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Well, it's that time of year. I've started my shopping, and this year is a fairly tight budget. Not only that, but I have decided over the past few month, after watching the effects of the recession, that I want to teach my daughter that she doesn't have to have a lot of everything to be happy. So, she will be getting fewer presents, but hopefully ones she will treasure for longer then a week.
In the spirit of this, I have gotten her the one thing she asked for.l am very pleased that she has only asked for that one thing, and not a long list of everything she sees on tv.It makes me proud that she can choose what she wants so specifically.
This has been met with slight resistance, as yes, she is a child, as yes, she deserves a good Christmas, but do they need more then a stocking and one or two gifts??
That said, next comes the sorting of the toys. Which are good quality, which are not, and where is the best place to get them. I haven't quite finished my looking, but I plan on reading some reviews, playing with some toys, and spending one day a week for the next few weeks telling you about any great finds I have!
I am excited for the return of the Weebles, so I will research that, and I've read some great review of Quibits by Discovery Toys, however, the Disney Store always has some great options this time of year... I'm off to see what I can lear
So I have been working my business a little more this week. I am very determined it will work for me very well, and that I will never have to go back to a 9-5 job, or worse for me, shift work. I keep wondering, I'm doing all the things I think will work, and I feel like I'm peddling my bike in a sand box. I've been asking myself, and others, what I'm doing that's wrong.
It occurred to me this morning that I have been in this type of situation before. I have worked sooo hard, just to find more things that need to be done, and not working on promoting myself because I was too busy with the little things. My boss told me something that I remember every once in a while, and I tend to pass it on. I sure hope he doesn't mind that I do... "Work smarter, not harder"
So today I will. I'm not exactly sure what the smarter choices will be, but I am going to ask. I'm going to ask those I work with, and maybe some I've worked before. I'm also going to take the time to ask a friend if she will help me to practice. If I have someone I trust listening to what I say to people and tell me what I'm saying wrong, or how it may sound better, then I can better myself in a few ways, and further my business.
So, as of today, it is no longer about how many hours a day I spend on the computer, or on the phone, or talking to people, it is the quality of the conversations, the appointments booked, and the opportunities found!
Good luck for me, and good luck for you as well!! This idea can apply to every area of life, not just business. I challenge you to find one thing today that you can do a smarter way, to help make it just a little easier.
Everyone tells you that as a mother you must remember to take time for yourself. I have been told over and over and over that I need time for me. Now, I wonder, how many of them take time for themselves?
I have tried. She follows me into the bathroom when I want a shower. She follows me around when I am on the phone. When I go out I miss her. Time for myself now consists of writing this when she sleeps.
Yet, when grandparents come over, I no longer exists. Until I try to get a shower.
"Go away for the weekend" How? And furthermore, where?
"Have a bath" Really? With a child yelling "mommy" and knocking on the door?
So, when I need time for just me, I wait until she falls asleep, or wait for grandparents and hope she doesn't notice when I leave the room. But then what? I am so used to having a shadow that when she isn't right next to me, I don't know what to do. It's all so boring. Shopping takes no time at all, books are great, as long as they aren't the same as the last one, and where does everyone go for a walk to?
I therefore have decided, that yes, it may be important to take time for myself, but if being with my child is what makes me happy, then maybe that is my time for me.
Then she sleeps, and I write, and shower, and by the time I go to sleep, I've refreshed myself at least a l
Not to change the subject, but since I left school, I've forgotten how much fun picking font colours can be...
Well, I'm still sick. Some things are worse (my throat hurts now, I'm sleepy, some muscles are sore) but some are better (eating better, can leave the house again). Yet somehow, today I'm not quite so Super. We had, and please don't judge too much, a non-toasted bagel and a little pudding. I felt horrible about the pudding, so followed it after with a banana, but it made me feel just a little more responsible. I'm not sure why, but when I'm sick she gets up earlier then normal. It then took forever to get ready for the grocery store, and I forgot how much I don't enjoy driving when it's foggy, so it wasn't a fun trip. I also forgot to feed her a snack, so I had a very cranky child on the way to the car. I was pleased that I had food in my purse, it made the drive home better. We even dance on the way!
