5 Signs you are an Overscheduled Mombie

I am showing all the signs of an overscheduled Mombie, are you? Here are 5 Signs you are an Overscheduled Mombie:

 

mombie

1. No time to get the maintenance done on your 2nd home a.k.a vehicle

I had a mini panic attack while trying desperately to find a two hour window when I could get our 2nd home, our SUV, in for some much needed mechanic work. How on Earth was I going to make this happen? I need the car for morning drop-offs, preschool pick-up, play dates, dr. appointments, school pickup, after school activities. If only there was a mechanic that came to your house around midnight, took your vehicle, worked on it, ran your credit card, and then left it in your driveway so it was ready to go in the morning, could you imagine? A girl can dream. So, I have a vehicle that has been neglected maintenance for far too long and if I don’t get it in I won’t be able to maintain our busy schedule but because of our busy schedule I can’t find a window of time to get the work done…can you relate to this dilemma?

 Evolution of a zombi mom

2. You look and act like a Zombie

I told myself years ago that I would never be “that mom”, you now the type, they look like Zombies with their dark circles under their eyes, expressionless faces, they have lost the will & strength to carry on a conversation, sometimes even have trouble forming words! Shuffling one child to baseball practice, another to dance, while going through the drive-thru with the 3rd before their piano lesson, only to do it all over again in a half hour. No, that wasn’t going to be me or my family. We were going to sit down every evening for dinner together, discuss our days, and after the children had cleared the table they could play with their friends outside, you know, a real life Leave it to Beaver type of a family! I was going to have more control over my children’s scheduling, they would have limited activities, and faith would remain of utmost importance. I had it all figured out back when my children were still in preschool. And then they grew!! And life threw us some curve balls.

3. The Family Table is a distant memory

After working at his old place of employment for 15 years my husband got a new job, one that involves travel. So I can kiss those dreams of all us sitting down as a family every evening goodbye.  But that’s okay, we all need to make sacrifices along the way and we made this decision together and felt it was the best for our family but that doesn’t mean it is easy.  And that idea of the children clearing the table and then going off to play with their friends, yeah, not happening. Why? Well, it’s rather simple, most of them are either at a different parent’s house, at afterschool care, or at an after school activity. So what do you do? Can’t beat them, then join ’em! And that is precisely what we did, though I didn’t realize it in the beginning. It was more like that frog in hot water analogy; it was a slow progress to arrive where I am today, as an official Zombie mom= Mombie!!

4. Your Priorities are askew

I rationalized ALL of it! First and foremost, of utmost importance is my children’s faith life. God has entrusted me with these miraculous little souls and I want to do my best to make certain I guide them and provide them with a faith driven life (you will see the irony of this in a few sentences).  And since they do not attend a Catholic school I made certain they were enrolled in religious education classes.  Thus, religious education classes were not open to a discussion attendance was mandatory and only once a week for 1-1/2 hours. That in addition to the rosary and reading the bible in the evenings was going to provide a nice foundation for their Faith lives during weekdays.

Chrsit

But then our kiddos started learning about all the other fun activities that other children were participating in, like chess club, boy scouts, swimming, basketball/baseball (seasonal sports), etc.  And I rationalized it all….sports are a great way to teach teamwork & get some exercise, chess club is a fun way to exercise your brain, etc. And then suddenly in the evenings we were way too tired for the rosary and reading the bible so I did the next logical thing, or so I thought at the time, I had my daughter join Little Flower Girl’s Club because there she could learn about the virtues and about the Saints while I rushed her sibling around. Mind you the idea behind the club is that mothers and daughter spend this time together but I couldn’t be in two places at once so my mom offered to attend. Did I just delegate my child’s faith life entirely onto others? YEP!  And here’s the REAL KICKER, Boy Scouts, Little Flower girls club, and religious education all fall on the same day & times (ever been in 3 places at once!?) and since my children’s faith is of utmost importance to me I would clearly make certain they attended religious education class, right!? WRONG!

