Saturday, March 16, 2013

Being a Stay at Home Mom =

Homemade chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, any day of the week, even as late as 10 AM.

Not getting dressed until right before dinner time, or maybe not even at all.

Being at the beck and call of the children all day, every day.

Making delicious and complicated dinners on weeknights.

Being the sole parent to get up in the middle of the night when the children need someone.

Spending almost no money on make up, accessories or any other fun beautification items.

Buying clothes I love instead of clothes that must be work appropriate and practical.

Being able to make appointments in the home or outside of the home for any time of the day.

Going to fun places with the children, like the zoo, when it is not busy at all.

Conceding to the social networking sites because it is the only source of contact with the outside world, the family, my friends and grown ups in general that I may get in a long, long while.

Unlimited access to amazing and priceless hugs and kisses from the adorable little people in my world.

Finding a fulfilling career I can do from home while still being able to stay with the children.

Feeling at peace and yet surrounded by chaos simultaneously.

Having no bedtime whatsoever.

Forgeting what day of the week it is.

Living off of coffee as my main food group.

Realizing at 3:00 in the afternoon that I feel sick to my stomach because I forgot to feed myself.

Not bringing home a steady pay check.

Giving up on some goals and dreams while discovering a few new ones.

Not missing a milestone; being there for every bump or bruise, new or lost tooth, rolling over, sitting up and so much more.

Being both the good cop and the bad cop, 24/7.

Being home when the kids get home from school...well, just being home all the time.

Missing work while constantly working.

Not missing work.


True happiness, pure and simple.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Slowly But Surely

If I had it my way, I would be able to blog or write at least once each week. In an even more perfect world, multiple times. It feels good. I am one of those moms whose brain is almost constantly going a million miles a minute; I am sure many of you can relate. I find the purge to be quite therapeutic. I feel a sense of relief, release, accomplishment and contentment when I finish a post or a project of any sort. By "project" I mean more than just my writing. I can be a sort of "busy body". The babies are five and a half months old now. Since early in my pregnancy with them, around a year ago, my "projects" mostly fell by the wayside. I have not been able to do as much, volunteer as much and generally had to say no to or be advised not to do many "projects." I hate it. I haven't felt like myself and am ready to begin my journey back to real life.

My twelve year old son is in seventh grade and has landed a small part in the school play. I am so happy for him. He is so creative and acting is one of his many artistic talents. I also participated in as many school plays as possible during my younger days. This is not only going to be good for him, but for me as well. I like to help out at the schools. Fundraisers, on the other hand, I sort of hate. I understand the need for them but there are just so many, it gets old and money is not something I usually have a lot of. Time, I have had in the past, and that is how I chose to support the schools. Not being able to volunteer as much over the last year has been hard and I am ready to slowly begin again. I signed up to take a leadership role for the school play props. I think I am the only parent who asked to lead props, so I am fairly certain that they will pick me. I did explain to the director that I now have five children, I really do want to help with this, but I will need plenty of time and notice of what is needed for props. I did this same project for them once before and they only gave me two weeks notice total. That scenario would not work for me this time. I have learned since then that I should not be afraid to speak up and express my needs and concerns. My time is precious. I am willing to give it but I need to make sure that they are getting the best out of me in order to make the time worth spending and that I will make my children proud and know that they can count on me.

One of my brothers and his wife are having a baby in April. This will be their second child, first girl. I offered to throw her a baby shower and am quite happy to announce that she has accepted. She did have hesitations at first, though. She was worried that it would be too much for me because I obviously have my hands very full right now. I am grateful that she worried about me but at the same time it is really not necessary. Many people in my world do not know, nor can they fathom, what it is like to be me right now. I have five kids. It seems like a bigger deal than it truly is. This is my life now and I just have to keep going, one step at a time. There is no hiding from this. In order to stay sane, the best thing that I can do for myself is to get back into the game at my own pace. I'm getting better at it everyday. I am feeling more and more like my old self. Throwing this shower is going to be good for me too, and I told her so. I actually thanked her for allowing me to do it. I love to plan, host, decorate and help out. I did not have sisters when I was growing up and being able to do something like this for my Sister-in-Law means a lot to me. I also love being an Aunt and helping to celebrate the coming birth of another niece is so very special. It is the least that I can do. Not to mention, it is fun for me. Really fun. She might be helping me more than I am helping her, honestly. And lets not forget about the joys of being able to get out and socialize with adults, woo hoo. One more baby step forward, pun intended!

There are a couple other opportunities that I am considering, but I have to be choosy with my time. I need to make sure that the things I sign up to do are worthwhile on many different levels: the cause, the time away from home and/or the children, the need, the ability to involve others I would like to spend time with, could it help to cover the costs of possibly enriching activities for my children, etc. For example, the local athletic association is seeking a new concessions director volunteer. This tempts me but I have many questions for them that I am currently working on. I have never done this exact project before and do not have an experience to compare it to. So far, it seems like it might be a little too much for me at the moment, but I want to be 100% sure before I say yes or no. I know that I am completely capable of this position based on the job description; it is right up my alley of organizational talents. My issue is probably going to be more of a time restraint thing. Although, the cost of one son to play baseball this season is $160. If he were able to play for free or even at a discounted rate, it just might be worth it. We will see.

I am starting out small again...or smallish. I do hope to be able to help with the bigger projects again, as time goes on. When my older boys were younger, I started out by helping with classroom parties, counting box tops, donating food for the school's Staff Appreciation days and reading to the classrooms here and there. Over the years, I slowly worked my way up to the bigger opportunities like being the Craft Lady at week long summer camp, directing the elementary school play, Pinocchio, with 30 3rd through 5th graders, running the Scholastic Book Fair at the Middle School and even coaching 2 Destination Imagination teams for competition last Spring. These tasks fulfilled me and gave me blessed opportunities to spend more quality time with my boys. I want to get back into this. It will take some time but seeing as I have even more children now, I know plenty of situations will present themselves. Working from home by the end of this year will set me up for success in this area of my life, as well as others. (And volunteering is way more fun than doing the dishes...which is what I really should be doing right now...Sigh ;-)