Thursday, January 19, 2012

Quality Time weighs more than Quantity Time-My journey to Realization

     What would you do with extra hours in a day? More days in a week? An extra week in the year? Would you you take an extra weeks vacation, make time to join the gym, or finish that scrapbook of your child's first year of life...even though he is almost three? 
     I could sit here and daydream for hours of the sweetness that extra time would bring but then I would be wasting some of the precious few minutes I have in the morning. The moment in between the time my husband kisses me good-bye and heads for work and my son awakens from his peaceful sleep in room adjacent from ours. Cup of coffee in hand, some music, and my writing. My Zen moment.
     I learned pretty early in life that it isn't about how much time you don't have but more about how you use the time you do have. This especially came to reality after I had my son....or around when he turned 2 and a half months old. That is when I ventured back into the workforce. I left work as an employee on maternity leave and came back a scared new mom with two jobs and the one at home being the most important.
Working 9-5 with a 45 minute to an  hour commute one way has it's struggles. In the beginning I found myself sad and then angry at the fact that I only had 2 hours a day to really spend with my husband and son. And now with Ed's new job at Fedex by the time he gets home we hardly have an hour to spend together during the week before we are passed out in bed. Then I realize that I am lucky to still get to fall asleep in his arms every night.
     I pulled myself together and realized that it isn't about quantity it really is about quality. No matter how much time you spend with your children or grandchildren if you aren't making memories then you are wasting time.We have had a few family members upset with us in the past because we couldn't squeeze in extra days in the month to visit every weekend. A battle that I am sure we all find ourselves in. I wanted to yell sometimes, "Stand in line -we all want more time with this little boy." In the same sense I understood the frustration as I wished we could see them all the time as well. We did , in fact, enjoy their company very much. The fact of the matter is, however, that we are splitting up the weekends between both sets of families, our closest friends, as well as leaving a few precious days for just the three of us. They would have to learn to make the most out of the time they had. We all did. Unfortunately being in the same room as someone when your attention is focused on cooking, cleaning, work, and phone calls isn't making memories and isn't savored time. 
     From the moment I pick Eddie up from daycare to the time he is in bed under the covers I am making memories with him. In the car he tells me about his day and we sing a few songs. Sometimes he asks me to tell him stories. His favorite story right now is bout Eddie the Paleontologist that goes to the dessert to look for fossils. Last week it was about Eddie the knight who fought the ferocious dragon and saved the King and Queen.(Whom he named Mommy and Daddy.) I savor the 15 minute car ride to our home. Sometimes he just wants it to be quiet and that is OK too. I tell him.sometimes mommy likes the quiet as well.
     The next 120 minutes is pure quality time. Eat dinner at the table as a family and then we go with the flow depending on how Eddie feels. Sometimes is painting, sometimes it is play dough, or train sets, or reading, or even a movie. During the warmer months it is always a walk around the block or running around our backyard. The dinner dishes sit in the sink, the jackets lay on the couch, and lets be honest I am most like not touching that laundry pile tonight....or tomorrow. (Have you picked up on the fact I hate laundry, yet?)
     One thing I do know is that when Eddie says to me "Remember yesterday, mommy...we had a picnic in the living room? That was fun! Remember?!" I see that he wont look back and remember that his mom was only home a few hours a day but he will remember the memories we made each and every single savory second we had. 

So tell me ...just for fun, "What would you do with an extra hour in a day, day in a week, week in a month, month in a year?"

With an extra hour I would make it a point to exercise a full hour straight....or maybe take a nice relaxing bath. (yea I like that one better)

With an extra day I would make sure to visit family every single week since we would still have two full days (that is, of course if the extra day was a my world it would be)

With an extra week I would take a two week vacation somewhere beautiful like Italy or Colombia and really get to explore and see the culture (Although I'm sure two weeks still wouldn't be enough time to see it all)

With an extra month I would take a class....something just for me. Painting, Salsa dancing, A CSI class (I saw one in an advertisement before looked interesting!)

I want to hear from you!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Superman's mommy must have enjoyed a few cocktails....

    When my husband and I first found out we were having a baby boy we were just thrilled to be blessed with a healthy addition to our little family. As a self proclaimed girly girl and world renowned worry wort I didn't quite know what to expect. Growing up it was just my sister and myself and our days consisted of dollies with long silky hair, Barbies with enough accessories to fill two Barbie Dream Houses, and my personal favorite- playing dress-up with our mother's old dresses and high-heels.

    I understood the physiological differences between boys and girls but no "What to Expect" book could really prepare me for whirlwind I was in store for.....and he is only pushing three!!

    From the moment he began to crawl he was interested in all he could get his hands on. If we told him no just once it made it all that more appealing to him. It was not in defiance but more pure unadulterated curiosity that drove him to try to figure out what things were, how they work,  and why in world is it making mommy act like a crazy person. He will take apart his new toy in minutes only to try to put it back together. (I believe we have an engineer on our hands)

    In the end, however, it is that part of his personality I love the most. The curious, adventurous, learn from trying attitude. And with a glass of wine (or two....ok or three) at the end of the week I might be able to keep my heart from jumping out of my chest during those "learning experiences".

Top 13 Things I have Learned (So Far) From Being A Mommy Of A Boy (AKA Super Hero)

1.) Diaper changes require a certain skill and cat-like reflexes in the early months. Be prepared ..there will be at least one time that he pees on you, your hair, the dresser, and the ceiling...all while trying to get out the door for work.

2.) There will be a time in your little boy's life that you will be the most beautiful girl in the world through their eyes. Nothing melts the heart more than a little voice that says, "Mommy you pretty" with tiny arms around your neck. Enjoy it now...pretty soon they will have posters of the next Brittney Spears plastered on their bedroom walls.

3.) Those decorative throw pillows you so very carefully took the time to pick out when you first got married..ensuring it matched the decor to a T....will now be used as a landing pads for the super hero's "flight tests".

4.) Oh and those decorative throw blankets are now forts....

5.) Nothing in this world can make a boo-boo or upset tummy feel better more than mommy's kisses and hugs.

6.) Little boys play pretend too...and even dress up. However the dresses are replaced with kitchen towel "capes" and the high heels are replaced with colander "knight's armor". But don't will always play the role as the damsel in distress or princess. (I taught my little one to say Queen Bee instead of princess )

7.) Naturally little boys have more energy than little girls. They need ample time to "run off steam" during the day. I first noticed this difference at a mommy and me class when Eddie was just barely a year. He was the only little boy in class and would not sit still like the rest of the class. The teacher laughed and said, "Oh- he is all boy! I have 3 of them at home!"

8.) The trying times when you are so stressed out and fed up that you don't want to give your attention are the times your attention and affection are most needed.

9.) He will try to slide down a flight of stairs head first

10.) If you are not a bug will have to learn to embrace the fact that he is. Just think now you have another man in the house to "save" you from that giant spider.

11.) His little voice saying "I love you, Mommy" is the best sound in the whole world

12.) Every little boy needs a strong male figure to look up to. It doesn't always have to be the biological father. In Eddie's case he is lucky to have his own super hero daddy to look up to.

13.) Never underestimate the calming effects of a good cocktail at the end of the week

So tell me.....what are some things you have learned raising boys??