Travel Preparations For Working Single Moms

Some jobs require travel from their employees and some do on a frequent basis. Many employees view this as a perk that comes with the job but for working single moms, business travel can be a nightmare. You can take the stress out of traveling for work by having a plan ready for those preplanned or impromptu trips. Travel preparations will allow you to travel with a lot less worry.

Child Care

This is your first and foremost concern when you have to travel for business. For trips where you are given some advance notice, you have a little flexibility in finding a caregiver. It is the unexpected trips that can really play havoc with your life. You need a support person who can step up at such times. Ideally, the children’s father would be the best choice. If however, that is not an option, a grandparent, aunt or uncle who understands your situation and has agreed to be on standby for these types of situations is your next bet. With an understanding in place, a quick phone call should take care of the details.

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Should Kids Scrapbook Too?

Why can’t I be that crafty and creative? I’ve always prayed that someday her skills will rub off on me as though it’s just in our blood. {She would disagree with being called crafty, by the way.}

I still have the scrapbook she made for me. My girls LOVE to look through it! Mostly because they like to laugh at how funny mommy looked like a child. But they also love to look through all of the scrapbooks we have for our family, which sadly, are mostly empty!

When I was pregnant with Faith, my nesting urges were mostly creative and had nothing to do with housecleaning. Instead, I had a burning {must complete now!} desire to put together a scrapbook for my step-daughter, Lauren. She had been through a difficult time with the divorce of her parents and was about to have her world totally turned upside down again when her baby sister arrived.

It was so important to me that she had something as a constant reminder of how special she was to us and how very much we loved her. The running joke had always been that someday we’d get around to putting a scrapbook together for her with all of her childhood memories in it. I was determined that it would no longer be a joke and that “someday” was going to be before Faith arrived. That was the last scrapbook I completed. I wish I had pictures of it to share with you.

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A Chihuahua Striving To Be a Pit Bull

Mother’s Day is this weekend and I’ve been thinking about my mom a lot this week. We couldn’t be more different.

My mom is outspoken and doesn’t take any crap from anybody. I can still hear her arguing on the phone with incompetent insurance agents or in the customer service lines of department stores arguing with sales associates who neglected to honor their sales prices or return policies.

I used to slink surreptitiously away, my face burning with embarrassment, hoping against hope she’d let it go. She never did. What’s fair is fair. If you make a promise, you darn well better keep it. If you have a job to do, you better do it right. I guess she was overwhelmed by motherhood back then as I am these days. You just need to learn to cope with it.

When I was twelve I didn’t recognize my mom for what she was–A champion of the little guy. My champion. When my second-grade teacher made fun of me in front of the entire class because I still sucked my thumb, I’m sure she wasn’t prepared for the s**t-storm that awaited her when my mother paid her a visit. (s**t-storm is a word my mom would use and really, there’s no other way to say it without losing a certain nuance.)

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Overwhelmed By Motherhood And What Now?

My grandmother is in the hospital. My father, her closest able-bodied relative, has been at her house since the weekend and is exhausted. We’re not sure exactly what is going on right now but it looks like an assisted living facility is going to have to be seriously considered for her, which will go over like a lead cloud.

My uncle is also in the hospital and it’s not looking good. At all. I’m slightly concerned that the only things my daughter wants to eat, ever, are peanut butter and jelly and turkey and cheese sandwiches, bowls of cereal and oatmeal, noodles with butter and Kraft Dinner. Mealtimes with her are getting increasingly difficult as she gets older, bossier, and more belligerent. Dave is swamped at work, absolutely swamped, which is making him cranky.

So when I asked him at 7.30 this morning to please run to the corner store for the soy milk he promised to get last night because it was pouring rain and the kids were still in their Jammes and Oliver always has a bottle in the morning, and mentioned I was sure the good people he works with would manage to live without him for the five extra minutes getting me the f***ing carton of soy milk he was supposed to get me yesterday would take, it didn’t go over well. Continue reading “Overwhelmed By Motherhood And What Now?”

