The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

“What do you do?”

“I’m a freelance writer.”

“Where?”

“Oh, I work from home.”

Crickets. Then a snide smirk.

Yep, that’s the what usually happens when people ask me what I “do”.

When people hear you work from home it can go two ways. One is that they think you really do nothing all day but surf social media sites. Two is that they think working from home is a dream. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part it is great. Especially coming from a unique schedule where I used to get up at 4 a.m. for my 9-5 gig. People love the idea of working from home for many reasons. The biggies are that you can mainly make your own schedule, take vacation whenever you want, and can stay home when your kids are sick. Everyone wants to be on team work from home. But, like anything, it has its drawbacks. Drawbacks like not getting a steady paycheck because some weeks there ain’t much out there and you spend a lot of time cleaning your closets. Drawbacks like trying to balance the kids at “Camp Mom” while trying to be somewhat productive.

I started thinking about all of these pros and cons over the past few days when my kids had two snow days in a row. This after having a three-day weekend the previous week due to yet another snow day. The kids thought it was the best thing since “Frozen” came out. Me? I was hiding like Elsa when my kids kept asking me if I wanted to build a snowman. So what does a day look like when you work from home and unexpected days off arise?

6:55 Kids wake up even though there’s no school.

7:10 First round of “mommy let’s play a game” happens

7:11 Mommy makes a cup of coffee

7:30 Switch games

8:00 Breakfast

8:30 Mommy tries to get work done while kids play “nicely”

8:40 First round of “I hate yous exchanged” and “Mommeee” come from playroom

8:41 Mommy says go back and play and work it out until she’s done

8:45 “Mommy are you done working yet?”

8:50 Kids go back to playing and mommy goes back to work

9:00 Dance party karaoke begins

9:10 Mommy shuts down dance party karaoke because kids not get a permit

9:15-10:00 Kids play nicely and Mommy actually gets work done

10:01 Mommy plays for a bit

10:30-11:30 Mommy gets more work done! Yeah!

11:30-12:30 Prep, make and eat lunch

12:30-2:00 Playing & reading time

2:00-3:00 Mommy back to work, kids are once again trying not to kill one another

3:00-3:30 Cleaning the breakfast and lunch dishes to get ready for the dinner load later

3:30-4:30 Google Justin Bieber facts for daughter who is writing a book while trying to fix Baby Alive’s diaper and explain to daughter number two why we can’t feed her doll milk

4:30-5:45 Prep, Cook & eat dinner

5:45-6:15 Clean up

6:15-6:30 Sit down & chill out

6:30-7:00 Prep for day ahead, make lunches, pack snack etc.

7:00-7:30 Showers

8:00 Down to start the bedtime process

8:45 Mommy pours one…okay two glasses of wine…and tries to get more work done

9:30 Time to shut it down, watch TV and pray there’s not another snow day tomorrow

At some point it’s time for bed.

Trust me, I know it’s hard for parents who work outside the home too when a snow day pops up. I’ve been there before. Working from home brings a different set of challenges. In a nutshell you get an unorthodox work day interrupted by various rounds of games and dance parties, but you do get to stay home.

Kids’ scheduled days off when you work from home are also like trying to solve a Rubix cube. You work around the kids and hopefully send them to Grandma’s house for a few hours so you can get stuff done without Justin Bieber playing in the background.

Would I trade working from home for working a regular 9-5? Probably not now. It’s nice being your own boss even when your little bosses are around unexpectedly.

 

 

 

I Don’t Want to be “That” Couple

The other night I was out to dinner with my kids at a “semi-adult” restaurant. By “semi-adult” I’m talking about no crayons or paper kids’ menus. There were families eating as well as just couples. Some of the couples were middle-aged, the others a bit older. The common denominator was that they didn’t have any kids with them. It was just the two of them. Just a couple enjoying a nice dinner…alone.

Besides having no kids, they had something else in common…no conversation. It wasn’t because they were distracted by something else. They were just not talking…at all. Perhaps they said a few words here and there about the veal or the salad. But, that was it. You could tell there was no vital conversation going on.

