Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Why Mother's Day Left Me Miffed

Mother's Day.

Do we put too much hype into it; the cards, gifts, breakfasts-in-bed, spa days, jewelry and flowers? Is it just another Hallmark holiday lining the pockets of card writes, restaurants and chocolate makers? Or is it the one day a year that mothers should be spoiled and taken care of the way they take care of the family the other 364 days of the year?

Mother's Day didn't turn out how I hoped it would. I did get flowers, cards and decorated cakes from the kids, and my Dad took us out to breakfast. What upset me was not having my husband around. I know I'm not his mother, but I am the mother/step-mother to our children. Every day I wake up and make breakfast, pack lunches, do school runs, grocery shopping, bill-paying. I admit I don't keep the house as tidy as either of us would like, but I'm busier now that I stay home than I ever was when I worked outside of the home.

For me, Mother's Day was just another day. I got up with the baby in the morning, dealt with the bickering older children, vacuumed and washed laundry and dishes. In the end, I did get my grilled steak and bacon-wrapped asparagus but only because I went to the grocery store and bought it. Yes, the hubs arrived a little after 5 pm with flowers and a card, after being out of town all weekend, and cooked dinner for me. I do appreciate that, but if I hadn't been shopping we probably would have ordered pizza.

I know I'm not my husband's mother, but my children are too young to make dinner reservations, and get up with the baby. They can't go grocery shopping or do the laundry. Does that make me any less deserving of a day off? I think not.

Of course, my children can make me homemade cards, which are always better than store-bought, they can (almost) leave me alone for a full hour to nap while their sister does. They can show me and tell me they love me in their special ways and for that, I am eternally grateful. I was glad to have my children with me, but what I really wanted was some time to myself: something only my husband could give me.

I wanted to sit on the couch and watch a chick-flick, or work on my blog, or play a game on my phone, without having to break up a childish argument, or change a poopy diaper. I wanted someone to get me a drink, make me lunch and plan dinner. I wanted to lie in that morning and take a long shower. I wanted some much earned space from my children.

Any mother who tells you they want to spend every waking moment with their children is lying. Mother's Day is the one day on which we should be afforded a break from them. Yes, I want to see them on Mother's Day. After all, they are more excited about the day than I am. I don't, however, want to be at their every beck and call.

I love my children more than anything or anyone on this planet. I would do anything for them, but I am human and I need a break. I need "me time". I don't have the opportunity to leave the house for 8 hours a day and have adult conversations. I don't take long lunches with clients at new restaurants. I am housebound: a hostage to the baby's nap schedule. I eat leftover mac and cheese most days.

I am grateful for all the slobbery kisses I want throughout the day, and that I can chaperone field trips and school events. But damn it, I want MY day: Mother's Day. I want to be selfish one day a year and have everyone else wait on me. Whether it's an over-hyped Hallmark holiday or not, it is MY holiday. It is the one day a year that I get to sit back and relax and this year I didn't get it. Needless to say, I am miffed.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Secret Subject Swap

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week, 15 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Secret Subject Swap

" My subject is "What piece of advice do you think your great, great, great Grandmother would give you today?" It was submitted by http://themomisodes.com. Here goes:

My Dearest Anna,

I hope this letter finds you well. When I were alive, it would have been all-go at the farm. We would have been in high-season, which means we were picking cotton from sun-up to sun-down. How are the children? I was very glad to see little Henry recovered from the Scarlet Fever. Back in my day he most likely wouldn't have survived, so be sure to count your blessings. I know a family and home to tend to can be tiring. I write to you today to share with you an important conversation I had with your great-grandmother one summer when she visited the farm as a little girl.

As you may or may not know, I birthed 8 children, 5 of whom survived to have families of their own. It is a challenge to keep the household running smoothly with constant pregnancies, births, illnesses etc. I have found the following schedule very useful in keeping on top of all my chores and duties.

Monday - laundry
Tuesday -  ironing and mending
Wednesday and Saturday - baking
Thursday and Saturday - thorough cleaning
Daily tidying of kitchen and parlor

Remember, as a stay-at-home mother, your responsibilities are to your husband and children. Be sure you are preparing three meals a day. Your husband needs his strength while out in the workforce providing for the family. You shouldn't be wasting your days on these social-things; Facebook, Twitter? What are those, anyway? You have enough to fill your days with other than looking at pictures of other people's children and reading articles on things like "women's rights" and "equality in the workplace". Your workplace is your home and that is where your attention should be focused.

