Life Lately: June


So I'm loving summer so far.

May has been a more difficult month for me the past few years just because of all the things I mentioned in my last post. Everyone is all "school is over! summer!" and I'm like, "nothing is different! hurrah!" I obviously feel led to share my experience as a working mom, hopefully with the intent to reach and encourage other working moms who may be out there looking for someone to relate to. But I have to say, sometimes I wonder what my real-life (and online-life) stay-at-home mom friends think of me. Are they like, Really, Amanda? This again? So dramatic. I mean, maybe I'm just extremely obnoxious to everyone I know. And I'm not saying that so you'll comment and tell me I'm not obnoxious. It's just that I really can't tell because I don't get much feedback at all on things I post about working mom life from non-working moms except that people ask why I don't just find a job teaching English so I can have summers off. I really don't want to be a teacher, though! Is there a job where I get all the school breaks and I can use editing/writing skills and not be a teacher or go back to school to be something like a librarian? I'm open to ideas!

Anyway, May is past us, and of course things are actually different in the summer once I settle into the idea. There are so many wonderful things to be thankful for, and we've been loving June so far! I took them to get smoothies on Saturday morning (see above), and they were very excited to get their own kid-sized ones. We've never done that before. It was fun, and there were only minor spills.

A few weekends ago we spent the evening at a friend's house, and once it started to get dark they set up an outdoor movie for the kids. It was the absolute cutest thing! R loved it and got really mad when we told her we couldn't stay for the whole movie. We hadn't planned ahead for it because I'd forgotten my friend mentioned they might do it, and we didn't have any bedtime stuff for J, and both kids were super tired anyway. But we're planning on doing it again soon! 

Storm season in Oklahoma started off pretty mild, but then it went crazy and we had a couple weeks where it just wouldn't.stop.raining. and we were on weather watch every night. Jordan got in our storm shelter to clean it out, although our first choice is to head over to his parents' house because their shelter is much larger and more comfortable. 

We actually did have to wake the kids up around 11:00 one night and drive to their house and get in the shelter because the sirens started going off. Jordan was up and came running in saying, "There's a tornado headed right for us and the sirens are going off. We have to get the kids up now." We got them both out of bed and into the car and grabbed the emergency bag and were backing out of the driveway in about 10 minutes, which I thought was pretty good! Thankfully the tornado went north and all we got was a lot of rain.
So I give myself an A+ for getting out of the house in a timely fashion when a tornado is coming, but I'm going to go ahead and admit that I have to give myself a C- for meal planning basically for all of 2019 so far. I'm just not into it, and we've been eating the weirdest meals lately. Every night it feels like I'm searching the pantry and fridge for anything that even remotely goes together. I haven't spent time making freezer meals in months! I'm totally off my game.

And I never never thought I would say this, but we are still getting one Hello Fresh box a month and absolutely loving it. We look forward to it every time! I accidentally skipped last month's, and even Jordan was sad about it. I always turned my nose up at meal subscription boxes, but it's been great for us in this current season of life and just a fun thing to do. Plus the price breakdown actually is not as insane as I thought considering many of the meals have leftovers. We also eat out very, very rarely, so it all evens out. Jordan's been getting into cooking lately and likes having all the ingredients prepped and ready to go. If you want to try it out, I just got a code yesterday for $40 off your first box, which means you can get 2 meals for 4 people for about $20! I will get a few dollars too for referring you. Here's the referral code :) 

One meal we've been eating a lot are these homemade pizzas. The original recipe came from one of our first Hello Fresh boxes, and we've adapted it slightly but keep the same idea. They are extremely easy to make and can be on the table in 30 minutes (including the oven cooking time), they're customizable, delicious, and the kids devour it. We loved it when it came in the box, and I was so excited when I found Italian chicken sausage meat at Sprouts and these individual-sized flatbreads at Aldi so we could recreate it. We tried them once before with breakfast sausage instead of chicken sausage, and it wasn't nearly as good and a little too greasy. We make the kids' without sautéed zucchini because neither of them will eat it, and we added turkey pepperoni on top because we love meat haha. Soooooo good and so easy!

That's all I've got for you at the moment. June is shaping up to be super fun. J's birthday is in TWO WEEKS. He will be 2 and I'm not ready. He is still my little baby who wants to be held by mama constantly. For a little while we will have a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old! Craziness.
Kaity B. said...

Cute idea w/ the mini pizzas! I think my boys would love that.

