Shew, it’s been a busy couple of days.
First things first, Aidan is now 9 months old! Pause for a cute picture…
Isn’t that just an attack of cuteness?
9 months have come and gone so quickly. So not only are we celebrating that Bubby is 9 months old, we are celebrating 9 months of breastfeeding! I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that we’ve come so far.
That all being said, the last two days have been super hard for me. Before I tell you about the last couple of days, I need to back up a bit.
After I had the baby, I desperately wanted to stay at home with him. The thought of going back to work, even after a maternity leave, was so sad for me, that I almost couldn’t think about it. So Hubby and I had to make some tough decisions. We had to downsize, big time, if we were going to make it work. We prayed really really hard. We went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Class, and started following a budget every month. JR started working 6 days a week, almost 60 hours. We moved from our house into an apartment. A small apartment with no dishwasher, washer or dryer. Some people have said they admire the sacrifices we have made for our baby, but we didn’t look at what we were doing as a sacrifice, we look at it as an investment in our baby. Even with the major changes we have made. We have struggled. REALLY struggled. No one REALLY knows just how much we have struggled, except for JR and myself. The long hours JR has been putting in has started taking a toll on him. Then, very recently, he got injured at work. It scared us. What would happen to us if he could not work? What would happen is we would be sunk. Even more sunk that what we already are and we can’t let that happen. So we prayed some more. We weighed our options. I could get a job, or even try to go back to one of the many jobs I’ve worked before, but then all the money I made would just go to child care, and that makes no sense. Why work, just to pay someone else to watch my baby, when that is what I want to be doing?
I’ve talked before about the fact that I did not finish college. This fact has always been a source a shame for me. A reminder of missed opportunities, my immaturity, bad decisions, and if I’m being truthful, the reminder of my addictive tendencies. (Ahem, Coors Light anyone?) I have ALWAYS had the desire to go back and finish. I do not want to be the only one of my father’s children that does not have a college degree. So I started looking into what I would need to do to go back to college, at Marshall University. What has happened is nothing short of amazing.
When I went to Marshall University before, I was
a Keg-ology , an undecided major. The classes I was interested in, I passed. The ones I thought were boring, I failed. In the end, I did end up passing more than failing, but the failing grades were keeping me from getting financial aid, without which, I could not afford to go. So I submitted an appeal to the financial aid committee to give me another chance. And they did. I was approved for a pell grant and student loans. Then I had to worry about the bad grades on my record. I wanted to major in Journalism/Public Relations, and I was afraid about how my bad grades would affect that. Then the Dean at the College granted me what is called “Academic forgiveness” In short? It’s a clean slate. The bad grades are still in their system as a part of my record, but they will no longer be added into my GPA. So the money worked out, the grades worked out. Now the biggest challenge of all, where will my baby go while I am in class? While I’m studying? This obstacle was enough for me to almost not go. My baby is too precious to me to drop him off with just anyone. I started searching for different places and all the good ones had a waiting list or did not take children under a year old, as was the case with the daycare at my church, The Academy Child Development Center. I was particularly heartbroken about not being able to take him to The Academy. Not only was it at our church, but I got to know the owners very well when we volunteered together for Judgement House. Our Church is our second home, like family. So I prayed, Lord, you’ve brought us this far. You’ve opened every single door for me to be able to go back to school. I believe this is part of Your plan. So God, please? If Aidan can’t go to the Academy, can you please make a way for him to go somewhere like that? I continued to fret. It was going to be so hard to leave my baby boy, regardless. I just needed to have a place for him to go where I knew he would be well loved and taken care of.
So here we were, less than a month until school starts, and I still did not have childcare for him. It is hard to find a place, that is reasonable and that will agree to watching your baby part-time. I had kind of resigned myself to the fact that it may not happen, and that was okay. I started having peace about the situation, and that’s when we got our answer. On my way into Bible Study one evening, I ran into the owner at the Academy. She smiled at me and said, “We can take Aidan now, I got the license we needed to take babies.” I coudn’t help it, I broke into tears. What a relief! So I’m doing it. I’m going back to school. Classes start on Monday.
So, why have these past two days been hard? Well, I figured I should try to get Aidan settled in at the Academy before my classes start on Monday, so that’s what we’ve been doing the past couple of days. Trying to ease
me him into it, and get used to a new routine. The first time he went, he stayed for 3 hours. And I may or may not have cried. 😦 I know this is probably harder on me than it is for him. The first time I took him, he played and played and didn’t even notice when I was or was not there. He is still breastfeeding, and I am going to continue to breastfeed him until he is at least a year old. God has made a way for us through every obstacle. To me, its nothing short of a miracle!
Finally, you may be wondering if I have fallen off the wagon. Have I forgotten my promise to get healthy in 2012 ? Did I crack under the pressure and stress of the last couple of days and chug a Dr. Pepper? I’m proud to say, I’m still going strong. No soda pop for me since New Year’s Eve.