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Mommy Hobbies

Initially, this was planned to be one post. But after I began writing, I realized that I was rambling far too much to fit everything in. So, this is part one of a two part post. Enjoy this first piece, called Mommy Hobbies and stay tuned for part two, Why Moms Don’t Need Gym Memberships.

Before having a baby, I had a life. I had hobbies that didn’t include playing with toys. After seeing some of the shit that I can build with Legos and Play-Doh, I know that’s pretty shocking. You’d think I’d been perfecting these skills my entire life. But surprisingly, in my childless days, I spent my free time doing adult things like shopping, reading, drinking wine, and running.

One of the things I miss most about the freedom of pre-parenthood life is my gym membership. After work, my husband and I would meet at the gym and spend an hour and a half working off all of the cocktails and fancy dinners that we enjoyed indulging in on the weekends (and sometimes, on the week days, too). Exercising is something that has always been important to me. I enjoy living an active lifestyle and I love the feeling after a really kick ass session in the gym. I’ve always played sports and working out is a great way to relieve stress and stay healthy.

In 2011, my husband got me a new membership to the gym for my birthday. I know, some women might take that offensively, but I loved the gym and they offered some awesome classes that I wanted to check out. When you join, typically you meet with a trainer during your first visit. I spoke with this guy, James, who talked to me about my fitness goals. My husband and I had run a half-marathon in 2010 and I wanted to keep up with running. Then, about two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant. I totally wanted to be one of those pregnant ladies who worked out consistently and stayed in shape, within reasonable guidelines, of course. I quickly learned that during the first three month of pregnancy, the only thing that I was able to focus on was staying awake. The thought of going to the gym after a nine hour work day was laughable.

A few months later, when I started to feel a little less tired and a little more motivated, I went back to the gym. I took some Yoga classes and walked on the treadmill. I ran into James one day and he commented that he hadn’t seen me in a while and asked how my running was going. Well, James, I’ve been busy creating a human life, so running has taken a back-seat for a little while.

A month before Grey was born, I went to the store to buy a new pair of running shoes. Now granted, I was wearing a large winter coat, but I’d say that I was pretty visibly pregnant at this point. I asked an employee for some help picking out a comfortable, light weight pair of running sneakers. Apparently, this guy was either just completely oblivious or stoned because he asked me about how far I was running and if I was training for anything specific. I laughed, and told him at the moment, I wasn’t running at all considering I was eight months pregnant. But very soon, I’d be training for motherhood. For running around my house all day on no sleep. For eventually chasing a very mobile toddler. And for hopefully, eventually returning to one of my own hobbies, running.

For someone who considers themselves an athlete, there is nothing worse than feeling out of breath after climbing the stairs. At 40 weeks pregnant, I could hardly walk around at work without needing a break. After Greyson was born, I was never more excited to work out. I couldn’t wait for the doctor to clear me so that I could finally get back on my feet again. I had three months left on that gym membership and I was determined to use it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to the gym. I realized that my time was extremely limited. I realized that physically recovering from child birth was taking longer than I expected. I realized that my hobbies weren’t important anymore.

As the months passed, I came to one further realization. Even though I wasn’t going to the gym, I was slowly getting stronger and losing weight. I was very slowly returning to my pre-baby weight and getting back into shape. How, you ask??? Stay tuned for Part II: Why Moms Don’t Need a Gym Membership.

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Why Mothers Talk to Strangers

Yesterday, after a very long weekend and an even longer sleepless night, I was searching for things to do to keep Greyson entertained for the day. After our morning play date and our afternoon painting session, I was losing steam. We decided to head out to our local bookstore, one of my favorite places, that has an awesome children’s section. And they have train tables which keep Grey busy for like 30 minutes. When we got there, another mother was sitting by the train tables, sipping a coffee while her son played. We introduced ourselves and started chatting. We talked about so many things – toddler tantrums, milestones, work, travel, day care. For a few minutes, I felt like a normal person – not just a mother who was struggling to stay awake and entertain her child. Eventually, Greyson’s attention span began to dwindle and we said our goodbyes. I felt refreshed and happier. It’s amazing – the connection between two women when you have just one simple thing in common – motherhood.

