Saturday, February 05, 2011

Communique from the library

As I lay awake listening to everyone else in my house snore this morning at 5:30am, after pumping milk, I read this blog post on the less-than-ideal aspects of working from home and recognizing some of the benefits of putting your kids in daycare. It was such a nice relief to read some of those thoughts to consider the benefits it will have in my life as well in order to help balance some of that guilt I was/am grappling with. I'm also thinking more of some preventive measures and organizing I can do to make our family's weekend less about doing every single chore we ignore Monday through Friday, so that we can enjoy each other on the weekends and make sure the time that we have together is quality time. More about that when I've thought it through more.

Currently, I'm parked at the public library waiting my turn for free tax preparation. Here's some random thoughts that have been rattling around in my sleep deprived mommy brain:
  • Note to self: When planning long errands, IE-doing taxes, out side of the home and away from lil man, I should probably start bringing my breast pump along. That breast milk I've been so anxious about saving? Yeah. It's probably about to get wasted a bit and just end up on my shirt before this errand is through.
  • Baby Signing. Hm. I hadn't really thought too much about trying that before. But it seems like a good idea to try now that I've killed some time browsing in the children's section.
  • Lullabies- did your parents sing you one/some? My family used to sing "You are My Sunshine" to me. I'm not sure I know all the words to it though. My family probably didn't either, but I never really cared. I tend to sing the baby whatever songs come to mind that I know a decent amount of words to. This has included songs by Mary J. Blige and Florence and the Machine recently.
  • We are going to be participating in our first CSA this summer through Soul Fire Farm. I'm super excited about it! I would like to be eating more locally & am happy to be supporting these rad folks in their farm.
  • I miss my worms. (As in, compost worms) I've had intentions of making a longer post about the subject, and even took pictures to do so! Maybe I still will. But after successfully making and maintaining my first attempt at urban compost, my SO talked me into giving them away because those duties unofficially fell on him when I was pregnant and there were some (understandable) doubts about my ability to maintain them with a newborn. I had to pick my battles since he was already doing the cat litter box (after I had to show him some data to prove this exposure to cat poop wasn't just some urban myth I was using to torture him).
  • Anyway, maybe I'll make another worm bin. Someday. ::Sigh::
There's no good way to tie up a post this random. I have a million other thoughts rattling around in my head. Things about money & debt, doing service work with kids, traveling, things happening in the middle east, and Santa Claus-but my eyes are starting to hurt. Maybe I'll write again soon. Three posts in a week has got to be a record for me! We'll see.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Counting the days

I'm getting practice trying to be that "present parent" that I so hope to be, as I attempt to enjoy my last few days before returning back to work on Monday.

Even though we began looking at daycares since back when I was about 5 months pregnant (yup, I'm an over planner), we only just officially selected one yesterday (yup, I'm also a procrastinator. A strange mix, I admit). I hemmed and hawed over the merits of daycare centers versus a daycare run out of a person's home. How would this affect our budget? Our vaccination choices? Our commutes to work? What were their philosophies on infant care? (You get the picture)

Then after much evaluation, and re-evaluation...well, I had wasted a lot of time. It came down to me deciding that I was procrastinating at this point, because frankly I just didn't want to leave my kid with anyone else. In the meantime, my top contender for an in-home daycare had filled it's last infant slot.

But in some ways, I think it's best we waited so long to decide. Not only because we've managed to find someone who has a lower child to adult ration, is very reasonably priced and in a more convenient location, but more so because in the few days between that decision and my return to work- I am completely deconstructing this woman in my head!

Perhaps she wasn't as "warm" of a personality as I'd hoped. Did I really check every corner of her house to ensure it was clean? How much TV does she watch during the day? Why doesn't she have a rocking chair? Was she believable when discussing her belief in an infant needing to be held often? Shouldn't I have hooked her up to a lie detector? Why did she have an infant space available anyway? Is that an indicator of something?

Any more time to think about it and surely this woman is going to start having horns and a tail in my mental image. She didn't raise any alarms when I met her at all. And I'm trying to remind myself to go off of those instincts. It's the not knowing for sure that kills me. I'm not good at not knowing. And my kid has no sure fire way of telling me if he's mistreated. Of course, there will be some signals he could give me if the setting is unfit-withdrawn behavior; not being well cleaned or fed; injuries or excessive illness. But it would break my heart for it to ever have to come to that.

The challenge here folks, is how to stay present when anxiety looms. As a therapist it's a question I help others grapple with often. Positive thinking; activities to stimulate your senses and remind you that you are in the current place and time; cognitive behavioral techniques that help identify irrational thinking. It would help me to practice what I preach right about now.

I'm working on keeping that anxiety in check by enjoying the baby's gummy smile, reading about how other mom's make working outside of the home work for their family via blogs of other conscious parents and rad women, and reminding myself to trust my instincts. Those instincts served me well in pregnancy and birthing, and (so far) in realizing what my baby needs. I have to trust that they will continue to serve me well in who I pick for child care.

And if all else fails, maybe I will take a picture of the baby being held by his new daycare provider. Something I can look at during the day at work to re-acknowledge that he's safe in her capable hands. Or, at the very least, something to remind me that she does not, in fact, have horns.