Kids VS. Technology Part II

If you haven’t checked out part one to this post please feel free to check it out first here!¬†It will make it easier to follow and understand this post.

In the last blog post I mentioned that we would be going on a 30 day media black out and sure enough we did! We made it an entire month without social media. It really was not as hard as I anticipated. I did miss the adult interaction that I got from it but I did not miss the time it took away from my family. I can honestly say it really improved things in our house! Don’t believe me? Try it yourself! ūüôā

Just a few ways it helped our family:
My house stayed cleaner! Instead of searching through Facebook while cooking dinner I was able to start a load of laundry. When I usually would be flipping through Instagram I was now sweeping the floor. When not constantly looking at my phone I was able to see just one more smile from one of my children or have a conversation with my husband while laying in bed. All things I had taken for granted before.

Like I said before, technology is amazing! I cannot and will not disagree with that but it is NOT everything! It is getting in the way of husbands and wives, parents and children, its even put before you animals! Did I mention how much drama I saved myself by being away from social media? A TON! I added back my Facebook today and was “informed” of all that I had missed while gone, the funny thing is that I really didn’t care! It was actually a relief that I did not have to witness or be a part of such petty nonsense.

Do you know the impact our 30 day media black out had on our children? We were able to work with our oldest son on his letters, numbers, and writing. He can now write his name better than I can write mine. Our stubborn twin that refused to walk is now taking steps all because we started working with him in our free time instead of looking through our phones. Our non talker is now signing words! He knows quite a few signs! All of this because we sat down our phones for ONE month! Imagine what we could do in 3 months, or 6 months, or even a year!

When I think about all of the times my phone came before my children I am truly ashamed with myself as a person and as a mother. That is NOT the kind of parent I wanted to be and I will not be that person again. My children deserve better than that. My family deserves better than that.

I will not go into the details of just how it helped my marriage but I will say this, in 7 years of our relationship I did not realize just how much we had changed as individuals and as a couple until we put down our phones. Not in a bad way, but it was different. Our conversations are about different things, we do things differently together, and we react to one another completely different. Again, all things I had taken for granted. I just assumed that he didn’t want to discuss how his day was when in reality all he wanted was for me to ask and he wanted to hear about mine! Even the scary poop stories that I share in full detail! These things did not appeal to him before but they did now and somewhere along the way I lost sight of that. I lost sight of a lot of things.

Will I check Facebook again? Sure! But I will make sure it is not getting in the way of my family any longer. We all deserve that much at the very least.

If you have followed along or are wanting to try it out please let me know your results as well! I would love to hear how it has impacted other families! Lets not let technology run and ruin our lives any longer!

Much love,

SHM

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Thanking the Dads

I tend to ramble on and on about my motherly duties and how tiring they can be, after all the blog is called Staying Home Mommy. But I don’t mention the man standing beside me through it all. A lot of times he gets left out in the stories as if he wasn’t there, but the truth is, most of the time I wouldn’t have made it through the day without him.

This weekend, EASTER WEEKEND, every single person in our house came down with the nastiest stomach bug. It started with one of the twins, then moved to the other. They were both fine for a day and then BAM! Older brother and both parents woke up sick the following morning. It wasn’t until this happened that I was more thankful than usual for the man next to me.

I can handle poop like its nothing. It does not phase me in any way, not the smell or look of it. After having 3 kids I think I’ve become pretty immune to it. But puke I cannot handle. I would rather change 6 billion diapers than have to clean up one puke mess. My husband is total opposite. He cannot handle poop but does puke like a champ. It was this weekend that I realized we made the PERFECT team. We had all the bases covered and the weekend went pretty smoothly despite it.

Sometimes I feel like dads get overlooked. Household duties tend to fall on the mother. Diapering, changing, cleaning, clothing, all of that is a “mothers” job. That is not how it works in our house. My husband and I share the duties equally. I cook dinner, he plays with the kids. He gives the kids a bath while I get clothes and milk ready. We play as a family and put them to bed together. We take turns getting up with them on the weekends and split all diaper duty. He is not your average man and I am so thankful for that. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty or to clean up. He has mastered folding laundry (when we met his mother would even pack his overnight bags for him!), he doesn’t mind cooking, and he loves to play with our children more than anything.

