Labor Day, for the expectant mom, is the truest definition of hard labor
Family planning is particularly popular among many young couples intent on making their mark on the world, starting careers and having their proverbial baby ducks in a row BEFORE starting a family; however, whether “trying” or proclaiming “whoops”, recognize it's the same boat, so sit back and hang on tight because the next nine months will be a bit bumpy. You heard me, lift your head from your porcelain paradise!
Initially, the giddy excitement of knowing that you are the vessel that carries another life is overwhelming. The desire to learn everything about this nine-month journey is exceptionally strong, and soon-to-be moms endeavor to read every book and article written about this expedition. Detailed explanations are sought about mood swings, delivery and everything in-between.
Excitement abounds for first time, soon to be moms; not-so-much for moms who are expecting their second, or third bundle of joy.
As a new mom, I was totally unprepared for the responsibility I was about to accept. In retrospect, I am certain I would have benefited from a guideline to follow; thus the reason for the following list.
Daily if possible! For the next four to seven years, it will be necessary to tote a bag full of items everywhere you go. This bag will contain a variety of items (bottles, pacifiers, diapers, baby oil, baby lotion, wet wipes, toys, coloring books, rattles, baby nose aspirator and so on) based on the child’s age. Also keep in mind that it will be a long time before you will be able to enjoy a dinner out without saying the following statements:
Never set an alarm clock. This will be the last time you get to sleep all night for……well, I’m not sure, I’m still waiting.
Not necessary, might as well let it go. It’s time to begin getting used to your new motif anyway.
Seriously….get over it. Living in your new baby world, you will soon discover that romance is not even listed in the top ten as “I Love You is quickly replaced by “Hey, You Awake?
WHILE WAITING FOR LABOR DAY
LABOR DAY ARRIVES
It will seem like an eternity awaiting the arrival of your bundle of joy. Soon you'll attend birthing classes that will make labor sound bearable. (It's a lie!) The phrase, “you will feel discomfort” had to have been written by a man. Discomfort, DISCOMFORT; try anguish, torment, agony or torture, but DISCOMFORT my #?#@#!
Natural childbirth is popular until experienced. Think about it, were you using natural birth control (if so, how'd that work out for you?) My advice, for what it's worth, is to begin asking for drugs before you really even need them to ensure that you avoid being told, “I’m sorry, it’s too late.”
Last but not least, recognize that your spouse has absolutely no clue what to do, what is happening or what to say. He will make totally insensitive comments, so brace yourself.
Hubby: Do you want to watch TV to take your mind off things?
Me: Do you want to retain the shape of a TV?
Hubby: Just breathe.
Me: Great advice Einstein, the one thing I didn’t have to think about.
Me: I am focusing, on the PAIN!
Hubby: It’s almost over.
Me: Yea, right, that’s what you said 6 hours ago!
Hubby: I love you.
Me: Yea, yea, like that’ll ever work again.
Hubby: I see the head.
Me: Well, Hot Diggity Dog
Me: You’ll think push when I push you out of this fourth floor window
Hubby: The doctor is on his way
Me: Here or does he have another golf game?
Hubby: Do you want some crushed ice?
Me: Yea, stick a block under my fist and I’ll crush it!
When everything is said and done, you will have experienced the ultimate human achievement and will take home with you a beautiful, dependent little life that has absolutely no regard for your fatigue, hunger or emotional state. Ironically, if you are a successful parent, this beautiful, dependent little life will grow into a teenager that has absolutely no regard for your fatigue, hunger or emotional state.
Happy Labor Day!
Hasty Decisions are rarely Productive
When the profit line begins to decrease, many business owners panic and often react by eliminating positions, merging job duties, decreasing wages or reducing hours. Often, these decisions are made in haste and can negatively affect the long term fiscal health of the business. There is no disputing, certain circumstances may require these strategies; however, they should be a last resort rather than a defensive maneuver.
Merging Job Responsibilities and multi-tasking can cost your business $$$
In a misguided attempt to cut costs, merging job responsibilities has become common practice. It is imperative that businesses recognize and analyze the benefits of certain skill sets, experience and productivity of each employee, before implementing such drastic cost cutting measures. Employees bring with them distinct and respective talents that may or may not be listed under a computer generated “job description”. Merging job responsibilities typically means more work for the same pay, which may result in employee "burn-out". Is it worth the risk of losing a great employee to another company, maybe a competitor? Suffice it to say that all jobs are not interchangeable!
Your Employees are your Best Resource for Ideas
Business Owners should be visible, approachable and open to suggestions. The value of dedicated employees cannot be underestimated; they are your best, in-house resource for ideas and improvements. In today’s business environment, a successful business owner must invest valuable time cultivating and maintaining business relationships with peers and staff, just as they do with their clients.
A Proactive Approach is Always Best
All options be carefully weighed and searching for a proactive approach serves the best interest of the business.
Ask Yourself this Question
“Will the solution I am proposing, address this situation from a proactive approach or a reactive state”? If the response is the latter, more evaluation time is required.