Before having a child, I’m pretty sure that I never talked to strangers. I wasn’t one of those people that felt  the need to strike up a conversation with the cashier in the checkout line at the grocery store. I wasn’t unfriendly, I just wasn’t interested. (Wait, is that unfriendly?) Anyways, I entered stores, went about my business, and went home. It’s that easy, too, when you aren’t lugging a child around with you. Wow – I miss that. However, when I became noticeably pregnant, all of a sudden I realized that I was no longer invisible to people. Other pregnant women smiled at me like we were old friends. Mothers with small children looked at me with pity like I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Everyone wants to ask you when you are due and whether you are having a boy or a girl. It only gets worse as you get bigger. I remember sometime close to my due date, I went out to dinner with my husband and two of our friends. My stomach was so unnaturally large at that point – I felt like an exhibit at a science museum. I think if you looked closely enough, you could see my 9lb2oz child’s elbows and knees booting me in the belly. It’s a miracle and all, whatever, but it’s gross. As I was walking through the bar of the restaurant to find the restroom (which is so cliché, pregnant lady, looking for the bathroom), it was like the parting of the Red Sea. The crowd just moved out of my way. Every man in the bar offered me their seat. I mean, it was nice and everything, but it was embarrassing. I was looking forward to returning to my invisible, un-pregnant, only-one-person self.

As it turns out, when you have a newborn, strangers still want to talk to you. Newborns are not that uncommon….I didn’t understand why everyone felt the need to obsess over him. Women wanted to know his age and his name. Grandmothers were showing me pictures of their grandbabies. Pregnant ladies asked me how it was going and where I delivered the baby. At some point, I realized that rather than trying to avoid this attention, I should just embrace it. Hell, before long, the baby would be a screaming toddler and people would be trying to avoid sitting next to us in restaurants. And so, I gave in. Every now and again, I not only answered strangers’ questions, I even engaged in a little conversation.

Throughout my maternity leave and after deciding to stay at home with Greyson, I realized that there is a lack of conversation and engaging interaction when you spend the majority of your time with a very tiny baby that generally communicates via cooing and screaming. All of a sudden, I was becoming one of those people that sought out other women in the library or in the parking lot to have a few minutes of mindful conversation with another adult.

Now, I am slowly realizing that finding a place to connect with other moms is one of the healthiest and most enjoyable things that I can do for myself. It’s amazing that you can have a conversation about more important things in the first 30 minutes of meeting another mother than you might be able to talk about to your closest friend who doesn’t have children about. That doesn’t mean that I don’t absolutely love my friends who aren’t parents, but it’s different. Sometimes, you just need someone who understands without having to try to explain yourself.

In the past, I would have done almost anything to avoid random conversations with strangers. However, in becoming a mother, I have learned that chatting with strangers might be the only conversation you have for the next several hours that doesn’t involve talking about eating your veggies, asking who has the stinky diaper, and threatening time outs.

So to all of you expecting mothers out there who are confused why random women are bothering you, just wait. When your baby is about 6-8 weeks old and you haven’t spoken to an adult besides your husband in four days, meet us at the grocery store or the library or the book shop. We will be ready and willing to introduce ourselves, buy you a coffee, and catch up like the old friends you never knew you had. In the meantime, you should totally take advantage of people moving out of your way and men giving up their seats because those days are numbered, ladies.

 

 

If you can’t manage to make it out of your house to connect with other moms, join us in the Day Drinking and Diaper Changing Facebook Group for some amazing support and hilarious ranting.

 

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Mommy Meltdown

Just a little disclaimer – Lots of ranting, lots of swearing. Apologies in advance.

I was so damn happy to leave the house today that I realized as I pulled into the gas station that I had forgotten my purse. Fuck. I turned around and headed back towards home. Sometimes, it seems like the universe just doesn’t want me to ever spend any time alone.

This morning, I think I was dangerously close to having a mommy meltdown. I’m not exactly sure what a mommy meltdown would entail, but I think it would involve a lot of crying and a lot of wine. I woke up feeling like I hadn’t slept and battling a killer migraine. Not a good combination when the baby is screaming at 5:15am. I usually consider myself a relatively put together and patient person, but today, I was more like an irritated mommy and a raging wife. It doesn’t happen often and I felt guilty for acting that way. . I thought to myself, what’s wrong with me today?

Well, let me tell you what’s wrong with me today.

I feel like I am in desperate need of a break. After thinking about it, I realized that I the last time I left the house alone was over two weeks ago. It was a Saturday – I went to go get my haircut. My hairdresser is about 1 mile down the road from my house and she works quickly. I begged her to take her time so that I could utilize every second out of the house as possible. She finished in about forty minutes. Not long enough. Maybe next time, I will color my hair just to guarantee two hours at the salon. I might even switch salons to add about 15 minutes of driving time in the car by myself.

