His Last Name. Her Last Name.

June 27, 2013 By: Jenna Category: baby

Throughout my pregnancy we spent hours talking about first and middle names for our second child. We didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl, so we discussed both male and female combinations that we liked. Our criteria for first names was the same as before (minus my thoughts about a theme) and I wanted a family name for the middle name (T1′s middle name is my FIL’s first name). About an hour after I gave birth to our baby girl the midwife asked if T2 was going to take my last name or That Husband’s. We both laughed because we had never considered anything other than the American standard, children take husband’s last name. And so on all the paperwork filled out post-birth the midwife used TH’s last name.

When giving birth in a hospital in the US, the birth certification process is streamlined and under normal circumstances it’s all taken care of by the time you are discharged. Having a home birth means that the parents have to go into the local municipal office with a stack of paperwork and apply for a birth certificate. After a few weeks of procrastination we were preparing for our appointment when I thought back on what the midwife had asked and realized “I want her to have my last name.” I have had a different name from my husband for almost 5 years now, and so far it hasn’t caused any problems. I’ve had a different last name than my son for 3 years, and that hasn’t been an issue either (even with multiple trips out of the country and back).  But most of the males I know would not even consider such a thing with their own children. Read more →

Kids Then Career

June 13, 2013 By: Jenna Category: Work

Generally, the women I know fall into three separate camps. The woman who never marries and builds up a career in her chose field. The woman who has children young and stays at home with her kids, filling her time later on with volunteer work or supplementing the efforts of her husband. And then there is the woman who starts working at a career first and has children later on. (I acknowledge that I am generalizing, of course there are plenty of women who don’t fit neatly into any of these boxes.)

supermama2
I’m definitely not one of those “work with your children” type of mom’s. I did a free shoot once with T1 tagging along and it was tough!

It was only after a friend sent me this article, Bottles Before Boardroom, that I realized there is another category I have tumbled into headfirst but had never though much about. Women who have children first, and then build up a career as they raise their family. The media spends a lot of time focusing on women who wait to have children and establish a career first, and there is lots of talk about women who stay home with their children, but what about the women who marry young and have children right away and then decide to launch a career with little foundation previously established? Who are the role models for that life path? How do they manage building a career with caring for children? How do they deal with the large gaps in their resume? Is the key to success grunt work or networking or giving up sleep? Maybe a combination of those three?

I’ve started making a list of women in my own life who faced this situation, and I’d love to hear about the women you know of who made kids-then-career work. I’d love to hear about both the women you know personally, and any suggestions you might have for famous and notable women I can research and  learn more about. I think learning about other women who have done this will help me get started on my own journey.

 

Ms. Can’t-Do-Most-Of-It

May 21, 2013 By: Jenna Category: Parenting

Last week I revealed on Instagram that we’ve had a nanny since T2 was born. She works part-time in the mornings and when she is here I do all of the things that are infinitely harder (or impossible) with two children. Grocery shopping, haircuts, blogging, wasting time on Facebook, working out, errands, making myself lunch. On Wednesdays I pack up the kids and we go on adventures around the Bay because I’m not stressing about the mountain of things on my to-do list.

Having help makes me a better parent.

We talk frequently about how hiring her is one of the best investments we’ve ever made. When That Husband comes home on the weekends he can go to work on Saturday (without me feeling overwhelmed at the thought of managing the kids all by myself for yet another day) and we can spend time together as a family on Sunday. Otherwise I’d constantly be handing the kids over to him and declaring that it was his turn. There would be little to no couple-time or family-time. It has been the best possible thing we could do for our marriage and stress levels after having another baby.

jennacolecomp004I don’t reflect on the experience without constantly thinking about how lucky we are. There are plenty of families who do much more than we are without any help at all. I know having any paid childcare help is a great luxury, and I am very grateful for that.

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DITL: A Toddler and A Newborn

March 26, 2013 By: Jenna Category: baby

March 6th 2013.

T2 is exactly one month old. T1 is one month shy of his 3rd birthday.

The first waking of the night happens around 2 am.

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From Crib to Co-sleeping to Solo Sleeping

February 19, 2013 By: Jenna Category: Parenting

T1 started his life out sleeping in a First Years Close and Secure Sleeper (it actually goes in your bed and I plan on using it with T2 as well), moved into the swing, and then transitioned to a pack-n-play at 4 months. Until October of 2012 he slept alone in a crib, and then we decided to potty train, which meant he needed to be in a bed where he was freely able to use the bathroom whenever he needed (of course, he still won’t go pee alone, but that will come with time I hope!). I liked the Montessori approach that puts the mattress directly on the floor, which meant we didn’t have to buy a bed frame, he would be able to easily get in and out of bed (and he loves being able to lay on his side and play with his trains as he goes to sleep!), and also gave us the space to keep the futon in his room that we use for guests and reading books.

On October 20th we put him in a big boy bed for the first time.

The first few nights, he came out a few times to ask for milk* or tell us he had to go to the bathroom again, but things were going surprisingly well. I thought maybe this was it. He was both potty-trained and sleeping in his own bed at night!

Ha!

Two weeks later, he started coming into our bed in the middle of the night. He was starting in his own bed, but then I’d be tapped by a little hand in the middle of the night asking to sleep in mama’s bed.

Read more →

      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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