Monday, May 14, 2012

Motherhood deterrent

I hate when mothers scare non-mothers away from parenthood. Recently, I was reading a friend's blog post and was saddened by what I read. My friend is totally geeked at the possibility of getting her dream Canon. She revealed this to a group of people and one of them, a mother, remarked that big purchases like that go to the side once you have kids....grrr...

I hate when people give such a negative view of motherhood. Now that I'm a mom, I want to share with the world just how great motherhood is. I choose to focus on the many positives rather than focus on the negatives. In fact, I choose to remedy the small negatives when I can.

When I first had Joely, I spent most of my money on him (still do). Recently, I realized that it's okay to spend money on myself. I think it's important to spoil myself with shopping trips for myself by myself.

I also regret putting off girls' trips and romantic getaways because I was nervous about leaving Joel. I know I'll get those opportunities again, but I think I seriously could've benefitted from a little rejuvenation.

I love being a mother. I love waking up to my smiling Joely. I love his little ornery crawl to the places he's not supposed to visit. I love that he thinks he's a dog. I love the way he shakes his little behind when he's naked and getting ready for a bath. I also love the father-son days. I love his nap-time. I love when he sleeps in (rare).

For me becoming a mom wasn't a big eye-opener. My mom was awesome, selfless and AMAZING! I always wanted to be like her. I've always wanted to be a mom. I've always wanted to sacrifice for my children. I've always wanted to give that unconditional love. I think one thing my mom did really well was balance. She was never into traveling, but my mom can shop. She loves to shop for others, but she always made sure to shop for what she loves. I think when we think that everything must go to our children, we lose sight of what's important: being well-rounded, happy mamas!

I love that he's sees me as mom, but I hope someday (when he's out of that self-absorbed stage) he'll see that I'm a person too.

So, all the single ladies (all the single ladies!) Being a mama is pretty darn awesome.

Friday, May 11, 2012

House Updates

We ended up using the new furniture money for other things like our trip to Philadelphia. We also need to buy Joel a new dresser next month, as he has way too many clothes to fit in his small changing table storage center. I still wanted to give the house an inexpensive face lift. Murad organized the our new roof, gutters and siding. That is all done and it looks great! I picked a red roof for our house. The beige one from before wasn't cutting it!

I bought an all-over stencil from Hobby Lobby for $17, used my brother-in-law's leftover Pebble Grey paint and bought some new paint supplies ($15) to paint a new design for the chair-rail/accent wall in the kitchen. It mimics the look of wallpaper, but it was so much easier and less mess. Plus, I can just paint over it in a few years if I get tired of it. I absolutely love it. It adds some pizzazz to that area!

Next week, I'm painting the dark wood paneling (leftover from the 70's) white. I think it will brighten up the family room especially since the only "windows" are the french doors that lead to the patio.

As soon as Joely starts walking, Murad and I are going to rip up the carpet in the family room and put in hardwood flooring. The hardwood will be kind of expensive, but we'll save money DIYing it.

Our New Life

As the school year winds down, I'm busier than ever. My grades for the community college are due Sunday and I have yet to do them. I'm in the middle of a training for one of my part-time jobs (more on that later). Tomorrow we head to a baby modeling casting call so that we can attempt to put some money away for Joel to attend college (don't modeling is not our only mode of saving for college). Our six year anniversary is next week. Joel turns one on the 22nd. We leave for Philadelphia a few days later where we will celebrate one Joel-birthday and friends' wedding. The school year will end and I will not only pack up my classroom for the summer, but I will pack up forever. Family will travel to Texas for Joel's birthday party (his 2nd one). whew. sounds like a lot, right? It is.
This has been our life for the past few months. I think we always have something. Up until May 1st, it was Murad studying, studying, studying, etc. He did a very good job of balancing his parental duties with studying, but I know it was draining. With his new ADHD medication, he was able to be more focused, but it drained him emotionally and physically. Luckily, he was able to find a dosage that works better so that he's not so tired, hungry and grouchy (yes. I said it!) I loved coming home and finding my honey-do list complete! On May 1st, Murad passed his LMSW exam. He is now a licensed master social worker. This means so many things for our family, but it means the most to my husband. It's the validation he needed to feel good about being a social worker. Getting his master's degree was a huge accomplishment, but you really can't do anything with the degree without the license (or at least make a decent living). Now, he has the opportunity to move up at work, take on PRN jobs or just look for a whole new job. He's got so many options and I think that's what he is really excited about, especially now that we have a family. For now, he's comfortable staying at his current job, especially since it is so flexible.

With his licensure, Murad really encouraged and supported me as I turned in my resignation. Prior to him obtaining his license, I felt a little apprehensive about resigning. I kept saying I was 90% sure. My biggest concerns were financial, but Murad kept telling me that we'd be fine no matter what. Over the past five months, we've just been thinking and praying hard on this. I've been unhappy at work for a while and it doesn't seem like things will get any better next fall. Our former daycare situation scarred us and left us feeling that Joel needs to be home with his parents more. We absolutely love his new sitter and feel as though he has grown so much as a result of her care; however, the selfish part of me wants more time with my boy. The mommy part of me thinks he needs to be with me more. Honestly, I just love spending every minute I can with him. Despite this, I know he needs regular interaction with other adults and children, so we plan to send him to his sitter's twice a week (or more).

I am sad about leaving teaching. I think about all the things I'll miss about being around kids all day and it makes me very, very sad. I think about the friends I've made while working, and I feel overwhelmed with sadness. I feel like I'm abandoning them. the students. my friends. When I think about all the fun things Joel and I will do, it makes it worth it. I smile just thinking about the days ahead. So, on Tuesday I told my principal I would not be coming back and today I turned in my resignation forms. My principal was not happy. In fact, I was shocked at how sad he was. I just have to remember that my family needs me and that I will be extremely happy.

We can afford for me to work part-time, so I plan to teach a couple of classes at the local community college in the evening. Despite this, I also signed up to TA at an online university to make some extra money. Of course, I'll still write. In fact, if writing goes well, I'll drop one of the other jobs. I just think with still having an outstanding hospital bill, saving for a new car, and maybe someday having another baby, it would be good to have a cushion. Plus, having a home comes with unexpected financial surprises and we have seriously depleted our vacation fund(this summer, we're leaving Joel with my parents for a couple of nights while we attend a wedding. I told Murad if all goes well, we could go on another cruise for our 4 year anniversary. gotta start saving now!)

I think the funny part is I'm not struggling with finding my new identity. I guess it's because I get to have the best of both worlds. I'll still get to work outside the home which is something I really want to do, but I'll get to experience being a SAHM. Growing up, my parents both worked full-time outside of the home. Because they worked opposite shifts, it never felt as though we were stuck in daycare. My mom was able to spend the mornings and early afternoons with us, while my dad was on evening and bedtime duty. My parents were always "there." This was something I didn't realize or never really thought about. I didn't realize how badly I wanted it for Joel. Thankfully, Murad wants that too. So now, in true Soup fashion, we are creating our own little culture. We're both still going after our career dreams and passions, but we're also shaping our lives around an important little guy: Joel!