Hi Ladies,

Anyone home now? I am!

It’s Saturday night, and our babysitter wasn’t able to sit. Just put the last child to bed and am gonna watch the Hockey Game on TV. I’m totally wiped.

The good news… we had our FIRST double sleep-out last night. My kids slept at my parents’ house. Woo hoo!! I dropped them both off at 4PM. My mom took them downtown for dinner, and they all slept in her bed. It was great fun for them. My hubby and I went for dinner at 6PM, were home by 7:30PM, and asleep by 9:30PM! LOSERS! We slept until 8:30AM this morning. It was heaven!  The last time I slept 11 straight hours I was a teenager with a hangover. It was AWESOME!

Today, my two year old FINALLY got his first pair of ice skates. He has been waiting since the ripe old age of ten months. No joke! Those who know him, know he has been begging to play ice hockey for the past eighteen months. He is seriously obsessed.  So, lessons start Monday, and he’s ready to go. He’s worn his  skates around the house ALL DAY. I kid you not. And now, they sleep on the floor beside his crib. He cried for 30 minutes tonight to sleep with them in his crib, but my husband said he would Edward Scissorhands himself during the night. Based on last week’s drama, that’s the last thing we need right now!!! He’s utterly delicious.

Tomorrow’s my son’s 6th birthday party. Some glow-in-the-dark mini golf with 20 of his grade 1 friends. He’s been waiting all week. I have not.

The new website is almost up. I can’t wait for the discussion board. Now you girls can visit any time and chat with other ladies about some of the issues. Am loving the Blog. My brain is finally functioning to maximum capacity. It’s refreshing!

Thank you all for your great suggestions and input for the Women On The Fence Blog. Don’t forget to keep commenting or emailing me about the topics you want to hear about.  Your suggestions are what will keeps the wheel turning.

Until next week, I bid you all good night.

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/womenonthefence and join our group on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=137325556863&ref=mf .

Love,

Erica

xoxEDxox

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Good Morning, m’Ladies. I started writing a book a few years ago. I just found it on my computer today and thought I would share the first page with you. The issues are pertinent today, and it’s what some of you have been stuck on the fence about. I owned a good business at the time, but was deciding if I should sell it or not. Obviously you know the outcome, but here is page 1.

Just so you know, I had two titles.

“If you Can’t Take the Heat, Get out of the Kitchen”

Trading it all in for Sanity

or

Knowing when to pull the plug on your career

MY DECISION ON WHETHER TO STAY IN OR GET OUT

And while my life was just too busy at the time to complete it, I thought I’d share.

Page 1:

“So, you’ve finished years of schooling, graduated with top honors, you’re making a nice salary, you have a few beautiful kids, and things couldn’t be better… right? WRONG. You are overworked, overstressed, and are lacking some serious alone time.The “fine balance theory” of women being able to juggle a career, a home, a husband, and happiness is a very ancient concept. However, the issues arising for young working women today couldn’t be more modern.  It is virtually impossible to have a one-income household today. If you want to be able to give your children what your baby-booming parents gave you… private school, camps, cars and comforts, you’d better be working. So, going to work becomes less of a luxury and more of a necessity. And I don’t mean to afford that bigger house or that fancy car… I mean diapers, formula, nursery, groceries… everyday living expenses.

So, here comes the dilemma. Unless you are a trust fund baby, or your husband is earning big dough, you are faced with what many women are faced with today….the exhaustion and stress that result from trying to achieve that fine balance. But, for some women, that struggle for balance is just too much to bear. In my case, that was just the case. It’s the cost / benefit concept for many women– by working you can afford the nicer things, but your body cannot afford the stress. So, you waver, do I give it all up, or do I hang on and hope things get better? Do I give up time with my children to be able to give them the good life, or do I settle for less knowing it brings sanity?

This book is for those female business owners or high powered career women wondering if it’s all worth it. I have documented the feelings and emotions I have been going through over the past while deciding whether or not to stay in or get out. I am hoping it might help other women realize they are not alone. Actually, when I started the book, the end was undetermined. Do I keep something going that has given me passion, self-confidence, and independence, or do I throw in the towel?….”  END OF PAGE 1.

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And so, for all you women wondering whether or not to throw in the towel on your careers, or even to quit the current job you’re in, it’s a process. Here are some deciding factors which I hope will guide you in the right direction:

1) Your job is making you sick. It’s not worth it to get physically or mentally ill over a job. If you are, you have to put your well-being first.

