>Guest Blog: Fixed Purpose

>Please welcome back Michelle of What This Mom Knows!! today as she guest posts for me. If you missed her feature on Friday, just click here to catch up.

My fixed purpose is simple. I want to wake up every morning, kiss my babies and have a kick ass day. I don’t always succeed in my fixed purpose, but I will spend the rest of my life trying; however I’m going to try to do it with a lot less stuff.

I just want to have fun with my babies. I think it is assumed that because I’m 40, I can’t possibly have fun with my kids. This first came up when I heard my girlfriend say to another girl we know, “You’re such a young fun mom!” I wasn’t really sure what that meant but it bothered me then and stuck with me.

I have heard people say on many occasions that they are so glad they had kids young so they can play with them. Huh? I play with my kids like I’m their age until my son asks me to stop. I guess I just don’t get the thinking that younger moms seem to have that being a young mom is better.

I know they don’t all think that way. I’m just going on what I’ve heard through my own experiences and most of my friends are a good ten years younger than me. I know one thing for sure, me being a mother when I was 25 would have been U-G-L-Y!  We would have gone down like the friggen Titanic.

I’m glad I waited. I’m so much better in every way, including engaging my kids than I was 10+ years ago.  I just think you don’t need so much crap to have fun with your kids.  I want to find a way to have fun with my kids on a more stripped down level.  I’m tired of the amount of junk we have in this house that just sits in a toy basket getting no love and turning my basement into a complete nightmare.

I’m cut from an odd cloth. My thinking is just a bit different. I came to terms with that years ago. I’m not better than anyone and I’m not worse, just different. When it’s just me and the kids at home, you can usually find us dancing to late 80s/early 90s hip hop. 
The kids love seeing Momma dance around the kitchen and almost always join in while throwing their heads back and laughing. River is almost able to snap. She’s been trying really hard. We’ve done it so much that they know what song comes next in the hip hop section of my iPod.

Few things are funnier than hearing my son yell “Hit it!” when Rob Base comes on. We do this at least once a day and it is an activity that requires nothing but music.  That’s stripped down, right?

So with the fun that we’ve been having with minimal stuff these days I decided it was time to de-crap.  I loaded 3/4 of their toys into the van and drove them away.  I didn’t throw them away.  I took them to a consignment sale to benefit a good cause and the funny thing, my kids aren’t upset at all, if they even noticed.  They handle these things very well.  I didn’t get rid of the important stuff but I got rid of well over half of it.

 We aren’t a Barney family. My son learned the alphabet with the help of a large Joe Dimaggio print in his room. He’s never been one to listen to that crap in the car and neither of my kids have ever complained about listening to Momma’s music while we’re on the road OR in the kitchen.

We listen to their stuff too but what they like as far as kids music is usually limited to the shows Owen likes to watch. I have zero guilt that my two year old sings the Beatles instead of Barney and my four year old sings Ella Fitzgerald instead of the theme from Scooby Do.

Not that there is anything wrong with that stuff (except I’m almost certain Barney is the antichrist), but it just isn’t our thing. 

 I guess what I’m saying is that we do what we do. We aren’t trying to keep up with anyone and that is really, really liberating. That is the one thing I hope I pass on to my kids more than anything else.  I like the fact that my two year old runs around singing Beatles songs as opposed to the Sponge Bob theme.  There’s nothing wrong with that.

I feel like I have a gift that most aren’t afforded in that I know what it’s like to be someone else. I know what it’s like to want things I am not capable of having or doing things that aren’t within my reach. I know what it’s like to not have the things I need but I also know how dealing with that made me appreciate what I do have and I’ve learned that some of the struggles I’ve had to go through as a mother with some of the special issues that my children have had, have definitely made me a better parent.

Would I have asked for either of my children to have learning, sensory or developmental issues so I could grow as a person, no. But life gives you lemons and you’d better find a way to make some lemonade or you’ll just stand there with puckered lips bitching about things you can’t change.

This weekend I took apart a crib I searched 6 months for so I’m feeling melancholy, to say the least. I have mixed feelings. I’m sad that I don’t have babies anymore but happy that I have healthy kids sleeping in their big kid beds. But I can see the crib from where I sit, in the hallway, leaned against the wall in pieces, as I left it.  Hard to part with.

I sold a train table and cried as it went out the door. I got teary eyed as I saw people carrying bags of my kid’s toys to their cars. Toy, after toy, after toy….. It all needed to go and a consignment sale that benefits a group that helps kids with special needs was the way to go. Those people have certainly helped my son, so I couldn’t think of a better place to get rid of a few things. Many things actually. It helps that a lot of those items will be used by teachers and speech pathologists who work with kids.

 In the end, we got rid of things we don’t need, so they can help someone else. As sad as I feel that our things are gone, I feel good about that. It was a successful day that I’m glad is complete. I resolved that we will never have that many toys again because it doesn’t add anything to any of our lives except clutter, which I am so over.

It will change the way I allow Christmas stockings to be stuffed or Easter baskets to be filled so I will have to have a tete a tete with both Santa and the Easter Bunny but I’m sure they will understand.  Less toys for the elves and all those pastel coloured chickens to pass.  Really they should be thankful. Whatever the case, I refuse to go back to the way I allowed it be become before.  There is a limit to how much two children need and we passed it a long long time ago.  My house will never see that many toys again.  That’s a promise.

Now, what to do with the crib…….


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