i'm pregnant and it's going to be a rollercoaster

To childcare or not to childcare. December 10, 2009

Hello Little Screaming Monster,

so. I started this post more than two weeks ago. But haven’t got back to it. For a number of reasons.

  1. I’m busy. It’s nearly Christmas, and things to do with Christmas and all that jazz just seem to get in the way of things.
  2. I thought I’d unpack a few of the mountain of boxes in our store room from one of our previous moves (they were all numbered and logged but after 3 moves the pile has just got bigger, numbers overlap, and frankly I don’t care about what is in them so much as I haven’t used it in years or months). It’s like a game of ‘garage sale shopping’ but in your own storeroom.  Did I already mention I was busy? Well.  I guess I got more busy.  (As an aside, 5 boxes down and I’m over it again for a while).  I think I’ll aim for 5 a month for the next year.  That should get through the pile in say 3 years.
  3. It’s hot and I’m busy.
  4. You seem to be awake more and sleep less and more games and fun stuff is required of me.   Well, “fun” in the mum does “fun” stuff with baby kinda way.  Which is a little different to my pre-child definition of “fun” stuff.  But fun it is.
  5. I am fully mobile again, oh yeah!  No boot, just trainers and the car keys and you!  So we have been trekking back and forth across the burbs of Brisbane to mum’s groups and the grocery store and the pool and .. and .. and.
  6. Did I mention I was busy?

But the main reason I haven’t got back to this post after starting it so many days ago is that it’s a hard one.

The issue:

I got a call from the childcare center near here, where your cousins and our close friend’s kids go, telling me that “there is a spot” for you from January next year.  Two days a week only.   But “A Spot”.  Now I guess you need a little context here.   Brisvegas and Australia in general are having a baby boom.  I live in the inner city, and childcare spots are a bit like hen’s teeth – rare.  The center that offered you a spot is notoriously hard to get a spot in, and is apparently the bees nees.   It’s friendly, great staff, local, vegan-friendly, breastfeeding friendly, and small (only six spots in the under 12 months room).   And two days a week is precisely what I think you’ll be after at some point….

But when is that point?

I was at first excited when they rang.  Then immediately I hung up the phone, I looked at you and almost cried.  You’re my little baby.  You’re still so small.  You’ll only just be six months old.  That is so little.  You’ve never really been sick.  You’ll be sick for weeks on end when you start childcare – good as it is, kids just love touching other kids faces etc and germs spread.  And you’re so small, my little baby.  Did I mention that already?

Aaagh.  Then there is the issue of what I’d do if you did have a childcare spot.  And that is the one that has really been occupying my mind for the past few weeks.  I’ve been contemplating what it is like to be a SAHM (stay at home mum) and whether I want to continue (and whether we can afford) being one.  It’s such a hard call.   If we can afford it or not is a simple question.  And the simple answer for that is that only two weeks before they phoned, I pretty much decided that we could afford it for a bit longer, so as there was no childcare spot, I should just relax, enjoy the experience and then start to think about work and the whole “what do I want to do with my life” question in another few months.  In the interim, I decided to take another course from my MBA next semester and see how that went as a starting point to ease back into things non-baby related…

And my sanity.  Can I be a full-time SAHM and keep my sanity?  Your grandmother described it very well when she said it was “mind-numbingly boring” at the same time as being “intensely satisfying and rewarding” especially as the bond you have with your child is so close, so special and so important.  A dichotomy.  I caught up yesterday with an old friend from uni who has two kids, both under 5, who first thing, asked me, “How are you coping with the SAHM thing?  are you BORED?”.  And then went on to clarify that she has been fighting with herself mentally for the past five years trying to come to peace with whether or not she is satisfied, happy, ok with it, balancing work (does she do enough at one day a week, look at the other positions she could be applying for if she worked more)  and family and what to do.  And she’s at peace, pregnant again with number three, so does find it a worthwhile and happy experience, but also very mentally challenging.  We were chatting about mother’s groups and she said, “But yes, once you’ve talked about poos and wees and developmental stages, it would be nice if once in a while someone maybe mentioned politics or what is going on in the world”.   (Aside: we then had an interesting conversation about how the conservatives in Australia have just ousted their leader and gone for a right-wing approach to tackling our government head-on with experienced members (ahem, cronies) from a yesteryear re-promoted to front-bench positions.  And whether or not such a strategy would prove fruitful).  … Mmm..

That was just one conversation.  There have been many more.  And lots of thoughts about it all.



For now, you’re not taking “the spot”. You’re gonna stay home with me.   And your dad will try to finish a bit early one day a week so you can have some time with him and I have some time to myself and to study.  And your Grandma K will look after you a few hours one afternoon a week too.

