Not a babysitter

 

One thing that drives me insane is when people ask me if my husband will watch the kids. Like he has to be coaxed into spending time with the kids. Like he is some kind of baby sitter.

That is what kills me in today’s society. The mom’s are expected to devote their entire life to their kids. But when the mom wants to do something without their kids, they’re supposed to ask the father to babysit.

Like oh do you think their dad will watch them while you go out and do something. Or will their dad watch them while you go to work or to a friends.

That is not how things work in my family.

My husband is a dad, not a BABYSITTER.

When I need to run errands, and lets face it, errands are so much easier when its without the kids. Especially with a toddler. The getting them in and out of the car and carrying them into the store or place where you need to go is hard. Or going to the doctor. That isn’t something you want to do with a kid. But when there are things I need to do without the kids or things I want to do without them. I don’t ask my husband to babysit his kids. We talk about it.

Hey, I have plans for this Friday at 7pm. His response isn’t I guess I’ll watch the kids. No. He actually wants me to do things. He says go have fun. There is no asking him to watch OUR kids.

Being a dad means you share responsibilities for your kids. Being a dad means that you are there for your kids. You spend time with them, you make sure they have clean clothes, you make sure they eat. You are THERE. Not because the mom asked you to watch them.

See, my dad wasn’t a dad and he definitely wasn’t a babysitter because he was never around.  So I knew that when I had kids it was going to be with someone who actually wanted to spend time with his kids. Not as a babysitter but as a daddy. Someone who wanted to have alone time with them. Daddy daughter days. Luckily, I found that. My husband is a dad. He never has to babysit his kids. It is his responsibility to be there for them just like it is mine. When he wants to do things he doesn’t ask if I will watch the kids. We discuss things. He tells me he wants to have plans with said friend or do something and asks if I have any plans that day. He doesn’t ask permission to go. That’s not what I am implying. He makes sure that I don’t have to go do anything.

 

Is preschool important

 

With our first kid, we didn’t go the preschool route because we were in between houses and weren’t in the school district that we wanted her to go to kindergarten. With the situations that we were in, we didn’t have the resources to get the most out of preschool.

However, that has not stopped her from learning. We worked with her when I was pregnant with our youngest. We went over sight words, both reading and writing them. We went over songs and make believe was always our favorite past time. We play games. We role played. We did a lot of things right. And it has showed so much with this past year she was in first grade doing second grade work. I am so very proud of her as a mother should.

But, we are in the district now that we want our kids in. So why wouldn’t we put our youngest in preschool in two years? This isn’t a post about why we shouldn’t do preschool. It is just a discussion. Just a thought process. I actually found two great articles that describe the importance of preschool and I think I will be using them in my decision.

Here are these two links

Why Preschool is Important

The 13 Key Benefits of Early Childhood Education: A Teacher’s Perspective

I have always been an advocate for teachers. I do not think that they are paid enough. If you break down the hours they work and how much they’re paid once or twice a month. It is less than minimum wage. And if you think about it. When you wanna go out, you hire a baby sitter. That baby sitter doesn’t teach your kid anything. They just watch your kid for a few hours. You pay that babysitter more than the minimum wage. I know when I baby sat in my teens, I was paid about 8-10 an hour. Minimum wage where I am is 7.25. And teachers, who are teaching your kids valuable information, working to shape the future of your child are barely making minimum wage. It is ridiculous. But that is a different topic.

 

My mother in law is a teacher. So I know the struggle that she goes through.

But with her being a teacher. That provides me some advantages if we don’t go the preschool route.

Each child learns different. Which is why I am having a difficult time with deciding if we should do the preschool route. The good thing is, I have about 2 years to decide.

My oldest can be a timid child. She shows a lot of fears when it comes to new things. She approaches them cautiously. Kind of like me. However, my youngest shows no fear at all. She will jump in head first. She has done things that her sister didn’t do at that age.

It was easy teaching my oldest to write and read and math. But will my youngest be harder? She is stubborn. She is my mini me. So I am wondering if that will cause teaching her to be harder than it was for her sister. I mean I hope not. But it could possibly happen. Another scenario is that she wants to be just like her sister (which is how and why she does so much now to do just what her sister is) that it will be easy for her to learn these things. I mean she’s 2 and she’s already trying to sing the abc’s It is not completely coherent but you can tell what she is singing.

