How being a SAHP is just like any other Job

Contrary to what the movies may show, and what some may believe, most SAHP’s (Stay At Home Parent) don’t lie around in their PJ’s all day eating junk food.  Being a SAHP is work.  Often times it’s HARD work.  Here’s 10 ways it’s just like any other job.

Coworkers:  In this case, your kids.  The people you spend 8+ hours a day with, in most cases you see them more than anyone else you know.

Diapers: Whether you are wiping ass or kissing ass, it’s probably your least favorite part of the day.

Clean up: The never-ending cycle of fixing, re-doing, or re-starting every project your aforementioned coworkers screw up.

Lunchtime: An excuse to drink a beer in the middle of the day.

 Nap time:  The SAH version of a Sick Day. Which always flies by like you’re in a time warp.

Play dates: The SAH version of the water cooler.  This is where all the latest drama or news is exchanged with pretty much anyone who will listen to you complain about your coworkers.

Drama: If you think the office bitch is a drama queen, try spending an entire day home alone with a toddler.

Quitting time:  The last hour of the day before your SO get’s home slows down to turtle speed and seems to last FOREVER.

Mediation: Only in this case, you are the mediator and the 2nd party.  No middle man to help calmly solve the problem, so you usually end up giving in and your LO gets whatever toy or treat they threw a fit over to begin with.  Sometimes it’s just not worth the fight.

Overtime:  Being a SAHP means you don’t get to leave work or stop working after an 8 hour day.  Only you don’t get paid time-and-a-half.

So next time you start judging a SAHP, think about it first.  Is your job really harder than theirs?

Having a social child

My parents tell stories about me as a child.  Hiding under the chairs at social gatherings or church.  Clinging to their legs in the company of strangers, or even people I’d met but didn’t see on a daily basis.  My stranger-danger was always on high alert.  And being the older sister, I made sure to protect my little bro by keeping him hiding out right along side me.  It wasn’t until I was in high school and part of the Speech Team (kind of like a  competitive theatre team) that I started to come out of my shy-shell.  I just wasn’t created as a social butterfly.

We had friends of the family who’s kids were younger than me and far more outgoing.  Always talking to everyone and anyone.  Always the center of attention.  I never understood how they were that way, and just assumed it was because of their parents being social butterflies and passing that along to them.

Then J came along.  He’s almost 3 now (OMG) and he is the quintessential social butterfly.  Everywhere we go, he’s making conversation with random people.  He’ll ask strangers at the store what something is.  He wants to tell anyone in earshot about his favorite toy.  The clients that come into my office hear all about his adventures, or his small water bottles that Pop-pop bought just for him.  He’s a talker.  A sharer.  A little spit-fire.

I have no idea where he gets it from.  Me and the Hubs are not particularly outgoing – at least not to that degree.  J’s stranger-danger seems to be dangerously low at times though.

I love that he’s so trusting in a lot of ways.  His trust makes him outgoing and adventurous.  He has no boundaries for trying new things, meeting new people, sharing his story with the world.  His ability to easily and effortlessly put himself out there will help him all his life.

I try and keep all that in mind on the days where my parental worries kick in.  When I get anxious that all his trust will put him in a dangerous situation.  It’s an internal struggle.

C isn’t old enough to see her whole personality yet.  She loves to flirt with anyone that smiles at her, but she’s only now walking and is still fully focused on people she knows.  Guess we will see!

Hello small boobs: The end of my Nursing story

I nursed J until he was 14 months. I was also 5 months pregnant at the time.  (which is another story all together).  With him, I was ready to be done, and so was he.  It was uncomfortable, and just plain annoying when he would “nurse”.  There wasn’t really any benefit either of us were getting out of it at the end.  And when he slept through the night the first night I stopped nursing him, it was like divine intervention.  It was time, and probably had been for a while.

When C was born, I realized that nursing is hard even the second time around.  I didn’t have issues with my production, but a newborn is still a newborn.  They have to learn how to nurse, just like your boobs have to adjust to having a little one attached to them almost 24/7 for a while.  It’s an adjustment all around.  Even when you know how it’s supposed to work, it doesn’t make it any easier for the first few weeks.  It still hurt like hell for the first 2 weeks.

I planned on nursing C until, well I didn’t really have a length of time.  I figured it would be similar to what happen with J and that the right time would be obvious.  Turns out, it was only obvious to her!  The day after her 1st birthday, C came down with a cold.  The night she refused to nurse.  The next morning she also refused.  And at naptime, it was a no-go.  I figured it had something to do with her feeling not so great.  In the meantime I had to break out my pump.  While she wasn’t nursing a ton, she was nursing enough that my boob’s went back to feeling like they were going to explode by the morning time.  Did I mention I hate pumping?  I thought I was done with that!

After 48 hours of no nursing, I was really starting to doubt that C was ever going to go back to nursing.  I kept up the pumping 1-2 times a day though, just in case.  One morning I got her to suck down 3 oz of pumped milk from a bottle…but that must have been a total fluke.  That was the last time she ever drank the magic milk.