Before you start calling me judgmental, this was not the first time I’ve seen couples like that out at a restaurant. I know you’ve seen them too. I know we all don’t know the circumstances surrounding their relationships. Perhaps they have engaging conversations at home and go out to enjoy silence. Who knows? You may be saying, well maybe they just had a long day or maybe they were just really hungry. I honestly hope one of those scenarios is to blame. If it’s not, then I truly feel sorry for them. I can also say I don’t want to be “that” couple.

It seems “that couple” is often the pair that has grown old together, raised their children and are now left with their partner. Just the two of them. Everyday. 24/7. There are no more “how was your day at school?” conversations or “should we let Cindy go to that concert?” or “who’s taking Billy to practice?” questions to answer. There are no little ones interrupting your conversation. You’re no longer talking in code with your partner so the kids can’t figure out what you’re saying when in reality they already have.

That chapter is over. In fact, the whole book has been read…a thousand and one times.

Now it’s time to move on to another chapter…start another book in your relationship. The book that just involves two main characters. Hopefully it’s not a book filled with dinners in silence and no conversation because the kids are gone. Who wants to be “that” couple?

Not me. I feel so sad when I see couples just sitting an entire meal without talking to one another. Is that what there is to look forward to once the kids are gone?

We all know kids take up a lot of time and most of the conversation at home. That’s why it’s important to just have couple time every now and again. Some people laugh at me when I say my husband and I have “date night”. It may sound silly to have a date with someone you are married to and live with. But, sometimes you need to make an effort and make a “date” to make that happen. Sometimes that means finding a babysitter or shipping the kids off to grandma’s house for the night so you can just be a couple. You don’t have to spend the meal cutting up food or playing rock, paper, scissors. You can enjoy your meal while it’s hot, have a couple of glasses of wine, and actually talk without being interrupted. You can have time together now so that you don’t become “that” couple later.

Carving out that alone time isn’t easy. With crazy work hours, multiple jobs, and toting the kids around to every activity from A-Z, life is hectic. Life is crazy.

What’s even crazier is spending a lifetime together only to end up as “that” couple. After “x” amount of years married you might not have a lot to say to your spouse, but I really hope I’m never sitting in silence during a dinner. I hope that I’m never riding in the car and find that I don’t have one thing to talk about that doesn’t involve the kids. If that’s the case, I know we’re becoming “that” couple. That’s an ending I certainly don’t want to read.

 

 

 

 

Dear Kindergarten, You’re Taking My Baby Away

Hello there Kindergarten. So we meet again. I remember you quite well from a couple of years ago when you lured my older daughter into your lair of learning. Now, you’re back with all your fancy sight words and cutesy books. But, this time, you’re going for the jugular.

You’re about to take my baby girl.

Do you know the worst part? She’s actually excited about meeting you. Before you go around and brag to all your little ABC friends, I have some words for you.

I know you’re used to sucking up to all of your new recruits with the glories of snack time and gym class, but I’m not too happy about all the things that are going to change around here. This momma is one carrot stick away from some major water works. You see, baby girl and I have been together like peas and carrots from day one. Yeah, yeah I know, you’re little brother pre-k has had her for a few hours a day over the past two years. But, this is not the same. You’re taking her for almost the entire day. You’re going to get to have lunch with her. You’re going to get to see the little light bulb in her head go on when something she’s been trying so hard at finally clicks. You’re going to hear her little giggle all day long. I’ll just get your leftovers when she comes home and tells me all about how great her day was. Thanks a lot.

You know you’re taking on a big responsibility. Sure you have experience and some great references, but you need to really take this one under your wing. I know all the other mommas tell you this too. But, you should listen to me. I have friends…a lot of them…friends that carry bats. I think I’ve painted you a clear enough picture.

You see, although my baby girl is excited, I know she’s a little scared too. So am I. It’s a whole new world for her. It’s a world filled with new people, new ideas, new routines, new lessons…heck, even new crayons. Since I can’t be there by her side it’s your job to make sure she gets through it all okay. Got that? You need to guide her and let her know she is going to be just fine when she feels like she won’t be. You need to encourage her when she gets frustrated. You need to cheer her on for a job well done. You need to make sure she’s kind and doesn’t say any bad words. You need to make sure she knows her teddy will be waiting for her in the car afterschool just like she asked. Perhaps most importantly, you need to make sure she pees! And of course, she needs to wash her hands.

