Today’s show features an interview with NC-based Karina, who owns Honeypress! Honeypress is an online boutique that also has pop-ups in North Carolina, and her selection is a mix of quirky handmade local goodies + imported Asian (mostly Japaneses) items, including the Kokuyo Jibun Techo line! The interview is longer than usual, probably because I could have talked to Karina all day.
Please enjoy, and then check out her shop – I have personally ordered from her twice now and both times the experience was flawless. Product I am currently coveting: the Kokuyo Drawing Diary. Monthly planning pages, then grid notes pages. Considering this as a pod/blog content planner! BECAUSE I NEED ANOTHER NOTEBOOK (LOLOLOL).
This weekend was . . . . well, it’s over.
I did finish Hour of the Witch (Book #40 for the year) and worked out both days, so I guess it wasn’t a total loss. And we had a successful park playdate, which was fun.
BUT Sunday was just rough. We headed to Target after the playdate, since the kids’ school has various dress-up days on the calendar this week and we apparently did not have any clothing to fit the themes. And then I really ran out of energy in the afternoon. I ended up taking a sizable nap while the kids were on iPads (and felt kind of guilty about it, even though everyone survived).
I don’t know. In retrospect, it wasn’t that bad. But when I am faced with the need to do the following on my own:
- clean up
- make dinner
- make lunches + pack backpacks including masks
- plan out the week’s schedule (and send to our nanny)
- get the kids to bed by a reasonable hour (in part so I can rest)
. . . honestly, it just feels overwhelming sometimes.
I guess it’s not that terrible of a list and I could benefit from some reframing but last night it felt like a lot. Thankfully Josh is off the next FOUR weeks so . . . onward and upward!
That is a long list of things to accomplish, even in the best of times. I wouldn’t have even tried to do so much while solo parenting. I probably would have cooked two frozen pizzas, packed one for tomorrow’s lunch, skipped the baths, and sent the kids to bed/their rooms immediately after eating without brushing their teeth. I would have cleaned up, because I really, really hate the feeling of being in a messy and cluttered house, but I would have trudged through it slowly and it would take me all evening. And I would have made the schedule for the week because it would have felt like something that had to be done, but I’m sure I would have swore to myself that from here on out, I’m making the plan on Fridays.
I took my daughter to a petting farm/fall festival birthday party yesterday. She’ll certainly be diagnosed with ADHD – it’s a common comorbidity with her epilepsy syndrome – and lord, it’s blatantly obvious from her inattentive, impulsive, never still behavior. Keeping her from mauling the animals, moderating her interactions with all the other children, carrying her everywhere (all 36 wiggly, not always cooperative pounds of her) because of her mobility issues, dealing with a tantrum every time I stopped her from yanking on an animal’s ear, etc. We left the party early after I looked at my clock assuming three hours had gone by and it had only been one. She fell asleep in the car, and as soon as we pulled up to the house, I did too. So that’s the kind of weekend I had. An everyone needs a car nap, mama needs you to stay securely buckled in one place where you can’t move kind of day. I was basically done by noon, and I only have one kid!!! So I totally feel you, and can’t even imagine what it would be like with three kids.
Yikes, that is a lot! Kudos for surviving. Not that you are necessarily looking for feedback or suggestions, but after some of my own frustrating experiences I will share two tidbits in case they might be useful:
1) Baths are a terrible experience for me. I hate them. Don’t know why, but they are annoying and stressful. I have found that putting my kids in the shower is a much more enjoyable experience. I only have two (both boys, 5.5 and 2.5) and they go in the shower together. The big washes the little. They have buckets and a few toys, including a suction cup basketball hoop that is a big hit, and I get to sit in the bathroom and scroll my phone while they have CONTAINED fun and get clean. We usually do this before dinner but if after, I will also hand in their toothbrushes and tell my older one to pee down the drain while they’re in there. Multiple birds, one stone.
2) After turning the car around halfway to soccer one morning to retrieve forgotten items, I hand-drew (and photocopied) a soccer checklist for my older son because I no longer wanted to be responsible for making sure we had everything. Now, he collects his cleats, shin guards, ball, socks, and water bottle. This has worked so well that I’m also going to make one for school. (this will get easier when he can read and I don’t need to draw a picture for every item!) Could at least A+C be responsible for putting their masks in their backpacks and helping to pack lunch? One of my really big goals is to delegate some of this stuff to someone other than me and if I’m solo parenting for the day then there’s no other adult so it’s gotta be a kid!!!
