The Mother-In-Law…

I have heard so many stories of the “dreaded mother-in-law” from friends of mine who just cannot handle their mother-in-law. I always laughed at the hilarious stories, and assumed there was a large amount of exaggeration added. Now that LM and I are engaged, I have been completely exposed to the horrible future “mother-in-law” and have to say my stories are NOT exaggerated. I’m sooooo sorry for not taking all of my dear friends seriously when they told me these stories. However, now that I can relate…and now that I have stories, I will share…so those of you who do not have the “dreaded mother-in-law” experience can sit back and enjoy the humor, and those of you who have a horrible mother-in-law can relate!

It all started when Sally (we will call her Sally, that’s not her real name) decided she did NOT want to live in her nice big house on lots of property by herself. All the kids were grown, she’s been divorced for years, and COMPLETELY single. She wanted to move to a nice senior community, with a pool and a small yard. Being as we just started our family, and were looking for a home similar to hers with land in that area, we suggested buying the home from her.

We made the decision to move in before Sally’s new house was ready, so our daughter could get settled in and start school in the correct district. I am now really regretting this decision…See we thought at the time “only 6 months and her house will be done, we can handle it, no problem!” boy were we wrong! It has now been 6 months, and the new house is nowhere near being finished!

My first mistake was “how” I did the dishes. I learned that there is a specific way that the dishes MUST be placed in the dishwasher. I also learned that if I washed a pan and let it air dry on a towel by the sink, I was ruining the pan. She promptly showed me the correct way, which is heating the oven to 200 degrees, placing the pans upside down in it and letting them dry that way. I had also learned that all rooms must be spotless in the house (mind you I have a 5 year old). I was told that ALL doors inside the house must be kept OPEN, no door is to be closed or the house will be “stuffy”, to which she then asked if I knew what “stuffy” meant….she’s a peach….

During the summer months she constantly trimmed bushes outside (the poor things are stumps now) and then proceeded to tell me how tired and sore she was because she did all this work and I didn’t help. I guess I’m supposed to be a mind reader and be her aide at all times, she didn’t once ask me for help….and the poor little bushes needed to be left alone!

She has made sure to tell me that she mops the floors 4 times a week and vacuums every other day as well, and that’s what it takes to keep the house nice (just as a note, we have no animals, and we take our shoes off in the garage…the floors do NOT get that dirty). I was told I needed to learn how to wash the windows because they need it 6 times a year (Confession-I have honestly never washed the outside of my windows). Not to mention the many things she has instructed my daughter to do on a daily basis.

 

The most recent argument was last night. She proclaimed that she did NOT want us to buy her house because we would ruin it, and it would be filthy if we lived there on our own. This was all due to the two bowls I left in the sink that morning…and because we did not make our beds. I explained to her that we work full-time, and have a 5 year old, and getting out the door in the morning is hard enough, without having to worry about cleaning. I clean every night when I get home to make sure it is up to her standard. However, when she is gone, our house will be lived in, and will NOT be clean (to her high standards) every day. Of course I was told that I should be able to work, be a mother, and keep an extremely clean home, along with every other responsibility….needless to say, we are not on talking terms right now.

My plan now is to avoid her as much as possible (pretty impossible living with her) stay quiet…keep cleaning…and PRAY that her house will be done soon!

Maybe I should bring the builders some baked goods and plead they work faster…they would understand where I’m coming from, she’s driving them nuts too!

What’s Out There These Days?

fb-15I remember being a new mom…a new single mom…working full-time and barely making enough money to get by, struggling and looking for extra cash. I remember seeing a friend from high school on Facebook who started working for one of those “stay-at-home” companies selling stuff. She sold “that crazy wrap thing” and from what I saw on Facebook, she did VERY well. She was one of the top income earners for the company, her husband started working with the company as well. They had this pretty house, two very cute kids, and every post she made was so inspirational.

I started to think (with every new post I was reading from her) that I could do that! I did a lot of research on that type of company (the work from home companies) and found that a LOT of them required a start up fee. Ya… that wasn’t for me. I understand to make some money, you needed to invest some money. But there was NO way I was going to spend $100+ on something I wasn’t sure would make me money. So I didn’t, I changed the search to “Work from home jobs with $0 start up cost” and found a few companies to try out.

