Friday, November 25, 2016

New Job, Leaving My Kids & Family Emergencies

   November 14th was a really hard day for me as a parent. I felt unappreciated and unfulfilled at my job so I found a new one. More on that at a later time. My new job is here in Florida where I live. However, after I got hired I found out training was in St. Louis Missouri, for 2 weeks… insert sad ominous music here. When I tell you I was sick to my stomach with worry you have no freaking idea. The longest I’ve been away from the big 5 was 2 days for a weekends in Vegas. And as for the youngest 2 I’ve only been away from them for 24 hours. WTF was I going to do without my babies and what were they going to do without me?!?!

   I was excited for the new job. It’s an amazing opportunity. For weeks leading up to the trip I was praying hard!!! I really wanted something to change and I would stay home for training. No such luck. All of my friends told me to look at this as a much needed vacation. I told them I would try but I felt guilty for even thinking that way. What if they needed me? What if someone got sick or hurt? I’d be way too far away to do anything.
   Sunday morning, the day before I had to leave… I sat in my bed and hugged my 2-year-old Jayda and I cried. Real tears. Ugly faced and all.

   I made sure I spent as much time as possible with everyone. I even stayed up until midnight watching cartoons with Jayda. I barely slept at all for the 2 hours I had. I was up at 2am and my taxi came at 3am. I was off for a 5:20 am flight meeting 3 strangers I was in training with. What a way to meet people. I’ll share more of that story on the other blog.
   We arrived in St. Louis for week 1 of training going straight to the office at 10am after our flight landed at 9am. I was way too tired to be stressed about leaving my kids at this point. After work I headed to my cute little extended stay suite. It was a reminder of my first apartment. A studio in Phoenix Arizona in 1996. The last time I lived alone and had only myself to think of. This studio however was bigger and nicer.

   After getting settled in we went to the grocery store and each got food for our individual apartments. Shopping for one was really weird. I mean really weird. I over shopped and still had money left over. Weird.

   I video chatted with the kids every single night, several times a night. By night 3 as I nestled in my bed after going out to eat with coworkers, I grabbed a glass of wine and watched whatever I wanted to in a bed. All. By. Myself. No fighting over the tv. No one stealing the blankets and no fighting period. Wow. I felt good and no guilt at all.  I slept like a woman without a care in the world.

   That quickly changed as I got to work the next day and started getting calls from the hospital down by my house in Florida.

   My husband ended up really sick and needed emergency surgery. So while I’m in training in St. Louis my husband is in the hospital and the kids are at home. Alone. Thank God for my 18-year-old Dee Dee. She handled everything flawlessly. My husband had to be sedated so I had to make all medical decisions by phone. Which meant a couple of things. I was again sick to my stomach, stuck in Missouri until the next day when I was scheduled to come home for the weekend and even if I could catch a flight that day the drs needed to be able to get a hold of me which they wouldn’t be able to do if I was flying. So I sat in my little studio after work awaiting the dr’s call to let me know when he was going into surgery and when it was over how he did. Thank God everything turned out alright. He was in ICU recovering, the kids were taken care of and my close friends came to the rescue and picked me up from the airport the next night.

   When I walked through the door of my house all of my kids ran and hugged and kissed me… all except 1…. Jayda. My 2-year-old shadow. My light. She stood in the Livingroom and looked at me as if for the first time in ages and she cried. Long, hard, sobbing cries. As if she had been holding it in for the whole 5 days I was away. I held her. Rocked her and kissed her as she let it all out.

   The 2 days I had home was spent going to and from the hospital and home. The guilt kicked in again as I had to leave his bedside to spend time with the kids as well as when I left them to go back to the hospital. Thankfully he was out of the hospital Sunday night and I again left at 3am for a flight back to St. Louis. Believe it or not the second time around was harder to leave than the first. Even thou this time would be a much shorter trip due to Thanksgiving I got to leave Wednesday evening.
   This time in a hotel room with a super soft comfy king sized bed I was asleep each night by 9pm. The faster I went to sleep the faster a new day would begin and I could go home. Missouri experiences cold that Florida knows nothing about. While it was raining in the 20s and 30s in St. Louis it was sunny and in the 80s back home. I was cold, lonely and in need of cuddles from my little and big kids. Kisses from sticky faces and to hear “Mom” every 5 minutes. The first week was relaxing and a much needed break. The second week felt like a punishment for enjoying the first week.

