That Big Green Ugly Monster

And no, I do not mean Hulk, who my son loves right now.

Money.

The hardest part for me as a stay at home mom, besides my son who I am convinced it trying to drive me mad, is money.

When I was first home with my son, it was easy because I was scared to leave the house. True Story.

Now my son is 2, almost, and we are always leaving the house. Most times not for free stuff. Its grocery shopping or yardsale-ing. We love yard sales.

I have been told a million times you are buying stuff you need, for you and the house and that family.

Well what about when it is stuff I may not need? Like stuff for me?

The look on non-financially dependent people’s faces when I mention “I am scared to spend money” is priceless. And I remember in my unattached days, not having a care in the world about spending. It may seem downright crazy to them and I understand they do not understand.

It doesn’t make the reality of checking the credit card statement any less terrifying.

If I mention this in my mom groups, they insist on meal planning. For seriously months in advance. If you meal plan, KUDOS. Really. We wing like every dinner, unless I have miraculously remembered to take out something crockpot-able. Then I know I have to get my butt in gear. As long as everyone eats right?

Somedays, I am ok with not making my own money. Other days I cannot fathom trading that in for running around after a toddler yelling No like every 10 minutes.

My husband asked me if  I wanted to go back to work any time soon. My gut response is No. See, when I did make my own money, it was via retail.

RETAIL. If you have worked retail, you know what I am talking about. If I have a choice, no, I would not step back into the world of adults not reading signs, asking a million questions and giving attitude when they do not hear the answer they want, or having to explain return policy 100 times a day.

Toddlers are not supposed to listen, they are not supposed to understand yet, they are learning. Adults.. should have a better handle on things. Maybe they do outside of shopping, but guess what? Shopping, they do not have a handle on anything.

I have worked at a bakery, clothing store, office supply store and cd/dvd store (they are still around.)

Bakery was fine because everything was behind the counter so if I made a mess, I had to clean it up. Clothing store was where I started to see the appalling level of disregard people have. “Oh that shirt I was looking at just fell on the floor, too bad.”

CD/DVD store wasn’t so bad either except you had to hand hold every single customer that came in. Greet them, tell them about the sales, tell them about the sales again because they were not listening and they refuse to glance or read the giant sign hanging. Sure, push backs were boring but easy enough.

The office supply store was fun because I love the smell of paper. Its weird, lets move on. The devil of working there was back to school season. Bins are made, they look beautiful, they are stocked and marked and great. 30 seconds later, they are falling apart and oozing whatever product was in the them. Pens, scissors, post its, shit for lockers, shit for desktops and offices, at one point actual shit. Just kidding, that was in the fitting room of the clothing store.

Working in retail has made me a better customer and I will share my knowledge with my son and he too will be a good customer. If not, I am signing him up for summer shifts at office supply stores all over.

So that is why I would not prefer to go back to work. And this is what I think about when non SAHMs tell me “I could never stay home, I need to DO something.” Eye roll.

This happened one time in particular and then I found out she had never worked in retail, and I thought “well then you have no idea what hell is and how did you manage that?”

Give and take. Ebb and flow. Up and down. Cause and Effect. Do you! Unless “you” is making something else feel bad for them doing them or hurting people physically!

Have a great day!

 

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“I didn’t say make it Click-able!”

Anyone seen Accepted? Justin Long and his friends make a fake school to trick his dad into believing he got accepted into college when in reality, not one school accepted him?

It’s cute I highly recommend it.

Ever since becoming a mom, I feel this way about the internet. Everything is clickable, and sometimes there are commitments to those clickable things.

I am terrible with commitment. Internet commitment anyways. I am in groups I don’t even know why, I accept challenges and end up with daily emails with prompts and questions and webinars to watch and things to do. I have enough to do!

In the moment, I guess things really seem appealing. Leggings for sale by a local mom? Sure, I could use some leggings. Now I am getting 50 notifications about leggings I will never buy, sorry to that mom, but I cannot justify spending $25+ on leggings.

Writing prompts? Yes! I would love to have something to get me started with writing. 16 days later, I have not used one. I see them, I think about them, I have to change a diaper, or cook breakfast, lunch or dinner, or my son has a class, or he needs a diaper change. I know I said that already, but he needs them, a lot.

I started a book a year and half ago that I joined the online community for. And it never resonated with my, the book, I mean. But the group is very positive and uplifting so I just look around at the pretty posts and memes but I feel like I am trespassing at the same time.

Play dates!? Oh boy. Those should be day by day. A week ago, Yes I wanted to go on a 5 mile hike, you know why? It wasn’t today. Today, I have had no coffee, my son overslept, we are just now having breakfast an hour too late, he is screaming for my Elmo, I am screaming for more coffee and a 5 mile hike sounds like vampire torture!

