Mommy Debate: Taking on Extra Work vs. Spending Time with Your Baby

As a mom, I’m a busy lady. Actually, as a person in general I’m a busy lady.

I’ve always been that way though… I’m at my happiest when I have a bunch of stuff going on and I’d probably be totally confused if my brain only had to think about one thing at a time.

Last Fall, when I was dealing with the ‘oh crap I’m losing my job’ drama I started doing freelance on the side. My plan was that if I couldn’t find a job with my growing preggo belly, I’d at least have something to fall back on for a while. It wasn’t a long term plan at the time, because momma needs health insurance. However, one of my possible plans is to go strictly freelance at some point in the future.

I LOVED working on my own terms and kept on a few of my clients when I started my new/current position in December. However, when I popped out my baby everyone pretty much disappeared – which I chalked up to them giving me some space to bond with my mini me.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago when I got a call from my favorite freelance client. He had an event about a week away and really needed me to design an event program. I really, really wanted to do the job because I hadn’t used my design muscles in a little while. But, now that I have a baby and a full time job, I had to think of whether it was worth it to take on additional work.

In the pro’s list:

  • My brain was happy about the thought of doing design work again.
  • Extra money is always nice!
  • I truly enjoy working with the client.
  • The quick timing of the project meant that I would be doing the majority of work a couple evenings after my main job with edits over the weekend.

In the con’s list:

  • I was already working away from Jack 3 days a week, sometimes gone from 7:30 am – 10:00 pm.
  •  My husband also works full days and would need to pick up the slack by keeping Jack downstairs and happy while I shut myself in the office to work.
  • Our computer really, really needs an upgrade so it has gotten a bit frustrating to do design work with a bunch of programs open at a time. Of course, this could totally be solved with the extra freelance money being used to buy a new computer…

Also, I feared that passing up on this opportunity would prove to the client that I’ve lost my edge and can’t handle any freelance jobs now that I have a baby.

With all these thoughts in mind, I decided to commit to the project. My husband fully supported me and kept Jack occupied so that I could lock myself away for two evenings after work from about 6pm – midnight. Taking care of the additional edits was a breeze, since we were both home that weekend. The best part was that my client was extremely happy with the results and (even better) pays invoices promptly.

Would I take on extra projects every week?

Probably not.

As much as I loved challenging myself with the work, I was super tired after knocking out the project in addition to my full time job and nighttime feedings.

However, taking on a project every so often reminds me who the old Joules used to be before I had mommy brain and blathered on about how cute my kid is.

So what do you think –knowing how quickly kids grow up would it be worth it to you to take on additional work? As always, feel free to comment here, on my facebook page or tweet me @JoulesDellinger.

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Reviewing Citrus Lane: The May “Fun in the Sun” Box

I reviewed my first Citrus Lane box in March and I really liked it, but couldn’t say that I totally loved it. It had some cool things in there, but the only two things that I’m still using a couple months later are the Itsy Ritzy Bib, Burp and Bath Cloth (I use this ALL the time) and the Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water. The gripe water came in so handy for my gassy baby that we used the entire bottle and I went out and bought more. So super winner there!

When my April box came, I was a bit disappointed and actually didn’t even bother to write a review. My first instinct was that the box wasn’t really very fun – it pretty much included just a bath towel, some flannel wash clothes and a bunch of promo codes. I had a bath towel and baby washcloths already… and the ones they sent me weren’t even cute! However, it’s a month later and I use that plush bath towel and super soft washcloths every single time I give Jack a bath – so I’m pretty glad I didn’t complain about them when I got that box!

My cornucopia of awesome — the May “Fun in the Sun” box

Since I had one good box and one okay box, I was waiting to get my May “Fun in the Sun” box before deciding whether to cancel my subscription.

And I’m so glad I did because the May box ROCKED MY SOCKS OFF!

Reading the insert that they sent along with the box o’ awesome, it seems like they may have gotten some feedback similar to mine where the newborn mommies wanted more FUN in their boxes. It’s a sign of a great company when they actually listen to the feedback and deliver!

So enough with the jibber jabber, here’s what was included in this month’s box:

iPlay Sun Protection Hat ($15.00 value, also a 20% promo code)– Since the company knows that I have a boy, they sent me one in a cute blue sailboat pattern. It is absolutely adorable and has a handy under-chin tie to keep it on Jack’s head. Even better, the hat is rated 50+SPF with a wide brim and ear flaps.

Green Toys Twist Teether ($10.99) – FINALLY a toy in our box! We were starting to feel a little left out, because the only “toy” we had previously gotten was a clear teething thing in March. This was worth the wait though – it’s made in the USA, doesn’t contain any yucky stuff, is super easy for baby hands to grab AND makes a fabulous clinky noise when  you shake it around. Jack is just starting to figure out how to grab things and I predict that this will be one of his favorites.

His outfit says “Girls Dig Me’ and it’s especially true when he’s showing off his mad multitasking skillz!

