When I first had the baby and she was months old, the military wives threw me a sort of good-bye party as we left the last base. They all had children, three kids, four kids. As one scooted between table and chair, balancing a loaded plate in one hand, baby in the other, she said,”Oh, I remember those days. I said I’d never let my kid watch t.v., and I would make all her baby food organically from scratch.” All the women burst out laughing and I thought silently to myself, “I AM going to make all her baby food from scratch.” And I did. I made the most beautiful baby food. She ate a rainbow assortment of food. Organic, no. It came from the local farmer’s market. It wasn’t difficult, just stick it in the blender and freeze it in ice trays.
We do cloth diapers. We have invested in compostable diapers from Canada for her to wear at night, which we compost ourselves (next post.) We use homemade wipes that are so easy and great we use them for everything–wiping off her little mouth and hands, cleaning off the high chair, etc. We’re trying out about 5 different brands of wipes in the next coming months for when we go out. I’ll post which one we find is the greenest and which one works best. They aren’t always the same. We’ve been using some made of bamboo for the moment for travel. Thanks to thoughtful family members Mary and Kristin, the majority of her toys and clothes are used. (Though sweet gifts from family members are always worn and thank you!!) We bought a crib off Craigslist that had already been through two kids! So awesome! Among all this green busy-ness, I have those wonderful, golden moments when she’s peacefully sleeping and her little face is perfect and she’s NOT MOVING! I’m washed over with the feeling of, “Oh, &*$%, I better hurry and get those dishes done and send that email while I can!” I am planting a container garden this year which I document in my G.I. Crockpot blog since it’s all about food anyway. We will have a garden this year if it kills me. I usually transplant on the back porch and she watches me through the glass door, which she thinks is fun. The compost bin is once again in full swing now that spring has thawed. After trying out the “need vs want” scheme, we have adopted it full-time and only buy what we need. Katy Perry C.D.’s were counted as a need this month because they make me extremely happy and I need that. It isn’t really so hard implementing the green in. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. However, I did not foresee these things happening to this extent, added to living green AND taking care of baby…. (Though I think it has little to do with being environmentally friendly and more about being a new mom.) I have no time. Ever. My friend told me about a book she was reading the other day. “When do you have time to read?” I asked. She has two kids under the age of 5, two dogs and is starting a business. In other words, Superwoman who reads. “On the toilet,” she answered. What– in the 3 minutes you get before she storms in? I have to open the drawers so she can pull everything out of the drawers in order to keep her from opening the poop and pee buckets I keep the diapers in or flipping herself over into the empty bathtub. Hmmm…. I don’t get to do the things I used to enjoy. I expected it at first but we’re going into a year and a half now. (I miss blogging but this post has taken me her entire two-hour nap to write and I still can’t figure out how to edit the pictures. So, it will probably take me a week to get this out.) “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” I don’t get to write anymore except for occasional edits for friends. “Oh, you’ll have so much more material to write about,” my friend told me. But she didn’t tell me when I’d have time to write. Maybe when this baby turns 13? The house is not clean. Dust bunnies have turned into rabbits which I sometimes see or the baby points out to me and I literally pick them up with my hands and throw them in the compost. We enjoy a cluttered house. All the time. Most days I just give up and am thankful no one comes to visit. 😀 I am constantly trying to juggle emails, phone calls and texts in order to keep myself from becoming completely isolated. I’m sure there are people I’ve missed and haven’t talked to since the baby was born. But I don’t remember. What day is it again? I don’t leave the house unless I have to–as in we are running out of food. It’s way too much trouble to go anywhere. Stuff a kicking, crying baby in a snow suit all winter, get her in the car seat, out of the car seat, into the grocery cart, oh hell no. I will stay home. I’m trying to teach her another language. She needs to be changed again. She’s hungry again. Her nap is over. I didn’t get anything done today. I don’t know how to work this damn computer. She’s crying again. I can’t sleep at night. I am drinking an entire pot of coffee by myself. I am perpetually tired all the time and do not believe that I will ever be well-rested. I didn’t go over her Spanish today. Kick myself, what was I thinking? I only have one baby. Some mothers have twins, triplets. How do they not lose their minds? I get up five to six times a night to make sure she isn’t too hot or too cold. And that she’s still breathing. I broke down and bought baby food, even the little pouch drinks when I found out they could be Terracycled, telling myself the packages aren’t going in the trash. But I feel like Satan Mommy when I do this. I buy it from the Amish and I always feel they secretly judge me for not making everything homemade like they do. The corn and spinach are too big. I need to transplant, but it’s still too cold to plant them outside. Where is the warm weather? What did you say the day was again? Where did I put my phone? My pictures aren’t clear because I don’t have enough light. But I’m too tired to worry about it. I don’t wear make up anymore, do my hair or wear my cute outfits because I’m too tired. I haven’t cut my hair in a year because I’m too tired. My one and only wish would be to sleep for a full weekend straight, without having to get up and go to the bathroom. If food is on the table (even if it’s cold) and the laundry is clean, it doesn’t really matter if I’ve lost 12 pounds and haven’t had a shower in four days. My mother is moving in.
So if this has taught me anything it’s that nothing will ever be perfect, but it is far from impossible to be green with a precious, new baby. Even if it eats all your time. I have also learned that moms are amazing. Every single one of them. I had no idea what you went through until I became one of you. Happy Mother’s Day to you honey!
Signed, So tired.
happy mama’s day, you are the best jennifer..
one word for the day..NO, multiplied by 3 = no-no-no…this is your one and only lesson in french motherhood; if used calmly and consistently, the magic will work..i am proof and testament.
raise open hand up silently then whisper the ‘cease and desist sequence’ — no-no-no..shake head if necessary– no smile if possible– no sign of exasperation either, for the little ones can detect a hairline fracture in the facial expression of their loving parent.
green kudos to you my dear friend, sweet sweet motherhood to you, ns
Happy Mother’s Day to you every day! and twice every other day. You are doing an amazing job of it by the sounds of things. This brings back all sorts of memories for me as I sure it does for all moms who read it.
Such a cutie.
My oh my – I’m on the other side of the divide, and like you, am convinced I’ll somehow master the impossible – ie simply not being exhausted all the time and have a small child. And to think people ALSO go back to work! Gosh and I think how cranky I get about chores not getting done now, and the house being messy, and being tired, and there’s no children. YIKES! Serious wake up call is coming it seems.
Thanks for sharing the real side of parenting, and happy mother’s day.,
At that age, put baby in a pack and play and clean while they play with toys. Clean or nap or read a book. She can entertain herself while you get a break. The more kids I have the more free time I make for myself. Sometimes you have to outsource!
You poor thing. I think you are doing a fantastic job, Jen. You are so amazing accomplishing all you do. I’m so glad to hear you’re still doing cloth diapers. So proud of you for not giving that up. What a loving mom.
I loved this post with all those endless questions…so funny. Great pics of you and the little princess. Don’t sweat the small stuff, it will get better, I promise. I hope you had a great Mother’s Day, and did something to celebrate you, the wonderful, caring mom you are. Post when you can. I love to hear what you have to say.
@Nadine and phenomenalhousewives—thank you so much for the kind and helpful advice!! Much love to the two of you.
@Eldy—you ALWAYS make me feel better. Always!
@Sarahn—thank you so much for checking in on me. When it’s your turn, you’ll do a fine job. It’s just the juggling and multitasking I’ve never been good at. 😛
@Carlinste–I tried to make it funny. You were the only one who got it as being funny. Ha! When I read your comment, I felt a hug. Thanks for that hug. 🙂