Category Archives: Life

Adoption?

You would have to be living under a rock or here to miss the Mother’s Day Time Magazine cover asking, “Are You Mom Enough?” The backlash of that article is presenting itself as a number of well thought out articles by intelligent, educated, anti-Mommy Wars writers. I’ll save my commentary on the Mommy Wars for another time, but I want to share an article that was posted by a Facebook friend of mine that really made me think about motherhood in an entirely new way.

The Only Mommy War Worth Waging

In the article, author Kristen Howerton calls out the absolute nonsense of the Mommy Wars and focuses on child welfare, foster care and adoption.

She writes:

“I don’t much care if you breastfed your kid until they started kindergarten or if you fed them formula from day one. I don’t really care if you turned your infant car seat forward-facing prior to age 2, or if you homeschool, or if you send your kids to daycare while you go to work. Do you cosleep? Did you circumcise your son? I DON’T CARE. Do you “babywear”? Push your kid around in a stroller? Use a leash for your kid at Disneyland? Whatever. Good for you.

When it comes to issues of motherhood, there is one issue I care about: some kids don’t have one. All of these petty wars about the choices of capable, loving mothers is just a lot of white noise to me, Quite honestly, I’m often astonished at the non-essential parenting issues I see moms getting upset about. Particularly when there are so many kids in this world not being parented at all.”

So wow. That hit me like a rock in the gut. Because wow and whoa and ouch and ohmygodtherearekidsinhorriblesituations.

My husband and I had only discussed adoption once or twice before getting pregnant, but only in the context of having that option if we were not able to conceive. This article planted a seed in me where I started thinking in a completely different context. More like “I am so absurdly blessed and we are exactly the type of people who could provide for an adopted child.” More like “I had no idea there are so many children who need homes in our country.” And finally, “Holy Crap our foster system is THAT screwed up!”

I still don’t know if adoption is something we will choose in the future. There is so much more I need to learn and so many things my husband and I must discuss. All I can say is that after reading that article my thoughts on adoption have changed dramatically.

I would love to hear from anyone who has adopted or is adopted.

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This Morning at Daycare…

I’m kind of amazed how every morning at daycare is a little different. The basic routine stays the same, but every day I get a little anecdote that I carry with me for the rest of the day. Sometimes it’s things like how my son is now “tackling” the other children or how so and so’s mom brought Kale chips because apparently KALE is the new wonder food. Or how the new kid’s name is Valentino and he’s from South Africa, thus the name Valentino seems slightly more normal. Are you entertained yet? Because these little tid-bits help me through the monotony of cubical life.

This morning was a little special though…

I arrived promptly at 7. I’m proud of this because it meant that I had a shot at being almost on time to work. I bring Henry into his classroom and it turns out we are the first ones there. As in, the very first. There is no teacher in sight.

Henry and I start playing and soon a few more parents stroll in. Still, no teacher. All of us parent folk start feeding our kids breakfast and then Florence walks in.

Florence is a little bit of an anomaly at daycare. She’s probably in her 70’s and she has a habit of reintroducing herself to you many, many times. She’s what the daycare industry calls a “floater.” But not in the gross way! Like she fills in wherever she is needed.

I mean, come on guys. Grow up already!

Florence walks into the classroom and promptly announces, “Hello everyone! I’m Florence!”

Now every parent in the room has met Florence before. She’s cared for all of our children in some capacity since they were small, itty bitty infants. But every time, cue Foreigner in the background – Feels Like the First Time!

Then one of the parents asks what day it is and Florence says, “It’s the 10th. I know that because me and my family are doing estate planning right now. You know, estate planning is very important. You should all consider doing that. And you can’t wait, you need to do it right away.”

Florence is from New York so imagine all of this in a New York accent. She went on and on. It was both educational and unexpected.You don’t expect to get financial planning advice in the Joey’s classroom. You know? I think this is what the business community would call an “added value.”

I quickly make my separation anxiety exit, which consists of throwing some food at my kid, yelling I love you and scooting out of the door. This is also Dose #1 of Mommy Guilt for the day.

At the front desk I wait to get a receipt so I can apply for that pesky flex spending. While I am waiting, a concerned father brings up the American flag that is flying outside.

“Did you know that the flag out front has a tear in it?”

Front desk: “Really? Because we just replaced it.”

