Gifts for Dad ➔

Yes, I see you lifting my three-year-old into that swing next to your own child. I saw her get between the two of you and grab each of your hands as you walked across the park, too. And yes, I am just going to sit here chatting with my friends while you push both of them. You are very sweet for doing so, but you certainly don’t have to. She would have been fine if you had ignored her. She would have laid on her belly in that low one and had a blast by herself.

I used to be you, the mom that pushes her kids in the swings and stays within five feet of them at all times. That’s why I don’t judge your helicopter-ness; I smile nostalgically at it. Oftentimes, I loved hearing the squeals of delight from my kids as they sailed toward me for another push, but sometimes I did it because that is what I thought good moms were supposed to do. Now I have decided there are just as many benefits to leaving kids to explore the park on their own, plus, I’m super tired of pushing kids on swings.

I may not look more than five years older than you, but I am ancient in mommy years. I have consistently had a child three or under in tow for the last eighteen-and-a-half years. Nearly. Two. Decades. Of. Swing. Pushing. And this particular kid is crazy exhausting. I am sure you have already noticed she is uniquely bold in her approach to strangers. I am saving my energy for the times she runs toward the street, tries to stick her hand in a large dog’s mouth, attempts to rip a baby out of its mother’s arms, or gives a smaller kid her version of a hug that looks a lot more like an attempted strangulation. I do honestly apologize if she is annoying you, I really do, but I hope you understand why I won’t come over and push my kid in the swing.

You see, these are my rest and recharge hours.

I don’t have the time or the money to do the regular “me time” stuff. Massages, pedicures, date nights, long baths, trips to the grocery store alone, those are all incredibly rare events for me. I know I’ve got this cute new haircut, but it was the first one in two years and I completely dropped the ball picking my kids up from school to get it.

These ladies sitting here around me talking and laughing together are my sanity. I don’t need that whole list of stuff, but I do need to tell the story about smearing lipstick across my whole face when that cute little thing you are pushing shoved her toothbrush down my underwear. I need to sit and mostly ignore my kid and enjoy some time with some good friends.

If you are still thinking I am a selfish, lazy mother, that’s perfectly fine. I got over caring what other people think three or four kids and about ten years ago. If you are loving every minute of quality time with your kid and happy for her to have a little buddy join you, thank you, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart! 

However, if you are yearning to just sit around lounging in the shade at the park like those terrible, lazy moms, please plop those kids on the ground and come on over. There’s a spot for you to sit right here. My kid (and yours) will probably mostly be fine on their own.

Much Love,

That (Slightly) Older Mom

Crystal Foose

Crystal Foose became a mother only a month past her 18th birthday. Today she is the mother of seven children ranging from teens to a toddler, living out in the middle of nowhere, Colorado. She is a conservative and a Christian, but not the really nice kind who is good at it. She aims to hone the craft of giving advice without pretending to have this whole mom thing figured out over on her blog.

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking www.herviewfromhome.com

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

You’re a Little Less Baby Today Than Yesterday

In: Journal, Motherhood
Toddler sleeping in mother's arms

Tiny sparkles are nestled in the wispy hair falling across her brow, shaken free of the princess costume she pulled over her head this morning. She’s swathed in pink: a satiny pink dress-up bodice, a fluffy, pink, slightly-less-glittery-than-it-was-two-hours-ago tulle skirt, a worn, soft pink baby blanket. She’s slowed long enough to crawl into my lap, blinking heavy eyelids. She’s a little less baby today than she was only yesterday.  Soon, she’ll be too big, too busy for my arms.  But today, I’m rocking a princess. The early years will be filled with exploration and adventure. She’ll climb atop counters and...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Love Notes From My Mother in Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Journal, Living
Woman smelling bunch of flowers

Twelve years have passed since my mother exclaimed, “I’ve died and gone to Heaven!” as she leaned back in her big donut-shaped tube and splashed her toes, enjoying the serenity of the river.  Twelve years since I stood on the shore of that same river, 45 minutes later, watching to see if the hopeful EMT would be able to revive my mother as she floated toward his outstretched hands. Twelve years ago, I stood alone in my bedroom, weak and trembling, as I opened my mother’s Bible and all the little keepsakes she’d stowed inside tumbled to the floor.  It...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections