I'm an Awesome Mom, and You Can Be, Too (with a little help from MomAssembly)

Once upon a time, I had waited so long to become a mom. And when the day finally arrived, I was lucky enough to be a Mom TIMES TWO! My twins each had to spend a little bit of time in the NICU - Slim about five days longer than Joey.

I brought Joey home first and honestly thought, This is so easy. What are moms complaining about? Once Slim came home, it was a little more hectic; but in no time we were on a schedule of naps and stories and tummy time and feedings. I had the mom gig down to a "T."

Until they were about 15 months old, that is. Then they entered what I would later find out were the beginnings of the "terrible twos."

I mean, holy cow! What had I done wrong? How had I screwed my little darlings up so much that they were throwing temper tantrums and banging their cute little heads on the floor and pulling each other to the ground? Was it because I was pregnant again? Could they sense impending competition? Were they planning a coup d'etat?

Now, nine years, three more babies, and several parenting guffaws later I realize that while some things about parenting were easy for me, I seemed to have put out of my mind the things that were not; namely, the terrible twos. But there were also the sleepless nights trying to nurse two babies, there was a baby who got his nights and days mixed up until he was eleven months old, a baby who wouldn't take a bottle and seemed to want to nurse 24/7, there was a toddler who was extremely jealous of a new baby's arrival (so much so that he punched me right in my engorged breast and gave me mastitis), there was the toddler who wouldn't eat anything but Goldfish crackers, and now, oh my goodness NOW all the sibling rivalry. So much sibling rivalry!

Enter MomAssembly, the world’s first online video-education site for moms. Founded in 2012 by Jill Spivack and Jen Waldburger who have nearly two decades of experience as family and parent educators, MomAssembly is an interactive university, available 24-7 from the comfort of your home giving you all the information you need to raise happy, healthy kids. Man, I wish this had been around a decade ago! With access to over 500 courses by world renowned parenting experts that you can watch on your own time frame, there is bound to be a solution and some advice to every parenting issue you're facing from newborn care to sleep to safety to discipline and behavior and much much more!

Every course has about a two minute sample clip you can view to see if you want to buy the course, and each course comes with several classes that are between 5 - 10 minutes long, perfect for fitting in to your busy schedule. The courses cover topics from birth to school-aged children and are child-oriented and parent-focused. Even a five-time veteran mom like me can learn something new.

I just wrote a post about potty training (cause I know a thing or two), but MomAssembly has a course for that, too! If you don't want to take my advice or you're still not sure if your child is ready to start, watch this clip. It gives you a taste of what you can expect from each MomAssembly course:

And now MomAssembly wants to offer you a chance to try their courses for free. The first 10 readers to complete sign up for a subscription plan will receive their first month free! You will have to actually sign up for a plan and enter your credit card information - though the card will not be charged until the end of your free trial.  You will then receive an email from Jill or Jen notifying you that you have won a free month. It's that easy.

So to review: parenting issues ----> MomAssembly advice ---->quick, convenient, and inexpensive videos---->free month trial---->chance to win a free month.

What's not to like? What's not to try? Do yourself a favor and browse some of their courses here. If you want to be one of the lucky ten who gets a free month's subscription, click this link and sign up now.

Hubby and I are working our way through a course on raising kids other people will like to be around ('cause let's face it, they're not always a joy at home). I have my eye on a few other discipline and parenting courses as well.

In parenting, there is always something we can learn. Let's let the experts at MomAssembly take some of the work out of it for us so we are free to learn, grow, and love.

What do you want to learn about today?

*I was compensated by MomAssembly for this post, but the admission of my parenting failures and my thankfulness for MomAssembly's parenting videos are all my own.


A Promise to My Sons

This is a repost from 2011, shortly after I found out our fifth child would be our fifth son.

I didn't want to look at the screen during my recent 18-week ultrasound.  This was the big one, the one where the doctor would check for any physical abnormalities.  I didn't want to look because, the last time I checked, my degree is NOT in prenatal medicine and I would have made things up as I looked at the grainy ultrasound images.