2) You are being marginalized at the office. Your boss has taken away responsibilities, and you are being treated like an invisible woman. You are no longer invited to meetings, and suddenly find yourself on the “outs.” If this is the case, speak to your boss first, but you may have to catch the hint and take a hike. Your work should be a place where you can grow and flourish. Not a place where your wings are being clipped.

3) You’ve outgrown your job. You may have started as a junior, but have gained all the expertise in your field, maybe more than your job requires now. You are feeling under stimulated and bored. A trip to the water machine for a quick chat is more stimulating than the work at hand. You know it’s time, baby! Be courageous. It takes a true woman to move out of a job that has caused you complacency.

4) You receive a better offer somewhere else. If you have been stuck at the same job, for the same pay for a very long time, and what seems like a great offer is blown your way, CONSIDER IT. But beware, the grass often looks greener on the other side of the fence. And only you know if that salary increase means taking on more responsiblity, which you might not be ready for right now. But, if your skills are being underappreciated where you are, it may be worth an interview.

5) Work is interfering with home life. If you are being forced to travel weeks on end. Night meetings until 10PM. Your daily lunch hour is as long as a pee break. It may be your time. Naturally, if you are single, and this feels ok, then go for it. Reach for the stars. Save up as much as you can before you settle in matrimony bliss, if that’s your long term goal. But if you’re a mom, and you’re not waking up with your kids, or tucking them in at night, it may be time to re-evaluate your priorities. Just a thought.

So, whether you’re a career woman thinking of “throwing in the towel,” as I did, or just want to change jobs, always think it through. It’s a major decision either way. Whatever you decide, I wish you happiness, peace and success in your next endeavor. And remember, a winner is always a winner. Even if it’s covered in an apron and whole wheat flour!

xoxEDxox

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It’s Saturday morning. Right now, as I’m writing, the Wii is going strong in one room, another child  is climbing on me, and my husband is calling out some order down the hallway. And guess what… I just don’t feel like it all today. I just feel like sitting on a secluded beach, aqua blue water, waves crashing, sun shining, sand and ipod, and me, lovely wonderful me, ALONE. Silencio.

Naturally, I don’t feel like this all the time, but I can be honest with you readers, I do feel like this sometimes. This feeling of needing more alone time came when I sold my business and started a new career as a “full-time mom.” That is actually why I started this blog. I know that, for me, I need something to occupy my mind beyond my children.  I need a purpose to my life beyond my wonderful family. I need to use my brain again. It was starting to go soft on me.

But all back to the point of this blog. Experts do say that for a woman to stay mentally happy and healthy, everyone needs personal time– time just for themselves. I know this. If I go too long without a girls night out, a fast getaway with my hubby, or even a long walk alone, I start to LOSE IT! I mean lose it. I do.

And I know I’m not alone, cuz many of you have written in complaining about the lack of personal time. The inability to even go to the bathroom without a little person at your feet. The laundry, the bills, your work, your children, your responsibilities… it all takes its toll, that by the time the kids finally get to bed, who even can appreciate that alone time? You just wanna kerplunk on the floor.

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In fact, in the book I mentioned a few blogs ago, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,” Dr. John Gray explains the notion of men needing time in “caves” in order to relax and cope with stress. His explanation of this concept gives all your husbands, fiancés and boyfriends across the world permission to have time alone to decompress after work. Now, while I agree with Gray that men need time to decompress, my argument is that women need it too. Women need “cave” time too. Most women I know would love to hide out in a cave for “me” time, if not just for a little.

I encourage you, if you are one who is desperately craving for alone time, or even if you’re someone who might feel lonely or bored being alone, take the time! While you’re at work, go for a walk alone on your lunch time. If you’re a stay at home mom, read a book on your porch or balcony while your child naps. Turn off you cell phone. Zone out. Be alone. Close your eyes and meditate. Turn off your ringer in your bedroom. Regroup. Rejuvenate. Reenergize. It often doesn’t take much to recharge the battery during the day if you’re feeling depleted.

And ask your husbands after they have had their cave time, to let you take yours. Be it on a Saturday, like right now for me. Or on any other day. In fact, all hell is breaking loose right outside my door, but I’m off duty right now. I have my coffee, the sun is shining in my office, my cozy bathrobe is on, and I’m recharging. Come to think of it, I’m feeling better than when I started the blog entry!

