A Basic Guide to Human Decency

It’s been pretty hard to miss the news lately.  Nothing too pretty.  Actually it is pretty horrific.  People are mean and saying and doing horrible things.  People are getting hurt (physically and emotionally) and it’s not okay.

Many of us are raising children and I keep preaching that we live in an amazing world with incredible people, yet we are constantly bombarded by images of people at their worst.

img_1213

 Home Bistro Chef Prepared Meals

I get it.  Nice people doing nice things are boring and not newsworthy.  But, dear God has it gotten so bad that we are shocked that someone would return a lost cell phone to the right owner? Or a mom at Target with screaming children is given a smile instead of an eye roll?

Maybe we have all just become so jaded and accustom to it we just expect to see the worst in people.  At the beginning of 2017 I wrote a post about Being Positive in a Negative (Online) World It’s not easy, folks.  We really need to make conscious choices to do this.  Otherwise we are all going to raise a bunch of jerks.

So, what do we do about it? Maybe we should all go back to basics and practice what we preach. Here a few simple things we can all do:

  • Look people in the eye when you cross paths.  Smile and nod. If you have never done this before, just try it! Guess what? There is a very good chance they will do something crazy…..reciprocate and smile back! Sounds crazy, I know.  But, please just try it! You might make someones day.
  • If someone does something nice for you send a simple thank-you note.  Not an e-mail, text message or Facebook message.  Actually write their name on a piece of paper and THANK THEM.   I know that we all have a million things going on and I am the first one to admit it had taken me longer then I’d like to admit to get them out sometimes.  But I know when I get a handwritten note from someone it makes me feel like my effort was appreciated. Tagging them in a Instagram post is not the same thing.
  • If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.  This one is the most easy and difficult thing to do all at the same time.  Sometimes your opinion should NOT be heard.  I know, I know we all have the right to say whatever we want……but what’s the point if is just going to hurt someone or make someone angry? It is called being polite and having manners.

You might be reading this and think ‘wow! This lady is angry and bitter’.  Well I am a little bit. Our parents didn’t raise us to be jerks. I don’t understand how we have all gotten so self righteous and…..well rude!

img_1074

So, please get off your cell phone when you are checking out at a store. Think twice about blasting your horn when someone takes a second to go once the light turns green and pick up your neighbor’s newspaper and deliver it to their front door…..for no other reason then just because.

Are doing these things going to change the world? Maybe not.  But if you can make someone’s day a little bit brighter then we will all be better off.

 

I Don’t Ask Permission

I read something that really bothered me the other day.  It was from a blog about motherhood (I don’t remember which one).  That this particular mom said that she has to asks her husband for permission to buy a dress for herself.  Not discusses it with him, or checks in if it is within budget, but actually asks him if it is okay.

He had the power to say yes or no.

She also asks her husband permission if she can go out for a girls night and if it is okay for her to invest in her blog. And she said that he also asks too……but then went on to say that since she is a stay at home mom and doesn’t earn any money that she feels it is respectful to do.

That is where I wanted to punch my computer screen.

Now, I am all for discussions with my husband about expenditures.  I actually think it is an important to have that kind of communication.  Money can create all kinds of problems if not dealt with properly. But we treat each other with respect and consideration. She made it seem as though he has the ultimate power in the relationship and they are not equals. That bothers me.  If she was working outside the home would she have to ask? I’m not sure.

dsc_0617
We are a team!

Gymboree Sale On Now!

My husband and I made the decision together for me to stay at home.  I feel that even though I don’t actually make a paycheck, I am a total equal in every aspect of our relationship. As is he.

We don’t ask each other permission for anything.  I am not a child.  He is not in charge of me.  If I had to ask him for money or if it was okay if I get coffee with my friend I don’t think our marriage would have worked out.

I’m not saying I go around buying diamonds and cars everyday (but that sounds fun)! I am capable of looking at our bank account and knowing if it’s in our budget to buy a pair of jeans or a new dress.

Honestly in life when I hear a mom friend or acquaintance say….’sure, just let me ask my hubby’ it makes me cringe.  Again, I all for discussions and very open communication but asking permission from your equal drives me nuts.

Why do some women do it? Do they really do believe the man is the head of the household and has ultimate control? Do they believe it is not really their money? Or is it the simple fact they lack confidence in their own decision making skills?

I am not making these points to make anyone feel bad or angry.  This is just not my normal and I don’t understand it.

