Category Archives: Cool Moms Blogging

Happy Mom Habits

My cousin wrote the other day that she noticed an article titled “Ten Habits of a Happy Mom”. She disagreed with the article, and came up with a few clever ones of her own:

1. Keeping up with the laundry and socks (this is probably one of the most crucial things I do, because if it’s 7:55 and we have two minutes to get out the door and lil M can’t find a proper T-shirt or clean socks…well…you can forget about the rest of the day…just throw up your hands and walk away.)
2. Wiping down the kitchen counters and the stove every night (so that when I wake up and go to make coffee, a clean kitchen awaits to greet me with a gleam….sigh….I love starting days that way. That’s happiness right there.)
3. Ironing and mending hubby’s shirts (I love knowing that he can start every workday off right with a hot cup of coffee and a nice shirt, plus watching him walk out the door in the morning looking so handsome…that’s bliss.)
4. Calendaring. Can you imagine how completely miserable life would be if I didn’t enter all of the places I need to be, when papers were due back to school, who was driving who to school when? As it is, I’m constantly striving to improve in this area, but for the most part, I have a system that works, and my happiness depends on being able to glance ahead to Monday and see that, Oh! It’s minimum day schedule again and we’re going to have to arrange carpool…..

I can see how my cousin’s list would make for a happy mom. Many of those habits would ensure happiness in my world (save for the mending part, I’m not much of an ironer or a mender – which is why most of my clothes don’t require much of each…and why I picked Mr. W, who knows how to pick up a needle and thread to mend his own clothes). But what would my own short-ish list of Happy Mom Habits look like?

1. Vacuuming. I know, it’s not super exciting. In fact, it is right up there in the exhilarating range of dusting and mopping. But there is a magic involved with vacuuming. For one, to vacuum a floor all things need to be picked up off the floor. It’s fair to say that all of those floor hobbits can just be placed on the couch, thus moving the mess from one place to the other. But if there is going to be effort placed into bending down and picking things up, it makes more sense to create piles for each room of the house, then depositing these piles in said room so that the first room can be vacuumed. Moving to the next room, the process is repeated. Therefore, I have come to believe that vacuuming is definitely magical, because every time I pull out that vacuum, my house magically gets cleaned. Not only that, but a vacuumed floor really does look so much cleaner than a cleared off floor that hasn’t been vacuumed. A clean house makes me very, very happy – and is not the easiest thing to come by when kids are involved (or a lazy parent at the end of the work day, let’s be realistic). Therefore, vacuuming (that equals clean house) is #1 on my list of Happy Mom Habits.

2. Creating a weekly menu. This one is #2 for another loaded reason. Sitting down and going through the cookbook allows me to avoid the dreaded question, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” I don’t think there’s a worse experience to dread than coming home to a fridge that holds no clues to this question, and the last thing you even want to do is figure out what to eat, let alone cook it. Not only that, coming up with a menu gives me a chance to go through my cabinets and make up a list of things I will need to make this dream dinner list come true. Hence, the shopping list is born out of the weekly menu. Not only that, those weeks when I am diligent in making up a menu and create my shopping list from it, I feel way more on task and I also save loads of money by a) not buying things I don’t need and b) not having to make frequent trips back to the store for a last minute idea for dinner. And if that menu includes a crockpot dinner or two, consider this a deliriously Happy Mom Habit.

3. Being healthy. Sometimes I have to really talk myself into this habit. After all, that leftover Halloween candy is whispering its own happy thoughts to me, promising me that a face full of chocolate is going to make me really happy. But that sluggish feeling after gorging on a bagful of candy or a plate of fried crap? Not so happy. But it’s very truthful to say that when I incorporate good eating habits into my diet, and when I take the time to get in some movement – hiking, walking, biking, or whatever suits my fancy – I am way happier than I am when I’m lazing on the couch, and my favorite pants are feeling a little snug.

4. Uninterrupted family time. This is when all distractions are put aside (toss phone out window, unplug the modem, tell kids’ friends to take a hike), and spend total quality time with the kids. On nights when we all cuddle up on the couch for a movie, or when we clear that table and enjoy an exciting game of high stakes poker (I’ll see your Jolly Rancher, and raise you a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup), I can’t think of anything that makes me smile more as I go to sleep that night.

5. And, of course, some kid-free ME time. No list is complete without it. Without coming back to center, doing something that is just for me – whether it’s reading a book, taking a long bath, going for a walk, taking myself out for lunch, or even dumping the kids on the relatives for a blissful adults only weekend – I cannot be the best mom I can be. And we all deserve to be free of our kids from time to time.

What would your list of Happy Mom Habits include?

P.S. We’re still accepting kids’ cake designs for a chance to win tickets to see Cake Boss. See HERE for details.

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Costumed kid bullied by moms

Halloween is over, the costumes put away until another year, or to eventually be given away. The decorations are being taken down. And the rotting pumpkins on the stoop are (hopefully) making their way into the garbage can. For the most part, October’s holiday is behind us as we focus on the holiday season ahead.

