Ma ma

February 22, 2011

Two syllables. Never before has two syllables ever sounded as sweet. Gianna spoke to me tonight. Those two syllables melted my heart as they escaped from her delicate mouth.  In a soft spoken manner, she repeated ma ma, ma ma, and I grabbed my video camera and hit record.

My once rather irritable baby has turned into quite the charmer, smiling and giggling constantly as she plays with her toys.  Her tell-tale shrieks and screams have turned into quiet coos and babbles and I’m amazed at how she grows and changes every day.

But these two syllables are my favorite. Her first real “word” directed at me, the one who gave her life. Does she know what it means? Probably not.  But it doesn’t matter to me.



Pure liquid gold

February 21, 2011

I swear women are forced to endure labor so squeezing the living daylights out of your breasts while holed up in a science teacher’s prep room every day twice a day while working doesn’t seem so bad.   Pumping while at work was one of my major concerns that increased my anxiety levels when I thought about returning to work, but it’s actually become my quiet time. My work “me time.”

As a teacher, my day is ridiculously scheduled. I have the same routine every day: ID duty, prep, teach, pump & prep, teach, lunch, teach, teach, teach, pump & leave. Some days, the end of my day changes and I pump & then attend a meeting or stay after school with students.

Between prepping for classes, teaching classes, pumping my breasts, and attending meetings, I run non-stop from one thing to the next. So I’ve actually come to appreciate the time devoted to pumping. Yes, it’s true, I could be photocopying assignments for my next class of students, grading papers, or organizing my classroom, but instead, I’m focusing on providing sustenance to my daughter.  Or as I like to call it, liquid gold. Pure liquid gold.

I love nursing. I love the emotional connection it provides me with my daughter and well, I’m not even going to start about the benefits of breast milk.  Although I don’t love pumping (Really, the pulling and squeezing isn’t exactly as comforting as the suckling of a nursing baby), I’ve come to enjoy the “mental rest” pumping provides. During the beginning of my pumping session, I check in with my babysitter, but for the latter of the session, I think of my daughter and devote some of that quite time to praying to God.

So kudos to those working mothers who endure the squeezing and sucking of a breast pump every day to provide liquid gold for their children. Your efforts do not go in vain.

Vacation week, here we come

February 18, 2011

I have two classes, two prep periods, and three periods of “end of term activity day” standing between me and February vacation. I’m psyched.

I’ll admit it; it feels slightly weird to already be going on vacation after having five snow days throughout the month of January, but I’ll take it. I can’t wait to spend the week just hanging with my baby.

Aside from relishing in “Gianna and mommy”  time this upcoming week, I have a few other goals:

–          Tackle the mountain of correcting.

–          Establish a workout routine.

–          Organize my home desk area.

–          Write my Boston Herald education article.

–          Put away the clothes Gia has outgrown.

And that’s it. I will not clean my house because I have cleaners coming to do that. What an amazing feeling! My mom told me I used to always say that one day I would hire cleaners to clean up. Oh I just love myself sometimes! Happily I accomplished that goal, along with several others. Some people think it’s snooty to hire cleaners, but I don’t care what they think. It takes a weight off of my shoulders and for that I’m grateful. I don’t care that I’m $95 in the hole. It’s well worth it in my book. But, I digress.

Mommies, I’m trying out mommy and me class at  The Little Gym. Gia and I are in the Bugs group. Anyone ever been? I’ll let you know how it all works out.

Free time. Huh?

February 17, 2011

So here’s the problem: I need to workout and I know I should workout, but even when my baby goes to bed early and I have an extra hour to spare, I just want to veg out on the couch or, in today’s case, write.

As a full-time working mother, I have NO free time. And usually when I actually get that small iota of time for which one would consider “free,” I have 50 thousands things I can fill it with: prep my bottles for tomorrow, grade papers which have been sitting in my binder for the last week, clean the pans from last night’s supper that are now soaking in the sink, or figure out what in the heck I’m going to teach my five classes of students tomorrow.

What I really want to do is go take my favorite kickboxing class at the gym. I love that class. And guess what, it’s going on right now! The problem is my husband is still at work (technically he just got home, but the class started a half hour ago). When I take that class, I escape into the music and the moves. I hardly feel like I’m working out. But trust me. I am.

I wouldn’t change being a mother for just a second. It truly is the best gift and fulfilling beyond words. But it’s challenging trying to balance it all.

The baby’s crying. I guess this early to bed thing isn’t working out. So long “free” time.


February 17, 2011

Guilt. I’m constantly consumed by guilt.  Is this just a fact of life as a full-time working mother or is it due to my catholic upbringing?

I call into work sick because I wake up with a sore throat and fever. Guilt consumes me.

I like my job. I’m a teacher. Parents at the parent/teacher conferences told me how happy they were to have me back. I like my baby better than my job, of course, but I do like my job. Guilt consumes me.

I have to work and leave my daughter with babysitters. Guilt consumes me.

This five letter word is not my friend.

Lately I’ve realized I have three full-time jobs and one part-time job:

Mother, teacher, homemaker: Full time

Writer: Part time

As a homemaker, I’d give myself an F. I barely find the time at the end of the day to cook a meal. And my house is a mess.  A DIRTY ROTTEN MESS. So, I hired a housecleaner. They come Friday. I can’t wait. My husband, however, is not happy, but he’s part of the mess and doesn’t clean it, so he can just deal. I have finally decided that I cannot work full time, take care of baby full time, correct papers and plan for school full time, and clean a house. Oh, and by the way, I hate to clean. There, I said it. So I hired a cleaner. So what?!

In the meantime, though, I have to prevent the spread of germs. And guess what?  Bleach destroys sterling silver rings. Hopefully it stops the spread of the stomach bug.

My niece, who was at my house just yesterday, came down with it.  Just great. She’s five months older than my baby and the two of them played with the same toys. If you’re a mother of an infant then you know that means EVERYTHING went in their mouths. Germs included. I contracted a touch of her bug, so I’m hoping and praying Gianna doesn’t too.  And we are all praying for a speedy recovery for poor Ella Bella Boo. She is not a happy camper today.

Finally, when does one find the time to exercise? I love exercise, particularly kickboxing, but lately I’m just too darn TIRED. My goal had been to wake up at 5 a.m. to exercise on the elliptical every morning. I’ve been back to work for a month and it hasn’t happened once. I have exercised, just not regularly. Will I ever be able to do it? Will I ever be able to wake up in the morning to exercise before leaving my house at 6:40 a.m.? I hope so. Fortunately, I’m close to my pregnancy weight and shape, but I’m not there yet. Those last 5lbs-10lbs are not easy to shed.

But back to the guilt thing. Mommies, does it ever end? Are we constantly consumed by guilt over the silliest of things or is it just me? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you have to say!