Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mom’s Code Chronicle #4 Save her When She’s Drowning Part 1 of 2

Written by Eileen Wacker

Moms need other moms. It’s a simple fact, and a complicated truth. Because it’s hard for moms to ask for help, to admit we are drowning. But once in a while, the white flag needs to be raised. Even our bones feel weary and we get prone to disillusionment, like when a mob of parents stampede children at an Easter egg hunt, trying to get the most candy.

My working mom friends want someone to inform the cold and flu season that its time is up. Our kids are still dropping like flies and it’s a bad strain this year. We need the illnesses to stay within their cycles! Allergy season’s biggest punch is around the corner. We’ve exhausted our back-up plans. My friend Elise said, “I had no choice but to ask my mother-in-law for help and now she’s extracting her payment in blood. Two days of babysitting my sick kids equals six months of extreme and unquestioned intrusiveness and all can do is smile and be grateful.”

Learn more about The Moms Code.  Like The Moms Code on Facebook  Follow The Moms Code on Twitter.  Find on Instagram.

Last weekend, my oldest daughter went to a weekend camp sponsored by her school. The camp was cold at night, hot during the day, and the bare bones accommodations provide a place to sleep. Period. I picked her up and she informs me in a nasally and gravelly voice, “My throat hurts.” We stopped to get over-the-counter mediations. I ran her a vanilla foam bath. I made a homemade pasta dinner. She went to bed early with enough Mucinex in her system to kill a baby rhinoceros. This is ‘thwarting a potential illness 101’ for moms.

She woke up the next morning and said, “My throat still hurts.” She had no fever and didn’t want to miss her math test. I said, “Call me in an hour and tell me how you are.” She texted me that her throat hurts but she can finish the day. After school, wants to tell the track coach she is sick so he’ll know she’s not faking. I text her back, “I need you to get well. No track.” I’m not sure if she is exhausted or sick. Later in the day, she texts, “Kylie had strep and still came to school last week.” Ugh. I have four kids, two dogs and my husband is traveling. I don’t have time for a strep epidemic to hit my house. I call in some reinforcements and leave work.

The Moms Code author Eileen Wacker writes the acclaimed childrens books The Fujimini Adventure Series Learn more here.

My mom friends rally to help me. I spend two hours in Urgent Care while they pick up my other three kids. My daughter tests positive for strep throat. To be honest, I have to ask what it is. It is a bacterial infection. It is contagious. She takes the shot to the butt over the prescription medicine. One trip to the pharmacy saved! I celebrate. Just kidding. My thoughts travel down some random alleyways. “I’ve got to fetch my kids. They’ve missed two sports practices and piano lessons. A plus is we caught the strep early. A minus is she will be quarantined to her bedroom. Little sister moving into my bed.  All bedding washed. I was serious about sticking to a diet this week. Pizza is now on my diet because I always need pizza when I slip into survival mode.” My daughter snaps me back to reality. “Mom has anyone ever died from pain? I feel like there are razor blades in my throat.”

Click here to read part 2

Mom’s Code Chronicle #4 Save her When She’s Drowning Part 2 of 2

This is part 2 of Mom’s Code Chronicle #4 Save her When She’s Drowning

To read part 1 of Mom’s Code Chronicle #4 Save her When She’s Drowning, click here.

I hate it when my kids are sick. My worry sometimes spirals into irrational thoughts and everyone ends up micromanaged.

I get home. My little girl immediately begins to complain about the hand raiser in her class. No one else gets the chance to show what they know. The teacher always calls on the same kids. I tell her that she’s a great student and she shouldn’t worry about the hand raisers. I’m secretly stewing about it though. Why do the hand raisers get to dominate the classes?

Many proud parents just like you appreciate multi-cultural education for your children.  Written by the same author as The Moms Code, find the childrens book series by clicking here.

I have not even made it out of the entryway when my son tells me someone stole his basketball sneakers or maybe he left them somewhere. He has only been to three places today but somehow he managed to lose his basketball sneakers. He already outgrows them every six months, now he’s losing them? He informs me, “Good news mom. I practiced in my socks and only slipped four times.” His socks are blackened and shredded and he has a rug burn type of mark on his elbow.

