make and I think we’ll settle in and get to make it to a few, just not as many as we have in years past.

The Jayhawks look to be pretty good this year. Unfortunately, I think Kentucky has a team that very few other teams could beat, if any. They handled the Jayhawks pretty well a couple of weeks ago. But, KU will still be in the conversation for another conference championship, tournament run, etc. I love men’s college basketball!

— 4 —

Did you see this game going around?






Fun that they pick Effie Trinket as the photo for this

I saw a few FB friends post it, so last night I got on Google on my phone to see what came up when I put in “Michelle Meme.” The first one was this, and made me laugh out loud:

I’d never seen it before, but apparently it gets
enough hits that it’s number 1

Since the First Lady has the name of Michelle, there’s an Obama Meme that comes up 2nd. It wasn’t all that funny, so I’m not sharing. But then this one…number 3…it was perfect!!
 
Ummm, hello! I have been hungry since I was born!! LOL
 
So? Anyone else want to play??
 

— 5 —

Well, I got one of my drafts published this week. I had to go through that post and rewrite some of it because I started it 8 months ago! Isn’t that crazy? I guess I start, then I don’t like the way it’s going so I stop. I figure I must have looked at it 5-7 times over the course of those 8 months and just couldn’t put it together the way I wanted.

That’s the thing about being so busy and writing not being my job. I don’t practice it enough to get really good at it. Then I get a semi-decent idea to write about, but I don’t have time to flesh it all out at once and since I’m out of practice, it takes me longer anyway. Oh well. Such is life.
 
— 6 —
Sarah told me the other night to stop saying, “Well, that’s how it is as you get older.” Apparently I have been saying that a lot. I notice. But, still. She is in 8th grade and life is starting to get a bit more “real” to her. The schoolwork takes more effort, she’s busy with her extra-curricular activities, she helps me out a lot on the homefront and she’s trying to get a babysitting business going. There’s a lot to do! I have figured out, though, that sometimes she just wants to talk at me and doesn’t want my advice or commentary. I have been trying hard to remember the part about her not wanting my advice or commentary. It’s hard to withhold, but I try to remember that she just wants me to listen. So…I try to listen and keep my mouth shut. It’s difficult, believe me, but I’m getting better at it.
 
— 7 —

Taylor Swift’s new album, 1989, is  my favorite ever! It has been a LONG time since I have listened to an album straight through and loved every song on it. Oh…probably since Taylor Swift’s Speak Now album. I know Taylor Swift doesn’t need promotion from someone like me. But I can’t help it. There are a few songs on this album that I would listen to on repeat. She’s got a gift for the catchy tune and rhythm paired with lyrics that take me back to whatever age Taylor Swift is in the songs she wrote. So, anyway…good album.

I think Craig and I decided no concerts for the girls and just figured that’s a lot of money to spend for little kid entertainment. I’ve done it…I took all three girls to see Taylor Swift three years ago. It was a lot of money and it was hard to stay throughout the whole thing at their ages so I thought I wouldn’t do that again. But there’s a part of me that would feel guilty if I were to go to see Taylor Swift in concert and not take Dani with me (she’s a huge fan).

What do you all think? This trend to taking young girls/kids to concerts? Do you do it? What’s a good age to start taking them? I would imagine it varies by temperament and level of disposable income for that sort of thing. I still wonder what you all think?
 
BONUS: Oh, it’s Advent! I love Advent. Dominic’s been the one committed to uncovering the little windows in our Advent calendar and he seems to enjoy it. I wish I knew how to limit the hustle and bustle of this time because I know I need to settle down more in my prayer life for Christmas preparation. Are you doing anything special with your families?

Busy weekend around our house — basketball scrimmage, service hours, babysitting, cleaning. Have a great one!

Be sure to go visit Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Strong-Willed Child

He’s the child I never knew I missed.


I wasn’t quite ready…but you can see Vincent was 🙂

He’s the one that made us say, “If he’d been first…he might have been last.”


