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Getting Out Of The Mom Rut

by Richel on May 15, 2013
category: Healthy Mom,Pop culture,Practical Tips

It’s really hard to stay current sometimes when it comes to fashion.  I am no fashionista.  Most days it’s comfortable pants, a simple top and some flip flops.  Since I work from home, I don’t really need to go anyplace.  Since we live in a really small town, I don’t feel like I have anything to really dress up for.

mom style

Then the other day, I went to the store and noticed that the lady in from of me was wearing fluffy yellow slippers, sweats and a shirt.  Then it hit me, I was just a pair of fluffy slippers away from officially giving up on what I wear. UGH…….

Since most of us don’t have the money for a full head to toe makeover, you can start with this list of five ways to get out of the mom rut. It’s okay, it happens to the best of us, but the good thing is, you can totally take control and get your pre-motherhood groove back.

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You and Me + 3

When I met my husband, I was blown away. “He is perfect.” I told my mom. There are a couple of other things you need to know though. He is divorced, has 3 kids, and is 10 years older than me…I know. A lot to swallow especially coming from her 18 year old daughter. Needless to say, she was speechless and my dad was not happy at all.This guy was so perfect, I didn’t care at all. In fact, a week after meeting him I moved from Texas to Washington D.C. So I became insta-mom. FAST.

family

Being a stepmom is no piece of cake. It is hard work. It is probably the most challenging thing I have ever experienced.  I don’t think any woman ever dreams up a fairy tale of being a stepmom. The same goes for marriage. Nobody gets married with the intention of it ending in divorce. It has been almost 7 years since we met and here are some key points I have learned during my time so far as being a stepmom to 3 kids.

  • Leave the discipline to their dad. This is tough to learn and respect. I will never be their ‘mom’ and I shouldn’t try to be. When we first met, I would try to discipline the kids and the outcome was laughable. Who are you to discipline me? We just met you! Believe me when I say this, Leave it to their dad! If something comes up where the kids need discipline, tell the dad and let him handle it. (At least in the beginning.) Once your relationship grows, the kids will learn to respect you and your rules.                           (more…)

Dealing with the Stigmas of Your Choices

by Richel on April 15, 2013
category: Pop culture,Practical Tips

We are homeschoolers.  We are also a family of five.  We also have a mommy that stays home.  That’s just a couple of the choices we have made.  Despite all of those being really great choices in my mind, sadly society on a whole judges us.  People wrinkle their brows and roll their eyes when they find out we homeschool.  They ask us why we wanted to have three kids when it is so expensive.  They ask me if I get bored working at home.

supermom

What I want to ask them is when did it become cool to judge other moms?  It is the single most horrible thing about being a mom when it comes to walking out of the house with your kids.  You are not only judged as a women (too fat, too thin, too mean, too flirty) you are now judged by the choices that you make as a mom.  Like I need another thing to worry about people.  I mean, I am trying to raise tiny humans for goodness sake.

I once met a really nice man who told me that “life is better when you embrace that there is unity in diversity.” Boy I wish that was a national motto in America and a few other places……………

In a world full of war, bullies and others who are trying to say that there view is the best and that you should think like them, saying that there is unity in the fact that we are all different is a big statement.  It is hard sometimes to understand why people feel so empowered to share their opinion but most of all I struggle with the fact that people seem to feel so empowered to share their opinion in front of my kids.

The other day I was talking to a lady who is new on the street.  She asked if my boys were sick.  This I assume was because it was 9:30am and my boys were outside, riding bikes and playing Nerf Guns and not at school.  I told her we homeschool and the boys had finished all of their work early today, so we decided to play for a while.  I got the usual one eyebrow up and the “wow you homeschool” look.

I told her that is was the most amazing experience and that she should not judge me for my choice because it was my choice.  She said she was not judging anyone but I told her “ya you kind of are.”  I had to call her out, I really felt like I had to stick up for my choice and my kid.

The thing was, my oldest was standing right there and wanted to know why that lady was acting like going to school at home was bad.  This prompted us to have to sit down and talk to him that going to school at home is not only just as good, if not better than going to school the way everyone else does and that her reaction was only because she didn’t understand that being different, well that being different is not a bad thing.

