Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The "B" and Complete Strangers

It wasn't the labor, the pain, or even the pounds that scared me the most about being pregnant. (Or even the fact that I had to give up my most beloved beverage...I mean, who can function without their steaming cup of yummy caffeine? Horror of horrors!)

Every single how-to-be-pregnant book (and I had two!) warned of that one crazy phenomena. You know the one. Where complete and absolute strangers walk up to you and....TOUCH YOUR BELLY!!

I had been dreading this from the day I saw that little plus sign. No matter how well intentioned a complete stranger may be, its creepy. Beyond the fact that they are a COMPLETE STRANGER is the one little thing. Literally. My baby. I wasn't sure I wanted someone I didn't know getting between the bond I was sure was forming. This was my time. And unless I wanted you in on it, please, I thought, don't let anyone just walk right on up and lay one on me.

I needn't had worried.

Because there was something far worse looming on the horizon.

Complete and total strangers, once they learned of the little jellybean and his impending arrival, asked me (did I mention they were complete strangers?) if I planned on breastfeeding.


The craziest part of that was I didn't know. At first, I was vehemently anit-breastfeeding. I didn't want to smother my baby, or be attached to him twenty four hours a day. Plus, I didn't really view that part of me as what they were designed for. I mean, they look great in a bra and have given me some really interesting shopping trips. Among other things.

The first time I had this particular question thrown at my newly announced pregnant self, I was dumb founded. When I stammered the whole I hadn't decided yet, I received the weirdest lecture ever as a grown person. (To add to the awkwardness, it happened at work. And I work at a well known lingerie store. Being used to awkward situations, and believe me there have been plenty, I was thrown.) Politely, I stood there, just staring at this woman who probably meant well but was seriously freaking me out! after she was done I politely smiled and helped her, then passed her along to pay for her purchases.

And hoped this was the last time I would have to endure this uncomfortable conversation.

Boy, was I wrong wrong.

The dreaded event would occur at least three times a week through out my pregnancy, mostly while I was work. By the this time I learned once again to plaster that pleasant smile on my face and say I hadn't decided yet and excuse myself. (Hey, I was pregarooni, I could fake morning sickness. Which I had none. Or scamper off to help another customer.)

Breastfeeding is an incredibly personal decision. One that I wasn't ready to share with just anyone, so I just couldn't understand where these complete strangers were coming from.

I had already decided to take a breastfeeding class to gather as much info as I could before the baby came. One thing I had decided early in my pregnancy was that I was going to do my best to roll with things and not define anything. That way, if something didn't go as planned, no problem.

Needless to say, the benefits outweighed my earlier assumptions.

But that still doesn't make those encounters any easier. At least now, I can look back and laugh. Maybe I should have asked them to touch my belly instead...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Job...or not?

Just to warn may think I'm either sticking my foot in my mouth, or aiming to really make someone want to trip me if they ever see me out and about. But, bear with me, please...

A few years ago, I remember having a conversation with my husband about a friend of ours who had just had her second baby. I had asked her if she was going back to work. Her eyes became huge as she told me, in that frazzled mom kind of way, that she had a job. Being a mom.

I laughed at this. Seriously? Being a mom isn't a job, I told my husband, then began my own tirade on how she had lost herself (I mean, had she looked in the mirror? Her hair used to be perfect, make-up applied, high heels...) to being a mom.

And, now, looking back I realize something.

I was right.

Okay, hold on, let me explain!

A job has set (somewhat) hours, you get a schedule. You can call off, take vacation time, or even quit. You (hopefully) receive a paycheck for that work. They can replace you (even if you think you're irreplaceable), and you get a lunch break or even just a quick fifteen.

At the end of the day, you get to go home and leave some of that work behind. (Let's face it, we all bring work home. Someone has to hear us talk about our day...)

This is not what being a mom is.

Being a mom has no set schedule, no breaks, no raises, and I have yet to see the money come rolling in. And I doubt my lil guy would ever replace me...

This is where I tell you the light bulb moment. Being a mom is what I am, along with a wife, bellydancer, hopeless romantic, fan girl, get the idea.

But, I will tell you...the benefits are awesome!

So, what's the rule...being a mom is who you are, not what you do. *smile*

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Best Laid Plans...and all that jazz.

