Hmmm…how to begin this post? So much goes on in my life and I will gab with so many of you friends who follow this blog and I will mention something going on in my life and the first response is normally:
“That wasn’t on the blog!” or “You need to put that on the blog!”
I totally agree most times. So much of my life is a reflection of so many of yours.
This thing called “motherhood” and life as a basic whole. I think you guys just like to know you aren’t alone.
Heck…I like to know I am not alone so I totally get it.
But life happens and the post I should make gets away from me.
I will think “How do I even start this post? They are going to think I am nuts…”
Well the “think I am nuts part” is pretty much true. I prefer “free spirit with a side of sass” though
Then I promptly put it off and before I know it the post is irrelevant or out dated. A good thought lost to the jumble of daily life.
- Feed my purse addiction by earning free swag.
- Earn some extra cashola doing something I enjoy to pay for the kids many many “extras”…dance team, art classes, science classes, co-ops you name it somehow it all adds up. This would be great way to make that little extra and contribute back to the family funds. I know “getting rich” won’t be happening…but being able to let my child dance her little toes off…worth it.
I have since started hosting parties and having fun with friends doing online parties and in person. I have several gals now wanting to sell under me as well which is a bonus…cause I now get to work with my friends even more. It’s a win win.
I will do it until I don’t need to or don’t want to. So far I am loving it though.
I see it in my future for some time.
Here is what I really want to gab about though…
Sacrifices, keeping it real and street corners.
For 12 years now I..we…the family…have made many sacrifices for me to stay home with these kids.
I used to teach daycare once upon a lifetime ago, and I just knew what it would be like behind the scenes.
I know there are good ones out there…I even taught at “good ones”.
But there was always this lack of connection with many of the parent/child relationships. No matter how amazing the parents.
Let’s face it…honestly.
I had parents that would drop off their toddlers/preschoolers at 6am and wouldn’t pick them up until 6:30pm. I knew for a fact that most of those children would go to bed no later than7:30-8pm. That makes for a tough family life.
It broke my heart to watch mama’s have to leave their babies and I loved their babies for them.
It broke my heart to know that many of them had no choice. Financially sometimes it is just impossible to stay home.
It just is.
But I couldn’t…I wouldn’t survive that leaving them part. I knew I would wither on a vine if I had to go through it.
I just wasn’t strong enough to leave them.
I knew that for me to go back to work to my poorly paying $20k a year job would be silly
(childcare workers are paid so well..ugh).
We would have paid close to that a year for the childcare alone.
Add in gas, lunches, work clothes etc…
I would be paying someone else to help raise my children for me to actually “work” outside the home.
Why would we do that? It just didn’t make sense…But how would we make it “work”?
Oh the ways…over the last 12 years I have:
- sold: Avon, Mary Kay, Creative Memories, BeautyControl, and now Thirty-One
- Scrapbooked for publications, contests, hire
- Professional photographer
- After school childcare for my neighborhood
- Etsy shop selling vintage patterns and hand made items as I have time
- digital scrapbooking/photographer business tools designs
You name it….
I have done everything short of hanging out on a street corner to make the money we need to stay home with these kiddos.
Not to mention all the side work Daryl has done over the years as well.
Simply put it is always a challenge to find jobs that allow the flexible schedule I need for them.
Especially as they have gotten older.
We added homeschooling to the mix and Woohoo….the financial challenges are just that.
We have sacrificed much.
Do I regret any of it or wish we could have done it any differently.
Not. one. bit.
I have left my pride at the door a long time ago. I do what it takes to raise my children exactly how they need to be raised.
When I get asked “OMG! Your kids are so well behaved! What’s the secret?”
My inner voice is saying “Giving up just about everything for them.”
But I know you can’t really say that out loud. Duh.
People would look at me like I am crazy…but remember I am…just a bit…in a good way.
I will normally answer with something along the lines of “Lots of love, a soft place to fall and they hear the word “no”…alot.”
Kids need to hear “no”….ya know.
It builds character.
I was at Target the other day standing in the Starbucks line and there was a mama their with her two toddler age children.
She was trying her best to not fall in a puddle in tears on the ground.
I have been there…many a day.
I looked at her and smiled and said “It won’t be like this forever….I swear!”
She looked at me smiled that brave “I am about to sell them to the gypsies” kind of smile and just about started crying.
I so felt her pain.
We got to gabbing and I told her about Adam and Haley being 22 months apart….how hard those early years were.
How those early years are the years that make all the difference though. At least for us they did.
I was very stern with Adam and Haley.
Clear rules, clear explanations, lots of purpose for them (kids need jobs you see…purpose within the family), lots of natural consequences and conversations with them…lots of hugs and goofing off….all day everyday.