I think education is completely important. I guess that I will have to see how things go before making a hard decision. Maybe try teaching her things between now and preschool time to see. I know either way, Preschool would benefit her. It’s more about being emotionally ready. Both her and myself.

Only time will tell.

Don’t call me a SAHM

 

Don’t get me wrong. I loved being a stay at home mom. Like really loved it. It was the best thing for me at that time and for what we were going thru.

However, I wanted to get a job so that we could have a little more spending money. So I got a job. Yes, it is a work from home job. But it is still work.

When you tell anyone you’re a stay at home mom, there is a lot of heat. A lot of hate. A lot of judgement and you’re looked down upon.

I’ve seen it first hand on many occasions. A lot of people thought that all I did was sit on my behind watching tv….all day long. And it infuriated me. To no end.

Seriously.

When I was pregnant with my youngest. It was a rough pregnancy. Really rough and high risk. The doctor told me on many occasions that I needed to sit down with my feet up as much as possible.

Well it helped that I wasn’t working at that time and that I was a SAHM.

But what people didn’t realize is that I had a 4 year old at home and my husband worked almost 12 plus hours 5 to 6 days a week. So he couldn’t actually make sure that I was resting and he couldn’t exactly work all of those hours, get adequate sleep, spend time with his kid and handle the housework. There was just no way that I could be the bed rest type of pregnant with everything that was going on.

So while I was supposed to be off my feet as much as possible for my health and my unborn child’s help. I wasn’t. And that is okay. I really loved being able to make sure that everything was taken care of, bill wise, errands and food. I still love doing that. I clean all the time. I am the sole cooker in the family. I love cooking. I love spending time with my kids. I love making sure that my husband can rest after he’s had a long rough day at work.

I love being a mom. And I love being a mom that’s home. Because when I did work outside of the home…. I was rarely home. Things were very hectic and my oldest barely saw either of her parents. When I told her I was going back to work…..she cried. Because she didn’t want to have to go without seeing me like she did when she was younger. It really broke me for her to remember how little she saw me. However, I reassured her that it is from home. That I can still see her a lot. That it won’t be like the last time. That it will only be for a little bit a day.

That made her okay with the transition.

So why do I not want to be called a Stay at home mom????

It is simple. Everyone thinks that stay at home moms do NOTHING all day. They think that we’re lazy. What’s worse is that there are some people that assume that you’re from the 1950’s wearing pleated skirts and that your whole entire life is dedicated to your husband first your kids second and then your home.

I am sorry. I don’t know how many times that I have heard something to that extent of ‘Isn’t that what a wife is SUPPOSED to do’….. Supposed to?!? Really?

No. I stay at home because I want to. Because we were able to afford it. Because it made sense with everything that was going on at the time. Not because I was supposed to

When you get married you go from I to we. You go from fighting alone to being a team. We are a team, my husband and I. We work together. There is no one that pulls more weight than the other. There is no his money or my money. There are no his chores or my chores. There is our money, our problems, our chores. OUR.

I don’t want to be called a stay at home mom because I am tired of being placed into this ridiculous box of a stereotype that is no longer relevant.

I am a mom. That is my greatest achievement and that is what I will be called from now on. If anyone wants to challenge it….and try to call me a stay at home mom. I will kindly educate them on how woman are more than what they are assuming.

Have you ever asked a mom what she does in a day? It is way more than just sitting on their behind all day.

There is the school year. Which tends to be more hectic than school vacations. Especially when your kid wears glasses because sometimes they might forget their glasses. In which you’ll have to drive back to the school to drop them off and if you have a toddler at home you have to load them in and out of the car. There are lunches, homework, field trips, fundraiser, after school events, conferences, eating lunch at school with them. There are so many things that you do with school its not even funny.

And that is not including if your kid is a car rider because you have to drop them off and pick them back up.

Food. If you have a toddler at home you have 3 meals a day that you must prepare. Two of which the other kid isn’t home for. Then there are snack time. You have to get the toddler down for their nap and try to teach them something new. Because you want your kid to be ahead of the game. Even if its just the ABC’s. I, at least, try every single day to try to teach something to my kids. During the summer, my oldest has ‘homework’ where she has to read or do some simple math problems.

