Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Losing yourself

I don't really believe in losing yourself to motherhood. At least not anymore than you lose yourself to anything in life.

Let me clarify. As a fairly new mama there have been times when I've felt like I've 'lost myself.' But that usually happens when I start to think I'm meant for something super awesome. It's a classic grass is greener on the other side type thing. Granted this happens in my darker moments when motherhood feels decidedly not awesome. But I think this is a mistaken way of thinking. I am not the activities I enjoy, I am not knitting, running, reading, ultimate frisbee, or stout beer. These things are good and enriching but they don't make me who I am. It is still important I do them for my own good, but if I never knitted again I wouldn't be less of myself.

My point is I am most myself when I bring myself, all my gifts and weirdnesses and also faults into what I am doing...into my duties, my conversations, my work, my play, everything. I may have to spend my entire day typing on the computer and feeding Luthien, and doing laundry, but if I do these as myself bringing myself into them for love of my family and of myself, I do not lose myself in them. For instance, yesterday evening Luthien was kind of a nutcase. She was crazy and I was feeling like losing it. So I just started hanging with her and pretty soon we were spinning in circles in the living room and laughing, getting dizzy and falling down. I was still in full blowing mom mode, but I felt completely myself too. I will spin around in circles with my kid even if I look like an idiot and this is a good thing about me.

So in all that is crazy about parenthood, I contend it is possible to bring your selfhood into it, and let it thrive there. If that means you sing a song about pooping to keep your kid entertained while changing their diaper that totally works. Making time for ourselves individually is important, but so is realizing that you don't cease to exist, to have personality when you are doing your regular parenting work.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Recently my job laid me off. It didn't come at a great time. I learned so much at that job, and I was really hoping that it was about to set me on a decent career path. At six months pregnant I don't think I have great odds of finding something new before our little boy is born. I know tons of people have been laid off in recent years, but it's still frustrating to deal with.

I mean we are lucky. Andy has a decent job and health insurance. We are making it if just barely. And I am on the hunt to find something that works for our lives. The working from home thing worked super well from me so I would love to find something similar.

On the up-side, with all this extra time now that I'm not working forty hours a week on my computer, we now have clean bathrooms, clean floors, clean closets, organized baby clothes, and I've actually cooked some stuff! I've also been able to spend lots of good play time with Lu, and really enjoyed the extra time to dote on her. We baked cookies today, and I didn't even use a mix!

We've also recommitted ourselves to cloth diapers and have been having great success! We've even successfully kept Lu's lovely diaper rashes at bay. In theory not having a job means I should have more time to blog, so we'll see how that goes :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Summer pictures

Luthien on the fourth of July. So patriotic!

Hanging with Grampy and Boobie before the fireworks.

She thought they were fascinating.

I'm about 24 weeks with the little boy here, finally showing!

Andy's surprise date for me :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cloth diapers

We have quite a varied diapering journey. Lu wore disposable diapers until she was five months old, when I suddenly realized I was sick of paying for them. We did some research and bought some cloth diapers. My originial diaper purchase were good for a smaller baby but had a harder time working well as Lu grew. I finally got some flip diapers, and so far they are my favorite. They are a diaper cover with a washable insert. The think I like about them is that I can use any insert in them, including the old ones we have that are too small (these work well when extra absorbancy is needed). Cloth diapering was a lot easier than I thought it would be, although I never would have tackled it while living in an apartment. However, after a few months of using cloth Lu started breaking out in horrible diaper rashes. We all went through a lot of pain over it, and eventually went back to disposable diapers. I was sad about it, but I hadn't found a good solution to her rashes, and they were much easier to get rid of when she was in disposable. The last few months we've started using cloth part time again. We can't use them while she is at her daycare, and I don't use them at night since I think that was part of the diaper rash problem. Yet even using them a few days a week saves us some money.
I would really like to cloth diaper this next baby, and I'm looking to buy more flip diapers. Hopefully his skin is tougher than Lu's and we don't have as many rash issues.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Travel season

For about two months during the Fall, Andy lives in 'travel season.' From mid September to mid November he is gone at least a couple days a week recruiting as part of his job. October is the most intense. He is gone four days this week and four next week. Sometimes it's really tough. Taking care of Lu without her dad around is more challenging. We both miss him. We tend to get a bit house-bound (that's mostly my fault since Andy is the extrovert in our relationship).
However, this travel season I've been thinking of the upsides as well. First off I appreciate all the more how much he does! Between taking care of Lu with me, and doing other house work my husband takes his family work seriously. I really notice how much more I do when he is gone.
Mostly though in some ways we take his travel as a way to appreciate each other all the more. Something about missing someone, laying in bed at night and wishing he was here, is a powerful reminder of how much I love him.
We also take full advantage of our possible modes of communication. We often text during the day, and we usually end up talking on the phone a few times a day too. This year we've been video skyping before going to sleep. It's good to see his face before going to bed. Even Lu gets in on the skyping provided we can set it up before she goes to sleep!
My point is we stay close despite the distance. Missing him during the day and making our sappy phone calls is a good reminder of all we have in each other, and I am grateful. Plus every weekend feels like a vacation, a time to spend as a family.
(PS. I try not to write to many of these romantic posts, because then people will find out that I am really just a big sap.)