The first was a jewelry company. You set up your own website, pick what products you want to sell off of the website and add them. The company did all of the product manufacturing and shipping and would give you the paycheck for having the website and selling the product. They also had incentives for you to buy product to “show off” to potential customers… I also wasn’t aware at the time, but the website would also hack into your Facebook page and flood it with your website information a various ads. I did NOT like that feature. In the end I bought more jewelry than I could even imagine, and ended up spending more than I earned. I was stuck with a lot of mediocre jewelry a website I never updated and a hacked Facebook. I canceled the website and gave up on that endeavor.

Next was a cosmetics company (a popular one, but I wont name names…). My mom had tried it a few years back. She made a little money, but ultimately failed due to spending too much money on products for herself and not marketing whatsoever. I figured I would be great at this…I know how the internet works, I know how to market products and work social media…and I would NOT spend much on product. Well,  come to find out you HAVE to buy product to sell it. You also had to set up parties, constantly bug people and call them to sell anything and everything. My family members had more cosmetics than they knew what to do with and were sick of buying stuff from me. I had no way of getting new clients because everyone I knew was also selling this stuff!!! Needless to say, it was a failure.

Now that I am looking into the idea of being a stay-at-home mom, and I know that I will NEED something to do, I am entertaining the idea of starting another one of these businesses. I have had a few friends on Facebook (other stay-at-home moms) who constantly flood my page with invites to buy their stuff. I talk to a LOT friends who say they are never successful in any of it, and most get messages saying “stop adding me to your page, I’m not buying your stuff!” and other things along those lines…Sometimes I will have 5 or 6 friends all selling the same product lines, way too much competition!

So ending this blog, are there ANY home based companies that do well? I’m talking real numbers here…and real results. Any that aren’t overly flooded with people trying to sell the product? Any that aren’t completely full of lies to trap you into a pyramid type scheme? I obviously understand you can’t make decent money without putting some effort in. I understand that if I were to start a home based company that I would need to market and become a social media queen, which is work I’m willing to do. However, I do want to sell a product I can stand by! Any suggestions would be great, and please, do not try to get me to join your pyramid with false hopes….thank you 🙂

The “Mommy Shower”

After not feeling well the last few days, and having to take a day off of work, reluctantly I decided to suck it up and go back to work. Back to being a working mother of an extremely energetic 5 year old, back to a household full of chores to do, and back to being a newly engaged fiance…I was not thrilled, and really debated just going back to bed FOREVER!

It was a hectic morning of packing lunches and arguing with my 5 year old, “the socks are fine, the line on the toe is perfect…do NOT take them off again” and “you just wore these pants a few days ago, now your telling me they are itchy??” along with “please pick a pair of shoes and keep them on, you have tried 4 pairs, just pick one” and of course fighting to get her to wear a coat. After repeatedly saying “We’re late” I was finally able to get her out of the house, in the truck and finally into the school!

I was dragging, so drained, still sick, weak and shaky. I showed up a few minutes late for work, and dove straight in to catch up, all while running a fever. Work was painstakingly long, all I could think of was getting home to take a nice, long, relaxing shower. The work day was finally over, I had to make one stop to get Etta from school then I was home-bound….shower-bound!

As I approached the school, I could clearly see that all the kids were out on the playground. I knew this was going to be a huge delay for me getting in the shower…After a lot of coaxing and bribing (normally I wouldn’t do that, but I just wanted to go HOME) I finally got Etta off the playground and in the truck, all while listening to “Mom, you NEVER let me stay long to play, the other kids got to stay, why can’t I, it’s not fair mom!”

Luckily it was a short ride home, as soon as I walked through the front door I turned on cartoons for Etta, in hopes it would distract her while I take my shower. Of course she had to dispute that plan “I wanted to go outside and play!” I spent the next 20 minutes trying to convince her that my shower wouldn’t be long and she could play after. All I got was her reply “no” over and over …and then she saw Doc McStuffin’s was on, the show hypnotized her and she was glued to the TV instantly! I took this as my only chance and ran downstairs to get my shower going.

