Sunday, November 17, 2013

New Home Dangers

Yet another aspect of moving, that my husband and I did not consider before the move, was all of the hidden dangers that would pop up for our kiddos. When your babies grow into big kids, you tend to baby, toddler, and big kid proof as you go. Each stage brings new chores that will help your little ones stay safe in their home. When done this way, you don't notice just how many adjustments you make. When you move, those dangers start popping up again, but this time, it's usually when something dangerous has already happened. For this reason, I felt that I needed to share some scary stories, to help other parents who are on the move, to think ahead, and not deal with the high blood pressure and grey hairs (figuratively of course) that I have acquired.

When we were settling in, we did all of the obvious preparations to keep our boys out of dangerous situations. We installed a gate at the top of the stairs, anchored the hutch and the stove to the wall, put a lock on the cupboards housing chemicals, and plugged every outlet with a cover. However, it is quite obvious that we missed a few horribly vital things. Here are my horror stories.

About two weeks after moving into our new house, Liam almost feel from the top of our stairs. He has been more than capable of walking up and down the stairs alone for quite some time, so we didn't give the issue a second thought when moving in. However, after I caught him tumbling down, Joe and I took a second look. We realized that these stairs are steeper, and more narrow than our last ones. I know kids fall, and his little trip may be nothing more than that, but it's also good to be aware of these minor changes.

Also, in our last home, we had door nobs. Liam tried with all of his might, but was unable to open our doors. The new house has door handles. I'm glad that the house came equipped with out of reach locks, because Liam can open any door in this house. This was apparent a couple of days after moving in, when we found him skipping up and down the stairs leading to our front door, alone.

I have saved the scariest, and most horrifying tale for last. Just the other night, I was getting dressed after a shower, when I heard a huge crash. I ran to Liam's room (Joe and Nolan were playing in Nolan's bedroom). When his doorway came into view, all I could see was his tall six-drawer dresser laying on the floor. I have heard several horror stories about babies/toddlers being crushed by furniture falling on them. Of course, that's all I was thinking in the seconds it took to reach his room. This horrible feeling was made worse, when I entered his room, and Liam was no where in sight. I was sure that he was laying under it, critically hurt, or worse.

Then I heard him whimper, and he stepped out of his closet. All I could do was cry and hold him. All he could do was sob. It was the most terrifying moment of my life, and as it seems, his too. In our last home, we had anchored his dresser to the wall the second he started moving, but when we moved, this task was lost in the shuffle. We are lucky.

Don't make these mistakes! Check, and double check the safety of your new home (rental or not). I'm sure that there are even more precautions that we have forgotten, and I'm also sure that our active three year old, and our newly mobile ten month old, will be happy to show us the error of our ways in due time.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Working on Positivity

I have a very blessed and happy life. I have a wonderful husband, who has been my best friend for more than thirteen years; two sweet, smart boys, who make me laugh every day; I have a career that I love, and which supports our family; I have family and friends that support me and my boys; we live in a safe neighborhood, and in a comfortable home. I have a lot to be thankful for. However, the past few months have been stressful, and difficult for me to adjust to. There have been so many changes, and unlike my boys, I've been a bit down about some of them.
My attitude lately, has been a not so great one. Over the weekend I realized, that the way I react, and the way that I perceive my situation, is not helping me to be happy. In fact, it is doing the opposite. My feelings have been adding to my frustration. Most of my stress has, once again, been associated with my work. I LOVE my job! I love my students! I love the curriculum that I teach! So why am I so down on my work-life?
Being part-time has been the best family decision that Joe and I have ever made. It has allowed me to really parent my boys the way we want them to be parented. I have spent countless hours having quality time with them, making memories that would have never existed, if I were to work full time. I still get to fulfill my need to be an educator, and have some "mommy-time". I know that not everyone has this option, and for that I am truly grateful.
But there are downsides. Every year, my schedule changes. Every year, the boys and I have to adjust to a new "normal". Every year, our family, just barley gets by. For the past three years, these are sacrifices that Joe and I were, more than willing, to make. This year has been rougher than past years. My schedule is not a good one for our family: my hours are longer (which has been an adjustment for all), I don't get a full prep, so I tend to work much later than I should, and I bring a lot of work home.
Since having Liam, I have always been home before Joe. This year, I get home at least an hour later than him. My mornings (although long) are busy, hectic, and stressful. Although my boys were the main point of being part-time, avoiding work drama was an added bonus. This schedule seems to cater to the drama, not help to avoid it. For all of these reasons, I have been blue about the coming eight months. I have found myself wishing them away, several times.
I don't want to do this anymore. I still love my job, I still love my students, I still get to be home with my boys more than most working parents, I am able to spend this school year adding to our bank account, and reducing our debt, I get to teach three classes of my favorite subject, and we still have all the same supportive people around us. I need to focus on these things, and not the ones that have been filling my mind. Next year, can only be better (right?!), and until then, I will be happy about the blessings I do have, because, as a very wise person once said, "Someone, somewhere, is wishing that they were lucky enough to have the things that you complain about."