So, take some “me” time when you can.  I’m telling you, you’d be surprised what a little time alone can do for your spirit.

I gotta run now ladies. I think my “me” time is officially over. My husband is calling. So are the kids.

Till next time,

xoxEDxo

ps – How do you escape for some “me” time? Can you suggest some tips for our readers?

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How many of you lay awake at night, tossing and turning, unable to sleep? How many of you flip flop around like a fish out of water, and check that clock… 1:17Am, 3:27Am, 4:49Am, 6:30AM…..BEEP BEEP BEEP. Your alarm is ringing, time to wake up!! I am getting tired just writing about it!

The truth is for many, sleep deprivation is a major issue.  We all know how it feels when you’re lying awake in bed trying to fall asleep, and your mind is racing. Thoughts are coming from everywhere, and although your body is lying quite still, your mind is running an iron man marathon.  It’s almost as if you’re thinking 100 times faster at night than you do during the day.

This is the way it may play out for you. You’re laying in bed, frustrated, forcing your mind to not think. “I just need to get to sleep… If I fall asleep in 10 minutes, I’ll have 4 hours left… I better get to sleep now… Tomorrow I can’t forget to make a haircut appointment for the three kids… I hate my job… How I’m going to tell my girlfriend she disappointed me…” and the list of worries goes on and on. So how do you stop it?

I have to say for me, I thankfully do not suffer from this problem. And, I’m not bragging, cuz I have a list of other wacky things I suffer from… anxiety and neuroses being two of the top ones. But, for some reason, when I actually get into bed and close my eyes, it’s for the night. And unless I’m awoken by a little person living in this house, it’s all pretty good here on my end.

My husband, however, is an entirely different story. I feel terrible for him. He suffers with sleep deprivation a lot of the time. It sort of goes something like this. We get into bed together. Watch a little TV. Maybe a little “you know what.”  We both fall asleep. Starting 1am, he awakes, usually for he night, and starts with the flip flopping. The bed is shaking. He’s moaning and groaning he can’t sleep.  I will not let him watch TV in our room in the middle of the night, as I find it “disruptive.” So he leaves for the den. Is that selfish? Maybe, but I’m a mom, and I need my beauty sleep! Then, we two reunite somewhere around 4am, and our bed really starts hopping at 6:15am, when the 2 hoodlums come and take over. Our day begins.

I love it though. For me, my favorite part the day is when the four of us are snuggling in bed at 6am. This does not bother me one bit. I don’t like it at 5am, but anytime after 6, no problem.

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So, before going over how to calm your mind for a restful sleep, I’m gonna tell you the bad stuff that you probably already know. These awful symptoms of your sleep deprivation. It’s no joke ladies. And it has physical and mental repercussions. Besides the lack of sleep effecting our ability to think, to handle stress, and to maintain a good and healthy immune system, it actually kills! I’m not trying to scare you. Sleep is so important to our overall health, that when a study was conducted on rats in a laboratory,  the lab rats that were denied the chance to rest, died within two to three weeks. Yikes!

More scary statistics; all your lack of shut-eye time can be causing you, depression, heart disease, slurred speech, hypertension, irritability, tremors and slower reaction time. It’s also making you age, ladies.

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Before I cause you to jump off a bridge in panic, here are some useful tips to getting a restful sleep.