5. You have lost sight of the true Joys of Motherhood & are hearing your kids but NOT listening to them

I have to be 100% honest, before Spring Break I felt tired, overstressed, unappreciated, I was feeling like a motherhood failure. I figured it was just me; something was clearly wrong with me. I had never ever considered the thought that the problem might be with our schedule. But then we had Spring Break and no extracurricular activity and guess what I found over that week? I found the joys of motherhood again. The fog lifted, I had more patience, I wasn’t angry or stressed, I enjoyed hearing and ACTUALLY LISTENING to my little ones thoughts, dreams, questions, etc. I wasn’t simply waiting for silence and replying or nodding my head…I could actually process what they were saying, form a complete thought, share, and patiently await their reply, it was the most refreshing feeling!! I so enjoyed our leisure conversations over meals, no rushing off with dinner in hand or grabbing food  on the go.

 

Solution: If it’s broke FIX IT!

Things need to change. In all this running children around and being the sole caregiver at home I have practically lost myself…gone are the days were I would attend book club and get out a couple times a month. This schedule is wearing me down and I think the family is suffering.  But I think what really pisses me off is the fact that I know things need to change but I have almost found comfort as a Mombie because it is familiar.  I am literally sitting at the intersect of change & comfortable, I could maintain the same course and sink further into my Mombiehood or go for change. But change is scary; I can’t even see the road ahead…which is really scary for a gal who lives in NW Ohio where it is so flat you can see miles ahead. Haha!

So, are you showing any of these signs? How do you keep your family from overscheduling? How do you say no without feeling guilty?

kids-overscheduled

New Show for Moms: Faking it! Figuring it out as we go! Coming Spring 2015!!

 

 

We are setting up our show topics next week and would love to have your input. What topics would you like to see us discuss? What questions would you like to ask? Like we said, no topics are off limits and yes, we will “go there”!  Please share your thoughts & questions.

 

 

Calling ALL Moms… (Video clip)

Hey moms, do you have a second? I know… I know, you are busy… you have dishes to do, laundry to fold, kids to pick up, diapers to change, homework to check….so maybe you can relate to the following clip…

 

 

Who’s with us? Isn’t it time you took timeout for the person who makes time for everyone else? For the person who makes sure everyone gets everywhere on time? For the person who is always putting her own needs on the backburner? Want a show full of mommy substance that won’t waste your time?

Hybrid Time: Guilt Free Mothering

Do you feel like you are constantly being pulled in different directions?  Do you feel torn when you have to partake in household chores instead of spending time with your children?  Does the mommy guilt begin to pile on?  Do you start questioning your priorities?

We have all been there, we feel so guilty for taking time to do things like laundry and dishes instead of spending quality time with the children.  Granted these are tasks that need to be completed; maybe there is a way to do both? This is what I like to call Hybrid time.

Hybrid Time is time during the day that you complete household chores while still participating in fun games and activities with your children. This way you can remove the mommy guilt and feel great about getting the necessary chores accomplished. Below are a few of the activities that my children and I participate in during Hybrid time.

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Treasure Hunt: So you need a few minutes to switch around the laundry and start dinner?  This is a great choice that is sure to give you some time to complete your chores and your child is guaranteed to have fun.

Appropriate for Age:  preschoolers and up. 

Time: Should give mom 10-15 minutes to complete her task  

What you will need: Paper, Pen, & Treasure The treasure could be their snack (still in package) or their favorite toy, any treasure will do, it is more about the hunt.

How to make: Take the paper and pen and draw out five locations on the map. It is important that the map is age appropriate for your child. If your child can read you can write out hints and clues along the way but if they are younger pictures will need to be provided. The last location should be where you place the treasure. Time to play: Hand over the map and watch as the fun unfolds. 

Added fun: If you have walkie-talkies you can feed them hints and clues along their travels throughout the house. You can be in the basement doing laundry while talking to them or, in the next room, wherever.

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Healthy Option vs. Unhealthy option

Appropriate for Age: 2 and up

Time: this fluctuates, you decide how many rounds your want to play. This is a favorite game for the children to play while I prepare meals. They often sit at the table eagerly awaiting my next question.

How to play: While prepare a meal have your children sit around or within ear shot and you name three foods. You can either name two healthy options and one unhealthy (they would name the unhealthy), or you name two unhealthy and one healthy (they would name the healthy).

