Monday, February 27, 2012

Work vs Home: Up to my ears in mom guilt

In the next week between the two kids there are at least four activities, appointments, or school presentations that will take me away, or could take me, away from work before my usual business hours end of day.  I work a for a some what flexible company that allows me the chance to occasionally, frequently lately; attend meetings, events and activities during my work hours. I of course make the hours up, but there is a point when too much is too much.  I want to make sure I am not taking advantage of my work situation but still be there for my family, but how?

Sadly as of late I am making the must appointments and passing on the class presentations and optional 'fun' things and this is starting to tick me off. Time moves by and the kids may or may not even notice our presence at events, but I want to be there to cheer them on. Currently due to the high number of assessments, doctor appointments, and other innocuous meetings being able to show my support is not always going to be at the big presentation, which Bean has two of in the next two weeks. She will learn from all these events and know I love and support her, but I still will have the 'mom guilt', the knowledge I wasn't there to see her shine.

So how do you combat the mom guilt?

I have thrown pity parties for the mom guilt, it didn't go away. I listened to other moms mom guilt, it didn't go away.  I have talked to it, cajoled in and finally I think accepted it. I have accepting that the mom guilt will not go away and that it is OK. I will still try to make everything and feel bad when I don't', but knowing I tried and I wanted to will have to be enough.  Hopefully years from now when her sits on her therapists couch and talks about how I was never there for her I will have come to accept it, because at least she won't be talking about how I never loved her, just that I wasn't always there.  Though in her heart she will know I always wanted to be, but that sometimes you just can't.

Do you have mom guilt?  Did you kick her out for good and how?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Work Travel

Once a year I get the chance to attend a conference with people that do what I do at work.  I work in Change and Configuration Management with an IT Service Management focus.  If you suddenly upon reading that sentence heard the adult wah wah from Charlie Brown, don't worry most people do.  The gist is what I do isn't' done by a lot of people so once a year I get to go hang with a bunch of folks that do what I do.  I love the chance to see what others are doing, but the traveling with nice clothes part always puts me in a panicked funk.

I am not what you would call a girly girl, adult tomboy geek girl is a little better comparison and this makes the idea of traveling with nice clothes that need ironing and to stay nice a bit of a challenge.  This is the second year I am heading to this conference and again I am trying to go with just a carry on bag, that usually isn't a big deal since the conference is only four days, this year though Hubs and I area headed there early so we can play before the conference.  This means in one carry on bag I now needs clothes for 7 days, and I will be switching hotels half way through this.  I can do the pants thing, no issue there, as long as I don't sit in anything; always a chance with me.  Shirts, workout clothes, kick around clothes and keeping it all neat and pressed, not so sure. This doesn't count the work computer, book I am currently reading and all the other junk I am sure will come with me on this trip.

Any ideas, tips and tricks? What do you do to pack light and not look wrinkled and dirty? 

Sunday Homework

 I have always been pretty committed to trying to get homework done on time and Sundays at our house are a great time.  The constant back and forth is when on Sundays this should get done.  To assist with the when of Sunday homework we have jammie homework time, this means homework in jammies and you go no where else and can't get out of your jammies till homework is done.

There are Sundays no one gets out of their jammies all day and there are days when jammie homework doesn't happen, but generally this is working well and is a more relaxed homework time. We try and take full advantage of Sunday's for homework because during the week there are activities going on and homework may not get the focus we would like.  Homework for both kids isn't over whelming yet, but I am sure it is coming and we want to give the kids skills and attention to do the best work possible.

Spelling and reading are the two key activities that need to be accomplished on a Sunday. Both kids have spelling homework weekly and getting assignments done gives us all a great start to the week. Spelling is a strong point for Chicken so though he picks his words up quickly we need to find a way to keep him engaged in practice.  Today he did, he typed in all the spelling words and then arranged them in all sorts of fun ways and printed. While Chicken was busy learning his home keys, Bean and I started work on her paragraph. A fair amount of weeks one of Bean's spelling assignments is to write a paragraph.  Organizing  Beans thoughts and then getting her to type her first draft can be time consuming, but once headed in a direction Bean does great.  She likes getting to write out her rough draft on the computer to fix any spelling issues and then writes out the final paragraph.  Usually Bean gets two spelling assignments done on a Sunday, this helps take the heat off her to hurry through things during the week.  Bean is working on learning cursive and this also takes some time, at this point she usually abandons at least one spelling assignment half way through because she doesn't' like it in cursive.  While she is engaged in spelling Chicken does math, or plays another educational game.  Reading is pretty easy, but Sunday's are great days to have the kids trade off reading aloud or take turns reading to me in another room while the other reads silently.  The unhurried nature of these homework Sundays and the couch potato after effects make for great lazy, but productive Sundays.

What are your homework tricks? Do you have a day a week when you always work on it? How do you manage activities and homework and everything else that needs to get done in a week?

Kids and Social Media

Dear my sweet innocent monkeys,

I write this not because I don't trust you, but because at some point in the near future your poor little frontal lobes are going to go berserk and social media will be there to capture it all.  No matter how much we try and put distance between you and social media, eventually you will both be out there.  Of course there are a few tips you can do to hopefully avoid all the pitfalls inherit in our current over share, TMI culture.

