Friday, September 24, 2010


For the past couple of weeks, I have gradually come to the decision that something in our daily routine has to change. The grind is simply wearing me down.

Every night, it's the same routine - pick up baby, bring baby home, play with baby, feed baby, bathe baby (every other night), nurse baby, put baby to bed.
Then the real fun begins: handwash three sets of pump parts, four bottles, sippy cup, pump bottles, and four bowls and lids from baby's school snacks; empty dirty cloth diapers from wet bag into dirty diaper bag in nursery (washing the whole load every third day), which involves (sorry to be graphic) scraping the poop off the diapers and dumping it into our toilet for flushing. THEN make dinner for ourselves and prepare baby's three meals for school for the next day. When all is said and done, it's at least 9:00pm before we sit (collapse) on the couch (classy!) to eat dinner and watch a little TV.

My husband and I have become experts at this routine and devised an excellent nightly division of labor in which we trade off washing/poo-scraping/dinner-making duties - however, the fact remains that this is A LOT for two busy working parents. Add on the fact that I am still pumping four times a day, and I am (literally) all tapped out at the end of the day. After my nightly shower I usually stagger into bed at 11pm, but often later, sometimes not hitting the sheets until midnight.

We have continued this post-bedtime routine for over six months now - since he started solids - the wash-scrape-prep occupying a good chunk of our weekday evenings. Sometimes it seems manageable, and I feel like a gold star mommy for balancing it all, working full-time, and raising a (truly awesome) happy little boy. But lately, I have begun to feel like I may deserve a little change. Perhaps MOMMY NEEDS A BREAK.

Maybe it's just because work has been INSANITY recently. I work in television and fall is launch time, which equals hundreds of greedy, needy TV stations and subsequently no downtime for yours truly. Or because one of my co-workers has been out, so I get to cover a chunk of her responsibilities too. Or just because I look around and see (fairly) well-rested mommies who aren't scraping poo and prepping lunches into the wee hours. You know, the smart mommies who use disposable diapers like normal people, enabling their kids to wear regular pants instead of stretchy pairs that allow sufficient room for their baby's ginormous cloth ass. These mommies let their daycares feed their kids instead of obsessing about potential pesticides lurking in the produce. These mommies might even use their dishwashers instead of handwashing because they missed those pesky articles about the evils of putting plastic in the dishwasher, or simply think said articles are a crock of sh*t.

The other day, my mother emailed me, insisting that the insanity must stop, that I must change my routine, whether it be using the school food, stopping pumping, etc. She suggested that perhaps the obsessive-compulsive tendencies that haunted my early 20s had caught up with me again, and dug their evil little claws into my nightly routine. Perhaps she's right.

So here I am, at another crossroads.

I had planned to cloth diaper for at least a year, and I have. I was lucky enough to go on the Ellen DeGeneres Mother's Day show during my pregnancy and be given a six-month supply of Huggies, which are stacked in my closet and used only at night or on vacation. I still have at least five packs left, and in the past year I have never purchased diapers, which I think is pretty awesome. However, I think it's equally awesome NOT TO SCRAPE POOP. So there you go. Am I nearing the end of the cloth diapering fixation?

Organic food is important to me, and has been since I saw Ken Cook's 10 Americans presentation back in 2008 and it ROCKED MY WORLD. Yes, you can pigeonhole me as one of those pretentious, paranoid yuppie moms who fixate on organics and push their babies in a $700 stroller (um, also free - thank you, Ellen), but the simple truth is that, well, this is how I roll, and how I've rolled for quite awhile, even before my days as freelancer for the now-defunct eco website (RIP, Ideal Bite!). That said, it's a tough decision for me to let Carter eat daycare food - while the director prepares healthy meals, she doesn't use organic stuff. So can I compromise my passion for organics for the incredible convenience of NOT preparing food for him every night? Perhaps I can. I don't sit around judging the rest of the parents at daycare for feeding their kids daycare food. I don't assume all the other kids are seeping with toxins. So is my mother right? Is this fixation just a by-product of my OCD?

So here I am. Lots of questions and no answers.


Erica said...

These are tough questions you have. I researched cloth vs. disposable diapers too and I went with disposable largely because of daycare and the scraping poo thing. I think if you switched you don't have to feel guilty. Maybe just pick one thing and change it and see if you feel a lot better. You are really doing a LOT of extra work. Also, we pack just lunch for Anna. They feed her morning and afternoon snack. That's easier than packing three meals. Maybe that would be a good compromise too?

Paige said...

That's what I'm thinking, Erica - incorporating some combination of daycare food & my food. What kind of stuff do you usually give Anna for lunch? I'm always looking for things that Carter will eat, because he's really picky. Any suggestions are welcome!

Our daycare gives them FIVE mini-meals each day for some reason. I wish it were just three, because that would make it easier. I only bring three meals for him, so does he just sit there watching the other kids eat for the other two? I don't know. Ugh.