Mommy Took a Sick Day & the World Didn’t Come to an End

As a mother, I often feel as though I can’t get sick. No stomach bugs, no colds, no flu, no nothin’. There just isn’t time for that. Moms can’t get sick because they have to take care of everyone else. If they get sick, the kids and everyone else in the house won’t be able to function. There will be a code red. Everyone will starve. The house will go to shambles. The kids will be dirty and get fleas. It will be a nightmare. So, the easiest solution is for mommy to never get sick. Ever.

But, what happens when mommy’s been fighting off a cold for days? What happens when even three nights of NyQuil doesn’t knock the nasty germs out of her body? What happens when mommy can’t stop coughing at night? What happens when mommy goes to the gym and somehow pulls a neck and shoulder muscle so badly on a spinning bike that she can’t turn her head right and feels like Zoolander (the only difference being he couldn’t turn left)? So now mommy is a coughing fool who can’t move. Does mommy call a timeout and take a sick day?

Silence.

Do you hear the crickets?

Normally, I would say no way. Mommy does not take a sick day. I repeat, mommy does not take a sick day. Mommy pops some Advil and chugs some cough syrup. Mommy sucks it up and pushes through. Mommy pretends her head is not throbbing and that she really can turn her neck both ways without wanting to scream. Mommy does not take a sick day.

But, today, this mommy did. Some may call it a sign of weakness. I call it taking care of yourself first for a change. This mommy skipped the gym despite the nagging muffin top. This mommy called out sick to one of the only two days a week of a freelancing gig despite feeling silly for doing so. This mommy let daddy take the kids to school and grandma’s house. This mommy slept for another two-and-a-half hours and then stayed in her jammies for the entire morning. This mommy watched some of her shows in the DVR. This mommy took a long hot shower without trying to break some Olympic record for taking the shortest one. This mommy drank her morning coffee…hot.

Guess what? This mommy felt wonderful. Guess what else? The world didn’t come to an end. The kids had a great day at school and at grandma’s. The house did not look like a pig pen. The kids were not malnourished. Everyone survived and was pretty darn happy.

It’s strange how we sometimes think we are not allowed to be human just because we have the title of “mother”. Being human means getting sick. Being human means taking time to rest and recharge. Sometimes being human means knowing when to take a timeout…for yourself.

While I may not feel 100% better at the end of my sick day, I feel a whole lot better than I would have if I tried to be some crazy superwoman. I feel much better than trying to prove to everyone that I am invincible.

Guess what? Mommies do get sick. Guess what else? Mommies can take a sick day. Guess what else? Everyone will be just fine…even you!

We Were “That” Family at a Restaurant

You know when “it” has happened.

“It” happens to all of us every time again even if you’re one of those people who doesn’t want to admit that it does.

“It” is when everyone including their senile aunt is staring you down as if you were walking around spitting fire.

“It” is when you become “that” family.

“It” recently happened to my family.

“It” was nasty, gross, and smelly.

Here’s how “it” went down…

Once upon a time there was a mommy, daddy, and two little princesses. They decided to go out for a nice seafood dinner while they were out of town. The older princess was especially excited because she practically loved seafood more than Caillou…well, almost.

Anyway, when this little family walked in, many of the other people couldn’t help but say how cute the little princesses were in their matching sundresses. When the little family went to sit at their table, the princesses asked if they could order Shirley Temple drinks. The mommy and daddy said yes, what could be the harm? (We’ll find out in a bit)

So, the princesses have their Shirley Temples and decide to order clam chowder…yummy. Both princesses finish their soup and are happy as can be. Once their seafood dinners come, the older princess couldn’t wait to dive in. But, when she did, she spit out a piece.

“This is gross,” she said.

“Yeah, icky,” agreed the younger princess.

“It’s fine, just eat it,” says the mommy.

So, the princesses eat another bite, only to scrunch their noses in disgust. This is when the older princess tells her mommy she doesn’t feel good.

Uh-oh thinks the mommy.

“Let’s go to the bathroom,” says the mommy.

The older princess nods her head in agreement. As they walk to the complete opposite part of the restaurant, the older princess puts her hand over her mouth. The mommy instantly knows what is going to happen next. The two can’t walk fast enough. All of a sudden, the princess throws up a Shirley Temple, clam chowder concoction that smelled worse than a baby’s diaper. All of this happens in the middle of the dining room.

In that moment, they became “that” family.

