Prairie Wife of the Week March 28, 2014

Posted March 28, 2014 by Prairie Wife - 4 comments

So much of this blog is based on what Texas Two Steppin’ and I feel like writing about. Or things that are currently in the news (mostly fashion and beauty news but that counts). We thought it would be fun to let you, our readers, get a chance to ask us anything and everything. It’s a wonderful way for me to see what you want to hear about, and for you to get to know us better. Because today is my birthday (whoop whoop) we thought it would be the perfect day for me to be Prairie Wife of the Week.

PW fringe booties

Colleen: Knowing that life doesn’t stop especially when hubby works out of town, how do you cope when you get sick? Any natural remedies, or preventative measures you usually use for yourself or the rest of the family?

Prairie Wife: A mother never gets to take a sick day, and it usually turns out that when I get sick it’s on a Tuesday and I just have to struggle through until The Cowboy gets home on Friday. Which of course means that I am healed up by the time “help” arrives. I usually just put on my big girl panties and stumble through the sickness. I have been known to call the kids in sick to school and turn on Disney Junior for hours at a time. Usually it’s easier to have two less kids to watch when I am under the weather. There was one time when I had a really bad fever and cough. I remember putting the two kids (I just had Cowboy J and Cowgirl G) into the baby’s room because it was the safest room in the house, and lying in front of the doorway so I would know if they got out. I’ve also had some great friends, thank you TallGirlJ, that have come over to help out when I was simply too sick to take care of a small infant (mastitis is a total bummer).

I am almost always pregnant or nursing so most medicines are off limits for me. I swear by sinus rinses and Vicks Vapor rub when I have a cold. And honey and lemon tea is a must when I have a sore throat. The last year or so I have really gotten into tea. I have green tea every day to help rev up my metabolism as well as my detox water. Chamomile tea and peppermint tea always help me when I have an upset stomach, and pineapple tea can help keep a cold at bay! As for the kids I always try to help them as naturally as possible but, medicine was invented for a reason!

As far as preventative medicine we really try to eat homemade and healthfully (two meals a day with large servings of fruits and veggies) and get sunshine and fresh air. I think not being a super careful mom about germs also helps…I stand by the statement that a little bit of dirt goes a long way to keeping kids healthy. Because my kids eat healthfully we don’t have a vitamin regimen. I also strongly believe in vaccinating my kids.

Colleen: With warm weather and summer coming, what’s in your purse?

Prairie Wife: My purse is always packed LOL, but in the summer I do add a few extra goodies. This powder sunscreen is phenomenal. You simply turn the bottom to open it and tap it a few times. The powder goes into the brush and you brush it on. I can easily brush it on over my makeup and the part in my hair with no sticky mess, and it’s invisible! I use it when I run too, because it doesn’t run when I sweat or sting my eyes. It’s on the expensive side to initially buy it but, all you have to do for refills is buy more powder. Because of the cost I use it only on me (or the kids in a pinch) and I make sure I have a stick sunscreen to use on the kids. Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Stick is my favorite.

Kristen: As a mother of four like you, I find it hard to equally divide my time between my girls. It’s so hard to have individual one on one time with them. Do you struggle with this problem? How or what do you do to give them each some one on one attention?

Prairie Wife: I feel like I could do a week or two worth of posts to answer this one! Early on The Cowboy and I, who both come from families on the larger side (him 5, me 4) decided that we would try and do something special with our kids to help them feel like they had some special time without their siblings. So we invented date night.

We take turns rotating through the kids and take them on dates. It’s just one parent and one kid and they usually get to pick the activity and parent they want to go with. It can be something little like a trip to town for ice cream or something big like traveling on the road with The Cowboy for a week. We call it a date and dress up and keep the phones turned off, just like we would for a grown up date night. The kids left behind usually don’t mind because they understand their turn will be coming too. It has made such a big difference in our relationships with them. It’s amazing what a few hours with just one kid can do for both of you! They each get a date every two months or so. I’ve even found that when you are the parent left behind with the other kids it can be a special time with those kids!

Hannah: How do you fit in “you” time when the cowboy is gone on business and you have all the Cowkids on your own?

Prairie Wife: Life is a balancing act and while I don’t have this down all the time I’ve gotten a lot better at it over the years. First you have to get rid of the guilt. My favorite trick when I am feeling guilty about something is to think about what I would say to a friend of mine if they came to me with the problem. If Prairie Faith came to me and said “I feel bad because I read a book today instead of cleaning my dirty house.” Would I tell her she was a bad mom? No! I’d say the mess will still be there tomorrow waiting!

