The Working Mother Warrior

 

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Finding out I was pregnant was definitely a shock. I’d just completed my divorce and was celebrating with a fleeting friend of mine, or so I thought, when I realized my life was about to totally change…again! I was told year prior that it would be very difficult to conceive with my fibroid and that I should give it a try for quite a while before expecting a child. Apparently my body had other plans. I had no idea what my body might go through over the next few months. I was concerned about the responses I would get from family, close friends, and even my partner at the time. Least of all was I worried about my co-workers and supervisor – they were all women and the talk of having a family had often come up in casual conversation. My workplace was the least of my worries…at the time.

After months of careful watch over my health and seeing that the pregnancy was progressing healthily, I informed my boss and coworkers of my pregnancy. I did not want them to be alarmed at my sudden illness or fatigue without knowing what I was going through internally. The initial reaction was excitement but after a while, I guess reality set in. I slowly realized the downside to being a working Mother in our society.

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Several comments were made about my size and inability to do some of my tasks. I was not far along before my doctor advised me to be very careful on my body because of complications. Even after relaying that to management, I was asked to move furniture. When I objected, I was snarled at and met with a comment about how women used to be able to do so much more when they were carrying children decades prior. Very inappropriate and I did NOT move one piece of furniture…I knew better. Even the day before I was to be induced, I was given an evaluation (stress much?).

The day I had my daughter was the most surprising and challenging experience in my life. After being home 6 weeks, it was time to go back to work. I had to repeatedly request private space for nursing and was still often interrupted. There were comments made about my reliability since I now required so many ‘breaks’. Thankfully, that position ended and I started consulting…with a baby on my hip. It was weird and uncomfortable at times but if Mommy didn’t work, there was no money for childcare let alone bills and food.

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I often received looks of confusion like, Why is she here? Can’t you get a sitter? Where is your family support? At the time I ignored it all and attended trainings, seminars, and networking events all with my well behaved little baby. And let’s not even get started on the nursing! I would be so stressed about the comments and looks I’d get in the office or public places that I started to lose my supply! It was AWEFUL! I was fully determined to nurse my child for at least 6 months but the pumping inconsistencies, toxic work environment, and stress of having to leave my child for 9-10 hours a day just left me inept. I was devastated.

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Many people have different ideas about how to raise their children. As a new Mom, I had to make a decision of whether to succumb to the fear of being embarrassed or simply continue to grind with by daughter in tow. Nowadays, I am thankful for my close friends who have generously agreed to watch my little one when I need the support. At the end of the day, however, I pray that I am able to pursue the kind of career that warrants me financial stability AND flexible time to raise my own child on my terms.

The next big idea should come from the vein of Moms being allowed to either work their same positions from home or having a community of employers who look to hire working Moms, welcoming their small children a space in the workplace or at least the personal office assigned to them. I’d like to see that progression…as well as the change in the culture’s view on nursing in public. ITS LEGAL IN ILLINOIS BTW! So leave these mothers alone and let them feed their babies how they want to! #Conquer2016

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What have been your concerns about being a working Mom?

 

~ladiSims

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Is Busy the New Black?

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As my husband and I find ourselves in a season of busyness, we have had several recent discussions about our family’s priorities and what we could potentially let go.

I have become overcommitted and am looking for ways to relieve myself of the stress of busyness.  We have asked ourselves, “Does being busy mean we are also being productive?”  In most cases, I would answer with a resounding “No!”

Check out one of my earliest blog posts related to this topic – “Multitasking Mayhem”.

As several recent articles suggest, busy has become a badge of honor and the busier you are, the more important you must be.  NOT!

In my search to simplify and adopt more of a minimalist lifestyle, I came across the following article entitled, “A Helpful Guide to Becoming Unbusy”.

If you find yourself in a constant state of busy, I hope this article helps you reassess your priorities and respond accordingly.

Until next time-

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42 NKJV)

God’s best-

Alexis

Image credit: http://www.green-mom.com

Mommy Rx

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As we were getting ready for school this morning, Junior complained of a headache.  Being the caring, great, fantastic, spectacular and wonderful mother that I am, I measured out 2 tsp of children’s acetaminophen, rushed him to drink it and we scooted out the door approximately 3 minutes behind schedule.  I had every intention of sending his teacher an email letting her know that he had complained of a headache before leaving for school and to call me if he continued to complain.  Being the busy, hardworking, overwhelmed, stressed mom that I am, I totally forgot!  Not even an hour later my phone rang.  My first thought, “Please don’t let this be the school calling me to pick up Junior because he is sick.”  Am I a bad mom?  Have you ever been there?

