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Top 3 Things I Wish I Knew About Being A Mom

Mom Time, Things I wish I'd known - Jenna - July 30, 2012

1. You Never Get Enough Sleep

Of course we hear all about how little sleep you get and in our glowing pregnancy days some of us even romanticize spending wonderful times up with our babies watching I love Lucy marathons at 2am. I actually remember that warm fantasy all back lit with warm light and snuggly soft. Fast forward three kids two jobs, a side gig , laundry, house work, a husband that didn’t get less needy and well you get reality!

Image credit parenting.com

That warm fuzzy fantasy all but fades into a buzz of chaos filled days and nights where the mere sound of your baby waking is fallowed by a groan from you. You stumble out of bed, down the hall  half eyed and half effort try to get them back to sleep. Knowing each minute you are awake is another ounce of caffeine you will have to ingest tomorrow.

Of course there are those naps that you get to “sneak in” aka you accidentally fall asleep at 10am while getting your toddler to sit still long enough to watch a full episode of Elmo. Hey it counts!

2. Things Will Never Be Clean Again

No NEVER get use to it or go CRAZY! In my early parenting days I kept my house immaculate and just couldn’t seem to understand how other mothers couldn’t do it. Imagine my shock and dismay when  I realized I only had one child, no out of the home work, and a small house of course I could get it all done. I wasn’t super mom I just didn’t really have all that much to do.

It was a hard lesson to learn that sometimes the snuggles and mess are just more important than the dishes. Of Course this all sounds good on paper but I have to admit every time I invited anyone over and they saw my fingerprinted walls and messy toys I cringed. I felt like I wasn’t a good mom or wife. They must be thinking eww every time they come over.

I won’t pretend that I am OK with all the destruction that boys and dogs can do, but my daily prayer is “please Lord let me be ok with the mess, don’t let it over take me.” You see recently I have started to notice that I get so wrapped up in trying to make things the way I WANT them that I end up a crouchy old hag. I yell out at one of my boys every time I see a big mess they have made and very quickly moved on from. I feel like in our home I have the tendency to take the fun out of just about everything trying to be perfect for other people. But who is more important to be perfect for than your family?

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This is Wyatt after he DESTROYED the back yard with mud!

So the #2 biggest thing that I am STILL learning is that it’s ok to be messy and things will never be clean again EVER. That is ok and you just have to live with it, or at least find a happy medium with it. If they are able to run and play and be messy with out a care in the world you are doing a good job mom!

3 They Wont Be Little Forever

These words can bring you feelings of great saddness and great joy. Or in my case a little of both. For me this means that they won’t be gross forever, they wont wine forever, they wont pee on the floor forever. But it also means that they wont need me forever, they wont want to snuggle forever, I wont be their favorite girl forever.

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They have all outgrown the outfits they were wearing in this picture taken five months ago. They have all reached new milestones since this photo was taken and they are all at least 1″ taller. Man that happens fast!

So take it all in. Hold on to the great stuff because it is fleeting and it wont last. let go of the hard stuff knowing it wont last.

Mothering is hard, it’s messy, it’s not pretty at times. It is also the greatest reward and most fulfilling job you can ever have. So carry on moms carry on!

~Juggling Mama

One more point ….

It almost never goes how you planned it!

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Work at home mom solutions

Things I wish I'd known - Jenna - December 2, 2011

Lately I have found myself feeling like I live at my office…ok I do live at my office! I mean, I feel like my work is always there, I get no break. Working from home can be a big challenge, particularly with a family. When you are the one taking care of the house, the kids, the bills, the dog, and running a business all out of your house. It can feel like you live in an office with no break room.

Here are some tricks of the trade that I have learned along the way to help keep up, and separate work from play when they share the same address.

