Thursday, November 17, 2011

You know what I hate?

School fundraisers.
Ok, thats not entirely true. I think that the idea behind them is great. Earn money for your school. But there is a huge flaw in the way that these things are executed.
Fundraisers used to be bake sales and car washes. Concessions at football games or high school band members selling cookie dough. Then came the gift wrap. Catalogs full of gift wrap and candy, passed out to middle school kids who were told to sell to everyone they could corner. But they're not going to do it without bribery. Errr.... encouragement? So a parade of "prizes" is flashed before their eyes; from cheap, dollar store quality frisbees, to flat screen tv's! Yes, children, you can have

Your very own flat screen television if you just sell 1,000 items at $20 each. Piece of cake for a 13 year old, right?
At least by middle school the kids are somewhat self-sufficient, they can go out and do the selling themselves, and they also have more of an understanding of the improbability of getting the top prize.
But the problems is that these ridiculous competitions are not only reserved for teenagers. No, the majority of elementary schools now host catalog fundraisers. Waving shiny toys in front of 7 year olds and saying "You can HAVE this! I
f you sell lots of things, that is." Or rather, if your parents have the time to sell things for you. And your family and friends have the money to buy the overly priced garbage. If not? Sorry, kid. The expectations put on elementary ages kids is ridiculous. I know that a portion of the money goes to the school and im all for that. I worked at an elementary school where we got 10 new computers for our computer lab through fundraisers! Thats GREAT! I saw all of the kids benefit from that. But I also saw many children crying because they didnt get the prize they wanted, or werent able to sell anything at all. Parents dont always have the time to help, and many times dont have the money, as much as they would like to. I support tangible fundraisers. BoxTops and Cambells Soup labels are great, easy ways to earn money for school. But dont make the kids compete at such a young age whe
n they arent even in control of their own selling abilities.
What started me on this tangent today?

This is my nephew. He's pretty much the coolest kid ever. He was born 2 days after my birthday, and is the best present i've ever gotten. I love him. Im insanely protective of him.
His mom asked me today if I liked Scentsy. It seems that Kayden's PRESCHOOL is doing a fundraiser selling Scentsy products. Only the top three sellers will get prizes (A Scentsy Buddy stuffed animal), and the teacher is allowing her own children to compete. These are 3-5 year olds! What is WRONG with people!? A part of me wants to buy every damn thing out of the catalog so he wins by a landslide. Another part of me wants to punch the teacher in the face. Mostly I just want to buy him one of the stuffed toys and tell him to just do his best, and that fundraisers are really meant for older kids. Ugh.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I read a post yesterday on Be A Good Mom about just being overwhelmed as a parent and housewife. She ponders if she should only blog about the happy times, or be real and honest, and then talks about daily life struggles that we all deal with. Here is part of my reply:
Ive worked since I was 14 and always enjoyed working. So when I landed in a kind of stay at home mom position with my partner and kids, it was strange. I found myself really loving it, to my surprise. But then id find myself snapping at the kids (5 and 7) for making a mess the minute they got home when I spent all day cleaning. Or begging my partner to go somewhere together when she got home,, even grocery shopping,, just to get out of the house. But she worked all day teaching high schoolers and just wants to relax.
Now i’ve doubled the duty. Im working again, as a live-in nanny for 5 kids. Kids are my passion and I love the job, but im constantly exhausted and at my wits end more than id like to admit. I have girls that are 3 and 4 that require much more assistance than im used to. Yes, they can play by themselves, but they still need me to help them do so many things and are either questioning or complaining most of the time (I am thankful there are two of them, at least.) Ive got a 7 year old boy with behavioral issues that is home half day, and he wants my undivided constant attention. Since hes missing school half the day I have to fight with him to do extra schoolwork at home to keep him on track. Then after school the other two 6 year old boys get here, and then its just pandemonium.
Its a struggle to find balance and solace for sure. I thought joining the gym would be a great escape…. but im too exhausted to enjoy it. But there are great times where I find bribes or rewards that work so perfectly either at work or home, and it makes the next week or so run smoothly till I lose it again and go zombie for a while, and then another solution to something comes up.
And, when all else fails, they get pizza and a movie for dinner and I get a bottle of wine!

There are some days at work where I do feel like im going to lose it a bit. But I get through it and the next day comes and goes, and I make it home on the weekends and remind myself that the kids are acting crazy there because they miss me all week, theyre not just misbehaving. And We work through it all.