The shower was steaming, the bathroom turned into this amazing spa like setting. The lights were dim, just the thought of taking a shower in peace put me in sheer bliss. I took my clothes off, was stepping into the shower and then came a shout “MOM!” Thinking something was wrong I grabbed a towel, wrapped it around myself and ran out the door, up the stairs to Etta laying on the couch. Still paranoid I asked “What Etta? are you ok? Why were you yelling MOM??” she didn’t even look over at me and just said “Mom, I’m hungry, can you make me a snack?” After being completely aggravated, and explaining to Etta why she shouldn’t yell for me like that, I made her a snack…

Back downstairs, I started the shower up again….it wasn’t as peaceful as before. I got in the shower and began to shampoo my hair. I felt a slight breeze blowing under the curtain and then heard a quiet little voice “Mommy…um…I don’t want to watch this cartoon anymore, can you change it for me?” I told her she would have to wait until I’m out of the shower…then Etta had what she thought was a great idea! She would wait in the bathroom while I took my shower. Obviously that wasn’t going to work for me when five minutes in she was asking a million questions and wondering when I would be out of the shower. I told her to go get the remote.

I finally finished rinsing my hair and she was back with the remote. I showed her the buttons to press to change the show (thank God Netflix has pictures for her to choose what shows to watch). She left and I started to wash up my body…and then I felt the breeze under the curtain again….and the little voice “Mommy, can I watch TV in your room instead? and can we read books tonight? and I forgot to tell you about my day…” this went on for a while. By that point I had already forgotten if I washed my body or not, or if I needed to put conditioner in my hair. I could tell the water was starting to get cooler. I stuck my head out the shower curtain, looked at Etta and said “Etta, go in my room and watch TV, do NOT come back into this bathroom….please let me finish my shower in PEACE” she just looked at me, and walked out the door. I felt so bad, but only for a second, I jumped out of the shower and locked the door!

Finally, peace and quiet. I rewashed everything since I forgot what I had already washed. I tried to relax as much as I could, while running out of hot water. I was about to turn the shower off and felt a breeze, then heard a little voice “Mommy, I have to go potty” I told her to go ahead and to flush the toilet since I was getting out of the shower either way….Then it dawned on me, I asked “Etta, how did you get in here” remembering I had locked the door. Sitting on the toilet she looked up, grinned and responded, “I unlocked the door with a penny.”

Now that I am a mother, I don’t think there will ever be a time where I can take a shower in private (especially since my MacGyver 5 year old can unlock doors now). When Etta isn’t even home I still have the feeling she is about to barge through the bathroom door. I’m not sure if it’s the water pressure in the pipes, or Etta crying sometimes…so I shut the shower off to make sure she is alright. The “Mommy Shower” comes along with being a mom, there’s no getting around it….unless I can find a better lock for the bathroom door.

 

To be a Stay-at-Home Mom…or Not to Be…

Illustrative image of professional woman feeding her baby while using laptop

It seems like every fellow mother I talk to lately is a stay-at-home mom. I am constantly being reminded of how joyous and wonderful it is for them to “be there” for their kids. They talk about how nice it is to be able to get things done around the house, since the kids are in school, and how close they are with their children because they have time to spend with them. I see pictures on Facebook of them and their children spending the day at the park, or going on little trips, and quite frankly I’m a little jealous… Previously being a stay-at-home mom was NEVER an option for me. So I always combated all of those “How can you leave your child?” remarks with “Well, my daughter will grow up with a strong, successful mother as a role model”, and “I’m teaching my child independence!” I have always been proud to work hard for my child, for her to have all the things she needs. I have always been in the workforce and couldn’t imagine anything different….

