I Don’t do Cock Fights

Self-editing is such a good thing.

So I begin my story by saying, I self-edit a lot.  I have to, it’s part of my job, plus I have a husband and kids, so the ability to “keep it real” is not always afforded to me.  This is probably why I have a blog.  I carry a journal with me so that when I have an idea for a new blog post, I can write it down and write down the main points so that if I have the chance to type it out at some point, I can expand my bullet point thoughts into a new post for you all to see.  So two weeks ago I had an idea, based off of an incident in my life that gave me ample dialogue for a post.  I wasn’t able to type it out online, so I went to my journal.  I furiously wrote my first thoughts down on paper and after finishing, I closed the book, hoping to write it out at some point on this blog.

I’m so glad I didn’t do that.

Because most of the time the first thoughts out of anger, aren’t the thoughts that actually need to be conveyed.  What does need to be conveyed is the principle behind those thoughts.  My main point that I wanted to get across?  I don’t do fighting.  I didn’t do it as a child, and I definitely don’t need to do it as an adult.  I don’t encourage my children to fight.  Fighting creates so much stress for all parties involved whether it be an office fight or a fight in the home, where the ramifications extend far beyond the principle characters.  This is why.

Office fights can add so much stress to your home life.  This Gallup study estimates that at least 450 billion dollars a year are wasted due to office fights.  Nevermind the possible lawsuits from the fallout of an office fight, but it can also result in a lack of productivity and an increase in distraction.  How can you concentrate at work if the only thing that permeates your mind is the reverberations from an office fight?  Home life and lack of engagement with your family can result as well.  Who hasn’t been in an office fight where all you can seem to talk about at home is what crazy drama happened at work?  Trust me, you family cares, but not that much that it becomes the only thing you can talk about.

Couples fighting can lead to stress in children.   This study by Parenting.com lays out why children don’t need to see their parent’s fight.  Parental stress can lead to child stress and even if you don’t “mean to” do this to your children, it still can result in behavioral issues with your children.  “The early childhood brain is disproportionately receptive to what’s good and bad in the environment,” says Rahil Briggs, director of the Healthy Steps program at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. “This is why a young child can learn a new language in a year. It’s also why stress in their environment is disproportionately impactful.”

So it got me to thinking.  I care about my kids, I really do.  After I had my first child, my entire world changed, and whatever I did, whether it be professionally or personally, I tried to do it to the best of my ability so that when my children were old enough to discern what mommy did and how she lived her life, they would be proud.   Seeing their faces when I wake up in the morning and when we go to bed at night gives me so much joy.  I know I can’t take away all of the stress in my life, but I also know that in order to raise happy healthy children, managing the sometimes crazy in my life needs to be a constant priority.

 

Diversity in ALL children’s toys

I’m not that great of a salesperson, so I don’t have some completely crazy title to make you click on the link, but i’ve started a petition that I hope you will take a look at. And if you feel inclined to sign, share or read the corresponding article, i’d greatly appreciate it. 

If you want to know how I came to this, read here.

Thanks,

http://www.change.org/petitions/hasbro-hasbro-add-black-boys-to-your-baby-alive-series

Work/Life Imbalance

I have so much to do in my every day life just being me, sometimes I can’t believe that I’ve actually consciously decided to add a husband and two kids to the mix #10hourworkday #istillhaveworktodoathome

Where did my Brain go?

I swear I have some of the most brilliant posts in my mind.  Just this weekend, I had an idea for a very thought provoking piece dealing with…yup, I can’t remember it.

So at first, I thought to myself this would be a temporary thing…The infamous mommy brain.  I recognized it when I was pregnant with my first child.  I would be talking with a friend, and I would have to recall an event, something minimal that I of course knew how to describe eloquently, but alas, I would just end up saying, “Um, um, um…wait a minute, it’ll come back to me” and the thought would never come back to me.  It was like it was stranded on a desert Island, waiting for me to come save it.  It was there, I just had to find it.

My memory recall has gotten worse after my second child.  I even took extra DHA (recommended by a friend) in order to save my brain cells.  Sometimes when i’m at work and in social circles, I sound really smart and I think to myself, “There you are brain, we’re back in business!”  Other times, I feel like a blubbering idiot.  I try to laugh it off, because I know this is a part of life, but I have thought to myself, “Is this early onset dementia? Am I losing it?”

