The Facebook Challenge: I TRIPLE DOG DARE YA!

No Facebook

As the new year approaches, I’ve been racking my brain to come up with a healthy change I can REASONABLY make in 2014. I rarely do new years resolutions because I don’t think I’ll keep them and I don’t want to disappoint myself. But this year I’ve been making huge changes left and right since becoming a mom, so this should be a piece if cake, right?

Ok, here it is: only check Facebook once a week and really limit what I post. To some this might seem very easy and to others this might seem utterly impossible. I’m somewhere in the middle. Currently I check FB several times a day, which is easy to do with a smart phone. It’s also one of my go to sites when I’m pumping. And being an exclusive pumper, I do it 4 times a day, so yeah, that’s a lot of Facebooking. It occurred to me that it might be a little much. Lately, I find myself in some convoluted trail of FB profiles where I end up reading about my cousin’s neighbor’s mom’s ex boyfriend’s relationship drama. These people are so far removed from and their posts can often be dramatic and personal and it starts to feel wrong reading it. I don’t need to be informed that much about 95% of the people I’m friends with. And those that I do want to know about, I see and talk to on a regular basis. So, what am I gonna do instead? I plan to search for interesting articles and blog more during the times I would have been checking Facebook. 

So how about it, do you think you can do it too? Less liking, more learning. Less posting, more doing. Less drama, more fun. Together we can get back to our own lives! (wow, that came out a little coachy)

Anyway, it’s only a matter of time now before I tone down the cyber stalking…so I think I’ll get a bunch in now to last me for a little while. 😉 

Not All Microwaves are Created Equal

It’s true. As we travel to different family members homes this season, that is one lesson I’ve learned! At home, I have warming my sons bottle down to a science. When I’m at someone else’s house my carefully executed method doesn’t hold up. It takes longer and I find I’m fiddling with the microwave for most of it. Not only are they all different as far as size, model and year but a minute on one can be equivalent to 10 seconds on another! 

 

Anyway, this post isn’t all about microwaves. Traveling around with a little one really forces you to LIVE in someone else’s home. I’d never used someone’s microwave before or in some cases, been in there spare rooms or kids rooms or even there own rooms until now. Needing a quiet place to put my son down for a nap grants me access to the innermost living quarters of others. It’s neat in a way to see how these people that we see so rarely throughout the year live and keep the part of their house that’s not on display. It makes me feel closer to them. That in addition to the glow and buzz of the holidays makes for a cozy good time! Enjoy your time with family and friends. Maybe, try to see them more often this year.

Making Good on Our Promise to Stay Active Post Baby

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From road trips to Florida to our recent cross country skiing adventure we are doing our best to stay active. It’s certainly harder now that we have to bundle up and pack for the little guy, but it’s not impossible. Today we decided to take the little man out for a ride in his fancy red hiking carrier. My husband has been itching to take him out in it since he scanned it for our registry! The day has finally arrived. We got him an adorable bear snow suit and tested out the carrier the night before. He seemed to be alright with the idea. 

We’re lucky that my husband’s sister has a place with a nice open area in the back for cross country skiing. She enjoys skiing herself and had already laid down some nice tracks we could follow. We ended up taking him out in the dark because we had to wait for our guy to wake up from his nap. Even with all the prep work (packing the car with ski’s, getting into our ski gear, getting his bottle ready, etc) done before he got up we still didn’t manage to get out there until 5ish and it was pretty dark by then. 

He did great! Despite waking up and being whisked away into the cold, dark night he rode along like a champ. We just took him out for a quick 10 minute run since it was his first time and we wanted to make sure he was cool with it. We’re blessed with a fairly even tempered child and he’s happy in most situations. That isn’t to say he doesn’t have grumpy times but he does well with change. I think the week long road trip to Florida when he was 3 weeks established a good sense of adaptation to his temperament. 

So the packing up and getting ready took longer than the actual activity. It was cold. It was dark. Was it worth it? Absolutely! We know now that he can handle a ride in the carrier when we’re skiing. Maybe next time with some light and a few extra family members we can go twice as long. Sure, things take longer and can at times be frustrating (for example, when you have him all bundled up, the car packed and heating up and then he does a massive poop!) but staying active and being true to our lifestyle is where it’s at! 

Mom Moments in the 21st Century

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Sometimes I’ll be smack dab in the middle of a classic mom moment and it’s as if I have an out of body experience and I’m looking at myself thinking “How much more “Mom” can I get?”. I had one just tonight and it was so 21st century!

My evenings go by so quickly these days. My husband comes home and it’s a whirlwind of dinner making, pumping, entertaining baby and then BAM it’s bedtime for him. Tonight was exceptionally busy. I had an online interview for a teaching position with an online education company. I had no idea how long it would take and I should have asked first because it went on for an hour and a half. My husband was watching the little tyke downstairs while I interviewed upstairs but he had to go play in his regular Tuesday night hockey game after about an hour in. Fortunately the interviewer allowed me to continue with my tot by my side. So there I am, headphones on, trying to impress this lady with my teaching knowledge and at the same time, I’m wiggling a toy to entertain my little guy. And I think to myself, “I am uber Mom right now”! My baby did fabulous. It was a group interview so there was down time and he was out of the screen shot. He played next to me and was very quiet. I was very surprised since he’s usually fairly fussy just before bed time. We’ll see if I got the job. Hopefully they didn’t hold it against me too much.

We Deserve Time. It’s Money After All!

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You know, one thing about teaching that really seems to get people is the vacation time. I think it’s easy to point fingers and say that someone doesn’t deserve it. Instead we should realize that we all deserve it!

It’s no secret that many other countries provide considerably better vacation/sick/personal/maternity/paternity time off than here in America. Would you take a pay cut for more vacation time? longer maternity leave? I think we assume money equals happiness, but time with our family and friends is happiness too. Out in the webosphere you can find article after article citing how time off makes workers not only happier and healthier, but in turn more productive (see below for a few links). How do we make employers see the light, when we keep working overtime and holidays? Maybe we need to stop it! We need to choose jobs with more generous paid leave. This might mean foregoing larger salaries which is tough choice to make. It might mean a house that’s not that fancy, clothes that aren’t always new. But perhaps you’ll hardly think of those things when you’re spending extra time with your grandchildren, children, neighbors and friends. And what’s with this “working until we’re practically dead” thing? I say, no! Retire when you want to. People might be reading this thinking that there is no way they can go without the money they’re used to or they want. Money seems to be a slave driver in that way. Yes, you need money to participate in society but you can have a very full and happy life on less. Think about all the people out there in third world countries who see the poorest Americans lives full of riches they’ll never experience, like running water for example. Money doesn’t have to control us, we can control it! 

Wow, that got a bit ranty and preachy. Mainly, being a Mom has made me appreciate time so much more. Since my husband and I are both teachers and have the holidays and the summer, I do feel very wealthy in the time off department. I believe teachers deserve it. My husband works very hard during the school year, considerably more than 8 hour days. In turn, we have a very busy summer and take advantage of the time to visit friends and family and create great memories. I also believe secretaries, bank tellers, bar tenders, accountants, nurses, and the numerous other hard working American employees deserve it too. If you want it, go and get it my friend! 

 

Those articles I mentioned earlier:

http://www.fordyceletter.com/2013/11/21/taking-time-off-can-make-you-happier-and-more-productive/

http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/contributors.asp?id=1301

http://www.npr.org/blogs/babyproject/2011/08/09/139121410/parental-leave-the-swedes-are-the-most-generous

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/06/08/countries-most-vacation-days/2400193/