Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dealing with it.

We’re angels when we’re pregnant.

I’ve heard that said by a new mom, describing the incredible feeling of carrying a new life into the world. It’s true. We are angels.

So why do I sometimes feel like turning into the devil incarnate? I’m normally a peace-loving  person, even while 7 months pregnant, and yet I find myself sweating the small stuff more often than I’d like to admit.

Why is this idiot driving so slowly? Why won’t that stupid dog stop barking? Why am I always the one replacing the toilet paper roll??

Sigh. Hormones are hard.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A different way to live

My husband and I have made our careers working with people who have varying developmental disabilities. We love our line of work, but unfortunately, it is not the kind of job that will support a growing family without a little creativity. Now, our situation is a little trickier, as I will soon stop working and Husband’s company is facing budget cuts, not to mention our rent has just been raised and -biggest financial challenge of all- we will have a whole new person to provide for in less than three months!

So, what’s a mama to do? First, and I think this is the most important thing to remember, I will NOT panic. As tempting as it is to take a look at our financial situation and head for the hills screaming, I won’t be helping anybody if I let stress get the better of me. So, now that I have made a conscious decision to stay rational, I can consider my situation proactively.

Very soon, our household income will primarily consist of my husband’s paycheck. So where do I fit into that equation? How can I make this a positive thing for our family?

Actually, I can turn this into a surprisingly positive thing for myself, and my growing family. Having less income means doing more myself, and relying less on outside sources. There are a lot of ways I can turn my home into a source of production, rather than consumption. For example, there are a lot of items we buy at grocery stores because we just never learned to do anything different. I can make my own bread, yogurt, baby food, and cleaning supplies, to name a few off-hand. These are all things we never think to make ourselves, but in the end have HUGE benefits when we apply ourselves to them. It gives us the power to control what we put in our bodies by not using any additives or other chemicals, it saves us money, and it reduces our carbon footprint.

Awareness of the environment and how every thing we do impacts it in some way is not just something I want to teach my future children, it is something I want to demonstrate every day. Reverence for nature, for the one Earth we have, is something that I want to incorporate into the way I parent. What better a way to live my values than to make toys out of recycled household materials and make cleaning supplies out of homemade, non-toxic ingredients? And hey, whaddaya know, I’m saving big money while doing it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mothering mindfully

I have created this blog as a response to a growing emotional need within myself to write about my journey to motherhood.
However, allow me to first introduce myself. I am 26-years-old, the first in my family's generation to have a baby. I am currently six months pregnant, and have been married for a little over a year to my best friend and the keeper of my heart since I was a teenager in braces. I live in Santa Cruz, California, an eclectic little town on the coast, about an hour away from San Francisco. I work as a support staff for adults with disabilities living independently. For fun, I love to be in nature, or creating something new.
This blog will primarily be a collection of thoughts of a first-time new mom, determined to do things a little unconventionally. My husband and I are very conscious of the world around us, and I will use this space on the Internet as a creative springboard for ways to raise a baby mindfully, with regard for every action having a reaction. Our parenting techniques will derive a lot of inspiration from Attachment Parenting, and we will be using cloth diapers and making our own baby food. I hope to soon have a gallery of homemade toys created with recycled materials, as well as how-to information for any other crafty parent out there looking for a way to save money and create for their child.

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My goal as a mother is to be an active participant in my future childrens' lives. I plan to be home as much as possible, which will mean a significant cut to our household income. Husband and I have braced ourselves for this, and aside from being a full-time mama, I will be making it my job to stretch his paycheck as far as possible. I am excited to be able to blog about how to make that happen, and hopefully inspire others to do the same, if they desire to do so but are afraid of financial consequences. I believe in having a productive household vs. a consumptive household, along with an attitude a little different than the cultural norm about what makes a happy family.
I truly look forward to blogging about my journey, and invite readers to discover parenting mindfully along with me.