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Parenting Playbacks



Many of you know that my 4 children are gown and diving head first into their futures. I have 2 children of my own (son, 21yo, FSU ‘23 and daughter, 18yo, NHS ‘24). My stepsons are twin boys , 18yo, and juggling full-time school and work at the same time. I’m so proud of each of them for finding their own way now. And as their mom and stepmom I hope I’ve been a positive influence in regards to their success, sense of self, and their wellbeing.


Still, no one ever told me, and perhaps you either, that letting go of your children to face the great big world out there would be the hardest thing you would ever have to do. Even though I’d let my children go before and also difficult, those times were not associated with feelings of loss or feeling like an ending. Remember your child’s first day of Kindergarten? I know I’m not the only mom that had to fight back tears as I walked my baby boy into his Plew Elementary Busy Bee classroom. I know I’m not the only mom that told my son’s kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Zielinski, at least 10 times, to call my cell directly if my son needed anything. And I know I’m not the only mom who wanted to stand outside the classroom door, with my face pressed against the door’s tiny rectangular window so I could watch him all day. That was a tough moment, indeed, but it was not as tough for me as when my son graduated from high school At the end of the first day of kindergarten, I knew my son was coming home, would eat dinner at our table as usual, and our forever bedtime routine would be the same as it had been everyday for the previous 5 years.


The time after high school graduation, however, was very different. My baby boy was now 18 years old, and in the eyes of the law and in his own mind, he was a full fledged adult. He spent that summer working, packing to go to FSU doing things for the last time with his friends, many of whom were also Busy Bees in the same class. He was moving on: from NIceville, from high school, from the only home he’d ever known and moving away from me. This was it. The boat we had helped him build since the day he was born was soon to set sail and he was to soon be the captain of that boat, ready or not… for any of us. We made sure the boat was water tight, had the necessary amenities, and a state of the art compass to keep him on his course…the course being that of his choosing. The ship we built together was modest but seaworthy. We knew it would keep my first born safe, as long as he made good choices on his adventure. On the compass were the usual markings for North, South, East and West. And there was one more important compass marker: HOME. A beacon of light and a reminder that we were always here for him when home was the right place to be.


Since sending out my first child out into the world, I’ve had time to reflect on all the years leading up to graduation for all of the kids. I’ve played in my minds mommy triumphs and epic mom fails. And with each memory, I’ve tried to figure out what worked and what did not. These Parenting Replays are what I wish to share with you regularly here and on our website. I will also include words of wisdom that other moms have shared with me or things I’ve read. And I hope some of it will prove useful to you on your own mom journey.


Being a mom is the toughest job on Earth. Many times it felt like a job, but most of the time it felt and continues to feel like a privilege. I The banding together of many moms can only yield greater triumphs, fewer mom fails, more confident parenting, and self-care along the way… all things we need and are better when we discover them together.

#1 Expectations

“Expectations: are a killer of joy, a thief of peace and rob us of the presence of God. “
-Father Mike Schmitz

Meaning:  you cannot move forward in life and find joy in this moment if you live life saying, “But this is not what I expected.  I never thought my life would be this way.” The fact is, your life in this moment is your reality no matter what you thought it would be.  So don’t dwell in the world of what your life is not but live fully in the world of accepting things as they are and making you best life with what it is now.

Remember accepting reality does not mean approving of it.  It’s simply a matter of changed perspective.  What your life is not (as you expected it to be) will still hurt and disappoint you.  That is true.  But that does not have to be the end of your story.  Even with the burden of pain and disappointment weighing heavy on your heart, you can accept it for what it is but do not allow it to be how you see everything in the world.  There is so much more to your story than unmet expectations.  You need only to open you eyes, your heart and your mind each day to what God has brought you now.  It won’t be easy most of the time, but it will get easier over time.
#1 Expectations
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