Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sometimes Quitting IS the Answer

I'm not a quitter. At least, I don't want to be a quitter. Who does? I try to stick with pursuits even when they are tough. Though, if I'm honest, when looking back on my earlier years, there were fixations/interests/hobbies I thought I would stick with forever but that eventually waned-- sewing, cross country, baking, tennis.

There are other interests that may go on the back burner for years at a time, but that I always come back to (writing being one of them).

As a mother of two young children, now there's the added twist of kid's hobbies. I love that my kids are finally old enough that we can try out classes together-- music, Spanish, soccer-- whatever seems interesting and fits into our schedule (without bankrupting us).  I don't love the baby period much, and I think that is because I retreat into my hermitish nature too much when they are little. Learning new things and pursuing old favorites, however, is high on my happiness list.

One of the first classes my daughter (now 2.5) was old enough to try last fall was a Parent/Child dance class, for just half an hour, once a week. I jumped at it. It started well enough. I enjoy music and dancing and so does she.


(Image from Morguefile.com; not my daughter)


But over the last couple of months, my usually joyful, fearless little daughter was no longer participating. At all. Many times, she started crying, running out of the room, slamming the door behind her, and just basically acting out. Other times, she would treat us to a full-on tantrum. This behavior certainly stripped away any joy I could experience from the endeavor. Plus, truth be told, who wants to be the parent of the crazy, tantrumy kid every. single. week?

I had hoped to make it to June with her. To stick it out for the full school-year. I kept telling myself it was just a phase or that she was having a bad day. Still, weeks later, things were only getting worse.

I made a decision: we're quitting.

I reasoned: It is no longer fun for us. She's getting nothing out of it. We are disrupting the other families who are participating. No more dreading the spring "show."

You know what? The world kept turning. I don't get tense on Tuesday mornings at 9:45 anymore. My daughter might have a little more screen time now during that time, but she also has a mom who isn't frustrated at a class she clearly wasn't enjoying.

To quit or not to quit? This time, I quit, and I'm glad. I'm relieved and I think my daughter is too! I hope it isn't a pattern, however. Of course I want to find extracurriculars that she loves and that I appreciate [fingers crossed she continues to love horses] so we'll see what happens next.  For now, we are taking a breather!

Have you had any unsuccessful classes or experiences in an attempt to "enrich" your child's life?  What did you do?

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

P.S. Please consider supporting Frantic Mama and other bloggers by checking out our new anthology, Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee, available on Amazon, iTunes, and Nook!



Thursday, April 30, 2015

Only Trollops Book Release!


An anthology I contributed to, Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee: The Crazy, Brilliant, and Unforgettable Lessons We’ve Learned from Our Mothers, is a compilation of “momisms and other things our mothers taught us throughout the years,” and it is being released TODAY, April 30, in both print and eBook format on Amazon and other retailers.




Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee blends more than forty heart-warming, funny, and authentically told stories about the craziness of growing up with the anecdotes that keep mothers sane. Whether it’s a traditional lesson about the value of money or a hilarious outtake about the proper way to shave, any person who cherishes their mother will relate to the stories in the book.

When you were growing up, your mother’s advice might have made your eyes roll in exasperation, squeeze shut in frustration, or tear up with emotion—all in one conversation. Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee brings you back to those days, in a very good way,” says J.D. Bailey, humorist and creator of Honest Mom®.

I am personally dedicating my story to my mom...of course!

If you order a copy-- for yourself, a friend, or your own mother-- please let me know what you think! I'm really excited about this one and grateful for any reader support. 

P.S. I'm not yet revealing the title of my essay on the blog. I have to keep you all in suspense :).

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Frantic Mama's Life Hacks for Moms


15 Life Hacks for Moms: Surviving Motherhood One Day at a Time



1. Wear dark socks. White ones only reveal how gross your floor is.


2. A stash of lollipops in your car will come in more handy than you could ever predict.


3. When traveling with children, always pack more snacks than you think you'll need.

4. Believe in the power of the Breakfast Dinner.

5. Repeat after me: Nick Jr. is not the Devil.



6. A water spill on the floor is a blessing in disguise: when you wipe it up, you are cleaning the floor.

7. Do not underestimate the value of a good babysitter. Overpay if at all possible.

8. Keep a stash of your favorite adult beverage out of reach of your husband in case of emergency.

9. Exploit the power [threat?] of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the elf thing, as much as you can while your children are young.

