From newsroom to nursery

January 26, 2011 by Cara Bailey
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When I resigned from my job in September to stay home with my son I joined a growing group of educated, employed, engaging women who are getting by with a little less for a little more. A little more time with our children while they are still in their formative years.

Before joining the mommy ranks, I said I would continue working full-time. After all, I was committed to journalism when I was 11, working in a newsroom at 16, full time when I was 20. Journalism was my first love and I couldn’t imagine leaving it.

Then my mancub came into my life, and with him, a much stronger love than I ever could have imagined. The 40+ minute commute, combined with 7 1/2 hour work days that often stretched to more meant I was away from my kiddo for up to 12 hours a day.

I was with him at night, while he was asleep, then I would ship him off to another member of the family to raise him that day. Let me tell you about this wonderful village that helped us raise our child.

When Daddy, a music teacher, and Mommy were at work, our babe spent time with grandmothers and grandfathers, great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, roommates, friends, neighbors, basically anyone living between Huntington and Charleston that we could find so we wouldn’t need a day care or full-time sitter.

(Nothing against those who choose to put their kid in day care, but have you seen the salary for teachers and journalists?)

Baby went to the uncles’ (one actual uncle and two well-loved roomates) Monday, stayed with Granny the next two days, and back to an aunt Thursday. The next week had a completely different rotation with a new group of people.

The support of these people helped me work for a full, hectic year, all the while thinking that I was doing the best possible thing for my family. Shortly after my baby’s first birthday, I decided I had had enough. My thought was that I, as a mother, was responsible for my child. At the time I couldn’t accurately answer the pediatrician’s questions at his checkups. I wasn’t even sure what he was eating for lunch or if he was napping. I needed to be there for him.

In order to make that happen, we’ve made some cuts. Cloth diapers over disposable diapers; date nights to Marshall’s or Target; peanut butter over a medium well ribeye.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have luxuries in life. My day wouldn’t be complete without a Starbucks iced black tea, sweet of course. Eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s on the couch with my honey and NCIS on the flat screen is way better than droppin’ a Hamilton to have someone kick the back of my theater seat 20 times in two hours. Freelancing, mixed in with patience and understanding, makes all of that possible.

Being a work-at-home mom is the most demanding job of my life. There are no breaks, no easy lunchtimes. There are days I want nothing more than to be back to the newsroom just to get a break and a conversation that doesn’t involve singing “Skidamarink a dinky dink.” Then I bit into my peanut butter foldover, look into my boy’s bright eyes and realize that nothing could be more rewarding.

Welcome to my Mommyhood.

Comments

14 Responses to “From newsroom to nursery”

  1. Katy BrownNo Gravatar says:

    I admire your decision to try it both ways. I worked for 9 months before resigning from the law firm. I understand working mothers’ challenges, and I understand home based mothers’ sacrifices. No choice is easier than the other.

  2. Kara MooreNo Gravatar says:

    I love your village of caregivers! I was fortunate to have an aunt who was able to keep my baby until I took the plunge and quit my job. Infant care is just SO expensive at a daycare.

  3. UhNo Gravatar says:

    Why is it that all of a sudden these women have invented motherhood?

  4. UhNo Gravatar says:

    You’re right. That was a crappy comment. I immediately regretted it. Sorry. I forget that it’s the world we live in now. Seems raising children has become spectator sport these days, like everything else in peoples’ lives. I’m glad I’ve raised mine. Sorry again.

    • Katy BrownNo Gravatar says:

      I didn’t invent motherhood, but it certainly invented Katy Brown. I wasn’t half as much fun 10 years ago! : D

    • Kara MooreNo Gravatar says:

      I can see how blogging about parenting can seem like turning it into a spectator sport, but that’s certainly not what we’re trying to do. The spirit of what we’re doing is community and conversation; we very much hope this can be interactive. I don’t think I invented motherhood or that I’m even an authority on it. It’s just something I like to talk and write about, and I’m very interested in hearing from other moms.

      • UhNo Gravatar says:

        Like I said, it was a crappy comment. And everything is spectator sport nowadays. It’s our world. I find it sad myself.

        • UhNo Gravatar says:

          Clarify – by “sad” I mean, sad that we are all living under a microscope. One day we’re minding our own business, the next, we’re going viral because of some idiot with a camera phone. Parenting is terrifying and stressful and we all do and say things we wouldn’t want caught on camera. It’s tough. Good luck with your blog.

  5. UhNo Gravatar says:

    Honey, years ago, you could raise your kids without being afraid the whole world was looking over your shoulder. I would have been arrested nowadays for some of the stuff I did – like letting them walk home from school. It’s a different parenting world nowadays. I was actually told by a health care professional (the la leche league too) that beer was good for my milk. My sister and I used to go to a park and sit around drinking beer and nursing. Can you imagine?

    • Kara MooreNo Gravatar says:

      I want to live in that time!

      • UhNo Gravatar says:

        It was great actually. And you know what else? They survived.

        So many mothers nowadays live in so much fear, not only fear for their children but fear of being criticized by others and other mothers. And with the internet, you can end up on the receiving end of death threats like that woman who let her child ride the subway alone.

        • CaraNo Gravatar says:

          That’s funny you mention drinking a beer while nursing. When my son was three weeks old we went to an Old Crow Medicine Show concert and a mom there told me to drink a beer a day to help my milk production. I didn’t, but after researching it more I probably would have. After all, I did take my newborn son to an outdoor concert…

  6. bradmcNo Gravatar says:

    Uh prompted an interesting discussion! Thank you Uh! For real!

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