Come to think of it, I did leave the house alone for a few minutes on Friday. My husband had his wisdom teeth pulled (Yup – More on that later). After I got Greyson down for his afternoon nap, I ran to the grocery store to fill my husband’s prescription. The pharmacy at the grocery store has a little lounge where you can sit and read a magazine or watch TV while you wait. After about 10 minutes, the pharmacist came over and asked me if I needed something. I explained that I was all set; I had already paid for the prescription. I just wanted to sit there watch the news for a few minutes before going home. What’s that honey, there were supposed to be 20 pills of Vicodin? I swear, they only gave me 18…

It doesn’t help that Greyson has been sick for about two weeks. The only two places I have been besides work this week is the pediatrician and the pharmacy. He started on a prescription last weekend that seems to be helping. However, ordering a drug for a 13 month old that can’t be taken within four hours of having anything with calcium in it is pretty absurd. Thanks, doc. You realize that probably 75% of my child’s daily calorie intake comes from milk, right? Why not just add another obstacle into my little mommy life? No biggie.

By Wednesday, he was sleeping through the night again and his cough was slowing down. But, low and behold – by Thursday, the little girl I nanny for had come down with the same thing. By the way, the only thing worse than taking care of your own sick child is taking care of someone else’s sick child.

And then, Friday rolled around. Teeth extraction day for my husband. I have to admit, I was pretty worried about how he was going to handle it. I’ve had teeth pulled in the past and it’s not walk in the fucking park. He actually thought he might be ale to go back to work afterwards. But as I expected, he was pretty laid up. I really want to be a doting wife – I want to be like my mother who I think actually enjoys having people to take care of. Unfortunately, I just can’t handle one more person to be responsible for right now. After about 48 hours, I think I almost said something like, “Go mix your own fucking salt water rinse. It’s your mouth, not your legs that are in pain, right?” I’ve come to realize that after having a child, I am even more unsympathetic than ever. Ladies, you should have a baby just so that you can use this phrase against your husband when he has a man cold or whatever other ailments he complains about – “It can’t be as bad as pregnancy and childbirth.”

You’d think with my husband traveling for work so often and without having any family here to help me, taking care of the baby by myself for a few days while he healed wouldn’t be a big deal. What I didn’t really take into account was that I would need to take care of him, too. Turns out I don’t make a great nurse. Sorry, honey.

Thank god, for everyone’s sake, I made it out of the house this afternoon for an hour or two alone to collect my thoughts. Sorry for subjecting you all to this venting, but bitching about it makes me feel so much better. So, thanks for reading, if you made it this far through my long, mommy rant. On my way home, I better stop and pick up a box of tissues and a couple of bottles of wine just in case I decide to have a mommy meltdown later today after all.

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Being a Mother is a Competitive Sport

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Have you ever seen the show Dance Moms? If you have not, I don’t recommend it. It’s trashy, completely ridiculous, and totally addicting. The show revolves around several mothers who are supporting their daughters as they pursue dancing careers at a young age. Not only are these women dramatic and high strung, but they are back-stabbing, self serving bitches. And for the most part, I think they are proud of it. They are “best friends” who’d throw each other to the wolves if meant their daughter would succeed over the others. While I love to totally believe that all of my reality TV shows are complete and utter truth, I realize that this shit is probably fake. But what I am trying to get at here is that while this show might not be completely real, all of us have a little bit of Dance Moms in us at heart. Let me explain.

I hate to knock my gender here, but as a breed, women are naturally catty, gossipy, overly sensitive, dramatic, bitchy, jealous and competitive – should I keep going? It starts at a very early age. I used to teach in a Universal Pre-Kindergarten classroom and even at four years old, these girls were nasty. At that age, the absolute worst thing you could ever say to another girl was say, “Oh yeah?! Well you aren’t coming to my birthday party.” No joke – One of the posted rules in my room banned any talk of birthday parties because the girls used this as leverage to leave others out. If I had a nickel for every time a girl in my classroom said, “You are not my friend anymore,” I would have quit my job a lot sooner. I haven’t decided if girls are just born with this innate need to terrorize each other or if it is a learned behavior. Thank God, I don’t have a daughter so hopefully I won’t need to find out. When Matt and I were in the ultrasound room and learned the gender of our unborn child, I think I cried tears of blessed joy to find out it was a boy. Not because I don’t want a little girl, but because I don’t want to have to deal with my precious daughter being subjected to the viciousness of other girls – or even worse, actually become one of those cruel little creatures.

And then, there is high school. Forget algebra and earth science, girls are busy researching how to form cliques and hold grudges. They are studying how to give the silent treatment and mastering passive aggressive behavior. All  high school girls are amateur actresses, learning how to plaster fake smiles on their faces when their friends get a date with the hottest football player or get nominated for prom queen.