I hope i’m not alone on this, because It would totally suck if I was.

You know how you feel when the thought is right there, and you just need a little help recalling it so that the full thought comes out and you can display your genius like a proud peacock?  Well I feel like that all the time.

Yesterday, I had a great topic idea for a new blog post and I tried to write it down but I was in a place where I couldn’t write it down anywhere. When I tried to recall the idea…yup, you guessed it, I couldn’t remember it for the life of me.  If ever I felt a missed opportunity happening, that was it.

No mom wants to really admit that her brain loses cells each time she has a child.  The repercussions in the work environment and at home would be too great.  Imagine your boss blaming your work performance on your lost brain, or your partner always blaming your absent mindedness on your missing cells.  But I really wish those conversations could happen because they are important.  Imagine how your workflow would go if you were totally honest with your boss, your co-workers and your clients if they knew this information and didn’t use it against you. If society was more honest about motherhood and parenting in the 21st century, that means we could have an honest conversation about my missing brain.

What I miss about not having kids

I know, I’m suppose to say that I love my children and since i’ve had them my days have been infinitely blessed, I can’t imagine what life was like before them, what was I doing with my life, etc., etc., etc.  Well I can tell you that my life was actually quite fulfilling before my kids.  I reside in the city where I went to college, and a good number of my friends still live here.  I had (have) an awesome single social circle.  I live in a city, so I was not remiss with things to do on a week-end.  I am a very active person, I would workout on a regular basis, I joined co-ed recreational sports teams and I loved going to comedy clubs, the movies, festivals, you name it.  My husband (boyfriend at the time) and me would always venture out past 11p to hit up a local restaurant or pizza place to get some food if we didn’t feel like cooking, or we would get cookbooks dedicated to single meals in order to “try out” new recipies because we were feeling adventurous.  So here is my post dedicated to those times.  RIP good food, good bars, and spontaneous dates…

My kids have killed the good meal.  In my effort to make meals that can be mushed in little peoples mouths, contain all five of the basic food groups, and can be prepared quickly, out go the days of preparing an intricate, meticulously slaved over meal.  Maybe i’ll dust off the cookbooks that we have in our kitchen when they are older, but who knows if i’ll even feel like it then.  I remember when I used to cook and it actually meant something, like I actually remember the meal I prepared.  Now I cook just to see how long I can go before I have to cook again.  Casseroles and soups have been my friend for years.

I always say to people i’m a vegetarian because I don’t workout anymore.  Trust me, i’ve tried.  I’ve tried getting up before the kids wake up, and that lasts for maybe a week or two tops.  I’m way too tired to try to motivate myself at 6am.  And don’t let one of the kids wake-up at 6:05.  Workout ruined.  I’ve tried working out during work.  But most of the time, i’m too busy actually working to stop in the middle of the day to go to the gym at work.  It’s extremely convenient, but not practical for me.  I’ve tried going to workout after I get off work.  But let’s face it.  Getting up working with my kids, then going to work, then trying to muster up enough energy for a workout?  Yeah exactly.  It was always an epic fail.

Whenever any one of my friends happens on the occasional facebook stalk, they always mention pictures of my husband and I playing co-ed flag football, and I reminisce on how active I used to be…how easy it used to be to join that stuff with friends, or how we could go to a friends’ birthday/engagement/cookout party on a whim.  No babysitters needed for our outings, we could just go.  And don’t even get me to talking about vacations.  I took endless vacations in the US and beyond the parameters of America as well as to many of the islands in the Carribean with friends as well as with my husband.  Good times, Good times.

But this is my formal goodbye.  We’ve had a good run, you and I.  I’ve laughed until it hurts and thoroughly enjoyed the freedom that comes with a childless life.  Maybe i’ll see you again in another 20 years or so, but by then i’ll be a much more mature person.  I don’t know if I can reclaim the crazy times of my youth, but I hope by then i’ll feel young enough to try.

.

The New Norm

When I was growing up, there was a constant struggle to keep the house clean.  My mother struggled with putting laundry away, keeping the dishes washed, etc.  When my brother, my sister and me were older, we of course became the hired help – Read:chores, but she still struggled.  I remember saying to myself, I will never let my house look like ours did at times.

