Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Wow, that pencil test post got lotsa comments!! Zero pencils could equal no boobs, or it could equal really perky large boobs, like I used to have before mine 'matured' with pregnancy. Oh boobs, I miss you so....
And there is no way that 73 year old anxiety lady just had perky boobs. Nobody has these past about 24 years of age, just because of the laws of gravity.

I remember when I was pregnant with Ayden I had this dream where I had a baby girl and she was breastfeeding, and she started to literally eat my boobs. She took giant bites out of them, like they were ice cream, and then she ate my chest wall and then my entire torso!!
I think I was a tiny bit afraid of being consumed by parenthood.
You don't need to be Freud to figure that one out!

I've been watching a ton of The Duggars lately. I used to think they were so dorky. Now I really love them! I cried and cried when their 19th baby was born, only 1 pound 6 ounces!! She was 15 weeks early!!! I'm huge into respecting womens' choices surrounding birth, as you might have noticed, but I have to say I kind of hope this is the last Duggar baby. 5 cesareans, 19 babies, two episodes of pre eclampsia, two sets of twins, and being 43 years old!!! She's pushing the limits of healthy for herself, I think. But her body is her own, so she can decide!! Not that my opinion ranks anywhere, eh?

In Vose news, Riley has moved into a big boy bed!! It is a wee bit premature, but I had heard last fall that Canada has legislated that drop rail cribs are no longer considered safe and are not allowed to be sold in Canada (in stores--I believe you can still sell them second hand!), so we were kind of thinking it might be a good idea to retire our drop rail crib. It served us well, and we bought it second hand for $70, so it served a minimum of four babies! That is a pretty good run for a crib! And we decided that since the drop rail is not considered the safest, and we had a toddler bed waiting in the garage for him, we would just move him up early! He LOOOOOOOVES it. He loves it so much he CANNOT fall alseep in it because he gets overexcited. Hilarious! He will sleep in it and not fall out if we carry him to it once he is asleep, but to actually put him to bed in it??? Work in progress.

I also called and put Ayden and Matthew on the waitlist for the before and after school daycare at their school. For some reason this triggered a really big wrestling match with anxiety. I know the reason for the anxiety, but I guess the access to daycare really brought it to the forefront for me, which is the 'some reason' part.
See, I really believe in family togetherness. Spending as much time together as possible, fostering strong attachments, making home cooked meals, minimizing extra curricular activities and schedules, sitting down for meals, walking to and from school, knowing my kids' friends and teachers, etc, etc.
I'm petrified about making this parenting philosophy work while attending midwifery school. Like, I'm a fossil. I feel like I am choking on guilt. I'll be so far away from the Duggars as to be unrecognizable. I guess I already am!!
I know that once I am practicing, I can be as busy or calm as I want to be. I can take one client per month (which means 9 clients total at any given time), I can take a month off, I can take several months off. But school, I fear. It is full time academia, which takes so much time, and requires so much homework, and the clinicals are 3 month stints--anywhere in BC or Alberta!!! Clinicals are several times per year (I think), in third and fourth year. So my kids would be 9, 8, and 4.5, which is older and more capable of understanding separation than they are now, but still icky. Not what I have in mind for parenting style. But temporary! And there is a good chance I could be placed somewhere in the lower mainland and not have to be away at all. But. But. BUT!
Short. Of. Breath!!!

My good friend reminded me that even if I go away for clinicals, I can visit home and my kids can visit me, and that midwifery is important work that MUST be done in large part by women, so it makes the education worthwhile.

I agonize....
I don't want to send my kids to daycare again! I love that they are with me or Brent in our current system, always. Or the odd time with grandma. I don't know why I feel so strongly about this, because I don't believe daycare to be bad or negative.
Remember my Grandma Kadie? I need a Grandma Kadie for my kids. A loving German-Polish immigrant with pfefferneutin cookies and plum cake and scads of jam and LOVELOVELOVE to slather all over my kids. Ack, I miss Grandma Kadie ALL THE TIME. I think about her every single day, and miss her. I miss her most often when I cook and when my kids hold my hand while we are walking.
I remember at her funeral Matthew asked, really loudly, "What's inside that box??" and pointed at the coffin. Oh jeepers. Grandma would've gotten a laugh out of that one! Fortunately his speech was still really garbled so I'm not sure everyone else understood what he asked.
Now, Grandma was a survivor. She worked when her kids were young, and she babysat for my parents, who both worked when WE were young. And we all turned out well, and she never judged women who worked.

The thing is, I am a feminist. I believe in women working, and I think the debate about stay-at-home-or-work is a luxury of middle class opulence. For centuries women have worked scut jobs for scut pay because they HAD to, with no rights or benefits or time off to have babies and equal opportunity work environments are the best invention since the beginning of time. Who are we to squabble over work-or-not-to-work when the real issue is the necessity of providing for families? If moms work to provide, or if dads work to provide, or if both do; if the job gets done, there should be no debate.