Kindergarten, are you up for the job?

You’re not just adding another player to your roster. You’re adding one of my all-stars. I know this is all part of the circle of life, blah blah blah, but I kind of liked the circle we’ve created over the years. I’m not ready to start another one just yet. But, I know the decision is not mine. You’re a pushy one Kindergarten with no wiggle room for giving me more time.

I wish I could make time stand still, but I know Kindergarten is just the beginning of letting go. It’s a baby step in what will be a lifetime of changes, challenges, accomplishments and even let downs at times.

So, Kindergarten, be gentle with my baby girl. Although she may act like a tough cookie, on the inside she’s a big softie.

Sincerely,

One Misty-Eyed Mom

The Question Every SAHM Hates to Hear

When you’re a stay-at-home mom people pretty much know you spend a lot of time with your kids. If you stay home when they’re babies there’s a lot of diaper changes, feedings and sleepless nights. If you stay home when they’re a little older there’s more play time and child rearing going on.

As they get older they start making little friends and having playdates. As they enter pre-school and other programs, you may step back a bit and let other people do some of the work. But, what happens when all of your children are in school full-time? If you’re like me you start hearing the question every stay-at-home mom hates to hear.

“What are you going to do now?”

In just a few months, my youngest will be off to full-time Kindergarten. As a result both of my kids will be in school full time. It must mean I can now run off to a tropical island. Maybe it means that she and her sister will get to school by themselves, make their own food, and find rides to afterschool activities. It must mean my mothering role will become obsolete because everyone keeps asking me what I’m going to do. It’s not like they’re going off to college. It’s elementary school. The mothering responsibilities will still be there come September. They’re just going to shift a bit. I’ll shift along with them. That doesn’t necessarily mean I have a power point presentation about my future all cued up and ready to go. Does anybody?

Being a SAHM doesn’t mean your kids are your only interest. It only means that you made a choice that worked for you and your family. You made a tough decision and you probably made a lot of sacrifices. It would be like assuming all working mothers are only interested in their jobs. Working moms also made a choice that worked best for them and their families. Many also made a tough decision and made sacrifices of their own. Yet, I don’t hear working moms being asked what they’re going to do with themselves once all their kids are in school full-time.

Many SAHMs had successful careers they decided to put on hold before making the leap. Maybe it’s time to go back? Others have developed new interests…interests don’t involve diapers and rattles. Maybe it’s time to give those some attention? Sometimes it feels as though people can’t imagine what you could want to do with yourself when your role as a SAHM isn’t the main event anymore.

So, when people ask what I’m going to do now (or when September rolls around) I answer back with a simple “I don’t know. I’ll figure it out.”

Why? Because I don’t and I will. Quite frankly I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Do you?

There’s something exciting, yet scary, when you know your life is about to take a huge right turn. Sometimes it’s better when that shift is unexpected. Knowing change is on the horizon can be intimidating. It doesn’t help when everyone wants to know how you’re going to deal with it all. But sometimes not having a plan is the best plan of all.

 

 

What Does it Mean to Have it All?

What does it mean for a woman to “have it all”? I guess it all depends on who you ask and what you read. I can tell you from what I’ve read and what society tells me, I do not, in fact, “have it all”. So, what’s a momma to do? Cry over it? Scramble to make up for all of the supposed deficiencies in her life? Maybe for some, but not for this gal.

Over the years, “having it all” has come to imply a woman has a successful career and family life and has everything in balance.

But, I think “having it all” has different meanings for all of us. There is no right or wrong definition. We all come from different walks in life that lead us to the common path of motherhood. For some, that common path does not include motherhood. You know what? That’s okay. You can still have it all. If you are happy and fulfilled in your life, you have it all.

For those of us whose lives do take us on the journey of motherhood, “having it all” can become a more complex game.

