Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Baggage

So, about this time two years ago, (maybe a leeeetle later in June), my father started having this conversation with me:

Dad: so, we need to figure out what we're going to do when its time for you to go back to work.

Me: *blink, blink*

See, I was in the hospital for three weeks on bedrest.  Then I had a newborn that I nursed nonstop for a week.  My mother scooped us into her car and drove us to her home, two hours away from where I lived, where I managed to get my newborn on a 2-to-3 hour feeding schedule and take some naps.

What was going to be "a few weeks" turned into "a few more", and then there I was, a little over a month away from going back to work.  I'd been living out of my parents guest room with a baby.  I'd spent maybe three nights total back at my apartment with my newb.  We'd been living as a family of four - my parents, me, the nursling.  My father's question was pretty legitimate.

I was hoping (praying!) that my mother would come live with me for at least fall semester.  I didn't have any daycare arrangements made, so I had no idea if I could find quality care for a four-month-old to start in a few weeks.  I would be teaching under the college's new workload policy, meaning I'd have a 21-contact-hour teaching load (that's ALOT if you're not familiar).  I knew it would be rough, but I was hoping that my mom would come help soften the blow of the return to work with a baby.

Nope.  Nada.  Uh-uh.

My dad started talking to me about quitting my job.  You know, the Census Bureau is hiring, you could get a job there.  I'm a freaking college professor, and you want me to just quit a full-time faculty position and take an hourly job doing data entry?  Seriously?

Also, I loved my job.  At least I had loved it in the beginning.  I loved the area where I lived, I loved my apartment, I loved being where I was.

But over the course of a couple of weeks, I realized that I loved the way my job had been in the beginning, not currently.  When it had been a reasonable workload and I had favor among my peers, not after they knew unseemly secrets about me, and I'd had a fall from grace.  And there was that pesky matter about the unreasonable teaching load policy that would be going into effect.  The more I thought about it, the more the worm bore into my brain, until I found myself making an appointment with my college's president to break the news, and filling out an application at a college close to my parents house.

My lease was up in mid-July, so that's when the move took place.  I was still living out of my parents guest room with a baby in a cosleeper wedged against the wall.  So the move was actually to fill a U-Haul truck with most of my belongings and drive it to my parents house, where we stacked it all in the garage to weather a few months.  Luckily my friend Tom broke the glass coffee table so that was one less thing to pack.
Dad got a little too close to the house ...

Neatly stacked
Not-so neatly stacked after a while

I heard the good news about the new job while in the car in the grocery store parking lot.  I was trying to balance a cell phone under my ear and nurse a baby in the backseat and talk about workload and schedule with a new boss while not being able to take notes.

The discussion then turned to GETTING THE FUCK OUT OF MY PARENTS HOUSE the fact that I wanted to get a place of my own.  I was extremely grateful to my parents for letting us stay, but I was feeling the turmoil of losing an apartment that I loved, a job that I'd loved at one time, and moving back to the place I said I wasn't ever coming back to.  I was starting a new job and trying to work, pump, nurse, sleep, and repeat it all the next day.  My mother the realtor started the process of pre-approval, looking for listings, weeding them out based on the neighborhood, and helping me hone my expectations.

A house down the street from them was for sale.  It was a cute little ranch, not at all like the houses I'd asked to see.  Was it really big enough for three bedrooms?  Something tugged at me as my dad and I would walk through the neighborhood, pushing a baby stroller to try to get her some late day sunlight and fresh air to HOPEFULLY make her sleep well.  I'd look over my shoulder at the empty house and wonder.

I moved into that house in October, when my baby was 6 months old.  In the middle of my first semester at a new college, with a 6 month old nursling, we loaded all the stuff into a moving van to get it five houses down the street to the new house.  We stacked it into the garage in a very neat and orderly way, but as I needed to find packed items, boxed quickly became strewn all over the garage.

--

As the second winter in the house approached, my mother gave me a gentle nudge.  Don't you want to clean out your garage, honey?  So you can park you car inside this winter?  Another gently nudge: I've asked your cousin to come help me move some things, do you want him to help you carry things down to the basement?  So finally, we hauled the crap that hadn't been unpacked down to a large empty room in the basement.

Where it's all been collecting dust for 9 months or so.



This is my "if I have another baby WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU THINKING?" pile
My goal is to get it all unpacked this summer.  I'm teaching two online classes, chairing a faculty hiring committee, and taking yoga.  But if it doesn't get unpacked this summer, it is likely to sit down there until it rots.  So my hope is that by doing a couple of boxes at a time, I can get the basement unpacked this summer.

