Everything I Know About Parenting I Learned While Being a Teacher

Nothing can prepare you for parenthood…except teaching. Teaching totally prepares you for having children. I babysat through my teen years, worked at a daycare in college, taught elementary school and taught movement/gymnastics/dance/yoga to babies and preschoolers. I loved those jobs and always felt I was learning a lot, but holy cow, I did not realize just how much they taught me until having Luna.

Here’s my Top Ten Ways Being a Teacher Prepared Me for Parenthood.

  1. I have absolutely no problem looking a fool in public. I cannot tell you how many times I left work (school) wearing stickers on my shirt, pipe cleaner jewelry, flowers in my hair, paint on my face, a costume, random stains, name tags and tacky holiday accessories. There were many times when I wondered why the store clerk or Starbuck’s barista was starting oddly at me, only to look in the mirror in find I was still wearing a Dr. Seuss hat or necklace made of yarn and candy wrappers. Clearly, a little spit-up or mashed carrots on my shirt now is nothing. dry eraser
  2. I am not afraid of germs or getting a little (or a lot) dirty. Throughout my teaching career I had to deal with blood, vomit, urine and one kid even pooped under his desk. Kids let entire bottles of glue leak in their desk, dumped glitter containers out, rubbed entire tubes of chapstick all over their face and somehow always managed to have sticky hands. I cannot tell you how many kids I watch pick and eat their boogers and I know 90% of them didn’t wash their hands, like ever. They also wanted to hold my hands, hug me and share food with me constantly. I tried to be as sanitary as possible, but we all know teachers are just one big walking germ. Luna is just one child and she’s my child, so her germs are the least of my worries.
  3. I am an awesome multi-tasker. In my classroom I lead a reading group, corrected a math paper, kept on eye on the trouble maker near my computer and the other eye on the little girl about to give herself a haircut. At any given moment every single teacher is doing 15 things at once, and we all have eyes in the back of our heads. This comes in handy with a baby. classmate
  4. I’m crafty. I can create 20 center activities with $10 and a trip to the Dollar Store. I can make play costumes for an entire class in a matter of hours. I know how to put together a safe, easy and affordable science project that will not only be educational but memorable and I can turn one children’s book into a weeklong reading/social studies/math/writing lesson. I can entertain Luna with a spoon for hours.steal
  5. I can function really well on virtually no sleep (and a whole lot of coffee). Coffee is some sort of magical bean that makes us super human, am I right? One student called me Super Woman once, but it was really just me plus 8 cups of coffee.
  6. I can tune out just about anything. One time, Husband came to visit me at work (probably dropping off something I forgot). He stayed and visited for a minute and walked with us to recess. When I got home he said “How do you stand it?”  Stand What? “I was only there 15 minutes and I must have heard kids say your name at least 400 times! Everywhere we went someone was yelling for you, needing you or saying hi to you. It would drive me crazy.” Oh…guess I didn’t notice. At some point all teachers and Mothers develop selective hearing. This can be both good and bad when Luna is crying.
  7. If need be, I can get ready in the blink of an eye. Typically, I like to take my time doing my hair and putting my face on for work, but when you teach you cannot be late. There’s not such thing as showing up a few minutes late and working later to make up for your missed time. You have got to make it to your classroom before the 24 seven-year olds do. On more than a few occasions I have jumped out of bed after realizing I overslept by an hour, threw on a non-wrinkle cotton dress, some slip-on flats, grabbed a handful of jewelry and applied mascara and lip-gloss in the car.
  8. I can hold my pee for basically ever, which has already come in handy multiple times since having Luna.
  9. I am a wealth of knowledge when it comes to children’s books and songs. Seriously, I have a song and a book for everything from compound words to patriotism. Luna has inherited my classroom library and, unfortunate for her, my endless singing about everything we do.clap
  10. I am oh-so patient with little ones. Not in traffic, not in the grocery store, not with Comcast, not with the pets, not even with the slow barista at Starbucks, but with children I’ve got all the patience in the world. I love watching their little wheels turn as they try so hard to solve a problem or understand what they’re reading. Watching that little light turn on when they discover something new is my most favorite thing.MIB

What prepared you for becoming a parent?

