Tag Archives: Momdays

Stay at Home Daddy Duty

Written by Sharon

Like Tena’s husband, my son is also a stay at home dad during the day while his wife works. Since his regular job is in the evenings, it makes sense for him to care for my granddaughter while he is home and save on childcare costs. I couldn’t be a prouder mother! I think it is wonderful how dads today are taking charge and being such an instrumental part of their children’s lives.

In my day, if dad stayed with the kids (even for a short time), it was referred to as “babysitting.” As a result, my son has a much closer relationship with his daughter while nourishing his care giving side.

Although he knows firsthand how tiring it is, he considers himself lucky that he gets to spend so much time with his daughter and cherishes every minute of it. And of course aside from his daily childcare, he is doing the laundry, cleaning and whatever else needs to be done.

They are out and about town everyday for fresh air and visiting with neighbors and friends. My granddaughter is a big hit at the local coffee shop (it’s not unusual to find her behind the counter with the owner) and they can’t miss a stop at the newspaper stand to say “hi!” Even the mail lady knows my granddaughter. As a result, at 15 months old, her social skills are already developing as she doesn’t hesitate to approach children at the playground for a baby talk chat.

Living the urban life in San Francisco brings to mind an ancient African Proverb: “It takes a village to raise a child.”  My son, who is very outgoing, takes his daughter everywhere and enjoys all of the attention she receives.  To say he was a proud dad would be an understatement.

And just a quick note about our latest Skyping adventures – grandma got to see her precious granddaughter walking. Yippeee!!!

About Sharon

Sharon became a first time grandma in February of 2011 and had the pleasure of celebrating her granddaughter’s first birthday in San Francisco where she lives with her oldest son and his wife.  Sharon welcomes the opportunity to spoil her granddaughter after having raised two boys.  Sharon is an avid lover of the arts and has dabbled with oil painting and enjoys interior decorating as a hobby.  She is the Customer Service Manager for Step2.

Mommy Nerves and Growing Up

Written by Sara S.

Along the long, windy, path of motherhood there are many unexpected turns.  Most of the unexpected things I have encountered along the motherhood path, to my chagrin, have been in my heart and my brain. Take the following for example…

Crash, Boom, Bang

You know what I am talking about. Once you hear that sound of crash followed by a cry your heart drops to your knees, your nerve endings prickle, and your hair follicles turn on end. There is nothing worse than that sound.

Once you have had one experience of hearing this thud followed by the cry, everytime you hear such a sound a head jerk and heart flip occur quite often and can be caused by any of the following: any household thud, an unexpected splash in a pool, the sound of something dropping, breaking or bumping – even the sound of an ambulance when your children are home and you are away takes on new meaning. I am wondering, at what age are they when this stops happening?

Growing up and out of things

Mommy heart flip-flops are also caused by things that indicate how fast your child is growing up. My youngest, Brady (a.k.a. Grizz) did not fit into one of my favorite matching outfits. My baby was too big for an outfit I thought was huge not just a year ago. How could this be? I looked at him in the crib last night and once just 21” long; he is now over 42” tall. It’s almost a magical bittersweet dilemma of all mothers – how fast their children grow.

Last week I found myself sitting with Ryan on his last day of preschool watching the slide show for the year.  For me, there is no way to not feel a pang of sadness along with joy at every milestone.  Does this ever go away or does it get worse? It’s going to be an interesting summer, preparing for pre-k, digging for worms, playing in dirt, riding bikes, staying up late, watching the games, sleeping in, swimming and growing up.

I am loving this path of motherhood and wondering what I will encounter next! I don’t know what’s more unexpected, what happens or how I feel about what happens.

About Sara S.

Sara is an on the go – down to earth Momma, married to a Marine and the mother of two get dirty wild and crazy, play in the mud boys.   She loves Michael Jackson, dancing and spending time with her family. She is honored to be able to teach her little guys about the world around them, about kindness love and the human spirit. For fun, she loves to make jewelry, shop, ski and spend time outdoors getting dirty with her boys. Sara is a Sr. Product Manager at Step2.