I’d love to blame this absurd behavior on immaturity and pettiness. I’d love to say that as women become adults, they realize that we should ban together and support one another. But unfortunately, it isn’t so. I honestly think it gets worse as we get older. There’s a whole new realm of issues that come into play. Woman feel pressured to have successful careers, find a husband, and have babies. They compare themselves to their friends and feel left behind if everything hasn’t fallen into place exactly as they’ve planned. I swear, women choose horrible bridesmaid dresses simply because they want to guarantee that they are the most beautiful person in that wedding party. They subconsciously want their friends to look like fools. Seriously, this can be the only explanation for some of the really bad bridesmaid dresses I’ve seen.

Because of all this, I have no idea why I thought it’d be any different when I became a mother. It turns out, motherhood is also a very competitive sport. I took Greyson to the doctor this weekend and as usual, he was running around getting into everything. He was trying to escape from the waiting room into the exam rooms and rummaging through all the toys. I noticed a mother lingering nearby, holding a little boy. Her husband was a few feet back, sitting on the bench waiting for their appointment. She finally asked, “How old is he?” I replied, “13 months.” She immediately looked back at her husband, then said something about how her son was the same age and was mobile but that she didn’t want to put him down and let him get into all of the dirty toys. Seriously, lady? So not only are you spending your time comparing your sick child to mine, you then have to drop a very casual dig about how I am letting my child play with “dirty doctor’s office toys?” Every week, we go to story time at the library and it’s the same shit. It’s not even just the mothers – the grandmothers are the worst! This grandmother made some comment to me about how her grandson doesn’t walk but says 18 words. I’m not saying that I am completely innocent of the mompetition. I get it – you just want to make sure your child is keeping up. But I honestly believe that my son will be under enough pressure in his life to succeed that I am trying to make a valid effort to let him develop at the rate that suits him. Whatever milestones he hits or doesn’t hit, I will be proud of. Whatever percentile of height and weight he reaches, we will be happy with. As mothers, let’s break the cycle of spiteful female ways and teach our children to accept themselves and in turn, accept each other.

Before you brag about your child to a fellow mother, just remember that there is a very fine line between being proud and being competitive. I know, I know we are all guilty of it now and again. And on second thought, maybe I will recommend you watch a few episodes of Dance Moms. Maybe watching some ridiculous, over the top, backstabbing mommas will help keep us grounded. And in the mean time, just to be safe, I will continue to pray that my future second child is in fact, another boy.

 

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The Daily Grind

The Daily Grind: On Wednesdays, we watch the garbage truck.

The Daily Grind: On Wednesdays, we watch the garbage truck.

As the Director of a child care center, I was responsible for 13 classrooms of children ranging in age from 6 weeks – 12 years old. I had a staff of about 25 teachers and a long list of responsibilities on my shoulders. Of course, I had my usual daily grind tasks like touring prospective parents, managing my staff, enrolling new families, and so on. In addition, I had tasks set for specific days of the week. On Mondays I submitted payroll. On Tuesdays, I started classroom observations. On Wednesdays, I worked on writing the teachers’ schedules. On Thursdays, I checked billing. It was fast paced and very busy. I had a million administrative responsibilities, but was also responsible for spending ample about of time in my teachers’ classrooms. On top of that, chatting with parents and building relationships with the attending families was crucial. I worked really hard and I think I did the best that I could. Before having children, I devoted everything to my job. My husband and I both worked long hours because we loved what we were doing. And then, I got pregnant.

During the first trimester, I was so completely exhausted from the stress of my job and the tiny baby sucking the life out of me that I actually drove into a neighboring parking lot and slept in my car on my lunch break (on the days that I was able to take a lunch break). Imagine going through withdraw from caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol all at the same time. I’m sure I wasn’t the most understanding and caring boss during those months. Apologies to any of my former staff who might be reading this. I was so tired and nauseous that I probably looked like I had been out partying every night. When the second trimester arrived, I was so glad to be able to tell people that I was pregnant and not hung-over. I have to admit, I had a really smooth pregnancy and I was lucky to be able to continue working without any health problems. However, by the last month or so, trying to work 9-10 hour days carrying around 40 extra pounds was brutal. It’s a good thing my office chair had wheels because I was too tired to do anything but scoot my large, pregnant self from my computer to my printer to my phone those last few days. It wasn’t long after returning to my job that I realized that the daily tasks that used to be so important to me no longer mattered. I didn’t care if someone’s billing was incorrect. I couldn’t focus on issues with my staff. I was consumed by the fact that the precious little man who tortured my body for 40 weeks was down the hall in an infant classroom being snuggled by someone else.

