Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bad Blogger

Do they make an award for that? Because if so, I need one! Lately I've been really bad at commenting, and even worse at thinking of anything at all to write about.

I guess I'm a little burned out, or a little overwhelmed, or both...I don't know.

Things with Charlie are going well. He seems to be adjusting very well to me being gone a couple of days a week. He's always been Mr. Laid Back Baby, and the trend continues. That, coupled with the fact that we have an amazing caregiver who is doing this primarily because she loves babies has made my transition pretty smooth.

Still, I'd be lying if I told you that I'm not overwhelmed by the demands of being both full-time Mommy (the best job of all!) and full-time student. My brain simply isn't where it used to be, and that's showing up in my lack of organization and lack of ability to focus on what I need to be doing. My hat sincerely goes off to anyone who has walked this road before me. And to all you working moms out there...I never thought the balancing act was easy, but neither did I realize it was this hard, wow! I know that I will get back into the swing of things, and figure out what my new normal needs to be so that I can succeed at both of my jobs, but it's taking more time than I would like.

And speaking of jobs, that's the other thing that's been dragging me down. This is the first semester in a long time that I haven't been working at least part time, and the lack of income is getting to both of us. Any and all "extras" have now been completely eliminated, and we're down to figuring out how we can eat as cheaply as possible. Putting it in perspective, I know we are still extremely fortunate. We have a home, food, clothing, we are FINE. And I have this gift of precious, uninterrupted time with our son that I will cherish once he's older. I know I will look back on these times and be so very thankful that I was able to be with him as much as I am. Still, it's hard to be stretched so thin, and Michael and I are both feeling the squeeze.

I know I'm about to sound a little crazy, but we recently switched Charlie over to the generic version of formula, and it's really bugging me. The top of the En.famil container even says, "Because it's YOUR Baby!" Now if that's not an effective marketing ploy then I don't know what is! I KNOW he is fine, and I KNOW the comparisons are pretty equitable. I even asked the doctor if he would feed this stuff to his kids and he said yes. So what's my problem? Why do I still have this hang-up that we're somehow doing less than we should for our baby because we're not feeding him the name-brand formula? I guess part of the reason I feel this way is because this food is ALL he eats. But then when I look at the difference in price, and I look at our budget...I simply can't justify that extra expense for a name any longer.

The bottom line is hat it is what it is. All of this "stuff" with which I'm struggling simply is what it is. I'm doing what I have to do for our future, and we are going to have to scrimp and save and stretch for the next two years. This is our reality and there's not much I can do to change that. I guess now that we have Charlie, I'm a little afraid of being too negative, or complaining too much, both in real life, and here in blogland. I know things could be so much worse, and I never want to come off as though I'm taking our good fortune for granted. I'm finding, lately, that I've resorted to the old, "If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all" adage from my childhood. There is some goodness to that way of thinking, but it also means I'm nto really being real, and not really being honest...which is one of the reasons I started blogging in the first place.

So there you have it. That's where I've been lately, and those are the wheels that are turning inside my head. Feel free to begin throwing rotten tomatoes now.


Kelly said...

Hang in there, it gets easier!!

As for the generic formula, we started Aliya on Target brand the day she came home and she actually did better on it than the name brand stuff her birthmom was giving her! Target diapers and wipes are great too!!!!! (My first full Target generic shopping I bought a case of diapers, can of formula and a large pack of wipes all for the same price as one case of Pampers!! The check out lady thought I was cray because I called my mom from the line to tell her the good news)

Denver Jen said...

I can completely understand how you are feeling about the formula but just keep reminding yourself that it's all marketing:).

I've been struggling thinking about my blog post-placement and how you want to be so sensitive since there are so many people on the other side waiting. But, I think there's so much value in posting how you are feeling. I know that's why I blog and I know I always feel guilty because I feel like I should be up beat but I always get the most release and satisfaction out of my gripy blog entries. So, you should feel free to post what you want and I think it would be helpful for everyone too because I know we're all going to have struggles post-baby transitioning to our new lives. I've loved reading your post-placement blog and think that you are doing a great job juggling everything:)I hope that everything starts to feel more settled soon. I'm sending good thoughts your way.

