How to survive when you’re parenting alone.

 

It drives me crazy is when a parent that is happily married and their spouse goes away for work or leisure and the person at home claims to be single parenting. Like single parents are no joke. I cannot imagine not having my husband to confide in every day. That being said, it is a thing when one parent is left at home without the other, to parent alone. I’m not trying to take away from that because I do that, several times a year. It’s no easy task but there are a few things I do to make my time parenting without my husband easier. A quick preface, I have three kids, 5, 3 and 2. At this point we only have half day kindergarten to break up our day. We are also in the (hopefully) ending stages of potty-training my 3 year old. So with that: How I survive when my husband travels.

1.

Get out of the house. I shoot for leaving the house once a day. Whether we need to grocery shop, walk around the block or go to a park or library; we always get up, get dressed and leave the house. That doesn’t always happen and that’s ok some days people are sick or you just really need to get stuff done around the house. Leaving the house will break up your day and make it seem to go faster.

2.

Along the same line is get ready for your day. You don’t need a full face of makeup but you will feel better if you take care of yourself. So go a little out of your way to get dressed and at least brush your hair before you throw it up out of your way.

3.

Use screen time to your advantage. For instance we don’t turn on the t.v. on in our house until 4 P.M. That’s our rule, so if the kids are begging to watch t.v. all I have to say is sorry but we don’t watch t.v until 4, we will have to find something else to do.  It leaves me with the chance after 3 P.M. to say “Hey, if you guys cleaned up the living room you could watch t.v. early.”  I won’t turn the t.v. on until the living room is clean but the quicker you clean the more t.v you can watch. Then I get to make dinner without all their distractions. My kids have been obsessed with the kid’s YouTube app lately and instead of just handing over the tablet for them to use, I always make them earn it. Ready for school early? Here have the tablet for 10 minutes. If I need to listen during a Dr’s. app. or something important then they can have it but I try to only use t.v when necessary.

4.

Work the schedule before your home alone so the kids know what to expect. I tend to get lax on our schedule every so often, but when I know my husband is going out of town I get very strict before so when he is gone the kids act better and know what to expect.

5.

Prepare for the worst. My kids always get some weird sickness when my husband travels. Diarrhea, pink eye, hand foot and mouth, if my husband is gone my kids will get it. I always hope nothing will happen but I always plan and have the first aid and minor sickness meds on hand. Not to mention also my roof has leaked, kitchen sink pipes have broken and countless other minor house emergencies have happened. The trick to this is not letting them ruin your whole day/week by just realizing they can and will happen.

6.

Find time for yourself. One of the most difficult things when my husband is traveling is I a lack of adult conversation. I usually try to find time to spend with friends so I can have a conversation with an adult. I really start getting down on myself and try to let social media fill that void and it does not work. I end up sitting on my phone all night after the kids are sleeping when I should be cleaning the house, working out and spending time on me. So I like to set things up so it’s easier for me to work out, like changing into my work out clothes before I put the kids to bed or not going to relax in my bed right after the kids are sleeping.

 

Do you have any tips that help when you’re trying to survive home alone with kids and feel like there is no end in sight? I would love to hear what I could add to my list to help me next time.

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Living to 27

I just turned 27 and I feel old. I don’t know what happened in the last week but I feel different. I use to have it in my mind I was a young chicken with little kids and I started early and I have this limber body that can handle anything. My husband and most my friends are several years older than me and it’s always given me this feeling of young innocence in comparison. My husband was telling me about a coworker and how he didn’t understand something he was doing and then he said “I forget he is 22 and in a different generation then me” and I sat there shocked to realize that I’m not part of the young generation anymore. I have a hard time thinking about what the future will be like, I don’t day dream of me or my kids getting older. I tend to focus on the now and not what is to come. Really the most thinking ahead I do is when I see my oldest child on a stage preforming and I wonder what my younger kids will be like at the age. Like, what will my two year old be like when he starts school? Ok that’s not true I dread what he will be like in school. So I never imagined myself as 27. In all honesty I never imagined myself with kids or really doing any of the stuff that has led me to 27.

