30 Day Blog Challenge – #16 Talk About Your Family

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Sorry I couldn’t post yesterday for the challenge, but it was a sacrifice that had to be made. I have assignments due every Thursday, Sunday and Monday for school, and this week is really tough.

Well, this ought to be easy…but it’s not! There are so many people and things I could talk about that I could write a book! Actually, I am hoping to write a book someday, which is partially why I’m getting a Bachelor’s in English.

Okay, I’m going to talk about my parents as I have a pretty unique family history concerning parents.

I was born to a 15-year-old girl and a 21-year-old man in March of 1972. My mother took off with me just before my first Christmas, and my father had no idea where we had gone.

After trying to care for me as a single mother for 2 1/2 years, my birth mother put me up for adoption in 1974, and I began living with my aunt and grandmother in their apartment in West Roxbury, MA. My aunt decided that she would be the person to adopt me. One day, when she was chasing me around the apartment complex’s swimming pool, a nice young man asked my aunt if she needed help – I actually remember that day. They were married within months. When my aunt discovered that she was pregnant, she became desperate to have my adoption final, as she wanted me to be legally her daughter before the baby was born. When we were in court to finalize my adoption, my soon-to-be baby sister dropped in my mother’s belly. (from this point forward, I will refer to my adopted mother as my mother, as this is what I have always called her. I called my birth mother by her first name.)

We lived in a nice 3-bedroom house in Massachusetts and had the “white picket fence” everyone dreams about. My sister and I weren’t spoiled, but if there was something we didn’t have, we couldn’t have named it. When I was 10, we were all in the car with my father driving. All I remember is that he swerved for a reason that none of us could see, and we immediately went home. Mum said she had to take him to the store or something silly, and as soon as my aunt arrived, she and my dad quickly left the house. I remember thinking that something was funny…I had seen them in a hurry before, but never with the desperation that I was sensing from my mom that day. When she got back, my mother announced that dad had to leave town for a few days on business, and that he’d be back soon. In reality, he was at the hospital having tests done. When he came home, they announced that he had a brain tumor, and that he was going to get sick, but that they were looking in to all kinds of treatments. They sat my sister and I down again a few months later and informed us that the tumor would eventually kill him. He passed when I was 16. We lost my mother’s father and one of her brothers the same year.

Fast forward 12 years, and I’m 28-years-old, and getting married. My mother re-married a month after my wedding, and suddenly I found myself as an adult with a new step-father, but also two step-sisters and a step-brother.

Go forward another 7 years. I’m 35, and my birth mother has passed away. I knew her my entire life, and felt extremely bad about the fact that we weren’t closer as I grew into adulthood like we were up until I was around 15. I was devastated because she never got to see my son Connor, and he was only 1-year-old when she died. Shortly after her death, I received a call from New Hampshire…it was my birth father. I was so nervous about speaking to him that I was literally shaking. He asked if he could fly down (he has his own small airplane!), and meet me at a coffee shop at the small airport near our house. I agreed.

He brought his wife with him, and it turned out he had been looking for me for 35 years, and saw my name in my birth mother’s obituary! He married his wife in 1976, after telling her about me, and she had been helping him search for me the entire time. They are two of the nicest people you could ever meet. He informed me that I have a half-sister as well (who is also as sweet as pie!).

So, there you have it. I have two sets of parents including my mother, step-father, birth father and his wife. I also have a sister, half-sister, two step-sisters and their two husbands, and a step-brother and his wife. Between the eleven of us, there are ten children. I have two sons, five nephews, and three nieces.

Bet you didn’t have any idea how interesting my family is! I’m not going to say we don’t have our problems, as we have more than our share. But, I do think my sons are two of the luckiest kids in the world with three sets of grandparents!


