Swimmom’s Weblog

Diary of a Stay-at-home Mom, motherhood and beyond

So…what is it that you do all day? February 11, 2009

Filed under: motherhood,Stay at Home,toddlers — swimmom @ 1:27 pm
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I can’t tell you how many times people, including friends ask me what I do all day, implying that I am siting home eating bon-bons and painting my nails. That I have time to get everything done and more and that stayinig home with the kids is an excuse not to work. Well…Stay-at-Home Mom’s, Working moms and Dads out there this one it for you….

I received this as a link on Facebook and it’s great. I couldn’t figure out how to copy it to my blog so I am going to retype it. It is from a column written by Carolyn Hax of The Washington Post. Its quick, witty and deserved to be shared.  Tell me about it is the name of her column the title of this post isWhy don’t friends with  kids have time?

Reader asks…

“Dear Carolyn: Best Friend has child. Her: busy, exhausted, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): What did you do today? Her: park, play group…Ok, I’ve talked to parents. I don’t get it. What do stay at home mom’s do all day? Please no lists Library, grocery store and dry cleaners…I do all those things too. I guess what I’m asking is what is a typical day and why don’t moms have time for a call or email? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (and some let events); I manage to get it all done. I’m feeling like the kids is an excuse to relax and enjoy, but it so, why won’t my friend tell me the truth?Is this a contest (“my life is harder than yours”) What’s the deal? I’ve got friends with and without kids and all of us child-free folks have the same question?—Tacoma, Washington.”

Her response….

Relax and enjoy. You’re funny.

Or, you’re lying about having friends with kids.

Or, you’re taking them at their word because they actually have kids, because you haven’t personally been in the same room as them.

I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical reason your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.

So, becuase it’s validation you want, the real answer is what you get. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention from getting them out of bed, fed, cleaned and dressed; to keeping them out of harms way; to answering their coos, cries, questions: to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest to be declared essntial peice of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books in the library; to keeping rest times, to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too tired, hungry or bor any one of which produces checkout line screaming.

It’s needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.

It’s constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice,constant reglegation of needs to the second tier.

It’s constant scrutiny and second guessing from family and friends. It’s resisting constant temptations to seek short term relief at everyone’s long term expense.

It’s doing all of this while concurrently teaching virtually everything-language, manners, safety,resourcefulness, discipline,curiosity, creativity, empathy. Everything.

It’s also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day everyday with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first tem minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts, instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn’t judge you, complain about you or  marvel much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand of keep you snit to yourself”

Love it.

Thanks Carolyn Hax!!!!


Cut it Out February 5, 2009

Filed under: motherhood,parenting,toddlers,Uncategorized — swimmom @ 6:00 am
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I loved the binkie.

I was excited and put at ease when my daughter took to it.

It soothed her when at times I couldn’t, and keep her pretty much content. But now, I look at the binkie with slight amusement and much despise.  Just like another good ‘ol habit, I want to step on it, burn it and kick it to the curb.  Sometimes I find myself asking, who invented the binkie and did they have children?

The binkie should come with a warning label.

This product can be addictive. Withdrawal can cause major distress to the user and the parent. Addiction can cause all parties involved sleepless nights, temper tantrums and crying fits. Please use with extreme caution.

My son never sucked his thumb or used a binkie.

To my daughter on the other hand, the binkie is her security blanket, in all situations. It was attached to her lip like a growth, a cute one, but a growth.

Although it doesn’t feel like it upon withdrawal, I am sure benefits outweigh the risks, increased brain function and reduced risk of SIDS seem like a far cry when your child wants the binkie, you can’t find one in your purse and find yourself sweating as you dart to the nearest baby aisle to calm the latest public display of “binkie attachment”.

Not only should the binkie come with a warning label, it should come with a withdrawal manual: Tips to successfully “detatch” the binkie from you toddler, physically and mentally. I’ve heard tips that range from going “cold turkey” , burning the tips off, to dipping the tips in coffee (which seems like a disaster waiting to happen).

I tried the cold turkey trick and only lasted about 5 hours because the entire 5 hours, my daughter cried for her binkie. So I went for a slightly more gradual approach, after all, my daughter is persistent, demanding and not one to fall to any old cheap trick.  I cut off the tips to the binkies and laid them on the floor in her “usual” spots. As she spotted the binkie, she excitedly made her way to the binkie and as fast as she put it in her mouth, she took it out in disgust.