I remember in high school just thinking of the days ahead of me, not the years. I thought that living a single life with only concern for myself and the few friends I had was going to be my whole life. I imagined myself living in a small apartment or house forever, never in serious relationships or having kids but I also remember thinking I would get bored of that. I didn’t realize there was so much more to life, this is sad but I can literally be quoted saying “I should die at 26 because I can’t imagine there will be anything fun to do after that.” Also “I don’t think I’ll have kids because I don’t what to push a kid out of there.” High school me would be in shock to know I love being 27 even if it is a little weird. High school me would probably die if she knew she pushed out three babies sans epidural and was completely empowered by it. But I think the most shocking thing for high school me would be that I learned to love, not just love but to trust and give unselfishly, I continually rip down walls to find growth in me that I always wanted in high school but never understood. So while I’m still not sure I’ll ever imagine a 40 year old Kandice, I’m finding that there are way cooler things to do at 27 than I ever thought.

 

A list of 27 things high school me would be shocked to know I have actually done. Mostly because I just like making lists.

  1. I let my kids puke on me. Gross right, but what are you going to do when they are puking and want comforted, put a towel on your chest and let them barf all over it.
  2. Birth 3 babies
  3. Get married. I literally thought I was going to be single forever.
  4. Run a half marathon.
  5. Haven’t done much yet but it’s high on my list when were are out of debt.
  6. Fall in love with Disneyland.
  7. Enjoy running, I mean come on I really do like it.
  8. Be a dance mom.
  9. Own a home
  10. Hate being a dance mom.
  11. Have two little boys to raise.
  12. Own a minivan.
  13. Who are we kidding own a vehicle at all.
  14. Cry with someone.
  15. Cry at all my kids events because I’m a cry baby proud mom.
  16. Stand up for my kids.
  17. Run a budget for my family and get us out of debt almost completely (Still have a mortgage)
  18. Still have acne
  19. Still saving for braces (someday)
  20. Still not have any idea what I want to do with my life
  21. Cook from scratch a lot
  22. Love comic books and movies (thanks to my husband)
  23. Love history (I choose documentaries on Netflix over sitcoms often)
  24. That I dropped out of college
  25. Volunteer at an elementary school
  26. Make my bed everyday
  27. Enjoy eating steak (I used to hate it)

 

Grandma

My grandmother recently died. I don’t tell you this for sympathy, she was very old and ill and is in a much better place now. My mother told me she would be speaking at her funeral and told me I was welcome to also. My first reaction was fear setting in, oh man, that’s a lot of people, can I get up in front of that many people and clearly speak to them, and then the embarrassment from my aunt’s funeral came back in my mind. I got up in front of my family and my aunt’s colleagues (she was a very well know lawyer) and told a story about bunnies and snakes. It was terrible, I had thought for days about what to say and could not decide. I got up there and this story she told me about her old boyfriend popped into my mind and I told it, only later did it sink in that I told a story about her wanting to be a snake so she could kill her boyfriend who wanted to be bunny because they populate the earth. Well I’m going to blame that on pregnancy brain. Needless to say, that moment has haunted me. I feel it’s important for me to step up and speak at people’s funerals as a last farewell to them so they can look down on me from heaven and know I love and miss them. However, I was not going to go up there and embarrass myself again. This time I sat down and thought of lots of memories and wrote up what I wanted to say before the funeral. I wanted to share it with you also, so please enjoy the ode to my grandma:

 

To live 81 years is a long full life. I only knew grandma for a short 26 of those 80 plus years. When I think back, I can always remember how kind and interested she was. She always wanted to know how we were and how others were, the nick names of our kids, what we were up to and in return she always updated us on distant relatives. One thing she always wanted was to know everyone’s birthday even as she got older and the grandkids turned into great and great-great grandkids and she was good at remembering to give gifts to everyone. I know I’m not the only one with drawers and cupboards full of Avon from her. I remember once I spent the night with her at her old house, I played a little hand held pin ball game all night and the next morning she gave me a bracelet for no other reason than I was there with her and it felt so special to me. I am very sad at this loss to our family but I hope it can remind me that other’s birthdays are special things to remember, small acts, like giving a bracelet to a young girl can leave lasting memories and having a gallery wall of family photos in your hallway is always a good decision.

 

It was hard getting up there but, as I have said before, I want to look for more ways to step out of my comfort zone and this was a perfect way to do that for myself while honoring my grandmother.

 

On a brighter note: We have some awesome Youtube videos over on our channel you should go check out, also I post almost daily on my Instagram with a wide variety of fun things so head over there and give me a follow too. Just search anytimeharrison

The goal of Things

This year we have set some lofty goals for ourselves and I plan to keep them. While I am not perfect at keeping my goals, I do try really hard and have devised a plan that helps me keep on track. I am going to be kind enough to share it with you today.

