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How to Be Productive When Your Favorite Show is On

Posted in Blog, Parenting

Day 28-8:51 pm: Ok, I have to admit something. I’ve joined Bachelor Nation. Yes, I’ve started watching The Bachelor. I’m not proud of it, but I’ll at least own it. Ever since my sister insisted on watching an episode of The Bachelor in Ben’s season, I then had to watch The Bachelorette and then Bachelor in Paradise. Argh! It’s so catchy! So, since I’ve started watching it, I’ve noticed my productivity had gone down a bit. At nap time when I was working on the blog or job searching, I put on my DVR recording of the show in the “background” and then after the 2 hours find I’ve gotten nothing done. Do you do that too? So, I’ve realized I need to be more productive.

Here are some ways to be productive when your favorite show is on.

Alright, the first thing you have to do is TURN IT OFF! Yes, I’m quite aware you want to see what crazy sh*t comes out of Corinne’s mouth next, but really, do yourself a favor and just turn it off. At least, for a little while.

Give yourself permission to watch a limited amount of it. I don’t mean to start binge watching past seasons. Allow yourself 2 hours to catch up once a week. So, let’s say, Tuesday afternoon or evening. Then pledge to do your work, or get stuff done around the house the rest of the week. Trust me, you’ll start looking forward to Tuesdays and it will come to be a “special treat”.

Make a “night” of it. If your favorite show is on every Monday night, invite some friends over to watch it. Open a bottle of wine, and make it a special night with friends. That way you will get your fix, and then have the rest of the week to get your important stuff done.

Pick and choose your shows carefully. There are so many new shows on Netflix, Amazon, HBO, and regular channels that I want to watch I just can’t keep up! And, I really don’t have the time. So pick and choose which shows you really want to get involved in. I have a few that I follow that are on at different times of the year so it seems to work itself out. I try not to be watching more than 2-3 shows during each season. My favorites so far are Once Upon a Time, Modern Family, American Housewife, The Bachelor, and some rotating action show that I can watch with my hubby.

Just be careful that you don’t have the TV on all day in the background. I know it’s nice to have the white noise, but I find that I am way less productive. Turn it off and put some music on instead. You’ll get way more done.

So, enjoy your shows and remember not to watch too much!


Don’t Compare Birthday Parties

Posted in Blog, Parenting

Day 27-9:57 pm: It’s just the beginning of the year and already we have been invited to a bunch of birthday parties for our friend’s kids. They are so much fun, and my toddler loves going to them. But for a family like us who doesn’t have a ton of money to spend, it’s really hard not to start comparing your birthday capabilities with others. My point is:

Don’t compare birthday parties.

We see it all the time on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. The “perfect” birthday parties people throw for their kids. They have live entertainment, a cake the size of a dresser, peacocks, and their perfect little baby dressed in designer clothes. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I think they are put there just to make us all feel bad. Yet, when birthday season rolls around, I can’t help but look to those professional photos for inspiration. They are just so pretty! And, I really do want to provide something as beautiful as that for my little one.

But, something you have to remember is: the kids don’t care! Not until they’re older at least. But a toddler won’t care if they have Lady GaGa perform at their party or you dressed up like a princess. And let me tell you, they would way rather have you dress up as a princess. They just want to have fun and eat some cake with their friends.

Let me give you an example. We went to 2 birthday parties on the same day recently. Yes, it was crazy. The first party went all out. They had the Thomas the Train custom cakes, tons of food, matching decor, and train rides. Yes, they rented a kids train and offered unlimited train rides around the neighborhood. They birthday boys literally stayed on the train for 2 hours and loved it. All the kids thought it was amazing. They also had a bounce house the perfect size for toddlers and the kids had just as much fun in that.

The next birthday party was at Round Table. They had a cute little play gym, some pizza, and a nice cake from Safeway. It was nothing fancy, but it was nice. And guess what. My toddler had just as much fun running around Round Table as she did at the other party. All she cared about was playing with her friends.

Both parties were great and we had a blast at both. But, I think we should learn a little lesson from our toddlers.

It doesn’t matter what is at the party, as long as there are good friends to share it with.

I just love the little lessons our kids teach us. Don’t you?

Being Grateful to be a Stay at Home Mom

Posted in Blog, Parenting

Day 26-9:54 pm: This afternoon I was talking to some of my friends at a party. We were chatting and they were telling me all about their full-time jobs. They have their hubbies drop their kids off and pick them up from daycare 5 days a week from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Sometimes their kid is the first one at daycare, and they feel guilt. Guilt that their kid is the first one there. Guilt that they can’t spend more time with them. Guilt that their kid has to be at daycare all day everyday. It once again reminded me how amazing it is to be a stay at home mom.

It reminds me to be grateful to be a stay at home mom.

Some moms I know love having a full-time job. They like having the outside stimulation, not to mention the nice bit of money they have to contribute back to their family. Some moms I know couldn’t wait to go back to work, not because they didn’t want to be with their kid, but because they need to be out of the house doing something other then dishes. (I know, dishes drive me crazy too). I really do have so much respect for moms who work full time.

I don’t understand how they make it work. How they balance (there’s that word again!) work and being a parent. It seems so hard to work all day then come home and make dinner or clean the house. Truly it sounds exhausting. So, like I said, I have a great deal of respect for the mom who works full time. I can’t express that enough.