The mommy hurries to throw some napkins over her daughter’s mess as a woman comments, “how disgusting”. Guess she didn’t think the princess was that cute anymore! Oh how mommy would have loved to talk to her but she had to get to the bathroom before the next eruption. Time was everything.

Luckily they made it to the bathroom where the poor little princess got sick again.

“I just want to go home”, she wailed. Other women heard her and were nice enough to bring a cup of water and some wet clothes to calm down the princess. The mommy’s faith in humanity was restored! The mommy was having doubts after hearing the other woman’s comment in the dining room.

After the princess was feeling better, she walked back to her seat with her mommy and past the rude lady. The mommy gave the woman a dirty look as she walked by. The mommy knew she was a part of “that” family that night.

So, the family took the rest of their meal home, paid the check and left.

The End.

 

 

 

When Your Muffin Top Becomes a Muffin

The muffin top.

Ugh.

It’s one of the many things I can’t stand, especially on myself. It really doesn’t go with any outfit, if you know what I mean.

In case you don’t know what it is, it’s that extra skin that flaps over your waistband. It’s like the top of a real muffin that hangs over the rest of the muffin and its wrapper. It’s much more attractive on the edible muffin if you ask me.

 

muffin top

I have to say, I never used to have an issue with muffin top fat. Junk in the trunk? Yeah, sure. But, no muffin tops. That is until I had two kids and started getting older.

It’s not just the muffin top. It’s feeling like your muffin top is becoming an actual muffin. Although I actually hit the gym three to four times a week, that dang muffin top and its baby muffin don’t seem to get the message. I don’t want your baked goods!

During a recent doctor’s visit I started complaining about the muffin. The doctor reminded me that I am getting older and with that comes all kinds of changes to your body, belly fat possibly being one of them. Oh boy!

So, what’s a momma to do?

Well, I’ve been trying to do more sit ups.

I hate sit ups.

I’m trying to have less late night snacks like Oreos and their evil cousins Chips Ahoy.

I’m opting for their long lost stepbrothers, the Wheat Thin and the Triscuit.

Ugh. They don’t even come close.

I’ve been trying to up my game at the gym, adding spin and weight classes instead of just hitting the elliptical.

I actually like spin and weight classes. I used to do them all the time pre-kids.

Sigh.

I have a feeling that no matter how much I do, besides going on all liquid diet, which will never happen, unless it’s all wine or  all coffee… my muffin is always going to leave some crumbs behind.

What kind of post-baby, getting older things have you noticed about your body?

 

 

 

I’m Not a SAHM, I’m a Household CEO

After I had a child, I was labeled a “mom”.

When I worked, I was a “working mom” or a “WAHM” as all the cool kids call it.

Now that I don’t work out of the home, I’m a “stay-at-home mom”, otherwise known as a “SAHM”.

Or am I?

 

ceo

As I was recently writing another post about being a mom who doesn’t work outside the home, a little light bulb went on in my head.

I’m not a stay-at-home mom or a SAHM.

I am a “Household CEO”.

This position includes a slew of duties. Here are just a few:

I effectively lead “the organization”, A.K.A. my family, so that everyone can be as successful as possible, myself included.

I coordinate morning schedules so that everyone is up, fed, and dressed in time for school or any other place we need to go.

I strategically plan activities so that my children are well-rounded and educated, but not exhausted.

I try to create unique menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in hopes that something healthy lands on their plates. “Try” being the operative word here.

I interact with the CFO of the house to make sure I adhere to a budget. This means couponing and shopping methodically. Many times this also entails actually creating a budget. By the way, this is a talent and it’s not being “cheap”. It’s being economical and smart.

I teach my children the basics of life as well as educate them to supplement what they are learning in school.

Sometimes, I need to include the input of the Board of Directors (A.K.A my children). This is only done in dire situations. Sometimes the Board does not share the same vision of the organization. This is highly annoying.

I also try to instill values of the organization so that all members can be respectful and thrive.

Whew…I’m exhausted just making this list! I know there are so many other things I do, as do other woman who do not work outside of the home. I also understand that many mothers who do work outside the home do many, if not all of these things too.

I just feel that the”Household CEOs” are more often looked down upon because we are not bringing home a weekly paycheck. Many think we are uneducated and couldn’t possibly get a “real” job. Others think we are members of some elite group that lies around all day watching TV or getting our nails done. Both of these scenarios couldn’t be more unrealistic. If you stay at home to raise your children you should feel empowered, not ashamed.

