Archive | May 2016

Working or Staying at Home Mom

So I have been a full time stay at home mom for 18 years.  When I married my husband I was finishing college, and working as a nanny.  To give a little background, my parents felt college was a necessity so I could have a “fall back” plan since I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom.  My husband and I had many conversations about being a stay at home mom but he never asked me what I wanted before kids.  He thought I really enjoyed being a nanny so we didn’t change things when our first daughter was born.  I had a nanny job that paid well and I was able to take our first daughter to work with me.  2 ½ years later when our second daughter was born I asked for an extra day off and the family fired me, (our daughter was 5 days old).  From that day on I have been a stay at home mama.    

By us living on one income we have to live on a budget and sometimes money is extremely tight.  Right now my husband is working on getting a second job to help pay off debt and buy a home.  He is insistent that I not get a job; as I already have a full time job being a mom, raising our kids and he doesn’t want that to change.  He also believes it is his responsibility to provide for the family.  

Let me be clear, I am not putting anyone down for their life choices.  Just remember these are your choices and you have to own them.  With every decision comes some sacrifice. By working outside the home, you sacrifice things like time with your kids, getting things done around the house, the ability to home school.  On the other hand, being a stay at home; you don’t have the extra income to go out to dinners, go on big vacations, have “me” time.  So we all need to weigh our choices, and decide what sacrifices we are willing to make.  We need to accept the decisions each person makes.  It is not our job to tell others what to do or expect people to pick up where we lack.  Nobody should be responsible to supplement income for the stay at home, just as nobody should be responsible to pick up the pieces for the working mom.  We are all moms and we all have our families to take care of, there is no need to try to one up or put another down.  Don’t be a “mom-bully”, show respect and love to one another.

Stay strong and be blessed!

Homeschool or Public School?

You have to do what works for you and each of your children. You know your kids personality and needs.  Follow your gut, not people’s opinions.  Right now I have 2 kids in public school and one I homeschool.  My high schooler is a social bug and academics come easy for him.  To homeschool him would not work well with his personality.  He lives for being with different people and talking to them.  He likes having a variety of teachers even when some of them bug him.  I consider my 5th grader to be a genius.  I homeschooled him for Kindergarten and then he went to public school.  He was extremely easy to homeschool because he is self driven and has a desire to learn and gain knowledge. I homeschool my 2nd grade daughter who is opposite of her brothers, academically.  She struggles and would rather talk to someone about how their day is going instead of read a book. The nice thing about homeschooling is that I can modify the curriculum to fit my daughter’s needs (this is picking and choosing what works, not writing curriculum).  Another benefit for her is that I can teach to her learning style; for instance, she is a visual learner and I can use manipulatives and hands on tools to help her learn.  For her, she learns differently than the average kid and would be more likely to slip through the cracks in public school.  

When deciding to homeschool, make sure you have the patience to work with your child.  The first few years are literally teaching the basics.  Know you are setting the school foundation for your child.  Your child is relying on you to show them the world of education.  For me, first grade was the hardest.  I can tell you after completing Kindergarten through 2nd grade.  I am very excited for the years to come.   Another thing to be aware of is learning disabilities.  You know your child, so you will be able to tell if something is “off”.  I discovered this year that my daughter has vision issues and she shows some signs of dyslexia.  She wears glasses for her sight, and on top of that she has vision impairments.  After having her tested, I have modified her school work a lot.  I want her to feel great about her ability to learn and I don’t believe that learning disabilities define who she is, just how she learns.  

If you send your kids to school, be involved.  Walk your child to class, give him a hug, kiss.  Make your presence known as a parent who cares about their child’s day and education.  Be supportive of your child’s teacher and helpful when homework comes home.  On homework, I am sure most of us agree we don’t care for it.  When my daughters were in 5th grade they both struggled in math.  When they came home I would ‘re-teach” them math; they went from not understanding it to fully grasping concepts. Remember that no matter what- you are a teacher in your child’s life.   Whether you choose to homeschool or put your kids in public school; go for it knowing everything will work out.  Your decision can be a yearly choice.  

Walk confident and be Blessed!

Tough Love

 

  Let’s talk about tough love. So to begin, when a baby is born our job is to teach them unconditional love. When a baby cries, we comfort, when it’s hungry, we feed it, when it’s scared, we reassure them. As the baby moves to toddlerhood we set major boundaries. We want to keep our babies safe, so we are their eyes and ears. As they grow they have more boundaries and they are more aware of their surroundings, so by the time they are teenagers they have instincts on what is safe and unsafe (for the most part).

 Trust is earned, love is given.

  Tough love should not be turning our backs on our kids. When our teenagers are starting to rebel, they want to see who cares. Chase after your kids always. Grab and hug them when they are sad, angry, or quiet. We have to let our kids know we will always be there for them. Some kids verbally lash out, others like to run to their rooms, while others will just stay quiet and be unresponsive. In all these situations we have to break down the walls and get through their thick little (adorable) heads. For the verbal kids I allow them to speak their feelings and/or opinions and I stop them if they are disrespectful. The runners, I follow, I hug them, sit with them and work through their feelings. The hardest one for me is the unresponsive, I hug my child and then give them options to label their feelings. I ask if they are mad, angry, frustrated? I also tell them I am not moving from here until you tell me what is going on.  Letting your child know you are there no matter what, will change your relationship.

  The idea that a parent would turn their back on a child is awful. Every child has something that is important to them. Start by taking things away and having them earn it back. You set the tone for respect at a very early age. Follow through! If you give a consequence and want to change it (say you said something out of anger, “ I will throw away your dvd if you don’t clean your room”). Change it and let them know that you’re in charge, no matter what your decision. You probably bought that dvd anyways. Explain why you’re making your decisions too, because that will help them understand why you do things you do, and later help them talk to you about what they’re going through. Hugging your teenager might be awkward at first if you haven’t been hugging them all along. I can tell you there have been many studies done regarding touch, people thrive by being hugged and touched. You are the parent and you will always be the parent. Remember what you do will impact generations to come.