For example: Name the unhealthy option- Apple, Peach, or French Fries? The answer is French fries.  Name the healthy option- Carrot cake, oatmeal cookies, or celery?  The answer is celery. You could also add to the fun and use visual aids if you have them available in your kitchen. You can make this age appropriate as well, say you would like to teach your elementary child healthy food options. You could have them name the complex carbohydrate or perhaps the food with protein, etc. Then give your child a chance to ask you the questions, this really helps them understand nutrition. Hopefully one day they will stump you. I think that whenever you have the opportunity to engage in an educational activity with your child why not make it fun!

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Hide-N-Find

Appropriate for Age: 2 and up

Time: usually 10 minutes but could fluctuate

How to play: Take 5 of the same objects, maybe five plastic stacking cups, linking rings, Barbie dolls, legos, five of anything that is similar.  Hide those five objects in your home. Place them in age/height appropriate locations then have your child locate them. This is a fun activity because you do not have to hide, mommy can continue on with the household chores while the kiddo searches the house for the objects.

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Pots-N-Pan Jam

Appropriate for Age: All time Favorite with the babies and toddlers

How to play: Get out a pot, pan, spatula, and wooden spoon and give them to the baby. You tap on the pot and pan with the spoon then the baby will, and so on and so forth. This is an oldie but a goody.

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What Animal am I?

Appropriate for Age: 2 and up

How to Play: You pick an animal in you mind, say a cow.  Your child then guesses what animal you are, basically 20 questions but with animals. Then it is their turn to pick an animal.  If you can get some pictures of animals prior to playing and then pull those out for your children to review during the game it makes it easier for them to pick their animimal and answer your questions.

Now you can kiss that mommy guilt goodbye, get the household tasks accomplished and still have fun with your children. Life is good!

Momup! Monday: Making time for Mom, Michael’s Cake decorating classes, Book Club, and more.

Far too often it seems like moms get so caught up in their children’s lives that they forget to live their own. I am sure we have all been witness to the “crazy mom”, you know the one, shoot you might even be her.  The mom that is constantly running one child from one activity to the next, making certain each child is on time, with water/snack, bag, change of clothes, etc. but she can’t seem to remember the last time she ate or even had a BM.  Or maybe you are familiar with the moms who purchase the high-end clothes for their children yet run around town in glad rags with holes that showcase their granny panties, talk about embarrassing (sad thing is there are mirrors in their homes they just don’t have time to look in them).

Just the other day I had a personal encounter with an “I have invested all my life into my children” mom.  She stood there talking to other moms during pick up and she had a towel on her head and the sad thing is I am not sure if she realized there was a bath towel on her head.  I wanted to interrupt and share the news with her but she looked frazzled as it was and I didn’t want to be the bearer of bad news.

And I have saved the best for last, the “I live through my child” mom.  Thanks to Toddlers in Tiaras this example is effortless to explain.  Plain and simply stated, the “I live through my child” moms are the moms on that show. They are the moms who did not have the opportunity to be in pageants, or dance class, or (fill in the activity/class here) when they were children so they are forcing their children to do the activity hoping to live vicariously through their child’s actions.  This type of scenario only ends badly, often with an upset mommy (that is putting it mildly), unappreciative child, and years of therapy, but I didn’t have to tell you that.

Whether you suffer from overscheduled children, no time to look in the mirror or living vicariously through your children, I am here to tell you that help is available.

Take your life back, granted you still need to do everything for everyone but include yourself in the mix. Sign up for a cake decorating class, join a book club, take dance lessons, whatever your interest may be, you’re not dead, live your life!  Many moms say they will get back to their life once their children are grow. There are two problems with that statement, one, you never know how long we have on this planet so make the moments count, why put off tomorrow what you can do today? And two, we are modeling behaviors and lifestyles for our children, don’t we want them to live their lives to the fullest once they are adults? Be the mom you want your daughter’s to become one day, the inspiration for your sons to look for in future wives, Live YOUR Life!

How I am living MY life …..

