Category Archives: Mothering

All things Charlotte.

Call me a selfish mom…

We all know having kids is tough; this is not breaking news. We also know that having a toddler is like a having a miniature dictator who lives off cheerios and boob milk. At least in my experience.

I am sure a large quantity of moms also know how intense raising small kids can be when you have anxiety. This is also not breaking news.

I never anticipated how much having Charlotte would trigger my anxiety. Or maybe it amplifies it and exposes me to my triggers on a more regular basis. Whatever. It isn’t a picnic most days of the week.

I am not a fan of hanging out with strangers making small talk in mommy groups. I don’t enjoy small talk as it is but talking to strangers in general causes me anxiety. I take Charlotte places often, so there are a fair amount of times that I am thrust into situations that trigger that social anxiety I am prone to experience.

So I have to do things to care for myself, and protect myself and my family from the ugly anxiety fueled crazy bitch that can manifest herself from time to time. Lessen the frequency.

I do things like work out. Yoga and running, to be specific. I love a good long run that ends in a sweaty shirt and messed up hair. It is like my trophy. A pat on the back, or a ‘that a girl’. And yoga helps me not only handle the pain from my herniated disc, it also allows me to stop and breathe.

I take baths. I love them. The hotter, the more bubbles, the better. Set that music on a relaxing station and leave me the fuck alone for a couple of hours. I also use this as my Pinterest time. A good long soak is also therapy for my back.

I also do things like get massages. I can use the back pain reason here too. Hard, deep massages help relieve the pain caused by the disc and caused by toting my 22 lb baby around as well as other babies of various size around all day. It gets difficult, let alone with back issues before hand. So massages help me feel better. I love a great massage. I cannot stress this enough. My massage therapist went to town on my ass last time and I drooled it felt so fucking good.

The list doesn’t stop there people. I get waxed. I get manicures and pedicures too. I don’t always get to do all these things on what you would describe as a regular basis, but I get them done enough that it helps maintain my sanity and makes me feel pretty.

I am a person who is low maintainance on the day-to-day but high maintainance in general. I have come to grips with this. My husband has come to grips with this. I won’t put us debt to get these things done. I won’t charge multiple massages in the sake of my ‘maintaining my mental and physical health’. I will however work for it and sure the hell enjoy it when the opportunity strikes.

Perhaps it shows that I am little defensive about this. I am sure it is from the guilt I used to carry every time I went out and did something for myself. I felt guilty spending money on myself. I would feel so selfish leaving the house and my leaving my husband in charge to figure things out. Even though he is more than capable, and her FATHER, I would feel like I was putting him out. I would hide behind the notion that I deserved it, but inside I was battling my own thoughts. I would certainly not be relaxing at all when I supposed to be. Wasting my time and my money.

Why did I view these things as “selfish”? I didn’t think of them before as such before I get married and had a baby. Spending time doing things like running and yoga and spending money doing things like getting pedicures and massages, all things I did before charlotte arrived, just left me feeling guilty now. I quit doing stuff for a while to save money and lost my interest in working out. The stress was getting to be too much. The anxiety was weighing me down. I thought I was handling it all pretty well, but the balancing act with little to no outlet for the stress and no privacy in the new apartment was starting to reflect in weight loss, over agitation and trouble sleeping. Which then started teetering on depression.

I saw my doctor, had a good chat and got some new tools to work with. Starting a new medicine helped me regain focus.

I started to realize that if mommy wasn’t happy, nobody was happy. I know this old saying is just that, old. But here in my house, in my world, this statement holds water. I am sort of the glue that holds that shit together. I know this, Chris knows it, our toddler knows it. This is not arrogance, this is a mom of a young toddler, in her thirties talking. I keep it together around here. So investing in myself and taking some time to do things that make me happy is a good thing.

