Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

Parents, Prepare Yourself For, “I’m Bored, There’s Nothing to Do!”

Maggie with her teenage children

Well, summer of 2012 is upon us and as parents we begin to sweat near the end of May as to what our children are going to do with themselves all summer long. I know that within two days of summer break I am going to hear, “I’m bored, there’s nothing to do!”

Leave a List
I leave a list every morning with my three teenagers explaining their “chores” for the day and yet, I hear the vacuum running when I pull into the garage 8 hours later. Now, I understand that between the hours of 6 am when I am getting ready for work and 2 pm when I am still at work, that my kids are getting their much needed sleep and that not a lot can be accomplished before this time of day. Staying up until 2 am or 3 am creates this discrepancy in sleep patterns for the summer. I yell out at midnight, “Some of us have to work in the morning,” yet the TV is still blaring at 3 am. I get it, its summer break!!!  And yet, if I sleep in until 7 am on a weekend, my kids have been known to poke at me and say out loud, “Is she alive? She never sleeps this late. Who’s going to get our breakfast?”

Am I Crazy if I Repeat Myself 700 Times?
The list of chores I leave is very easy and yet so complicated to complete within the 8 hours that I’m away from our small, but comfortable home. I say small to emphasize how few chores I list and how quickly they actually can be accomplished by three teenagers. Vacuum, pick up anything laying on the living room floor and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher! I must say 700 times in the summer, “Rinse your dishes and put them in the dishwasher.” As you know, nothing smells worse than breakfast milk in a cereal bowl from 2 days prior. Cocoa Puffs become the size of mini golf balls and Trix become an art project in my sink as a variety of colors swirl from side to side, pretty, but still smelly.

Ahh, Time with Teenagers
So, I attempt each day to give the kids something to do, something that will give them a sense of accomplishment and something that will allow me to spend more time with the kids when I get home…ok, they are teenagers, I am kidding. But, it will allow me to finish the trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey, without interruption!

Maggie is a single mother of three children, ages 13, 16 and 17, who attend Corunna Schools. She and her children live in Owosso.

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Disclaimer
The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy
All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy
This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.

Helping Our Children Weather Defeat, Adversity and Disappointment

Lori Vacek

Lori Vacek
Memorial Mommy Blogger

Children will always have opportunity to face difficulty in their lives. And the ways they deal with it are as varied as their personalities, development of coping skills, etc. As a parent, I find I want to make the hurt go away as soon as possible. But no matter how I console them, it really is about giving them time and choices.

Here are a few of the things I have learned in my 30 years of parenting that have helped my children.

  1. Triumph with them even in their defeat. Give them praise for their effort and strength of character to try.
  2. Convey that you love them and are proud of them just for being who they are.
  3. Hug them and reaffirm them with physical affection. Look in their eyes.
  4. Be genuine in your words. Comedy only helps if that is their personality. Otherwise, refrain from making jokes.
  5. Divert their attention to positive solutions or alternatives.
  6. Let them cry and express themselves while not allowing them to get into self-destructive statements or behaviors.

I’m sure you may have some great suggestions as well. But there are just a few of my best to get you started on building happy, healthy children.

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Disclaimer
The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy
All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy
This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.

Women and Car Repairs

Tracey Heslip

Tracey Heslip

There is a lot of hype about mechanics not treating women fairly. My husband is a mechanic, so I thought I would give some guidelines for not getting taken advantage of. 

  • Always make sure that your mechanic is state licensed. If you think about it, you wouldn’t want to go to a doctor or a beautician that wasn’t licensed. Why would your car repair be any different?  The facility where you take your car should have the mechanic’s license visibly displayed.
  • Ask around. Ask your friends, neighbors, and co-workers where they take their car and if they were happy with the service they received. If someone is a good/ bad mechanic, word will spread. 
  • Every care is different. Some mechanics suggest repairs based on your cars mileage, not on the work needing to be done.  Now think about this, every car is different. You can have two cars that have 50,000 miles each but one is 10 years older than the other. One is garage kept and one is not. One spends winters in Florida and one in Michigan (with snow and salt). Get the picture?Women and Car Repairs
  • Get an oil change every three months or 3,000 miles (whichever comes first). If you have this done at a shop that checks all fluid levels, tire pressure, and does a visual inspection of things like air filter and belts, this could catch things early and save you a big expensive repair.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The only dumb question is one not asked.
  • Get to know your car. Know its sounds and smells. It’s better to bring your car to a mechanic to find out it’s nothing or a small fix then to keep driving it with a noise or a pull to the right or left. Letting things go can mean more damage and more money spent to fix it.
  • Prepare for winter. Now is the time of year to make sure your anti-freeze is rated for -34 degrees. Checking it now can save your hoses from freezing and breaking.

