Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why I Live In My Parents Basement

July 19, 2011
A relatively young woman, Maile, sits on the edge of her bathroom counter. She stares impatiently at a pregnancy test in her hand. Gradually two pink lines appear in the tiny window. Maile cries.  

Surprise, Maile & Eric. You're going to be parents.

But...but...we just got married a year...I, I mean, of course I know HOW, can't...we can't...

Spit it out already!

This wasn't planned. 

Too damn bad.


I don't really understand why I was so shocked. It's not like the story of the stork showing up on your doorstep is actually true. Everyone knows how they made a baby. Unless your abstaining, life will find a way if it wants to even if you are super careful and take double, even triple, measures to prevent it. 

But I was shocked.

After the initial shock wore off the excitement started. I'd been doing research on birthing, parenting styles, breastfeeding, and all things child rearing for about 5 years. Eric & I knew exactly how we were going to do things.

Since Eric was still in school, I figured I'd work full time, and he'd be at home with the little one except when he was in class. Since we planned on bedsharing, our one bedroom apartment was perfect for at least one year after the baby was born. We'd get Eric through school and take life one step at a time.

When Izzy arrived on April 1st, 2012 at 3:39am, our plans of me working full time and balancing our schedules and an attachment parenting-style nanny and one bedroom apartments and Seattle all seemed...well, irrelevant. Suddenly there was this perfect little person, this brand new being, laying on my chest looking at us. And with one blink of her eyes, all my best laid plans began melting away. 

The next 4 months brought major changes: we moved back to Spokane and into my parent's basement (not that we are roughing it. This is one nice basement). Eric applied to a new school in Spokane. I reduced my hours at work to 32/week and attempted to work outside the home. After a grueling month trying to figure out how to get my daughter to take a bottle, I went down to a very part-time/on-call position. Eric found work full time and toyed with taking a year or so off from school.

And at the center of all of it: Izzy. 

The thought of leaving Izzy with anyone but Eric was heart wrenching. Even just with Eric was hard enough, and I spent majority of my days, from morning to night, fighting back tears that I had to leave her at all. I couldn't do it. And when I did I was ultimately called home by Eric because Izzy was melting down and hungry and tired. And so was Eric. 

Izzy has never taken a bottle. All attempts have led to complete meltdowns from all three of us. Part of this is because she loves to nurse so much. But another part of it is that I have high lipase in my milk. It goes bad within a couple hours out of the body so I was having to scald my milk before putting it in the fridge or freezer. I hated it because it reduced the nutritional value of it, and I think Izzy hated it because it made my milk taste different. Trying to get her to take a bottle reminded me of when we used to break our horses in for riding: I was breaking in my daughter.

And that was the end of that. I knew working outside the home was not going to work for us. At least, not in the near future.

So, here I am. I'm a 30-year old married mother of one with a Bachelor's in Film and almost 7 years with a company I'm valued at. 
And I'm flat broke and living in my parents basement in my room I had in high school. 

I guess I take solace in the fact it's by choice. We did this for Izzy. And maybe that's why I started Attached In A Basement. Maybe it helps me justify our newly found struggle to pay bills, having no health insurance, and not knowing our plan beyond the next two weeks. 

But we're happy. Izzy's happy. And that's really all that matters.


  1. I love you Miss Maile and I am so proud of you guys!! <3 Ashlee

  2. Maile I love this! Your words are genuine and filled with passion. I'm so excited for you and yor family. Izzy is one lucky babe

  3. I miss you so much. Keep writing. I'll keep reading.