Learning to ask for help... September 19 2014, 0 Comments

Well, after five years of being a stay at home mom and doing nothing but watching TV and eating bon bons (insert sarcasm here... and wonder, do they still make bon bons?!?!)... anyway, after five years of focusing 100% of my time to my family, I was faced with the facts that I would have both children in school full time.  We made the decision to send my son to school in March, and I think we found out about his acceptance in April.... by May I had applied for a teaching position.  Only one.  All my eggs in one basket.  But, the hours were ideal, starting after I would have sent my kids on their merry way, and, finishing in time to pick them.  And, I got it!  I was super excited to embark on this new journey.  But then the worrying started.... since I had been home, many kid related things fell onto my shoulders... drops offs, pick ups, lunch making, doctor appointments, etc.  And now I am trying to figure it all out. 
My husband jokes that I complain he doesn't help, and will tell me that I never ask for help.... he 'isn't a mind reader' he will tell me.  And I will walk away in a huff because, well, he is right.  It is easy to say, oh, no one ever helps me, but, it sometimes can be much harder to say, hey, can you help me?  I am a pretty tough mama, and can multitask like no one else, I even claim that the busier I am, the more tasks on my plate, the better that I am because I am forced to do everything vs. saying, oh, I will get to that later.  But I am not one to ask for help.  Now, with me working, as great as my hours are, I have had to ask for help.  My husband has made himself more available on these first few weeks back to school.  My parents have extended a weekend stay to include a Monday morning to get my son on the bus.  My friends have watched my daughter at the park while I dash home to get my son off the bus.  And, slowly, all the pieces are falling into place.  I am figuring out the morning routine and the timing of getting everyone ready and where they need to be on time.  (Donna posted some great tips here)
Maybe the seasoned working mamas are pros at this, but, as a new working mama, I am finding out that asking for help, well, it gets you help!  So to all the busy mamas out there - working or at home - take a moment, and when that early morning meeting forces you to leave earlier than usual in the morning, or, that newborn baby kept you up all night - ask for help! 
Posted by Erica

Journey To Motherhood, My first year being a mama... February 22 2013, 0 Comments

Today’s Journey is a dear friend who happen to be pregnant at the same time as me. Our due dates were days apart from one another and I basically copycat followed Bruna’s lead, I went to her yoga class, child birthing class and join the same mom group she joined after her son was born which led to my friendship with Jessica. I was nervous and clueless on so many mom issues, thankfully Bruna shared her mom wisdom with me and now shares her first year with Motherburg today!

Name: Bruna De Araujo

Hometown: Brasilia, DF - Brazil

How long have you’ve been living in Tivoli? 10 months

Occupation: Business Owner, The Barn in Tivoli

When did you first Become a Mother? Summer 2009

Before becoming a mother, what did you know about motherhood? Was the reality close to your personal image/idea? I knew nothing about motherhood before pregnancy. I am an only child who came to live in NYC by myself when I was 19 years old. All my cousins were having kids in Brazil and I was not part of anything. All my Europeans friends went back to their countries to have kids and none of my New York friends were having kids. I was pretty much by myself in this arena.

How would you describe the first year? The first year was tough but the first weeks were the toughest. Is he breathing? Am I making enough milk? Is he going to get whooping cough? All the questions, doubts and fear plus the no sleep turned me into a neurotic stress monkey.  Thankfully all the love I felt for the little being transcended these mundane preoccupations, at least for a nano second of relief so I could carry on.

Pregnancy was heaven, beautiful and perfect. I took off work to just understand about what was going on with my body and this beautiful life I was creating. I took pre-natal yoga, read many amazing books, and watched birth videos. I went to seminars where I met midwives and holistic doctors who were in synch with what I was thinking. I created a top notch team for my perfect home birth. Once my little one came out, nothing I had learned made too much of a difference. There he was, all red, wrinkly and crying, only caring for my heartbeat and milk. It was nerve wrecking, specially because I did everything differently then what the status quo tells a mother to do.

Did you have support such as family or friends?  My mother and step father came right before birth and stayed for a month. They did take me out of the house for lunches and for summer walks. My mother was the one who gave me the incentive to go meet the other mothers at McCarren park, the group who eventually launched Brooklyn Bambinos. Watching and hanging out with these mothers gave me ease of mind; my baby is normal and I’m ok. It took me a long time before I hired help with my son. The biggest, real support was my awesome and dedicated husband, Andrew. I always knew I could not do this parent thing alone.

You moved out of Brooklyn, where and how is it different? We moved up to the magical mid Hudson Valley last Spring to a village called Tivoli. Last winter we had bought a car and while our son took naps we drove around Brooklyn with the trulia app looking for buildings for sale. We looked and considered many options in the hood but none of them excited us. This is when we received and email from an old friend; she was selling her property in the Valley. This was a special place where my husband and I had started our relationship years ago. It also had a business and 5 acres attached to it. We looked at each other and said, “let’s buy it!” After many adventurous trips upstate (car accident involved), deals and financial transactions, we finally did.

In a way the mid-hudson valley is very similar to Brooklyn. A sort of “back to the land” vibe where people are very conscious of what they eat, of community and the planet at large. We are right next to the prestigious Bard College with its museums, the Frank Gehry Center for the Performing Arts- so our village is full of hip art students and international professors. The best part is all the space we have, our huge backyard with pond, stream, beautiful trees and daily wild visitors - from skunks to the blue heron. It is also amazing to be off oil for heating, we use a wood burning stove, to get all our food from the nearby farms, have our son in one of the best Waldorf schools around and get our own water at the spring. Plus there are no lines - for anything - even the coolest Wau Wau Sister shows at the Spiegeltent in the summer. My life is very luxurious!

The funny thing is that 98% of my friends up here also moved up from Brooklyn! I call it the New Brooklyn and am actually going to start blogging about life in the Hudson Valley.

Tips for new moms? 

All your baby needs is you, your skin, your smell, your milk, everything else is superfluous. So take care of yourself, your sleep, follow your instincts and eat your kale!