Thoughts on Grandparents

Grandparents are special to us in ways that parents can never be… my grandparents always made sure that I had pancakes each morning we were together (if that’s what I wanted). They made sure that I had lots of fun and they didn’t worry too much about discipline. After all, they got to return me after a while and it wasn’t their job to worry about the consequences. This was the best part about being a grandchild, the unconditional love and acceptance no matter what.

Well, last week my beloved grandfather passed away. My grandfather, Martin, and grandmother, Dorothy, had been married for almost 65 years. My poor grandpa had such terrible health issues his last few years here on earth and I know he’s happy to be rid of his aging and decrepit body. I know that it’s hard for my grandma to imagine her life without her other half. Thankfully the doctor says her health is great but I know that this stress is a lot for her.

Today I pray for my grandma, my aunt, my uncle, and all who are dealing with the death of my grandpa. Life is difficult and beautiful at once. We mourn the loss of one and the future of another. Martin was a hardworking man who loved his bride so very much. Their example of Christian fidelity has served as an inspiration for me all my life. My grandmother is a strong woman with a good church family and I know she will make it through this but it doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye.

Love you so much, grandpa.

1934365_251737620318_6035279_n

Advertisements

Hey hey

How’s it going!?! Yeah, so, I kinda fell off the face of the earth there for a moment, eh? My sinuses are killing me. This has been one of the worst allergy seasons… and it doesn’t help that I’m “allergic to life” (as my husband likes to say). The post-nasal drip has been giving me a sour stomach and that just really takes the cake. Or makes me not want the cake rather. Or any food except I really want all the food so yeah, there’s that.

Okay, where was I? Right, so Tuesday is the big day. Getting the IUD removed and opening myself up to the possibility of pregnancy (and periods). Ugh. It’s super exciting but then not exciting at all. If that makes any sense. I’ve lived pretty much period-free for quite some time now and I must say it’s one of my favorite things about having an IUD. Seriously. Best. Ever. So, I’m not excited about the monthly curse arriving once again and ruining 1/4 of my month. Another thing that comes with Aunt Flo’s arrival is the reminder that I’m not pregnant. Yeah, I haven’t even had my IUD removed and I’m already worrying about not being able to get pregnant. Crazy.

I’m insane. I should be more excited but really I’m just more nerve-wracked than anything. Which is typical actually. I’m what’s scientifically known as a worrywart yes, it’s a technical term (just kidding). If I didn’t worry about everything my friends would worry about me. I don’t know why I always worst-case-scenario everything. Well, yes I do actually, I have clinical anxiety. Right. That thing I think I’m dealing with so well but that creeps up on me and hangs out when I’d least like it to. So, there’s that. But also, there’s happy times. Life isn’t all doom and gloom. Unless you count the fact that Jethro chewed a hole in our rug the other night. Yeah. But really though, I’m doing well. I love my husband and my sweet puppy (even though he is in trouble right now) and I’m excited for the future. I’m trying to figure out the future baby’s room layout and what furniture we’ll need. Stuff is expensive though. Good gracious. I have champagne taste on a beer budget.

Also, some things I just feel like I have to buy new. Like the rocker/glider. It kinda weirds me out to be sitting in someone else’s sweat. I mean you can’t really wash furniture. You never know what weird smells it could have that creep up on you over time. No thanks. But there are too many choices. I have such a hard time making choices. Craig gives me such a hard time about this. I’ve mentioned before that I suffer from paralysis by analysis. There’s so much pressure to pick the right thing. My problem is that I don’t know if it’s right or wrong until I’ve lived with it a while… then it’s definitely wrong and I want something else. Which is expensive. So, I just need to live with it. But I hate living with it… so we get something different and then sometimes it’s perfect and sometimes it’s not.

So, because I know that these are big decisions and I’ll have to live with them for a while I really have been way over-thinking them. I mean, it would suck to buy a rocker/glider and then after a few months realize it’s the most uncomfortable thing in the world and it’s too late and I just have to live with it. Do other people have this problem? Am I just ridiculous!?! Wait, don’t answer that. I’m totally ridiculous. Admission is the first step, right? So, now what? I need to relax. The perfect dresser isn’t going to be out there and in my price range and that’s okay. It’s just a dresser. Maybe I should just quit looking on Craigslist and shop at Ikea. Reasonable prices in case I end up hating it. Plus, some of their stuff is made out of solid wood.

In other news I have not been exercising as much as I told myself I would this year. Which sucks. It’s so easy to fall out of the habit. I cannot afford the $150 a month barre membership and I’m not a gym-type person so I’ve resorted back to home workouts and because I don’t have somewhere to be with some cost attached it’s much to easy to hit the snooze. Monday morning starts a new chapter and I’m forcing myself up to do the scientific 7-minute workout written up by the NY Times. Gotta get back in the game!