Many women who have taken time off from their careers to solely raise their children fear the response they will receive when and if they return to the working world. What will prospective employers think about a three year professional gap? Are they going to think we were lazy?

Should we put down that we were stay-at-home moms? Will we be passed over if we do?

What about if we put down “Household CEO”? I’m sure many employers would laugh. Others might think of it as highly creative.

When it’s time to revamp my résumé, I think I’m opting for “Household CEO”. If someone finds it funny or stupid, then they’re obviously someone who doesn’t deserve my talents. I’m sure many others will see the skills used as a “Household CEO” are extremely useful in the working world.

What’s your take on all of this?

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Really Like Staying Home with Your Kids?

There are few things that really, truly eat away at me. I usually just brush them off with an eye roll or an internal “shut up.” Then there are the occasional comments that fester inside of me and make me question how people can be so rude. Maybe they just want to make conversation. But sometimes no conversation is better, you know what I mean? Truthfully, I don’t think people realize how their comments come of…or maybe they do.

Case and point…lately on numerous occasions, I’ve been asked, with squinting eyes and squishy foreheads “Do you really like staying home with your kids?” It would be okay if just one person asked, but when it becomes the topic of several conversations within a short span of time, I just get annoyed. Period. Especially when the tone takes on a sympathetic one implying that I must be some miserable soul because I don’t have a typical job.

So, how do I answer these enquiring minds? The short answer is, “Yes, I do really like staying home with them.”

The long answer is…Yes.

There are days when I wish Doc McStuffins would stop fixing her toys and Dora would realize maps don’t talk.

There are days and moments that I want to rip my hair out.

But, the same can be said when I was a working mother. So, no difference there. Staying home works for me and my family now. Will it in the future? Will I go back to work? I can’t give you that answer because I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t have a psychic friends’ network like Dionne Warwick to help me figure that out.

Perhaps instead of a simple, “yes”, I should fire back with questions like “Do you really like going to work everyday? Do you really like not seeing your kids all day?”

How rude, I know. But isn’t it rude to ask SAHMs the same types of questions?

I just don’t get what is so fascinating about a woman wanting to stay home to take care of her own children. I’m not turning back the clock on women’s equality because I chose to stay home. In fact, I think it is rather empowering. As a SAHM you are the CEO of your house. You schedule and pretty much pull all the strings. Sure you answer to whining co-workers (AKA your kids), but in the end you’re the MIC (Mom in Charge).Not too shabby.

 

 

 

The Good, The Bad, & The Yoga Pants

I’m not one to frequently comment on Facebook posts. I read them. Sometimes I like them, but rarely do I take the time to tell the world what I think. I just don’t. But, one post last week not only cracked me up, but really got me thinking…and commenting.

I read about a workplace discussion over whether yoga pants were appropriate for women to wear when they weren’t doing yoga-like things…like running errands, grocery shopping, etc. The comments covered both ends of the spectrum from both men and women. Some didn’t care what women wore at any time. Some loved the yoga pants; others did not think they should be worn when hopping around town.

Well, I openly professed my love for yoga pants because I thoroughly enjoy wearing them…a lot. In fact, I sometimes have to tell myself to look beyond the yoga pants for fear of wearing them too much. Then, I thought, am I one of those people? Do people think I’m a hot mess because I troll around in them any place and at any time? Am I committing a fashion faux paux? Hmmm…

Then I thought …I have two kids I stay at home with a lot. I taxi around town for school drop offs, pick-ups, story times, swim lessons, errands, and everything else in between. I wear my yoga pants to the gym and beyond. I heart them. Plus, yoga pants make your butt look good. After two kids, who can argue with that?

If people think they are inappropriate, so be it. I know this post may be a bit silly, but sometimes you just need a little silly in your life. I think yoga pants are one of the best creations ever. They are a lot more forgiving than leggings or jeggings or any other kind of “egging”. They truly do rock this momma’s world. Long live the yoga pant!

So, just curious…are you a yoga pant loving momma? Do you think there is a right place and a right time to wear them?

 

Ditching the Diaper Bag

Carrying a diaper bag is just one of those things that go along with being a mom. Babies and kids are little but they sure require a lot of stuff just to take a ride to the grocery store. No matter how nicely you pack the bag, it becomes a hot mess in a matter of minutes!  It is the place where crumbs and baby wipes mix together, sticking to your lip gloss that you couldn’t find in months. Things go in and yet never come out. There just isn’t much more to say except for the fact that it is gross.

