Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Working Mom Vs. The Stay At Home Mom

While standing in line at a store I overheard a conversation in which two women were debating the roles of working mom and stay at home mom. One said that the role of stay at home mom is much more demanding than the role of working mom. I see her point, at work you don’t have an infant crawling after you on your way to the bathroom. Nor do you have to supervise your co-workers so that they don’t chew on your cell phone or attempt swimming in the dog’s water bowl. Working mom’s can run errands and go to appointments while the little one is at daycare, whereas the stay at home mom is stuck taking little Billy to her gyno appointment. Yet, working moms have their own hurdles to overcome. All of my friends who are stay at home moms have time for themselves. They have hobbies, they have down time. Working moms don’t have this.

Stay at home moms have all day to take care of the kids and run the household. Working moms have about four hours a day to do the same thing. Yes, we have a little more freedom while our munchkin is at daycare, but really, we only get an hour lunch, so even our errands are limited. That “freedom” ends as soon as we clock back in from lunch because then we have needy co-workers, demanding bosses and deadlines. There’s a trade off. Working moms do get a break from children, but we deal with “adult children” the rest of the day. Stay at home moms deal with kids all day. I am in no way demeaning what stay at home moms do. I for one don’t think I could do it. My patience level would reach its peak around 2pm, and my kid’s an angel. I have no idea how daycare workers do it, but I’m so thankful that they do.

I’d be lying if I said that there weren’t times when I would hear my stay at home mom friends complain about not getting a nap that day, or complain about having to get up early and want to tell them they had no idea what tired was. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little jealous when I would hear them talk about their latest craft project, or how they felt when they saw their child's first steps. On the other side, I know that there are things about being a working mom that they envy as well. There is no perfect scenario. Even mom's that work from home have obstacles they have to tackle. We all have our balancing acts each day. I've learned that how you handle the balancing is what's really important.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

So There I Was Minding My Own Business and In Walks February...

Dude. What the hell. Why is it February already? I'm fairly certain that when you have kids your life automatically gets put on fast forward. Tyler's been a little needy lately. When I pick him up from daycare he wants Mommy. Not just near him but he wants Mommy RIGHT THERE, holding him, sitting next to him, ect. This is totally fine, except that I need to get crap ready for tomorrow, make dinner, wash bottles, make baby food, be the door monitor for the other needy being in my life-the dog, the list goes on. Ryan got home late last night and found me running around the house like a crazy person. When he asked me what I was doing I answered, "Making baby food, eating dinner, watching an episode of Lost, letting the dog in, letting the dog out, pulling documents for the CPA for our taxes, filing papers on my IRA, paying bills and washing dishes." I am a multi-tasking super woman. It then dawned on me that THIS is why I think the time goes by so fast. I do in one evening what a normal person does all week. I'm a working mom and this is my life. Ya know, I'm ok with that. Well, I wouldn't mind some more help around the house or a few extra hours in the day, but I would rather be busy than bored. I do much better having multiple things on my plate, multiple projects flung over my sewing machine, multiple duties to accomplish at work.

I remember back in my early to mid-twenties I wished I was one of those care free fly with the wind types. Ya know, they live for the moment and don't plan anything, they have the coolest stories, and work at the coolest places. I was never this person. I panicked when I accidentally left my planner home, and THAT was in high school. I've had a retirement account since I was 21, and a will with funeral instructions since I was 25. I organize my grocery list according to the isles of the grocery store I go to and then by alphabet. My coupons are also organized the same way. I can only use large silver paperclips. The edges of my tape are folded in so the edge doesn't stick to the roll, and my workspace at home and at work MUST be organized in a certain and similar fashion. I'm high strung and OCD. I've tried living a "free-er" lifestyle but I'm just not programmed that way. I like to go and do. I can't just sit around and relax. I need to do, I need to go.

I've learned that I am what I am. Some things should be adjusted, everyone has something to work on, but I've learned to accept me for me. And I'm going to accept me for me again. I'm a working mom. Time is always against me. I put my son first and when he goes to bed I run around the house like a bat out of hell prepping for tomorrow and cleaning up from today. I've been reading the same book for about a year, and I've had the same sewing project on my machine for the past month. Every night my husband finds me asleep with all the lights on in the bedroom, Nook in hand a fresh unplayed game of solitaire on the screen. I wake up to a precious angel calling out, "Mama! Mama!" Even with my lack of time, I wouldn't change much. Maybe a vacation to Hawaii every now and then...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Are You A Sarah?

