Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Stay-at-home motherhood? What's that?

During my maternity leave, I've discovered two things: One, I am going to miss my kids when I go back to work. Two, there is no way I could be a stay-at-home mom.

Don't those two emotions conflict? Yeah, I guess they do. But as much as I love my kids, as much as I want to be the one who feeds them and plays with them everyday, the reality is Mommy has to go to work.

I don't see how we could manage with just one income. True, we'd save a boatload of money by not worrying about childcare, but still. With the way the economy is, and the price of everything skyrocketing, I like the idea of a two-income family, if for no other reason than to make me feel more secure about being able to provide for my kids.

But historically, haven't black women always worked outside the home? Isn't this a cultural thing? Isn't this just what we (black women) do? Give our all in all areas of our lives?

Truthfully, I didn't even know being a stay-at-home mom was an option. When I found out I was pregnant with my son, I told my boss and she asked if I was planning to come back to work after he was born. I looked at her with a confused look on my face. "Why wouldn't I come back?" I thought to myself.

Then I realized. Some women (who are fortunate enough to have the means financially) say Adios to the working world once their children are born. I've never even considered it.

What do you think? Should women stay home? Is it smart? Better for the kids?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

In the midst of a recession...

Why does a recession have to hit when I finally have a decent job? It's like the economy was just waiting for me to finally get some money so the price of gas, and food, and can increase.

I'm in need of a side-hustle for real, y'all. While my hubby and I can finally be considered middle-middle class (a huge come-up from 2007), we also added a new kid to the mix. We've got big ambitions for our family, one that includes purchasing a home in next year. We originally planned on buying a home about seven months ago, but instead moved into an apartment to give us more time to bulk up our down payment.

Apartment living is okay, but I'm in desperate need of a place to call my own. A place where I can paint the walls and customize the kitchen and let the kids run around outside without worrying about the neighbors' dog. A place where I don't hear the thumps and bumps upstairs at 3 a.m.

I've analyzed our expenses and short of canceling my Netflix subscription, there's not much we can do to cut costs. I already cut back on food and our cell phone bill. I'm still driving my 1997 Buick, so there's no car note there. We don't go out much, and our daughter's daycare is the cheapest (yet still suitable) we could find.

So, the answer is to bring in more income. I'm willing to work nights and weekends if it means we can move into our own home sooner. Although I hate the way the economy is right now, I want to give my kids the world.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Palin did not perform well...please stop saying she did

I'm up at 7 a.m., even though my two babies are still sleeping and I have nowhere to be because I had to write something about that VP debate I saw last night.

Biden WON hands down. Get over it already.

I'm so tired of people saying Gov. Sarah Palin did an excellent job last night. No, she didn't. She didn't. She didn't.

With the way the country is right now, with all the financial ruin that is around the corner, the state of our education system, our energy crisis, our inability to win and finish a war that is costing us not only soliders' lives, but billions every month...why are we even looking at her seriously?

I think a bit of sexism must be discussed. She stood there during the debate and didn't answer the questions, even freakin' acknowledged that she wouldn't be answering the questions, just kept to her talking points of "energy," "maverick," "reform," "American people," no matter what the context. She would call Obama to task for something, Biden would promptly shut it down and prove her wrong and then she couldn't say anything else except, "Um....your plan is a white flag of surrender." WTH?

She had set the bar so low the past two weeks that the fact she managed to stay standing the whole time and managed to say, "energy," "maverick," "reform," etc, impressed the heck out of people. But not me.

Everyone is giving her credit because she was more likable than Biden. More "folksy."

Does "folksy" make you a good president? George W. is folksy. How's the country doing?

Does peppering your speech with a bunch of "y'all" and "ya know" and "darn right"s make you a good politican? Yes, it shows that you're relatable. Good for you. But like I said in my last post, I don't WANT to relate to you. I love Obama, but I can't relate to him. I didn't go to Harvard, I'm not a lawyer, I've never run for public office. That's fine with me. I like Obama for his intellegence.

The fact that America is still taking Sarah Palin seriously scares me. It's like a woman who marries the first guy who makes her laugh instead of waiting for someone who makes her think.

We can do better. We HAVE to do better.

Monday, September 29, 2008

This article pretty much sums up all my feelings about the McCain/Palin ticket...

The last two paragraphs are especially important:

"Stop voting for people you want to have a beer with. Stop voting for folksy. Stop voting for people who remind you of your neighbor. Stop voting
for the ideologically intransigent, the staggeringly ignorant, and the blazingly incompetent.
Vote for someone smarter than you. Vote for
someone who inspires you. Vote for someone who has not only traveled the world but who has
also shown a deep understanding and compassion for it.
The stakes are real and they're terrifyingly high. This election matters. It matters. It really matters. Let me say that one more time.
This. Really. Matters."