We actually don’t have a lot of friends because we are not the normal couples our age. We have been invited out to party and things and he will respectfully turn them down because he is a man that wants to spend time with his family. Now don’t get me wrong, he does like a beer every now and then but he usually will wait until all the children are asleep and cuddle with me on the couch beer in hand. Its just what works for us. Its not the norm anymore for men to WANT to be around their families. He has lost his best high school friend for this very reason. Both men have¬† grown up, gotten jobs, and grew their own families. My husbands best friend likes to go out on the weekends and drink with his friends, leaving his wife alone to fend for herself. She does all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, and caring for the children alone. Our family is complete opposite of this.

My husband just two weeks ago had a vasectomy. We are pregnant with baby #4 and knew long before now that we did not want any more so he had the procedure done. Now I’m not sure if any of you know that goes but after the procedure he was instructed to rest for 3 days with little to no physical activity. That weekend just so happened to fall on our grocery shopping weekend (we only shop every two weeks). I was going to pack up all three kids and go by myself. It wasn’t a huge deal to me. I actually wanted to give him some down time to relax a little, we all know he needs it every now and then. But he refused. Such a stubborn man he can be. Shopping is a family affair and he did not want to miss it despite my pleading. At that moment it made me quite angry. After all, who didn’t want to sit in peace and quite for a few hours?¬†I know I sure would sometimes! But not him. He wanted to be where his family was.

Its just little things like this that make me realize how truly blessed I am to have found a man so family oriented. They are far and few between for sure. He does a lot for us and a lot of times goes without thanks. So I want to stop and take a minute to thank the man that is the glue to this crazy family. Without him I am not sure what we would do.

So my awesome husband, thank you for providing, caring, loving, and being involved. Thank you for all the things you do that most of the time go unnoticed. Thank you for working hard and putting us first. Thank you for cleaning puke, wiping little noses, and kissing booboos, those seen and unseen. Thank you for being everything a man should be and so much more. We love you more than words can describe. Oh! And thank you for putting the toilet paper roll on the right way and the toilet seat down even if I am the only girl in the house right now. ūüôā

To all the men out there who are not scared to get down and dirty and do “womens work”, I commend you! The world needs more men like you!

Much Love,

SHM

Respect starts with the parents!

I tend to be a people watcher of sorts. I like to see how people react in public and with one another. One thing I watch for in particular is how parents react to their children and vice versa. Having 3 of my own children I know how stressful it can be to take children ANYWHERE in public. There are so many things that can trigger a meltdown and I have felt the embarrassment of having to deal with one in the middle of a crowded place but I handled it accordingly and moved on, as most parents should, but don’t always.

We take our kids out for a special treat every few weeks. It’s usually nothing fancy and today was certainly no different. We ended up at McDonalds so that our oldest could play and run off some energy. The weather here cannot seem to make up its mind and it decided to snow this morning, although it did not stick. So after a day of being stuck in the house we all needed a little break.

Upon arrival I took the kids to the play area while my husband ordered food. I walked into the play place with three kids in tow and it truly was like walking into a zoo. I was not comfortable even sitting my children down or letting our oldest go play. There was a group of children between the ages of about 4-8 years old. There were 5 of them altogether but even in such a huge open space it felt as if there were 300. They were climbing on the slide, jumping OFF of tables and chairs, swinging from the railing of the play area, jumping into the mesh net so hard it seemed as if the polls would fall over,¬†and at one point were wrestling one another to the floor and choking each other. They came very close to knocking my 4 year old down a number of times. I know the saying goes “kids will be kids” but I am a firm believer that children should grow up with respect for people and others property.

It took me about 10 seconds to find the adult with these children. He was sitting in a corner at a table alone. Much to my surprise he actually was paying very close attention to the children. When looking for the caretaker of the children I just assumed that he would have been occupied on other things and did not notice the behavior of the children. Every parent in the room was watching them ‘go wild’ as they called it yet their actions did not bother the man. At one point an older couple had an employee politely come ask them to stop. When the employee left the children settled for a¬†moment and then it happened. The¬†adult with them got upset stating how ridiculous it was that his children treat their play place with a little respect, then reiterating that the children did not need to settle down. And off the children went to do as they pleased despite the employees request.

