That Husband started traveling this week and T1 and I are working on figuring out how to adjust to him not coming home at night. I was very careful to use new language when describing where TH is. Usually we talk about how he is “working hard”, but now we say he is “travelling” and I talk about the place where he has traveled to. I hope that over time T1 learns to distinguish between the days that I tell him TH is traveling (meaning he won’t be coming home that night) and the days TH is working hard (meaning he will get to have daddy put him to bed!). Although there are many ways it will be stressful, one positive benefit I’ve already identified is that I’ll get a little more “me time” (if T1 ever decides to go to bed, it’s 10:00 pm and he is refusing to do so as I type this). Usually I make dinner and clean up and then devote the rest of my night to spending time with my boys. Now that TH is gone 3 nights/week, that hour I spent with him can be some time I use for my own little projects.
Of course I’m not going to make any assumptions about what blogging will be like for the next few months, especially with the baby, but I did cross a item off my to-do list last week — I finished sorting and scanning in all of our receipts from the past year! I still need to go into Mint and categorize everything from April/May until the present, and then a bunch of Jenna Cole related tax stuff (which is extra annoying considering I haven’t even been working much!). If I finish that up before the baby comes then I’ll get to attack all of the blog posts that have been building up over the past few months. Hooray!
For now though, I wanted to share some photos from our post-Thanksgiving road trip down to Monterey. We originally planned on doing the 17-mile drive and then visiting the aquarium, but we left late and the weather was so nice that paying a bunch of money to stay inside didn’t sound appealing just yet. So we did the 17-mile drive and then went over to Capitola (and yes, we went to Gayle’s ) to check out the beach over there. It ended up being one of our favorite family-together-time weekends ever!
As T2 and I made our way across the stage at my undergraduate convocation I felt overwhelmed. My family contributed so much to make this happen and I can’t thank them enough.
Going out to California last month was a bit of a wake-up call for me. All of the women that I met were so incredibly accomplished! One of them actually worked as a anesthesiologist, and then decided to become a lawyer. How awesome is that?!?! I was surrounded by consultants and lawyers and people working at promising start-ups and women who have young children now but who did those things before they had children and are taking a short break.
Me? I graduated from high school, went to college and shopped majors until I settled on one that’s part of the humanities, which virtually guarantees me a tiny salary if I decide to go to work (they really need to post that Georgetown Study in big letters in college advisement centers across the country). Oh yeah, and I technically haven’t even graduated yet! Marking “some college” on forms is always a thrill.
This summer I’m moving past the college graduation hurdle, but I don’t have immediate plans to pursue a career which means I’m slated to continue to show up at cocktail parties embarassed about what I do. We’ll be standing in a group and my husband will introduce himself and be asked what he does. He will reply, and it will be my turn.
What’s your name? “Jenna.”
What do you do? “Oh, I’m just a mom.”
I don’t want to be that way anymore. There is no need to get in some sort of flame war arguing about who has it harder, stay-at-home-moms or working-moms, because both groups are both spending time doing something valuable throughout the day. If I decided to get a job and we hired a nanny that person would never say “I’m just a nanny.” I’ve also never heard “I’m just a doctor,” “I’m just a consultant”, or “I’m just in sales.” I’ve certainly never seen a man cast his eyes down and answer apologetically about his job.
I am choosing to do this. It is my profession. It is what I do. Arguments that posit you can only count something as a profession if you’re paying taxes or being handed a paycheck are silly and not worth paying attention to.
Next time I’m asked what I do I have a variety of responses I can give. “I stay home with my son,” or maybe “I split my time between photography and motherhood.” But you won’t hear me say “Just a mom” anymore. We as women can all lend a little more respect to our chosen vocation by showing how proud we are to be doing what we do each day.
I’m back! Back until midterms and finals and papers eat my brain this summer. But for now I’m looking forward to writing regularly again. One of the first things I did after handing in my last essay was edit our family pictures that Kelli Nicole took for us all the way back in mid-April! It’s been killing me to just leave these sitting on my hard drive, but between Jenna Cole editing and school and life and sleeping (yes, I chose sleeping over editing family pictures) I had to put them aside for a little bit. My delay shouldn’t make anyone think I’m not enthusiastic about them though. I LOVE THEM.
I spent months daydreaming about these pictures. I wanted to feel like the photos described who we are, and we are definitely “stay home and snuggle on the bed” kind of people. I created multiple Pinterest boards devoted to chronicling my ideas and made a reservation at a nice hotel in Chicago so we would have a nice bed to work with. The week of the shoot the weather was pretty gloomy though, and I knew we wouldn’t have enough light and that paying for the hotel wouldn’t be worth it. I cancelled the hotel, decided to make it work in our bedroom on a different (hopefully sunnier) day, bought some new bedding, and crossed my fingers that it would all work out during the little window of time that we had Kelli staying with us.
We endured some nasty wind and freezing temperatures outside (we didn’t stay long), hurried back inside, warmed up, and went at it for rounds two and three. We laughed and jumped on the bed and Kelli worked incredibly hard to keep T1′s attention as much as possible. I did my best to narrow it down, but couldn’t bring it below 50 favorites (this is why photographers don’t let clients edit their own sessions). I’d love to hear which one(s) you think we should put up in California!