There are always some type of errand to run, some bill to pay. Groceries to shop for. Doctor visits. Cleaning is a daily thing if you don’t have kids. But if you have kids it is more like an hourly thing. Especially with a 2 year old.

As a mom, you kiss boo boo’s, you look for monsters. You read stories. You are the first point of contact with the kids. Or at least my kids. They will pass their daddy to ask me first.

I am way more than a stay at home mom.

Taking the pacifier

So I have yet to see a baby that has not ever had a pacifier. At some point in time. My oldest made things so easy. She took herself of the pacifier when she was six months. No lie. One day she just didn’t want it anymore. And that was it. No more pacifier. But she did have a security stuffed animal that she used whenever she was teething.

It was amazing.

And I had hopes that it would be that easy for the second child to do the same.

But boy was I wrong. Taking the pacifier away from the baby was a very long and rough road. It was incredibly difficult and time consuming.

However, it also wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be when I look back at it. Whenever the pacifier would disappear, she would throw the worst fit until we would go find them. And it wasn’t always the easiest tasks because she is good at losing things and being a baby she couldn’t exactly always remember where they were.

We went about it in such a way that was strenuous. We would talk about taking it away and that was just it. We kept talking about it. We didn’t actually act on it til I just was done and hid it. I put it up where she couldn’t see it but also where I could get to it if I broke down and gave it back.

She was almost two when I took it away. And I really wanted to do it soon because I didn’t want the pacifier to cause her teeth to deform. I was really lucky that she didn’t start sucking her thumb because that would cause a deformity as well. However, she has started biting her nails….which isn’t bad but isn’t good either.

 

So I had one kid who willingly quit using the pacifier at 6  months and then I had one kid who had to have the pacifier hidden away at about 18 months.

 

So when do you think the pacifiers should be taken away?

Being a WFH mom

 

So I just recently found a job where I get to work from home. The only problem is that I cannot have any background noises when I am taking calls. So I have to hibernate for 5-6 hours a day in my room 5 days a week.

Which will be fine.

It will be okay.

I sound a little unsure because this is the first time I am going back to work in a few years. So I am very nervous about it. But I need to go back to work. So here we are.

 

However, being a WFH mom has so many benefits it is ridiculous. I cannot believe I actually found one.

1.) Saving money

Working from home saves so much money in the long run. The last job I had was a call center. I had to get up by 7 in the morning and take my kid to my mothers by 7:30, and be at my desk clocked in ready to take phone calls at 8 in the morning. So I lived a few miles if that away from my job so the gas wouldn’t be so bad. However, I had to go to my mothers which was a little farther from where I was working. And I was paying my mother at that time to watch my kid. Not a whole lot. Not as much as I would have to pay a day care service.  I was spending 20 a week on gas if not more depending on if I had errands during lunch or not. Then I was paying my mom about 100 every two weeks. so a month of work would cost me $280

So working from home allows me to not have to drive anywhere. And my mom comes over all the time anyway so she just comes over when I have to go into the room with the door closed and makes sure no one gets hurt. She gets free dinner.

2.) No dress code

Now my last job didn’t have a strict dress code persay so I usually just put some jeans on and a decent tshirt and headed off to work. And the code was a little more slack on weekends so if I was working the weekend I would wear my stretchy lazy pants. But I had to buy dress clothes for the interview. And because I am a tomboy, I had to update my wardrobe to a more casual work attire rather than band shirts and worn out jeans. So that was another cost that I had to endure.

However, yesterday I mowed half my yard (That’s all I had time for) and was able to go take a shower right before work and ….. put on my pj’s for work. I got to work a 5 hour shift in my pajamas. And no one knew. And no one cared. Because my PJ’s do not affect my ability to work in any way. It is really nice not to have to wear jeans every day.

3.) I am HOME

So at my last job, if there was an emergency… I had to go to my manager and then my supervisor and hope that they understand and let me leave without any issues. This was not always the case. Sometimes, I would get a 10 min lecture about how this will give me a point and so many points will cause me to lose my job and is it really an emergency that I have to leave for. One time I left because my husband was hurt. I didn’t get home til an hour after he called me because my supervisor (who happened to be related to my husband) didn’t understand why I had to go make sure my husband was okay.