By now I'm sure you all have heard or read about this girl, . Dude breaks into her home and she blows him away with the shot gun. It's about goddam time. We have laws that allow us to protect ourselves and headline after headline reads "woman stabbed and raped", "man mugged and shot", "woman kidnapped, found dead in creek". YOU are not immune, this could happen to YOU. It happened to her, why not you? My parents live in one of the oldest/nicest country club's and they've had break-ins. Do you have to arm yourself with a 12-gauge shot gun? No, but you should do something. Don't just think it won't ever happen to you and then if something does, not know what to do.

The more people stand up and start defending themselves, such as this chick in this article, the less crime we'll have. My dad is a cop, I've heard some of the most grotesque horror stories that he has witnessed and about half of them could have been avoided if the woman had shot the dude. One I will always remember. A woman was running along a public running trail with her dog. Dude approaches her, acts interested in her dog, grabs her, hauls her off into the woods next to the trail, rapes and beats her. That guy got off on a technicality. He's roaming the streets. He's at the store getting groceries just like you and me. He's pumping gas just like you and me. He's getting a cup of coffee just like you and me. If the girl had a gun and used it she wouldn't have been raped or beaten.

I'm not a lawyer, but if someone comes at you and you have reason to believe that he/she will physically harm you or someone around you you have every right to use deadly force to protect yourself and others. I'm not talking about if someone gets in your face and threatens you, that's not reasonable cause to use deadly force, I'm talking about if someone grabs you or you see they have a weapon and it's you or them, that's reasonable cause. If they're on your property, HA well, soon as they enter the house it's a done deal.

I have a gun, I practice at the range on a regular basis. I have a concealed carry permit and I use it. I'm licensed in 47 states to carry my firearm, concealed, anywhere I go. If I'm jogging with Tyler in his stroller and someone tries something they're gonna get shot. I'm at Walmart putting my son and the groceries in the car and someone tries something, they're gonna get shot. You come into my home without an invitation you're gonna get shot. Basically, don't fuck with me. I have zero tolerance for that nonsense, I know the law, I know my rights, I have a gun on me and I'll use it, so move on.

None of this warning shot bull crap either. 1) If you're coming at me, there's no way I would know if a warning shot will stop you. 2) I don't want you getting off because some douche-bag lawyer found some loop hole and you come after me again. 3) If you're trying to hurt me, I think it's pretty clear you're a dirt bag and I'm taking you out. 4) Taking you out means there's one less shit bag on the streets. As they said in my concealed carry class, "No warning shots, take the bastard out."

If you're anti-gun, that's ok. You have a right to believe anything you want but arm yourself somehow. Carry pepper spray, or a baton, or a tazer. All of those are legal in most states and will at least give you time to get away. I would say to take a self defense class, but I'm gonna be honest here, unless you're a trained fighter a dude can take a woman. If a man tried to overpower me, I would stand no chance. If you're a dude, I don't care how badass you are, enough hits can take you down. My dad is a big guy, he's taken on two men before and came out unscathed, three however, even he says he's not sure he could take on three. Most robberies are done in pairs, not by just one single person.

Crime happens because the bad guys think they'll get away with it. No one's gonna break into your home to steal your jewelry if they know they'll be killed in the process. No one is going to try to rape you if they know you're armed. There's exceptions to everything of course, and gang members for one don't care how armed you are. If you have what they want they're going to try to get it. In that case, carry extra loaded magazines and learn how to swap them out quickly. No one's gonna look out for you but you and it only takes one time to completely destroy your life. One raping, that's all it takes to destroy your life. One time being beaten, one time being mugged and you'll be scared, scarred and broken for a long time. My dad's a cop, I hear about it all the time. You don't go back to the life you knew, you're forever changed, and you're forever changed because of some shit-bag. Enough is enough. No more dicking around. It's nice to see one of our own taking matters into her own hands.

