Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My New Title

I am a SAHM. I haven't always been though. I worked for the first 2  1/2 years of Chase's life. I  can say that I know what it is like to be a full time working mom and now being a full time SAHM. There are differences for sure.

Chase was 10 1/2 weeks when he first went to daycare. Not even three months old. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, leaving my child with another person to care for him. I cried for weeks after I would leave him. My rides to work seemed so long and my heart felt as though it shattered. Dramatic a bit? No, this is truly how I felt. For me I had always envisioned staying home with my children. My mom stayed home with us until I was a freshman in high school. I wanted the same for my own family. Here I was, dropping off my first son off to daycare. I was fortunate to have chosen a daycare provider that was wonderful and and he was surely in the best hands. But he is my son, and I felt it was my job to be there with him. I adjusted though and got back into work. I loved what I did and that helped make the days go by faster.

Chase ~ 3 Months

Working and being a mom was definitely hard balance. It's hard to be 100 % into any other aspect of life when you have children. It is also hard not to feel some level of guilt as well. It was always rushing to pick him up so I could spend every second with him until we started bedtime routine. There was also house work and dinner to be done. I could not wait for my weekends, as my weekdays it often felt I just wanted it to be bedtime so we could start all over again and get to the next day. Each one bringing me closer to the weekend.

When we decided to have another baby we sat down and discussed work vs me staying home. I knew this time around I needed to be home. I didn't want to miss any more moments. I wanted to be there to watch my children and care for them. Financially it didn't make sense to put two children in daycare. I couldn't grasp that most of what I would be making would go to someone else watching my children every day, no matter how wonderful they were.  So after working since I was 16, and having been in the field I was in for almost 14 years, I started a new job. I became a SAHM.

Now let me tell you, I have girlfriends who are SAHM's that have always said it is the hardest job you will ever have. Yes, they are telling the truth! It becomes a different kind of balance. Believe it or not you still struggle to find time to clean, cook, and take a shower! Some days a shower is a luxury. Taking a shower alone, that's a whole other kind of paradise. Alone time, never! As many times as one may try to even sneak on line for a Facebook peak or check email there is a child who needs something. (BTW, it can take more than one time sitting down to write a blog entry). I also have two children who have completely different needs. I also struggle to feel like some days I don't do enough. Other days I feel accomplished.

It is rewarding for me to stay home. I am happy in this job. Hard, absolutely! Some days are down right exhausting.  As a family we sacrifice to have me stay home. It's not that we are "lucky we can". I don't like hearing that because for us it is that we are lucky because we have made it happen. My bank account is empty these days. I don't ever buy anything for myself. I choose this though, it is my job. My pay is priceless. I get to see my children every day. I get it all, the good and the bad. This also won't last forever. I will go back to work full time someday. I will not regret this time. These are the days I will never get back.

I know how hard both jobs are. There is no comparison. Not one is more difficult than the other. Every woman does what it best for her family and her. I respect that. I have walked in both shoes. Each one has it's list of pro's & con's. Each one challenges you and makes you a stronger, incredible, and amazing MOM!!

Someone thinks he is pretty cool

This is Wes just awake from a nap


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Simple Things

It doesn't take much to warm the heart of a child. We don't need to shower them with toys that cost dollars more than which they should. Sometimes it is the smallest things that can make them happy. The Simple things.

Don't get me wrong, I too like to buy my children things when I have a few dollars. There is something about seeing your children light up over that new toy or "thing" you got them. And when they are three years old the happiness of their little face is all the appreciation you need.

Valentines Day I wanted to get a little something for Chase but since he just had his birthday and Christmas was right before that, I was not about to go overboard. I settled on stickers for his sticker book, a coloring book and poster, and a stuffed dog. Chase has an entire pop up hamper filled with stuffed animals. It's is not like the child needs more. I found this little dog. He was a dollar! Hell yeah! Now that is what I am talking about. I figured he would get tossed aside right away anyway, but he was cute.

This new little stuffed dog has already served it's purpose well. Chase is going through a phase where at night he is scared of monsters, dinosaurs, and "the guy" (don't get me started on that one, freaky!!) The boy has quite an imagination and is good about working himself up lately and needing some extra consoling. He wanted to sleep with the dog. He typically doesn't sleep with his stuffed animals, he is a blanket boy, (Linus and him would get along great!) Later that night I went to check on him and this is what I found :

Every night for the past 4 nights that dog sleeps with him. We place him on the pillow to "protect" Chase from the dreaded monsters and dinosaurs that lurk in his room late at night ;)  It gives him a sense of comfort.

Chase also likes to give it to Wesley. Saturday out of the blue Chase went to grab the dog and said he wanted Wesley to have it for a little while. Yesterday Wesley was upset so Chase went to get the dog for him.

