My Child Has Trouble With Homework — Reason #137

E is notorious for losing stuff. I actually schedule time during our morning routine specifically so I can find everything she’s misplaced since the night before. It’s a daily battle. Homework is no exception.

Today, her teacher sent me an extremely helpful (cue sarcastic eye roll) message to remind me of homework due this week, and to let me know that E has had ample opportunity to work on it at school. Ample, meaning she could choose to skip recess in order to work on it. What 10 year old is going to forgo recess?!

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She sent the assignment as an attachment, which totally made up for the passive aggressive undertones of her message letting me know E was slacking on her work and not giving up her recess, the little heathen that she is.

Sarcasm aside, I was super grateful. That is so much easier than trying to find out what’s up from E, who probably has no idea there even IS an assignment to begin with.

Unfortunately, as soon as I opened it, I knew she would not be able to complete her homework this week…again.

Here’s why…

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Not gonna happen…

No, I’d rather spend my time seizing this moment — to be able to blame our homework nightmare on something other than my child’s attention span, or lack thereof. Even if it’s just for today, I’ll take it!

We spend hours upon hours just trying to get through a few math problems a night. She has a hard time focusing all day at school as it is, so trying to get her to concentrate on more work at home is next to impossible.

This is all new to me because M is exactly the opposite. Academics are his thing. His favorite week of the year is standardized test week, so he can prove what he knows. Seriously. He has always finished the weekly assignments before he even gets home.

Do any of you have a hard time getting through your kid’s homework? Is there anything (besides deep breathing and wine on my part) that makes it easier for both parent and child?

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The Lesson I Learned in 2014 – I Was So Wrong

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I can admit it. I was so super wrong about how our life would be with our third child, O, born in January of this year.

Sweet, blissful ignorance…

I thought it would be easier now that I’m older. I was 18 and 20 when I had the first two – so young and so dumb. Looking back, it’s a miracle they survived. I was so unaware of what could go wrong! I just didn’t think about it. I just learned as I went and luckily, they were both super easy, super healthy babies. Flash forward a full decade, and I’m thinking I’ve totally got this. I’ve done this twice before. M is 12 and E is 10. They’ll be able to help me out, which will really make it easier this time. If I could do it at 20 and still manage going to college, it’ll be a breeze now that I’m 30 and a stay at home mom! It’ll be fun…(famous last words, right?)

Before she was even born, my little O made it clear that things would never be the same. Everything I thought I knew about motherhood went right out the window the day we were told she would be born with a major heart defect.

Transposition of the Great Vessels.

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Let’s hear that one more time: Transposition of the Great Vessels, or TGA for short. Even the name is overwhelming. I am pretty sure the cardiologist was forced to repeat this news 10 times before I heard it. The world was on mute for those first moments. I could see her mouth moving, but there was literally no sound for me. It truly took a moment to hear what this doctor was telling me.

In order to survive, she would need to undergo a balloon atrial septostomy immediately after birth. This would create a hole in the atrial septum of her heart in order to allow oxygenated blood to reach her body. Then she would need open heart surgery – called an arterial switch – a few days later. They weren’t even sure if I would be able to hold her after delivery because she would have to be immediately transported from the delivery room at one hospital to the cardiac cath lab at the children’s hospital. OMFG…

We went into shock at that moment and we still haven’t fully recovered. The days following her birth are a blur. I’m not sure how we got through it. I have never known fear like the fear I felt on surgery day. For 2 days afterward, her chest was a huge, gaping hole and you could literally sit and watch her heart beating. Indescribable.

We lived in the NICU for a month (33 days to be exact) while she recovered. That period of time was traumatic for everyone and it still feels like some distant nightmare. Like it never really happened. We got through it with the help of amazing family and friends and she is totally healthy today, thank goodness.

Going home, I was a nervous wreck. She still had a huge chest wound that had extended our NICU stay because it somehow got infected with staph! We couldn’t hold her like a normal baby. We had to be gentle and she could not lay on her tummy at all. She wasn’t eating well yet. I was terrified of bringing this tiny, fragile little angel home. What if I don’t know what to do?