I look down at my bitten nails. I keep cheerfulness in my tone. Thank goodness my kids are not observant unless it concerns their electronics, friends or clothes budget. Otherwise they would notice the slight eye tic. My friend calls. She is between projects and having a tough day. She says, “Let’s meet and catch up with a glass of wine.” I’m drowning but agree. She texts, “I look like a wreck.” I text, “I won’t wear make-up so you’ll recognize me.” She texts, “I can’t wash and blow dry my hair or my kids get suspicious I’m going somewhere and bar me from leaving.” I text, “Okay, we are mom ninjas in disguise so we can carve out some free time.”

We meet at a little wine bar. About fifteen thousand words pour out of us. We’re venting about all of the injustices, challenges and trials we’ve faced, and for the most part, mastered. Her kind eyes look into my warrior mom soul and pull out the words and insights. I admit, “I hate the hand raisers that always get called on and star in every school event!” She says, “I hate the moms who prepare perfectly perfect homemade snacks and then my store-bought cookies get put on a back table of shame. I work and don’t have time to bake things from scratch.” I say, “The only time I liked Martha Stewart was when she was in jail.” Then, like every other time, we start laughing and can’t stop. There it is— the release. It’s a reset button.

Then we look at our phones filled with texts from our children, asking when we will be home. No one else can handle the bedtime routine like the mom. I go home and my kids are waiting. All day, they were at school and not missing me one bit, but they always feel better when I’m in the house. I guess it’s ‘just in case’.

Learn more about The Moms Code.  Like The Moms Code on Facebook  Follow The Moms Code on Twitter.  Find on Instagram.

I really value how moms can save each other when we are drowning. It comes in so many forms. Today it was picking up my children and an evening cocktail to share stories of today’s challenges. Then I went home to be the best ‘just in case’ mom to my kids.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Advocate Politely

By Kenna McHugh
Guest Blogger

Bettina Bush’s interview with Eileen Wacker hit a heartstring because when my daughter was born I wanted her to be the shining star in every class and in every program because she is my shining star. I am sure all moms feel that way.

I can relate to what Eileen is saying. Being a mom you don’t want to be too pushy or too overbearing. But, if you don’t say something, then what? Somebody needs to speak up for the child, and it might as well be their mom.  

Learn more about The Moms Code.  Like The Moms Code on Facebook  Follow The Moms Code on Twitter.  Find on Instagram.

I am not saying turn on the drama because I know that doesn’t work. But, how can a mom approach a situation with a coach, teacher or director in an effective way?

One time I didn’t feel comfortable approaching my daughter’s ballet teacher because she didn’t make it easy. She wouldn’t even look at me, and if I got her attention I felt a chasm between us, and I couldn’t reach her.  I want to scream. “Why are you ignoring my daughter during class? How can she improve if you don’t help her?”

I know screaming would not have helped. I was really frustrated because my daughter was not happy.  So, we left the studio.  I ask myself, “Should I have handled it differently?”  I don’t think so.
I remember a time when a mom did turn on her drama.  I wish she had taken a more logical approach to matter because she was absolutely right in her situation, but turning on the drama did not help her get her point across. It only made her look bad and made matters worse.  

The Moms Code author Eileen Wacker also writes the acclaimed childrens books The Fujimini Adventure Series.  Many proud parents just like you appreciate multi-cultural education for your children.  Find the book series by clicking here.

The mom felt her daughter should have been given a solo dance because she had been with the studio for 8 years, she hadn’t had a solo yet, and it was her time to shine.  She was absolutely right.
Adding to that, she was so furious, and spoke in such an angry tone telling the director that she was favoring students and not allowing her daughter to shine. This upset the director, who started telling parents about her drama, which was not okay and brought everyone down.  My daughter and I decided we needed to leave the studio because of all the drama. It was counterproductive. To this day, the studio is struggling to stay open. Like Eileen said in the radio interview, it is exhausting and brings everyone down.    

With these two situations, I believe that institutions that are working with the children should take responsibility in handling moms or parents when it comes to these matters.  On the other spectrum, moms need to learn to communicate in a logical way to coaches, teachers and directors to get their point across effectively. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Moms Save Each Other

Written by Shelle Lenssen
Guest Blogger

When Eileen and Bettina chatted the other day on Working Mother Radio, I felt like theywere both talking right to me. I loved their discussion on three of the pillars of the Mom’s Code, especially my new favorite, Moms Save Each Other. This Moms Code mainstay was very evident in my own life recently, and I was reminded just how much we moms need to step in and save each other every once in a while.

