“Why are you letting her do this?”
So said my grandmother to my mother while I had my daughter in tears during her first birthday party. Aside from the fact that every parent with even an inch of backbone has made their child suffer some humiliation for photos and family functions.
But yes, I did that to my kid. And then I let her eat an Elmo shaped cake that stained her pink for a week. My grandmother wasn’t approving of that decision either. Guess what? DON’T CARE.
I am not my mother. I am not my grandmother. Not that I don’t respect and admire these women, but I am not them. I am my own woman.
Didn’t I ask these two women countless questions during my pregnancy and in the first months following the birth?
So why the hell am I chafing and their disdain for my decisions?
It took me some time thinking about this to come up with a reasonable(in my mind) answer.
I needed to ask questions in order to soothe my anxieties over making sure the kid got here in one piece. Then, during those first few months of projectile vomit and never ending poop, I needed their help to make sure this little screaming bundle of gas was going to be ok. So when did that change?
Probably somewhere around the first time she threw up in my mouth. And yes, I said first, as in it happened more than once. Get over it. It’s the glory days of parenting. When you can talk to other friends and siblings with kids and commiserate and laugh over these things. And then tell the same story to gross out single and/or childless friends. I took perverse glee in posting pictures of my child’s poop filled clothing because there wasn’t a diaper in the world that could contain the product of her bowels. Neither my mother or grandmother was thrilled with that either.
And that is the core of my epiphany. That’s my style of motherhood. Because that’s the type of person I have always been. I still think burping and farting are funny. I figured out that I can raise my kid while still being myself. And she will survive! Much to her horror as a teenager I’m sure.
And the more embarassing pictures I have, the better!
It’s coming. In a few short weeks, this little person that I popped out will be one year old.
And she still gets up at least 3 times a night.
“How can you stand it?” “I don’t know how you do it!” “Just give the her some benadryl.” “Just let her scream herself to sleep. She has to learn you won’t always be there.”
Just a few of the most common (read-asinine) things I have heard on an almost regular basis for these last 11 months.
How do I do it? Do what? Balance a sleepless existence with a full time job, husband and child? Because I have to. Because I don’t waste time sitting around thinking about how tired I am.(And who has time to sit?!)
And mostly, because I don’t know any better. I have never had a child that slept through the night, so I have no basis for comparison. Don’t know what I’m missing, ya get?
I always made jokes about benadryl and children before I had one. I swore that I would do it if I needed to. When people who have never had a child think they know what they’ll do with one, the universe laughs til it shits a new star.
And training my child to think she’s on her own? Fuck that. Sideways. Yeah, it seems like a great parenting method to produce well adjusted, confident adults. Let ‘em know up front that no one cares if they cry or get scared. Genius!
Is the sarcasm dripping off your screen like it is mine?
Don’t know how I do it? Want in on a secret? Me either! Lots of worrying that I am screwing up this hilarious, adorable, messy, noisy, pooping, puking, trouble making little girl.
Hey, as all her grandparents keep pointing out, her dad and I survived.
Of course the occaisional beer or glass of wine while skimming internet snark doesn’t seem to hurt either.
I think I’m a crappy mom.
I know I suck at blogging. I have had no energy or motivation to keep up with this.
But my kid wants her dad. All the time. Unless she’s hungry. Then Mom’s not so bad. I can’t get her to sleep for anything. He picks her up and she goes down for the count.
Yea, he’s been the stay at home dad and I had to go back to work when she was only six weeks old. So they’ve had time to bond. I work full time at a job an hour away. I’m never home during the day.
But it doesn’t stop me from being jealous as all hell.
I hate this.
I want her to be proud to have me as her mom. I ran a 5k yesterday. And a chubby 10 yr old almost beat me. But I finished because I want to be able to encourage her through the difficult things she attempts in life. But is she going to be proud of me for pursuing a successful career? Or resent how much time it kept me away from her? Is there a balance? Is there really any way to “Have it all”? Because that kinda sounds like bullshit. I feel like I’m missing things now, so what about when she starts walking and talking? What about when she’s a teenager? Will she confide in me or shut me out? I’m sure I’m overthinking this. Should take it one day at a time. Blah blah blah. Not much I can do about it right now. Except go have a glass of wine and watch her sleep.
“Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain.”
And stupid is as stupid does. I am so sick of stupid people. It is migraine inducing to deal with. If you ask me a question because you believe I can direct you to the solution, and then ignore everything I tell you, do not expect me to continue to waste my time ‘helping’ you. If I take a class and ask the teacher a question, it’s because I know they have studied the topic more than my dumb ass. So if you are an ignorant cheapskate with no desire to be anything else, let me know that up front so I don’t waste as much and effort attempting to educate you.
insert impotent screams of rage and frustration here
But the milk beast is asleep, I have wine, an entire giant sized caramello bar AND control of the remote! So the rest of you fuck off and leave me alone!Friedrich Schiller
I feel sort of bad that I haven’t kept up with this more. I really did intend to. I often write entries in my head while I’m driving back and forth to work.
Like the blog about how listening to classical music while I drive sometimes makes me feel like I’m in a movie.
Or the blog about how ridiculous I find people who feel the need to feel outraged on behalf of people they feel have been wronged. Even when the supposedly offended party doesn’t feel offended or even particularly care.
Or the blog wondering how any parent in this day and age raises a child who truly gets to be a child, and not some over-sexualized, media saturated brat.
And I really had a good one about how the hell to spend any real time with the spouse when there’s a small child in the picure.
But I’ll just settle for some thoughts on expectations.
