Today my son started a new preschool. It also was the first time I’ve picked him up from preschool as early as 3pm. Early enough to get some afternoon playtime with him. Before today, my usual pick up time was 5:30. Then I would rush home and get dinner going, maybe some play time, etc. As weird as it might sound, our twin girls have really slowed down time and given us the chance to see how precious anytime we have with our children is. Before the twins came into our lives, I was ready to have another baby and then take a few months off and then send both my kids back to day care/preschool full time. Now, I am experiencing being a stay at home and sending my son to preschool part-time. With the help of my in-laws and my husband working in a field he loves, together we can give our children some extra time with us before they get too big. It’s not going to be for long, but I can tell right now, I’m really glad I’m having this experience and that I’m home in time to play soccer.TEST
While on maternity leave
To connect or not to connect. To check your work email or to not check your work email. As I take this year off, I’m curious why I tend to check my work email? What is it that leads me to take a moment out of being a “mom” to see what is happening at work. I think it comes back to my love to connect. In my field of Student Affairs and working on a college campus, a day doesn’t go by that you find yourself connecting with another person. The connection could be a piece of advice, encouragement, or teaching them something new. I imagine it happens to all of us, where ever you may spend your day. As I write this, I am encouraged even more to connect with my daughters and fellow mothers.
However, this past week was the first week of the fall semester. For me, it was the first fall semester in 13 years I wasn’t working. So there was a part of me that couldn’t let that moment of checking in on work email go by. I’m glad I did. I saw this message from the new college president Dr. Larry Buckley. He did not have to write this email but he did. He found time to remind the campus about a topic that was shared on Flex Day. It was about having an “lollipop moment”. I may not be “working” right now, but it feels good to know I’m still part of a great place. I checked out the TedTalk and college site. Nice work. Especially for teaching leadership beyond student government. I guess in a small way I had my own lollipop moment reading his email. Here is that email:
Last week, at the District’s Opening Day event here at Canada, Diana Bennett shared a TedEX video that spoke to “Lollipop Moments” in which each of us become leaders whether we want to or not. Sometimes we become leaders and don’t even know we’re leading as we’re doing it! Several people suggested that we post on our website, a Login in Your Lollipop Moment page. On such a page, you would have the opportunity to share your lollipop moments with your colleagues, students, and the whole of our community.
Reading: Loved!â€œWild From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trailâ€ by Cheryl Strayed, paperback. Still searching for the next book. Going to see it if the library has a copy of “Sisterland”..keep reading reviews about this book.
Watching: Anytime now, the Royal Baby will be here.
Listening to:Â Sam playing his Nintendo DS.
Thankful for: Â everything. I’m learning every day.
Looking forward to:Â more blog writing. Have some new categories going to be launching soon.
Sam Update: Potty trained, check!
Twin lesson:Â Girls are 2 months old! Latest lesson, invest in 2 Graco Swings! We have one from Sam when he was a baby and now I am in search of another one. They are life savers!
Reading: Parenting Magazine
Watching: my son hanging out on my IKEA EKTORP Chair that I got in Fall 2007. I remember how much I wanted this chair. I never imagined that I would have a child who would call it home. Pretty cool feeling.
Thankful for: having my husband’s help and support. Especially when he stays positive and supports me spending time with new and old friends.
Looking forward to: Labor day weekend. I will be flying with my son and my sister to see my grandma in Southern CA. It will be the first time grandma gets to see my son in person.
Motherhood Lesson: Feeding a toddler is hard but you have to keep trying. Keep asking them and offering.
A few tips that are helping me enjoy Motherhood:
1) Take a day trip anywhere, zoo, beach, even to Target. Having an adventure with your child is the best was to laugh and be present.
2) Find a way to handle the worry. Maybe it is writing it down in a journal, talking it out, or just giving yourself the benefit of the doubt that do make great decisions. I never imagined that I would worry about small things like getting him to eat, to living in a place with a great school district. Worry is there but it doesn’t have to take over your daily thoughts.
This week, I was picked from my college to be part of the Redwood City/Belmont/San Carlos Leadership Class for 2012-2013. I’m really excited about this opportunity. I have friends who have had this opportunity in their community and they really grew from it. I’m excited that I get to connect one Friday a month with local city council, county, fire, health care, etc. As I was completing the application yesterday, I got to the question about civic and volunteer activities. They asked my to list what I have done in the last 5 years. As I sat there, I thought to myself..when did I have time to volunteer? For three years, I worked full-time and went to graduate school. In between that, I planned a wedding and got married. There was a short break where I could have volunteered but then I decided to have a baby so there was being pregnant. Then the baby came and it was full-time baby. Now, I am back to working full-time and any chance I get, I try to spend it with my son. So, my answer to that question..is my volunteer activity outside of work is being a mom. I mention that the kind of work I do “student affairs” is civic (I advise student government, can’t get more civic then that), plus I provide services toÂ at-risk first generation college students. Ahh..it’s not volunteer.
