I recently stayed at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania for a work convention, and I was very pleased with how accomodating they were to my need to pump. First, let me say that the hotel is very beautiful, very well-kept, the staff is friendly, and it is enormous with plenty of amenities to keep busy such as cafes, indoor pool, outdoor pool, the chocolate spa, on-site concierge ecc. The room I stayed in fulfilled my addiction of flat screen LG HD TV’s, which was on what looked like hand-crafted wooden cabinets that also incorporated other amenities like the mini fridge and such.
BUT the biggest thing for me, was that they were extremely breast feeding friendly. I had to leave my baby girl behind with daddy because I couldn’t get anyone to come on the trip with me to watch her. Which meant I had to bring the breast pump. This posed a problem. I arrived (very) late Monday night, and had the convention to attend on Tuesday until 7:00 p.m. Well, check out was at 11:00 a.m. leaving me nowhere to pump all day except for the public restrooms, which I was not cool with (I don’t think my colleagues would’ve looked at me the same if they’d witnessed me milking myself). So, I asked for a late check out, which they allowed me to have until 1:00 p.m. Which was definately to accomodate my pumping needs because they wouldn’t allow others to have late check outs due to the hotel being jam packed with conventions.
Well that still left me stumped on what to do till 7:00 p.m. Not to mention the four-hour drive thereafter to get home to baby girl. I mean I was even contemplating just using my car and a hand held pump I’d brought for back up, or sitting on a toilet with a hand held pump. But the idea was just too unappealing, and I’m a weirdo and could just picture someone seeing me in there for that long and assuming other things. Just couldn’t do it. So I approached a female hotel hostess at the end of the day and asked her if there was anything any more private than the bathrooms for me to use as a facility to pump. I was expecting a closet or even an office. No, they were extremely accommodating, and actually allowed me to use one of the smaller vacant rooms at the hotel for the time needed right before my departure. The girl I had asked for help walked me to the room, and waited for me outside and everything (In the cold! I should have asked her name! She was great!)
So I was able to pump, and on my way home in a jiff. I mean I had even contemplated going to a store in a mall of some sort after the convention and using their dressing rooms! I was desperate! And just wanted to get it out of the way, and get home! So I give the Hershey Lodge a total thumbs up!
Last week I re-posted an editorial from the New York Times about a non-mother wondering why anyone would ever want to have kids, so I’ve made a “Top 10” list. And I’m being honest when I say that it was hard to narrow it down to only 10 reasons. So I’ve chosen to post both the heartwarming and the practical ones. They’re not in any particular order.
But before I can go on, let me just add a little disclaimer. It’s a bit ridiculous, but I feel that it’s necessary due to certain events highlighted by the media within the past couple of years. Here we go: having and raising children is a great life choice for responsible adults, and should not be a goal for young women. Ok, let’s get started.
- Laughter – Not a day goes by that I’m not bursting out laughing or smiling for at least half my day. Even when there’s health problems, financial problems, or other outside stress, my kids are constantly cracking me up and making me smile with the things they do and say.
- Companionship – I”m not saying that being around kids alone eliminates the chances of loneliness. But I always feel complete. I always feel like I have a buddy with me. And think of when your kids become teenagers or adults. You’ll be able to form a friendship with them that is deeper than any other you’ve made before.
- Pride – Ever heard of the terms “Pride and Joy” being pinned as a synonym for a child? Well, they’re true. It’s so amazing what an overwhelming sense of pride a child will bring you, even through the smallest accomplishments. The first time my toddler drew a closed circle, I was THRILLED! The first time my baby girl cried because I took something away from her, I was so pleased! I know! Over a baby’s tears! And this sense of pride can only be understood through a parent’s eyes. Now, again, when these kids become teenagers or adults, they’ll really make you proud through accomplishments, but it is your job to guide them to these accomplishments.
- Creativity – Uhm hello! This blog would not be possible if it weren’t for my baby girl and toddler boy. They are constantly feeding me ideas to get writing about. But they also inspire me in other aspects of my life. They push me to think outside of the box.
- Old and Gray – Okay, here comes the practical one. If you don’t have kids, who do you think’s gonna take care of your grouchy, old self when you can’t do things for yourself any more? Sure, you can pay someone, but you can bet that you won’t be able to trust people with your life when it comes to money.
- Legacy-If you’re as proud of your last name as my husband is about his, you’ll want someone to inherit that. And that’s not just for men. My sister loved her last name so much, she kept it. Maybe her little rugrats will carry it on?
- Virtue-My kids have taught me the biggest lessons there are to learn in life. Through them I have learned patience, affection, thinking outside the box, you name it. I am constantly learning through my toddler boy and baby girl. And I cannot tell you how many stories I hear every day about a child teaching their parents important life lessons when they’re only, like, 5!
