Friday, October 13, 2017

Why being a working mom is no longer a choice and what women are doing about it....

(I wrote this a few weeks a go and didn't post it....)

My birthday is on Sunday and usually this time of year I get really reflective.  However, since I've been home with the kids my perception of time is so different from when I was working.  I rarely know what day it is and I've been far less focused on the future.  Instead of being reflective, I'm like oh it's October?  As someone whose struggled with wishing life away, I am really happy about this.  For awhile I've wanted to write a post about being a working mom, but every time there's just so many things.  Instead I've resorted to a few (really long) bullet points.  I'm sure I'll return to the topic again.

1.  My life has somehow epitomized feminism.  In the past I've not only believed I could do the man's job.  There's lots of time I've known I could do it better and I've done it.  At the very least I've always believed that women should have the choice if they want to work.  The power of choice is so powerful, but I'm afraid this feminism movement is no longer about choice.  The pendulum has now swung so far toward working women that unless your husband makes a considerable amount of money, a working mom you are.  No choice involved, because you've got to make ends meet, and now days you can get a job fairly easily. Oh an you just get paid slightly less than men.  This has become so bad that we have an entire franchise called The Housewives name it.  Are these the only women staying home now?  Where has the choice gone?

I was speaking to my grandmother about it.  She had seven kids and stayed at home.  A women who I feel strongly lived life fully.  She was heavily involved in politics, her religion and most of all her children.  My mom is an exceptional pianist and seamstress because of this women.  She also explained to me how tight things felt when she was at home.  They planted a garden and bottled food because gosh, they have seven kids to feed.  She sewed clothes when she had to and sat down each week and worked that family out a budget.  I don't say all this for you to admire my grandmother.  I only say this because I don't see as many women out there making this choice anymore.  Feminism or maybe consumerism has somehow taken it away.  Now shouldn't there be a franchise about the women going this route.  I think I could make one, it's called - Mom's who start their own business out of necessity. 

2.  Flexibility, gosh if a mom is going to work isn't this the golden word.  I remember how strongly the men in my office offered up the flexibility of our career as a trophy.  I worked in Park City and many would hit the slopes, golf, or do whatever manner of things they truly loved when things were slow.  I found flexibility is a man's career intriguing.  There is no way a women would hit the slopes when things were slow.  There's an entire house at home to clean, grocery shopping to be done, and in my case I often found myself running to the outlets to pickup the boys socks, or a winter coat long after it snowed.  Thank goodness for that flexibility and I really did love it, but flexibility for a man and women are different and I really wish that people would stop trying to make them one in the same.  Separate, but equal feels slightly better to me but I'm not even sure how I feel about that.  I have an extremely hands on husband who jumps in, especially when it comes to helping with the boys, but when I was working there was nothing equal about our work loads.

This flexibility I spoke about, toward the end of my working days became harder to navigate.  The boys had a number of doctor appointments.  Mason was struggling with ear infections and his tummy issues.  Caldwell needed to go to Primary Children's to get his legs checked out.  I laid it all our there about doctor appointments and of course my boss was great about it.  Family first he'd say. Until his wife came into the office one day and asked, "gosh, can't your husband take the kids to the doctor sometimes. You've sure been gone a lot."  That comment crumbled me.  It was obvious my bosses frustration with my absence has manifested through his wife.  First off, it wasn't her place to say, but this comment was the first time I started to believe I could make a different choice.  It took 5 years! Also, I was deeply concerned for my kids at the time and the tears flow again as I write this.  I wanted to be at those appointments.  In fact, there was no way I was going to miss them.  This flexibility these men had all bragged about wasn't flexibility.  It was them doing whatever they wanted and I learned quickly that as a mother and women you often don't get that choice.  I wouldn't learn until later what a blessing this truly is.