I worked with them everyday…all day.
It was never put onto anyone else to raise those babies other than Daryl and I.
We have taken parenting very seriously and with a wild vigor.
Passionate parenting I like to call it. Present. Very present in our kids lives.
I told her about the fact that neither child ever had a public meltdown after about age 3-4ish.
The mother stayed and we gabbed a bit more. Laughed alot….
She confided in me that she misses work and just hates being a SAHM.
I sympathize with her on that. I think most SAHM moms can.
It’s hard not to feel like a caged bird at times. After all, you are giving up so much of who you are in order to ensure your little people are getting what you feel is the best for the family.
I told her I have had many friends I have straight up said…
“Do not stay home! You are not the type of gal to do this gig! You will be a better mother after a day at work!”
Just like I would wither on the vine if I had to drop these kids off at a daycare….
I totally understand those mom’s who feel like if they stayed home they would wither on the vine as well.
Being a SAHM is, hands down, the toughest job I have ever had.
There are NO breaks.
There are NO sick days.
There are NO “I am off today but I am going to drop them off at the daycare and come home and take a nap.” moments.
There are few in the US that value SAHM motherhood as a “career” choice.
You will become somewhat invisible to many in the “real world”.
There will NOT be any special recognitions or awards from your boss.
There will NOT be anyone but you to blame (aka; childcare providers) if your kids turn out to be monsters.
There will NOT be any kind of expensive clothes, handbags, vacations etc…. for the majority of SAHM’s since that extra salary is missing.
There will be times you just want nothing more in life than to go potty in privacy, to not make everyone breakfast, lunch and dinner..not to mention clean it up, and you would do anything in the world to just have a “lunch break” each day.
Going to the doctor for yourself…or anything else for yourself…will become just about as difficult as climbing Mt. Everest.
Not the gig for everyone…that is why it has to be something you really want to do and feel passionate about.
Because it is a beyond full time job.
BUT the rewards…are amazing.
Staying home with them has been a huge financial loss but the return on our investment has been infinite.
Having a connection with our children on this level…..
Not sure it could have happened FOR US any other way. We are all 5 …pretty attached at the hip.
I know that this doesn’t sound “good” in our trendy and modern world.
Actually I have received lots of grief and backhanded comments over the years about how close we are.
Doesn’t phase me one bit…
The “me me me” mentality has left this emptiness of self that so many are trying to fill with “stuff” instead of “connection” and good old fashioned love. ( I promise not to break out in Kumbaya)
I am going to tell you that being happy has a whole lot to do with having that “soft place to fall” and a connection with people that you can trust to be there if you need them on those really bad days. So many no longer have that.
By the way…I am not talking about folks with true clinical depression. I totally get that many have a real issue with true depression.
I am thinking even though true depression often requires medicinal supports having a strong family connection would be such a useful tool in treatment…don’t you think?
Why is it such a bad thing for a mother or father to want to stay home and chose “home making” as a career path?
I knew from the time I was a little girl I wanted to be “a mom” and home maker. This was actually what I would tell people I wanted to do when I grew up. That and a teacher of course. Lucky for me I have done both.
Some little girls dream of being doctors….I dreamt of this career path.
Being a good parent isn’t about whether you stay home, go to work, put kids in daycare….
Maybe it is more about making the most with any time you have with your child.
Taking the time to talk and get to really know them.
Not about buying them the “stuff”.
While I know it is important to have “me time” don’t allow your “me time” to take away from your family time.
Especially if you only have a few short hours in a week for family time…as many do these days.
Family dinners are a rule in our house. Always at the table…always as together as we can manage.
Walks, bike rides, game time….
Sacrifices of time, money, some days a clean house …and “me time”.
This is all temporary really.
Kids are going to grow up…
Parenting is a job. Doing it half way won’t typically produce amazing, functional adults.
All or none. The whole way through. No sputtering out come those older years folks. You can’t just say “I am tired of parenting.”
And walk away.
Either you are in it or you are not. If you are not…if you hate it.
Find some resources for your kiddos with folks who can pick up the slack.
For many parenting is one of those things they do because “having kids is what you are “supposed” to do”.
Sadly…those are the folks that don’t realize how badly they hate it until the kiddos are here.
I once heard a statistic on Dr. Phil (I think it was) that 80% of parents… when asked if they knew before they had kids what they know now about having children would they do it again…said NO. They would never have had children.
That makes me sad.
Ok…rambling…I suppose I should get off of here and get back to the business of making dinner.
But if you ever wonder why I do a million different odd jobs…adding things to the mix here and there…
Now you know
I have a homemaking “career” to support…