  • Try and maintain somewhat of a regular sleep pattern. Our bodies have a natural clock and a regular sleep schedule, so a regular wake time in the morning strengthens the cycle. It helps the onset of sleep at night.
  • Your bed is not an office. The only purpose of bed is for sleep and sex. DON’T use it as a workspace for sorting out your papers and projects. You should get into bed with the feeling of calm and relaxation. Not with a feeling of anxiety.
  • Exercise regularly. But don’t exercise late at night, as it raises your body temperature and makes you more alert.
  • Diet. This is really true. Eating a good diet and drinking plenty of water help regulate your body. Feed it the green leafy stuff, and NO DIET COLAS OR CAFFEINATED TEAS OR COFFEES BEFORE BED…. HELLO! Obviously. I would even hesitate having that decaf cappuccino at a restaurant, as even decaffeinated coffee contains traces of caffeine. Opt for hot water and lemon. It’s an acquired taste!!
  • Try and work out your issues in your head beforehand. Try and make a conscious effort to unplug from your office or what’s consuming your head when you walk in the door. I know this is difficult, I’m not saying it’s a walk in the park. But if there’s still things that worry you, or that you must get done tomorrow, keep  a “worry list” on your nigh table. If you panic, jot those things down. They’re off your mind, and on your worry list waiting for you tomorrow. This really helps.
  • DO NOT WATCH THE CLOCK. A good family friend Ricky told me this 8 years ago. Stop being a compulsive time checker. If I happen to wake, I NEVER look to see what time it is. That’s because, if it’s 4:30am, I simply will not return to sleep. I’ll think “hey, I only have 90 minutes left of sleep, what’s the point of returning.” When in reality, those 90 minutes are crucial.  Every extra ounce of sleep counts. Don’t watch the clock.
  • Get out of bed if you really can’t sleep. Studies do show that if you truly cannot fall asleep, it’s best not to force yourself. According to experts, if you do not fall back asleep in 15-20 minutes, you should get out of bed and go to another room.  Try something relaxing like reading a book or listening to music.
  • And finally, SEX. But that was my husband’s tip. He says it works like a charm.

What sleep tips work for you? Share it with our readers!

And, Happy New Year to all our Jewish readers. May it be filled with health, happiness and lots of good things.

xoxEDxox

If there is one daily question in our house that is sure to get me aggravated, it’s “What’s for dinner?” This is because dinnertime has been, and continues to be a thing of frustration for me. Just the sound of the question drives me bananas.  Trying to accommodate the nutritional needs and eating preferences of 4 different people. So, dinnertime in our house kinda goes something like this. Kids eat 5:30PM. Parents eat anywhere from 6:30 to 7:30PM, (while the kids eat their fruits so at least we’re sitting as a family).

Truth is, we no longer eat dinner as a family unit since my big son started grade 1 this month. I find it just too difficult. The boys start whining about dinner around 5pm, “I’m starving, I can’t wait for daddy to come home”. My husband gets home from the office anywhere between 6:30 – 7:30PM, so waiting for him since my big son started grade 1, no longer happens (grade 1 finishes at 4, and I understand his need for a nice meal soon after homework is done). This saddens me greatly, but hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I really believe, “Why would I give them a snack at 5:30, when they’re hungry for dinner at that time?” I have never been a big believer in giving snacks at mealtimes, or snacks to stall meals. I like to feed them when they’re hungry. I have been known to make whole wheat and organic cheese Kraft Dinner at 10am, grilled cheese at 10:30am, hamburgers at 3:55pm. I feed on demand. I know this makes me sound like a parent being dominated by a tiny person, but when you have a son who barely eats, I like to strike while it’s hot. So, I always sit with the boys at 5:30PM and they eat, and I watch and pray. And then I sit down for my own meal at 7 with my husband.

Now, this is how the real dinner dilemma goes for me.  A meal for 3 (myself, my husband, my 2-year old), and another meal for 1 (my grade 1 boy). ALL THE TIME. I try and cook healthy, and I pride myself on preparing nice fresh and healthy meals. There’s always a soup or salad to start, followed by a protein, carb and vegetable. Just  like Mary Poppins, thank you very much! That’s the case of course, for the group of 3.  The 4th meal, for my big son, barely contains a vegetable (he only eats corn on the cob and celery), and it’s always a WHITE LOOKING MEAL (or orange… Kraft Dinner, grilled cheese, plain noodles… you see where I’m going with this?). We can get a little spaghetti and meatsauce or hamburger in once in a while, but not with a veggie, and he takes 2 bites. Now, I’M NOT EVEN A GOOD COOK, NOT DO I EVEN ENJOY IT, so this shit stresses me out when I go to the grocery store. What am I making for the threesome, what am I making  for the big kid? Top that off with the fact that my husband eats like a bird. I have really  no one to cook for, other than myself and my two year old who, god bless him, has my appetite, but I don’t think my metabolism!!! So, unless I plan on continuing to make myself crazy, or turn everyone into a pizza, I’m gonna have to find a solution. I’m truly tired of making two meals, but I’m not ready yet to send my thin older son to bed without dinner. My friends say “Offer Johnny, (we’ll call my 6 year old) what the rest of the family is eating, and if he doesn’t like it, tough!” Ladies, I just ain’t there yet. Maybe I baby him, but I’m just not gonna do it.