If you are a working mother who is fortunate enough to find reliable and affordable childcare and have happy children who adore you, you have it all.

If you are a stay-at-home mother to five kids or just one and find fulfillment in raising your children, you have it all.

If you are a mother who works part-time and makes it to every concert and soccer game, you have it all.

If you are a single mother who works two or three jobs and still has the energy to enjoy her blessings, you have it all.

The point I’m trying to make is that we can all “have it all” if we find the right combination that makes us happy and works for us rather than the scenario that works for society.

I’ve spent and wasted a lot of time trying to “have it all” by society’s standards. Let me tell you, it’s downright exhausting and depressing. You always feel as though one cup is half full no matter how many times you go back and refill it.

Guess what? I stopped. Instead, I started using my time and energy to focus on what works for my family, not for a friend’s or anyone else’s. Sure that meant, and still means, getting questions and strange looks. Part of having it all is being content and confident with what you have, not what others think you should have. Let me tell you, that is easier said than done. It’s still a work in progress. But, it gets easier with time as you become more comfortable with your decisions and who you are.

What makes me believe I “have it all”?

I have two incredible kids who always tell me they love me to the moon and back. I’m fortunate enough to be the first face my kids see when they wake up and the last one before they go to bed. I have a husband who supports me in whatever I do. I have a fantastic network of family and friends who are always there when I need them.  I’m able to pursue my passions and explore creative endeavors even when they don’t always work out.  I’m a happy person…except for when I get woken up.

So, to society who constantly tells me I don’t have it all…I beg to differ. I may not always have it together at all times, but I do have it all.

5 Life Hacks Every Mom Needs to Try

As a mom you’ve probably become the queen of multi-tasking. It just goes along with the job. You may have never thought you could brush your teeth while helping one child brush her’s and helping the other put on her socks. Nonetheless, you get it done and rather well. It really should be an Olympic sport. If it was you would definetly get a medal!

If you really want to go for the gold, check out these 5 lifehacks every mom needs to know:

  1. Read While You Wait- How many times a week do you find yourself waiting in your car for your child? Whether it’s a school pick-up or some kind of activity that’s running over, the mom taxi is in full effect and the meter is running. While it may be nice to have the quiet time to just think, you could use this car time more wisely. Use it to catch up on your reading. If you’re like me, you’ve been reading the same book for months because you never have time. When you do, you’re just too tired. That’s why I started bringing a book along with me all the time. Over the past few weeks, I’ve read more than half of a novel I’ve been dying to finish. It beats playing on my phone and using up all of  my data!
  2. Fluff & Fold While They’re Showering– My kids are at the age where they’re old enough to take a shower by themselves. But, they still need a little help. So, I can’t go too far. One night, a pair of pants in the laundry basket starting staring at me while I was on a standby shower help. When I asked the pair of purple butterfly leggings what she was staring at, she started telling me I should be putting her away. Truth be told, I probably should have put her away days ago. That’s when I got to thinking. This is a perfect time to get the laundry put away. I’m right near the bathroom so I can run in and help, but I’m also using my downtime wisely. Score one for mommy!
  3. Exercise & Prioritize– Call me a nerd, but I love a good list. While it may be a little stressful to see everything that needs to be done written down in black and white or on a phone screen, it’s a great feeling to cross those items off the list when you’re done. If you get a few minutes to sneak away and exercise, make your lists while on the treadmill. Use the notes feature on your phone to prioritize away. This way you’re shedding some pounds and organizing at the same time.
  4. Turn the Lonely Socks Club into a Theatre– Do you ever wonder what happens to socks between the washer and the dryer? One makes it up while the other escapes for greener pastures. In my house, there are so many socks who are in the lonely socks club. They usually sit at the bottom of my laundry basket waiting for their match to return from wherever they disappeared to. They don’t. Ever. So, I usually throw them away. Then, I got an idea. Why not turn those lonely socks into sock puppets for the kids? Grab some googly eyes and a glue gun and go nuts! It’s not only fun for the kids, but also gets gives those lonely socks a purpose in life, one that doesn’t involve your laundry basket or the garbage.
  5. Art Work Wallpaper- It seems like kids produce artwork just as much as they poop. That amounts to a lot of pieces of paper just lying around the house. Of course you can’t throw any of them away, because they’re all special…right? Okay, we all know we toss a few in the garbage, but there are still a lot left over. If you have a play area or maybe a little nook in your child’s room, turn their artwork into wallpaper. Make sure it’s a not a wall that you have a relationship with or that you especially love. Chances are it will get a little worn out. But when kids see the new “wallpaper”, they’ll feel special to see their masterpieces hung up…all over the place. Your OCD about too many papers around will lessen, even if it’s just for a little bit. It’s a win-win if you ask me.

