Friday, September 7th, 2012
We went over to our good friend Jenn’s house the other day. She has a great camera and we went a little crazy capturing the consistent happiness and playful personality of the little dude. God, I just want to eat him. He is delicious…and dare I say, actually pretty?
When he was born I wrote about his almost elfish personality. I even took a picture of his pointy ear. Well, the ear is a normal round shape now, but I still think his personality is all elf. In a mischievous, playful, delightful way.
At 7-months, he is sitting up on his own.
Sorry, can’t resist. Gotta put one of Fia here with her best friend, Grover…
And her best friend Aggie. Fia loves big girls!
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Monday, August 13th, 2012
Last weekend Phil was away. I don’t have help on the weekends. I was by myself with both babies.
Here’s the scene:
Up at 6 a.m. Throw Emmett on the boob. Park Fia in front of Super Why
. Make coffee. Get Fia breakfast. Switch to Sesame Street. Let Emmett roll around on the carpet while I supervise and sip coffee (2 minutes of quality time). Feed cat. Emmett poops. Explosively. Put Fia in her high chair with a coloring book and bathe Emmett. Then feed him again. Fia starts to whine for eggs. Put Emmett in the swing and make eggs. Plop eggs in front of Fia. Emmett starts to fuss. Pick him up. He poops again…a crazy amount. I am covered. In sh-t. I keep Fia locked in her high chair and give Emmett a sink bath. Put him back in swing, go change my clothes. Fia is finished. Begins to throw crayons. I am so happy she earned herself a time out, because for those 2 minutes I take my Lexapro, my Wellbutrin, and debate a shot of tequila.
I look at the clock. It is 7:30. Well f–k me.
At that moment, standing in my kitchen, dripping with sweat and both babies screaming, I had a complete and utter revelation. NO MORE GUILT. Divine Intervention of the Non-Guilty Mom spoke to me.
I’m totally going to “out” myself here. I have full-time help and a part-time job. Not even. I’m a freelancer. I even have a night nurse a few times a week. It was almost every night in the beginning (I’d pump and bring her the bottle.) With Fia, I lost my mind with lack of sleep. It was so stressful for all those around me; I decided with Emmett I would do things differently. I would take my therapist’s advice and throw money at the problem. Lots of it. I could have sustained a village in Africa. Maybe two. Instead, I’ve sustained my mental health. And my marriage.
Up until now I’ve been afraid to fully confess. I’ve been nervous about the backlash from moms who will say I’m indulgent, that I’m not taking care of my kids, or even the “extremists” saying, “Why did you have kids if you’re not going to raise them?” Because here’s the thing: I am raising them and I now know I am doing a far better job with hired help than I could ever do on my own.
I shouldn’t have to justify this, but before I go further here’s why I have a full-time nanny: with Cleo in my life, I can pick and choose which child I want to be with. I can get quality time with both. That is key. But, I can also go to the bank, the grocery store, the nail salon and get a massage, all without carting a kid around. I can pay bills without sticking Fia in front of the TV. And blog. Added bonus: Cleo sometimes cooks for us. I still feel like I have zero time and I practically have a staff. Yet I often battle the demons of guilt. Shouldn’t I just plow through this on my own and be with my kids every hour that I can?
First of all, carting my kids to the store isn’t quality time. But now I think holding down the fort alone with your kids isn’t quality time either. For me, it was about keeping them alive. It was S-U-R-V-I-V-A-L.
Yet, my battle is constant: When I’m not with them, I feel like I should be. When I am with them at my house with the to-do list staring me in the face, I think of everything else I have to do.
While I’m at it, here’s another confession: I don’t love to “play.” As in, sit on the floor and build blocks or have a tea party. I love watching Fia play though. I like to see the creative way she invents characters or stacks things. But pretending to pour tea over and over again? Honestly? I get bored.
So what I’ve done is carve out specific mornings and afternoons that Fia and I “do” things. We ride the kiddie train near our house, go on playdates to waterparks, museums, whatever. But usually it’s somewhere outside of the house. To me, that’s where I find my quality time with her.
Granted, throughout my solo-parenting day, we did have 9 more minutes of pure fun at home. Fia and I were watering the lawn and she took the hose and squirted me. A mini water battle ensued. We chased each other around laughing. Emmett was taking one of his 20-minute cat naps (which is about all I ever get). “Ahh, see I’m doing it,” I thought to myself. “This is what the full-time moms get.” But then she fell, screamed for a Band-Aid, Emmett woke up arching his back (ready to release 11 more fart bubbles), and the moment was gone.
So why do I feel guilty for having help? Without it, I wouldn’t have quality time. Or maybe I would for a mere 11 minutes per day. Hardly enough to justify the guilt.
