Category Archives: Working Mom

Someday

Loved this so much I had to share . . .

 

what I tell myself on those really really really long tiring motherhood days….

Someday my house will stay clean.

Someday the dishes will be done and cereal not spilled on the floor.

Someday the juice box straw wrappers won’t be stuck to the counter.

Someday there won’t be swings to push.

Continue to read at: “Someday” – Finding Joy

Why I Homeschool . . .

Homeschooling December 2015

When I started this journey over a year ago, it was daunting, to say the least.  I really wasn’t sure I could do it.  I mean, the thought of the responsibility for all that my children would learn, being in my hands, overwhelmed me.  Good teachers, teachers who care and love and have a passion for helping children, are amazing and deserve our respect and accolades!  I hardly thought I could measure up.

Then a funny thing happened.  I realized I didn’t have to measure up.  It’s not a competition.  Instead of trying to teach in a certain way or be like that amazing teacher, I had to put my trust in God to navigate this journey.  Now that doesn’t mean I don’t have to do my research, lesson plans, preparations, field trips, grading papers, science experiments (I’m getting tired just reading that J).  Rather, it means if God has trusted me with this noble calling, then He will equip me to do it.

So in spite of myself, my limitations, my shortcomings, I homeschool.  I homeschool because I am putting more than academics into my boys.  We are studying Godly character.  We have a lot of life lessons – we study how to prioritize time, how to make decisions on what is most important and why.  When we’re all tired and no one can focus, we can take a break and go play outside, or head out the door to a field trip.  We play together, talk together, have lunch together, think together and dream together.  We study what intrigues them, and have time to research fun activities. We take vacations when the beaches are empty, and do science experiments at night. We stay at the free university called the library for hours, or make grocery shopping a time of math and critical thinking – why should we get milk instead of chips? We have afternoon cuddles and wonderful story times of reading. It is an amazing adventure.

It’s not easy.  It’s not convenient. But I love it, and I’m so thankful for homeschool.

How to Homeschool … for Cheap

 

Homeschool #2

As I prepare for another challenging and exciting homeschool year, I am seeing facebook group pages fill up with people who are unsure, tentative and a bit overwhelmed by starting homeschool.  They don’t know where to start.  Or some have done enough research to pave a small path, but the amount of curriculum possibilities, and associated dollar signs, makes their heads spin.

I’m all about making sure my children have the best education I can give them.  But best doesn’t always have to mean most expensive.  Here are a few tips:

1) Take advantage of curriculum or curriculum aids in your public library.  That’s right, I’ve found excellent supplemental items in the library.  Granted, you can’t hang on to it for the entire school year, but depending on the item you may be able to structure your studies to get full use out of it during your time.  And you can always continue to renew!  You can also pick up books that give you great homeschool info, like 102 Top Picks For Homeschool Curriculum.

2) Attend used curriculum sales.  Co-ops, conferences and now many Facebook pages offer used curriculum at great discounts.  So what a few pages are marked up or have highlighting?  You can get the meat of what you need from it, and avoid new book costs and shipping fees.

3) Go on virtual field trips.  All sorts of trips are available for art, history and science.  It’s a great way to learn and can ease the cost of attending so many events.  However, you’ve got to get out of the house once in a while! :)  In which case, you want to ….

4) Research Homeschool Days.  From the aquariums to museums, ballparks to theme parks, it seems like everyone is offering days specifically geared to homeschoolers.  The rates tend to be a little lower, and you meet other like-minded people.  It can be a nice bonding experience.

5) Pool resources.  If you have more than one child who is homeschooling, consider allowing them to share a textbook.  Just buy separate workbooks.

6) Lastly, check out online curriculum.  There are tons!  And it’s not just having the child sit in front of the computer all day.  Some curriculum give you work to print, or activities to do.

Homeschooling doesn’t have to be expensive.  Be open, be creative and enjoy the possibilities!

Freedom from Addiction

Overcoming an addiction of any type is never easy. You always hear that the first step is to admit that you have a problem. I couldn’t agree more.

Hi. My name is LaKeisha, and I’m addicted to being busy. I don’t know how to relax, enjoy spare time, or not multi-task. Help!

I’d say that’s a pretty good admission.

In my last blog, I said I’d tell you how I am making steps to overcome my addiction. That’s exactly what I’m doing – making steps. It doesn’t happen overnight. And boy, is it not easy! I can’t tell you how many times in just a few short weeks, I’ve been tempted to just add one more thing to the calendar, or swing past this event (really quickly of course), or stop by this happening. I realize that resisting my own self imposed pressure to “just keep going” is going to be harder than any external force could put in place.

Blog - freedom-307791_640

 

So how am I doing it? Here goes ….

First, I’m putting myself on a schedule. I will put in set times for homeschool, set times for writing, set times to have fun with my husband, set times to enjoy the kids, and set times to relax. To some of you, a schedule might sound like more stress. But as a person who likes structure and wants to stick something in every spare moment, making myself take several hours or a day to relax is necessary. At least at this stage of the game.

Next, I am cutting down my to-do list. My lists were epic. I could have twenty items on a to-do list, all of which I expected to accomplish after a full day of homeschooling, making dinner, spending time with the family, and getting everyone off to bed. I’m laughing now – it’s insane, really, that I operated like that. Trying to keep each day to five items, max. I’ve already broken my rule several times, but at least the boundary is there, to reel me back in.

Third, I am really focusing on prayer and devotional time. I have to remember that God created rest! It’s something that’s good, beneficial and necessary for us. As I stay focused on Him and His Word, I find it easier to remember what’s important, and why.