Oh how we lie to ourselves.

Now, I want to preface this by saying we live quite modestly.  No McMansions over here, we use our space quite efficiently.  My husband and our two kids are comfortable but we aren’t spread out.  So when I say that our house is in a constant state of emergency, I no kid.

Like the aftermath of a midwest tornado, things are everywhere.  Toys, books, games, book bags, purses, clothes, mail you name it, we have it, all. spread. out.

I keep telling myself that I am going to get to it, but a part of me doesn’t want to.  You know why?  Because I know that the minute I pick it up and put it all away, two seconds later it will be back on the floor.  And i’m not just talking about the toys.  I’ve had three different organizers come into our home to “de-clutter”.  I’ve purchased all of the organizational solutions known to man.  Closet organizer? Got it.  Storage furniture? multiple ones.  Shelving solutions? Elfa is my friend.

In my head I know it makes sense to clean up the house, in order for it to stay clean, in order not to be embarrassed when company comes over and so the kids can play without me constantly picking up toys so that they don’t trip on them.  But in practice it’s a losing proposition.  To knowingly keep cleaning something that will immediately get dirty over and over and over again means that you keep getting on the wheel thinking you’ll get different results when the results will always be the same.  I will never rid myself of cleaning up the house, well that is unless we get a maid, but even then the organization still needs to be in place, otherwise I’m just going to be cleaning up for the maid.

But even more than just me, this seems to be a phenomenon with people I know with young kids.  As messy as I thought our house was growing up, I never remember it being in the current state that mine is in now.  Maybe i’m glossing over my youth (as I sometimes do) but there were certain parts of my house growing up that would never be subject to a mess.  So why am I allowing this mess to take over?  Are we (me and my husband) that busy that we can’t take an hour or two to clean up? Are dual income households in general too busy that they don’t have time to take care of the home anymore?  Most of my peers that don’t have this problem have a maid.  Is this what it has to come to? And what happens to the people that can’t afford a maid?  I have too many questions…lol.  Everyone that I talk to with young children says yes and to just get a maid, but I refuse.  I guess i’m still in denial about my ability to “do it all”, but I haven’t yet accepted the fact that in order to keep our house clean, someone else has to do it.

But right now in our current state, our house stays clean for maybe one week out of a month. Maybe that’s good, maybe it’s not.  And just maybe i’ll have to wait until my kids get older in order for me to keep it clean for the other 3 weeks of the month.  Only time will tell.

Top 5 things TO do around young children

These little sponges take up a lot in a little amount of time. Show them the world.

Take them to the library, the bookstore, the zoo, a museum

This could be a post entitled take them anywhere, so use your judgment when determining where your children go.  But the point being, expose them to what the world has to offer.  There are tons of free child events that happen in your town, take them.   Not just for their sake, but for yours as well.  Just don’t forget the snacks/diapers.

Play with them

Dedicate time at home to play with them.  It doesn’t have to be for long, but let your child know that you care about them and them only, and not have it attached to an event outside of the home.

Love yourself

I know it sounds weird to talk about yourself in a post dedicated to children.  But really, love yourself.  Love where you are in life, love what you do for your children and don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect.  Because life happens.  Because if you have a strong, healthy love of yourself, your children will have a strong healthy love of themselves.  It starts from the teacher.  Teach them by living the example you want them to emulate.

Read to them

It’s self-explanatory, but a child who has been read to at an early age, becomes a child who loves to read.  Show them that reading is cool, and worthwhile and important.  Don’t raise your child to the Ipad.  I know it’s cool to see your 3 month old baby unlock your computer and turn on their game, but it’s even cooler to see your 2 year old child pick up a book and read because he knows how and because mommy and daddy have read to him since he was born.

Give them a hug/Give them a kiss

Young children have emotions too.  Show them that you love them by hugging them when they wake up, when you drop them off at daycare/school, when you pick them up and when you put them to bed.  Hug them when they do something they are really proud of, hug them when they accomplish a goal they set for themselves, hug them when they don’t expect it.  The same goes for the kiss.

So here is my list of things you should do around children. What do you think?  Did I leave out anything important?  If so add it to the list in the comments section!