Right off the bat, let me clarify that my boldness should not be viewed as a lack of gratitude for the benefits you, Mr. Big Business, bring to your respective communities. The employment opportunities your company provides are vital and your employees are grateful; however, it is important that you, Mr. Big Business, make a concerted effort to never underestimate the worth and value of the community you serve and employees you hire.
Mr. Big Business, while you reap the benefits of tax incentives and government perks, your small business counterparts are simply aspiring entrepreneurs just trying to catch a break.
Membership dues are part of business, period. Your annual, obligatory membership dues to various organizations help ensure that your political interests are represented. At the same time, the small business owner struggles to pay those same dues; not for political representation, but to establish credibility. Sadly, every day, somewhere, a small business owner gives up and closes the door. With each closing, the American dream seems more like a slogan from yesterday than a possibility for the future.
So what can you do about it? Well, Mr. Big Business, I'm so glad you asked. Learn about and do business with the small businesses who live and work in your community. The quality and value of the services and products they offer may even surprise you. It's easy to forget that success breeds success; yet, as overall budgets increase, so grows the community.
Mr. Big Business, I really don’t think that you are cold-hearted; just unaware of the many great businesses that exist in your area. The unawareness is not your fault, but rather an enormous communication failure of the very organizations whose mission it is to bring small businesses and big businesses together.
Mr. Big Business, small businesses know who you are, what products or services you provide and even where you’re located; but YOU need to know them! Who they are, what products or services they provide and where they are located!
So, how do we turn this around?
Unfortunately, some of the organizations and so-dubbed "powers that be”, refuse to be part of bridging this gap, so that is why I am calling on you, Mr. Big Business, to be the catalyst for change. Together, combined efforts between Big Business and Small Business will reap stronger, economically sound communities.
There are moments in time when a single, ordinary comment can send a person into a complete tailspin and this was one of those days!
It was just an ordinary day, just an ordinary comment and just one little word that changed my perspective. At the time, my children were very young and I was employed part-time.
Although I don't remember where I was, at the time, I do remember the question and my respone that day. My response forced me to step back and take a second look at how I viewed myself.
So...what do you do?
I’m just a mom.
Later that day, that single phrase hit me like a ton of bricks! Just a Mom! JUST a Mom! What was the matter with me? Did I really say that! Yes, I work part-time and I AM a Mom; a BUSY Mom; a TIRED Mom, and often a FRUSTRATED Mom, but JUST a Mom?
Where did that come from? I mean really, is someone JUST a Doctor, JUST a Lawyer, JUST a Nuclear Scientist? Oh, well, I digress. Why on earth would I use the word JUST to describe my career, my destiny...my life?
When one accepts the role of Mom, it is the most important job in the world; therefore, how dare I, or anyone else, demean the status of such a vital position? A Mom’s day begins before anyone else awakes and ends long after everyone else has retired for the evening.
A Mom’s responsibilities are endless. Breakfasts must be prepared (even cereal, after-all, someone has to get the bowls out and pour the milk), pack lunches, do the laundry (every day), ensure the kids leave the house “appropriately” dressed for school, teeth are brushed (can’t assume), hair is combed and see that the kiddos arrive at daycare, school or the bus...on time!
Then it's time for the mom, who is employed outside of the home, to hurry and get ready for work, hoping her shoes match (who among us hasn’t arrived with two different shoes of similar styles) and double checking the seams on clothing (you know you have worn that blouse inside out before). For the Mom who is not employed outside of the home, the routine of household responsibilities must be tackled.
Whether employed outside of the home or not, Mom inevitably has to pick up dirty clothes that have been left wherever they were removed as children and some spouses have difficulty seeing things on the floor. They look at it, walk over it, around it or even through it, but will never pick it up.
Meals, whether baked, fried, crock-potted or micro-waved must be prepared, dishes have to be washed or loaded into the dishwasher, carpets require vacuuming, linoleum demands to be swept and pre-fabricated furniture will not dust itself.
Multi-tasking is a must when juggling homework, after-school activities, ball games and band practice. A Mom may not be a doctor in real life, but definitely plays one at home. A Mom’s responsibilities never end from doctor appointments and picking up a sick child at school to dropping off forgotten homework and paying household bills. Oh let us not forget the responsibility of ensuring that the last roll of toilet paper or all of the shampoo has not been used.
There is JUST one simple moral to this story; a Mom works full-time, regardless of "employment" status from a world view. As a Mom, you are never JUST a Mom! A Moms work is hard, heartbreaking at times and the pay is lousy. Being a Mom encompasses many things, it’s just that JUST, ain’t got nothin’ to do with it!
Every Sunday, breeds from every religious denomination gather together for services within their respective Houses of Worship. Close examination of congregations conclude that the most common breed is the infamous Pew-Setter. It can be difficult to recognize a Pew-Setter, as it highly resembles its’ purer counterpart, the Soul-Winning Retriever. However, there are several ways to identify and distinguish between the two.
The Pew-Setter’s actions, though not usually malicious or intentional, might best be described as learned behavior. The typical Pew-Setter attends all Worship services and activities, stands when directed, sits when instructed to do so, Amen's on command, and occasionally speaks or testifies when prompted to do so.
