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2011 Lesson #2 : Don’t Carpe Diem » Momastery

Wow. I really, really needed to read this post last week. Mothering is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I don’t enjoy every single second of it. But that’s real life!

2011 Lesson #2 : Don’t Carpe Diem » Momastery.


Some Soapboxing

My little brother (#2 of 3) posted this video on the gender wage gap “myth” on my Facebook yesterday, and it inspired my impromptu blog/rant/soapbox lecture which I will share with you below. I realize that most of my blog is NOT feminist or political, but I obviously feel very strongly about this and I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts about the subject. So watch the video, read my commentary, and please add your own!

Personally, I think it’s a HUGE problem that girls are not encouraged towards the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I remember hearing “don’t worry if you don’t understand math; girls usually don’t.” Yes, I struggled with math and had a HUGE learning curve, but once I got it (in college), I got really good grades and actually enjoyed my classes. It’s not a field I wanted to CONTINUE studying (especially after taking Physics, where my professor basically dismissed all my requests for help), but I wonder if I would have caught on sooner if I hadn’t been told over and over that girls aren’t good at math. But if the fields that make the most money are not fields that girls are encouraged to study and be a part of, don’t you see THAT as being a big problem?

Secondly, our society is just not set up for women to easily continue working in their careers after having children. Child care is obscenely expensive, workplaces are often not flexible with parents taking time off to care for their newborns, sick children, etc. Even breastfeeding laws that protect a woman’s right to take more frequent breaks to pump or nurse are not well enforced (work places are supposed to provide a private place for this to happen and bathrooms do NOT count… but most women are only given a bathroom as the private place. Would YOU prepare food for your child in a bathroom?). Because of factors like this, WHAT CHOICE DO MOTHERS REALLY HAVE? We have to choose careers that allow the flexibility that mothering requires, and sadly, those careers don’t pay as much as other “choices.” I’ve personally worked exclusively part-time jobs since becoming a mother because I couldn’t find full-time employment that allowed me to also mother my young children.

Finally, I do appreciate his conclusion that to overcome some of these issues, we have to change the gender perceptions that woman JUST take care of children and men JUST earn money. There has to be a more even division of the household responsibilities and the wage-earning responsibilities. Growing up, we were SO BLESSED to have a dad who made enough money for mom to stay home with us (although she worked part-time when it was just 3 of us), and that was common among the families that we grew up with, but it is ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE in this generation for a mother to not work. And what about women who don’t find their sole definition in mothering? It isn’t wrong for a woman to be both a mother and a career woman. The Proverbs 31 woman is shown doing WAY more working than mothering her children… and she’s the ideal that Christian moms are held up to!

OK, one more point. *IF* stay-at-home-mothering is such a value to the family/society etc., than why is it not something that mothers are compensated for? I just calculated my salary from this website and, as a work-from-home-mother, my uncompensated work is worth about $63k a year! What’s yours?

Observation and News

18-month-old boy, cheesy eggs, bacon and water.

Is it just me, or is toddlerhood just one big mess that never gets totally cleaned up? I swear, the kid wears more food than he eats! And then there’s the all important, meals end dumping of the water into the food bits and splashing it everywhere. I’m sparing you the photo, because I’m quite sure you’ll want to enjoy your next bacon and eggs meal. =P

***There is no connecting these two paragraphs. In fact, the previous paragraph has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of this post. I just finished cleaning up the boy and had to say something about it. The real blog post actually starts below.***

I’m editing from home again. An online high school (and soon middle school!) based out of Chandler has hired me and this is the end of my first week of working for them.  See, this is the perfect job for me. It’s IMPORTANT for me to be critical of everything I see. It’s nice that my talent for being a nit-picky grammar bitch is finally paying off! And, as Anthony says, it’s important to keep my inner bitch happy.  =P

Speaking of staying happy, here’s one of two stacks of books by my bed that I’m planning on reading soon. This is the fiction stack:


Books to Read: Fiction

Yeah, I know “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” has been on my “currently reading” status for a few months, but I seriously can’t get into it and keep setting it aside for other books (like the smutty-but-sinfully-entertaining Black Dagger Brotherhood novels Anthony got me… not that I’m recommending them at all). And Sherrilyn Kenyon much? One of the Borders in Mesa was closing, so I got those 3 books plus 2 others for less than $15. Pretty good, no?
And for the non-fiction stack:

The "Make Me a Better Mommy" stack

Notice the theme? Yes, we’re considering a Montessori school for Jonathan for Fall. Even if we decide to keep him home, I’m totally fascinated by the Montessori method, and being the nerd I am, I’m researching the crud out of it.  Thanks to my pal Jamie Jarmin for loaning me the top 4 books in this stack. I promise I’ll get through them soon!
And last, but not least, I think we’re going to buy a newer van this weekend, and I’m super stoked, especially since we’re planning a trip out to California in a few weeks!
So there’s my weekend update. What’s your week been like? Any good books in your to-read stack?


Mothers Need to Read!

This is a great article on the importance of mothers making time to read the classics and continuing their education at home alongside their children.  I have a degree in English, and I’m shocked at the number of classic books that I did NOT read during my formal education. Click the link to read some reasons why mothers reading is important and how mothers can make time to read (hint: it involves ignoring housework. I’m always OK with that!).  =)

Memoria Press: Classical Education.

Q&A: Nap time?

This question is from one of my friends who has a 17-month-old daughter with a new baby coming soon!  Her daughter is starting to transition from two naps a day to just one nap a day.  I gave her my advice, but feel free to add your nap time tips in the comments section!

How exciting that your little girl is growing up! I bet you are looking forward to seeing how your new little guy changes her little life, huh? =)

As far as naps go, you are the mamma, so make sure you get your little breaks. Jonathan no longer naps every day (he’s 5, though), but I NEED my afternoon break, so from 2-4, he has quiet time, while Hannah and Josh are actually napping. He can “read” or play quietly, and I usually have some classical music or Bible stories playing quietly for him. Hannah still naps at least once a day, but usually she takes it in the afternoon.

For me personally, I like the afternoon nap and would work on transitioning out of the morning nap, just because that way they are fresh and cheerful when Daddy comes home. I think that a slow transition, pushing the morning nap later is a great idea. The trick is to plan fun activities and outings so she WANTS to stay awake, but then be sensitive to her time needs. So, if she usually goes down at 10am, aim for 10:30 and maybe take a walk starting 9:45 so she’s DOING something that will keep her up. The library was big for us back in Paso Robles because it was right down the street. We could walk there, play and read for a while, and then walk home. Anyways, don’t rush it. Stick with 10:30 for several days until she seems used to it and then go for 11 and stay there for a few days, etc. Also, realize that this will tweak your lunch schedule for a bit, so maybe make the morning snack a little bigger so she doesn’t wake up starving. =) I do remember when Hannah started transitioning to one nap that the afternoon nap had to come RIGHT after lunch, so it was more like 1-3, but that was still OK.

You also might like to start training her to lay down when Mamma does, because when your new baby comes, you are going to need as much rest as possible! I honestly think the transition from one child to two children was harder than going from two kids to three! One thing that really helped me is that I had trained Jonathan from infancy to nap when I lay down. When Hannah came along, all I had to do was tuck Jonathan on one side of the bed and then nurse Hannah on the other side and then we’d all go to sleep together! Lots of rest for a new mamma means the family is still happy!!

Remember that when your new baby comes, your daughter may go through a little regression; realizing that she’s not the baby anymore may bring up baby-like behaviors. If you just remain sensitive to her feelings, and stay very aware of her needs, you’ll be able to tell if she’s having a rough day and maybe NEEDS her two naps, or if you need to call Grandma for some special granddaughter time while you focus on the baby. =)

Do YOU have any nap time tips that have worked well with your kids?  Post them!  😀

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