Monday, March 24, 2008

Just a quick update.....


Sorry - I have been studying, the girls have been on spring break so I have been trying to shuffle them amongst family and generally I've just been stressed out.

Here's the latest:

Didn't get a great grade on my exam - you know, the one where I boneheadedly forgot to answer a question? Yeah , that one. But it wasn't as bad as it could have been, so I'll just have to work harder.

Got my exam for the other class I'm taking back tonight and lo and behold - I got an A!! That's more like it! And it was all discounted cash flows, valuation, rollover of leases....I mean, I would rather have been stabbed in the eye with an icepick than admit that I like this class, but- I realized that all that financial garbage and spreadsheets, is actually kind of FUN!

Easter update - some FUNNY stories about the girls to come, but I need to get my very tired behind into bed, so just a few pictures for gotta love the fake smiles - I can't get them to smile normally for anything!

Monday, March 10, 2008

SAHM vs. Working Mom

I know I'm stepping into a HUGE pile of poo here with this blog, but what the hell...I just took my first Grad school exam and COMPLETELY forgot to answer an essay question - I mean completely forgot - how does that HAPPEN??? Anyway I get home and am so pissed off I decide to peruse the Internet and chill before settling into bed and the anxiety that will surely keep me up all night.

So I stumble upon a Newsweek story about some new reality show for stay at home moms and they discuss the whole "battle" between SAHMs and working moms. I then started reading the message boards and I have to say I got really insulted. So I am going to ask the age old question that all of us working moms ask....

"Am I a bad, selfish mom for working, rather than staying at home and raising my kids?"

Listen, I have enough guilt in my life about the way I raise my kids without trying to figure out the answer to this question. But I can tell you this - June Cleaver I am NOT! But it begs the question, Where does all this come from? What stay at home mom feels validated in telling me that I shouldn't have had children if "someone else" was going to raise them? Who the hell does she think she is? And what working, career driven mom thinks she's any better than someone who stays home? Having a career doesn't necessarily make you a "more complete" person any more than having kids does. There has to be a balance.

And look at me!! I have been going to school for longer than my kids have been on Earth and now I decide to start a graduate program which will take even more time from them on top of working! My kids think everyone's mommy gets on her laptop at bedtime and works on homework while the kids cuddle up as close as they can and watch Sponge Bob before falling asleep. On weekends they break out their own "play laptops" and do "homework" right next to me. This is NORMAL for my kids, you know?

I work to bring home money to help pay the bills and provide my family with the perks they are used to - a nice house, nice cars, dance lessons, the occasional weekend at Chuck E. Cheese, nice vacations, college funds, retirement funds and new clothes when they are needed. And of course, all the therapy bills I will feel compelled to pay for my girls when they talk to some therapist 20 years from now about how their mom spent alot of time working and going to school.....

I have a career for ME. Yup - that's right - my career is all mine. Same with school...and I want to succeed. I accept that it's selfish. Do I hope that my girls see me as a positive role model? Absolutely. But that's really not why I do it. My career, my education - that's MINE - no one elses . And you know what? There is something very satisfying about that. I'm not a "I don't want to ever have to depend on a man for money" kind of girl. Yes, it's nice to know that I am independent enough and driven enough that I could make it on my own in some fashion, but money isn't it. I depend on my husband for other things, so that argument, while valid, doesn't work for me. And a lot of SAHMs are financially able to be SAHMs, because their husbands make more money than God.

So what's the answer? I don't know. I love my kids with all of my being - they are everything in this world to me and I feel it in my very bones. Every decision I make regarding my lifestyle and my career is made after they are taken into account. I struggle on a daily basis with whether or not I am hurting them by working outside of our home. There are days I want to chuck it all and just stay at home and BE with them. Forget the career. Forget the higher education. But when it comes right down to it, financially I can't unless there are some serious lifestyle changes and quite frankly I don't want to.

I look forward to seeing them at the end of every day. I look forward to our weekends when we can be together all day. And my kids are good kids (no matter what I might say sometimes) and they are smart kids and they are wonderful, beautiful, intelligent and independent girls who still love their mommy and daddy. I don't think I'm doing that bad of a job frankly.

So ladies, here's the deal. Let's make a pact - you won't tell me that my kids will turn out bad and that I am a bad mom because I work. And I won't look at you and wonder why you complain so much about never having any time to yourself or how hard your job is and think "Yeah, right! Walk in my shoes sister!". We both have hard jobs. But - working mom or SAHM - we both have the same goal and that is to help our kids enjoy life and try to create little productive, loving, beautiful creatures for all the world to enjoy. Our kids come first, we want the best for them and we love them with our hearts and souls - bottom line.

We have more in common than anybody will ever admit. Any idiot can see that - so why can't we?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I never thought I was naive, but...

Since we have extended family all over the country (and the world, for that matter thanks to my globe trotting little brother! Shout out! Love ya B!) I have been asked on numerous occasions to create e-mail addresses for both of the girls. I struggled with this for a while, because, quite frankly I didn't think it was necessary. I mean, Sydney is four. She can barely spell anything other than her name, so how the hell is she going to respond to e-mails? And Olivia is 8, but really, what does she know about the Internet and e-mail and all that jazz?

Honestly, it was laziness on my part. I didn't feel like dealing with the endless responses that Sydney would surely dictate to me to type to her Bunkabee (aka my brother or "Uncle B" - our Parisian relative) that would read similar to this:

"Dear Bunkabee, I love you and you are in Paris and I have two dogs and I saw a purple butterfly today and my birthday is soon and I would like a castle. I love you and I always love you because you live in Paris".

You get the idea....

But, I went ahead and gave them both accounts and e-mailed those that live out of town with their addresses telling them not to expect to hear back from the girls immediately, because they would only be able to reply when I was with them and checked it. The girls (well, Olivia anyway) were VERY excited and we checked their e-mail for the first time to find several e-mails from family members.

Great! I'm thinking I will check it about once a week and the girls can respond to everyone. Cool, huh?

Two days later Olivia is at the computer and suddenly she gets all excited and tells me that she left a message on the Hannah Montana website message board asking Hannah/Miley to e-mail her back and....


Breathe Debbie, and out....deep breaths now.....

My heart went into my shoes and I quickly ran over to see what she had done and realized that she didn't have the "". Not that it's too hard to figure out - there are only so many ISPs, but still - I felt a little better. Then we had to have the "Internet" talk (like the "sex" talk - only for grade schoolers- HA!) and I had to scare her and tell her about how there are bad people out there and she cannot give any personal information because I don't want them to find her - and they can find her if she's not careful. I laid down the following rules:

1. No Internet or e-mailing unless I am in the room and I will see who you are e-mailing and who's e-mailing you. I don't need to read it - that's her business. If she wants to tell my brother what a horribly unfair mom I am (and no doubt she will), then she should feel free.
2. You WILL NOT give out your e-mail address to ANYONE - including your friends.
3. You WILL NOT leave your e-mail address, name, address, or any information at all - you aren't even allowed to post the last time you POOPED - on ANY message board ANY where ANY time.

And then I started thinking about it and I asked her - how on earth did you find the Hannah Montana website and that message board?

Her answer made me realize that I am SOOO out of my league and so naive when it comes to my kids sometimes......

"Well, I Googled her mommy"....the only thing missing from her answer was "DUH!"

Who the HECK taught her that?????? She'd obviously more sophisticated on the computer than I ever imagined.......

Gulp......Hang on to your hats folks! It's going to be a bumpy ride!