Just Write: Following In Her Footsteps

Today is my mother’s birthday. Fifty-seven years ago my grandmother gave birth to her. These days I think about birthday’s a little differently. After going through labor and birth myself this past year, birthdays take on a new meaning for me. And this birthday is extra special because it’s my Mom’s. My Mom is a reading specialist at a local elementary school. She loves her job and you would have thought that she had been doing it for years upon years when you see how fantastic she is with the children. But, she’s rather new to the whole teaching scene. Before teaching she stayed at home with us. She stayed at home for over eighteen years, raising four children into adulthood. I asked her the other day if she regretted staying home with us. If she ever pined for time away, in an office or doing something other than changing diapers and making playdoh? She told me that raising her four kids was the best career choice she ever made. She wanted to be there for every milestone – every tear and every laugh and every smile. She explained that of course it was difficult to only live off of one income and she tried her best to bring in money here and there when she could (like selling Avon and taking in other people’s children). But she brought us into the world and she wanted to be the one to care for us throughout our days and years. She didn’t want to miss a second of watching and guiding her children’s growth. And she didn’t.

When I was growing up I wanted to be a veternarian and then a director and then a speech pathologist. I didn’t want to stay home with kids. The media and the mainstream made staying home seem weak. Women had to do it all and so I would. As luck would have it however, I ended up working at a childcare center during my college years. I loved it. I loved working with the children and I decided to pursue a career in caring for children. Other people’s children. I became so passionate about caring for children I ended up getting a masters degree in early childhood education. But, throughout all of this education and experience working with children, I began to realize something. Something bigger than anything I had ever felt before. I would call my Mom regularly after my classes and tell her “we just learned about such and such and it reminded me of what you used to do when we were kids.” I would call her after work some days and tell her, “I used your playdoh recipe today” or “I told the kids that story you always used to tell us about the cats and they laughed so hard some of them cried.” I was slowly realizing what I really wanted to do with my life. I realized the importance of being present with children and being gentle with children. I realized how much a parent could miss when they weren’t there. I was there for many firsts in other people’s children’s lives and I knew that I didn’t want that for my own children. I wanted to be there. I wanted to be like my mother, and stay home.

I gave birth to my first baby last year. I quit my job and have started my next career- full time stay-at-home mom. It’s tougher than I expected it would be but it’s also so much more than I thought it would be. I realize being home with my daughter that you don’t have to do it all, the career and motherhood. At least I don’t. It’s hard enough being a mother and watching these baby years just fly by without having to worry about a job getting in the way. I am a stay-at-home mother and I’m enjoying the wonderful times and the rough times.  I’m not sure how my own mother pulled it off with so much patience and grace, but I’m finding my way. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on a career outside the home. I find times to be creative. I find times to be me. But I’m also doing what I think is best for my daughter. I get to be there for everything. I love that. Some may say I’ve followed in my mother’s footsteps. And I like that. Because I think that, yes, I hope I’m following in her footsteps. She was and still is an incredible mother … and just like she knew,  I know, I’m right where I should be…home.

Happy Birthday Mom.

happy birthday mom

*joining Heather for another edition of Just Write.

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Eloise’s Monthly Photo

One of my favorite bloggers, Laura at Lolalina, started these adorable monthly photos with her own baby boy. I loved them so much I had to start doing it with my own baby girl. The first month was a little busy so the monthly photo was taken but never put up. This month I got it done and I’m even getting it up on the day (even if it’s technically the night). I will be taking Eloise’s picture every month, with her bunny, against her special t-shirt quilt (Handmade by Gramma) until her first birthday.

Here is last month’s picture too…

Cloth Is A Whole New World

I have been wanting to write this post for quite some time. I even had the pictures taken before baby was born in anticipation of writing a before baby cloth diaper post and an after baby was here diaper post. I ended up going into labor and never getting to write such post. So now here we are four weeks in with a brand new baby girl and I thought I would talk about how we are doing with the cloth diapering.

For starters, cloth diapering is definitely a lifestyle. You AND your husband or partner have to be willing to put in the extra work and preparation involved with cloth. Luckily my husband seems to be enjoying cloth and I don’t mind doing laundry, in fact, it’s kind of meditative (ask me again when baby is two, if I still find laundry meditative, I’m sure my answer will be quite different). 🙂

I’ll start out with my cloth diaper stash. When I was preparing to cloth diaper I read, read, read and even took a cloth diapering class. I was still confused. There are just so many types of cloth diapers these days. I thought with all my research we would be cloth diapering from day one and I thought for sure fitteds would be my favorite. I ended up not cloth diapering from day one and fitteds are definitely not my favorite.

