Monday, May 21, 2012

in {her} shoes...danielle

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the guest poster for this week's shoes installment, is Danielle from 52 Brand New.  she is beyond inspirational with the various things she does with her kiddos.  they range from fun and interesting to classic activities.  she's a great resource for those families who need a little push to find some memory-making activities!

Hi! I'm Danielle and I blog at 52brandnew where I share our family's adventures while we try 52 new experiences this year. I hope to inspire others to try new things with their children, too. I absolutely love reading the in {her} shoes series on Crayon Freckles, so I am so excited to share my story here.
hiking boots
Here is a picture of my hiking boots from where I was sitting on a mountaintop in Shenandoah National Park in 2009. That was a difficult year for me as my marriage had fallen apart. My husband had recently left me, and I had a 3 year old and an 18 month old to take care of on my own. We divorced the following year, and I became an anomaly in the world of moms.

I am a single Stay At Home Mom- a title that not many women claim. I absolutely love my job and know that staying home is a privilege not afforded to every woman, so I relish this amazing time in my life. The days can sometimes seem very long as there is no one to pitch in with the household and childcare duties. The hardest part of being a divorced mom is the constant negotiation of my children's time with my ex-husband. It is very stressful for me, but I work hard not to let my children know about this aspect. I worry all the time about the effect our family situation may have on my children, but they seem to be happy and well-adjusted kids.

While I do not like being divorced, I do enjoy being the sole architect of our time. I have so much more freedom than many moms I know. I am the only one in charge of making the household rules, maintaining the budget, and deciding what we do each day. This can be a lot of work, but it is liberating. When I feel tired, I will declare a Lazy Morning in which we make pancakes for breakfast and wear our pajamas until lunchtime. When I feel like we need some fresh air, we'll hop in the car and head to the nearest hiking trail, with no particular destination in mind. If I don't feel like cooking dinner, the kids and I happily eat peanut butter and jelly. I try to fill each day with something educational and something just for fun.

Being a mom is absolutely the best job I have ever had. My children are so cuddly and affectionate. I get paid in hugs and kisses. My favorite time of the day is after we change into pajamas and brush our teeth. We climb up onto my bed and read stories for 20 or 30 minutes before I tuck them into their own beds. In that time, when we are sitting close and snuggling over a good book, I feel so content.

Like any mom, I want to raise children who will grow up with strong values. I'd like them to be curious and open-minded about the world. I hope they are self-reliant. Most of all, I hope they are empathetic towards others.

If my children had to choose three words to describe me, I hope they would say I am affectionate, silly, and fun-loving.

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