Sometimes I envy the full-time working moms because they can totally justify their nannies or daycare. Other times I envy the SAHMs (Stay-At-Home-Moms) who I picture doing this in an orderly way. I think I fall in this in-between area and perhaps that is where my guilt comes from. Or used to come from.
But ever since my revelation last weekend, I am trying to stop second-guessing how I raise my kids and just feel lucky I have this luxury.
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daycare, full time help, guilt, guilty, infant, milestone, milestone monday, milestones, mom guilt, nanny, newborn, night nurse, playdate, quality time, sahm, Sesame Street, Super Why, tv, working moms | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Milestone Monday, Mom Situations
Monday, January 2nd, 2012
Author’s Note: Join me every Monday as I share Fia’s ongoing milestone (mis)adventures–from potty training to talking to everything in between. Mayhem and mischief guaranteed on Milestone Monday!
Eating her Arm, While Distracted by Computer. Whatever Works!
I think we’ve turned a food corner. I’ve written a few posts about how frustrating it is to feed Fi
. And how I’ve just given in to Sesame Street. She watches while I shove food in her mouth. But lately–dare I say–it’s been getting better? In fact, the TV is rarely on when she eats.
Let me first back up: A few days before our move to LA in October, I took Fia to the pediatrician. I thought Wayne had accidentally scratched her eye, though nothing too severe (apparently a corneal scratch will take a 500-pound man to his knees, fyi. She was just a little whiny and occasionally would point to her eye and say “hurts”). Turns out, her eye was fine. But while I was there, the pediatrician asked about some other things, including Fia’s eating habits. I love Dr. Gold because she is a straight shooter. And her advice seems pragmatic.
I proudly told her our television was in transit and how I’ve turned to circus performing during meal times. I dance, I sing. I do anything to distract and shove food in. But I don’t turn on the television. This seemed a huge milestone to me. She shook her head. Uh-oh, I thought.
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circus performance, distraction, eating, Elmo, food, food dilemma, meals, mealtime, milestone monday, Pediatrician, Sesame Street, television, toddler television, toddlers, Wayne, Wayne Sanchez | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Milestone Monday
Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
Okay, technically her first Halloween was last year, but this is the first time she trick or treated. We went to this great street nearby in Silver Lake, where they close off traffic and the homeowners go all out with decorations, themes, etc.
Fia was Abby, from Sesame Street. But to be diplomatic, she carried an Elmo basket.
She didn’t understand that once you put the candy in your basket, you get to keep it. So at every house, she tried to give her candy back. Was really sweet actually.
We managed to do the whole block and get back home in less than 45 minutes, which was perfect for bedtime. And, it was a beautiful night. What a treat for us. We barely dodged that winter storm in New York. I hear some places in New Jersey had to cancel Halloween. Boo—Hoo.
Show me your pictures everyone. Want to see!
With Daddy and Grandma
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Elmo Halloween Basket Or Babushka?
Thursday, October 20th, 2011
We haven’t had television for a week. Internet is about to be disconnected. I feel like Laura Ingalls. Or, since we have running water and electricity, perhaps a better analogy is a squatter. We’ve been camping out in a nearly empty apartment for days now.
The upside to this is without the televison, I think we are starting to break the Sesame Street Addiction. Usually we put her in her high chair to eat and she immediately says “Waatchhh” (heavy emphasis on the “ch”.) I point to the spot where the TV was and say, “Baby, there isn’t a TV there anymore.” Now Fia runs a tough bargain. She knows I’m telling her the truth, but still doesn’t like it, so she starts to fake wail, as if I’m strangling Ernie before her very eyes. This is where my circus performance kicks in (just wrote about it). I’ll try anything to distract her and I’m finding usually it works. The price I pay is sheer exhaustion from it all. But I think this is good. She can’t always associate eating with Elmo, right?
There was a recent study just published about allowing children under 2 watch TV. The American Academy of Pediatricians has stated that no benefits have been found. Maybe that’s true. Maybe Fia would have learned to count to 12 (in English and Spanish) and recite the ABC song from us reading more books to her. But she has learned those things from her fuzzy furry friends like Elmo and Oscar. And I don’t begrudge them, or myself for it. Sometimes I need a break. Or the easy way out. Call me a weak mom. Or a realistic one.
This doesn’t mean I’m proud of her TV addiction, especially when it comes to mealtimes. But I don’t think I’m causing life long problems either. Sometimes the path of least resistance makes sense. To a point.
We have to stay in a hotel for a few nights in LA while our house is getting ready. I know she’ll see the tv and try and hold out for Sesame. But I’m going to try my best to stick to my guns. And once we’re in the new house, I plan on feeding her as much as possible outside in her highchair. I am hoping all the scenery that nature provides will trump her favorite furry friends. Stay tuned!
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eating, food, food dilemma, internet addiction, moving, moving to LA, sesame, Sesame Street, sesame street addiction, television, tv, tv addiction | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Moving to Los Angeles, Must Read