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When Mom Gets Sick The House Falls Apart

The viruses have taken over our home for the past six weeks. I’m done with winter! When mom gets sick, the house falls apart. I mean, Mom can’t get sick!

When mom gets sick, she doesn’t stay in bed from morning to night? No!

Business as usual.

Life is still business as usual. It doesn’t matter if we are coughing up a lung, we still take care of business. Even if we’re taking antibiotics, or puking our guts out… we’re still getting up from bed, making lunches and getting the kids off to school.

We stock up on a combination of throat lozenges, Advil and oil of oregano, and head to work.

Sure dads help, sure. Even for moms who have amazing, equal partners, there are just some things that only we can do. Dad is off to work and mom is home with the kids. Even when trying to get rest, kids rush to mom to read a book, cuddle, or check homework.

Moms never get a day off.

Instead, we trudge along, like the warriors and goddesses we are. Unless we are bed-ridden by doctors orders, we continue to keep the house running otherwise the whole house will fall apart.

I’ve been known to slap together a quick dinner, hunched over the stove wearing a blanket like a cape – more like a SuperMom cape. See, because the pain that moms bear – similar to the pains we felt during childbirth – are what gives us our tiger stripes.

Moms aren’t supposed to get sick! Somewhere in the Mom Hand Guide, moms are not supposed to get sick – they are now allowed!

The kids mean well.

For a few minutes, the kids will hover and want to snuggle with you because they know mommy is sick. Suddenly, the doorbell rings – the neighbourhood kids want to play. And they’re off! See ya, mom!

But… can you make me some soup?

I wish the kids could know how to make us chicken noodle soup from scratch. The pre-packaged kind just won’t cut it. I mean, we could provide our recipe, and attempt to offer detailed instructions. But there are too many steps and we just don’t have the patience! Can one of you kids just TRY to make us a pot of chicken soup?!? Look up a recipe on Google, or watch a how-to YouTube video!

No one knows where anything is.

Nobody else in the house knows where the thermometer might be. It would be complete sense for it to be in the medicine cabinet, but every time someone is sick, it ends up somewhere else and never back where it belongs.

Nobody else in the house knows where ANYTHING is!

“MOOOOOOOM, where is my favourite sweater? Where is my lunch bag? Where is the sugar?”

If you can’t scream back instructions, it would be best to write out a detailed to-do list for the rest of the household… along with a note to be placed on your bedroom door, or within the vicinity of your couch – Do Not Disturb – Go Away – Mom is Sick – LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!

Milk it.

Even if you COULD get up, DON’T. Now is the time to test the waters and see how the rest of the house can manage on their own! Now is the kids’ chance to figure things out on their own, right? If you haven’t already, they will have to step up.

MILK IT as long as you can… the kids will eventually learn that the dishwasher won’t load itself, the clean clothes from the dryer won’t fold by themselves, and the oven will just magically pop out dinner.

Keep your butt on the couch or in bed, and watch Netflix all day… the rest of the house will figure it out.

When Mom Gets Sick the House Falls Apart | amotherworld

When Kids are Sick, They Only Want Mom

Motherload: Watch a Webisode and Join a “Mom Open Mic”

Motherload is a fictional show about a fictional Mom based on a very real life. In the show, Erin is a former song and dance gal turned Mom who shares the humor and experiences – big and little – that all mothers deal with. In real life, Erin, is also former song and dance gal. But more importantly, she is a storyteller with a rare talent to share the humor, love and sensitivity that are part of the daily adventures of being a Mom.

Erin Keaney is appearing at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto next week!  Why? She explains in a  perky message:

“Hey Moms, come join me at Indigo Books at Yorkdale mall on Wednesday, August 25th at 11:00-12:00 for a mom open mic!   We’ll share our funny stories about motherhood. The theme is “going back to school”.

There will also be swag bag give aways and you’ll learn that your kid isn’t really as bad as the woman’s sitting next you. See you there and bring your funny!!!  ~ Erin”

Watch one of Erin’s funny episodes… on sleep, or lack of:

Tweet Me

by Rebecca S.

It’s been over a year since I started Tweeting and I can certainly say it’s been well integrated into my life. Speaking in 140 characters is a perfect way for a busy mom to keep in touch, keep in the know and make some wonderful new friends.

I know that dipping your toe into Twitter’s water can seem daunting, but trust me, it’s mostly shallow so you can walk a long way in before sinking.

www.twitter.com

I am far from a Twitter expert, but I can offer some lessons that I’ve learned over time that help me make the most out of this unique social tool.

