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Posts Tagged ‘Mothers’

Thank You to My Parenting Village

April 8, 2011 13 comments

When it comes to parenting, they (whoever ‘they’ are) say “it takes a village”.  I whole-heartedly believe this is true.  As a working-mom, I rely on my village to make it all happen.  Carpools, playdates, meal swaps – my village works together to make sure our kids are dropped off, picked up, fed, have presents for parties and uniforms for games.

But not just working parents need the village.  Stay-at-home moms and dads need the village too.  They need a break from their precious darlings or they need back-up when they have four kids playing two sports each with games in different parts of the state.  Bottom line, all parents need a village.

What’s amazing about my village is how efficient it is, how seamlessly our villagers work to ensure the best for every child.  The other day, my son was standing in front of the school waiting to be picked up.  In the mere minutes that he waited, two of my friends checked to see if he had a ride.  They talked to the mother picking him up to make sure he was taken care of.  My son was not crying, he did not look distressed, but my friends in my village know the routine and they saw him in front a minute past when he normally is out there.  They made sure he was accounted for.

Having a village full of aware, considerate friends is more valuable than a job, a pay check or any other material thing.  My village watches out for my kids, shares tips and advice and picks me up on the low days we all have as parents.  We celebrate as a village too.  Lost teeth, passing the big test, learning to ride a bike; we rejoice as a village, thus making every celebration more monumental for our children.  The village, and the people of my village are amazing, unique and keep me balanced.

Thank you to my wonderful village, you make my heart full and my worries less.

What do you want to thank your village for?

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My Son Has Hallmark Beat

March 31, 2011 11 comments

Yesterday was my birthday.  When my husband woke up at 6:30 am to make me breakfast (I am a lucky girl), he found my six-year old son already awake, working hard on this:

It read:

Dear mom, the hole family loves you, but the best part about you is eavin you loves yourself.  You ceap M and I rilly safe in this house and we all love you, nomter what.”

“Happy Birthday MOM!”

“MOM you are a star.”

I love everything about this card, especially:

  • The spontaneity, he did this on his own, without suggestion.  He couldn’t sleep because he was excited to write it
  • The fact that he values loving yourself.  If I helped instilled that in him, I am thrilled.
  • At an age where we discuss strangers, bad guys and monsters under the bed, he feels safe in his home.
  • The statement, ‘I love you no matter what’ has stuck with him.  I tell him this after I have to discipline him.  It warms my heart that he heard me.

My son loves to write.  He writes stories and illustrates them on his own.  I love that he has a passion for writing. 

I am humbled and touched that he so beautifully captured what I am trying to teach him.  Knowing that my parenting efforts are reaching him is the best birthday present I could receive.

What’s the best birthday present you have received?

Happy Halloween from June Cleaver

October 31, 2010 7 comments

In the spirit of Halloween, I am going to be Supermom today and when I say Supermom, I mean June Cleaver, I love that woman and am not comfortable in tights and a cape.  If my son can be GI Joe and my daughter can be Belle, a kitty, Sleeping Beauty, a Cheerleader and a skeleton (it’s changing by the minute) than I should be allowed to take on a new persona.

So what has supermom done so far – Made my family pumpkin pancakes from scratch (well mostly, ignore the canned pumpkin) and cleaned the kitchen – what you wanted more?!  It’s only 10:00 am in California!  You may be saying to yourself, did she come up with this bogus post just to brag about the pancakes – yes, possibly.  As I sit and type my husband is vacuuming – does that mean I have already broken character?

Now for a costume… does supermom wear flannel pants and an old t-shirt?  Does she have dirty hair and flour on her face?  No?  Hmmm… I will work on this – I would love to dress as my idol June Cleaver (without the heels, I am not that tough).  I might have to whip out my sewing machine…  ha ha ha, sorry I was laughing so hard, I had to stop typing, I don’t even own a sewing machine!  But I do have a glue gun and a stolen stapler (sorry, I can’t talk about it, I plead the 5th). 