I gotta stop. I put this pressure on myself to do more, more more. I know it is because I think I want to be more because otherwise I am just a mom. Mom ie cook, housecleaner, dry cleaner, photographer, care giver, raiser of little person by day, teacher, entertainer, sexy seductress for husband by night.

It is important to do what you do because you like it. I like blogging. I like the feel of the keys under my fingers and the sound of the keyboard going, and the appearance of words from my head to my screen to your screen to your head. I hope you like my words too but I love the act of writing. I love that I can type out 400 words like it is nothing. Minus my craZy typos <that was an accident, I swear.

The possibilities of the internet are endless but that doesn’t mean they should be.

Mine have to end.

Every time I see something I cannot get to, I feel bad and disappointed, like I failed. Stuff that I didn’t even really want to do it just seemed appealing at the time I saw it. Couple clicks and an email address later, boom, I have signed up for something.

Dear self, you have enough real life challenges going on. One day, one thing, one moment at a time.

Hello April!

I know it is April Fools Day but I have nothing to joke about. Boo, boring I know. But April is a significant month for me!

First of all, it is a dear friend of mine’s birthday today! You know who you are! She continues to inspire me every day, every new chapter of her life. She just owns it. I am in awe of her endless creativity and ability to be open and raw through words or portraits. She is a hell of a gal and I hope no one gives her shit today so she can enjoy her day in peace!

Also, this year on April 24th is my 5 Year Anniversary of when I become a Buddhist. Coming from zero religious background, I think I never thought I needed something like that to guide, teach or tell me what to do. Oh how wrong I was. As wrong as any 16-20 year old person who thinks they know everything I guess.

I am so very grateful for it and the friend who introduced me to it 5 years ago.

Now, 2 years ago, on April 23rd, I went into the hospital to be induced to have my son! Here my husband and I thought, and my family from out of town thought, that meant I would be having my son on April 24th! By Buddhist birthday! What?

My son had other plans. He was not sharing his birthday with mine. Nope. After 2 rounds of pitocin, 2 separate 24 hour intervals of not eating or drinking, he was born on April 26th.

So now my beautiful baby boy will be 2. Two. Also known as Terrible Twos. There are days when I sincerely have to remind myself that we are only going through this once.

We started going to a Montessori based preschool one day a week and I am learning all kinds of things about how to teach kids, and letting them lead the way. Not everything has to be fed to them. They can naturally learn by doing. I really like this approach. It is very different from what I remember.

The part I have trouble with is the parts that I need to learn for myself. I have realized a few things about myself that I do not like.

  1. I am a “no” mom. I say it all the fucking time. I say it even before anything really happens. At class one day, the teacher said, if they hear it all the time, it won’t mean anything when it matters.
  2. I am scared a lot. I get scared when my son is exploring. I have the house very well child proofed, all the chemicals are high high high that I need a step stool to get to. Baby gates, plug protectors, locks on cabinets etc.
  3. Even if I am aware of what I saying at whatever volume, sometimes, I just raise my voice. And I instantly regret it. I feel like a failure to myself and for my son. Even though, his reaction to me raising my voice is laughter. Not like giggles either, like maniacal evil plot master of the world laughing.

With Facebook and the plethora of mom groups, I asked “Hey any advice for a first time mom and getting through like the next 10 years?” Funny as it sounds, I need help from people who have made it to the other side.

I kid you not, the answer, wine.

I get it. There are nights I am like counting down until my sons bedtime because I know then I can have a little glass of warm in my belly, everything is fine goodness.

But I also felt like, well fuck, I have addiction in my family and I am not trying to have that cycle repeat itself. bookmark1

Still looking for answers, I opened a book I bought a few months ago when I was consistently not trying to pull my hair out. Its called “Happy Parents, Happy Kids.” It is written by SGI President, Daisaku Ikeda.

“Parents need to accept the way children live their lives.” “Children naturally possess the ability to overcome hardships.” “If parents constantly scld their children without explanation, the children will eventually react simply out of fear.”

Those are just a few lines that struck me. I am/was/trying not to scold all the time. He goes on to talk about children being about to sense concern and knowing when a mom is scolding with concern, they know it must be serious.

Also, he talks about just how you speak to them could be motivating or damaging. My son at 2, may not understand my words, but will understand my tone.

I have a lot to work on. I want my son to be happy. I want him to curious and passionate and explore.

I want my heart to be that heart. The heart of a sun, of hope, and faith for my family.

Spring is all about renewal right? This mama definitely needs to be renewed.