“Shouldn’t Julie have a baby so she can be on Teen Mom?” a student asked me a few weeks ago. Wordlessly I picked up the pieces of my shattered jaw from the ground and tried to wrap my brain around what he had just said. I stood in front of the class, looking from this young man to Julie, and then back again.
“She should have a baby so she can be on tv and be famous!” this seventeen year old exclaimed to me. Julie laughed and I felt relief that she had enough sense to realize that was funny and not a good idea. Interestingly enough, this wasn’t the first time MTV’s Teen Mom show has been the topic of discussion in my Spanish classroom.
Being a teacher, we timed our pregnancy so that our son was born in May and I could take off the rest of the school year. My maternity leave led into my summer, and when everything was said and done, I’d been at home for fourteen weeks with him – all while paid. I realize what a luxury this is.
Now that I’m back to work and into the swing of things, I’m cutting corners. I’m exhausted (I always tell everyone that work makes me exhausted, not the baby!) and the house is a mess. Frankly, there’s just a lot to do and not enough hours in the day to do it. A friend advised me that ten years from now I won’t be upset that my house was messy if it meant that I got to spend all the quality time I could with my son, and I’m really trying to take that to heart. It’s hard when you can’t find anything because it’s in a pile of junk who knows where.
I’ve found a few shortcuts, though, to make life a bit easier. I shower at night when the baby is asleep. I wash bottles as soon as I get home and once they’re dry, fill them for the next day and rinse my collection bottles so those too are ready for the next day. I leave a few extra cloth diapers at daycare each day so that it’s never too much of an emergency if we don’t get a full wash ready. We bought even more wetbags so that odds are always good one of them is in decent enough shape to be sent to daycare. I wash diapers as soon as I get home so the covers can dry overnight. My husband is on baby duty in the morning so I can get dressed as he’s getting baby ready for a big day. And even with all these shortcuts, there are still not enough hours in the day.
I work because mentally and emotionally I know I need to, not because of the money. I know we’ll get over this hurdle, but it seems like just another giant mama leap into the world of being a first time parent. I can’t wait until we’re past this hump and more transitioned.
One of my favorite things to do is cook and bake. I love trying new recipes and coming up with my own recipe. I can remember growing up that my mom loved her Betty Crocker Cook Book. She had I spent endless hours in the kitchen. My parents honestly taught me everything I know about cooking and I really am thankful for that.
Lately I have been on a baking spree. The kids and I have been baking treats at least three times a week. Just a few weeks a go the church we attend had a family fun day that included a cake walk. I signed up to make a cake for it, when I dropped it off the lady that took it commented on how good it looked, I told her it was really easy to make and she asked what mix it was. I said not a mix, it was made from scratch, including the frosting. This lead into a rather long conversation on how baking from scratch was so hard and she just does not know how I do it. Needless to say this blog post has been inspired by that conversation.
Posted 11-11-2010 at 03:14 PM by admin
We used to say our dogs were like our kids, but now that we actually have a child, it’s pretty clear that they are not the same thing (I’m very thankful to not have to cloth diaper a 60 lb bulldog, among other differences). But we have three dogs – two bulldogs and a smaller French bulldog, with their own unique personalities and habits. Henry was our first who we adopted at 10 months old because he’d been tortured by young children in the family. Annie was a rescue and has a heart of gold, and Eddie we got as a puppy and two years later acts like a puppy with ADD. We worried about how a baby would affect them and how’d they do together.
I began my mothering career by being at home full time for the first six weeks of my daughter’s life. Six weeks and five days after her birth, I returned to my full time weekday and part time Saturday job with breast pump and tissues in tow. I continued this journey for the next 17 months until I was pregnant with my second child and taken off of work at 32 weeks gestation due to pregnancy complications. My daughter was 18-months-old at that time and I felt as though I had missed all of her infancy. We spent the next 8 weeks cuddling and playing to make up for the time spent apart, finally with me as a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM).
While I was pregnant, a few people cautiously warned me that some friendships wouldn’t endure motherhood. I had no doubt they were right, but sort of put it in the back of my mind, thinking I’d cross that bridge when it was in front of me. As it turns out, the bridge was crossed within days of my son’s birth.
Sadly, there are friends who no longer return my calls, who no longer want to hang out with me unless the baby’s at home. They don’t acknowledge his presence or ask how he’s doing – they ignore him. And while I don’t understand it and want to question it, I don’t. I’ve always felt so obligated to do everything in my power to save a friendship since I so strongly feel the urge to be able to walk away from a friendship with the sense that I have given it my all and that its failure is not due to a lack of effort on my end but something bigger and deeper. I hate abandoning friendships, I hate having to walk away, but that’s a decision I have to make if the relationship is no longer healthy for me. Because in the end the decision is simple: if you don’t love my child, you don’t love me.
Some friendships have become even more amazing since my son’s birth; for a few people, I’ve seen a new and amazing side to them. I love that there are people who can shed their friendship and love on both me and my son; these are the people who genuinely make me feel like our lives are richer, healthier, and more wonderful because they’re in them. His face lights up when he sees these people. They ask to hold him and cuddle him like he’s their own.
New friendships have grown because of my son, too, and I’m incredibly thankful for those. I love having like-minded mamas and papas in my life. I love having people with babies my son’s age to share our experiences with. So I guess in the end if I’m short a few old friends it’s ok because I’m ahead a lot of love from new ones.
Posted 11-2-2010 at 06:49 PM by Mom2Finn
I am not that kind of shopper. I do not go to department store sales. I do not hit the malls the day after Thanksgiving. I prefer to order things on the internet. I do not like searching, or crowds.
Then I had a baby and lost my income. This was a perfect storm of events that have turned me into a crazed consignment sale shopper.
I hadn’t even heard of consignment sales before I got pregnant. I was in a baby store, looking at adorable but ridiculously expensive baby clothes when a woman sidled up to me and said “Don’t buy them here…you should go to a consignment sale…” Then she whispered a website address at me (www.thebargainwatcher.com) and was gone. It was all very “Mission Impossible.”
Last year's Halloween - $5 costume!
I went to my first one that weekend and I was HOOKED! It was amazing – everything I was looking for, and at a tiny fraction of the price it would be new. I started buying everything for Finn at those sales and I haven’t looked back since.
At first it was so easy – I needed everything and I wasn’t picky. So no matter what time I got to the sale I found tons of stuff to buy. As Finn has gotten older, though, I have become more and more particular about what I was looking for. This year I was dying for a tall car garage with ramps. We had seen it at a friend’s house and Finn had played with it for hours. I went to sale after sale. I started showing up earlier, even waiting in line for them to open. I was setting my alarm for Saturday morning – the one day my husband watched Finn so I could sleep in. I was suspiciously eyeing the other women – they were all after my garage!
I’ll admit, I was in the throes of an obsession. But I finally found the garage (for eight dollars!) and it was totally worth it. I now understand all those other shoppers and the thrill of the hunt.
These clothes might be used...but I still look good!
I am that mom that responds to every compliment about what my son is wearing with “Thanks! The whole outfit only cost $1.50!” Of course, when I sat down to sort out his winter clothes I realized that he had about 20 pairs of pants. It’s just so hard to resist buying them at a dollar a pair.
So, I recommend consignment sales to every mom – great deals at great prices!