Category Archives: children

Back again!

I’m finally back. These past few weeks have had many ups and downs – and most of the downs are something I was not expecting to deal with, and hope to not face again any time soon. It’s been a rough entry to summer, but I think as a household we are finally finding a groove.

We still aren’t in “our” house yet, and are in a temporary home. It’s nice, but living in a place with not your furniture, and not your appliances can get a bit wearing after a while. We should be in our house by the end of the month, with all of our stuff back. Yay!

This weekend we finally had a gorgeous day, and nothing to do, so we decided to check out a nearby state park. We took both kids hiking up two of the more popular overlooks, and I attempted to make this a learning experience for A. Hey, when a kid asks a geologist why a rock looks a certain way, who can resist? I also ran around trying to get photos of interesting mushrooms. I know the white ones are sometimes called “Indian Pipe” but I’m not sure about the rest. I’ll have to look them up.

Next post, I’ll share my experience in my second ever triathlon!

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The Struggle is Real

I’ve never been the best when it comes to blogging, but it’s definitely gotten worse these last few months. It’s amazing how one can underestimate the time lost once you have kids. Oh sure, I’ve read blogs and stories from moms talking about how it’s so hard to juggle working and kids, or kids and hobbies, or kids and having a social life. I always read those and thought “Not me. I am older/wiser/more organized/less uptight/smarter.”

I would love to go back and laugh in the face of my pre-baby self. HA. HAHAHA.

It seems no matter how many times people tell you, one never really graps how hard this really is. And when you are a working mom, there is so much additional guilt that comes along with it. I feel guilty for not spending all day every day with my son. I feel guilty for sometimes wanting to go out with my girlfriends and not take my son. I feel guilty for wanting J to take Connor elsewhere for a few hours, so I can enjoy a quiet house. And then I feel guilty for even admitting any of this. I work 40+ hours a week. I take at least one evening class a week. I used to go to a weekly knit night, but have had to skip because it’s during bedtime. My other weekly knit night is also during bedtime, but since it’s on the weekend I don’t feel as guilty, since I just spent all day with him. This doesn’t even include errands that may need to be run that week.

And hobbies? HA. By the time he goes to bed, I’m so exhausted I usually head up shortly after him.

I’m not writing this because I want people to pity me, or because I’m looking for validation. I just want to say “It’s hard. It’s really, really hard, even if you don’t work outside the home. You will feel like you’ve lost all sense of your identity outside of ‘mom.’ You may feel like you’re doing so many things, and not giving 100%to any of them.”

That’s completely normal. Which sucks. It sucks that this feeling of being overwhelmed, of never giving enough, of feeling guilty for wanting some time for yourself (and work does not count, no matter what anyone may say.) is considered normal. I wish I had some magic way to overcome it, but I think that no matter what, it’s always a lingering feeling.

So I’m going to work on myself. I’m not going to focus on how I feel like I don’t give him enough time, and instead focus on making the time with him quality time. I may not be home for every bedtime, every bath, but I’ll make sure when I am with him I make the most of it. Even if I’m only home for the temper tantrums and meltdowns for a while.

 

And after that very serious post, I’ll post something about my knitting later this week.

 

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Finished Object Friday

Woo hoo, another FOF! It’s only been what, 6 months since I did one? There’s a lot to catch up on. Granted, not much has been accomplished since the little one was born, but I have lots to share from right before he arrived.

 

Fall Antlers20141004_140553_medium2 Knit in Neighborhood Fiber Co. Worsted weight yarn, size 3-6months. While Connor has already outgrown it, I will say that the sizes run true. He’s just a giant baby that is already in 6-9 month clothes at times. Super easy to follow, fun to knit, and bonus! it is sized from newborn to adult, so the whole family can have one!

I’m actually thinking of knitting him a second one in a larger size.

Owlet

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This is the second Owlet sweater I have knit. The pattern is so easy, and since it’s knit in a chunky yarn, it’s finished almost as soon as it’s started! I let A choose what buttons she wanted for eyes, and she went at that with a passion! Each owl has a set of eyes, and while no two eyes match, at least each set has a theme. The yarn used for this one was Berrocco Vintage Chunky- a nice machine washable wool/acrylic blend.

Baby Hat and Booties

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These were knit just before Connor was born. The hat still fits him, but those booties were too small by the time he was a month old or so. Both were super easy projects, and were nice  little things to work on at the end of my pregnancy, when I was fidgety and nothing was entertaining for more than a few minutes.

Pumpkin Hat

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And finally, the pumpkin hat. Connor was due in October, so this seemed fitting. I used the leftover Neighborhood Fiber Co yarn and some green alpaca/wool blend I had hanging around for the stem. This also knit up in just a day.

 

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The Princess Paradox

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Photo courtesy of Jennie Park Photography

This morning as I was nursing my son, my stepdaughter turned on Disney Junior. It was early, and I was too tired to argue about watching tv first thing in the morning, so I let her. Plus. the show looked decent enough.

What did she turn on? “Princess Sophia.” Apparently this show follows a fictional princess through dealings with her family, going to princess school, and learning what it means to be a princess. No big deal, right? Well, to premise of today’s episode was summed up in a single line from one of the teacher’s at princess school- “A good princess helps others, no matter how important something she wants to do is.”

What?

So to be a princess, little girls should always put others first, no matter what? No wonder women in the corporate environment (and in general) are expected to be passive and agreeable- that’s what we’ve been training them to be!

Parents and grandparents walk around calling their daughters and granddaughters princesses, and surround them will all kinds of images of Disney  characters that personify this. The phrase “That’s not what princesses do” or “Would a princess do that?” seems to be thrown at female children regularly. And what do princesses do? They are quiet, well behaved, don’t act out, don’t interrupt, don’t get dirty, and apparently put others needs before their own, no matter what.

Then when they grow up, they get frustrated because they are always doing for other people, always putting their needs second, always being polite and not causing waves or upsetting people, and what does that create? Unhappy adults who get frustrated and burnt out. They get frustrated that they aren’t respected at work, angry that they seem responsible for everyone’s happiness at home, and feel guilty for occasionally wanting to take time/resources to do something they want to do.

This is not what I want for my children. I want them to explore everything- explore sounds and activities and nature and science and be silly. You know- like a *kid*. While helping others and being considerate of those around us, I don’t want my children to think that women should sacrifice everything for the needs of others. Sometimes, their own needs or desires come first. I don’t want my daughters growing up with a princess complex, and I don’t want my sons growing up to expect women to “act like a princess.”

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