Okay, so these are the lifehacks that I particularily enjoy. I know there are hundreds of others out there to choose from, but a lot of them are a little high maintenance to be considered a life hack if you ask me. The ones I listed here don’t require a lot of effort or a degree in Pinterest. They’re just simple, everyday hacks for your everyday momma. So, time to hack away!

Say Yes to Saying No

No.

You probably lose count when you think about how many times you say it to your kids on a daily basis.

But, how many times do you say it to other people when it comes to invitations, favors, or other things?

I’m waiting…

I hear the crickets.

If you’re like me, the answer is probably close to never. I don’t know if it’s a mom thing or just a “me” thing. But, I pray I’m not alone in this horrible habit of feeling like I have to yes to everyone for every thing. It really is a disease. It makes you tired to the point of downright exhaustion. It makes you feel as though you are letting people down if you say no. The truth is half the time they probably don’t care! In a way you’re letting yourself down because you’re not really happy.

Stop.

Yep, I said just stop.

Say yes to saying no. I’ve started to do it recently. Let me tell you, it’s almost as enjoyable as binge watching Lifetime movies. Before you start ripping down every invitation off your refrigerator, you need to take a step back.

Prioritize.

Take a look at the invitations or favors that you honestly want to accept or help people with. I think this is half the battle. Does your child have to go to every birthday she’s invited to? No. We know half the invitations come home because many schools have a rule that if you hand out one invitation in class you have to hand one out to 20 more…even to the kids whose names your child doesn’t even know! Just say no. Not to your child’s BFF, but to the child you didn’t even realize was in your son or daughter’s class. You just can’t make every party or every play date. If you do you’ll pass out and go broke at the same time!

The same is true with invitations you may get yourself. Although, honestly, your kids probably get more than you do, so you may not be saying no so much here! But still, you get my point. How about when someone asks you for a favor on a day when you may actually have a few hours to yourself…kid-free. What’s a momma to do? This probably has to be a case by case decision. Think about who’s asking. Think about what exactly they need, then decide. If you need to say no so you don’t feel overwhelmed, then do it. It doesn’t make you a horrible person. It makes you human.

For some reason we feel like we have to make everyone else happy before we make ourselves happy, no matter the cost. But if mommy is exhausted and stressed out, she’s more likely to lash out and yell more than she should. She’s more likely to eat more ice cream than she should and exercise a little less than she should. Am I right?

Life is too short to ignore your own happiness for the sake of everyone else’s.

Start saying yes to saying no.

You’ll thank yourself later.

 

 

eBay vs. Consignment: What Every Momma Needs to Know

Okay, so it’s not time for spring cleaning. But, who says you can’t start the new year with some closet makeovers? Chances are your kids got new toys and clothes over the holidays. Maybe you got some things that you don’t necessarily want or need. So, what are you going to do with all of that stuff?

It may sound mean, but you can’t keep everything. Unless you want to be on “Hoarders”, there’s just no need to keep every toy your child has ever played with. There’s even no need to keep every dress you’ve ever worn to every wedding…especially if it doesn’t fit.

So, what’s a momma to do?

As I see it you have four options:

1. Donate to charity.

2. Give to someone who has a child younger than you and who can use it.

3. eBay it.

4. Consign it.

I admit, I do all four. While numbers 1 and 2 may leave you all warm and fuzzy inside, numbers 3 and 4 can earn you some extra cash. There’s nothing wrong with that! But, which is better, eBay or consignment shops? Sometimes it depends on what you’re selling. Other times it’s all about timing.

