My Favorite Top 5 Newborn Items

In an effort to help other first-time moms know what they NEED to raise a newborn, I decided to curate my top 5 favorite newborn items. Minimalism is a challenge. But trying to limit stuff while raising a human is much more difficult. When I was expecting, I wasn’t exactly sure what I needed and what I didn’t. I made-do for the first few months and learned as I went along. Luckily, I didn’t buy most of Casey’s things. Rather, I leaned on the community to provide for my growing boy. I know that isn’t available to everyone, so I hope this list helps discern what’s useful and not. Of course, what worked for me may not necessarily work for you. Please cater to your family’s situation.

My Favorite Top 5 Newborn Items

  • Car seat that clicks into a stroller. We both took leave when Casey was born. Which meant there was lots of opportunity for adventuring for our new trio. A car seat that clicks into a stroller may seem bougie, but it was a life-saver. Mostly because babies sleep… A LOT! And we didn’t want to disturb him after he fell asleep during the car ride (which is his favorite thing to do). So it helped to avoid multiple episodes of melt-downs and crying fits. We personally were gifted the Nuna Pipa Lite RX car seat which clicked into the Uppababy Cruz V2 stroller.
  • Glider Swing. Ours was a Graco Swing which was handed down to me by another mom. It was bulky and ugly to look at, so at first, I deemed it as something that belonged to my grandparent’s house. It turned out it was the best place to set him down when he was awake. And it would also do the work and rock him to sleep for us. He loved that little cocoon. And I couldn’t survive the first few months without it.
  • Bassinet. We were gifted a Baby Bay bassinet and it was crucial for those late night feedings. I loved having him by our bed which eliminated the need for us to get up in the middle of the night. Ours also had wheels which allowed us to wheel him around the house without waking him up from his naps. Therefore he kept on sleeping while I went to the kitchen to cook dinner. He was always in our sight, even when he had to sleep. You cannot do that with a crib!
  • Cloth Diapers. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would like it. I only knew that my parents raised us that way, and that it was good for the environment and our wallets. I ended up loving cloth diapers. We only used disposables when we were out of the house or traveling. Cloth was super easy, thanks to Esembly. You can read about my experience with cloth diapers here.
  • Baby Brezza. A mom of twins asked if I would want this formula mixer gifted to me. Initially, I thought I would 100% breastfeed. I so wanted to. But after realizing within the first few days that the supply was not there (and it never really did catch up), this baby brezza quickly became our best friend. Thanks to this machine, even dad could help with night-time feeds. And there is nothing more concerning than a wailing baby. This machine allowed us to mix formula with our eyes closed. It was our most used item, when I thought I wouldn’t use it at all!

How about you? What are your favorite newborn items?

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Creating a Magical Nursery

I’ve been pondering how to decorate Casey’s nursery in our new home. I want to be intentional with creating the environment wherein he will spend most of his time. To be honest, it’s a bit overwhelming making all the decisions for someone else. But after much consideration, I’ve decided to create a magical nursery to foster his imagination.

As parent’s, we are honored with the task of creating our children’s spaces. We have a choice. We can choose to design it from a practical perspective, providing the necessities for them to grow and transform into little adults. Or, we can tap into our inner child. In our adulthood lies an opportunity to introduce wonder and magic to the future generation. Although I have historically chosen the path of less, I choose the opposite when it comes to instilling wonder and beauty in Casey’s life. 

I once wrote an ode to bare white walls. It’s a piece I am proud of writing, and my thoughts and emotions towards white walls stay much the same. However, I cannot say I believe these things for kids. I think that kids need to be exposed to ideas in order to foster imagination and creativity. They know not what to think of white spaces. Therefore, I think it appropriate that we treat the empty canvases of his room as a starting point from where his imagination can run wild.

I am currently obsessed with wallpaper from Photowall for Casey’s space. Photowall sports plenty of options to choose from, each one transforming kid rooms into dreamlands and faraway places. There are so many that I like. It is difficult to just choose one. Thankfully, Photowall offers their wallpaper at affordable prices. At such a great price point, we might change the wallpaper in the future as his interests become more clear and change.