Being a WFH mom, if there is an emergency. I AM HOME. I am right here. I simply just send an email to my manager and I leave. Yes it will hurt my attendance, but life happens and the company I work for understands that. I don’t have to try to get off and then try to make it home in a speedy manner without getting pulled over. I am home. I can literally go out of the room to assist with whatever happens.

 

There are so many other benefits to being home that I just cannot put into words at the moment. It is crazy. I love it. The only downside is that my internet could go down or I could get cabin fever. I am also sitting for a long period which I was use to years ago but the past 2 and a half years, I barely sit for too long. But those are the only ones that I can think of right now.

 

But maybe I am just so excited because I am just starting out in my job…. maybe my thought process will change once I have worked there for awhile. Who knows.

Time out

So, there are so many discussions and arguments on how you should be a parent. How you should raise your kid. If you’re a punishment type parent, you’re wrong. If you’re a loving no punishment type parent, you’re wrong. There are just so many people who will butt into your life and your parenting that it will make your head spin. I mean these people will butt in without you asking for their help.

And low and behold, if you spank your child and people find out. Be prepared for some soul who thinks they know what is right and how to be the perfect parent….they’ll most like call child protective services.

Because everyone knows how to parent someone else’s child better than the actual parent.

It gets my head in a spin. That is why I don’t usually speak out about my parenting style. My anxiety makes me wonder if someone will take what I have to say the wrong way.

 

Let me go into some history on how I was raised.

I was spanked. Not very often. Because I knew that spanking was the ultimate punishment. That means I must have done something so bad that I skipped all other levels of punishment. For instance, when I was about 10 or so, my older cousin took me and her kids to a basketball game at the high school. Well we were on our way out to the car but she got hung up talking to someone, she told us to stay with her….we took off running across the street to the car….the street where other attendees were leaving…

This resulted in all of us lining up to receive a ‘spanking’. Basically, we were asked what we did wrong, what should we have done and then we were to stick our hands out palms down so that we could get popped on the hand. There was no beating. Nothing that would constitute abuse. We knew we were wrong. We knew we weren’t supposed to go anywhere and yet we did. My ‘popping’ was harder than the others, not by much just a little, because I was the oldest and I should have known better and kept the others from running into the road instead of following and leading a bad example.

I was grounded, I knew I was in big trouble if my mother yelled my entire name. Boy did I know I was in trouble. And that is all she would have to do. I never got past that. I never wanted to disappoint my mom or my grandma. I didn’t want them to be hurt or upset by some type of actions that I may think of. Short term gain for long term pain. I always thought in the back of my head, if I do this will I get in trouble. I wasn’t emotionally traumatized by punishment. It gave me a responsibility type of mind frame. It gave me the cause/response, action/consequence type of thought process. I am actually the only one of my mothers kids who never got in trouble with the law or lashed out in any way shape or form. Heck, I see my mom all the time and we text non stop. She is my best friend. My mother was actually more lenient on my siblings so as each grew more and more out of control she began reigning in the ropes.

So here are three articles in the argument against time out.

Do Timeouts Really Work

Why you should never use timeouts

Why Time out is out

Now these three articles have some interesting input on the psychological effects of ‘time outs’

However, every kid is different. I knew that if my mom or some other adult family member put me in the corner, popped my hand, raised their voice, or took something away from me. I wasn’t affected psychologically. Now I am pretty sure that these people would argue that my anxiety and occasional depression is from the type of discipline that I was subjected to as a kid…. No… Just no. Please don’t try to blame the way I was disciplined for my messed up psych. It is so much more than that. It is the lack of discipline of others that cause the shit storm in my head. It is the abuse that I had to endure. It is my brother dressing up in scary ass masks and banging on the windows during a storm when I thought I was home alone. It is my brother putting my other brother head thru a window. It is my brother putting a knife to my other brother throat. It is the fact that my brother would tell me things like walking in a ditch near the sewer pipe would get me killed because evil trolls lived in the sewers. It is the sexual abuse that I endured. There are many other things that only a highly skilled psychiatrist will be able to explain

None of that has to do with my mom spanking me, putting me in time out or taking away my things. Actually, my mom disciplining me taught me that there are somethings that are wrong. What helped with that, is that if my mom spanked me, put me in time out, took anything away or any other form of punishment, she would talk it out with me. She would explain what I did wrong, why it was wrong and we would explore options that I could have used or should use in the future. She would then explain my punishment and why that degree of punishment was being used. My mom would always talk to us about everything. We may have grown up poor, but she would explain why certain bills didn’t get paid on time. I truly admire my mother.

