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Say Hello to Jenny!

jenny oldenburg memphis moms blog contributor

Hello! I’m Jenny. I’m a native Memphian and except for a short stint in the sticks of Mississippi I’ve lived in Memphis my entire life. Despite this, I have no idea where anything is and still get turned around every time I need to go to the airport.

In my twenties I got a job doing manual labor on the night shift at United Parcel Service. The work was hard and dirty, but the benefits were excellent. More importantly, it’s where I met my husband, Jason. We bonded over our love of Halloween and bad jokes but it was when I discovered he could juggle that I really started to fall for him. He also shares my terrible sense of direction, so a lot of our adventures involve scrambling for the GPS as we get off at the wrong exit. It’s also why, after over a decade each at UPS, neither of us drove the big brown truck. Who knows where your packages would end up?!

In 2010 we were married. Two years later we had two dogs and our own home and decided we wanted to add a baby to the mix. After a year and a half of no success we were told we were “sub-fertile.”  The good news was, Jason just needed a teensy little surgery and within three to six months our odds might improve. Dejected, we chose to take a break from trying to conceive, took in a foster dog (because I needed something small and cute to care for) and sent Jason under the knife.

Exactly one month later we discovered I was already pregnant. Oops.

In July of 2014 we welcomed our daughter Calliope to the world. Within seconds of being left alone with her for the first time she threw up, soaking herself and the little hospital bassinet she was lying in. Jason and I both froze.  In that moment we realized that 1) we were really for real parents now and 2) we had no idea what we were doing. Together we muddled through that very first crisis and we’ve pretty much been muddling through parenthood ever since.

Exhibit A: She is wearing socks on her hands.
Exhibit A: She is wearing socks on her hands.

I quit UPS to stay home with Calliope and was disappointed when this did not magically turn me into a domestic goddess. Even after nearly two years I’m still finding my footing as a stay-at-home mom. But I haven’t given up on the dream! I am constantly decluttering/rearranging my home and experimenting with my routine in search of the perfect system that will keep everyone clean and happy all the time with little effort on my part. When I figure it out I’ll let you know.

When my daughter was ten months old, I was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder, which explained a lot about how I was handling the transition to motherhood. That is, not all that well. With support from my husband and a good therapist, I’ve come a long way but I still have a long way to go. I am definitely enjoying motherhood a lot more now that I’m working on my anxiety. It’s incredible to watch this little girl grow and learn and I’m glad I got the help I needed to be able to enjoy it.

And then she walked straight into the ocean.
And then she walked straight into the ocean.

When I have spare time, I use it to write short fiction and work on my novel (which has been almost done for several years now) and every November I participate in National Novel Writing Month, which has helped me generate some of my best (and worst) work. I love dogs and volunteer with Streetdog Foundation, one of the many organizations dedicated to helping homeless pets in the Memphis area. My favorite holiday is Halloween and every year Jason and I put on an elaborate display in our front yard.  I’ve dabbled in all sorts of domestic arts and crafts from knitting to sewing to gardening to paper making. I’m not very good at most of them, but I have a good time trying!

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