So, if this insanity sounds familiar, at least be happy you’re not alone. Misery loves company!

Oh ya, and every time my “Johnny” asks for fish sticks, I just cringe. He was brought up on all organic and home cooked vegetables. I fed him like a prince. And now he only asks for the white foods. My little one, feed him acetone, and he takes it all in, every last drop, and with a smile might I add. Gotta love kids. Born to the same parents, same gene pool, completely different creatures.

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So, here are some useful tips to solving the dinner dilemma and believe me ladies, I’m trying desperately to incorporate them into my own house. Again, like my BBF Oprah says, I’m just “a work in progress.”

  • Plan ahead. I don’t do this often enough but I should. Don’t just whip something up at the last minute. I’m not saying don’t cook quick and healthy meals. I mean have the ingredients in your house, BEFOREHAND, so when it’s time to start dinner, you have what you need. If you work, make a big order on the weekends and freeze. Pull out your daily chicken or meats the morning you leave for work, and have your veggies and rice and potatoes already in the fridge or pantry from your weekend shopping. Try getting to the fruit store at least twice during the week, so there are lots of healthy choices for snacks and side dishes.
  • Foods that kids like can often be made healthy. Make your own whole wheat dough, get some organic tomato sauce, some organic cheese, throw some veggies on top, with a side salad, and you have yourself a delicious and healthy meal for the whole family. Try to compromise. Have your hubby eat pizza one night, and the kids eat steak or salmon another night. Explain to your husband that even though they want a big plate of pasta and meatsauce, or steak,  some nights they have to eat a simple BBQ chicken, cuz that’s what the kids like. Plus you don’t want to turn in to me, and start making a millions meals for everyone. Start that early, my friends!
  • Make extra, and get your family used to eating left-overs. Again, not something my husband likes… AT ALL but it’s something he’s getting used to. Some chicken breasts on the BBQ one night can serve as a great chicken salad the next night. Just a thought.
  • Have your family members suggest what they like. Why wrack your brain? Supply and demand. If they can suggest something healthy and good for the whole family, why not give in? And if budget permits, an occasional splurge on chinese food take out or whatever the family loves to order in could be fun.
  • Try out a few different recipes and see what works. Even a horrible cook like me can whip up some great and easy with recipes online, or from friends. Open yourself up a good bottle of wine, play some tunes, and try and have fun with it. Don’t make mealtime something so serious. Try new recipes. Maybe someone in your family will like it, and hey, that’s one more step in the right direction.
  • And finally, if they don’t like it, THEY CAN MAKE IT THEMSELVES! We aren’t martyrs. We are human beings with feelings, and  I say, if they all don’t like what we’re whippin up, let ’em whip it up themselves.

Ladies, I would love to know how it works in your families, and how you’re surviving mealtimes! Please share your comments below to help us all get off the fence with the dinner dilemma!

xoxEDxox

Hi to all my Women out there! I am Erica Diamond. I am 34.  I am Wife.  I am a Mother of 2 young boys. I am an Award Winning Entrepreneur and Businesswoman. I am a Reality TV Show Writer. I am a Hockey Mom. I am a serial Volunteer. I am a Woman On The Fence.

This blog was created for all of us women who are on the fence… In Life. In Business. In Love. In anything. Period.

We are bright. We are dynamic. We are educated. We are perfectionists. We are tired. We love our husbands. We hate our husbands. We love our kids. Our kids annoy us. We want to work. We can’t juggle it all. We expect two dozen roses on our anniversary. We give. We get. We’re happy. We’re discouraged. We’re intuitive. We’re funny.

We’re women. Black. White. Asian. Hispanic. Through it all, we stick together.

Therefore my ladies,  my goal of this Blog is to unite all women. To let you all vent your frustrations about living life on the fence. It’s time to make a move. It’s time to GET OFF THE FENCE! It’s time to make up or break up. It’s time to quit your job. It’s time to enroll in medical school. It’s time to come out of the closet. It’s time to speak your truth. It’s time to start LIVING YOUR LIFE!

I want to hear from you… OFTEN! You will be my guide. I will abide by the laws of supply and demand. I will give you what you ask for. I will let you set the tone.

“Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off o Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!”

Oh The Places You’ll Go!

DR. SEUSS

Now, here I go. I’m getting off the fence…

xoxEDxox