1. Follow, follow, follow

At first, you won’t have much more than the few local news outlets, some companies and maybe a few friends in your twitter stream. Start following to build up your feed. The more people you follow, the more information you are getting. When I started, I went through the follow list of other like-minded people and started following based on profiles and similar interests.

2. Write your own profile

While you’re reading the profiles of others to see if you want to follow them, the same goes for others of you. Have a profile that gives a bit about yourself but don’t feel you have to give too much information. Whatever you are comfortable with.

3. Engage!

Okay, that’s not supposed to be a Star Trek statement, it really does apply to Twitter. Reply to tweets, jump into conversations (there’s no interrupting on Twitter!) or ask questions. A simple ‘well done!’ or ‘congrats’ or ‘I have so been there!’ reply to someone can start a conversation and new friendship. Don’t have anything to add to a link or statement? Simply ReTweet (RT) it and pass it along to others who may enjoy it.

4. Be Yourself

Some people on Twitter are insightful. Some are hilarious. Some are political. Some are goofy. Some are friendly and sweet. Some are a combination. The most successful people are often the ones who are themselves. Don’t try to fit into a certain type of tweeter. Be yourself and chat with anyone and everyone – that’s when you’ll find it the most rewarding.

Go ahead. Sign up and start following. Then start communicating and see how quickly you get hooked. Don’t focus on the numbers. Don’t focus on fitting in. Focus on the great people you will meet on Twitter.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that Twitter is only successful when it’s a two-way street.

Rebecca is a stay at home mom of a rock-star preschooler and animated toddler who remind her how special life can be. In between diaper changes and silly games, she writes her own blog , is the Community Engagement Manager for Best Tools For Schools and periodically contributes to other websites.

The Brown Ball of Playdoh

by Tracy S.

I am not a religious person.  And I didn’t think I was that spiritual either. 

I’m just a mom – insert horrific stare here– trying to keep my head above water and balance my kids, marriage, and empty checkbook.  Today was a particularly trying day.  I realized that, for the first time, we may not be able to pay our mortgage on time.  This terrified me.  And, me being the mother of the year that I am, tried everything in my power to keep my dread, my fear, and my anxieties away from my kids.  Keyword being tried.

While attempting to whip up a Betty Crocker worthy dinner, I allowed my sons, Preston and Carter, aged 2 and 3 and a half, to play with play doh and watch Tom & Jerry in the living room.  Usually this is a highly supervised activity and it did start out to be.  Carter was watching Tom & Jerry quietly, besides the giggles, and I had made Preston a little brown ball that he was rolling around on the mat we lay out when we use the play doh.  The rule is simple.  Keep the playdoh on the mat…NOWHERE ELSE.  Yeah, I see you smirking, you THINK you know where this is heading.   Well you’re right.  Somewhat.

So I left the boys, and went into the kitchen.  Not five minutes later, I hear the boys dragging a box of cars into the living room to play with.  Typically this wouldn’t bother me, as the parade of playroom toys making their way to the living room and back are a daily ritual that I look forward to like a root canal.  But it was then that I realized the play doh was still out and when we are DONE with play doh it is put away until the dreaded next time it is dragged out (I still have embedded chunks in our rug that is beneath the mat I mentioned. Go figure).

Here is where I forget to mention that they are wrestling with the box and, well, being kids, so I tell them in my Suzy Homemaker tone “We are going to put the play doh away before playing with the cars.”  I then discover, as we are putting away the jars, the brown jar is half full.  I ask nicely “Preston, where is the brown ball of play doh?” He answers me in true two year old fashion by handing me a blue monster truck.  I am now paranoid and my eyes are scanning the room feverishly, looking for the brown ball of play doh.  I announce “We are not watching Tom & Jerry until the brown ball of play doh is found!!” And I pause the TV.

And I look.  And I look.  And I do not see it. 

What I see is red. 

And you are probably reading this saying, “This woman is about to go postal over a brown ball of play doh…seriously??”  However, today is not a typical day.  Today is the day that all my fears and stresses seem to be becoming reality and internally I am falling apart because, well, let’s face it, you want to be able to provide for your kids and it seems like we are having a hard time doing just that.

So I am on a rampage now.  Freaking out…screaming, “Where is the brown ball of play doh?!?” Like a blubbering mental patient.  The kids are half ass looking and I am thinking “Great.  Now I have to explain this to my husband when he gets home, right after I drop the “we are broke” bomb.  Good times. 

So I sit. 

On my kitchen floor.

Knees drawn to my chest. 

Crying.

And I do what I always do when faced with these breakdown situations.  I ask for help.  Not from God. But from my dad.  Even after he passed, he is the one I look to for help in times like these. 

And the house is dead silent because the TV is paused. And I hear Preston in the living room doing anything but looking for the brown ball of play doh.  I put my head down and cry more, thankful my kids are too busy to notice. 

