I recently did an activity prep for my little lady. I wanted to focus on colors so I searched for some fun things we could try while I was home with her over the Forth of July week. One of the activities was color matching using free paint samples.
Art is very important. To me, at least. It is a way for me to be creative and use the side of my brain that I don’t get to use at work. Art helps me focus and relieve stress. Doing something on paper, instead of a computer, helps give my eyes a much needed break. Above all, I simply enjoy doing various forms of art.
Since I enjoy it so much and it helps me, art is something I incorporate in my weekends. That means Baby Love gets to do art, too!
Let me start by saying, some of this can be gross. Truly, any waste management is going to be gross. It’s just the level or type of grossness that you can take and how dedicated you are to the choice you made.
So how do you wash cloth diapers anyway? And how do you dry them!?
Here’s another big question I had when I first began cloth diapering. What kind should I get? How many should I get? There are so many types of cloth diapers out there. It makes it very difficult to identify which ones will work best for you and your baby.
Being a working mom really sucks sometimes. Other times, it’s a sanity saver. Clearly, I have very mixed feelings on being at work all day and away from my sweet little girl.
When I drop her off in the mornings, I always have mixed feelings. From being a horrible mother and leaving her for the day to feeling like a fantastic mother for giving her socializing opportunities. There is never ONE dominating feeling.
A working momma will always feel these next things. They were much more prominent when I first dropped her off. I had to force myself to go to work each day. As time goes on, it is easier to set these feelings and tribulations aside. They never fully go away and some days it’s like that first day. For the most part, though, these are in the background now.
I’m missing so much!
Every day when I pick up my little toddler, I notice different things that have changed about her throughout the day. I get a recap of her day from our sitter and am astounded at the things she is able to accomplish with my girl.
New words that are picked up, progress on potty training, sharing, expressing love, and helping me when we leave are just a few ways she grows each day.
Someone else is raising my child.
This is a hard one. As I type “someone else,” a zillion things immediately pop into my head and I can’t type fast enough about the feelings and thoughts this one sentence gives me.
Although I know my Baby Love has a personality of her own that will grow and change with her, I also know that she will be shaped by her environment. Since I am at work for 40 hours a week, not including travel time to/from the office and lunch, my time is limited which means the environment I have created at home is also limited. I may influence her on the weekends but our home is not her “main” environment.
My fear…when she calls out for mommy, she doesn’t want me. She is actually calling for our sitter.
Being away from her each day means I have to rely on and give my full trust to someone else with my most precious possession. I have to trust that those watching my child will treat her like their own, keep her safe from whatever harms may come her way, and teach her about this crazy world we live in.
My attention is forever divided.
I hate to admit this because it makes me feel awful that I no longer give my job my 100% attention all day long.
If I am being honest with myself then I have to say, I am constantly thinking about my baby girl. When I first went back to work, my focus was constantly interrupted with a sweet little face popping into my head. Fears, hopes, dreams…my mind raced. Trying to keep up with personal, family thoughts while splitting my attention with work and what HAD to get done…not an easy task.
After a year and a half, our family life, hopes and dreams are more in the back of my mind. I am able to focus more on the job I’m being paid to do and compartmentalize my life and feelings better but my attention is still divided.
If it weren’t for these blessings, I’d never have been able to go back to work. It is these thoughts and feelings that help me get through the day. These are what make going to work worth the aches and pains.
My child has another safe place.
Although this isn’t an overly in-your-face item, it is very true. My sitter’s home is just as much my child’s home as our own. She spends almost 10 hours a day 4 days a week with our sitter. It just goes to say that their home is another safe haven for my Baby Love.
She plays there. She eats there. She sleeps there. She learns there. She accomplishes milestones there. She receives love there.
She gets to socialize with other children of various ages.
Our sitter watches several other children along with having 4 children of her own. Her youngest is 2 years older than Baby Love so she’s like a big sister to my girl. Our sitter watches another little girl that is 1 year older and going through the same milestones as Baby Love. There is a baby boy around 10 months old who just seems to adore my daughter.