I am setting a good example for my daughter. I am teaching her that doing the things that keep you afloat in life doesn’t make you a bad person, or selfish. At least not in my book. It’s call preventative health, it’s called self-preservation, it’s called therapy, it’s called me-time, a hobby… label it what you want, it’s a vital part of life.

Life creates stress, no way around it. You have to manage that in a healthy way. The running, yoga, nail and hair maintenance and massages from Sarah keep this anxiety-filled, back-pain having mom’s head above water. And my nails looks good, too.

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One month down, five to go…

So,  I realize how fortunate we are being able to have a new house built. A home that we create and design together. A home that we are proud of. It is a great opportunity and I am so excited about it.

But I am allowed to be annoyed during the process. I am only human. Going from a modest 4 bedroom home with a backyard to a two bedroom small apartment with porch has been an adjustment.

For some of us.

Chris gets up at 5 am to use the gym here so that he can get to Starbucks by 7 to work remotely. They recognize my daughter at this point. I should note that his normal time before we moved was 5:30, so the adjustment has been awful for him.

I have used the gym once.

My main issue with living in the apartment is that I get absolutely no privacy. NONE. I can’t hide anywhere. If she is awake for the day and I want to sleep in because daddy is home, forget about it. She could give two fucks about my need to get extra sleep or need to pee alone for that matter.

The month of September also brought a new side of Charlotte. A dark side. One that hits people and things, screams at the top of her lungs, flings herself around, cries, throws things and repeats “no” as if she is stuck on repeat. I heard this wasn’t supposed to happen until March of next year. I told her to get it together. So she hit me. We are in negotiations.

She has endured multiple injuries in the short time we have lived here. Mostly because we have tried to cram most of our furniture in this apartment. Also, see above mentioned behavior. Her poor little face is bruised and I had to explain the Doc Mcstuffins band-aide on her forehead to the pediatrician at her 18-month check-up today. Awesome parent moment.

I have mostly lost my desire to cook. The kitchen is disorganized and tiny. I am too lazy to put any real effort into managing the kitchen and organizing it. I use the short stay as my crutch. So meals are always simple, sometimes pre-made (yes, judge me) or take-out. I just can’t find motivation to cook. Which makes me a little sad, because cooking is always a little therapeutic for me.

Another fun fact I have recently learned is that by being the primary grocery shopper I get to carry all the groceries AND the toddler/crap upstairs every week. But hey, that’s a work-out so whatever.

Walking the dog with a toddler in the rain can be added to the list of shit I am getting used to.

Monday through Wednesday takes a toll on me. Watching other people’s kids during those days in addition to my own monster, I mean strong-willed toddler, has an a pretty big effect on me. Plus she is teething currently and since I can’t hide from her in this apartment she basically lives on me. So by friday I am a walking zombie. She can also see the park from our apartment door so when we go on walks with the dog if she is feeling so inclined, she just starts walking that way. She also likes holding the dog leash and it is too cute to take away from her, so one friday I found myself at the park, in my pajamas at somewhere around 9:30 in the morning. I am pretty sure I didn’t even finish one of my morning cups of coffee. It’s easier to go with it I have found. Sort of like ‘play dead’ so she takes it easy on me. So we I went to the park, in my pajamas and played with her.

I know one thing my husband would say he is not enjoying about apartment life is the money I spend doing stuff that will keep me out of the house. I have to leave sometimes, for hours, to reset. So what kinds of things can I do: pedicures, manicures, massages, shopping, coffee. The way I see it, I am stuck in this apartment for 3 days with watching other people’s babies and parenting mine. I earn some money and my sanity is vital to this family. I enjoy those things and they help me stay afloat.

During the first month of this little adventure, we decided to rid ourselves of cable. We have broadened our knowledge to other options and now have a Roku. Love it. So naturally I started binge watching shows like Weeds, Orange is the New Black and the season I missed of American Horror Story. Which has definitely worked against me as far as blog productivity. I am actually trying to multi-task right now and watch Weeds. I just started it over.

