Broke-Ass Mom Gets Her Groove Back

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Tuesday, January 2nd, snuck up on me like poop oozing out of my son’s diaper while we’re in the middle of story time at our local library, and there’s not a spare diaper in sight.  I had been looking forward to this day for literally weeks.  It was the day all of our relatives were leaving to go back to their respective homes and my son and I could get back to our regularly scheduled program.  We could finally get our peace, love and happiness.

However, at exactly two minutes after our last guests blew kisses at us, I found myself staring at my son desperately trying to remember life before Thanksgiving. What did we do with ourselves before the rotating door of relatives?  For the life of me I couldn’t remember how we spent our nine hours a day.

I kept my fear hidden from my son for as long as possible while he happily played with his new toys.  He could have cared less that it was now just the two of us, I, on the other hand was quietly freaking out.  Then I came up with an idea.

“Hey, how about we go to the Museum,” I asked with a quivering voice afraid of his answer.

“No, I don’t want to go out.  I want to stay here,” replied my son as he pushed his train around the new train track he had received from his grandparents.

“Fuck, really.  It’s only 9:30am.  If we stay here and don’t go out, I still have three more hours before naptime.  I can’t stay here.  There must be a way to convince him to leave the house,” I thought to myself.

So I asked again just to double check.  “Are you sure you don’t want to go to the museum?”

“No.  I want to play trains,” he responded with certainty. The poor kid hadn’t had any time to play with his new toys in weeks, and I was trying to drag him out of the house.

“How about if we go out for lunch?” I pleaded.

“Can I have a hamburger?” he asked looking up from his trains.

“Ah-ha.  I got him,” I thought.  “Yes, of course,” I told him.

This meant we only had one hour to kill before leaving for lunch (Lunch starts at 11am, and we could walk slowly between our house and the restaurant). But what’s my point to all this?  My point is that it’s easy to lose your confidence over the holidays.  For the past month and a half, you haven’t had to change one diaper, you’ve had other people putting your child down for a nap, a grandmother thrilled at the opportunity to feed your child, and you’ve even slept in a few mornings. It’s no wonder that you’ve forgotten how easy it is to pass the day between naptime and bedtime.  So, I wanted to share with you some ideas in case you too have forgotten how to get through your first day after the holidays.

My advice is to pick one thing, find something that you and your child would like to do together and do it.  You could go to the playground, the library, a museum (maybe your child will go for it even if mine didn’t), a cheap meal out, or simply a walk around the block.  Hell, you could even go mail a letter… anything to get you back on your feet. I think you’ll find that having just one item on your agenda will remind you how sweet life is, how easy it is to pass the day away, and how much you love being a Broke-Ass Mom.

Photo by: Istockphoto 18percentgray

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Jennifer White - Mommy No Bucks

Jennifer White - Mommy No Bucks

Jennifer has been a bit of a nomad having lived in seven different cities. Her life as a gypsy has settled down for the moment in San Francisco with her husband and two-year old son. Recently, she decided to throw caution to the wind, quit her job as an analyst to be a full-time mom while chasing her dreams (and the Pulitzer Prize). When she's not writing, she's aspiring to be a luddite (although blogging isn't helping), knitting the occasional hat, or running in the park with her son and his secondhand compost truck in tow.