Category Archives: working motherhood

My Head Is Full of Children

When I lived in Provincetown for a summer, there was a T-shirt in one of the toursity-gifty shops with art by one of those crafty greeting-card women that said that: My Head Is Full of Children.  And it had a picture of a head.  And there were children all over the woman’s head.  And she looked happy for it.

Well.  My head is full of children.

I wake up and dress and feed and prepare lunches for them.  Then I drop them off at various places.  Then I go to my workplace —  which is full of children.  And then I go straight from my workplace to the other building of my workplace to get my eldest child.  Then we walk home.  Perhaps run and errand together, then pick up the youngest child.  Feed, bathe, jammy, read, bed them.  My head is full of children.

There is happy and ummm…not the opposite of happy, but not happy, to this situation.

Here’s some of the happy:

  • My son’s warm hand in my cold one, walking to school on a chilly October day.
  • Looking at, and discussing various Halloween decorations on our walk.
  • Listening to my eldest opine about choice time in his kindergarten.  Listening to him retell the read alouds.  Trying very hard not to jump in and reveal that I know how the story ends.
  • Seeing my little one dressed in a vest and a hoodie with the hood up and his little curls flipping over the edge of the hood.
  • Every little success I have in making and getting the children to eat healthy(ish) fast(ish) food made by moi.
  • The children I spend my day with?  The students?  They are an amazing, hilarious, interesting group of people.  I love them.
  • Seeing how responsible my Cakie is about doing his little kindergarten homework.

Here’s some of the not-exactly-opposite-of-happy:

  • My baby is two.  Full-on one-hundred percent two.  Melt-down city.
  • I don’t even have any kind of cushion of time for myself.  I have a sitter twice a week after school.  For one of the days I plan with the third grade.  For the other day I plan with my co-teacher.  Done.  Then I pick up Cakie.
  • If I stop home before I pick up the two-year-old, the five-year-old is really difficult to wrench back out of the house to fetch two-year-old.  I wish I could flash back to the seventies and just leave him there for the ten minutes it takes me to cross the street and fetch the melt-down king.  But I cannot.
  • I never get to cook.  Not for real.  My co-teacher was sick yesterday when we usually plan, so I got to make potato leek soup.  It was awesome.
  • My honey doesn’t get home until at least 7:30 most nights.  That just sucks.
  • What I really really want is to go out with some adults and drink some freaking alcohol.  But if I do, I’ll get horribly sick because of my stupid stomach/intestinal problems which have yet to be resolved.  Don’t I deserve some good motherf*cking white wine about now?  Don’t I?  Huh???
  • I have no time to putter in my classroom.  I miss puttering in my classroom.

I’m in limbo a bit.

That’s all I have to say right now.

Thanks for listening.

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Filed under nothing at all, Parenting the school boy, teaching, working motherhood

Me Time. I Am Not Ashamed to Have It.

Earlier this week during the 100+ heatwave we had here, I went to a matinee of a so-bad-it-is-almost-good summer movie.  Standing in front of me was a woman who lives in my building, who I know from the playground.  Her three-year-old son was doing the mommy-arm-pull sway on one side of her.  Her four-year-old was jumping up and down, taking her other arm with him.  We were both there to get out of the heat.  She is a stay (and work) at home mom;  a very down-to-earth, friendly, calm person.  She looked around for my sons.  They were not there.  I told her I was going to see Grown Ups.  She was going to see Sesame Street.  She said she’d live vicariously through me.  I felt just a slight twang of guilt.  But mostly, I felt like I’ve made some good choices.

When I was little, we stayed home during the summer.  But we had a house with a big yard and friends in all of the adjoining yards.  My brother and I spent much of each day, every day outside with our friends.  Inside, I’m sure my mom was cleaning the house, doing the laundry, and sometimes kicking back with a cool drink and a good book.  She was always there if one of us scraped a knee, or needed a cool drink.  My mom stayed home with us until I was six.  After that, my teen-aged cousin came to stay with us to watch us during the day while my mom was working. Neither of them were standing there watching us play all day.  Which is basically what New York moms have to do if they live in an apartment with no outdoor space.

There’s a whole lot of talk about stay at home moms vs. work outside the home moms.  As you well know, for some it is a choice to do either.  Some do not have a choice.  If we wanted to keep our large Brooklyn apartment, we didn’t have much of a choice.  I wanted to stay home with Trucker, but I chose to keep our lifestyle.  One in which both moms work full-time outside the home in service jobs.  I’m a teacher.  Their other mom is a social worker.  Neither job is one we could do from a home office.  I suppose we could have afforded for one of us to stay home, if we slashed our budget.  But we hope to buy a house in Brooklyn.  And the truth is, when I got back to work after maternity leave, after much anger and trepidation about returning to the work force, I found myself to be happy.  Those women who choose to make the sacrifice (I say that because it often is a financial sacrifice) to stay home, have made that choice for strong reasons, I’m sure.

