Fun Times

We have now lived in Texas for 16 months.  Living in an RV park was a temporary living situation and we knew that.  As a result, I didn’t put a tremendous amount of effort into making any friends.

Then we moved to our new home.  We’ve now been here almost 11 months.  I’ve had the privilege of being part of a local homeschool group and getting to know many of the other moms (and some dads) in the group.  Our group has been meeting weekly for quite some time.  Our children have established some good friendships and the parents in the group have established friendships as well.

I’m guilty of not taking many breaks from my kids and as a homeschool mom who spends 24/7 with her kids, those breaks really are a necessity.  My kids also need a break from me every once in awhile.  So recently I suggested that the moms in our homeschool group plan an evening out.  Many liked the idea and a few of us attended our first Mom’s Night Out.

We met for dinner and drinks, then walked to Painting With a Twist to create our masterpieces.

Here’s mine.

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An evening without our kids allowed us the opportunity to learn more about each other and we all left with better friendships.  We also agreed that we needed to have a monthly Mom’s Night Out.  That makes our evening out, a huge success.

My Gift to Me for 2014

One nice thing about following blogs is discovering new things and one of my most recent discoveries is Stitch Fix.  This is an on-line personal stylist service for women and it’s very simple.

First I completed my “Style Profile.”  This provides my Stitch Fix stylist the information needed to provide me a good selection of clothing items that fit my lifestyle.

I complete all the information on-line and then I wait for the box to arrive in the mail.

In the comfort of my own home, I am able to try on each item sent to determine if it’s something I would like to add to my wardrobe.  No driving to the mall, going from store to store, sifting through clothing racks trying to find something I might like.  No stripping down in the department store fitting room trying on clothes.  No waiting in line to pay.  If I like something sent to me and it fits, it’s mine to keep.  Anything I don’t like or doesn’t fit, I send it back in the postage paid shipping envelope.

I received my first box in the mail and of the 5 items received – a pair of jeans, 2 flannel shirts, a really nice black and gray sweatshirt, and a pull-over sweater.  All the clothes were good quality and I was quite surprised to see just how well the stylist did at selecting things I would wear.  In the end, I kept 2 items – the black and gray sweatshirt and one of the flannel shirts that I could easily see me wearing on my homestead one day.  The other items I chose to return for various reasons.

Also in the box was a packet of information, including a pamphlet that showed all the ways my Stitch Fix selections for the month could be mixed and matched.  I don’t have the best vision when it comes to mixing and matching several pieces of clothing, thus the reason I tend to wear the same things over and over again.  I can’t remember the last time I walked out of a clothing store with that information in hand.  Oh yeah, never!

My last step in the process was going on-line to finalize my purchase.  I checked boxes letting Stitch Fix know what I was keeping and completed my order.  Then I put the items being returned in the shipping envelope and mailed it off.  Really very, very simple.

The same time each month I’ll receive a box from Stitch Fix with the choices my stylist has chosen for me.  At any time I can reschedule my Stitch Fix delivery or cancel it altogether.

I’m not very good at doing things for myself, like buying myself clothes.  I love picking out and purchasing clothing for my kids and my husband.  But when it comes to clothing for me, I have a hard time making those purchases.   To look in my closet, one would think I love shopping for myself.  Sadly though, my closet if full of clothes that are several years old, out-of-style and in desperate need of a permanent vacation from my home.

Now I’m letting Stitch Fix do the shopping for me.   Just a few items sent to me each month and I can slowly build my wardrobe with up-to-date styles.   It’s my gift to me in 2014.

If you would like to have your own personal on-line stylist, jump on over to Stitch Fix and check it out.

Hey Moms, What Do You Think?

TodayMoms.com did a recent survey of over 7,000 moms and the results claim that moms of 3 kids are more stressed than moms of 1 or 2 children.  In addition, moms who have 4 or more children report less stress than moms of 1 or 2 kids.

Even though I’m the mom of 5 kids, I’m probably not the best at judging the accuracy of these results.  I started out as the mom of 1 and then 2, but then ended up the single mom of 2.  I remarried and when my youngest son was 6-years-old I became the mom of 3.  I have to add that my oldest has autism which added a different dynamic to the family and a different level of stress.  Fast forward 18 years and I became the mom of 4, which in my world meant I started all over again with 1 child at home to care for.  Two years later I added child number 5, but only 2 in my care.  I could be wrong, but I have a feeling this survey didn’t include moms like me 🙂

Even though I may not be the ideal candidate for this survey, based on my experience I would have to say that my stress level with 3 was higher than it is with 2.  However, it really is hard to judge how that would be different if I wasn’t a mom dealing with the challenges of raising a child with autism.

I also have to ask how much personality plays into the stress that moms feel?  Did this survey take that into account?  For example, our oldest daughter requires demands enjoys a lot of attention and entertainment.  Truly, more than any of our other children.  Some of that attention and entertainment is provided by her younger sister, but many times it is being provided by me.  Not that I shouldn’t be providing that for my kids, because I should.  However, if she had her way, I would be spending the majority of my day catering to her entertainment requirements.  In walks stress as I’m trying to take care of all my responsibilities while giving her some of my attention.  And I need to provide some of my attention to child #5.  What if she had the company of 2 or 3 more siblings closer in age to provide her with the attention and entertainment she enjoys?  Would I feel less stress or would that just add more to my overflowing plate?  I don’t know and my husband has made it clear that I won’t be getting the answers to those questions 🙂  I have to assume that at least some of the moms surveyed have a similar challenge, but how did that factor into the results?

How many of the moms surveyed have children with autism or other challenges?

How many of the moms surveyed work outside the home vs. stay-at-home moms?

How many of the moms surveyed homeschool their kids vs. sending them to school outside the home?

While the article doesn’t provide answers to all my questions, I found this survey to be very interesting.

You can read the article by clicking on the link above, but here are some other interesting tidbits from the survey.

  • 46 percent of moms say their husbands/partners cause them more stress than their kids do.
  • 72 percent of moms stress about how stressed they are.
  • Biggest cause of stress: 60 percent say it’s lack of time to do everything that needs to get done.
  • 60 percent of moms say raising girls is more stressful than raising boys.
  • Nine out of 10 moms stress about staying fit and attractive.

So to all you moms out there, how many kids do you have and how would you rank your stress level?

Are you the mom of 4 or more kids?  If so, do you feel you are more or less stressed now than when you had 1, 2 or 3 kids?

And what are you thoughts on the other survey results?