Plan

At the start of the year my husband and I sat down and wrote out all our goals for the year. It doesn’t have to be the start of the year to do this, we have started at many different times of the year. The whole point is that you sit down, I suggest with a paper and pen (you can go back later and type them) in hand and write out what you what achieve in all areas of your life (Financial, personal, work, family, travel, you want to do it write it down). The key to sticking with your goals is to have a plan for it. The plan needs to include: What, when, how and why

The What

What is it you want to achieve? Write it out and be specific. If it’s a financial goal then look up the numbers you need for it. If it’s fitness, how long do you want to run or how much to lift, ect?

The When

Give yourself a reasonable time frame to do this in but be lenient on this date.

The How

This is when you get to be more specific on how you are going to set yourself up to achieve this goal. Save $x amount per check, look up a training plan and work it in to your life.

The Why

This is the most important part why is this so important to you? Why are you working towards this? You want to be debt free? You want to run your first race? Whatever it is, if you know the reason you are doing it you will be much more likely to reach your goal.

Do this for each of your goals so you know why each are important to you.

Ok so now you have a long list of goals with what, when, how and why, now what? Get started on working through them. Sit down often to go through your bills, start your work out plan. Then sit down once a month and check in with your goal list and adjust as needed to be sure you are making progress toward all goals.

The last Sunday of every month my husband and I sit down with our goals look at them a talk about how we did that last month working towards them. This part is hard and you have to be honest with yourself and remember why you set these goals and why they are more important to you then other habits.

I wanted to give a quick example of one of our goals this year to help you guys understand better

We sat down at the beginning of January and decided that this is the year we are going to get out of debt.

Our “what” was that we wanted to pay off all our debts except our home. So we got specific and added up all our debts.

Our “when” for this goal is going to be in March of this year. We gave ourselves a reasonable time frame for our amount of debt vs. income.

Our “how” for this is staying in our budgets so any extra money can go to debt, but also using tax refund money and bonus money toward debt.

Lastly our “why” is that we no longer want to be paying interest or living off of credit cards. We want to have to financial freedom to pay for what we want and live within our means.

Sticking to the Plan

Then at the end of the month we will sit down with this and all our other goals. I will talk about what I did to help us along with this goal, such as staying in my budget by buying groceries on sale and only what we needed, not online shopping and successfully planning a spending freeze to save us extra money. Then I will say if I could have done more to help with this goal. However this month I feel like I did well with this goal and could not have improved much. Then it will be Stephen’s turn to say what he did well and what he could improve on next month. Then if there are places that can use improvement you adjust and find a way to do better in the next month. For instance I had a bad week with my goal of posting a blog Tuesdays and a Youtube video on Thursdays so I need to readjust that next month to have a better planned time to write, film and edit.

 

I hope this helps someone who has been struggling with keeping goals. It’s a long process but it really helps keep you on track with what’s important in your life.

Procrastination and Life.

Am I the only person that didn’t realize they were a procrastinator and or a quitter until they were a grown adult? I’d like to say all through school I didn’t have this problem but the truth is I just didn’t realize I was doing it. A lot of nights I think about my day and why I didn’t get more done only to realize I’m constantly putting things off until I talk myself out of actually doing it. It’s Not because I’m just dreading doing it. Mostly because I’m lazy or just not quite sure how to do something so I’ll put it off until the last minute only to finally do it and it not even be that bad.

Here is a list of things I did today instead of typing this post: dishes twice, starting two loads of laundry, making cookie batter, hours later cooking said batter, coloring My Little Pony pictures, vacuuming my entire second floor, popping zits, sweeping my kitchen, making a list of post ideas, making my bed, making all three of my kids beds and don’t even get me started with Instagram.

I’m giving myself a due date of Tuesday for blog posts. It’s Tuesday at 8 pm and here I am finally sitting down to write it. I literally had a week to sit down and just type but do you know why I subconsciously didn’t? Because I hate writing and typing. I have no confidence in my writing skills. I often will type out a comment on social media only to erase it in fear that I’m somehow writing or spelling something wrong. I’d rather not write something at all then be wrong. So why then are you starting a blog Kandice?

Well I want to work on the areas of myself that I feel lacking so I can be a well-rounded person. A little challenge per say. Stepping out of my comfort zone and making myself do things that scare me. Just so you know, right now in my mind I’m trying to justify stopping this and folding laundry instead. Like, I have a strong urge right now to fold 4 loads for laundry, no one wants to do that. But it seems infinitely easier than trying to write a short simple post.

