8.21.2009

white buttons...







My life as a mother .

As i sit here writing...i realize that about 95 percent of you stay at home with your children....and about 3 percent of you work outside the home....then there is the remaining 2 percent of you that don't even have children yet...but still read my blog.







There are two ways to mother......by being a stay at home mother...and by being a working mother.







I myself.....obviously......stay at home at the moment......but i do work......inside the home.....but my work ....does not just include raising my children......i have an online shop.....i also host an occasional sale....and i write this blog.....







which i feel takes up a ton of time due to the amount it takes to edit all my photo's and to put my thinking cap on...then hash it all out to you.







What you don't know about me is that i grew up with working parents..... I grew up with a beautiful person...who took care of me...named Gabina...she moved in with us when i was 18 mo. old and my brother was 2 mo. old.







Gabina raised us.







She spoke only spanish.......never learning a word of english.....though we all knew she understood english..........though my brother and i always spoke fluent spanish whenever we spoke to her.







Gabina lived with us till the day we both graduated high school....and still lived in the house even once my parents retired and moved out of the state.







A little over two years ago she passed away from stomach cancer.







My brother and i were lucky enough to be able to drop everything and fly to California to see her in hospice before she died. When we walked in.....it had been a little over 5 years since i had last seen her.
I had driven down from San Fransisco when Mason was just a week old to meet her....this lady that had raised me.

Sweet Gabina.























My mom is and will always be my mom....and my best friend......but Gabina is who raised me...and who i remember whenever i think back to certain childhood memories.







That doesn't make my mom a bad parent....because she worked.....and i turned out o.k. for having a working mom.







My mom just knew that she never wanted to stay home....not that she couldn't stay home....because she could have....but she just didn't.







Just because my parents were career driven......they {or at least my mom....because my dad was on the police force...} sat down with us every night for dinner...and weekends were full of family activities.







I love my mom.....and i miss Gabina terribly.














I would love to have a Gabina for my family.....but i don't.







I love my children so much.....but at times.....i wonder if i would be a better parent if i was not at home.....but i am.....and we will make it the best we can.














Which brings me to this.














I was actually reading an article in the Sunday paper which talked about parenting style.....and the view of a particular style called "hands-off" parenting.







These are the parents that let their children ride their bikes outside unsupervised.....or let their kids deal with circumstances...by themselves instead of getting involved...{of course ...getting involved when necessary}.







I have a bit of the "hands-off" philosophy in my blood i guess.......







weird...i know.







I actually let my kids work things out themselves.....







they take the bus to school.....







they walk home by themselves from the bus stop.....







and yes....sometimes......nevermind.







So....last Friday after my yard sale.....and after Mason had caught a frog at the pond....we headed to my favorite little store....Trader Joe's.







If you don't know what a Trader Joe's is....it's a petite organic grocery store...that also sells fabulous wine..and flowers.







I use the word petite because if you had in your mind something like a Target or a Walmart....then that would not be justified in the description.







Anyways.....







We got to T.J.'s and because it was hot out....we decided to NOT leave the frog in the car ....i don't care for fried frog......so we brought it with us in it's little tupperware of water.







As we were walking in.....I thought better of the situation and decided to have the kids .....this being just mason & lola {fin was not with us}....to wait outside of T.J.s.







I had them sit next to the huge pile of watermelons sitting outside the front door.







I know what you are thinking......who puts their kids next to a vat of watermelons unattended....right?







I did.







And i went inside to grab my wine and flowers.







I was only in there a few minutes....before a lady comes up to me and says....







are those your children outside........







hmmmmm... i thought to myself......do i answer "no" and continue on...?

so.....being the good mother that i am...i said "yes"....all the while thinking of watermelons all over the parking lot.







Then the lady says to me......I work for CPS* .....and you cannot leave your children outside a store unattended......










I swear she only came up to me because i was in the wine section quickly filling up my cart.......had i been in the fruit section...picking out organic apples...then she probably would have walked on by.





She then stated that it was a good thing today was her "day off".....otherwise she would have to write me up.





WRITE.ME.UP





I think what she meant was ....take a tablet out of her purse and write my name down on it...with a description that said something like.....

.LEFT.KIDS.OUTSIDE.WITH.FROG.





that's what i'm assuming.





and she DID NOT think it was very funny when i said.....It's a good thing i didn't leave them in the car then.





NOPE.





she did not.





So...i parked my cart full of wine and flowers.....trekked out and got my children who were still in the same spot next to the watermelons....and brought them back in with me.

I could have hung my head in shame....

but i did not....

i continued on....

like any normal mother would.....





Needless to say....the frog ended up dying later that day.......

