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Showing posts from 2009

Too Cool for School

I'm not sure when I first heard the word "cool" in reference to my social standing. I know it was a factor, though. After all, I did grow up attending school with a large group much more affluent than I during the eighties, when Guess was king of denim and wearing a Swatch meant you had arrived. Still, those were my pre-teen years. I don't ever remember thinking of such things as a young elementary school child. So, when my kindergartner came home from school downtrodden because his friends didn't think something he was wearing was cool, I was a little stunned. 
I listened as J.T. poured out the tale of his classmates poking fun at his camouflage sunglasses. "Only DJs are cool!" he moaned. Through our discussion, I came to understand that a "DJ"  was someone with a backwards hat and slim dark shades. This all came about on a day when the kids were allowed to wear hats and sunglasses to school as part of a special program week. 
My husband drove …

What's the beef?

Sometimes, I wonder just how my grandmothers did it. Just how did they raise three children each, keep a home, manage their crops and cook everything FROM SCRATCH? I wouldn't say either had overly involved husbands. They were typical husbands of that era – caring but pretty much uninvolved with the daily operations of things. They went to work, came home, ate dinner, hugged the kids and read the newspaper. 
This leads me to wonder why women of today complain as we do. Single mothers excluded, those of us with husbands willing to pitch in in the smallest way should be rejoicing, shouldn't we? Or maybe I have that wrong. Perhaps, this is the way it was meant to be all along. Either way, I can arguably say that as the basic running of a home goes, today's mother has it way easier than my grandparents did. 
For instance, take my paternal grandmother. She's a one-woman freak of nature. At 86 years old, she still mows her property (over 100 acres), skins deer, goes fishing and…

The Point, Please

I wanted to cry all day today. But, the tears just wouldn't come. After waking up my sluggish 5-year-old, I fought with him for over an hour about everything, essentially making me a drill sergeant, thus launching my sour mood and feelings of utter failure as a mother. I walked around with this heaviness all day, questioning myself and my choice to stay home with my children. 
As I've stated before, I get no greater delight than that which comes from the laughter of my young ones. I'm every day aware that this time, while occasionally challenging, is all too fleeting. Still, there are days when the prevailing question is "Why do I bother?" 
I should mention that some of my feelings are left over from last night's dinner, which I loved, but J.T. hated (which he announced before even taking a bite). That caused another argument, only exacerbated when Dan came home and decided to eat cereal instead of the dinner I had slaved over for an hour with him in mind. 

Little Rewards

There are things about this motherhood gig I do not, nor will I ever, understand. For instance, why is it that children refuse to go to bed on time, yet also refuse to let you sleep in the next morning? It is as if they have some stockpile of energy they plug into at every possible interval. But, do we parents get even a hit of this elusive magic potion? No. Take, for instance, my oldest. A new kindergartner, he is eager to start each day (at least until it is actually time for him to drag his tired carcass from beneath his sheets). 
Each night, it's the same routine. Shower, brush teeth, read books, bed. Then in 10 minute intervals for the following hour, he putters down the hall for another hug, another question, another complaint, another demand. Which usually means he hits the actual sack around 8:30 instead of 7:30 as intended. That makes it all the more boggling that I felt his morning breath on my face at 4 a.m., startling me awake as he, whispering, asked, "Mommy, when…

Thanks for the Memories

This has been a week of lamentation and elation, all at the same time. Like most mothers sending their children off to kindergarten for the first time, I found myself looking at my 5-year-old with fresh eyes as he strapped on his oversized backpack and headed into his "big kid" school.
He was no longer the little boy in footed pajamas. No. Now he was a tall lanky kid branching out on his own. Where had the time gone? Just yesterday I was delivering this boy by emergency Cesarian, praying he would be okay. When finally his tiny body was placed in my arms I felt a swirl of emotion – disbelief, exhaustion, joy, fear – many of the feelings I felt Monday watching him leap out of my carefully guarded nest. 
I'll never forget the first day J.T. and I were left alone with each other in the hospital room. The family had decided to let us bond, and my husband headed home for a much-needed shower. In the silence of that sterile environment, I spent hours just looking at this tiny ble…

Surviving Summer

Well, summer's officially over. It dawned on me today as I was straightening up the house (again). But, first, a little background. 
You see, my oldest son had been at the same child care facility for nearly three years and was weeks away from graduating with his friends when he was unceremoniously kicked out. He didn't deserve to be booted, in my opinion. He wasn't hurting anyone or being profane, the things that normally warrant such action. And, needless to say he was heartbroken. We managed to get him reinstated until graduation after a week's suspension, but were told in no uncertain terms that he was not welcome back for the summer program, a fun-filled camp that he had participated in for the last two years. 
In that moment, my plans for him (and, hence, myself) changed. At the time, I had another job on top of my consulting business demands, so this posed a problem. But, it takes a lot to knock the wind out of my sails. So, I set forth piecing together a creative…

Off the Rails

A friend of mine who works from home gave me a bit of advice once before I started on this adventure. "Sometimes the trains are off the rails," she said. "On those days, you just have to go with it." Today was one of those days. 
I managed to set my oldest son's alarm last night (for the first time) in an effort to ready him for Kindergarten next week. Hence, the alarm went off as planned at 6:30 a.m. and I found myself questioning my wisdom in setting it to begin with. Still, he was up and at 'em early this morning, made his bed, brushed his teeth and we all sat down to breakfast around 7:30. I managed to make it to the Y where the kids played and I worked my butt off. Literally (hopefully). 
Here's where the train started to derail. On the way home around 11, my youngest passed out in the backseat, still exhausted from our weekend. There was no way to rouse him for lunch, therefore both boys were at odds with their schedules, J.T. going to his room for …

Confessions of a Split Personality

I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way. In fact, I've heard other work-at-home moms talk about the see-saw effect of "having the best of both worlds." Still, I feel alone when I have my fleeting "I wish I still worked outside the home" thoughts. There are occasions when I just can't hear a pleading "Mommy" one more time, no matter how adorable the face is that it's coming out of. Instead, I long for those days when I could drop my children off at day care and retreat to my mound of work for the day, leaving someone else to wipe the poop, drool, food remnants and milk from their bodies. But, again, those are very fleeting and rare moments. 
Usually they are brought on by a week like the one I just had, when, in the feast-or-famine world of self-employment, I experienced the feast. Not normally something I'd complain about, it came on the heels of a long weekend with the family, after which I returned home without a spouse t…

A Huge Gamble

I'm not much of a gambler. In fact, the one time I did venture to Vegas, I lost way more than I won, which isn't saying much. But, about two years ago I threw the dice in my own life – I left a very stable job with a high income for the unsure territory of entrepreneur-ism. The fact I was nine months pregnant at the time didn't do much to calm my nerves. 
I tell a lot of people that decision was like jumping off a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean. It's a perfectly good ship. It floats; has all the comforts one needs to survive the voyage. Still, if you want to know what else is out there, sometimes you have to take a deep breath and dive in. 
That's what I did when I launched BCreative in January 2007. So far, it's been quite an adventure, with some very very good times and very scary ones. From one month to the next, I'm not sure if I'll make enough money to help with the household expenses. But on the other hand, I spend every moment possible with…