Lunch was a tv diner. I keep reminding myself that it had vegetables, so it could have been worse, but I usually try to avoid them. Then, in order to keep the running around and playing games that make me think, I decided to sing Christmas carols. It's not so bad I guess, she loves to sing and dance, but I feel like I'm taking short cuts as I cuddle on the couch with my blanket and sing while she dances around. And not fully dressed again either. I don't mind in the summer, but I wish I could keep her fully dressed in the winter. However, I have spoken to several people, and have been assured I am not the only one. At least I can keep her half dressed, or in pajamas.
Pajama days are amazing! She is happy, and I don't have to fight to get clothes she agrees too.
Ah well, tomorrow is another day. Maybe I'll do myself proud then. For now, she is fed, clean, and happy
I must share this, as this is one of the moments when I am proud of how much I accomplished in just one day.
I would like to start by saying, I am sick. It's a flu. I went and asked. Darn flu season has stared plucking us all of one at a time...
Fell asleep early last night, and therefore didn't get everything done. I don't like starting my day already behind, but as I am more productive in the morning then at night, it happens a lot. So I woke up this morning feeling sick. Last night there were clues, but I still had hope. So I spent my morning trying to get both me and baby ready because my little helper was "taking you to the doctor". I take her when she is sick, so apparently it was her turn to take me.
When I left the doctor, the next stop was of course the lab. Now, I don't understand how if they know what's wrong with you, they send you for blood work anyway. Is this their way of helping unemployment? Maybe if they keep the labs busy enough people will get new jobs?
I was pleased to be done that quickly, in time to head home an make lunch, only to remember I had to get a flu shot today. Redundant for me, but small children are supposed to get them, so off we go again. Once again, a relatively small errand, but when you already don't feel well, and the child of course is perfectly healthy, it all seems to take a lot of energy and a really long time. Then home again, for play time and, thankfully a nap.
This nap of course was only permitted for me after I noticed I forgot to take out supper, and as it was too late to make anything else, it would be a last minute thing. Whatever goes into the oven and comes out cooked 30 mins later. I guess a true SuperMom would never forget to take supper out, but in the speed of this world, everything has changed.
Somehow in all this I still managed to change all the garbages (it doesn't matter that they didn't make farther then the door, they were changed) clean up the toys and crafts, spend time with the baby, make the kitchen look clean (stack dishes in sink so you can't see them until you get there, put garbage in garbage and everything else in the fridge) and get some work done. Not a lot of work, but when you are surrounded by people with children getting the last minute flu shots, it's a great networking opportunity, and I'm lucky enough to call that work.
Now the baby is asleep, I am feeling exhausted, and I can finally get some sleep. Yet I am up, because I am pleased with what I accomplished today, and though, why not finish just one more thing. I have been sick before, and it is clear to me now, only a mother can be sick, tired, and still manage to get the days jobs done.
I haven't told that many people that I am involved in a website. Those that I have told have mostly asked the same thing. "Why?"
Well, for me. Or, depending on how busy I am, why not?
When I first became a mother I was worried I wouldn't be a very good one. That I wouldn't be able to do everything that I should, or know how to do everything I would need to do.
I was right. However, not knowing everything does NOT make me a bad mother. I simply ask questions. I have been very lucky to have a great support group of friends and family who answered whatever questions I had. I even had friends who would run over to help me when my baby just wouldn't stop crying and there was no one else home. I consider that a pretty great friend to have.
Not everyone is that lucky. And some people don't know where to look for answers, or who to ask. Well, if you have medical questions, there are websites available, if you have worries about child development, there are professionals to question, but who do you ask when you are tired, or your kids are bored, or you feel like you're not doing everything you should?
Well, that's one reason this site is here. I have some great conversations with my friends, and they have made me feel much better about that pile of dirty laundry, or sink full of dishes. They help me realize that it happens to everyone, and it doesn't matter as much as I make it seem.If I can offer that same assurance to anyone, then I will have done what I set out to do. Or, if it gives others a place to share their opinions and views, then that's great too.
I also started it because I like to write, and I don't have the time or patience to create books, or stories, and I don't have the experience to work with a newspaper, so why not blog? Then, if no one ever reads it, I still wrote, and if someone does read it, well, either it will help them, entertain them, or I'll never know they wrote it so
I was not alone in making the decision to stay at home. I tried to work part time, but the difficulties seemed to outweigh the benefits. Yes, the money was necessary, but when you factor in child care, supplies, gas, etc, I really wasn't making much. My significant other and I decided that I should stay home with my baby. This created a few small problems.