So that leads up to my raising of my kids. I do not and will not ever ‘abuse’ my kids. I will pop their hands if the action calls for it, or the butt depending on the severity of the action. For instance, my oldest was playing with her sister and decided it would be funny to shove, not push, shove her off the bed. I so happen to see it and sat down with my oldest and discussed what happened, why it was wrong and why a ‘popping’ on the behind was the punishment being used. She didn’t cry. She didn’t fuss. She didn’t whine. She understood that what she had done was wrong and that every action has a consequence.

One of the articles stated that time out only works if it is used in a loving environment. Which leads me to wondering about why you would have kids if you didn’t have a loving environment. I love my girls more than words could ever explain. I would go to the ends of hell for them. I would literally do anything for them. And they know this. We have a reward system but we also have a discipline system. It baffles me that there are so many people who will tell you what will work for every kid. When not every kid is the same. Every kid is different. My oldest is more sensitive than my youngest. While a ‘popping’ would hurt my oldest feelings, which is why it is the last on the punishment list. But that same popping barely even phases my youngest. However, taking toys away from the youngest or time out is the preferred for the youngest cause that is the form that really gets her attention.

What I am saying is, it is no one else’s decision how I punish my kids. They are not being abused and they are happy healthy children.

However, after reviewing the articles, I am baffled that there are articles discussing that time outs are actually ineffective. If you’re taking away time out, which is the lowest form of discipline, then how are you making sure that your kids turn into well behaving, respectable adults?

 

What do you think?

Update

 

So a few days ago I filled ya’ll in on a situation that was happening with my in laws. The wife said, how did she put it….lets see it was “We WILL be there Thursday for an afternoon visit”

Telling me what they’re going to do at my house.

That was when a trigger kinda flipped in my head and I saw red.

That and the fact that she was 1.) Throwing tantrum like a toddler and 2.) Reprimanding me as if I am a child. I will be 30 in a few short years. I am far from being a child.

I calmly let her know the following day, after I calmed down. That we would not be home Thursday. I have a cousin (he’s my cousins husband) in hospice, he’s about 80 something years old. He has pancreatic cancer. So I wanted to keep this past week open in case I needed to go comfort my cousin in her time of need. I didn’t want to make plans and then cancel them last minute. I am not that rude.

Well of course that didn’t make them happy. They haven’t let me know. They aren’t talking to me….. Which I am perfectly fine with. But they have recently contacted my husband requesting the girls on Easter.

 

Yesterday.

They requested the girls on a holiday that they don’t even celebrate yesterday. 2 Days before said holiday.

 

I saw RED!!!!!

For the past 5 years we have done the same tradition every year. It is no secret. These in laws know exactly what we do EVERY YEAR!!!! I’ve been talking about these plans for months. I started planning a month ago. The minute Wal-Mart put out Easter stuff… I made the baskets.

You see I make the baskets… cause I love organizing things and my brother does the egg hunt.

So every Easter, my husband gets up and takes the girls to church with his mom. Every EASTER. They get home around 1 or 2 and then we go to my brothers for the egg hunt. After egg hunt we all go eat. Every YEAR.

But now all of a sudden they want us to push our plans around so they can see them?!?!?!?!

NO.

 

Have you ever had your anxiety over not saying the right thing turn into anger where you don’t care anymore????

When I sit there and read what they’re saying (because who says anything to your face anymore) I see red…. then I get anxiety. I freak out about what I should say. I type….delete….type….delete…type….ask my husband if its too mean…delete….type and send. Then my anxiety grows waiting for a response. I think it comes from a childhood of never being able to speak my mind because it would either cause a bad reaction or I would be reprimanded.

 

So that’s where we are in this situation….. don’t you love in laws????