I have been told that it is a sign of respect to their husband.  I don’t buy it.  Respect is a two way street.

Is permission just another word for discussion? Or, is it actually giving all of the decision making about your life to another person?

What do you think? Do you ask permission from your husband?

dsc_0565

The Longest Moments

6:24

The kitchen is a mess.  We’ve just finished dinner and Charlie, my four-year-old, is upstairs having a screaming match against himself.  I sent him to his room for standing on the table and not getting down after I asked him five times.  Henry, my 19-month-old, is screaming just because he has just finished all of his milk and well…..it’s just all gone.  My dear husband is on his hands and knees trying to clean up all of the corn the baby flicked on the floor….well because it was not covered in ketchup…his new favorite must have food.

The reason we could not use any ketchup is because Charlie also loves it….so much that he licked the lid of the bottle because it is ‘so delicious’ and I had yet to clean it off.

I looked at the clock again and it was only 6:28…..seriously??? That must have been the slowest four minutes EVER.  How was I going to get to 7:00? Yes, my kids go to bed early….but thirty two minutes away seemed like an eternity!

boys
These boys are sweet and sneaky.  A unstoppable combination.

After a few minutes I go upstairs to see a puffy faced,  sad looking boy.  He was so upset he could hardly talk. “Mommy….you….. you….. you made me sad.” Oh jeez.  The guilt.  I was totally in the right to send him to his room.  He chose not to listen to me and had several warnings.  But in that moment my heart was breaking for my little con-artist. He can put a steak through my heart then kiss it better in about three seconds. He says sorry and we hug.

6:39

Back downstairs the baby has calmed down and I changed him into his pajamas. Then the three of us go back upstairs and snuggled onto the rocking chair in the baby’s room to read books before bed.  If you were a fly on the wall in that moment, you would see a mother and her two adorable children who were giggling and hugging and kissing each other as we read an Elmo nighttime book.  It was like the last twenty minutes didn’t even happen.  Like the blink of an eye that horrible, crazy part of the night was gone.

Why do they do this to my heart and my soul?

At moments like this, I cherish being their mom.  It is the best thing in the world. But, I, like most moms also get so caught up in the moments of pure exhaustion and frustration. Right now, though,  I will just rock them and soak it in…..

2
Trying to choose to remember all the good moments!

7:22

Both kids are in bed.  I can take a deep breath and realize that we made it through another night.

This night was not our normal, but by no doubt it happens…..sometimes several nights in a row.  I complain. I get angry. Sometimes I  yell……but I also love, hug and kiss. All of this often happens the span of a few minutes!

Those sweet faces constantly keep me on the edge.  The edge of sanity, of breakdowns, of laughing fits and crying fits….you name it and I have felt it.  They keeps our hearts raw and wide open. These days with small children are full of extremes.  Extremely hard and extremely fulfilling.  Not much in between.

I’ve heard many times before that I should cherish these days.  One day they will just be a faint memory…..and as much as I hate to admit it….they are right.  Looking back at chaotic vacations or school recitals…..I mostly remember the smiles and adorable performances….not the whining and  the exasperation I feel getting out the door.

So, for right now, I will enjoy the next two hours in peace and quiet knowing my little love muffins are happily sleeping, resting up to wreak havoc tomorrow.

Land Of Nod: Design for Kids and People That Used to be Kids

I Might Be the Mom the Internet Hates.

I like my home to be clean. I shower and put on make-up daily. I like to make home made dinners. I smile and am usually a positive person. Apparently that makes me the most annoying mom on the internet.

No…..I’m not at all (remotely or even kind of close to) perfect. But, it seems lately online, if you are a stay at home mom and like the gig, so many mom blogger wants to make you feel bad for it. I am assuming most of these posts I hear are tongue and cheek.  I actually can get a good laugh from some pieces.  But I wonder if there is any seriousness to what they are saying.  Like everyone else….I have bad days (like yesterday….pregnant, exhausted and a non-napping, teething toddler).  But for the most part I love what I do!

pintrest-brothers
I love to dress my kiddos in matching outfits.

Land Of Nod: Design for Kids and People That Used to be Kids

I think it just part of how I was raised and my own type A personality, but I hate a mess and want things done ‘just so’. I will be the first person to admit I am a bit of a control freak.  And yes, I have been known to complain to my husband after a long day with the kids…..that’s just natural.  But I know when I wake up in the morning it is a chance to start fresh and put positive, happy vibes into the world.

