July 25, 2017

this life was my choice

My day starts at around 4:45am for the first time. I hear Jax crying a bit on the monitor. I wake up, make a bottle, get him out of his crib, feed him the bottle, burp him, and put him back down. By now it's about 5:15am, Kelly is already at work and I get into bed again.

At 8am I'm awoken again by sounds on the monitor, but this time it isn't crying- Jax tends to just talk to himself in the mornings until I go in and get him out of bed. He might screech or scream once or twice to get my attention, but at this point he knows, "Mom's coming soon, no need to cry."

I make a bottle and set it next to the couch in the living room. I make sure there's a burp cloth next to it, and I turn on some Disney movie. And then it's my favourite part of almost every day- getting Jax out of bed in the morning. Up until this point in my life I was miserable getting up in the morning, but seeing that happy little boy smile as he looks up at me from his crib is probably one of the greatest sights of my life. I swear, it beats every sunset, every open ocean view on a cruise, and it even beats seeing the waiter at the Olive Garden bringing out my pasta. It's my favourite.


I change his diaper, I change his outfit, and then I bring him out into the living room to eat his breakfast. He sits in my lap eating his bottle and watching whatever Disney movie I put on, which makes him take twice as long to finish his bottle, but hey- he loves it, so I love it.

Our day works in 2 hour intervals.
8:00- wake up, eat & play
10:00- eat and nap
12:00- wake up, eat & play
2:00- eat and nap
3:00- wake up and play
4:00- eat and play
5:00- nap
6:00- wake up, eat & play
8:00- bath
8:15- eat & down for the night

Of course on Sundays we add church, and every so often we throw in a trip to the grocery store, to the mall, or to a friends house, but more often than not this is our daily routine. It took a long time to get this point though. For the first few months of Jaxon's life there was a lot of trial and error for what worked for him the best. I also sleep-trained the crap out of this kid from the second he came home from the hospital, and even then it took about 3 months of doing the same thing every single night before it started to work. Getting into a routine took more than a day, a week, and even more than a month. It took a looooot of frustration and wondering if it would ever work or ever be worth it.

Let me tell you a bit about what happens during my days. I tidy the house, I do the dishes, I do the laundry, I miiightttt shower, I take Ollie out, I'll make lunch, I'll make dinner sometimes. On top of that, I'll change a bunch of diapers. I'll wipe up spit up off my clothes, off the floor, off of Jax, off of Ollie. I'll see that Jax is constipated so I'll sing the special poop song and make Jax do the special poop dance, then I'll change the diaper once the poop song and dance work. I'll try feeding Jax some rice cereal, and when he reaches for the spoon to feed himself- I'll let him, even though it makes the whole process a thousand times messier. I'll clean Jax up from his rice cereal feeding. I move him from the floor on his mat, to his Jumperoo, to my lap about a thousand times a day. I'll help him stand, I'll help him sit, I'll help him burp.



If we do go for a drive with Kelly I have to sit in the back with Jax to make sure he's happy. Sometimes he wants his pacifier, sometimes he hates it. Sometimes he wants to look out the window, sometimes he wants to be covered up. Sometimes he wants music, sometimes he wants us to talk to him. And sometimes, he'll scream. He'll scream and nothing will make him stop screaming, because he decided he hates how reclined his carseat is. So, we go to the store and buy him a carseat that helps him sit up more. Then he's a happier baby.

Plus, leaving the house takes literally 5x as long as it used to. I have to make sure I have enough bottles full of water for the tiny trip we're going on, and make sure that my formula containers are full (sigh, formula). I make sure I have an extra outfit, an extra burp cloth, an extra pacifier. I'll get Jax dressed with pants and socks, I'll throw him on my hip, and bring him out to the car, and strap him into the carseat.

While we're out we are bound to hear people give us advice. When we were coming home from Toronto Jax kind of threw a fit on the plane, and I had three different people try and tell me how to comfort my own baby like I haven't just spent the past 4 months of my life trying to figure out what worked best for him. If Jax cries while we're out and I didn't put socks on his feet (because he usually kicks them off) then there is always a comment about how he's crying because he's cold (when in reality it's time for a nap, but we're not home). Everyone has an opinion of how I should've tried harder to breastfeed, or how I should dress him warmer. People think that they know my baby better than I do, and I can't tell you how frustrating it is.

But still, I politely nod- pretend to do the thing they advise me to do, and I go on my way.

On top of everything I have to deal with now with having a baby I also had to do a lot to get to this point. I went through 2 miscarriages. I went through 9 months of being absolutely miserable and in chronic pain. I went through Jax pushing his head into my cervix so I'd scream in public. I went through baths at 2am sobbing because of heartburn. I went through crying buckets because of TV shows I didn't even like.


And then I went through labor.

I went through having contractions strong enough to put me from 4cm to 7cm in an hour and a half with no pain medicine. I went through a nurse making jokes while I was going through these contractions as she kept missing my veins to get my IV in. I went through 2 hours of pushing.


And then to top it all off, I went through $10,000 of medical bills because this little boy I went through all of that other stuff with was born with pneumonia. I went through 2 weeks of going to the hospital every day, and having to check-in at a front desk so I could just go and see my baby. I went through 1.5 weeks of not being able to hold him, and half a week of wires attached to him when I did.


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I have friends from high school that are single and are going on camping trips or traveling around the globe with their girlfriends with nothing but a job keeping them from doing so. They have their own income that they can use on themselves, and on whatever they want. I have other friends who are dating, but have no interest in getting married anytime soon, because why be tied down? I have friends who are married, but are more interested in working and saving up and traveling with their husbands and buying their first home. I have friends who had babies, but decided that they should go to work and get an extra income on top of their husbands.

I'm sure that to these people my life is completely miserable. Why would anyone ever want to have a baby? Why would anyone want to do something that drained their money while also causing them not to work? Why would anyone want to sit at home all day watching Fixer Upper and dealing with a crying, pooping, screaming baby?

I do it for that smile in the morning. I do it for that moment when Jax rolls over, which he couldn't do the day before. I do it for that laugh he gave when he saw Ollie running around outside. I do it for the chuckles I get when I tickle his neck and blow on his belly at the same time. I do it for the overwhelming satisfaction I get when I look at my life and I know that there is literally nothing else that I would rather be doing. There is no job that is better than this for me. There is no place I'd like to go on a plane and visit more than I'd like to be in my living room. There is no piece of clothing I'd like to buy that wouldn't get spit up on it eventually. Through all of the crap I have had to deal with there hasn't been one moment when I thought- I do not want this life.

I didn't fall into this life because I'm a woman and I felt that this was my duty. My husband doesn't go off to work everyday because he thinks that I'm not able to. I don't do the laundry and the housework like a little 60's housewife because I have to. I do it for me. I am being 100% selfish by choosing this life. Our life would probably be much easier on Kelly if I went to work everyday and helped to support us. Our life would be much simpler if we could travel around and not be tied down to one place. I mean, geeeeeez, my life would be so much simpler if I could have friends come over without having to give my son a bath and put him to bed in the middle of a conversation.

Making the decision to be a stay-at-home mom was an entirely selfish one. This is what I wanted. This is what I needed. This is the thing that I wanted most in this entire world. I don't sit at home and make dinner and clean the house for Kelly to support him while he goes to work, so that when he comes home he can relax. He goes to work everyday so that he can support me in my dream. This is literally my dream come true.

This life was my choice.
This is my literal dream come true.
This is pure joy.


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