“Broken” she proclaimed, and dropped it on the floor.

A bit confused she looked at it for a while and walked away. I approached her with the binkie (the broken binkie) and she turned her shoulder to me and walked away. I said, “It’s broken. Should we put it in the trash?” And she nodded her head. As we said bye bye to the binkie.

It has only been one day and I do let her keep one in her crib to use in her crib only. I’m all for not using the binkie during the day, but I wasn’t ready to give up a couple sleepless nights. Not quite yet.

Like I said a couple days ago, we are trying for a third and I wonder if I will find myself at wits about whether or not to give my newborn the binkie. Afterall, binkies now come personalized, in fashionable colors and blinged out.

How could I resist!


The Bus Ride to Heaven November 2, 2008

Filed under: motherhood,parenting,toddlers — swimmom @ 9:42 am
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Some subjects are probably better left untouched, especially when your dealing with a 3 year old, but of course ,a venture into the unknown is always the thing we mothers strive for, right? Maybe not. But I say I won’t go there and then for some reason I find myself deep in the trenches, unable to get myself out.

Here is one of the those examples.

My husband’s best friend, Adam’s father passed away this past week. And my husband, after work, was making frequent trips to Adam’s house and to the reception and the funeral to support his friend in his time of need. Well, no trip, goes unnoticed with a 3 year old and at first I left it alone, just replying, “Daddy is going to visit Adam.” but of course I got question after question, “Why”, but “Why mommy?”

So, I took a deep breathe and a big step and replied, “Adam’s daddy is sick.” I thought he would leave it alone.

“So , can we go visit him in the hospital?” George questioned.

“No”, I said. “Sometimes when you get sick, and you don’t get better and you go to Heaven.”

“Oh, okay.” George stated. “Can we watch Thomas the train?”

A sign of relief, or so I thought as I wiped the sweat of my brow and went to turn on the DVD. Good, I thought, he is onto the next subject.

Why I thought it would be so easy I have no idea.

After nap time, my son awoke on a mission. The first words upon waking up, were a venture further into the subject then I ever imagined he would go.

“Mom, we need to get the bus schedule”, George demanded.

“Who is taking the bus?” I asked.

“Adam’s daddy. He is taking the bus to heaven. Does he take the yellow bus or the white city bus?”

“We need to get the schedule so we can go say bye”

“Oh “, not knowing what to say next ” Well, Adam’s daddy already took the bus to Heaven, and it was the white city bus.”

“Oh, okay.” George replied.

I don’t know the best way to handle the venture into heaven with my 3 year old. I don’t think I should explain to him death. He never knew Adam’s dad. He thinks heaven is a destination, I think he understands it is unreturnalbe, but he thinks it is a destination.

I know now, never to under estimate the mind power of a 3 year old.

He was gentle in his questioing and thoughtful in his answers and for all we know, maybe he found the answers.

The ones we never look for.


Adding fuel to the fire September 5, 2008

Filed under: motherhood,parenting,toddlers — swimmom @ 4:55 pm
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My 18 month old knows no boundaries.

Today, my son was playing with one of his trains.

Sophia walked up to him, grabbed the train and ran.

As he went to tackle her, I stopped them and gave George his train back and told Sophia, “No!”

As George walked away with his train, Sophia went and grabbed his shirt from behind and tackled him to the ground.

I kid you not.

Sophia is half the size of George.

I really have to get her to understand their are consquences for her actions and she can not have the run of the house, because right now, she has the complete run of the house.

She is in and out of the fridge at least 2 dozen times a day, just opening it and taking stuff out like a toy, she climbs on tables, rips books, throws toys,plays in the toilet and many, many other things, I don’t want to mention, on hesitation that you may think I have absolutely no control over my children (with Sophia, I may have no control).

My friend was watching an episode of Supernanny a couple years ago and saw an episode about giving kids Sophia’s age a time-out. The technique was to take the child and sit the child in your lap, restraining them so you can’t move, facing the corner. You keep the child in there for 1-2 mintues and but don’t give them eye contact or talk to them. My friend did this with her daughter and it worked out well.

I’m going to start this tomorrow, I’m desperate. Saying no to my daughter only fuels her fire and it’s getting out of control. I really need to control this situation before she is 3 and gets even worse.

So, wish me luck.