It is a lot … it is overwhelming… hats off to you for managing all these on a solo parenting weekend 👍
Btw, very excited to listen to this interview. I love your choice of the guests on BLP. Many women entrepreneurs, and very relevant personalities. Some I know, but I have found many interesting people through your recommendations, through your blog or podcasts. Thanks for the great work Sarah.
Maybe you should bookmark this post, and then if you ever get those occasional thoughts that maybe you should quit your job and be a SAHM, you can read this and remember why you aren’t.😆 (I’ve never been a SAHM, but I feel like your list above is probably just a sliver in an average day as a SAHM (or nanny, I suppose)). Which is why I definitely think that life’s not for everyone! 🙂 And I agree with Alyce- maybe on solo Sunday nights, just plan to have some quick sandwiches for dinner! Or frozen pizza on paper plates and done.
I think frozen pizza is going to be my go to for next time. I have no idea why I seem to repeatedly forget how hard it is. Maybe it’s wishful thinking …
I think how “hard” this feels can vary.
My husband is just easing back in to work travel (used to be gone 50%+ of the time). Some times when he was away things went smoothly; other times, under the same conditions and with the same responsibilities, I felt like I was drowning. It is a lot, and sometimes the same things will just feel…harder.
I think I’m learning to be so much kinder on myself as I get older (I guess it helps that the kids are older and so can help with more, too). When I’m doing suppers solo the food is either leftovers or something the kids will eat without any complaint. Often it comes from a box or a can. They love PB + J sandwiches. I bet A could really help with prepping something like this; a simple sandwich, veggies and apple slices? She might love to help out? You could also eat separate with something more inspiring a bit later to unwind?
I HATE giving kids baths and I stopped years ago. I find showers so much faster and simpler.
I know people have floated this idea around before, but what about hiring someone to help for a few hours on these call weekends? Someone you can delegate responsibilities like packing masks, or playing with the kids while you take a nap so you can STILL USE SCREEN TIME LATER without feeling any guilt.
When my kids were littler one of my good friends introduced me to the concept of “B+ parenting”, and I use that whenever I’m solo parenting. It can be really hard for me to feel like I’m lowering my standards, but this allows me to change my expectations that every moment should be A+. No one has that! No one can do that! When you’re on your own for long stretches with your kids, go easy on yourself — frozen pizza, having the kids help some with cleanup and packing lunches, etc, and as a previous commenter said — showers, not baths. (Or plan not to shower on solo nights — no big deal.) Just aim for B+ effort 😊
Love this! B+ is still a passing grade. I just finished Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals and he talks about picking something to “fail” at. Those words seem so triggering to me (I love A+’s and gold stars), but sometimes making a conscious decision to “fail” at something can feel liberating.
Right now I’m failing at:
– staying on top of lawn care
– doing any exercise outside of daily walks to school with the kids (no running, no exercise videos)
– texting friends that I try hard to keep connected with but that never seem to be the ones to reach out
I think there was a discussion on here not that long ago about how a B+ to some would be an A++++ to others. When we have high standards for our parenting/self-care, the pressure can be unrelenting!
I fail at cleaning. I am just terrible at it. My husband is bothered by it, realizes he could clean up himself and doesn’t so…. Constantly figuring this out. We have a 1x per month cleaning person which keeps stuff from getting *terrible* but just preparing for her to come is too much for me so increasing this is not appealing.
I really wish my kids ate more convenient foods. It would be amazing if they would eat a pizza (frozen or other wise). I guess grilled cheese is my equivalent but we do that a lot. Idk I don’t think I’m a good housewife which doesn’t bother me that much when I feel like I’m a good mom. When I mess up parenting (yelled this morning about a giant smoothie mess 🙁 I feel like I stink at everything. I am good at my job. I wish I could be as consistently good at parenting – I try SO hard.