Here’s where I’m sure people are going to get all judgy on me.  I’m going to share it with you because it is my choice.  It reveals me as totally not an attachment-parenting person, even though I get a lot of the ideas behind attachment parenting.  See, I have the summer off.  But I choose to send at least one child to daycare every day.  Yeah.  That is my choice.  I keep one child at a time once or twice a week.  The other days are mine.  Mine all mine.  Why?  Because I can.  Because I am also a person who needs time to play.  It means I can go shopping for a birthday present for my babies without hearing any of my own children beg me to buy them a toy.  I can work out. I can get my shanti shanti on. I can have uninterrupted lunches with friends I haven’t seen in ages because I’m always at home with my kids at night.  I’m going to paint our apartment and sell a bunch of baby stuff and clean out all the closets! It means I can do laundry and shopping during the week, so on the weekends, when my whole family is home, we can focus on playing and having fun together. It means I can use the summer for its true teacherly purpose… that is to recover from all of the energy I have spent on other people’s children for the past ten months.  Me in June is not pretty or nice.  It is wiped out tired cranky old beeotch.  I will not subject my kids to that. They like their daycare.  They both have many friends, wonderful caregivers, and lots of rollicking outdoor play.  I also get to spoil each of my boys.  They get a full day of all mommy all the time.  I chose something that that particular boy will love to do.  (And we can afford to do things like go to Coney Island, visit zoos and museums, and take classes, because both moms work.) I also do something errandy, so they aren’t left out of all boring day-to-day stuff.  One needs to build up stamina for the mundane.  I know some people think it is odd for me to not want to have both children with me all the time.  And when they get older, I probably will send them to a summer camp,  but also have long stretches of summer with both boys home. And I do have the two weeks with them both at the end of each summer when daycare is closed.  But this is my choice.  And this is why I love being a parent.  (Unlike, apparently, masses of other folk mentioned in a recent NY Magazine article.)  I love being a parent, because in its current form, I get enough time with each of my kids and enough time with myself.

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Filed under family, working motherhood

Happy Herb?

I figure a group of anonymous lesbians can probably help me out here.

I’m pretty sure the stomach problems are directly tied to coffee.  And I’ve stopped drinking it and have upped my fiber intake.  Fine.  After over two weeks, the headaches are finally going away. My stomach stopped hurting.

But I have a bigger problem.  It is a huge problem, actually, considering that my job is to educate and care for the well-being of 19 children every day.

The problem?

I’m a bitch.

I’m a bitch on wheels.  I have absolutely NO PATIENCE.  (See, I’m yelling already.)  I can’t be this way with my job.  It is not right.  The kids should not be subjected to a psychohosebeast every day while they are just trying to learn.

I tried a little science experiment and took four sips of A’s coffee two days ago.  I was nice for one day.  But my stomach still hurts a little two days later.  I guess I can’t do that.  Some friends have recommended trying decaf.  But it does have caff in it, so I’m a little nervous.  Right now I’m drinking Calming Yogi tea, upon the recommendation of a co-worker.

Do any of you have a non-caff herb or food or something that isn’t an anti-depressant that makes you less bitchy? Chocolate doesn’t count.  And I can’t start the day with a glass of wine.

Please share.  For the children’s sake.

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Filed under teaching, working motherhood

Mommyblogging: What’s In A Name?

On to this mommyblogging business…

I guess the reason I wrote the “Why Do I Blog?” post is that different folks have different reasons for blogging.  Different moms have different reasons for blogging as well.   Some want to vent.  Some are looking for community, when they are alone in the house with a sleeping babe.  Many are genuinely interested in writing.  Some seek fame. (At least in small circles.)  And others want to make money.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to make money.  I think all moms should magically be paid for their momming duties, whether they stay at home or mom after work.  Since we get paid in giggles and rolls on chunky legs, I see nothing wrong with trying to make some dough with the computer while the baby sleeps.

Some “mommyblogs” are really just advertising sites.  Again, nothing wrong with making some dough.  Would I want to add such a site to my blog roll so I could actually read it?  No.  Do I read spam?  No.  I think most adults can see through the fascade of a “review” of a product which also is advertising that product and giving it away in exchange for comments or being added to a feed.  Whatever.  Go for it, if it makes you happy.

Other blogs are actually interesting to read and they get so many hits that they could make money by adding some ads to the site.  Again, go for it.  Make dough.  Anyone who can write well enough for me to want to read it deserves to make some money, in my book.

The real problem, I feel, is in the name.  Who is calling me a mommy?  Because there are only two people who get to call me mommy:  Cake and Trucker.  Mommy is an endearment, not a title.  It almost seems sexist, in that the idea of a mommy is a little cute thing.  Not an adult who writes adult things and has adult thoughts.  Just a soft, happy lady who bakes cookies and has elastic in her jeans.  It makes the woman who sits down to write about her life seem not-so important.  We are important, damnit.  So we need a different term, is all.

I vote for motherblogger.

What do you think?

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Filed under blogitty blog blog, working motherhood

Post Post Post Partum Post

Trucker is almost a year old.

Almost a year ago, I pushed a nine pound, three ounce baby out of my body.  Now, if you are pregnant right now, you may want to click away.

