Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Perks of being a Stay-at-home-mom

Now that I'm working I'm starting to really appreciate certain things about being a full time stay-at-home-mom. Here's just a few of them.

1. If you don't like someone, you don't need to see them ever again.
I have one coworker and custumer that I really do not like, and now I'm struggling to figure out how to get along with. In the last few years, if there was someone I didn't like, I just didn't see them again. 

2. If I don't like part of my job, I can outsource it.
 I hate laundry, so Matt does it. I'm my own boss at home. I run all the operations and divide them out from there. At work, I'm not in the position to do this almost at all. Luckily I like most of my job, but I appreciate this more

3. I only have to be as social as I feel like.
Somedays we can stay home all day and sometimes we hang out with friends all day. As a stay-at-home-mom I only have to give myself as much as I want. I can order pizza and watch movies all day with Madeleine or drive to the beach to relax. Now no matter what most days I have to have a smile on my face and chat and talk with people no matter what I feel like.

4. We spend less money.
It's kind of funny but I think working out of the house actually barely makes any money, even though we aren't paying for daycare. The money is going towards food - more out to eat and more packaged food. The efficiency and focus on our home is weakening.

5. Lower stress levels
Our home is just a bit more stressed. It's not money stress. It's just like there is more to do and more to handle. There is daycare, work schedules, and unexpected meetings to work around.

I love working, but I'm also realizing that money doesn't motivate me as much as I wish it did. I wish we could be wealthier, but I am also daily reminded that money doesn't equal happiness. I'm so glad that I'm only working part time, and it has been really reassuring that I did choose to be a stay-at-home-mom. It's something that does make me happy and allows me to be the kind of person I want to be. I often second guess myself wondering if I would be happier with a career, but this has shown me I don't think I would be. It doesn't mean I'm going to quit my job but having a career in general is lower on my list. I'm not that ambitious and I'll take the pay cut to have a less stressful life. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Biking Adventure - Sandy Hook

This post is going to have so many photos. This bike ride was amazing. I had heard that it was a good place to bike but didn't read up on it at all, so Matt and I were both pleasantly surprised. Sandy hook is a little over an hour from our home and it's a hook off of New Jersey. It's really thin in some parts and you can easily see both sides of the island. Matt and I hooked up our bikes and collapsed the trailer and off we went.

 I thought the trail would be mostly beaches, but no, I was completely wrong. I also thought it would just be a dirt path but as you can see it is a wide paved bike path!

We were standing on one side of the beach and that's how close the other side was. It really is thin in some parts. 

 There were a lot of fisherman. :)

So after we got past all the pretty beach part, we started running in to the historical military parts. I had no idea that they were there and guys, there is a lot. Just about every war from 1880 on built some type of base there, and none of them have been torn down (though as you will see many are falling down on their own.) 

This is one of the earlier ones. Apparently you can take tours in it and there are tunnels. It was built right after the civil war. (Wiki article about it here)

 We were pretty excited to see bike racks too. 

A little bit later, we ran into this part. If I remember right, this used to be big anti-aircraft guns that were built in the 1950's used to be here. (Project Nike.) They took down the guns but the cement remains. Madeleine loved running around on it. 

(Took a family photos by putting my camera on my helmet and set a timer.)

Just around the corner from all of that was the tip of Sandy Hook. We met some wonderful people here but I'll write a separate blog post on them.

Sandy Hook is a big tourist destination place and very busy in the summer. There is even a clothing optional beach! It's kind of weird to see it so empty just a few short weeks later.

On the way back to our car, we took some photos of the old military housing. I have more respect for abandoned housing now that we moved out of Butler. I see them more as a ghost town haunted by history. It isn't hard for me to imagine kids growing up there and wives gossiping together and waiting for their husbands to come home during the Cold War.

They are literally falling apart and they are beautiful. I think it's sad they were just left to rot. 

By the time we got back to the car it was almost dark. We packed up our bikes and walked down the beach. It felt so different than earlier that day.

It was beautiful and oh so quiet. The tide was out so the beach just seemed to stretch out.

I've been to NYC several times at night at this point and seeing it so close made the contrast of where we were and it made the beach even more peaceful.

But the effects on the city were still there. There was trash all over the beach. We try to leave any place cleaner than we arrived, so we spent a few minutes cleaning up trash. Straws and disposable cups were the most common, but there were plenty of other things that had washed up.

After that, we jumped into the car...and then hit another car. Oops. It was a very minor fender bender. Madeleine was so excited to see police cars and a "Mommy police." She kept talking about them. In the end, the only thing hurt was Matt's car, but as of last night even his bike is up and working.