I’ve actually gotten the side eye when I showed up to a play date freshly showered and in full make-up.  I don’t think any less of moms who don’t do these thing. I think we all need to do what we need to do to get through the day.

Just because my house is (usually) clean does not mean I neglect my children. Freshly vacuumed carpets and gleaming kitchen counters make me feel calm and in control. Again, I’m not saying there is ANYTHING wrong with not doing it…..I just don’t like going to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.

And I LOVE Pintrest.  Seriously, I do.  I find it inspirational…..it give me great ideas and lets me show off my creativity.  I don’t scroll through it and hate all of the pretty pins of cute ideas.  I happen to think making a cupcake that looks like a lamb is a wonderful idea for a barnyard first birthday!

pintrest-party
Pintrest birthday party for the win!!

Yes, I often coordinate my kids outfits when we go out to dinner.

Yes, I do my best to bake homemade treats for my kid’s classroom parties.

Yes, I iron all of our pillowcases because I like them to look crisp. (Even I will admit this might be going too far).

These things make me happy! And if I am happy, I can enjoy the time (which is most of my time) with my family.  In my opinion, being happy just does not come easily for everyone. Sure we all have happy (and sad) moments in life, but to be a genuinely happy person takes a little effort and work.

I want to know that I have given my best to everyday.  I look back at old pictures and remember that I really did enjoy that trip to the zoo, or birthday party.  Maybe it took me some extra effort, but to me it was worth it.

Gymboree Sale On Now!

Ode To Our Babysitters: Why We Have Them and How To Find Them

My kids love our babysitters. Matt and I  love our babysitters. Over the years we have been really lucky to find a few people we are so comfortable leaving our kids with. And we did. They are often our saving Grace when Friday night rolls around after a long week. Sometimes we just need a recharge and to be able to get out and go on a ‘date’ is what we really need.

I think every parent needs to do this on a regular (or at least semi) regular basis.

You might be rolling your eyes right now, thinking, I wish. They are way too expensive. I can’t find anyone to sit for us! I could never leave my children with a sitter.

date-night-12-29-16
Date nights are the best!

The answer is – yes you can. Simple as that. We all love our kids, but we were real live human beings before becoming mommy’s and daddy’s. I’m not saying you need to spend hundreds of dollars on fancy dates every weekend….. go to the pub down the street and get a beer and share an appetizer! Go to a park for a hike! Go have dinner at Costo! You don’t need a reason to celebrate or a reason to get out. Enjoy doing something you love with the person you love.

12-29-16
These kiddos love their sitters.

Having regular babysitters we can count on puts our minds at ease. They know our routines, what’s expected of them and our kids are used to them (and loves them)! I’ve actually have my four-year-old try to push me out the door when his favorite sitter comes for the evening.

In my mind our sanity and having a happy marriage makes our home more peaceful and enjoyable.  Some people might think we are selfish to spend the time away from our kids, and spending money on ourselves…..but if we don’t have our marriage,  our house wouldn’t be a home.

sleeping-12-29-16
He sleeps like this when our babysitter is there too.  Just takes a little getting used to!

Still wondering where you can find a babysitter? Here are a few ideas:

  • Join a local Facebook group in your area.  Often mom-related buy/sell/trade sites allow discussions.  Go ahead and ask for recommendations!
  • Call your local high school and ask if they have a posting board at their school.
  • ASK YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS……they might be holding out on their favorite babysitter…..just promise not to steal them every Saturday night.
  • Go to your gym and ask the people who work in your kid care room if they babysit- or know of anyone who does.

Once you find a sitter make sure to set expectations.  This will make both of you realistic in expectations.

  • Be up front about how much you are willing to pay.  Take into account if they will be watching TV after the kids go to bed for several hours…..or playing with them all day long.
  • Don’t be shy to make clear you expect your home to look like it does when you leave.  I’m not saying she needs to mop the floors (but that would be nice)! But, she should tidy up after herself and the kids.
  • Even if something seems obvious to you, it might not be to your sitter.  I do not allow visitors (ie- boyfriends) come over.  Or smoking.  To me it is obvious, but I make it clear.
  • Be thankful and appreciative so they want to come back! I always tell my sitter to help herself to anything in the fridge and make sure she knows our wifi password once the kids go to bed.

As always, I love hearing from you! Do you use sitters? Where did you find yours? What are your tips on making it go smooth?