And so, four months later, I made the transition into stay-at-home mommyhood. Now, my daily duties are much different than before, which brings me to the photo posted above. Everyday tasks include diaper changes, bottle making, book reading and art projects. On Mondays, we go to story time at the local library. On Tuesdays, we head off to work (nannying for two other children). On Wednesdays, we watch the garbage men pick up the trash. On Fridays, we have a half day from nannying and we usually take a trip out in the afternoon to someplace special like the pet store, the indoor gym, or to Best Buy (check out our field trip to Best Buy here ). It’s a much slower pace in some ways, but much crazier in others. There are days when I miss the adult interaction of working full time.

Sometimes, when I am reading Red Truck the 400th time, I am bored. But then, there are moments, like watching Grey wave to the garbage man, when I realize how amazing it is that I have the opportunity to spend this precious time with him. The highlight of my week used to be how many new enrollments I secured for the center. Now the highlight of my week is watching Grey laugh when the garbage truck honks at us as they drive away. And I feel so lucky for that.

 

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Why Every Business Should Hire a Stay-At-Home Mother

Six months ago, I left my position as the Director of a child care center in order to spend a year at home with my son. Since then, I have been constantly concerned that taking time off to be at home will hurt my career in the long run. As the end to that year at home quickly approaches, I’ve got decisions to make. Stay at home for one more year or find a job? I’m undecided. But either way, I’ve found myself browsing jobs postings regularly.

I’ve heard a lot of comments about how giving up a career to be home with children would not be satisfying for a lot of people and that Stay-at-home-mothers (SAHMs) are often judged as not having the ability or the drive to handle both a family and a career. I know that I should disregard everyone else’s opinions and just choose what’s best for me and my family, but I also don’t want to have regrets.

Here’s what I’ve decided. Screw all the people who look down upon parents for taking time off to raise children. I am willing to bet that taking care of kids all day is more stressful, more physical, and more mind-numbing than any job I will ever work. I’ve decided that raising a baby has made me FAR more experienced and marketable than any other person in my field. I’ve also decided that I am way too good to be browsing job postings on Craigslist offering minimum wage and shitty benefits. Here’s my plan. I’ve written a little SAHM Future Employee Posting. I’m the one that will be doing the interviewing here. If an employer is interested in the possibility of utilizing my talents, they can contact me. So read my posting below and if you have something that I might be interested in, feel free to shoot me an e-mail and I’ll contact you at my earliest convenience (which means after baby’s bedtime).

 

A Current Stay-At-Home Mother Seeks Employment

Is your company seeking hard working, motivated employees?

Are you tired of unreliable and unprofessional staff?

Is your business looking for savvy, creative, and intelligent people to join your team?

 

If you answered, “Yes!” to any of the questions above, then hiring a current Stay-At-Home-Mother might be the answer to your professional prayers.

Don’t let the term “Stay-At-Home Mother” scare you away! Shockingly, I hold a Master’s Degree and I am a career-driven woman who just happened to take some time off after having a child. Contrary to popular belief, staying at home with children does not damage your career. As it turns out, raising children makes women (and men) valuable to the workplace in many ways. Continue reading below!

Why SAHMs are more qualified than most:

  •  We can multitask. Period.
  • If we can convince toddlers to eat vegetables, we can sell any product you’re pushing.
  • We can survive longs hours on the job with very little sleep.
  • Managing several children is actually very similar to managing several adults.
  • While working through breastfeeding, sleep training, and behavior management, we’ve learned to research and implement challenging strategies consistently and effectively.
  • Between Baptisms, birthday, and holidays, we are experts in event planning and promotion.
  • In searching for support and adult interaction, we’ve mastered the use of social media and networking.
  • We’ve created varying schedules for each member of our family and ensured that everyone abides by their schedules accordingly on a daily basis.
  • We actually DO have eyes in the back of our heads.
  • Many of us have taken up blogging, honing our creative writing skills and learning to turn a hobby into a business. We’ve studied advertising, sponsorship, and online marketing. And not to brag, but we did it all during naptimes.
  • We’ve become self-studied child development specialists.
  • We are experts at managing our time, mostly because we have so little of it.
  • We can calm screaming children during crowded checkout lines. Let’s just say we work well under pressure.
  • While trying to raise children without ruining our marriages, we’ve learned the importance of communication and collaboration with our partners.
  • We didn’t leave our jobs because we aren’t dedicated to our careers – we left because we understand the value of a balance between work and family.

The next time you interview a SAHM candidate, don’t assume that we are not career driven individuals. Don’t immediately conclude that a little time off from a traditional position makes us irrelevant and unqualified.

 So why should you hire a Stay-At-Home-Mother?

1.)    Because parenting is one of the most stressful and demanding positions anyone will ever accept and it’s prepared us to become even better employees when we return to the workplace.

2.)    Because I’m a mother and I told you so.

