In case you missed it this weekend:
Hey guys! Time for another career feature. Here are my last five features and you can see ALL the career featuresHERE.
- Showroom Educator for Lululemon
- Emergency Shelter Counselor
- Senior Orthotist
- Associate Fixed Income Analyst
- Magazine Correspondent for a Music Magazine
I’ve decided to start featuring SAHM (stay at home moms) on the blog because I think that is TOTALLY a full-time job that maybe doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves.
The first feature is Kelley who is actually the wife of one of my favourite bloggers:Â Carolina John. John was one of my very first career features a couple of years ago. You can readÂ his feature here! I can already tell by reading Kelley’s post that her and John have a similar sense of humour. Now the real question is who picked it up from who?!
Hope you enjoy the first SAHM feature! There will be more coming!
1. Give me your SAHM deets: How many kids? Ages? How long have you been a SAHM for?
Two girls, Ella 6 and Lena 4. Â I have been a sahm for about five and a half years.
2. What made you decide to stay at home rather than work? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
It is not at all something that I had ever thought that I would do, John had always said that he wanted me to stay at home with the kids, when we had any, but I never thought that we would be able to afford for all of us to live on one income. Â The reason that I decided to stay at home with the kids was because I did not like the way that Ella was being cared for in her Child Care Center. Â At the time I worked with the state as a scholarship counselor for childcare providers, basically what that means is that I would give out scholarships to folks that worked in Childcare so that they could go to school and get a degree in Early Childhood Development. Â The area of the state that I worked with happened to include my local area, so I knew and was known at all of the childcare centers in my part of the state. Â I knew the more desirable centers from the ‘God no I would never’ centers. Â The one that John and I chose was a very good, not the best (because the waiting lists were too long), but a very good center. Â I had seen things at the center that I did not like from time to time, brought those things to the director’s attention and they were immediately corrected (I did hold the scholarship purse strings after all). Â But the day that I decided that I could no longer leave Ella in childcare was a day when I went to pick her up and she had a fever, there was gunk coming out of her eye and nose and the teacher told me “she didn’t really eat much today”, YA THINK! Â Really, your telling me that a baby that can’t breathe out of her nose can’t take a bottle? GENIUS! Â I asked the teacher why she didn’t call me and she told me that most parents don’t want to be disturbed at work unless it is an emergency. Â That was the last straw for me. Â John and I decided to start putting my paycheck straight into our savings account to see if we could afford to live on one income, we found that we could so I put in my notice and got my baby out of there.
5. Describe a typical day in your life?
“Typically”, and I use quotes because that word is laughable when you are talking about having bosses that are 6 and 4 years old, but on a dream day that thanks actually run smoothly I get up around 7am, brush my teeth and wash face, get the kids up, make lunch to send with Ella, go wake them up again, brush their teeth, get them dressed and give them breakfast while they watch Tom and Jerry, I take the tv distraction time to get my workout clothes on and running gear together. Â 8am, take Ella to school, come back home, check email do a little laundry, 8:45 take Lena to school. 9am leave my car in Lena’s school’s parking lot and go for a run, come home, shower, eat breakfast and drink lots of coffee and watch my one and only guily pleasure, my story, All My Children (which the network bastards are taking off the air in a couple of weeks, may they rot in hell). Â 11:50 go pick up Lena, come home feed her lunch, have lunch myself, do dished, more laundry, feed/general maintenance for 6 animals, check email, a little facebook, make any nesiccary phone calls, run errands. Â 2:30 go sit in a carpool line to pick Ella up. 3:30pm get home with Ella, work with her on homework, check through her stuff that came home from school, clean out her lunch box, play with kids. 5:30pm make and serve kids’ dinner. Â 6pm rack my brain for what I am going to serve myself and John, 6:30 actually make and serve John and myself. 7pm clear table, do dishes while John bathes the girls, 7:30 get the kids ready for bed, read a bed time story, listen to Ella read me a story and lights out for the kiddos. 8pm email/facebook, personal hygiene (facial, dye hair, pluck, whatever the need may be at the time). Â 9:30 hope to God the girls stay in there bed, sit in front of TV and melt into my big comfy chair. 11pm go to bed read and sleep. Â 3:15am get woken up by Lena because she is afraid to go to the bathroom at night by herself. Â 5am get woken up by Lena again for a) chocolate milk b) go to the bathroom again or c)to cry and try to talk me into letting her sleep with us because she claims to be afraid of the dark.
4. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about SAHM?
That it is easy and that you have endless free time. Â Yes, my schedule is much more flexible than someone that works in an office but there is still a lot that needs to get done during the day and like everyone else, there are only so many hours in the day. Â I really, really wish that being a sahm meant that I got to eat bon bons and watch soap operas but it doesn’t. Â Imagine my surprise when I found out it was more than that, I was really looking forward to bon bons and soaps damn it, no one told me that it was going to be real work!