Anyways....two completely seperate stories going on here.....but the point is....

we mother how we mother....there might be some up's and down's.....

but we are who we are.






xo





{oh!!! necklace winner is Paige...and if you decide to tell me what a horrible parent i am...then i re-gift the necklace.....}
*child protective services






89 comments:

vintagebejoyful said...

your not a bad parent.......we all do the best we can, and try to make decisions that we think are right......thanks for being candid and real, I love your blog and read it often, my children are grown now, 26, 24, 19.....they grow up in spite of us.....

Simply Me Art said...

Great post Kasey, Both my parents worked too when I was growing up. I didn't have someone who looked after us, well I had my older bossy sister who still to this day thinks she is my mom.I can't imagine my mom being a stay at home mom, she would have died. When I had Emily we decided that as long as we could do it, I would stay home with the kids. It has always been wonderful, ok, there have been plenty of really crappy times but overall very positive. Then two years ago, I began my blog and started making jewelry. As my business and blog grew there was less time for the kids but they were both older so I felt it was the right time. I don't really volunteer anymore in the school and there old enough to do there own things now, but I deal with the guilt of not giving them enough time almost daily. What a Beautiful memory you have of someone not your mom but loved and raised you like she was your mom. As for the kids outside of Traders, Please, I would have done the very same thing. If it is like my Traders, its small and is usually busy so you get in quick and out quick. Eli comes with me many times to the post office and he hates to come in, I leave him in the car, yes doors locked but he is in the car alone at 10. Does that make me a bad mom, I certainly don't feel that way. Just sounds like a unfortunate incident. Sorry to ramble, It takes all kinds of moms to raise kids, your doing Great.. Like my husband and I always say, years from now, when the kids are in therapy, they will blame all their problems on us anyway! xoxoxo, Jamie

♥Aubrey said...

What the fruit is what i say to this!!! CPS...is and will always be on my S*** list. This being said due to a number of things. {Not of importance as they were WRONG} They are and always will be annoying little roosters pecking for something to find. You are a wonderful parent and it takes great love to let/trust our children to do certain things. It's called letting them grow and become big kids.

Beth said...

Your willingness to be vulnerable and share your heart is inspiring. Your thoughts on parenting remind me of this Newsweek article by Anna Quindlen http://www.newsweek.com/id/48813 . Check it out if you get the chance.

Jackie said...

I love that you shared both stories. My mom worked, my grandma raised me. It was probably much better that way (we all lived in the same house, but my grammy was around all the time). I sometimes wonder if I would be a better, more patient mom if I was working, but I was lucky to have the choice and this is the one we thought would work best. My kids are older than yours, but I do hands off parenting when they argue and fight (unless it gets physical) - they need to learn to deal with each other and other people and, you know what - they figure it out. I think my kids will all end up being just wonderful (despite the mistakes I make along the way). I think the thing is this - if you love your kids and they know that absolutely, then it'll all be ok.

Federica said...

Love this post Kasey, very sweet.
Have a fantastic weekend!

Jacqueline said...

Every family is different, with different needs and priorities...it doesn't matter what catagory one fits into as long as they give their children love. That's the bottom line.
As for your story re leaving kids by the watermelons....I think that parents are much too over protective and, nowdays, children don't do anything...and will never learn about life. Just let me see that CPS woman. I'd like to tell her a thing or two !!!!! Don't beat yourself up. You did nothing wrong and your children will grow up fine. Gabina sounded a lovely person and you have been left with many precious memories, I'm sure.XXXX

eco-stylista said...

Very thoughtful post! I am a working mother, but I fortunately have a wonderful husband to stay at home with my kids. I always criticize him, but deep in my heart I know that I would be much worse than him... You are a great mother! I like how open you can write about these things that happen to everyone of us even if some mothers deny it...

Martha said...

Kasey ~ that was a very interesting post today ~ I LOVED it ~ what a beautiful story about Gabina ~ I work from home too... and had working parents outside the home growing up...and this is what I learned I wanted to do ~ {not that they did wrong by any means}...I wanted to say home for the best of both worlds even though some days are ones I would win or even get close to "mother of the year"...I'm sorry for your loss too...and I will also say that is HORRIBLE about CPS at Trader Joe's...which by the way Trader Joes's is my VERY VERY favorite store for the exact same reasons....anyway ~ I hope you weren't too hard on yourself...sometimes I think people let their position of authority get to their heads a bit too much...while she perhaps thought she was "helping"... she really had NO idea about the situation. I am sure that was horrifying to you that she did that...and you are probably right that she said something because you were in the wine section...but that doesn't make you wrong what you did and her right...I hope you said something to stand up for yourself! Even though I don't know you well (other than reading your blog) I know you love your children and are a great mom...you should have grabbed a couple more bottles right in front of her....

traci said...

oh sweet kasey. why didn't you bust a bottle of wine over her nosey little head. oops, that would have probably brought a little more trouble into your life. you are a good mother. i left my kids outside or in the car at that age too. it's part of growing up. if we didn't do things like that we would all have 25 year old kids still following us into the bathrooms because they can't go in on their own. what a good blog post. you will have many interesting comments from this. xo!

cathy said...