So, ladies, if you’re the one making the car repair decisions in the household, find an honest, reliable, licensed mechanic. Your car and pocketbook will thank you.

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Disclaimer
The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy
All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy
This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products, or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.

Give Yourself a Break Already

Lori Vacek

Lori Vacek

My Girlhood Dream
My mom once told me that while other gals she knew wanted to be secretaries, and stewardess, and have careers, all she ever wanted was to be a mom. I thought that was real lame, as I dreamed for a big career in corporate America. I dreamed about jet setting  to exotic locations and working in a big skyscraper. I boasted how I was never going to get married or have children. I planned to live a life devoted to self.

Plans Diverted
I was always kinda boy crazy. I had my first boyfriend in kindergarten as I was fairly pretty and always had plenty of attention. This would be the demise of my entire plan. I fell in love with Jim at 16, on our second date. I immersed myself in everything Jim. It was not long and I became pregnant. We got married at 17 and 18 years of age and had a baby a few months later. I dropped out of school and Jim went to work full-time. Our life began to explode out of control.

Life Happens
I chose to breastfeed my son, Tony, and it was a very involved commitment. (Sometimes I surprise myself that at such a young age I was determined to commit to something and stick with it.) What I did not realize was the love I would have for my child — the endless devotion, time and sacrifices I would have to make. I spent the first few years torn between my childhood dreams and the incredible desire to lay my life down for my husband and child.  I tried to drive to silence this incredible  love I had for my family. I was born in a generation of women having careers and being on the move, and here I was sitting at home with my baby boy attached to my breast. This IS NOT the life I had planned. I was angry at myself and everyone around me. Anger drives you to do stupid things. The pressures of everyday life — paying the bills and maintaining a household — began to unravel my insides. I began to have some serious emotional struggles to the point my husband began to seek outside help. His answer was to take me to church.

Another Plan
As I listened to the messages the Pastor shared, I began to see that the way I thought about life was different than what God had intended. The pure love and grace I experienced began to change the way I thought, felt, and saw life. God began to unravel the mess I was in. My deep hurts from life experiences had made me a mess. I now know that bad things happen to all of us and it’s what you choose to do with it that matters. There were too many things that were bigger than me and I needed someone much bigger than me to help. I chose the one person who was in charge of the universe, God himself. I began to remember the incredible love of the Jesus I met as a girl. And the burdens of life began to ease with help from the lessons I was learning  from the Bible.

My Dreams Change
I sit here today 48, married 30 years to one man in whom I have loved a lifetime, I raised two incredible men, and a slew of kids that I never intended to. And I realize THIS was the plan for my life. That there isn’t anything more important than doing the best we can to raise Godly people who will give all they are for the better good of others. All the things I thought I wanted, seem a million miles away from who I turned out to be. And I am so thankful for that.

Could We Give Ourselves a Break?
With a lifetime of experiences I express in all earnest, can we please give ourselves a break? We do the best we can and with God’s help, we do a lot better. But it’s all trial and error. We learn as we go. Sometimes we hurt our children without knowing, or out of the frustrations of life. Sometimes things happen outside our control — a pregnant daughter, a child with Down syndrome, a rebellious teen,  a son too big for his britches, cancer, and/or mental illness — and nothing we do seems to change it. I have heard the statement, “I must have been a crappy mother,” too many times lately. Ok, so we may have made some mistakes, made some bad decisions, could have handled things better, not reacted out of frustration or just not knowing. But, at some point, we have to forgive ourselves and move on. I found that how a child chooses to live their life is not my responsibility. What my responsibility is, is how I choose to deal with it. And, frankly, sometimes we may have to step out of the way and let God handle it. We have to recognize LIFE is bigger than us. It was before we were, and will be after us. And what we do with our small piece is all we can do.

I have decided to give myself a break already. I will never stop loving, or giving, or hoping and definitely not stop praying and believing. But, at some point, I had to put those things I pined over in my youth — broken dreams, missteps, etc. — all in a pan on the back of the stove on God’s simmer plate and move on to what’s before me now.

All I want is to be a good mom, friend, and wife. I want to learn to love beyond my own ability. And, hopefully, positively affect the lives of people who cross my path in life.

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Disclaimer
The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy
All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy
This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.