3.  That brings me to my last topic.  Sorry, I told you this was long, but it's the issue of Mormon mom's, or mom's in general being kick butt business owners and mommy bloggers.  There's a part of me that didn't fully realize what was happening with these women.  But I consider them today to be the new force, pulling the pendulum back to the center.  I'd like to propose for a second what a great small business owner or mommy blogger my grandmother would make today.  She's scrappy and paid her tithing, so when they needed something more she would have come up with a way to make it happen for her family and I believe that's exactly what these women are doing, and they are doing it with the real flexibility mothers need.  Today, making your own clothes isn't cost effective and I have no idea about growing your own food, even though I do have a garden.  But what I do know is that the Lord provides a way for you to have the ideal.  Isn't that what all those genius little mommy ideas are about, whether their Mormon or not?.  A way to have the ability to choose your family first and still make ends meet.  I hear on the news all the time that they wish more women would become CEO's.  I can't help think to myself.  Why run a man's company when you can run your own company and be their fully for your family! I don't know what this looks like for me, but I have full faith I will figure it out and I'll get my ideal because that's what feminism is all about to me.

Last years pumpkin patch picture because this year....I didn't even try!

Blogger Tricks

Friday, September 8, 2017

Before & After Caldwell's Bedroom....

Before we moved in we finished Caldwell's bedroom.  I was so nervous about him transitioning to a new place.  Which is sort of funny now, but whatever. Unfortunately, the pictures aren't the best on this one. 
 This is the nursery before Mason arrived and needed the crib.  We keep all the upstairs toys in here because our living room is sort of small and it works out great for us.  
 I am in the process right now of making him a head board.  It's one made of fabric, so I think I'm going to do it red, but I'm not sure yet.  Once I figure out what color to do that than we can get a dust ruffle.  
 What you can't see well in these photo's and on the door is the way the dogs clawed at the walls and made them all gross.  

This picture doesn't have a before, but I love this dresser so much.  Not because it's particularly cute, but it's like the best kids dresser on planet earth.  Nice big deep drawers and the perfect height.  We got it on KSL.  You can check out the before & after here.  

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Good Place with Kristen Bell....

I just finished watching The Good Place on Netflix.  I will preface this with, you have to get past the first couple episodes to get into it, but I wanted to try because I think Kristen Bell is a very interesting person.

I found through watching it that I was surprisingly shocked at how much I kept thinking about heaven and hell.  My sister Nancy is sort of obsessed with books where people have died and then come back to life, and so she lets me borrow the good one's or tells me about interesting facts.  What I've come to the conclusion is that in order to grow, just like the scripture says, there has to be opposition in all things.  I believe strongly that after this life we will want to grow, so there will be opposition.  In fact, God himself is facing opposition he has just perfected himself so that he always chooses right.  That means that heaven can't all be unicorns and rainbows on a cloud, like we imagine it.

That being said, the season finale of this show threw me for a loop.  Perhaps my heaven is another person's hell?  Now I can't wait for next season.  On a side note, if you haven't watched Veronica Mars on Amazon Prime, and you experienced adolescence anytime between 1998-2006 than you're missing out on life completely.    

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Caldwell's 1st Day.....

Caldwell had his first day of Pre-K today.  Last week we went to his open house and met his teacher.  At the open house Caldwell was his usual rule following self, doing everything exactly as the teacher had said.  At the end she gave them a sucker and asked them to throw the wrapper in the trash.  I had crumbled it up and stuck it in my purse.  We spent a few minutes trying to find it so we could follow instructions and get that wrapper in the trash. Please bless his obedience follows into High School.  

His backpack is teacher issued and boy was he upset when I took the papers out that were provided at the open house.  He had me go through each one and read to him what they said so he could be sure he knew what was going on.  

I got a bit teary as we drove off.  He was quick to run in and get started, hardly looking back to wave.  As we drove home we passed the small apartment Chris and I moved into when Caldwell was about 5 months old.  I remember nursing him on the floor of that apartment while Chris brought in boxes.  Then I'd lay him in the bouncy chair so we could get some of our furniture in.  It all feels like yesterday with this boy.  I know everyone says this, but time goes too quick and here we are at his first day of school EVER.    

