The Story of Damian: The Lonely Pumpkin

“Move it, Damian! You’re trespassing.”

“Not here, silly. You’re stepping on my toes!”

“Go away, Damian!”

Early in the morning, I hear the angry voices of my cousins ordering me to keep my veins away from them. But what can I do?  They always seem to spiral out of control.  Matt, the boy who has been watering me for the past few months has two legs, which allows him to be free from this tangled up mess my cousins and I found ourselves in. Oh there he is. It’s the only face I look forward to seeing.  He’d patted me on my head and even give me more water than the rest of them. He must of felt bad because I was different, my color was not the same, I was not the bright orange color my cousins where – maybe that’s why they hated me so – I was pale, I was alone, I was the only one of my kind. Matt would sit by my side and tell me stories of happy families and the great adventure I would soon take.

One day, we were awakened by two pairs of feet walking towards Jack, the strongest of all my cousins. They dug him out and off they went. The rest of the days I saw my cousins being adopted one by one by different families until I was the only one left. I couldn’t believe it! I’m supposed to be special. Why doesn’t anyone want me?

“Mommy! I found one!” I heard a child shouting. Before I knew it, I was tossed to the back of a truck. Vroom! Vroom! It goes. Fear slowly crept into me but I tried to be optimistic. Isn’t this what I was waiting for all my life? But I guess I was wrong. I was rolling everywhere, right, left. Ouch! I lost count of how many times I bumped my head. This is not what I had expected.

I must have fainted. I was now lying on a cold surface. There were so many faces staring down at me, but what made my hair jump is the blinding light on my right. I turned around and saw a dagger, the same one that cut off my toes. I tried to move away. But I couldn’t. Someone held me down. Please. Please don’t. I begged. They shaved off my head. My guts were torn from me. Please! I was crying so hard. I don’t want to die.

“Noooooo!”

It must have been ages before I came to my senses. I thought I was in heaven. It was a different feeling. I’ve never felt this warm. My eyes are clearer than ever. I hear laughter. I see children running around. For the first time in my life, I had a smile. Even though I lost my toes, and my insides where cut out, I have never felt more beautiful. This must be what Matt was talking about. It is in this beautiful house filled with laughter and singing that I made a great realization.

I am HOME.

It’s an actual picture of the Family’s Halloween Pumpkin.  The kids picked out the pumpkin, I drew the face and my husband carved it out.  I think this is the best looking pumpkin my family has ever created.  We are so proud of it.  It deserved a story.

HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE HALLOWEEN!

 

Important Management Strategy #2: Time Management

The old saying “not enough hours in the day” rang true for me from the beginning. It became difficult and at times impossible to put family first once I started my transcription business . My time-management challenges went off the charts. I could literally work through the night if I didn’t need sleep. Once the kids were tucked in, the computer would call my name until the wee hours of the morning… yawn! Of course, on nights like those, a ‘kid-call’ was also on the agenda; one or the other needed attention. Then, before I knew it, morning had arrived and it was time for diaper changing, breakfast, and a new day. The problem was that I wasn’t ready for it and had to drag myself out of bed. I was a walking zombie.

This was not working.

Yes, I am guilty of letting my child sleep in my bed. Never thought I’d say that, but double duty with twins drained every ounce of my energy. I figured if people could have six dachshunds in bed with them, I could have my children. With the kids in my bed, I slept. And sleep saved my sanity.

OK, so now I was a WAHM instead of a stay-at-home mom, and it turned out that was easier said than done. My days were unorganized, work was scattered, and I had to retrace my steps on more than one occasion to get my bearings straight. It was horrible! My family suffered, and my business would have surely failed if circumstances didn’t change. The time-management skills I had developed to raise my children now needed to be utilized to get my business in order.

I created a daily routine that remained the same on a day-to-day basis. Using my cell-phone calendar, I blocked out time, setting a loud reminder ring with each task. Keep in mind, I do check and respond to emails all day long; WAHMs have to master multitasking That is a must have skill.

I broke it down like this:

7:00-7:30:    Wake up – ME TIME

7:30-8:30:    Business/Emails /Organize and create daily task list

8:30-9:30:    Breakfast routine

9:30-11:00:  Back to Business

11:00-Noon: Matty & Ally Time

Noon-1:00:   Lunchtime

1:00-3:00:    Chore Time/Housekeeping/Bills/Errands to run

3:00-4:00:    Matty & Ally Time

4:00-5:00:    Back to Business

5:00-6:30:    Dinner Routine

6:30-7:30:    RELAX

7:30-8:30:    Bedtime routine: Bath/story time/good night

8:30-9:30:    Back to Business

9:30-11pm:   ME TIME (if I have priorities with work then it is back to business)

WAHMs know how quickly a day can turn sour. This daily routine is not set in stone; it is a map of the day that I try my best to follow, but coloring outside the lines is allowed. If we need to veer of the path for a little while, the GPS will reset itself.

With so much to do and so little time to do it, brings me to my next week’s post, Important Management Strategy #3: Stress Management.

Management Strategy #1: Family Comes First

As I previously mentioned in my introductory post that family comes first, I decided to quit my job to stay home and raise my children.   I wanted to see them reach each milestone, spend those developing years with them, help mold them into responsible individuals, comfort them in their pain, enjoy their happiness and, yes, bask in their love.

As wonderful as it all sounds, it is easy to lose this concept. I did, and found myself more stressed than ever. I ignored my children and became angry when they needed my attention the most. My kids were becoming unruly and hard to manage because I was not giving them what they needed. The purpose of being a stay-at-home mom went out the window, along with my patience.

I decided it was time to hire outside help for the workload. Some suggested a nanny, but I didn’t like the idea. I thought it suggested a replacement for me, and that is not what I wanted.

First, to begin to reestablish a connection and turn the situation around, I began to block out two, one-hour time slots in my day. During this time, each one had my complete and total attention. I found this very effective.

In my quest for outside help, I looked to my trusted circle for help. Quiet-time tasks became the perfect time to call upon grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, most of whom were quite receptive to helping busy the little ones with an outing to the park or other child-friendly locations. They found these activities to be wonderful bonding sessions. I began to work with other moms in the neighborhood, alternating playdates with them, allowing them to have a breather as well.

Maybe some of these methods will work for you, too. There are a number of resources around us that we sometimes do not consider. Being a Business Mom and finding time to put family first can be challenging when we are pulled in so many directions. Which will brings me to next week’s post, Important Management Strategy #2: Time Management

 

Important Management Strategies for this Work-At-Home Mom

This past year, my transcription business has begun to take off, and I’ve been faced with the challenges of running a business while trying to be the best mother possible to my three-year-old twins. I know there are many other women out there doing the same thing, since current statistics indicate an upsurge in stay-at-home moms becoming work-at-home moms (WAHMs).

Being a WAHM provides many rewards, such as the ability to be there for the first step, first word, bath time, story time, while allowing us to keep one foot in the grown-up world.

WAHMs have all kinds of roles: Head of Marketing, Accountant, Project Manager, Housekeeper, Event Planner, Teacher, Chef, Taxi Driver, and Disciplinarian. The list is never ending! So, I blog to you a series, Five Management Strategies for this Work-At-Home Mom: Family Management; Time Management; Stress Management; Business Management; and Self Management.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be posting an article each week relating to my experiences, my failures, and my successes in this journey. I am a strong believer that family comes first, so join me next week in Family Management. I hope that you decide to follow me as I explore ways and test the limits of being a successful Business Mom.