To answer your first question, I do think you talk a lot about being a working mom (NOT a bad thing) because that's your life! And I like to read your blog because I like hearing about your life since you're in the same season I'm in (in the least stalkerish way lol). So no, I don't think you're obnoxious ;)

Sarah said...

i love reading your posts about being a working mom because they're always so encouraging and i feel like someone gets me. i've had several instances of working mom hurt lately in real life, which is a huge bummer. as a librarian, i would also say that it's an awesome job but most of us don't get summers off unless you're at a school, and that usually requires a teaching license too (read: more school blah). sad day!

also, those pizzas look delish! i may have to try them--i've seen those aldi flatbreads. :)

Michelle said...

I am speaking ONLY for myself, but I'll give you my opinion as a SAHM online friend. I have been hesitant to interact with your working mom posts, because in the past you've been pretty sensitive when it comes to SAHMs, and that is NOT a judgment. I totally understand and I guarantee it would be a sore spot for me if I were in your shoes. What I love about them is how much you miss your kids. That might sound dumb, but there are a shocking amount of working moms I know who hate being home with their kids. They whine and complain whenever their kids aren't in daycare, and it makes me so sad. I also want to shake them, because that is my life 24/7 with no breaks ever. So I really appreciate how you talk about your kids.

Anyway, I don't know if you worry about SAHMs looking down on you, but I promise that's not the case. In fact, almost all my friends are working moms, and the SAHMs I know are going back to work in the future. It might be different where you are, but I rarely find another SAHM. The bottom line is, I kind of assume you didn't want to hear from a SAHM since I know we aren't your favorite people to follow online. And trust me--I have my own situations and people I've had to unfollow for similar reasons.

Katie @ Live Half Full said...

I feel the same way about summer! But I agree, there are things that feel "summery" that I can work into my day to day, like after work park trips, etc. Maybe I need to do a post on this!

Amie said...

Your blog is about your life so you can talk about anything you want to talk about. I always love reading it. Of course I am a working mom also so there's that. I like reading blogs from all perspectives.

Angi said...

I tend to agree with Michelle. First, no matter how much we agree or disagree on working moms vs SAHMs, I have *always* appreciated how you actually talk about missing your kids and being thankful for your time off together. I also see sooooooo many working moms who do nothing but complain any time they’re forced to actually be home with their kids. It often makes me wonder why they even had kids if they dislike them so much. So, thank you for that!

I will admit I’ve not chimed in much on this topic in the past because I too have felt like you weren’t really interested in the opinions of SAHMs. I imagine you feel the same way when it feels like everyone is judging you for working, but I often feel judged for staying home, and everything that goes along with it.

I’m not making excuses here, but I truly and honestly feel like the WAHM/SAHM debate is a regional thing, at least to an extent. I know you’ve felt very judged in the past for having your kids in daycare while you work, and I’m sorry for that because I know some people literally don’t have a choice. And even if people do have a choice and choose to do that, that’s their business. But you also live smack in the middle of the Bible belt. I lived there too, and started to feel awkward for being 21 and not married with kids already. Most people I went to college with were married before they graduated. On the flip side, where I’m from on the west coast, you’re usually the odd one out if you aren’t 110% dedicated to your career until you’re at least 35, and then you might think about marriage and kids. And then, if you do choose to stay at home and quit working (even temporarily) people imply you’re throwing away your career and how can you possibly be okay with no longer contributing to society by not having a paid job outside the home? What do you DO all day?? Are you really fine with “mooching” off your husband’s salary? You don’t even have a “side hustle”!? I’ve heard it all. But I’ve also had to learn that everyone is going to have their opinion no matter what the topic is, and what I choose to do with my life as a mom/wife is between me, God and my husband. And then I rest in that, because if I got offended every time someone suggested that I’m unambitious for being a SAHM, that would just be a miserable way to live.

Anyway...those are my thoughts. Obviously you are 100% entitled to blog about WHATEVER you want to blog about, and it seems like your posts have encouraged some other people and that’s awesome!! Just my two cents on why I, and possibly some other SAHMs, may be disinclined to comment most of the time.

I’m sorry for the book!! Comment vomit...

Angi said...

Oops, not WAHM/SAHM debate. Lol....I meant working mom/SAHM debate.

Sarah said...

