This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

May 25, 2011

Just One

One. Child.
Yes, only child. That's my daughter. That's also me.....

      The burning question of the year is either WHEN or ARE you having another child. I'm not planning on it. Our daughter is wonderful, sweet, beautiful, kind, gentle, adorable and perfect. Although I'm sure that efforts may be duplicated, but we I'm quite happy with our little family of three. My husband would certainly like one more. I on the other hand, don't. It's actually quite a nosy and personal question; akin to asking someone why they stopped at just two? Unlike Ruffles, I can have just one and for me there are a multitude of reasons- physical, personal and financial to name a few.
      On the phsyical side: because I don't want to go through pregnancy and labor again. Yes, my pregnancy was nearly text-book despite the fact that getting there wasn't. And labor was shorter than half of an average work day, however, I enjoyed neither. It's a complete crap shoot to say whether a second pregnancy would be the same- or worse. I'm thinking that two years later and closer to the big four-oh increases the chances of problems all around.
      I also was not comfortable with a newborn (and the newborn smell that everyone talks about is not the same one that I'm thinking of....). The comfort level obviously grew on me as I was able to do some on-the-job training but again, not wanting to pile more sleepless nights on top of the ones that we already get. (K slept so muchbetter a year ago than she does now- not quite sure why the return to 4 a.m. feedings?!)  And adding juggling the needs of a tiny newborn along with those of a very smart and active toddler in addition to a career and life just scares me. There are days that I feel stretched too thin as it is.
      I'm also not game for another two plus years of diapers. There is light at the end of this tunnel o' Huggies and I'm really looking forward to it. And speaking of Huggies- the expense of day-to-day care is something that we are really considering. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Child Rearing Calculator, and discount the cost of shelter (we've been here years prior to her!) and daycare, it costs us roughly about $15,000 a year to raise little K. That reflects 2009 numbers- I think it's safe to say it might be inflated a bit higher today in 2011, while our salaries aren't. And believe me, I try to save money in as many areas as possible where it doesn't affect health or safety! The calculator says that having a second child would double that; but even on the low side, I would guesstimate perhaps $22,500 for two children. Did I mention college? Even though hubby and I are proud owners of student loans (ha!), I do not want K to have to worry about that- we're stuffing as much 'extra' money into her college savings account (and our retirement funds as well) to plan for the future. 
     While larger families were very common to help with the division of labor years and year ago, the smaller family is becoming quite common when you consider metropolitan living and costs. Our family is normal! But I often hear the reaction that "you shouldn't do that to your child," when I answer the "Are you having another?" question. I shouldn't do what? I shouldn't provide her with as much love and devotion as possible? I shouldn't work hard to provide the best possible life for her and our family in the long run hopefully demonstrating a good life and work ethic? I get the 'sibling bond' argument, but I've seen that go either way-- while my two step-sisters are thick as theives;  a good friend is absolutely not a fan of her brother. And as far as her being lonely, between her Daddy and I and all of her family members, she is not lonely. Additionally, she knows how to independently play and is developing quite the imagination! K plays well with others and knows how to share- something that we are teaching her, not her learning from a sibling.
      If you are really curious as to why just K, I'm happy to tell you that I'd love to concentrate on creating and molding a selfless, talented, kind, gentle, creative, productive little girl; along with having a happy and relaxed Mommy and Daddy to raise her. But please don't make me have to debate with you why our choice is right for us...........

May 16, 2011

Date Night Makes Me Yearn for Balance

I had a date last night. With the refrigerator. Oh the joys of being a Mommy! Seriously, I felt like I was getting acquainted again with my kitchen today after spending the last month in between vacation, holiday and birthday celebrations, work and family outtings and just being plain too tired or busy. I would say that in the last six weeks, I've probably cooked a home-cooked meal not even a dozen times. Wow.      Fortunately, as a dual-income family, we can eat out (um, IHOP, anyone?) and it doesn't completely kill our budget, but it also doesn't help it. It also doesn't help the diet even though I try to make healthy selections. What bothers me most is the amount of food that I just had to throw into the garbage from cleaning out the fridge. A bag full, and I'm talking trashcan size, not a grocery bag. I'm mad at having to throw money away for no reason other than lack of preparation..... so irritated.
     I really do try to meal plan, but then the best laid plans..... it takes a lot of time to be prepared, and I feel like that is seriously lacking right now. I'd much rather spend those four hours (if that) every evening with my daughter playing, reading or cuddling and not cooking or cleaning. Unfortunately, a maid is not in the budget and reality sets in. I have to find a better balance between all of the domestic things, the work stuff, parenting (like that ever stops) and having extra time to do other activities that I enjoy, or even fit some sleep into the equation. I'm envious of those moms that can balance all kinds of shit with one eye closed and on bedrest; or those that have multiples plus- how do they make it look so easy? By no means am I comparing myself- I'm just coveting perception!
     Fortunately for our household, I'm not in this alone as my wonderful husband puts in his fair share- especially with the laundry (he runs out of underwear first!) but I would really like to get a better grip on the things that I personally handle.... I have a few ideas in mind, so I'm going to do a little 'workstudy' over the next few weeks.... and I'll definately keep you posted, but in the meantime, I'm open to suggestions!

Love, Laughs and Caffeine,

May 8, 2011

A Day Worth the Wait

Unlike most little girls my childhood wasn't spent playing with baby-dolls or planning a princess wedding. I was quite the Tom boy. I grew up an only child in a very, very small minuscule community in the Eastern Sierras ripe with lots of outdoorsy things to do. My two male cousins were my closest playmates and I could out-fish the both of them and my pet lizards were often bigger too! I ditched my first day of Kindergarten to go trout fishin' with great gran Hazel; you couldn't keep a pair of shoes on me to save my life and I even herded sheep once. It's pretty safe to say that other than dressing my faithful companion Bootsie up in a dress and wheeling him around in a stroller, I didn't particularly have a natural maternal streak.
     I'm sure that it wasn't a surprise to most of my close friends and family that I wasn't in a rush to become a mother. Someday, but it had to be with the right partner and not just for genetics sake- the PARTNER part of the equation was the kicker.
     Fast forward to my mid-20's when I began dating my husband and 'family talk.' Although he was definitely qualified as what I thought a partner would be, we agreed that a family was in our future just not the immediate one. It was important to have time just for 'us' prior to bringing a child into the relationship and enjoying life together first. And we did- and then building a family was taking more time than we had planned. I was longing to finally discover that materialistic instinct that I skipped over during childhood. I also started to resent Mother's Day (although I did try to compensate by celebrating with my beloved fur-baby and try to get away with not poop-scoopin' for the day... But those were the only presents she ever left for me! (How I miss that dog... Really. Really. Much.) The same went for Baby Showers and all things miniature. Not because I didn't want to be a mom but because getting to that point was so damn difficult.
      Friends and family were lucky to 'accidentally' get pregnant but for us it was so much planning and waiting. Pure joy when we had a positive test only to find that joy usurped by disappointment weeks later with a miscarriage- four times over. Nearly four long years later and after medical intervention and the hardest three hours and 56 minutes of my life, I was finally a Mom.
Today is my second official Mother's Day; I now get to enjoy the day with my family. I am so looking forward to celebrating all of the milestones and memories that I've been blessed with over the last 21 months. My life will undoubtedly never be the same- the dirty diapers, sleep deprivation, bottle washing, sippy cup retrieving, tear wiping and lullaby singing are all honorable tasks for my precious sweet daughter- and of course I wouldn't have it any other way. It was worth the wait......

Happy Mother's Day Fellow Mombloggers- I appreciate you reading and sticking with me!

Love, Laughs and Caffeine,