Life As A Mom of Two In NJ

shutterstock_72587254.jpgIf anyone ever tells you that raising kids is easy, they are lying or really need to be checked by a doctor. Raising kids is an incredibly hard job. However, it is also the most rewarding and most amazing thing that I have ever done in my life. I talk to a bunch of moms and even just one kid is incredibly hard and takes a definite toll on you as a mom. But these twins, man they tag team me. If Melody is having a great day, there is a chance that James is too but there is also a chance that he will see this as his time to shine in the new tantrum world and vice versa. Nevertheless, at the same point… it is incredible how smart and intuitive they can be. There have been times where one of them has thrown a tantrum, swung their arms around, and hit me. They stop dead in their tracks, look to see if they actually hurt me and if I have covered my eyes or winced out, they immediately break down crying and trying to hug me. They’re kids. They don’t fully understand how to express themselves or how to compose themselves, so they act out. But deep down, the one thing they truly understand is love. They understand that their parents love them and they understand that they love their parents. They don’t want to upset their parents or hurt them, they just are not able to understand how they should express their feelings yet.

But I don’t think it’s truly acknowledged how hard it is to take care of these kids. We’re not just keeping them safe and healthy (which is a lot of work as it is). We’re also managing all of the bills that come with them, we are raising them into respectable humans, and we are helping to mold them for the rest of their life. Now I’m not a stay at home mom and no disrespect to those who are but I love being a working mom. I was raised by one and I love having something that’s for myself and something that I work hard at every day with the hopes that I will be able to give my kids the life they deserve as well as show them I am someone that they can be proud of. But with being a working parent comes the cost of childcare as obviously they cannot just fend for themselves all day long nor would my office enjoy having them have their meltdowns in the middle of my meetings.

To have two infants in childcare full time in NJ, it costs between $700-$1500 per month PER KID. So let’s say someone with twins it costs about $1400-$3000 EVERY MONTH for my kids to go to daycare. Then you factor in the costs of diapers, food, milk, wipes, clothes, etc. You’re looking at another couple hundred dollars a month just to keep them safe and healthy. Now let’s say you’re making only about $15 an hour. Your ENTIRE paycheck will not cover even just the daycare costs, which means that you are already in debt and you haven’t even seen a dime of your paychecks. You’ll never be able to catch up. Thankfully, I have been incredibly fortunate in finding a daycare that accepted state assistance and was on the lower end of the spectrum cost wise. Everyone made comments about the daycare I chose and that I was a bad mom for choosing a daycare that didn’t have all of the fancy features that these chain daycare facilities have. Let me tell you one thing though, the only difference between my daycare and the top-notch ones are that I cannot log on to a video camera and see them throughout the day. Oh and they will not be taught sign language. I’m not going to lie to you… I am okay with those not being available. I think back to one of the moms who I sadly no longer see at the daycare anymore… She was a single mom of three and barely making ends meet. She always looked exhausted and like she could use a hug but her kids never ever looked like they were struggling. They were always well dressed, clean and well fed. I admired her every morning with the strength that she displayed. That’s a real mom for you though. Your kids are never the ones to suffer when things are rough. Your kids are never the ones to pay the price with everything that is going on in life. Not that it is your fault that things are so expensive and the money isn’t free flowing but it’s not your kids fault either. There are ways to cut corners and still make things special. Like take my family for instance. We don’t have all the money in the world and we struggle just as much as anyone else but I make sure that both of my kids feel special and feel great going to school every day.

Being a mom is the most rewarding but challenging thing you may ever do in life. I go to work every day during the week and man I miss those kids every second that I am gone. I know that they love their daycare, their teachers and their friends, but I always feel like I am missing out on things. However, at the same time, I do not think I would want to be a stay at home mom or work from home. I worked from home for 3 years and it was incredibly lonely. Not saying that I would ever be lonely with those two running around but sometimes as an adult, you just need to be around other adults at times. With the job I have right now, I feel that I have the perfect balance between each. My boss completely understands when an emergency comes up with them and I get to accomplish so much in my own life while they get to play with their friends all day. Sometimes when you’re a mom, you begin to lose yourself a bit and with me managing my job full time, I feel that it helps me to be me as well as be a mom.

Us as moms though… we are taken advantage of. Everyone just sits back and says “Well why should you be acknowledged for all of that, you have to do that… you’re their mom”. Just because it is something that we “have” to do, doesn’t mean that we don’t deserve to be acknowledged. Working moms and stay at home moms have incredibly stressful days all the time. Working moms don’t just leave work and get to relax. Dinner needs to be made, dishes/laundry needs to be done and as always, attention needs to be given. Before these two were born, my house was always so incredibly clean and neat. My laundry was always done on time and folded away nicely. Now, it is an accomplishment for me to get all of that done.

Moms deserve to be acknowledged for all that they do. It truly doesn’t hurt to post on social media how awesome a mom is doing at taking care of her kids. You have no idea how hard they may be trying to just get through each day with a little bit of sanity. You have no idea how much that child was up the night before or how hard they’ve been dealing with things in general. I can tell you that the mental health state of a mother is a very delicate one at that. If she is struggling with everything, she could be on the verge of breaking down. Sometimes even just the random post to acknowledge her or a random picture of her doing what she is “supposed to do” and giving her a shout out, it goes a LONG way.

Take some time out of your day today… acknowledge someone who is kicking ass. Make someone’s day… You never know what kind of impact your small comment could have.

quote b5.2

XOXO

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