If Lulu Weren’t in Daycare

I had coffee with some friends yesterday, and of course we talked about our kids 90% of the time.  We have amazing children, why wouldn’t we?  Our kids are all at different stages (newborn, 1, and 3) so it makes it a lot of fun to compare and reminisce.  At one point the discussion turned to daycare/preschool (in-home, center) and eventually the cost of it.

Melissa said that if she didn’t have to pay for daycare, she could buy eight pairs of $100 shoes each month.  Of course she was joking, but it got me thinking – what could I buy each year if I didn’t have to pay for Lulu to be in preschool…

Each year I could buy:

  1. 2,496 Starbuck peppermint mochas.
  2. A kitchen remodel complete with new appliances.
  3. A brand new, fully loaded Chevrolet Aveo, Toyota Yaris, Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa, or Kia Spectra.
  4. 12,480 cans of soda from the vending machine upstairs
  5. 250 pairs of Chuck Taylors
  6. This ring: Amazing Ring
  7. 1,300 yards of fabric.
  8. 180 pairs of Gap jeans
  9. 832 new books
  10. 3,120 skeins of yarn

That being said, no amount of money or quantity of stuff can replace:

  1. The feeling I get when Lulu sees me walk into her classroom each afternoon to pick her up.  The joy and happiness on her face (or the hilarious annoyance if she happens to be playing with Play Doh) when she sees me is immeasurable.
  2. Hearing her chatter on and on in her 3-year old voice about her friends and teachers and the songs she learned and books she read and other miscellaneous nonsense that is so delightful for a momma to hear.
  3. The pride I felt the first time I saw her write her name from memory, heard her count to 20, or go a full day in big girl underwear without an accident.
  4. The peace of mind I get knowing she is in a safe and loving environment all day when I cannot be with her.

Worth. Every. Penny.

Oh Deer

Last night at dinner Husband did something nice or other, and this is the conversation that followed.

Me: Thanks dear.
Husband: No problem.
Lulu: (with wide eyed concern looked at Husband) Mommy called you dear!
Husband: She did.
Lulu: But… you don’t have sticks on your head?!?

It took us a minute to realize what she meant. I imagine she was staring at her father, just waiting for antlers to sprout from his head.

My dear little deer.

On The Eve Of

I’m not sure why I created this blog on the eve of what will likely be the busiest and most stressful years of my life. Maybe it is a form of egotism, similar to the people who posts selfies on social media. I like seeing my words on the internet. I like the idea of someone reading what I have written. I like imagining that I have a worthwhile story to tell.

Do I have a worthwhile story to tell? I guess that remains to be seen.

On the eve of the busiest and most stressful years of my life, I have very little to say beyond my fears and anxieties. I go to work. I try to be a good mom and wife. I clean my house, do laundry, and sew a little. But in the coming months, when grad school starts and I am flooded with everything that goes along with it, I will have a great deal to say. Not necessarily about what I am learning (though I hope to have plenty to say about that) but also about how I am finding balance – or not finding balance, whatever the case may be. Most days I feel overwhelmed with hectic mornings trying to get out of the house, taking Lulu to daycare, getting to work, feeding my family, trying to have a tidy house, spending time with Lulu and husband, and trying to throw in a few moments doing things I enjoy somewhere in between. And I want to add grad school to the mix? I must be nuts.

But even on the eve of the busiest and most stressful years of my life, I am determined. It is going to be a rollercoaster from hell most days, I’m sure, but I am determined.  My colleagues have faith in me.  My department has faith in me.  My family and friends have faith in me.  I am determined not to let anyone down.  I am determined not to let myself down.

Now on the eve of the busiest and most stressful years of my life, I want to begin a record to look back on.  Time will fly and likely blur, and I want to remember.  I want to remember the ups and downs, the wins and losses, the mistakes and rewards.  I will be looking forward throughout most of the process – commencement can’t come soon enough – so I need a place to log the daily events.  Most importantly the personal events that might be overshadowed by the stress of being too busy:  every goofy, silly, hilarious thing Lulu says, the family holidays and vacations, the sad moments, the happy moments, the moments that truly count.

So on the eve of the busiest and most stressful years of my life, I don’t truly know the exact path this blog will end up taking.  But it will be my path.

And it will be lovely.

I Take Zoloft (and that is okay)

I recently read an article a friend had posted on Facebook about depression and the academic world.

You can read the article here:  On Depression, and the Toll Academia Exacts

I am not in graduate school yet – that is coming this Fall.  But this isn’t what hit home to me. The girl who wrote the article shared so many feelings that I relate to. And it got me thinking – how many other people feel the way I do?

You see, I’m not the sort of depressed where I can’t get out of bed in the morning.
And I’m not the sort of depressed where I have to take crazy mood altering medication just to function at a reasonable level.
Nor am I the sort of depressed where I’ve ever considered taking my own life or needed a trip to the psych ward.

No, I’m just the sort of depressed where sometimes I have to choke back the unexpected sobs before they break free. Sobs whose origins I don’t always understand and that go as quickly as they come. The type of depressed where I have to bury the things that bother me deep inside a vault so that I don’t act like an irrational woman on a daily basis.  The type of depressed where I can tell when I haven’t taken my anti-depressant that day because relatively benign things start bothering me.  The type of depressed that stress exacerbates.

And a Midwest winter doesn’t help one bit.

Despite the times, people still don’t seem to want to talk about depression.  Anti-depressants are the main stream, yet no one wants to admit they need them.  I can’t tell you the exact reason I need them, because I don’t think there is one.  I do think genetics plays a major part in whether or not someone will be depressed at some point.  And there is no shame in it. 

Truthfully, I am not ashamed of who or what I am.  I try to make light of my depression, but I don’t hide it.  I take my “happy pills” on a daily basis and, whenever someone I know brings up depression and/or anti-depressants, I am very frank and open about how these things have affected me.  I am not pro “putting everyone on drugs because they are sad”, but if someone can truly benefit from medical intervention, I don’t see the harm or shame.

I can’t help but feel that so many men and women have to feel similarly.  I am not unique or special – just your average woman who is trying to be the best wife/mother/employee/person she can.  Maybe people feel that talking about depression will just come off as whining or complaining.  Maybe people who aren’t depressed do feel this way when someone brings it up.

But I don’t feel that way.  And you can always come talk to me.