The Great Divide: SAHMs (Stay at Home Moms) VS WMs (Working Moms)

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Hi!  So I generally try to stay away from controversial topics on the blog, because in reality, it is, for me at least, a place where I can freely express my opinions, be dumb funny and wax nonsense.  But, this is a topic that has been on my mind a LOT lately and so I wanted to do a little post about my thoughts surrounding it.  If you feel this post may trigger a lot of hatred towards me emotion or will just irritate you, then I encourage you to stop reading and come back later for a pizza dough recipe 😉  Really though.  I feel like there is an unspoken, although often spoken, “divide” between Stay at Home Moms (SAHMs) and WM (working moms).  I think there are many reasons for this, including mom guilt on both sides, insecurities and simply not understanding the hardships and conflict the other experiences on a day-to-day basis. I, myself, am so blessed to be able to stay at home with Zachary.  And I absolutely tip my hat to any parent who works full-time because I cannot imagine doing so at this point in my life.  I hear from a lot of WMs that it is just SO hard to balance work and home life; that they never feel as if they are giving 100% to either, and that seems like a perfect way to describe it.  I can’t speak from experience, but I can imagine how challenging it would be to go to work, whether full or part time, then come home and be a Mom, manage the house, tend to a husband, etc.  It seems SO difficult.  I work one day a week teaching a graduate class and am gone for about four hours.  It is a nightmare both logistically and emotionally, so multiplying that by ten (to create a full-time job) seems so daunting.  But, as a stay at home mom, I feel that l am doing an important “job” as well.  I often need to remind myself of this, which might be my own insecurities speaking, or my feelings of Inadequacy.  I don’t know if it comes from an external source, an internal place, or partially both.  Some SAHMs develop a complex where they feel as if they need to prove their worth; that they are not, in fact, staying home all day lounging on the couch eating bon bons.  Sounds cliche, but I, myself have fallen into the trap of feeling this way and in turn have tried to “overdo” it or spend a lot of time validating myself.

So I thought I would do a little verbal vomit detailing both the things I miss about working, and the things I am grateful for in being a SAHM.

I miss the beginnings that my job entailed: the new year, new students, a new unit, a new program.  The idea that each day brought something different, as that is the nature of my job as a teacher.  I miss adult interaction; telling jokes in the teacher’s room, talking about “adult things,” parent-teacher conferences, even complaining about nonsense. I miss saying hello to the janitor long after the studnets had left for the day, the slippery look of the floors when they had been cleaned, morning banter with the ladies in the office, slipping in just as the clock read 8:20 (and sometimes after lol-never one for being punctual).  I miss listening to KYW in the car, zoning out as the 22 minute report repeated itself approximately three times on my commute, putting makeup on at stop lights (I know, ever the safe driver) and dressing cute without the fear of being spit up on, or wearing sweet potatoes (even though my fancy pants included black yoga bottoms; why not?!).  I miss using my brain in the creative way my job demanded (and not to simply figure out how to methodically get all of the dishes in the dishwasher), assemblies, back to school night, school dances and even faculty meetings.  I miss the community of workers that I was a part of, pow-wowing in coworker’s rooms before the bell rang (and sometimes after whoops), conspiring about how we might be able to get our report card grades done while showing a movie (don’t tell).  I miss the collegiality of a common goal; student success, the language of being a teacher, taking it home at night, the tears, the laughs, the life.

But, being a SAHM mom, there are things that I greatly value about my “new life” (for now).  I love that my alarm is the sound of my son in the morning, and that I am home to watch the Ellen Show during his nap.  I love that I can make doctor’s appointments during “normal business hours” assuming it matches Zach’s nap schedule.  I love that I do not feel the “Sunday evening pit in my stomach” and that I forget which day is which during the week.  I love that I am able to participate in music classes, mommy groups and the like with my son.  I love that I am able to breastfeed this long and that it is ok that he never took a bottle.  I love not having to drive an hour to my job and can wear pajamas (the same one days in a row) and not shower if I can’t fit it in (happens A LOT) because my stench won’t offend anyone.  I love that I am able to make dinner every night, have time to clean my house (albeit while wearing my baby in the Bjorn at times).  But above all,  I love that I will be there for every one of Zachary’s milestones and that I will never miss a smile.

So, these are just my opinions, my perspective, but it shows just that:  there are positives and negatives (to any situation really) and maybe if we can try to see each others’ viewpoints, challenges and triumphs we can close the “divide” between the SAHM and the WM and appreciate each other for our true worth. Because no matter which you are (SAHM or WM) the commonality is the M- MOM, and it is something that will forever bind us.