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

I know what my dream job would be...

I've been thinking a lot about what I want my next career to be.  The reality is staying home with the kids forever probably isn't an option unless we move out of state.  The older my kids get the more I want them to be surrounded with family.  I'm hoping that things will keep working for us financially that I could be home long enough to have one more baby and not have to worry about maternity leave. I've thought about going to re-new my teaching license so once my kids are all in school it would be nice to have the same schedule.  I've thought of numerous business I want to start, and a few different jobs back in Finance that I'd consider.  There's that book I'm almost finished with, and the 500 other books in my head I want to write.  I'd still love to be an Academic Adviser at University to, but my real dream job is Philanthropist.

My dream life would include waking up everyday whenever I wanted, playing with my kids and then going to an office very close by - no commute.  At which point I would sit in front of the computer for a few hours, perhaps have a few meetings and in that time do really good things.  I'd even be willing to sit on the Gofund Me page and just read the inspiring stories and give people gobs of money to make their dreams come true.  Then I'd go home and play with the kids some more, go out for a walk, work on some type of house project or craft and then hang out with Chris all night.  It would be amazing.

I do most of that now, except the part where I give gobs of money away and I get to escape from my kids for a few hours.  Everyone's got a dream though.  What would your dream job be?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Brene Brown & Numbing Creativity....

I am enamored with Brene Brown's work, just like everyone else in the world.  The following is her Ted Talk if you haven't watched it. I love that it has over 6.5 million views.  Since I heard about Brene, I've also listened to most of her books on Audible. 
I am not sure which book or podcast I heard her talk about numbing creativity.  She's been on Tim Ferri's Podcast as well as more recently on Jen Hatmakers Podcast - If you aren't familiar with Jen here is a link.  Regardless, as a Brene groupie this concept of numbing creativity has been so powerful for me as I've transitioned from corporate stock broker to stay at home mom.  The last two years working, I stopped being creative.  I think partially because I felt that mom guilt that is so prevalent, but also when you stop being creative it's harder to get back.  (Which also makes me worried about our education system, but that's something for another day.) I love to write, I love to take pictures, I love to hike and my last two years working I did almost none of the above.  The less I did, the unhappier I became.  

I've watched over the last eight months as my creativity that I pushed deeper and deeper inside me rise back to the surface.  As I stood in the shower this past week or taken a walk around the cemetery my mind was plagued with things or ideas to write about, projects to look forward to and pictures to take.  Brene spoke once about her friends husband who was frustrated with his wife because every night she came home from work and would retreat to their garage to make candles.  The wife had started a small business on Etsy and sold something like eight candles a year.  Brene counseled him to not squash her candle making because there in lies the key to happiness and joy.  It was her way of being creative.  I've tried writing about being a working mom and transitioning to being at home and I just can't yet, some of the wounds are too raw and I'm not far enough past my trial to fully embrace the vulnerability, something Brene would council against.  But what I do know is that if your feeling some type of unhappiness in your life, the best thing you can do is force yourself into creativity.  Whatever that might look like, even if it's making candles in your garage, writing a blog that no one in particular reads, or taking pictures.  My mom loves to sew and is a great example of carving out creative time. It will be then that you find out your contribution to the world.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Pantry - Before & After...

One of the things I completely under estimated when buying a fixer upper was closet painting.  When we moved in I had this mindset that I wasn't going to put anything in a closet unless it was painted.  Well let me tell you, painting closets suck.  Luckily, a couple of months after we moved in my entire family came to help and a lot of my closets got painted.  My brother Nick also made me this pantry, which I will say, it a game changer! 

That green wall on the right wasn't even a real wall.  It was like a random piece of sheet-rock someone had thrown in there so Nick had to start by building that wall and then did this. 
I eventually put the microwave in there because we are seriously lacking in counter top space. This is my go to spot for every thing, so thank goodness I have a good brother.