Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Some truths from a SAHM

Let me start off this post by saying I love my job as a stay-at-home mom. I am so thankful for the opportunity to stay home and watch every moment of their little lives. I thank God each and every day for allowing me this opportunity as I know how quickly children grow.

Ever since I can remember there were two things I knew I wanted to do in life. The first was to be a teacher, and the second was to be a mother. I am the youngest of seven children and from a very traditional family. We were fortunate enough to have our mom at home with us and I can’t imagine growing up any other way.

When Ryan and I learned that we were expecting our first child, Eli, there wasn’t really any question whether or not I would stay home or return to teaching. We both agreed it was important to have a parent at home, and we knew that financially we’d be okay.  I could not wait to have Eli and to stay home with him. I could not wait to stay in my pjs all day if I wanted to, wake up at a decent time rather than 5 AM, run to the mall whenever I wanted, no meetings, no long commutes, exercise when I wanted, etc, etc. In all my daydreaming, I never thought how hard it would be to stay-at-home. Don’t misunderstand me, I knew very well that being a Mom was the hardest job in the world, but what possibly could be hard about staying home all day and doing whatever and whenever you want to.  

Again, please don’t interpret this post as me complaining or being ungrateful. I LOVE my current job and would not have it any other way. BUT….there are things I never realized I would feel as a SAHM and thought I’d share.

  • ·      Some days I get lonely…very lonely. I have an amazing husband, family, friends, and two beautiful sons, but during the day it is just myself with the boys. From 8 AM until 5:30-6 PM, I am the only adult in the house.  I am the only one who can change dirty diapers, wipe noses, pick up toys, hand out snacks, feed meals, stop tantrums, tie shoes, say “no”, etc, etc. There isn’t anyone telling me “Great job, Sarah with that wipe up” or “Wow…you really handed that situation well!” Sure, I talk to Ryan, my mom, sisters during the day, but for the majority of my day, there is nobody to have a conversation with. (sorry Eli…I do love our talks about trucks and soccer balls!)
  • ·      There are no breaks. Yes, the boys take a good 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon, but this is the time I use to do all the boring stuff around the house. There is always laundry to be done, dishes to be washed, floors to clean, dinner to prepare, etc. I always make time for lunch during this time and sometimes a blog post, but for the most part I do not sit down. This is partially my fault. I chose to do all of this myself. I feel that if Ryan is the one who is going out and making money everyday, the least I can do is do the dishes and fold the clothes. If I asked him to help, he would, but I try not to. After naps I’m back on duty until bed time, which can be as late as 9:00. It’s a long day!
  • ·      I miss learning and challenging myself. Sure, raising a 2 year old is challenging, but more of a challenge with my patience rather than my mind. I miss having the challenge of teaching fractions to 20+ nine year olds or the challenge of getting ESL students to write a personal narrative. I miss learning about the latest research on best practices or figuring out how to reach a student who just doesn’t understand. I miss stretching my mind each and everyday to decide what’s the best plan to teach what’s on the agenda for the day. I even miss the dreaded drop-in observations from the principal, which kept me on my toes.
  • ·         Some days you just don’t feel like being the mom. Very rarely, I wake up not feeling like myself and would like to call in sick. Some days I would like to use a “personal day,” but this is not an option. Some mornings I think “if I can just sleep another 30 minutes, I’ll be good to go!” But then I keep hearing “MAMA…MAMA!!” and know that I have to get up NOW.
  • ·      There is no “clocking out!” Just because they go to sleep, doesn’t always mean they’re down for the count. Often times, there is a bad dream or tummy ache that requires middle of the night attention.
  • ·      I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been to the mall. Children do not enjoy shopping, so those images of me running to the mall whenever I wanted to are out the window. And for that matter…it’s not really about what I want to do at all. My day revolves around what they want to do.
  • ·      I actually miss dressing up for work. I never thought I’d say that, but I do.

There. It’s out. 

There are very few days that I feel like I want to return to the ‘workforce’, but they do happen. Most days though are spent laughing with my boys and enjoying every second. I do not regret for one second that my days are all about them. 

Eli and Miles make my heart melt. 
They make my heart smile. 
They make me proud to be their mom.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Anybody out there?

Are there any mom's out there that are actually reading this?? (other than my family and known followers) If you actually enjoy reading these posts and are not a current follower, I'd love to hear from you. Please comment below and let me know if I should keep posting.