Here are some pros about selling on eBay:

1. You can usually make more money. Whether you choose the auction or buy it now option, you can usually make more money than at a consignment shop. Remember, consignment shops are doing the work for you. They will take a percentage. Sometimes the most random items in your mind, like a pair of children’s size 4 silver snow boots, will sell for nearly $10 when you list them for just $6. People get into bidding wars over some strange things! You can use this to your advantage.

2. Junk to you, treasure to another. Like I said above, something that you may classify as “junk” could be what another person has been searching high and low for. This is especially true with knick knacks and kitchen items. I once sold a cookie jar I never used to someone who happened to collect cookie jars. I thought it was pretty tacky and useless. She thought it was a gem. Go figure!

3. They calculate shipping. eBay takes the guess work out of the shipping costs. Many people worry they will end up paying more than the buyer paid for shipping. If you choose the “calculated shipping” option, there is a 99% chance you won’t get stuck. Even if you do, it’s usually under $1. Usually.

4. Money is easy to withdraw. Money earned from eBay usually goes into a PayPal account. You can use this money to buy other things online or you can transfer it to a bank account. The nice thing is that it is extra money that you never counted on but is there when you need it.

Here are a couple of cons about selling on eBay:

1. You do the work. Unlike a consignment shop, you are responsible for making sure the buyer gets the item. This means packing it, shipping it and getting to the post office to mail it in a timely fashion. Buyers don’t want to wait forever for an item; especially if they paid quickly. If you don’t have the time to invest in eBay selling, this may not be for you.

2. There are fees. Since eBay is acting like a personal store for all the world, it is going to take a cut. It all depends on how much you sell. At the end of the month, you’ll get an invoice. The amount is deducted from your PayPal account.

3. If you don’t sell it, it’s still yours. Unlike some consignment shops that donate unsold items, your unsold items are still yours. If you’ve tried a few times to sell something and it doesn’t sell you can either keep it, chuck it, or donate it.

If eBay is not your thing, you may be more of a consigning type of momma. Here are some pros about consignment shops.

1. They do the work. There’s no shipping or packing involved here. You just need to drop off your clean items, and the shop tries to sell it. Many shops will give your items 30 days to sell at full price. After that they get reduced. After that they get donated unless you want to go back and pick them up. The great thing is that if you don’t care about getting unsold items back, you never have to see your stuff again!

2. You may get paid up front. There are two consignment shops I use. At one you drop off your stuff and if it sells then you get paid. At the other one (kids’ clothes and toys) they pay you up front. So, whether your item sells or not, you are getting money. I tend to get more at the one where I have to wait for my items to sell. It makes sense. The other place is taking a chance that it will sell your stuff when you get paid first, so that’s probably why you won’t make as much.

3. You can earn credit towards other items. If you like to also shop at consignment shops, many give you a discount card that applies for selling and buying. You can often use what you’ve earned towards current purchases.

Here are a couple of cons about consigning

1. Seasonal Items Only. Unlike eBay where you can post any thing at any time of the year, many consignment shops are seasonal. So, if you’re cleaning the closet and find clothes for winter, spring, summer, and fall and it’s spring, all those other items will have to wait until their season. By that time, you may forget about them again or end up throwing them away. Some children’s consignment shops accept all clothes for all seasons all year long. Always be sure to check the rules.

2. You Have to Prepare Everything. Many consignment shops have rules about how they will accept items. Many want things on hangers. Others just want items folded nicely in clear bins. The process can get tedious. But, if you don’t mind, it could work for you in the long run.

3. Reclaiming Your Items & Keeping Track. At many places, if your items don’t sell, you have the option of coming to pick them up. But, that means going through the store to find it. This can also become tedious. If you don’t care what becomes of your items, you can just leave them there to be donated.

Those are just some of the pros and cons of both eBay and consignment shops. I like using them both for different types of things. Once you get into it, you may be surprised at just how much money is lying around your house in unused items!

 

 

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.