As time goes on, you wonder how you ever functioned without a bag that wasn’t half the size of your body. You also wonder when on God’s green earth you will be able to ditch the bag and feel like a real woman again. It’s amazing how much you really miss carrying a semi-normal sized bag. Then comes the day when you only need to throw in a pack of wipes and some fruit snacks.

No more diapers.

No more bottles.

No more binkies.

No more formula.

No more musical keys.

No more diaper cream.

You are free!!!! IMG_4048

This day came for me a couple of months ago. After nearly five years of carrying a diaper bag, I realized I didn’t need it anymore. My youngest daughter was potty trained. Both girls ate grown-up food. They could carry their own toys in some handy dandy backpacks. I no longer needed to be a walking nursery! Praise the Lord!

To say the feeling was liberating would be an understatement. I was so happy to get rid of that thing! As far as diaper bags go, mine wasn’t so bad, but it was still such a hassle. I much rather carry a larger sized pocket book and not look like Babies R Us!

Has anyone else ditched the diaper bag and felt the same way?

Is Being a SAHM a Career Killer?

As a mother, we all worry about something…truthfully, a lot of things. Whether it is if our children are sleeping enough or whether they are eating enough vegetables, there is always something to worry about. Being a parent, we can also sometimes lose a part of ourselves. So much time and energy goes into raising kids that there is little or none leftover.

Since deciding to become a SAHM, there is something else I sometimes (ok, frequently) worry about. Am I sabotaging my career to be a full-time caregiver to our kids? Hmmm….I wish I knew the answer to this one.

In my past life, I was a TV news producer and a pretty darn good one at that, if I must say so myself. At some point, I do plan on returning to the working world. Doing what? I really couldn’t tell you. At that point, will prospective employers look at me and wonder what the heck I did for the past “x” amount of years or will they respect the decision? Hmmm…I wonder.  I fear that many may think I just quit and took the “easy way out”. Anyone who knows anything about being a SAHM knows that is certainly not the case. Nevertheless, I still try to do as much freelance work as possible so I can keep my head in the game and avoid any huge holes in my resume.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I have to spend as much time as I do with my girls. I know there are a lot of women out there who would kill for it. I also know a lot of women who wouldn’t and that’s okay. Different strokes for different folks! But I can tell you that I love when my girls learn something that I exclusively taught them. I love the fact that I can take them to certain activities that I wouldn’t be able to do if I was working. I love that we can sleep in during the summer if we choose. The list goes on and on, but I think you get my point. There are many benefits to being a SAHM.

There are also a lot of skills us mommas use daily that can be extremely beneficial in any working environment. From incredible multi-tasker to problem solver to activity planner…we do it all. I think we are better qualified for certain jobs than some people in them right now. The problem is not all employers see it that way. Many still see us as simple homemakers who spend all day changing diapers, doing laundry, and cooking.

Do you think being a SAHM is a career killer? Were you a SAHM who went back to work? I’m curious to find out!

 

Should Little Girls Wear Make-Up?

Before you read this post, I should warn you…I have a real thing about kids growing up too fast. I hate it. I don’t like the fact that so many kids seem to have better phones than I do. I don’t like the fact that many have girlfriends and boyfriends before puberty. As the mother of two little girls, ages two and four, I especially despise the fact that a lot of little girls wear make-up.

I know a lot of people out there think it’s really cute to put some eyes shadow and lip gloss on their little ones. Can I ask why? Aren’t they cute enough without it?

I’ll admit, as an adult I wear make-up. But, anyone who knows me can vouch for the fact that I’m not big on it. I really don’t know why I wear it. I guess because I want to? Truth be told, many days I don’t wear any at all. But still, I’ve had my girls come over and reach for a make-up brush out of my bag because they want to be like mommy. I grab it right out of their hands.

“But Mommy, I want to be beautiful,” whines my four-year-old.

“You already are. You don’t need it, ” I reply.

It’s sad that a girl that young thinks she needs make-up to be beautiful. Sometimes I blame myself. Should I not wear make-up? Should I just let her try some anyway? What’s a mom to do?

