Just a Stay at Home Mom

We’ve all heard the story of the woman who is wasting her education being just a stay at home mom. I can’t tell you how offended I feel when people say I’m just a stay at home mom. I don’t understand the purpose of that word. Why do people feel the need to downgrade what I do? Yet even when I feel this way, I find myself slipping at calling someone just a stay at home mom. Being a stay at home mom is so much more difficult than people realize, but I already make noise about that particular subject too often. I want to examine where this word just comes from.

When people think of the word feminism, they likely think of women who want to be treated like men. There are many stereotypes of the woman with short hair who wants to work in manual labor or be in the army. What you don’t probably realize is that feminism is actually about choice. Once upon a time, women couldn’t get an education. Women couldn’t work outside the home. The only option for women was to stay home and take care of the children and the home. Feminism came about because some women wanted to do more. Emphasis on some.

Don’t get me wrong, I do want to work outside of my home one day. I also want to be the one to raise my children. I never want to look back and regret that I was working instead of watching and helping my children grow. Being a mother and wife is my first career. The majority of people change their occupation multiple times throughout their lives. This is just my first occupation–and the most important of them all.

Back to feminism. While there were women out fighting for the right to chose what they do with their lives, there were women in the background that were happy with staying at home. Not to say that they didn’t want a choice–it’s just that if they were given the choice, they would still chose to stay home. The purpose of feminism is having the choice.

In our society, young girls are brought up being told that they can be anything. You could be a doctor! You could be a lawyer! You could be The President! So what do you want to be? How often do you hear a little girl say “I want to be a mommy!”? Almost all little girls do, but they don’t see it as a career choice. They just assume that they’ll be a mommy and have a career. No one thinks of being a mother as a career. What other hobby do you do that takes your whole heart, requires your full attention 24 hours a day, and make you want to pull your hair out? If anything, it sounds like a job to me.

So please, try to make an effort to stop saying just a stay at home mom. Being a stay at home mom is so much more than sitting on the couch watching TV. As for those women who are “wasting their education” being a stay at home mom, did you ever stop to think that part of parenting is being educated so that you can educate your children? Also, having a degree means you’re more likely to make educated decisions about regarding your children–which I believe is a very important part of parenting. There is nothing just about being any kind of parent–especially a stay at home mom (or dad for that matter).

Newsletter – 7 Months

Dea,

It’s day 5 of The Cold War. You’ve been fussy and decided that sleep is obviously for the weak. If you don’t split gums or cough up blood soon, Mama is likely to drop a nuclear bomb.

Anywho, happy 7 months and YOU’RE CRAWLING! At exactly 6 months and 6 days, you took your infamous knee-moving-forward-in-the-right-pattern-ness. You’ve decided this newly acquired skill is perfect for chasing the dog around. She hates you. I don’t understand why you don’t realize this with all of the growling and the fact that She. Bit. You. I mean, those definitely are signs of pure infatuation and you should continue to chase her around the house. Silly Mommy, what was she thinking? Also, you’re fricking fast! Makes this whole keeping you away from the dog thing difficult.

Within days of the momentous discovery of crawling, you decided that was simply not enough. Standing! Yes, we must learn standing! The perfect place to learn this new skill? In the playpen that Mama was already considering moving down to the lower level. What does Mama do? Cheer and take pictures… until you front flipped out of the playpen and landed on your head. Yeah, sorry for the whole breaking your brain thing.

You started eating non-breastmilk food this month. It adds a total new level to the complicated-ness of our life, but it’s pretty awesome at the same time. You love blueberry pancakes, yogurt, and I can’t possibly forget ICE CREAM. The first time you had ice cream you got covered in it and started crying when it was all gone. That said, you’re a much messier baby now.

To end this as the most milestone-y newsletter ever, you figured out the stairs today. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but you crawled all the way up the stairs at Grandma and Grandpa Wilde’s house. Luckily, it seems like the stairs at home are slightly higher so hopefully you won’t figure those out for a couple more days. Climbing stairs wears you out though. I think I might make you do it every night before bed.