The Pew-Setter lineage usually stems back several generations and, unfortunately, has a misplaced sense of ownership. This progeny usually sits in the same spot and can become secretively, and in some instances, boldly indignant when an uncommon breed happens to take up residence on their perceived, reserved dominion.
The Pew-Setter tends to be very vocal and simply has no qualms about offering criticism about anything or anyone. This particular mutt seems to have an overwhelming urge to howl loudly when changes occur and will never admit that he/she participates in, and in some cases, orchestrates gossip. This tracker uses its’ nose to sniff out private information regarding others and unwittingly disguises the information as a prayer request or other vainly concealed concern and disregards any damage that may result.
In sharp contrast to the above description, one can easily detect the Pew-Setter's rare, purebred counterpart; the Soul-Winning Retriever. The Soul-Winning Retriever also attends morning, evening and weekday Worship Services; however, should an uncommon breed take up residence on the Soul-Winning Retriever’s territory, he/she welcomes the newcomer, retrieves personal details like name, address, whether or not the visitors attend another House of Worship regularly and is forthcoming with an invitation to return often.
The pack that the Soul-Winning Retriever hangs with welcomes all new breeds. This beloved jewel genuinely tries to form a lasting friendship bond that is not isolated and reserved specifically for visitors. The Soul-Winning Retriever strives for joy and peace. This exceptional pedigree endeavors to share the Gospel outside of the church walls, is highly educated in God’s Word, follows God’s directives and takes his/her Spiritual walk very seriously.
This Soul hunting hound is always on a mission to sniff out witnessing opportunities and provide assistance to those in need. This thoroughbred has a keen awareness and uses discernment when another seems to be in distress or going through a difficult time. This hound will relentlessly pursue every avenue, until all venues have been exhausted, in order to provide assistance.
Trust is a particular plus with this bloodline. Listed as an exquisite gem, this thoroughbred studies the Word of God regularly and retains Scripture for use at an appropriate time. In addition, the Soul-Winning Retriever gives to others as directed by the Holy Spirit, and earnestly attempts to win lives to Jesus Christ. A feat of this magnitude can only be accomplished through a genuine expression of love and concern toward others, both inside and outside of the Tabernacle. Inside the Sanctuary, the Soul-Winning Retriever receives the weekly message and inspiration from God’s Holy Word and immediately releases this message into the world upon completion of the service.
Through the words and prophecies contained in the Bible, a remarkable promise has emerged. Hope is not lost for the misdirected Pew-Setter or any breed for that matter. This poor, mutant breed can be transformed instantaneously into a Soul-Winning Retriever. As a matter of fact, all breeds MUST be transformed. This change does not require DNA manipulation, but simply a true acceptance of Jesus Christ as personal Savior, surrendering everything to Him, repenting of past discrepancies and last but not least, a few lessons in……………….obedience training.
What a difference a year makes! This time last year, I was faced with two very real choices: Allow depression and the would’ve, should’ve, could’ve scenario to devour me, or pick myself up, dust myself off (no this is not a song intro) and reinvent myself; I chose the latter.
Last year, I started my blog. As I saw it, mamatatuley.com was more of an affordable therapy method, than an adventure. Mama Tatuley (my persona) was a place where I could express my views and thoughts without worrying about being “politically correct” or frankly, giving a rat’s patootie about whether anyone read it or not. My first post titled, NEW LIFE, NEW DO, NEW ME set the stage.
Life, or at least my life, seems to possess a very strange mix of humor, sarcasm and irony. I used to have a tendency to duck and hide when life would hurl obstacles my way; much preferring to cover my head under a makeshift cover than address it or retaliate.
Giving up the business I loved was more than hard, it was devastating. For a long time, I was angry, very angry; but eventually, I came to terms with reality. Now, one year later, I find reflection to be a good thing. My entrepreneurial experience was valuable, and yet I am glad it’s over! I am excited by the opportunities that lie ahead. You see, my reason for going into business in the first place was to use my writing and speaking skills to make a living; unfortunately, my creativity suffered and virtually disappeared in the haze of my “so-called business”.
Here I am, one year later, with another birthday biting at my heels. I am working a regular “day gig” and I have to admit, a steady paycheck, insurance and paid sick/vacation days are nice; however, I still find myself missing the “real” me….my calling…my destiny….my desire.
For those of you who have followed my blog and social media pages, you know that I am once again dipping my toe into the proverbial creativity realm. This time, not as a means to make a living, (I plan on keeping my “day gig”), but as a creative outlet to speak and write about anything and everything that I love. Yes, I have to be selective about the engagements I agree to accept, and yes I’m grateful for that luxury. What began as a blog is now a full-fledged website and, just like my writing, I'm sure I will continue to change and update it as I go along.
I finally recognize and appreciate that aging is not necessarily a bad thing. What can I say, my best material comes from a lifetime of experiences…and, of course, my family. From humor and motivation to instruction and Spirituality, my life's journey has written the script.
Cheers to another year of adventure!