I also didn't want to look because I didn't want to see that telltale genitalia that I have seen four times before.  I wanted to hold out a little hope that I could have a girl...and that she would be healthy.  Instead, I searched Hubby's face as he watched the screen, watching for any telltale frowns or delighted smiles.  Instead, he had the stone cold expression of...well, a physician.

It was excruciating, as the ultrasound student went over every measurement, every area of the baby's body twice, even three times.  God love my doctor, when she came in, the first thing she said was,"The baby looks just fine."  She has delivered three of my babies and helped me with two of my miscarriages; she knows me, and I'm glad.  I guessed that the baby was a boy based on something Hubby said to Doctor, and I was right.

And I was so not surprised.

And I was a little sad and disappointed.

Hubby called me later from work and asked me how I was feeling about the news.

"I'm so relieved that the baby looks good!" I responded in an overly cheery voice.

"Not that news, the fact that it's a boy."  Damn.  He can always see right through me.

I admitted my disappointment.  I admitted that I had accepted not having any more babies, and to have to start over only to get the same thing was...disappointing.  But, as I thought more and more about it, more about how he is looking healthy, more about how my boys say the sweetest things to me and love to cuddle, I got more and more excited.

My plan for the past 18 weeks had been for a girl, and this little girl was going to make me a better mother, a better woman.  I needed her for that reason.  There are way too many things that I have slacked on in my life, in my womanhood, in my mothering.  This little girl was going to save me from being a complete failure, because, after all, I couldn't set that kind of example for her.  I couldn't eat poorly and fail to exercise, or let my appearance go to pot.  I couldn't have low self esteem and use that as an excuse for not going after my dreams or even having friends.  No, I needed to be the stellar example of health, pride, beauty, and confidence so that my daughter would grow up with those qualities as well.  After all, I have wanted to start a blog for years, and only did so after I found out I was pregnant.

So, why can't I let my sons see that?

I am a stay-at-home-mom.  They are with me more than anyone else.  They learn from me and my example more than anyone else's.  Why can't I offer the same promises to them?

There is a "repost" going around Facebook that starts out, "My promise to my kids..."  It says, in part, "I will stalk you, flip out on you, lecture you, drive you crazy, be your worst nightmare, embarrass you...hunt you down..." and it claims to be all in the name of love.  I've never been a "reposter,"but it did prompt me to think of my own promises to my boys:

1. I promise that I will keep myself healthy, to be a good example to you, to have the energy to play with you, and to be around to see all the important events in your lives.

2. I promise that I will not nag you, but rather teach you to take care of yourself, so that you can, and so that you know all women are not nags.

3. I promise that I will learn how to change a tire, mow the lawn, fix something mechanical so that you know that women are strong and can take care of themselves.

4. I promise that I will always kiss your boo-boos, fix your favorite food, and buy you clothes that you like so that you know that women love you in a special way that treats you like you are special.

5. I promise I will never let you hit me, push me, or talk down to me so that you learn how to treat a woman, how to treat any person.

6. I promise I will have and let you see that Daddy and I have a loving, respectful, fun relationship so that you have an example to follow in your own relationships.

7. I promise to let you try sports that may seem dangerous or instruments that are annoying because I believe in you and your talent.

8a. I promise that I will let you quit the above sports or instruments before you get too frustrated or down on yourself.

8b. I promise that I will not let you quit said sport or instrument if you are simply "having a bad day," because I know you are not a quitter.

9.  I promise to be proud of any man you grow up to be.  I may expect you to be a doctor, an astronaut, a scientist...I'll be happy for you if you love what you do, follow your passion and try your best.

10. I promise to try to like something about every girl you bring home (even the ones who look like hos and have made-up names).  If you like her, there must be something good about her.

The promises are potentially endless; but in the end, I think my biggest promise should be to promise to keep my promises. Because, after all, isn't that what our children expect?