My dog, Bobo, died today. He was a little over a year old. He will be missed. Last night he wasn't home and Logan drove around the neighborhood looking for him. I went to bed hoping he'd be there when I woke up - he wasn't. On the way home from Mommy and Me as I was driving up the freeway off ramp there he lay on the side of the road. My doggy was dead. I looked away in pain and drove the rest of the way home with a heavy heart. I turned off my car, called Logan and started to bawl.
I told Logan Bobo was dead and he was on the side of the road. Logan was on speakerphone and told me he was coming home to bury Bobo after wrapping up a few details at the office.
I didn't think Sadie, my two and a half year old, was listening or even cared about what I was saying. Boy was I wrong.
"Mommy, Bobo is dead? He's coming home now, right?" Sadie asked me in her innocent voice.
"No, Sadie, he's dead. He isn't coming home." That's when her tears started. Sadie cried on and off unsure of the situation.
When Logan came home we were both surprised by Bobo's body missing from the place I had seen him. Within the hour between my sighting and Logan coming home someone had picked up Bobo's body. There would be no closure of burying his body, of having a resting place we could visit when we wanted to say hello. Bobo had died and then disappeared.
As Sadie continued to cry on and off about Bobo dying I remembered a story my parents had told me when my cat had died when I was little. They told me my cat had gotten married and I would not see him anymore. I spent years on my bike looking for him, wondering if every orange cat I saw was my married cat. I decided Sadie thinking her dog got married was better than thinking he was dead - so I told her he got married.
I was wrong. The message became confusing. Now Sadie was repeating that Bobo had died, gotten hit by a car, had an owie and was married. All of a sudden I had ruined marriage for Sadie. Death and marriage were in the same line of reasoning. Not exactly what I meant to do. I had hoped to eliminate the concept of death completely and replace it with Bobo being a married man, err dog.
I called Logan's aunt, a child psychologist, who explained it was important for Sadie to know the whole truth and to erase the myth of Bobo's marriage. It was important for her to understand he was hit by a car and had died and would not be coming back. An uncomfortable conversation I did not wish to have for many more years. Who knew a toddler could even remotely understand the concept of death?
I love baby wearing! I really do. Aaron likes to be held but he is also content to sleep in his swing. I'm the one who needs to hold him. I love seeing his face only 6 inches from mine. His breath - sweet smell of mother's milk on his tongue. His pursed lips, his perfect nostrils, his hands resting comfortably on my chest. Every once in a while a sigh escapes his lips.
After Aaron was born I decided to hold him less than I held his big sister. I laid him on his back in the cosleeper and left the room. I spent about a week only holding Aaron when he was awake or crying; if he was resting I would put him down. This behavior left a pit in my stomach. It depressed me. I missed my child.
We co-slept with Sadie and only got her out of our bed after Aaron joined the family. We also didn't sleep through the night until I weaned Sadie at 17 months. I was desperate to not repeat the mistakes we made with Sadie. Consulting with friends who do not baby wear I left Aaron to sleep on his own. I can't regain the hours of bonding I missed the first week of his life. I mourn that missed time.
Now that I'm healed at 6 weeks postpartum and wearing Aaron does not hurt my pelvic region, I am wearing him all day. I carry him in my Moby, in my Ergo and in my babysling. Holding Aaron close to my chest brings me great joy. Perhaps for him it doesn't matter, but for me, it is a way to bask in the glory of a newborn while being present for my two year old.
Have you read the departure memo written by an associate (lawyer) to her work colleagues at a big law firm?
Link to memo and article: http://abovethelaw.com/2012/11/departure-memo-of-the-day-parenting-gets-the-best-of-one-biglaw-associate/
She's a mother of two children who attempted to work full time and to fulfill the needs of her family. In the memo she delineates how her day is broken down from the moment she wakes up to the time she finally goes to bed. I read the memo fully sympathizing with her plight. Last night either Sadie or Aaron cried until midnight.
Sadie fussed with the tabs on her diaper. Aaron repeatedly wanted to nurse. Neither wanted to sleep in their bed. Sadie screamed. Aaron cried when Sadie wasn't screaming. It was rough. Thankfully Logan was a calm presence in the night - he kept everything together. After a stressful weekend and lack of sleep, I had zero patience to put up with Sadie's hysterics over her blanket/diaper/bed. Aaron's need to nurse, while tiring, was understandable and tolerable.
Two in the morning when Aaron wanted to nurse again and refused to sleep unless I rocked him, I read this article. I felt for this poor woman. How can we expected to stay up all night with cranky/sad/sick children and then work full time? While I am sleep deprived, my days are filled with cleaning poopy diapers, hanging out with two kids under the age of 3 and cleaning/cooking/spending time with friends. None of these things require great brain power or a well rested mother (although sleep would be appreciated). And here's a woman who obviously wants to be there for her children. Not all women are interested in spending a lot of time with their kids so they hire outside help. But for those women who want to be there for their kids, it's a horrible choice between your kids and your career.
