Diaper Duty

Erin and her son Lincoln

Diaper Duty - Join Erin on the journey of a lifetime.  Along with her first born, Lincoln, (born in 2010), Erin is learning the "art of being a baby mama"




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Establishing a bed time for an older child

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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My kids don’t have bedtimes. I’ve respected the fact that Lincoln is a night person. As a fellow night person, I know how horrible it is to lay in your bed at 8 and count the hours until you fall asleep. Reagan puts herself to bed at 9:30 every single night. How nice of her!

We’re all in bed by 11. Linc has never really had a problem waking up or at school with this routine so we’ve seen no reason to change it.

However, lately, I’ve been feeling kinda ripped off.

I don’t get to do things “after the kids go to sleep,” including one of the big things I miss -- alone time with my husband.

I kinda wish I had some of that time, but, when wrestling with having time as a family vs. having time as a couple, family time (and late nights) always win.

I’ve been thinking of my options, but I was just wondering if anyone else has had to establish a bed time with an almost five year old. Were you successful? How?

 

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Date with a Man Who Wasn't my Husband

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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I finally got a date night, y’all. It’s been so long, and I was really missing my man – my son!

Lincoln and I had a surprise date after a birthday party we were supposed to go to was canceled, and it was so fun! (Reagan had a fever and was home with daddy.)

It’s been so long since it’s just been me and my boy out on the town. We talked, laughed, hugged, and kissed all without that baby interrupting. (Disclaimer: I LOVE my baby, but sometimes, you know, you just miss giving all your attention to the first born.)

ANYWAY! We had a great time. I miss being with Lincoln alone a lot. We used to do everything together alone, and he was my buddy.

He’s still my buddy, of course, but my time and attention is divided (and not equally). Most of my attention is on Reagan. She’s a baby after all. Linc is almost five and great at doing things on his own. Also, my husband “steals” Lincoln because (I think) he’s afraid of Reagan.

I’m glad we had our time together and hope to do it more often. When Reagan gets bigger, we’ll have some date time, too.

Do you go on date with your kids individually?

 

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Surprise! I can read mom!

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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Like every parent, I’m constantly surprise and taken off guard by my kids.

One day, Reagan can’t stand. The next, she can. Next week, I expect her to take off on those little feet of hers.

Lincoln is just amazing. His brain is growing a million times over every day. On Tuesday, he read me book.

READ ME A BOOK! (He's four.)

In September, I enrolled him in a phonics program at his daycare where he visits a special teacher for 20 minutes three times a week, and he can read a dang book now!

I’m not sure when kids are supposed to start reading. I assume in kindergarten the foundation is laid? Maybe not? Really, I don’t know. I put no pressure on him to read. He picked the class himself, and I couldn’t be prouder. One thing I’d secretly like him to be is a reader. I am not. (Say again? A writer who isn’t a reader? THAT’S RIGHT!) People who read seem so fancy and super smart to me. I’d love to tell someone I read the book they’re talking about, but then, well, I’d have to read the book. Not gonna happen. I’m OK with that.

Anyway, my boy can read!

What crazy cool thing has your kids done lately that’s surprised you?! Come on and brag!

 

 

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Second-Hand Goodies

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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I LOVE hand-me-downs for the kids.

I’ve accepted clothes, toys, gear, gadgets, and everything in between. I ain’t shy about it either.

"Erin, do you want a bag of…"

YESSSSSSSS I DO!

These gently-loved things have helped us immensely – way more than I even thought they would. Clothes have been especially wonderful and much appreciated. It's a win/win situation when you think about it. They help me keep the kids looking fancy, and I help them get rid of that clutter. We all know that's a doozy!

These kids of ours go up sizes out of nowhere. Am I right? Lincoln will be looking good in his 4Ts, and SURPRISE his belly is poking out, and he’s prepared for a flood in the t-shirt and pants that fit him so well last week. (Maybe I’m not good with laundry?) Babies like Reagan expand and lengthen at such epic rates I don’t realize it until her socks are popping off.

It’s so nice to have my “stash.” Thanks to my friends, we have wonderful clothes to grab from until mama can get to Kohl’s, if needed. (I love Kohl’s.) My stash has also saved me every picture day. Every.single.one. Apparently, my friends’ kids go to fancier places that mine do. I’ve always got a nice sweater vest, Polo khakis, adorable, frilly dresses, and dress shoes of varying sizes and colors to pick from. Thanks, everyone!

I also share the wealth and preach the amazing-ness of the hand-me-down. Take it! Take it all!

Do you accept things second-hand? What won’t you take? (I don’t take underwear.)

 

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I want stuff and that doesn’t make me a bad mother

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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Sometimes I feel it’s implied that if you are a working parent and/or want nice things (that cost money), you somehow love your children less than “things,” and you’re a bad parent. I’ve wrestled with this for years, and I don’t know why. I know I’m not a bad parent. Why are others trying to make me feel that way?

I’m not the type to care what people think about me, but if I hear something like “time with your children is more important than <insert something that costs money here>,” it irks me. My children and husband ARE the most important things to me, but we need stuff. We like stuff. The “things” we buy benefit our family and home, and that’s why they are important.

In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with that. To insinuate that that puts my kids lower on my priority list is insane and just stupid. And, yes, in order to get stuff, both my husband and I work outside of the home and our children go to daycare.

GASP!

My husband and I work at jobs we love doing what we love, and my kids go to a place they’re taken care of and safe and loved by a bunch of nice people. THE HORROR!

Am I selfish because of this? If you answer yes, then I’m the most selfish person on the planet and my smiling, happy kids are really suffering inside. I’m so blind to it.

There are things my husband and I want our family to have. I’m tired of being ashamed of it. We’ve done our research. We’ve talked the talks. We’ve explored and defined what we want our life to be. Right now, life is good for everyone in our family.

Take this post however you want. Some may read the words of a selfish, money hungry you-know-what, some may think I’m just not doing all I can to be their definition of a good mom, and some (you know who you are) might think they wrote this post themselves.

In the end, I’m done with trying to avoid shame or guilt. I’ve put it all on myself, really. I’m actually quite comfortable with what I’ve got going on today. Tomorrow it may change, but rest assured it’ll change because my family needed it to.

I’ve said it before (and I’m saying it again), whether you work 100 hours a week outside the home and raise a family or 24/7 as a stay-at-home parent, if you are comfortable and happy with how your family is jiving, you go girl (or boy). If your kids are smiling, they’re playing, they’re being kids, and you’re enjoying them, you’ve succeeded. You’re a winner!

Do you do something that makes your family happy that others try to shame you for?

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To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.