When I look up, my Carter has quietly walked into the kitchen and he looks at my bloodshot mother of the year eyes and he drops the brown ball of play doh in the palm of my hand. “It was on the chugga chugga choo choo train table” – a place I looked several times.

We embrace.

Like mother and son.

Like father and daughter.

Thanks dad.

Tracy S. is a stay at home, wife and mother to two boys, Carter and Preston.  She lives in New Jersey and enjoys writing, reading, tweeting, and cooking.  She has her own blog she barely touches.  She is a Special Education teacher looking to enter back into the workforce…just as soon as someone lets her back in. 

Kids Say Amazing Things… Are You Really Listening?

by Julie Watson

Our kids whisper to us every day. We can choose to hear them, or we can brush the whispers off as ‘they’re just being kids’.  Sometimes they speak at normal levels, sometimes they scream it at us, but whatever the method, there is always a message.

My kids whisper to me constantly, and I will confess, I don’t always have the time, patience or awareness to really hear what they are saying to me.  I am not talking about not understanding them because, for example, my 22 month old calls a banana a “ballalalalala”, or a soother a “sooey”.  I am talking about how perceptive they are, and how they comment in their own, innocent and primitive way what they observe in their lives, and need from us…their caregivers, role models and nurturers (not to put the pressure on).

The other day we were packing up to take a long awaited trip to Disney World. I wasn’t even aware that my son, 7, who was engaged in Star Wars Lego action figures, and my daughter, 5, who was re-enacting High School Musical, were even paying attention to me. (just so you know… kids HEAR everything).  As I was running through the list of things we needed to bring in my head, I looked at my computer and thought…but apparently said out loud, “hmmmmm….nope, I am NOT going to bring my computer.”

Both kids stood up from what they were doing, jumped up and down and cheered loudly, “YAY!!!!”.

I almost cried. Seriously. I heard them. No, I mean I really heard them. What I heard were 2 kids who needed their mom’s undivided attention…for a change.

You see my computer is set up in the dining room, so I can conveniently do work while they play, watch TV, do homework, essentially so I can multi-task. Even though they might be busy doing their own thing, and I just happen to pop on my computer to check email, or facebook, all they see is ME on my computer, not spending that time with them.

Then they see me when I am doing official work in the evening, and they also see me checking my emails in the morning, so I can be prepared for my day. They wanted me to be right there, present for whatever they might throw my way.

I could have chosen to laugh it off, or assume they were just being ‘needy, selfish kids’, not understanding that my computer is my life blood…(well, maybe it shouldn’t be…), but I didn’t, I chose to hear them and use this vacation to catch-up on some missed opportunities, and time spent with my kids, without saying, “just a second, just let me check this email, just let me write this story, just let me save this file…”

A friend of mine who recently went back to work full-time after her second child, has tried to maintain the same at home balance from her time at home with the kids. She drops her kids off at 7:00 in the morning, and picks them up in time to get home by 5pm, prepare a full, fresh dinner, bathe, play and bed the kids by 7pm, do laundry, clean house, and organize social activities with a husband who works long hours and fiddles with home improvements (sometimes handy to have…though not while you are knee deep in diapers and dishes).

We recently had plans to meet up for dinner. Before she could get out the door, she rolled her hair into curlers, made dinner for the kids, cleaned the dishes and prepped the kids for bed. While she was loading the laundry into the washing machine, curlers and all, her 3 year old peered around the corner into the laundry room and said, “Mommy, why you work so long?”

I think she did cry. Why is it her 3 year old is the one to stop, make notice and question my friend’s actions? Kids are smarter than we think. Listening to the whispers can pay off in giving them what they need, but also in nurturing ourselves and our needs as Mother’s. Just ask my friend.

On a funny note, another friend was telling me about a conversation her 2 kids ages 3 and 5 had in the car. They had been talking about when to call 911. Using examples to identify what constitutes an emergency. While they were talking, the song “911-Fire Burning” by Sean Kingston came on the radio. The 5 year old said, “see mommy, why is he singing about calling 911, what’s the emergency?” and the 3 year old said in the most serious voice (and with a lisp), “don’t you hear him? there’s a fire burning on the dance floor!!”

Listening to the whispers, talk, or shouts can pay off in learning about our kids, their personalities, what they perceive, and how they are really feeling. And some days, it’s just good for a laugh!

 

Julie Watson is the owner of AfterGlow Health & Fitness in Toronto, for prenatal, postnatal and beyond. When not training, speaking, or writing about Moms & Babes, she apparently spends too much time on her computer, and does her best to listen to her 3 kids. Not necessarily in that order.