It made me realize that the lack of respect in todays society did NOT start with this generation but with their parents. If the parents have no respect for others things what is that teaching our children? If we refuse to discipline or correct in any way do you truly think we are going to raise well rounded citizens? No. The saying “lead by example” cannot be more true today than it has ever been. The sad part is that most parents would rather sit back and turn a blind eye than have to DEAL with their children. You are not doing a child any favors by allowing them to do as they please. Is it easier? Hell yes! There are days when my kids do something and I just do not feel like dealing with it for the ten thousandth time but if I do not correct it now then who will? The police a few years down the road? I refuse to let it get that far! Children need structure, guidance, discipline, and love. They need someone to teach them, as well as show them respect.

We live in a society where people feel entitled to things that they have not earned or worked for. Respect is not given freely to whoever believes they deserve it, it is earned. This is something every parent should be instilling in their children from a very young age. I am no perfect parent and make mistakes daily but my children always say please and thank you and I’ll be damned if they ever treat someone else’s property with such little care, especially if I am sitting right there to stop them. Parents, get off butt and do what parents are supposed to do! Educate and guide your children in the right direction. It is much easier to do it at 4 than at 14 because by that time it is usually much to late. My motto is this…. ¬†I would rather correct now and be proud later than to overlook now and be sorry later.

Much Love,

SHM

Ah-Ha Mommy Moment

You know that moment when you get a brilliant idea or when something just “clicks”? The little light in your head goes on and all of the sudden everything seems more clear? I had this moment a few days ago. I will go ahead and say this though, it wasn’t the average Ah-Ha moment, more of a realization of sorts. It was the moment I knew without a shadow of a doubt that mommyhood had taken over my life. Not in the routine day to day life but in every aspect.

I was gifted something that truly made my day. I was so giddy, almost as happy as the little girl who gets to paint her own nails for the first time. Words cannot truly describe how happy this gift made me. Are you ready to hear what this amazing gift was? It was a set of freemies! What are those you ask? They are these tiny little cups that allow you to pump breast milk while still FULLY clothed! Aside from the hum of the pump and the odd shaped boobies nobody would ever know! Now why does this make me so happy? Because bearing your breasts for the world to see every two hours isn’t as appealing as I pictured. My mother has some very awesome *can you feel the sarcasm? * pictures of me while pumping. I felt, and looked, like a cow being milked. No more!

It was as I was jumping for joy that it hit me. I am the true definition of a mother. When things like pumping my boobs privately seems like a gift from the heavens. When my oldest no longer asks me why there’s white stuff coming from my nipples. Children are so innocently curious aren’t they? Haha.

It was in that moment that I realized mommyhood had become me. We were one. There was nothing I could do to fight it as I had tried for so long. I am now sneaking thin mint cookies in the bathroom, overly excited by the thought of pumping in private, and relaxed at the sound of my children’s laughter. Mommyhood and I have become one, and I’m totally okay with that!

 

Much love,

SHM

All Touched Out Today

Having kids puts a huge strain on marriage in more ways than one. This isn’t some huge top secret information, just ask any married couple with children. Its hard on many aspects of marriage. It pushes couples to stand together even if in doubt, to stay strong, to put themselves aside for the sake of another human being. Sometimes this takes a toll on the couples sex life.¬†I can attest to this. From experience after our first child was born our sex life took a HUGE nose dive. By the end of the day I was just all “touched” out. I had¬†changed, loved on, ¬†hugged, kissed, and soothed K from the moment we woke until the moment he fell asleep in my arms that night. I was covered in baby¬†vomit, food, and who knows what¬†else. ¬†By the end of the night I didn’t want to be touched anymore.

The thought of having to touch someone else or make someone else happy was utterly exhausting to me. It wasn’t that I didn’t WANT to make my husband happy I just didn’t feel like I had it in me to give myself over to another person that day. To surrender myself over to him when all I really wanted was a nice long bath, 5 minutes to read a book in peace and hopefully get a full nights rest. I wanted my husband to be happy but I couldn’t find it in myself to give up that 5 minutes of me time to make him happy. Not to mention how I felt when I looked in the mirror. I was NOT the person he married, physically or mentally. I now had stretch marks, an extra 20 lbs, and I just did not feel “sexy” in my own skin. If I didn’t find myself sexy I didn’t believe he would either.