Love you Peanut,

Mommy

One Year

IMG_8215 I wake up just before 7 am to a baby pinching my face. No husband to be seen because he fell asleep on the couch watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. We eat lunch with my in-laws and then hang out and do absolutely nothing for the rest of the day. I never thought this would be how my first wedding anniversary would be, but it’s oddly fantastic.

I decided this is the perfect opportunity to thank my husband. I know I complain at times, but he is truly awesome. I love you Curtis.

Thank you for bringing me stuff. This one will probably sound ridiculous to outsiders, but Curtis brings me everything ever ever ever and he doesn’t complain. While I was pregnant and didn’t want to get up you’d go to the kitchen and bring me a cookie. While I’m breastfeeding you bring me water. When I’m draped with a sleeping baby you bring me my book. While I’m trying to get Peanut to sleep in the room you bring me my phone. You literally run back and forth bringing me things constantly and I love you for it.

Thank you for sticking around. I know that we didn’t plan on getting pregnant so soon, but you were there for me and our baby 100%. You went to almost every prenatal appointment with me, Bradley Method classes every week for 3 months, and even caught Peanut on her way out. Thank you for rearranging your life for us.

Thank you for deal with me. I know that sounds over-dramatic, but I’m quite often over-dramatic. You deal with me and my craziness and you’re not afraid to tell me when I’m being crazy. You ground me.

Thank you for being the breadwinner. I know that you didn’t entirely agree with me being a stay at home mom at first, but I think you’re beginning to see the benefits and you realize how happy it makes me. Also, thank you for not complaining when I didn’t work for the second half of my pregnancy. A lot of other men would have been upset with me and wanted me to suck it up and get another job.

Thank you for being my advocate. Sometimes when I get timid and can’t defend myself, sometimes when our family questions our parenting choices, sometimes when friends get frustrated with me for leaving raids to go deal with the baby.

Thank you for watching Peanut while I went to school last semester. And thank you for not getting mad at me when I came home early because I missed her.

Thank you for cuddling with me when I really need a cuddle.

Thank you for not minding when I pause the show we’re watching for 20 minutes to get Peanut back to sleep.

Thank you for watching Desperate Housewives with me and even discussing it with me.

Thank you for watching Peanut sometimes so I can just take a nap.

Thank you for going with me to the grocery store when you don’t really want to.

Thank you for laughing even when my jokes aren’t very funny.

Thank you for realizing when I tell you to go away that I really don’t want you to.

Thank you for making me feel sexy.

Thank you for letting me dress you up every Halloween in a costume that matches mine.

Thank you for not yelling at me when I spend too much money.

Thank you for marrying me on such short notice and not caring what people think about it.

Thank you for loving me. Thank you for loving our daughter. I love you so much that the thought of it makes me tear up. I never want to lose you. You are a fantastic husband and father. I love you Couris. Not only that, I like you.

Yogurt with a Spoon!!!

What? Baby-led weaners can eat from spoons?!?!?? I know, I was surprised too. Actually, this might sound ridiculous, but I thought that baby-led weaning=spoons are the devil. This becomes a problem when you realize that some foods are best left for spoons. I can’t say I’d be very happy if I had to eat my ice cream with my hands. Also, not to say that baby-led weaning is at all tidy, things that require spoons are much more messy without a spoon.

So, yogurt!

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There is a difference between traditional spoon use and what we do. I do not stick the spoon in Peanut’s mouth. The spoon goes in front of her mouth and she chooses to (or not to) take the stuff off the spoon.

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We like yogurt!

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I decided to let Peanut use the spoon herself today.

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Messy, but we know which end goes in the mouth!

