Category Archives: Parenting

Working vs. Staying Home….I’ve Done It All…..

My husband and I made an agreement before we had our little ones that whoever made less money, would stay home until we felt comfortable for our kids to be in preschool or daycare.  So over the last decade (almost), I’ve been a stay at home mom, worked part time or worked full time while having kids.  Let me tell you…..it is a physically and mentally demanding job either way!

I felt like my brain became mush when I stayed at home full time.  I could tell you every character name on the kids shows or sing every word to the theme songs but talk about adult topics….hmm…..not so much.  I craved adult conversation and interaction.  I would call my husband at 2:00 asking if he would be home soon.  But I had no schedule and we could go to the zoo or library pretty much anytime we wanted.  I could hug and kiss my little ones whenever I wanted, I got to witness all their firsts and hear all their crazy, fabulous, funny questions/comments. SIDE NOTE: if you don’t already have a quote book for your kids – start one today! Hilarious!

Working full time had its benefits and downfalls too.  Our bank account was certainly in a much better place but we were all completely exhausted every night.  Also the balancing act of working and sick kids is never fun.  Thankfully we have an amazingly supportive family that could help in those situations.  I felt challenged from work, which I loved, but I did miss my adventures with my little sidekicks.

Currently I am a Realtor which is 24/7/365 but it is my time that I get to organize and use that works best for myself and family.  There are still challenges that we work through but again, it takes a tribe and I certainly have one that I couldn’t live without their love and support.  I really love my line of work and it fits my personality well.  I learn something new every day and I never know what’s going to happen, which I like, keeps me on my toes.

A friend of mine said to me that it isn’t always the quantity of time you spend with your kids but the quality of time you spend with them.  Which I thought was a great point to working/staying home and parenting.  We all make decisions with regards to this choice.  If you are “wired” to work full time and enjoy it, don’t feel guilty.  If you love being with kids and being the CEO of the home, then rock it!   Just remember to find time between meetings, deadlines, laundry and cooking to make some special moments along the way.

 

Cruise Director or Parent? Trying to Balance the Days of Summer….

School is coming to an end and summer is upon us!  Which means……bored kids who get cranky from not being entertained 24/7.  I’m not sure how or when it happened but why do parents, especially moms feel the need to be like a cruise director and plan out all these magical memories?

I have a board on Pinterest called “cool stuff to do with kids”.  Currently I have 121 pins.  I have completed maybe 4.  But I keep adding and adding.  Why?  Because one day I’ll get to it right?  Probably not.  I need to put the iPad and phone away and just be present for my kids.  Just play!  Like real play – throw a ball, swim in a pool, read a book with them, be the monster and chase them.

But at the same time, I need to just let them be kids and not depend on entertainment from us.  Let them get bored.  It’s ok!  Make them imagine and create their own worlds.  Some of my favorite summer memories are of my sister and I making up music videos and dance routines.  Come on….you know you did it too.

I’m not one to just sit and relax.  I’m guilty of needing entertainment 24/7 too.  But I’m going to make a conscience effort to enjoy these lazy days of summer as a family and for myself.  I’m sure there will be days that get hectic with activities or with kids fighting or trying to balance work and kids but I’ll remind myself to stop, take a breath and tell myself to embrace the chaos!

Being a Mom is not for the Weak

supermom

I was the best mom before I had kids.  I was never going to have kids that misbehaved, they were always going to listen to me and I would absolutely by no means ever bribe my kids.

Fast forward a few years…..there are times when I wonder what creatures have taken over my children as they act like they have never been in public, or I think they have hearing loss because I’ve asked then 15 times to put on their shoes but can somehow hear me whisper about candy and as for bribing?  Guilty.

Being a mom is probably the hardest job I’ve ever had and it is certainly not for the weak.  Of course before you have children you know how hard it will be, you get it.  How about you borrow my kids for a weekend and let me know how it goes.  It is 24/7/365.  There are no days off or sick days.  And vacation!?  HAHAHA!!!!  You need a vacation after a vacation because you are trying to make sure no one drowns, jumps off a balcony, gets lost, is fed, trying to find a bathroom because they waited until the last minute, smiling (even though you are sick to your stomach) as you watch them ride the rickety old rides that have rope for a seat belt, staying up with them because they can’t sleep because 1. you forgot that one stuffed animal that they never sleep with but that night they really want to sleep with or 2. they can’t sleep in a strange place.

