To rinse or not to rinse, that’s the question in our house.
I’m talking about the dishes, of course, which would go straight from the kitchen table into the dishwasher if most of my family members had their way.
“You don’t have to wash the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher,” my kids will say — with some sarcasm, I might add. But I usually get my way, prompting a more thorough rinse (including use of the dish brush and a little soap) before the pan or plate or glass or piece of silverware makes its way into the dishwasher.
But I’m not always around when the dirty dishes are loaded or the clean ones put back into the cupboards. And it’s an unpleasant surprise when I pull out a mug for my morning coffee and find chocolate residue from the hot chocolate last sipped from that cup that, for some unexplained reason, the dishwasher does not remove. (Same residue easily comes off with a quick pre-dishwasher scrub and a little soap.)
Similar scenarios happen with other food not rinsed that ends up baked on the “clean” dishes.
Is this a problem in your house? Am I a horrible nagging mother when I show said dishes or glasses as proof of my point and the need for some pre-dishwasher cleaning? Will I ever win this battle?
Of course I will, since it’s only a matter of a time until I’ll be doing almost all of the dishes myself after all of the kids have moved out!
I am now officially the mother of three adults — at least on paper.
The baby of the family turned 18 this week and when she goes off to college in the fall, the home dynamic will shift.
Of course, add her departure to our middle child graduating from college in the spring (and likely not moving back home), and the shift is even bigger. I know I have to get used to it. So why am I dreading it?
Our family has been in a transition stage for a while, which has given me a reprieve from the empty nest. For the past seven years, one or both boys have been at college and home only on breaks. Our oldest — now a college grad with a great degree from a great school and a great job — did move back home after graduation and still lives with us, at least for now. (For all of you wondering why he’s still under our roof, his job is close by and doing so enabled him to pay off his college debt — in two years, I might add! Now he’s working on building a savings so he can either A, move out; or B, go to graduate school.)
I know we raise children so that they can grow up and go out on their own and help make the world a better place. Time to let go.
I just don’t want to.
Another college acceptance!
K is three for three so far and we are excited. As a parent, you want your child to have good choices. Looks like she’ll have a few. Of course, I’m doing my typical second-guessing. Did I help her find the right schools? Did we miss any places where she should have applied?
College is such an important part of life. It was for me. It’s where I got a great education that has served me well through nearly 30 years in the journalism field. I had a wonderful experience there and really came into my own. It’s also where I met the man who has been my husband for the past 26-plus years. I guess I could say I owe my entire family to my alma mater.
I’ve always believed that the people who say the high school years are the best part of life didn’t go to college!
Now it’s going to happen for K. And I’m so excited for her!
Are you overwhelmed by your daily to-do list? Do you feel burned out?
A lot of moms do, so you’re definitely not alone. We did a story about it in the January issue of HealthyLife, the women’s health magazine I edit, and the experts our writer spoke with say there’s a relatively easy way to prevent it.
Put ourselves first.
Problem is, not too many moms seem willing to do that. And when we do, we feel guilty.
We all know the logic behind it. A happy mom means a happy family (at least generally). When we’re rested and feeling our best, we take better care of everybody else. Plus, it’s good for our kids to see that we value ourselves — that we’re worth our own time.
So why is it so hard to do?
I have to say, I think I’m getting past my burnout stage. My kids are older. They take care of most of their own daily maintenance stuff. One doesn’t even live at home anymore except on school breaks.
I do think burnout is generally worse for mothers of younger children — especially when those moms also have full-time jobs outside the home. Those women never get a chance to relax.
It may be easier said than done, but take the experts’ advice. Put yourself first. Take some time off from your responsibilities to get in some exercise or some much-needed time with the girls (or your significant other). Hire a baby-sitter. Your kids will be better for it.
And so will you!
It’s been a very tough week. Hard to hold what’s supposed to be the joy of the holiday season in your heart.
