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Of Childbearing Years

Hey, I won the Parent Bloggers Network Blog Blast I Live in a Zoo for my entry All the Monkey's Aren't in the Zoo! I was randomly selected as a winner, but let's pretend it was due to my excellent writing, m'kay? It was a fun topic, and there are tons of other great posts. You should check some out!

And now onto today's regularly scheduled post...

It is tough to be of childbearing years, especially the time period between children. There are so many things I can't do just in case. There are all these things that I can't give away, from my maternity clothes to baby toys. I find this time period difficult in many ways, from caring for my body (or "The Vessel") to finding places to store everything.

I miss drinking and dancing and late nights. I really do. This last weekend, I was at a wedding were I actually DANCED! It was so fun and I missed it. I know many people will say that you can still drink and dance and have late nights. But I can't. I know me and my body. I can't handle it anymore. Not only that, but the amounts I used to drink are not compatible with breastfeeding or trying to conceive, so it's been a long since I really truly got WASTED! I suppose that's a good thing, because I know my recovery period will be much longer now than it was in my early 20s. But I still miss it sometimes.

As for dancing... Do you know where I'd have to go to go out dance? To clubs and bars and places that I don't frequent because of smoke and single guys and Lord knows what else. It's just not part of my lifestyle anymore. It's not what a mom does, or even wants to do. Now, Londo and I did used to take dance lessons where we learned everything from the waltz to swing, and we loved it! But that costs money that we don't have anymore, and it would require a babysitter. We are just not in a place in our lives where we can do that. We will again some day.

Because of trying to conceive, I am trying to take care of my body. Which means no late nights, not a lot of junk food, trying to cut down on stress (although that doesn't always happen), giving up coffee (OMG, I miss my coffee!!!) take care of my skin and hair, not taking most medications, and so much else. The Vessel needs to be in prime condition, after all. We are spending time and money on the fertility treatments, and I am trying to make sure to do everything I can to help.

Except exercise. I really just can't find the time or energy to exercise. I've lost all my pregnancy weight and some of the weight I gained last round of fertility treatments, so that's awesome. But my body has definitely changed, and my clothes don't fit exactly right. But I just don't have it in me to kill myself fitting in a workout routine when I am hoping to pregnant again soon. I stopped exercising last pregnancy because of spotting issues, and I didn't want to chance another miscarriage. I won't want to exercise this time either, just in case.

Which leads me the fact that I have all these clothes in a variety of sizes! Where am I supposed to store them all? I do have a good-sized walk in closet, but I'm running out of room. I've got the maternity clothes, two sets of in between sizes for going up and back down from pregnancy, my clothes that fit me now, and my skinnier clothes for when I am done with kids and ready to exercise and get back my smoking bod! And for most of these sizes, I have summer and winter clothes. I can't get rid of them, because I'm not done with the childbearing (I hope), so I will need them again. I am NOT going to buy all new clothes each time I go up or down a size. So I have to find somewhere to put them.

I also need to store all the sizes of childrens clothes. Everything from the newborn to the 12 month size that the Pumpkin has grown out of. She's got a lot of clothes. (Should I mention that I don't like doing laundry often, so I like to have at least 2 weeks worth of clothes for her. And me.) These clothes will likely be handed down to the future child. I like to buy some things that are girly and pink but also other things that are neutral, so even if we have a boy next there are a lot of the clothes we could reuse. And we still don't know if we will have 2 or 3, so I will have to continue to store them for a while.

Also, the baby toys and equipment. We got A LOT of hand-me-downs from my sister's daughter and my brother's twins. We had 3 bassinets and 2 exersaucers (not that she really used any of those), as well as three swings (she would only use one, but that was the one that let us sleep at night), two bouncy chairs and tons of little rattle and squeeze toys. It was way more than we needed, but when it's free, how can you say no? And now I worry that the next child (or two) will be do different and need even the things that the Pumpkin did not. I also worry that we will have twins next, since our chance of multiples does go up with the fertility treatments (Lord, help me!). So I don't want to get rid of any of it. Just in case.

But where oh where do I put all this stuff? Our storage room is overflowing and my closet is stuffed to the gills! I think it's time for an overhaul of the storage room, but I'm not sure we can make more out of what we have. If only I had Mary Poppin's carpet bag...

But once I'm out of these childbearing years and done with having children? You better believe we are having the most amazing yard sale! Come one, come all! I'll make deals and deals galore! You won't want to miss it! Everything must go! And what doesn't sell will go straight to a cause in need.


Michelle said…
Maybe not for right now- but on the dance class idea, our County Rec Department offers cheap classes like Ball-room dancing. You'd likely be taking the classes in an after-hours elementary school all purpose room...but it is a way to do something fun and save some moolah.

Also, re: the sitter, I've been thinking about doing a sort of babysitting swap lately. Find someone on your block who also desperately needs date-nite and set up a regular swap for three hours every other week or something. I haven't done it yet- but it seems like a good way to get things going.
Cloud said…
Oh, I hear you. And don't even get me started on trying to figure out the career/childbearing timing issues if you work in an industry where it is common to have to change jobs every two years or so because your company changed its business model or ran out of money or whatnot (I work in biotech).