Naptime is sacred in my house. Even the big Cowkids have to go and play in their room and aren’t allowed to bug me unless blood is involved! My rule is that no matter what the state of the house I have to use naptime as me time. Usually this means I read and then either take a nap myself or just simply read the whole time. Sometimes I use the time to work on but while I love blogging it isn’t really a break. This naptime break allows me to refresh and rejuvenate my spirit and even though it takes me longer to do chores with the Cowkids awake and helping I am a better mom once I’ve taken some time for myself.

Another way I get me time is keeping bedtime for the Cowkids simple and structured. They get to bed with no fuss or muss and this allows me to relax before my bedtime. This is my TV time and one of the benefits of having The Cowboy gone during the week is I can watch my girly shows with no groans from him. I’ve learned that taking this time to “be lazy” is necessary with no relief from the mom gig for days at a time. When I skip my reading or TV time I’m a wreck by the time The Cowboy comes home and I often end up pushing the kids at him and locking myself in the bedroom (it’s the only way to keep the Cowkids out) for a few hours of bath and reading time. This is much more guilt inducing because we are so rarely together as a family. So, I really try to take my time during the week!

Hannah: How would you handle the following situation…a person you don’t know (I.e. tour guide lady at the state Capitol) or don’t know very well asks to touch or hold your baby? I never know quite how to handle this…I don’t want to be rude because they most likely mean well but also there are way too many creepers out there! What to do??

Prairie Wife: This is a hard one, and while I don’t really like lying to people I would probably say something like “Oh I’m sorry she missed her morning nap and is super cranky.” Or “She’s been sick I’d hate to get you sick too.” Simply saying “She is in that crazy stranger danger stage so I’d rather she stay with me.” Is another great way to keep people from grabbing the baby. When my kids are super little I often use a sling because it’s an easy way to keep people from even asking. I have found that the more kids I have the less I worry about these things (Cowboy C gets passed up and down the pews at church), but I strongly believe in trusting your gut. If someone seems like a creeper don’t feel a bit guilty about saying “I’m sorry I don’t feel comfortable letting strangers hold her.” Anyone normal will totally understand, and someone who is offended will just help you to know you made the right choice!

Nicci and Lizzi: Hey can you help me? I need some suggestion on how to find balance in my life between family, work, and personal time! HELP!!

Prairie Wife: If only I had the answer! Once again like I said in the answer to Hannah’s question remember that things like housework can wait, but left to long things like that can really add to your stress. Perhaps it’s the teacher in me but I am a big fan of scheduling and I have found that it really helps me to keep balance in my life. I have a day set for laundry and another one for housecleaning. It helps me to not spend all my time doing chores. I’d rather clean a big mess one day and enjoy my kids and time the rest of the week, even if things start to get a little cluttered by Wednesday. As far as fun time…schedule it. The Cowboy and I go on a date every month and while I know it doesn’t sound like a lot it makes a big difference. Time with the girls and play dates are written in on the calendar and scheduled well ahead of time, it makes sure that it really happens.

Remembering that things like sick kids or a new baby are going to throw your balance off is important. I always say that I am in survival mode the first four months after I have a baby. All I focus on is keeping the kids alive and sleeping. I don’t do anything extra and if I do get a break and/or a warm meal I really appreciate it. I know that when things get off balance with a little effort and time things will eventually get back to where they need to be. Just being aware is the first step!

Big Brother B: Who is your favorite brother?

Prairie Wife: I had to add this because it made me laugh…I also had a few who is your favorite “insert friends name here” questions too! I have to say that one of the things that I have learned through this blog is that everyone has something to share of value. I value all of the people in my life for what they have to give and share, and the lessons they have taught me about myself (some good, some bad). So while I can’t pick a favorite friend or sibling, I can say thank you to everyone for what you have taught me!

Any last Prairie Wife words of wisdom?

Everyone has a story to share, never underestimate what you can learn through simply taking the time to hear that story. Ask for help from others, look inside yourself to see how you need to change and grow, and be willing to learn from your past. And finally, you know what is best for you and your family. Take the time to listen to your instincts and use the wisdom that is already in you to live your life with grit and grace.

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4 thoughts on "Prairie Wife of the Week March 28, 2014"

  1. Lizzi says:

    Wonderfully answered! I love that you are so practical in your own life and in the advice that you give. Thank you for this post, I have many things to reflect on and some personal growth that needs to happen. This had been one of my favorite posts so far!

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Thanks Lizzi! Just remember to go easy on yourself. No one has their life perfectly balanced…and everyone has things they need to improve on! xoxo

  2. TX2Steppin' says:

    While you might not play favorites, I can honestly say you are my favorite sister. Happy birthday, and while I can’t be there in person to surprise/celebrate with you this year, please take a bit of time for you!

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Lol thanks, and I can say you are my favorite sister as well! I’m planning on being a lazy bum in just a few minutes…is it nap time yet?!

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