Monday, April 15, 2013

Can I switch sides on the teeter totter?

Raise your hand if you have ever been caught up in a 'working mom versus stay at home mom' debate? I am sure most of us have been there.  I have talked with moms before who are extremely passionate on one side of the teeter totter or the other.  In my experience, all I can say is that every mom is different and all kids are different.

Personally, I have been at home with my daughter for the past 6 1/2 years.  However, I was never an intentional stay-at-home mom. Never.  I fully intended on working. My mindset was,  "I spent 5 years years in college full time while working full time. Those blood, sweat and tears are NOT going to waste!"  My dilemma came when I got pregnant.  At the time I was working at a day care center as a one year-old teacher and often times as the Interim Director (nothing to do with my degree by the way).  As most moms know, the cost of day care is sky high.  If I were to return to work postpartum, I would have basically worked with nothing left of my paycheck to show for it. After our daughter was born I had a few interviews- for jobs actually related to my degree in Communications.  However, I would NEVER recommend to anyone to go on interviews immediately following childbirth. Why?  A tired, cranky yet blissful mommy going into an interview does not go over well. My mind was somewhere else. Leaving my baby for the FIRST time to go into an interview was hard. I think to the interviewer I had "I don't want to be here" written on my forehead.  One interview went great but at the end when they said "Oh, this job requires 50% travel"....I walked away defeated. How can a mom do 50% travel with a newborn?!  

My decision was in my heart all along. I admit, it was hard at first. From the time I was 15, I always had a job. I get restless. I thrive on deadlines and stress. I love adult conversation and going to lunch with co-workers.  Now I was alone during the day with the focus of my life completely shifted. Don't get me wrong- I loved it- still love it to some degree.

I was able to do what many moms crave and wish for everyday.  I have been grateful for my wonderful husband for working hard so I could stay home. Sometimes it hasn't been easy. Living on one income can be stressful. There are other frustrations that come with the good: lack of accomplishments to call your own, less adult conversation, not making money to help the family, and feeling like the house is often closing in on you.

There are perks to being a stay at home mom too (I am not solely trying to be negative in this post): beautiful weekdays spent at the park or on walks, being there for all the 'firsts', having time to teach, less stress,  consistent discipline/praise,  listening to giggles and laughs everyday, feeling like you are your own boss, and too many others to name.

However, when my only child goes off to Kindergarten, it is time to fly the coop and finally do something for myself.  That is why I named my blog "Something to Call My Own".  My daughter is my world, but I realized that I can have more in my world. I can be more than just a mom. Should we have more children (which hasn't been God's will and not an easy road), I still feel it is time for me to switch sides on the teeter totter.  On the other side of the teeter totter sits my degree...waiting patiently to be used. 

Overall, I believe there is no right or wrong.  As long as you are involved in your child's life, you put them first, you discipline, you praise, you love, and you try to be the best mom you can be, then your children will well adjusted, caring members of society.  As moms, we are in it together, not divided. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter and saying goodbye to winter

This is one of my favorite times of the year...Easter and Spring. After enduring 5 inches of snow a week ago, I think we are in the clear until next winter...I hope. This is Indiana and the weather changes every 5 minutes. However, I am optimistic.  We brought our patio furniture out of the basement, put our front porch bench together, set out our flower pots, and started cleaning up our landscaping. My daffodils are in full bloom-a sure signal to the end of the dreary landscaping. My other reasons for loving spring--my birthday, Mother's Day, and our anniversary.

Honestly, I think my daughter loves Easter more than Christmas.  Her reasons? She gets to look for eggs and wear her new dress.  That means more to her than gifts at Christmas?! Awesome! We also have our traditions that I had with my mom and family and now continue with our daughter.  One of those traditions is baking sugar cookies.  Not just any sugar cookies, but rather my mom's recipe for "Fat Sugar Cookies".  Normally on blogs you will come across projects, recipes, crafts, and useful information you can share and save.  I can't do that with the recipe to these cookies. I consider it to be a secret family recipe that I will pass down to my daughter.  I am happy to make these for anyone but I keep the recipe quiet.

 Our daughter loves making these cookies so much she pretty much gathered the ingredients on the counter with little help.


Along with baking cookies our other tradition (along with most other people) is coloring eggs. Although my daughter colored Easter eggs on her visit with my mom this week, I just had to keep the tradition going with her and I as well. She certainly didn't mind doing it again!

Love the stickers that my mom found for the eggs.  That made it easy to add decor and character to our eggs and my daughter was able to easily do that on her own.  The Easter Bunny enjoyed hiding these eggs!

Now as we approach warmer weather, it is that time of year again when I start to make a Summer Bucket List. I hope to post that soon. Summer will be here way too fast and keeping an active 6 year old girl busy is quite a challenge.