If supermom aka June doesn’t work out, I will still celebrate Halloween by eating all of my kid’s candy and scarring (yes, that was intentional – scaring AND scarring) people with my off-balance behavior!

How’s your Halloween going?  Have you been a Monster Mommy?  If so, you may be a contender in my Mom of the Year Contest!  The deadline for submission is tomorrow!  Don’t forget, we have a celebrity judge – Lori from In Pursuit of Martha Points is picking the winner.  You can go lobby for yourself at her site, but she is likely out launching an attack on her neighbor’s Halloween decorations today.

Late breaking news – my husband just came in to vacuum this room and told me he started the laundry and cleaned the bathrooms – I guess I am no June Cleaver, back to the drawing board…  Any ideas for me?

Categories: Humor, Parenting Tags: , ,

5 Types of Over-Balanced Moms

October 27, 2010 16 comments

You know what I am talking about, the too perfect and know-it-all moms…

I know what you’re going to say: “But Paige, you preach that every mother should be valued and not judged”.  Correction – real people should be valued, but I choose to mock stereotypes all I want!  And as for why I have decided to call them “over-balanced” ?  Well everybody knows that too much of a good thing will make you sick!  So to make the rest of us real mom’s feel better here we go…

  1. Too-Perfect-Mom: Nothing ever falls out of her car when she drops the kids off at school.  She attends every event and brings homemade baked goods for all occasions.  She’s never late and never looks like she just rolled out of bed.  You have never seen her raise her voice to her angelic children and when you describe your chaotic day, she just gives you a sympathetic smile.  She is NOT in the running for Mother of the Year! (But you could be if you submit…)
  2. Fashionista Mom: Always perfectly coiffed, trendy and never stained.  Whether it’s early morning drop-off or coming from the gym, she never looks frumpy or disheveled.  We all have our good days, but she’s never had a bad one.
  3. Know-It-All-Mom: She is an authority on everything.  She tells you what you’re doing wrong as a parent (and possibly everything else) and how to correct it.
  4. Age Defying Mom – She has given birth to four kids and looks like she is 18.  Perfectly toned, perky boobs,  no wrinkles and she eats pizza and cupcakes at every party.  The only consolation is imagining she has a plastic surgeon on speed dial, but alas, you’re sure she just has good genes.
  5. Overly-Talented-Mom: She’s athletic, a fabulous cook, crafty and decorated her model home.  She sews all of her children’s darling clothes and made a breathtaking mission out of dried pasta and baking soda for her child’s school project.  Everything she does is flawless and fabulous.  I have a friend like this, but she’s crazy, so I still love her.

In revolt of over-balance, I present you with Paige: 

  • I am mildly athletic, if you count that I don’t usually trip when I walk.
  • When I cook dinner, my husband tells me to focus on the main course and he’ll handle the rest
  • The only thing I’ve made with my glue gun is a mess
  • I forgot my daughter’s snack day at preschool… EVERY TIME FOR THE WHOLE YEAR! (sorry Miss Jill!)
  • My best clothes are Target sales rack and my nanny has had to intervene when I tried to leave the house in a pathetic state
  • I have a small fortune worth of half-empty water bottles floating around my car
  • When I am on my “A” game, I close my windows before I yell
  • The only thing I consider myself an expert on is being a crazy, off-balance mommy

Are you over-balanced? If so, what’s the secret?  Prozac and wine??

If you’re off-balanced, like me?  What’s your shining moment? I can hear what you’re thinking, that’s a funny one, you should enter my Mom of the Year Contest.

I'm no June Cleaver...

There’s Very Little Grass in the Working Mom Pasture

October 15, 2010 18 comments

Yesterday, my witty friend Sarah shared with us 10 reasons why the grass is not greener being a Stay At Home Mom.  For those who know Sarah, she is a great mom and certainly has the skills and abilities to go back to work, but she has made a commitment to her family and she’s happy with her decision… most of the time.

