Thursday, October 28, 2010

Guest Post: Maureen from Tatter Scoops

If you don't know, I'm a full-time working mom. Often times I find it difficult and tiring trying to balance it all. Am I alone in my less than perfect Martha Stewart/Pottery Barn/Brady Bunch world? I wanted to know other people's thoughts and feelings on finding the balance between it all. Please share. 

I introduce you to Maureen from Tatter Scoops.  She was kind enough to share her perspective as a working mom. 

When Mama on Da Go asked me to guest post about being a full time working mom, I was so flattered then I panicked!

What the heck do I really know? I’ve only been working for a little more than two weeks now! There are plenty of other working moms out there.

Before, I did some part time job from home, little things that doesn’t really consume my time but with the end of my marriage, I must push myself out there. Injecting my old self back into the corporate world…

It’s not easy! That’s for sure…from finding the job itself to leave my son on the first day.

Believe me, I cried!

I was missing him too much, I felt distant with the new people at work – they are nice but I still feel awkward being ask about my marital status, I felt guilty that I would be missing out my son’s daily activities. It was really tough.

Then I started to get into the rhythms of working again, secretly, I started falling back in love with my career. There’s this great feelings inside about being productive, satisfactions coming from outside motherhood.

Luckily, I am living with my parents. Got my son a nanny to help watching him, she seems to love him so that’s great. I don’t have to do the dishes, laundry, cleaning or cooking. My mom has an assistant who does all that. All I have to do is work, come home and spend what’s left of that day with my son, nanny will pretty much rest when I get home and took over. Sounds easy right? Not so much!

Often times, I’d come home feeling exhausted because my day started early, so early. Got up at 4 and left the house by 6 or 6:15. I’d rather come early, finish my job and doesn’t have to work overtime too much. On average I’m working 55-60 hours a week.

The boy has been doing great while his mommy is at work or so I’ve been told. Yet when I’m home, he’ll become super clingy, whiney and cranky leaving me overwhelmed. Maybe it’s just a phase until he get used to the idea that mommy is now working full time. I’m hoping it will get better and I won’t get too worked up over this.

He will start preschool next month…when he went to his preschool last week, my heart aches because I can’t take him. When I got home from work, I tried to absorb every little detail that my mom could remember and told me.

That’s just a beginning…

Sadly, I’m sure I will be missing out on a lot of little things that my boy would experience in preschool, with my schedule I won’t be able to drop him off and pick him up.

As hard as I wanted to be there 100% for him, I can’t be in two places at the same time so hopefully when he’s old enough to understand, he’ll know that I’m doing all this to give him a better future.
Balancing mommyhood and career is not easy, especially for a single mom. We may have extra helps from families or on my case, hired hands but there is a difference.

Learning to prioritize and setting limits are the keys, I think because frankly, we can’t all be supermom who juggles motherhood, career and being a domestic diva at the same time without sacrificing one or two things to keep the important parts up in the air.

Until I master these steps and learn how not to loose my mind…I would just take it one day at a time.

If you’re a working mom, how do you balance it all? Tips and tricks are welcome."


Monday, October 25, 2010

The Drivers License

I remember being 15 1/2 years old. I was in high school and signed up for my drivers education classes. It was just another step closer to obtaining my driver's license and the joys of being behind the wheel without an adult chaperon. After passing the written and the behind the wheel exam, I was so excited to take my driver's license picture.

Of course taking a driver's license picture was/is a big deal! For one thing, it's the picture you have to keep with you for a few years. Once you hit 21, it's the picture you flash multiple times. A few hundred bartenders and club bouncers have seen that picture.

As the years go by, it's no longer bartenders or club bouncers checking to make sure I'm legit. Now hundreds, maybe even thousands, of Target register employees have seen my driver's license to make sure I'm legit enough to pay the bill. I mean I can't remember the last time I was at a club. I know damn well that the bartender who is checking to make sure I'm legal enough to drink is doing it for a larger tip or because they fear losing their job.

Just bring me my red wine! You don't have to schmooze me. You'll still get a tip.

Well the lovely DMV sent me a letter back in September reminding me that it's time to renew my driver's license. For the last 5 years, I've been able to keep my license and pay the usual renewal fees over the internet. This time the letter was different. This time the letter stated I needed to physically enter a DMV, get my finger scanned, take a new picture, and pay the renewal fees in person.

Really, you want me to physically enter a DMV and take a new picture? What's wrong with the 5 year old picture that I've been carrying around? Did I mention I'm happy with my picture? Did I mention I look young and fresh in my picture?  What could possibly make the DMV think that I no longer look like that picture?

Thinking back on the last 5 years of my life, it dawned upon me that many life changing events have occurred. From the years 2005-2010, the following major events have taken place:

      1.) graduated with my second college degree
      2.) started a new career that requires me to put in crazy hours
      3.) x3 moves
      4.) purchased a house
      5.) had 2 kids
      6.) Did I mention the amount of stress that all of the above has put on me? Let's not forget the lack of sleep and healthy meals.

Now I wait. I'm eagerly waiting to see what my new driver's license picture looks like. No, I didn't get to preview the picture either. It's the DMV not a model shoot. They didn't allow me to take a few pictures so I could choose the best one. I didn't see a Photshop option either in any of the paperwork I was filling out.

To top it off, despite all of the above life changing events, my height AND weight have remained the same.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tip On How To Have Stylish Hair

It's been awhile since my last visit to the hair dresser. Almost 3 months to be exact (last hair appointment). I just love the feeling of leaving the salon with a banging new cut and fresh highlights. I want that feeling again. Even if that oh so wonderful feeling lasts only a day or two, I. Want. That. Feeling.

Since then, my cut has definitely lost it's shape. It's looking more like a shag rug landed on top of my head. The hair color has faded and I'm left with inches of root showing...inches!

