My alibi

(I know! Two posts in two days! What is this MADNESS?!)

The parenting column that I write for RVANews now runs every Tuesday (as opposed to every OTHER Tuesday, as it once was…in the good ol’ days…and the poorer days CHA CHING!). Consequently, the majority of my creative juices have been…flowing? I guess? towards that. Hence the crickets happening over here. So as a way to justify my recent 5-week absence (because I’m SURE everyone was DYING), I thought I’d share a link or two or a million. 1) Because I want you to know that I haven’t been spending all of my time watching Giuliana & Bill (just some of my time) and 2) I think you might like some of these.

So here you go:

Being a good mom friend

He won’t stop touching me

“WHAT DID YOU SAY?”

50 things to teach my son before he goes

My 6 preschooler road trips must-haves

Take back the nap

Me according to him

Hope you like ‘em!

You’ll start happening, too!

This Friday marks what would be Dr. Seuss’s 108th birthday. I’ve got a post up over at Raising Richmond as a little tribute to him. It’s also a reflection on the one year anniversary of my decision to stay at home with JR. Can you believe it’s been that long? Time passes quickly when you’re old and tired.

Anyway, as a little bonus for you guys, I’ve also got a video of me reading my personal Seuss favorite: Oh, the Places You’ll Go! I hope you like it. I also encourage you to post a video (and share a link in the comments) of you reading for favorite Dr. Seuss book. I think it’d be great for two reasons:

1. I love being able to see your lovely faces.
2. It’d be so fun to watch the videos with JR as we follow along in our own copies of each book.

So here you go!

The way I love you

I know it’s been nothing but videos and photos up in here lately, but, well, I’m just being kind of lazy these days. AND LOVIN’ IT.

I wanted to share this video with all of you because it is fantastic and will make you cry ugly-yet-happy tears. And then you’ll go and hold your babies so very tight because, oh my, how time is cruelly and wonderfully fleeting. Also: why did I never learn to play the guitar and then become a beautiful singer with a wonderful voice and an ethereal quality bystanders cannot help but love?

(Thanks to Patience for posting this last week and to The Checkout Girl for telling her about it.)

In related news, I’ve got a piece going up on RVANews tomorrow (Tuesday) about the lullabys (lullabyes?) I sing to JR. I so wish I could go back in time and sing this song to the baby version of him. Anyway, keep an eye out for it…and make sure to leave a comment sharing your favorite baby-lulling tunes.

Elsewhere (again)

Perhaps one of the reasons I’m having a hard time keeping up with posts here is because I keep writing stuff for other places.

Here’s a quick round-up, should you be interested:

First I wrote about eating burgers.

Then I wrote about poop (this isn’t related to the first one).

Next up was a weather exhibit at our local Children’s Museum.

That was followed by a piece about JR’s dog named “Bunn”.

Then we had a bit about a local event that gives toddlers access to heavy machinery.

And finally, I lost my mind whilst parenting JR on my own.

Happy reading!

Life crisis and new rules

I cried a lot this morning.

And, no, I’m not pregnant (SHANNON) and I wasn’t watching Parenthood (the show, not the movie, although the movie also makes me weep… openly).

I slept for about 2 hours last night. The night before that? Preeeeetty much the same. Same thing for the night before that and the night before that.

So that’s been awesome.

Although I said things are better with the whole day care/me working out of the home more situation, my feelings this week are not so much in line with that statement.

Work is stressful right now – you know, like sick to your stomach, please just leave me alone stressful. When it gets to be like that, my first response is “I just want to quit and stay home and be with my kid. It’s not worth it.”

But let’s be honest, in that situation, I’m using the stay-at-home option as a way to potentially escape the stress of work*. I’m not ready to give up working. While I love (love, love, love, LOOOOOOOVE) being home with JR, I also love work. However, I don’t so much love my approach to work.

I work constantly, making myself available to other people pretty much nonstop from the moment I wake up until the moment I got to sleep.

That needs to stop. And quick.

I have other (more important) things to think about, to invest my time in. Like my child, my marriage, and, oh yeah, MY SANITY.

So, it’s rule time.

As of today, Fridays (which are supposed to be my day off) are actually going to be my day off. An Out of office message will be set up and I will only use the Internet to read blogs and celebrity news, just as nature intended.

Also (and this is huge/terrifying for me), I will not be checking email after 9:30pm. This might sound not at all nuts for some people, but trust me, it’s kind of giving me chest pains. One of my jobs requires a lot of communication with freelancers who, incidentally, often do their work at night. But I’ll make it work. It needs to work.

Regardless of the potential wrenches these rules might throw into things, they have to happen. For my kid, my husband, and for me.

(Hold me, I’m scared.)

*I don’t want to imply that people who choose to stay home are doing so to escape the stresses of work. Being a stay-at-home parent comes with its own set of very real and very hard challenges. I just mean that for me, when/if I come to the decision to stay home, I want it to come from a positive place, not from one of stress and frustration with my current situation.

Better

We’re a month into JR’s new routine of going to day care and my new routine of being in the office 3 1/2 (give or take) days a week.

I must say, things are going swimmingly. Aside from that whole missing an entire week due to a cold/ear infection that caused a ruptured ear drum. Details, details.

While some days I hate (hate, hate, hate, haaaaate) dropping him off, overall, we are handling things well. He typically cries when we leave, but I can hear him stop as soon as the door shuts. He also cries when we go to pick him up, but on a few occasions I’ve been able to sneak in without him seeing me, so I know that he waits to turn the waterworks on until he realizes that we’re there. I think he just forgets that he misses us, what with all of the learning and playing and fun-having he’s doing.

I do ok most days. His day care center is within walking distance of our office — something that is both good and bad. Good in that I can get there in 2 minutes if I need to, but bad in that… well, I can get there in 2 minutes if I need to. The building is just sitting there, taunting me all day long.

But the absolute best outcome of our new situation is that I no longer spend the time we are together feeling pulled in two directions. I feel much less guilty about making myself unavailable to work-related tasks in the evening because I’ve been able to invest quite a reasonable chunk of time to those during the day. I’m a better worker, and a better mother because I don’t feel like those two roles are constantly in conflict.

Plus, that “Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama!” I get when I go pick him up is pretty awesome.