Mommy Mistakes

Written by Tena

Before having a child, I was never the person who thought I knew a lot about babies.  In fact, I was very afraid of babies and would not hold anyone else’s bundle of joy until they hit the four to six month mark.  It isn’t that I didn’t have an appreciation for their wonderful baby smell or touch but my assumption around their fragility far outweighed any benefit I would get from opening my arms to a precious little one.

I didn’t dive into a lot of research before having my son either.  I figured that my motherly instincts would kick in and common sense would carry me a long way.  Then, my son arrived, and quickly I have learned that common sense and motherly instincts do not outweigh the power of on-the-job training when it comes to being a Mom.  Some of these are rookie moves I’m sure, but I bet there are at least one or two others out there who can relate to this list of lessons I’ve learned over the last ten months (please tell me I’m not alone).

1.    Don’t feed your baby in a moving car  
After a particularly long doctor’s appointment (2.5 hours) at an office that was 35 minutes from our home I decided to give my son a bottle.  While you are probably trying to picture this, let me set the stage.  My husband and I were having a Driving Miss Daisy session – him in the driver’s seat and me in the back seat with our son.  About ten minutes into our drive home, he started crying and wouldn’t stop (my son, not my hubby).  I couldn’t bear to hear him cry knowing it was from hunger…so, I got the bottle out of the diaper bag, put it in my shirt to try and warm up the bottle that had been sitting on an ice pack, and then gave it to him.

Luckily, I didn’t give it to him until we were close to our house because he immediately started to spit up.  He was in his car seat and there was no way for me to get him out to keep him from choking.  My husband quickly pulled off the side of the road, ran around the car, and got him out of the seat to pat his pack.  It was dramatic and horrible and could have been avoided completely.

2.    Keep testing different diaper creams until you find one that works
I was very apprehensive about using petroleum based protection for my little guy’s toosh.  I had heard of a very appealing “pink” colored product that works wonders.  So, that is what we used.  At first, it was great, no diaper rash at all.  However, after a few months, a dreaded diaper rash developed.  I continued using the pink stuff.  The diaper rash worsened and got very red (which happened to be muted under the layers of the pink stuff).  I continued to use the pink stuff.  It went on like this for a several weeks with days of relief in between.

Finally, I gave in and used a petroleum based product and he has not had any issues since.  Looking back, I wonder if he had some sort of allergic reaction to the zinc oxide in the “pink” product.  I’m sure it is wonderful for some but I wish I would have switched sooner.

3.    Use the safety belts on your gadgets
OK, so this one is particularly mortifying.  Until our son was about seven months old, he slept in his swing every night.  He was next to impossible to get to sleep and once he would fall asleep, we tip-toed through the house like a cat burglar to keep from waking him.  Strapping him into the swing for safety was not even a consideration.  The swing was deep, he had several heart surgeries and wasn’t wildly mobile (or so we thought), and once he was in the swing, he was asleep for the night…until, the one night he wasn’t.

He had started to cry a little bit and since my husband stays at home with him and I go to work in the mornings, he typically takes care of him overnight.  In this instance though, I didn’t hear my husband getting up to see what was wrong.  As I was groggily trying to wake up, I heard my husband (coming from the bathroom) yelling, “oh my God, oh my God, oh my God”.  Thud…silence…screaming.

Our baby had flipped himself out of the swing and onto the floor.  Thankfully, his dismount was executed with the style and grace of an Olympic gymnast.  He managed to do a full 360 degree rotation and go from his back in the swing to landing on his butt on the floor.  He only cried for about 15 seconds so I’m sure he was just scared, though not nearly as scared as we were.  In fact, not only do we always use the safety belts on all of his gadgets, he no longer sleeps in the swing.

Now that I’ve shared all some of my Mommy mistakes, and I feel like I definitely should get the “worst parent of the year award” I am reminded of some things I do right.  Like getting the text message below from my husband and deciding it is time to call it a day and head home to my beautiful family!

About Tena

Tena and her best friend (and hubby) had their first child in July, 2011.  Their little guy has a congenital heart defect and he is one tough little cookie; don’t ever think about calling him sick though – “his plumbing is just different.” Tena is an animal loving vegetarian and is excited to teach her son about compassion and the importance of volunteer work.  She secretly hopes her son will be left handed like his momma. She is the Online Marketing Director for Step2.