Near the end of summer break

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It’s been awhile since I posted and I realized today as I sat her to think there are only 7 more days left in my girls summer break from school …

We have had an action packed time from swim team, ballet, birthday celebrations for each of them, girl scout day camp and travelling to birth family and family.

Our summer started with my oldest needing to learn the definition of disrespect. Preadolescence is a hard time as she tries to find her footing and I (we) try to parent her. This is all coupled with me going through menopause, fun times in our home cheers to mid-life mothering!

Family travel included our trip to Minnesota and visiting with and staying with my older daughter’s birth family.  We were so excited to stay and C’s sister’s home and really visit with everyone.  In addition to seeing and staying with her birth mother’s family we spent a great day with her birth father, his wife and her sister.  This visit came with some sadness for my younger daughter who was sad that it wasn’t her family we were with these days.  Our family cares for and loves our daughters equally so it wasn’t as if she was feeling lack of attention or love, but to her it was not being with her birth family that made her sad.  She and I talked and we discussed our family and our geography to each of our girls’ families.  J was born in CA and her birth family lives an hours’ drive away.  A was born in MN which requires to plan ahead for a visit both when C comes to visit and E or when we spend a part of our summer vacation visiting.  At seven she can understand that, but she was still sad that we weren’t visiting her family then and there.
During this summer, I felt a shift in my changes physically.  I had some challenges still being on the pill so took myself off a month ago which may or may not have been the best decision as I have been suffering more with my peri-menopausal symptoms.  I will be turning 52 in 3 months so I’m sure this is all part of the aging process.  This summer was my try at gluten-free eating and it has proved to be successful and I am happy to have tried and found the symptoms to go away.

The end of summer means a restart to our routine: alarm clock set, school, ballet, soccer, Girl Scouts.  I look forward to this but at the same time am sad that our more carefree days of summer break are nearly over.

How was your summer break?

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My word for 2015

em·brace as defined by Google
əmˈbrās/
verb
  1. hold (someone) closely in one’s arms, especially as a sign of affection.
    “Aunt Sophie embraced her warmly”
    synonyms: hug, take/hold in one’s arms, hold, cuddle, clasp to one’s bosom,clasp, squeeze, clutch; More

  2. accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically.
    “besides traditional methods, artists are embracing new technology”
    synonyms: welcome, welcome with open arms, accept, take up, take to one’s heart, adopt; More

    I’ve never chosen a word to define how I would approach my New Year before.  I’ve always picked on a few resolutions that I thought I could maintain throughout the year but they usually fall to the wayside soon after or at least by mid-year.

    So this year at the beginning of 2015 I have chosen “Embrace” as defined above.

    For me I will start this year with an embrace to change both physical and psychological parts of me.  And by change I mean to handle differently.  I will work on embracing my body and health as they are, I am 51 and with that things are different then I was when I was 31.  In embracing who I am I will also embrace new ways to take care of myself both in eating habits and getting off the couch.

    I want to embrace ALL the relationships in my life with my husband, my girls and other family and friends.  Sometimes these relationships are taken for granted and I want to look through and keep the healthy happy relationships.  I want to both physically embrace these people in my life as well as support who they are in my life.

    From a parenting perspective I want to embrace the milestones and changes that each of our girls are experiencing.  Embrace their new selves and work with embracing who they are becoming.  I need to embrace these changes and challenge myself to change my parenting style to fit who they are becoming.

    I want to embrace our lives together in both a BIG HUG and support who we all are.

    I think this is a good challenge for me in these pivotal years of my girls as preadolescent and me as I make my ways through menopause.

    a new year quote

    I will check in on myself here from time to time to see how in line to my word of the year I am. I do after all have 365 days to embrace my word!

    Have you chosen a word for yourself for 2015?  Please share if you have.

     

MOMMY you are all sweaty!

Sweating at Night-2

That is a direct quote from my girls today while sitting in an after school program for my third grader.  It’s like they really ratted me out pointing out to everyone within their voice range (which as children is not quiet) that I was all sweaty,

That is the marked difference between me and most of the other mothers at school.  I think it is likely that I am one of the oldest moms there with the mid-range being in their 30s.  I am as old as a lot of the grandparents that help their families and get their students at school at pickup.