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A controversial post: Pre-natal advice

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(Warning: This post is half-joking, mostly serious hehe)

Listen, I am going to write this post with the acknowledgement that you all might end up hating me or I might sound really annoying, but I am just speaking da truf.  Here it is.  So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this topic: pre-natal advice. Basically the thoughts were spawned by a posting I saw on FB that was something to the effect of “I am very early pregnant and already tired of the unsolicited advice of ‘sleep now’ because you won’t later and ‘take time for yourself now’ yada yada. I know this as I am not stupid.  I know what to expect.”  OK.  I get it. I WAS  you. I thought the SAME thing.  I thought “Jesus, enough already with the ‘oh woe is me, new-parent-life will never be the same’ crap.  I am pregnant, excited…” and clueless.  Listen, my husband and I would have this conversation on a daily basis; “why do people constantly want to point out the obvious of how hard it is to have a baby? WTF?”  Well, people, now that I have HAD my baby, I can say…BECAUSE IT IS. OK, it is DAMN HARD.  And now I am the one giving that unsolicited annoying advice. Except now, I see the validity to it. I DO wish I had slept more before the baby.  And I DO wish I had relished in the solo bathroom time I had.  I DO wish I had seen that movie (or two or three) that I probably won’t see…for a while.  But what I want to say also is that the amazing feelings that you will have post baby, when you actually ARE a parent, are just that…amazing…and absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to describe.  So I think that is why people focus on giving advice that is tangible rather than even ATTEMPTING to advise on the emotional side of becoming a parent.  And there is nothing wrong with that. I really wish I had not begrudged people who attempted to give me such advice.  So here I am, I am going to to tell you, FB poster who does NOT want my advice, what you absolutely SHOULD do (including the things I mentioned before):

– Sit a little longer on the can. Yup, I know, gross, but pretty soon, someone WILL be propped up in their Bumbo seat holding onto your leg while you do your business. Yes they will.

-Linger in the shower.  Without peering through the glass doors to see the monitor that lies resting on the sink, praying your baby will not wake up before the shampoo is rinsed out.

-Do go out to dinner with your husband.  Or your friends.  Or anyone who will dine with you, because those who will post-baby will SURELY decrease.

-Do attempt to make plans past 8:00 pm, because that too, will diminish.

-Make amazing non-slow-cooker meals that require a TON of prep, because when you are singing “Old MacDonald had a farm, eeeeyi eeeeyi ohhhhh” while prepping your meals, you WILL inevitably leave something out or burn something.

-Do exercise or run as much as you would like, because pushing a jogging stroller SUCKS and makes you think you need a pace maker.

-DO wear your maternity clothes AS SOON as you POSSIBLY can.  NO one cares that “you’re 6 months pregnant and still haven’t bought a maternity item.”  And don’t bother getting rid of them.  Too damn comfortable.  I have no shame.

-Buy stuff for yourself.  You won’t really want to post-baby (gasp! I know!) and when you do you will find yourself playing the justification game.

-Go to the grocery store and stroll the aisles.  A lot.  Post-baby, you will find Fresh Direct.  And fall in love.

-Chew your food.  Perhaps even savor each bite.  You won’t do so thoroughly for a long time.

-Enjoy vacuuming…without a twelve-pounder as an appendage.

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-Sleep.  That’s it. I have NOTHING funny to say about this because NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING is funny about this.

-Oh, and nap.  Don’t go all “super hero I don’t need naps” cray.  Just do it.

-Don’t hate on those giving unsolicited advice. Yes, they are just haggard warn-out parents as you expected 😉

-Finally, DO know that your life will FOREVER be changed ABSOLUTELY for the better, in a way that could NEVER be described.  Also know that you will fall in love in a way you never knew possible.  And that this child will melt your heart and turn you into the biggest pile of mush.  And that it WILL BE PERFECT.

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Cloth Diapering (a review of GDiapers) and Baby Food Making

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HI there!  So, I just finished “filming” a v-log reviewing the cloth diapers I have been using and will post the video in a separate post in a minute.  It goes quite in depth about cost, etc.  But, until then, here is the “Cliffs Notes” version. Ha.  Remember those!?

-So, I decided on GDiapers after much research.

-It is a HYBRID cloth diaper, meaning you can use a cloth insert or a biodegradable disposable insert.

-The disposable insert, which is biodegradable, can either be flushed (after being ripped apart) or tossed in diaper can. I do the latter.

-The cloth inserts are hemp and super soft.  I’d wear ’em 🙂

-If using a cloth insert, you can use a cloth liner which resembles toilet paper that pretty much serves to “catch the poop.” Yup.  You heard me.

