Mommy Tales and Tools

The Benefits of Preschool.

Are you on the fence about sending your little one to preschool? Some parents would rather have their child stay home with them for extra bonding before they start grade school. Others, can’t wait for them to get a head start on their education. Here are my thoughts!

 

I sent both of my kids to preschool. My middle child is currently in his second year of preschool. We started him a year early so that he could have some socialization and so that he felt like he had a place to go just like big brother!

The first year was amazing for him to learn how to act around other kids. The second year is where all of the things he was taught last year, are finally clicking and I’m really seeing him blossom. He is begininning to write, too!

I decided preschool was important for my son to attend because I had my second son and he was quite a handful. It was difficult for me to give my oldest my undivided attention and I could tell it effected him. He was jealous and distracted. The times I COULD sit down and teach him, he would just want to play with me. That’s when I figured that sending him somewhere for a few hours a day would be fun, educational and it would give him some time away from the baby brother.

For my oldest, preschool was important because I was able to see some behavioral issues during that time, and have an experienced preschool teacher work with me and guide me through this time. She was awesome in so many ways and really understood how each child is different and there is no cookie cutter way of teaching or handling their emotions. I’m glad I learned this before Kinder because, Man, I was in for a tough adjustment. My son got into some trouble, had a detention, a meeting with the principle, and even had a Google Doc dedicated to his daily behavior. Now these are things I was able to start working on in preschool, thankfully. I understood he would have difficulty adjusting to a new school and a longer school day. But he was prepared the year before with a routine to wake up early every morning, get dressed, be responsible with his book bag every week, and have to do what was expected of him in class.

As a first grader now, he’s an awesome student. He loves his teachers and loves helping them any chance he gets. He’s confident in class and on the playground. I owe a lot to his preschool teacher. When you find a good one, they can really work wonders in your child’s life.  He’s reading at a second grade level only 3 months into the year!

 

My middle son will finish his last year with his preschool teacher in 6 months. He’s excited to start at the big school with his big brother, and he’s pretty thrilled for the bigger playground, too!

As for me, I know he will be prepared and excited for school. Preschool is a great way to acclimate your kids to school.

 

No matter what you choose, give your little one a big hug and kiss every chance you get. They grow up too fast and you don’t want to miss out on a single snuggle before they’re pushing you away!

 

XOXO Patty

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Ramble Ramble

Why I Shop Black Friday.

 

For the last few years I’ve gone out at the wee hours of the night to be around the buzz of Black Friday Shopping. Up until last year, I never actually bought anything because I didn’t know what I was looking for so nothing ever really seemed like a “deal”. I thought the only thing that really mattered was a T.V. because you would hear everyone talking about how they got one last year or plan to get one this year and you always see people with their carts brimming with that huge T.V. they just purchased on Black Friday.  Well, I didn’t need one of those. So, I would go home empty handed and wondering what the appeal of this  day was.

 

Now, last year was different. I decided we were going to go out on Black Friday and get our Christmas shopping finished for our kids while we had money and while we had time. Normally, we are still shopping on Christmas Eve with an ill equipped budget and stuck in the last minute shopper traffic all day just trying to get whatever is left.

Anyways, so last year I went out to the outlets and to Target. I was able to find awesome deals on warm beanies and mittens for each of my children and a cute long sleeve top from Carter’s for a decent price. The Clearance was an additional % off. At Target I found them board games that were 50% marked down and a fun age appropriate toy for each that I knew they would enjoy. We spent under $200 for all 3 kids and had so many toys for them to open on Christmas. It was awesome! We picked up a gift for our parents and teachers, something small but thoughtful… And my shopping was done!

 

Do you know how much more enjoyable the holidays are when you know you have all your gifts already?? For the first time since becoming an adult, I finally felt like I could breath for the holidays and take it all in for what it’s meant to be. Family, faith, love, joy.

 

So, even if I could still get those deals closer to Christmas, I wouldn’t wait. Because I think getting it taken care of and out of the way before the real crazy-of-the-season happens is well worth staying up a little later and walking off that Turkey dinner.

 

What are you looking for this year during Black Friday? When do you prefer to shop?

 

XOXO Patty

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The Downside of Becoming a SAHM

Many working moms are probably envious to some extent of stay at home  moms. As a stay at home mom, I get to spend lots of time with my kids and be here to help with school projects and do fun crafts for the holidays and the best part of all is I don’t have to worry about work. But I’m here to tell you, it’s not all butterflies and sunshine. And if you are thinking about becoming a stay at home mom here are some things to consider beforehand.

 

  1. One Income

Okay, so this is pretty obvious. If you choose to stay at home that means that your spouse is the only one bringing money into the house and there’s a lot of pressure on him/her. What happened in my situation was a lot of fighting when it came to bills because my husband couldn’t handle following a budget and seeing his whole check go towards bills every week. Maybe this was due to our young marriage and him not being prepared for everything marriage includes, i.e. “Our money”. I always had this same phrase shoved in my face, “Have fun paying for that yourself, then”, whenever there would be an argument.

 

Now, this left me constantly feeling like I was in deep trouble because I realized that I had no backup. No emergency funds, not a stable career I could get back into. How would I pay for daycare for three kids and still make enough to support myself and my kids?!

