Being Happy with Children

A study just came out regarding how although dads are doing more to help with housework and children, moms still report feeling more stressed then dads do.  It is an interesting study which I’ll put a link at the bottom, but what I found the most interesting was not the topic (no new news to me), but something else mentioned.  It stated that research shows that people with no children reported feeling happier then those with children.  Mental well-being was higher among the childless and  those whose children have left the nest.  Reading this article made me realize that there needs to be a change to how we view raising children and what should be expected of us.  I love my children and I know those with children like me would do anything for them, couldn’t imagine our lives without them, and wouldn’t want to be in this world without their kids, but let’s be honest, do you feel happy more than stress?  Do you feel stress more than happy?  I am taking a stress management class and I have been more aware of just how much stress I actually feel everyday, and it is most of the time.  I always knew that I felt the symptoms of stress:  anxiety, uneasiness, trying to do 100 things when I only have time for 10, and tension in my body, but what I didn’t realize was to the extent that it affects my whole day.  In the class we have to write down times we feel stress, what caused it, how we reacted, and what we did about it and in this whole process, it has really made me aware of the damage it is doing.  In the class, I have learned that not all stress is bad, there is actually good kinds of stress(eustress).  That is the kind of stress that forces me to get up at 5 in the morning to study for my classes so I can graduate, the kind that makes me go to the doctor to check out a suspicious mole, the kind that helps me get the house in order to get ready for hosting a party, and the kind that has me sacrifice to save money for things I want for my children.  Without this kind of stress, we would just lay there and do nothing, just a lump on the couch taking up space.  Unfortunately, most of the time I feel the bad stress and it is because I try, like many moms, to do it all.  When I think about it, it makes sense that having children doesn’t really make you happier and that childless people are on average more content in their lives.  With children come interrupted sleep, more worries, more tasks, more vulnerability, more responsibility, and less time for yourself and your spouse, and many other things that take a toll on you.  I get so stressed throughout the day that towards the end, ok let’s be real, after a few hour(sometimes by noon), I bark at my kids for something that is a normal kid thing:  spilling water on the floor, making noise, running around the house, climbing on the counters, marking on the walls, fighting with each other, and washing their toys in the toilet…among other things.  So one little thing happens, and BAM, here comes CRAZY MOMMY!  Yes I feel better after I have yelled at them, but just for that moment, then I feel like crap as they look at me with their big brown eyes and as their little bottom lip sticks out, then I give lots of hugs and I’m sorries.  I want to change the outlook on having children, I want to Be Happy With Children, if not happier then if I didn’t have kids.  They enrich my life so much, it is just hard to see it through all the chaos.  Why do we put so much on ourselves?  I feel so overwhelmed with school, laundry, cooking, cleaning, laundry, running errands, taking care of the kids, laundry, paying bills, grocery shopping, laundry, oh yeah, did I mention LAUNDRY??!!? It never ends!  Ok, so then I ask myself, why, why, why, WHY?  We can’t do it all and we shouldn’t.  What we should be doing is spending more time with our family, and less time doing chores.  Our kids will be grown in a blink of an eye and I’m sure we won’t be saying, “If only I cleaned more,” no we will be saying, “I wish I played, read, laughed, made messes, tickled, kissed, wrestled more with my kids.”  I always tell  my son that mommy will play with him after I do this…. and after I do that…and put him off.  I should be putting off whatever chore I’m doing and spend an extra 10 or 20 minutes with him, “F” the laundry(it is my enemy). 

So if you want to read more about the article that started my rant (even though I just touched a small portion of it), the link is below…

   http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-he-multitasking-parents-20111201,0,4356544.story

Now, I have to get back to doing the laundry….

Let me know what you think, what are some ways you try to be happy with your kids?  Are you childless and have some tips for us Moms and Dads to maintain or recoup our sanity?