He loves to say “CHEESE!”

He tests my patience. Yet he fills my heart so full it could burst.

He wanted us to have “silly sticker noses”

I’d always heard about this thing called a “strong-willed” child. I thought, perhaps, I had seen glimpses in my other children. But I only learned how naive I had been when Vincent was born into our family. Because our experience with him highlighted for me that the glimpses of “strong will” we’d seen in the other children were just your normal, everyday, run-of-the-mill challenges of normal-tempered children at different stages. Vincent showed us that “strong willed child” means strong-will, all the time, every day, every minute, with every choice and every occasion.

Vincent goes all-out, all the time. Even in the beginning–I can look back to pregnancy and labor/delivery and say, “I should have known…”

Vincent was the one of my pregnancies where we checked progesterone early and often and it just kept plummeting. It was Vincent who wouldn’t cooperate at 12 weeks and let the doctor get a good heart beat with the doppler thingy and so he had to do a pelvic and jumble things around until we heard it and put my mind at ease. It was Vincent who forced his way to 27 hours of induced labor including 16 hours of “good” contractions before finally deciding to descend and be born in the matter of about 5 minutes. All on his time, you see. I joked with my doctor about whether this was a “5th child” thing — the kid taking his sweet time to be born (my doctor had shared that he was a 5th child…) Honestly, the newborn months are a blur (as they are with all the kids), but as we emerged into our new normal, Vincent still exhibited this all-out, all the time personality.

Three-and-a-half years in, I regularly acknowledge that Vincent is my strong-willed child. He’s wild. He’s loud. And…he gets what he wants more often than not.


He loves cars…so surely he enjoyed playing this game with his daddy.


I’ve tried to be a mother twho “chooses” the “battles” carefully. But I never had so many to choose from before Vincent! I never realized how blessed I was with the older four that “choosing my battle” meant just once or twice a week. Because with Vincent I am choosing between 6 or 7 a day (sometimes the choice between 6 or 7 happens between 6:15 and 7:15 a.m.!!)

The fact that Vincent is 3-and-a-half-years-old now only exacerbates the issue because now he can talk (and yell, scream, etc) and make sure we know what he wants and that he won’t back down. Sometimes I force my hand and he has to do it my way — and I’m rewarded with a screamfest for the ages. More times than I like to admit, I give in and decide it is not worth it to fight.

A mom often ponders whether she is doing a good job at being a mom. When the kids are older, you start to realize that each of them has a personality and temperament that determines how they behave and what kind of mom you are seems to have less and less to do with anything. With Vincent, I question even more, my abilities, than I did with the other kids.

He’s the first one that’s been in daycare for his whole life, we’ve had an awesome experience with our daycare, too. The woman who cares for Vincent all day is gentle, kind, loving and still firm — is his experience the reason he is so different?

Vincent is the first of my kids to reach this age without another child joining the family (on Earth) — does that motivate him to behave the way he does? I experience so much more of Vincent because I don’t have a baby on my hip, I’m convinced. Is my perception colored by this new and different experience? I am sure it is.

And perhaps my perception is colored, too, by the fact that I miss his little brother at times. Who knows what kind of child Vincent would be with Gregory tagging along…?

Sitting in the Darth Vader chair…hmmmm

While Vincent takes so much of my energy with regard to discipline and formation, he also replenishes my emotional stores faster than I remember it happening with the other kids. Vincent works hard and loves harder. He looks up to Dominic with a ferocity I haven’t seen in the other kids. He pays enough attention to his sisters that he knows which of them can provide him with what he wants when he wants it. He makes my heart melt when he requests a hug and a kiss before I leave the house or leave him at daycare. He doesn’t say “I love you” all the time like the other kids did when they first realized how much I liked hearing them say it. But he says it when I least expect it and I can feel his emotion reaching my heart every time he says it.

A strong-willed child is a special experience. Yes, it can be difficult and worrisome. But, at least in my case, it’s accompanied by such passion! I love that. 

