Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sometimes you don't know how good you have it...

My neighbor has just gone back to work.  She has been a stay at home mom for almost 6 years.  She and her husband own a business and they are now both working there together.  I was asking her how that was going.  Being a working mom is all I know but I imagine there is a bit of transition in going back to work.  She is working three 12 hour shifts a week and her husband is staying home with the kids while she works and vice versa.  I think that doing that and having 4 full days home with the kids would be easier than having to jump into 5 days a week.  We were talking about housework and if Charlie helps or not.  I told her about our system.  As I told her about our system, I realized that it's not bad.  We clean the house on Sunday.  Charlie does the floors, toilets, trash and yardwork.  I do the kitchen, family room and laundry.  During the week, I cook dinner and he does the dishes.  Not much else cleaning wise happens.  Sunday afternoon the house looks great.  By Friday, it's a disaster pit.  This past Friday it was so bad that I couldn't even find a clean spot on the counter without crumbs to fill out a form.  But Sunday afternoon, it was clean again.  She seemed impressed - mostly that Charlie does the dishes every day.  I reminded her that this was an evolution and not a transition.  We have been doing the two working parent thing a long time.  It's all we know.  But it reminded me that we have a good system.  

When I got home, I told Charlie about the conversation.  He was pretty proud of himself because it made him look good.  I was proud of him... and us too.  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Calvin and his jammies

Sunday, we got home from church and lunch at noon.  As we pulled into the driveway, Calvin yelled out "Yeah, time for jammies!" 

Calvin loves his jammies.  He would wear his jammies all day if we let him.  He loves when we are all in our jammies together.  I think he just loves being home and being in his jammies, especially all of us together.  Jammies mean staying at home to him.  Every morning, if he wakes up early and I am still home, the first thing he asks is "Mommy in jammies?"  If I want him to go back to sleep, I will try to say "Yes, I am in my jammies" even if I am fully dressed.  He has caught on to that though.  He knows that if I am in my jammies, it is a stay at home day.  If I am dressed before he gets up, I am going to work.  :(  It makes me a little sad to have to tell him that I am dressed and leaving soon.  He is goign through a stage where he doesn't want me to go to work in the morning and cries for me everyday when he wakes up. 

We also laugh because for babies, there really isn't much difference between clothes and pajamas.  Now that Calvin is a little older, his clothes are more real clothes although he still mostly just wears sweats / athletic pants and t-shirts.  They are much more comfortable and easier to pull on and off than jeans and pants. 

The other night, Laci and I were out at her first girl scouts meeting.  Calvin and Charlie had a boys night.  Charlie later told me that Calvin wanted to put his pajamas on early and he thought it was because he was tired.  I reminded him that he wasn't tired, he just loves his jammies. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Working Mom Pep Talk

Sometimes I have to give myself a Working Mom Pep Talk.  Being a Working Mom is hard.  I knew it would be and I was right.  As the kids get older, it is actually getting harder to be a Working Mom.  That was surprising.  But I am the worst kind of Working Mom there is.  I like being a Working Mom.  I would probably work even if I didn't "have to".  I don't feel guilty for being a Working Mom.  I feel guilty for not feeling guilty.  I was ready to go back to work.  I am a good Working Mom.
Don't get me wrong.  My kids are number 1.  They are ahead of my job.  They always come first.  But it's hard when I hear people talk about how much they don't want to be a working mom but have to be.  It's hard when I hear people talk about how hard it was to go back to work.  It was hard for me too.  But I never made a thing about it.  I just did it.  I couldn't put pictures of my kids in my cubicle for a year.  If I did, I would have stared at the pictures too much.  Even now, the pictures of my kids are on the side, away from my view.   I would still stare at them if they were right in front of me.  Sometimes I feel like I am being judged as being insensitive and an uncaring mom for being okay with working.  
My kids are good kids and they are not being hurt by having a Working Mom.  Sometimes I think they are better, stronger kids because of it.  But that may be an excuse to make myself feel better. 
So sometimes I just have to give myself the Working Mom Pep Talk.  I'm a good mom.  I'm a good Working Mom.  I love my kids as much if not more than any other mother out there.  And my kids know it.  That is what matters.  Not that I work.  Not whether I feel guilty or not about it.  That it's all about my kids... not me. 

Mother Daughter Nit Picking

I am currently in the middle of every parents worst nightmare - That dreaded four letter word - LICE!!!
The fear started a couple of days after Laci's birthday party.  The school nurse called and said that one of the girl's from Laci's birthday party had lice.  I am cursing my mom for giving me the cute craft kits for visors to do at Laci's party!  Really, hats fro 6 year olds.  Urg.  I talked to the nurse for awhile in the most inconvenient of times (Charlie and I were driving to the cemetery at his grandma's funeral) and the conclusion is that there was nothing I could do but wait.
Wait...  And check Laci's head.
Wait..  And check Laci's head.
Remember, I have no idea what lice look like or what I am looking for.  Every night as I look at Laci's head, I remind her that if I see anything, I will scream.  But I don't see anything.  Two weekends after Laci's party, I see a lot of head scratching.  But I don't see anything in her head.
Monday at lunch, the school nurse calls again.  It's the lice.  So I go to pick Laci up.  The main reason is to spend the afternoon going through her hair - a very time consuming process.  When I get to the school nurses office, it is a party in there.  There are 3 girls from Laci's class having a great time together.  The nurse shows me the lice and what to look for.  As predicated, I jumped and screamed a little.  Ugg. 
Laci and I head off to the store for nit picking supplies and spend the afternoon working on her hair.  We shampoo her head and wash all the pillow cases in the house along with Calvin's blankie and Dogs and her sleeping bag and blanket.  And then the real work starts.  I meticulously go through every strand of Laci's hair, picking up, killing and throwing out the lice and as many eggs as I see.  It was gross.  Laci sat on the floor watching spongebob.  I hate spongebob.  There weren't too many lice but that is relative.  I don't know how many a lot is.  I feel confident that I get all the lice but my confidence level is low when it comes to the eggs.  The directions are to wash the hair again in the shampoo 7 days later to get the eggs that have become lice.   
As soon as I am done, I shampoo and shower myself.  I just feel dirty.  I try to put my children's needs and fears first but I have long hair - my terror level over my own hair is pretty high.  Calvin also gets a shampoo Monday night.  I know he doesn't have the patience for nit picking so if I find lice in his hair, the clippers are coming out.  
We finished at about 4:00.  So we headed off to Barnes & Nobles to use the birthday coupon for a cookie. After that afternoon, we deserved a few minutes of downtime.
The more people I talk to, I have realized that nearly everyone has gone through this.  I am not alone.  As I was leaving work Monday, my coworker gave me a peptalk .  She had done it several times with her daughter when she was growing up.  
We are not done with this nightmare yet.  I picked a few more eggs from her head last night.  I think I will have her do an extra preventive shampoo tonight as well as Monday night and maybe next Friday.... But the one thing I will remember is that when it was done, Laci told me that she had a good afternoon with me and she was glad we got to be together.  I won't say that nitpicking is now my favorite mother/daughter activity but these days I will take what I can get and I will always have that special afternoon with my daughter in the middle of this nightmare.