Henpecking the single mom.

Image

I’ve noticed since I became a mom – since I announced my pregnancy in fact – that people started treating me with less respect than I had become used to. I was forced out of my job due to my pregnancy, friends told me to have an abortion when I cheerfully announced my pregnancy to them (which is why I stopped telling people I was pregnant until the baby was born), when I was hugely pregnant people would not offer their seat on the bus or train (and let me tell you, when you no longer have any strength in your abs standing up on a bus or train is crazy dangerous), other tenants in my building blame me and baby for everything (the utility bills being high, the trash can being full, anytime anyone uses the washing machine – they assume it is my fault and they harass me for it. It’s totally nuts in this building). Then yesterday the landlord came into my apartment without notifying me ahead of time. I realized it when I got home later and things were moved. Including? My journal.

I was absolutely furious. Have you ever tried taking care of a baby when you are that mad? It’s not a pretty picture. Even after filing a police report I’m just left feeling so henpecked by all of these experiences. It has been kind of awful. If only I could just get a break from these shameless people. I wonder if times are changing toward this kind of attitude or if they have always been this way. It’s just hard to be cheerful and perky after all of the above. Some good friends boost my faith in humanity but it often feels like a wash at the end of the day with others around me crumbling my faith.

I’m trying to keep my head up and I’m making new friends – consciously and carefully trying to rebuild a community. Hopefully doing it better this time. It sometimes feels hard to make friends when I feel so rubbed raw by all of the experiences I mentioned – it’s hard to relax and feel like myself. I’ve also been looking for a new place to live for a while now. It is not a renters market in my area these days though. Any other moms out there ever feel henpecked, like a second class citizen or like you are forever last in line? Is this a single mom thing? Or do I just have incredibly bad luck right now? I feel like I go off on these rants a lot. But it just seems like another silly thing keeps happening right after the last silly thing.

Image

Baby’s first Xmas.

Merry Christmas out there! I hope it was either a good one or passed by blessedly fast – whichever pleases you! We had breakfast with a couple of friends who love the baby and who have been such a support this year. Then we stayed warm and toasty at home the rest of the day then popped over to a neighbor’s house full of family to say hello. I’m not sure what our traditions will turn out to be over the years but the past couple of days have been nice: hiking, best egg-rolls in town, hot chocolate with coconut marshmallows, and gifts from kind friends. But mostly just the kind friends part. Couldn’t compete with all that if I tried.

It has been a great year getting to know this person.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

 

8 months old and..finally got the crib together!

Our friend Kristin came over and helped put the crib together today. It seemed like such a chore at first but it really is an exciting thing to do. I underestimated that kind of stuff when I was pregnant. Also, why does pizza always go with putting furniture together? I don’t know, it just does.

Image

And just like that he’s asleep in his new spot. Nice. Thanks Auntie Kristin.

 

Single mom Christmas.

Someone asked me today if I celebrate Xmas. It got me thinking…do I celebrate Xmas?  I didn’t really before but now that I have a baby I’m not sure how to feel about it. Thanksgiving came and went and didn’t feel like more than a breeze. Not such an emotionally charged day for me. But now the mutha of all holidays is getting closer and closer.

As an adult and before baby I celebrated MLK day, the end of a long week, seeing a friend I haven’t seen in a while, Halloween, Purim occasionally. And now in addition to those I also celebrate new teeth, crawling, new sounds my baby makes, another month of my baby’s life. I don’t celebrate much else. Yet.

Celebrating for me isn’t a big to-do, it can be just taking a breath. Taking a moment to think and pat myself or someone else on the back. Smiling at my once again renewed faith in human potential. And letting go of worry for a moment (and usually not much longer). All that is good enough for me, but I have had this visions of holidays (the winter ones in particular) being full of…

Muddy, playful football games at a park around the corner.

Laughing around the fireplace until everyone is rubbing their tired eyes only to get up in the morning and laugh around the kitchen table.

Someone motherly or fatherly or auntly etc constantly refilling your hot cocoa/wineglass/tea and kissing you on top of the head.

Presents and torn wrapping paper strewn everywhere with the rest of the family traditions.

Potluck dinners or dinners cooked with a boisterous too many people in the kitchen.