If you are constantly shifting your attention to other things, how will you have time to make the family garments and seasonally preserve fruits, vegetables and meat? I know you say you go to the "grocery store" to get your essentials, but why waste money on that when you can do it all from home? There is no need for you to leave the house unless you are going to church. As the woman of the home, you have the responsibility of the garden, livestock and poultry. I can't believe your "city ordinance" doesn't allow you to keep chickens or cattle. How do they expect a family to survive? You can't be expected to eat "take out" or make a trip into town each day for dinner supplies!

You just remember where your loyalties lie. Going out with the "girls", shopping, sunbathing at the beach and other such frivolities are not in the best interest of your family. Keep your house clean, the laundry washed and ironed and the meals prepared for your husband. Those are the most important things you should be filling your days with.

I must sign off now. I love you, my dear, and watch over you ever day.
With Love,
Great, great, great Grandmother Elizabeth

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado                                    http://www.BakingInATornado.com
The Momisodes                                            http://themomisodes.com
Someone Else’s Genius                                 http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com
FBX Adventures (In Parenting)                     http://fbxadventures.blogspot.com
Spatulas on Parade                                       http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/
Stacy Sews and Schools                               http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/
Confessions of a part time working mom       http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/
Outmanned                                                   http://www.outmannedmommy.com
Evil Joy Speaks                                            http://www.eviljoyspeaks.wordpress.com
Impoverished Vegan                                     http://www.impoverishedvegan.com
Climaxed                                                      http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com
The Bergham’s Life Chronicles                     http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com
Sparkly Poetic Weirdo                                 http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com/
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                        http://dinoheromommy.com/
Silence of the Mom                                      https://www.silenceofthemom.blogspot.com 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

100 Happy Days - Week 9

Each week, on Wednesday, I will open up a new blog post with my previous 7 days of happy. At the bottom you will have the opportunity to link up your blog post. Click on the "InLinkz Link-Up" button to share your blog post. 

Silence of the Mom

Don't forget to grab my 100 Happy Days button to paste into your blog post!

Day 57 - Lunch with my girl!

Day 58 - Discovered Authentic Weather app.

Day 59 - Got caught in the rain walking the girls'
brother to his friend's house down the street.

Day 60 - Spying on my hot hubby.

Day 61 - A beautiful walk through a local preserve.

Day 62 - Catching the baby climb out of 
the entertainment center...again...

Day 63 - School-supply cakes for
Teacher Appreciation Week.

School Supply Cake

With Teacher Appreciation Week upon us, I decided to make each of my kids' teachers a school supply cake. I made these last year and they were a hit! A few of you asked for pictures and instructions, so I decided to throw together this post showing how I made them.

You can make these as elaborate or simple as you choose by adding or removing items and you can gear them towards the grade that the teacher teaches.

Here's what I used (I made 2 cakes which is why there are double the items in the picture);

(1) paper towel roll
(5) spiral-bound notebooks
(5) bottles school glue
(12) glue sticks
(5) 24 pack crayons
(24) no 2 pencils
(1) 2 pack kids scissors
(2) 2 pack dry erase markers
(1) 2 pack mini-dry erasers
(2) rolls of tape
(1) pack index cards

*Note: The size of your cake and number of items needed will vary depending on the size of paper towel roll you use. The bigger the roll, the more items and larger your cake will be.

1) Start by wrapping the notebooks around the paper towel roll and secure with elastic bands.

2) Alternate glue-sticks and crayon boxes around the base of the paper towel roll 
and secure with more elastic bands.

3) Alternate glue bottles, markers, scissors etc, resting on top of the crayon boxes
and secure with elastic bands.

4) I hot-glued pencils around a toilet paper roll as a topper for the "cake".
Last year I glued a pencil holder to the top and filled with pencils.

5) Secure pencil holder to top with hot glue. Decorate with additional items, 
wrap ribbons around each "layer" and secure with hot glue.

6) Add bows, flowers or any other decorations you want and secure 
to a cardboard base covered with scrap-book paper with hot glue.

That's pretty much it. You can be as creative as you like and tailor it to the personality and likes of the teacher receiving it. Last year I included bottles of hand sanitizer, erasers and boxes of band-aids. 

Have fun with it and make sure you get a pic of your child with their teacher. I promise, they will love the gift. Teachers are often left to purchase their own supplies so something practical, and pretty, will be greatly appreciated!

What do you do for Teacher Appreciation Week?