“Yes, there is a tear and that is illegal. Unless the flag has seen combat. I doubt that flag has.”

Front desk: “We will look into it right away.”

I don’t have anything against Mr. Patriotic. In fact, I envy that he had time to even look at the flag. My morning routine consists of balancing my kid’s back pack while removing him from the car seat and hoping that neither of us get run over in the parking lot. I also try not to spill the open coffee mug that rests on my console. Then comes the moment where¬† I realize that I have not dressed my child appropriately for the weather. No coat? Pants, not shorts? Tevas with no socks? Dose #2 of Mommy Guilt coming at cha.

This morning, as I slid into my car, sipped my coffee and took off to work, I thought, “Wow – does everyone have these funny little daycare mornings?”

Lotto Fever

With an estimated jackpot at half a billion dollars, lotto fever is sweeping over our country. I’d love to say that even though there is more of a chance that we will be struck by a meteorite or lightning that we haven’t bought some tickets, but we have.

It’s a nice distraction. In Reno, NV (the city with the second highest unemployment and foreclosure rates in the USA) we can use distractions like this. It’s fun to imagine what we would do that with that money. It’s fun to think about how life changing it would be.

We’ve purchased tickets and today has been full of day dreaming and what ifs…

At the top of my list would be paying off all of our debt, creating a trust for our child, hiring a personal trainer, getting new cars, helping out charities, friends and family that mean a lot to us.

The thing that I enjoy thinking about the most? Not budgeting. I’m the money manager in our family and I find myself budgeting everyday. I run the numbers constantly, trying to gauge how much room we have in our budget to have fun, eat out, pay off debt, etc. I have Spreadsheets, online budget tools and Dave Ramsey.

The Type A Control Freak in me loves it. The Type B in me doesn’t love it.

What would you do if you never had to worry about money again? What is a life like that like?

Taking Life for Granted

I struggle with life. A lot. I get frustrated, sad, angry, overwhelmed, and I take for granted what an absolute blessing every day on this earth is.

It always seems like it takes a tragedy or tragedies to remind me of this. I wish that wasn’t so. I wish I could live every day with the zest that I feel when I am reminded that nothing in this life is promised.

On Friday, I learned that a co-worker’s son had passed away. She’s an amazing mother and only a few days before her son’s passing we had a conversation about how amazing motherhood is. I really just can’t imagine what she is going through.

That news moved through my body until it made me feel sick to my stomach. It sprouted in my mind until all I could think of was getting my baby and squeezing him to my body. It was a not so gentle reminder that everyday on this planet is a gift.

I was so down that I left work and grabbed my baby and the whole way home I said to him, “Henry. I love you. I love you more than you will ever understand. Well, until you have your own kids. I always want you to know how much I love you. I love you, I love you, I love you.”

All I can say to end this post is that I’m going to try so much harder to keep things in perspective, to live more in the moment, to not worry so much and to take absolute joy in my family.

Another One

Before you get all paparazzi on me and think that I’m about to announce that I am pregnant, that is not what is about to happen. Instead you will be privy to my most personal, OCD thoughts about having another child.

Lately, I find myself obsessing a bit over Baby #2. Jenny? Obsessing? No! you’re thinking right now.

But, ah yes. I think about it often. As in every hour of every day. I’m a planner. I plan. So on a typical day, I run the following questions through my head:

How many years apart should our children be? If I end up wanting a third, should we plan on two years apart? If two years apart is a good spread (which according to many people I speak to, it is) then we would need to think about getting pregnant in the next 6 months or so?¬† What if getting pregnant isn’t as easy this next time? I still haven’t lost all the baby weight. I am going to be 30 in January. 30! What if we can’t afford another baby? I like sleep. I don’t know if I want to be pregnant again. Will I ever WANT to be pregnant again? I’m scared of labor this time. Do I have it in me to do it naturally again? How will Henry handle having a sibling? How will we handle having two munchkins? Does having another baby sooner rather than later fit into our 5 year plan?

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I want another baby. I really, really do want to grow our family. Plus Henry is a full blown toddler now and maybe if I had realized how quickly we were going to get to this point, I would have enjoyed the newborn phase more.

Like most of my issues, it comes down to wanting to control the situation, which is silly because Henry wasn’t planned and what an absolutely amazing blessing he has been.

I’m a planner. I plan.