Then one morning while driving to church, LM and I were casually talking about how our work week had been. I went into how I’m not too happy with my current job. “It’s just not what I was hoping for…I’m already tired of showing up there each day” I said. LM calmly responded “Well just sit tight, if another job presents itself that you would like more, take it…you know you don’t even need the job you have, I make plenty to provide for our family. You just need a job to give you something to do during the day when Etta is at school.” And then, at that moment, something went off in my head….I had never even thought of not working full-time, could I really be a stay-at-home mom?

When I was in my teens and worked part-time I would strive to pick up hours and shortly after, I became full-time. I have ALWAYS worked, and have unfortunately always done work that I didn’t enjoy. In these years, I have also became a pro at juggling motherhood responsibilities, household responsibilities, fiance responsibilities, along with my work responsibilities. Now with that small conversation on a sunny Sunday morning, a whole spew of options had opened up! So here is the tough part….do I take the leap, quit the job, and stay at home, relying solely on my other half? Or do I continue to work each day, provide for my family and have the extras and lifestyle I have always worked to have?

Maybe I could just quit this job (most likely after the wedding), start up a small craft business of some sort, or get a small part time job that is “fun” and stay home for the most part. Thinking of all the things I could get accomplished if I were home more has really got me excited! I could actually finish all of the laundry in one day. I could “plan” meals, and maybe even pre-prep them! I could finally paint the walls in the house, plant that vegetable garden I’ve been hoping for. I think this may be the answer for me….now I just have to get all of my little ducks in a row, before making the plunge into the stay-at-home mom world!

The Thought of Losing You

It started out a normal, ordinary morning. LM woke me up with the usual “Hunny, get up please, I have to go…Hunny, can you please make me a lunch??” After moping around and throwing a little fit, I finally got up and out of bed. I was a little cranky as usual, I’m NOT a morning person. I snarled and gave the “don’t talk to me, don’t bug me, keep your distance” look to LM and proceeded to make lunches for the morning. He got ready for work, and by the time he was ready to leave I had woken up a little more, and was in a much better mood. I gave him a BIG hug and kiss, I didn’t want to let him go…but I did, and off he went to work.

I crept upstairs to wake up our daughter. I turned her light on, was coaching her out of bed (she is NOT a morning person either). Then it dawned on me, I could still hear LM’s truck outside. I thought that was odd, usually he leaves right away, why was he sitting out there for so long? I went to Etta’s window to see what was going on. It was still dark and all I could see was his two headlights somewhat slanted and down by the pond in the front yard. I thought “Why would he be down by the pond?” Then I noticed it looked like the back half of his truck was in the pond!

Worried I ran downstairs, straight into the wet muddy driveway in my socks. I heard the truck rev up a few times, struggling to move down by the pond. I kept trying to see in the darkness with no luck. After a while I could tell the truck finally got traction because the headlights started to move, he was finally heading back up the driveway toward me. LM parked the truck and started to step out. I was standing on the other side of the truck, I started to frantically ask questions “How did you manage to get the truck in the pond, could you not see backing down the driveway? Are you ok?”

When I finally saw his face I knew something bad had happened. All he said to me was “I just kept praying that the Lord keep me alive to be with you and Etta, that’s all I had time to do, was to pray.” I came around to his side of the truck and saw his clothes were completely shredded. The back of his pants were tattered with holes, mud, grass, and gravel. His jacket the same, but it also had a huge rip along the side, his pocket was completely torn off. The bottom of his pants were soaking wet and so were his boots and socks. He carefully slid off his jacket and lifted the sleeve of his shirt, his arm was scrapped from above the elbow almost down to his wrist. With shock and sheer fear I asked “What happened? Are you ok??”

When LM went out and got in his truck that morning it started to act up on him again. He’s been having this problem where it will not shift into reverse, drive etc… He tried to put the truck in reverse and it just would not go. It was stuck in park…. He put the emergency brake on and crawled under the truck with hopes of fixing the linkage.

Not even a few seconds under the truck when suddenly the truck went into reverse and the emergency brake came off! As the truck abruptly started moving backward with him under it, he moved his head as fast as he could so the tire wouldn’t run him over. He straightened out his body so he was in the middle of the truck between all four tires, but he was still pinned under it. The truck started dragging him underneath, through the gravel driveway, into the muddy grass lawn. He was sure he was headed toward the pond and was praying the truck would just stop. He knew if the truck rolled into the pond he would still be pinned under and would eventually drown.

