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Archive for October, 2010

The Grass is Not Greener in the Stay at Home Mom Pasture

October 14, 2010 13 comments

As I have lamented the last few weeks about my job, I have also started to fantasize about being a stay at home mom (SAHM).  To provide balance (or to stop my whining) my friend Sarah graciously put together the following for me (and I post it with her permission – little does she know the only payment she’ll receive is a glass of wine). 

10 Reasons the Grass is not Greener in the Stay at Home Mom Pasture

Help I’m sick!!  When I call in sick, nobody covers for me.   No matter how sick I am, kids still need to get to school; lunches still need to be made.  There is no daycare to drop them off at, no nanny to speak of, just me doing the same thing I do everyday with the exception of barfing ever 20 minutes.

The inevitable party question. “What do you do?” “I’m a stay at home mom”.   Responses range anywhere from the cliché “wow isn’t that great” to blank stares of confusion.  Insult to injury is when the response is followed by the droll discussion of things like how expensive diapers are and The Wiggles, as if those must be the only things I am interested in.  My favorite follow-up to date is still “Do you do anything else??”  NOPE!  Just stay home and stare at the baby.

Only Mom Can Help.  When you spend your day assisting in every menial task for your children from helping brush their teeth to tying shoes 3 or 4 times, your children develop a “only mom can help me” complex.  My children will walk right past their dad sitting in the kitchen, through the entryway, up a flight of stairs, and into my bedroom to ask ME to open a fruit snack package for them…?

Fun Overkill.  Yes it is possible to have too much fun.  My husband and I are on completely opposite “fun” schedules.  By the time my husband gets home I have been on mom duty for 9+ hours.  I have played 25 hands of Go Fish, read 10 books, put together 3 puzzles and even pretended to be the fairy princess locked in the tower. (ok the princess was my idea and I actually locked myself in my room to make a quick 10 minute phone call.)  However, understandably, my husband wants to spend time not only with the kids, but as a family.   I want a chance to be a grown-up and a wife, my husband wants time to be a dad.  “Let’s play soccer” “Come on mom!”……..I’m coming.

Divorce! The D word.  Hate to think about it, but it happens.   My fear as a SAHM is that if this does happen I will be an average aged, average looking, minivan driving no name with a 9 year gap in my resume. I picture my first job interview going something like this “no Mrs. SAHM we stopped running DOS 2.0 about 7 years ago.”

Quantity Does Not Equal Quality.  Some people assume that because I spend MORE time with my kids it is better.  That is NOT the case.  More time just equals more time to screw them up.  There were days when I thought my kids would be better off at day interacting with other children rather than at home with me watching me pay bills and vacuum.

Tomorrow.  The curse word of the SAHM.  Only you know the expectation that you set for yourself.  Therefore what doesn’t happen today can always happen tomorrow, and no one is the wiser.  Instructions are easy..when tomorrow comes…repeat.

Blizzards/ Tornados & Other Natural Disasters.   Being in your home with any number of children 24 hours a day and trying to keep the house clean is impossible.  It is like shoveling snow in a blizzard.  I don’t even try anymore. 

Fashionista.  NOT!  I used to be a decent dresser.  Really.  As I grew tired of washing Cheetos hand prints and baby poop/spit-up off nice clothes, I retired my nice things and adopted the SAHM “uniform”: Workout clothes and tennis shoes that rarely actually make it inside a gym.  You know you have lost your inner fashionista when you put on a pair of jeans and a necklace and your kids ask you “why are you so fancy mommy?”

I Am Out the Running for Mother of the Year.  No awards to polish around here.  No plaques to cover my walls, no raises.  You can work your fanny off at your “job” as a SAHM but no one is there to pat your back.   I would like to say that your child’s smile is payment enough but let’s be honest, when’s the last time a smile bought you a purse?  And a promotion??  The only time my husband uses the word promotion is when he wants sex, and by “promotion” he means another baby.

There are days I start to think, gosh it would be nice to have a job, one where I got to talk to people about politics or books without pictures, or dare I say an R rated movie.  Then I realize that the grass in not greener, it’s just a different shade.

Thanks Sarah for the perspective!  I’ll share the color of my pasture as a working mom tomorrow.

Sharing a Short Story

October 12, 2010 Leave a comment

After reading the short story of a Writing Mama, I decided to go out on a limb and post one of my short stories. 

Do you want to read it? Click here.

Read it, react, comment.

Categories: Writing

Seven Reasons Not to Quit

October 12, 2010 11 comments

I have two choices – write about how unhappy I am in my job or have a little fun with it.

C’mon!  You know what I picked (it was close though, boy did you get lucky)!  My goal was 10 reasons I love my job, but I am not that creative, so here’s seven.

Ten Seven Reasons I Love My Job

  1. The paycheck – I love it, I need it, it’s why my husband loves me
  2. The escape – no job = no nanny = no break from the kids
  3. The corporate credit card – nothing like sampling the best restaurants and bars on somebody else’s dime
  4. The excuse – I need this fabulous necklace and shoes and purse and coat and… for work
  5. The awards – who could give up the cheesy crystal awards that my kids try to play with 😉
  6. The distraction – if I didn’t work, I might have to actually work-out more – ugh!
  7. The miles and points – we take many vacations thanks to our frequent flier miles and hotel points

If you’re looking for me to mention the role or something deep, keep looking, I am too…

If you don’t work, why would you want to?  If you do work, what’s the best part for you?

