Moose’s Lodge

Raising a Moose

Mommy Moose Fantasyland November 15, 2008

Filed under: family — valben @ 1:13 am
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Prior to the Moose, I worked full-time and pursued my career with great intensity. Hubby and I were equals, at some points in our relationship making the same amount of money. We equally shared housework, funtimes, money, everything. The biggest adjustment to this SAHM gig is losing that equality. You would think, almost a year into it, maybe we have it figured out. But I honestly think no matter how open two people are, there is a bottom line non-equalizer: Men will never understand what we do and what we need. Don’t get me wrong, they will get it after the fact (when we explain it to them), but not a second before.  Oh yeah, and for SAHM who are still breastfeeding, I know the men will never understand just how malnourished and famished we are!!  Just another thing to put us over the edge.

Just a quick recap of this evening:
Hubby has had a tough, tough week at work. He is top management for a manufacturing plant that just did some huge layoffs with more to come. He has burned off some steam this week – played ball last night, took one of his guys out for a quick drink another night. So he tells me this morning he is going to happy hour with the HR guy at 4:00 PM, and he will be home at his regular time (around 6:30 PM).
I have had a tough, tough week with the Moose. He is not into sleeping lately, which means I don’t get any sleep at night. Hubby’s parents are coming into town tonight (Friday), so I spend all week cleaning up the house and trying to keep a crazy, mobile Moose entertained. I spend all day doing final clean-ups, going to the store, stocking up. All I want is to have a nice dinner with hubby tonight before his folks come in. Moose is not letting me do anything. He is tired, hungry, tired and is only happy when I am holding him. I can’t make dinner. I am starving. It is 7 PM and Hubby isn’t home yet. I am annoyed, but I know I can’t blame him. I still have to clean the guest bath. Not that his parents care, but it smells like sweaty feet and gym socks because that is where hubby dumps his dirty shit after playing ball.

So do I complain? Yeah, I tell him I am a little stressed out, but I know I have no place to complain about a few hours of lost sleep compared to the guilt and stress of layoffs. But shit, I just want a little something more than “I’m sorry”.

I want a job so I can have money to spend on me again. I want a job so I can do something all day besides trying to entertain an almost 1 yr old and listen to Sesame Street. I want to be able to call Hubby and say, “I’m grabbing a drink with the girls tonight” with no further explanation because he knows he has to look after the Moose. I want to be able to have a full night’s sleep because “I have to work tomorrow”. I would LOVE to come home one day to a clean house with a nice dinner and a happy baby.

But then I look at my sweet-eyed baby and that damn Mommy-guilt sets in. I think that’s the real deal, men have NO clue what Mommy-guilt is, does, where in the hell it comes from. Hubby tries to understand, but he always says “But Moose is fine, why do you feel so guilty?”

I wonder how things work in the Beatie household. (For those who don’t know, the Oregon transgender male who gave birth to his daughter).  Does he get Mommy guilt?  Is it a hormonal woman thing or is it the stay-at-home role that creates it?  Do SAH-Dad’s have this guilt?!?!

Ugh.  Enough venting.  I feel much better now.  And I am excited about my in-laws coming.  I can’t wait to see their faces light up when they see Moose.  And I can’t wait to be pampered just a little by my mother-in-law.  She will gladly take the Moose for a walk and let me have some time to myself.  Or with Hubby.  We’ll see.


Silence… what? September 11, 2008

Filed under: family,Moose — valben @ 10:57 pm
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Aaaahhh.. Silence.. it is a little strange.  Hubby is going to start running with the Moose after work, which should give me a good half hour to myself everyday.  I know I should be cooking or cleaning or something right now, but I just want to do something for myself.  Like play on the computer.

Its strange how most guys just don’t understand the need for “me” time.  They get it when it comes to themselves, but they have no clue what a true SAHM goes through.  Although Moose is very good in the car and I don’t have to constantly engage him, I am always aware of him in the car.  I peek back at him every few seconds.  And even though I take him shopping, I can’t just browse around.  I am constantly trying to keep him happy.  And try unloading a cart when you are wearing a baby.. it takes some skill and balance.  Even at night when he is sleeping, I have the monitor on to make sure he doesn’t suddenly wake up.

I love my time with Moose, wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I have a whole new respect for my time alone.  I know I need more of it, but that is easier said than done.  I feel so guilty if I spend more than a half hour doing something just for me.  Well, better start cooking before the boys bust through the door (see what I mean?!!?)


Moose the Parrot September 8, 2008

Filed under: family,Moose — valben @ 3:17 pm
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Normally, we read Llama Llama Red Pajama at night, but due to a recent wrestling match between Moose and the book, I had to switch it up.  I figured I would go back to a board book, so I grabbed our big board book version of Good Night, Gorilla.  It’s been almost 2 months since we have read this book.