The Lord was truly looking over him, at that moment he felt a thud, the truck veered upward and stopped. This was his chance to get out from under the truck. He hurried and climbed out to see that the truck hit…it had hit the only pine tree in our yard near the pond. The truck hit the tree dead on, it lifted the truck and most importantly stopped it from completely going into the pond. He was able to get back in the truck and get it to drive which was when he met me in the garage to tell me that life threatening tale.

As I cleaned him up, all I could think about was the fact that I almost lost the man who will soon be my husband. My best friend, who I should be spending the rest of my life with. The man who Etta looks to as a father. He insisted on still going to work although he was scraped up and sore. He also insisted on getting back into that truck to take it to the shop. As much as I refused to let him go, I did….and with that I also had a huge reality check.

We are each given a life, and many of us take it for granted. That moment made me appreciate life in general. It made me appreciate the Lord. I feel so blessed that I am able to spend more time with LM, and you’d better bet I’m going to make the most of each minute. Later that morning when I was taking Etta to school, I happened to see something shinning in the grass. There laid LM’s sunglasses and bluetooth in crumbles. Both were on his head when he went under that truck, they didn’t survive, but he did!

I’m Engaged!…..Now what?

I am one of those people who has always dreamed of a big pretty wedding. I had nothing to base this off of besides movies and the occasional distant relative who invited us to their wedding. See my parents were pretty much already separated by the time I was born. My mother was a young teen and my father was starting in on adulthood with more important plans in mind than having a child…

My mother has been in the same relationship with the guy I call my step-dad for almost 20 years now, and they have never gotten around to tying the knot. My father is just the same, being with the woman I call my step-mom for over 25 years, there is still no ring on her finger either. Both parents have since had more children, settled into life and really have NO plans on signing a marriage certificate anytime soon. So this was what I grew up with, this was what I thought was normal.

On Sunday morning while I was sitting in church, as I usually do, LM stood up to give testimony and I didn’t think much of it. He stood up and started to talk about how the Lord came back into his life and helped him quit smoking and drinking cold turkey, over a year ago! Then he went into how I came into his life with Etta and how much he loves us and could never let us go. Before I could grasp what was going on he was down on one knee asking “Will you marry me?” Tears filled my eyes, and all words suddenly escaped my head. I sat there completely in shock, not knowing what I was supposed to do. I recalled all those movies I had watched in the past of proposals and finally was able to blurt out “YES!” The entire church (mostly made up of family) started clapping and cheering….We were engaged!

That afternoon was amazing, we spent time with family, laughed, loved and had a great time celebrating. That night was a different story….I was anxious….I had always joked around with LM, asking when I would get a ring, but now that it was on my finger I really had no clue what to do next. I dove into Google, pouring through site after site with “Engagement Checklists” and “How to Plan a Wedding”… I was still clueless. I went on Pinterest and pinned a million cute wedding ideas, which totally made me even more overwhelmed. Then I decided to call my mother…she may be a crazy person at times, but she’s a pretty good listener and sometimes has conceivable advice…plus I hadn’t told her the news yet.

I decided to make the call….I tapped the picture of my mom on my “favorites list” the phone rang and soon I could hear her voice, and about a million other things in the background. I started to tell her I was engaged and all I got from her was “Huh….what? I can’t hear you…hold on, I’m watching this show (goes on about the show for 15 minutes) okay, I’ll turn it down…what did you want?” Again, I told her I was engaged, just not as enthusiastic this time. After talking a while with her I realized a few things….That my mother has no clue when it comes to weddings….she thinks the bridal shower and bachelorette party are the same thing for example. She has no concept of how much a wedding costs (she was throwing these huge lavish ideas at me). And lastly, that I would be buying her a dress to wear and something for my brother and sister to wear as well since none of them have the money….and on that note, they would not be contributing to the wedding whatsoever.