In the end, we had a few requirements for how the wallpaper looks. We want the print to add whimsy but at the same time keep the room tranquil. It is a big ask. Photowall’s children collection includes neutral palette options. In general, I stand by the rule that loud colors cause stress to our thinking minds. Likewise, small and busy prints add overwhelm. Perhaps this is a personal reaction? Nonetheless, I want his room to be a space where he could have fun during the day but sleep well at night. In order to achieve this, I recommend sticking with soft colors and at least 50% of empty background space.

In terms of balancing out the wallpaper, choosing the right furniture helps. The crib we are putting in his room will be Babyletto’s Hudson 3-in-1 crib-to-toddler bed. It was gifted to us by a mother in the community. The thick, blocky legs are imaginatively placed at an angle. The thick borders of the crib will prevent it from getting lost in the room. The crib is all white, which helps demarcate it in the space.

We also paired it with the matching Babyletto Hudson 3-Drawer Dresser with a changing table top. We chose the smaller dresser over the 6-drawer version to prevent the room from feeling cluttered. Lastly, a gray glider chair completes the room. It was also handed down from a different mum in the neighborhood. To learn how to utilize the community and build a nursery for nearly free, check out this post.

I want Casey’s room to be a reflection of the person he is. While he is too young for us to tell his preferences, a parent could hope for a few things. We wish for our Earth Day baby to be in love with adventures. I want to gift him curiosity and a love of learning. I also want him to be equally happy outdoors in nature as much as indoors curled up with a book in our laps. In his youth, I wish for daydreams and experimentation. I want to foster an environment without limiting boundaries. If he could approach life without fear, then I would feel at peace with my role as a parent.

Meanwhile, he is OUR greatest adventure. Therefore, his room would be the epicenter of our family’s quality time. Memories are held to the spaces in which they are made. This is why the look and feel of his bedroom is so important to me. At the end of the day, I keep returning to this quote:

We are the gatekeepers of our homes, the guardians of our children, the warriors of our own existence and, also, the builders of our love. 

The SAVE Program Presents a Reason Not to Pay Back Student Debt

I am staring at my Marcus HYSA account. If we wanted to, we could pay off my student debt when it resumes next month, and be done with it. However, a new student loan repayment plan recently replaced the REPAYE program. Known as the SAVE Repayment program, this new and improved loan forgiveness program presents a reason not to pay back my student debt. It is an AMAZING program. Because of it, we are choosing to hold onto the student debt. Here is why!

What to Know about the SAVE Repayment program

  • The SAVE Plan significantly decreases monthly payments by increasing the income exemption from 150% to 225% of the poverty line. Income exemption means that if you earn less than 225% of the Poverty Line as determined by this chart, then you do not owe anything for your debt. To calculate this, determine the number of family members in your household. Match it with the poverty income level using the chart. Multiply the income level by 2.25. If you make less than that number then you don’t have to make payments.
  • 100% of remaining interest is eliminated after a scheduled payment is made. This is the most important reason why we aren’t paying it off. As long as you make the minimum monthly payment, the interest will not be added to your loan total. This works in the favor of those with massive student debt. Let’s assume you earn $100k per month and your total student debt is $400k. Then you’re monthly payment is around $834. Meanwhile, your interest is $2,267! That means your monthly payment doesn’t cover the interest of the loan. Under the new program, the interest is eliminated! That’s a huge difference! Before SAVE, the loan continues to grow if only minimum monthly payments were made. In fact, when we calculated it back in 2017, my loan would have ended up at $1, 400k after the loan repayment program. With SAVE, my loan will remain at $405k unless I miss my payments!
  • The SAVE Plan excludes spousal income for borrowers who are married and file separately. This is another great change. Especially for whose spouse earns a decent income. Before, the monthly payments were determined using both the borrower and the spouse’s income. Since SAVE only uses the borrower’s income, that minimum monthly payment is decreased! Meaning you need to put in less money in order to keep the loan amount the same.

More changes are promised to take effect July 2024.

I changed my mind again.

In this post, I wrote about how we changed our minds. We chose to take a majority of our savings and put it into a single-family residence for our growing family. I am a homebody who needs a homebase. Currently, there are no plans to pay off the student debt. We will prioritize other assets as we did during the pandemic forbearance. If the repayment program changes once again to something that would cause my debt to grow, I may reconsider. For now, I changed my mind.

I am pivoting based on the information I have. I am not giving up on building wealth. At the same time, it would be foolish to stick to my original payoff plan for the sake of identity. I was The Debtist. I was afraid of money. My debt defined me. But it is safe to say that I’ve found a way to walk away from that past. No longer will I let debt define me. I am letting go, and finding a way through.

