Rotting Good Intentions

Fall has certainly settled in here in Rochester and I am loving every second of it. We’ve enjoyed a few trips already to the Rochester Cider Mill and walked around Van Hoosen Farm for The Stonewall Pumpkin Festival. I’ve made a copycat version of Panera’s Autumn Squash Soup as well as purchased a few mini pumpkins.

Stone Wall Pumpkin Festival at Van Hoosen Farm

Stonewall Pumpkin Festival at Van Hoosen Farm

Ah, the minis. They’re so cute aren’t they? You can just line them up on your table or put them in a basket and they’re all set. No carving, no disgusting guts of pumpkins everywhere. Just cuteness. Except that every year my kids carry these things off and I end up finding them half-rotted in a toy bin or worse yet, a dresser drawer. So gross.

These mini pumpkins are like my good intentions that just get lost in the shuffle and scuffle of everyday life. My intention is to bring some fall fun into our home and allow my kids to creatively play and enjoy them. Then, out of sight and out of mind and next thing I know my fingers brush against something mushy while searching for someone’s favorite toy. Eww. It’s hard to juggle all the different aspects of life and parenting. I can’t do it all myself, yet I keep trying. When will I ever learn? Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

Support. You absolutely must have some sort of counterpart to help you. It might be a spouse, a family member or a friend. You need someone you can count on to give you a hand. I’ve always believed that it takes a village to raise a child and there are plenty of people willing to offer support. You just have to ask.

Parenting Friends. You must have friends who are also parents. It’s really important for you to have a connection with someone in the same walk of life as you. You don’t have to be best friends; you just need to encourage one another in this crazy world of parenting. This friendship works best when your children are roughly the same age or perhaps going through the same type of behavioral situation. Maybe the only commonality is that you’re both single parents or that you’ve lost a spouse or that you hate volunteering at your kid’s school but you keep doing it because “it’s the right thing to do.” Whatever it is, find someone who can understand what you’re going through. Share the load.

Parenting Mentors. It’s so important to seek out parenting mentors. These are often people who have been parenting longer than you or maybe have lived through a situation you are currently in. Make sure you have someone you can ask questions to and know that you’ll receive honest, helpful answers. Find real humans and don’t rely solely on bloggers or social media relationships.

Rochester Media writers Meghan Zeile and Heidi Morris reap the benefits of leaning on each other

Rochester Media writers Meghan Zeile and Heidi Morris reap the benefits of leaning on each other

Sense of Humor. If you don’t have one, get one, because you’ll certainly need it throughout your entire parenting journey. Fellow Rochester Media writer, Heidi Morris, and I have a little game called “Is It Poop?” One of us will spot something mysterious, typically on the floor, and then text a quick picture to the other asking, “Is it poop?” More often than not, it’s just a stray piece of Larabar or a smear of chocolate, but it makes us laugh at the reality that it could indeed be poop and that we’re the ones responsible for cleaning it up.

Readjust Goals. It’s completely acceptable to readjust your goals. This is something that I struggle with because I hate saying one thing and then doing another. I often overcommit and then feel frustrated and angry because I’m straight up exhausted. My son and I decided it was time for him to learn to read. He was excited. I was excited. I bought him a folder for his work and I checked out a wonderful sight word book from the library. It was amazing… for about 6 weeks. He learned 12 words… I think. Then, it just got to be too much for both of us. He was sad. I was annoyed. We just wanted to hang out while the Wild One (little sister) was taking a nap. We really didn’t want to mess with it anymore. We had a heart-to-heart last week and decided that we’ll slow down for now and continue to practice the words he already knew but not introduce new ones. In a month or two, we’ll revisit the topic and see how we both feel about it.

It can be difficult to keep the balance of setting goals yet maintaining simplicity in a household with children. Know your limits and those of your children. Make sure you have support and a reliable source for real information and advice. Ask for help when you need it and laugh! Laugh at your kids, laugh at yourself but most importantly laugh together.


About Meghan Zeile

Mom-in-the-know and local writer for Rochester Media. Always looking for tips with kids, family life, and fun local adventures. Contact at


  1. Nice article Meghan, thanks!

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