I wonder what the next five months will have in store for us. I hope the fact that every month from now until we are scheduled to move in has a holiday to celebrate will help.

I hope I get to use the gym more.

 

 

 

The Awkward Shit that Happens to ‘Mature’ Moms at Target

The other day, while shopping at Target, I was a party to an awkward situation. I say a party to because those teenage girls could have been just as mortified as I was while browsing the 5 for 20 underwear bins. I doubt it. I am sure it was more along the lines of embarrassment. For me, that is.

Insult to injury, I had just arrived at Target and had made a quick bee-line to the lady’s section because I had my daughter in tow and everyone knows you do your most important shopping first. Because toddlers. An embarrassing side note to this horrific event is that I have not bought underwear since I bought the lovely package of underwear I rocked through out my pregnancy and post-pregnancy. I have been in need for quite some time and the husband reminded me of that while I was getting dressed. So it needed to be taken care of.

I am browsing the options when I overhear girly chatter the next aisle over. “Oh my god, I love these! I have these in black too!”

“Oh I know, these are so cute!”

I was pretty impressed by the selections as well, so I am nodding along in a agreement. Then I turn the corner and realize I was smiling and nodding along to teenage girls discussing the thongs they like. What. The. Fuck. I am looking to buy the same thongs that a fifteen-year-old girl is wearing and imagining my husband’s reaction to my pretty new panties that don’t have chunky waist bands. Nice. So naturally I put everything back, and did all my other shopping and came back when the coast was clear. Like any other 30-something mom would do.

That got me thinking. This is not first awkward situation that has occurred at Target or related to Target since I became a mom. It can’t just be my luck either, I am pretty sure these exact situations are occurring around the world to other moms. Even as I type this!

Check all that apply:

1. Showing up to do some shopping wearing last year’s must haves.

2. Having the same article of clothing on as a one of the Target mannequins. And winning the ‘Who Wore it Worst’ award.

3. Showing up to something wearing the same thing as another mom. Yup, my daughter’s first birthday. You know who you are!

4. Nursing your wee one in one of the changing rooms and overhearing something you probably weren’t supposed to. I know all about what you did at that party young lady!

5. My favorite, the underwear situation. Which ultimately opened my eyes to the fact that my sweet little girl might one day be a teenager shopping for thongs, at Target, with her friends. Gross.

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7 Things I Miss about my Pre-Baby Life

 

Let’s just jump right into it! Because, free time is an oddity. Which starts us off:

1. Free time. I remember once upon a time I complained, quite frequently, about being bored. What the fuck was wrong with me. I could have written like 1,500 post, gotten like 500 pedicures, or read at least 100 books (I am a slow reader who often has to read 1 page 10 times because I got sidetracked).

2. Having unscheduled sex with my husband. It still happens on occasion, but mostly we have to schedule “date nights.” Which in parent speak, means I need a tune-up.

3. Cussing like the goddamn Sailor I was. I still have quite the fowl mouth, but I have made progress. I miss letting those words fly out of my mouth was such speed and velocity that anyone in a 15-foot vicinity could catch my drift. I am tired of going pee-pee or poo-poo. I want to take a shit and I want to be able to describe the level at which I need to pee, like a fucking race horse.

4. Sunday brunch. Yes I know that Sunday brunch still happens all around the world and that I could go, but the days of endless mimosas followed by lazy naps are long gone. At least for the foreseeable future. Now when we do brunch, there is no endless mimosas due to breastfeeding and having to drive precious cargo. There is no sitting and gossiping about the weekend’s drama with friends over greasy food and booze. There is however chasing a toddler, getting embarrassed when the tantrums start and shoving food in as fast as possible so we can GO! Naps are also replaced with a hectic ride home because brunch is over right around the time that the nap time emotional meltdowns start. So yea, no more brunch.

