Wednesday, April 23, 2014

SAHM...Not

All things STRESS FREE that is my purpose for having this blog. That is how I live my life, run my home, work in my office and interact with others.

I have learned better methods on how to approach that over the years but for the most part as I always share this has been me all the time.
I don't believe in sacrificing myself to the point of dissatisfaction for no one not even my child.
Is that selfish? No, it is selfless, because if I am well she is well all is well...period.

I am going to share my own brief experiences as a Stay at Home Mom. Though this occurred over seventeen (17) years ago, the fundamental lessons can and still do apply to anyone.

Many years ago I worked in the Banking field and one (1) of those years was during my pregnancy. I dealt specifically with Mortgages anything and everything related to that. I specialized though in the collections and repossession of such. I saw and heard many things during my time in that field. I had numerous life threatening moments and police interactions. You don't make many people happy when you are trying to take their homes away or collect on money they just don't have.

During those nine (9) months I began to put into place the things that would allow me to be home with my child. I bought many things in advance and so forth.
After my daughter's birth I took six(6) months maternity leave. My job only payed for I think three (3) months at the time but I knew I wanted more and they offered six (6) in total with three (3) no pay.
I applied for public assistance (yes I worked hard for my money and they were just giving me what I was putting in through paying my taxes) no reason for shame. I applied for WIC and Food Stamps. Any program that would supplement my income difference I applied for. I didn't want to stress my then husband with being solo financial provider, which would then stress me.

Those six (6) months were fantastic! We bonded, we grew, we played and we learned. My last two (2) months I focused on childcare. Through word of mouth I found and connected with the lady that cared for several of my co-workers children. That worked out great because she was in the building next to my office and the access was reasonable. My daughter was six (6) months old so I was concerned with someone having to change her and that she would not develop any rashes etc. I only breastfeed for a short time it was extremely painful for me, not stress free at all, Similac worked just great for me. With all those things in place and worry free I returned to work.

I had no family help, no relatives picking her up or babysitting. I did it all with help from strangers and my partner. I was blessed to have connected with a great woman who cared for my daughter beautifully. I never felt stressed or as if I wasn't doing enough or if I was missing out. I worked with what I had and made the most of my time with my daughter when I had it.

When my daughter  turned one (1) my company was going to relocate to Lake Success (Long Island, New York) and we were currently in Flushing (Queens, New York). I had to make some changes, I had to reevaluate the whole situation. Was I willing to extend my commute, increase my childcare costs and adjust my lifestyle as it currently was and worked for everyone, to remain in same position and have no salary increase?
After some time on several lists of pros and cons, talks with my partner, research and prayers the answer was NO.

I was not willing to make all those adjustments and sacrifices for no rewards.

It so happened that around the same time a girlfriend of mine was looking for a baby sitter. Someone to leave her daughter with and who could pick up her two (2) sons from school at different times. After some chat I said yes. Of course the money was not my salary but it was something to contribute to the house.
I handed in my resignation, worked two (2) more weeks, said good bye and left.

Here I was a Stay at Home Mom again, officially but for how long no one knew.

Initially it was fun, I mean you don't have to get up as early. I enjoyed all the freedom I had with my time and how I used it. My friend would drop her daughter off by 8:30 am we would have breakfast, watch some television, play some interactive games. Before I knew it, it was 11:30 I would *run out and get one of the boys from his daycare program. When we got back it was time to start prep for lunch. While all three (3) of the kids (mine included) would entertain themselves I was in the kitchen getting their food together. It was like a well oiled running machine...most of the time. On the days one (1) was sick or required extra attention not so much, but we managed. If you are organized and stay focused for the most part things can and will run ok.

We would have lunch by 12:30 pm while Barney played in the back ground or Lynette the Clown. Lunch was simple enough, soups, grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken cutlets, fries, turkey burgers, mac and cheese just to name a few. My daughter was the youngest so I had to deal with baby food and diapers still but we made it work. I tried to keep menu simple so cleanup would be smooth, they would actually finish their food and get ready for nap time.

Nap time was simple for the two (2) girls but I always had an issue with the Lil man. He thought of all things not to take a nap. Until I came up with, who ever falls asleep the fastest gets a treat at the end of the week. Since he loved Power Rangers I worked with that. Needless to say he came home with a few cool treats after that chat.
While they napped, I then *ran out again to get the oldest one who was in kindergarten.

When we got back, I would prep him a snack and he would either watch a program on Nickelodeon channel or do his homework if he had any. By this time it would be close to 3 pm and the other three (3) were wide awake, up and going strong.
My daughter would be the first one.
By 3:30 I was in a house with four (4) kids under the age of six(6).

