Random Thoughts: Am I tech savvy yet??

I’m on Facebook!!!


“Like” the page!!!!


I’m on Twitter!!!

Follow me @Mama_In_Motion 


I’m loving my new iPad and iPhone.    I feel like a new woman in the new millenium.

– Mama K

Random Thought: What type of Mama In Motion are you?

I’ve recently made a HUGE transition in my working arrangement at my company.   I’ve realized (and have been tortured over the decision, to be blunt) over the past several years and months that although I like contributing to the financial security of our family and like the challenges of having a job/career, I wanted to make some changes to the time committment that I make to my work compared to the time committment I make to my family.  So, I’ve essentially went from a Full Time worker, to a Full time with some flex time (e.g., working from home), to a Part-time worker also leveraging flex-time.   Quite a change!!!

I’m curious to hear from you — what type of Mama In Motion are you?

Thanks for sharing – more on this topic over the next several weeks.

– Mama K

Random Thought: How did you hear of Mama In Motion?

I’m trying to build an audience and am using various ways to market what I’m doing.  I’m curious as to what is working versus not working so much….

Thank you for the feedback!   I will likely re-use this poll at a later time and after I do some additional promotions…. It really helps to understand the best way to reach people so I can best manage my [limited] time.


– Mama K

Random Thought: How well do you meet your Hierarchy of Needs? **POLL**

On Sunday I wrote a piece about the “Hierarchy of Needs”, that illustrates a hierarchy of needs that are essential for the emotional and psychological health and survival of humans.

In my post, I tried to draw implications to Working Mothers – and through this thinking and comments from others, it seems like there could be correlations between the fulfillment of these needs by “layer” and the life stage of your children.   For example, when they are first born, some Physiological needs may have been unmet (e.g., sleep), but as the kids get older and start to take care of themselves, your time frees up and allows you to meet more needs along the pyramid.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

I feel like my needs are not being met in two layers: Safety and Love/Belonging. I’m curious to poll the group:

I’m curious.   How are your needs being met along the following dimensions?  Note:   all responses are anonymous — I cannot even see who is participating in the poll let alone the answers that are given to that person.

Do you believe that any unmet needs impact the levels of your health and/or happiness?  Do you think you can isolate which parts are partially or not met? Are there things that you can control to help meet those needs?

I may continue to refer to this from time to time…. but for now, have a wonderful Tuesday and again, thanks for listening…

– Mama K

Random Thought: Vacationing with Children

I just returned from vacation with Hubby and a subset of my kids. This got me to thinking about vacations in general and the extent to which families choose to vacation alone and/or with their kids. Before Hubby and I got married and before the children arrived, we were avid travelers. We both share a drive to recapture and foster the same sense of adventure with ALL of our children in tow. We’ve already done camping trips as a family of six, day trips to the beach, slumber parties, and next month we will all be going to Florida. When we had only two kids, I made multiple trips to the East Coast solo with the kids and we also traveled to Mexico, Seattle, more trips to Florida. I honestly cannot wait for the day when Hubby and I are trailblazing with our backpacks and we have our gaggle of little explorers right behind us carrying their “gear” in their backpacks and writing in their travel journals. I feel like we have so much to look forward to, together.

Which leads me to thinking about how your family approaches vacations –

I think me and Hubby are more on the adventurous side but the Twins have slowed us down a bit, at least for the time being… I’m looking forward to reviewing your responses….

Random Thoughts: Excercising with your kids

I recently came across the below article that I thought was extremely interesting and relevant for our group – it provides tricks and hints to keep your kids active, versus letting them get sucked into TV, video games and other butt numbing activities.   Big Bro is five and he is already pressuring us a lot more than I thought he would about using computers and watching TV.   We are probably more strict in our household when it comes to these things.   We do not have games on our phones and we limit “movie nights” to Friday nights only.   Our kids are allowed to pick either computer OR a movie on Saturday and Sunday mornings when Hubby and I are still slumbering (the kids know that mommy and daddy do NOT get out of our beds until 8 AM on weekends).

I’m sure that this is a struggle that all families have — things have changed a lot since we were kids.  There are a lot more “sitting” activities to compete with now – the below may give you some ideas on how to limit this and get your kids MOVING….   and of course I want to poll the group at the end of the article….