Today, moments of silence were held not just here in our corner of the earth, where the unspeakable happened a week ago today, but all over the world. There is comfort in knowing so many people are sending their love and support your way. But most of us still can’t comprehend how the families whose loved ones are now gone can get through this.
It’s my hope that we all carry a little bit of each one of those 26 souls in our hearts — their joy of life, their dreams for the future, their selflessness and most of all, their ability to love and to connect with others. That’s been a recurring theme for so many of the people lost in this senseless act — they understood how important it was to connect with others and treat them with kindness, compassion and respect.
Let’s all try to do the same.
“You are not alone.”
President Obama said those words last night at Newtown High School. He spoke during a moving service meant to start the healing process — a service that paid tribute to the 20 children and six adults who were innocent victims of a gunman’s rampage on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
And he’s right. We’re all with you. We all grieve for you. We want you to know how much we care. How much we wish we could help. We can’t imagine your pain. Your loss.
All over Fairfield County people are in shock. They’re heartbroken. This kind of thing shouldn’t happen here, in our own backyard. These were young, defenseless children; and brave teachers, administrators and school staff who tried to protect them.
But the President was right. The people of Newtown and the family and friends of those who were slain aren’t alone. An outpouring of sympathy has come not just from your neighbors next door, but from people across the state, the region, the nation and even the world. Candlelight vigils are being held as far away as India, and people everywhere are sending their prayers and messages of support.
No Newtown, you’re not alone. And we hope knowing that brings you some comfort as you make your way through this nightmare.
Are you checking items off your holiday to-do list?
I’ve got many tasks to finish before our family spends Christmas away from home for the first time ever. And high up on that list is sending out our holiday greeting cards, which means writing the annual holiday letter.
It’s a subject of controversy, I know. People either love them or hate them. Of course, many of these letters can come across as elitist. We’ve all seen them. “Suzy had yet another year of all A’s, making Honor Society. And we’re so proud that she won first place in All-Around at the state gymnastics competition, which we were afraid she was going to miss after she sprained her wrist while helping victims of Hurricane Sandy dig sand and mud out of their basements. And did we mention, she was accepted to Harvard!”
We try very hard NOT to make our letters sound like this (not that our kids have done any or all of those things), but at the same time focus on the good stuff that’s happened in the year since we sent our last holiday letter.
Some years, though, I draw blanks and pass this task to my husband. I think he’s better at summarizing the family’s high points and knowing just what to share with others. And why is that? After all, I lived through the same year with the same people. Why can he remember things I can’t?
Some years I’ve debated nixing the letter. A signed card should be adequate, right? Especially since our kids are grown and it’s no longer necessary to include that cute group photo like when they were little. But then other people’s cards start to roll in, most of which include these family letters and many of which tell me they’re looking forward getting our family update.
So I cave.
Of course, it’s early. We’ve only gotten two holiday cards. But I know they’re coming!
That holiday letter is on this weekend’s to-do list.
I’m about to jump off a cliff and get myself in trouble. Kids don’t need smart phones.
There, I said it.
We have computers for Internet access and a 12- or even 16-year-old doesn’t need to be able to google Justin Bieber from her cell phone. Don’t our kids have enough electronic distractions?
Then there’s the cost. Of course, I know plenty of parents who shell out the extra $30 per phone, per month, so their kid (or kids) can use a smart phone. I’m just not one of them.
Our oldest was 24, a college graduate and gainfully employed before he got a smart phone, which he pays for himself and also needs for work e-mail since he travels for his job. Next in line, I know G, at 21, wants one. He was inquiring about it while home from college over Thanksgiving. Sorry. Not gonna do it. Wouldn’t be prudent (and yes, I am mimicking Dana Carvey’s impression of George Bush No. 1 when I say that out loud). And K, our high school senior, knows not to even bring up the subject.
Our two youngest have phones from which they can call and text to their heart’s desire, or as any situation warrants.
Sure, they can get a smart phone — when they pay for it themselves.