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So, I asked them to give me 15 minutes and I would be right there to pick him up.  When I got to the school they called him back to the office.  He had to go back to his classroom to get his backpack and homework.  As soon as he saw me his eyes welled up with tears.  He’s my dramatic child.  In his defense, he got it from his mama. 😬  (For real, I was the thespian in my family, growing up.)  I immediately gave him a hug and assured him that I would take care of him and help him get better.  You didn’t know I am an M.D.?  A Mommy Doctor, that is.  😉

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On the way home he asked if he could watch TV when we got home.  (Rule #1: No TV or video games during the school week.) Rx #1: TV and video games when you come home from school sick.  Rx #2: Would you like Mommy to fix you some hot tea?  Rx #3:  Let me sit beside you on the couch.

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A few minutes later, I asked, “How do you feel?  Are you feeling better now?”  His perfectly-rehearsed response, “Yes, ma’am.  A little bit.”.  Of course, you don’t want to feel too much better.  You might have to go back to school.  After an afternoon of being nursed back to health, along with some more meds Junior seems to be feeling just fine.  However, he manages to sprinkle in just the right amount of,  “Ooooh, my head hurts.” at just the right times.  😆

Sometimes moms make the best doctors!

Until next time-

But He was  wounded for our transgressions, He  was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
(Isaiah 53:5 NKJV)

God’s best,

Alexis

Image credits: best.blankwallpaper.com, http://www.thesaudavoice.com, dangerouslee.biz, bestmomstv.com

Kiss Strike

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A couple months ago I mentioned that Super F didn’t want me to kiss him in public anymore. It was heartbreaking to say the least, but I knew the day would come. Fast-forward to last week when he asked me not to kiss him at home. I thought, it’s okay, it will pass. Two days later, he still declined my kisses – even at bedtime! I wasn’t sure whether he was trying to get me to beg him to let me give him a goodnight kiss, assert his independence, or just having fun seeing how long he could keep me from kissing him.

My initial urge was to kiss him anyway. But, then I thought about it for a few minutes, and realized this was a teaching opportunity for me. I told him that it was his choice whether he wanted a kiss or not, and if he said no, then that means no. I told him I wouldn’t make him if he didn’t want to. I wanted him to understand that when someone says “no” when it comes to their bodies and personal space/intimacy, that it means no. I want him to respect others and their feelings.

So, after a couple of days and reserving my “best for last” (he ALWAYS wants to be last when saying goodbye) kisses for Daddy, he finally relented and let me start kissing him goodbye and goodnight again.

Briana

Birthday Experiences

This year Super F turned 7. We decided that he had plenty of stuff (i.e. toys) and wanted to do something a little different for his birthday this year. So, instead of toys, we got him experiences. He has had a passion for cheetahs for the last couple of years, and we found a program at a zoo that offered a behind the scenes tour of the cheetah exhibit. So, we jumped at the opportunity and bought tickets for the day after Super F’s birthday. We sent him on a treasure hunt for the tickets (another great way for kids to practice their reading/reasoning skills!) and took him the next day. He was excited to get so close to the cheetahs, find out their names, and then get to feed one (through the fence of course).

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Afterwards, he said it was a dream come true, and the experience was “phenomenal”. I’m sure it’s a day he will remember much longer than he would have remembered any toy we got him. We also surprised him with tickets to see Marvel Universe Live, since he is BIG superhero fan (more on that next week).

What are your ideas for a “stuff” free birthday?

Briana

 

936

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That’s the number of Saturdays we get with our kids between birth and when they turn 18. Less than 1,000 Saturdays before they become adults. Since I work full time Monday through Friday, my weekend are pretty sacred to me already. I had never thought about how finite those weekends were until I saw another mom mention it. It’s amazing how fast those Saturdays go. Now that Super F is 7, we only have 572 left! It got me thinking about how I’ve spent those first 364 Saturdays, and whether I’ve made the most of them. We have definitely had some fantastic Saturdays in those years, but I’m sure some were squandered away. Now that I know the number, I’m going to do my best to fill those Saturdays with some awesome memories for him to carry with him after we hit the 936th one.