This man made sacrifices for me daily. He worked 16+ hours a day and came home to a tired wife and grumpy child. He did bath time and bed time without complaint and even went above and beyond for me. He was putting in all this effort and all he asked for in return was to be touched and cuddled and I couldn’t find it in myself to give it to him.

It wasn’t until a very horrible argument that I started seeing what the lack of intimacy was doing to my marriage. After all this is the man that gave me such amazing children. How could I be so selfish to put my own wants and needs in front of his? My husband has never asked for much from me. He simply needs a little love and attention sometimes. It is his love language actually. And for me to ignore that made me feel like the worst person in the world.

I vowed that night to try to change things. I wanted to make this man happy. After all he did for our family it really was the least I could do. So I started making it a routine. I know this sounds like a ridiculous idea¬†but it truly did save my marriage. I would prepare that day by doing the normal female things. I would shower, shave, pick out something sexy to wear under my clothes and I would send him a naughty text to let him know I was thinking of him. Once home and the daily to do list was done I would then take him to bed. In the beginning I really wasn’t in the mood. I would argue with myself daily and say “JUST DO IT! Just do it for him! Do it for the man you love!” and that little ritual worked. It took about two months of doing this at least twice a week to regain my sex drive. But I started to look forward to these days, to making my husband happy, because the harder I tried to make him happy the harder he tried to do the same but in his own ways.

Do I still feel all touched out some days? Heck yea! Fast forward 3 years and a set of twins later and I totally feel this way a lot. But I do not let it stop me from making him happy. Sex is what made the children but it doesn’t have to stop just because the ‘job’ is done. Intimacy and sex are key elements in a marriage, don’t let life get in the way of that. Even if you have to plan it as I did, your marriage will prosper from it.

 

Much love,

SHM

Kids VS. Technology

I was sitting in the bathroom bathing my kids when my phone went off. I knew it wasn’t anyone important but the little light on my phone was driving me crazy. I couldn’t help but check it. It was almost as if it was an involuntary reflex. As if my mind was saying “Don’t worry about it” but my hand was craving for it, almost as if it was a drug and I the addict. I turned away from the bath for just a¬† few seconds. Do you know how fast a child can drown in the bath tub? Less than 10 seconds. In the few seconds it took me to reach and get my phone (which WAS in the bathroom with us) my child, or all three of them, could have died. It was in that moment I decided no amount of technology was worth losing one of my children.

After getting them from the bath I did a little experiment. I sat in their bedroom floor with a pen and paper and decided to set a timer. It was 6:22pm. The timer was to go off at 6:40. I sat and observed my children playing and wrote down every time one of them came to me, looked at me, or spoke to me in those 18 minutes.

These are just two of the pages of things I wrote down in the 18 minutes I was sitting in the floor. Had I been on my phone or on the computer this would have been 18 minutes of cuddles, laughs, waves, touches, and play that I would have missed out on. The sad reality is that how many times throughout the day have they tried to do those things and I been to “busy” to notice? How many nights have they wanted cuddles but something on Facebook caught my attention first?

Technology is an amazing thing. It has helped save so many lives and provided people with opportunities that they may have not had before. There is no doubt that technology CAN benefit the world but it can also harm just as quickly.

The average American from the ages of 25-54 spends about 4.7 hours a day on their phones and social media sites. That is 4.7 hours a day we could be spending with our children rather than those on social media. 4.7 hours is a HUGE chunk of the day simply wasted away for what reason? Social interaction? Is it worth ignoring your children for?

I am just as guilty of this as anyone else. It wasn’t until last night that I realize just exactly how strong my “bond” was with my phone. When it is lost I panic. When I cannot answer I stress that it was something important. I even lay next to my husband at night ignoring him for Facebook.

I will be this way NO MORE! My goal is to go on a 30 social media black out! I have shut down all of my social media sites and other than the blog plan on staying off of my phone and the computer. I want to see just how much I can improve the lives of my children as well as mine and my husbands.

I want to play with my children more. Love them more. Put them first above everything except their daddy. And I want to improve my marriage. I want to be able to lay in bed and have sex instead of reaching for my phone. I want to have a conversation with my husband instead of those on my social media sites. I want to focus on what is IN my house rather than what is outside of it.

Are you willing to take this challenge with me and see just how much your life/family improves as well? I would love to hear from you!

 

Much love,

SHM