Tonight was the first night.  I had an hour, a kid, and nothing else to do.  She loves the basement.  So I let her play on her climbing toy while I went through boxes.  The first one had jewelry, the second one photos.  I couldn't have started with something easy like old purses I want to get rid of.  No, bring on the emotionally laden crap in the first box.

God, grant me strength to keep the things I need, the ability to throw everything else away, and the wisdom to know the difference.

7 comments:

Lacie said...

I, too, have to fight my hoarding tendencies. I'd like to think that I get better all of the time, but my husband would say differently, the Type A neat freak that he is.

Anyway, the point of this comment was some encouragement. I once read somewhere that while de-cluttering and organizing, if you are not currently using something, and you haven't in the past year, and you are still on the fence as to whether or not to throw it away, give it the photo album test. If it is important enough to you to actually take a picture of it and put it in a photo album, then do so, and then throw it away! If isn't important enough to you to take a picture of then get rid of it. Ha...good luck!

Oh, and NEVER underestimate the power of Craigslist! I recently made $400 on stuff that I thought was junk that other people wanted and paid good money for! It was pretty awesome!

On another note entirely...
As I prepare for my next FET cycle (that, please Lord, let this cycle be the baby that I will finally hold and love) I am, again, obsessing over cloth diapers (others would think that I am need of medication if they knew how much I thought about cloth diapering, as I am not yet pregnant). I get why people use AIOs. Easy. They are all in one. I get why people use hybrids, my SIL loves her gdiapers (biodegradable disposable option, super soft cloth option, just reuse the liner and cover until it is soiled). I am struggling to understand the appeal of pocket diapers. What's the point if you have to launder the diaper and the insert every time? Why not use an AIO if you are doing all of that laundry anyway? Please help me as my mind won't let this go.

Thanks!

MommieV said...

Actually pockets are better than AIO's for a couple of reasons. AIOs take FOR.EV.ER to dry. Pockets dont, because the insert comes out in the wash. Also, the ick factor. I don't know that AIO's get really clean, because there are so many layers of fabric sewn together to make the inner. Many mamas complain about the stinkies with AIOs, probably for that reason. With pockets, since the inserts are separate in the wash, you can be more confident of getting them clean. I have learned that boiling PUL (in the stripping process) breaks it down. If you needed to strip your diapers, you'd have the boil the whole thing to strip the inner, making the life of your PUL probably much shorter. And finally, microfiber loses its absorbency after a while, since the fibers tend to get matted after much washing and use. If that happens with pockets, you just buy a new insert. AIOs with microfiber inners must be totally replaced.

Also, pockets are cheaper than AIO's, and easier to buy online - buy a cheap pocket and then buy a new insert, and that's much cheaper than a new AIO.

Thats my two cents. Now yes, it is a pain in the ASS to have to stuff 10 pockets after doing all the laundry all day (I usually save diapers for last). Yes, it is much easier to just slap a AIO on. If its dry when you need it. I often had wet AIOs after running the dryer forever, and had to then line dry them to get them fully dry.

Also, with newborns, many hybrid systems have to be totally washed. I will admit I don't know much about gdiapers, but when I used GroVia, the poop would always get on the liner and cover too. That's not bad when they're big enough to only poop once or a few times a day, but when they're little and poop all the time, you end up going through tons of covers.

So that's my prejudice.

Lacie said...

WOW. That was so helpful. Thank you. I get it now!

May I use your reply in a blog post?

MommieV said...

Sure. You can edit "ass" if you want.

MommieV said...

Also, for the record, Thirsties Duo Diapers are my vote for best pockets out there. The Size 2s are the biggest of the One Size pockets I've tried - very similar in fit to BG 2.0s, and much bigger than Rump A Rooz and some of the others. The biggest difference between Thirsties and BGs is (1) the pocket on Thirsties opens in front and back, so the inserts come out in the wash. You don't have to touch wet inserts! and (2) the Thirsties Duo insert is microfiber and hemp, and is more absorbent than cottonbabies microfiber inserts. I know you didn't ask me that part, but there it is anyway.

FruitFish said...

Ugh, I feel for you. I need to go through my whole house. Then sell, donate or toss. Cause this crazy girl is planning to move in with her parents and younger sister (whether we are living in my house or their house is not determined yet). Oh what I'll do to have me a baby ;) But I get so emotionally attached to things it's a hard process mentally and emotionally for me. It'll be worth it once it's done though. Good Luck Mama!

hopefulcc said...

I have no doubt you will get it done :) Especially if you use the $$ you will make as an incentive - like Lacie did.
And please take an after picture too :)