But the other thing is, I think people take it too far. Both parents working long hours outside the home? Or when it is not financially necessary? Or daycare EVERY week day? That much separation doesn't seem healthy to me. All I can think about is lonely kids waiting for their parents to come pick them up at the end of a long day. And then not really connecting with their parents. I see kids at my kids' school who I am pretty sure have social issues that stem from a lack of deep attachment and a sense of being truly known by their parents. Not blow up the family dog with firecrackers types of issues. But bullying or cliquish behaviour, or acting out for attention. Or just perfectionism. Attempts to earn parental approval.
And 'providing' for your family can get out of hand really fast. What does a family really need anyways? In Canada; a home, a vehicle or two, food, some leisure money, and some extras. Does that mean a $900,000 house? You see where I'm going? If both parents work full time to afford a million dollar house that feels like opulence, not provision.

I feel like I'm going to explode with worry over all this.
My kids are not going to die going to daycare sometimes. Nor if I go back to school. Midwifery is important work. I'll be quitting my job and cutting back on other commitments so I will have more time to spend with my family there. God's will is somewhere in there, wrapped up in obscureness. Yet still I worry.



ms emili louann said...

well i'll be! we recently moved elijah to a big boy bed for the exact same reason... stupid drop-rail cribs!! his actually did break, so we had no other choice. boo!

on your other news: hang in there! it's a lot on your plate to sort out everything surrounding school and your sons and work... sorry, i have no pearls of wisdom. i am too green :) but you're a wonderful mama, and you'll make wonderful decisions. praying for you, dear.

Sara and family said...

Right now I am wrestling with staying at home and just subbing my minimum required for another year. Financially it makes sense (this fall would still mean two kids in daycare = lots of money) but I worry about putting my career development on hold for another year. On the other hand I don't want to leave my kids. On the other hand, etc. etc. etc.

I think I'm going to stay at home but jeez it's a hard decision and my wonderful husband is letting me make the decision that is right for me and then he'll support it. There's too much pressure being a feminist and having control over my decisions.

More to come on my blog.

Sylvia H. said...

Really love your thoughts and considerations for kids. You are amazing already and you are an amazing mom also. Super proud of you! love oxoxox Sylvia

tamie said...

Ah, Mel. You're definitely one of the good ones.

How many years do you have to prepare for this full-time school thing? What if you and Brent could find someone like a Grandma Katie? Or even a younger nanny who was willing to accept the same pay that you'd pay the daycare?

I just wonder if maybe another solution will emerge, that you haven't thought of now, that will feel better to you. You know?

I'm so with you on your feminist issues, but also attachment parenting, etc. I guess you already know that. I'm just really, really with you on all of it.

I spent quite a bit of time this week caring for some kiddos whose mom has SUCH a different perspective on parenting than I do. I have found it challenging to say the least. I wish I could write about it on my blog but I fear she'll read my blog! :)

tamie said...

By the way, my boobs aren't exactly "perky" but they're also not droopy. Because they're so small! I keep wondering what pregnancy will do to em.

amy frances said...

Hey, you should seriously consider Tamie's nanny idea. She's a smart, smart woman.

I've worked for a family in town as a part-time nanny for seven years now, and it's been a wonderful experience all around. When their mom leaves them with me, she feels like she's leaving them with family, and it's given the kids two more positive adults in their lives (my husband joined the party when I met him, and the kids loooove him). The kids get to stay in their home, they get all the personal attention they need, and we can reinforce their mom's values (like no TV). We take them to the zoo, parks, for bike rides, make sure they do their homework and get exercise, stay with them when they're home sick and when mom has to travel for her job (she's single). Are there any universities near your house? Susan found me by advertising with my graduate school. The money you'd pay a daycare would help a grad student sooo much too. But I don't do it for the money anymore, I just love the kids.

Something to think about. Godspeed!

Tonya said...

Good idea to get a nanny. The only other thought I had was just wondering if you could postpone the whole midwifery idea for a couple years. The boys would be older, a little more independent, possibly even old enough while you are doing school (the later part) that they could stay home without an adult for short periods of time. I don't know the laws in Canada, but in most states, I think 12 is a very acceptable age for kids to be home alone - or even watching siblings for a short amount of time. Of course, it depends on that child and his/her maturity level, etc.

Just a thought. I don't know what your drive is behind going to school right NOW. I'm not saying don't, just thinking of another option. :-)

Asheya said...

I'm having this conversation with myself about work and care of the kids right now too. I have two great helpers, one who is live in, and I am really enjoying the chance to order my life a little more how I want it, without needing to care for the kids all day, every day. I think it is really great that they have personalized care rather than day care, and the other bonus is that if I work from home then I see them every few hours. I know I want to do some type of work outside or the home or have a career if I work from home, but right now I am not sure what that is. I'm thinking fiction editing because I LOVE reading books and I think I'd be good at it but....I just don't know.

I think it's so great that you know you are a good fit with midwifery and your passion for birth can translate into an amazing career that is so empowering for women. I love the whole education side of midwifery but I'm not really a hands on type person, so even though I think about pursuing midwifery I know it wouldn't really be a good fit for me.

Also, I really appreciate your perspective on work, feminism, and raising kids in a healthy way. You get me thinking and challenging some of the perspectives I have taken for granted, so thanks!

I hope you find an amazing grandma type nanny for your kids, who can be flexible and affordable and most of all provide lots of love.