Thursday, March 28, 2013

Your SAHM Office is Your Home

You never leave your office.

In my former life I would leave work thinking, "what the h---- was that. I did nothing today." Of course I had done something. Even if I had not accomplished my goals, I had interacted with students and set an example for them. I presented material, and looking back, some of it had stuck.

I think.

Switching from a teacher to a SAHM, I honestly felt I would have good and bad days. After all, I would be with little students and I knew potential problems. I thought that the two jobs would be similar. I figured whatever struggles I had at work would be gone, leaving fewer struggles.

This is my actual desk - I barely have room to type.
I was wrong. I wasn't wrong because of what I thought, but because of what I ignored: when you work outside the home, you get to leave, to keep work problems at work, and to start fresh the next day.

True, the problems can go home. I brought papers home to grade daily, but I never brought a student home. I brought stress and concerns, but I had means of escape at home.

Your home is your office as a SAHM. And for parents transitioning to a new role, this is a shocker. If your desk is cluttered at work, you may have energy to clean the next day after having a reprieve. If your kitchen is trashed at "work," you will see that mess every stroll through your house.

I also failed to realize that I would have many "desks." I'm in charge, right? The cluttered stairs, playroom, kitchen, living room - it's all my domain. It drives my crazy, because my employees are a tad unpredictable and free spirited.

After acknowledging this, I began making my bedroom my safe haven. I try to keep kid stuff out of it, and my husband's stuff doesn't bother me. If I need to regroup during the day, I escape. I feel better and then I can return to my "desks," a tad recharged.

What works for other SAHMs? Do you have your own place, even if it is only your bedroom?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Financial Friday: Birthday Decor

An inexpensive and fun birthday surprise. 

We've been sick this week - almost all of us - so I have neglected my blog. I did feel like posting a quick activity that I did a few months ago for Ty's birthday.

I saw this decorating tip on Pinterest, and adapted as I went. I used leftover crepe paper, balloons, and ribbon along with tape and scissors.

I circled the strips, and then made one cut.

I found it easiest to tape a group together, rather than hang each piece individually.

I used painter's tape because I was going to tape to a wooden door frame.

The longest part was hanging and taping everything up. Plus, I had to wait until he was SOUND asleep for the night, so I was actually up late working.

The next morning, he was surprised and thought the decorations were fun. Very inexpensive, and hopefully memorable, birthday surprise.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Financial Friday: Library Time

Library time.

I keep my eyes peeled for inexpensive or free activities to get my kids out of the house, especially while it is cold. Going to the library is free, and my kids get great experiences there.

When children interact with books, they are forming a relationship with reading materials. The library allows kids to see different types of books and choose which ones to explore. If a child is going through an interest- stage (dinosaur, trucks, police) books provide a simple building block for learning.

Reading, and activities like visiting the library, can be natural and part of your child's life routine. I hear parents say that they will go to the library later in life - when the child can read. Just like teaching a child the seat-belt must always be worn in the car, teach through example that reading, that picking out fun books to borrow, is a life-long habit. (For more information on reading to babies for habit-forming skills, this interview with Tricia O'Brien has some inspirational ideas).

Libraries are free (except for the late-fees which I have right now), and are perfect ventures for parents, stay-at-home or not. Happy Financial Friday!

Baby C.J. explores books like she explores everything - with her mouth.

Check out these other great posts about reading or the library.

No Time For Flashcards:  8 Ways Parents Discourage Their Kids From Reading

Literature Young Adult Fiction: 7 Reasons Why Kids Should Read

Friday, March 8, 2013

White Vinegar

Happy Financial Friday! Today we are talking about, white vinegar.

Sounds pretty boring - white vinegar. It is cheap though, and that is what Financial Friday is about.

I first started using white vinegar when the kids made baking soda fizzies. I had a ton of white vinegar left over, so I went back to Pinterest and found people cleaning with the stuff. I have now used vinegar to clean by:

* adding it to my dishwasher, and my dishes have less soap scum.
* adding it to my front-load washing machine, and my towels seem softer and the machine less stinky.
* added it with Dawn and scrubbed bath tubs, and it worked.

It's inexpensive, versatile, and the kids can help clean because it will not hurt their hands. Plus, I'm not dumping money on cleaning products with environment harming chemicals. What other ways does white vinegar clean? Any other tricks?