Just One

I recently joined a local MOPS group and during introductions, we were to say how many kids we have. My response to all of the second-time and third-time moms was, “just one”. In that instant, the mentor mom looked me straight in the eye and said, “It’s never ‘just’ one”.  While it may seem that with ‘just’ one, my days are easier or my heart less full, than those with more children, the reality is that my days are still just as stressful, and my heart as full as the mom of two, three, four, or five.

I may not dole out 4 kisses to 4 different children, but I can still give 4 kisses to my little 1. I may not read 3 different books to satisfy 3 different tastes, but I can read the same book 3 times or even read those 3 different books to my little 1. It doesn’t matter that I have less mouths to feed or less little people to care for, what matters is that I am a mom, like all other the other moms at the table, and I am doing my best to lovingly raise this little human who has my whole heart wrapped up in one little finger.

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“You dress like a mom!”

I woke up on Mother’s Day after 14 hours of sleep, still feeling sick, but so happy to be with my boys (the big one and the little one). My 7-month-old son surprised me with an unexpected addition to my Pandora bracelet, a little heart charm that reads “mom” several different languages. He also surprised me with a shopping spree! I had asked for one for my birthday, and I was excited to see that my birthday gift of shopping came a few weeks early. I don’t often ask for just spending money as gifts, I prefer the sentimental kind (seriously. A handwritten note is worth more than all the gold in the world, okay an ounce). Also, I usually prefer to be surprised by not knowing what I will receive beforehand; however, as I rummaged through my closet a few weeks ago, I became so frustrated at what I found (or really didn’t find). I realized that I am becoming one of those women who continues to wear maternity clothes way, WAY beyond delivering the child and losing the weight. Seriously, I couldn’t figure out why the majority of the outfits I have are maternity or just very old or just very “teacherish”.  As I stood there lost in my wonderment, I became a little ashamed of myself. I mean, here I am, 25 years old, and I really do dress 10 years beyond my age. Everything is covered up, nothing is short, nothing is tight at all, and absolutely nothing is stylish… maternity and work wear only. SMH. My sister even told me once BEFORE ever having kids, “you dress like a mom”.  Ugh! I do; I really, really do; however, to justify this, I have to say that as a young teacher of high schoolers, I have to dress beyond my age or else they just will not take me seriously (It doesn’t hurt that Naturalizer shoes are super comfy).  So after picking out a maternity shirt and some jeans (which I found out later that day had a hole in the crotch), I went looking for my husband to tell him that I desperately needed to go shopping! He agreed, but I didn’t know how much he would be willing to fork over for me to splurge. This brings me back to Mother’s Day. My husband handed me $400 with only one stipulation, “clothes only!” So Now I have $400 in ‘clothes only’ money, and I am so scared to spend it because I fear I’ll end up buying more not-so-stylish “mom” clothes. It is weird thinking that I don’t have to worry about work dress code or a growing baby bump, and I don’t quite know what the SAHM wardrobe should be.

SEE    http://atlantamomofthree.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/becoming-the-sexy-wife/

I just want to be happy, and for me, happy is comfy, yet sexy, yet stylish, and yet cheap… so I seriously have some deep “analysis paralysis” (<– that’s my husband’s term).  I am happy to accept any advice on how to put together the SAHM wardrobe of my dreams.

Just a reflection…

What I will NOT miss about working:

– 5:30 am alarms

– The Mondays (and the Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, and Thursdays… and… the Sundays Nights!)

– Fearing my child will love his caretaker more than he loves me

– 10 hours of work, 2 hours of family time

– Taking off work when baby is sick (and feeling guilty about it)

– Commuting

– Letting the house go during the week

– Cleaning on weekends

– Paperwork… paperwork… paperwork!

– Feeling tired all of the time (see #1)

– TV Dinners

– Missing my family

– Stressing about trying to be super mom

– Dead plants (because who really has time to water when they’re trying to do it all)

– Filling up the gas tank 1/week

– Wearing maternity panties because I ran out of clean ones… again.

– Classroom drama

– Work clothes

I WILL MISS:

– Having a truly motivating reason to do my hair/make-up every morning

– Olive Garden, Chili’s, Texas Land and Cattle etc… (This could be a page of it’s own)

– Dates that are out of the house and require a babysitter (I guess dating. period.)

– Audio book time (aka my commute)

– Cable TV (And NBC Nightly News with the dashing Brian Jennings)

– Vacations that require a plane, the cost of a hotel room, and staying away for long periods of time

– Manicures, pedicures, and any other ‘cures’ that require me being pampered

– The maid service, the pest control service, the lawn service, and (insert here) service.