5. Not being addicted to coffee. I am coffee’s bitch and I don’t even remember my life without it. But I do remember a time when I could skip that second cup and not have a strong desire to run away by 9 a.m. I remember a time when 3 p.m rolled around and I didn’t have a splitting headache caused from caffeine withdrawal because somehow I was too busy to even remember to make it. How do you adult without coffee? I have no idea, but I think I used to do it.

6. Being able to finish a movie in one sitting. In the 17-months since my daughter was born, I have yet to finish a whole movie in one sitting. I will get caught up doing something else, or I will fall asleep. Every. Damn. Time. So yea, the desired effect was not achieved when trying to watch 5o Shades of Gray.

7. Getting everything knocked out in one shower. You know, being able to shave you entire leg, both of them, both armpits, any other areas, wash/condition hair, wash you face… a real shower. On a Tuesday! Now, that was the goddamn life.

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Girls: Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice?

When I was pregnant, I joked that I was having a girl because only a girl would cause this much drama. I was referring to my all day morning sickness. My hunch was correct and unfortunately the drama continued well into my second trimester.

Charlotte and Bug

I am not very ‘girly’ by nature. I would surely be classified as a tomboy growing up. I think I pretty much wore t-shirts, jeans and flip-flops or boots until I was like 23 years-old. I wear minimal make-up and choose comfort over fashion. I do enjoy the few staples of nice jewelry I am fortunate to have and I do have a love for shoes. I have lots of shoes and probably equal amounts between heels and flats. I do like to dress up, but even then my choice in clothes are on the side of comfortable and what I feel looks flattering on me.

Wind
She does not like things on her hands.

I have a theory of how I got here. My mom loved make-up, nails, fashionable clothes and jewelry. And hairspray. In elementary school, I have memories of her putting rubber bands in my sweater sleeves to keep them from rolling up, or down. or at all. I had my first perm before I was 12 and probably started getting acrylic nails around the same time. Every little girl wants to do what her mommy does, so I am sure I was pumped to be getting all the glam done and excited when I get a complete set of Mary Kay face care products for my 12th birthday. I think I eventually started feeling like it was a chore and not fun anymore.

I didn’t want to do that to my daughter. Also, my love of psychology encouraged me to see how nature versus nurture played out here. I wanted to watch her personally emerge and let her decide what kinds of things she enjoyed. The opposite of my childhood.

 

I made it pretty clear that while I liked pink, I did not want a ton of it and would prefer gender neutral colors. Of course I still got mountains of pink because people think pink when shopping for baby girls. But overall, we managed to keep her in pretty gender neutral colors and had bought the same kind of toys. She was confused for boy almost every time we left the house, even with bows and burettes in hair. The fashion popular for little girls here in South Carolina is very different from what I like.

Shocking to most, we have yet to include a tutu to her wardrobe.

Love Her
She loves pigtails. And skirts.

Those days may be behind us though. She tried on a tutu during a play date the other day and lit up like a Christmas tree. She loves her skirts and she loves bright colors. She has also learned to do a cute little twirl when she is wearing something she really likes.

Wind 2
And she loves bugs and dirt.

She sits down for me to do her hair, mostly, and runs to the nearest mirror in daddy’s room to see her hair and then promptly show her daddy. My heart melts every freakin’ time.

Sweet Charlotte
Sweet Charlotte
with all my sass
with all my sass
Just kidding mommy, here is your lens cap.
Just kidding mommy, here is your lens cap.

She also loves to be outside playing, doesn’t mind getting dirty and likes to build forts and ‘work-out’ with mommy. Even with all the gray outfits and gender neutral toys, our little princess emerged on her own.

Baby 2

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Things they don’t teach you in parenting class

When the glitter wears off of your first-born and you have had real-time to assess the situation, facing reality can be ugly. I have to say I considered myself well prepared for motherhood, I mean about as ready as anyone can be. I was 32, had hands-on experience with my sisters when they were babies since we have a 17 and 15 year age difference, I attended every recommended class and read all the damn books and articles I could get my chubby pregnant hands on.