It is only because Vincent joined our family, that I am able to experience it.

Well, Hello There…

Allow me to (re)introduce myself…

Since my last post:

Sarah helped Dominic by pulling his first loose tooth!
Wow! Can’t believe losing teeth has
already started for him
My “oldometer” ticked up for another year
(how awesome is this card?)
We test-drove, took home for a day, committed to buying
and then backed out of buying a new car
(maybe I’ll post on that someday)



Sarah’s 8th grade volleyball team took first in division,
and 2nd in City Tournament. What a great year.
Great girls and coaches!

I found a box that had these pajamas in them and they fit Vincent now!
Holy moly, he is getting big (and even more cute, if that’s possible)
Took the boys clothes-shopping and found these cool
Lego Star Wars pajamas for Dominic. Perfect.

Wow, it has been awhile, right? I admit that the longer I go without writing anything substantial, the less I care to do so. We’ve changed our course in the past couple of months. That’s a good thing, but it also means that a new form of “busy” has materialized.
First of all, Craig is still working nights. And that is fine honestly. He had been working nights for the past 10 years at the casino. It’s just that the hours are a bit longer, so he’s going in more like late afternoon/early evening and working through the night. The good part: He is home in time to help get the kids all ready and off to school before he goes to sleep and he’s up in time to get them from school before heading off to his next day of work. The not-as-good-but-bearable part: This means my day really begins when I get off work. More on that later.

Secondly, the job is such an improvement over the casino. He’s working at the Ford plant on the assembly line. The benefits are excellent and he gets paid overtime when he works it. Novel concept. 🙂 I think he seems to enjoy the work he does, too. Craig’s always liked cars (Vincent’s obsession with them gives me some idea of what Craig may have been like as a child) and this gives him an opportunity to be up close and personal with at least one make and model. 🙂

So while all of this has occurred, we have had to make some changes to the way things run around the house. Craig used to do all the grocery shopping, for example, on Friday mornings. Well, that isn’t possible every week anymore, so I have had to re-learn how to grocery shop and fit it into an already jam-packed weekend. The first two times I kept going over budget. It was really ticking me off. But the third time I did it, I made my list and I pulled out my phone and added things up as I went and … Woo-Hoo! … I was under budget and I got everything on the list! Also, Craig used to get some of the laundry done on Thursdays/Fridays and that’s not happening anymore either. This past weekend was the craziest as every person in our family had to get their laundry done on Sunday. I am planning to get on that earlier in the weekend coming up so we don’t have that happen again!

And then…there are the activities for the kids. Right now, Sarah has club volleyball, Dani has swim club and Helen has basketball. I’m thanking God for inspiring me NOT to put Dominic and/or Vincent in anything right now because I could not get them there. Mondays are the craziest since Helen and Dani both have practice at 6:30 and then Sarah has practice at 8 all the way across town. I think I’m getting a system down and this coming Monday, I think I’ll be able to do it with one less trip across town (I’ve been heading over there twice — once for drop-off and once for pick-up) since I will just have us all hang out across town while practice is going on. Dani has practice MOnday through Thursday. Sarah has practices Monday and Wednesday. Helen’s practices are Monday and Saturday. So there’s a lot of driving around for me during the week. I have no doubt that it is all worth it, but it’s been an adjustment for me because I had grown to love having my evenings free to do as I wished.

I had already started going to CrossFit in the early mornings (5:15 — bright and EARLY) so that hasn’t changed. Craig’s able to make it to the 6:15 a couple of times a week, too. The kids are pretty good at getting up and around most mornings — now that the girls are pretty self-sufficient in that arena. So, the exercise is still happening.

As you can imagine, the schedule in the evenings makes it difficult to do dinner. We do a lot of breakfast for dinner so far. I hope we can get some good crockpot things going now that the cold weather is here. But we seldom eat together. Dani is usually grabbing something early so she’s ready to swim. There are snacks, with no real dinner-time routine. It kind of drives me bonkers and makes me think I suck at this whole Mom thing, but I don’t know what else to do at this point since the evenings are just too crazy for anything else.

