Wednesday, April 20, 2016

When Your Kid Doesn't Want to Go to College

   I’m going to speak very candidly about this topic. I mean VERY candidly. Like I may swear in this post… a lot. If you’re easily offended now is the time we part ways and there will be no hurt feelings. This is a parenting blog and with parenting comes a lot of pissed off moments and many, many bottles of wine (sometimes something stronger).
   I’ve written about my daughter Dee before. I’ve talked about how proud I have been of her accomplishments in school and just how she’s an all-around good kid.
Dee graduates this year. Like less than 2 months. The rule in our home is once you graduate high school you’re allowed to continue living at home until you a) graduate college or b) have saved enough money and feel you are able to move out on your own (while still going to college). So basically work and go to school and you won’t hear mom and dad’s mouth.
   My husband always throws in option c) go into the military. There has never been talk of an option d). Why you ask? Because we didn’t think option d) was even an option. Option d) apparently is not going to college and working fast food. Ummm who the fuck wants option d)?!?! Apparently my kid does. The kid that graduates in June.
   Jay and I were not prepared for this. We never thought of what we would do if one of the kids didn’t want to go to college. I mean yeah we’ve got 1 maybe 2 we have always thought this would be an issue with but we thought we had time. WE THOUGHT WE HAD TIME!
   That time is upon us now. What to do. What to do. I thought it would have blown over. I’ve hollered and screamed and drank but nothing has seemed to work. Dee is convinced she needs to take time off of school. And do what? How much time? You work 1 maybe 2 days a week! How will you survive?!?! This is all of the shit that goes through my head and flows out of my mouth when I talk to her!

   Ya see the goal has always been for our kids to learn from our mistakes but this is some new shit. She has 2 parents that have gone to college. Hell I just started back this month but that’s a post for a different day.
   What do you do when you know your kid is making a mistake? I worked for years in education. I enrolled students just like her that wanted to “take time off”. It started out as just 1 year. That year turned to 2 then 3 and before they knew it they were on the phone with me telling me their fears about going back to school because they now were in their mid to late 20’s sometimes older and they had some legit fears about furthering their education. The only thing bigger than their fear was the regret they had for not going sooner.
   We still love her of course and we will work it out. How I do not know. After all she’s about to be 18 so we can’t force her to do what we want but I’m sure Jay and I will figure out a painless way to make her see things our way… lol

  Is your kid about to graduate? If so leave me a comment and brag all you want about your kids’ next move. I’d love to hear all about it. I promise I won’t be sitting here sulking into my glass of wine as I read your comments.

Photo credit: drpavloff via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Things that Annoy Me about Working from Home

   Since having my youngest son in 2011 I found it easier to work from home. Back when I first started having kids working from home was not an option. So I worked a regular 9-5 for years while my kids went to daycare and home baby sitters. I felt really bad having to leave them. Especially on those days they just didn’t want to be away from me and I could hear their cries all the way to my car.

   Now that working from home is an option I’ve worked for a few different companies including U-Haul, HSN and my favorite Apple Tech Support. However, this isn’t a PSA on why you should work from home. Instead it’s about things that piss me off about working from home. More specifically, what other people do that piss me off.

   One that really bothers me is when people say “Working from home isn’t a real job.” Oh it’s a real job alright with a real pay check to pay these real bills! What people don’t know is when they’re calling their cable company, cell Phone Company etc. they’re talking to someone at their home in their pajamas. I don’t what makes people think a work from home job isn’t a real job. Do they think we live in the land of make believe making Monopoly money while we live next door to Daniel Tiger?

   To take it even further I’ve had people try to make plans with me and when I tell them I can’t because I have to work they tell me “Just don’t do it. Who’s gonna know?” Which then leads me to having to explain I have a supervisor and an actual team that would know if I didn’t log in for my scheduled shift. So yeah, lots of people would know. Including the good people over at the unemployment office.