That month in the NICU had left me feeling powerless. Powerless as her mother unable to control what was happening to her, unable to take away the pain, unable to hold her and comfort her. I also felt powerless as a human being as I realized that sometimes really bad stuff happens and there is nothing you can do about it. I really struggled with this. I felt panicky, hyper vigilant, out of control…and completely powerless.

It didn’t take long for O to put everyone in their place! The fragile little heart baby from the NICU transformed into what we lovingly call Hurricane O

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She’s intense, demanding and stubborn as hell. Her voice is loud and she has a lot to say. She has no patience for incompetence. I am constantly being cussed at in baby babble. She never sleeps. Ever. She’s 6 months old and it was the best day ever when she slept for 4 hours straight one night. A normal nap is around 10 minutes. She wakes up refreshed and full of energy, ready to attack. I am O, hear me roar!

You know what though? I LOVE her craziness! I love her intensity and stubbornness, and how loud she is. She has been a fighter from the start and is a force to be reckoned with.

She is FIERCE.

This journey has challenged me in ways I never imagined. I’m exhausted. I also cherish every minute of it and I feel honored to be her mother.

This is O’s world now and we are just living in it.

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What was the biggest lesson you learned this year? I’d love to hear yours!

**This was previously published back in August, but as 2014 comes to an end, I’m reposting it. I think this was my most important lesson of this year. **

If you are enjoying the blog so far, please share with your friends! Your support is appreciated! Plus, the more the merrier, right?!

An Ending

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I just read a great post on mamapedia.com, written by Pete of Dadmissions, talking about couple-ness in parenthood.

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for me because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my relationship with my hubby. I mean, what are we REALLY like as a couple when everything else – work, kids, etc. – is stripped away? It is so easy for the ins and outs, ups and downs of daily life to shift focus away from the really important stuff…like a marriage.

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Right before we got married. Just kids, right?!

My lack of focus on “us” became glaringly obvious to me once we decided that our family was complete. B had a vasectomy this past September and just like that, no more babies. The decision was made and the appointment was scheduled before we could have a second thought.

Then I was pummeled by a hailstorm of emotions. I kind of fell into an emotional funk, grieving all of the things I’ll never experience again – hearing my baby’s heartbeat for the first time, seeing the first sonogram, feeling her kicks in my belly, meeting her for the first time, etc.

And what about my sweet little O? She was only 7 months old. I second guessed the decision for days, feeling guilty because O will not have a sibling close to her age. M and E are so much older than her and that sibling bond that comes with shared childhood experiences just isn’t there. She will probably be the only kid at home for a good chunk of her childhood. I cannot imagine my life without my baby brother, so it seemed so awful to deprive her of that.

I expected to feel and worry about these things.

But then all of these unexpected things came up! I realized at that moment that hubby and I have hardly spent time together just being a married couple. The fact that we would not be having any more babies opened up an entirely new realm of things for me to think about, plan for, and worry over.

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That one time we went out and got crazy in 2012. Let’s do that again!

What will we do with our time? What will we talk about if not of the babies or the bills or whatever? We are already on the quiet side, so what WILL we talk about? What kind of couple will we be when we have the time and the energy to actually BE a couple? What if we suddenly realize we don’t like each other?

EMOTIONAL FUNK I tell you.

Such a funk that it has taken me almost 3 months to get around to writing about the situation. Depressing, I know. It took a little longer to process than I had imagined, and I think this rambling stream of word vomit is just another step in the journey.

One thing that truly helped me sort out the tangled, matted mess of my thoughts and feelings was to write a letter to my husband. I started it the night before his appointment, and I’m just finishing it up. I will post it as a Part 2 (kind of) to this one.

I know this was a very long post, and I hope some of you can relate a little. I wanted to get some of the heavy stuff off my chest as 2014 comes to an end.

Starting anew always feels amazing! 😃

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Maybe getting back in shape can be one of our things!

If you are enjoying the blog so far, please share with your friends! Your support is appreciated! Plus, the more the merrier, right?!

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