If we were all the same, then we would all be very limited in what we do, what we like and how we do these things.  It is because we are all different that we come together and learn from each other.  It’s a hard concept for kids to understand but sadly it is harder for adults to learn.  It is also sad that I cannot imagine not being judged by the other moms on the playground.  It is even more sad that I expect to see people roll their eyes when I say I homeschool.  We all know that being a mom means doing the work of like 40 by yourself so why do we not get the fact that it only makes it harder when we judge that other mom who is busting her booty to just get the kids to their play date?

When I became a mom the last thing in the world I wanted was to be judged.  Being a mom is hard enough and we all know that.  So why do we feel so obligated to judge other moms.  Can’t we just appreciate that they are just trying to make the best choices for their family?  Their family is not mine, so why would I want to pass judgement on them when I don’t know what it is like to be them?  I think it is possible but it is going to mean that we all put each other in check.  Moms need to mom up and when they have that other mom roll their eyes at them for having their 4 year old use a sippy cup, we need to say that we all make our own decisions and that’s okay.

So take the pledge a embrace your choices.  Just like you tell your kids that the kid that called them stupid is really the stupid one, don’t be afraid to stand up and say that you made a choice and it was right for you.  Be proud of your choices.  You made them for a reason right!?

You Are Never to Young for a Bucket List

by Sheila on March 4, 2013
category: Pop culture,Practical Tips

Ever since 9/11, I’ve been reminded how life can be taken from us in the blink of an eye. Too many times we hear the “I should have done this” or “I wish I’d done that”, but we just never got around to it. Time is short; no doubt about it.

The Bucket List was an adorable movie in 2007, where two men diagnosed with terminal cancer, embark on a mission to cross off items on their “to-do” list. Although I’ve been blessed with great health thus far, I created one a few years ago and cannot express the extreme satisfaction of completing an item and visually crossing it off my list! What’s even more interesting, is the fact that my two, young children created their own lists of “to-do’s” with adorable hopes and dreams that I didn’t even realize were lingering in the backs of their minds.

bucket list

My 10-year-old daughter mentioned foods she hoped to try, places she wished to visit, and of course a handful of Disney and Nickelodeon stars she desired to meet. This had me determined to once again be the #BME! (Twitter hash tag for BEST MOM EVER!). During our most recent cruise, she was able to try escargot (yes, snails) and learned that she actually liked them. Quite a bit even. She and I both haven’t been to New York before and it’s a commonality on our lists, so I’m in the midst of planning a family vacation there within the next 3 years. Finally, I was able to locate fan mail addresses for her top celebrities and send away for signed headshots. I even follow a calendar of events that shares Disney red carpet movie premieres and she’s since collected a handful of photographs and autographs from those stars close to her heart!

We aren’t promised tomorrow, so we should live each day with no regrets. Better yet, start doing the things you never dreamt you could. Stop procrastinating! Make a list individually or as a family, and get moving! It even makes for great scrapbook memories to write down, check off when they happen, and note with a date, time, souvenir, and photograph.

Your Child and Social Media

by Sheila on January 28, 2013
category: 5 – 12 years (kid),Pop culture,Practical Tips

Chances are you’re one of the millions of users who log on daily to social media sites such as Facebook to converse with friends, follow the news, or just plain indulge in this socially acceptable habit. If you’re also a mother to a pre-teen, there’s a high probability that he/she also has an account; sometimes with or without parental permission.

Facebook currently restricts the minimum user age to 13 and while mom and dad may say no to signing up online (via their desktop), kids nowadays are accessing the site through their iPhones, iPads, or tablets. Facebook claims to eliminate an average of 800,000 users under the age of 13 a year (this, according to a June 2012 Consumer Reports Survey). However, it’s estimated still that a whopping 5.6 million kids are on Facebook; some with his/her parent’s permission. Surely there must be some good in this. Right?

fb baby

Facebook, like its famous predecessor Myspace, allows users to communicate on their own time. This is crucial to a child who may be shy and withdrawn and/or takes time to articulate what they want to say, but can’t, in person. The chat window for instance, helps a child further express themselves and make connections with people they may not feel as comfortable around face-to-face in the school setting, due to peer influence, classroom location, etc.. So then it’s okay to have my child create an online account? That is really up to each parent.

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