Wednesday, May 5, 2010

no tv! no dramma mamma

Lord help the mothers of 6 year old girls.

Yeah I understand that this does not seem like a worth while problem someone would ask the great power above for help with, but this is what I have needed help with so I'm assuming their are other mammas out there, who have seen the transformation from sweet cuddly helpful five year old daughters to bratty obnoxious little beings who have discovered sarcasm.

With our oldest we breezed through all the stages other parents talk about, teething, terrible twos, the "how come?" threes. Bed time night training at four. These all came with relative ease. But then school came at us. And I am not talking about the sweet, circle time, hold hands 5 year old kindergartner either. I'm talking about the "your not coming to my birthday party" grade one. Yup 24, 6 year olds crammed in and guided by one capable and patient adult.

This is when I feel children start to develop control over their relationships, they aren't just friends with their mommies coffee buddies, kids. They are friends with their peers. And with this comes tattling, hurt feelings, bossiness, and occasionally and i do mean occasionally actual playing.

I had noticed my daughter crossing her arms and stomping her feet when asked to do something she didn't like. The lip pout accompanied with the sit and somber when things didn't go her way. It was the talking back that really rattled my chain. The learned sarcasm and the basic "well duh" tone to her voice made me grit my teeth. How am I going to convey politeness to my child when her actions made me want to scream and shout. I was sure this was brought on by school yard bantering.

So I patiently tried to use my words, sometimes breaking down and mimicking her. Anything I could to to get her to understand respect, all to no avail.

At 6 she is no longer willing to sit and watch the backyardigans with her little sister. And as the senior she basically controls the boob tube. So my four year old is also watching the likes of miss montana, and alex the wizard, all of whom I learn talk to there friends, parents, and siblings with the snotty tone I had grown to loathe. Could this be true? I am providing my children with the bad influence?

As a child we had always had TV. We watched or we didn't. And maybe because back in the 80's and the 90's their weren't whole networks aimed at entertaining kids. I don't recall the heroines of the shows to have a constant sarcastic attitude...... or maybe i am wrong.... i was in love with Zach from "saved by the bell" and he wasn't exactly kind and thoughtful of Mister belding. Hmmmm tv is a bad influence after all.

I went back and forth with this thought for awhile. The final straw was when I heard my precious four year old use that same gratting tone and thats when I pulled the plug on the tv.

I cancelled cable. I didn't tell the kids. One day there just wasnt tv. I stocked up on disney vhs's and a bunch of dvd's. I set the kids up with there own computer and they have wii. Im not depriving them of entertainment. I'm just not going to have the so called "family" Channel on at all hours of the day, London Tipton's entitled attitude will not be a constant influence on my kids.

Now your probably wondering did this even help... what does my husband have to say about losing his constants sports updates. How am I surviving with out my greys, or survivor.

It did help. My kids have never complained about no tv. Although they are eagar to watch whenever we go to there aunts or grandparents. Occasionally I will put a show on the computer. I have found them playing more. Building couch forts and pillow rooms. The snotty tone has dissipated and i hear love and kindness in its place(alot more of the time anyways).

My husband watches all his shows online. No commercials. You can watch sports live on the Internet. We have found that we spend more time together, curled up watching the latest episode of community or mantracker. We haven't gone so far as to hook one of our many computers up to the big screen but I am tempted.

No TV. Saved Money. Better Family. I probably wont be TV free for ever but I am enjoying my experiment now.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

we have hit the great depression of free time

Before children the ability to do what you want when you want was so amazing.... the only thing stopping me was well nothing... My husband looked at free time as a put in take out kind of banking system. At the time it was annoying. I would go for drinks with the girls come home a little tipsy and he would see this excursion as basic permission to go out with the boys come home at some godawful hour completely obliterated and often on the prowl. So you could see how this might be annoying.

Well you add children, free time becomes less frequent. the ability to get a little tipsy just about disappears. This becomes more apparent as the children start to outnumber the parents. Basically there is no escape. My daily routine is planned to the max, no free time. 8:00 am to 9:00 pm we are picking up, dropping off, finding leotards, hair elastics and the ever hiding hairbrush. Not to mention the bedtime hour that seems to be getting longer and angrier as my children refuse to stay in bed. Regardless, if I want to have lunch with my sister I basically need three days notice to schedule a sitter.

You would think his banking system would come in handy now but in reality he is ok going into overdraft in fact im positive he has reached full limit on all his free time credit cards. Because as a man he needs more free time then me. Coffee with the guys in the morning, fishing, hockey, golfing, slo pitch.... these things eat up a lot of time. And he wants to do all of them every week..... we have three kids, which I have alone for 45 hours a week. And all these tasks add on 10-15 extra hours of free time, and you know who that falls on... moi....

It often gets to the point where im so annoyed at his overschelduling of his outside time that i put restrictions on..... he was leaving the house at 6:30 in the morning to watch sports and drink coffee with the guys( he doesnt work till 8). Which left me to pull my butt out of bed and take care of the baby. After about three days of going to bed at 12 and waking up at 6:30 i had, had enough. He got home ...poor him... to a very exhausted, mentally depleted, and vengeful wife.... an hour and a frickin half. If he wants to wake up that early thats fine... i have laundry lunches and coffee on my to do list, thanks for volunteering! The new rule is no leaving this house till 7:30 am.

He is a clever man though, and he in his desire to catch all the latest sports stats... started to change our alarm clock time ahead.... eventually buying himself an extra 17 minutes a day. WTF. I got him back though..... I changed it and bought myself an extra seventeen minutes the other way. he caught on though the first day, stupid men and there internal clock! More so stupid me, i should have done it gradually too!

Yes I may have solved the morning issue. But he has time taken up everywhere and im sorry but we are in a recession of free time.... come see me in a few years when our babes r a little more independent. Im sure he will have time to frolic when they are older.... with three girls im assuming then he will be using his free time to hunt down boyfriends.

Monday, April 19, 2010

No work.... oh no work

I have had a fabulous maternity leave. My baby was a sleeper... all day and all night. My oldest was in a school she finally liked..... ( the year before i had tried to have some culture in her life by having her attend a strictly french school.... it was more like culture shock!) My middle child was finally speaking in a language adults could semi understand.

I spent time with family. I sewed. I coffeed ( Yeah i made up a verb so what) Oh you need a definition

coffeed: a group of friends getting to gether drinking coffee and bashing there husbands... just joking.

Regardless I had it going on.....

My return to work date was coming up... and it kept approaching faster...... how was i going to give up running my house like a well oiled machine... for rushed mean morning mom... or tired exhausted dinner mom.... lets not even talk about the bedtime monster... Three kids in child care.... bahahaha wowza there goes my paycheck.

Ok im not going back... no im going.... oooh all that work for no money........ kay im done... better tell my boss.

Now here i am, at home, not really sewing, parenting my baby who sleeps for 6 hours a day. And my middle one is addicted to the computer....and Im hit with the reality, im not working, no paycheck, no real adult time. No directional goal.

I am throwing my self into school fundraisers and organizing photoshoots for friends spending all kinds of hours working, and i realize i am back to where i was before, (all that work for no money)... im a month into my non working life and i have realized I need work.. At least a form of it. Outside washing toilets and making baby food, planning family dinners and organizing our life.

So now, to find the ultimate job for a want to work mommy.....