I wanted to pay off my debt because I psychologically needed to. But I reached financial independence when I walked away from a job I hated, facing uncertainty during the pandemic. It was the best decision I have ever made. I chose myself and my values over money. By giving myself the space to grow, I changed the way I viewed myself and money. I am not just me, and money is just money.

It’s nice to learn that I can choose over and over again.

The First Few Months of Cloth Diapering with Esembly

Casey was born on Earth Day, something both me and Mike are proud of. As a couple attempting to live sustainably, we felt that his birthday was somehow symbolic of what we hoped for our son. Someone who appreciates nature, understands ecology, respects our place in biology and becomes a tenant of this planet we love. In line with all that, we made the decision to use cloth diapers years before we even planned on having children. I remember vowing that if we ever did have kids, we would opt to reduce our contribution to the landfills. I remember his skepticism. But what I love about Mike is his openness to new things. By the time we decided to start a family five years later, he was totally on board.

I read about cloth diapering via Erin Boyle’s blog back in 2017. It was the first time I considered an alternative to disposable diapers. I didn’t realize at the time that my siblings and I were all reared on loincloths wrapped around our bums, pinned with a clothespin. But cloth diapering has (thankfully) come a long way. Cities like the Big Apple can tout cloth diapering services wherein they pick up used cloths at your doorstep and launder them for you. But where we live has no such services. So it’s a godsend that Esembly created a diapering system that can be done at home.

The First Few Months of Diapering with Esembly

Of all the questions I’ve received as a new parent, I have not gotten as many inquiries as I have with cloth diapering. Moms all over the web are asking how it’s going. As if they couldn’t believe it could be done. But as my mom said when I showed her our Esembly diapers, “it’s as easy as cake!”. Esembly has gone above and beyond to take care of the logistics. “I wish we had something like this when you were a baby,” my mom said as she gleefully analyzed the thick, cotton inners in her hands.

To be honest, I had my doubts too. But let me tell you, I love using cloth diapers! It is just as easy as disposable diapers, but better for the environment. For the first few weeks, we solely used disposable diapers. We couldn’t use the high-waisted Esembly inners since it would rub the umbilical cord. It took 10 days to fall off. Because of this, we have something to compare Esembly to. Those who argue that cloth diapering is too much work is wrong. Yes, you need to wash the diapers, but you never will run out of them or have to dash to the store to get more.

Changing nappies are a breeze thanks to the button closures at the front. Multiple snaps make the diaper customizable to your growing child’s size. No wasted diapers that your baby outgrew. The outer fits snugly and keeps wet inners from soiling clothes. Yet the elastic band around the legs and waist make these comfortable to wear. Plus the outers have cute designs, to boot! We have six different outers and we can change them based on his outfit for the day.

How to Clean Esembly’s Cloth Diapers

People always ask, “What do you do with the soiled diapers?” You remove them and toss them directly into the Esembly diaper bag. Since Casey isn’t eating solids for now, there is no need to remove anything from the nappies. Poop, pee, nappy – all of it gets tossed into the bag. You don’t get your hands messy at all. The diaper bag, by the way, fits into this Dekor Diaper Pail pretty well in case you are searching for one. However, a pail isn’t necessary as you can hang the bag on a hook quite easily.

To clean, all we do is toss dirty diapers and bag into the wash. We use Esembly’s washing powder with their agitators (the best invention ever!) and run a normal cycle, followed by a heavy duty cycle. It takes 40-60 minutes to dry in the dryer and voila! If you wish to reduce your footprint even more, laying them under the sun works wonders. It actually results in a neater looking nappy.

To my surprise, the inners haven’t stained one bit. They haven’t shrunk in the wash and they don’t stink. They haven’t caused diaper rash (whereas the disposables started to) which goes to show how nice they are for your baby’s bottom. They store nicely in a basket on our changing cart, and take up less room than a box of disposable diapers.

Some Caveats

To be completely transparent, there are a few caveats. We bought the fewest amount of inners and outers needed to sustain us. We have 21 inners and 6 outers. To be honest, I think we could have survived with 3 outers. Meanwhile, 21 inners could have been 24. Minor changes aside, one caveat is that no matter how many you buy, you have to do laundry every 2-3 days. For us, 2 days seems to be the number. Of course, not everyone has the time. Balancing laundry amongst other chores and working full-time is a difficult feat. The privilege of having job flexibility cannot be ignored.