This dog may have only been a dollar, but it is already worth so much more than that! I didn't need to buy a big stuffed dog for 30 dollars, or a Tonka truck, or 20 matchbox cars (all those things I am sure he would have happily taken) just a small dog for a dollar.

I want my children to focus on the meaning of a gift, not the price. This gift was a reminder for even myself of just that. It is up to us to teach our children these simple lessons. It is in a single moment that our children teach us too.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Balancing Act

I was never worried that my heart would not have enough love for both my boys. I knew that I had so much to give both my children. When I was pregnant with Wesley I made sure I told Chase how much I loved him and how special he was. I wanted him to know that even though there was a new baby coming that there was a special bond between us that would always remain. I wanted him to hear it. Of coarse being 2 1/2 at that time he didn't know what I was saying. He will never remember those words I whispered to him at night. He will not know how I go into his room even now, after he is asleep, to tuck him in one last time and kiss him.

Now that Wesley is here what I do find myself worrying about is the time and attention that I give to both of them. I do my best to spend time with Chase and Wesley. Some days that doesn't equal out though. I hate the moments I have to tell Chase no or that he has to wait. Of coarse these are important things for him to learn. I know this. Yet it use to be just him and I. He never had to compete for my attention. We did things together, just the two of us. Walking and hiking in the woods is one of my favorite things we would do.

My First Mothers Day~ Hiking with Chase (Just under 4 months old)

I also find myself getting frustrated and upset at some of these moments when he is vying for my attention and I end up putting Wesley down or ending a nursing session because Chase is having another melt down that only mommy can stop. Those moments I sometimes think how unfair it is to Wesley. He will never get those moments that I had with Chase when there was only one child.

It is indeed a balancing act. Some days I feel unsteady on my feet. Overwhelmed. Dis-shuffled.

Then there are those moments that I get to watch them interact. It fills my heart with such love. It is amazing to me to sit back and watch. To listen to the sounds of laughter that they create with one another. Those are the moments that help me. They keep me grounded.

I am thankful for my children. Grateful to have this life to share with these little people. Just like every parent, I want to get it right!

I want my boys to grow up and know that they were insanely loved, no matter how rough of a day we had! I want them to love one another. To practice being kind to one another, especially 20 years from now.

So today I take a deep breathe and continue on with this balancing act. I will remind myself that I am only one person. I will tell myself that my heart will love them in ways that can never be measured. And at the end of any day, that is what will count. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Cheap Therapy

We all have something that we do which we find solace in. Something that makes us feel good, becomes our release, and heals our souls. For me that that something is running. I like to refer to it as my therapy.

I didn't always run. I wasn't one of those people who ran in high school. I never did track.  It wasn't something I really enjoyed at first. Maybe it was that I wasn't ready to appreciate what it could offer me. Sure, I ran in my twenties here and there. It wasn't until over the past couple of years that running became something that I was passionate about.

My father has ran since I can remember. He was always going out running, and still does. My father even completed 3 marathon's in his 50's! I admire that and am proud of my father. My love for running must be handed down from him. Though there is no desire to run a marathon for this girl just yet!

I am not a huge distance runner. But I love running. I try to run 4 times a week. Weekdays I get in 3 to 5 miles a couple times and on the weekends I do longer runs. 6,7, 8 miles. Sometimes more. This Saturday & Sunday I got in 7 each day. The most I have ever run is 11. The goal for this year is to complete my first half marathon. I hope to do this with my father. We have registered for the Vermont City Marathon but now have to wait and see if we get picked since it is by lottery. Fingers crossed!! I love being a part of this race and have done so in the relay a few times. Yet running the Half is something I really want to do.

My new running shoes for the season

Running is something I do for myself. It is one of the only times I leave my children. This time becomes sacred to me. When I run I can be alone with my thoughts. Here I can think about life, myself, my family. I reflect on the things I do, the choices I make. When I run I think about the mistakes I make, and here I come to forgive myself and let go of the negative. I find myself on my runs. It is important for me to make time for this.

I try not to let mother nature interfere with this. The cold lately does make it less pleasant yet I still try to make sure I get out there, even if it is twice a week. I ran through the past couple winters and even though I hate the cold, I love my runs.

I even ran throughout being pregnant with Wesley. It was a goal of mine. I said even if it was a half mile I wanted to run until I had him, or couldn't run anymore. The last run I did when I was pregnant was 2.5 miles at 40 +1 day pregnant, pushing Chase in the jogging stroller. The last moderately long run I did was 7 miles at 37 weeks pregnant. I don't say this to boast. I tell you this because I achieved something that was important to me. I stuck with my goal. I believed I could, and I did!

I started running in my 30's. Point being, it is never to late to start something that you want to do! Find something that you are passionate about and follow through with it. Make it yours. Believe in yourself. Set goals. You never know, you might surprise yourself.