Friday, December 30, 2011

When A Door Closes, A Window Opens

Well it only took six months before I had my first royal mommy screw-up. We flew to South Carolina and back just fine, I had enough milk, books, toys, ect. for both holiday trips. I've never forgotten anything for daycare. I've always had enough diapers, wipes, always made enough baby food, have only had to supplement his milk with formula once since the Puppp issue, due to supply issues while road tripping during Thanksgiving. No major crisis, no major flub-ups, until now.

Yesterday evening Tyler and I were waiting for his bottle to warm up. I let Thor outside and Tyler thinks Thor is HILARIOUS. That little boy loves that dog. So from the window of the back door we were watching Thor run around the yard. Then I had the fantastic idea of going outside with the dog while the bottle warmed up. All three of us are outside playing in the yard for about 20 minutes I picked Tyler up and headed toward the house and the door wouldn't open. It was locked. I thought, "What in the world?" Our backdoor has two locks, the doorknob and the deadbolt. The doorknob doesn't lock, the lock is stuck in the unlock position and no amount of WD-40 or Ryan's or my dad's strength can budge that thing. We use the deadbolt. Obviously a deadbolt can only be locked from the inside, you can't lock the deadbolt then close the door, the deadbolt will block the door from being closed. I must have tried opening that door 20 times in less than a minute. Surely my mind was playing tricks on me. There's no possible way it could have locked behind me. It was locked, locked tight. I didn't have my keys, or my cell. I had a dog and a baby and two chairs, that's it.

There was a brief moment of OMIGOD, WHAT THE FUCK DO I DO!!! We have a shed area joining the house, I tried that door-locked. Tried the back door again-locked. We have a 6ft. privacy fence enclosing our backyard; I tried both gates-both locked with padlocks. I thought, "Maybe I can jump the fence," but 1)the front door is locked, 2)it's too far of a drop so I'd need to leave Tyler in the backyard by himself and there aren't slats on the other side of the fence so I risk not being able to get back over the fence to get to him. Obviously that idea is a no go. I tried the back door again-locked. I cursed. A lot. If I had to I could wait until Ryan got home but he was in Mississippi and wouldn't be home until about 9pm. It was 5pm. I went for the windows-all locked. Tried the back door again-locked. I guess I figured since the back door magically locked itself, it would magically unlock itself? I have no idea.

Tyler thought this whole scenario was hilarious and was laughing uncontrollable the entire time as I ran from door to window to gate furiously trying to open one of them. The only option I had left was to either yell for my neighbors and HOPE they heard me or break into the house. My neighbors don't have keys to the doors or the gates. There are three people who have keys besides myself. One person is in NYC for the week, one is in Mississippi and the other is in Atlanta for the week. I'm sure the police or fire department could break into the house but they'll cause the most damage and it being New Year's it was highly unlikely the doors or locks would be replaced before Tuesday. So, either I break into the house and attempt to cause as little damage as possible or I scream bloody murder, hope someone hears me, helps me, and watch while someone busts my door down.

I tried the windows again and found one of the windows a fraction of an inch further from the siding than the other windows. I pulled the screen off and was able to jimmy my pinky into the gap making it bigger. I pushed and pulled on that window for about 20 minutes, finally it popped out of the casing just enough so I could strip the weather gard and pry it out of the jam. Our windows are really high on the house, they start at my chest and I'm short, so there was no way I could jump into the house with Tyler. I was not a fan of laying him on the ground with my hyper dog running around, but I had no option. I laid him as close to the house as I could, jumped through the window, ran through the house, flew open the door and scooped up my precious baby. He was fine.

I was able to pop the window back into place and gerryrig the lock, although we have a nice draft coming from where I stripped the weather strip. After the whole ordeal I wasn't sure if I should be thankful that whoever installed that window did a lousy job or upset that if I can break into my house anyone can. I called Ryan, turns out the job in MS took longer than he expected and wouldn't be home till about 11pm. If I wasn't able to get through that window I don't know what we would have done. I would have had to break the window glass I guess.