   I feel like there is so much I’m leaving out. But I think you get the gist of it. Would I do it again? I can’t answer that right now. Not while the aching still lingers in my heart from my time away. I do know this… we all need a break. There is nothing wrong with a little time away from our families. We can become pretty run down without it. Cranky even. We have to take care of ourselves. So I have decided to check into a nice hotel close to home once in a while. Just me. In a room. A glass of wine. Watching whatever I want. In a bed. All. By. Myself. No fighting over the tv. No one stealing the blankets. No fighting. Just me having me time.

Photo credit: Hernan PiƱera via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Fashion Tips For The Busy Mom

    Mom is a title that carries a lot of weight and is full of so much responsibility. We spend most of our days tending to the needs of others we can easily forget about our own needs and ourselves. As moms we tend to look as exhausted as we feel but we don’t have to. With just a few basic pieces of clothing, some accessories and a little time you can look like an off duty model instead of an on duty mom.

   Let’s start with the basics. Believe it or not a pair of great fitting jeans and a simple t-shirt is the foundation for a put together look. When choosing your denim go for what is comfortable for you. If you’re not into the latest trends, then don’t attempt them. Hey, distressed denim is not for everyone. Your t-shirt can be a plain solid color or it can be a vintage band tee just make sure it’s not too tight, too short or too long.  I like mine to go to mid hip.  

Every day outfits

   If you’re running around doing errands with the kids opt for cute and comfortable shoes. My favorites are white low top converse. They are comfy, easy to clean and always in style.

All white Chucks

   I stopped using diaper bags a long time ago. Big bulky bags with characters on them just didn’t cut it for me. Instead I just carry a large purse with me that can double as a diaper bag. The key is it has to have a lot of inside compartments.

Big stylish bags

   The next step is makeup. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Where am I going to find the time to apply makeup?” Have a “go to” look. A signature look is a real time saver. Once you’ve done it so many times you begin to get into a rhythm and it becomes second nature to you. What may have started out as a 30-minute process can become 10 once you’ve mastered it. My go to look? Polished brows, dark lips, winged liner and lots and lots of mascara!

   To take your look from day to night is easier than you’d think. Simply dress it up with a pair of heels and a statement necklace.

   I hope you find this advice to be of some help. Give it a try and I bet all the moms at the next PTA meeting will be wanting to know how you look so good!

On the go

Photo via Visual Hunt

Friday, October 28, 2016

Going back to work after being a stay at home mom

   For years I've either been a stay at home mom or I've been fortunate enough to find jobs with pretty awesome companies that allowed me to work from home. I've been so blessed to be home with my younger 2 kids since birth and not leave their sides. Along with that came more time with my older school age kids. I've been able to volunteer at their schools, greet them when they come home and even begrudgingly drive them to school on those dreaded mornings when they've missed the bus. It's been a time full of ups and downs that come with the lack of financial freedom, Lonely days with no adult interaction and no time to myself. Honestly I began to feel like something was missing and I was losing myself. I was no longer Samantha I was just... Mom and Wife. 

   Anyway, I decided to go back to work outside of the home. Dee had graduated high school and works in the evening so I no longer had to fear leaving my precious blessings in the care of strangers. They are safe at home in their own familiar surroundings. There has been a bit of an adjustment period thou. Jr and the “baby” now fight over me. Who is going to sit on my lap? Who is going to lay in front of my if I’m in be watching tv on my side? Really interesting things that have never happened before. I know they will get used to it eventually. It was hard for me at first too. There are still days that are harder than others and I just want to stay home and cuddle with everyone and binge watch Curious George.

   But… on the flip side I like having a place to go. I like being Samantha again. Even more I like being the makeup artist that helps women look and feel beautiful. I get to be me again. 

   I don’t know how long the guilt of not being home with everyone will last. Ultimately I know it’s all in my head. Even thou it doesn’t help being questioned about if I can make it to a school event or something and I have to continue answering with “No, sorry I have to work.”