Beyond my motherly, wifely, community, etc. duties I enjoy taking classes and reading. I like to always be learning and gaining knowledge, for wisdom is knowing that you don’t know it all.   I most recently attended the Wilton Course 1-Cake decorating basics class at Michael’s http://www.michaels.com/wilton_cake_decorating/wilton_cake_decorating,default,pg.html.

Here we are, the moms who took the class with me and me all ready to decorate! It was so much fun.

Like the website states, you don’t have to be a chef or even experienced in the kitchen to decorate a cake, cookie, cupcake or brownie. The Wilton Method of Cake Decorating taught me the techniques to decorate treats that are sure to put a smile on my kiddos faces.  I am now prepared for our next birthday party, Valentines party, Christmas celebration, etc. 

I learned how to make a cake into a blank canvas. Look closely, no cake crumbs.

I am so excited to put my new-found skills to work and see what amazing characters I can create on a cupcake, cake or cookies.  I was amazed at how easy it really is, once you are familiar with the various tips and techniques you can really create anything, your imagination is the limit. (But let’s just keep the fact that it is actually easy between the two of us, shhhh).

This was the first cake I decorated in class. If nothing else, at least it illustrates the progress made from the first cake decorated to the last.

I would highly recommend this course to any and every mom or person planning a party in the near future, like the instructor said, “Lets turn those $.50 cupcakes into $3 cupcakes”, she had a great sense of humor and patience, thank you Laetitia. I did become a little frustrated when it came time to decorate the cupcakes, but I have a tendency of making the simplest things very complicated.

My flowers, they are a work in progress. The key to perfecting the flower is determining where you are going wrong, which the instructor did and helped me correct.

I took the class with two other moms from our playgroup, they actually bought me my cake kit as a birthday present, thanks again ladies.  I highly recommend taking a class with a friend, it is a lot of fun (and you have a good chance of having someone else in the class that has supplies that you might have forgotten, like disposable bags, food coloring, and cupcakes, thanks Lilly, I owe you).

This was the final cake, I was so proud, as you can tell by the statement I chose to place on the cake.
Lilly, one of the moms I took the class with, this is her cake and it is gorgeous. The flowers were a pretty peach color, the leaves were perfect, and the lettering was amazing.
Evangeline was another mom in the class, she rocked the flowers, and her cake turned out beautiful she’s a natural!

Another added bonus to the class, you get time away from the kiddos for a couple of hours, it is important to have time away, it makes you a better mommy (seriously, there are articles and statistics to back up that statement, just Google it).  I had so much fun I want to sign up for another, and I think I might since they offer a discount for the next class!

Yep, I will be framing this.

I am also in a book club with other moms that meets every other week.  It is so enjoyable to sit down for a couple of hours every other week and catch up with the ladies (because let’s be honest book club is roughly 60% chit-chat about life and 40% about the book, no, maybe it’s more like 30% about the book and 70% the everyday mommyisms, the percentage isn’t important). 

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is the book we are currently reading. I am having a tough time putting this one down. I have so many questions and thoughts I can’t wait to share with the other ladies tonight! Here is what I am thinking; he is actually on a search for answers regarding GOD since he says he is an atheist. I think he is having a tough time with his father’s death and the whole idea that he just seizes to be (I wonder if I am right?).

Again, it is nice to have a couple hours in the evening away from the family to remember who you are and that you have your own thoughts, questions, and feelings to share, regarding the book of course, Duh!

So, join a book club, or a garden club, or whatever your interest might be or if you can’t find one start one, www.meetup.com offers a great way to meet up with other people who share your same interest and are local (this is not a dating site, they have playgroups, garden clubs, vegan clubs, book clubs, you name it and there is probably a meetup for it and if there isn’t, start one).

What are you doing to live your life and not your children’s? Or what would you be interested in doing? I know if can be tricky thinking about yourself for a change but please do so and share your thoughts.