Fit as a Family

Did you know that kids are more physically active when a parent encourages and supports that interest?

Parental support boosts children’s positive attitude toward exercise as well as their interest in organized sports. And when you participate in free-time physical activity with your child, you increase his or her enjoyment of unstructured fitness fun. Try these ideas for playing and being active together:

  • Take a family bike ride or walk. Find nearby trails, tracks or safe routes for all ages in your group. On weekends, when you have more time, plan rides or walks at sites farther from home to keep up interest.
  • Reduce the time your kids spend inactive—watching TV and DVDs, playing computer games, even at the movies. Substitute active entertainments such as swimming, bowling, going to the roller or ice rink, visiting the zoo.
  • Play games outside with your kids—everything from hopscotch and jump rope to hide-and-seek, basketball or badminton. Don’t worry about what the neighbors will think.
  • Play physically active games indoors with your kids. Treasure hunts, dancing, hacky sack, ping pong, even yoga can keep the family moving when the weather makes staying inside necessary.
  • Consider getting a family membership at the local community center. These facilities give you opportunities for several kinds of play and often have special parent-child activity sessions.
  • If you belong to a health club or gym, find out if your adolescent or teenager is eligible to join. Then you can exercise side-by-side on various types of equipment. Be sure to have a trainer show your child how to use the machines and set up an appropriate workout program for him or her.

Source:  Healthy Woman E-Newsletter, August 2011

So I’d like to hear from the group about:

Thank you so much for your participation!

– Mama K

Random Thought: Adding animals to the mix – should we get a pet?

After writing my post about my “Need To Nurture”, I’m wondering how other families approach the topic of pets. We are juggling so much right now with four little kids ages 5 and under, but I would imagine that we may not be “pet free” indefinitely.   According to the American Veterinary Medical Association 2007, pets are found in almost 68% of households with children under the age of six, and more than 74% of households with children over the age of six.  I believe the value that pets can bring to a family and the sense of responsibility they can offer to children — but I shudder at the thought of ANOTHER mouth to feed and being to care for.

So I have some questions for the group:

There are obviously many benefits that pets give children – and I’ve always been a big believer in pets and had a series of them growing up.   But the thought now with four kids 5 and under with a pet just scares me; it’s just not right.   I think any big animal (dog) would need to be cared for by kids maybe 10 years or older…. younger kids may fare better with a hamster.  I’m looking forward to hearing your experiences!

Thanks for participating –

– Mama K

Random Thought: Martha or McDonald’s?

Our family tends to take the path to least resistance when it comes to meals with our kids.   Since we have four little ones, I usually want to keep things simple and offer only one meal that I hope all will like – instead of being a short-order cook for each one of them.   That leaves me with a few options of good old stand-bys — the “tried and true” meals that I know will (somewhat) work for all.   Or, maybe I’m just not trying hard enough to diversify?   Which brings me to this week’s random thought about the meals we give to our kids.   I’d like to ask the group the following 3 questions:

Time is so limited but I would expect to see variation in answers; and I’d love to hear comments on tricks/tips that you use to keep your meal ideas new and varied…. this is something our household could really benefit from!

As always, thanks for participating!

– Mama K

Random Thought: When evaluating new job opportunities, would you sacrifice “quality of time with your kids” for “more money”?

It’s Tuesday and I have a Random Thought.

I want to thank Mama Serenity for expressing her situation at Meet other Mamas In Motion.   Her description is extremely heartfelt and her tone expressions the confusion and internal conflict that she faces.   It does seem that her existing job treats her well and to some extent suits her balance with her children (but there is travel required and peaks of her business).  She is now presented with another opportunity — and although she has information from which to base a decision, there still is the large “unknown” factor.   I think the “unknown” is what causes stress and pressure in the decision-making process, particularly when these decisions impact not only you, but your entire family.   I believe it is much easier to be a risk taker when you only have to worry about yourself and it becomes harder to venture out into the unknown when these decisions impact your entire family and your little ones.  I feel like I’ve remained in my current job because of my kids – my company knows me, and I know how to navigate to make the most out of my situation with the kids.   There may be better options for me elsewhere – but the unknown does cause me stress particularly if I feel like my current job gives me and my family a sense of stability and security.

