Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The daycare dichotomy! (An "Adventures in Mom-ing" post)

My Baby Pumpkin is now three! OMG!! She started a new "school" (she now goes somewhere that is "officially" a learning center so we say "school" instead of "daycare") a few weeks before her birthday. She was going to one place that we--her, me, my husband, and our parents--LOVED! She'd been going since she was about 13 months, at the suggestion of an aunt and my cousin who had sent her little one there! It was little Lady Belle loved it from the first time she stepped in the door...until...about a week before she stopped going. (I'll come back to this another time, maybe?!) Fast forward...we are about 3 or 4 weeks into her going to the new school and she loves it!! Again, we all do! Eden's daddy, me, her, and her grandparents...and her godmom and church friends and their parents! Just...errybody! Suffice it to say...where she currently goes ROCKS! (Shameless plug: send your 2 to 5 year old children to Kinder-Praise Learning's in Randallstown, MD! Tell 'em I sent you! Thank me later!!) But...sometimes drop-offs in the mornings still don't go so well. Whenever she has a "bad" drop-off (her, in tears proclaiming how she doesn't want to go to school and how "I want to stay at my house!") makes me sad...legitimately SAD, as in...I feel like I'm failing my child in some way! I feel like I have made a terrible decision! I wanna say "Who cares about work??" and just take the day off so she and I can go home, watch Home (again...for the, probably, 25th time...mind you, we just saw it for the 1st time in July or August), drink juice boxes and eat fruit snacks and chocolate ice cream! But...I remember that she's learning so much and that it's great for her socially and that we don't need any codependence around here! Oh...and that I need to work cuz...bills!

So, let me start back at the beginning! Before we got married, my husband and I tried our best to ask one another questions to ensure that we would be on the same page once we got married! One of those was the "To stay at home or not to stay at home?" (for me! More on THAT point in a minute). We both felt like "nah!". I didn't think I'd want to be a stay at home mom (SAHM)...and he didn't think he wanted his wife to be one. Well, a few weeks before we got married (I mean, literally about 2 or maybe even less)...I suddenly felt like, "Um...I changed my mind and I'd LOVE nothing MORE than to be a SAHM! Bring on the babies so Mommy can STAY HOME!" Well, I started to fret because I knew he'd said that he didn't want his wife to do so. Funnily enough (God is amazing!), he (my the time "husband to be", not God! LOL!) asked me again, like, a DAY after I realized that I had changed my mind. He goes "So, you don't want to be a stay at home mom, right??" I said, "Um...I actually think I do now! don't want me to be a SAHM, right??" His response "Um...I actually think I DO!" So we were both like "YES! Super! We'll discuss this more when the time comes!"

Fast forward to 18 months after saying "I do" and our little baby girl was born! OMG! I felt like "This is my real occupation! I don't know what they're gonna do at my job because I'm never going back!" I honestly never wanted to leave her side. (I literally cried the first time I separated from her. She was about 3 weeks old. My husband said "You've been with her this entire time. She hasn't left your side. I've gone church and the store and whatever. You can go out and do something. Maybe take an hour or so. We'll be OK!" I cried in the parking lot before I pulled off because I couldn't imagine going somewhere without her. I drove to the Wegmans in Hunt Valley. I LOVE WEGMAN'S!!!!! I texted when I got to the store. I texted when I was leaving the store. Mind you, I was only in the store about 30 minutes...and at the time, we lived about 20 minutes from there.) When I returned to work, she was staying at home with my husband. That made it a BIT easier to leave her...knowing that she was home with Daddy. But I still HATED to go! Then...he realized "Naw, I said YOU could stay home. It ain't for me!" So the baby stayed with my mother-in-law (MIL), then a friend's daughter (who loved our baby like her own...but she was pregnant and due soon!) So we looked for a daycare...and I was scared about it! Some STRANGER may be watching my baby! Oh gosh!! (My heart is beating NOW just thinking about if I am doing it now!) But we found the wonderful Ms. Meryl ( Smiles Daycare in's a home daycare! Tell her I sent you! You can thank me later!) She and her assistant the awesome Ms. Niecy (at that time, she's since gotten a new assistant) treated our baby like she was their granddaughter. But I STILL hated to leave her!

Where she goes now...all four of the awesome teachers LOVE the kids...even my little one who is a "newbie"...and she loves them! She really, really does! Even though she has tough drop-off some days, she NEVER wants to leave when it's time to go home! (That was true at her old daycare, too!) So I think that's a great sign! If she were to run screaming from the place, we'd have a problem! She learned so much at her old daycare!! And, she is learning a ton at her new school! But...on the days when she wants to stay home with me...I kinda want her to...just skip work and cuddle with my baby!! (But I need to work cuz we need to eat...and on my telework days, once I drop her off and get back home...I DO kinda do a lil dance cuz I have those hours 'to myself'...except, you know...for the whole WORKING thing! LOL!)

It's still my hope that by the time a second kiddo comes around, we'll be in the position that I can be a SAHM. (That entire sentence was faith in action...but more on that another time!) But...for now, I'll just keep hoping that drop-offs continue to get better and better... like earlier this week, my Pumpkin ran back to me before I left out...but only to give me a goodbye kiss before re-joining the kids for circle time (which includes praise and worship)?!!! So...even though I HATE to leave her, I know she's in good hands!! I've been very blessed in that way!

