Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The New Crawl (aka The "Igor")

C's crawl has evolved from the Wounded Soldier to the Igor.  (She actually can crawl the old fashioned way, but she doesn't do it very often)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 11, 2012

I Am A Working Mom

Ok, this is not going to be a popular post.  I don't  like the idea of pitting granola mom against Gerber mom, or PBS mom with Nick Jr. mom, and all that crap.  Do your best, the kid is probably going to need therapy either way...no one is perfect, yadda, yadda, yadda.  I know quite a few SAHMs (Stay At Home Moms) considering I didn't know they really existed when I was young and it was just the TV moms that stayed at home.  Some moms don't WANT to be SAHMs, some moms can't for whatever reason, and a lot of my teacher friends do it one way during the year and do the SAHM thing during the summer.  I personally would love to be a SAHM, and really loved the time I was home with C for the first eight weeks, and on our recent "staycation" together.  Maybe it's because I didn't try to conquer the world while I did it or try to be a lady who lunched, but I enjoyed it.  It wasn't a walk in the park (wait, it actually literally WAS for an hour or so a day) and I was legitimately tired by the end of the day.  Loads of laundry I had my eye on never left the bedroom floor, recipes  laid unmade, a nap schedule never quite found its way into our home as I planned.
I will admit though, I do take offense to the following phrase, and phrases like it:
"All Moms are Working Moms"
I'm sorry (no I'm not) but there is a difference between being a mom who also has a job outside of the house and one that doesn't.  Some of the differences are to my benefit.  I can make my breaks line right up with the times that I have to use the bathroom - and therefore I use said bathroom without getting a gyno exam by a 10 month old who is hanging onto my panties for dear life while trying to get her sea legs.  I don't have to share 1/2 of my lunch by ripping it into un-chokable pieces.  There are semi-long periods of quiet and some of the demands on me are articulated in discernible English. But this is all while I do my job.  My job (as discussed with an over-intellectual friend who happens to agree with me) is something that has to be done, but other people don't want to do, so they give me money to do it.  Parenting is a decision I made, something I wanted - always wanted - and that I love.  A labor of love, but love - unpaid love - nonetheless.  Unemployed-Americans that have dogs, or a house, or other elective responsibilities would be regarded as asinine if they professed to actually have a job even if they didn't get paid.  Yes, there is value in walking a dog and in caring for, cleaning, and maintaining a house.  There is value in providing childcare too, but when you are at home with your own child it is just different.
When I leave for work in the morning I feel guilt that I am not taking care of my baby.  I have the best of all possible childcare and C barely notices that I leave, but I am keenly aware that Monday through Thursday, between 8a.m and 5p.m. I won't be pointing out the color of things on our walks or holding her hands and she does endless laps up and down the hallway.  Not surprisingly, if I leave that laundry, or those bills, or healthy ingredients home when I am away - they don't wash, bake, prepare, and pay themselves.  I don't always come home to a clean, well rested, nutritionally loaded child with whom I can just sit lovingly with and read educational materials until it's time for her to drift off into a peaceful sleep. (Ha ha, get it? - Sleeping like a baby?! Really? Lame phrase)  In the morning, things don't go according to her little internal clock.  I'm pretty sure if I stayed home I wouldn't have to compromise and let her use the toilet as her indoor water table so that I could straighten my hair and apply some blush, or at the very least brush my teeth (because that's a good example right? Double Whammy) within the allotted 2 hours we have together in the morning.
And another thing...Mr. is an amazing dad - truly amazing, but if anyone believes that if both parents work, then they are even-steven in the parenting - well, it's just not true.  As a general rule, mom is the project manager of baby land.  I keep track of what C has and has not eaten and has and has not reacted to.  I make appointments and notes on what to ask at the appointments.  I adjust the amount of formula and obviously the breastfeeding schedule.  I notice when we need different stimulation with different toys.  I decide on her swimwear and know if she's taken tylenol or put on sunscreen.  I don't know when my car's next oil change is...but I do know some very detailed information about what the last poopy diaper looked like.  Maybe it's a control thing to make up for not being with her all the time.  Maybe it's nature or maybe it's how I was raised -but I know as far as the moms I know go, this is the norm.
So, there you have it, as challenging as being a SAHM is, in my opinion it is not being a working mom.  Why not just be proud of what you are and not trying to make it into something else? Why isn't not having a job for the sake of being your child's exclusive caretaker acceptable? Why, just because we now supposedly have the "right" to do it all, do we beat ourselves up when we chose a few things to give our all to?
Ok, rant over.
Nothing to do with the post, but these kids are awesome!
On a lighter note, I'm now 33 (and 3 days).  So far it's just as awesome as 32 was and 31.  30's rock so much more than 20's.  I can only assume I'll glow in the dark or have some other awesome super power by my 40's!