Scary what a little power in the hands of the wrong person (the CPS lady) can potentially do! btw, I figure if my children know I unconditionally love them, they have some structure in their lives, and we laugh a lot, we're doing just fine. Seems like yours do just fine, too :)

Adrienne said...

did she go to every mother in the store to ask that question? ridiculous. what a bully!

Leslie said...

I think that lady was pulling your chain... Your post prompted me to do a little research and it looked to me that CPS just investigates reports of abuse/ neglect.... also stated that leaving children alone was not neglect if the child was old enough to act responsibly... that offenses were determined upon the time left alone/ frequency left alone... I haven't been reading your blog long enough to know how old your children are, but they look old enough to me to be left alone for a few minutes...

I think I tend to be more of a hovering parent- but my kids are still young... I hope that as they grow, I'll be able to let them go little by little so that they can grow to be very independent people... my mom always said that parenting is about working yourself out of a job- making sure that your kids can go on with out you- and I think it sounds like you are doing a wonderful job!

Leah C said...

You know I've been following your blog for a long time now...you are a wonderful mother:) I see it in your stories; I see it in your pictures. What's more, you are honest enough & brave enough to tell it like it is...any mom can relate. Hold your head up high, K!

P.S. I think a lot of us wish we had a Gabina in our lives...thanks for sharing the sweet memories.

Jingle said...

Thank you for sharing your Gabina story! That is a truly touching story! Yes, I am one of those 2% of your readers who does not have children, but I know that if I did have them, I'd probably be more like you. It's important for kids to be treated like people. That means that sometimes they have to learn things on their own. I don't plan on having any, but you know...you are always a great parent when you don't have kids! HA!

paige said...

good grief
first i'm about to start crying about gabina & your love for her...
its "that" week, if you follow.

then i find myself picturing this seen at my t.j.s and once again feel certain that if you lived here i would hog you and make you be my bff, & only mine cuz that is FLIPPIN HYSTERICAL!!!!!. i'm sure i would have peed listening to your response about the car option, yup right there in tj's i would have lost it.

but then i see that little ole' me won the incrediblely rocking necklace & i'm almost back to crying again
mwah!!!!!!!!!

Lissa said...

what?!?! You think of ME when the words CPS are spoken??? Well, I take that as a compliment! I'm completely a hands off mom as much as I can be :) And I have very well rounded, healthy girls!! These days they take stuff like sitting on the watermelons way to far! I'm kinda bugged...

luckygirlgifts said...

That's a scary story.
YOu are right, we mother how we mother.
It seems crazy to me that you could be in danger of losing your children for something like that. (or at least be investigated).
What's the difference between that and letting them walk home from school? CPS doesn't get mad about that! Or, like you said, riding your bike out front?
Don't get me wrong, CPS has a place, but I don't think it should be scaring or threatening good parents.
Thanks for another great post.
Cari B.

Andrea - Faded Plains said...

What a beautiful post...I started out wanting to cry...and then I got peeved with the CPS lady.

SCmama1971 said...

The story of Gabina reminds me of Tori Spelling and her Nanna.Her mother didn't raise her. Nanna did.

Being a mother of 5, I cannot understand not wanting to be around my children....just about...every second.


Having said that...my parents both worked my entire life.Looking back, my mom then and now isn't that involved in mine or my children's lives. I don't understand that either. I love my mom and I know she loves me and her grandchildren. Still, she doesn't call on a regular basis. We won't hear from her for weeks a a time. Dad too.

I think you are doing a wonderful thing for your children by being home. It's a security that cannot be replaced.

I loved the Trader Joes story. We moved from Southern California 2 years ago and now we do not have Trader Joes (sigh).
I cannot believe someone from "cps" said your children can't stand outside a store, unattended? Since when? Why weren't we all emailed or sent home from the hospital with a note saying " Please, do not leave your children outside of a Trader Joes and bins of watermelon or you could be written up".

I would have said the same thing you did...to the infamous "cps" woman...about leaving them in the car. That was great.
I might have opened up the bottle of wine and took a swig in front of her just to prove a point.

Yes, I'm sassy like that.

Preppy Mama said...

You and I are a lot alike. I love your honesty and that's why I keep coming back! BTW, I'm a licensed social worker and I never heard of such a thing. CPS can't walk around threatening people!!

littlebyrd said...