Briana

 

photo credit: http://maanumberaday.blogspot.com/2013/01/936.html

Raise the Child You Have…

I learned this lesson the hard way. Super F loved playing ball with us at home in the backyard, or at the park, so the logical step was to sign him up for T-Ball, right? Wrong. He loves playing at SBC_pw-sl-tbhome, but put him on a field with 12 other 5/6 year olds? He didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped he would. I figured it was a right of passage for little boys to play T-ball, as all the boys in my extended family played, and so did my husband when he was little. So, even though he hadn’t expressed much interest in playing on a team, I signed him up anyway. The end result was that he played on the team, but he didn’t enjoy it, or fall in love with the game. T-ball just isn’t for him.

So, now I’m working on raising the child I have, not the one I thought I had. I am going to try harder to listen to him and what he wants to do, and not pressure him into an activity he isn’t interested in. We will keep up with the monthly drawing classes at the library that he LOVES and the weekly swimming lessons, where he is flourishing. We found an acting workshop he is excited to try out, and if he wants to pick up another sport, that will be fine with me, and if not, that will also be fine. The goal is to let him experience different things and find what he loves to do. T-Ball isn’t it. Lesson learned.

Briana

image credit: http://www.scrapbook.com

Dinosaurompus!!!!

dinsosuarompusThere is a super cute book that I love to read with H & Baby C2. It is called Dinosaurompus. It is about dinosaurs and how they like to shake and shudder near their sludgy swamp home.

In honor of this fun book, we started our own dinosaur rumpus bedtime dance. We get all crazy while we sing some lines from the book:

Shake, shake shudder near the sludgy ole swamp.

Everybody’s doing the dinosaur romp!

Shake, shake shudder near the sludgy ole swamp.

Everybody’s doing the dinosaur romp!

Then all the dinosaurs get tired…

They fall in a heap.

And all the dinosaurs go fast asleep.

Until…..

Shake, shake shudder near the sludgy ole swamp.

Everybody’s doing the dinosaur romp!

It is a fun way to get all the wiggles out before bedtime and the boys really enjoy it.

What fun ways do you put your kids to bed?

Peace, Love and Shakin’ Out the Wiggles,

Kristen

Changing Diapers Was Easy…

We are potty training and I am in hell. Yes, it is exciting to see him accomplish something and be proud of himself. I am proud of him, but man it is hard.

It is also disgusting.

Cleaning a poopy diaper is a piece of cake. Cleaning poop off a toddler’s underwear, pants or a pull up is gross. It smears and gets everywhere. I won’t continue, you get the drift.

As a working mom, potty training is really tough for a variety of reasons.

  1. Rush hour – I envision the day where I explain to the police officer that I was speeding so that my toddler could make it to the potty in time.
  2. Relying on daycare – They have a lot of kids to deal with. Making time to help your kid poop in the potty isn’t always a top priority. Unfortunately, this prolongs the process.
  3. Clothing needs – They are going to have accidents. Since you can’t wash clothes several times a day, you need a lot of clothes on hand at their school. Target here I come… chaching!
  4. Award system – The inconsistency associated with awards at home versus no rewards at school can once again, prolong the process.

I really shouldn’t complain. H has done phenomenal. After 4 hours of potty training we have had only 1 pee-pee accident and it has been 5 days. Poop we are still working on, but it hasn’t even been a week so I am cutting the kid some slack.

For all those moms out there singing the potty training blues. You are not alone. I am singing them right there with you.

Peace, Love and Pee-Peeing in the Potty,

Kristen

Stay tuned for more about our potty training saga. Next up, our potty training method…

Mom Friends

Since becoming a mother, I’ve found that having good mom friends has been helpful to me in so many ways. Whether it’s to have someone to talk to about your child’s milestones, accomplishments, or the moments when you feel overwhelmed and frustrated by their behavior, having someone to talk to who gets it is so important. We all walk a different path in life, but we bond over the fact that we are mothers.

My friend recently told me that I am one of the mom’s she wants to be, that I make motherhood seem effortless, while she struggles. But I feel the same about her, as she raises three children while working the night shift at a hospital a few nights a week so she can be home with her kids during the day. We sat there complimenting each other, and it was so refreshing to be building each other up and pointing out what each of us are doing right, rather than competing to be the “better” mom. Tell me about your best mom friend, and take a moment to tell her why she is so great!

Briana