I can't believe J is almost 2. What in the world! And in response to your question about posting about working mom life, there's no need to apologize, or question it, or explain it. This is your life, and you have every right to blog about it, and if someone doesn't want to read it, then they can leave. I love reading your working mom posts. Of course, I'm a working mom as well, but I've never felt like you were judging SAHMs. What bothers me most about the whole "debate" that for some reason always have to be a "debate" is just that I think SAHMs just honestly don't get it, and they can't get it unless they've worked full time, outside of the home. It's just like when you've never had a baby - you just can't possibly truly know what it's like, and where those emotions come from, until you've been there. It's unfair for SAHMs to pass judgement on a working mom, just like it's unfair for a working mom to pass any judgement on a SAHM. It's just a vicious cycle. However, point being, I love your honesty, and I feel like you are creating this little working-mom-ministry online, and I think you have a really great way with words when it comes to the entire subject in general. Keep doing you, friend.

The Lady Okie said...

I am super sensitive about it, and it's something I'm constantly working on. I like to think I've gotten better, but I can think of instances in the past where I probably didn't respond very well, and I'm sure there are times when I don't come across the way I intend to. Because honestly I think staying at home full time would be an extremely difficult job, and it IS work. Good grief, it's hard! If anything I've just seen so many different kinds of people and situations and passions and life circumstances, and we are all of us truly doing the best we can with what we've been given (well, at least the intentional, loving parents; you know what I mean). I truly appreciate you reading and this comment. I have so many SAHMs around me that it can sometimes feel like I'm the only one. Which isn't true, but I often feel that way. A lot of it is a regional thing for sure, which is good perspective. I mean, obviously I'm not the only one, but I do feel like there are SO many SAHM bloggers and people online, and when I find a working mom who is active online is in a traditional go-to-the-office M-F role, I feel like I found a hidden treasure haha!

The Lady Okie said...

I wish there weren't a debate at all. It's silly and so unfortunate. If anything, what I really hope is that anything I write about working is not negative toward moms who stay at home. Because that's not how I feel. I mean, obviously I'm a little jealous (sometimes a lot jealous, ha), but I still want to support and encourage ALL moms. I don't think SAHMs are unambitious at all! It's so frustrating people say that. Thanks for the comment and for reading :) I promise I wasn't asking people to comment, just kind of writing whatever I was thinking, but I do appreciate your thoughts on this! You're a wonderful mom!

The Lady Okie said...

Yes! I'd love to know how you guys work summery things into your schedule :)

The Lady Okie said...

Sorry, but I do think you're a stalker ;) lol

The Lady Okie said...

I'm obsessed with the flatbreads now! They are a regular in my Aldi cart!

The Lady Okie said...

Thanks, Sarah 💛 I really appreciate it!

Angi said...

Agreed, everyone is doing their best (for the most part lol) and to have a debate in general is silly. So are online posts (as in, websites and articles and such) about which one is better. Nobody needs to be made to feel inferior to the other person.

To be honest, I would venture a guess that most, if not all, SAHMs have days where they WISH they had a job, just like a lot of working moms wish they could stay home. That’s why I just think a lot boils down to praying about your decision and feeling secure in it and not letting “the other side” get to you. Speaking to myself as well! I don’t struggle with the working/SAHM thing as much, my struggle is the nature of my husband’s job and watching other families spend every holiday and weekend together while I’m solo parenting. I think every mom and family has their own struggle and thing that gets to them. You’re a wonderful mom, too!!! And yeah, HOW are these babies almost TWO!!!???

AnneMarie said...

I'm so glad the tornadoes didn't hit you guys! The weather has been RIDICULOUS. Some of our good friends were in Texas for most of the storms, so they thought they missed it all-and then the day after they got back, there were tornado sirens in their neighborhood. I'm so grateful for all of the technology and people who are able to give such detailed warnings! (also, we're shelter twins! Pretty sure that design is the same as ours, except ours is a little bigger since I tend to get claustrophobic so my dear kind husband got a larger model).

I don't really have any ideas on a job with summers off, but it would be nice if there was an option! I wouldn't want to be a teacher either. Maybe there's a job connected with a school that's not a teaching position that somehow would be in your field? No clue.

Finally, on the "working mom" thing, I have so much admiration for how you do that and stay sane. I've never held an office job, but recently I had a weeklong training/formation/class where I was gone 7:45 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and when I got home in the evening, I didn't want to cook, do chores, or deal with the kids anymore (there was a nursery at the class, and my kids were in and out of it at various times). So the fact that you are gone all day, everyday, and still manage to do life and cook and be with your husband and kids is AMAZING to me. You're doing great!

Rachel said...