Oh no! I remember things being so different when we little kids. I swear my parents left me outside a Safeway to give a litter of kittens once. haha! That is just a crazy story. I didn't know about Gabina...I learn a little more about you as these days pass. Have a wonderful weekend.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Ah CPS. I know them well. My personal Gabina, my mother, passed away when I was 5. CPS put me in some whopper of foster homes. How lucky I would have been to have lived with a family that shops at T.J.'s (a favorite of mine too) with a SAH mother who is tolerant of frogs. I am all to aware of how life can be taken away in an instant, but I used to let my now 20 year old daughter walk to the market alone and pick up things for dinner. Does it count that we lived in a teeny tiny village in Greece and everyone knew everyone? I sure hope so. But I know there are millions of other moments when I lost my cool (generally at the end of summer vacation :) that CPS would have had a field day.
I always wonder if people like that actually have raised children. I love the ones those that offer "advice" and really have no idea what truly goes on when parenting.
Keep on~ I bet your kids think you're perfect.

Jen R. said...

It's hard when you lose a parent.. and Gabina was a parent. I still have a hard time with my dad being gone some times.

Backyard Candle Co. said...

You weren't kidding, that is quite a story. I love that you just went out and got them and continued your shopping. I think I would have left and probably started to cry.
I was left in the car all the time as a kid. MAN have times changed.
You are obviously a great mom to your kids and they are super blessed to have you!!!

Claudia said...

The nosy, officiousness of the the CPS woman was out of line. I think it is a case of being over the top protective, you know? You see it a lot - in schools, everywhere. Instead of looking at each situation with a little common sense, institutions are now on hyper-over-react. You handled it well.

The story of your Gabina was lovely.

Tiffany said...

You are so right. We mother how we mother and that is that. Not a one of us is perfect although we may try to be. I decided to embrace imperfection when I had my 2nd baby. I have been so much more peaceful and content ever since. I love that you do what you do and don't worry about it. I wish I had done that sooner. As a a stay-at-home mama, I sometimes feel so lonely and wonder if anyone else screws up everyday like I do. Thanks for sharing and being so real with your readers.
p.s. your Gabina sounds like a gift from God.

caren said...

Why doesn't CPS bother the people who really need to be bothered! Those people who actually abuse their children one way or another.

My mom and dad both worked when I was growing up and I didn't have a Gabina.....I think I'm okay!

Vana said...

This only happens in this country, seriously. We would go to school, come back (about 15 min walk), go swimming, play with friends etc, UNATTENDED. And i think i turned out pretty good. The only time we would see our parents was at dinner time, not because they didn't love us, but they let us be kids. I think about this often, what am i doing to my son? I have become an overprotective mom and i don't like me at all. I want him to be a kid, run free (of course i will do my best to keep him from getting hurt - but than again that part of life)...but where i live, that can never happen. We all need to move away from people who have nothing better to do but watch every step we take.

You are a great mother! Just because you have a different style of parenting that doesn't say anything about you loving them less than a mother who spends every minute of a given day going after them.

Darn it...i need a glass of wine..and it's early!

How about Wednesday???

XOXO

Teresa said...

Don't forget about the empty nest syndrome moms who read your blog too. :) Did that cps lady over react some? They were using the buddy system and I bet they know about stranger danger and would have screamed their heads off at one. :) As always I love your posts. Do you speak Spanish still? Are you teaching your kids? I think that's pretty cool.


www.teresaksheeley.typepad.com

Kimberly said...

I so hope I will be a mother who let's her kids figure things out, learn and experience the consequences of their actions, etc...that process helps them grow up to be independent adults!

I guess if your kids were really small and didn't understand not to wander off or not to go with strangers or to run inside and find you there were a problem, then leaving them outside could be irresponsible, but otherwise...wonder how many kids in your area went hungry last night because their parents frittered away the money or how many kids were abused...good thing CPS has their eye on you, you heinous abuser you. (dripping sarcasm) Good for you for keeping your cool and not clocking the woman.

OMG (that abbreviation makes me laugh), I heart TJ's!! Seriously its my favorite petite grocery store ever.

The Flying Bee said...

Oh Kasey, I'll say it again, I love your honesty. I know that's why so many of us read your blog daily. So many mom's would not have shared that story for fear of not being seen in a good light. When the truth is, that behind all of the beautiful blog's out there, we are all just mom's(most of us) just trying to do our best to raise our kids. How nice it would be if all our kids would line up like little ducklings in a row and follow behind us when we get our wine and flowers, but they don't, and that's life! Don't sweat it! From what I can tell you're a great mom. :)

Adrienne

Kimberly said...

Oh, and did you really say the thing about the car? That is HIL-arious. :D

Kimberly said...

By the way, the "dripping sarcasm" was covering the part where I called you an abuser...

Maybe I can come up with something cool to say for my 4th comment on this post...

mimi charmante said...

Yeah for Paige!!!!

I absolutely love your posts, but this one was especially poignant, because it speaks to every mother, and of the world that we are raising our children in, vs. the world our parents raised us in. Your honestly and the way you open your heart truly makes you such an inspiration my friend.
Have a lovely weekend~
xo

Rebecca Frame said...

...i love this post kasey...i am trying my darndest to evolve a bit into a 'hands off mom'...i am way too protective and worried ALL OF THE TIME...it's exhausting!

have a lovely weekend sweet girl.

rebecca

Anonymous said...

