Murphy’s Law for Mommies

1. Want to have some company….just go to the bathroom. The phone and doorbell will both ring and one of your children will barge in.
2. If that doesn’t work, plan a day alone….people will call, come by and you may even get invitations to go do things.
3. If you are still lonely, plan a day alone with your husband. That should do the trick….especially if you end up in the bedroom. Someone will SURELY come by to interrupt that!!
4. Feel like your kids are ignoring you? Just try to clean something. As you make the bed, they will pile on it taking pillow cases off the pillows, letting dogs in who will then take their turn “helping” and pee on your nice clean bed spread. (THIS REALLY HAPPENED!)
5. Think your children don’t play with their toys enough…just try to sort them out. As you sort and create piles of things to throw away, the toys will magically become brand new, wonderfully fascinating and irreplaceable. (You won’t get to get rid of anything, but the toys will get used again! This works with clothes too.)
6. Want your kids to sit down and be quiet? Try watching something inappropriate for them. They will automatically sit down and stare at the screen and soak up every word and image you do NOT want them to.
7. Want your children to dress nicer? Just tell them you’re going to make mud pies in the backyard. They will come out wearing their Sunday best!
8. If you have picky eaters and want them to eat their veggies, make only enough for the adults in the house. The kids will eat them all up leaving you with the hotdogs and potato chips.
9. To get your kids to get more exercise, get them dressed to go to church first. While you get dressed, they will run outside and play as hard as they can so until they are sweaty, their clothes are ripped and they stink to high heaven.
10. Finally, if you want your kids to sit down at the table, just try playing a board game too complicated for kids with YOUR friends. Your kids will be in your lap watching and sabotaging your every move.

Happy Friday Everyone!!!

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When to say No

I used to think that teachers were punished for being good at their jobs. “Oh you know Spanish…could you translate this? You’re good at classroom management, could you cover this class? You’re good at paperwork, could you be Lead?”

Now I know that that is just human nature. “Oh, you know how to X….then could you do Y for me?” I guess it’s a compliment. People are recognizing that you are good at something. However, during the last six months it has been painfully pointed out to me that I have an extreme problem with saying no. The wonderful thing is…that is changing. I have learned now to set my limits and understand when no is an appropriate answer.

While I’m still working on this, these are the times I think we all might do better to say no:

1. When you’re plate is already too full and someone is asking you to do something that is their responsibility.

2. When saying yes enables someone to continue self-destructive behavior or continue not to know how to do something on their own.

3. When you realize (like with your children), that the person is asking mostly because you always say yes and they are just used to you doing whatever they ask….even if you don’t want to….which brings me to the next one.

4. Say no when you flat don’t want to do what is being requested of you. (Of course this doesn’t apply to every situation, but use common sense here.)

5. When saying yes makes you resentful or angry. (I think this one is VERY important when dealing with loved ones.)

6. Say no when someone has asked too much of you because if you don’t yet…you will eventually get angry or resentful.

7. Say no when you are not feeling well. Saying yes here is just self-destructive.

Now as I have already pointed out, common sense is very important here. There are times in life when we all just need to step up and take on something we don’t necessarily want to. That’s just the nature of life. We will have to plan funerals, pay bills and take care of family even when it isn’t exactly what we want to do. For me to help determine when to say yes, I simply ask myself three questions: Is this something I want to do? Will this really help this person? Is this in any way my responsibility or should this person be handling this on their own? These answers are not always clear cut, but they help me make my decision.

My new direction in life has allowed me to take on and say yes to the things I LOVE to do which is take care of my kids and my grandkids and spend more time with family in general and as I finish my class, I can expand those happy moments to include more of my friends and family. I just hope I can stay strong and keep up my new boundaries without going to extremes in any direction. My hope is that I can and that my relationships will actually be stronger because of it. (The search for Balance continues…)

Ah….young love

I recently spent some time with a wonderful young person who is madly in love with her current beau. She is only 19 and thinks the two of them should wed. I listen to her arguments and think, “Wow! That was me 20 years ago!” So maybe this has been done before, but I would like to now dispel a few myths about marriage. Do not mistake my statements for synicism. I love marriage and cannot see myself as a single person trying to make my way through life alone. However, I really do wish someone would have been able to tell me these things and I could have really heard them.

Myth #1 – You have your best friend beside you to be there for you through thick and through thin.

Reality: You have your best friend beside you….except when they are working…or you’re working…or you’re sick and they can’t handle it….or you’re sick and have to go to the doctor….or they are exhausted and pass out on you on the only night you have with them.

Myth #2 – You’ll raise your children together taking turns taking care of them in a kind and loving way.

