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Volunteer or Controlling Mom?

October 18, 2011 4 comments

I volunteer in my son’s second grade classroom every other Monday morning.  I think it is important to be present in my son’s education.  I appreciate the opportunity to witness what he is learning, and how is learning, in order to be consistent at home.  Our teachers have the critical task of educating our future leaders and I want to support them in their efforts.

All of the above is true…

But let’s get real…

I want to observe my son’s classmates to determine who are appropriate play dates!  As I help the teachers, I envision each of the kids coming over… 

If I see this in class…

I envision this…

or this…

 

If I experience this,

I imagine, I will have a playdate that goes like this…

Parenting is tough, I want to keep my son from having friends like…

At least not until he’s old enough for me to enjoy the trouble with him!

What ways do you weed out the Eddie Haskells and Dennis the Menaces?

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The Truth Behind A Working Mom’s Resume

October 11, 2011 7 comments

I have been thinking a lot about the balance of my career and being a mother.  In other words, I am still struggling to balance the two.  I have come to the conclusion that I cannot permanently solve this issue of balance, but rather attack it every day and set new priorities everyday – generally based on who is screaming the loudest.

What has helped me with my daily prioritization is having one über focus.  I have decided that I am a mom before anything else.  So as I read the summary of my resume, I decided it might need some editing…

Yes, this is really my summary of qualifications…  I am in HR and can’t believe I thought this was useful…

  • Professional and effective communicator with the ability to establish a positive rapport with internal and external customers
  • Responsible and competent in high pressure situations, motivated and willing to put in 110%
  • Successful in leading and managing projects
  • Contributes to process improvement and strives to enhance job effectiveness
  • Demonstrates innovation and helps achieve company wide goals through meeting challenges and exceeding expectations

Now here is a more realistic copy, who wants to hire me now?

  • Professional and effective communicator with the ability to establish a positive rapport with internal and external customers, unless I have been up all night with a sick child.  If that is the case, I stick to one syllable words and that sounds more like gibberish than communication.  Positive rapport? Unlikely.
  • Responsible and competent in high pressure situations, motivated and willing to put in 110% on some days.  If it is my classroom volunteer day, my child’s birthday, the first day of school, the last day of school or sunny outside, I am willing to put in 72%.
  • Successful in leading and managing projects only because I have learned the art of delegating so that I can spend more time with my kids.
  • Contributes to process improvement and strives to enhance job effectiveness these are only so that I don’t have to work as hard to get the same results so I can spend more time with my kids.
  • Demonstrates innovation and helps achieve company wide goals through meeting challenges and exceeding expectations the challenges I like to focus on include how to work less and spend more time with my family and I hope to exceed my children’s expectations of being present for them.

What is the truth behind your resume? 

Speaking of spending more time with my kids, I made the very tough decision not to pursue my coaching dream at this time.  I don’t want to give a serious passion anything less than my best.  As I take stock of my life right now, there is no room to give my best to anything else.  Hell, I can’t even give mediocre to anything else right now.

I am having a serious struggle with work life balance right now (as evidenced by my lack of writing) and just can’t pull any more time out of my a.. (absolutely crazy schedule, ahem).  So I am focusing on restoring balance not going insane, and getting back to blogging (as I miss it and all of you) and will revisit coaching when my schedule permits.  Thank to all those who have provided amazing support!

Now seriously, what’s going behind your resume?  Tell the truth.  The truth is always more delicious.

Twas The First Day of School

August 10, 2011 6 comments
T’was the first day of school and all through the home
The kids were ready; teeth brushed and hair combed
 
When the alarm clocks when off, I was prepared for the worst
I pictured cranky, slow-moving kids who might possibly burst
 
But they wore the clothes they laid out and ate breakfast with haste
The consumed what I served, no meals went to waste
 
I planned to arrive early, but secretly just hoped not to be late
So when I yelled put your shoes on, to my surprise, they were great!
 
They stood by the door, shoes on, ready to go.
It was me who was lagging, I had to look good, you know.
 
Dear son’s now a second-grader, so he played it cool
Little diva has one more year til she attends brother’s “big school”
 
We stepped on to campus with 25 minutes to spare
There was time for “how was your summer? and “did you cut your hair”?
 
We said hi to his former teachers and all our of our friends
On mornings like this you’re glad summer does end.
 
Dear son loves his new teachers and had a great day
He set up his desk, did some math and lots of play
 
With school in we have routine and need not invent so much fun,
But that also means now, I am again, on the run.
 
With school comes homework – both his and mine
Then there is soccer practice, dinner and early bedtime
 
So while I’d love to tell you more about the great day that we had
I must pull dinner out of the oven, and be on time to practice, being late is normal looks bad.
 

I’m a Bad Mommy

May 31, 2011 2 comments

Or, at a minimum, I am hanging out with 4 Bad Mommies today, as a guest blogger.  Although, I’ll tell you a secret: they’re not bad mommies.  They’re honest, funny and definitely worth a visit.

Come over and check out Why I Am Glad School is Almost Out!

There Is Nothing Wrong with the Shirt!

May 16, 2011 12 comments

I had just finished getting dressed.  I was feeling good, because although I have gained a few pounds from business trips, vacation and Lent being over, I could still button my shorts. Some may say I set the bar low, but when you like food as much as I do, hoping for shorts that button is sometimes aggressive.

My son walked in and said, “Mommy, what’s on your shirt”?  I looked at my shirt thinking there might be a stain or a hole, but saw nothing.

“Honey, where, what are you talking about?”

He drags his cute little hand across my mid section – you know, the gut area, and says, “This, what is this?”

Oh.

Shorts buttoning doesn’t guarantee there will be no “leakage” – why can chubby boobs falling out of tops be cute, but muffin top is not?  When is muffin top coming into style?!  And although, I will usually be my own worst critic, the muffin top was not bad (on this day, in these shorts, with this shirt).

