On finding out I am a SAHM I almost always hear “I wish my husband made enough so I didn’t have to work.” this is a point I would like to clear up. He doesn’t and I work much harder than he does.
I can’t afford to be a SAHM but I can’t afford not to even more. With only one car and my husbands uncertain, often changing at the last-minute hours it has been almost impossible for me to find work. Believe me we sat down and did the math my working outside the home would cost more in gas and childcare than I would get paid all this assuming I had a second car to even get to work.
No its cheaper, for my family anyway for me to stay home, but that does not mean I can afford it. Our income does not cover all our bills and every month at least one is late. We get by through careful budgeting , limited spending, taking care not to waste and going without. Not with out necessities of course and my kids never feel the pinch but my husband and I cut corners everywhere. We don’t have television (channels we do have a tv to watch movies), we don’t go out, I save every drop of things like shampoo and cleaners so not a drop is wasted, nothing I wear fits since I have no clothes of my own and just wear my husbands.
I am not complaining about my life don’t mistake that we are very happy and content in life I just wanted to say that we my husband doesn’t make all the money people seem to think he does. As to SAHM not being work that’s just a whole nother story and all I can say is my husband would never trade his work for mine even when he hated where he worked because he openly admits my job is harder, so you know it must be true because no man would admit that a woman works harder than him if it wasnt true.
With the summer solstice tomorrow I have been busy at work preparing for our midsummer activities. For those who don’t know midsummer is the longest day of the year and the astronomical start of summer. The word “solstice” is Latin for “sun stands still” and has been an important event throughout history. An example of this is Stonehenge, the entrance of which is aligned with the midsummer sunrise. In Celtic mythology it is the time of year when the Holly King “battles” the Oak King and takes over his throne and moves us toward winter as the sun-god “dies”. The sun-god will return to his throne at the winter solstice and that is the story I tell my children to teach them about seasons, life, death and rebirth.
At midsummer I teach my children about the importance of the sun, we talk about what the sun does to sustain life and appreciate that gift that it is. Together we examine the changes that occur at this time of year as now everyday gets a little shorter.
Some important themes of midsummer:
– fire: bonfires were lit and herbs tossed into them, people would then jump over the embers to ensure fertility, health and protection. the ash from the fires would be taken into homes for protection in the coming year. The fire also lit the sun-god’s way down to the underworld.
– water: people would bath in streams that flowed toward sunrise to cleanse their bodies and spirits.
– abundance: everything is growing, flowers at their fullest, and colors are at their brightest.
– divination: placing yarrow under your pillow will make you dream of your future husband, as will looking in a hand mirror or reflective pool.
– faeries: midsummer is the time of year when faeries are most active and can be seen dancing, so be wary not to wander in to a faery circle. Leave them offerings.
This can be seen as superstition and myths to some but for my family it is our belief and how we see and understand life. We dance with faeries around a fire on midsummer’s eve and celebrate the changing season as one with nature. My children are to young to truly understand and fully participate yet but we do our best to include them and make special activities for them to do to celebrate. Every year we make pictures of the sun and little faery houses while listening to songs that mention the sun. we spend as much time as we can outside picnicking, snacking on sun shaped cookies and strawberry-shortcake. We gather flowers and make wreaths and crowns while telling faery stories and always end the day with fresh lemonade or “sun juice”.
After the kids are in bed and as the sunsets my husband and I do our midsummer ritual :
our altar is decorated with a red cloth and adorn with fresh flowers and gold candles to represent the sun god.
We take a square of red cloth and put midsummer herbs in it. (sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, lavender, st. johns wort and vervain)
We meditate on the pain, troubles, sorrows, and illness of the past year before tying up the bundle with black string.
We continue to meditate focusing on the fire and switching focus to the coming year and what we need protection from, what areas in our lives we need strength/ courage in. then write it down on piece of paper.
We take the paper to our fire (we use our charcoal grill) and burn it sending our need out into the universe.
We then bury the pouch of the past year, letting it go so we can move past it.
This is the time of year to start fresh and accept and acknowledge the good things in your life.
“As the sun spirals its longest dance, Cleanse us. As nature shows bounty and fertility. Bless us. Let all things live with loving intent. And to fulfill their truest destiny.” – Summer Solstice Blessing
I knew today was going to be a bad one when Carys woke up whining and then continued to cry and scream all day. I endeavored to find out what was wrong with her but it seemed that she just wanted to be mean to me today and through a continual temper tantrum that still hasn’t let up even as I write this. She cried while eating breakfast, screamed at the top of her lungs outside and whined through nap time, when her father got home from work she started fighting with him and hasn’t stopped, which is annoying but at least its not focused at me for the moment,
I have tried to diffuse the situation many times today using all the methods I know and all the tools in my mommy arsenal. I tried our calming exercises or hula ducking as she calls it (courtesy of Ni Hao Kai-lan) were we take deep breathes together and sway side to side. That worked for all of 5 minutes before another tantrum started this time the calming didn’t work so I tried singing songs for distraction and offering to play a game to no avail. She would have none of it so I asked her to please stop screaming and tell me wanna but when she instead twice that she didn’t want to I put her in timeout, which resulted in louder screams but by the end of the two minutes she seemed to have calmed down.
Since she had stopped the screaming and remained good for a while after I rewarded her with a trip outside to play in the pool. When it was time to come in the tantrums started again, more embarrassing this time since the neighbor were looking on and shacking there heads in disapproval, since none of them have kids I’m sure they could have handled it better. I went with the tried and true deaf ears and carried her and her brother back inside were she could continue to scream without an audience.
She screamed and whined for the next hour straight until her father got home and they engaged in a shouting match, not a recommended way to handle a tantrum, before my husband finally forfeited throwing his hands up in defeat crying “I’m done!” In the end I called my grandmother and had Carys talk to her for awhile and that seemed to defuse the whole situation.
Tantrums can be a lot to handle and are never fun, though sometimes funny. Usually one of the techniques I used today work but today it just didn’t fly it was I guess just one of those days. I try my best in all situations to try to validate her feelings and empathize with her but it doesn’t always work because some days there is nothing wrong or at least nothing I understand as there is a slight age difference between my daughter and I. An important thing to keep in mind during tantrums of course is to listen and remain calm, never easy but it can be done, I like to use the same technique I’m trying to use on my daughter on myself to make sure I remain calm plus the all important count to ten…or higher.
I like to try to control tantrums in calm peaceful ways that don’t involve a punishment saving time out and consequences for a last resort. When all else fails however I do deem this methods necessary but am sure to stick to the 1 minute per year rule for timeout times and make sure the consequences fit the behavior, for example taking away crayons for coloring on a wall, to make sure that she understands why she is in trouble.
The best thing to try to do is to try to avoid a tantrum situation all together by offering choices when ever possible, and making choices were seemingly there are none. When it is time for dinner I let Carys pick all the things she can control which fork she wants, which cup, and what additions she wants for her food like shredded cheese or dip. Even though all the forks are the same and I only give her choices I approve of she feels that she is making a real choice and we avoid a tantrum.
In the end I just hope this is the last day like today but I know better. Still its nice to dream.