First, remember that everyone around you has a phone, video camera and voice recorder on them at all times. When you are mean, dorky, or just generally stupid remember that it isn't just the people right next to you that will hear/see it.  Someone can post it in seconds and a mean word can become toxic soup to everyone who knows you. Mooning the principal is all fun and good, until someone puts it on Facebook and tags you.  Make sure the people around you have your back and you have theirs, nothing is more powerful than knowing there is someone outside your family you could call in the craziest of circumstances and know no one will know about what happened.

The adage 'do unto others and you would have done unto you', it is something to live by, both in person and on the net.  Currently we, your parents post funny statuses' and pictures and laugh at your fumbles, and you find it funny and like it.  At some point you won't find these posts and pictures funny and as soon as you tell us or show us you aren't ok. they will stop. We will not hesitate to keep your life as private as you want it.  Remember to be a friend like that and not expose your friends faults and make fun of them, in person it is hard to use harsh words, on the internet it seems so easy.   If you have an issue with someone, don't passive aggressively post something on the internet, talk to the person and tell them they are being an ass. Words hurt and if you use hurtful words they will come back to you.  When your friend gets trashed and pukes on a girl at a party, be the friend that blocks the phones taking pictures with your body and get him out of there he will return the favor, and if he doesn't he isn't your friend.

Keep your profiles and relationship status as private as possible.  Playing in social media is great and it is amazing to be able to contact friends far and wide, but you don't want a frenemy getting access to your status and pictures.  You don't want anyone to know you are going out with that boy so that all the cheerleaders call you a bitch, on your profile page.  Sometimes the best part about being in a relationship or experiencing some of the great things you do in youth is the privacy of it, the fact that only a few select friends really know what really happened. There are only a few pictures floating around, a few hidden jokes here and there; hidden jokes aren't hidden if everyone knows what happened.

Post as if your grandma, boss, or mom is looking and reading everything, because eventually they will.  Once  upon a time social media was the home of the young, but no more.  Today your employer goes out and reads your blog, looks at your twitter feed and sees what is posted on instagram.  Suddenly that spring break in Cabo looks a little less fun when you think about grandma looking at wet tshirt photos.  

Remember once something is online it is there for life and you will not be able to delete every picture on every site.

Eyeball Issues..Seriously and how real is this

Bean has been complaining for awhile that the board at school looks fuzzy off and on. After a few requests from her I finally scheduled an appointment with a optometrist.    We went this last week and though she has a slight astigmatism and slight farsightedness, glasses would only be of minor help her real issue is her eyes don't work together.  WHAT??

At what point do you look at a doctor and ask them what they are smoking, her eyes don't work together?  I have heard of begin cross eyed, lazy eye, but her eyes not working together is a new one for me.

We are following up with more testing and I am going to seek another opinion most likely, but the current recommendation is vision therapy.  Seeing that I had never heard of this before I went to the internet.

As a parent with a child who seems to always have the one off diagnosis I go looking for answers a lot and what will work best to help is a constant search.  Why can't she just be blind as a bat and need glasses was my first thought, but next was what is this and what can I do to help her. Really as a parent though I think a lot of websites can take advantage of us parents, we will do anything to make it better and fix it and sometimes take the risk on something pretty out there in the hopes it will help.  When I go out looking to research something, particularly as it pertains to the kids I hope to find the answers or a clear route to take, that is rarely what is there.  The reality of learning issues and being an individual is that we all have things that are hard and easy, we all have challenges. For some kids those challenges are life effecting things and there are no miracles or clear paths, just being an advocate and making sure the people around your child know where they are at is sometimes all you can do. Ultimately as parents we are responsible for the choices we make in treatment for the one off situations and I want to make sure I am making the most logical educated decisions, so I head to the internet to learn and get frustrated.

Looking for information on the internet can be a mixed blessing and I learned with something like vision therapy there are a lot of mixed reports. When I start looking into something on the internet I use a search engine like Google, but I also looked into a few skeptic sites like skepchic or skeptic and medical sites like the mayo clinic.  I try to focus on factual data that is evidence based, anecdotal data is great and I get what works for one person may not work for another, but I don't want to sink my money into something that really won't likely be useful.  What I learned in my vision therapy search is that there are some people claiming it is the cure to a host of learning disabilities and some people saying it will help with vision issues, but is quack like in all other respects. Researching something like vision therapy has to be done skeptically, I make sure the site I read aren't associated with treatment.  The reason I do this is if you are trying to get my money you are going to only put the positives up and not the questions or inaccuracies.  Additionally I tend in my initial research to stay away from forums, anyone can say anything and though this might be a place to get the words to search Google with I don't have the knowledge initially to know what is and isn't crap that people are saying.  The internet usually gets me just as many questions as answers and can be full of garbage that needs to be sorted through, but can also educate and give you a great jumping off point to find those other people and professionals that can help figure out the best next paths.

So what has it done for me in the search for vision therapy.  The first thing is, I know if this doctor starts talking at all about this fixing Bean's learning issues we are done, most likely he isn't the doctor for us. Additionally I want to see in any further discussion about vision therapy conversations around tracked progress, hearing she will be fine in a few months will be another reason to move on. If I hear this won't fix her learning issues, but may help her with growing her eye strength or something of that nature I will listen a lot harder. I will also use this blog, email, my phone and anything else to reach out to all those people who may be able to give me a little more insight into what this all means and the best routes moving forward, which may explain why I am a total over sharer.

How do you research the net, what do you look for when trying to find answers? Do you know anything about vision therapy, hook a girl up.