Letting go a little

Oliver started with a cold this weekend and coupled with the giant boulders he’s cutting, he’s been quite crabby at times. The thing with him, though, is that even though he’s a right stinker when he’s in a pissy mood, he’s so bloody cute that it’s hard not to want to fold him up in your arms and smother him with slobbery kisses, even after he’s walked up to you and spontaneously punched the mug you were cradling, knocking coffee all over you. Just take a look at his (somewhat outdated) picture:

 

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a big difference in Oliver, and I think part of it has to do with the fact that I have changed the way I react to him. I’ve tried to stop hovering over him and shadowing his every move in order to prevent him from hurting himself or making a catastrophic mess. But at the same time, I realize I want to have a bit of a life for myself, too.

One the one hand, I am so proud of the boy he is becoming. I marvel at his newfound abilities – how he sits down and, with his tongue curled outside of his lip in great concentration, slowly puts his socks on, or the excited way he recognizes shapes and colors. On the other hand, how can I keep a little life for myself at the same time?

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Can mothers have a life of their own?

When did you start having a life?” asked me a mother of a six-month-old. We were talking about how we spend all the time caring for the babies and have little room left for other things. This is especially true in the first months of a baby´s life.

But when she asked that, I paused for a moment and then said that she can forget about what life was before. Instead, it’s time to redefine your life.

You are not one anymore

I remember reading about how the baby feels that he/she and the mother are the same things for a long time (at least two years). This becomes clear when you witness or experience situations where you can see that mother and baby feel the same.

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Your Kids Daily Routine. Can you feel the love?

Every day around lunchtime Julia starts asking if she can wait on the porch for Dave to get home from work. She asks me about six thousand times between then and four-fifteen when I finally let her go outside to listen for her dad’s truck as it chugs its way up the street.

Last week was rather long and arduous and by the time 4 p.m. rolled around on Friday, I was ready to jump on the weekend like a fat kid on a Smartie.

Oliver was cranky and clumsy, on an all-day mission to wind up in a body cast and Julia, at her whiny and emotional best, had been crying for goddamn ever because she wanted to wait on the porch for my husband.

Like he does every afternoon, he called from his cell to tell me he was on his way home. I could hardly hear him over my screaming children and barked at him to call when he was close to home before abruptly hanging up and running to catch Oliver as he fell backward off the couch.

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Swaps and the Catholic Atheist

I have been back in the U.S. over Christmas in the Midwest, which is where I normally spend this time of year. By now, some of my old friends and relatives have read Faith, and some have liked it quite a lot. Others aren’t sure what to make of me, the Catholic atheist.

Still others, including some people very close to me, worry that I’m doomed. It is in that context – at home, worried about this book, surrounded by friends and family – that I reflect on growing up as a reader, and significantly, a believing reader.

Looking back, I see now that my belief in God, like a great many of my beliefs, was shaped by the fact that important people in my life, most notably my father, died when I was young.

Once they’d died, God provided them a place to live forever. And from the Catholic services that accompanied these deaths, to the consolation dished out by friends and relatives – often literally by way of endless casseroles – everyone had told me that I could join them someday if I was good.

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Why you love your Mother

Just as I was coming downstairs from putting my little darlings to bed last night I saw my dad’s car pull in the driveway. He was on his way home from his regular Sunday night dinner at my Gram’s and swung by to discuss recent developments in her 90th birthday plans.

I ushered him through the house and out to the sun porch quickly, lest my children hear the sound of Papa Funk’s voice and go bananas, prolonging their date with the Sandman even further. We sat on the porch as the night closed in around us and chatted about the party, and after a few minutes Dave came out to join us.

(An aside: No, it’s not a typo. Julia and Oliver call my father Papa Funk. It stems from an old family nickname and he wears the moniker well; it suits his personality quite nicely. Up until about two months ago Oliver couldn’t say “Funk” and called him Papa Hunk, which was endearing in that my kid is totally hilarious kind of way.) Continue reading “Why you love your Mother”

Less internet life more real life

It´s been a while since I have been living with less of what I used to have when I lived in a big city. I’ve been living way more frugally and with less stuff for 8 years now. This is part of a group writing project. Check at the end of this post what the other families on the move have to say on this topic.

Having less is a choice on minimalism for me. In everything that I can find to go minimal, I do it. I find that having less stuff makes me live more. I don´t I have to worry or work to maintain some things, I can use that time to do things I love instead, and that don’t require stuff or money to do, like hanging out with friends.

Even though I was living with less already, traveling with a backpack really limits the stuff you own. I’ll be practical. Since I left my home in Brazil, 10 months ago:

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