Now that I am a mom, I call my mom on a regular basis and apologize profusely.  My mom usually laughs.  I have such a respect for my mom now.  She is an absolutely amazing woman, mother, role model, and friend.  She is so giving, loving, patient, kind, beautiful, smart, strong and caring.  There are times while I’m talking to my kids that I gasp and freeze because what is coming out of my mouth sounds exactly like my mother and it is terrifying.  But then again, secretly deep down, I’m ok with it since I think she is fabulous and I hope I’m half as amazing as she is one day.

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

The Silence of Pain

How often do we paste a smile on our face and when someone asks us how we are doing, we reply with the standard “I’m fine” or “Good” when really we are feeling terrible, upset or just down in the dumps.  Yes, there is something to say for mind over matter and fake it til you make it attitude but it’s also perfectly fine to talk about that pain.  There is something liberating and a sense of release after discussing these feelings.

Five years ago I had a miscarriage.  Even though it was so long ago, I can remember every moment of that day.  That morning, I knew something wasn’t right.  I called the doctor and they had me come in immediately for an ultrasound.  I remember looking at the screen during the ultrasound and waiting and hoping for that little flicker of the heartbeat to appear but nothing ever happened.  My head was swirling and tears welled up in my eyes.  I was in shock.  I remember thinking, “This can’t happen to me, I already had a normal/healthy pregnancy.”

I can’t explain the feelings and emotions I went through.  The unending questions and “what ifs” that would race through my head – Why did this happen?  What could I have done differently?  Should I not have done that?  Was it a boy or a girl?  What would we have named them?  What kind of person would they have been?  What would they have looked like?

Each woman who experiences this will handle it a different way.  Typically, I feel like women and our society are very hush, hush when this happens.  It’s a loss of a little life no matter how far along you are in the pregnancy so you need time to heal.  To help me heal, I couldn’t stay quiet, I needed to talk about it.  And since I did this, other friends who experienced a miscarriage felt comfortable sharing with me or asking me how I handled the situation.  I remember how much I appreciated being able to call someone close to me and ask them what they did so I’m glad I was able to be there for others.

Time certainly does help with the healing process.  Since I had the miscarriage, I’ve had a healthy little boy who is absolutely perfect.  I couldn’t imagine my world without him.  I remember when we found out I was pregnant again, my husband and I were both a little hesitant to celebrate.  During pregnancy, you usually look at weeks/months but during my pregnancy with our son, I would take each day as a blessing because it was one more step closer to actually having our baby.

If you have suffered through a miscarriage or are going through some other feelings of sadness, insecurities, doubt or fear, know that you are not alone.  If you feel like you want to talk about it, do it.  Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed.  Speak the feelings, say them out loud.  When you’re holding on to this disguise that everything is fine when it’s not, you can’t truly enjoy this beautiful, messy and crazy life we live.

Built in Babysitter? No It’s Called Parenting.

Funny family pic

How many of you moms have heard this – “Is your husband babysitting the kids tonight?”  I seriously want to scream when I hear this.  Let’s see a show of hands of how many men are asked this question.  Oh none?  That’s what I thought.  But I’ll leave that soapbox for another time.

Whenever anyone asks me that question, I look right at them and say, “NO, he is being a parent.”  In our house, raising our kids is a team effort.  I can honestly say I couldn’t do this whole parenting gig without my husband.  There are times that we have to work late, volunteer at night or just want a night out with friends but we certainly aren’t babysitting for each other.  We are supporting each others goals, dreams, interests or just a night to relax with friends.

Because I’m home during the middle part of the day with the kids, there are many nights I’m out working or teaching yoga so hubby is home with the kids.  I’m absolutely sure he has the bedtime routine down better than me!  Plus, I come home to dishes done (besides the obligatory dish that each man thinks needs to soak for 3 days but hey, that’s pretty good!) and even sometimes vacuuming is done.  Again, he is way better at doing that than me.  Does he do things exactly how I would do them?  Absolutely not and that’s good.  I will admit though that it is hard for me to let go of my controlling nature sometimes.  I love crafts, reading to the kids and playing outside.  He loves pretending to be super heroes, wrestling and playing video games.  The kids need those differences with parents or it would be boring.

So as you can see, our home is not a house that has jobs that are assigned to one certain parent/spouse.  There are times that we want to rip our hair out but that’s when the other jumps in and gives the other a break or a second to just take a deep breath.  We created these little roommates together so we know it is going to take both of us to get the job done.