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The “Mom” Time Warp

You get up this morning and realize you’ve got to get cracking on the website copy for your home based business. You get your three year old son breakfast, and yourself some coffee, but before you sit down at your laptop to do some writing, you spend the first quarter of the day making “household” phone calls that couldn’t be made over the weekend – to get them out of the way. Then you bring all of the laundry downstairs (for some reason, you’re husband and son go through more laundry in a weekend than you do in an entire week), and get started on that before it’s allowed to pile up all week. You make lunch for you and your son after getting the laundry going…and after eating, decide it would be a good idea to make some snacks for the boys for during the week. While you’re at it, you brown the hamburger you need to make dinner. The next thing you know, you’ve emptied the dishwasher; fed the cats; done the laundry; made brownies, cookies and dinner; your husband is home; you’ve written zero copy and it’s 5:30. You are left scratching your head and thinking…”what happened to my day?”.

Sound familiar?

I call it the “Mom Time Warp”. This doesn’t happen to me often (thankfully!), but it still does sometimes. When it does happen to me, it’s usually a killer combination of several of the following:

  • I often feel guilty if I feel like I didn’t do enough around the house on any given day
  • It makes me feel good to have a clean house and be able to bake and cook for my husband and son
  • I forgot to make a to-do list
  • I don’t particularly enjoy the task at hand

As work-at-home moms, we tend to feel a need to make sure everything is taken care of before we’re willing to sit down and do something for ourselves or our business. Even my mother is like that – she’s a wonderful artist, but she will not pick up a brush until the house is clean, the shopping done, and all the other ducks are in a row.

In order to successfully be a work-at-home mom, we need to achieve a virtual symphony of home and work activities throughout our day – which is no easy task when you’ve got little ones running around. I’ve put together a sample “Successful Day” schedule so you can see what I’m talking about (please keep in mind that I don’t do laundry every day…sometimes it’s vacuuming, etc.).

  • 6:30 am – Get out of bed, shower, get dressed, make coffee
  • 7:00 am – Get Connor out of bed, make breakfast, write to-do list for the day
  • 7:30 am – Breakfast cleanup
  • 7:45 am – Get Connor dressed, teeth brushed, play
  • 8:40 am – Connor on the bus, or playing with his toys
  • 8:45 am – Morning phone calls, writing websites, etc.
  • 10:00 am – Make morning snack, empty dishwasher or start a load of laundry
  • 10:30 am – If Connor isn’t at school, play a game, otherwise working
  • 11:00 am – Connor coloring or “reading” stories, mum working close by
  • 12:00 pm – Meet Connor’s bus outside, make & eat lunch
  • 12:30 pm – Quiet time for Connor – educational TV with blanket & sippy cup, switch laundry then working
  • 1:15 pm – Connor usually likes to play by himself mid-afternoon, so I’m making calls, etc.
  • 2:30 pm – Afternoon snack, playing, story time
  • 3:45 pm – Playing or working (I follow Connor’s lead around this time, sometimes he likes to play with me, sometimes with his toys – sometimes it’s a little of both.)
  • 5:00 pm – Make dinner, hubby home (Saturday: Teach online class – 30 mins)
  • 6:30 pm – Bath time
  • 7:00 pm – Evening phone calls (no more than 30 mins), stories/movie with Connor
  • 7:30 pm – Monday: Teach online class – 45 mins, hubby does bedtime
  • 8:00 pm – Work or movie with hubby

I know it seems like alot – but trust me – there’s time to play with in there. It doesn’t take almost an hour to get a child dressed and their teeth brushed, and there will be times you feel like a fly on the wall because your child wants to play by themselves. Personally, I prefer to do dishes and vacuum during the day, then run the laundry while I veg in front of a movie at night. The important thing is to have a rough schedule in place with some breathing room for flexibility…then just tweak it to where you need it to be. You’ll feel much better because you’re accomplishing enough for your home and for your business.

I’m also a big fan of to-do lists…I keep two: one for things that must get done, like phone calls, advertising, etc.; and one for things that I’d like to get done, like write the copy for my stupid website (LOL). Now, if I can just get past this nasty case of writer’s block, maybe I can get the copy written tomorrow…

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