Becky said...

DO NOT worry about the store brand formula! ALL formulas in the US have to pass and adhere to the same very strict guidelines!
We use Wal-Mart' brand of Enfamil Gentl-Ease. Comparing the labels, exactly the same! With this particular one, I found that the Target brand did not have an high numbers in some of the vit. and essentials so, went with the WM.
Totally understand!
The large can of WM brand is cheaper than the small can of trade brand!! I am working part time on top of hubby's full time job and we are still pinching! It helps!

Rebekah said...

Honestly, I think that when people are "real" then it makes it more interesting. I dont want to read about the Brady bunch...I want to read something that I can relate to...and for sure I can relate to all the things you are battling right now. I'm most positive that I am not the only one. No tomatoes here.

TXMom2B said...

I struggle with being real, too. There is so much pressure, when you adopt, and you read blogs of waiting future parents, to be happy all the time. But parenting is the most confusing, scary thing I've ever done. The only way I can process it is to write about it, which comes out as complaining. I just try to balance it with happy stuff, too, or, when that just isn't happening, to share what I've learned for other people's benefit. You have a good attitude, and it comes out, so no worries.

Hoping for a Miracle~~ said...

No way are you complaining!! You are adjusting to your new schedule and its going to take time to get used to. I have been back to work (full-time) for almost 2 months now and I am still not adjusted to it - to be honest I hate it - I would much rather be at home with N but I know I can't be, it is what it is and and I put on my happy face and come to work, get my job done and then rush home to my baby boy! You will get through this and it will be okay, its just going to take some time!

As for the formula, I would love to switch to the generic brand but we switched N 3 time already and since he has reflux so bad I don't want to have to switch him again and him have to get used to another brand so I stay on what he is on now (Enfamil Gentlease)but I would switch if it wasn't for that. I did sign up at Enfamil and get $5, $3 and $2 coupons all the time and I look for it to go on sale and stock up then so that helps some and try to get the one that has 20% more in it, but its still expensive!

Charlie is fine on the generic brand ~ now mommy just have to realize it :)

Hope you can find some balance in your days, just know you have a loving husband and son to come home to at the end of the day and that is what matters, everything else will fall into place!!!!

Hugs to you!

Tracey said...

I'm with you Melba...working and motherhood is very hard! I feel for ya! As far as saving...Try to calm your fears about the really is only a brand name...the generic wipes and diapers are wonderful too. I figure the scrimping and saving I do now IS FOR SAMUEL'S FUTURE!

You can save a lot of money by cooking CROCK POT meals...they last a long time. We also cut out alcohol, eating you anything not necessary is gone. I also shop at second hand stores for both of us and Samuel. Babies grow so quickly that it doesn't make sense to buy new clothes. I have stuff that Samuel has grown out of and he never even wore (because of the season). Let me know what size Charlie wears and I'll send you a CARE PACKAGE!!!

Enjoy school...there is a light...every day you are one day closer to those 2 years being over....I can do anything for a short time...get a count down calendar or ticker...GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS!

Malloryn said...

*hugs* No rotten tomatoes here, and I think I deserve the bad blogger award :) Parenthood is amazing but it is a lot of work and I'm still learning how to try to balance things. I admire you for your work in doing the same with school!

Lately people keep saying "Oh your leave is half over, how do you feel?" and I almost punch them. Not good! I'm thinking about ways we can cut back, to see if there's any way I can stay at home with her even just a few days a week. *sigh*

Lane said...

I agree with the above posts - cut yourself some slack, and keep posting your honest thoughts. It's so valuable for us to hear the real deal, and you say it so well. It is so hard these days, with advertising and media and other people, even well-intentioned ones, setting up comparisons that aren't doing anyone any favors. Do what you need to do, and everything will work out fine in the end!

Anonymous said...

You're not complaining! That's what a blog is for and no matter what you situation is it's so easy to find things wrong. Like you I find myself feeling guilty. I gripe about my husband working so much, but because of that we were able to have me be a SAHM. I was actually ashamed to admit to anyone that I missed work.