Vana... I'm not sure that it's a "this country" thing. It seems to me that things have really changed in recent years. I was a child of the 90's and my mom left us unattended in the car, outside shops, and even let us ride our bikes around the block alone (the horror!!) all the time. :)

My first thought was that that lady probably doesn't even work for CPS... :)

Marlen said...

I agree with Leslie- I don't think the CPS woman was an actual worker. She was probably an over bearing mom who thinks her way of parenting is the only way. The kind of person that needs to make other people feel bad so they can feel better about themselves. I am part of the 2% (childless) that read your blog. Although I don't have kids, I know every mother knows what's best for her kids. If you trust your kids outside of TJ's, then ok. Most likely, the CSP woman has kids that wouldn't know what to do with themselves if she left their sight for 2 minute. Yeeesh. Anyway, if you want to hear me rant about Trader Joe's, I wrote about it a while ago- because it truly is wonderful!! http://marlentravels.blogspot.com/2009_04_01_archive.html

tara said...

Lovely story about Gabina! It sure seems times have changed since I was a kid too...have a lovely weekend Kasey!

Melaine Thompson said...

geesh! I guess I should never leave my kids in the car again! :) I loved your post and yes, I would have left my kids and the frog outside trader joes too. I think it's hilarious and good for you for going on about your shopping!

Julie said...

Wow! Beautiful story about Gabina. That is just crazy about the CPS worker... Your life is definitely more interesting than mine. ;) xo

Bay said...

LEFT.KIDS.OUTSIDE.WITH.FROG.

Oh Kasey, I'm crying I'm laughing so hard.....tears, really....

If she really did work for CPS she would appreciate that YOUR kids (sitting outside minding their and theirs frogs business) are well behaving enough to sit outside and not get into trouble. Even though you were envisioning watermelons everywhere....
Obviously she is an unhappy women who expects children to have to be watched 24-7. I love that you allow/want your kids to do independant things. Kids these days are missing that! Good story Kasey, two stories in one and I love that about you. Really. Still. Cracking. Up.

Tamara said...

Lovin' the post today!

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

Hi Kasey....Loving the story about Gabina. It's wonderful that you had her...and obviously loved her so much.
I'm sorry about the incident at TJ's. It's hard to be a good parent and allow your kids to grow indepently, while still protecting them. Hang in there. You love your kids...and that will make them great adults...despite incidents with watermelons and frogs. (And really, aren't you glad that you weren't running around Trader Joe's trying to catch an AWOL frog?)

Farmgirl Paints said...

Why is it that no matter if we know we are right or not, when someone says something to us like that it's just a kick in the stomach.

I got yelled at at Trader Joe's too once. What's with that?? My littlest actually ran into a lady (slightly) with one of those little shopping carts. The lady asked me if they were my kids and I said no. No! Can you believe I said that? I was with my friend and she wasn't paying attn. so the lady went over and told her that our kids were being awful...blah, blah, blah and honestly they weren't. She just needed medication:)

We all parent differently. I'm more of a hands off parent too. That doesn't mean I don't discipline them when necessary or supervise them when I should. It's just what works for us.

Thanks for sharing your story Kasey. I love your honesty and so glad you didn't get written up...seriously! Sorry I wrote so much...geez:)

LuLu & Co. said...

awweee how sweet to have had Gabina! what a wonderful tribute to her and how instrumental she was in your life. Good grief about CPS...I was cheering you on that would walk with your head up and still got your wine!!!
LuLu

Brandie said...

It helps to have that reminder every once in a while that we all mother differently and that is not a bad thing. The next time I feel guilty about starting a business when I was supposed to be a SAHM making playdough and spending every waking moment showering my kids with attention I will tell myself that I am just trying my hand at "hands-off parenting". Seriously, I soo needed to hear this today. Have the most wonderful of weekends, nosey people free;)

Cori said...

Kasey....I just sat down for maybe a half an hour (if I'm lucky) after making sunny side up eggs for one and scrabled with hame & cheese for the other. I am now counting down the hours (not days) until school starts. It is SO GOOD to know other mothers feel the way I do! What a true relief! I have been on both sides--I worked and career climbed with my first son (who is now almost 20) and I have been home with the next bath (new much baking lately) who are now 8 and 10. Oh man, it isn't easy being a stay at home Mom. I miss adult company (good and bad) and the summers are definitely the hardest. The bickering! The messes! The short-order cook demands! Phew! I ADORE reading your candid thoughts and you make me smile. Thank you for all of it. PS: My basket at TJs is filled with wine and flowers also! Survival tools for stay at home Moms : )

Sharla said...

My mom didn't work out of the house growing up but she did have 7 kids and kinda had to let us be independent (she prob woulda gone crazy otherwise:) but I grew up fine even if I did walk to school by myself and sit in the car when she went in the grocery store. I hope Im not a too hands on parent with my kids either...