   It’s not just outside people that have gotten on my last nerve when it comes to working from home. My kids seem to lose their minds at least 1 shift a week. In the beginning of me working from home they would knock on my door, turn the TV up to 135 and turn my Livingroom into kid’s Fight club! They’ve since outgrown that and know to leave mom alone when she’s working… most of the time.

   Besides the normal issues I’ve had some pretty crazy experiences and one of them is a kid that moved out of our neighborhood wanted to continue going to the same school. So his parents would pick him up from our house once the bus dropped them off. All of a sudden it started getting later and later until I went on my break one night and the boy was still at my house at 10pm!! There is a lot more to the story but you’ll have to read the full drama here.

   A lot has gone on since I’ve been a work at home mom but the wildest thing yet is my husband’s friend and his wife came over one night because he was having an asthma attack and they didn’t want to spend money on a co-pay so they came to our house to get a breathing treatment! Thankfully I had just started my break so I was able to get them in and out within my 15 minutes with no problem. I guess they did get faster (cheaper) service at my house than if they would have went to Urgent Care or the hospital.

   Bottom line is if you work from home don’t feel bad if people don’t get what you do. It’s not for them to understand but they should respect it. And if you’re someone that ha a friend or family member that works from home LEAVE THEM ALONE! A work at home job is just as stressful as having to leave the house to go to work. So don’t put any added BS on their shoulders.

If you’ve got a crazy work from home story or just want to vent leave a comment below.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Dear Mom with the 7 Kids

Dear mom with the seven kids,

    I saw your kids before I saw you at the dr’s office this morning. At first I thought there were two separate groups of kids then when you came over I realized they were all yours. Immediately I was captivated. We caught eyes and we smiled briefly then my kids were called back. You probably thought I was staring because you had such a big family. The truth is I was but not for all of the reasons you probably thought. I only had three of my kids with me this morning. As we went back for my kids to get their appointment started I couldn’t help but think you thought I was looking at you in a negative way. It was weighing on me.

   I know the looks you must get and the ignorant comments people make when they see you with all of your children. “Don’t you know what causes that?”, “Are they all yours?”, or my personal favorite “Are you going to have anymore?”. None of those questions came to my mind.

   As my kids were getting weighed and what not I saw you with your broad on the other side of the office getting weighed on the other scale. I was going to leave you alone but as I stood with my own kids I couldn’t help but hear you get frustrated with your own children. As they argued with one another, cried or told you how much they were ready to go home I did the only thing I knew to do…

   I came up to you and told you “I’ve never met anyone that has the same amount of kids as I do. God bless you.” And I gently patted your shoulder and gave you a smile. You smiled back and said “God bless you too.”

   Why did I take the time to speak? So you knew you weren’t in this alone. So you knew there were other crazy moms that have a lot of kids and want to lose their shit on a daily basis. I wanted you to know that I respect you and was not judging you. As moms we all need to feel like we are a part of a sisterhood. That regardless if we know one another or not we’re not alone and we’re not all judging.

Photo credit: mayeesherr. via / CC BY

Monday, March 14, 2016

7 Things To Do Before Having Kids

   I’ll start this by saying kids are great. There is nothing in the world like giving birth to another human being. The experience is a blessing and it’s life changing. I really do mean it is life changing. Once you become a parent you have another person that you are responsible for. Spontaneity no longer exists. I totally believe you can still do what ever you want once you have kids but you now have to plan everything around this little person. So if your goal is to have kids one day there are some things I highly recommend you do before that day comes.

Travel the world

You may already have a place in mind. Whether you want to go to a fancy Bed and Breakfast in Georgia, spend a week in an Italian villa or back pack across Europe you need to do it before you have kids. Imagine having to get passports for a whole family and then trying to sight see once you get to your destination. Not to mention the small fortune it would cost. Do it now then when you do have kids you’ll have awesome stories to tell.

Go to school

This may seem like a no brainer but a lot of people think it’s best to take time off after high school. It starts off as one year and turns in to many more. Then before you know it you’re trying to juggle school and kids while trying to keep your sanity. Go to school; get your education so you can secure a good future for not only yourself but your little ones as well.

