8/28/13

Enter Mommy Guilt...

Here it is...more mommy guilt. I love my job which is a blessing because I have to work whether I like my job or not. But my job requires long hours. And I feel like I'm missing out on so much with my kids. 

I can't make it to soccer or hockey practice. I work through horse lessons. Last night I missed Open House at my daughters school and next Tuesday I will miss Open House for my son. 

I have some flexibility with my job. For example I am able to drive my children to school every morning. But I work most evenings. And I feel guilty. I don't want them to think its because I'm not interested or that I'm not involved in their lives. I'm just doing what I need to do to pay the bills. 

I've told them that I would rather be with them and run them to activities. My son says he understands. "I know you have to work so we have a place to live and food to eat". But it's still hard. 

I think when they hand you the baby in the hospital, they also pass along a hefty dose of mommy guilt that lasts a lifetime. What do you think?  If you've been in my shoes, how did you make it work?  

8/26/13

First Day Of School

It's here. Today I dropped off a 2nd and a 3rd grader off at school. Thankfully both of my kiddos are still excited about going to school so our morning went very smoothly. They even wished each other a good day and shocked me by saying they love each other when my daughter got out of the car. 

On our way to school my son admitted to being "a little nervous but mostly excited". You see, today he goes to the "big kid" school. The building for 3rd thru 5th grade. (Sniffle, sniffle) New teachers, desks and building layout. 

It goes so fast. I dropped him off this morning and found myself wanting to snuggle my BabyCakes, but those days are over. (Sniffle, sniffle). 

8/22/13

More Firsts...

It's that time again...Back to School. I can't believe the summer break is over. My kiddos start back to school on Monday.  They are both excited about their teachers for this next year. Here are a few ideas on what back to school means to me...

1.  New clothes
2.  New shoes
3.  New backpack
4.  New pencils and fresh crayons and pencil cases
5.  New binders and folders
6.  New friends and new drama

And this year, a tough new thing. This is the first school year where I am a working mom. I will drop my kiddos off at school in the morning like I always have. But they will be in the after school program this year. I feel very guilty about this. I know this is a normal situation for many families. And I know the guilt is normal too. But that doesn't mean I have to like it. The first week of school the kiddos are with me and its going to be hard for me to be at work no matter how much I enjoy my job. I know the kids will be safe and they will be fine. There will be a time of adjustment for us all. I'm ready for our new normal to set in. 

8/21/13

Table for 1...

Anyone who has lived by themselves can probably relate. Eating alone. On the weeks my kiddos are with their dad, I am alone. I've adjusted pretty well to this time without the kiddos, but I have a terrible habit of eating dinner out. 

The problem is not sitting in a public place by myself while I eat. I've adjusted to that as well. The problem isn't the amount of money I spend because I don't buy food at the grocery store on these weeks. The problem is I don't want to cook for myself. 

So I've committed to making two meals over the weekend. And I plan on getting several lunches and dinner from each. This will help me avoid the "I'm tired and don't want to cook" as well as help me fight my battle against my bulge. 

I know this is not a new strategy, in fact I've given this advice to other singles in my life. Bu it will be new to me and I'm looking forward to a few healthy, home cooked meals. 


8/19/13

Changed...

I was looking for a blog idea so I searched "inspirational quotes". My life has been in a pattern of constant change so I clicked on the link for quotes about "change".

Most people don't like change. It's uncomfortable when we don't know what to expect. I suffer from anxiety so in the past, change has been dry difficult for me to deal with. 

Reading quotes about change taught me something about myself. I have trained myself to live in today. Deal with the good and bad of today. Thinking about the future makes me very anxious and so much can change between now and the future that I don't think it's worth thinking about. The great news is my anxiety level is so much more manageable. I work through problems as they arise and don't focus on what I can't fix today. The bad news is that with this way of thinking, I have a hard time setting long term goals for myself. 

My therapist says I'm an "escaper". I don't believe that is what I am doing. Instead I feel I know myself well enough to see the situations that in the past would have caused anxiety. I've learned to evaluate and focus on what I can do something about today. I'm still dealing with it all, only when it is time rather then when there is nothing I can do. And this has helped me discover a happier me. 

    "When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It's to enjoy each step of the way."
                            --Wayne Dyer

8/14/13

Strengths Finder 2.0

For work, I was asked to read a book called Strengths Finder 2.0. This book is based on a fascinating idea. Instead of focusing on our weaknesses and trying to make them better (let's face it, I'll never be a chemist) the focus is on our strengths and developing those strengths.

The author suggests that if we are plugged into jobs, projects and roles in relationships where we are strongest, we will be much happier people. I think the author may be on to something. 

So you read the book then take a twenty minute quiz online and then you are told your top five strengths. Then you look up those strengths and learn a lot about yourself. 

My top five strengths were as follows:
1. Empathy
2. Restoration
3. Communication
4. Adaptability
5. Developer
As I read the attributes of these strengths, I was able to see myself very clearly. I would recommend this book to everyone. It was an eye opening experience for me. Has anyone else read this book?

I think many businesses would do well to have their employees read this book and share their results. Who wants to go to work and struggle to perform in some way that just not natural to the individual? There will always be tasks outside of our comfort zone, we would never grow without such steps.  But, there is a difference in quality of work and satisfaction with job performance of you are doing something you are good at.   The good news is, everyone has different strengths.   If an employer understands the strengths of the team, then tasks can be assigned accordingly.  

Have you worked at a job that was not the right fit for you?  Have you found the job that best suits your personality and strengths?   

Making Memories

We took our order vacation as a family of three this past week. My parents and sister joined us on our trip to the beach. This year was about the kids. We wanted to do lots of special things for the kiddos while making new traditions and memories. 

And much to my kids' annoyance, I had the camera ready the whole time to capture those moments. 

It sounds crazy but we went to the beach for vacation and hardly stepped foot in the sand. The kiddos wanted to swim in the pool, so they swam in the pool. We hit a few amusement parks. We spent one evening on the boardwalk. My son got to play mini golf with his Grandaddy and my daughter got to take a few pony rides. 

We stayed very busy and really enjoyed our time together as a family. When asked about one thing they enjoyed the most, my son said his favorite activity was the one theme park we went to. My daughter said she liked being with everyone for so many days. 

We are truly blessed. 

8/3/13

Minutes or Moments

I'm going to make a distinction between living for minutes or for moments. To me, living for the minutes is when the clock runs my life. I've got to be here at 9, there at 10:30, etc. This is where I am comfortable. Planning my day to include everything necessary and maybe a little fun but the big part is then following through and accomplishing these things. 

Living for the moments is a different way to think about the day. It doesn't mean to avoid getting things done. But I see it as more relational. Looking for those interactions from coworkers, family and friends that make the moments of our daily lives special. This one is a little tougher for me to do. I get so caught up in the minutes I sometimes don't recognize the moments. 

My challenge to you as well as myself is to recognize a few moments this week. I'm thinking the effort we make to see the moments the easier it will become. Do you live for the minutes or for the moments?

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