Incomplete

Incomplete. There is work to be done. Where are you going? The job isn’t finished!
Are you the type who hates leaving things in the middle? The job can’t wait. The chore must be completed.
For a long time, I have been the “I’ll take a break when the work is done” sort of person. I could count on one hand the amount of books I started but did not complete. I took my lunch as late as possible because I did not feel comfortable eating when there was work to be done.
Break – who needs a break? I took pride in this. I puffed my chest out – I am productive. I fully believed that this is what adults were supposed to do. If you acted differently, you were soft or just were not fortunate enough to have my constitution.
If you have the junior Freud in you, ….

THIS IS PART OF A GUEST POST, to read the rest of INCOMPLETE, follow the hyperlink:  Madhouse Guest Post

Bloggers Wanted

Photo courtesy of google.com

Photo courtesy of google.com

I got into blogging for selfish reasons. I loved writing but my commitment to it swayed. There were times I would write regularly and then go months and write nothing. It’s not as if I did or did not have ideas. What I didn’t have was commitment.

When I finally committed to blogging (a few people had suggested that I do it), I decided that I would post regularly. I also figured that I would put it out there and people would read it. After my first blog post, I contacted everyone on my email list and let them know that I was now a blogger. I invited them to come take a look at the blog. Fortunately, a number of people did. I felt content.

As I continued blogging regularly, I noticed something. Comments on the blog were rare and the views dipped dramatically. Didn’t everyone want to read my brilliant, comical, insightful pieces? Weren’t those readers compelled to react? I didn’t understand the lack of reaction.

Six months after I began the blog, I was speaking to a friend of mine who is tech/new media savvy who also happened to like my writing. He asked me, “Do you read other people’s blogs?”

“Huh?”

“Other people blog too you know. Read theirs and that will encourage them to read yours.”

I had never thought of this. As I said, I was blogging to write, not to read. However, the blogging felt empty. I was pushing myself to improve and desirous of feedback but never thought that others might be in the same position. I told you I was selfish.

A couple of weeks after the conversation, I had a day off from work. I resolved to read and comment on 10 other blogs. After doing so, rather than wondering where did the time go, I felt exhilarated. I was engaging in (electronic) conversation with people all over.

While I would like to say my blog took off, and I have never looked back, that is not 100% true. (http://larrydbernstein.com/growing-past-the-plagues/).   However, I have gained something greater: a community.  A number of my fellow bloggers have become friends with whom I am in contact outside of the blog. We have shared in each other’s lives, given opinions, shared advice, offered sympathy, and appreciated successes.

So, while I started blogging for selfish reasons and still look at it as way to work on my writing, I have gained a great benefit.

On that note, I want to expand further. I want to find more blogs to add to my repertoire.

Let me tell you what I do and don’t look for in a blog. First, I don’t care for blogs that are a laundry list of what a person/family did day after day. I enjoy blogs that can find humor in the every day or humor in general. I also like when the blogger is truly willing to dig deep and share. I don’t care for posts that are too long or too short. Lastly and most importantly, I like a blogger who will engage – respond to comments and will also reciprocate and offer comments on my blog posts. However, it is not a tit for tat.

So, do you have or can you recommend a blog for me?

The Joy of Ironing

Today, I have Tatiana of Wonderland by Tatu as my guest. I have been following her blog for a while and enjoy it very much.

Tatiana graduated from the University of Brighton, UK with a bachelors in Management & Travel and worked as the Sales Manager at her father’s travel agency for 8 years. She left the agency a couple months before her first child was born. Tatiana and her husband N. have two children. The family lives in the suburbs of Athens.

She began blogging last August 2012. Her original intent was to share her crafts and recipes. However, her life took a bit of a turn, and she now writes about more personal everyday topics and finds it therapeutic and cleansing.

In my previous (before kids) life, N. & I worked long hours and didn’t spend much time at home (apart from the weekends). Furthermore, the mess we created in a week was infinitely small in regards to THE MESS my kids create on a daily basis.

I am more than thankful for the cleaning fairy who comes once a week and tries to put my house back together. What she manages to do in 7 hours has earned my complete trust and utter respect. She has magic powers to make my house look impeccable. (By the way, please note if you are a friend feel free to visit us anytime. However, if you are a stranger and would like to be my friend, please schedule your visit us for Tuesdays after 3pm.)

Unfortunately her magic powers (and time) are used up before she has a chance to iron and therefore the much hated housework duty is left to me. I don’t consider myself to be an ironing geek or particularly talented in this field (my Greek grandmother would probably turn in her grave if she could see what I call ‘ironed’). So, I have decided that my time is too precious to waste on ironing everything, except for two things: N’s shirts & the family’s bedsheets (if you are an ironing freak please ignore the last sentence). You get the picture, right?