Cheers!

A Quick Getaway

I’ve been a stay-at-home Mom for almost 7 months now, and I’ve got to say, it rocks! I absolutely love being able to do everything everyday with Luna. I do miss some aspects of having a paying job, and still think about going back to the classroom, but right now I love being busy raising, feeding, changing, playing with, bathing, teaching, reading to, cooking for, cleaning up after, singing to, dancing with, rocking, nursing, snuggling and entertaining my baby girl. I’ve told everyone for months, that I know it’s a perfect job for me because it doesn’t feel like a job at all. I look forward to my days and do not mind getting paid in kisses one bit. Having said all that, I’ve got to say, that sometimes I need a break. 

I truly love being with my child. We rarely, and I mean rarely, get a sitter. Even at home, Husband is always offering to do whatever he can for Luna, but I do most everything because I really want to, even when he does take her I just sit next to the two of them and watch. Honestly, it wasn’t until recently that I realized I needed some time to myself. Luna has had a virus and been running a fever for the last few days. She is needy, grumpy, sleepy and not her happy-go-lucky-self. I have spent hours upon hours nursing, rocking, tickling and caring for her. At night, she only sleeps if I’m holding her, so I have had virtually no sleep. While, I do enjoy our time together in the wee hours of the morning, it is all taking a toll on me. 

Yesterday morning I had to go pick up a prescription. Normally, I would pack up Luna and head out to run a couple of errands together, but I decided at the last minute to let Husband watch her. After all, I was only running to Walgreens. After my very quiet 15 minute car ride to Walgreens I decided I might as well stop at the local coffee shop for an iced latte…it’s only 5 minutes out of the way. The coffee shop, The Good Cup, is so cozy with big comfy armchairs and local art hanging on the walls. The big oversized chair by the window was begging me, begging me, to occupy it. I may have taken a little 5 minute rest. 

20140822_113512

The Good Cup happens to be in a small shopping strip with some local boutiques. Can’t hurt to window shop a little, right? Then, my Mom called so I figured I may as well continue to roam around while talking to her. After all, it’s safer than driving home. Afterwards, I did finally go home. Luna was sleeping next to Husband when I arrived and all in the house was well without me.

I was only gone about an hour, but what a glorious hour it was. I didn’t realize how much I needed a little break until I took one. I forgot how nice it is to be alone, think and just enjoy my coffee. I guess I’ll have to let Husband watch her more often. I could get used to a Saturday morning to myself every once in a while.

Cheers!

 

The Stars at Night Are Big and Bright

Sooooo….Luna has a virus and has been running a fever for 3 days now. She has not slept at night, therefore I have not slept. I also started running this week (along with P90x3) to prepare for the Mud Run and Warrior Dash. My body is so so so tired, as is my mind. I just spent a very long time writing a very long blog all about Texas, my shameless Texas pride and the reasons I left Texas for probably ever. I said things like “the armpit of Texas” and other negative things about my hometown. Then, I explained how leaving gave me a brand new perspective and respect for the place that molded me into the ball of sunshine I am today. It was a lovely post.

Then, my computer died and my post was forever lost. The above paragraph was the best I could do to recreate it. Now, just enjoy these beautiful pictures of the place that will always be “home”. Then, pretend you just read something enlightening, witty and a little humorous.

The whole family together; a rare occasion.

The whole family together; a rare occasion.

Playing washers under the restaurant on the water...Texas style.

Playing washers under the restaurant on the water…Texas style.

Sweet sweet girl loving on my Luna.

Sweet sweet girl loving on my Luna.

Playing at the park

Playing at the park

Luna dressing up in a fancy vail at her Honey's shop.

Luna dressing up in a fancy vail at her Honey’s shop.

My nephew chasing a duck in the local park.

My nephew chasing a duck in the local park.

Cheers

Enjoy the Small Things

Why is it so hard to get back to a routine after vacation? We drove back from Texas Monday night (12 long hours) and all three of us still seem to be off kilter. I have so much to write and share that I feel I’m bursting at the seems, yet at the same time I am finding anything else to do to keep me from writing. So far, I’ve cleaned my makeup brushes, the inside of my fridge and organized our Tupperware cabinet. Anyone else see anything wrong with this? Sometimes, there’s just so much to do that not doing it at all seems to be the best option. However, my house now seems to be all organized and clean and Luna, who is running a fever, is now happily bouncing in her walker, so I’ve got no more excuses.