Our outside lights weren't even on! We would have been trapped back there, no food, nothing other than the clothes on our backs in the pitch black. I want to kick myself for not being more cautious. One things for sure, that won't happen again!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We will be out of town for Christmas and I won't be bringing my laptop with me, so Merry Christmas early from Steph, Ryan and Tyler!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Flying Babies

We are flying to my parents for Christmas. The drive to TN for Thanksgiving was rough, not because Tyler was difficult, Tyler was an angel, but because Ryan and I both worked a full day and were exhausted. The drive back was even worse, we sat in traffic for three extra hours due to multiple accidents and didn't even get home until 2am. Do we want a repeat of that, no thank you, so we're flying.

I'm a nervous wreck about this. I've never flown with a kid before, let alone tried bringing a ton of crap through security including milk and food. I've done my research, talked to people who have flown with kids and even contacted TSA just to make sure I know what to expect and have all my ducks in a row. The LAST thing I want to do is have them tell me we can't fly, we miss our flight or end up having to leave something we need behind. I'm nervous about security, but I have my head around it. The actual flying however makes me want to twitch.

Have you ever been on a flight with a baby? More than likely the baby starts screaming when the air pressure changes in the cabin. The kid doesn't realize that his head isn't going to explode and starts screaming because he's uncomfortable. Babies can't talk, it's their only form of communication. Never, not in all my flying have I ever seen anyone be nice and understanding with the parents of the screaming kid. They get dirty looks, they're avoided, I've heard them be cussed out. Is the screaming kid annoying? Yes. Is it the parents fault? No. It's not the babies fault. The baby doesn't understand, he's too little. I remember being on one flight and some dude reamed a mom out. Her baby was crying, and she was doing everything she could to calm him down, nothing was working. Homeslice over there told her that if she was half a decent mother she would be able to control her kid. This dude obviously knew crap about babies, kids, or women. I felt terrible for her. The rest of the flight she tried consoling her baby with tears streaming down her face.

I don't want Tyler disturbing everyone on the plane. I don't want dirty looks from everyone. I don't want to be cussed out or told I'm a crappy mom. I don't care if these people know me, know my kid, know how I parent or not, I don't want any of that to happen. Who would? So for that I'm nervous.

This brings me to my main point. Why are people so intolerant of babies on planes? Their BABIES, they can't help it, they don't know any better. Adults however, do. We're not tolerant of the crying baby who doesn't understand what's going on, but we're tolerant of the lady crowding our paid for seat with her kitting bag. We're tolerant of the dude who's stomach and legs spill over on to our laps. We're tolerant of the lady who wants to talk our ear off the entire flight, and the dude who wants to whine about his divorce, and the guy who watches porn on his laptop the whole flight, and the girl who's Lady Gaga music is so loud you can hear it through her earphones. We're tolerant of the dude in the seat behind us who keeps kicking our seat, but we're not tolerant of the crying baby. Why are we not tolerant of the baby? Because the crying baby is annoying and it bothers us. Dude's stomach, knitting needle lady, porno man and tall seat kicker guy are also annoying, but we don't give them dirty looks or tell them their crappy for being large, knitting or too tall. We tolerate it. We think, "Oh great, dude's stomach is in my face, oh well, it's not like he has anywhere else to go." Or, "Of course, I would get the seat in front of Lurch, oh well, he can't help he's tall." Yet the minute a baby screams you hear, groans, sighs, see eye rolling and dirty looks in the kid's direction.

Well, I'm sorry you're inconvenienced, but it's a flight, not forever and you can deal with it. Chances are someones just as annoyed with you as you are with the crying baby and they're being polite and keeping their mouth shut and glares to themselves. Every flight I've ever been on that had a screaming baby I didn't give them dirty looks or said anything rude, the problem is, I didn't say anything at all and perhaps I should have. Perhaps I should have told the rude guy that told that mom she was crappy that I thought he was crappy that he obviously hadn't brushed his teeth in 10 years and I had to sit next to him the entire 2-hour flight. Perhaps I should have defended those parents who were given hell for trying to get to their family on the other side of the country, those parents who couldn't find a job near family and had to settle for a job many many hours away. Those parents who were just trying to get their baby home so that he could meet his grandparents.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sending Smiles

I'm sure you're all tired of the whole, "I'm super busy" comments, so I'll spare you and send some holiday smiles your way...