Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Choice To Stay Home

I grew up with a mom that worked, her mother worked and so did most of my aunts.  I grew up with friends who had mothers that worked and mothers that stayed home.  

In honesty, growing up, I never really thought about whether or not staying at home was the thing for me.  Everyone always asked me what do you want to be when you grow up?
 I never had heard anyone say, "a stay-at-home-mom" before, so it never really crossed my mind.

So I would say, "a teacher" or "a nurse", the ones most girls say.  (no offense to the guy teachers or nurses)

Later on, I wanted to be an architect, I even started going to college for that one.

But as I got older, I realized what I really wanted to do.  I realized in my heart what I really, truly wanted.

To be a stay-at-home-mom.



Now, don't get me wrong here with this post.  Most, if not all of you, who read my blog realize I do not sit very far right on the political side.  I tend to lean a little to the left...but I would say more in the middle. So this post is not about politics or even religion.  

It is about choice.

I am not coming out against women who want to work, or of course, have to work.  I know how this world works.  However, I read a very disturbing article today that demonized MY choice to be a stay-at-home-mom.  The article was about what Anne Summers will be sharing in her new book, (which I won't advertise).  It discribes "my kind" to be, "Yummy Mummies".  She looks at my day as sorting socks, making crafts and cleaning out my linen closets.

I will be honest.  This bothered me a lot.

I went to college.  I have a degree in International Communications.  I speak Japanese.  I have traveled.  I read a lot of books.  I stay up on my current events.  I feel I have not "regressed" the women's rights movement as she put it, but I have made a choice based on my right to do what I wanted most for myself and more importantly for my family.

Now, I know that staying at home with my children has not been all that I thought it would be.  In fact there are days where I wish I could run away screaming.  But I worked before I had kids, and there were plenty of days I wanted to run away from those jobs as well.

I guess what I really want to say is this, regardless of what we choose, we should not look down on anyone for their choice.  For all of you working mothers out there, I respect your decision as I hope you respect mine.  

I feel the most important part of the "women's suffrage" and the "women's rights" movements wasn't about us becoming equal to men, it was about allowing us to choose what we want for ourselves and hopefully what is best for our families.  It was about allowing us to be partners in raising a future generation.  It is not to do exactly what the men were already doing.  I am not a man.  I don't want to be one.  I love being a woman.  And I love being a mother.  

In closing, I hope that as a people we can really stop all this judging.  Stop judging people because of their religion, their color, their politics and their choices.

It isn't our place to judge others...unless it threatens our family's safety.


I am proud of my job.  I love my kids.  I love my family.  This was my choice my decision.  I am a strong woman with very strong opinions.  I am grateful for this trait although I consider it both my strength and my weakness.

And because of that strength, I will never be embarrassed to answer the question of, "what do you do?" with, "I am a stay-at-home mom."

Lots of love,
Niki

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The letter "i" is tantrum causing....

Every night, Flavio and I read to to our children both all together and then each child gets one book of their choice alone with mom or dad.  Tonight, Flavio was gone for his church calling so I was left on duty.  The night was going well until it was Lia's turn to read.  

Lia is going through a phase where she wants to learn to read.  This is exciting, I know, however teaching a gifted child anything can be...well, it can be very difficult.  Lia can memorize anything.  I will read one simple book to her and the next night she can say it all back, perfectly.  Unfortunately she thinks this is reading.

So we have been working on our letters.  She knows almost all of the sounds.  So we have been doing simple combinations.



Tonight, while working on this, she said she forgot the sound of "i".  Which of course is fine, but I let her work it out a little.  Then she said it right.  But forgot it again when she needed to combine it with "n" for "in".  I told her she had just said it and she needed to try again...and then she flipped.  So I left.  Well her little tantrum continued as I went to read with Hannah and what you are about to see is after about 3 minutes of this tantrum.

She hates it when I video tape her.  This usually makes her stop.  But not tonight.  This is just a small portion of the video which continued for 3 more minutes until she finally stopped and used her breathing tool to calm down.

video

This is very typical for my day.  She throws usually one or two of these a day (this one was extra long).  Having a gifted child, while exciting is, for the most part, very difficult.  

She cries more than my two year old and baby combined.  Hands down.

I love my Lia.  

But...

...She is the child that has me on my knees the most.
She is the child that tests my strength, daily.
She is the child I worry about constantly.
She is the child that makes motherhood harder than I could ever imagine.


I hope one day, she will know this.
And know, 
every prayer, 
class, 
book, 
scream,
hug, 
tear 
and punishment 
was done out of love.

lots of love,
A very worn out mother 


Monday, April 15, 2013

Imaging Yourself....

The idea of how we see ourselves is something we don't talk about a lot.  However, it is definitely something we all think about, or better said, worry about often.  As women, we tend to see our faults rather than our positives.  We want what we don't have, we hope to be what we can't.  As women we try to mimic "other" women's beauty by how we dress, do our hair, work out and even sometimes with surgery.   

I remember all too well not feeling pretty growing up.  Feeling left out when the "popular" girls didn't seem to notice me or include me.  When the "rich" girls made fun of my Kmart clothes or Payless shoes.  When I was made fun of because I have too many freckles or because I was too tall.  When I didn't get asked to a dance or turned down for a girl's choice dance (yes, that really happened).  Our self image is very fragile at that time.  And while I have matured and have come to realize what "they" may have said or not said is not true or does not truly reflect who I am, those memories are still with me.  

They helped to shape my self image.



But, not necessarily for the bad.

I am now not oblivious to the pain low self image can cause. I can help my own children have confidence in not only how they look, but how they treat others.

And I am sure I am not alone.

For those of you out there with low self image or if you want your daughter to understand that how the world (the grown up world) sees her is usually very different from how she sees herself,
please watch this amazing piece about how we should try to change our own self image.

It is so worth your time!


Lots and lots of love,
Niki



Sunday, April 14, 2013

A little too long...

Okay, I know it has been awhile since my last post.  Sorry.  We have been renovating our main and upper floors in our house and I have been a little out of my element....


While I am SO excited for the result...living through a large renovation is stressful.
People say it all the time,
and I am here to tell you,
it is true!

Renovation=stress.
Great renovation in the end=so exciting!

So, we have until Wednesday (hopefully) for it all to be done :)

I will show pics when it is done :)

Lots of love,
Niki