Once the dust settled though, you realize that there are some pretty big chunks missing from those parenting classes. Maybe because some of it falls into the category of common sense and perhaps because some of it is situational. I can’t be sure. But I suspect an updating might be in order.

Maybe it’s me, but I think we could have skipped the diaper practice and perhaps skimmed over lopsided tits or how a onsie can be correctly removed when cleaning a massive blowout instead of how many men in the class can correctly put a diaper on an unrealistic doll under pressure for a fun size Snickers. I am sure a large percentage of the class, predominantly those with breast, know how to change a diaper and am positive they can teach it to their partner if for some reason they cannot figure it out on their own throughout the course of that child’s life.

Here is a quick list of things I sure wish we discussed in at least one of the classes or countless appointments I attended.

1. There is no “getting your old body back.” Once you have grown a human being in your body it is forever changed. Your hormones may go back to normal and you may even get back down to the same weight, but your body is not the same on inside after you carry a baby and it won’t look the same on the outside. I apparently sacrificed my ass and now get migraines.

2. If you breastfeed, your tits will be lopsided at some point. Well maybe I shouldn’t generalize. If your normal breast size on the smaller size, your tits will be lopsided at some point. Everyone has a champion milk producer. Mine is my right, and by the end of the day poor leftie just looks defeated. And tired. The poor thing.

3. Sex is different after kids, and I am not just referring to the fact that it is mostly hurried sex.

4. Everyone is an expert, except you. You already know you will receive an unnerving amount of unsolicited advice. And mostly you don’t mind, some you actually appreciate receiving. But mostly the tone you receive is that they are the expert because they produced life before you and no matter what you think you know or learned in school doesn’t really measure up. Once you accept this, you can move on.

5. Kids have personalities and everything you thought you knew before hand is pretty much null and void. Unless you are some sort of medium or something, you are meeting your kid for the first time in the delivery room. Sometimes your parenting plan doesn’t work out. I would dare say most of the time. At the minimum, you can expect to make some alterations to your parenting plan. Daily alterations. Sometimes hourly.

6. Sometimes pumping milk is a challenge. I can sit there for an hour with my premium grade Modela pump and get mere ounces will my friend pumps bottle full. I am quite sure there is an explanation for this phenomena but I failed to hear it in any class or follow-up doctor’s appointments, and as a new mom I was unaware that maybe I should ask.

7. Surrounding yourself with a mom village is so important in those first years. Having babies means more time home and more time at home means less time with friends and family so slipping into a depression or feeling lonely in common. It is pretty well accepted that being a mom is the hardest job you will have, so having like-minded moms you can lean on is oh so important.

8. Educating yourself is important. Times have changed, advances have been made and information is more available than ever. I am baffled by parents who do not use the tools available to them. I am most certainly not saying “google” everything, but knowledge is power in every other avenue in our life, why do we not include parenting? Go to websites, books and local groups should be included in the information packet you get during your hospital discharge.

9. Onsies fold down from the shoulders. You may know this. I did not. If you don’t, you’re welcome.

 

What Holidays Mean After Kids

it I realize that some small kids are just gems when they are out in public. They are quiet, responsive and respectful of people. Some small kids can go grocery shopping without crying or losing a shoe. And most kids can make it through the check-out line without screaming bloody murder when the cashier says hello or makes eye contact for too long.

Well, after 15 months I have come to the conclusion that I don’t have that kid.

No, my sweet daughter is very particular with how she spends her time outside the house. If she is not having fun doing whatever it is we need to do, then she is over it in about 15 minutes.

So, she is not a huge fan of shopping or eating out and she sure as hell does not have time for anything outside the house after 7 pm.

But, like most new parents we try every time. Every damn time.