“Honey, that is mommy’s tummy pushing against the waistband of her shorts.  As you get older it is harder to have a flat stomach (my son has an 8-pack)”.

My son giggles a little, “Why is it harder to have a flat stomach”?

“Well, honey because grown-ups don’t have as much time to play and get exercise.  You ride bikes, swim and play outside all day.  You get plenty of exercise.  Mommy has to try to make time in her day for exercise.”

Here’s the part I didn’t say out loud:

See if I wasn’t working full-time, I would have more time to exercise too.  And if I wasn’t your typical stressed mother of young children, I wouldn’t need wine and cocktails and chocolate. 

Actually, that’s a lie.  If I wasn’t working full-time, I would have more wine and cocktails and would still find things to do besides exercise, like read, write and take naps.

Back to the conversation.

“So if you get enough exercise, your shirt doesn’t look like that?”

Now here’s the part where I should be that great mom, that thinks about promoting healthy body image and fitness over appearance.  But I was on an emotional roller coaster.  Starting on that high of my shorts buttoned, then slammed down to “What is that?”.

I dug deep, looking for the good mommy who makes this a positive lesson…

“Honey, let’s stop talking about Mommy’s fat and get going”.

Yep, that was all I could muster.

I’ll try harder next time. 

And I’ll eat healthier.  And drink less.  And work out more.

Or just buy bigger shorts.

Disney DEFCON

The National Enquirer reported that I was the first person ever to actually fall off the face of the Earth.  While it may have felt like that, it wasn’t entirely true (just like most articles in the National Enquirer).

It is true that I have not logged into my blog dashboard in several weeks – the last few blogs I posted we’re on an automatic timer, similar to all the lights in my mental and real house.

I have spent the last three weeks on business trips and vacation.  I am not even sure my bed at home feels like my “real” bed yet. 

But I am back – did you get a chill? It’s okay to lie to me ya know.

There are so many stories I want to share with you.  I wrote so many posts in my head, but never took notes on them, so they are as forgotten as my exercise routine.  Here’s one that really seems to want to be written, because it has been rattling around in my mind (that was the tin pinging sound you heard) for days:

DEFCON is the Defense Readiness Condition used by the Armed Forces.  After spending a week in Disneyland with my kids, I felt it was my civic duty to share the following:

Disney DEFCON

5 – Lowest state of readiness.  You haven’t told the kids you’re going to Disneyland.  Life is peaceful.

4 – Increased intelligence and strengthened security measures.  The kids know they are going to Disneyland.  Care must be taken to ensure that they do not injure themselves when bouncing off the walls.  You also now have the opportunity to throw the entirely empty threat of cancelling the trip if they do not behave on the long car ride.  Good luck with that…

3 – Increase in force readiness above that required for normal readiness. You need a strategy for crowds, lines, food and the endless toy displays.  Here’s mine:

  • Crowds – The best defense is a good offense.  I started the week trying to avoid small children and other strollers.  After losing every toenail I own, I treated navigating Disneyland, during Spring Break, like a full contact, extreme sport.  Show no mercy.
  • Lines – Don’t be the sweet mom that stops to let the kids climb on sculptures, take pictures and play on slides.  Stick to the mission – rides!  Get them in early, then go back and take pictures with characters, play on the fake cars, ride the carousel and watch the shows while everyone else is standing in hour-long lines in the beating sun.
  • Food – Decide up front – are you a militant mom or a mom looking for a little peace?  I just wanted a little peace so I bought popcorn, churros and ice cream.  I also bought some food for my kids.
  • Toys – I decided before I left that each kid would get one toy/souvenir, period.  I even brought their tiaras and light sabers from home so I wouldn’t get hit up for those.  Before you second guess me, I did stick to the one souvenir rule, sort of.  They each got one thing – but each thing was bigger than I had planned.  I admit I am a sucker for a $65 Cinderella costume and since they didn’t have one in my size, I bought it for my daughter.  With my son, I had a rare opportunity to trump my husband and spontaneously buy a Lego for my son while my husband was getting the car.  I am usually the mean mom and it felt amazing to play the role of Disney Dad! 

2 – Further increase in force readiness, but less than maximum readiness.  DEFCON 2 hit on day 2 days 1, 2 and 3 for us. Be prepared for a scene, but take solace in the fact that your child’s screams will be drowned out by Disney music (I swear they have speakers as close as trash cans), the sound of the rides and 5,000 other screaming children.

1 – War is imminent. Proceed directly to California Adventure where they serve alcohol.

We hit DEFCON 1 on our final day in the park.  We still had planned to spend a few more hours there.  We went to California Adventure, drank two beers and left the park.  A full nuclear response was narrowly avoided.

Tell me a funny story from one of your family vacations.  And by funny, I mean one where I don’t look like the only crazy mom!

45 is the New Toddler

April 13, 2011 8 comments

There are endless effects of having children.  But did you know they make you younger?

Think about how your life changes when you have kids:

  • You are more prone to eating grilled cheese, quesadillas and macaroni and cheese
  • You have the frequent urge to burst into tears
  • You know the words to every kid song
  • You don’t think twice about being in public with a stained shirt
  • You get excited when Disney releases another movie from the vault
  • Your language goes from biker chick to “gosh darn” and “bust my buffers”

My dear friend made me aware of this phenomenon when she sent me the following text:

Cat just clawed the crap out of me.  I’m wearing a Scooby-Doo bandage and brushing my teeth with kid toothpaste.  45 is the new toddler.

Her one defining adult behavior?  She is drowning her sorrows in hot chocolate and Bailey’s!

Cheers to getting younger!

The Fountain of Youth