-General care is easy; wash on warm with your regular baby detergent (like Dreft)

– Prices are reasonable when compared to the cost/amount of disposables you would go through (view video for more)

– All in all, I like them so far.  I think they are a great modern “hybrid” approach to cloth diapering that allows for many options.   The only thing I found annoying was that you have to wash the cloth inserts three times on hot and dry between each cycle.  This not only takes FOR.EV.ER. but is not as environmentally friendly as you would think a cloth diaper would be.

So here is my revamped “top drawer” of Zach’s dresser.

As you can see, I still use disposable diapers for a. overnight b. traveling c. when we are out and about.  On the right are the clout inserts.  to the left of that is a “gpant” (diaper) and to the left of that are the disposable inserts.

PS:  Are you wondering what “g” stands for? I was too.  From the site:

OH and PSS:  These opinions were non-solicited, solely mine and I am not a paid endorser.  Wouldn’t turn it down though lol.

Alright, now, from diapers to baby food making (hey, what goes in must come out hehe).  So after seeing Zach’s reaction to cereal, I decided it was time to mix it up with some fruit.  I waited four days which they recommend to rule out allergies.  I use the wholesomebabyfoods website which is phenomenal.  It gives you TONS of information on solids with great charts and recipes.  It says I can give Zach certain fruits not cooked so I decided to start with bananas to make it as easy-peasy as possible.

I also thought I could mix the banana puree with the cereal to make it more palatable for him.  So I decided, after much research, to get the Baby Brezza all-in-one baby food maker. It steams, purees, reheats and defrosts food.  Good deal. I’ve only used it once so I will do a review on it soon.

OK!  You’re turn!  Do you cloth diaper?  Have you thought about doing it?!  Do you  make your own baby food?!  What are your thoughts on that?!

When your baby is sleeping…

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Ha. File this under confessions of a new mom 😉  When your baby is sleeping…

– You thank the Lord for blackout curtains

– Time moves VERY quickly

– You shower (with the monitor propped up on the bathroom counter) FINALLY

– You try to call a friend to catch up only to hear the cries of baby awakening… by the second ring 🙂

– You try to put away some of the toys as it looks like the house vomited baby gear, shaking your head knowing when baby awakes it’ll be futile

– You try to get in a treadmill run while watching the monitor hoping you can get in that last mile

– You browse “Pinterest” or similar sites for dinner recipes then decide on something WAY similar (helloooo crockpot!)

– You zoom in on the video monitor to “make sure he is still breathing” (come on, you know you do it!)

– You try to eat sloooooowly because finally you do not need to shove food down…but fail

– You surf the internet, because what is a better use of time?

– You shush the dogs (and curse them) when OF COURSE the mailman comes

– You try to catch up on emails on your phone and end up doing something completely unproductive (ahem Facebook)

– You put the house phone on silent because of course a telemarketer rears its head just as baby is falling asleep

– You find yourself watching TLC’s A Baby Story…seriously

– You sit down because you are exhausted, only to pop up a minute later when a reminder of dirty dishes in the sink pops into your wandering mind

– You tiptoe around when you know baby is transitioning 

– You try to talk to your partner about anything other than the baby…and fail 😉

– You miss your baby 😉

Sweet dreams!

What do YOU do while your baby is sleeping?!

Who/What is really important to you?

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You know, I realized that I spend a LOT TOO MUCH time thinking/worrying about things that just are not important.  There are SO many things I waste SO much time fretting about when in all reality, whoooofc?  There are people and things that do NOT care about me, so good riddance to them.  There.  I said it.  Biyeeeee!  Here are some things that are important to me:

FAMILY

FRIENDS (REAL ONES)

MY STUDENTS (HENCE CAT IN THE HAT)

HONESTY

LOYALTY

MY HUSBAND AND DOG

YOGA

FITNESS

LOVE

HOME

STUDYING (WHATEVER IS IMPORTANT TO ME)

READING (AND OPENING MY MIND)

PHILLIES

BEING THE BEST ME I CAN BE

PEACE OUT.

“‘tat a girl!”

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Help!  REALLY wanna get a tat.  My bestie Stephie has a few amazing ones, as does my bestie Bri, and as I approach that RIPE OLD age of 30 (yes you read right 3-0) I am considering my own.  The place is decided.  Inner right wrist it will be and my watch can be a “decoy” if needed. I always wanted “namaste” in sanskrit (I looove me some yoga) but I think I have decided on the image below instead.  What do you think?????

PS:  I love me some Tori, but REALLY?!?!?!  Come on media, how about some images promoting HEALTHY body image !?!?