Second, it is an investment. We bought the diaper system, agitators, wash powder, and diaper bag. We were gifted 3 inners and one outer. We nabbed the rest during a sale. (Check out their clearance section for awesome deals on outers.) The total cost was $250. I would recommend adding it to your baby registry if you want to save money. For the curious, this is my curated baby registry list.

Lastly, Esembly works for most situations. Whether you are at home or away, it isn’t much different from disposable diapers. However, the cloth diapers aren’t as absorbent as disposables. Meaning, if you want your baby to sleep through the night, using disposables in the evenings may be better. Likewise, if you’ll be out of the house for a while with nary a changing table in site, then a disposable diaper will make your child more comfortable. There is always the option of purchasing overnight liners from Esembly which absorbs more. We opted not to go that route and still use disposable diapers part time.

Trying is Better Than Perfect

Let me be the first to say that we aren’t perfect, and Esembly isn’t either. But trying is better than being perfect, so don’t let the caveats stop you. Don’t let perfection get in the way of reducing your landfill contribution, even if its a little bit. Using Esembly half the time still reduces 3,000+ disposable diapers per baby! So give it a go. Their try-it kit is a great place to start.

Esembly is a partner brand for TheDebtist. I try to promote companies that I have tried and love. Whenever I choose to partner, I consider the ethics and values behind the company. This is no different. The thoughts and opinions in this post are mine own, as are the experiences. Thank you for supporting the brands that support my post.

Simple Things: Newborn Clothes

I am staring at a pile of clothes Casey has outgrown. There’s a pang in my heart when I realize he was once so small. He entered our lives only four months ago, but it seems longer. At the same time, how could he grow so fast? Luckily, we acquired all of Casey’s belongings as gifts. A handful were new, but most were hand-me-downs from moms in the area. As I await to pass along Casey’s stuff to the next wave of expecting mothers, a wave of thoughts come to me. Companies produce so many newborn clothes and so many mommas buy them for their little ones. But Casey outgrew his in weeks. (Caveat: Our son is on the taller side and is pulling off 9 month clothing before his 4th month-day.) Regardless, how many newborn clothes does a minimalist momma really need?

I believe ten clothes demarcated with NB is aplenty. We were doing laundry frequently enough that seven might have been enough. A few things to note: we did baby laundry with our own laundry (saves water!). And we hardly experienced blowouts with our re-usable Esembly cloth diapers. I heard that disposable diapers runs the risk of more frequent blowouts. And if you wish to launder baby clothes separately, then you’ve got an argument for more. Still, you don’t need much.

I write this post for a few reasons. If you are a family living in a tiny space, count your lucky stars that 10 onesies will get you by. Alternatively, if you are hoping to stay frugal, then ten newborn clothes is easy to gather for free. If you wish to buy the fanciest attire, you’ll save money in your pocket knowing you only need a couple handfuls. Ultimately, know that whatever path you choose (ten or fifty), you will eventually be where I am at. With a bit of guilt, knowing that he didn’t wear any of them nearly enough while realizing that your child is growing up too fast for you to notice until you’ve got a box of clothes at your feet, ready to depart for someone else’s.

If you want to see what we considered for our baby registry, check out the post below.

Photo by Taisiia Shestopal on Unsplash

Scheduling Around An Infant

I sat down during a miraculous bit of down-time to do my weekly planning. Immediately, I felt a wave of laughter bubble up from the abysmal depths of this tired momma. At the beginning of each week I set aside time to write down my to-dos. At the end of each week, I cross off half of them and pray that I have the wherewithal to address the remaining half NEXT WEEK. It drives me bonkers. There is no schedule around an infant. I always think I have enough time to do something, and then realize that that version of me is long-gone. But the part of me that remains is still fighting to stay alive.

This time of my life has been an interesting combination of what was and what I hope to be. I feel like a floating ghost, in limbo between two alternate universes. Nothing is grounding. Nothing is simple. And certainly, nothing is controlled. It’s like riding waves. At some point, one needs to go limp to avoid being drowned by the tide. “Go with it,” I tell myself. “Stop struggling.” Easier said than done.