Woman IroningCourtesy of Google.com

Woman Ironing
Courtesy of Google.com

Being a stay at home mom and attending to my kids 24/7 has made me reconsider many things. In fact, sometimes I feel like a totally different person. I have matured and evolved as a person and my priorities have dramatically changed. Prior to being a mother, I was ignorant enough to think I had it all figured out because I had three adorable nieces whom I saw and spent time with for a couple of hours a couple times a week. HA! Please feel free to laugh. I couldn’t understand why Alex (my sister) was so absolute in denying me visitation rights when I came down with a cold. ‘So what?’ I thought to myself. Another thing I never understood was that there were times she wanted to flee the house and go do anything other than take care of her kids. ‘How could she?’ ‘They are so adorable’ I thought.

Well, I have stopped being such a-know-it-all considering motherhood bliss. Now, when reality punches me in the face, I often think back. You seem to know everything better up until the moment you go through a similar situation yourself.

I might not work anymore but I feel I am doing a pretty hard job at raising these kids 24/7. When I have to spend Mondays to Fridays practically alone (N. has been working a lot) I overdose on my kids. I am sorry but it is true. I need my time off. Everyone does. Therefore I wait for the weekend in full anticipation like any other working human being. I need to unwind and think of something else other than the kids. I never thought a time would come when I would say these words: ‘Sorry honey, I would rather iron.’

Mothers and Fathers

Today I have as my guest Melissa from Motherhood is an Art Melissa is the mom to two school age children and one toddler. She is from Wisconsin and believes the key to motherhood is creativity and lots of humor!

I was extremely happy when Larry asked me to be a guest blogger on his website. I have known Larry since he became one of my first followers on my blog Motherhood is an Art. He has always been a very encouraging fellow blogger. However, I must admit I always cringe when I know that he has read a post of mine knowing that he is an English teacher. I am well aware that my grammar and punctuation ain’t no good (okay, the “ain’t” part is a joke but it’s true that many grammar and punctuation principles elude me). So I can only imagine that he is mentally red circling most of my stories!

It’s also notable that Larry is probably my only male follower. I realize I kind of slotted out this demographic when I named my blog Motherhood is an Art. It certainly doesn’t scream, “Come read this you testosterone-laden males.” In retrospect, I probably should have named it something to do with “parenting,” but in all honesty I do think there are distinct differences between Motherhood and Fatherhood and “parenting” generalizes the two. My voice is about being a Mother. I know about this particular side. I have been doing this mothering thing for almost 8 years to a daughter and two sons.

Let me break down for you how similar situations are dealt with by my husband and me in our household to further illustrate my claims that mothers and fathers are different creatures.

Beans Up the Nose:

My approach to this is to gently tell my child that you do not put beans in your nose. I explain that by putting a bean in your nose could cause it to get stuck in there and then it would proceed to sprout and create a twisty vine that grows throughout your sinus cavity.

My husband’s approach is to simply say, “Do not put beans in your nose!” There is no need for an explanation. It is just a fact that you cannot put beans in your nose.

Dinosaur Play:

My middle son and I used to play with his plastic dinosaurs together. I would hand him one and tell him it was the baby dinosaur.  I would then grab one and say it was the Mama dinosaur. Right away he would start roaring and make lunges to eat Mama dinosaur’s feet off. I would tell him that baby dinosaur needed to apologize for trying to eat feet and that it was time for baby dinosaur to eat his carrots and go take a bath. Needless to say, I didn’t get an overwhelming amount of requests to play dinosaurs with him.

When my husband and him played dinosaurs, there was only roaring and eating feet. There was no story line and the dinosaurs didn’t have to apologize for anything. My husband had more playing requests than me.

Danger and Messes:

I encourage my kids to make messes and to take risks. I was somewhat of a tomboy growing up.  I think the messes I made and risks I took make up an integral part of who I am today.

My husband shakes his head any time he comes home and finds the kids playing outside in just their underwear and covered in mud from head to toe. He nearly had a heart attack the first time our daughter climbed up the monkey bars at the park and went rushing to her side. I sat on the grass calmly taking it in with a smile across my face. He is the one who put a halt to the kids walking on rocks to cross a stream last year after I already gave them the go ahead.

I encourage my kids to play in the rain and get dirty

I encourage my kids to play in the rain and get dirty

So yes, I am convinced that there are clear differences between how mothers and fathers approach parenting, just as every mom is different and so if every dad. The common core is that we are parents. We are responsible for our child. We want the best for our children. We want them to be happy. We want them to grow up and be responsible and smart. We have no idea if what we are saying or doing is the right way, but we are trying the best we can.

Today I will say “Parenthood is an Art.” It takes a lot of creativity and humor to make it through!