Like many busy women, the last person to get pampered in my household is yours truly. Granted, H's haircuts are far, far cheaper than mine. He also swears visiting his barber is not being pampered as he compares it to the wonderful scalp massage I receive. I realize spending a hundred or so dollars on a hair cut and color is ridiculous for a family on a budget. Yes, you read that correctly, "hundred" or so dollars. Did you also notice I did not put the exact price since I live in fear H will one day read my blog?

For the price of a trip to the salon, I can purchase more sensible things that would contribute to the overall wellness of the family and not just my selfish vanity.
    1.) gallons of gas to drive the family here and there
    2.) food
    3.) preschool tuition
    4.) a birthday gift for my sister
    5.) Let's not forget the bills that could be paid

After debating with myself (and checking out the monthly budget), I will have to go another month without that oh so lovely feeling of getting a fresh cut and color.

To make myself feel better, I did discover I'm actually very stylish. Apparently, there's a hair style that's hit Hollywood. It's called the ombre. Let's make note that I'm usually way behind the styles so this could be old news. But since I'm making myself feel better, in my mind, I'm stylish and I'm rocking the latest Hollywood hair on a budget.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ni Hao Preschool

We're about a month into preschool and I'm happy to say not a single tear has been shed. I should clarify, not a single tear has been shed since day 1 of preschool. The weeks prior were a little rough and emotional on my part. Luckily, I was able to get all of the "my baby is growing up" tears out.

Princess Ninja is blossoming right before my eyes. She's bringing up stuff about China and pandas. Apparently, she wants to go to China. Actually, she thinks she lives in China. I keep telling her she lives in the USA. To my frustration, she insists she lives in China. OK then! As much as I keeping ranting and raving about Canada, it's way closer and way cheaper to go to, she still wants to go to China.

I have even turned on as many a few episodes of Ni Hao Kai Lan in hopes that it would help with her new found interest in the Orient. On occasion, I hear her saying phrases in Chinese. She could be cursing at me for all I know.

For some brownie points, we've even made it to the local library to read more about China.

Let's be honest, who doesn't love Chinese food? We've had our share of local Chinese take-out. I know it's probably not truly authentic, but the people behind the counter were speaking Chinese. That's good enough for me. And besides, the food was certainly yummy! It's all in the name of Higher Education.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: San Diego by Manette

San Diego Endless Summer
San Diego Endless Summer by Manette

Night at Balboa Park
Night At Balboa Park by Manette

Sunday, October 3, 2010

High School Friends

My 15 year high school reunion is coming up (yeah you do the math on my age), but prior to that Kludgy Mom has a homework assignment that I need to get out of the way. The assignment is to feature one of our followers and talk about how fabulous they are.

In honor of my reunion, I'd like to present you, not one, but two followers! Yes, two for the price of one! The reason why I chose these two was because they reminded me of friends that I would have had in high school. Of course, the present day me likes them also!

Behind door number 1 is Maureen from Tatter Scoops.

Maureen would be the exotic foreign exchange student from Jakarta. After a few weeks of sitting next to her in algebra class, you discover this gal is pretty smart and it'd be in your best interest to introduce yourself to her. After a few sessions of her schooling you, you realize there's more to her than just smarts. You end up spending plenty of time hanging out with her and talking about life in Jakarta and boys!

Behind door number 2 is Pop from Go, Pop, Go!

Pop would be my best guy friend in high school. You know, the guy that you grew up with, so you could never really think of him like that. Your family would have his family over for BBQs. The guy your mom wished you would end up, but you're too preoccupied with either the QB of the football team, the bad boy, or Mr. Best Looking. He's funny and he shares his life's experiences, so us gals can get the guys perspective.

There you have it, a few of the people who I would allow to enter my personal circle. Check them out and tell them MamaOnDaGo sent you.

Now it's your turn, tell me about a blogger or bloggers that you picture yourself being friends with.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Childhood Memories: Saturdays

Photo: Musings of a  Housewife
As the weekend approaches, every now and then when I have a moment to think, I remember one of my favorite childhood memories. Saturdays!

Growing up, my favorite day of the week was definitely Saturdays. I loved Saturdays. For one thing, it meant that I didn't have to wake up early to go to school. Not that I disliked school, but I was never really a morning person. Back then, the option of waking up to a freshly brewed cup of Joe was not part of the breakfast of champions.

Another reason to love Saturdays was my mom's pancake breakfast. It was probably one of the few days out of the week where I didn't have to pour myself a bowl of cereal.

I would eagerly get out of bed and burst into my parent's bedroom to wake my mom. Having my own children now, I have to apologize to my mother for doing this. Now I realize the weekends were the only days she could sleep in. Hey, she needed to get up and make me some pancakes. It's Saturday!

As mom would get herself situated in the kitchen, I'd turn on the TV and plop myself on the couch. How I loved staying in my PJs and having a warm blanket on me during those winter months.

Let's not forget Saturday morning cartoons. To the surprise of many children, we didn't have channels devoted to cartoons. There were no cartoons 24/7 whenever we had the need to watch a cartoon, they did not appear. We had to wait for specific times and days to watch certain shows. There was also something called a TV Guide, do they still make this? A whole weekly magazine devoted to helping us track our favorite shows. Of course, I had my morning line up memorized.

During commercials, I'd run into the kitchen to see if a fresh batch of pancakes were ready to be devoured. In a blink of an eye, I'd have a plate of warm pancakes that were topped with butter and syrup. I'd plop myself right back on that couch engulfed in my Saturday morning cartoons and pancakes.

Alvin and the Chipmunks
Muppet Babies
Disney's Gummy Bears
Care Bears
Fat Albert

Do any of these ring a bell? 
What were some of your favorite Saturday morning cartoons and memories?