Momup! Monday…Mommy’s Thanksgiving Meltdown

I am making my first Thanksgiving meal this year for my immediate family and my in-laws, and I am so nervous.  Of course there are the typical, run of the mill Thanksgiving concerns that consume my mind such as; will the turkey be cooked all the way?  Will the side dishes meet our guests’ expectations? Will we have enough seats?  Where should we keep the dog and cat so that they do not get a head start on thanksgiving? Will the house be cleaned in time?  Will my husband actually help?  He said he would help, but what does that mean? Does that mean he will take out the trash and disappear for a few hours, or suddenly have to run an important errand?…  What about the kiddos?…. What kind of activities can I plan to occupy them while I prepare the meal? But my biggest conern and fear is of a mommy meltdowns, all-be-it short-lived, but still, a meltdown no less.

I have such fond memories of Thanksgiving as a child.  I remember waking up Thanksgiving morning to the amazing aromas lingering from the kitchen.  My sister, brother, and I would help out in the kitchen doing age appropriate tasks, we would help set the table, and tidy the house while the Thanksgiving parade played in the background. Thanksgivings when I was a child brought about so many fond memories but there is one moment, every thanksgiving, which would inevitably show its face, the minor mommy meltdown.

The mommy meltdown usually showed its face two hours before guest arrived.  As a mom myself, I have such an appreciation for all the hard work my mother would do to make Thanksgiving such an amazing event for our family and friends (my mother is definitely the more the merrier type, so it wasn’t, and isn’t, unusual to have at least 40 people for thanksgiving). She would stay up late the night before preparing the tables, chair, tablecloths, napkins, food, and outfits for her children, vacuuming, sweeping, etc. She would get up early Thanksgiving morning and continue where she left off, not showering, or getting herself ready, until the last-minute. Inevitably one of us, my sister, brother, father, or I, would make a snarky remark that would usually trigger the mommy meltdown. Similar to the following clip.

So, my biggest fear isn’t burning the turkey, or if the potatoes have lumps, it is the mommy meltdown, and when it will show its snide face. I plan on taking all precautions by planning every last detail ahead of time, but life happens. Sometimes our expectations become to grandiose.

Have you ever experienced a Mommy Thanksgiving meltdown, where the mom hosting Thanksgiving just takes on too much? Are you a mom that has taken on too much? Perhaps you are a mom who has figured out the balance, please, share your secrets!

Momup! Monday…Pregnant mom steals sandwich

Mama’s to do List:

  • Morning drop off
  • Hunt down my cell phone (toddler put it somewhere, she probably called a few friends in the process, darn she is sneaky)
  • Go shopping for eldest daughter’s b-day party -Enchanted Princesses and Knight Party
  • Make Rice Crispy Balls on a stick for the Bake Sale (I realize that doesn’t sound appropriate for children but they are easy to make and kiddos love them)
  • Momup! Moment
  • Get gas
  • Laundry
  • Book Club can’t wait!!!

This week’s Momup! Topic:  Pregnant mother accused of stealing

Please view the clip.

I was shocked when I heard about this story.  I know I personally can’t take a single trip to the grocery store without opening one, if not three, different types of snack foods to occupy my toddler (she likes to play with the teddy bear, fish, and a various shaped snacks).  And yes, as moms we do sometimes become distracted while at the store but who could blame us.  Half the time one child is constantly inquiring about placing some item in the cart (and often lucks out and sneaks one in unbeknownst to mom), the other has to go to the bathroom (my son always has to have a BM at the grocery store, I don’t understand it), the toddler will not sit still, we are trying to mentally tally the total as each item is placed in the cart in hopes of staying under the budget, and keeping track of the items we still need to place in the cart all at the same time.  What mother wouldn’t forget about the coffee or sandwich she had 3 meltdowns, one BM, and 100 “mommy can we get this?” ago when she entered the store?

Also, when I was pregnant, especially towards the end of my pregnancies I would begin to feel faint and almost ill if I did not eat something soon. I am just shocked that the store could not have been more understanding.  The woman even offered to pay for the sandwich when they were escorted back into the store.  It was obvious they were not trying to steal. My heart goes out to this little girl. Can you even imagine how scared she was? One minute she is safe in the comforts of mom and dad’s care and the next she is with strangers, in a strange place, not knowing what was going on all because of a sandwich!

What are you thoughts? Have you ever opened food in the store and forgotten about it? Do you suffer from the distracted mom syndrome when you enter the grocery store with your kiddos in tow? Please share.