10. Remember that a swim in the kiddie pool absolutely counts as a bath.

11. When flying with kids, a glass of wine for mom on the airplane can make the difference between a full-blown panic attack and an amusing “this one time” story.

12. At the grocery store, just assume you need to buy more coffee.




13. Raffi might just save your life on a long car drive.

14. Always have one or two pairs of black yoga pants at the ready.

15.  Take advantage of the free cookie for kids at Target. You won't regret it.

I'm far from the mythical beast known as Supermom, but these 15 trips have helped me get through a day more times than I can count.

What little hacks have you discovered or embraced to survive the trenches of motherhood?

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

You can connect with me here, too: FacebookTwitterInstagram, & Pinterest.

Coming April 30, 2015:  The new anthology I'm in, Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee!  It's a collection of essays with lessons we have learned from our mothers, and it is already available for pre-order on Amazon.  

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Motherhood Poetry


I recently ordered a Kindle copy of fellow blogger Clara Kelley's book of poems, Always You: Poems on Motherhood. It was only $2.99, and I love poetry, so I thought it was a real steal.

I LOVE it. Some of the poems are funny, others are more poignant. The dedication alone, "For my mother. Now I understand everything"-- is perfection.





*(Pssst: She didn't ask me to write this post. I simply wanted to share it with my readers and to support her work).

Here is one of my favorite poems:

Fleeting

Blessing or burden,
is the brevity of childhood?
I find myself, a hundred times a day
wishing for the peace I hope will arrive
in a few years when she is older,
and at that exact moment
feeling the ache in my heart
which knows these days will be sorely missed
not long from now.

I try to force my heart into the shape 
of gratitude for now
and patience to overwhelm
my utter exasperation.

I want to remember today
and be proud of myself
for the kindness and attention 
that feeds her soul,
not wishing I could have loved
each minute more.


I think this poem beautifully captures that ambivalent, hopeful, sentimental-yet-exasperated feeling so many of us experience as we care for our young children each and every day.

Clara's book is available on Amazon.

Do you journal-- or write in another form-- to express your thoughts on Motherhood?  Or is there another art you create as a way to explore your life as a mother?

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

You can connect with me here, too: FacebookTwitterInstagram, & Pinterest.

Coming May 2015:  The new anthology I'm in, Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee!  It's a collection of essays with lessons we have learned from our mothers.  

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Bloggers vs. Non-Bloggers

I've been blogging for a few years now, and I've noticed funny differences between bloggers and... the rest of the world.

Here are just a few:



                                                                      Bloggers                                                                       


                        Insist that they have made true online friends.                              

vs.


Non-Bloggers

Try to keep a straight face [and resist using air quotes] when we talk about said "friends."




Bloggers

              Dedicate significant time to blogging.                  

vs.

Non-Bloggers

Have little understanding as to why anyone would do it.




Bloggers

Enjoy leaving comments and sharing friends's posts.

vs.

      Non-Bloggers         

Have no idea how to comment or share a post.




Bloggers

Have [at least] basic knowledge of html code, social media, & web design.

vs.

Non-Bloggers

Codes, layout, reach = foreign geekery.




Bloggers

Could tinker with their blogs all day long.

vs.

Non-Bloggers

Enjoy spending time out in the world.



Alas, we bloggers are a unique breed.  One which only those within the blogosphere can fully understand.  Of course, with some of these I'm joking a bit, but I think you get the gist ;).  


What differences have you encountered between bloggers and non-bloggers?  Have any bloggers had funny reactions from non-bloggers when they talk about their blogs?  


P.S.  If you have a minute, please check out my newest article on Mamalode!


~Julia @ Frantic Mama