But for one mom, Halloween is still haunting her. And it has everything to do with her son, and his choice of Halloween costume.

Before I tell her story, here is what “Cop’s Wife” (CW) of NerdyAppleBottom.com has to say:

My Son is Gay (Or he’s not. I don’t care. He is still my son.)

1. My son is 5 and goes to a church preschool.
2. He has loved Scooby Doo since developing the ability and attention span to sit still long enough to watch it.
3. Halloween is a holiday and its main focus is wearing a costume.
4. My son’s school had the kids dress up, do a little parade, and then change out of costumes for the rest of the party.
5. Boo’s best friend is a little girl
6. Boo has an older sister
7. Boo spends most of his time with me.
8. I am a woman.
9. I am Boo’s mother, not you.

Boo had decided in the weeks leading up to Halloween that he really wanted to be Daphne for Halloween. After much consideration (to ensure he didn’t change his mind, but not because he wanted to be a girl), his mom ordered the costume. Boo was thrilled. But as Halloween approached, her 5 year old son suddenly felt the pangs of stage fright, afraid to wear a costume that others might laugh at. But CW talked him into going ahead, since she knew that was what he really wanted to be. After all, “who would make fun of a child in a costume on Halloween?”

Halloween came, and he walked in proudly. Those who knew his costume in advance made sure to high-five him on his courage and awesome costume. But it was the reaction of 3 moms that floored CW.

“Two mothers went wide-eyed and made faces as if they smelled decomp. And I realize that my son is seeing the same thing I am. So I say, “Doesn’t he look great?” And Mom A says in disgust, “Did he ask to be that?!” I say that he sure did as Halloween is the time of year that you can be whatever it is that you want to be. They continue with their nosy, probing questions as to how that was an option and didn’t I try to talk him out of it. Mom B mostly just stood there in shock and dismay.
And then Mom C approaches. She had been in the main room, saw us walk in, and followed us down the hall to let me know her thoughts. And they were that I should never have ‘allowed’ this and thank God it wasn’t next year when he was in Kindergarten since I would have had to put my foot down and ‘forbidden’ it. To which I calmly replied that I would do no such thing and couldn’t imagine what she was talking about. She continued on and on about how mean children could be and how he would be ridiculed.
My response to that: The only people that seem to have a problem with it is their mothers.”

Read more in CW’s blog, “My Son is Gay”.

Nowadays, you hear a lot about people raising their children without gender roles. Recently I even wrote about Shiloh Jolie-Pitt who prefers to dress and act like a boy rather than the girl that she is. Parents are giving their daughters trucks and action figures, and giving their boys dolls and the like. Dressing a girl like a boy is not a terribly shocking thing to do. But people bristle when it comes to dressing a boy like a girl, even if that is the very way they want to dress. Boo is a little boy who was playing make-believe on Halloween, just as many children do at Halloween time, becoming someone he was not. Some kids chose to be horrifying zombies. Some wore horrific gashes, or the masks of murderers. Some were even scary politicians. Boo, he just went as a girl.

And this was intolerable.

In facing judgment from others, should we be steering our kids away from things that might, so-called, embarass them?  Were these moms right, that Boo’s mother should have guided her child to a costume better suited for a boy to avoid any uncomfortable feelings on either side?  Or should boys be allowed to dress like girls (or whatever they choose to dress as) for Halloween, or any other time they choose?

Meet Cathe!

I’m hot. And not just a little hot. I’m a lot hot. It’s that uncomfortable, make me fidget, no escaping it kind of hot. And if you are braving the days out there in Santa Rosa, you are fidgety hot too. How are all of you braving the heat?

Me? After running around doing errands, I am sitting at my computer on the second floor of my stuffy, non-airconditioned condo trying to come up with something to write about. And you know what? I have discovered that being fidgety hot not only makes me uncomfortable, it also saps all creativity from me. So instead of writing you something witty today, I want to point you in the direction of Cathe, a mom on the Santa Rosa Mom forums who keeps a really cool blog at justsomethingimade.com.

Cathe is incredibly creative! I spent a long time poring over her entries and got lost in the different ideas she had for creating projects to just straight up passing the time. And she has a multitude of ideas that will inspire even the most uncrafty person (ahem….me). My favorite post was on her Sharpie tattoos.

catheholdentattoosharpies

catheholdenhennatattoohandcatheholdentattoofamilyrose

I mean, seriously, could you imagine spending a day at the lake tatting each other with permanent markers?  They are inexpensive, aren’t as permanent as real tattoos, and they look a heck of a lot cooler too.   

Go check Cathe out at justsomethingimade.com.  And if you have a blog, let us all know on the forums at SantaRosaMom.com!

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Speaking of stuff on the cheap, what’s cheaper than FREE?  I am all about the freebies, and am always on the lookout.  Do you know of some good local fun stuff to do with the family that costs mere pennies or is absolutely FREE?  Share with us in the forums!