Make a work space

Your business needs its one square footage to grow. A place with a door that separates it from the rest of the house is best, but any barrier such as a screen will do. This will ensure you are focused when you work, and create a space that allows you to be at work when you are working, and leave it behind during family time. Not to mention keeping the kids out of that big presentation never hurt anyone. If you are short on space try a cool blind, revamp the garage, or even just a corner away from the rest of the family may work.

Plan out your day

Write it down & stick to it. Make sure you are not scheduling in too much, and only allow yourself to concentrate on the job at hand during any given time period. This practice will create peace and a sense of accomplishment when you have completed your tasks. Careful though, be realistic, and don’t freak out if things come up, and you can’t get it all done. Someone once told me, if you don’t get all the things on your list done, then your list was too long to begin with!

Get organized

This is the single most important thing to the success of a work at home mom, or any professional for that matter. Would you go to the office, and have your coffee pot next to your files, or your laundry on top of your desk? I don’t think so. Keeping things neat and tidy will help you stay on top of things, and create efficiency. You are busy enough why add that extra ten minutes of searching for an invoice, or project info to your load. To help me achieve this I use bins with labels to separate clients, and to prioritize. When it’s out in front of me I have to think less, I just grab the appropriate file and get to work.

Remember cluttered desk, cluttered mind:)

Take a time out

Remember keep your family life, and work life as separate as you can. We work at home moms walk a thin line, and wear a ton of hats. This can take a tole on us, and we can get burnt out really quickly. It is vital to our business, and family that we take care in not overworking just because the office is down the hall. Unlike other work situations our work is never done. There are no coffee breaks, or lunch hours. Our days are full of forgetting to eat, and cramming in as much work as we can before preschool release time, and while the baby naps. Try penciling in a coffee break in your daily to do list, any enjoy it! This five minutes may be the little sanity break you need to keep going. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help. If it gets to be too much call in reinforcements! Try hiring a teen to come play with the kids while you work in the next room, or do the house work! Trust me a burnt out, over stressed mom is no good to anyone so don’t go there.

Hope these tips helped. If you have any ways you stay in the at home game, with out losing your mind let me know, I would love to hear some.

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Babies, Excuses, and why I have been away!

Things I wish I'd known - Jenna - June 7, 2011

It has been a bit since I have been on and I am sorry! But really I have a good excuse, ok well no excuse is a good excuse but it’s all I got.

Excuse #1

 First I was called 400 miles away to be with my sister as she had her first child. naturally I fell behind on my blogging duties as I am big sis. It is my God given obligation to baby my baby sister the best Ican. It was a great time. I got to be there to hold my sisters hand and wipe her tears,as she joined me in the mommy club! We were always close but now that we are both moms and have been there for each other as we  gave birth, I think we are a special kind of close. Also on my trip and as part of my sister duties.I spent one night in the hospital with my little sis so her husband could get some sleep on something other than the Chinese torture chair that was offered to him. 

 Yes, I am that good of a sister, and we can even make a hospitol fun so I was glad to do it. We chatted and rested, and gazed at the sweet little bundle of new life. After a midnight burger run my sissy and I settled in for a chat, where I brought up some things I had been feeling. I almost fell out of the Chinese torture chair when she threw out the idea that I might be pregnant. Your crazy and half drugged, sleep deprived, andhigh on hormones I quickly shot back. Sure I was tired, yes my breasts felt like they had been through the spin cycle, my gums were bleeding when I brushed, and the smell of cereal made me queezy, but so.

 We were done having kids and we had gonethrough allot to come to that decision, so we had been very careful. Plus I had two more weeks until my monthly gift was due to arrive . So I finished my sister duties and  came home. Of course this took up alot of my time and I just couldn’t find the time to get anything out, especially a blog post.

Excuse #2

Of course when I returned home I had a ton of loose ends to tie up and we don’t even want to talk about the laundry! It took me two weeks to even get to some of my errands. It was a quick stop into target for t.p. and a birthday card when I realized what the date was, which brings me to my second excuse! 