On the baby clothes- I pack mine into big storage size ziploc bags labeled by approximate age, and then pack the bags into boxes and put them in the garage. If you really need to save space, you can use those bags that you compress the air out of- but those cost more money, and we have room in our garage right now. My maternity clothes were packed into those compression bags, until a friend got a surprise third pregnancy and had to borrow them all....
Becoming Mommy said…
There's a place where Hubby and I took our ballroom classes near us. They have a "Dance Party" once a week and it's $10 a couple.
Much cheaper than lessons. Fairly early in the evening (so easier to get a sitter). No smoke. And so close it cuts down on total time out (since no driving to DC). You might want to check if somewhere near you does it too.
As for storage, tell me about it...
We did pare down a LOT and got rid of things that we never seemed to use (the swing, the sling, the bassinet...). I also go thru his clothes every couple of months and we pack up to save only those things that still look really good. There's a lot that looks ratty or has parts missing (like his sandles? Yeah, we only have one.)
I also just got rid of my skinny clothes. It cut down on the mass.
I do not expect to ever get my kick@55 bod back. Mostly because I have no desire to spend 3-4 hours a day working out anymore.
electriclady said…
Oh yeah. We have the same storage problems but multiplied because of living in a tiny apartment with no outside storage space. Luckily, we have friends who are expecting a girl in Feb (same month BG was born) so I've already lent a lot of my maternity clothes, and we're going to lend BG's old car seat, bouncy seat, My Brest Friend, slings, and other gear, which by the time they're done with it we'll either have another kid or have decided we're done.

BG's outgrown clothes, though, I can't bring myself to lend out. I have boxes and boxes of them and nowhere to put them--and I give away anything she didn't wear more than once or twice. Just watch, we'll end up having a boy born in the summer and all the clothes I saved will be useless.
paola said…
Congrats on winning the Blog Blast!!

We are done with childbearing and are currently in the process of getting rid of all that stuff you mentioned, but to tell you the truth, we really did not have a hell of a lot of stuff as we borrowed most and either gaveit back or sold it on e-bay. I am currently re-organising baby clothes as one of my good friends is expecting and I'm giving her a lot of our baby-clothes, which were fortunatley neutral colours for the first few months anyway. Maternity clothes I got rid of in the first week after giving birth to number 2. In between sizes have been altered to my new size, which I trully hope does not change when I stop breastfeeding. But the whole process has been rather sad or maybe it is just the thought that I won't go through another pregnancy, even if it is a mutual decision.
We are doing some 'fall cleaning' trying to deal with all of the 'stuff'.

I have clothes in 2-3 sizes including maternity for me, and all of his old stuff, which we are keeping because we want another baby. Where do we put it? um we have a basement. In plastic totes. Not well organized at all. I keep just the clothes that I loved for the inbetween sizes for me. Nothing at all wore out, that I no longer like or not classic looking. It wont end up getting worn and it helped with storage.

I still don't know what size I will be when/if I am ever done nursing... so I keep holding off getting clothes at this size (everything is now baggy - UG) so then you have NOTHING for date night (as you mentioned in an earlier post)

Do you know anyone who could gently borrow the items between now and when you need them? That would clear up the storage, with out having to sell and rebuy?
Anonymous said…
Maybe you and I can be like Edwina and Patsy (from Absolutely Fabulous) in our menopause years and go out dancing together! Doesn't that paint a pretty picture? ;)

I hear you on the space issue. DH is diabolically opposed to getting a rented storage unit but our little townhouse is running out of room fast!
HeatherY said…
I'm in that weird in-between children stage too. There is so much baby stuff stored everywhere in hopes of being blessed with a 2nd child. The clothes! OMG the clothes. They just keep coming! I swear I'm keeping the plastic tub makers in business.
JAB said…
Congrats on the win! I would say- use the prize on dance lessons...but we are responsible parents/adults, aren't we?

I love the way you just put your thoughts on the page! I have no answers, but I commiserate.
Trannyhead said…
I'm sort of with you on the coffee thing, FYI. It was so awful to give it up with my first pregnancy I refused to start drinking coffee again just because it was so awful to give it up and I didn't want to go through it again!

And the thought of going to a club now totally skeeves me out - but dance lessons would be fun.

Anyway - continued good luck on the conception effort. I'm sending "babymaking" vibes your way!
limboland la la said…
oh where to comment on this blog.?. so many things... or perhaps my every 1 1/2 hr sleep-wake-up-nurse-sleep- brain is a bit unable to focus.

the main thing that sent me chuckling-- (inside my head of course) was the idea of twins... twins... ha ha ha ha ha.... to think when pregnant i even secretly hoped the doctor just kept missing that my little girl had a twin with her in utero that would pop out as a pleasant surprise on her birthday. ha ha ha ha ha ...

i promise if you have twins i will help help help you.

i think i've officially lost it. :) she's at the 6 weeks "growth spurt" and refuses (or can't--to be nicer )to sleep all.night.long.

we didn't have that many *things* or clothing till mum came over to visit. She literally brought a suitcase full. I'm assuming when we come back the mass will only grow.

i'm hoping to be a sparse mama, but i'm already imagining buying things that will take her focus off of me.

that's probably terrible. but it has been 4 days of sleepless nights.
OneHappyCow said…
I'm with Limboland, on what to comment because I swear we lead parallel lives, from our kiddos to the crazy in-between sizes, to the storage hell. We have so many rubbermaid bins, it is just not even funny. I am afraid to get rid of anything because what if I need it again?!? I have come to the conclusion I am just going to have to hoard it all until we are done, and then maybe we can do a joint yard sale! Hee hee...
ImpostorMom said…
My local friends and I joked that we should all go in on a storage unit and then divide the floor with tape so we all have somewhere to put all our baby stuff.
Shellie said…
Kids and stuff go hand in hand. The house explodes. On the other hand, mine break everything, so we have to replace too much stuff, the kind you planned on keeping stuff. sigh!

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