Live alone

Many people get a roommate or two to save money and that is the smart thing to do when you’re first starting out on your own but then you go from a roommate to living with your significant other and next thing you know you’ve got a full blown family. Take the time to live by yourself. There is nothing like waking up in your own home with no one to answer to. Hell walking around naked is a pleasure that gets taken for granted. If you take some time for yourself to live alone you’ll be so glad you did once you have kids.

Appreciate your body

It’s ok to take care of yourself but don’t obsess with how you look right now. Chances are you are beautiful and just being extremely hard on yourself. Once you have kids and your body changes you’re going to wish you appreciated your post baby body and realize you didn’t look bad after all.

Save your money

Again, another no brainer but saving money is usually something people don’t think about until the baby is already on the way and at that point it gets kind of hard because the money is getting spent faster than it can be made. Having a baby is expensive, raising a kid costs even more so make sure you’re financially prepared so you can enjoy your new bundle of joy instead of being stressed out about how to take care of it. 

Get to know your spouse

Much like living by yourself is important it’s also important for you and your spouse to live alone before having kids so you can get to know one another. Spend time with just the two of you and develop a bond. Once baby comes along you really will only have each other to depend on and that bond will keep you together when things get stressful.

Have fun

It’s a lot harder to party and be hung over the next day when you have kids. So live your life and have fun. Life will still be fun once you have a family but it will be a different kind of fun. So party, get shit faced and then enjoy the silence as you suffer from a hang over the next day with no kids to bother you asking for breakfast.

These are just some of the things I think are important to do before having kids but I highly recommend you make your own list of goals and start checking them off your list. Don’t worry if you don’t get them all done. At least once you become a parent you’ll have an adorable little partner to tackle the rest of your list with.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Even Superwoman Needs A Spa Day

   Being a mom of 7 kids, a wife and a business owner I often get called “Superwoman”. At first I’d always play coy and say “No I’m not Superwoman. I’m just doing what needs to be done.” I’ve heard it so much over the years I started to believe I did have super human powers. So much so that I’d feel down if I wasn’t able to complete a to-do list. I would feel like I can’t live up to other people’s expectations of me. I began to feel like only a mom, only a wife. I think I lost myself somewhere between motherhood and marriage.

   I decided to take a stand and take my life back. After all I was Samantha the person before I was “Mommy” or “Mrs. Minor”. I wanted to feel like myself again but didn’t want to let others down. Let me tell you that shit is hard. In trying to be Ms. Perfect. In trying to keep that Superwoman persona I didn’t realize what stress I was putting on myself. Mentally and physically. You see, no matter what you want to do your body will only allow you to do so much. You can’t supply everyone else’s needs when you’re not even meeting your own.

   Two weeks ago things started coming to a head. One of my children ended up in the hospital. The stress of that alone was enough to shake me to my core. While stressing over her condition and worrying about my other kids at home I could feel a change. Not a good one. Once we got her home I tried to get things back to normal but with a ton of doctor appointments and trying to catch up with work I started feeling bad. There is no other way to explain it. I just felt like shit.

   Come Saturday morning I got up (still feeling bad. Even worse actually) and did some cleaning and laundry. Finally I asked myself “What the hell am I doing?” Here I felt absolutely horrible and yet I’m pushing myself when I know damn well I shouldn’t be. My husband was at work and I had all of the kids settled watching tv and folding laundry. I told them I had to run errands I went straight to Urgent Care. Yes, I lied to my kids. I really didn’t want them to worry and I thought I’d be right back home.

   After being in Urgent Care for all of 15 minutes they called an ambulance for me to be transported to the hospital. My heart rate was 180 and every time it started to go down it went right back up. I called my husband and let him know what was going on. He met me at the hospital where they ran a ton of tests on me. The only thing they could tell me is that I have SVT Supra Ventricular Tachycardia. I’ve had it since I was 20 and it’s not really a big deal. I’ve learned to deal with the high heart rate once in a while but this time it was high and showing no signs of stabilizing.