There are some moms who know "I can NOT stay at home full time!" And there are others who know "I can NOT leave my child's day to day care in the hands of ANYONE else!" Whatever your decision...just make sure it's right for you! And if you have to make an "in the meantime" decision...make sure that you are still OK with that one, too!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Adventures in Mom-ing (1st post)

(I just re-read this and it is long! My bad!)
Hey all!!  It has been a LONG while since I have posted anything! In fact, I think the last time I blogged, my baby was almost 17 weeks...or something like that. And now...we are weeks away from her third birthday! Time flies! (Honestly...whether or NOT you are having fun, time zooms! Can we all agree on that?) In the time away from blogging, I have discovered something: I LOVE talking about all things motherhood! Partially because I LOVE being a mom (like, honestly...God is amazing and He really knows ALL things! He gave me THE BEST first child!!!!!!!!!!!) and partially because I think women need to know that there is support available...and that we are not alone, whether we love motherhood, loathe it or something in between! So, between talking to some friends who are also "new" mothers--they have children under three--and talking to some friends who are expecting (YAY, new babies!), I have decided to start blogging about my "Adventures in Mom-ing"! (As my intro to this blog states, I like to make up words! "Mom-ing" is one of them!) I will make an effort to post more, and not just about motherhood and all the UPS and DOWNS and all the UP-ish DOWNS and all the DOWN-ish UPS, but a good majority will probably be dedicated to raising this true "mini me" (in so many ways) of mine!

So, first...why that name for the motherhood posts? Well, for starters, I LOVED the movie Adventures in Babysitting as a kid! (If you don't know about this movie, we CAN'T speak until you watch it! Now...keep in mind, it's nearly 30 years old and I probably haven't seen it in 20! is the principle!) But I MOSTLY chose that name because, honestly, motherhood is CHOCK full of adventures of all kinds--ones that make you giddily happy, deeply sad, immensely proud, gravely disappointed, and every other emotion possible (and my baby is only 2!)! Some adventures are solely about me/my feelings/thoughts/experiences or outlook as a mom. Others are solely about my Baby Pumpkin, some great thing she did or said or some UN-great thing she did or said. Still others are a mix of both, what she said and then how it made me feel! Like I said, I want to talk about the good, the bad AND the ugly!

So...what is the first adventure? I went over and over, in my head, what to discuss first! Should it be the time I let my baby girl eat cookies for breakfast--relax, I think it was just ONE cookie and that wasn't the ONLY thing she had--or the more than one time she has left my mom's house with no bottoms on (because I have forgotten her bag of extra clothes...or i forgot to restock the bag!)? No...I can talk about those later! Should it be how she is already telling me what she wants to wear (and does NOT want to wear)? Plenty of time for those posts! My first adventure is about JUST that...the fact that this is MY adventure in mom-ing! In the recent past (as in...a few months ago), I came to realize that, although I did NOT think so, I was comparing myself to so many people around me...even as I shouted (internally and externally, figuratively and sometimes, well...) that this is MY child and I am HER mother and we'll do things according to what is best for us and our family...I was still asking certain questions to get validation for certain things I was doing or certain feelings I was having. For example, I am 37 and as previously stated, my Baby Pumpkin will be 3 in a few weeks. When I was getting ready to turn 3, my mom was heading towards her 27th birthday. She also had a newborn son. (As, my brother was born on June 11th and I turned 3 on July 3.) Also, when my mom turned 37, my brother and I were 10 & 13, respectively. Just keep that in mind as I make my point...I had been really tired in the recent past! (I realized I need to TAKE MY MEDS without EVER missing--more on that in another post, perhaps--and that I needed to get back into taking vitamins!) I started asking my mom if she was tired ALL THE TIME when we were younger. She said, basically, "Um, no!" So...I started off, to myself and in defense of myself, with the facts listed above. "She was TEN years younger than I am when I was 2 & 3." "When she was my current age, we were a teen and almost a teen!" I had this entire internal conversation, and it made me realize...I was comparing myself to my mom (like I had done with my mother-in-law, aunts, friends, celebs and whomever else!) But this is MY motherhood...and even if my mom (who was, and still is, a HECK of a mom) was not tired all the time, like I was doesn't matter...because that was HER experience! This is mine! I don't have to feel inferior because my mom had more energy than I did. At the end of the day, I am not my mom (or anyone else)! I knew that in so many areas of my life...but when I became a mother, somehow I lost sight of the fact that comparing myself to anyone else is pointless! Of course I want her advice (and my MIL's, my pastor's, and trusted friends)...but it IS OK to feel however I feel about MY motherhood AND all the happenings therein and thereof!

That's why I plan to blog about this that people can see it is OK to feel however you want! People won't always agree with my decisions, reactions or thoughts...but that's perfectly fine! This space, "Adventures in Mom-ing", is a place to come and see that it's OK if you had to nurse your baby while you were brushing your teeth or if you wanted to cry every time your baby cried when you brought him or her home from the hospital or if you DID cry every time he or she cried! It's OK if you feel like you have the smartest daughter on the planet (like I THINK) OR if you wonder if your son WILL actually grow into his hands & feet like you were told because you "feel some type of way" about having a child with big hands and feet! All are welcome here! Remember, this is a place for the good, the bad and the ugly! Please feel WELCOME!