So here I am, spending what precious me-time I have, writing down next week’s hopes and dreams. Trying to create a schedule for myself. My goals have dwindled from spewing five blog posts a week to finding time to drink water. My husband tells me I should just take this time to rest. But I can’t rest when I feel unrest. Peace for me is balance and structure, boundaries and predictability. I continue to fight for my space, lest I lose my sanity.

Anyone else?

At least I’ve learned some things. That the house doesn’t burn down if things don’t get checked off. That there is always tomorrow. Others, I have re-learned. Like how sleep reigns supreme. And exercise fixes things. I don’t know how I am staying afloat. My parents, for one. A job I love. My sweet husband. Otherwise, I couldn’t keep on.

Speaking of scheduling, I find that the best method is to simply write a laundry list. Check it off as I please. Forget calendars. There isn’t time to look at those. Perhaps a cursory prioritization each morning also helps. There is only so much time in the day. I’ve missed a few crucial tasks. It’s okay. Life goes on. Be forgiving new mamas. You are doing good , I remind myself.

Look to your social network as a form of wealth.

Money is a form of wealth, but not the only kind. Aside from money, one can be rich in options, rich in autonomy, or rich in security. There can be a wealth of time or freedom. But what I favor most is richness in community, Recently, I have been dissecting the notion of our social network as a form of wealth. More importantly, how can we tap into our social networks in order to thrive and live rich and meaningful lives?

Our Social Network

I am hyper aware of our fortune when it comes to our social network. Mike and my ability to be working parents is facilitated by very present grandparents (on both sides). Where some people need to pay for childcare in order to earn money, we are fortunate to have free help. A full-time nanny in our area costs over $4k per month. That’s $48k that we get to save each year!

We are also lucky enough to have the support of co-workers and friends. We have neighbors that host dinners. We have friends who take Casey off our hands so that we could eat properly. My co-workers welcome Casey in the dental office. They have offered to take turns holding him should I ever need the one-off daycare. My colleagues will cover my shifts if I need to stay home to care for a sick child. And I have autonomy over my schedule. Not only can I choose the days and hours, but also how to organize my patients and treatment. This wouldn’t be possibly without understanding, empathetic and family oriented bosses.

On top of that, we live in a community that embraces sharing resources. Our Buy Nothing group supplied all of Casey’s belongings and Facebook threads run strong as mothers offer taking turns watching kids. We share unused and unwanted pantry items. And we network about which cleaner to use, which landscaper is cheapest, and what the heck HOA is going to do about so-and-so problem. For all of these reasons, Mike and I are rich in non-monetary ways.

Creating a social network

Feeling as if you have the short-end of the social stick? The good news is that you have control over how you structure your social circle. The first time I felt isolation was in January 2019 after our second trip to New Zealand. Having traveled to multiple countries by our second year of marriage, I realized that we lack in America the level of community and strong family ties found elsewhere. I wanted to feel like I belonged to something. This is exactly how I phrased it when I first reached out to Sara at Rye Goods asking to be their morning baker.

Since my return from New Zealand, I emphasized building my community. It was around the same time I heard the saying, ” you are as good as the five people you surround yourself with.” While I truly believe the statement, I also found it limiting. Why can’t you be as good as the one thousand people you surround yourself with? Plus the hundred thousand people that surround them? I found five to be a testament to America’s over-valuation of individuality. I wanted to transcend, not follow.

So I started by baking bread. They taught me how to open a bakery. Which led me to meeting restaurant and coffee shop owners. I started to write down the social history of all my patients, remembering what colleges their kids went to, where they grew up, and what they do for work. Afterwards, I started walking dogs. I met neighbors and friends who informed me of programs and groups in our local area. I joined our community workout classes.

Eventually, the people I met started to intersect. As my social network grew bigger, the world grew smaller.

Creating a social network isn’t hard work. But it definitely takes practice and intention. I moved ten times before high school, so meeting people isn’t something new to me. My best tip is to be genuinely invested in being an asset to other people. Come from a place of service and friendship, rather than trying to figure out ways in which they can help you. The latter kind of just falls into place.

On top of that, I made life choices that are aligned with my goal of prioritizing community. I never strayed far from family, choosing to live close to my parents and home. I also act as the communicator and organizer for my social circles. And I tend to connect people from different groups. In essence, instead of isolating, I try to surround.