I tore, but it wasn’t bad. Not as bad as it can be.  But a year later I’m still recovering.  I want to know if this is unusual.  The tear healed in a few weeks.  My muscles, my pelvic floor?  Not so much.  I’m still feeling all loosey goosey down there.  I still feel somtimes like parts of me are going to fall out.  Do I do enough kegels?  No.  But I feel like when you tear a muscle, it heals fairly quickly.  What’s up with my super-hero pelvic floor?  Why so wimpy?

In other areas, My hair is freaking out.  About two months post-partum my hair started to fall out.  It fell out for about two more months.  I knew it would fall out, but for two months?  Now it is growing back.  It is more curly than it was pre-Trucker.  And I have these frizzy halo hairs around my hairline that make my hair look bad in a pony tail.  A mother of two can’t afford to have her hair look bad in a pony tail.  I could cut it short in a dykey little pixie like I had in my early twenties.  But have I mentioned the color?  Bright, fire red?  It is very pretty long.  I’m also a little afraid that if it chooses to be more curly,  perhaps I might look like I’ve been hanging out with Daddy Warbucks if I cut it short.  Now right near the temples, it is a different color.  My friends have been going gray for a long time.  I always wondered when it would hapen to me.  I’ve had days at work as a teacher when I was sure I’d see a shock of white hair the next time I saw my reflection.  My hair is not going grey, however.  It is going gold.  I’m gold around the temples.  I guess it goes better with red than grey.

My body elsewhere is a little weird, too.  From nursing I’ve lost lots of weight.  Only in my legs.  If they were long enough, I could wear a size six pant.  Before I gave birth, I wore ten or twelve.  My gut, on the other hand?  It is bigger than usual.  Which is to be expected.  But I can’t figure out when to exercise.  Well, now that school is out, I’ll be able to form and start a plan, but once it resumes, I’m not sure how I’ll squeeze it in.  But the nursing is happening less and less often. Soon the nugget will be able to drink cow’s milk and I’ll be probably cutting out the afternoon nurse.  I need to get cracking with the exercise.  I want to be healthy.

Nursing Trucker these days is a full contact sport.  He’s very big and active.  He likes to climb around on me while he nurses.  Sometimes he tries to walk away with me in his mouth.  And now that he has his teeth (4!) he tries to bite me.  I’m trying to do what the nursing book says and take him off before he bites and end the feed.  But I don’t think he’s making the connection that the feed ends because of the bite.  I think he just thinks biting my nipp1e is hilarious.  Ha ha.  I’m laughing so hard that it is not apparent to the naked eye.

That’s it.  Besides the lovely spider veins that have appeared near my knees, I have nothing more post post post partum to report.  Who knows how much of it is from giving birth and how much is from being almost 38?  Not I.

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Filed under b00b food, Labor & Birth, my second son, Post partum, teaching, working motherhood

The Facebook Status I Don’t Post

oneofhismoms is full of milk.

oneofhismoms is sore around the nipp1e region.

oneofhismoms is wishing she could have skipped all the post-partum body yucks.

oneofhismoms is empty of milk.

oneofhismoms is pumping.

oneofhismoms is pumping again.

oneofhismoms is thinkin that making milk is both very cool and a little spooky.

oneofhismoms is tired of washing bottles.

oneofhismoms is too busy washing bottles to blog anymore.

oneofhismoms is realizing that her back hurts a lot less now that she doesn’t have to carry the baby around all day.

oneofhismoms is missing carrying the baby around all day.

oneofhismoms is hearing a voice in her head.

oneofhismoms is all “HEY! STOP UPDATING STATUS IN MY HEAD!”

oneofhismoms is SHUT UUUPP.

oneofhismoms is banging her head against the table.

oneofhismoms is holding a bat up to the computer?

oneofhismoms is…. oneofhismoms?  Hello?

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Filed under b00b food, blogitty blog blog, Trucker, working motherhood

The New Me?

When I first heard about blogs, they were introduced to me as a “diary that other people can read.”  This post is a bit of a diary entry.

Dear Diary,

Something has changed in me.  Is it hormonal?  Dear God, it’s me, oneofhismoms.

I’ve always been pretty anxious.  Especially as an adult.

This week, I went back to work after my maternity leave.  Two weeks before this week, I went to South Carolina to visit my out-laws for the holiday.  Sometime in there, my whole psyche shifted.  I’m not crazy anymore.  I mean, not crazy.  I wasn’t mad.  But I was crazed, a bit. This is difficult to describe.  But I’m back at work, I’m not so stressed.  When I went to South Carolina, all the cultural differences that usually bugged me did not.  By cultural differences, I mostly mean disregard for the environment by driving huge cars and eating off of plastic when you don’t need to, and eating waaaay too much unhealthy (but delicious) food.

It is almost as though I’ve taken a step outside of myself.  All the things that overwhelmed me seem smaller, somehow.  Things I couldn’t wrap my whole head around don’t seem so insurmountable.

Perhaps it is because I’ve had six months of rest?  Perhaps I’m too tired to care?  Am I more mature?

Has this happened to any of you?

PS Pix of the geekmobile coming soon.  Um, no it is not a Vespa.

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Filed under blogitty blog blog, nothing at all, teaching, working motherhood