One being we still need the money. This can be solved in a few ways, lower bills being one, the other working from home. I chose to work from home, or, perhaps, working from home chose me. It was not my intention to start the business that I did, it was just a good offer at a decent time, and I saw a way to get a good deal, but it lead to much more.
Another issue came up in my feeling successful. I see my child and feel like I have accomplished something as I watch her grow, but I haven't done that all by myself. That is my home life, and not working left me with no professional life. This also links into the lack of adult conversation. There is more pressure put on your close relationships when there are so few people to talk to. They become responsible for all your social interactions.
I have solved some of these issues by having my business, as when I meet new contacts and complete jobs, or earn money, I feel as though I have accomplished something obvious. I can see the monetary gains, and that quantifies what I have done. I also am making new contacts, and taking new chances. The more people I meet, the more social interactions I have, and the stress on my current friendships has decreased. I see this as having benefited my family and my friends.
This does not mean that being a mommy isn't enough. It doesn't mean being a mommy isn't hard, as it is the hardest job I've ever had. It just means that as our children grow, we continue to grow too. When you have worked for years, and suddenly stop, it feels as though part of you gets lost. You see your child's achievements as part theirs and part yours, but sometimes you need to see something that you did all by yourself to remember that lost part of you. You need to find a way to encourage your own growth, and use it, and work is one way to do it. I also have this website, but I'll talk more about that another time.
I feel that I am a better mother for feeling complete. I feel now that I am doing something more to help my child then just feeding her. I am providing a good role model, teaching her she can do everything she wants to with her future, and earning the money that will help get the things she needs, and even help her through school. Staying home was enough when she was tiny and needed me for everything. Now she dresses herself, feeds herself, and plays with toys and friends. I supply the plate of food, the clean clothes, and the toys, but then what am I to do until she needs me again? That's when I work.
I like working from home for one other very important reason. Today, we put together a puzzle, made a craft, ate lunch, and after nap time, we will play with dolls.
I have decided to reignite my relationship with my Wii Fit, and this often includes my daughter.
She does yoga with me (not properly, of course), then we play some games, do a step class routine, and then we do a few sit ups or some crunchies.
On one hand, I am pleased that she is learning the value of exercise, and hoping that she will grow up to be fit and maintain the effort. On the other hand, I am a little concerned that it is perhaps to early for her to be doing these things.
Where do we find the balance between teaching our children good habits and teaching them things too soon? She has also requested that I teach her to read, though she won't start preschool for at least another half a year. I want to ensure she gets whatever advantages I can, but I don't want her to grow up too fast. This has created a difficult balance between pushing her and letting her decide when she is ready.
I feel it is even harder for children now, as it is harder when you are done school, so people often push them more when they are starting. I will let her decide when she is ready to start things, but it is my plan to limit how much she can do, and how hard she will work at anything.
I am sitting at home, trying to gather the incentive to work. My daughter is not here today, as it is her time with her father, and that opens the whole day for me to get on the phone and call everyone I don't call when she is home. Yet here I am, on my computer.
To be completely fair, I did do some work on my computer, or work related things at the very least. This will not, however, generate the same type of results as actually calling people and speaking directly to them. I offer great service, have a strong product, and a list of people and groups who would very likely be exited to hear from me, and even more excited to hear what offers I have for them. But calling people is hard. It is the hardest part of my business.
You see, I am a consultant for Discovery Toys. I provide amazing toys that help children learn to play, and learn through play. I believe in my product. It has been well received, and I'm happy to know that so many people love the product. Then why can't I call them?
Well, you can be rejected on the phone. There is an actual person on the other end. If I hide behind an email address, then I'm not a real person. I am an email address. They can delete it even before they read it, and I will never know, so my feeling won't be hurt. If I call them they could be rude, angry, annoyed, hang up on me, or reject me in other ways. This I will know, and maybe my feelings will be hurt. However, this is part of what I do.
So, even when all other roadblocks are removed, it is possible to create your own. A success is not measured by how much you get done when you want too, but how much you get done when you don't want too.
It is also possible, in this technology based time, to hide behind it. This will not make me a stronger person, a better person, or more successful. It is time to turn off the technology, and pick up the simple device we call a phone, and make contact with an actual person, not an email address.