This blog has been pretty much exclusively about Laura up to this point – and rightfully so – it was her transplant that led to the writing of it! It’s not just her life that has changed though. Being a stay-at-home mother has been a HUGE adjustment for me and it wasn’t the “plan” when we decided to start our family.
For as long as I can remember, teaching was always on the radar of things that I wanted to do. I went through some changes of plan throughout high school – wanting to go into criminal law for a while and then toying with the idea of med school but it always seemed to come back to teaching.
When I was in grade 12 the answer became clear – I love music and I love teaching – why not do both? I began the process of preparing an audition for the music department at the U of S and made sure that I had all the necessary pre-requisite courses to enter into the Education program. Thankfully, I had the option to enter a direct-entry course which would integrate 2 degrees into one intensive 5 year course.
Over the course of my university years I was able to became a trained musician, train in music theory, learn about education (okay…not really – it was supposed to be that way though!) and I also met my husband there. Yes, it’s true – we are huge nerds who met in the music department – I’ve come to accept it.
Once University ended my whole life was about finding a job – this is not an easy task in the education field unfortunately. My first job was offered to me part-way through September and it was NOT in what I studied for…at all. I had trained to be a high school band director and I found myself accepting a job teaching k-8 core French, social studies, science, native studies, phys. ed and a few other French Immersion courses. There was quite the learning curve but, surprisingly, I loved it! Social studies was incredibly fun which was a huge surprise and I loved being able to create my own programs.
After a year I was able to teach .5 music and .5 French and then finally after two full years of teaching I was offered a .5 music and .5 band position. I was finally where I wanted to be and I was loving it! Anyone that knows me well knows that teaching is undoubtedly what I am called to do – it follows me into all aspects of my life and the teacher in me is very hard to ‘turn off.’
As I sit typing this out, Laura apparently has found a bag of diaper wipes, removed them all from their package and is dancing around them flailing her arms in excitement…just thought you should know 😉
The plan when I became pregnant was that I would stay home with the baby for a year and then return to school the next fall – my due date worked perfectly into the school year so that was a bonus!
After Laura was diagnosed, I quickly realized that this may not be the case and once she was listed for transplant it became clear that I would not be returning to teaching as planned.
Now, I find myself being a stay-at-home mom to an 18 month old, crazy toddler. She is EVERYWHERE and into EVERYTHING! Nothing is safe – and now she’s tall enough to reach everything on the dining room table – excellent.
My day used to consist of waking up (too late usually), heading into my first school, switching schools at lunch and then coming home to cook supper and hang out with A.J. – doing whatever we wanted in the evenings.
That is no longer my life. Here’s what I usually do in a day (I have a temp work from home job which is what it means when it says working):
8:20am – wake up and draw up Laura’s meds and get her morning milk ready
8:25am – go get Laura, change her diaper, lather her in lotion and aquaphor and get her dressed.
8:30am – Give Laura her meds and then her milk (Every single day she is convinced that I am planning on starving her and has a minor freak out when she doesn’t get her milk the second the microwave beeps).
8:35am – work out (this is pretty new in the last couple weeks but it does help me carry on with my day with a bit more energy). Laura runs rampant during this time.
9:00 am – tidy the kitchen, dining room and living room if still a mess from the day before
9:30am – give Laura her first cup of water
9:35am- play and read books
10:00am – breakfast 🙂
10:30am – Laura’s second cup of water of the day
10:45am – Laura goes down for her nap
During this time I work and drink coffee
1:00pm – Laura wakes up and has her third bottle of water
1:30pm – Lunch and meds
2:00pm-3:30pm – write/work (sometimes – usually I don’t work when Laura’s awake if I can help it), play, read, go for a walk, go to the park, go into the city, paint, etc. This is a nice long chunk of time to just hang out with Laura
3:30pm – Laura’s fourth cup of water
3:45pm – Laura’s quiet time (she goes into her crib with a bunch of books and hangs out in the dimly lit room – it refreshes her for the rest of the day)
during this time I work some more – yay!
4:30 – AJ gets home:)
5:00pm – Laura’s fifth cup of water (On Tuesdays I have a vocal student here)
—then we have time to play and read, etc for a while before I have to get started on supper
6:00pm – Supper
6:30pm – Bath and lotion regime.
Then we get to play as a family! Yay 🙂 AJ usually takes 10-15 minutes to read to Laura in this time.
7:00pm (on Tuesdays I have my preschool music class and Thursdays I have another vocal student)
7:15pm – Bed time routine + 2nd bottle of milk(yep…7 250ml bottles of fluid a day – fun fun)
7:30pm – Laura goes to bed!
–If either AJ or I have work to do we usually do it right away as well as tidying up
8:30pm – Laura’s meds and another coat of lotion on her face
8:35pm – finally time for AJ and I to hang out and play games, watch tv/movies, etc.
I think the biggest surprise about being a stay-at-home mom has been just how busy it is! I feel like I am cleaning and cooking ALL DAY LONG (which is not really that far off considering all 3 meals are made from scratch every day).
I don’t think I ever expected that working is actually simpler than staying home to look after a toddler and keep the house clean.
The thing is though – it is the BEST job ever. Laura is hilarious and on days when I am exceptionally tired or bored (it happens sometimes) Laura chooses to be extra cute and funny to help me through.
It is a lot to get Laura all the fluid she requires and to keep up with her skin regimen for her eczema but the times that we get to just play and explore together are totally worth it.
Next fall I will be heading back to teaching but only half time so that I can continue being home with my awesome little girl 🙂