Staying up late with a big family piled on top of each other on sofas in a living room remembering the past and planning the future. Knowing we would always be there for each other until death do us part.

Does anyone actually have all this anyway?

It’s not that I have a problem with having a self-made life. I guess where I get stuck is making myself (and now me and baby) over and over again. With a big family it seems you would be wrapped in love but also held to be an unchanging person. My friend Jeff says there is freedom in not having all that, “a freedom in the loneliness” he says. That freedom is bittersweet and it’s all I can taste most nights after the endlessness of another baby day.

I’m looking forward to making our own traditions, knowing that there may be growing pains on the way.

Image

fake fireplace photo via

5 things I want my 8 month old to know.

1. Being a parent is one of the hardest things ever. It’s also the best thing I have ever done in my life.

2. I love playing with you – and – I really appreciate how you love to play alone from time to time, too. Even better is when you are playing alone but then you pause to look at me, then grin, then go back to playing. It is the cutest.

3. We’ve been through a lot and I’m always trying to do the best things for you. Life can be hard but what we have already been through at this stage in the game will remind me to always be there for you. No matter what.

4. I really love you. Even though I don’t like it when you decide to wake up in the middle of the night. I’m not happy at those times but I love, love, love you.

5. I feel like a kid, too. I wish someone else was there to encourage me, set clear boundaries and love me unconditionally. Oh, and give me lots of hugs. I haven’t had that stuff often if ever so I’m doing my best to be for you what I have never had but always needed/wanted.

Image

Officially the best grocery delivery ever: Good Eggs.

Get a free item of your choice and free shipping with this link.

I keep writing about grocery delivery because it has been saving my life over here since my baby arrived. It has been one extra helping hand that this single mom has needed. I’m not going to lie, it is more expensive than driving around and smartly bargain shopping – but when you have no help day in and day out it is really worth it. I was recently talking with another single mom and she said the baby’s first year is the time to stretch yourself financially if there are things that will help you. I think it’s worth it because it keeps me fed and calmer in some of the most developmentally important times for my baby. Fed = a more ready and calm mom.

Anyhoo, there are a handful of grocery delivery options in my area and I’ve tried many of them. But I’m currently having a love affair with the best one of them all. Good Eggs. Why do I say love affair? BECAUSE THEY PUT LOVE LETTERS AND SAMPLES AND GIFTS IN WITH MY GROCERIES SOMETIMES. It’s totally romantic.

Image

Also, the variety of – all local – food is really great. Everything from produce, meat and dairy to prepared foods and unique baby food purees. And their bakery section is ridiculous. They are currently in the San Francisco Bay Area, Brooklyn, New Orleans and Los Angeles.

Get $15 off with this Good Eggs coupon code: becklovesgoodeggs

Happy eating!

The single mom vs The doctor.

Ugh. I’m about to take baby in for a check up. The last time we saw this doctor she said: statistically speaking my son will end up being a drug addict.

Whaaa? Um, we’re here for a 6 month check up…? Can we focus on that?

The next day I called her and told her I did not appreciate her talking about my infant that way. I’m not a statistic and neither is he. She hemmed and hawed and mumbled some more – unable to simply apologize. So, we’ll see how it goes today. Wish me luck!

Image

Image by Jenny Holzer via

Looking for an inexpensive holiday gift? A surprising favorite toy.

Image

A tin animal noise maker. My baby will crawl miles for it. Baby bored? Show him the noise maker. Baby crying? Give him a glimpse of the noise maker. Instant trance. It rolls. It makes noise when baby shakes it. It’s great. You can get one like ours here. But I bet you could get 5 for $1 at a dollar store if you look. I also found this really cool looking set (if you want to go all out on the deluxe model).

Moxie Jean.

Image

Have you heard about Moxie Jean? It’s a new online used baby/kids clothing store. It’s great because it’s like thrift shopping online. You can also sell them your gently used baby clothes. The best part about that is you don’t even have to leave your house to sell your clothes to them – they will send you a postage paid mailer bag to send it all over to them in. They know how hard it is to run lots of errands with a baby so they made it easy.

I was curious and just tried it and they actually bought a lot of what I sent them (not everything though – they are very picky and it has to be stuff that looks very new). I thought they paid a fair amount too. So if you are looking for a way to sell your baby clothes – with out even leaving your house – check it out and get $10 off!