1:25 PM

How does she do it? Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of how to cheat and cut corners like me, in order to create a better, work/life balance.

It really does take a village

That is the saying and it's true, child rearing was never meant to be a one woman job. I am not saying that it can't be done that way, many mamas are doing this solo with flying colors. I am just saying its more fun and easier if you have the fortune of following the village approach instead. My village is made up of three main pillars of support.

1. My husband. He is AMAZING. He does most of the cleaning and I do all of the cooking and we split the child rearing half and half. Although I do more hours in a day he really does many hours as well and he is also much better at getting those quality hours to count. I have heard that some husbands can't be left alone with their own children?!?! That they can't cope for even a day. Hog wash! If this is you, get that man into baby boot camp ASAP.
Your mate is your biggest untapped resource for creating more free time for yourself. They are after all near by and will benefit most from a well rested mama. If what I hear around town holds true they are also not measuring up to their true potential. Real men change diapers, steam mop (click here to see the sexiest man alive) and they don't moan about having to do it either. I can guarantee that the men who are complaining to their buddies about how little sex they are having since the kids came are the exact some ones who's wives are always complaining about how little gets done around the house. If I have any male readers let me just tell you now the secret to post baby sex... do the dishes every day with out being asked. A mother has a different definition of romance now than when you were wooing her back in college. Sure flowers are lovely but a house that cleaned it's self while I was having a coffee with the girls.... HOT DAMN!!!!

2. My mom. I am lucky that she lives close enough to make vising easy but not too close as to drive me nuts. My mom rocks, and maybe you only really realize these things after you have kids yourself. My mom is so good at being a mothers helper/grandma that I have her out on loan to several of my other mom friends when they need a hand. She is a full time grandparent, so she is very available. That helps us to keep a tiny bit of spontaneity in our life and also time for luxury items like date nights. She will even take the baby when we are both dying of food poisoning... and then again when we had norwalk virus.

3. My mama posse. This is a group of hand selected carefully vetted moms. In case you have not noticed, there are a lot of mean girls in the world, and when you enter motherhood they are still there but they are often in sheep's clothing... aka hard to detect. It does not take much to be in my posse, the main criteria is live and let live. Rule 1 You do not need to agree with me, what you do need to do is keep it to your self and also not care that we disagree. There are soooo many choices today's parents make, and soooooo many experts that are going to back each of us up. In the end you are not going to convince me, nor am I going to change you, so just drop it and don't wince every time I give my 2.5 year old a bottle. That's just how it's gonna be at my house, get over it. Rule 2, no comparsies. I don't care who walked faster, talked more, counted first. In the end it really does not matter one lick. Our children will be who they are and there is very little we can do, that we aren't already doing, to change it. The simple point is that I let go of the idea that my children should be the best at any thing. I am parenting special needs child(ren), their happiness is the only success I measure. Rule 3 Don't gossip, don't judge, don't offer unsolicited advice.
So once you are in the posse you have an amazing resource at your finger tips. The posse provides, play time for the kids, girl time for the mamas and a safe haven to really be real and really be you.

4. My toddler. He is a cleaning machine. He loves it. He is able to:

  • load the dishwasher - quite a bit of supervision and assistance still required
  • load washing machine and dryer - very little supervision required, I just do the soap for him
  • Swiffer and mop - no supervision required although I do direct him to spots he missed
I am very happy about this since I feel I am contributing to another generation of new and improved males who know how to keep a house, home and family. I was surprised at how fast and eagerly he picked things up, in a few short months he was taking over my chore and actually being a real help to me. I look forward to giving him more chores once his sister comes home too.

There is much too much judging going on in the world, the media and in our selves. Mom's are under a LOT of pressure. I think most of it is coming from an internal place, but it never hurts to limit your exterior pressures as well. Ditch that parenting magazine, or that friend who can only look down her nose at you. Have confidence in your own ability to raise the kid that only you really know. Do what ever you need to do to make yourself happy and the rest of the house hold will benefit. I hope that my honesty in these posts and on this blog will inspire you to cheat more and have more fun doing it.

P.S. I do realize that many of these tips are counter to the attachment process. I will keep you posted on how my style develops with the new challenges that lay before us.


Maple Walnut Mama said...

There is some serious mama wisdom in this post! I am re-building my village after a big move and have been doing a whole lot of thinking about who I want and who I need to be apart of it. Loved the romance bit as well - a clean kitchen goes a long way nowadays!
PS May I email you sometime & ask a few questions (since my family is following along the same adoption journey as your family is).

Sylvia said...

Absolutely my email is angelika22@hotmail.com. I wanted to touch base with you as well but your email is not showing up. All these security measures :)