   They ended up having to give me a medication to slow my heart rate as well as a sedative to calm me. The sedative did the trick until they told me I had to stay overnight for observations. I was so upset. I wanted to go home and spend my weekend with my kids and play games like we always do but I couldn’t. I had to stay to make sure I was alright so I can be around for many, many more years for them. So I could continue to be Superwoman.

   In the end I am good and healthy. The bottom line is I need to slow down and learn how to handle my stress. I think I really let the title “Superwoman” go to my head. There is nothing wrong with being an over achiever but you have to have balance. Without balance you end up stressed out and in the hospital. No matter how super human you feel you still need to just stop, take off your cape and take a break from time to time because yes, even Superwoman needs a spa day.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

25 Date Night Ideas for Parents

   Once we become parents things like date night can become a thing of the past. We all know that being a parent can put a real damper on romance. When you’re working, focused on your kids and trying your best not to lose yourself you begin to spend less and less quality time with your spouse. You still love one another you just kind of become zombies with kids attached to you. We have to make time to be with our significant other and since there are kids involved we may have to get a bit creative. To help you out I came up with a list of date nights for parents. Some ideas are as simple as doing something at home once the kids are in bed. Other ideas are for those rare times you’ve got some extra cash and a babysitter. Either way I’m sure you’ll find something on this list you can enjoy with your spouse.

At Home

Cook for each other
Find a recipe for something you’ve never had and make it together. This one works best after the kids have been fed and are down for the night.

Stay up late to watch TV
I like to watch the Daily Show before bed. Watch some grown up TV. Something I’m sure you don’t get to do often.

Have a glass wine outside
It doesn’t have to be wine and you don’t have to stop at one glass. Whatever your poison take it on the porch with your spouse and enjoy the fresh air.

Make dessert together
Some desserts can get kind of complicated so put your heads together and chose a good one! Teamwork makes the dream work.

Dance with each other
In your bedroom or your living room. Turn on your favorite jams and just dance. You don’t need to leave the house to have a good time.

This may seem lame but it’s nice just being with your spouse and not doing anything at all. If it’s cold or raining and you’ve got a fireplace light it up!

Game night
There’s nothing like some good old friendly (or not) competition between a husband and wife. Dust off your board games and go for it.

Light the fire pit and make s’mores
If you don’t have a fire pit start a fire on the grill and make some s’mores. It’s a cheap way to have fun.

Netflix and chill
This one aint just for the teenagers. Chances are you’re probably using what free time you do have to binge watch your favorite show on your own now do it together.

Watch the sun set
Because it’s romantic.

Hang out in bed and eat junk food
This is one of my favorites. It really feels like you’re hanging out with a friend and losing track of time laughing and pigging out.

Give each other a sensual massage
This on reserved only for when you’re ready to heat things up.

You really can’t go wrong with this one. That is unless you’re just talking about your kids. If you are… STOP IT! Talk about anything but the kids.

Read together
This one is good if you both like to read. Share a book together and don’t skip ahead. Only read it together.

Go Out

Walk in the park
If the weather is nice and you get some time way from the little ones go for a walk and enjoy your surroundings.

Go out for coffee
Going to a coffee shop around other adults for a few minutes might recharge you both.

Go for a drive
Sometimes it can be really relaxing to just get in the car and drive without a set destination.

Go to the zoo
Who doesn’t love the zoo?!  It’s a very different experience without kids.

Walk the pier
If you have a pier or river walk wear you live it can be a really nice, romantic outing for the both of you.

Go to a bar and watch a game
If you’re a couple that enjoys sports go to a bar and root for your favorite team and throw back a few beers.

Farmers market
For you early risers this might be a good one for you. An added bonus is you’re helping your community.

For you not so early risers a brunch is a great idea. Especially if it’s a champagne brunch.

Ice cream
Just need to get away together for an hour? Go get some ice cream. Be sure to eat it before you come home so you don’t have to share with the kids.