My daughter takes dance lessons and recently saw a lot of girls in her school all made up for their pictures. This was my first experience with the whole dance thing. I was never a dancer as a I child. Shocker, I know. I’m not a “dance mom” in the stereotypical sense and neither are a lot of the other women there. But, I guess in the “dance culture” this is what happens. Eye shadow, mascara, glitter, fake eyelashes, and lip stick are more the norm than the exception. Hmmm. My daughter did notice all the glitz and glamour, but did not once ask me if she could have some or why she didn’t in the first place. Score one for me, I guess. I suppose there’s no harm in getting all “made up” for these special occasions, but I’m still not 100% convinced. I just don’t see who benefits from it all.

Maybe I’m just a Debbie Gibson living in a Lady Gaga world hoping they still made “Electric Youth” perfume. I don’t know. I do know that I’m definitely starting to believe that raising girls is harder than raising boys! I also know that we need to start teaching little girls that make-up doesn’t make you beautiful. Having a good heart and being a good person is where true beauty lies. So, how do I convince everyone else? I guess I’ll have to take it one Cover Girl at a time.

 

 

 

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a SAHM

It’s the life of champagne wishes and caviar dreams. You’re a stay at home mom. You don’t have to listen to a boss. You can pretty much do what you want when you want. You have all the time in the world to devote to yourself and to your home.  You must be floating on freshly fluffed pillows every morning when you wake up and realize this is really your life.

Reality check.

You can’t remember the last time you had champagne. You have two little bosses who constantly nag you for stuff with a deadline of NOW. You can’t do whatever you want when you want because if you did you would have a weekly massage every Thursday afternoon after your manicure. Every day you notice some new cob web or area that really needs to be cleaned. You’ll get to it…one of these days. You can’t remember the last time you slept an entire night on your pillow all by yourself because one of your kids always ends up climbing into your bed. This is really your life.

Since I have been in the world of SAHM-dom for more than two years, I’ve come to realize the many misconceptions people still have about the lives we lead. I could honestly write a book. I, too, had many preconceived notions that I now laugh at. Silly, silly, me. With that said, I’ve come up with five things I wish I knew before becoming a SAHM.

1. You won’t be cooking meals that would make Rachel Ray jealous

“I can’t wait until I’m home so I can try new recipes.” Yep, I remember myself saying those very words. Well, chicken cutlets are still the “house special” and when I see a recipe with more than six ingredients, I still turn the page. If you were never a lover of the culinary arts, you won’t become one just because you have more time at home. The sooner you realize it, the happier you will be.

2. You’re not a circus; don’t try to entertain your kids like you are one

You can’t be “on” for your kids 24/7. This is something I still grapple with everyday. I feel guilty if I’m not doing something with them. That’s the reason I stayed home, right? It is alright to let them entertain themselves. In fact, it’s probably better for them. I’m learning this. You should too. Sure you can do stuff with them, but you don’t have to keep pulling out tricks from your hat.

3. Schedule “time off” for yourself every week

Just because you stay home doesn’t mean you can’t have time for yourself. You may not have the twenty minute car ride to work by yourself or a designated lunch break every day, but you can still have time off. The best way to do this when you’re a SAHM is to schedule it. It may sound silly, but I’ve found it’s the only thing that works. Find a time every week when you know you’ll most likely be able to find a sitter. Stick to that time as “your time”. Use it to do something for yourself. It may be hard, but anything worth having doesn’t come easy, right?

4. Have other interests besides your kids

Okay, so once you can schedule that “time off” you may want to use it to explore interests that are not for the five and under crowd. What did you like to do before you were “so and so’s mom”? Do it now. Maybe you want to try something new…a new workout, a new hobby, etc. The point here is while you’re always going to be “so and so’s mom” you’re also always going to be “you”.  Find your passion and explore it. You don’t have to stop following your dreams just because you decided to be a SAHM.

5. Accept your accomplishments as a SAHM and don’t try to compare

As a SAHM it is sometimes so hard to figure out what your accomplishments are on a daily basis. Some days the only thing to brag about is the fact that you got your kid to the potty before she peed her pants. It’s okay. It’s still an accomplishment. Don’t try to compare it to the promotion your friend got at work. If you do, you’re going to start feeling like crap. The truth is there are accomplishments to be proud of when you’re a SAHM. The moment when your daughter can write a letter on her own that you’ve practicing for weeks. The time when your little one realizes there is more than one color in the rainbow. Some may laugh. While these moments may not fill your bank account, they do make your heart overflow with joy.

I really think knowing these five little things would have made the transition to staying home a lot easier. Trust me, there are a lot more. Each day I am still learning how to make this situation work. Just like anything else, there are easy days and there are hard days.

For all the SAHMs reading this, what is your biggest piece of advice?