Being a stay at home mom, to me, is wonderful. I never had that urge to go back to work. I wanted my job to be taking care of my kid (and yes, the house too). I don’t mind being at home all day playing tea party or with play-doh. I don’t mind doing all the grocery shopping. I don’t mind not having adult interaction all day (though I do have to occasionally call friends or family to stay a bit more sane). I DO mind doing dishes. Have I said that before??

I love being a stay at home mom.

I never in a million years thought I wanted to be a stay at home mom. I was raised in a very feminist household where the woman needed to work and contribute to society. My parents actually thought I would be the first woman president. (Sorry, mom, not likely). So it was hard for my family to come to grips with the fact that this was what I wanted to do. But, like always, they supported me.

I am so grateful to be able to be at home and play with my toddler. I am grateful I have the flexibility to run errands during the day and take care of things at home. I am grateful that if we want to go on vacation I don’t have to request “time off”. It is amazing.

But, while there comes guilt with being a full time working mom, there is also some guilt associated with being a stay at home mom. I have guilt that I’m not contributing financially to my family. I have guilt that we can’t go on fancy vacations to Hawaii every year. I have guilt that my hubby can’t buy the 60″ TV he wants to get. I know it is all stuff that is material, that we don’t need. But, they are things that working moms can have because they have 2 incomes.

There are pluses and minuses to each, but I am still grateful that I am a stay at home mom. And I wouldn’t trade it for all the designer clothes in the world.


School Etiquette During Flu Season

Posted in Blog, Parenting

Day 25-10:45 pm: As you may know I work part time at my toddler’s preschool. It’s so great because she gets to go for FREE and I get to be there with her to watch her grow and interact with friends. I love it. But, there’s also a not-so-great part about it. Flu season.

When working at a preschool not only does your kid pick up every cold, but so do you.

I have worked at schools and preschools in the past and have found that at each new school comes a new set of colds and flus. Generally I’m catching a new cold or flu every week for the first few months I’m working there, then it gets better. Kids just carry germs and pass them around freely. They say it’s good for the immune system (but as my hubby would say, “Who’s ‘they’?”

But I’m telling you, having a cold all the time isn’t fun for anyone, and being a worry-wart of a parent I’m constantly stressed that my little one is going to catch it. Since I work at her school, if I see a kid coughing or with a runny nose, I’ll purposely make sure she doesn’t play with them, or sit next to them at lunch. I will try to keep her as far away as possible.

Which brings me to my point.

If your kid is not feeing well, DON’T SEND THEM TO SCHOOL!! (Please)

Seriously, if your kid has giant green snot boogies pouring out of their nose that they are constantly wiping all over their face, hands, and sleeves, keep them home! I don’t know what possesses a parent to send their kid to school like that. I’m sorry, it’s just a big pet peeve of mine. If my toddler wakes up in the morning and has green snot pouring from her nose I’m going to keep her home. Why would I send her to school to feel miserable and get all the other kids sick??

And what really gets me is that when I or one of the other teachers politely mention to the mom or dad that their kid has been pouring snot all over the place and that they should probably keep them home, the parents play dumb like “Oh really? He seemed fine this morning. I’ll keep an eye on it…” I’m sorry, you didn’t notice your son was blowing giant green snot bubbles on his way to school??

Give me a break.

I get it, some parents have to go to work and can’t take off, or their daycare charges you whether your kid is there or not. But please don’t play dumb. I see it so often. Find a babysitter if you can. You don’t want your kid to be miserable at school and you don’t want to pass it around to everyone else.

Don’t be the parent giving your kid Tylenol in the car in front of the school to reduce their fever so they can still go.

It won’t do anyone any good.

There are so many different ways to find a babysitter like or even that you should just know that your kid’s gonna catch a cold and have someone lined up in case they do.

And if you see another parent bring their kid to school obviously not feeling well, says something! I do. I usually say something polite like, “Oh no, little Johnny looks like he’s not feeling well. Has he had it for a long time?” Usually the parents say something like “I didn’t notice.” Or “He seems like he’s ok.”

It’s also hard to tell when it’s OK to send them to school or not. Generally I follow these guidelines:

  • If they have a fever keep them home (even if it’s just 99) and wait until their fever breaks and they haven’t had one for 24 hours to send them to school.
  • If they are vommiting or vommited that morning, keep them home. Even if you think it was just car sickness on the way to school. (Seriously, parents have come in saying, “He just threw up on the way to school, but I think he was just car sick.” I don’t care! Keep him home just in case!)
  • If they have a bad cough that sounds wet or “croupy” keep them home until the cough improves or their energy is back up. I know coughs can last weeks, but if you’re in the first few days of the cough and the kid seems lathargic or not themselves. Keep them home for a couple days.
  • If your child has green or yellow snot pouring from their face that they can spread all over the toys, keep them home. I know this too can last a little while, but if you’re in the first 2-3 days of the pouring snot, keep them home just in case. They most likely will pass it along and aren’t feeling well.

*I am not giving medical advice. Obviously if your child doesn’t feel well you should talk to a medical professional. This is just my opinion as a parent and a teacher.

Just think about how you feel when you have a cold. It sucks right? Your throat hurts, your nose won’t stop running, and you’re weak. Why would you want to force your kid to go to school when you wouldn’t want to go to work. All you want to do is lay on the couch and watch movies. That’s what they want too.

So please be considerate of your kid’s feelings and of the other kids in the class. Use common sense and keep your kid home if you have to. The teachers thank you. The parents thank you. The kids thank you. And most importantly, your kid thanks you.