Categories: Humor, Lists, Working Tags: ,

10 Things to Do In My Lifetime

October 11, 2010 2 comments

Yesterday was 10/10/10.  It is a cool date and it was my husband’s birthday so it was a fun-filled weekend.  I want to commemorate this auspicious date with my top ten wish list.  I am currently working on a Mighty List that will be a life list of 100 things I want to do in my lifetime.  But my current top 10 feels appropriate for yesterday.  Narrowing it down to 10 was tough but here we go:

  1. Change the life (for the better) of someone close to me
  2. See a cure for cancer
  3. Renew my vows
  4. Get paid to write
  5. Sponsor a family in need at Christmas
  6. Inspire somebody to pursue their dreams
  7. Watch my children fulfill their dreams
  8. Give a large amount of money  to a stranger on the street
  9. Give a speech to 10,000 or more people
  10. Travel the World

What’s your top 10?

Categories: Life, Lists Tags: ,

The “Real” Parenting Definitions

October 8, 2010 6 comments

We have all heard them, but what do these parenting buzzwords really mean…

Perspective: Trying to get eye contact with a screaming, tantrum throwing child in order to discipline them.  Usually involves getting on the ground and tilting one’s head upside down.

Time-Outs: Me. Bottle of Wine.  Closet or Patio. 

Make Good Choices: Pick the action that will be least likely to cause me to go psycho-mommy on your tiny heinie.

Consequences: A politically correct term for mommy (or daddy) revenge.  You break my i-pod, spill my cocktail or wake me up, there will be consequences.

Positive Reinforcement: Using duck tape to encourage them to stay in timeout.

Incentives: Bribes out of desperation. 

Stranger Danger: The danger of giving my children to a perfect stranger if they make me too crazy.

Crying It Out: What I do on the days when I realize that I have no control and that my life is run by two little people.

What would you add to the list?

"Positive Reinforcement"

Categories: Humor, Parenting Tags: , , ,

You Could Be A Smile Maker

October 6, 2010 13 comments

I know so many people having a tough week and it is only Wednesday.  I have friends who are sick, ending relationships, struggling financially, praying for a miracle, hoping for a baby, grieving over the death of a friend or just plain burned out.  As I said, it’s been a tough week.  Like the people in my thoughts, we all need a little extra TLC sometimes.

My week will feel better if I can brighten someone else’s day. So here’s a few of the people I think are amazing:

  • If you’re one of those mentioned above you’re in my thoughts and prayers more than you know.  I am humbled by your grace and perseverance.
  • My children’s teachers and caregiver – you are like miracle grow mixed with pixie dust!
  • My kids – you know when to not push me any further (dinner last night) and you back pedal with giggles, hugs and kisses. 
  • My husband – words cannot describe.
  • My fellow bloggers and writers – I have never met most of you but you motivate me and inspire me.
  • My friends – you keep me balanced, you’re there when I cry, you make me laugh and you don’t blackmail me.
  • Those who spend their time helping others.
  • Anyone who shows kindness to a stranger – this truly makes the world better.

So here’s your challenge – tell someone they’re amazing. Write it, say it, sing it, do an interpretive dance.  Just make the week better by making someone else smile, I bet you’ll smile too.

I Brushed My Teeth With What?!

October 4, 2010 10 comments

Parenting has highs and lows and sometimes unexpected, and unwanted, surprises… 

We spent an amazing weekend with friends from college and their children.  We all got together at a private camp.  We had a campfire, a hay ride, fishing, swimming, and more.  It was family and friend bonding bliss.     

On Saturday night, my husband graciously put the kids to bed in our cabin, while I sat up at the lodge having cocktails and visiting with our friends.  I strolled into our cabin about 1:30 am and of course had to get ready for bed in the dark.  The cabins were simple and we all slept in one room, which was the same room the sink was in.  So I couldn’t turn on the light to brush my teeth or take out my contacts.    

I was doing pretty good in the dark.  I got my contacts out, found my glasses and prepared to brush my teeth.  I grabbed the tube, slathered it on and shoved the toothbrush in my mouth…  What the %$&#?  This substance was neither foamy nor minty.  It was not meant for my mouth, but rather my daughter’s butt… It was Desitin!    

C’mon, make me feel better, tell me your gross parenting story!    

My toothbrush the next morning...

I Choose

October 1, 2010 1 comment
  • I choose balance
  • I choose to be kind to myself
  • I choose to hold my tongue and not try to “set somebody else straight”
  • I choose to look for the good in a day and the good in a person
  • I choose to smile at strangers and sometimes even help them
  • I choose to give an empathetic smile to a mom with a screaming child
  • I choose to work and be a mom
  • I choose to put my family first, usually
  • I choose to parent like Child Protective Services is watching
  • I choose to love

I don’t make these great choices everyday, but when I don’t, I choose to try again tomorrow.

What do you choose?

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