5. What is the most challenging part of being a SAHM? What is the most fulfilling part?
The most challenging part is that there is no time off, no pay and no sick days. Â As you can see from my typical day I am on-call 24/7/365. Â Even if I do get a night or two when the kids visit their grandparents, laundry never sleeps, and with a husband that works out twice a day there is always laundry! Â And try taking care of the kids when you are sick, there is no up side to that at all. Â I’m throwing up, cold sweats with chills, aching body, just want to od on Nyquil and my sweet beautiful children make me homemade get well cards and as they give them to me ask what’s for dinner. Â Yep, sick as a dog but I still have a job to do. Â Eggs still have to be scrambled and tails still have to be wiped.
The most fulfilling, that is a tough one because there are a lot of upsides to being a sahm. Â I guess the most fulfilling would be the fact that I am always available for my kids. Â I am always able to be the mom that reads to the class during lunch, be the chaperone on field trips, help with all kinds of class activities and by doing so I get to know the kids that are in the classes with my kids. Â It is great to know who the kids are talking about when I hear their stories about what they did that day at school. Â I love to know that I am able to spend so much time with my kids because the time does go by so quickly and before you know it they will be gone. Â As much as I complain about needing a day off, I know that I am in the golden years of parenting right now. Â My kids are still super sweet and loving and want nothing more than to spend time with me and tell me everything, soon enough I will be the last person that they want to hang out with. Â I know that I am laying a solid foundation for their adulthood. Â That is not to say that I think I am doing everything correctly, I mean, I’m sure my kids will go to therapy and blame me for everything but being someone that was a latch-key child from a broken home, I love the fact that my kids have both parents (now that John works from home) at home with them. Â They know that they can go out into the world and no matter what may come their way, they always have a safe and happy place to land where they are loved and can be 100% themselves.
6. I know John likes to share funny kid stories on his blog; what’s the funniest thing you’ve witnessed your kids do over the years?
OMG, where do I start. Â I guess I will start with my favorite, the day that Lena shit on the floor of the DMV. Â Imagine if you will, I am standing in the hellish line that is the DMV and at this particular office they have the back end of an old Beetle with bumper stickers on it and things, why it is there I have no idea, just to give kids something to hurt themselves on I guess. Â Anyway, the kids are playing on this while I slowly move up the line, the kids are also running back and forth between the car and the gumball machine, all the while I am trying to get the girls the come stand with me so that I can keep an eye on them with so many people around and so that they don’t hurt themselves and just to try not to get on peoples nerves, etc. So yea, there I am yelling at my kids under my breathe while everyone is staring at me and thinking what a horrible mom I am for letting my kids run wild and thinking how bratty and annoying my kids are when I notice that Lena’s diaper is leaking and there are actual turds on the beige linolium floor and not only are they just laying there but she has stepping on one of them and is now leaving shitty footprints with every step. Â This is one of those things that makes me throw my hands in the air, I mean really, what can you do? Â All I could do what bust out laughing, pick her up and walk out. Â It’s not like I had anything with me to clean it up or anything. Â What was I suppose to do? Â I was laughing so hard that I was crying all the way to the car.
There are a lot of one liners that I love as well. Â The other night the kids were laying in my bed watching a movie, I went in and was putting PJ’s on Lena and Ella just laid back on the bed, looked up at me and said, “Mommy, I want a BJ.” Â I had to make sure that was what she said so I asked, “Did you say PJ or BJ?”, she said “I said BJ.” Â I just had to shake my head and walk away. Â I still have no idea what she was talking about.
One day Ella and I were eating lunch and she was just staring into space so I asked her what she was thinking about and she said “My brain keeps saying Stefan.”
One morning I was taking Lena to school and she was complaining about not wanting to go to school so I asked her why she didn’t want to go and she told me that she didn’t like the boys in school so I told her just to play with the girls and ignore the boys and she told me in a sweet little sad voice, Â ”but the boys all want to play with me because I’m pretty”.
I was eating at the IHOP with some friends one night and one of my friends had gotten sausage links, Ella looked at it and asked her what it was, she told her, then Ella, totally straight faced says, “it looks like dookie”.Â Most of the humor is either potty humor or miscommunication between that adult world and the child’s mind. Â Lena is a complete comedian, she loves to perform and make people laugh.
Really the funniest things that she does is communicate in an adult way as a cute little 4 year old. Â For example, my dad kept asking her to come over to him while she was trying to do something else, he kept calling for her and calling her, finally she gets up walks over to him sticks her face right in front of him so they are nose to nose and says. “Is this close enough for ya?” Â I mean, what 4 year old does that?
7. Do you plan on going back to work one day? Why or why not?
I don’t know, maybe. Â I keep thinking that I want to go back after they are both in school but once they are both in school isn’t that when I get to eat bon bons and watch soaps? Â I do miss the working world, having an office, adult conversations, going to lunch with people and not have to worry if they have a good kid’s menu. Â But then again, I still want to be able to go to all of the school events and drop them off and pick them up. Â Maybe when they get in high school, but by that time I’ll be close to retirement age and who would hire an old woman that hasn’t worked in 15 years.
8. What’s your biggest piece of advice for someone who is considering being a SAHM when they have kids?
My biggest piece of advice would be advice that I wish I myself could follow which is, relax, don’t stress if everything doesn’t get done, take time to enjoy your time with your kids not just going from one task to the next. Â I would also have to stick in a warning that says, this is a full time 24/7 job that is more demanding than any other you are likely to have. Â It is a very important job that I wish more people were able to do, there is nothing like being the most influencial person in your child’s life and to be the one that makes the decisions that shape the adult that they will become.