Just wanted to say – Irene, you are not alone. I yelled at my 13-year old yesterday for spilling his entire bowl of soup all over the table. Our younger kids made sure to remind me that accidents happen and I shouldn’t be too hard on their brother. What’s more annoying than unsolicited parenting advise – unsolicited parenting advice from your kids 🙂
Yelling is not messing up parenting. We are all doing the best we can. Kids included 🙂
Ugh but yes — picking something to fail at and just accepting that we can’t do it all, something has to give. As Lisa says below, we can’t be challenged in multiple areas of life constantly. Accepting that something has to give (and that that doesn’t have to mean failure, it just means reality) is so freeing. Personally I’m failing at keeping the house clean and maintaining the garden, but that frees me up to stay on top of cooking and laundry! (I’m currently a SAHM with a 7 month old and two older kids.)
This is so good to know, I want to read this book.
To be fair, Cameron and Annabel do their own showers (though the amount of nagging it takes to get them started is painful). G wanted a bath which I did manage to accomplish in under 10 min.
Oh yeah, I get that. I think if it’s added stress to you, though, you can consider just skipping all that on nights you’re on your own. They’ll live, and you’ll be less stressed and have more energy to give to the rest of the stuff on your list. 😊
I enjoyed this episode! I always find people’s life stories interesting! And I love that they used the stimulus checks to start this business – made me think of BOBW and supporting spouses dreams/goals!
I am sorry you had a rough weekend! I agree with what others have said that solo weekends may be a time to ‘phone it in’ in parenting. Whenever I’m alone for a chunk of time with both kids, I relax my screen time limits and end up letting the toddler watch a lot of PBS Kids. I tell myself that at least it’s kind of educational? So maybe relax screen time expectations and order in/get frozen pizzas for dinner. I believe that you can’t be challenged in multiple areas of life at the same time – or it’s not ideal to be challenged so something else has to given. The B+ concept is a good one! And your kids won’t suffer! I think back to the 7 weeks when our son was home with us at the beginning of the pandemic. I was newly pregnant and felt like crud. Our son watched soooo much tv. I worried we were ‘ruining’ him somehow but he bounced back and didn’t expect to get to watch Little baby bum for hours on end once he went back to school. It was probably solid C+ parenting but I couldn’t parent like I wanted to and keep up with work.
And I think booking some child care on your next call weekend would be a good idea. Give yourself a couple of hours one or both days? You certainly deserve it!
It sounds like you did well from an outsiders perspective, but realize it’s hard to be objective when there are emotions involved 🙂 I was in a similar situation this weekend…husband had to work Saturday afternoon (which I knew about beforehand so was ok with it), but then sprung a last minute “hey, I am feeling stressed out and really need to do more work” on Sunday afternoon and I was *not* thrilled.
I don’t have any great solutions, as I felt the same way last night! The house is messy, I didn’t get my run in on Sunday, and I lost my patience several times. But, we also had some really fun moments, too. One thing that does help me put things in perspective is saying out loud to the kids as they are going to bed “I had a fun weekend with you. What was your favorite thing we did?” Sometimes their answers surprise you 🙂
I love that idea of framing it that way to our kids!
Sarah, I just ordered a Jibun Techo DAYS. I wish I had listened to this prior b/c then I would have ordered it from Honeypress! JetPens is sold out. I found them on Tokyo Pen Shop and am eagerly awaiting my shipment.
I have kind of known this was going to be my planner for 2022 for a while, but have spent months looking for something *perfect* for me. I explored the Korean stationary scene! Right now I am using an undated Daily Funnymade planner. I do love it, but it is only 40 pps, and I really desire a dated calendar with a tiny month on each page.
I have a cover that fits 4 notebooks. I have a weekly booklet as well that I use to track meals and meal planning. https://shop.mochithings.com/products/93327. Finishing out these little books should coincide with starting the DAYS.
Anyway, I really enjoyed this episode and hearing Karina’s story. I work in an ICU with many Filipino nurses that have become good friends. In addition, I too had a preoccupation with Hello Kitty, stationery and writing when I was little (although, for me that was in the 80s!). Her website is on my list to check out for holiday gifts.
Yay! I am excited to hear how you like it! The line down the middle is a bit of a turnoff to me but I can see how it could be functional!