3.)    Because you won’t get dessert if you don’t.

Just kidding, if you hire me, I promise not to use any cliché mom-phrases.

 

 

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Liebster Award!

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Mackenzie from Raising Wild Things has honored me by passing along a Liebster Award!! Turns out someone besides my husband (who I force to read it) is actually enjoying my stuff! So, thank you, Mackenzie! I am thrilled to learn that I have a few followers. If you aren’t familiar with the Liebster Award, here’s how it works:

The Award is given to up and coming bloggers and then passed along to other similar bloggers to help spread the word and support each other. The recipient of the award should post 11 random facts about themselves. Then, they must answer the questions that the tagger has created for them.  Phew, a little confusing… right? Not really. Stay with me here. Finally, they must create 11 questions for the bloggers that they will pass the award on to and let them know that they have received it.

Random Facts about The Honest Mommy

1.)    I’ve eaten almost the exact same things for breakfast and lunch for like three years. I don’t know why I do this, maybe because it’s easy…. Or I’m lazy…. I would list to you the foods that I eat but it’s far too boring. Moving on.

2.)    One of my guilty pleasures is Kenny G. I don’t even know what else to say about this. I don’t know how it started, but I can remember listening to his music as a child and I still love it. Weird, right?

3.)    My favorite movie of all time is Labyrinth with David Bowie. I can’t believe I’m admitting to this…

4.)    I once leased a standard car without knowing how to drive a stick shift. I learned to drive it barefoot so that I could feel the clutch. Unfortunately, I then had to drive it barefoot for the entire three years of the lease. No joke.  I just can’t do it with shoes on. Picture that in the middle of winter. Kind of a pain in the ass.

5.)    I have two tattoos. One is a phrase on my back that means “I am of Ireland” in Gaelic and the second is a Celtic knot symbolizing motherhood on my wrist.

6.)    I wrote a children’s book last year. When I’m not working on my blog, I’ve been submitting it to agents. So far, I haven’t had any luck but I heard that JK Rowling received something like 40 rejection letters before someone believed in Harry Potter. If nothing ever comes of it, I’ll still be proud that I wrote it.

7.)    I almost never know the date. That’s what happens when you become a mother and you quit your job. All of the days mush together and it doesn’t matter what day or month it is. You just live on Mommy Time.

8.)    In college, I lived in a house with seven guys (one of them was my brother) during my junior year. That was the most hilarious and dirtiest house I have ever lived in.

9.)    I absolutely love my house, but my kitchen doesn’t have a dishwasher, so I have to hand wash everything. In my next life, I will be rich enough to hire someone to wash my dishes for me just to make up for this.

10.) I met my husband when I was 19 at a bar called “Paradise Alley” on St. Patrick’s Day. Four years later he proposed to me while we were on vacation in Cape May, which is technically the Jersey Shore. I try to avoid telling people we got engaged there because I know exactly what they are picturing, thanks to MTV.

11.) My drink of choice is always liquor or wine. The first time I got really drunk, I threw up cheap beer and for some reason, I just haven’t been able to have one since. I’ve probably only had four beers in my entire life. Fortunately, I can hold my Vodka pretty well.

 

My Questions from Raising Wild Things

1.)    If you could marry a food, what would it be? Anything salty…. I would choose chips or salty snacks over dessert any day.

2.)    Are you a TP folder or crinkler? I’d say that I am a TP roller, if that makes sense. I am definitely one of those people that use WAY too much TP. I can’t help it.

3.)    When was the last time you took a shower? Ok, when was the last time before that? Ok, here’s a little random fact about me. I shower sort of obsessive compulsively. Twice a day, every day. Before having my son, I worked as the Director of a child care center and I was always weirded out about all of the gross germs the kids carried, so I showered before and after work.

4.)    What is one thing you absolutely cannot leave your house without? Well, the baby usually. He is ALWAYS with me. But all joking aside, my iPhone. I am in a very seriously relationship with my phone. I would never leave home without it.

 5.)    Favorite curse word? Why? Right now, it’s “shit.” Probably because I see so much of it and it is just so relevant to my life right now as a mother. You handle a lot of shit, literally.

6.)    Caillou or Max & Ruby? I have to be honest, I have never seen Caillou, but I can tell you that Max & Ruby drives my insane. I swear, Ruby has to be the most annoying older sister ever and I don’t get why Max only speaks in one word sentences.

7.)    What is your favorite type of salad dressing? Italian! Also, I like to mix olive oil, lemon juice, and a little salt and pepper for a quick and delicious homemade dressing.