Through all of it, though, I was able to spend the weekend two weekends ago (the one before Veteran’s Day) doing a huge clean and purge of the house. So now at least, I like being in the house for the time I am there. Our garage is clean and uncluttered and so is our basement. I know where everything is in the storage room, too. And I have been on the kids to keep it straightened up, too (you would not believe the places I found the many puzzle pieces and telepods the boys had scattered all over — well, maybe you would). The side benefit of being so busy? There really is only so much time the kids are in the house to mess it up. 🙂

We’ll see if I can get the 7 drafted posts in any shape to be published in the near future. #dontholdyourbreath

That’s just a little bit of word-spew from me to let you know that while I may feel like I am drowning, I’m still alive and well. And happy, for the most part.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parenting Conundrum — Help? AN UPDATE!!

I’m one of those people that doesn’t ask a lot of advice from people. Especially about parenting. It’s not because I know everything and don’t think that others have anything to offer me. It’s more that, when I read blogs or internet threads where advice is dispensed, there is so much that is variable. There’s a lot of, “Well, this worked for me….not sure it’s the right thing for everyone” and “Every kid is different” and an awful whole heckuva lot of “It depends.”

Why would I write a blog post now to ask for advice? Well…a situation has occurred multiple times at my house the last few months and I obviously have not handled it well since it continues to happen. So, I’m coming out of hibernation (why haven’t I blogged lately??) to ask for some ideas and/or advice on how to handle something.

You don’t even have to be a parent to help me on this. Think about siblings doing similar things…or friends.  🙂

Set the stage, here: I wear makeup. Some people might say I wear a lot of makeup and some people might say I don’t wear enough. Just about everyone could give me some tips on how to do it better, I know that.

Girls like makeup! Go figure!! 🙂 (Photo Credit)

I have three daughters in my house. They are ages 13, 11 and 8. None of them wear makeup on a daily basis and the oldest will wear it on weekends (the school rule is no makeup). The oldest also has some makeup she’s received either as gifts or that I have purchased for her in the last year or so. The younger two haven’t expressed much interest in makeup at this point and they do not have any in their possession.

Here’s the recurring situation: Someone uses my makeup. No one owns up to it. An accusation that I don’t really remember how I left my things typically ensues. And that is typically followed by suggestion that maybe NO ONE messed with my stuff. Today, the suggestion was that my husband must have used it.

I know someone used the eye shadow applicator because I see that the person applied blush (rouge-tinged bristles — when my eye shadow is clear/very light neutral color) with it. I wipe this brush clean each time I use it as the bristles are a special material that helps apply the powderless kind of eye shadow. Once it was used for blush, the culprit did not clean it off AND inserted it back into its sleeve the opposite direction of how I keep it.

I know someone used my foundation brush because it was damp (perhaps it got dropped in the sink??)

I know someone used my eyebrow comb/brush because it was missing (in this instance, it mysteriously or miraculously showed up in its proper location within a day of my registering annoyance that it is gone and I know someone used it, and then lied to me about it).

I know someone used my makeup (in general) because things are out of place. I am meticulous with my stuff and I store it exactly the same way when I am finished every single time (thank you, OCD). The child using it clearly doesn’t understand why anyone would do that — which is why said child thinks she can get away with not owning up to it and trying to convince me that perhaps my husband (???) is the one who has been dabbling in my makeup (Yep — that was actually uttered this morning).

Here’s the thing: I think it’s NATURAL for a girl to want to wear some makeup. I wear makeup because I like it! I am sure my girls want to wear it, too. And I am not opposed to them learning how to use makeup and wearing it (just not to school since that is against the rules). I am hurt because this situation where they use my makeup without asking makes me think that they believe I would not let them use makeup. I think I’ve been fairly reasonable about the whole makeup and clothes things with my girls. I’ve been flexible, but held firm on certain things — but none of the things I’ve felt the need to “hold firm” on have been makeup related.