Monday, August 15, 2011

The Diaper Bag

Making sure you have everything you might need when out and about is crucial to the success of your outing. I find it easier to leave the diaper bag in the car at all times (unless I bring it in to restock it). That way if you decide last minute to run somewhere, you don't have to run around the house for 10 minutes looking for all the things you might need for your little one. Here is what I always have in our diaper bag. (Note: I have a 2 year old and a 8 month old)

Contents of diaper bag:

About 5 diapers for each boy (diapers take up a lot of space so I put them in a gallon size ziplock bag to keep them nice and flat)
An extra outfit for baby (I don't carry one for Eli these days)
Burp cloth(s)
Pacifiers (mine never liked them, but if they did, I would keep multiple in my bag!) 
**special treat that Eli normally would not have (such as candy) for those emergency situations** (aka bribery!) 
I nurse Miles, but with Eli, I would keep one of those containers where you can store the formula

If I know we are going to be out for awhile I will put in extra things for Eli that will keep him entertained. I always find it helpful to get everything ready as far in advance as possible, so you aren't rushed when it comes time to leave. Last week we went to the pool for a few hours with some friends and I made sure I had everything ready the night before. It was a lot of stuff to take and would have caused me to be late (which I hate) if I hadn't gotten everything organized ahead of time. 

It sounds like a lot, but it really isn't. I hate having a heavy diaper bag (Miles is heavy enough) so I really try not to cram a lot in there. Only the necessities.  When I see that I'm running low on something I will bring the bag inside, fill it back up, and take it back out to the car before I forget! 

Obviously it takes more time to get out the door with a baby, but if you plan ahead of time, you can still get to places on time with no problem! It just takes a little organization! 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Baby Wise Depicted

If you've been following my blog since the beginning, then you know that I am a fan of Baby Wise. If you want your baby to sleep through the night at an early age...READ it!! I get so tired of hearing people say "you're so lucky" in reference to how much my children sleep. Believe me...it took A LOT of work!!

I thought I'd go through some of Baby Wise's main principals and give my two-cents. I will go through the book over the next couple of weeks.

**Did you know that parents have the greatest influence on their children's ability to sleep?? Babies have to be TAUGHT how to sleep. YOU are their teacher!! (Ezzo, 43) Ezzo states that there are several facts that will help you to obtain this.**

  • (1) You MUST follow the eat, play, sleep pattern. If you take nothing else out of this book or this entry, do this step!! It is so important that your baby associates eating with waking up and not falling asleep. If your baby is not wide awake when taking in a feeding, they will take in less and wake up more. It's your responsibility to instill this patten into their little bodies. 
  • (2) When your baby is fed according to a schedule, (more later) their hunger pattern will stabilize. (Ezzo, 48) Their body will establish a hunger metabolism that is stable and predictable. They will build their sleep around these times. If you feed your baby whenever they want to, they will become confused and will not develop a routine at all. NOTE: It does not state anywhere in the book to starve your baby. If you are trying to work on a routine, but your baby is starving an hour earlier, then feed him/her. You should never not feed your baby, but babies learn quickly, and if they are given the option to eat every time they cry, they will take advantage of that.  If your baby cries before the 3 hour mark, test all your options before offering him milk first. Will he be smoothed by a pacifier? What about your finger? What about walking him around or just talking to him? If nothing else works and you know he is truly hungry, then by all means FEED him!! 
Eli was an easy baby from day 1. He never cried and pretty much set his own schedule. He was a huge sleeper without me having to train him. Miles came along and started off amazing, but then developed a sensitivity to dairy and all heck broke loose. He was only sleeping for 45 minutes and then would wake up screaming mad. I knew he was still tired as he could barely keep his eyes open when I'd get him out of bed and he'd fall back to sleep in my arms for an hour. It took several weeks to get him trained. It was exhausting, both physically and mentally, but I knew that he had to learn. He went from sleeping 45 minutes and waking up screaming mad, to sleeping 2-3 hours and waking up as happy as can be. He started sleeping longer at night as well. He is on a 4 hour schedule and wakes up almost on the dot to eat. He knows that when he wakes up, he eats. (except for his last feeding of the night in which he goes straight to bed). I don't believe that some babies just aren't sleepers. Believe me, if you were around when Miles was about 3/4 weeks old, you would never believe that he is the sleeper he is now. It takes time and patience. Be strong... you can do it!  You will be thrilled when your child is sleeping 8+ hours at 8 weeks! It is possible!!