I’m starting to realize as I am closer to turning 51 that my sweating has become very profound.  I think they are flashes of sorts without the red face.  I glisten from head to toe during one of these moments and it’s all the more embarrassing when your children point out to you the obvious with the whole world listening in.

It’s one of the things I had not planned ahead or thought about during our journey to parenthood.  I got married at 36 and our first daughter was entrusted into our family when I was 41 years old.  I don’t feel old in the sense of whatever old should feel like.  I am, however, starting to feel the difference in these instances how I stand apart from the other moms.

Being a mid-life mother has pluses and minuses.

The pluses being I can be a stay at home mom and be able to be there for our girls, assist as needed at their school and be the one who takes them to their extra activities.  The plus is I am older and wiser.  I was pretty narcissistic in my late 20s and 30s.  I’m not sure I’d be the same mother if I was that young.  The other plus is we were married for 7 years before becoming parents.  That’s longer than most before children start arriving, but for us it is what it was and it gave us a solid foundation for the trials and tribulations that were our family building pathways.

The minuses start with the symptoms that are becoming more profound in this last year including and not limited to these sweating flashes, insomnia, headaches and not always feeling like myself.  Being the older mom is not obvious on the outside due to the blessing of my genes but I do feel the gap in age when talking with some of the moms.

When do I start to tell my girls what causes all this sweat or do I?  We’ve been talking to them about what will be happening for them in the next few years as they reach puberty through some great books – The Care and Keeping of You 2 and It’s not the Stork.  Do we start reading them books on menopause just as they are learning about puberty?  There are no parenting books about this I’m sure,  at least not yet!

So for now I ponder this sweaty balance I am in, and I am sure I first will ask my girls to not shout out the obvious especially while we are in public and then I will give them some info on why Mommy is so sweaty now and again.

 

Some days our hormones clash …

hormones

 Lets start with where we are right now … my oldest daughter has hit the tween years also known as a preadolescent girl.  I on the other hand have been in the midst of perimenopausal symptoms….

Some girls are feisty from the get go …

The pre teen or “tween” years though, can be the time which parents find most confounding. At this time parents can struggle with everything from girls (and boys) becoming increasingly defiant…

Between the ages of 8 and 13, children are expected to push the boundaries and this is a part of becoming more independent. You can therefore expect girls at this age to disagree with you, show a bit of ‘attitude’, take risks and want to be more like their friends.

Pre teens and teens, therefore, are more likely to make decisions based on emotion and have poor foresight. They are also often sensitive, moody and unpredictable. 

Preadolescent Girl as discussed in the post  from the blog Child Psychologist, “Feisty Young Girls”

The Mayo Clinic lists some of these symptoms that can occur during the perimenopausal period some subtle — and some not-so-subtle — changes in your body may occur. Some things you might experience include:

Hot flashes and sleep problems. Many women experience hot flashes during perimenopause. The intensity, length and frequency vary. Sleep problems are often due to hot flashes or night sweats, but sometimes sleep becomes unpredictable even without them.

Mood changes. Some women experience mood swings, irritability or increased risk of depression during perimenopause, but the cause of these symptoms may be sleep disruption caused by hot flashes. Mood changes may also be caused by factors not related to the hormonal changes of perimenopause.

And so there we have it, two of us on our own independent hormonal roller coaster at the same time!

This is not how I envisioned motherhood not knowing that I would be in my forties when our family was started.  No one talks about what it’s like to have these perimenopausal symptoms. No one discusses what it’s like to be a mom with children just embarking on their own hormonal changes at the same time.

It can be very challenging on the days that our hormones clash.  This can be very hard on all of us including my husband and our younger daughter.

Sometimes I hear how I scold her or respond to her when she has been short with me.  This is not a good cycle for either of us nor will it be good when my youngest in two years hits her stride as a tween/preadolescent girl.

I have had to rethink how I handle things on some days and manage myself about how I talk, my tone of voice and to watch my patience dissolve.  At the same time, I am trying to teach my daughter it’s not what you say but how you say it (role model, yeah not me so much, some of the times).

I take time to apologize when I’ve been out of line so there is no more hurt feelings, I really want to make sure both my girls and my husband too understand it’s not necessarily under my control.  I see this too in my daughter’s reactions and actions.  We are not out to hurt or make each other upset there are just some days that our hormones clash…