8.)    What bloggers do you make sure to read every day? I have to admit, I don’t follow one specific blog religiously. Apparently, I have commitment issues. When I am surfing Facebook and Twitter, I usually check out the posts that sound interesting to me. But, lately, I have really liked reading Finding Ninee, the Scary Mommy blog posts, and Bad Playdate. Also, if you have checked out the Day Drinking and Diaper Changing website, you totally should. There is a Facebook group you can join, which is a hilarious and honest group of women venting about everything and anything.

 9.)    Can you do the robot? Well? Um, no. Thanks to both my husband and I, my child is destined to have the worst dance moves ever.

10.) If you were shopping to prepare for a big snow storm, what are your must-haves? Alcohol, diapers, and batteries – in that order.

11.) Do you have any unusual talents? Well, in writing my last blog post, I shared that I am capable of holding the shower doors closed with one leg to keep my son from getting in with me while shaving the other leg all at the same time. I’d say that’s a pretty impressive. I can also make a bottle while driving and change my son’s diaper while he’s standing up in the front seat (in a parking lot, of course). All very useful mommy-talents.

 

My Nominees

The Fun Family

Home on Deranged

Their World We Live In

 

Questions for My Nominess

1.)    Where is the furthest place you’ve traveled?

2.)    Red wine or White wine? If you answer is both, I’ll like you even more.

3.)    If you were going to apply to be a cast member on a reality show, which one would it be?

4.)    What inspired you to start blogging?

5.)    What celebrity would you like to date?

6.)    What was the first car you ever owned?

7.)    What’s your biggest pet peeve?

8.)    What’s one thing you miss about your childless life?

9.)    What’s the most annoying toy someone has given your child?

10.) Mac or PC?

11.) What blogs do you read every day?

 

Thanks again to Mackenzie at Raising Wild Things for passing along this award!!!

Mommy Fame

My groupies.

My groupies.

When a person becomes a celebrity, they get to enjoy all of the benefits of fame and fortune, like expendable income and first-class treatment where ever they go. Unfortunately, they also have to deal with the negative consequences of being famous, like always traveling with an entourage of security, a complete lack of privacy, and constantly being harassed by paparazzi and crazy fans. Yesterday morning, it dawned on me. I realized that I might as well be famous because since becoming a mother, I am constantly harassed, privacy is non-existent, and a little entourage follows me around my house wherever I go.

The baby, my husband, and the dog are like Mommy Groupies. Between the three of them, I am usually being pestered for something at all times. The baby wants a bottle, the dog needs to be fed, my husband wants my attention – It can be overwhelming. This whole concept came about while I was trying to get ready to leave the house for work.  It’s nearly impossible to blow dry your hair when you have a one year old swinging from your robe and dog’s nose up your ass. I have no idea how everyone else showers with children around, but I just baby proofed the toilet and the cupboards and I lock Grey in the bathroom. He tries to get in the shower with me every day – I have mastered holding the sliding doors closed with one leg while shaving the other. It’s some impressive yoga-like positioning. The Mommy in the Shower pose. Since he’s unable to open the shower doors, he’s resorted to banging on the glass and screaming at me until I get out. He looks like an insane fan vying for my love, begging me to sing the ABC’s one more time while I rinse my hair.

I tried bringing tons of toys upstairs for Grey to entertain him while I got ready, but why the hell would he want to play with toys? He’d much rather walk directly behind me from the bathroom, to my closet, to the bedroom and so on. I swear, if any other person in the world stalked me like this, they’d be arrested.

And the dog is just as bad. I just don’t understand how I ended up with an animal that pretty much acts like a child. He gets jealous when I pay more attention to the baby. He acts out when he’s feeling neglected. Like, go chew a fucking bone or run around the backyard like a normal dog for God’s sake. But no, he feels the need to force his 95lb body into my extremely small bathroom to watch Grey hang on me while I attempt to get ready in the morning.

When a celebrity goes out for a quick cup of coffee or on a first date, the entire world is watching. The paparazzi takes photographs and magazines pump out articles about so-and-so’s new love interest. It’s ridiculous! Everyone in the world does these things. Why the hell do we feel the need to harass these people, simply because they are famous? Similarly, it doesn’t matter what I’m doing at home – my sidekicks are constantly on my tail. While trying to wash the dishes after dinner tonight, the dog laid on my feet and Grey pulled at my jeans. Seriously…. Get a life, you two. There are way more exciting things for you to be doing than hassling me while I rinse some plates. `

Like I said, when you make the decision to enter a career that involves becoming a celebrity, I guess you are aware that you will have to manage the challenging side of fame. In the same way, I knew that in becoming a wife and a mother, I would become the most important person in the world to a small group of people. There are days where I wish that I could still leave the house without my groupies tagging along, but all in all, it’s worth every crazy moment. Maybe if motherhood came with the expendable income and the first-class treatment, I wouldn’t mind the constant following quite as much…