This is where I leave you. A rambling post on a Friday afternoon. Thanks for being my sounding-board. I’ll leave you with some inspiration pieces for the future nursery. Let me know your thoughts!

I like these colors:

I like this photo collage and dresser:

 

And I like this sweet room:

But I also really like these colors:

And I definitely want a white crib:

But maybe I want a two-toned crib:

Or maybe I want a more traditional crib:

Oh, but I really like this two-toned one:

Oh my gosh… do you see what happens!?! Okay, I’ve gotta stop… too many choices. I’m going down the rabbit hole. Please, I need your help. Tell me your favorites and share with me what you used (if that’s the case). Someone has got to narrow this all down for me. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

 

A Working Mom (Outside The Home)

So, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the whole work-life balance and the idea that working outside the home can actually be a good thing for me and my future offspring. I read an article recently about children from households where the mother worked outside the home (no matter the total hours) and the impact that has on their future.

Women whose moms worked outside the home are more likely to have jobs themselves, are more likely to hold supervisory responsibility at those jobs, and earn higher wages than women whose mothers stayed home full time, according to research by Kathleen McGinn and colleagues.

This is encouraging news! I believe that showing children that women can be successful outside the home helps them believe that they, too, can be successful outside the home. Not to say that being a SAHM is a bad thing, just that women who work outside the home shouldn’t feel like they are doing their children a disservice.

“In a new study of 50,000 adults in 25 countries, daughters of working mothers completed more years of education, were more likely to be employed and in supervisory roles and earned higher incomes. Having a working mother didn’t influence the careers of sons, which researchers said was unsurprising because men were generally expected to work — but sons of working mothers did spend more time on child care and housework.” (NY Times)

This new study is part of a shift away from focusing on whether working mothers put their children at a disadvantage and toward a richer understanding of the relationship between work and family. I especially like the note about how sons of working mothers took on greater responsibilities around the home. This demonstrates that so much of how we are as adults is shaped by our experiences as children. Children who grow up with a father who takes a more active role in the child-rearing and housework influence their children by modeling more egalitarian behavior.

“There’s a lot of parental guilt about having both parents working outside the home,” McGinn says. “But what this research says to us is that not only are you helping your family economically—and helping yourself professionally and emotionally if you have a job you love—but you’re also helping your kids. So I think for both mothers and for fathers, working both inside and outside the home gives your kids a signal that contributions at home and at work are equally valuable, for both men and women. In short, it’s good for your kids.”

My mother both worked full-time when I was little and was a SAHM for a season when my sisters were born. She went back to work full-time when my sisters were in Elementary School. My step-father never took an active role around the house (unless you include repairs and outside work) and I vividly remember my mother being solely responsible for many of the domestic chores.

Craig is the main cook in our house and he’s very good about taking out the trash and doing home maintenance. I tend to be the one who does the dishes, and laundry, and indoor cleaning. I feel like we split our duties rather evenly. So, I’d love to know about you! Did you have a mom who worked outside the home? Did you have a father who took a more active role in the housework? How are your duties now as an adult? Please share! 🙂

The Happy Housewife?

So, remember when I was talking about trying to get pregnant this year? Yeah, so, one of the things that I struggle with is the desire to be a SAHM. I feel like the best person to spend day-in and day-out with my future child is myself. I have half a graduate degree dedicated to early-childhood education and I feel like no one else could do a better job than myself.

BUT… Could I really hack it as a stay at home mom? Would I be a “happy housewife” if given the opportunity? I can barely keep up after myself, let alone my husband and dog, add another human to the mix and I’m just not sure. I’ve mentioned before that my husband is a former chef and he does most (read: all) the cooking. I’ve tried to take a more active role but I just suck at it and it’s not fun for me but I know that once this baby comes I’m going to have to step up.

I even tried Blue Apron (total fail… that’s a post for another time) and it kinda helped out but mostly just reminded me of how bad I suck at cooking. I’m not creative in the kitchen and I have no idea about flavor profiles and, well, any of the “rules”… I once used red wine instead of white wine in a dish because that’s what we had on hand and didn’t know that was not going to work.

I definitely didn’t get the training my husband did. My mother is really good at frozen vegetables and plain chicken. We ate a lot of meatloaf and mashed potatoes growing up. In her defense my step-father had a terribly picky palate. I also didn’t get any cooking skills from my biological father’s side of the family. I mean, let’s be honest, my grandmother makes Jell-O salads with her dinners and considers them a legitimate side dish. Lettuce on the plate cafeteria style and all. It was what you did in the 50s and besides, my grandpa loves it.