Thanks for reading!  Follow my blog and follow me on twitter:  @lifeintoylane

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My Nurturing Son

As a mom you always think your children are the best in the world and maybe it is my parent “googles,” but I think my son is one special little guy.  As a 3 1/2 year old, he does what any other 3-year-old is supposed to do, drive mommy crazy!  He asserts himself more and more everyday, tests me on a daily….no wait… on a minute to minute basis, asks tons of questions that I run out of answers for, picks on his sister, and loves to make messes.  I am trying to raise a sympathetic and caring child(like all of us), but there are times when I wonder if what I’m doing is working.  Is he ever going to get over this “wanting to destroy and take apart everything and then throw those items at his sister” stage.  He loves to push his sister just as much as he loves to give her hugs.  He loves to take her books away from her just as much as he loves to sit next to her and “read” to her.  He loves to take her food while she is eating just as much as he loves to feed her.  So I’m conflicted.  Is he trying to keep mommy confused or is it just normal boy behavior?  I teach him to be “nice” and “take care” of his sister and to watch out for her and to “protect” her.  So when things are starting to seem like he will never be this way.  A “bit and piece” appears that shows me that my worrying is for nothing.  I bought a doll and play crib for my girl and we were all playing with it.  My girl was taking care of the baby and  my son was throwing the doll around.  I told him he needed to help his sister take care of the baby, sing to the doll and put her in the crib so she could “sleep.”  Then we all get ready for bed.  We go upstairs and I put the doll in her crib between my son’s bed and his sister’s crib(they share a room).  I go to check on them a little while later and find that my girl is asleep, but my darling son is still awake.  I notice that he has something in his bed.  I realize that the doll’s crib is next to him, but I don’t see the “baby.”  I ask him where the “baby” is and he says, “right here” and points to his chest.  The doll is upside down, underneath his shirt.  I’m thinking why in the heck is the baby underneath his shirt and why is it upside down?  So I calmly ask him, “Why is the baby under your shirt and not on top of your chest?  You should have her on top of your chest to rock her to sleep.”  Then he says, “No Mommy, the baby was thirsty?”  So I ask kind of puzzled, “Well then why don’t you give her some water?”  In which he then responds, “because she wanted milk Mommy, so I am giving it to her!”  Aww, my sweet innocent son.  He will be a great dad one day and if his wife can’t breastfeed, he’ll gladly take over.  I guess I know what to get him for Christmas!  Maybe a breastfeeding doll?  Lord help me now!

Do have any shards of evidence that your parenting has worked?   

Thanks for letting me share!

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I Need a Mute Button

How can so much noise come out of two little kids?  If it isn’t coming from their yelling or crying, then it is coming from banging on their piano, rolling the toy lawn mower on the floor, cars being scraped on the wall, chairs being pushed on the tile floor, and toy trains/cars/planes/anything they can get their hands on crashing together to make the loudest freaking “clang” you can think of.  Also, who was the genius who bought these noise creating, make you go insane toys?  Oh yeah, it was me.  When you are at the store, you think “oh this is a good toy, educational, hours of fun” and then you bring it home and you soon realize it was a huge mistake.  Later you decide to put one up and soon follows another loud toy in its place that you thought you got rid of.  After some thinking,  you then decide that  you’ll only let the kids play with one noise inducing toy at certain times of the day when you have more patience.  That doesn’t work because now the kids are fighting over who gets to play with the ear-piercing toy, so you bring out two noise enhancers and surprise, they both want what the other has.  So, you try to negotiate over the crying and screaming until you get to the point where you want to cry and scream and finally you yell, “Enough, no one gets to play with the stupid toys!”  Yes, not exactly your finest moment. What also doesn’t help is when your significant other says “Well why did you buy that for them?”  Yeah….not a good time ok!!?? 

So then it occurs to me that it be nice to have a portable mute button that you can use whenever the noise level exceeded your toleration level.  You could set it so when noise is > toleration level, mute button goes on.  Then everyone is happy.  Kids get to make all the noise they want and mommy doesn’t have to hear it.  Daddy is also happy because then he doesn’t have to hear mommy gripe about how she is going to go crazy if she hears one more freaking scrape on the floor or how she is going to break the toys in two.  Aww yes, the magical mute button, it could have other uses as well.  You spent how much at the store?  (mute to not hear husband)  Do you want to sign up for this newspaper to get all the coupons?  No? Don’t you like to save money? (mute to you annoying person at the grocery store Person next to you in class that is talking to you while the teacher is talking. (Mute to you blabber mouth.  I am trying to get an education)  It might even work for other people’s kids! (might have to tweak the settings)  So much potential!

It would be a great stress reliever, don’t you think?    Do you have any other ideas that would make your life a little easier?  Tell me about it!

Thanks for reading!

