Sitting in a doctor's office waiting room, I filled out pages and pages of information. To my surprise and pleasure, when it came to the employment area, "Full-time parent" was listed as one of the choices!
I just about fell out of my chair. (which probably would have alarmed the doctor's office staff!)
I was so happy, I wanted to hug the man sitting next to me. (Though by the sounds of his lung-crumbling cough, I don't think it would have been good for my health to have contact with him.)
At home moms (SAHM's) are a busy group. We cook, clean, run around town, hold the family calendar and, as a financial advisor once told me, tend to manage the household finances. Working moms often do all of the same only after they get home from an already busy day at work!
Regardless of whether a mom is at home or work outside of the home, money-earning and money-saving tips are always welcome. (Provided they are good tips and not of the Invest-$10K-With-Us-And-We'll-Make-You-Rich-In-An-Hour kind of tip your Uncle Robbie can't stop talking about at family gatherings.)
I am picky. I will not spend my time on anything that will earn me $0.05 per hour of survey-taking or anything that will suck up so much time, my kids will be neglected.
Here is a tip I found recently with a reputable organization:
I know that I am a better mom because of the close friendships I have with other women. These great women keep me grounded, they pass on lessons they have learned as moms, and they are compassionate, understanding listeners when I just need to vent.
What are your key friendships?
How do they help you as a mom?
How do you maintain these in the daily whirlwind that is mothering??
I like buying organic. I get the environmental part. Really, I do. I know it is healthier. Pesticides, nutritional amount, etc. I understand it all.
It seems, however, that my checking acccunt does not agree.
Organic food is expensive.
So here's the rub: I know its better. But I simply cannot afford to go all organic.
So here I am, feeding my kids food that's not organic thinking about all of the sprays and junk and possible outcomes with a smile plastered to my face as though everything were just fine.
Seriously, who can afford some of those prices?
What is there to do?
Here's a little list a friend passed on to make it a little easier. I keep it on my fridge to remember when I'm making my list.
Top five big-bad-meanies when it comes to pesticides. these guys soak up those chemicals like no tomorrow. Definitely buy these organic if you can:
The next five are not so bad. These you can buy conventional and not worry:
3) Sweet corn (yum!!)
4) Pineapple (super yum!!!)
5) Mangos (um, maybe you like them)
Babies are so innocent. Even when they are crying, screaming, teething, keeping us up all night, they are not meaning anything by it. They are just acting on how they are feeling with no thought of how it might be taxing us.
And even with the most colicky of babies, the moments when they are quiet and peaceful and snuggled in our arms, there is nothing so precious as that little baby breathing her baby breaths.
Then they grow.
And some things start to change.
I have read this stage of 5-7 years old is called a "mini adolescence". Who knew that such a sweet little child would turn into an eye-rolling, arms-crossing, sass-giving person? I certainly did not.
Who knew that it would get under my skin so?
I understand that around this age, kids are playing with how much power do they have in the world. It is not meant to be manipulative. Kids are never intentionally manipulative, they just want what they want and are learning how to get it. And at this stage, this "mini adolescence", I believe they are trying to learn how to be assertive for what they want and more in control of their own lives.
Seriously, what parent wants to feel rejected like this? No one wants to feel like they are infuriating to the people they love most.
But what is a mom to do?
Sure, I can and I do set the boundary that we do not speak to our mothers in that tone. This feedback is part of them learning what is acceptable when asserting themselves. And I know they are not using that tone with teachers, by the way. But if I get too barky, aren't I exhibiting the same behavior I don't want them to exhibit?
I try to stay calm. I try to breathe. I try to model the kind of clear, collected but firm assertiveness I would like to see my children use.
"Try" being the key word here.
I tell myself "This is my training ground for real adolescence."
Then, when my mini-adolescent wants me to lie in bed at night and read a book, I jump at the chance. I let go, for the moment, of all of the things I need to do and clean before I go to bed. And I relish in the gift of us peacefully reconnecting...
The cool down after summer.The changing leaves.The apple orchard.
OK, truth be told, I do not enjoy the hassle of convincing my kids that coats really are necessary or the extra time it takes to actually get our family out the door and off to school in the morning.
I do love pulling out my favorite sweater.And that vest I can wear with a turtle neck and jeans.
The other day, when it was crisp and clear, we pulled our patio furniture under the tree in the yard, brought out a couple blankets and snacks, and played Clue Jr.( Very fun game, by the way. ).
But then, our youngest got bored. Mayhem began.She scrambled on the table, threatened with great determination to reveal the missing toy and the animal who had stashed it, and sent older brother screaming that the game was ruined.I swear, the sheer noise of it sent migrating geese further on their way and caused more leaves to drop.
With Dad prying the little cardboard pieces out of our daughter's death-grip, I rushed inside for distraction tools. Something, anything, to get my peaceful happy family time back.
I ran back out of the house waving fall favorites overhead calling, "Books!"
Both kids swirled to see what I had, Clue Jr. long forgotten. Dad quickly stashed the cardboard pieces safely back in the box.
My kids and I crammed into one chair, blanket across us all, and read.Dad dozed in his chair getting himself some much needed rest before the week started up.