Learn more about The Moms Code.  Like The Moms Code on Facebook  Follow The Moms Code on Twitter.  Find on Instagram.

I took my daughters to the children’s movie matinee on Saturday morning, along with about every single other family in town. The theatre was jam-packed with squirming toddlers, chatty kids, and moms and dads trying to prevent a major popcorn incident. Really, it was pretty much a typical morning at the kiddie show.

Right before the movie started, a mom friend I’ve known for a few years, ran over to me in a rush. She stopped and explained that she had just gotten a call and needed to immediately go pick up her oldest son, and would I mind keeping an eye on her younger four kids for a few minutes? Without hesitating, I told her “absolutely” and she was off without looking back. Her four children never moved from their seats and she made sure I saw her when she returned less than ten minutes later. The whole exchange took minimal effort on my part, but it allowed my friend to leave guilt-free and know her children were being minded and didn’t have to miss out on the movie.

ONCEKids Publishing is run by literacy advocate and Mompreneur Eileen Wacker.  Click here to find her acclaimed books

Just as I helped a friend that morning, I have been rescued many, many times myself. When I was eight months pregnant, five different ladies came to my aid when I was determined to paint every room in our new house. When my oldest daughter and I were in a bad car accident a few years ago, a dear friend collected my stitched-up preschooler, got her clean clothes, and fed her lunch while I stayed in the hospital for further testing. I’ve had mom friends lend me last-minute Halloween costumes, bring my family dinner, and take pictures of my kids during the Christmas play. In turn, I’ve happily contributed to meal trains for new moms, picked a friend’s kid up from practice, loaned out books and DVDs, and dropped off good chocolate when I could tell a friend just finished a particularly rough day.

I am so grateful for this sweet community of moms I’m able to be a part of. I’ve been saved by my mom friends more times than I’d like to count, and am sure we’ll keep on saving each other until our kids leave our nests. We’ll pick up each other’s orders from the warehouse club, pass along shin guards and cleats, and be each other’s biggest cheerleaders. We all agree, just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community of moms to save each other.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

It’s Hard To Stay Cheerful

By Kenna McHugh
Guest Blogger

I gulp down my cup of coffee, telling my 8-year-old son, “Finish your breakfast and get dressed for school. I don’t want to be late.” He appears to ignore me. He wrestles the dog and whines, “The cereal is too crunchy and hard to eat. Why can’t we have Cheerios or Rice Krispies?”

Since the caffeine is kicking in, I’m able to laugh, “Because that stuff will rot your teeth and plug you up.” I send him off to his room and hope he gets dressed. I’m putting his cereal in a baggie to eat on the way when his 15-year old sister bursts into the kitchen, still in her pajamas. “My sweater has a rip! I need you to fix it!”

“We need to leave for school in 7 minutes. I can’t fix it right now, honey.” She screams, “I need to wear this sweater…what am I going to wear?” She turns back to her bedroom and slams the door.
My blood is boiling. I tamp down my own scream and count “One, one thousand, two, two thousand…Is this important enough to scream about, right now?” Duke Ellington once said, “A problem is a chance for you to do your best.”  

ONCEKids Publishing is run by literacy advocate and Mompreneur Eileen Wacker.  Click here to find her acclaimed books

I want to do my best. Though, in this moment, I’m mad and want to yell, “I am not appreciated for all my hard work and blah, blah, blah.” But, that wouldn’t help the situation. I make a mental note to confront my kids about getting ready for school later today when we are not in a rush to get out the door.

Counting to ten helped, and I do feel better. I hand the bag of cereal to my son, “Your shirt is on backwards.” He smiles, showing me the dimple I love so much, and turns his shirt around.  He grabs the bag of cereal, starts eating, and seems to have forgotten about Cheerios and Rice Krispies.
I head to my daughter’s room. I find a route to her closet despite the mounds of clutter on the floor. We look through her tops and find an alternative, promising, “I will help you fix your sweater this evening, okay?” She gives me best silent look, puts on her top and heads out of her bedroom without a second thought to her stuff strewn across her floor. “How does she do that?”

Learn more about The Moms Code.  Like The Moms Code on Facebook  Follow The Moms Code on Twitter.  Find on Instagram.

I keep my eye on my mom goal, and get them to their respective schools.  I have an appointment at the gym after I drop them off.  It will be my time, my way, and the best way I can get through all my mornings that seem to resemble this one.