Two Children and a Headache

There is nothing worse then being home with two kids and a headache.  In the past there have been times I have showed up to work with headaches, bad colds, and just not feeling well.  My co-workers would ask, “Why are you here?”  My reply is always the same, “It’s easier being here then at home.”

The truth is being at home is hard when you are feeling good, when you are sick, it is unbearable.  When you are sick and at work people tend to leave you alone because (1) they know you probably don’t feel very sociable, and (2) they do not want to catch your germs.  But at home there is no lenience, no break, and no timeout.  Your kids still need breakfast, and baths, and running around outside and it really doesn’t matter if you feel like you have been just run over by an 18 wheeler.  Their little minds and legs are still running.

On top of it all even if I do get to veg out a little bit, I quickly guilt ridden myself into getting up and doing something with them because I feel bad.  Last week I was home with them and I had a headache.  I was lying on my bed and the kids were being quiet in Liam’s room (which is never a good sign) and instead of enjoying the couple of moments of quietness I pushed myself to get up and do something with them because I didn’t want them to be bored. It is times like those when I think, “Man I wish I was at work.” I could just type away at my computer and not have to worry about anyone crying, getting hurt, needing anything from me.

And then it happened. Liam asked, “Mommy why are closing your eyes?” I told him my head hurt and I was trying to make it feel better. He climbed on my lap and kissed my forehead. I smiled and melted all over. My head still hurt but I didn’t care anymore.

 

It’s Ok Not to Go to College

So what I am about to say I think is going to anger some of you, but as my kids get older, if appropriate I might say to them, “It’s ok, you don’t have to go to college.”

I want my kids when they become adults to be happy, successful, and do something they enjoy.  With that being said, college might not be the answer.  As I have mentioned many times in the past I value education. However, I do realize not everyone fits in the same box or mold.  Some career choices a four year degree would not be helpful.  For instance, to become a beautician a BS or BA degree would not be beneficial.

Then there is the other side of it. In today’s high pressure for children to succeed we have forgotten one important thing, not all kids are built for college.  In recent years we have begun to put unrealistic expectations on our children.  Not only does not every profession require a college education, but not every child is built for it.  Today’s standard for education is quite frankly unattainable for some.  In some ways I feel as though we are setting up our children to fail.  To make every child feel like he must go to college when maybe that is an unrealistic road for him to take is not right.  I think it’s very important to push our kids to try hard, however we have lost sight on the fact that not all kid’s definition of success means college.  In doing this, we have set our children up for failure and disappointment instead of finding an appropriate avenue for them that they can achieve at.  Furthermore, we have created a feeling that may reside in our children if they do not go to college it is shameful

I read an article recently that said the freshman college dropout/flunk out rate in the last 10 years has gone up 30%.  Part of it I believe  has to do with social promotion (which is a discussion for another day) but the other part has to do with the fact that nowadays it’s assumed that everyone goes to college whether equipped for it or not. As parents I think part of our job is to help our kids focus on an attainable goal for them. Just as not every kid likes the color red, or likes chocolate cake, not every kid is meant to be a doctor. That in part is what makes the world go around. Our differences are how we learn new things and develop new ideas. If we were all meant to do the same thing then not only would this world be a very boring place but there would be no individual. We need to embrace these differences and help our children achieve what is best for them.

Ode to Teachers – Happy Teacher Appreciation Day

It started similarly for all of us. We were five or six years old, a brand new box of crayons, and 20 or so new faces among us. This was the beginning of our school years. We learned how to spell our names and add 1 +1 and began making new friends.   Through the years our skills increased and we learned to read and write and multiple and divide. But as things became more difficult at times we had to stay after for extra help. We got involved with band, chorus, theater, and sports. We did it all not really thinking about the people that made this all possible. The Teachers.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and specifically today is Teacher Appreciation Day. All too often these committed and dedicated people are forgotten or even at times ridiculed. These people give so much of their time to our children and most of time all we do is complain instead of praise these giving people.

What parents and the general public forget is that for many teachers their day begins prior to the first bell and are still at schools hours after the last bell either grading papers, overseeing clubs and sports, or talking to a student who just needed an ear to listen. We all too often forget these teachers on the weekends are preparing for the week, creating lessons, and grading papers. It’s the teachers who guide and help the students plan the perfect prom and schedule the eventful class trips. It’s the teachers who chaperon the dances and coach the baseball games, and yet somehow in the last several years these hardworking people have come under fire.

Everyone has an opinion on how the world of education should be run, how teacher’s lessons should be structured, what should go on in a classroom, and how every student should reach a certain score. The problem is that many people who are creating these rules and having these opinions, have never spent quality time teaching. It’s quite easy to tell people what they should and shouldn’t do, how things should or shouldn’t be, but until you actually do this job all the philosophies of teaching don’t mean that much.   It would be like taking some classes in medical school, never performing a surgery, and then suggesting to surgeon how they should perform in their job.

Whether you have a child in school right now, or maybe you yourself are in school, take the time to say thank you. It goes unnoticed quite frequently how much time and effort these people put into what they do. To all the teachers out there, thank you for everything you do. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you.

 

Babies vs. Professionals

Within my first 10 minutes of being awake today Liam demanded milk, asked for oatmeal in which he ultimately never ate, and pleaded with his hands clasped together to go downstairs to play with his trains.  Simultaneously, Ava began crying which meant she needed a diaper change, warm milk and something to eat, and on top of that the dog was barking at the door to go out.  Mornings in our house are very busy.  Our “routine” is move as fast as you can to get all of the crying, screaming, and barking to stop as soon as possible.  There are some mornings as I am flying out the door to work I think, “Thank God.”

And then I get to work…

I work in a Law Firm.  A building filled with educated, motivated, hard working professionals, and yet sometimes when I am there I feel like I am at home doing the 10 Minute Morning Sprint.  Without fail there is someone always complaining about something or someone.  There are my superiors who have nothing better to do than monitor my cell phone usage, but rarely notice that I have done everything that they asked of me and beyond.  I complete all my work all while I was speaking with a client on the phone to schedule an appointment and typing an email to another client following up regarding the drafts we sent them last week.

It’s hard for me sometimes to decipher which situation is harder to deal with.  On one hand I have my two wonderful children who I love very much even when they are having their first temper tantrum of the day at 6:05 AM and on the other hand I have my colleagues and bosses who allow me to have a conversation that consists more of “Thomas The Train”, but sometimes whine more then my two year old.

Lately at work our new HR department has been cracking down on everything.  Dress code, internet usage, cell phone violations, lunch breaks, the list goes on.  The morale at work is low and people are quitting every day.  There are days that I am afraid to sneeze in case that would be considered a “Noise Violation” and I would be written up about that.  I think in my head, Liam is probably watching “Paw Patrol” and Ava is napping.  I start wishing I was home and count the minutes till it’s 5:30. Finally when the time has come to clock out I usually have a very frustrating drive home to look forward to.  And then I get home. I walk into what could only be described as a battle scene as my husband tries to catch Liam before he smears his tomato sauce stained face and hands on our furniture.  Ava is none to happy. She is cranky and tired but we try to keep her up till 7:00 in hopes that she might sleep to 6:00 the next morning and Jackson (the dog) has greeted me at the door with a very high pitch, persistent bark.

Yeah I am not sure which is harder, which is better.  Maybe there is no answer to that.  Maybe that’s part of the balancing act, dealing with both worlds.  But at least as I am scrubbing the crayons marks off my son’s walls before I go to bed I can look forward to wearing the cute new Kensie dress I bought for work.