Friday, August 21, 2015

Mommy Wars.

I hate “mommy wars.”  I refuse to buy into the idea we're all pitted against eachother.  I believe with all my heart that moms are all doing the best they can.  We’ve navigating new waters every day, and everyone’s situation is different.  
We're all "working moms."  All of us.  Being a mom is hard freakin' work.  When you're home you need a minute away, and when you're working outside the home you long for minutes at home.  It's a nonstop, daily battle.  Our struggles are different, but we all have them.  The real "mommy wars" are inside of us.  I believe it with all my heart.

I’m a working outside the home mom.  I never thought I’d see the day I would truly consider myself a “working mom," (in quotations because again, we're all working).  I’m up early, I go to bed last.  I’m at work during the day and I run around like a chicken with my head cut off between the hours of 4:30 and 10pm.
It’s not easy.
I’ll add that I work in a school, and love what I do.  My schedule is perfect for anyone looking for snow days and school vacations.  I know I’m lucky.  I know that I almost could say I work ¾ time.  Not full, but ¾.  I work a lot, but I’m off a lot too.
When I had my first baby, I was a stay at home mom.  It’s all I ever really wanted.  I didn’t have huge career aspirations or a hard earned degree.  I had this deep longing to have a family.  I imagined washing clothes and baking, cleaning and just being there.  Those were my dreams.  Small potatoes to some, but a big deal to me.
I’m blessed to have done that for many years.  I stayed home, and my job was the bills, the kids, the appointments and the house. I was the family manager.  I felt I did my share, I was up at night with bad dreams and I was always the puke cleaner.  I only bought on sale and clipped coupons.  When bills got tight I made money selling on ebay.   I’ve always been frugal and it was my mission to be there for my kids.  I wanted to raise them.  I ran my house for as long as I could so that I could be home.
When our family needed more money because the kids started with more extracurricular activities, I went to work part time.  I now work full time (well, ¾ time).  My heart has always ached when I’m not there for bedtime (I waitressed) or when I missed my daughter say the announcements at school (when I worked in the hospital). 
Today I missed the first day of school drop off.  I’m also missing pick up.  Last Spring I missed the Easter party at school. 
All of this tugs at my heart and makes me wish so badly I could just be there for everything.  I never had to worry about rides or school events when I stayed home.  I was there.  Now every lunch with a special person makes me cringe.  It makes me cringe because I have four kids.  And at one time I had to get to four lunches. 
I now only have two in the elementary school.  Which still means I need to arrange time off twice during the same week.   It’s hard.  But I’ll be damned if one of my kids is at lunch with no special person.
Working moms don’t always choose to be at work.  Sometimes we have to be.  Every moment I miss makes me think about how I only get so many moments before my kids will be grown.  It’s terrifying.  But at the same time I remember when I stayed home, and I was envious of the moms who had their own paychecks.  
Being a mom is not easy.  It’s hard for all of us.  We are all fighting our own battles, and we need to stick together.  I truly believe there is more “I got your back” and less “I can’t believe she didn’t make it to the Christmas party.”  The moms who have to miss school parties have already cried about it the night before. It's the fight between where you have to be and where you want to be.  

It's the toughest war of all.

Happy weekend mamas.  Enjoy it.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Hardest Part is Gettin' Started

This week I was once again reminded that the hardest part of anything is simply getting started.

It’s true.

My new puppy gets up by 6:30 am every morning crying for a walk.  Usually it’s more like 6am.  This was a very early wake up call after spending most of my summer mornings sleeping past 8am.  The upside was I could fall back into bed until I had to get up and get my kids to camp. 

When I started back at work two weeks ago, I was dreading not being able to crawl back into bed with my puppy and fall back asleep.  I had to get up and be productive.  All before 8am.  The harshest part of my reality?  If I was going to fit in a run it would have to be before work.  Once I get home there is no leaving unless it involves a practice, the grocery store or another family oriented task.  I just don’t have time to get my sweat on after work. 

Or maybe I just can’t take the time, because I need to be available to my family.  That’s probably the better way to put it.

This week, after my puppy woke me at 6am, I dropped her into bed with Hubby after her walk.  I laced up the sneakers, grabbed my phone and hit the pavement.  All I can say is it was freakin’ early.

I’m pretty sure I slept through the first mile.  I’m pretty sure I was sleeping when I left because my consciousness would have told me to lay back down.  That’s the trouble when I overthink anything…I talk myself out of it.

But I didn’t.  And by the second mile I felt good.  I felt alive.  I was happy to be outside, the world quiet and still in the early morning sun. 

I finished with just enough time to guzzle water, shower and get to work.

And after work?  My workout was done and I was available to be a taxi, cook, clean up helper or whatever else was calling. 

The hardest part is getting started.  It’s harder than the last mile, the last stomach crunch.  It’s harder than the last chapter, the last class or the last closet to be organized.  Once you get going, you’re golden.

I promise.

Cheers.  Happy Hump Day!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Rev Wraps: Fuel for My Family (+ Gift Card Giveaway!)

This year, I'm entering new territory.  I have a freshman in high school.

My son has been in the Jr/Sr High since 7th grade, but this September he'll officially be a 9th grader.  The grades count, the homework gets more real (it's been real, trust me) and his team commitments are much greater.  Football has unofficially started, with him being in the weight room and on the practice fields several nights a week.

Add this to his already large appetite, and the appetites of my younger three kids, and I don't know how I manage to keep food in the house.  I have four growing athletes, and it's safe to say there is always someone in the house who is hungry.

I try to remind all my kids, particularly my two sons and my twelve-year-old gymnast daughter, that food is energy.  My daughter practices 16 hours a week, and between practices and games my boys are on the field five nights a week.  They all need protein, and it's tough to find quick and easy snacks that they can grab on the go.  My kids won't get the energy they need if they eat out of vending machines or a drive thru every night.  I do my best to have plenty of healthy options in the house, but many nights we are rushing out the door.

It can be a recipe for disaster.

Lately we've been enjoying HORMEL® REV® Wraps.  I've seen these little wraps in the grocery store before, and I've thought about grabbing them many times.  A few weeks ago, when I was chosen for this campaign, I purchased a few on my dime. I wanted to know if the wraps were as delicious as they were convenient.

I was shocked.

Ever since, I have had REV® Wraps stocked in the fridge.  My preference is Pepperoni Pizza, my son's is the Bacon Club.  I've packed them for baseball games, gymnastics practices and my son has eaten them on the way to weight room.  Each wrap has at least 12 grams of protein, and they are made with real meat and cheese. 

These wraps beat a drive thru and they are fresh. I even bought a bunch for our road trip to North Carolina this month.

I'm thrilled I found an easy snack my entire family can enjoy that I don't have to feel guilty about.  I know my kids are getting what they need before or during each practice, and I even grab a REV® Wrap when I'm on the go.  REV® Wraps have literally become fuel for my family.

And trust me, we need it.

Now, for the fun stuff...

Which REV® Wrap would you like to try while you are on the go? Tell me in the comments for a chance to win a $100 VISA gift card!

Entry Instructions:

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. BlogHer is responsible for promotion compliance. 

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This sweepstakes runs from 8/4/15 – 9/18/15.

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