Drive In
If you really want some alone time head to a drive in. You get to see a movie and be “alone”. You don’t have to risk the kids barging in on you.

Dance class
If you both love to dance sign up for a class. Salsa is very sexy if you really want to take it there.

I hope you find these helpful. If you’ve got any ideas for date night ideas for parents leave them in the comments below.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Being a Career Minded Mama

There is nothing wrong with getting married and having a ton of kids. I’m not knocking marriage at all. In fact, I encourage marriage and family. However, I also am all about being a badass, career minded female that does it all. Kids, work, spouse, all of that! I’m just tired of the world dictating to us women what we’re supposed to do with our lives. It starts when we’re little girls and we’re given baby dolls and taught how to play house. It’s like it was ingrained in our adolescent minds that we had to be moms and homemakers, not career minded go getters, while the men went out to become the breadwinners.

Now that we are all grown up, we struggle day to day with the decision of what we should be doing. Stay home and raise our kids or be the career minded women we’ve always dreamed of becoming. Why shouldn’t we do both? We can be the best mom and wife at home while being a kick ass, career minded CEO. Not only do I know it’s possible, but I recommend it. Focusing on your career is so important for you for so many reasons.

Perks to Being a Career Minded Mama

It Builds independence
There is no better feeling in the world than being able to go out and buy your own things and pay your own bills. Yes, I know back in the day Destiny’s Child was all about “Bills, Bills, Bills,” and let’s face it, no woman wants to be with a man that can’t pull his own weight or provide for his family. But what about being able to take care of ourselves? What about the satisfaction you get from being able to do it on your own if you have to? Ladies, if you didn’t know already, I’m here to tell you that independence is sexy.

It Gives You Stability
Marriage is a beautiful thing. But lets be honest, things happen in life. Vows don’t always stick and husbands can lose their jobs. Either way, you don’t have to stress out too much because you made sure you were prepared and focused on being a career minded hard worker. There is nothing wrong with being the breadwinner in the home. It happens all of the time and it makes us stronger.

Something to Focus on outside of Marriage
When you get married and have kids, it’s so easy to lose yourself in your family. You get into a routine and begin to push your own hopes and dreams aside so you can be there for your kids. You do this because no one can care for them like you. During all of this, you have career goals in the back of your mind but tell yourself you’ll get to it later. What happens if later doesn’t come? There is always going to be a reason you want to push back your goals. But don’t do it!

 It Shows Your Kids How to Be Independent
Your children watch your every move. They soak up everything they can from you. They watch you more than you know and your kids look up to you. Be the best role model your kid can ever have. By watching you fulfill your dreams they will want to as well when they get older, especially if you have a daughter. Let her see mommy being independent and career minded. I guarantee it will stick with her.

Have Your Own Identity
Being a mom and wife is always top priority. They are, generally, the most fulfilling roles a woman will ever have, but who were youbefore this fabulous family came into your life? You were an individual. You were free to be you. And if that was a career minded lady, unearth her once again! Remember: It’s a good thing to have a life and do things outside of the family that you give your all to.

A Confidence Builder
It’s great getting compliments from our kids and spouses, but to be honest, sometimes we feel like they should be singing our praises! It’s different out in the world though. When we do a job well and receive approval from a total stranger, there’s something cathartic about it that makes us feel amazing! Like we can take on the world or at the very least get through the day.

Don’t Worry about What Other People Think
On your path to greatness, people will try to tear you down. They’ll make snide comments about who’s taking care of your kids while you’re off living your dreams. Guess what? They would have something to say even if you weren’t. So don’t worry about outside opinions. How’s that saying go? “Those that mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” It’s true. Your family will support you because they love you and want to see you happy.

I’m not saying run off and leave your husband or ignore your kids to be a solely career minded workaholic. I just want you to be the best you can be, and not forget who you are and what your dreams are. Be true to yourself and everything you aspire to be. It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to take a lot of work, but don’t give up. At the end of the long, tiring day, you owe it to yourself to have everything you want.