When I sat down and started on this crazy roller coaster, I dealt with everyone adding in their two cents (and then some) and figured I couldn't be the only new mama to be with ideas swimming in her pregnancy brain.
And then, life overwhelmed me.
Being wight months pregnant and working full time kicked my booty to the extreme, so between work and trying to get the perfect room organized, the keyboard and I took a break.
The jellybean then decided that my belly was the most comfortable place to be and didn't want to get on with the whole coming out party. So, despite my carefully written out birth plan, I had to schedule an induction. Which terrified me even more than the needles that I would be soon facing.
You see, I wanted him to come on his schedule and on his very own birthday (not one chosen by the good doctor), and to be the way it was supposed to be. You know, naturally (no drugs), with the birth ball and squat bar. While my husband and baby daddy gently massaged me through contractions with a carefully chosen play list played from my ipod.
(I know, nuts...hindsight and all that.)
But, my little man decided, the day before his induction/chosen birthday he was having none of that. Contractions started around midnight...and things went on from there. Quickly, with the breathing techniques not quite making it to the...well, let's just say oxygen was involved.
It was a battle that I've learned from (if there's a number two, drugs. As soon as my feet hit the hospital grounds.), but I'm so happy he got the message. Or, should I say he got the message to his mom. Plans may come and go, but life happens.
New Mom Rule...Things happen for a reason, and when they do, you roll with it.
And he's adorable...but more on that later.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Speaking Of Goats

Quite possibly the most terrifying decision I've ever made started with a little buzz in my ear. Not only was this a life changer for me, it would change everything for another person. Never had the maternal mommy bug bite me in all the years I interacted with my beautiful and sassy niece. Who screamed her head off when she was only a few days old when placed into my arms. And, consequently, I never picked her up until she was a year old. And even then, I cringed inwardly hoping she wouldn't wail and permanently damage my hearing.

When I began to feel a little itch (oddly enough, a large part sprung from the fact I thought my husband would make the best and sexiest baby daddy ever), I had conversations with myself about how to broach the subject with my hottie husband.

Of course, I did what any grown woman would do. I let Jack Daniel's join the party. And when the courage was running through our veins, I asked him if he wanted to have babies with me. (I'm sure it was slurring and somewhat coherent.)

Being the sweet loving husband he is, he said of course. If that was what I wanted. (Obviously, he was afraid the next morning I would be all like, wha?)

Fast forward a few weeks later...driving around a beautiful parkway in our area, we were passing a house that had a few horses and baby goats. I have a huge weakness for animals, and baby animals make me melt. And then he said it.

"So, speaking of you really want to start trying to have a baby?"

Speaking of goats?

I have to say, I loved it. Silly romantic that I am, I thought it was a cute way to make me giggle and still let the unsaid have its say.

The rule? Communication is key. Even when it comes to goats.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Work Life Balance

Like anyone else, I struggle with achieving that one thing that is whispered (or proclaimed loudly) by the company they work for.
Work Life Balance.
That mythical legend that your company wants you to be happy and help you have that happiness and balance that we all strive for. You know, the ability to provide for your family (no matter if that family is the two of you, includes furry members, or lil ones running around underfoot.)
So imagine my dismay when a co-worker opened her mouth and pretty much threw that whole thought out the window.
But first, a little background. Working full time in retail management has its benefits...the schedule isn't nine to five, the pace ensures there's never a dull moment, and I get the added benefit of, at times, feeling like I've helped someone feel better about themselves.
I usually get my schedule a month in advance, which means I can easily schedule my life (bellydancing, teaching, yoga, and all that other fun stuff).
Until someone decides to change things around in your carefully orchestrated life and...not tell you. The first time, I let it slide, adjusted things myself. But, as you can guess, you give someone an inch they tend to take a mile.
The above mentioned co-worker is responsible for inputting the schedules into a program that helps to generate the remainder of the associated schedule week by week. After changing things up started to become a habit, I went to her, just to say if she asked me in advance, I could let her know if a change worked for me (because I've always tried to be flexible and not rock the boat.).
Long story short, the conversation ended up with a discussion which included if I had a family with all the scheduling and juggling that inevitably occurs and, the response from her...oy...that I couldn't have a family and work in my job.
I was floored. Now, this person and I are on the same level, she's not my boss, and I knew for a fact that she had plans to start a family after her wedding later that year.
And so, once again, I was faced with one of those supposed rules that I find absolutely ridiculous.
I hadn't even decided to plunge into the deep end of the pool and already someone is trying to tell me what I can and can't do.
I'll make my own work life balance...

Friday, July 8, 2011

What Rules?

As a soon to be mom (gee, it still looks surreal when I see that word applied to me!!!), the one thing that always seemed to get under my skin is the "you'll never be able to (insert past time, vacation destination, power nap, etc here)."


I get it. Truly. Things will change. And I've waited until I knew I was ready (I should say we, because after all, this whole undertaking is a partnership. And I adore the husband.). After all, I've seen friends go through this, and heaven knows, I've watched the poor moms dealing with screaming children who just don't get why they have to be out and about when they'd rather be sleeping, playing, eating, crawling.

But who wrote these rules, and why do we feel like we have to follow them?

Hence, this blog. At least for me. What better way to make my own rules and work them through them?

But, there is the fear that someone out there may feel the need to tell me what I'm doing is wrong or that I don't get it. So, please realize that all the blubbering and craziness may just be a snap shot and take it for what it is.

Rule #1...Take it for what it is. If you can change it, great. If not, eh. Take it for what it is and move on.