Saturday, July 11, 2009

Going Back to Work

With my youngest starting kindergarten this year, I keep hearing the question, "So what are you going to do now?" I tell them that I'm going to take a nap and an uninterrupted shower. I've had kids home for thirteen years. I'm exhausted! Yet, as the economy continues to slide, I realize that I may need to get back to work sooner than I had expected. But what kind of job can I get? I haven't worked in 10 years. What would I put in the blank spots on my resume? I started talking to other moms who had gone back to work and many of them said the same thing, "Volunteer your way into a job." Being a mom offers so many great ways to volunteer. I have already headed an enrichment program at our school, written grants and organized fundraisers. All these things can not only fill in the blank spaces on my resume, but give me some great references as well. I've worked with principals, teachers, local businesses, other parents etc. If your looking towards a future back in the workplace, look at the volunteer opportunities in your area. Don't think of it as working for free, but as an internship of sorts. A way to give back to your community or school while giving you the experience you'll need for a possible job in the future.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Snooping On Your Kids Cell

So I've recently found myself in the throws of teen parenting. I've gone from being the coolest person in my son's life to "a pain who knows absolutely nothing". What's freaking me out is that I find myself saying all the things my parents said that made me crazy at that age...fighting over homework, what time to be home and how late he can stay up. The problem is, I remember being thirteen. It doesn't feel like it was that long ago that I was trying to live a life that my parents weren't a part of. Looking for independence, wanting my mom there for me when I needed her and then mad at myself for needing her at all. But, as in every generation , it seems to get more complicated. When I was a teenager (another phrase that I thought I would never say) we didn't have cell phones or AIM or texting. Friends had to call the house or come by to talk to me. My parents had some idea of who I was hanging out with and what we were doing. My phones had cords. There was only so far you could go out of earshot. And the phone didn't have volume or vibrate settings. They rang and rang loud. My mother could hear a late night call and pick up the extension to see who I was talking to. Today knowing what's going on in your kids life is hard and all this talk of respecting your kids right to privacy definitely makes it harder. How can you keep track of your kids without snooping? I can occasionally get fragments when he gets in a mood to tell me something, and it amazes me what his friends will say in front of me. I guess if it's not your own mother it's cool to talk. But I have to admit, I do check the cell phone. Sometimes I'll pick it up and scroll the calls right in front of him, but other times I'll sneak. On the rare occasion that he leaves it unattended, my husband and I will pounce on it just to get a little idea of what's going on. I want to know that he's safe and happy and behaving. Some people might think it's wrong, but he's my kid and my responsibility. And after all, as my dad would say, I pay the bill.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Organic Living

Everyone is trying to find a more healthy lifestyle to raise their children, but it can be hard to navigate through all the information out there. Is it really better? It may be, but it’s also expensive. You don’t need to kill your budget or restock your pantry to live organic. Little changes can make a big difference. Leave out the organic snacks and cereals and focus on things like produce and meats. Using strawberries without pesticides or chicken without hormones can make a big difference. You don’t need to be extreme. A non-organic potato chip now and then won’t hurt your family.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Lemonade Stand

My middle child is the entrepreneur of the family. Always looking for a way to earn a buck. Her creativity and natural business sense amaze me. She started her Memorial Day stand four years ago when she was six years old. Our town parade passes by our house and we usually have a few friends over to sit on the front lawn and watch. Sabrina woke up that morning and decided she wanted to sell lemonade on the sidewalk. She pulled out the powdered mix and some Dixey cups. Her first batch was a little watery, but not bad. She made a little sign “Lemonade for Sale .25 cents” and taped it to a table. She made about $10.00 that day, mostly from a baseball coach who bought a round for his team. That summer she picked up an old snow cone machine at our local swap shed. She was already thinking of next year. This past weekend Sabrina stood on the front lawn with a giant board painted, “Sabrina’s Slushies and Lemonade”. She had three friends working with her and made $60.00! She has become a yearly part of the celebration with kids coming just to get a treat from her stand. She doesn’t think about that though, she’s already got her sites on how she can make it bigger next year. Maybe cotton candy?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hope for the Holidays

My middle child has always been reluctant to believe in Santa. She's been looking for ways to disprove his existence since she was old enough to say, "I think Santa is a fake." I've spent the last few years trying to re instill her belief in the bearded man and his reindeer. First I went to great lengths wrapping presents in different paper and writing left handed on the name tags to disguise my penmanship. My husband ate the cookies and drank the milk. He even made noise on the roof. She never even woke up. One year we even got her an ipod shuffle monogramed "To a great little girl, From Santa." Every Christmas morning she would open her presents so happy and excited. Then she would come over to me sometime later in the day and say, "I know it was you". Finally I gave up. A couple of years went by and I took the road of honesty. Letting her know that Santa wasn't real and she was good enough to keep up the charade for her younger sister. Then this Christmas happened. She came home one day telling me stories of friend who has an elf that comes every year to play jokes and make sure that she behaves so that Santa can bring her everything on her wish list. You're supposed to leave crackers and water (the opposite of cookies and milk) so that an elf can come and visit you for the holidays. My daughter said she didn't believe it for a second, "How silly", she said. That night, I came down to turn off the lights and saw on the mantle a plate with the crackers and water. She still wanted to believe. At 11:30PM my husband went out into the night searching for an elf. He found one. The next morning I woke up to her standing by my bed holding the elf beaming, "Now what do I do. I bet Katie five dollars that it wouldn't be there ." She was happy, and I was happy. Letting our kids believe in magic is what teaches them to have hope. To believe that the impossible can happen. A tool that we will need many times as we get older to get through the darkest of our days. I wish for all of you have a hopeful and happy holiday.