A Mother Far from Home

on becoming supermom


How to prevent having children who are always “bored”

how to stop your children from always being bored

In the words of my wise grandmother… boring people get bored.

Now I know that is cold, but let’s be honest. In a world where there are 1,583,353 things to do at every waking moment, being bored simply means you are ready for the next thing to entertain you because you can’t be bothered to entertain yourself. I was an only child and still had to go play outside and find something to do. And you know what? I cannot remember the last time I’ve even thought of being bored as a possibility.

I am from the country and my high school friends and I are from a really – and I mean 8,000 people small – small town. I have a memory of us away at college (Go Gators) in a town with about 45,000 college students where we made a few friends from the big city. About 10 of us were sitting in our living room and one of our big city friends said “I’m bored, what are we going to do?” I looked at my small town friends and said, “What does she mean what are we going to do? We’re sitting here talking…aren’t we already doing it?” Come to find out, she meant what kind of activity are we going to do or where are we going to go to eat or be entertained or see something cool. I’m sure we eventually went out, but it really got me thinking. We small town kids were used to entertaining ourselves and thinking of inventive things to do while our big city friends were used to being entertained. What sounds more fun to you? Playing hide and go seek in your cars with walkie-talkies or going bowling?

We were used to being creative and they were used to receiving the fruits of others’ creativity. There is a big difference.  And trust me, one is easier to live with as a characteristic in your children than the other.

1) You are not their 24-hour birthday party paid entertainer. We will love our kiddos and want their smiles, laughter and hugs. Of course, it’s great fun to play horsey and peekaboo and do all manner of things to see them happy when they are babies, but being the nonstop source of entertainment for your child (sort of like your smartphone is for you) will get old very quick. You do not need to be the one to pick out every game, activity, book, Barbie or video. They are opinionated and are discovering their interests so let them have a say. If you have more than one or two children with you at home and they all are in constant need of you to stimulate their brains all.day.long you will quickly lose patience for it all. And we know that losing patience is a one way ticket off the happy cycle.  Continue reading


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What I Learned when my 1 year-old let herself out of the house

A Mother Far from Home

Our house is located – hopefully not forever but definitely for now – in the burbs. Which means that, although the traffic isn’t super fast, it is right outside our front door. And there are curves on both sides so, needless to say, it ain’t a safe place for a one year old who doesn’t understand the mechanics of impact.

A while ago after I’d brought groceries in and was putting them away in the kitchen, the house sounded strangely silent. I called her name, heard nothing and instantly remembered I had forgotten to lock the front door. You guessed it. She was out the front door.

Here’s what I learned.

1) I am a dang fast sprinter. I had a two month old and, as I was sprinting down our hallway, felt my insides move up and down and all over. Really fast but in slow motion. That’s weird, I thought, perhaps, my womb had dislodged itself from any other part of my body and was is floating around. Perhaps I am so fast that my insides got whiplash. After I found her playing by the car, nearly crushed her with hugs, and brought her back inside, I thought that was perhaps the fastest I’d ever run in my whole life. Never for track and field. Never in sports. Never while trying to get in shape. Only when my baby was (or at least could have been) in grave danger. Continue reading

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What I Learned Hosting a Progressive Dinner with 20 Kids

A Mother Far from Home

To say I hosted 50 people at our house for a Christmas Progressive Dinner would be true. Saying that almost 20 of them were small humans just makes it crazy. Particularly when our current house is a modest 3 bedroom (of which guests don’t normally congregate to eat) with a small front and back yard.

It was a good ole time, though and here’s what I learned.

1) We needn’t be so worried about age appropriate toys. After about 20 minutes I looked in my daughter’s (20 months) room and saw a lot of girls having a grand time. One girl grabbed my arm, opened the closet and asked if I could take down the dress up clothes so they could play in them. Cute. But, the thing is, those weren’t dress up clothes. They were her real clothes. So, either my daughter’s clothes are fancier than normal or they are just weird. I may need outside help with this. They played in her crib, with her blankets, read her books, and lined up her stuffed animals. They were up to about 6 or 7 years old, but did the fact that my daughter’s stuff was geared towards babies under 2 matter? No. It made me realize that I can just get toys I think they’ll like and keep them around for various stages. Blocks may be for stacking at one age and for building obstacles at another. Continue reading


What I learned getting a urine sample from an 18 month old

Here I am again, talking about things medically related. This winter we had quite a few visits to the doctor. But, this was a special episode. My – then – 18 month old baby girl had us convinced she had a UTI. She was acting all weird and she’d say peepee and then smack her diaper and scrunch her face as though in pain. This went on for a day or so until I, bright mother that I am, put two and two together. So, instead of simply heading to the doctor and waiting for him to tell me “it’s viral” and send me home, I decided I’d get a urine sample so he could do the test right there. We thought it could possibly save us from having to do the other UTI test that will go unnamed as it has given us horrible memories (more on that here). All I have to say is this. Wow, what a morning.

What I learned trying to get a urine sample from an 18 month old.

1) Kids are flippin’ stubborn. My mama always said, “I can’t wait until you have a daughter, I bet she’ll turn out just like you.” I, of course, took that statement to be a compliment. Now, I understand. It was neither a compliment nor an insult. It was simply a warning. My little girl has staying power. Did it matter that I’d given her two or three big sippy cups full of water, milk and juice? No. She was flat sure not going to pee just because I wanted her to. She was naked, on my lap, watching football. Wouldn’t you think she’d be distracted enough to pee? No. She probably focused specifically on not peeing, just because I wanted her to so bad. Continue reading