Reality: You….and your child (or children) will barely survive the first year of their lives. You will really feel as though you are existing in a world of crying, screaming, poop and vomit. As they grow older, those things will slowly diminish and then reappear during their teenage years….if you’re lucky.

Myth #3 – You decide not to have kids to have that amazing double income no kids, carefree life with your true love. You see yourselves going out to parties in fabulous clothes and dancing and dining with the “beautiful people.”

Reality: The jobs you will find to support that kind of lifestyle often suck up all of your time and energy. You end up grabbing take out on the way home, skipping the gym, picking up drinks and passing out in the living room in your work clothes. When you do have time to go out, you’ll feel so pressured to “have a good time”, you end up drinking too much and passing out in your clothes in your living room in your party clothes…..hmmm….sound familiar.

Well, I could go on, but it seems my next reality is calling. It’s nice to think I have all night to drone on and on about the realities of marriage…but my three year old is fighting with her sister and I now have to go play referee. So not what I pictured.

Oh well. Good night all. Sleep well!

Life according to Anita

Just a few thoughts & lessons I’ve learned.

1. Just because we’ve always done something a certain way doesn’t mean we have to do it that way anymore.

2. People can, do and MUST change in order to adapt to new circumstances.

3. Sometimes saying No is the nicest thing you can do for someone….including yourself.

4. In the middle of a crisis is not the time to make major life decisions.

5. You should never “lend” money. If someone asks you for some and you want to give it…GIVE it & never expect any back. If they repay you, great…otherwise…just let it go.

6. If you don’t have the money to give, don’t feel guilty about saying no. (I’m still working on that one.)

7. Remember to give yourself time to relax….Even the Lord took the 7th day off.

8. Don’t be friends with your kids…be their parent.

9. Read the instructions first….saves you some major problems. (Another one I’m still working on.)

10. And the last one for today is…do something nice for someone else everyday! (It’s the most satisfying thing you can do.)

My Change One (Friday’s inspiration)

Inspired by the Reader’s Digest Change One, I’ve decided that instead of making HUGE changes to my diet all at once, I will change only one thing at a time. Now I may change one thing a day or one thing a week….depending on my willpower. So here are a few of the changes I’ve made this year already changing just one thing at a time.

* No more sugar in my coffee
* Drinking 2-4 cups of Green Tea a day
* Walking or riding my bike while my girls ride their bikes (a couple of times a week at least)
* Cook one truly healthy meal a day
* Eating less flour tortillas & less chips

These are very simple changes, but I’ve already lost three pounds. Why do I tell you this? Maybe you have a goal that seems unreachable. Break it down into very small pieces and do only one thing at a time. You’ll get there.

(Side note – Don’t be too strict with yourself. Allow yourself time to be HUMAN. I celebrated a good grade with Doritos last night and felt….NO GUILT. Feels great. Be good to yourself. Celebrate your accomplishments and choose not to beat yourself up over setbacks.) Happy Friday!!

Things we do in bed

Have you ever thought about the way things change in your bed? I remember as a kid my bed was my cozy, safe place. I hid under the covers when I was scared. I snuggled down with my Mama when I was sick or cold. It was a safe haven.

As I grew older, I became curious about the more intimate things that happen in bed.  I found love, marriage and heartbreak there. I found pain and ecstacy there. In reality that has been something that has never changed since it began. The complicated issues that arise from a sexual relationship seem to continue for the duration.

When I was pregnant, I remember laying on this bed with my older children and discussing what we would name my sweet new baby. We laughed until I cried here. Waves of nausea seemed to pin me down in my bed. Backaches made me feel like my bed was a torture device at times and my only relief at other times.

I look at my parents and grandparents and realize that someday my bed may become a dreaded place. It could very well be the place where I feel nailed down, trapped, depressed, sick and lonely. The idea is terrifying.

For now, every morning my little ones make their way to my bed and snuggle down with me. They cuddle under the blankets and I know I’ve created a safe, happy place for them. I want to prolong this time as long as I can, but I know eventually they will become curious as I did. I just pray it isn’t too soon.

Inspiration for the week

What will you do this week? Wake up growling at your clock,  then your husband,  then your kids? That’s what I did for years. People at work called me so positive. Little did they know. They got the best of me and my family got the leftovers. To remedy the situation I made a huge change,  but maybe yours doesn’t have to be so drastic.

Tomorrow morning, smile when your alarm goes off. Kiss your spouse before you do anything else. Linger over your coffee before you drink it. Smell your child’s hair as you hug them good morning. Don’t  let those moments pass you by. They are the most important ones of your day.