Depending on the school, administrative positions usually work longer than the teachers, but still have summers off and generally longer breaks/holidays than normal jobs. That's true of my sister and BIL's schools in Arizona and Angel's school here.
Nobody is a stay-at-home mom in this country and my favorite thing is telling people who ask me what I do that I do "nothing" or "just take care of this little guy" because of the startled reaction. (I'm a troublemaker at heart) And it's not even entirely true, as a more accurate description is I am a "take my baby to work" mom and I get to teach other people's kiddos ow to read and add and play with them every day but that's complicated plus I don't make money so it's not like I could call it a "real job." Hence, my stubborn answer is that I just take care of my one. ;) Angel's currently mildly frustrated with me because I talked him into working with me for the summer instead of having an actual summer break. I have explained all the reasons this is a good idea and will be fun, and he starts assisting me and Cyrus next week, on the first day he's out of work. Best. Wife. Ever. (Seriously, though, it would be so boring for him to stay home alone and he will enjoy spending the days with us and the other kids! Sometimes people need to be told what is best for them.)

Rach said...

I know I rarely say much on your working mom posts other than encouraging you to continue sharing your heart because I know it's touching other working moms. And it's not because I think you're dramatic. It's because I'm not walking in your shoes. You know that I'm home with my kiddo most of the time and if I'm working then her daddy is with her. And I never want to be salt rubbing in a wound for you by saying something that I think is helpful, but in reality is painful. I can't say "solidarity" because life looks different for me. Much like when approaching any sensitive topic, I try to be really careful what I say. Particularly online where facial cues and compassion are so easily lost. Anyway, my heart goes out to you for what a difficult journey this has been for you while at the same time, I'm impressed by you for the way you have shared your heart along the way.

I love what you wrote in response to a comment above about how we're all doing the best we can with what we've been given. I think there is so much truth to that statement and that it applies to so many areas of parenting. We all need to have just a little more compassion for each other.

I can't even begin to think about J being 2 because that means I have to acknowledge what next month will bring for us. Ugh. How did these two years fly by SO FAST? Every cliche is true. The time flies. Babies don't keep. All of it. Happy almost birthday to your sweet boy!

The outdoor movie idea is so cute! And those pizzas sound great. I am all about easy to prepare and delicious! :)

Callie said...

Oh goodness, that's so scary about the tornado!  I don't know how we would handle something like that.  My kids always *think* there is a tornado when it rains, even though I've told them we don't get tornadoes in the mountains, ha!  

I keep getting Hello Fresh coupons in the mail.  I haven't really been interested in trying it because their meals wouldn't feed all of us, but maybe I should and just use it for date-night-at-home for me and Derek!

I am always interested in your working mom posts, and appreciate them because it makes me more cognizant of what working moms (the ones who actually miss their kids, like Michelle said) are going through. It's a good reminder.  I do agree though that I hesitate to comment because I sometimes think you feel judged by SAHMs, just from different things that you've said, and I don't want to inadvertently contribute to that.  Or like Sarah said, about how she thinks "SAHMs just honestly don't get it" - I don't want to be accused of "just not getting it".  Because I haven't had to work full time, but I did work part time after kids for quite a while, and I have an imagination, so I know it must be hard to have to work and be missing your kids.  But if I say that, I'm afraid that it won't necessarily be taken well since I stay home now.  It's such a touchy subject for alot of people, and I wish it wasn't.

The Lady Okie said...

So, I do agree that SAHMs don't get it. And I don't really think that's a bad thing; it's just a fact. Just like I don't "get" being a SAHM, although like you said, I have an imagination and do stay with them on the weekends, so I can see some of those struggles and can imagine ways in which it's hard.

I just really want to know (or maybe I don't want to know haha) who these moms are who don't miss their kids. Where are you guys seeing these people? I feel like I'm pretty "active" as it were online to see working mom posts and discussions, and I am in a working mom group on Facebook, and I can honestly say I have never once seen anyone say or act like they like being away from their kids for so much time during the week. So I'm genuinely curious! Who are these people?!??? I would think they are the minority as far as working moms go, but maybe I'm just way off. But clearly the impression is out there, so I'd bet that's a factor in why working moms might get judged for being away from home if people think they honestly don't miss their kids and like being away from them.

Angi said...

Speaking for myself...I have one friend who has frequently stated that she “can’t imagine” if she had to be home alone with her child any more than she already is (like, an hour in between when she picks up her kid from daycare and when her husband gets home). She’s told me many times about how grateful she is for daycare so when she’s sick she can drop her child off and not have to deal with her all day. She and her husband will feel like running errands together alone, so they take their kid to daycare the entire day vs spending the day as a family. I’ve been told “I don’t know how you do that” MANY times in response to me explaining how much Isaiah works and how much time I spend as not only a SAHM but a solo parent. I don’t believe she doesn’t miss her daughter, but I do believe she has absolutely zero desire to ever stay home and not work.

