Thursday, July 17, 2008

A stay at home mommy guide

I have slowly been losing brain cells the older my kids get (it all started with the birth of the oldest child). I have made a list for myself :

  1. NEVER back up the vehicle without first looking in the rear view and side mirrors, and over both shoulders--especially in parking lots!!! Should you feel a "thump" while backing, please stop to investigate (don't assume it's the kids playing around in the back of the van). When the children are fighting in the vehicle, stop along-side the road to deal with the situation--it's safer than reaching behind your seat and glaring in your rear-view mirror (while driving).

  2. It helps to keep a map close at hand when trying to remember the places your husband is traveling to during his business trips. This way, you can recall where he's gone, and you don't look so silly trying to remember the location (you have a million other things to think about)!

  3. DO NOT bake or cook when you have something on your mind. Many good recipes have been ruined while deep in thought. Go write your thoughts down somewhere, and then cook dinner.
  4. DO NOT allow the children to talk to you while you're busy paying bills--or any other brain powered activity. Kids have a way of asking crazy things while you're focused...which causes you to absent mindedly say "yes" to eating Popsicles before dinner, for example!
  5. Take the time to plan date nights with your husband, even though you feel that all the other planning done throughout the day drains cells from your brain (not one more thing to plan!). He is the sweetest, he just needs help with the date ideas! If you need help with ideas yourself, ask your kids what they enjoy doing most. Many times children's ideas of fun make good date ideas (simple, inexpensive) !! Leave the kids at home with a babysitter though. Family night comes around more often than date night. :)
  6. DO invite another Mom over for a playdate once a week (especially when husband is gone), or plan to meet at a park. There is nothing like the company of another mother who is experiencing the same things you are. Please don't get slack in this area during the school year; it's important to develop friendships with other moms.

  7. When you invite someone over who's NOT a Mom, read up on some topics of interest before the visit. Otherwise, your conversation ends up with a lot of: "I think I remember reading one time...", "I think I've heard...", "I can't remember...", "What is the name of that man in the White House....". IF you have the time to read up on anything. Should you not have time to read anything beforehand, it's best to blame your forgetfulness on your "Mommy brain", instead of trying to explain what kind of day/week/month you've had with the kids (they simply won't understand )!!

  8. When the kids are being especially unruly and the day is not going well in the home or in your home school, remember to make a list of everything you do with the kids...every discipline measure...every little task you do during the day, so when your husband comes home to a house turned upside down and asks, "What have you done all day?!", you will have an answer. :)
  9. The children are crying out, "MOM!!", the timer is beeping, a child is turning the stereo up full blast, or making a sibling cry, is not listening to instruction, and the doorbell rings while everyone is demanding your attention....then your husband calls to ask, "So how is your day going?"...count to 10, take a deep breath, and remember that when you are an old lady, you will miss these days. :)
  10. When your husband returns home from work or from a business trip, put all of your frustrations from the day (or week/month) to the side, and greet him cheerfully. He's had a hard day/week/month too (just in a different way), and needs a little peace before you share all that's troubling yourself. Imagine if you went on a trip by yourself (I admit, it would be fun for the first day--but then I'd start missing my family), was hard at work on a project, was longing to see your family again, and then as soon as you arrived home your husband began complaining to you about all the bad things that had happened while you were gone. Get the picture? :)
  11. Remember that being a Mom is a high, special calling, even when you feel you don't know anything besides cleaning bathrooms, wiping noses, fixing toys, planning schedules, and breaking up fights (what's happened to your own education/career once invested in?). You are shaping the lives of your children. One of these days you may have more time to pursue many other things ...but your children are only young once, and for such a short time. Enjoy these fleeting moments! That said, enjoy your hobbies...your interests... don't put your life on hold (it's all in being balanced...and you will feel more "sane") . :) Make time for yourself. Leave the kids with your husband at least one evening or Saturday a month.
  12. Lastly, but most important of all....keep reading the Bible and praying. One can't live without God during the craziness of Mommy life; this place {a quiet place w/ God} is where strength and endurance for the daily living comes from. :)

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