Now that it’s summer, our sitter watches the baby boy’s three older cousins and there are always neighbor kids hanging around witht he older kids. There are a lot of children running around that house.
Having so many children around gives my Baby Love the opportunity to socialize. She has learned to share and has the chance to learn team work. These are not skills I could teach her at home since we don’t have any other children around. I value these lessons for her. They will be invaluable as she grows up, goes to school, and in life.
I value our time together more fully.
By the time I get us home in the evenings, I only have 2 hours before bed time (IF she goes to bed on time). Although I get 2 full days together over the weekend, it is not nearly enough.
With so little time with my Baby Love, I have learned to value our time together that much more. I put the phone down, unless I want to take pictures. I keep the computer off. I’d keep the television off but that just doesn’t seem to happen. It stays off until daddy gets home but then he watches his shows.
I have taken that time to teach her how to cook. Yes, I know. She’s barely a year and a half but she can learn to value cooking and being in the kitchen. She already knows that the kitchen is where mommy spends most of her time. Why not use that as a bonding aide?
I get to hear about her day.
She’s still a little too young to really tell me about her day but I hear about it from our sitter. I love asking Baby Love questions on the ride home and singing songs with her. She doesn’t always participate but that makes it much sweeter when she does sing with me.
She enjoys going to our sitter’s house.
You may be asking how I know she likes going to our sitters house. Well, I can tell becasue she doesn’t cry. She doesn’t throw monumental fits when I drop her off. Nope. Instead, she’ll reach for our sitter. Sometimes, she’ll just hop off my lap and start to play. We have days where she doesn’t want to let me go but mostly, she seems to enjoy it there.
It’s a blessing to know that when I drop her off, Baby Love isn’t going to cry for hours. I know that she’s being well cared for and loved. If she weren’t, I’d be able to tell. My mom has told me many stories about a sitter she had for me when I was a baby. I’d cry as she pulled into the neighborhood, still several blocks away from the sitters house. That, thankfully, is not the case for us.
I choose to focus on the blessings that come with being a working mother instead of the tribulations. There are days when those feelings and thoughts of, “my daughter prefers our sitter over me” or “when she calls out for mommy, she doesn’t want me, she is actually calling for our sitter,” become so strong that I fight the urge to turn around and go back. Those are the days that I have to remind myself that going to a daycare or a sitter is a good thing for her development.
I choose to focus on the blessings of being a working mother.
How do you get through your day?
What do you choose to focus on?
Do you need ways to save your sanity during the week? Use these tips and you’ll have extra time and maybe not have to go to the loony bin.
These last few weeks I’ve been doing some major meal prep. It has been FABULOUS! I started small with snacks and am now moving on to full meals. Having meals at the ready is a true life saver in the evenings and I wish I had started doing this a lot sooner!
When I was a kid, we had these toys that made the coolest sound. A sound that I always found comforting. They were so simple. We had a few of them and they each made slightly different sounds. I remember watching a show (I don’t remember what sho) that actually made music with these things.
I loved them, and still do. They are so cool! Now, I know they’re called a rain stick. I’m pretty sure there was a learning activity to go with playing with the stick but I don’t remeber it now.
We use cloth diapers. I wasn’t very sure about the process in the beginning but I’ve ended up really loving the cloth diapers. I wish I could say we use them over night but that just didn’t work for us so we only use them during the day.
One of the biggest questions I had about using cloth diapers when I started was how the heck do you clean and care for them! You don’t throw them away and surely you don’t put the poo directly in the washing machine. How do you wash them anyway? And how do you dry them!?
The other weekend I made a hula hoop light for our play room. It’s not meant to give off a lot of light, just a nice soft glow. A glow that will give that feel of enchantment and whimsy.
Last week I purchased an eBook by Becky Mansfield called Potty Train in a Weekend. I’ve read it cover to cover now (well, virtually cover to cover). I think we’re ready to give this a go.