I have another acquaintance who has flat out said before (in so many words) that she can’t stand it when she has to be home too much with her kids, frequently has taken them to daycare just so she can hang out by herself at home on her days off, and has implied heavily that SAHMs aren’t truly contributing to society and she would never feel “called” to stay home with her kids any more than she already has to. Again, I KNOW she loves her kids, but I don’t feel she (or my other friend) view having to work the same way you do. I don’t feel like days off with their kids are valued and cherished - more like something to endure and tolerate until they can send them back to daycare and not have to deal with them anymore.

I’ve seen plenty more from strangers on the internet, those are just two personal, real-life people I know who work and have those attitudes. So...that’s why I’m extra grateful for working moms who make it no secret they love and miss their kids when they aren’t around, and can’t wait for evenings and weekends when they can spend time with them some more.

Anonymous said...

I’ve been a long time follower of your blog. I know that you have a faith background and claim to be a follower of Jesus. Therefore what I have to say is a mix of challenge and encouragement. I have sat by the wayside for quite some time, but I now feel compelled to offer my words. I share these words with an honest spirit of love and grace.

It sounds like you’re looking for validation that being a full time working mom is hard. And I want to tell that it is. But so is just being a mom. Regardless of what other “title” you hold. Whether you are working or staying at home or a mixture of both, “momming” is. Not. Easy. I've worked full time, part time, at a school, not at a school, stayed at home. You name it I've done it. Although different seasons are different it's just hard across the board. Others may not be able to fully understand your season of life right now, but neither are you able to fully understand theirs. That doesn't make your season or their season better or harder or easier or tougher.

More than likely you're not going to find the understanding or the “hey, I get it” you are longing for from others because no one else is you with your kids and your husband and your job in your life. But God’s Truth transcends any situation or season we are in. And in Jesus we find a friend like none other who sympathizes perfectly with us in our weakness (Hebrews 4:15). And that’s not a cop out. That’s the reality of the foundation we have been placed on for those who are in Christ Jesus.

What God offers us in His word is a warm blanket for our broken and longing souls. And through His word I want to remind you of 3 things that I hope you read with grace and find rest in your season of life.

1 - I want to remind you of the sovereignty of God in His goodness to divinely place you exactly where you are to bring good to you and glory to Him. (Acts 17:26-28)

2 - Not only has God divinely placed you exactly where you are, I want to remind you that God has not withheld anything good from you. (Psalm 84:11)

3 - I want to remind you to be transformed by the renewing of your mind and to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Cor 10:5, Romans 12:2)

A couple posts ago you shared one of your biggest “trigger points” was first day/last day pictures. I'm really sorry that is a struggle for you. But the reality is that we all have our own “trigger points” (a picture on Facebook of girl in a bikini triggers my husband to lust, hearing a story of a family with lots of money triggers my soul to discontentment of the things I have, seeing pictures of a friend's luxurious vacation triggers my heart to jealousy, and the list goes on and on) where our sinful flesh tendencies flare up and we are faced with the decision to either submit that thought to the goodness of Christ or follow the path of destruction of indwelling sin.

A practical step to renewing our minds is gratefulness. Scripture is flooded with verses that speak of giving thanks to God and to be content in all things because of the riches we have in Jesus (Eph 3:8, Phil 4:19, Col 3:17, 1 Thess 5:18). I urge you to continue to cultivate gratitude in your life for the things seen and unseen that God, in His favor, has blessed you with.

I don't share these reminders of Truth to “Bible thump” you or make your struggle any less significant, but to simply remind you of the transcendent goodness and greatness of the God of the Bible that we claim to serve. He sees us where we are, and wants us to continually throw ourselves on His abundant mercies.

The Lady Okie said...

Thank you for sharing and for reading the blog all this time! I’ve read all the comments and appreciate everyone’s thoughts. I’ve always said that I felt led to blog on this topic of working, but it’s sone thing I’ve been reevaluating, even before this post and these comments. It seems like the message I had is no longer coming across how I intend, and I think I’d like to get back to sharing more about our lives like I used to and less about specifically being a working mom. You’re right; being a mom is hard. I hope I have never given the impression that I think otherwise. For so long I saw the world through the lens of my working mom “label” but my identity is truly in Christ, as you’ve stated so kindly here. I hope my readers can see more of that joy in the future posts :)