Anonymous said...

Oh Man! I'd have hauled off and decked the cps lady!

Anonymous said...

Delurking - IDK what it is with women at TJs. I've my own experience with a woman at TJs telling me that it was no wonder my ds wasn't listening to me because of the tone of my voice. Of course, she missed the part where he pulled the cart over on himself 30 seconds after we entered the store; and not 2 minutes later when he pulled the cart with his 5 mo sister into the lettuce. Back then I was so shocked that I didn't say anything. I just cut my losses and left. These days I'd probably ask her what her tone of voice would be if x,y, and z happened; followed by telling her to mind her own business.

I can't remember where I read it, but the 18 yo today is the equivalent of a 13 yo in the 50s. I don't think it's a good thing. I need space, so I give my kids space. It doesn't mean I don't discipline them. My kids are better behaved than their friends who have control freaky parents.

Janae

koralee said...

my parents both worked as well...my grandma was my Gabina...I do have such fond memories...of my parents and my grandparents....we are so lucky we have those memories...wouldn't it be terrible if we didn't? I think you are a wonderful mom! phewy on that lady! xoxoxo

PS~Erin said...

Beautiful post. Thank you.

I am constantly analyzing my parenting (although I am confident I'm right :-), and I fight with my tendency to be a "fear-based" parent. I turned into a morbid-thinking-what-if parent the minute my daughter was born. It's mostly in my head, and being aware of it helps me to stay balanced.

I totally agree with people parent how they parent. While I know there are wrong ways to do it (neglect, abuse, and the likes), there are so many right ways to raise children. We are blessings to our kiddos.

Nora said...

I love your honesty. I had a stay at home mom but she still let us figure things out on our own. There is a bus stop at the end of our street...did you know the parents park at the end of the block to pick their kids up? They won't let their kids walk half a block home from the bus stop. To me this is crazy! We live in a super safe suburb outside of Seattle...It makes me sad to see that some parents parent too much.
It is evident that you LOVE your children like crazy :)

Kacey said...

Ha! When I worked in social services I worked closely with CPS workers for years. They have more important things to deal with (actual reports of abuse) and my guess is she was just trying to scare you - because obviously, she knew better than you. (Please note the sarcasm in that statement) Ugh.

Thanks for the honesty in your writing. I love it.

Susan said...

Casey thank you for your honesty. I am also a stay at home Mom and I am always questioning my parenting skills and my lack of patience for my 1 child. I drive myself crazy sometimes. Thanks for always giving me a laugh and putting life into perspective!

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

We have the loosey-goosey parenting gene, too. (Are you tired of me always telling you that I have/like/feel what you do? I swear, it's just the truth.)

A main goal of mine, even before I had kids, was to raise kids who were confident and independent and not afraid. This parenting philosophy lends itself to that, I think. And you're right, we just are who we are, and we do what we do.

And I feel bad for that CPS lady. It must not be very fun, being her.

stacy di said...

sweet story about gabina...

and it is NOT against the law to leave your kids outside a store...maybe for hours, but not a few minutes while you shop. puhlease...

Eden said...

I love your parenting style...mostly because its like MINE! How I fell upon your blog...I don't know lol! What a blessing it has been to me. Some people are so judgmental. Going around power trippin. I admire how you handled it. I would have probably left the cart and went home....in tears,lol! I will handle the next confrontation so much better.

Scrappy Jessi said...

Hey sweets,
thanks for stopping by
wonderful post.
you are a great mommy!
im adding you to my bloglines list.
thanks sweets,
oxoxox,
jessi

Tracey said...

Kasey you rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!And you're brilliant too :)

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling from reading your blog that you would rather work outside the home. Don't feel guilty about it. Because if mama ain't happy - ain't nobody happy. Staying at home is not for everyone.

Sheila R said...

I too try to let me children handle things on their own... it takes a lot as I feel like sometimes I have a tendancy to step in and do. We all parent differently - each unique and special in it's own way. Thanks for sharing your story

Jessica Haley said...

This is a really interesting story. I can relate... b/c I stay at home, but I work. {No wonder you--like me--are dying for school to start.} I leave my kids in a *running but locked* car for 30 seconds twice a week when I go to the post office. As far as being home and working, I often wonder, "Is it worse?... Is it worse to be home and not be fully engaged than to not be home, but give them 100% attention when I am home?" So I asked my *ahem* therapist, and she tells me it's better.

So... I try not feel guilty that my kids eat granola bars for breakfast and my son watches a movie every afternoon so I can package orders. Instead, I tell myself, "Today I got to give my kids a high speed piggy back ride. I got to read them a story in the afternoon. I took them to the park." Maybe I didn't devote my whole day to them, but I did spend time loving them. Where did we gets this idea that a mom's life should revolve around children {and soccer practice and kinder music and dance lessons and so on and so forth}...? God places every child with every mother with great thought and purpose. At least, these are the things I tell myself.

