Of ponies and parenting

My sweet T just loves horses. I don’t know where she gets it, but she has that true devotion–passion–and innate ability that just floors me. She’s been fascinated with them since she turned 2. And it has only grown stronger and more fervent. I knew I was in for the long haul as a horseback mama when she wanted me to take her to work at the barn one Saturday. No ride. Just mucking stalls. This is Taylor with her riding instructor, Erin. Erin has been such a blessing to our family. She is a Godly woman who motivates and inspires Taylor. I love that they both have on pink shirts (Moms Panel pink, I call it-my Disney friends will get this one)! And did you read my girl’s shirt? It says “Yes, I was raised in a barn.” Yes, she is horse crazy. Which makes it even harder as a parent when inevitably, your wonderful, loving, kind child temporarily becomes the spawn of Satan in her attitude and you MUST take away the thing she loves the most. (I feel as if I’m letting you glimpse into our evening last night with that last statement). But certain situations call for tough parenting, and a crackdown was already brewing for the past few days. I absolutely know that punishing her by taking horseback away is the most effective tool I have–but I can’t help but feel it undermines the commitment/dedication character I’m trying to instill in the kids. You know what this sounds like: “we have committed to this activity for the year and we’re going to follow through.” But what their behavior trumps that, all bets are off. Game changer. Ah, parenting, why does it have to throw so many curveballs? (shakes hand at the sky)

Any sage advice you can offer on what works for you? Or reassurance would be welcome, too…I could sure use it! (sigh)

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Report Cards

Yesterday was Report Card Day (drumroll please)…actually a week late because of Snowmageddon 2011. Despite my absolute certainty at jinxing myself, I will go on record as saying my kiddos are doing great in school (ever the proud mama). But report cards actually got me thinking…what kind of grades would I make if I received a progress report?? Oh yes, I went there. And it’s not an easy question. Because if I’m being totally honest, I’m juggling mommyhood, lawyer stuff, and church volunteer work and feeling like I’m doing good but not great. A nice solid B. And I’ve never been happy with just B’s. (And please don’t grade me on my creativity in the kitchen-I’ve really been struggling there and would be lucky just to get a C. Seriously.) And between my fitness goals (like actually, ahem, GOING to the gym) and intellectual goals (read 1 grownup book for every 5 kid books I read), it ain’t easy. I’m not saying anything novel or groundbreaking here, but it’s nice to know I’m not alone in this. So, I’m curious, are you “making the grade”? And if you’re having some success with juggling everything, PLEASE share your tips. Especially if they relate to cleaning and cooking. (And I don’t mean telling me to hire someone!)

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