This Leadership Program has taught me my first lesson, “service” is asking yourself more often..where am I being of service in my life.
I still think I am going to bring up the service of being a parent. Do you think they will mind if I start a new category of service: “being a parent”? Especially with the average work week in Silicon Valley is 60 hours. I bet those people with a family would rather spend a Saturday with their children then at a board retreat… Yet, volunteer service is still needed in our communities. But how do we do it with working, parenting, taking care of the home, etc.?
Maybe finding a volunteer activity doesn’t have to be so big as I thinking it has to be? Maybe it can be as simple as taking my son Sam with me the next time I drop of a donation or teach him about picking up trash when we see it during our evening walk around campus. Or making that financial donation when you can.TEST
Reading: Still enjoying Daily Email updates from Baby Center.com. Huge help!
Watching: Sam running!
Thankful for: Girlfriends who are moms and who are not moms. Making time to see your girlfriends is so important!
Looking forward to: taking Sam to Germany.
Motherhood Lesson: Being a mom has taught me that “Mom” is a new title you carry. You worked hard for it (pregnancy). You are earning it every day (feeding, bathing, laughing).
A few tips that are helping me enjoy Motherhood:
1) Take lots of pictures with your phone so when you are back at work or taking a mini break, you can enjoy pictures instantly.
2) Take time in your day to be with your partner. Either if it is sitting close on the couch watching t.v. or going to bed at the same time. You need your partner! It also reminds you that you were a woman before you were a mom..and still are a woman who needs love too!
Reading: Email updates from Baby Center.com. All you do is type in the birth date of your child and before you know it, you get emails about things I should expect or even notice Sam is doing at his age.
Watching: Recently watched Sam watch the ocean waves. He was so amazed by it.
Thankful for: On this mother’s day, I am so thankful for being a mom and that I got to spend it with Sam and Matthias. Thankful for my own mother and all the support she gives to us and all the fun outfits she finds for Sam.
Looking forward to: picking Sam up after work. Best way to leave work at work
Motherhood Lesson: Being a mom has taught me to make time for “slide time” at least once a week. Need to let go of some stress, hit the local park and go down the slides with your little guy or girl!
A few tips that are helping me enjoy Motherhood:
1) Invest in a housekeeper who can come out at least once a month. They can take care of the shower cleaning, dusting, etc. Yay, they are coming tomorrow!
2) Have one day a week where you make no plans. My day is Sundays.
Reading: I’m still working on â€œ1-2-3 Magic, Effective Discipline for Children 2-12â€³ by Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D. I started reading “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. After reading a couple chapters, it already is making want to be more attentive to my own son. I feel like I’m doing a pretty good job but could always do better. It is nice to be reminded how much our children need and want our attention.
Watching: Sam eating more food. He is now enjoying steak! Oh but loves his Mac and Cheese!
Thankful for: Sam’s preschool La Creche Child Development Center. He is already counting to 20! And he just turned 2 last month.
Looking forward to: This summer we will be taking Sam to Germany for the first time! It is pretty cool to watch Matthias get excited about all the places he grew up and enjoyed as a child. Now he gets to share them with Sam.
Reading: “1-2-3 Magic, Effective Discipline for Children 2-12” by Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D.
Watching: Sam putting stickers all over the windows. We found the ones that peal and stick. Awesome! Great way to learn animals too.
Thankful for: Sam smiles and my husband doing the grocery shopping with Sam. Nice quite time at home
Looking forward to: Sam learning how to dress himself.
Hmm..it’s has been awhile since I wrote something for my Motherhood section. How about I try the “checking in” on Motherhood.
Reading: “What to expect the second year” by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel. When I give Sam his nightly bath, I skim through checking for things I need to pay attention to or could be helpful. Last night, I read “Provide the toddler a fork, how else are they going to learn how to use it”. Good point!
Watching: As I write this, Sam is laying his head on his pillow watching “Elmo’s World”. The best!
Thankful for: Sam hugs!
Looking forward to: Sam eating a bowl of cereal.