Anyone who knows me knows I ride hard for Team Obama. I watch MSNBC and CNN
regularly for their political commentary and am able to listen to Obama
criticism with an objective view. (Now, Michelle, on the other hand - no one can
talk bad about Michelle.)

But it kills me when the worst thing they can say about Obama is that he's
too intellectual. Too studious, too polished. Can't connect with middle America.
Can't win the affections of the working class. Poll after poll say that people
just don't identify with him, that they can see themselves more in McCain.

That's the worst logic I've ever heard. Do you want a president you can
imagine having beers with? I don't, because in my mind, my president shouldn't
be getting drunk when there's better things to do. Like RUN THE COUNTRY.

Michael Seitzman is absolutely right. We need to vote for people who are
better than us. Smarter than us. Have had experiences that we didn't. I'm not
saying McCain is a dummy, in fact, I think he's incredibly smart, but the whole
notion of voting for someone who is "real" is extremely stupid.

The economic news the past weeks has got me even more passionate about this
election. Whoever we put in office in the next six weeks will determine how we
handle this economic slump we're in, whether we rise like champions or slide
further into financial ruin.

Remember: your vote has power, so make sure you do your homework. Learn about
the issues here and here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Turn off the lights...Light a candle...

What is it about parenthood that makes romance so hard? Is it the seemingly neverending stream of poop and vomit? Is it the sheer level of exhaustion at the end of the day that makes it hard to do anything other than to collapse into bed at the first opportunity?

I'm not sure what it is, but I'm fighting with every ounce I have left. While my husband and I are still considered newlyweds (15 months and counting!), we certainly don't act like it. More often than not, we're bickering with each other, getting on each other's nerves. But we do love each other. More than anything. I married that man because I believed we had what it took to stay together when times are good and bad, happy or sad. (Shout out to Al Green.)

But when you have two kids, the effort it takes to be nice to one another increases. I find it hard to be happy to see him after a long day at work if I know he's going to head straight to the couch to watch SportsCenter and I haven't sat down all day. It's hard for him to be nice to me, if all I do is nag him about taking the diapers outside and picking up the kids' prescriptions.

But we try to keep that spark alive, the same spark that enabled us to have two kids in four years. Tomorrow we're going on our first real date since before baby number two arrived on the scene and I'm so excited it's like it was when we first started dating. I can't wait to hold his hand on the way there, or give him a kiss when it's over and tell him how much I enjoyed the evening. I love being in love and it's easier when we're alone to feel that same glow I felt four years ago.

But the kids are here and aren't going away, so we'll have to find a way to keep the romance alive even when the kids are still awake. Wish us luck!

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Whole Life Ahead of Me...

I feel so good lately. Not really physically (my body feels like crap) but emotionally. Let's all pause and take advantage of my good mood 'cause with all these postpartum hormones it might only be a hop, skip and a jump to Crankytown.

I am enjoying time with my son, and learning what it means to be a mother all over again. I'm learning more patience than ever. When you have one child that's screaming for you and another, more helpless child screaming for you, you have to make a decision: tend to one physically, comfort the other one verbally. It's been a balancing act. I feel like I don't give enough attention to my almost 2 year old, who is really still a baby herself. But that's something that will get better in time.

With this child, I'm happier than I had been with my first. With my daughter, I was completely overwhelmed and wanted more than anything for my life to go back to normal. Go back to the days where I could sleep in and not worry about...well, anything. Go back to the days where I could browse stores in the mall all day just because I had nothing else to do and the clothes I picked off the rack actually fit and I didn't worry about covering up my out of shape belly.

Now? I've adjusted. I know this period of sleeplessness, oh-my-god-kid-didn't-I-just-feed-you?, you-pooped-again?-and-again?, now-I-have-to-change-your-clothes-for-the-third-time-today, will pass soon. He'll get older and I won't get to cuddle with him, because he'll think he's a big boy and doesn't need his mommy anymore. I know this, because I'm going through it with my older one. Who would've thought kids under two are dying for their independence?

So I'm just trying to take it a day at a time, holding him as much as I can, making sure the memories of this time are burned into my mind. Some might say that I've missed out on a lot having children at 22, and I can't deny that I've had to make sacrifices. Suffice it to say, my kids and my husband are now my priority. Period.

But then again, I'm only 22. Meaning, by the time my youngest is 18 and heading to college, I'll be 40. Assuming I live to about 80 (longevity runs in my family), that's 40 years of child-free living. I'll have plenty of time to do whatever and go wherever then. But for now, I'm enjoying watching my children grow up. That's enough for me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Introducing the newest member of the family....

Welcome to the world, son! Mommy and Daddy love you very much already!