So here I am….working with what the Lord gave me. Trying to plan a wedding with a mother who has no insight on the topic, sisters who are VERY hard to keep track of as bridesmaids, and a whole lot of researching and saving to pay for the wedding. I wont make it all out to sound bad…. LM is amazing and is putting the majority of the money into the budget. His father and step-mother have offered their beautifully stunning property as our reception location, and they also want to buy and cook all of the food for us. We are also blessed to have the church for our ceremony at no cost, as his family owns it. So in the end….with a little stress, a lot of work, and MANY blessings, I just might get that pretty dream wedding I always imagined!

 

 

 

I’ll Take a #4… With a Side of Guilt Please!

To start, I am NOT a morning person. After my alarm had already gone off 4 times, with me repeatedly hitting the snooze button, my lovely fiance says “Hunny, get up…I have to leave soon for work, can you make lunches?”…I of course ignore him, then a few minutes later “Hunny, come on….I really have to get going and I need a lunch.” Okay…Okay, fine….I’m up now!

Now this whole lunch thing started when LM (my fiance) decided to stop spending so much money on fast food, and to eat healthier. I was all for it, however…. I somehow got roped into making lunches for him, our pastor(who is also his uncle), and my future father-in-law, who all work together. Well then our daughter started school recently, and of course, she needs a healthy lunch too (oh, and I forgot to mention…per the crazy teacher, we have to put everything in baggies and label, “Snack #1”, “Snack #2” and so on). So after lining my kitchen counter with bread, making 4 sandwiches, grabbing a haul of snacks from the pantry, washing/cutting fresh fruits and veggies, filling thermoses, and labeling little baggies….I looked over to see my poor little lunch pail sitting in the corner. And for some reason, I just didn’t want to pack myself a lunch.

I’m not the sandwich type of person, and I really don’t like eating a cold packed lunch. My office lunch room is merely a tiny hole in the wall with a mini fridge and a camper size microwave. We have one folding table, and a few rolling office chairs parked next to it. We also share this little lunch room with the guys in the shop….so expect a piece of metal shard in your butt when you sit down, and grease on your favorite blouse. The alternative to this is going out to lunch, sitting in a nice relaxing area, enjoying some warm and freshly made food, getting away from that horrible place called “the office”….the choice was easy for me that morning. I wouldn’t make a lunch for myself, and I would “reward” myself for making everyone else’s lunch and go out to eat! I don’t remember EVER agreeing to stop eating out for lunch…so what harm could it cause??

So here I am, it’s lunch time….I’m sitting in the drive-thru line for Panera Bread, which is probably my number one vice. I start to think of what I want to order….a full panini sandwich, some chips, a side of mac and cheese sounds really good (I’m a tiny girl with a huge appetite!). But then it hits me…..the GUILT…Here I am about to spend $10 or more on my lunch, while my family is out eating a plain turkey sandwich, some grapes and a bag of cheese-its. Then I started to think of what else I could buy for the $10 or more I am going to spend here. Some books for Etta, some socks and underwear for LM….Then I start to think maybe I should pull out of the fast-food line and grab a small snack from the grocery store down the road….go back to work and eat in the stinky, hole in the wall, dirty lunch room. With all of the guilt built up inside I decided to pull out of the line…..

That night, it hit me…why did I feel so guilty?? It MUST be a mom thing. Every time I go to buy some clothes for myself, I walk out with a T-shirt, and $100 worth of cute outfits for my daughter. Every time I decide on making a dinner I absolutely love, that my family doesn’t care for, I decide to make something they like instead. When I need to do laundry for myself but notice LM needs more pants washed, I wash his, and find some old clothes in the back of my closet to wear (stripes and flowers go together right?). While I’m trying to go to bed early because I REALLY need the sleep, I end up staying awake until the wee hours of the morning gathering items for Etta’s spirit day at school. When I’m dead tired in the morning, I get up….to make lunches, because my family needs me to.

The responsibilities of being a mother can be extremely hard at times. The only reward we ever get is the “joy” of being a mother. Because if we try to reward ourselves in any other way….we always end up facing this ugly little thing called guilt. It’s a mothers prerogative.