Expectations like getting back in shape after having a kid. Or how you’ll do everything “right” with previously mentioned child.
So the first one. I’ve never been exactly chubby. And I never wanted to be a stick figure. I love food. But I have generally been thin, and usually in decent shape. But since popping out the crib midget, I’ve had a bit of a spare tire going on. Oddly enough, my ass looks amazing. Bigger, but nice and perky. And perky I will gladly take. I am getting sick of the fact that I have a chunk that laps the top of my jeans when I sit down. And I have gone running a couple of times. But the plain and simple fact is, I would rather sleep. At best, the kid gets up once at night. Usually it’s more like 3 or 4 times. So between that and work, yea…kinda lazy.
If I couldn’t do this from my cell phone while laying in bed and watching tv, it wouldn’t exist.
People keep telling me to be patient, it takes time, I just had a kid, yada yada yada. So if I lowered my expectations, I’d be content with the fact that I’m still wearing elastic waisted slacks to work? Ahahahaha, probably not.
But will I be putting my shoes on after turning off my alarm in the morning? Or rolling over to adjust my pillows and get an extra hour of sleep?
My pillow is REALLY soft, did I mention that?
Who is the “duct tape” in your life?
Duct tape fixes everything, right? I think we all need a person like that.
My husband is that person. ( see photo)
He can be just as exhausted as I am, and still he’ll comfort the cranky baby so that I can sneak in a nap. When I’m having a meltdown because my boss treated me like shit (again), and work sucked miserably, and traffic made me want to assassinate someone, I come home and try to play perfect mommy and then the baby has a meltdown, which leads to a mommy meltdown.
And what does he do? He picks up hisscreaming infant, and puts an arm around his sobbingnutjoblosthermarbles wife, and calms us both down.
I would love to pretend that this is not a frequent occurence. But that would be bullshit, and I’m going for bs free here.
His meltdowns and stressed to the breaking point moments are fairly rare. I am so lucky. Lucky because I usually handle it terribly. Lucky because I sometimes make it worse. Lucky because after all MY bullshit, he’ll still rub my feet after a long day. Lucky because of how often my meltdowns get misdirected at him and he just lets me get it out.
Lucky because after all that other fucking craziness, he loves me and can still look at me after a shitty night’s sleep, with morning breath, smeared mascara from the day before and hair that makes me look like I stuck my tongue in a toaster, and still tell me he loves me and thinks I’m beautiful.
At this point, his duct tape is the only thing keeping what’s left of my marbles from getting lost.
So who’s your duct tape? And do they know it? My advice- make damn sure they do, because you need them to stick around.
Douchebags make mommy cry too.
I will admit I can be an overly angry person some days. Sometimes I just get to the point where everything is irritating and pisses me the fuck off. You, I’m sure, are perfect and never experience this.
When commuting back and forth to work, slow drivers, no signalling, phonetards and people that slow all the way down in the traffic lane before getting into the left turn lane, all these things induce a bout of turrett’s inside my car. Don’t worry, I keep the windows up.
Now, I’m not the angry jackass that’s rushing because they’re going to be 20 minutes late to the office. Those people get the full blast of my impotent rage as well.
But my commute is about 30 minutes to and from a place I mostly hate. And I used to love my job.
Thus, when I’m on my way to work, I am angry because I know the next 7-8 hours are going to suck at another piece of my soul. And when I’m on my way home, I get pissy because I have spent the last however many hours away from my kid and I want to get the fuck home.
Get out of my way you moron if you don’t feel like going faster than 35mph in a 50 zone. Seriously?!
And this all applies to rude, selfish, time-sucking douchebags as well. I don’t care who your brother is. You are not special when it comes to the hours the store is open and the times I am scheduled to go the fuck home! Especially after 9 hours without a real break.
Also on the jackass list: folks who waste an hour of my time having me explain what they need and why and then opting to ignore everything I just said because they don’t think it matters. Why the fuck did you ask me if you were just going to do what you wanted anyway?
I think I’ll just start carrying a stick with me at all times, and these people will get a good sturdy whack in the shins for being ridiculous.
So I will admit, I have judged/laughed at/mocked people who read self help books.
But now I’m reading/skimming one.
I don’t expect massive revelation and life altering epiphanies, just a few laughs and sensible writing to let me know I haven’t totally gone off the deep end.
Here’s what I’m coming to realize:
My home is a mess. Guests do not generally rate a scramble to clean or organize. If you don’t like, you clean it. I am tired and busy. The little time I get to myself is not going to be spent playing June Cleaver. I am ok with this. I am not above bribing family members into doing it for me.
I am allowed to put the baby down. If she’s asleep, she doesn’t need me to hold her. Her emotional well-being is not at risk if she sleeps in her bed. In fact, this is preferred because although I love her, I would like her to continue sleeping in her own bed as she gets older.
I am not a bad mother/wife/person for taking time out for myself. If I am rested, relaxed, and calm, I will be more patient, sane and organized. What’s the downside?
People are fucking morons. Well meaning, but stupid.
No man is truly an island.
We all need people.
And sometimes, we need those people to help us. Does anybody enjoy admitting they can’t do something on their own? Only the whiny, codependent, needs to get slapped with a rubber hose types.
So what are the rest of us supposed to do? Swallowing even a little pride to admit you’re on the verge of batshit crazy is fucking HARD. But necessary.
We all started off totally helpless and dependent on others. But everything in our DNA pushes us to do shit on our own. Walking, talking, picking out our own clothes, going to school. Everyone gets pushed to be self-sufficient and then we’re surprised when someone has trouble asking for help.
And that’s just fucking stupid.