There I was in the t.p. isle and all of a sudden the dates became very clear, then like in a movie my sister popped into my head with her theory! So I purchased a test forgot the birthday card and rushed home. Downing a half gallon of water on the short trip home, sliding into the bathroom sideways, and ripping the package with my teeth. Then I waited, tick, tock, tick, tock. The longest three minutes of a girls life.

Well of course there it was staring me in the face… the second pink line!

This wonderful day was fallowed by about three weeks of panic, confusion, sickness, fatigue, mental math, and mood swings! Wich didn’t leave much time or mental capacity to blog!

So there you have it. My excuse’s! While I am still in the throws of the above side effects of the first trimester I figures I at least needed to let you all know I am still alive and full of excuses!

Love,

JM

There I was in the t.p.

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I MADE IT

Things I wish I'd known - Jenna - August 24, 2009

Well the big day has come and gone! The firsts day of Kindergarten that is :) After much anticipation & nerves over Immunizations, & school shoes on my sons part. And an overwhelming amount of dread on my part. My five year old little man and I took the kindergarten bull by the horns & came out unscathed.

Once I realized that all my attempts of stopping the day in it’s tracks were futile, I decided to embrace it with all I had. We started with a special dinner & dessert, picked out our clothes , & snuggled in after bath time with our favorite books. We prayed, talked, & giggled, and settled in for a peaceful night rest.

The morning came I rose early to make a special breakfast for my excited little man. He ate a huge pile of eggs, cinnamon roles, & blueberries. After my mom of  the year award winning breakfast ( may be the last so I had to give it it’s place) We were brushing, spiking , & dressing! cayds7cv

Before I knew it the time had come.  I snapped like a billion pictures and we were off. I walked hand in hand with my big guy, tissue in pocket (just in case) As we walked up to the playground we were met by  a swarm of his preschool friends from last year that made it into our class :) I had to pull my son back just to get a kiss.

BRRRRING there it was the bell. My budding 4.0er ran to the front of the line with a smile a mile wide on his face. Waving at me from the line as if to say ‘I got this Mom” ” I am all grown now” I looked around & no other moms were loosing it so I choked back my tears. There was no way I was going to be the only one bubbling like a baby.

Then like a band aid being ripped off it was over. All the little ones filed in & there us moms were standing around the fence looking at each other like a cow at a new gate. Not sure what to do now. I gathered up my youngest son and headed home.

Safe in the confines of my own living room I allowed myself a few or more tears. After all I had them saved up it would be a waste not to use them. My youngest son was a little confused as to why we had come home with out his brother, and he kept asking about him & pointing in the direction of the school.

Before we knew it time was up & we got to go get our little student. He was so excited & full of things to tell mom. We settled in to lunch and I was sure he had forgotten all about our his fears & graduated from boy to man in just three short hours. It was true my baby was all grown up.

Lost in my observation I felt a tug on my shirt & my little 30 year old was there at  my side climbing into my lap. My heart filled ” He does still need me” and suddenly all was right with the universe again.

It will never be the same now that we have started school, but it is OK. Just different & new & exciting. All I know is this…..You can live through sending your first child to Kindergarten & Yes it really does go that fast.

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What to do when they know how to say no

Things I wish I'd known - Jenna - February 4, 2009

I didn’t think this happened till kids turned two, but my 15-month-old daughter has suddenly discovered the word “no!”

Now that she knows she’s got a will of her own, “no” has become her favorite word. No matter what you say, ask or do, she yells, “Nooooooo!” and shakes her head vigorously back and forth. She’s even starting to have little tantrums where she throws herself on the floor or fakes crying.

It’s so adorable, it’s hard not to laugh. But it’s making daily life a little more difficult and, I have a feeling, it’s about to become a lot more so.

I’d love to give advice on how to deal with this milestone, but I’d rather receive it. So far I’ve tried to make a joke out of her protests to diffuse the situation. But I’m not sure that’s always the best approach. Please send suggestions soon!

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