– Professional Photography (and editing)

– Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Target, the mall and lots more

– Owning brand new anything

– Friday afternoons (anticipating the weekend)

So most everything I will miss involves “the things, the it, the stuff” . I am feeling so grateful that I get to trade the “it” for the “them”.

A Girl can Dream

I often find myself daydreaming of my life-to-be, and I thought it would be interesting to share what is in my head- mostly, so you already SAHM can have a good laugh at my expense, and partly so I have a record to return to when I am a SAHM and need a good laugh. I often find myself drifting off with visions of a perfectly scheduled day. The baby sleeps until 8 am, allowing my husband and I time to rise and enjoy our early morning together. When the baby wakes, he wakes happy and plays in his crib until I bring him his morning bottle. I forgot to mention that I am dressed in a very cute and stylish outfit with perfect hair and perfect make-up. After his morning bottle, I ready baby boy for the day and we head down stairs for morning playtime which is filled with innovative and creative crafts, games, and songs, and in all of which baby boy eagerly participates. I am a master teacher-mother with the patience of a saint and an endless amount of activities. After morning lessons/playtime, baby boy will take his first 2 hour long nap allowing me plenty of time for housework. Again, baby boy wakes blissful, feeds on a lunch of the homemade sort, and we are off to a playdate of some kind. After the playdate, we run errands and baby boy is never, ever, ever fussy. Once home again, baby boy naps for another 1-2 while I get mommy free time! (Are you rolling your eyes or laughing at me yet). When baby boy wakes up, we have more stimulating play time, and then baby boy entertains himself while I get dinner ready. My husband arrives home; we have a lovely evening; baby boy goes down easily, and sleeps 12 hours until we start the next day all over again.

I have to say that I get that this just a dream. The reality is that no matter how perfectly scheduled a day can be on paper, things will go astray. Sweats will become my new uniform; the baby will be fussy and fight naps. I will run out of things with which to entertain him, and the house will never be perfect… but hey! Let a girl dream whilst she can!

Stay-at-home-mom-illusion

Choosing Not to Cook

YummyI have always desired to be the woman who could provide a healthy, homemade meal for her family every night, and at times, when I am feeling more ambitious. I have striven to do so (apron and all); however,  after a night or two (maybe even three on a good week),  I get tired of slaving away in the kitchen after working all day and resort back to frozen bags of chicken and rice, spaghetti, or Kraft Mac N’ Cheese (I’ve got the blues…)

Then there is what I like to call “survival” weeks. In those weeks, I get desperate to avoid the kitchen all-together, so I order a pizza or Chinese food- even call my husband to grab some fast food on his way home. I have always felt a little guilty on “survival” nights because I feel I’m not doing right by my family.

Though, as the clock winds down on our duel income, I am starting to view fast-food from an entirely new perspective, and my waistline is exemplifying the viewpoint. McDonald’s cheeseburgers are no longer the symbol of working mom exhaustion; they are the emblem of income- just as ordering a pizza is contributing to the American economy as well as some college kid’s beer money (I really can justify anything). Seriously, I am starting to view eating out as a true luxury since I have convinced myself that we will not be able to afford anything other than the clearance rack of baked good items at Walmart. So, for the next four weeks, I will be serving up the fastest, greasiest, non-homemade meals and enjoying them guilt-free.

What this is all about

I like to think of myself as an “incidental” stay-at-home-mom. As the daughter of a single working mother from a lower (albeit lower-middle) class family, I never thought that I, Cassie, would be incidentally blessed to have this opportunity. I say blessed because the opportunity is available, I say incidental because to make it work, I have to become the ultimate couponing, deal-seeking, cooking, sewing, diaper-reusing (okay, that’s not true and that’s gross), play date organizing, cleaning extraordinaire. So this is where the adventure begins; I, the “never thought I’d be a stay-at-home-mom EVER” working woman, have to transition to a a stay-at-home wonder woman. I will be documenting my transitional journey and all of my adventures in the following: homemade baby food, scrubbing base-boards (because the cost of our maid just won’t make the big budget cut- another story for another blog), clipping coupons, haggling at garage sales, negotiating babysitting swaps, meeting new moms, somehow getting the last of my foundation to last forever, and various other episodes that will scare the crap out of me and/or make me go crazy. All I need from you, dear reader, is to join me by doing what I won’t be able to do by pouring yourself a big glass of wine, sitting in your comfy spot, and enjoying my misadventures.