Heather said...

I felt the same way when we were feeling the financial squeeze and switched our daughter over to the "store brand" formula. It bothered me for a long time. I guess it's just that ingrained idea that the big name brands are somehow better. That and the idea that if it costs more it must be worth more. Really though, that extra $10-$15 dollars you pay for name brands is for the advertising to get you to buy it in the first place.

As far as the being real & honest part, I think it's vital. Trying to be super-mom doesn't do anyone any good. In fact, it's Moms like that who I feel alienated from. We all get tired, frustrated and burnt out! I think the being real and regularly venting is the only thing that's kept me sane the past few years!

alicia said...

hugs!!! i can't imagine how hard this is but you can do it!! thinking of you

Jamie said...

(((hugs)))) for you melba :)

i can imagine the thoughts and feelings that wrestle through you head regarding all of these things....i'm applying for nursing school this december and part of me thinks there's absolutely no way i'll be able to leave milo for the time it will take to get through school.....the other part of me knows that i'm doing it to help make his life better.
i think that people, mothers, human beings....just have to do the best that we can and know that what we're doing at the time is good. if that's using a generic formula (which i've read they're all the same) then that's what it is....:) i wish we could switch milo but he seems to have a milk allergy (12 oz can costs $28.00!). bottom line is ~ you're a wonderful mommy and you're doing a GREAT job juggling everything in your life! :)
our household has been out of work for 1 year now......i truly understand the value of a dollar and how to try and make it stretch as far as possible. thinking of you and all of us who could use just a little extra. :)
much love ~

E said...

There are many times that I feel like I could have the 'bad blogger' award bestowed upon me lol. In your case, I think you have good reason to not be posting regularly. No rotten tomatoes for you:)

The marketing really works on the mommy guilt, doesn't it? I'm not there yet, but I can just imagine the juggling, the guilt, etc. that will happen for me. I'm going to have to go back to work full-time and I already feel guilty about it. I'm sure it's quite a balancing act for you...mother, wife, student. And I'm sure you're doing a good job. Being a student IS your full-time job (unfortunately, you have to pay them!) outside of the home and it will be well worth it for you and your family when you get to the finish line. Hang in there.

I've always loved your honesty...they are very real feelings you are expressing and ones that many, if not all, can relate to.

Mary B. said...

How funny that you wrote about wanting to eat as cheaply as possible! I actually left the grocery store a little angry this morning because of how much grocery prices seem to have gone up! Ugh!

I have a tip I can offer... I don't know if you already do this, and it will take about 1/2 hour of your time, but I'm telling you it can reduce your grocery bill a little. It's simple: plan your dinners for an entire week! Take inventory of what you already have in the house to make those meals. Only buy what you need for *those* dinners you've planned! I used to grocery shop blindly... just buying whatever. One day, I realized I had, like, 4 bags of frozen peas in the freezer. Ridiculous! I started planning menus and taking a quick walk around the kitchen. Ever since then I spend about $50 a week less than I was before. I also have some really cheap meal ideas. Maybe I'll do a post about them!

In the meantime, don't worry so much! It sounds to me like you're doing what you need to do and you're getting it done! You have a bright future ahead! Enjoy that adorable little guy!

Rachel said...

No rotten tomatoes, my friend...

Lots of empathy and good thoughts. I can't imagine where I will be seven months from now.

If it's any consolation, a good friend of mine said they feed their thriving baby the Meijer brand of Similac. If you compare the labels, they're exactly the same AND made at the same place!!

We want what's best for our little ones, especially since having them was so difficult. But remember - Charlie gets the best of YOU, and there's nothing that could replace that!


Debbie B said...

I'm just now getting my organized brain back. But I didn't go back to work until she was 10 months old so it took me 10 months to finally feel above water with all that stuff of working and being mommy when you really just want to be mommy.

Don't worry too much about complaining occasionally. Sometimes it's good just to let it out so you can move on. Plus if we're praying people we know how to pray!!