I have started finding it a little amusing when people ask me what our big plans are for the holiday weekend or asking what we did after the fact. Because reality is, we have taken our first-born to something fun on every holiday and it has bombed in some way every time. The only time we considered  it a “success” was Easter, and she cried all the way home because she was exhausted.

So in normal fashion, we dressed in our festive attire and found something family friendly to do on the Fourth of July. On Saturday we had a big breakfast together, then I toted her around the grocery store, followed by the pool and then finally to a festival with activities for kids. She hated it all except the grocery store and that was because she rode around in the kid’s car shopping cart. I am unclear as to why I have never used that damn cart before. Or as to why they only have 3.

We were at the festival for about 40 minutes before calling it quits. It took longer to drive there and park. During that time we walked around the grounds with her pointing at everything, dancing, singing, trying to get her to run around, trying to get her to eat either french fries, ice cream or her favorite food, yogurt. Nothing worked for her, she was not getting jazzed about anything. Part of me didn’t blame her either. It was hot, loud and not much she could really get into.
Fourth of July

 

We ran into another couple with the same attitude about celebrating the holiday with a toddler during our brief attempts to eat. Coincidentally we found ourselves walking to our prospective cars at the same time.

I suppose we keep trying because we think it will enrich her childhood somehow. And maybe a little part of us still thinks ‘it could be fun.’

July Fourth with Dad

So that is how my holiday weekend pretty much went.

Breaking News: Step-parents Matter

I think one of the most challenging things someone can do is to take on the responsibilities of someone else’s child. Becoming a step-parent is a big deal, and should be treated as such. I mean, I don’t think I am alone in thinking that. Having a child of your own is a big decision and responsibility, so taking on the responsibility of a child that is not your own is definitely a big deal.

Kids are hard, and often the ones we share DNA with are a challenge to handle. So I can only imagine what it must be like to handle a step-child. Add on factors such as rocky relationships between biological parents, distance between parents, difference in parenting styles among parents, siblings… I mean the list can go on.

Blended families are a dime a dozen now; the Brady Bunch is no long a novelty. So people are faced with the decision to not only get married, but to become a step-parent pretty frequently in today’s society. I don’t feel like it is really ‘taboo’ to get divorced and remarried. I joke about starter marriages all the time. As a matter of fact, I am a member of that club, since 2003. Or 2002, I forget now. I was a baby bride.

Anyway, my point is this. Getting remarried often means blended family. Children are hard to hide, so a potential spouse has to know that children are a part of the package. So why are there still step-parents that are ass hats? If you hate the prospective spouses kids, why would you take them on to be your own? If you can’t handle all the kid(s), have issues with the kid(s), or just don’t want the added responsibility, why go forth?

The relationship parents have with their kids is important; this is not breaking news. Step-parents are important and the relationship they have with their step-children matters. Not to go too far off on a rant, the rocky relationships I have had with my own step-parents has greatly impacted who I am today.  

I just don’t understand it, to put it simply. I just don’t understand committing to someone who has a child or children and being a terrible step-parent to them as if they don’t matter. I know there has to be a period of adjustment, so I can see how it isn’t rainbows and butterflies right off the bat. But a continuously shitty step-parent with zero desire the work on it is something I can’t get on board with, or understand for that matter.

Why commit to that person. Is it with the assumption that you won’t really have much interaction with the step-child so it doesn’t really matter? Unless they are 17 going on 18 and moving out, I don’t see who that is valid thinking.

I just believe that all kids matter and how you treat them greatly impacts who they become.

Is this one of those ‘walk a mile in my shoe’ type things?

 

 

Kids get boo-boos, and other reasons moms have to toughen up.

If you are like me, you treasured the soft, new skin of your first baby. I spent the first few hours of her life just touching her. Her feet, hands, head… all so delicious. And if you are like me, you were quite the pansy before your first kid. Of course, you didn’t know it and would never have described yourself as such. I was a STRONG Navy chick before hand with a very real anxiety about giving blood and the dentist. I had never had any major surgery or even a cavity. I was a strong, independent pansy.