PicsArt_1408126218510

I took the photo above while playing in the sprinkler with Luna and my nephew Micah in Texas last week. When I was little, playing in the sprinkler was one of my favorite things to do. It gets sooo unbelievably hot in Texas. You cannot understand the relief of a cold sprinkler or a southern snocone unless you’ve survived a Texas summer. Taking Luna and Micah through the sprinkler and watching their Grandparents play in the water with them brought so much joy to my heart. As did the delicious “Queen Elsa” snocone.

Playing with Daddy

Playing with Daddy

Traveling, wild adventures and spontaneous trips are awesome, but sometimes it’s the little things that touch your heart, bring back memories and make you feel so grateful. Our time in Texas was too short and too quick, but it was packed full of simple moments of bliss.

Like my nephew going down a slide for the first time and every single one of us cheering him on!

Like my nephew going down a slide for the first time and every single one of us cheering him on!

I want Luna to have an adventurous spirit as she grows up, but I hope she also takes time to enjoy the small things… the way the wind whips through her hair on a swing, the smell of the ocean, the warmth in her PawPaw’s hugs and especially the southern sunsets.

Taking Luna to the beach I visited so often while growing up...

Taking Luna to the beach I visited so often while growing up…

Enjoying Starbucks with her Honey

Enjoying Starbucks with her Honey

A Texas sunset...via my Instagram

A Texas sunset…via my Instagram

Cheers!

When Your Friend is Sad

I realize it’s a little late in the blogosphere to be writing about Robin Williams, but I’ve wanted to post this for a few days now and I’m finally getting the time to share. I’ve dealt with depression a little throughout my life, but I’m thankful I had mild cases that were easily controlled with advice from my doctor and exercise. Like the rest of the world, the death of Robin hit me like a rock in the chest and has left me with heartache and many many questions. A couple of days ago this insightful video came out and in a matter of minutes answered some of my difficult questions.

The video below, which I hope you all take a couple of minutes to watch, is vital information for anyone going through a hard time or anyone who knows someone going through a hard time.

For me, this video reminded me of the difficult weeks following Luna’s birth. The advice this man gives is exactly what I needed. I needed someone to sit with me, not judge, not offer advice, just be there… holding space. Glennon over at Momastary has often written about “holding space”. She says that sometimes people don’t need you to do or say the right thing, because there is no “right thing”, but what they need is you, there, holding space, without offering advice or expecting anything.

It’s especially important to know that someone is going to be at your side, holding your hand, entering back into the world with you. Just knowing you are not alone is HUGE. I think these tips apply to friends who are depressed, sick, mourning, going through a bad breakup or anything that has them down and out. It may be short-lived, it may last for months or it maybe on an off for years. As a friend, our job is to be there and remain there, present for the happy times as well as the bad times.

I only wish I would have known how important these behaviors were years ago. I apologize to friends who needed me there holding space and sitting patiently at their sides in the past. I hope I forever remember what I needed in my time of pain and give you all the same in return.

Cheers from you friend,
Hilarie

Half-Crunchy Mom Giveaway Winners!

goddessgarden

Wow. So, when I say I’m going to announce the winner to one of my giveaways on a certain day someone should really hold me to it. We drove through Tuesday night to get to Texas early Wednesday morning and I’ve been having so much fun getting to see family, friends and my little nephew that I’ve yet to even update my Facebook status. So, sorry about the late post! Also, my parents don’t have Internet so it’s very easy to “unplug” here.

Ready to find out the lucky winners of Goddess Garden’s Kid’s sunscreen? Me too!

Angie (winner of the 6oz bottle)

My son is 9 and we have an extremely difficult time finding something for his face that doesn’t sting. I would love to try this!!

BriAnn (winner of the 3.4oz bottle)

Claire is 9 months. She loves being outside. Finding good sunscreen that actually works is not so easy. Would love to try this brand.