Alicia said...

ahhh thanks for being so honest... sometimes that so hard! and you are a wonderful example of a mother!

The Little Red Shop said...

Kasey,
Forget CPS...where was PETA when those poor little froggies still had a chance!

: p

Julie M.

B said...

I wish I'd had a Gabina. My Mum was around but sometimes it would have been better if she wasn't! That CPS lady must have had a slow day - surely there are more worthy cases for her to write up.

You are the tops!

xxx

PamperingBeki said...

Kasey, I think I love you.

Based on this description, I suppose I'm a "hands off" parent too, although I'm not crazy about that term.

My kids are well behaved, well adjusted, confident, and kind. I definitely don't hover over their every move, but give them liberties instead.

If if makes you feel any better, I've had the police called to my house because my 1 yr old baby was running around on the sidewalk naked. Yeah. 1 year old! And someone called and they came and scolded me and told me they could turn me into to CPS. It's a crazy sick world.

By the way, you've been blogged about today by me. Before I even read today's post and realized just how much I love you. :)

Griffith Family said...

My guess is that the cps lady probably wasn't really from cps. Probably a nosy person that didn't actually have children and felt that she knew better how to parent. We often have our strongest opinions before we actually have children. Sounds like you are doing ok and your children will grow up with independence and joy. What better gift can you give them?

Anonymous said...

Hi Kasey:
I too grew up with working parents. What happened to the days where there were no helmets, no air bags, no car seats . People left doors unlocked and opened so neighbors could come over. Kids left the house in the summer morning and did not return until evening. Bare feet, drinking from hoses, ice pops for lunch. CPS did not exist!! I survived.Keep up the good parenting Kasey!!!You are truly a gem at voicing how most of us moms of today are feeling!! A little less government and a little more USA freedom!!!Jean XOXO

Rue said...

We had a Gabina, but her name is Paulette and she's still a very dear family friend. My mom didn't work though, she just wanted to be able to do whatever and not deal with housework and stuff. Sometimes I wonder why she was there at all, but to be honest it may just have saved my mom's sanity to have her there LOL

As far as that CPS broad... she must have watched you leave them there. I don't believe she really was one anyway. Your kids are old enough to stand outside and wait for you. I see kids riding their bikes all over the place without a parent and they're much younger than yours are. She's just a nosey PITA.

You're a great mom Kasey and there is nothing wrong with your parenting skills. Trust me.

xoxo,
rue

Victoria@WhimsybyVictoria said...

Kasey...I love the honesty of your posts! I have had an incident before that another nosey person decided to say something to me about my son not having a jacket o and just a t-shirt, but I had a sweater on (in the winter)...when we were inside the mall! I was so livid and shocked, that I replied to her...it is none of your business! I had fought with my son (3 at the time) to have a jacket on and he didn't want to wear it...pick your battles. He wasn't freezing and was fine. I felt soo guilty though that I went and bought a new sweater just so someone else wouldn't say anything...I have learned since then, I don't care what others think of my parenting. I am doing the best I can and Heavenly Father knows better than anyone. I would have told her...Mind your own buisness! I love you and can see you love your kids more than anything. She does not know you...so as my Grandma would say..phooey on her!

Hugs and love,
~Victoria~

Victoria@WhimsybyVictoria said...

Oh, I meant to say I love your story about Gabina. I too recall at one point for a couple of years my sister and I had a Spanish speaking babysitter that took care of us during the week. I remember telling her I wanted some water in spanish and the next thing I knew I was gettting my hair washed! lol. It remember being confused and upset! I did not grow up with my biological mother and still really have never had a mother. The closest thing I come to that is my loving Aunt! It is the people that show love and care that raise you. Love your sweet story on her and sorry she is not hear any longer to share in your life. Thank you again for showing us another amazing story!

Hugs,
~Victoria~

Brenna LaPray said...

After reading this, I notified CPS in your area and they WILL be making weekly visits....Ya, right. I KNOW bad parents and you are definetly NOT one of them. What a funny post! It would be your luck to get caught.

Marci said...

first of all...kasey from lola b just left a comment on my blog...wow... you just made my blog day.

and on this post i just have this to say. as long as our children become assets to society and are happy and loved it doesn't matter what kind of mom you are. it's amazing to me with all of the TRULY awful parents that woman deals with on a daily basis she would be worried about you. psycho. (her, not you ;D)

Anne Marie said...

good for you! not backing down....

we need more at-home-mothers to fight for our freedom to parent the way we want -

besides, I'm sure she's just jealous- because she has a few children at home that are probably terrors.....

Allegra said...

you are so strong
i think i'll be digesting this post for awhile--
my stomach hurts a little
i admire your strength and your voice and your courage to stand tall and firm....i envy it...