Which brings me to my next point. I’m doing a better job of prioritizing. I’ve always thought organizing and putting things in order is one of my strengths. Well now I’ve turned it up several notches, because I have to prioritize my top priorities, if only five are going to make it on the list. This is really hard. But the more I do it, the better I’m becoming at succeeding.

And the all important learning to say no! When I first started blogging, my first blog was devoted to learning to say no, so I didn’t destroy myself and my family with my craziness. I learned that lesson, and proceeded to undo all I’d learned by getting crazy busy again. So, this also has to be turned up a notch. I’ll be saying no to several good things. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you, it doesn’t mean I don’t want the best for my kids, it doesn’t mean I don’t want my husband to succeed. And it sure doesn’t mean I don’t want success! But everything just can’t get done. Not humanly possible. So that’s that.

Lastly, it is one step at a time! Seriously. So I added too many things to my to-do list today. Okay, breathe. Be patient. Start over. Tomorrow’s a new day. Man, before I knew it, that “yes” to accept that invitation was out of my mouth. I should have said no. It happens. Regroup. Do better next time.

Here’s to victory. And staying free. One “no” at a time.

My Addiction Got Too Big To Handle Alone

BLOG - Drowning - Addiction

I have an addiction that I’ve dealt with for years. I’ve fostered it, denied it, admitted it, thought I’d moved past it, only to sink right back into it again. It’s affected my marriage, my family and several friendships, not to mention my own well-being. It’s a quiet addiction; many people face it and don’t even realize it, or are still in denial. But I’ve passed that point. After weeks of being too dizzy to see straight, being nauseous, horrible to deal with, and not knowing whether I was coming or going, I’ve decided to face this thing, head on.

Hi. My name is LaKeisha, and I’m addicted to being busy.

I’m seeing your blank stare right now. Being busy? Is that all? Big deal. After all, who isn’t busy these days? Multi-tasking is now an art form. For some people, it’s a badge of honor to see who is the busiest, almost a game of one-upmanship. “You think you’re busy? You wouldn’t believe my schedule,” they say.

I used to be that person. I loved that people always thought I was “on my grind”, always “about the hustle”, making things happen, making moves, making strides. I was that go-to person when you wanted something done. And I was busy doing it. It felt great.

After having my first son, I continued in my get’er done lifestyle, while also seeking opportunities for him. Now this is where it gets really interesting. I started to realize that I had a problem with always wanting to be busy, and was missing out on valuable time with my little boy. So I started turning down film and TV production projects. Started focusing more on him. Started slowing down. Briefly. Ever so briefly.

Why? Because I started getting him involved in projects, in events, pursuing interests. You like to spell? I’ll find every spelling bee out there. You want to help people? Let’s do it, larger than life. Basketball, soccer, guitar? Sounds great, let’s go for all of them. Oh, and entering other academic competitions? No sweat, I’m on it. Researched, found, entered.

And I was the volunteer queen. Room mom at school, check. Helping out at church. Check. Neighborhood board member. Check.

Now in and of themselves, there is nothing wrong with any of these things. In fact, it should be a parent’s heart to want to help their child develop all of the talents and gifts God has given to him. And if you know anything about me, I go hard for my kids. For my hubby. Real hard. Anything they aspire to do or want to be, I throw my all into making it happen.

The issue became when I couldn’t find myself anymore, because I was so deep in being busy helping everyone else. And that, coupled with my own pursuits, had taken me to a place where I no longer wanted to be. I didn’t find enjoyment in anything I was doing. I just wanted to finish each thing, so I could be on to the next. I always had my to-do list in mind. If I had a spare inch of breathing room, time to reflect, actually enjoy my children, or rest, I was filling the time.

Blog - Chain Break - Addiction

I heard my body. You’re breaking.  You’re doing too much, slow down, you’re getting sick, get some rest. And I did. Long enough to get well. A quick break to recover. Then back to over-committing, suffocating, drowning, in a sea of to-do lists, and crossed out items; many of which I can’t even remember.

It was a maddening, frenetic way to live. And I wanted no more of it. I’d had enough.

Stay tuned for how I am finally making steps to overcome my addiction.

Working Mom … You Pulled What Out of that Purse?

BLOG - Purse May 4 2015 pix 3 BLOG - Purse May 4 2015 pix 2

It’s the big moment you’ve been waiting for. The CEO of the company you want to work for just spoke at a networking event. You’re about to cross her path, and can’t wait to meet her. Next thing you know, you’re in front of her. It’s natural, organic, not forced. She likes your ideas, she says, and would love to talk more. Then, the kill … she asks for your business card! Though you know you grabbed the big “mom” purse – you know, the one you take on play dates and field trips – instead of the cute “business” purse, you take comfort in knowing that you’ll definitely have business cards in there. But your short-lived euphoria turns to sinking dread.

You go in your purse for a business card, and instead pull out …. (take your pick):

Legos, Goldfish, Pampers’ baby wipes, anything half-eaten, crayons, kids’ meal coupons, an Octonauts action figure, American Girl doll clothes, bubble gum, pictures of your kids, pictures of you and your kids, a permission slip, or even lipstick . . . but no business card. You do have the days-old napkin you used to wipe ketchup off the car seat, though. And the crayon is red, so you’d be able to read her number and email …. Ah, look her up on Linked In, she says. Okay. Suffice to say, you didn’t land that job.

I know the feeling, working momma . . . you never know what’s coming out of that purse.