This got  me to thinking.   I’m guessing that collectively, working Mamas In Motion are changing jobs all the time.  Job opportunities present themselves – or we proactively go looking for them.   Does the decision process become more difficult if you have little ones to consider?  Or, maybe its just the opposite — does the decision-making process become EASIER if you feel that the things that are most important to you are NOT being fulfilled in your current job situation?   There are considerations to be made when evaluating opportunities, and there are tradeoffs.  And it becomes more difficult when you are potentially leaving a “known” situation to an “unknown” situation, one that may not be able to fulfill on a bonus that you hope to count on, or one that may not be as family-friendly as you assume.

Here are some considerations that I can think of – would the new opportunity provide more:

  • money, compensation, benefits?
  • quality time with the kids (e.g., shorter commute, more flexibility in hours, possibly being able to work from home on some days)?
  • responsibility?
  • stability, job security?
  • autonomy in getting the work done?
  • interesting / compelling work?
  • the ability to stretch your skills and grow in new areas?
  • synergies with people — culture, working style alignment?

This now gets me to a series of polls for the group, for working Mamas:

2 of 3:   If the choices are narrowed down to “more Money” vs. “more Quality time with the Kids”, which would be most important to you when deciding on whether or not to take a new job???

3 of 3:   I’d like to understand the threshold where you would select “more Money” instead of “more Quality time with the Kids” when deciding to take a new job.   How much of a raise would you absolutely require to accept a position, where the tradeoff is less quality of time with your kids (recognize that increased income could still improve their quality of living, but, they would have less time with you).  Would the new job HAVE to give you at LEAST a raise of:

Life is about tradeoffs – earning money for your family to have and do nice things is wonderful, but spending quality time with your children is obviously important as well.   I think the difficulty really sets in when you feel like your life is seriously out of balance; this balance threshold differs for each woman and given each different and distinct situation.   We are all unique Mamas In Motion and I’m sure we will see this in the poll results.   Thank you for participating!

Random Thought: When is it appropriate to talk to your child about death?

Our family recently received some very bad news.  My step-father, who has been in our lives for 20+ years, was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Realizing that this is a very aggressive cancer, as a family we are coming to grips with this and trying to help him get the care he needs.   We are confident he is in good hands with his doctors (there is a team of them working on his case) but his long-term chances of survival are not good.  We know his time is limited and we are focusing now on his treatments and medical care.

My kids love him.  They call him Joe-Joe Pop.   I don’t know how he does it but every single year he is able to pick out the one simple gift that winds up to be my kids’ favorites.   He is a big fan of “Hess” trucks, airplanes, cars, you name it and he’s quick to buy the year’s featured Hess toy at the beginning of the holiday season for Big Bro.   I do not know how he manages it for Red, but maybe Red just loves her toy from Joe-Joe Pop the best because Big Bro loves HIS toy from Joe-Joe Pop the best.  Anyway, he is loved by my older kids.   And they ask for him.

I remember my first discussion with my mother on the topic of death.   I was five.  Her brother (my favorite, crazy uncle) had died, unexpectantly (he was only 31).   I remember where we were at the time (at the top of the stairs at home) and I remember the words she used.   I think it is etched in my memory because she was upset.  I remember consoling her.   I do remember that notion did not sink in right away.   I remember that I asked for him on several occasions later and that just threw my mom into another crying spell.

I know that I am going to get these kids to see him and talk with him so they have the opportunity to remember him.   And I would like to do this quickly, before his condition deteriorates.  However,  the logistics of where I live complicates things.   I am on the West Coast and my family is on the East Coast (painful, painful, painful to me these days).    So there will be some planning involved.   I’m not sure when this trip should happen — obviously when its best for him — depending on how he feels and where he is with treatments.    But my question is, what do I tell these kids?   What do I say when we leave?   My 5-year-old knows that animals and plants can be “dead”, but we have not talked about loved ones.    When is it OK?   I think it may be OK with my 5-year-old, but with my own history I know that I did not fully “get it”.  So is even 5 too young?

Comments and thoughts appreciated –

– Mama K

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