I read often these posts about not being able to go to the bathroom by yourself, not having washed your hair for extended periods of time, of having no sleep, of just pure chaos and misery. I can't imagine going a few days like that let alone choosing to continue to run your life in that way.
I am not saying that we don't all have an off day or two but weeks, months or years?

I did the SAHM thing for almost two (2) years. I invested countless hours with four (4) kids in total. Yes not all were mine, yes three (3) left after 6 pm but I learned a big lesson.

- I learned to applaud the women who choose this path
- I learned that if you are not organized you will have a tough time
- I learned that routine is a must
- I learned to try to be flexible...more
- I learned that I function best when I make time for me
- I learned that I never want to stay home with small kids again.
- I learned that without grownup interaction, I grew restless and bored.

Approach all things with a clear intent.
WHY? WHAT? WHEN? WHERE? WHO?
Why do you want to do this?
What do you want to gain from this choice?
When is the right time for you?
Where do you want this to lead?
Who are you really doing this for?

Numerous questions, numerous options. STRESS FREE



*(My neighbor downstairs would keep eye out while I was away. No child was ever in danger)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Keeping things light...

Today means many things to many people remembrance, celebration, observation, reflection and so forth.

With respect to all that and more since I did grow up with many religious influences, I want to share another great reason this day means so much to me.

Easter Sunday never falls on the same date but obviously on the same day of the week every year.

Nineteen (19) years ago on an Easter Sunday the love of my life was born. Guess that was my special treat!

Every year from that moment on I buy her a new bunny and some sweets. If you read my post "Oops, did I Create that?" picture nineteen (19) years worth of stuffed bunny animals. I didn't take them all down from their current storage spot because it was just too much to work with lol.

I will share the latest addition(s) to the family and a throwback picture of my lil mama dressed in observation of her special day. The new addition smells like actual chocolate!!!!

I will share that if I had to bring a deeper meaning to this day, more than the birth of my child (if anything could be deeper than that) it would be a celebration of life. Things and people die, bring about change and regrowth and with that we go and move forward to carry the lessons they left behind.

I take today to do all that and more with those that I hold dear to my heart.

Have a blessed day! Moderation on the sweets, be mindful, be loving always....stress free.



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tune out the Crap

This was suppose to be my post for Wednesday, somehow it didn't go through, regardless I think it still can be useful...

Today's post will be slightly brief, or at least brief for me. Why? Well today is my daughter's nineteenth (19) Birth Day. I choose to invest my time today on her, on me, on us.

I will though leave you with some food for thought.

Why are so many mom's blogging about celebrities and their lives, their adventures or their misfortunes?

Why are so many moms period in the grocery store, in the park, in the Salon or in their homes fixated on conversations on people that have no idea they exist?

For those who complain or whine about not having time, of course you don't because you are too busy wasting time on someone else's crap.

Put down that magazine, get off the gossip sites, turn off the television.

Invest your time on you.

Our thoughts are what make us, build us, guide us into becoming something or someone greater. They allow dreams to come true, life to be lived to its full potential if we allow it.
Thoughts especially positive ones help us to heal, to learn, to accept and to change.

When you sit around and dwell in someone else's space you are neglecting your own.

Go out and make today an amazing day about you and those you love.

As always stress free living while I actually Live Love & Laugh xoxo

I have these two (2) books in my library, excellent reads and time well invested in myself, maybe you can pick up a great book too!!!

What do you think?


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Oops, did I Create that?

I knew I was the one who created this when...but first lets back track.

By the time my daughter was born she already had a drawer full of at least a months worth of socks. That also went for pj's, t-shirts and outfits just to name a few things . As most parents do we started to prepare early and stock up on certain things you can't ever have enough of, especially when it comes to little ones.

As time went on when ever I would go to a store and they had socks I would always pick up a few for her. You know the cute ones with bows or little pom poms? The different colors or patterns. The ones with different characters?

Well almost nineteen (19) years later things really haven't changed much and this is what has happened. To the point where she will now go out and spend $20.00 on One pair of socks.


I find this to be a cute story even funny at times but it just goes to show you how we as parents sometimes do create "a monster" for lack of a better word.
My lil mama is proud of her "sock game" as she calls it. Says she enjoys the variety and extra charm a nice pair of socks can add to her outfit.
Boy am I glad it's just socks and not something more costly like her mothers love for handbags and perfumes.

Moderation moderation moderation. I love being Erica's mom!