So now it’s my turn.  Here’s my top 10 on why moms (or dads – I think you are under-represented) should not flock to the office.

  1. Is this your mommy? When I am out with my children, people come up and act as if my children are with a stranger.  “Are you her mom?” This is why my children and I wear nametags, it helps us and those around us.
  2. The inevitable party follow-up question? Unlike Sarah, when I tell people I have a full-time job, they naturally ask, “Well who cares for your children?”.  So I am compelled to explain – “I leave them with a pack of wolves.  But I am a responsible mother, so I only leave them with female wolves, they’re more nurturing”.
  3. Nobody thinks you can help Because I do not care for my children, the kids, and others, assume I have no domestic or child-rearing abilities.  Okay, okay, I have very few domestic abilities, but I do know how to care for my children.  I can wash a disposable diaper just like a pro.
  4. Keeping up with the SAHM’s  I have never made my own baby food, sewn a Halloween costume or chaired a school fundraiser.  (I am not sure I would do those things if I were a SAHM).
  5. Playdates  Playdates are tougher for kids with working parents.  Typically playdates start because two mothers who become friends get their kids together.  Mothers of the other kids have a hard time be-friending my 21-year-old gorgeous nanny.  (I can’t blame them, she wears heels to drive carpool – she intimidates me too.)
  6. Life plus work deadlines  We still have to do homework with the kids, wash soccer uniforms, bake (I mean buy) sweets for bake sales, but then I also have to manage my team at work (aka my day-time parenting job), write presentations and go on business trips.  Time is my most precious resource.
  7. Being MIA  Weeks go by where I don’t see a girlfriend, because once work is done, then I need to focus on my kids.  Girl time or alone time with my husband gets pushed down the priority list.  By the time I have an opening on my calendar, my friends are tired from all the fun they had without me.
  8. I Am Not in the Running for Anything there’s no way to win mother of the year and since I try to balance being a mom as much as I can, I am not up for employee of the year either.  I might win Juggling Lunatic of the Year though, as long as they don’t deduct points for what I drop.

Yes, I owe you two more, but I have a work deadline, no clean underwear and the kids need help with homework, so let me sum up 9 and 10 with my favorite comment of all time:

“Do you think your son is having a hard time because you travel so much?” Well no, but I think he would have a hard time if I didn’t get time away!

While being a working mom is tough, so is being a stay at home mom.  We each have amazing days and horrible days.  We each struggle with balance, we each want to do our best.  The best thing we can do as mothers (and fathers) is support each other, regardless if we get a paycheck for our hard work or not.

 

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.

Mother’s Gone Wild

September 30, 2010 6 comments

Please do not be alarmed.  You are not about to be subjected to thirtysomething mama’s flashing video cameras.  But I have seen such an occurrence… 

I am taking about working mothers on business trips or  any mamas on a girls night out.  It is amazing how you can take your typical suburban soccer mom, remove the kids, add alcohol and see the transformation.  She goes from pony-tail, hoodie wearing mom to plunging neckline, trippin’ in her stilettos mama.

I had such an evening (minus the plunging neckline – it was a work event people!) this week while on a business trip.  A few co-workers and I went out for drinks.  I broke my two cocktail at a work function limit (okay, I more than doubled it…).  I knew it was time to switch to water when I am in a photo booth with one of MY EMPLOYEES, hamming it up for the camera.  After the photos we stop to each call our kids to say goodnight and then start researching karaoke bars…  that’s when not only did I need water, but a taxi back to the hotel!

What makes moms (and dads) go from nose wiping angels to boozin’ babes?  I will tell you:  We live to close to the brink of insanity!  When given a small break from parenting we digress.  Not only do we shed some responsibility temporarily, we shed our ‘set the example’, ‘do the right thing’ personas. And guess what – it feels great!  Well, actually it feels hazy and not as great the next morning, but still worth it!

Pictures have been omitted to protect the guilty!