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It’s pretty similar to how we do water. The Baby-led Weaning book seems to say that we should just give her the cup and let her go at it, but she just kept tipping it over so I decided to try something different. First we did sippy cups, but I quickly realized that it was a completely different thing from drinking out of a real cup, so we gave up on those. I decided that helping her drink it would be the best. I hold it up to her and she drinks out of it. We’re ordering a Doidy cup online that I’m going to let her try herself now that she understands how water works.

Various Baby-led Weaning Pictures

This is a compilation of various baby-led weaning photos I’ve taken because Peanut is just so dang cute. Each one will have a little explanation to hopefully help out other baby-led weaners (teehee weaners) as they start out. Yay!

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We had strawberry oatmeal for breakfast a few days after starting baby-led weaning. Since we haven’t tried out spoons yet, I figured she could just eat it with her hands. She didn’t understand and just smacked the oatmeal. It was pretty amusing.

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This is a classic example of “the face.” When trying new things (this time is turkey, ham, and kiwi for lunch), she makes this disgusted look like Oh my god what’s in my mouth?!? My mother-in-law seemed offended at first when she made this face while eating her cooking, but I’m convinced the face is nothing but humor. What convinces me of this? When she makes this disgusted face, she continues to eat the same thing that made her make the face.

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Rice has been interesting. We’ve always eaten traditional Japanese rice that bunches together because it’s so sticky. I figured this would be the perfect thing for Peanut. This time we paired it with steamed broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower. I figured that I could eat something slightly different, so I added shrimp and soy sauce to mine (soy sauce is a definite no for babies because salt content, but since this I’ve decided to let her have shrimp the next time I eat it because we have no history of shellfish allergies in our family). At the beginning, she wouldn’t even pay attention to her own. I’ve noticed that even if I’m eating the same thing but differently (like using a spoon and bowl for my cereal while hers in on her highchair tray), she wants mine. After she finally started paying attention to her own, she chomped on the vegetables and got the rice all stuck to herself, but I doubt any actually made it down her throat.

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I decided to include this picture just to say that juicy fruits (in this case, apricots) should always be eaten naked.

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She thoroughly enjoyed pineapple upside down cake, but I didn’t enjoy chucks of pineapple in her poo. I know, TMI.

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And finally, ICE CREAM!!! Peanut LOVES ice cream. At first, I tried giving her little chucks to hold on to, but she didn’t want to pick them up (maybe because their cold?) so I just let her get it right off my cone. It was funny and gross and fun all at the same time. She looked like she was trying to latch onto the ice cream. It got everywhere. She loved it soooooo much. She kept diving for it whenever it was near her face. I was surprised that her shirt actually came clean in the wash. Figures the one time I decide that chocolate actually sounds good is when my baby gets covered in ice cream.

In regards to the foods that people are told their babies should avoid until their first year, we’ve decided to just avoid the ones we have family allergies of… which is nothing. The ones that are kind of allergies (my brother-in-law had some allergies when he was young that he grew out of, some distant relative got a rash when he ate strawberries, and my entire family doesn’t handle dairy very well) we’ve decided to just watch out. Thus far, we haven’t noticed any food making her grouchy, have upset tummy, weird poo, rashes, or anything of that sort. I have watched really closely when introducing the foods on the no-go list and even more so on the kind of family allergies.

Blueberry Pancakes and Bananas

I’ve decided to continue to post pictures of our baby-led weaning experience. This post is blueberry pancakes and bananas! Yum!

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I cut the banana in half and then into fourths long ways. They were kind of difficult to pick up, but once she got the banana in her mouth she was happy!

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Since this, I’ve decided to start taking her diaper completely off when she eats foods that seem like they’ll be messy. This works especially well for us because we’re doing part-time elimination communication. Luckily the blueberry came out of her gDiaper.

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Of course she always gets food all over her face. It’s so cute!

She also swallowed a blueberry whole (they were cooked, so she didn’t choke) and I expected to see it later (if you know what I mean), but over a week later I didn’t see anything that resembled a blueberry. I know, TMI.