The next day, I got a nasty virus that landed me with a 104 degree temp and in the ER for dehydration.  Turns out C being ready to stop nursing was right for both of us.  She moved onto drinking regular milk with no hitch, and I was able to take some much needed meds to get over the virus.

The sudden and unexpected, cold-turkey stop to it all left me a little sad though.  I wasn’t ready to stop nursing.  Not in the same was I was with J.  But, in the end, it all worked out.  Just goes to show that no one’s journey with breastfeeding is the same.  Every kiddo is different, and everyone’s struggles with breastfeeding – whether at the beginning, middle, or end – is relevant.

And now?  I’m remembering how little my boobs are when I’m not pregnant or nursing! Ha…

 

The “advice” trap

Ever wonder why parents – more likely, Mom’s – love to share their stories and struggles about their kids with anyone who will listen? Even complete strangers? Why mom’s tend to gravitate towards the many, many, many online parenting forums and Facebook groups?  I have fallen into this very habit in the last year or so, too.  Although lately I’ve had some thoughts as to why it happens to so many of us.

I’m not saying that these forums and groups are bad, at least not always.  They can be a great place for mom’s to release some steam, share their experiences, and look for advice on their own situations from other mom’s. Especially useful for those Mama’s out there who are first time moms, single moms, or who don’t have many other mama friends.  With the invention of the internet and chat rooms and blogs and Facebook, Mom’s now have a way to make connections with other mothers, and find support where otherwise they may struggle.

But, the downfall I’ve found is that often times we all fall into this kind of trap, where upon trying to find a safe place to talk about our experiences, we put our entire lives out there.  We air all of our dirty laundry to complete strangers.  We feel safe in knowing that we don’t actually know any of these people, so we share far too much about our personal lives.  In doing this we open ourselves up to judgment and ridicule from the very people we were asking for support.  More often than not, I’ve seen someone’s post be misconstrued for sarcasm, or venting be misinterpreted as a cry for help beyond the obligatory “I feel your pain, you’ve got this” response.  Suddenly, your safe place is no longer that.  Even if 90% of the responses you get are positive and encouraging, the other 10% will make you feel like crap.  Your little irony about how expensive baby food is suddenly becomes a soapbox for all the “DIY” mom’s, somehow shaming you into feeling as if you are doing the worst thing for your kid by buying off the shelf instead of making everything from the organic-home-grown garden you should have.

So back to the question of why.  Why do us moms feel that we need the validation from other moms? Why do we tend to ask complete strangers questions about our own flesh and blood?  Why do we rely on others to make us feel like we are being good parents?

I have no flippin idea.

I do know that we all tend to fall into this trap at some point or another.  We all want to feel validated.  We all want our opinions, experiences, and know-how to be important and valued.  We want to feel like we know what we are doing, and that our trial and error can, and will, help someone else.  Truth be told, none of us know what we are doing.  We are all walking around with our eyes closed, trying not to run into the walls.  We are all struggling to find our way as parents.  And, maybe, trying to find this validation from others will shed some light.

Potty Training 101 – aka: reality is crap

It’s been about 2 weeks since we entered into the serious phase of Potty Training our 2/5 yr old.  Let me just say, I taught preschool/toddlers for 5 years.  Somehow I missed out on the full-on potty training involvement though.  Just like everything else with parenthood, it’s never the same until YOU are the parent and YOUR kid is the one who’s wet undies you are obsessed over keeping dry.

We’ve known the potty training phase was on the horizon for a while.  But with the little bit of knowledge I do have on the subject, I knew we were NOT going to rush it.  Boys are notorious for being hard to train.  Like their older counter-parts, little boys seem to have some control issues with regards to the potty…if my hubby’s 20 min poop sessions are any example.

Now that J is getting closer to the big 3, school suggested that we push a little harder so that he could move into the big kid room.  (BTW – suddenly realizing your LO is getting older NEVER gets easier.  I will be crying every year or more for the next eternity).  We already had the little potty set up in the bathroom.  He’d managed to use it a few times randomly since we got it.  One time about a week after we bought the potty, J pooped in it all on his own! Hooray! Except that I was in the shower at the time.  Lovely to jump out of the shower with your hair still soapy so that you can wipe a tiny ass before poop ends up all over the bathroom.

Now that we’re a couple weeks into the “serious” training, J has pretty much got it.  And my pretty much, I mean that he gets it when he wants to.  He held it for almost 4 hours when we went to the zoo the other day (phew) but then peed 2 times in an hour this morning within 5 feet of the potty.  Yay parenthood.  Guess we aren’t done with wet pants and laundry every other day yet!  Not that I had any misgivings about potty training.  I expected there to be an ebb and flow.  But at some point I’m going to get really tired of pee on my…well everything. On another note, we totally should have gotten furniture covers when we started this journey.  Turns out J’s favorite place to pee his undies is while sitting in Daddy’s favorite chair. LOL.

Really though, he’s doing so great.  Such a smart little boy with such a strong spirit.  He’ll get it 100% soon enough.  For now, we’ll deal with the accidents and slight pee smell in our house, and love him all the same.