“In My Ocean” book ($8.99, also a 20% promo code) – YAY A BOOK! Okay, you all know that I’m a huge book dork which means that I’m counting the days until my son joins me in my dorkery. I received a bunch of awesome books at my baby shower to start Jack’s collection and a couple more this past weekend at his baptism. So, you can imagine my excitement when I opened this month’s box and found that they included a nicely illustrated book with a cool dolphin finger puppet. This is perfect for us to add to Jack’s bedtime reading ritual. The colors are bright and the dolphin perfect for slobbering on!

FULL SIZED — do you SEE! That’s 8 oz of lotion… heck yeah!

Episencial Better Body Butter Lotion ($10.00) – Do you see the size off this body butter lotion?! It’s FULL SIZED, not some little tiny sample thingie. Another item made in the USA (yay Citrus Lane for keeping it American), the bottle describes it as “silky soft” and it really is. I put some on and it’s got a nice, light scent and rubs right in to your skin without leaving you feeling greasy. It’s organic and free of nasty additives, so it’s good for me to use on myself or my baby. NOW we’re talking!

Episencial Sunny Sunscreen Travel Size ($9.00) – Okay, I was impressed at the full sized lotion and then we come to this tiny (.75 oz) tube of sunscreen. But instead of being annoyed at its itsy bitsy-ness, I actually like that it’s little and easy to throw in a diaper bag. According to their pamphlet, dermatologists recommend that babies under 6 months only use sunscreen on small areas of their body – so this little tube is actually the perfect size for my little monster. Also, I can try it out and see if we like it before we commit to a larger size. That’s what I consider a win, win!

Joyus $15 Gift Card ($15.00) – I had never heard of Joyus before and really wasn’t sure what to expect with a website that has in-depth videos for each product. I figured I’d just toss this card like I had so many other coupon code/gift cards from Citrus Lane in the past. However, hold your horses because I just checked out the site and I actually LIKE it! Even better, I found what they call “The Perfect Bracelet”which is a set of three gold plated and leather bracelets. Or you could go with the silver plated and leather option. The set of three is $38, so after I use my gift card I can get them for only $23 WITH free shipping… SOLD! Now the only question is which set do I get?

Wow, this book is fascinating!

Now when I added up the value of the March box, it was over $90 worth of goodies. This total for this month’s box came to just under $70. However, if you take note of the number of exclamation points I used when describing the contents of this month’s box, it’s easy to see that it’s a winner. Instead of just liking one or two of the items in the box, I’m actually super excited about EVERY SINGLE thing in there. If this was the first box I’d received, I would have been shouting from the rooftops how great Citrus Lane is for new mommies.

Now that my socks have been knocked off with this month’s box, I have high hopes for the June box. I don’t know what that theme will be, but hopefully it will be just as great as this one!

Now time for my full disclosures:  I was not rewarded in any way for mentioning Citrus Lane on my blog. They didn’t send me a free box to review; I paid for it myself because I feel like as a new mom I DESERVE a monthly gift. However, if you choose to sign up for your own subscription and use my link I will receive credits on my account.

The hat serves double-duty for stealthy naps.

This doesn’t mean that I’m going to give them (or any company) a good review just to get you guys to sign up! This is MY blog, I only write about whatever I feel like writing about – if they suck, they suck. But they didn’t suck… they were awesome. So I feel comfortable recommending them to you.

As an added bonus to my fabulous readers, you can get 10% off the cost of any subscription (normal cost $25 each month). You’ll save $7.50 on three months, $12.50 on six months, or $25 on twelve months. To redeem the deal, click on my link and enter the word SPRINGFUN when checking out.

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If You Think Being a Mom is Easy, Don’t Bother Reading This Post

With my very first Mother’s Day now behind me, I have now crossed over and joined the ranks of “real mom”.

And one of those “real mom” truths is that motherhood isn’t always easy. When our baby spits up on us or we find poop in weird places, we aren’t always totally thrilled to deal with it. When we get home from a long day of work (or a long day of working as a stay at home mom), we are not always ecstatic to know that we have a full night ahead of us of baby-care before we do it all over again. And we sure as heck didn’t realize how much harder it would be to just pop in a store for one item… with a baby in a carseat.*

Don’t even get me started on the days when daddy doesn’t have the patience to deal with a crying fit and hands the baby back to me after I’ve been on mommy duty all day long (and all night before).

Anyways, my point is that even though we absolutely, positively LOVE our babies. It’s still hard sometimes.

This is why I’d like to point you towards a wonderful new blog written by a friend of mine, Live Wonderstuck. Today’s post really resonated with me and a bunch of other moms out there, so I wanted to share it with you: “Happy? I’m Too Tired to be Happy“.

Enjoy!

And for the love of god, when you see that frantic look in the eye of a mommy who hasn’t peed all by herself in days, please offer to hold her baby!

*By the way, I will NEVER be shopping at CVS again due to their ridiculously small shopping carts. In order to stick my baby in them, I have to balance his carseat in the main cart area — leaving no room to purchase anything. Totally not worth it for whatever “bargain” they’ve used to lure me there in the first place!

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