Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Why my teens have jobs

My teens have jobs. Here's why.

  • The gap between their needs and wants is widening. For example, it is no longer enough to buy them "sneakers." They need to have Nike Air this-or-that and adidas Prime Knit something-or-other. And they wear man sizes (one of them wears a 14).

    • Why my teens have jobsThe two drivers are responsible for their car insurance.

    • My oldest is actually an adult now, so it's time for him to pay for his own gas and cell phone.

    • I no longer want to hand them cash every time they go out with their friends. However, I did help my middle son extensively with his prom expenses.

  • They don't do significant chores, so I don't give them an allowance.

  • My older two have both worked full time in the summer; last summer they did not, even though I suggested adding hours, repeatedly. I have snooped into their bank accounts and talked to them about budgeting, which brings me to another reason: they need to learn how to manage money. Fine, if you don't want to work full time: you'll have to cut back on your expenses. You might have to get a job at college.

  • My youngest gets paid to cut his dad's lawn. He will be old enough to referee hockey games or work at McDonald's or a supermarket next summer. And since he seems to have outgrown summer camp, I will be "strongly encouraging" a job to ensure he's busy and productive.

  • They need to learn a sense of responsibility and to balance school, work, and leisure.

In many cases, their jobs have taught them lessons about how to deal with the public, how to manage conflict, how to get along with people they wouldn't normally hang out with (other ages, other cultures, people with special needs), and how to advocate for themselves.

Then, there's also that special sense of pride you get when you've earned your own money. Money is power -- not in terms of the wallet bully, e.g., he who has the money is the boss -- but in the sense that when you have money, you have choices. They have choices about their needs and wants and whether they want to go out to eat with their friends or buy that new Xbox game. Are they okay with the cheap sneakers I'll pay for or do they want to add on the extra $40-plus for the name brand?

These are some of the reasons my teens have jobs. Do your teens have jobs?

Sunday, September 23, 2018

I stink at housework. Sorry (not sorry)!

I stink at housework.

All my cleaning happens because I've either reached the point of disgust (our shower last week) or I'm having company (which hasn't happened in a while).

The only things I do regularly are dishes, laundry, and toilets. Sometimes I vacuum or sweep up the dog hair. Usually, my husband is the one with the broom. He's also usually the sheet changer (which triggers a load or two of laundry).

Occasionally I purge. I cleaned up two piles of stuff that I was going to file recently. Most of it had been sitting in the "to-be-filed" pile for so long, it's not even relevant, and destined for the shredder.

I stink at housework. Sorry (not sorry)!This picture is from a room that I have gated off because I don't want the dogs in there because they get on the furniture and one of them though it would be a good idea to pee and poop on the rug. (Thank God for my Spot Bot, which is a mini rug and upholstery shampoo-er...kind of a must have if you have pets and any fabric furniture and rugs.)

I doubt that my kids really care about my housework skills, or lack of. If they really cared about cleaning, they are welcome to go ahead and dust that table. (I also stink at forcing my kids to do chores. They do their laundry, keep their rooms clean, put dishes in the dishwasher, and have jobs.) (I don't feel like arguing with them about it -- and future wives, I'm really sorry. At least they know how to use the washer, dryer, vacuum, and dishwasher.)

I kind of care, but let's face it, if I really cared, I would be dusting and not sitting here writing about it. I guess I'm not at the point of disgust yet, and even if anyone was coming over, they probably wouldn't be going into that room.

Like so many of us, I have multiple priorities, including a full-time job. So yeah, housework is at the bottom of the list. Sorry (not sorry)!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Why it's important that I work from home

Working at home is a luxury, a necessity, and sometimes a pain in the really frustrating. You can read all about it here.

This is a little story about necessity.

My son needed to see a specialist yesterday after hurting his knee at hockey a few days ago. Yes, I had to take time out of work, but not as much time as I would have if I left "the office" or never went to "the office" in the first place.

And because I work at home, the work was still there and available to be done later.

I let my son sleep in until 8:45. I had secured an appointment with his pediatrician for 9:30. They referred us to a specialist and asked if we could make an 11:15 appointment. That was pushing it, because I had to go back home -- 15+ minutes in the opposite direction -- to let force the dogs out (it was pouring torrentially). And I needed to pick up the paperwork from my son's urgent care visit during the weekend from his dad's house. But we made it, with several minutes to spare. I was so joyful about that fact that I embarrassed my son with Rihanna lyrics on the way into the office building, "You can stand under my umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh..."

After that appointment, I took my son to McDonald's on the way to school since he had missed lunch (bonus, I did not have to make lunch today because I just tossed the fully made lunch from yesterday into the fridge and it was ready to put back into his backpack today). Yes, I made him go. He has to take a week-plus off from hockey, but he's perfectly fine to go to school. He hobbled in with his doctor's note, cheerfully because he only had two classes left in the day.

Everything that was going to get done, got done. I only missed one meeting, which was recorded, so theoretically I can attend on demand when the recording is available. Theoretically.

The reason it's important that I work from home is kids. (They're my reason for almost everything, really.) I have debated looking for a job in someone else's office for many reasons (volatility in the company and my questioning whether I am developing enough skills or earning enough) but there is never a compelling enough reason for me to give up the flexibility of being able to be available for my kids when they need me. The end.

xoxox, Carlie

But no one will see it

I set up the nativity in the back yard again this year. In the past it has been out front near the fire hydrant that is on our property, and...