My dad thinks that on the first day, I’ll be in the corner with Sophia an easy 30 times.

I wish he were wrong.

I’ll keep you updated.

In the meantime, have any adivce, don’t hestitate to let me know.


Reality Check August 26, 2008

This morning, while my kids where watching their usual PBS shows, I announced that I needed to take a shower. My son startled me at what he said next.

“I need to take a shower. I’m all dirty and stinky.” I said. (I had just done my usual morning workout)

My son looked at me and explained, “You do need to take a shower. I like my color, not yours,” as he pointed to his cheek.

I hesitated, not knowing what to say next.

“What do you mean?”, I asked. ” You don’t like my skin color?”

“I like Sophia’s white shirt.” He explained. That should have been key enough that he didn’t mean what he said, or what I thought he meant.

Probing. “You don’t like me skin color?” I asked again, trying to get into the head of my 3 1/2 year old son, an impossible task itself.

“No, I like your skin color.” he said.

I don’t know why, but I was close to tears.

I called my dad.

“George is 3. He has no idea what he is saying. If he was 10, then you discuss it, but he is 3. You told him you were dirty and stinky. He probably relates it to when he is in the dirt and you tell him he is dirty and stinky and needs to take a shower.”

I know this is probably true.

But still.

I don’t know if I am ready to talk about race stuff or if I am ready to handle it. I know it’s not now, but it will be some day. What if your child, who now looks at you with such unconditional love, all of a sudden has questions to why mommy is “different”?

My dad, who is part Caucasian and part African-American, insists that even though your kids probably will ask questions, they will always love you because you are there parents.

And I guess that’s true. I remember being called an Oreo Cookie (kids can be mean) at school but it never made me not like my parents for being one race or the other, it made me not like the kids calling me names.

So I guess all I can do is tell my kids that there are many different types of people in the world and being one way or another doesn’t make you better, it just makes you different. And differences are what make our world what it is today. People are different sizes, shapes, races, religions, and so much more.

Besides without all these different people we wouldn’t have Sesame Street, Spongebob (a sponge) wouldn’t live in the Ocean with a squirrel and a star fish and Bob the Builder wouldn’t be good friends with Scoop, Muck or Dizzy.

Now that, my 3 year old should understand.


They really do think of everything.. August 21, 2008

Filed under: motherhood,parenting,toddlers — swimmom @ 7:30 pm
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…and my awesome sister-in-law can find it.

If you read, my previous post, because he insists on standing, my son has a little trouble aiming at that low potty. For those of you that find yourself in the same messy situation, my sister in law just found this on Target.com

The Peter Potty Flushable Urinal.

Yes Kris, they really do think of everything.

And you bet I’m gonna but it!


Sit or Stand

Filed under: motherhood,parenting,toddlers — swimmom @ 3:19 pm
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I am crossing my toes as I write you this (would do my fingers, but I have to type, right? anyway….) in order to ward off all bad potty spirits, as I take time to gloat about the success of my son’s potty training attempts.

He is doing great!

He has stayed dry for 3 days, no accidents.

We bought him just your good ‘ol plain potty and it worked.  Number 2 is another story but he has stayed dry, peeing on the potty all the time. He wakes up dry from naps, bedtime and stays dry while he was at camp (though I put him in a pull up). So, he was using the big potty and  but we decided we needed to buy him a potty his own size, just in case he decides to try number 2, so that he has his feet planted firmly on the ground. (we bought him one last winter but it had too many bells and whistles and all he wanted to do was play in it and take it apart).

Anyway, he still refuses to sit on the potty, he will only stand, so you can only imagine, having to aim at such a low target, has left much room for, shall we say creativity. He now plays “fire hose” if you get my drift and if he can’t hit the potty, he hits any target in his way, the wall and his sister, yes, he peed on his sister.

And since he pees with the door open, and Sophia is super nosy (I wonder who she gets it from…), she wants to be in the middle of the action watching intently as George makes efforts to go on the potty. If I don’t catch her fast enough, she wants to play in it, and put her hand in the stream. (does anyone have this problem or just me?)

I think the whole watching her brother pee on the potty has left some room for confusion on her part. We bought her a little Baby Bjorn potty (so she wouldn’t mess with George’s) and she wanted to sit on it at first.

Now she stands in front of it, lifts her shirt and pull her pants down. OY!!!