And in the meantime, we’ll continue to be busy busy busy and I’ll contemplate my purpose in life in between changing pooey nappies, swimming at the pool and doing loads of laundry.

love and kisses


P.S.  constructive feedback and notes on your own experiences from readers out there most welcome by comment…  We’d love to hear.

baby at the pool

poogie – you and me in the pool today

P.P.S.  We went to the pool again this morning.  You love it.  You were tired when we got there but managed to swim quite happily for 45 minutes, got splashed by the hoardes of big kids and didn’t seem to mind at all, and attracted the attention of a very friendly boy about 12 years old who was just overjoyed that you enjoyed the water so much and spent about 15 minutes playing with you and a ball and then encouraged his friends to do the same with the other babies.  Funny!


Today i have… done so much before 9am. This mum stuff is hard work. August 26, 2009

Today I’ve

  • fed you at 3:30 am
  • fed you at 5:30 am
  • said goodbye to your dad as he left the bed to sleep somewhere else ’cause you’re such a noisy eater at 5:35 am
  • been vomited on in bed by you at 6:38 am
  • attempted to mop-up the vomit in the bed, on me, and on you at 6:39 am (you kept sleeping)
  • vaguely thought, “oh shit, I only washed the sheets, the undersheet, the duvet cover and aired the duvet yesterday, great timing!” at 6:40 am as I drifted back to sleep
  • been woken by your thrashing arms against my face at 7:08 am (you kept sleeping)
  • said goodbye to your dad at 7:24 am as he left the house
  • tried to get back to sleep at 7:25 am
  • worked out that you had woken up and were wide-eyed at 7:27 am
  • tried to ignore the fact it was morning at 7:28 am
  • conceded at 7:36 am that your grunting, exertion and ‘poo-face’ facial expression was consistent with the fact you were actually pooing.
  • calculated at 7:36 am that you hadn’t pooed for at least 48 hours
  • determined at 7:36 am that immediate evasive action was required unless I wanted a pooey and vomity bed.
  • lost track of time
  • moved you to the bathroom, removed your nappy and assisted you to complete the poo in the bathroom sink in an EC-style manner.
  • laughed as you concentrated and stared intently at yourself in the mirror as you finished pooing
  • complimented myself on my fortuitous movement of your bum back over the sink after I thought you’d finished.  Was amazed at the amount of poo one small baby can contain.
  • gave you a quick bath in the sink
  • took the nappy bucket down to the laundry
  • scrubbed your pooey nappy from this morning
  • put on two loads of laundry – your nappies and your clothes
  • had a play and a chat with you on the floor.
  • assembled my bike and the bike trainer on the back deck (having brought the bike up to the back deck three days ago and the trainer up yesterday). Step 3 complete!
  • my bike set-up and your rocker... We're feeding as I take this..

  • located my bike cleats (in the very back of the closet – who would have thought)
  • cycled for 12 minutes (woo hoo! exercise – ahoy) while simultaneously coo-ing to you to keep you calm (as you were feeling abandoned from the look on your face)
  • toasted a muffin and got some juice and managed to wolf it down
  • you and me. you're getting your fill

  • fed you again at 8:50 am while simultaneously reading my email

Gee its busy being a mum

love your attempting to get back into regular exercise mum

ps. oh, and I wrote this post at the end of the feed and its now only 9:06 am.


OMG WTH is it with TLAs and MCNs???? August 6, 2009

Hi Oscar,

today is more of a little rant. Rather than a little story.

I’ve been meaning to write to you about the complexities of nappies / diapers, the confusing choices about them, and about what your dad, you and I are doing with respect to them. I’ll get to that. But for today, I’m going to keep it brief (you’re not sleeping well – just seems to be 15 minute cat-naps at the most, so my writing time is limited) and just complain about how hard it is to actually read about, research, get opinions on, and generally make a decision about nappies / diapers!

Why! Because of all the goddam three letter acronyms (TLAs) that are just peppered through discussions on cloth nappies / diapers. “OMG WTH is it with TLAs and MCNs????”

OMG * Oh my God
WTH * What the Hell
TLA * Three Letter Acronym
MCN * Modern Cloth Nappy
MCD * Modern Cloth Diaper

My background in IT and telecoms is actually paying off: notorious for TLAs and undecipherable jargon, the part of my brain that deals with such palaver is getting a right royal workout. However nappy / diaper research is worse than the TLAs in the telecoms industry – not only do you have to have TLAs for every bit and bob to do with a nappy / diaper, when you converse on forums and the like it seems you also need TLAs for each and every family member. I was going ok while I was pregnant – I seemed to be able to navigate the forums I looked at by some guesswork (which I occasionally got wrong, but the general idea was ok)…. To give the uninitiated an idea of what kind of crap TLAs are used, check out the acronyms listed on a baby forum here in Australia. A few examples:

  • DH – Dear Husband
  • DF – Dear Fiance
  • DS – Dear Son
  • DD – Dear Daughter

Getting the idea? Those in your family are Dear… Except for the following people:

  • MIL – Mother in Law
  • FIL – Father in Law
  • SO – significant Other (apparently for if you’re just dating someone, obviously they haven’t quite made the “Dear” grade yet)

Mmmm.. I see a slight bias or bent to these TLAs already.