A recent study shows that working moms have healthier, more successful kids (Psychology Today). I believe this is because many people over-parent and do more harm than good. Working outside the home will keep my brain engaged in higher-level thinking and will keep me from getting over-invested in my child’s well-being. I know that I tend to be a smother-er with my affection (ask Craig) and I would hate to over-do it with my child.

So, I’ve started looking into high-quality day-care facilities in the area and really preparing myself for the reality of being a mom who works outside the home. My working mom friends talk endlessly about the “juggle” you maintain when there aren’t enough hours in the day. Thankfully I have a great job with a lot of flexibility. I am grateful for the ability to get away as needed and I think that will help. Overall I’m excited about the future. Having a full-time job will keep us in a position financially to travel often and to expose our child to the great wonders of the world and that’s a good thing.

 

So, what about you? What are your thoughts on the subject? Any SAHM’s out there? WAHM‘s? Full-time workers? How do you maintain a balance? Help me out here… I want your advice!

P.S. Here’s an interesting take (Being a Stay-at-Home Mom is not a Job). I tend to agree with this article. I mean, as a full-time worker outside the home I will still have to find time to cook and clean and maintain the home but I’ll also be gone for the majority of the day. Thoughts?

Monday Catch Up

Wassup!?! Long time, I know. A lot has been happening and I’ve been so hesitant about sharing my personal life on this blog. I’ve written about it before (herehere, and here). In addition to both my father and step-father passing away last fall, my great aunt passed away a few days ago and another great aunt of mine isn’t doing well.

On top of the family stress, my husband is working on his Certified Financial Planner license which requires him to be in class on Friday and Saturday for four weeks with only two weeks off in-between modules. He started the program in January and will be finished in November. This, plus tax season, meant that we’ve been feeling stretched thin.

Really though, I think the main thing holding me back has been my fear of allowing myself to get personal and ultimately the fear of rejection. So, here I am… trying once again to move past the fear.

As I mentioned in my New Year – New Goals post one of the goals was for more healthy living. Y’all know that I’m pretty healthy overall. I make good choices when it comes to my food intake and my exercise but I definitely could do better.

So, here is where I am today… contemplating what I want from my life, what I want from my blog, what I want for the future… where am I headed and do I even want to go there?

How about a goals update?

  1. Focus on Christ – Better but not what it could be. Busy is not an excuse. I really need to get back into the habit of daily reading. I’m working on this. Gotta make time for what’s most important.
  2. Nurture Relationships – I’ve been making this a priority. Craig and I have so little free time right now and I feel silly booking out weeks in advance but I’m making it happen! Gotta make time for my relationships.
  3. Healthy Living – I’ve been off and on with Pure Barre. It’s great but I don’t feel like I get the instruction I need and I find I’m injuring myself. My joints just need extra careful maneuvering and I don’t feel like I’m getting the instruction/ attention I need/ deserve. I’m going to start running on the treadmill again after work and working out at home as often as possible. At least it’s free (Pure Barre is ridiculously expensive). I’m taking prenatals (yay) and not drinking soda (ugh) so at least I’m keeping up with the other stuff.
  4. Better my Budget – Craig and I have really been reigning in the spending. I feel like now that we’ve accomplished the major renovations on the house we can just squirrel away the money until the little one comes.
  5. Personal Development – Well, I definitely did not re-enroll in graduate school (darn that GRE) but I contemplated it once again. I know I really don’t have time but I don’t have time to waste either. I really am thinking about just taking the dang GRE as soon as possible and applying with whatever score I have just to get the ball rolling. I’m so close to my master’s that it just makes sense to try and squeeze it in. I’m still spending way too much time on Facebook and I haven’t picked Fluenz back up but I am trying to do more reading and less surfing the internet. Progress? Hopefully.

Are you up to date? Almost. Next month I get my IUD removed. It’s for real happening. We’re really going to try and get pregnant. As of next month there’s no turning back. I’m both excited and petrified. I have grown so accustomed to doing life my own way that I’m super scared of what it will mean to be responsible for another human being. I can’t even. I’m so close to throwing in the towel and staying childless… but then I see those Publix commercials and my emotional side takes over and I feel super strong about procreating asap.

I’m sure I’m not alone in my fears and excitement and conflicted nature. I’m hoping to share with you more. I’m hoping to move past my fear and to be honest with you. Maybe someone out there has the same concerns? Maybe this little bit of sharing will help someone? Who knows? I do know that I’ll be back in a few days with some more thoughts so stick around! 🙂