Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How do I unscramble my time management?

Dear Mom:

I'm always at least five minutes late to my first class of the day. How do I schedule my time so that I'm not late?

Scrambled Up

Dear Scrambled:

Forgive me for using such a "churchy" example, but I believe it will work in your case.

When I was a young mother, trying to get ready for church was a nightmare. Not only did I have myself to get ready I had my three children as well. And then I had my husband who did alright on his own most of the time, unless he couldn't find his shoes.

At any rate, this is what I was told by a very well-meaning person, though the name escapes me now. Let me just say that I hated her at first, telling me what to do as if I couldn't figure it out for myself. And yet, what she had to say made sense.

In a nutshell: Lay out your children's clothes and shoes the night before. Bathe them the night before. Get the diaper bag ready and set it by the front door. That way, in the morning when you are scrambling to get ready there will be less scrambling out the door.

In your case, decide on what you're going to wear the night before. If you don't want to lay your clothes out, put them in an area in your closet where you can get to them easily the next morning. Get all of your books and stuff ready for school the night previous. I have one of those unattractive suitcases with wheels that I load up the night before with all my books and papers. In the morning I just have to cart it downstairs and into the car. I wouldn't be able to handle showering at night but after hearing one conversation recently about the five roommates and being late to school because the person couldn't get into the shower-I wonder if this might be one of your considerations.

The bottom line is this: I do what I can do at night so that I'm less scrambled in the morning?

While some suggest setting the clock ahead, I wouldn't recommend it. After a while you remember you have fifteen minutes more than the clock says and adjust your mind clock accordingly. I would suggest, however, leaving your home earlier than the time you think you need to get there (and if you're getting most everything ready ahead of time the night before, this step is that much easier). If it would regularly take you a half an hour to get to class, (And I'm speaking of class here, not how long it takes you to reach the parking lot and find a spot), give yourself an additional 15 minutes for commute. That way, if there is a car accident, slow traffic or bad weather, you can still get to class on time. I know, I know, you want to sleep in as long as possible, but giving yourself some extra time for variables will ease your stress in being late and will give you the freedom to step into that class-on time.

See you in class!


Sunday, May 24, 2009

How to gain a mothers acceptance of a gay lifestyle

Dear Mom:

I live a gay lifestyle. How do I get my mother to accept me?

Sincerely, Too hurt to cry

Dear Hurt:

This is a serious question demanding a serious answer. The bottom line as I see it-all you really want from your mom is love, right? To be loved is to be accepted because you and I both know that not everyone on the face of this planet is going to see things in exactly the same way. We are all individuals-unique individuals who, when all is said and done, want to be accepted. The problem arises when someone we know should love us most seems to love us least.

As I write this I am filled with sadness for your mother. I am sad because she is missing out on knowing her child, in developing a relationship that can handle any difference in lifestyle or opinion. Not that I think that working through this difference is easy; I don't.

I have three children of my own. If one of them came to me with the news that they were gay, I would be shocked. My first reaction would be to stare ahead of me in dumb amazement. I hope I wouldn't yell. I hope I wouldn't say something I would later regret. One thing's for sure. I know my heart would be pounding. I would probably cry. And when all was talked out on both sides, I pray I would have the courage to see beyond the moment. I pray I would remember how much I loved my child.

Your mother is afraid. She thought she knew everything about you. And then the bomb hit. You may have even known it was a bomb before it hit, because you have known your mom for a long time too. You know many of her thoughts, her quirks, and her issues. But perhaps you had no idea how easily she could shut you out of her life.

So here we are again at the bottom line. Though you want to be loved, to be accepted by your mother, this can't be forced. I could tell you that she loves you though you don't feel it, but I don't know if you'd believe me. I could tell you that she's afraid to confront the issue because she wants to think of you the way you were before she knew. I could tell you many things that you may or may not believe. But know this: You cannot change your mother. You can pray for her. You can feel sorry that she currently does not seem to want a relationship with you, but you can't change the way she feels, just like she can't change the way you feel.