So I am reading to the Moose, making little animal sounds as we go.  When I point at the gorilla, I do a monkey sound “ooh ooh ah ah,” and the Moose does a little “ah ah ah” right back!  I turn the page and do the little elephant sound, and the Moose comes right back with his little motorboat sound!  I don’t know what sound a giraffe makes (I’ll have to ask Ana, Queen of Animal Sounds later), so I just moo-ed like a cow.  And Moose comes back with “Mmmm mmmmm.”  And when we get to the page where all you see is the zookeeper’s wife’s eyes, Moose points to the eyes with his pudgy little finger!

Its little things like this I want to remember.  It all happens so fast.  This weekend was the first weekend he imitated us for more than one little word.  Saturday morning we went in a circle, naming Dada, Mama and Baba (baby in Moose terms).  And he repeated every single one until we all were laughing ourselves back to sleep.  It was after this Moosey moment that Hubby looked at me and said, “This is what you get to do everyday while I am slaving away at work?”  and I said, “Yup, and now you see why I don’t want to go back!”  I love my little Moose the Parrot 🙂


Domestic Mommy Moose September 2, 2008

Filed under: family,Moose — valben @ 2:45 pm
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This weekend I realized how different my sister and I are in our “mommy” styles.  My sister is a super-mom.  My nephew, Zach is 8 months old.  My sister has been working full-time for the last 5 months, and she is still able to pump and supply him with breastmilk.  She has dinner on the table every night, makes lunch for her hubby, and keeps her house immaculate (although she thinks otherwise).  She keeps Zach dressed to the nines, right down to his little matching shoes and socks.  When we went out to lunch with the family, she busted out the diaper bag which contained a bottle of formula ready to go, baby food, snacks, a snack mat, diapers, toys, and tons of other baby necessities.  She started planning their first birthday party two weeks after Zach was born.

On the other hand, I stay at home, yet struggle with the “what’s for dinner” dilemma weekly, and typically end up whipping something up right as hubby gets home.  Most days, my house looks like a tornado ripped through it.  Moose rarely gets 3 square meals of baby food – he still gets 90% of his nutrition from me.  The Moose hasn’t had anything on his feet (socks or shoes) since before Mother’s day.  I’m not even sure where my diaper bag is.  I have a traveling diaper cover thing that sometimes has diapers in it.  I am that mom that has had to buy diapers bc I didn’t have extras in my car.  I will sometimes remember to throw in a bib, spoon, and baby food into my purse before we go out to eat.  And birthday planning?!? Yeah, there’s a reason we are having a combined party for the boys…

A good friend of mine was once told she shouldn’t worry about having kids because she is not the domestic type.  But seriously, who is?  Compared to my sister, I most definitely am not.  But we are both doing a great job raising our kids – they are happy, healthy and learning every day.  If only “domestic” types had babies, ther world population wouldn’t be rising exponentially.  My mom said it doesn’t matter what you are like before kids, if you are a good person, your mother instincts will kick in.  And I think that is true.  I think my friend is going to be an AWESOME mom.  She is great with Moose and every other kid I have ever seen her interact with.

I don’t think being “domestic” has anything to do with being a good mom.  Sure, I would love to be a Martha Stewart-type mom, but I don’t have the energy for it.  I love my TV and computer too much for that.  I type this as Moose is screaming for me to finish… oh well..


Meeting People August 29, 2008

Filed under: Moose — valben @ 2:03 pm
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I had a hard time meeting people in Knoxville.  Sadly, I didn’t even make an attempt until Moose was 6 months old, which was 9 months after we moved here!!  I was used to meeting people at work and my hubby is not into bringing coworkers into our home life. 

I was also (and still kinda am) a Mom Group snob.  I hadn’t really gotten a handle on who I was.  I was lost.  As a person whose identity was always wrapped up in her title, I had a hard time with the SAHM status, even though I loved being with the Moose.

During a particularly dark period in my life, I took Moose home to Charleston.  My best friend took me to one of her Mom’s groups, and I realized it wasn’t too bad.  So there were a dozen people I had nothing in common with, but if I could have just one conversation with another adult besides my husband, it would be nice.  And she said she was in several mom’s groups and ended up with 2 good friends.  Not bad odds, right?

So I immediately went home and started checking out sites.  I ended up joining Stroller Strides.  Even though I was already 10 pounds lighter than my pre-preggy weight (I hear the cursing, but hey, I can’t help it!!), I needed to tighten up and I figured I could meet some people.  And I ended meeting some moms very similar to myself – no one was native to Knoxville, everyone wanted to be fit, and most of us didn’t consider ourselves typical SAHM even though all of us were! 

I always believe if you open your mind for good things to happen, they will come to you.  Not long after I joined Stroller Strides, I met a random girl and her daughter at the park.  Now almost 3 months later, they are our closest friends in Knoxville.  Ana and Chick Pea are the friends that we see everyday and never get sick of 🙂

So to all the lonely mommies out there, make it a goal to attend one organized session where there are other mommies – whether its a mom’s group, a library function, or whatever.  And if you find yourself at a park or Walmart and you spy another mommy with the same lonely look in her eyes, walk up and ask her how old her baby is.  You never know where your next friend is hiding!!