   Those are the days when I just want to say the hell with this job I'm out! 
The older kids understand. They don’t like it, but they understand. The younger 2 not so much. But that’s life with babies.

   As I write this I am literally hiding in the bathroom from a 2 and 5-year-old. Not just because I wanted to get this off my chest and the bathroom is the only semi-quiet place but because I really wanted to share this with other parents that may be going through this. That’s the whole point of me starting this blog… to share my experiences with other parents so we can feel a little less alone.

   It’s time for me to get ready for work now. Today is going to be one of those hard to leave the house days as I hear my little ones playing in the living room. Windows open, cool fall breeze sweeping through the house.

   It’s also Friday and I work at a makeup store. Which means I’ll be missing the weekend with my whole family. It’ll be ok thou. Right?  

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Bad Moms Movie Review

    So about 2 months ago some ladies in my “Mom group” suggested we get together to see Bad Moms opening night. Usually when we have a mom’s night out there is an ok turn out. By ok I mean anywhere between 7 and 10 moms maybe. This time there was an RSVP in our Facebook group for somewhere around 40 and 34 ended up showing up for the movie! It was amazing!

   Now imagine a movie about “Bad moms” playing in a theatre FULL of actual self-proclaimed bad moms… It was rowdy to say the least!

   So basically the movie is about Mila Kunis. She makes some new bad ass mom friends that have one thing in common. They’re tired of… well… Momming. I don’t know if that’s a word yet but dammit it needs to be. Each of them are in different relationship stages of life which I mean aren’t we all?!

   So they basically go up against another group of moms lead by Christina Applegate. These are the moms that make it hard for the rest of us. They’re the judgy moms that can do no wrong. I know you know a few just like them.

    The movie was absolutely hilarious. It’s full of raunchy jokes, horrible language, lots of alcohol and women sticking together. So it’s basically a bunch of my favorite things. No matter what type of mom you are you’re guaranteed to see yourself in at least one of the moms in this movie. I was with a really big group of women and every one of us was able to relate to the ups and downs of being a mom and this movie did a good job of showing just how much of a shitfest motherhood really is.

   It’s not just being a mom that can be trying at times but being a mom around other moms isn’t always fun. Some moms haven’t grown up from their days of bullying on the playground and they’re quick to point out what you’re doing wrong with your kids compared to them. Bad Moms is the perfect movie to make you feel good about your parenting skills. The moral of the movie? No mom is perfect and that’s ok. So go grab all of your mom friends and mom frenemies and go see the movie. I promise you’ll like it. If not…. Well I told you I wasn’t a movie reviewer.

   Oh fun fact… after I posted the picture of us moms on my Instagram the producer of Bad Moms left me 2 comments and followed me. Uh yeah it pretty much made my day!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

New Beginnings or Why I've Been Avoiding My Blog

   When it comes to this little blog of mine I can come across as a real flake. I used to post every week and now it’s been months since I’ve posted anything. Believe it or not I think about it every single day. I think about all of the things I’d like to post I just don’t have the chance to. I’d love to post DIYs, recipes and all of the fun things I do with my kids but I can’t. Some days aren’t that great and I just don’t have it in me to pretend. Don’t get me wrong my life isn’t shitty. I just have shitty days. After a lot of thought I feel like those are the exact things I need to be writing about. I figure this blog if anything can be cathartic for me. To help get me through those real parenting days. Those real marriage days. Those days when I don’t feel like a person at all but a machine that gets up first thing in the morning and breaks up kids fight and cleans up behind a sick dog. A machine that takes care of 7 kids and a husband who can be as challenging as all of those 7 kids combined. A machine that gets up before everyone else in the morning just to enjoy a cup of coffee by herself but ends up drinking it cold because no matter how early she gets up the kids can sense her peace and have to wake up early too. Those are the things I want need to write about so I can get it off my chest and don’t self-destruct from holding it all in. I know damn well there are a lot of moms out there that feel the same way I do and they just need to know that they’re not alone. Hell I need to know I’m not alone. So I’m going to stop hiding and avoiding my blog. I’m going to stop not writing just because I don’t have anything great going on. I’m going to write for the sake of writing and keeping it real. If I happen to throw in some DIYs, recipes and cute pics of my kids then that will just be a plus. Here’s to new beginnings.

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.