Baby Love

Remembering back to when Elliott was a wee one–I recall not liking the baby phase AT ALL.  I suspect that my anxiety played a role in that.  But moreover, I suspect that my lack of experience and exposure to babies in general was more the culprit.

This time around, I am in love with the baby stage.  My wee one is the.most.adorable baby I have ever seen (of course!). And, granted there are several super duper cute kids around these days.  My eyes are fixated on mine.  He dishes out smiles by the handful, he laughs and giggles with ease.  He is a great sleeper (this is subjective of course).  He rarely fusses (again subjective).  What more could a Mama want?

My older son is adjusting well to life with a younger brother.  He hasn’t tried to hurt Spencer yet, unless you count trying to give him water from a sippy cup or putting the corners of his lovie in Spencer’s nose.  And he is only slightly jealous of him and his toys.  Elliott has clearly marked his territory though, by licking each and every teething toy that Spencer owns.  As well as taking several other non-teething toys and calling them him own.

I feel like we are finally finding our groove.  Things are getting easier and having two kids in more comfortable.  It was tough for the first 10-12 weeks.

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Yes, I am still spoiled

I am embarrassed to admit– with all of the complaining and whining I have done over the last year or more regarding our budget that we still have a housekeeper.

However, just today I came to the realization that we should suspend her services.
For the record–we cancelled the gardener, we cancelled most of our cable services and all unneeded phone services.  We stopped eating out with special occasions as the exception.  I sewed a pair of underwear the other day–yes, you read that correctly.  We have energy and water efficient appliances.   We recycle, compost and conserve water and electricity.  We don’t have a heater or AC.  I cancelled my gym membership, several magazine subscriptions, and stopped renewing for friends (sorry!).  I started shopping at second hand stores for toys and kids clothes and accessories.  I accept all hand-me-downs from friends and family, and do my best to pass along lightly used items to those who may need them as well.  
So, keeping our housekeeper didn’t seem like a big deal with all of the other sacrifices I felt I had made.  Plus we LOVE her, and she has been with us for 5 years!!!   …except that Elliott still goes to daycare 2 days a week.  And, as much as I love my free time, I don’t really need THIS much of it.  I am bored.  Today, our housekeeper is scheduled to come (she comes every 2 weeks), but I am finding myself cleaning and doing laundry because I have the time, energy and I AM BORED.
Now, if the stars align in my favor I will be getting a hedge trimmer and maybe even a blower for the BIG day.  Our gardener works through the end of year–and then it is all me with the yard work.  I don’t have any idea what type of job I am taking on.  But, I am certainly not afraid of manual labor (just spiders, oh and any insect).  I will be certain to complain about this soon.  Look for a post about the first week of January.
I will talk with hubby about this, and see what he thinks.  But, if I am going to make ‘a go’ of staying at home–I should do my own cleaning, do you think?

When Good Enough isnt enough

I am struggling. There I said it. I want to be a full time Mom. But, many days I still love my job. The days I don’t love it however are out numbering the days that I do. And last week I actually cried because I was feeling ineffective and worthless. Yup, worthless. Not a good feeling for an employee who feels she is doing her absolute best to get the job done. Also not a good feeling for someone who has high standards and expects herself and others to live up to them.

I have been digesting all of the reasons I went back to work, and re-thinking them. Money, personal fulfilment, boredom, pride, not wanting to be a servant to my husband and kids, I could go on and on. But, you get the idea.

Hubby and I have been actively nesting our funds away, and slowly paying off all of our debt. We have finally freed ourselves from credit cards, student loans, car payments and all other revolving debt. What we are left with is a hefty house payment and household bills (gas, electric, water, cable, phone, groceries, fuel, pet food, etc.). The awesome part of all of this is that we could make it with hubby’s income only. We would have to cut out all extras however. There would be a VERY small pad, and we would have to watch our spending. We would also have to learn how to budget better and have to learn how to say NO to outings, or at least set spending limits on them.

Hubby and I are terrible at saying No and even worse at setting limits. We often feel like we ‘deserve’ it, so we treat ourselves. We have made a commitment over the last couple of years to reign in our spending and have obviously done a good job. But, there is that last bit of frivolousness that we still enjoy and currently can afford. We would have to look at things in a new light, and allow ourselves a fresh perspective on frugal life.

I have been trying to look at this like a challenge to myself. At work I set goals. So, why not look at staying home like a goal–I challenge myself to stop spending money on things I don’t need (I shouldn’t need to stay home to accomplish this…but we all need goals). I challenge myself to accept and appreciate what I already have. I challenge myself to come up with new and creative ways to re-use the items I already have; give them a second (or third!) life. I challenge myself to learn how to shop, cook, and maintain a household on a slimmer budget.

This next month we are going to give it a test run. I am going to move my paycheck over to savings, and we are going to try and live off of just hubbys income. That will give us a feel for what it will be like. I will keep you posted on the results of the trial run.

I also want to use these challenges as a way to keep my mind working at problem solving. I worry that if I quit working that I will turn into a babling idiot who can only talk about her kids and poopy diapers. I want to ensure that I am challenging myself, keeping up on current events and aware of the world around me. I dont want to turn into the SAHM at the Mom’s groups that I dont like.

We also want to have another baby. We have talked about it many times over the last 10 months, and are both so happy as parents that we don’t see a reason to wait. If we space them close together they can play with one another, I can reuse many of their toys and baby items, they can share a room, and the time commitment needed will be condensed into a shorter overall commitment (of course it will be multiplied three fold in level of difficulty…but who factors that in). Plus, maybe we will want more than 2 children…maybe we will want 3. Hubby so NO WAY, but you never know. So, if we were to ever consider 3 kids, we should get a move on! I dont want to be categorized as ‘elderly’ in maternal age (they use this term when you are pregnant and over 35-can you believe that!!!).

So, here I am again. Deliberating my future. Except this time my future is the future of my children (is this wrong?); I am not even factoring in my career goals. They just don’t seem to matter to me much anymore. I want to refocus my energy on my family, and I just cant seem to allow/permit myself to be good enough at both. I need to be great at one. I want to be great at one.