That was a reason I became a stay at home mom in the first place. I simply wasn’t making enough to afford daycare and it became more of a burden than anything. But now that I’ve been at home for 3 years, it seems like that’s still all I am, is a burden.

 

This made me more determined than ever to find a job I could ROCK at home, make a decent living, and still be here for my kids instead of dumping them at daycare all day and running myself into the ground.

The point is, even if you are surviving off of one income, it’s always best to have a backup plan if shit hits the fan or just to have a rainy day fund. It will take a lot of stress off of the family budget. And as women, I think we should always have a Plan B. We shouldn’t have to always rely on a man, especially if they will use it against you. You should never be tethered to someone that way. Hopefully, ya’ll are luckier in that department than I was.

 

2. Transporter and House Cleaner

this is what your new title is. Once your kids are school aged there is drop off and pick up on top of the drs appointments, grocery shopping, and any other activities or errands. Most of your day is scheduled around these things which leaves little time to get anything else in.

Kids make messes CONSTANTLY. You turn you back for a second and the whole house is upside down. When you aren’t driving, you’re probably cleaning. And nothing is left clean for long. I have a son who isn’t in school yet but gets into everything! Then my older boys come home and it’s kitchen raising time. Food and dishes everywhere!

The upside of working is that the kids aren’t home for long and you’re not stuck to clean up the mess of the day which lingers to an all day event.

 

3. There is no safe space

 

Anywhere you go, the kids WILL find you. There’s always a fight or something to tattle on. Or a crying kid. And the worst part of all? You can’t cuss at the top of your lungs to let out all of your pent up frustrations.

4. Family Will Say You Have It Easy

Seriously. I’ve had family tell me it must be nice to stay home and not do anything all day. Because if I’m not making money, I’m doing nothing important. Wow. Yep. Morons. I would trade them a few days doing what I have to do and see if they survive. I’m not watching tv all day or shopping or hanging out with homies and throwing back beer. I don’t get to sleep in or stay up super late. I wake up and have a job to do. From the time I wake up until I go to sleep, with hardly a break in between. When hubby gets home, my day isn’t over. He gets to use the “I worked all day and I’m tired” card. So have I! But because there’s no paycheck, my work is meaningless to some.

 

Being a stay at at home mom is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. I love what I do, but it’s the social backlash from society, friends and family that makes me take a step back and reevaluate my efforts. The reality is, the kids will be grown before you know it and won’t need Mom at home. What will you do with yourself then?

 

XOXO Patty

 

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Parent Teacher Conferences

Ahhhh Parent Teacher Conferences. A time to meet with your child’s teacher and hear how smart your kid is and how well he’s doing in the classroom……..Or is it?

Typically, you’ll hear how well your child is doing and get some tips to help with what needs to be improved.

When I hear that term, I know all my dirty laundry is about to be aired. How many days of school your child has missed, the tally of all the days my son has been late. How he’s turned in his homework late for the third week in a row. And how important it is to show up, be on time, and be prepared.

 

Now, im not complaining about any of these. Really! I agree 100%. However, I’m not perfect. I am that “Hot Mess” everyone reads about on Facebook. Which means that these parent teacher conferences are more of a parent report card than anything. And you know, I just don’t look forward to these things.

 

I feel the need to remind myself, and everyone else if this helps at all. So here it goes. Moms and dads, it is your responsibility to raise kids into responsible adults. You set the example for them and teach them about priorities. Teachers can only do their job if there’s a student sitting in that class and who is prepared to learn.

When I go into that meeting today, I will fully take responsibility for the late days and no shows because that’s on me! No homework had been turned in? Yes, I’m aware, and that also is on me. But I will walk out of that classroom more committed to showing my child that his education is important to me even if it means waking up a little earlier to make time for missing shoes and meltdowns. I will stay up a little later to make sure the homework is finished and packed in his backpack. Because one day, he’ll be responsible enough to take care of these things himself, thanks to Mom, Dad, and awesome teachers!

 

Just maybe, next year I won’t be scared when this time rolls around!!! Fingers crossed!

 

How do you feel about Parent-Teacher Conferences? Leave a comment!

 

XoXo Patty

 

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Helping Others

As the holidays creep up on us this year and we get excited about shopping and holiday parties and the cheery feels of the season, Let us not forget about the men, women, and children who will be on the street this year. If you live in a town similar to mine, you see the homeless everyday looking through garbage for cans and bottles to recycle, or lying on the cold concrete trying to get a nap in to sleep off the hunger. Many of these people don’t have family, they definitely don’t have a warm home many barely have warm enough clothes, and they won’t be getting everything on their Christmas list.

So, before you think you have all of your gift lists put in order and that you’ve got everyone covered, Take a moment to add one thing on that list that could help someone down on their luck. Maybe donate warm clothes, purchase some extra packs of socks. When you get together with your family, consider making some care packages of toiletries and snacks together and hand them out or donate the care packages to your local shelter/resource center.

Let’s share our blessings and get into a habit of helping others. Our world will be a better place when we choose love and show compassion.

 

How will you use your helping hands this year?

Here’s an example of how to put together a Blessing Bag from Thrifty North West Mom

https://www.thriftynorthwestmom.com/blessing-bags-assemble-bags-keep-hand-need/

 

XOXO Patty