Tapping Into Your Social Network

It takes practice tapping into a social network. Here are a few ways to benefit from people around you.

  • Finding job opportunities.
  • Finding service recommendations.
  • Asking to borrow things you need.
  • Getting a sitter for the kids.
  • Pulling resources for a project.
  • Searching for advice.
  • Looking for a new home.
  • Learning a hobby.
  • Inheriting hand-me-downs.
  • Getting coverage at work.
  • Getting monetary help.
  • Hearing about good deals.
  • And more!

Some people chase money alone, hoping to get rich and accumulate wealth. But we attain that status much quicker if we have a vibrant community. Don’t forget about building good rapport with those around you. It’s just as important as building your career.

Photo by youssef naddam on Unsplash

Living with Parents is Underrated: How Cohabiting with Grandparents is Harboring a Healthy Lifestyle for our New Family

It wasn’t in the plan for us to move in with my parents. But what I realized these last few weeks of living with mom and dad is that independence is over-valued in this country. Individualism is lacking the benefits community has to offer. And living with grandparents is soooooo underrated. Despite having help from both my parents and Mike’s dad, we are still barely making it happen. I cannot imagine what it would be like going at this alone. Cohabiting with my parents is giving everyone involved (us, our parents and Casey) a healthy, happy, and fruitful lifestyle. And while it won’t last long, I am grateful we all had the opportunity to experience Casey’s first few months together.

We planned to set family boundaries.

Before Casey was born, we talked about not burdening our parents with childcare. But during our leave, we decided to buy a new-build home and sell our current townhome. We were blessed to get multiple offers after the first weekend, something we were NOT expecting. This put our living situation in limbo. Our new home wasn’t going to be finished until two months after the closing date of our townhome. My parents immediately opened their doors to us. From the bottom of my heart, it was the best gift providence gave.

As new parents, we talked endlessly about setting boundaries. We planned to have visitation hours in order to protect our family unit. I was carrying around the traumas from childhood that every child experiences. I didn’t want to translate those traumas to the next generation. I wanted us to start our family on a new (and better) foundation. We planned to build walls but I am so glad I was forced to break them down.

It has been an eye-opening experience to realize that they respect our wishes for raising Casey. This was an opportunity for me to heal from the scars of the trauma I received in my childhood. In essence, I realized that they were doing their best, and that this sh*t is HARD WORK. I will be the first to say that I was wrong. Now, I am so happy that we bought a home close to my parents. A five minute walk is all it takes to be at each-other’s front door.

It Takes A Village to Raise a Child

Nothing prepares you for the amount of work it takes to raise a child. Despite the warnings, books and advice, the experience cannot be summed up in words. I distinctly remember asking everyone during the first few weeks of motherhood how they managed to raise children. I was shocked by their answers:

  • Mike’s parents both went back to work, so his grandma was the one to raise Mike and his sister. At the time, his mom was living with her parents.
  • Mike’s aunt had her mother AND mother-in-law move in with her during the first month after giving birth.
  • My mom had two brothers living with her and the help of a nanny. My mom’s sister was at the hospital with her when I was born.
  • My friend Alex was living with her parents for 3 months, and then hired a full time nanny when she went back to work.

I compare these stories to our friends who have no family close by. In these instances, one parent went back to work while the other one stayed at home.

Living with my parents has been great for everybody. We take turns cooking dinner for the group, washing dishes, and cleaning the house. Four hands is better than two, and someone is available to give their full attention to Casey at all times. We share grocery lists so that one couple can shop at Albertsons while the other makes a Costco run. This saves us time and energy. Mom and dad manage the electricity bills, and I manage the cleaner. Plus it’s cute to see both grandfathers tag-teaming diaper changes.

Because of my parents, Mike and I can work. We have time to exercise and go out on dates (just us two!). Don’t get me wrong, it is still no walk in the park. I no longer write or read as much as I want to. I’ve given up walking dogs and baking bread. We are still tired at night. Yet we get to keep parts of ourselves that we could never have time for without help. Meanwhile, Casey is growing up with grandparents in his life, which means more people he can turn to and rely on.

All of this to say, we are not meant to raise children alone. We are not meant to fill eight different roles at the same time, all the time, every day, for years. I hope we as a society move towards community. I hope young people embrace connectivity and welcome people into their home. Accepting this idea of sharing really makes for a much easier life.