Hi there! My name is Jessica Peers and I’m a stay-at- home mom of four kids ages 10, 7, 5, and 1.I quit my high school Health Education teaching job to stay home full-time. I love hiking, trail running and eating. I REALLY love eating. Oh, and traveling. How I LOVE traveling! I’ve been married for 12 years and am lucky to have such a sweet, patient husband along for this journey.
My biggest strength as a mom is my flexibility. Having 4 kids with very different temperaments has not given me much of a choice, ha! There are meltdowns, potty accidents, and forgotten wallets many a day and not stressing over the “little” things has helped me a great deal.
How do I spend time away from my children? On a small level, my husband and I have date night every week. I have book group once a month and try to fit in a ladies lunch or girl’s night at least once a month as well. On a grander scale, I always plan a getaway with my husband and also one with my sisters and/or friends. It gives me something to look forward to and does wonders to recharge my patience.
Let’s talk about a conversation that can be somewhat awkward. THE BIRDS AND THE BEES. As a high school teacher that taught sex ed you’d think that this would be easy for me to talk about with my children but for some reason talking about sex with my kid’s was so much harder! Give me a class of teenager’s, NO PROB! But give my beautiful, innocent 9 year old daughter and I’m freaking out!
When I taught it in high school it was a very systematic approach of biology. I loved watching the kids squirm and giggle and truthfully it was my favorite subject to teach because they really paid attention.
First thing to do when something gets brought up is to think about what you feel is age appropriate for your child. When I was pregnant with my fourth, and my youngest daughter was four and asking questions about how the baby got in there, I explained that “mommy has a tiny egg and daddy gives the egg seeds to help the baby grow and it grows and grows into a baby in my tummy” and if that satisfies their curiosity you can leave it there. Gauging their maturity level and keeping it simple is best.
Now with my oldest she asked and asked and asked. So we kept it very simple and biological. “The man has sperm and the woman has an egg. When the penis goes into the vagina the sperm come out and one implants into the egg. The egg continues to grow and grow and that forms the baby that is in the woman’s uterus.” BAM. Done… for now. Each family has their own attitudes and perspectives about sex that will influence and shape your children later on and it’s important to be clear about that as they get older and they need more information. Most important though, is to keep the dialog open.
Even though I have not used books, I do have friends that have and they have suggested The American Girl Book, “The Care and Keeping of You” and also “It’s Perfectly Normal” by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley.
How do my husband and I find time to “be together” now? With 4 kids?? Haha. It’s not as easy as it used to be. With our oldest staying up later and a bunch of early risers, we are TIRED! But one thing that we have found that is important is not letting your own tiredness get in the way of showing that love for your partner and visa versa… respect their tiredness. Sometimes you’re just gosh darn too tired. No hurt feelings. Having a bedroom door that locks helps a lot too.
Jessica, great advice and yup, the locking door is a MUST! We’re looking forward to hearing more from you.