I would like to say that if someone is considering becoming a sahm, try doing what John and I did, set you paycheck aside for a while and see if you can make it on one income. Â If you can, do not hesitate, DO IT!! Â It is hard as shit but you will love it. Â I was never a kid friendly person, I never felt the need to be a mom like some women do and honestly never thought that I would have kids, I just really didn’t like kids in general. Â Now, I can’t imagine not being with my kids during the day.
I had lots of people tell me when I was considering being a sahm that it was better for my kids to go to child care, that they would be more well rounded being around other kids. Â This bothered me for a while but my kids are very well adjusted and social kids. Â I have sent both of them to preschool at a church 3 hours a day 5 days a week and they get to make friends and socialize and I don’t see that they are unbalanced from staying at home with their parent. Â I was also told that by having girls espeically, they would need to see me out in the workforce. Â To that I say fuck off Hater, I don’t think that I am a bad role model for my kids.
9. Anything else you’d like to add or any important questions I’ve forgotten to ask?
One thing that I would like to add is that I think sahm’s don’t get shit for respect and I think that should change. Â If you see a women in the grocery store with her ratty ass hair pulled back in a ponytail wearing a stained shirt and sweats, she more than likely hasn’t “let herself go” Â she has probably given herself over to her family. Â She is probably worn the fuck out and has too much to do that day to give a fuck what somebody at the grocery store thinks about what the looks like.Â Â All moms are working moms. Â If you have a mom, and I bet you do, weather she stayed at home with you or not, she busted her ass for you more than you realize and you should send her flowers out of the blue, call her, tell her thank you and that you love her every chance you get. Â And don’t you even think about missing Mother’s Day!!
I was thinking about these posts as I was rushing around yesterday. I have a love/hate relationship with short work weeks. Love having a short work week. Obviously. Hate cramming 5 days worth of stuff into 4 days.
Yesterday looked like this:
5:45 AM – alarm
5:45 – 6:30 AM – lay in bed playing with iPhone, checking emails, catching up on Twitter/Facebook
6:30 – 7:30 AM – get ready for work, pick up breakfast at Tim Hortons (we are short on groceries – and I was lazy..), go to work
7:30 AM – 3:15 PM – at work (busy!)
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM – vinayasa flow yoga class
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM – clean bathrooms, make guest bed for my mom (who’s coming Saturday!), put in a load of laundry, devour a bowl of cheerios, answer a couple of work emails, drive to the track
6:15 PM – 7:30 PM – track workout with run clinic (we did 400 m repeats – OUCH!)
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM – cook and eat dinner, do more work, comment on blogs, write blog post
9:30 PM – 10:00 PM – read, get ready for bed
10:10PM – crash
Yesterday work/life balance was about getting to work early so I could leave early to go to a yoga class. It was about fitting two workouts into one day (same thing I’m doing today) because I know that I’m going to be traveling all day Friday and Saturday (I am flying to FSJ tonight and then driving back down with my mom) and won’t have time to get a workout in.
Even though I wasn’t technically “working” all day yesterday, I was ON. I was GOING. I was BUSY. And that can be super exhausting.
I thought the points Caitlin brought up and the many, many points brought up in the comments were so interesting. The conclusion I came to after reading her posts were this:
Work/Life Balance doesn’t have to be 50/50 all. the. time.
I was go-go-go Monday – Thursday this week but Friday/Saturday/Sunday are going to be really relaxing, “life” days for me. So I feel like even though I didn’t achieve a 50/50 balance each day this week I’m going to achieve pretty close to 50/50 balance when I look at the week overall.
And of course there are times when I am super duper busy for weeks on end and the balance isn’t even close to 50/50. I can’t sustain that pace forever so eventually something has to give and, in my opinion, that’s where the balance comes in.
I think instead of stressing about having a work/life balance we should do what I enjoy. Ya my day yesterday was jam packed but a huge part of it was doing things I love to do – like running and yoga. That’s another way to look at it – I am achieving balance simply by fitting things into my day that I love!
Do you have a good work/life balance? What kinds of things do you do to achieve work/life balance?
I grew up in a small community outside of FSJ. I went to the same tiny school from K to grade 10. There was approximately 130 students.
It’s a very small, tight-knit community. Everyone knows everyone.
Yesterday morning, two well-known members of the community were involved in a head-on collision with each other (news story here). They both passed away.
I’ve spent the last 12 hours staring at the status updates on Facebook and the 450 people who joined a Facebook group in their honour. One of two people was a young man my brothers age – 17 years old. I watched him grow up with my brother and played hockey with his sister. He was supposed to graduate high school this year.
Accidents like this happen, every day. But when it hits so close to home, it’s absolutely heartbreaking and tragic.
I feel very unlike myself right now. I feel very sad and detached from real life and I can’t stop thinking about the accident and these people and I’m on the verge of tears constantly. I hate that things like this happen to good people.
Regular blogging will resume tomorrow.