Anyway, those ones aren’t too hard to guess at, though why the hell anyone would want to continually refer to their partner as DH or whatever, it beats me. I can think of lots of others that could have been used instead given the content of what some of the people were writing about their partners: LAMF*** being one of them. Or perhaps just SGRPP****. Ok, I admit, now I’m just starting to make them up. And I’m getting sidetracked by a rant about the mundane nature of and painfully horrific posts that you find on lots of baby and mum and pregnancy sites (though some of it is great, its just the full spectrum of the population and their problems – better than Dr Phil any day – you can write back!).

So, on top of the already long list of acronyms needed to get through the posts on the mummy/mommy and baby general forums, the nappy / diaper forums take it to a whole new level! And the sites of the nappy / diaper makers seem to go there too – really using the acronyms all over the shop (so to speak) making it almost impossible for a NRAIM (nappy-related-acronym-illiterate-mum) like myself to even attempt to PURCHASE anything in the right size shape or colour. My advice to all nappy / diaper sites: KISS*****. Yeah, they teach that one in my MBA****** course.

Again for the uninitiated, you can read a list of the commonly used nappy-related (diaper-related) terms on an Australian nappy-centric forum (yes, that is if you can pull yourself off the floor and believe that there really is that much to discuss about nappies / diapers- if you see this forum, you’ll see that for some people, it really is endless, though I shouldn’t be surprised, the internet is full of little nooks and crannies with all sorts of people talking in minute detail about all sorts of topics)… Some more examples:

  • MCN – Modern Cloth Nappy; progressing to
  • AI1 – All-in-One
  • AI2 – All-in-Two (is this a misnomer??)
  • BV – Bamboo Velour (mmm! This sounds like something you’d find in a nightclub, could be fun)
  • … the list goes on…

And perhaps my favourite from this bunch in the discussion:

  • AF – “Aunt Flo”

WTF*******?? Even after reading the words behind this acronym I’m lost. Are you wondering like me why people are suddenly referring to Aunt Flo? Is it some kind of Australian-Queensland related thing where people have taken the term to refer to a stereotypical pumpkin-scone baking aunt based on the infamously corrupt Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke Petersen‘s wife Flo – famous for her pumpkin scones? That was my first thought on reading the translation . But no, get further and you’ll find that it is in fact a euphemism for the menstrual period. Hence the “flow”. See – it really does go too far, an acronym for a euphemism that is pretty out-there in the first place. My suspicions that people just post on the forums using the acronyms without really knowing what they mean at all were confirmed on reading further into the thread:

“I also use AF all the time and often wondered what it meant. Thanks”

Remind me not to start posting on these forums about my nappies / diapers and using terms and abbreviations that I really don’t know what they mean. Otherwise I might end up saying something I regret.

IMHO I could just spend all day LMAPO about the things other SAHM/SAHDs have written on the fourms IYKWIM. Alas, my DS, you take up too much time munching on my BBs and IME it just takes too much time to work out all the ETLAs in order to decode WTF they are on about most of the time. YABA YABA YABA is all you get.

TTFN Mum ********

P.S. My new task is to memorise at least one of the general abbreviations every day.

*** Lazy Ass Mother Fucker

****Sexist, gender-role-pandering pansie

***** Keep it Simple Stupid

****** Masters of Business Administraion

******* What the Fuck?

******** In my honest opinion I could just spend all day laughing my ass off about the things other stay-at-home-mums / stay-at-home-dads have written on the forums if you know what I mean. Alas, my Dear Son, you take up too much time munching on my boobies and in my experience it just takes too much time to work out all the extended three letter acronyms. Yet another bloody acronynm, yet another bloody acronym, yet another bloody acronym (Translation: Ra Ra Ra or or Yada yada yada) is all you get!

Tata for now. Mum


keeping on with blogging August 3, 2009

Hello Oscar!

You’re no longer Speck.. you are growing rapidly by the day. But I think I want to keep on writing – as a sanity-keeping-measure for myself more than anything. I found this outlet really great when I was pregnant with you, and now I’m a SAHM* I think I’m going to need all outlets possible to ensure I stay sane as I navigate the daily adventure that has become looking after YOU!

Oscar and Cat (six weeks and two days)

So, I’m going to continue to babble away to myself in general about daily life, motherhood, the complexities of baby products and all sorts of other random things. Oh, and mention incessantly what food I am currently eating, craving or salivating over (today is EATING: zucchini and fetta muffins – for reference!)…

So watch out baby. Actually I should watch out. It may be incriminating. Bad mother practices and all that….

Love you
* “Stay at Home Mum” or as I found on dooce “Shit Ass Ho Motherfucker”. Ooops I’m a mum now. Should I still be swearing? Oh well…