This woman, as an associate at a big law firm, had to have worked her butt off in college, aced the lsat, done amazingly well at a top law school and then invested over 2000 hours of her life per year in the law firm. Those 2000 hours a year are just billable hours, they do not include all the minutes in between that are not billable. This woman INVESTED in her career. Then, as many women do, she decided to have a family. We are repeatedly told women can do it all. Look at Hollywood - example after example of successful women with children, we don't see the team of staff that support these powerhouses.
One day she had to admit that she couldn't do it all. She could not give her family the attention they needed and give her career the attention it needed.
My heart goes out to her. In this ageist society and resume driven workforce, I fully believe having children first and working on your career later is extremely difficult. Who wants to hire a 40 year old woman with little to zero work experience? Companies like to hire fresh young recently graduated folk who have the stamina to work day and night. Young people who are malleable and do not understand the ins and outs of work politics. People who can stay with a company for many years, not people who are nearing retirement age.
Interestingly, her memo gave me clarity. For many years I have beaten myself up for not getting into law school despite trying for three years. I worked my butt off preparing for the lsat and applying to law schools. Instead I got married and have two babies. Here I am. On a frequent basis I become saddened by my lack of academic and professional achievements. Did I really apply myself in school and graduate from a top university to stay at home and be domestic? The answer, I suppose, is yes. I did. My children have a smart mother who will pass on a love of learning. And, I don't have to be an attorney in order to be successful. Later, perhaps, I will find other outlets for my creativity that will bring me satisfaction.
Had I gone to law school I either would not have married or I would have married but chosen to wait on having children. I don't think I would have chosen to have children and leave my job. I love the fact I am home to see my children grow and change. I have seen every milestone in my children's lives. I am a witness to their glory. They are a gift and I am grateful to have the opportunity to be there for them. I continue to struggle with accepting my role as a mother with my desire to feel fulfilled in other ways. However, reading this memo has stressed to me the impossible struggle I would have faced had I gone to law school and then chosen to have a family. How can you choose between two loves?
I can't believe I haven't posted here since Rosh Hashana (the Jewish new year).
So... where have I been?
BUSY MAKING BABIES!!!
Okay, I made a baby and am now slave to a newborn.
We named him Aaron Meir.
I had forgotten how "newborny" newborns are. The feeling of responsibility is daunting. Newborns are so _______________ weak/small/precious/vulnerable/beautiful/precious/overwhelming/poopy.
I feel like I need to do a lightening round of WHERE IS ESTHER before I can start blogging regularly.
Here are some of my thoughts on the past few months:
1. Damn he is a loud pooper. People in the next room can hear him release.
2. Having a 2.5 year old that doesn't nap is absolutely horrible when you have a newborn.
3. 2am and 4am parties aren't as fun as they were in college.
4. Giving birth vaginally is way better than by emergency c-section.
5. Birth hurts but it's doable. No epidural means no intervention, which is just awesome.
6. A second degree vaginal tear SUCKS. Trying to do it all right after giving birth means you might rip some stitches and set your healing time back by weeks.
7. Sleep deprivation is really really really bad for brain function. Writing. Forming complete sentences in conversation. Coming up with words. Having patience with your 2.5 year old. God I miss napping. God I miss sleep.
8. Thank God for the baby swing.
9. The double BOB stroller does not have an insert for the Chicco car seat - what the hell are they thinking????
10. I have become addicted to PretzelCrisps. Not this is not a paid advertisement, I have truly fallen in love with these pretzels. I have become accustomed to dipping them in butter. I have also become accustomed to not fitting into my clothes.
11. A doula is vital to a good birth experience. So is an excellent nurse. So is an excellent doctor.
12. I miss chocolate, a lot. My nursing babies (well Sadie and I am unwilling to test with Aaron) do not do well when I eat chocolate.
13. I'm really excited about the new slippers I bought for myself on Zappos today. They are warm and have arch support.
14. I can't believe what's going on in the east coast. How can there be Americans with no power for longer than a day???
15. I really hate the direction my house faces. There is no light in my house until late afternoon. I wish I could turn my house to face north/south.
16. I'm jealous of Sadie's bright pink Hello Kitty undies... I wish they made them in my size.
17. I have forgotten how to spell.
18. Those Pampers sensitive wipes run out so quickly. Can't they give us more damn wipes?
19. Vaccines are on my mind. I've bought a ton of books about them. To get a flu shot or not to get a flu shot?
20. I miss my ob. I used to look forward to seeing him and now I have to wait until my 6 week check up and then if I problems DOWN THERE.
21. My newborn cries in the car. Just like his big sister used to. Distances I can travel have been halved.
22. My husband is so much more organized than me, it's sickening.
23. I'm bored being a stay at home mom. BORED. Epically bored. I know I'm doing what's best for my kids but I'm feeling like I'm getting dumber by the day.
24. Boys ARE so much easier than girls.
25. I am thankful to God for my vbac, my healthy baby and my family.
26. Did I mention I miss sleep? Chocolate? My v
Meet the Blogger!
I'm a mom. A writer. A lover of good fantasy. A proponent of nursing when possible. A birth advocate. I am absolutely horrible at keeping my house clean or the dishes washed or the laundry done. I strongly believe in women having a positive birth. When we start to respect women's rights to birth the way they want, we can start to treat women as equal people in this world.
Sites I Value