So with that, I am going to continue to find ways to scare myself until I’m more comfortable with writing and being in front of a camera. At some point it’s got to get easier, right?

I was going to say sorry, this post (or really entire blog) has no organization or focus but I’m also working on unapologetically being me. So yes I have no idea where this is going and it’s something I’m working on. 🙂

A more detailed intro into our lives:

 
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As I said I’m Kandice. I’m a stay at home mom. I love having a good work out a few times a week, getting lost in a good book every now and then, day dreaming of our next Disneyland trip (including drooling over vintage Disneyland pics), reading to my kids and snuggling on the couch with my husband watching something on Netflix. I like trying new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen. It doesn’t always go well but I try.

 

 

The husband, his name is Stephen, he is pretty amazing. He wed4has known from the start my dream job is to be a trophy wife and has worked hard every day to make that a reality for me. In all honesty we decided as a family I would stay home with the kids and he would do whatever it took for that to happen. He now works in IT Cyber Security. It’s a career he loves and can fill his never ending brain capacity with new info. He is a total nerd that spends all his free time playing video games and choosing what movie we are going to see for our next date night.

 

 

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The daughter. It’s Jessa, she’s five and thinks the world does what she wants. She loves to push the limits and explore life. If arguing was a sport she would win. This last year she started Kindergarten and has found a love of learning. She is always up for a good challenge, it’s the only way I can get her to clean.  She also started sports this year and it has been quite interesting to watch her learn new skills.

 

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Cormick is the average middle child. Quiet, entertains himself really well and does things at his own pace. I kid you not I can give him a 50 piece puzzle and he will finish it with very little help, he’s only three. He is finding his voice still (lives at his own pace) and is quite the comedian. If someone is screaming super high pitched it’s him.

 

wed7The baby of the family. If I ever thought my older kids were naughty, I was wrong. Luther lives on the edge, life is not fast enough for him. His emotions are huge! When Luther is mad the world knows it. On the other hand when Luther is happy the sun shines a little brighter. He is a total boy, super heroes yep, Star Wars yep, swords, dinosaurs, and cars, yep, yep and yep.

 

That’s our little family all wrapped up with a bow.

Hope you’re enjoying our latest content. If you missed it last week we posted our top five movies of 2016 over on Youtube. This Thursday we are bringing you a haul of all the books we got for Christmas. I’m excited because it happened to be quite a few good ones.

 

The start of Anytime Harrison

Almost eight years ago I graduated high school from a small town and as cliché as it sounds I was ready to leave the place behind. I packed up most my possessions in my rusted Oldsmobile and hit the road. I started at Boise State University the fall after I graduated. I’m still not sure why I chose to pack up everything and move two hours away but I took the chance. In my first semester I took a bunch of core credits including Communications 101. The class that would slate my future. Not because I learned a bunch, but because there was this boy. This boy that I was so intrigued by, I even came to class early so I could steal someone else’s seat so I could sit closer to him. He magically kept popping up too, waiting after class to ask how my test went, just randomly at the bottom of the stairs reading a paper, and he started coming to class early too. After several dates, trips back home, moving in together, failing out of college and getting engaged I was desperate to move back home and start a family with this man. We got married two years to the day of our first date and within the month we were pregnant with our first little bundle of joy. A little over two years later we were having our second. Fast forward a very short year later and we had our third.

Within these few short years I fell so hard in love with my family and every aspect of them. Most my thoughts went to the four of them and how to make our lives better that I completely forgot who I was. I was living for my family and never took anytime for myself. I knew I was doing this and several times tried out things to help me feel like I was accomplishing more than just dishes and diapers but always failed at it. Until this last summer.

I signed up to run a half marathon. I knew it would be a hard thing to accomplish but I promised myself I would do anything I could for 16 weeks to accomplish this goal. It set a fire in me I didn’t know existed, I stuck to something hard for 16 weeks and I was so happy and proud of myself. I did it every day for sixteen weeks and I didn’t just get a shirt and medal for finishing a half marathon. I proved to myself that I was capable of accomplishing hard things and I now know what it feels like to do something for myself and really be happy. With that said I am determined to give my new project (Anytime Harrison) at least six months of my time. Six months to really accomplish something. I want to learn video editing software and improve my writing skills while sharing my life. So please stick around, read a post, watch a video and if you like something share it with a friend. I’m hoping to post one video and one post to my website each week and may have more fun stuff in the future.

Be on the look for our latest video coming out later this week: Our Top 5 Favorite Movies of 2016. It’s our first video and sure to be embarrassing, but you have to start some where.