So, if one of my girls asked to use my makeup, I would most likely say “yes” (if no rules were being broken) and also see if it were time to get her some (more) of her own.

Here’s another thing: I don’t like lies. If I confront a child of mine with a question like, “Hey, did you use this makeup thing?” I expect an honest answer. When I believe I am being lied to, it hurts my feelings and also makes me angry. I think it hurts me more than angers me, though, because I don’t know why my kids want to deceive me.

THIS situation occurred this morning: I came home from working out and was getting ready for work, used my foundation brush and found it damp, then found my eye shadow brush had been used and put away incorrectly (completely different from how I store my brush). My first thought was that it was the oldest. When confronted, she denied it. I can’t imagine it had been either of the younger two, but I asked them and they said they hadn’t. used it.

No one every owned up to it. I went about my routine getting ready. I thought about how I could get the truth from my girl(s).

My solution for this time is that no monthly allowances will be paid until the person who used the makeup (and did a pretty shoddy job of putting stuff back) makes herself known to me. I don’t JUST MEAN November allowances — I mean no more allowances EVER until the person owns up to it. Allowances are these girls’ only way of obtaining money (well, the oldest gets babysitting jobs…) so I am hopeful this will work. I even said, “you can come to me individually, if you want. I promise you that the anger I feel toward being lied to will most likely be overcome with happiness to forgive and move on once the truth has been acknowledged.” And, knowing how I felt in the past with situations like this, I believe it to be true. Once I know the truth, I can address the initial lie, discuss the harm that it caused the relationship, but then move on from it. Especially with one of my dear children.

I did tell the girls that the longer I am lied to, the more angry I am about the whole thing and that I wouldn’t have been all that angry if the person had just owned up to it from the get-go.



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Let’s be clear about something: My anger = disappointed look, a little bit of yelling. So, the fear of me being angry that they use my makeup without asking first is a little weird, in my opinion.

So —  my question(s) for you, readers:

1) Is there a better way (i.e., more efficient) to get the information from my girls, than just withholding their monthly allowance? (I do suspect the oldest, but man, she was figuratively digging in her heels even as we drove to school…)

2) How can I stop this lying? I’m of the opinion that when kids start lying, they start with small things (like saying they didn’t use mom’s makeup without asking, when they really did) and when they get away with it, the lying moves on to bigger things until the kid is just an all-out liar. I don’t want to push my girls away, but I’m really hurt by the lying. And it’s my job as their mom to call them on it, put a stop to it and make sure they understand what they do to our relationship when they lie to me.

3) Once this is settled, I fear that I’ve got a trip to a makeup counter in my future to get a full set of something for at least the oldest. But I don’t want to “reward” this bad behavior (if, in fact, she is the one who used the makeup and then lied profusely — AND wanted me to consider that CRAIG used my makeup!!!)

Please respond in the comments or even tweet me or IM me or e-mail me. I am not lie-awake-at-night stressed out about this, but I’m quite interested to read your thoughts.

UPDATE!
I called to talk with the kids after school and asked my oldest if anyone could tell me the truth yet. She said that the youngest confessed to it while they were at before-school care this morning. So I got the youngest girl on the phone and she also told me that it was she who had gotten into the makeup. We talked about how I was not angry that she wanted to play with the makeup, but that I do wish she had asked first. I likened it to the times recently when she has gotten upset at her brothers coming into her room and playing with her dollhouse without her permission. I also told her that it really hurt my feelings that she lied about it.

So, we talked about respecting people’s property and being honest.

I guess the girls will get their allowances now, and I probably don’t have to go to a makeup counter yet. The 8-year-old has a few years of “playing” before using makeup becomes a real thing, haha.

Thanks for the comments so far! Stuff like this always gets to me!!