Brenda said...

What a ridiculous thing for her to say. I have raised my daughters, but thank goodness it was not now, in the "helicopter parent" era. Our children cannot spread their wings and fly unless we allow them the space to grow their wings. Things happen, yes. But you should not feel guilty for allowing your children space to grow their wings. Bravo to you for standing up for yourself!
Brenda

goddessof4 said...

We have all been there i one form or another,I think it is ridiculous what we can't do as parents anymore. Only a mother knows how responsible her kids are. The sad part is the parents that truely need to be harassed by child services are always "overlooked" and good parents are harrassed instead!!!! You are a great person and mom!!!!! Sara

Nathalie Thompson said...

How nice to find validation in my hands off approach by reading your post! My husband makes me feel like a bad parent because I don't mother hen my kids to death (read "suffocate"). DH is the worry wart in the family. I am not. I stay at home (quit a professional art career when our oldest was born- she is soon to be 13) because I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do, but I draw the line at home schooling our kids. I would be one of those moms you'd read about in the paper who drowned her kids one by one, all the while smiling...

the cottage child said...

Glad to have found you, jealous that Trader Joe has not found us here in TX....having a husband in law, my first question for anyone representing themselves as being from any agency is - "may I see your identification, please, and have one of your business cards"?, and then I would have INSISTED she write me up, so I could "follow up" with her supervisor. Gross. I seriously doubt she worked for CPS. I don't get it.

Good for you, that little bit of hands off will serve you well. I'm weaning myself from being a hoverer, and letting us all live a little. I regret having underestimated all of us - My husband and I did a better job, and my kids are smarter people, than I gave any of us credit for.

Love, love, love the story of your Gran. I miss mine still.

Beach Vintage said...

Amazing post. Captivated me.

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

Hey chicka! I've been trying to email you, but the emails keep bouncing back. Don't know what's up. Is everything okay with your email?

judy m said...

I'm so sorry about your interaction with the unpleasant lady at TJ. If I remember correctly, your in the Chicago suburbs right? I'm fairly certain she wasn't from "cps", which in the state of Illinois stands for Chicago Public Schools. The DCFS, the department of children and family services is the IL version of CPS would have been the correct term for her to use.

Anita said...

My condolences on the frog. Forget that lady...whoever she was...Her "day off" from what? Caring? Because if she were truly concerned that they were in DANGER, she would have acted anyway. And what is write me up? Like mom detention? A ticket with a fine? If we do the best we can at any moment, that is it. No apologies necessary. I have worked and I have stayed at home. Sometimes I get stir crazy at home. I get more done when I go to work because I know I have to get busy when I get home. My mind loves working...my heart loves being at home with my kids. My bank prefers me working. My kids would FREAK if I was not there. we eat healthier when I am home to make it. Either way, it's a sacrifice. Just depends on the day, I guess...But I always remember when I was so stressed out working and having 2 little ones and getting divorced and I didn't take the day off because you really shouldn't unless you're puking...and this teacher who had been there 30 years looked at me and he said- you know, Anita, if you die, they will have someone else in your classroom tomorrow. And I thought- wow. But my kids would not have anyone else tomorrow. So, poor as a church mouse, I stay home. And I don't judge those who don't.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I am a social worker working with CPS and can tell you that what that lady said is bullsh*t. Please excuse the language. There is nothing neglectful about having 2 children sitting in front of a store. Unfortunately, some people run around on power trips and believe the world is more dangerous than it actually is. I'm sorry for your experience with this so-called "professional".

L.W, Registered Social Worker, Canada

Anonymous said...

On second thought, it doesn't sound like the woman worked for Child Protective Services... real social workers don't get "days off" and have to report *actual* instances of abuse when and if we see them or risk losing our jobs (just like teachers, doctors, etc.) Probably some nosy woman with her own opinions about other people's children. I hate people like that!

L.W, Canada

paperhill said...

hi kasey, how sweet about gabina, it's tough to loose someone you love, i know my grandpa just passed away i'm glad you got to see her. take care.

Sarah said...

You are a brave soul Kasey! I honestly would have felt horrible if a CPS person would have done that to me! I did have a CPS person show up on my doorstep this year stating that my son was seen limping and rumors of a belt being used were swirling so a "dear" neighbor called CPS on us. It was a painful experience to have them at my house and wanting to talk to my kids, which I declined. We prayed heavily for a few weeks and have never heard back from them.

I worry about the state of this country with Obama and his socialism stances, I truly believe he wants us to have no privacy, but no permission needed either. Girls getting abortions without talking to their parents, government poking its head into parental rights, it all makes me sick. I long for the days of my youth when I could ride my bike at the age of 9 with my neighbor who was 14 and buy Icee's and not worry about anything!
Good for you for taking a stand! Thank you for being honest and sharing! Your memories of Gabina are precious!