- Mini me- Okay so maybe you don’t even like yourself that much, but bear with me. It is amazing to see the features and characteristics in a child, and see how it’s a mixture of the two parents. Every day they change, and every day you notice a little thing that makes you want to just hug and kiss them.
- Be a kid again- Having kids has made me do things that I always wanted to do before I had kids, but I never made the time. I’ve been to the zoo, museums, park outings, long walks, even exercise classes and singing lessons Danville that include children. I’ve done crafts, read yummy children’s books, sat down and ate [popcorn while watching disney movies, I got to go shopping for toys again, and for cute little clothes that I’m already too old for. It’s the most fun I’ve had since I was well, you know, a kid.
- It’s a life– Maybe you stumbled on this list because you are pregnant and are just trying to think things through. Well I am going to share my biggest pet peeve with you, that’s going to piss some people off. Ok, a lot of people off. When women get pregnant and decide to have an abortion because it’s “their body,” please remember: it’s not yourself that you are killing when you have an abortion – you are killing the baby. It’s not your body that’s terminated, it’s the body inside of you. Sure, it’s your body that goes through the changes of pregnancy, but that’s a pretty shallow reason not to have kids. There I said it. Now you know where I stand.
Just reading this list again while proofreading it has made me smile and excited to watch my children grow. What about you? What’s your top 10 reasons to have children? Chime in!
This past Saturday, my mom and Husby’s mom came up with some great wedding ideas that include children.
I’ve been calling Husby my husband until now because we’ve been in a common law marriage for a while. But this weekend, we blessed our family by having a church ceremony we needed to learn planning a wedding on a budget, and we had to keep the kids busy! Below are some great wedding ideas to keep children busy, whether you are trying to entertain your own children or someone else’s!
- A kids’ play room – Ask your venue manager if they’d be willing to throw in an extra room at no cost. Ours was more than willing. They just gave us a large room for bags and coats, which also served as a kids’ play room. All the moms were able to take their kids in there to kill time before and after dinner. My mom and Husby’s mom brought crates of toys from their houses, and we planned on bringing big toddler stuff like bikes and cars from our house, but ended up not needing to bring them in. The kids were more than entertained with just crates of toys for the age of 10 for example, and the moms were happy. If you feel comfortable with this idea, you can hire a baby sitter to be in there with the kids while the moms enjoy themselves.
- Snack attack – Ask your church if children are allowed to eat snacks in the pews. My toddler behaved perfectly well in the front pews for a whole 45 minutes – all thanks to well-packed snacks.
- Nap time – If you have a baby, try to hold off on letting them nap until the ceremony. That way, no fuss, no muss. I know they’ll miss it that way, but it’s not like they’d remember it anyway. My baby girl slept through it, and we just woke her at the end in order to include her during the conclusion of the ceremony.
- Cry room – If you’re really worried about it, try to pick a church that provides a separate room for kids, and audio for the parents to still be with them and pay attention to the ceremony.
- Seating arrangements at the reception – Do away with them. It’s hard enough to do small talk, let alone to have small talk while your kids are going wild. Just get rid of the seating chart all together, and just ask your venue to provide a few extra tables than necessary so people with kids can spread out with diaper bags, clothing changes, ecc. If there’s extra seats, there’s no issues with anyone not having enough room to sit with whom they want to sit. And it’ll save you a big headache.
- High chairs and booster seats – I actually forgot this detail, which is why it was helpful to have friends who were willing to lend their laps to my hungry children while they ate. Bring them for your guests! It’ll make things just a bit more comfortable.
- Dancing – Allow it. Might seem like a no brainer, but Husby and I contemplated not having a dancing portion at our wedding so people didn’t feel obligated to stick around since him and I were leaving early for a night to ourselves. But, Husby’s dad, our DJ, insisted on it, which really worked out because my friends and their kids had a ball dancing around!
- Allergy-awareness – Talk to your caterer about what exactly is in the food like the traditional sugar almonds for weddings they will be serving. For example, my son and Husby and a few kids that were at the wedding had lactose and gluten allergies. My caterer was able to tell me what was prepared without any gluten or dairy in it, which actually gave those people a sufficient amount of choices for their dinner just by letting the caterers know ahead of time.
- Kid-friendly ceremony – If you have kids by the time you get married, it does help to include them in the wedding ceremony. We had our kids walk down with our parents before Husby and I processed into the church, and they looked absolutely adorable while staying busy during that segment of the ceremony! Also, we had the priest bless them at the end of the ceremony, and we carried them with us as we processed out, as a metaphor of the seal we just completed on our little family.
- Closing time – I know it’s your wedding, but if you’d like to accommodate families with kids, opt for an early starting time like 1:30 or 2, so that people can head home by 8 p.m. and not have to miss anything. Otherwise, people with kids will have to leave early and won’t get to enjoy things like dancing or dessert.
What about you? Do you have wedding ideas that include children? Feel free to add to the list by chiming in!