Sadly, that delicious new baby skin doesn’t last forever. I knew this, so I prolonged it as long as I could. I remember around 7 or 8 months when she was scooting around in her walker thinking that the days of her super soft feet were numbered; my heart sank. Right around that time the cute little topple overs were replaced with actual knocks to the noggin, so I didn’t have much time to dwell on it. Once they become mobile, mayhem follows, and thus the boo-boos.

The first time any real blood came from my child, she fell face first and her tooth cut the inside of her lip. Blood dripped down her chin as she wailed, tears streaming down her chubby face. I panicked and started crying too, cursing the toy and the carpet for hurting my sweet baby girl. Blood has always made me uncomfortable on top of that.

The boo-boos are coming about once a week now. Sometimes multiple times a day depending on her level of temper tantrums that day. Around 15 months your cute, chubby little cherub is long gone and now you wake up to a demanding, unrelenting busy body. And if your toddler is like my toddler, running, climbing, thrashing and ‘hiding’ are just daily activities that keep you adding Band-Aids to your shopping list.

Band-Aide

When my daughter tripped and scraped her knee yesterday while we were out running errands and I handled without even thinking twice, focusing more on losing time rather than the blood gathering on her poor one-year-old knee. She gripped her knee for a couple of seconds, shed a few tears and was off again in under a minute. That got me thinking, when did I become numb to blood? When did I start handling cuts and scrapes without tears and curse words?

Charlotte Booboo

I am not sure when the actual moment occurred, but it did. I suspect it was a gradual progression of toughening up… but when you carry the title of mom it happens inevitably.

More reasons I believe moms toughen up are as follows:

All the poking a prodding we endure during the lovely phase of motherhood known as pregnancy.

Enduring pregnancy symptoms such as constant barfing, migraines, insane fatigue, peeing every 15 minutes and hormone imbalance all while trying to function day-to-day.

Cavities that follow pregnancy.

Surviving teething.

Having two to three forms of bodily fluids on you (that are not your own) is your daily reality.

Functioning on very little sleep over a long spectrum of time. Perhaps you’re not always performing at a 100%, but you are indeed functioning.

 

This is just a short-list people, I could keep going. What reason would you add to the list of reasons moms toughen up?

 

It’s ok to be Grateful and Miserable at the Same Time

One of the first things everyone tells you when you have your first baby is to enjoy every minute because it goes quickly. You get tired of hearing it before the baby comes and then after they are here it is the one piece of advice that you try the hardest to remember. It does go by fast, but it can also feel Groundhog’s Day. You know what I mean.

Some days it is so hard to find the energy or the patience to mother. Babies require constant around-the-clock hands-on care and on some days you can’t even muster the will power to put big girl pants on. On those days, you especially feel the pressure to enjoy all the moments, dammit.

Right now we are in the midst of teething, so when she is clinging to my leg like a dryer sheet while I try to do the dishes and I feel absolutely miserable I can’t fix it, I have to remind myself it is all a phase and will pass. For some reason her little face from that angle, all pouty, gets me in the gut every time. And she must know it, because when she is in a mood, her to go-to method is to cling to mom for dear life. Especially if I am at the sink. Or stove. Or standing, ok, more like if I am standing. You get the point. It is easy to feel miserable in the moment. You can’t help it. Those are the times the guilt of feeling miserable can get to you.

After all, what do I have to complain about? I have a healthy, happy, smart one-year old and our needs are met and then some. If you are like me, sometimes I struggle with being grateful and miserable. It breaks my heart to watch people I know well struggle with even conceiving a baby; yet, some days I can’t get out the door and away from the house fast enough.

Mothering is hard work. And I only have the one kid, so kudos the those with multiples! It is easy to get overwhelmed by it all and fall into the miserable category a time or two, we are all human. Being grateful and miserable go hand-in-hand in the world of parenting.