 

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Sleep On It

When I was expecting Greyson, every parent told me to sleep as much as possible before he was born. They told me that I will never sleep soundly again after having a baby. They said I will get used to sleep deprivation. The problem with getting this advice at eight months pregnant is that it’s impossible to sleep with a nine pound human kicking me in the bladder all night long. Rather than lecturing pregnant ladies, we should really be telling all of the childless people we know to sleep as much as possible. I want to tell my non-mom friends to stop going out every weekend! Stop binge drinking! Stop waking up early to go to the gym. Stay in bed. Sleep as long as you possibly can. And then come over and tell me how amazing it is to get twelve hours of uninterrupted rest so that I can live vicariously through your precious, childless nights.

After all of the sleep-while-you-can advice, I felt prepared. I knew it was going to be hard but I was ready. I went into labor on a Friday evening. By 2:00am, we were headed to the hospital. I had worked nine hours that day, I had been awake since 6:30am, but I was running on adrenaline. I was so excited that I didn’t even consider that I was tired. By Saturday morning, I was only dilated a few centimeters and I was sent home. I was disappointed, but I knew we were close. The nurse told me to go home and get some rest. Ha! Ok, lady. Let me just go home and sleep in between the every-five-minute, gut wrenching contractions.

Somewhere around dinner time on Saturday, I was starting to feel the exhaustion. My mother kept telling me to walk as much as possible to move labor along, but I was too tired to move. I gave in around 9:00pm and marched my way back to the hospital. I demanded that they admit me – I begged for some drugs. I annoyed them into finally giving me a room and a shot of morphine so that I could get a few hours of sleep before delivering Grey the following day. And that morphine-induced night, my friends, was the last night of restful sleep that I can recall.

The first night in the hospital was totally mind-blowing. I woke up Sunday morning just a normal person and by Sunday night, I was somebody’s mother. After our family and friends had left the hospital, we got ready for our first night on duty as parents. I fell asleep without any trouble at all. A few hours later, I remember waking up and thinking, “What the hell is that noise?!” That was the first of hundreds of times I’d wake up to that noise – my son, crying.

It felt like we were up and down every hour that night. Trying to figure out how to breastfeed at 2:00am is a joke.  Then, as soon as I’d get Greyson to sleep, he’d make a coughing noise, which terrified me. I called the nurse to ask her opinion. When the nurse came down, she gave me a look – pity, maybe? She said the coughing was normal and that he was clearing out his lungs. She asked if I wanted her to take Greyson to the nursery so that I could rest. I said no, because I felt like I’d be judged as a terrible mother if I sent my baby away so that I could sleep. She looked at me and she knew exactly what I was thinking. She said, “You know what, maybe I should take him to observe that cough. I’ll bring him back in an hour. Don’t worry about a thing. Get some sleep.” I woke up four hours later and the baby was still in the nursery. I knew that he didn’t need to be observed, but I am so thankful that nurse gave me a reason to take a break for a few hours.

The first couple of weeks home were tiring, but I still had hope that in just a few months, Greyson would gift us a full night’s sleep. Here we are, 13 months later. I’d say he sleeps through the night probably 50% of the time. Just when you get into a good routine, he starts cutting a tooth or he gets a cold. Plus, he’s so damn busy now and his naps are shortening out, that I still feel as exhausted as I did that first night. I’m pretty much half asleep all day long. When I wake up, I count the hours until I can go back to bed. Sometimes I consider checking into a hotel so that I can get one full night of uninterrupted sleep, but I’m sure I’d be awake all night worrying how he was doing without me. I’m not even kidding when I say that I’ve daydreamed about when he goes to college because then he will be on his own and I can stop worrying so much. But even then, I know that I’ll lose sleep wondering if he’s out partying too hard or falling in love with girls and forgetting about his mother.

I was walking out of a store today and I heard this little boy tell his dad that I look just like his mommy. What I think he meant was, I look exhausted, just like his mommy looks, too. When you commit to motherhood, you commit to a really long time of tiredness. And yes, it’s all totally worth it, blah blah blah, but honestly, I need some serious sleep.

So, if you are reading this and you don’t have children, savor the hours you have to sleep as long as you like. Turn off your damn computer and take a nap for God’s sake. Then shoot me an email and tell me how amazing it was so that I can at least pretend I remember what it was like to feel rested. And when you are finally deciding if it’s the right time to bring a little bundle of love into your family, sleep on it. After a peaceful night’s rest, you just might decide to wait a little bit longer…..

 

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