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I’m Having an Affair…

… with coffee!  Oh coffee, how I love you so, you never seem to let me down.  Those who know me might remember a time when I never drank the stuff.  I have always loved the smell of coffee brewing, but never cared for the taste.  It has been a gradual process from yuck, I can’t believe people drink this stuff, to:  Oh Starbucks, yum, I’ll have a sugar laden Mocha frappucino with some sugar sprinkles, and oh yeah with an extra pump of sugar!, to:  Ok Starbucks, I’ll try your regular coffee.  Ok, pretty bitter, me no likey.  I think I’ll stick with the sweet stuff.  Give me a Caramel Macchiato please with extra whipped cream and some extra caramel, oh and a side of diabetes please. Thanks!  Then another progression to: Ok, I think I get this coffee thing now, ok barista, I’ll order a tall, iced Caramel Macchiato, upside down, with an extra pump of vanilla, yeah baby!  (I’m getting better, I kinda laid off some of the extra sugar right?)  To the present:  Ok Starbucks, I am tired of wasting all this money on you when I am capable of brewing my own coffee in the comfort of my own home.  As long as I have a bucket size of coffee grounds, a gallon of half/half, and some splenda, I am set!  I never need to see you again!  I am talking to Starbucks, not the coffee itself, because my love affair is not with Starbucks though you could have interpreted it as so, but my affair is still with coffee and I do not intend in ending it, ever!  My husband will just have to understand that coffee will always be the other man in my life, please do not make me choose.  I would hate to split up the family, sad I know. 

I have listed below my 5 favorites in case you were wondering which ones are worth “cheating” on your partner with.

1.  Jose’s Vanilla Nut (at Costco) – delicious and sinful at the same time

2.  Don Francisco’s Hawaiian Hazelnut – reminds of the time I spent in Hawaii, or wait was that L & L ?

3.  Don Francisco’s 100% Columbian Supremo

4. Don Francisco’s Vanilla Nut

5. Yuban’s Dark Roast 

As a mom, coffee has become a life saver.  It helps pull me through the days when all I want to do is shut my eyes and sleep till noon like my pre-kid days.  So since those days are far behind me and I will probably never be able to sleep that long again, I have to rely on Mr. Coffee to get me up in the morning.  On the days that I don’t feel tired and do not need that caffeine jolt, oh wait, I don’t think that has EVER happened, so nevermind…

Well, what are your favorite coffees?  Please share so I can try them!  I always like to spice things up!

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Orange Juice Doesn’t Make It Breakfast

The Nutella commercial that shows the fake family enjoying a piece of bread with Nutella spread just drives me crazy.  They advertise the Nutella as a breakfast and even have the good ol’ OJ to drink with it.  Ok, OJ does not make it a breakfast.  If I eat a snickers bar with a glass of orange juice, does that mean I can call it a breakfast?  I’m not saying you can’t eat this for your first meal of the day, but don’t make a commercial and advertise it that way.  The kids in the commercial look a little too happy to be having this as a meal, but this is definitely not reality.  Call it what it is, Nutella is a snack.  Just like when they used to advertise pop tarts as a breakfast item, they now show it for what it is, a dessert.  Now you see pop tart commercials that show to eat them with ice cream or as afternoon snacks, but not for a food to consume first thing in the morning.  I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised since Nutella is made by the same company who makes Ferrero Rocher.  I wish ad companies would be more responsible for what they put on the air, but that is wishful thinking.  (ok a little redundant)  I also wish my kids would sleep till 10, but that isn’t going to happen. 

As a side note, I googled “I wish my kids would,” and you know what popped up?  I wish my wife and children would die in a fiery explosion. Ok, that person seriously needs a break or to be locked up!

So what do you think?  Should Nutella advertise itself as breakfast? Leave me a comment below and tell me your thoughts.

 Also, do something crazy and follow my blog and follow me on twitter!  @lifeintoylane  I will be setting up a facebook page soon, stay tuned!

Welcome to my blogworld!

I am a back to school mama who has two beautiful kids, a 3 yr old boy and a 1 yr old girl.  I started this blog to rant and rave about how I survive as a parent.  Before I had kids I worked in accounting and now I have decided to go back to school to get a BS in Accounting (Bachelor in Science, I know what you were thinking!)  So between homework and study sessions, attending classes, taking care of my kids, cleaning to maintain a spotless house (ha ha), and taking care of 5 out of 100 to dos on my list, I will write so I don’t go crazy. 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy reading my life in the toy lane!

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