Saturday, January 30, 2010

It's going to be a good day

How can it not be when I wake up next to this

Friday, January 29, 2010

Here's to all the Mothers Out There

I don't have the option of being a stay at home mom. I always kind of thought that's what I would do - my own mother stayed home with us and Chad's mom did too. That is what I know most well of being a mom and for some reason I just always assumed it is how it would be.

Instead, I went back to work when Dylan was 8 weeks old. At first I was thrilled to just to be able to get up, take a shower, and do my hair and makeup. It was really nice to get back into some adult interactions. I feel that my time at work makes me appreciate the time that I spend at home even more.

However, I also have trouble with the fact that I can't possibly give 100% at work anymore, and I can't possibly give 100% at home anymore. Just to give you a small idea of how much this bothers me, I used to be embarrassed that I got a 95% on a test instead of a 100%. So at work, when I have to say, "I can do that, but it will have to wait until next week", I feel embarrassed, and angry, and overwhelmed. Don't get me wrong - my boss is a wonderful and supportive woman. She always understands that I'm only one, sleep-deprived person and tells me that I'm doing a great job. So all of this is in my head, but it's troublesome nonetheless.

I have talked to my good friend who is the mother of a 3-year old, and she said just to accept it - it is natural and it will get better. But I can't help feeling like I'm at a critical juncture in my life, and I need to make a decision because something is very far out of balance. I don't want to give up my job - I've worked very hard to get here and I really care about what I do. I don't want to be exhausted and cranky all the time either. I don't want to hurt my relationship with my husband (who lets me come home on my stressed out days and cry on his shoulder, while he cooks dinner for me - good man!) and I don't want to miss out on time with my son. I feel torn - whether I work at home, or work in the lab, something is going to be missing.

I think this is a universal and SECRET dilemma in the circle of motherhood. No one tells you that, despite the wonder and awe of this time, finding a balance is going to be more difficult than you could ever imagine (or maybe I just didn't listen). Unfortunately, when I look online for ways to cope with it, I find a lot of competition: "working moms" versus "stay at home moms", "breastfeeders" versus "formula feeders", the list goes on and on. There are very few people that I feel I can truly talk to about this (thank you to everyone with whom I can be open - you are sanity savers!) I am often afraid to tell people that I use cloth diapers, and make my own baby food. Many women become defensive as if I am telling them they are doing something wrong by not doing the same as me. When the only other people on this Earth who can understand what we really are going through is other mothers, shouldn't we band together instead of forming two camps against each other? Why can't we realize that there is no perfect answer, there is no best way to do things? Why can't we openly share our way of doing things and see different choices as simply different, not wrong? Why can't it be enough that we are doing our absolute best to make our own circumstances work for our family?

In that spirit, I want to send a "shout out" to all the moms out there, who are making it work one day at a time. The mothers who, no matter how difficult it is to drag themselves out of bed in the morning, get up and make the best life they can for their families. To all the beautiful mothers who work their way up the corporate ladder, who work part time out of the house, who have to hold down two jobs to make ends meet, who start their own business, who stay at home, who home-school, and to anyone else whom I've missed...


Sunday, January 24, 2010

My First Baby

I just want to take a moment to praise my first baby. He is now 6 years old, and has played the role of friend, playmate, comforter and protector. Dre was used to a certain level of attention, which decreased a bit when Dylan was born. He has adjusted well. Though he still has his jealous moments, I couldn't ask for a better dog. He lets Dylan pull his ears and grab his fur, all the while just doing his best to lick the baby's fingers and face. He knows the difference between dog toys and baby toys, and has not yet chewed up one that doesn't belong to him. When I am rocking Dylan to sleep, he will come into the nursery and lay at my feet until the baby falls asleep. He has even invented a game that he and Dylan play together. While Dylan jumps in his bouncer and the little mirror attached shines light on the walls, Dre will chase the light and give Dylan a nudge whenever he stops moving.

Even though I can't pay attention to him as much as I used to, he still loves me and is there with an enthusiastic greeting when I get home. He does his best to protect our family, barking at even the slightest noise outside, and chasing anyone who comes too close to our property. I'm sure if they showed any aggression he would run away and hide, but he does his best nonetheless. He's such an integral part of our family and I hope he's as happy with us as we are with him.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Hustle and Bustle of the Holidays

Well the holidays are over. I have mixed feelings - I hate taking down the tree and decorations (that's why they didn't come down until January 15) but I love the calm after the storm. They seem to have flown by even faster than normal, and somehow in the middle of them Dylan went from 3 to 4 to 5 months old.

Thanksgiving was a week-long affair. We visited the Johannes' in NC the weekend before, spent the day with my family on Thanksgiving day, and with Chad's Dad that Friday. It was much nicer than Thanksgivings in the past where we would travel from Eldersburg, to Catonsville to Parkville trying to see everyone in one day.

Dylan had his very first "Cookie Day" experience. His Aunt Jenny has decided to bring back the dough making event the evening before, and hopefully next year we will bring back the tradition of getting Christmas trees before baking cookies. Some of my favorite memories from my childhood are associated with this tradition and I hope that we can make it as much fun for the new generation of children that will begin with Dylan and his cousin Paul who will be born in late March or early April of 2010.

The weekend before Christmas, Heather, Chip, Kylie and Kiersten came up to celebrate with all the family here in Maryland. The night after they arrived we had a blizzard that dumped 2 feet of snow on the area. We all went to MomMom's at the beginning of the storm to get snowed in together. Too bad Dylan wasn't old enough to go outside and go sledding with the girls! The next day we dug ourselves out and went to the Ravens game with Heather and Chip.
Dylan's first Christmas began a new tradition - Chad and I hosted Christmas morning. This was the first time that I had not been at my parents' house for Christmas morning, so that was difficult. But I think this new tradition is nice, and Dylan will get to spend that special time with all sides of his family. I have to thank my family for not buying many huge gifts for him. I know it is hard to pass by all the cute baby items, but our 672 square foot house can't hold much more! :)

There is so much to look forward to in this new year. We have babies to welcome, marriages to celebrate, and milestone birthdays to enjoy. I look forward to all these events, as well as the surprises the year holds in store.