September 4, 2012 § Leave a comment
Before we had our first baby I was determined to not fall into any of those petty parenting cliches. You know like complaining about how tired you are, how you wish your partner did that gender typical task they never did in the first place, how fast your baby is growing and all that other stuff that is fodder for family sitcoms. I wouldn’t have told you that, but somewhere in my brain I was so sure that I was better, more sophisticated, or somehow exempt from feeling those things. I didn’t think that parenting would be easy, but I didn’t think that I would turn into someone that talked about every detail of my babies sleep and bowel movements in great detail, all day long. I wouldn’t be as frustrated as those portrayals of parenting.
I thought that if I loved my baby, and wore her in a sling, and slept with her at night, and inticipated troubling transitions, and used positive reinforcement, and talked with her respectfully…
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t think that I was better than everyone else. I guess just thought that I was going to be so mindful, so educated and have so much time to focus my energy on being a stay at home parent that I could bypass the complaining and just gloat about how cute pudgy toes are and then discuss current events like a real adult.
It turns out that parenting is emotionally exhausting. Your baby turns into a preschooler when you look away and it’s damn hard being a parent and a partner. And then your little one cries on the first day of school and you feel responsible, for everything. Some days it’s hard to listen to your instincts and not second guess yourself. It feel contradictory to feel like you had a hard day when you wanted this job, and love being with your kids.
I don’t have any eloquent words to describe why it’s worth it and why I love being a parent and why I think we just might need one more baby. But it is. It’s worth it.
There is a lot involved in assuming and integrating your identity as a parent. At least it has been that way for me, and reading on the blogosphere I would guess for a lot of other people too. I’m sure it’s easier for some and harder for others. I thought that becoming a married person was an exciting and seamless transition into my identity. I didn’t get cold feet, or buyers remorse it just seemed natural.
And maybe that’s why I thought I would not be the mommy sitting around talking about how my kid is a stinker and my house is a disaster, still. I thought I was prepared. I thought that being a stay at home parent was the key to my happiness. I know you are laughing now. What was I thinking?
I love so much about staying home but I think I need something else in addition to maintain my balance. I’ve been feeling a little off and unable to find my grip. I’m going to venture into doing a very small amount of professional work and see where that takes me.
I think it’s part of falling off my high horse. It’s part of the journey of parenthood. And thank goodness for other mamas. Thanks to all you mamas out there. I’ve needed you these last few years.
February 5, 2012 § 1 Comment
Bug collects her favorite letters and deposits them around the house and I reflexively pick them up and snap them back on the fridge. Right now B’s and O’s are favored, I was recently accused of spelling boob amide the scramble of letters. When I need a little order in my life I organize things by color. We sing the alphabet song in a sweet lulluby voice at bed time. This sums up my life right now.
February 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
I started writing one note about each kid everyday this year. A funny quote, sweet moment, or milestone to remember.
I’ve managed to keep up and I haven’t missed a day yet. It has the added benefit of acknowledging and appreciating something small about the day before I go to bed. They say it takes 40 days (or is it 90 days?) to make a habit. I’ve never been very good about journling before but it seems easier to commit to this since it’s for me and later for the girls too.
January 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
Officially announcing to the Blogosphere our new little one, we call her little bear. Bug is a great big sister and we are enjoying new babyhood in our home again. The first month was a little rocky with 2 ER visits and a brief hospitalization for little bear but she is healthy and thriving with no lingering health problems that we know of. On top of that we had other surprises (like plumbing problems) and life changes (new job) at the same time and but the gray cloud of stress has lifted for me finally. Now my attention is kept busy with the busy life of a toddler and, I have to boast a little here, a happy and content baby that smiles and giggles all day long.
It’s emotionally challenging to raise two kids and it can be exhausting to meet the needs of two other people and still remember to eat and wear clean clothes in public. I worry about giving enough and the right attention to each child. I feel guilty when I don’t have enough time to do everything I want to do.
I had the kids Halloween costumes planned out before the birth, cowboy for Bug because she loves her Woody doll (side note: she has not seen Toy Story yet), and Mr. Potato Head regardless of gender for baby. In typical me style I waited untill the week of Halloween to start the costumes. In my defense I had just birthed a baby and the only piece I needed to sew was the vest. But then Little Bear and I spent the weekend in the hospital and we missed Halloween. Bug didn’t really know what she was missing but I grieved that I couldn’t be there with her, and finish her costume, and see the joy on her face when she understood this crazy tradgathering begging for candy door to door. In the end my mom finished Bug’s costume and had lunch with us in the hospital. Then we went trick-or-treating at my sisters house the next week. One house worth of candy was really enough anyway.
I never did finish the Mr. Potato costume so we put together some baby bee tights with a vintage dress and booties. Whalla! A vintage bee. I’m already making plans for next year. There will only be so many years when I will have the authority to make then cute costumes. All this is to say I actually feel like I’ve gotteof in the groove of parenting. Really. After two births, two kids, and two years, I feel more competent and more confident in my role than ever before. Somehow with a 3 month old and a toddler I feel more productive than I did a year ago with only one darling to keep up with.
Now I know the secret of those parents that actually sew things for their children, work from home, and brush their hair. They have babies that don’t need to be held all day long and nursed ever 40 minutes night and day, like our new Little Bear. It helps when your toddler enjoys fetching things for you and your husband is very appreciative too.
January 6, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’ve been waiting for this for a while now. I heard Bug’s little voice reading herself books on the potty while I cleaned up from dinner. The best part, she was reading “Doggies” by Sandra Boyton which cosists mostly of different dog barking sounds. It’s funny to hear her interpretation. There is always a lot of reading in our bathroom, but usually my presence is required for the pint sized visitors. New independence around every corner these days. This moment was sweeter than when she locked herself in the bathroom stall at Costco yesterday.
February 28, 2011 § Leave a comment
I feel like I have reached an all time creative lull. I still stay awake at night sometimes creating new projects and working out the logistics and spacial nuances of sewing a this or that. of course I also tend to go to bed, or want to, around 8pm these days. Every so often I
am woken up by Little Bug wake up with the energy to start bread. Baking is fairly creative although not so much when you are throwing things into a pot and calling it dinner. Finding coordinating outfits for Little Bug must be my other creative outlet right now, while I wake up Monday morning in the same shirt I wore Saturday afternoon. Our extra bedroom/ storage room san heat is not cutting it as a craft room. Really it’s so cold in there I contemplate entering to quickly retrieve an envelope out of a box.
Half of our belongings are still in boxes. All of the important things anyway including almost all of the books, fabric and other office/craft materials. I’m thinking about setting up a sewing station in the office/guest room closet. This closet is the same one Little Bug slept in for a while in a travel crib when she started transitioning out of our bed and we were still finishing the walls and ceilings upstairs. With 10′ ceilings and a window it is a very nice closet. I would have to move some things and find something to put the sewing machine on (piano bench?) and something to sit on (foot stool?). Or will I spend all of my time setting this up and then no time to sew?