I didn’t want to buy the popular brands out there, I wanted to support more local and handmade products. I bought part of my newborn stash on etsy and the rest of it was thankfully given to me by my wonderful cloth diapering sister-in-law. We started out with seven prefolds, about 14 fitteds, 2 G-diapers and 1 Soft Bums. We also had about six covers and 1 wool cover.

Starting from day one was out of the question already when we found out our hospital wouldn’t allow it. So we vowed to start right after we got home. We did manage to put her in cloth when we got home but only sporadically. We were still trying to figure out which diapers fit her and which we needed to save for later. After seeing the doctor a few days in, she advised us to put her in disposables until her cord fell off. (We did buy fitteds with umbilical cord snap downs too but they were still too big). So for the next week or so we had her in disposables. As soon as that cord fell off (and if came off pretty quick) we tried cloth again. Jeff really liked prefolds with a cover. I had a hard time with prefolds and still do. I liked some of the fitteds but most of them were so bulky, I felt like they would be uncomfortable for her to wear. I had picked up some G-diapers from Babies R Us that I didn’t have high hopes for, but as soon as I put them on her they were my favorite. They were easy to use, easy to clean and so trim. Her onesies actually snapped around them! I went out and bought two more. However, we are finding that she has outgrown them already after only two weeks. My next favorite is actually the soft bums diapers. They fit pretty trim as well and are easy to wash. They can also be adjusted in the leg so we are hoping she will wear these longer. I ended up adding four more Soft Bums to our stash and I’m so glad I did. She’s already wearing a few of what I thought was going to be the next size up in a few months, but she’s already in these great All In Ones from my sister-in-law called Precious Coverings. She’s had a few blow outs in these but there are so many of them and they are easy to use so we are going to continue to use them blow outs or not.

The fuzzibunz and bumgenius (that you see pictured above) are too big as of now, but I’m sure the way she’s growing we will start trying those out soon. Some of them are new but most of them are from my sister-in-law and a good friend who gave me all of her little girls stash too. We are very thankful we didn’t have to spend as much money as some people do but even if we had, I think we are still saving a handful by not using disposables.

As for organization of E’s diaper stash, we are in a very tight space right now so all the diapers are being stored wherever there is room. I have our newborn stash in one basket close to the changing table and so far that is working out.

 

Here are a few links to where I purchased my fitteds and others in case any one is interested. I really like some of them and I didn’t like others as much. But the care and handiwork it took to make each one of these diapers is quite something.

Brown Cow Cotton  – these are great organic cotton covers with PUL inside. Love these except the fact that they get dirty easily because cotton covers the PUL so you can’t just wipe it down like others, you have to wash it. The fabric is lovely and soft though and the prints she uses are darling. They also fit for quite sometime because of the snap downs. We will get a lot of use out of these.

OneLoveDiaperCo. – This was the most expensive diaper I purchased. It has a wool cover and organic cotton insert. It also has lovely fabrics that are handmade. I’m not too sure how wool works yet and I did have problems with pee coming right through with this diaper that I thought was supposed to hold more in? I’m still very new at this so I’m not giving up yet, I may not have lanolized it properly?

BananaBottoms – this is an adorable fitted which we are still using. I love the fit, it’s not too bulky and its super soft organic cotton.

BabyCoonDesigns– this is one of our teeny tiny ones that only fit the first couple weeks. I did take out the insert which gave it a few more days of life for us, but its just too small now. I did like how it fit her. It was one of the very first diapers we put on her.

AprilsBaby– We really liked these covers. I think they are handmade in Canada but they worked great with prefolds and fitteds under them. They are just now at four weeks getting a tad bit too small for her.

31Rubies– this was another teeny tiny diaper that she only used during the first week or so. It was very soft and cuddly but I didn’t like the way the legs fit, a little too snug.

Sustainable Babyish– I had read about these diapers and so I bought one to give it a try. They were really nice, good fit and not too bulky, but she outgrew this one pretty quickly too. Check out their website. They not only have diapers but all sorts of neat baby and kid things!

we also have SoftBums, Fuzzibunz and BumGenius in the mix that you can google and usually find at your local cloth diapering store. I personally shop at Granola Babies and Rosie Posie Baby. 

So there’s my first cloth diapering post. I will try to do one regularly, letting you know how we are doing with our cloth diapering adventure. It’s been interesting and a lot to learn and even a little fun. Hoping it will get more fun once we really get the hang of it.