This may sound discouraging, but I wouldn't give up hope. There may come a day when your mother wants to regain your friendship. Be open to that day when it comes, for it will be a day of healing for you both.

With love,


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dear Mom:

My boyfriend is allergic to my cats. Every time he comes over he gets sick. What should I do?

Sincerely, Furful

Dear furful: I have a nephew that is allergic to cats. Last week he and his family came over for a visit. My sister had forewarned me-"Remember, my son is allergic. Can we keep the cat away from him?" I promised her that I would vacuum the floor and the furniture; especially the furniture our cat loved to sleep on, and that the cat would be kept in the basement.

When my sister arrived with her children, however, our cat Spooky had managed an unwelcome visit on her favorite TV chair. I was surprised. Spooky usually hid from children.

After showing the cat downstairs and apologizing to my sister for the oversight, telling her son to stay clear of "that" chair, we got down to business-eating dinner. The evening went smoothly enough, and surprisingly, there were no allergy related symptoms from her son.

I was relieved. The last thing I wanted to have happen was for her son to get sick and the family wary about coming to visit us again. Fortunately, my sister had taken precautions as well. When I told her how relieved I was that her son hadn't gotten sick, she said, "Oh, I gave him some allergy medicine before we left." So that was it. She had planned for the worst, and had ended up with the best case scenario.

Though I have no idea how your boyfriend's allergies compare to my nephew's. You might be wise to choose alternate places to get together-making sure when choosing your place that you have done everything you can to make your boyfriends visit as "fur free" as possible. A friend of mine suggested covering the sofa with a recently washed blanket.

Of course hardwood or vinyl floors are best to reduce the furry problem, but if you are living in an apartment or a rental unit this is no option. Fortunately, where your greatest problem's lie, you have the greatest control: fabric upholstered furniture and curtains. Limiting these two items helps, say the experts, as well as limiting your cat to only certain rooms, not including the main living space. Some experts even suggest that if your cat is washed weekly there is a decrease in allergen levels, though I'm sure my own cat would have a scratching fit if I tried that one on her.

Your cats are members of your family. Getting rid of them is neither a valid nor a humane solution in my opinion. But getting rid of the boyfriend? Well, that's an entirely different story.

Good luck!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

"Ask Mom" - What's it all about

Not sure where to turn for your next staple? Spending too much money on school supplies and not enough on your girlfriend? Afraid to ask your mom for a loan?

Ask me.

That's right. I am a mom and a former student of Salt Lake Community College and The University of Utah (BS May 2009,) and no, I won't give you any money either. But I'm full of advice-some of which you may even like or well, find you like better than the advice your mom gives you. You don't tell her everything anyway, do you?I want to hear it all.

That romantic stuff you call love. That overwhelming balance you are trying to achieve in your life, mountains you are trying to climb-even the stuff of money. Yes, I can even talk about that if you want me to. Not sure what major to sign up for? Let me help. Having problems with your roommate? Tired of the piles of trash inside the place she calls her room? Sick of your overprotective mom? Your hair? That stuff called homework?

I want to hear it. No, it doesn't have to be pretty, it doesn't even have to be too terribly serious, but it does, yes it does have to be true. And if it's not happening to you personally, I don't want to hear it. This is not the place for gossip-unless its gossip based on your life of course.

Just write me in the form of a question. You can give me some details but please keep it to a tight paragraph-kind of like your favorite pair of jeans. I don't want to hear some lengthy sermon on your life. Yes, it may be interesting but I don't have time for it. Here is a question I received today through an enlightening conversation; a question I will probably use at some point through my "Ask Mom" career: "How do you get rid of a guy you've been dating and still remain friends?

"Who told me this? "The heat is gone" of course.

I will not print your name in the column (unless you really want me to) even though I may see it on the email I receive from you. I will merely give you a cute name like "cuddle bear" or "lost in line" or something equally cheesy like the one above but not your real name. You will be attending this school for at least two years and I want you to be able to walk around campus with your head held high.

What else?

That's it.

Post your your questions and comments here on the blog.

I look forward to hearing from you.