Also, just wanted you all to know that there is another blog so that I don’t bombard you with baby things on this one. It’s called “Baby Brain!”
I’ve always loved overalls. ALWAYS. I remember wearing them through my awkward Jr. High days. And when I was in college, I found an incredible pair of Union Bay overalls that I’ve worn…and worn…and worn. I wear them to paint. I wear them to lounge. Hell, I wore them to the bar a few times. Here are a few examples.
So you can imagine how sad I was when I realized that I couldn’t find overalls anymore. I mean, good overalls. All I could find were these sorry excuses.
Who wants skinny legged overalls? It was either this or the super rugged ones that were actually meant for work.
Then I saw Gwen Stefani. In overalls. And Gwen Stefani is cool, so I thought, “I’ll just find her overalls!”
Problem #1 – they still look KIND of skinny leg. I’m a lil curvy and I want them to fit like my other ones. These COULD have been the answer, but before I thought about seriously buying them, I couldn’t find my size on any site.
Which is why when I came across these babies yesterday, I pounced.
They look wide leggy enough. They’re distressed. They’re fashionable (they’re Ralph Lauren, people). And some of the sites were already running low/out of my size. So…I did it. I couldn’t help myself! I’m waiting anxiously for them to get here. I hope that they’re everything I dreamed they would be, because the old Union Bays are falling apart. And they’re better overalls for it! ;)
Before I get started, I just wanted to let you know that Squidge is MUCH better and feeling like his old self again and hanging out with all his buds. :)
And now, the topic of the post – a working mom’s guilt. I have it, and it’s most certainly compounded by 1000 because I’m Catholic and my guilt level is high anyway. Here’s the situation.
I have a good job. I don’t mind working for a living – I’m by no means lazy. Plus, with my student loans (hello private undergrad and grad school immediately after!), my car loan, our mortgage, and now a little Squidge, there’s no way I can afford not to work. Mike and I are aggressively trying to pay stuff off and we’re making some serious headway.
But my working means Squidge goes to daycare. And I know there are tons of benefits to daycare: a stronger immune system (eventually), socializing skills, interaction with different people, etc. My problem, and the source of my guilt, arises when I think about the fact that Squidge is spending 8-9 hours a day with people who aren’t Mike and me. Then, when I pick him up at 5:15pm, I only get him for about three hours before he goes to sleep for the night. I get 1/3 of what daycare gets.
Then my stupid mom brain starts asking questions. Will he know that it’s ME that’s the mom and not the nice ladies at daycare? Will he learn from ME? Will he get enough quality time in those stupid three hours I get to squeeze him and feed him and love him? I find myself waking up at 5am just to see him more, even though I could probably get away with getting a little more sleep.
I just remember the years that my mom stayed home to raise my brother Jason and me so fondly that I wish I could give that to Squidge. She played with us all day, taught us things before preschool, took us to play with our cousins at my grandparents’ house. And then I realize that I don’t know any babies around here. Squidge’s cousins are all over an hour away and go to daycare, as well. He really wouldn’t have any kid interaction, and that’s when I see daycare as a blessing.
My mom tells me that this is a good thing. She says that if he just had me, he’d ultimately get bored not having anyone his own age to play with. I understand this and I agree. I know he’s going to want little buddies. My cousins were my best friends, but I just don’t have access to family/kids like that around here. It’s just hard, ya know? SUPER hard.
Think my boss would pay off my student loans and my car loan and let me stay home until both my kids (NO I’M NOT PREGNANT) are in school full-time? I’ll sign up for 20 years of service after that. I promise. :)
Here’s another thing I’ve learned about having a baby. When things get really hard (you’re having to wake every hour and a half to force feed your baby medicine, and then to force feed him real food because you’re afraid he’ll get dehydrated, and dealing with scary side effects from the medicine and so on and so on), you sometimes wonder if you’re strong enough to handle it.
And I felt so guilty feeling that way until I talked to other moms. If you know me at all, you know I think of myself as kind of a hard ass. Even in childbirth, I refused to get too scared or to act too hurt. But I felt helpless and weak this whole past week. I broke down multiple times in Mike’s arms and said, “I don’t know if I can do this.”
And then I thought about all the people who have it worse than I do. I thought about the challenges that parents face that are so much bigger than mine. But at the same time, any time there’s something wrong, no matter how big or how small, it’s always 200 times worse when it’s your child. It puts a lot of stuff into perspective. Let’s just say that.
All the weakness melts away, however, when your baby finally climbs out of the flu cloud to give you one of these:
Hi everyone! It’s been a (LONG LONG LONG) while. Sorry about that. What they tell you, but you still fail to realize, is how little time you have to yourself after your little one is born.
So, I’d like to introduce you to Rhett Calhoun Baker (pictures below). He was born on 11/11 (and the little bugger barely made that date – only by 10 seconds or so!) and truly is a joy. I went into labor on 11/10 at 9pm. I got up the next morning, worked until 12:15, came home, cleaned my house, went to the hospital around 4:30, and he was born at 11:59:50pm. That is the short version – details will warrant a phone call or email from you.
You do forget the pain as soon as the baby is out. They put Rhett on my chest and I was in love. But that love doesn’t stop you from feeling the stitches if they don’t numb you afterwards. Bye bye immediate joy! It’s true – stitching does kind of take away from your initial euphoria.
We’ve had a wonderful time with him so far, and it’s been full of joy and love and smiles. But there are some things they don’t tell you, and that’s what this post is for.
What I wish I had known:
1) Children will make your ability to worry multiply by 109837849278398759823X. I thought I was bad before. It’s a whole new level now. For instance, my boy just was diagnosed with Influenza Type A at two months old. You want to talk worry? See how this makes you feel. You will never worry more in your life – when it’s this bad, and when it’s something as mild as, “Should my kid have this many damn boogers?” This is a pic of Rhett at the emergency room before they told us he had the flu. Watch them stick your baby with needles and give him an IV and tell me that you’ve ever worried more than that.
2) Kids get blocked tear ducts and gunky eyes are nasty.
3) They will pee/poop/spit up on you more than you ever realized.
4) About a week after the stump from the umbilical cord comes off, there’s a chance your baby’s belly button will ooze, and you will think all his intestines are going to come out. Don’t worry. This is normal.
5) You will be obsessed with his poop. I applaud every time he goes and worry (See #1) when he doesn’t.
6) You will become morbid and assume everything is the worst case scenario. See #1. Also, this may begin during pregnancy.
7) DO NOT feel bad if you do not/cannot breastfeed. My son was tongue tied and has an overbite. Not ideal and will leave you with bloody nipples. Sorry, all.
8) Being tongue tied can be fixed. Baby Rhett got his tongue snipped and was fine.
9) Postpartum feelings are real. I was skeptical, until I began bawling to Mike one day that it wasn’t fair that Rhett was going to have to watch us die…in like 70 years.
10) You will fear the state of the world and wonder why you brought a being into it.
11) You will get super protective…even if it’s your own family. You’ll make up code words to get your baby back in your arms. :)
12) You’ll mess up. They’ll live.
13) You’ll cry. This will never end.
14) Infant farts are lethal. They will take your breath away.
15) I didn’t sleep for the first three days we had Rhett home because I was convinced that if I fell asleep, he would quit breathing. Don’t worry. They will continue breathing.
There is more. There will always be more. You will not sleep. You will quit caring about hair and makeup. You will pray that your husband still finds you attractive even though you don’t have the time or energy to try. It will be okay.