Congrats ladies!!! To claim your prizes just email me (positivelypanicked@gmail.com) your mailing address and I’ll get those prizes out ASAP. And, by ASAP I mean in a week or so because I’m still on vacation in Texas.

Luna sporting her new sunscreen while enjoying the sunny deck.

Luna sporting her new sunscreen while enjoying the sunny deck.

Hopefully, I’ll get back to everyone soon. So many southern adventures to share!

Cheers!

P.S. BIG thank you to Goddess Garden for being such an awesome and generous company!

Girls Weekend!

I decided to take a couple of days off from the blog to spend a girls’ weekend with Luna, my Mom and one of her co-workers in Atlanta for the Apparel Market. My Mom owns a formal wear shop and she was making her orders for prom 2015. After my two fantastic days off I came down with mastitis again. That little devil of an infection had me down for another two days. Now, I’m finally feeling human again, and I am so happy to be back to share all about our girls only adventure in Atlanta! (BTW, this is my first time to open my laptop in 4 days. I feel like I’ve just been through some sort of intense detox.)

Find many more pics like this form daily life on my Instagram!

Find many more pics like this form daily life on my Instagram!

Mine and Luna’s trip began with a 4-hour road trip. I planned to leave early in the morning so Luna would be sleeping, but she decided to stay up half the night. After putting her back to bed for 5th time at 3am I was wide awake and figured 3am is a pretty swell time for a long drive. I got dressed, packed up the car, kissed Husband good-bye as he slept soundly through every single cry, grabbed Luna and hit the road. (We made a couple coffee pit-stops on the way.) We jammed to Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Iggy Azalea most of the way there because who else do you listen to on a girls’ road trip?

Mom and Alex enjoying some delicious beverages during a fashion show

Mom and Alex enjoying some delicious beverages during a fashion show

We made it to Atlanta just in time to join my Mom and our new friend Alex as they headed to Americas Mart in downtown Atlanta. My Mom’s goal was to find the hottest new trends for next year’s prom. Our girl was to help and enjoy all the treats, goodies, drinks and attention that comes with attending a wholesale market. I’ve been to market and Dallas a few times, but holy cow, Atlanta’s Market is SO MUCH NICER. The building is nicer, the showrooms are bigger, the fashion shows are better, the food is fantastic, the drinks are endless and even the people are incredibly friendly. Plus, everyone treated Luna as if she was America’s Next Top Model.

America's Mart, 13 floors of apparel and accessories

America’s Mart, 13 floors of apparel and accessories

macaroons for days!

macaroons for days!

I’m a sucker for anything free so I happily accepted tote bags, tees, flip-flops, cookies, margaritas and whatever else they threw my way all day long. The only downside was carrying around my loot all day, especially since I also had to carry Luna (“no strollers allowed”) and her over-sized diaper bag. During one fashion show, Luna got fussy so I stepped outside the glass walls to watch the show from the hall. As I bounced Luna up and down to the beat of every pop song that played over the loud speakers we ran into another adorable baby girl. The Mom and I started chatting and overtime I learned that the other adorable baby is the granddaughter Sherri Hill,  of the designer we were currently watching. Luna and I ended up getting to know the granddaughter, the daughter and the designer who were all incredibly nice.

Sherri Hill, Luna, myself, Mom and Alex

Sherri Hill, Luna, myself, Mom and Alex

I have never ever been anywhere were so many complete strangers complimented, played with, touched and literally took Luna out of my arms. Every single person seemed to be baby deprived or depressed because they could not get enough of Luna. She was the center of attention all day and even scored a new bracelet from the Chewbeads exhibit (more on that to come!). Also, the security at the Americas Mart were serious about the passes we received when checking in. Not only were our passes verified at every check point, but so was Luna’s!

She is ready for action!

She is ready for action!

We “shopped”, pigged out and enjoyed fashion shows all day long. I had so much fun with my Mom and am so glad I made the trip to Atlanta to spend some quality time with her. We truly had an awesome time, and even though it ended with mastitis and a fever fueled drive home, it was worth it. Now, I’m back just in time to unpack and repack for yet another road trip! That’s right we leave tomorrow night to drive all the way to Texas! Yee-haw!

20140808_153527

Cheers!