Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Motherhood… NAILING IT.

When I started my blog about my journey in motherhood, I thought I would have plenty of time to keep up with it.  Because moms have an endless amount of time, said NO ONE EVER.  So the fact that this blog post should have actually been written 4 months ago when the incident occurred, will probably be a common trend. 

To set the stage for this particular story, Zoe was about 6 months old.  It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and the weather was amazing.  Logan decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather by doing some much needed yard work while I played with Zoe.  We had a sweet morning of playing before I was going to meet some girls for brunch.  The morning was going flawless.  Zoe woke up happy, played, ate her lunch and even had a morning poop all before I needed to get dressed for the day.  She has been like this for weeks now.  From sleeping through the night, eating great and even having regular ‘movements’, Zoe has become very predictable. 

I decided to take advantage of this new stage with Zoe.  I got dressed and loaded Zoe up in her car seat to head out the door.  I was only going to be gone for a few hours so I thought instead of loading up her huge diaper bag, I would be cool mom and throw a diaper, pacifier and burp cloth in my purse and call it a day.  I’m a pro now right?  6 month veteran… I’ve got this.  I was cocky. 

We get to the restaurant and Zoe is already asleep for her morning nap when we get there.  Even better.  I can enjoy a nice quiet brunch to catch up with the ladies.  We decided to split a pitcher of sangria and order brunch.  I just started to enjoy my first glass and get the gossip session started when Zoe wakes up really fussy.  She is crying and I am beginning to get embarrassed.  (I suffer from extreme embarrassment when Zoe is loud in public places because I HATED listening to it so much when I was pre-baby.  I always assume every person in the room is staring at me and saying in their heads, take that baby outside, now.)  I pick her up to shush her when I feel something on my hand.  So I grab my purse and excuse myself so that I can ‘calm her down’ outside.  The truth is… I knew I was in trouble. 

I pop open the trunk of my car and lay Zoe down and discover that my thought was correct.  We have a blowout situation on our hands.  No problem… I have a diaper and wipes in my purse.  I can fix this.  I take off her pants which are covered on the inside with poop.  I unbutton her onesie which is also covered to remove the diaper.  I open up my packs of wipes and begin damage control.  That’s when my day quickly unraveled.  One.  One single wipe in my pack.  I didn’t refill it before I left and here I am dealing with the Mt. Everest of poops with only one wipe.  Not only that, but I do not have any clothes to change her into. 

Time to get creative.  First I strategically used the one wipe.  Then I went into my glove box and found some old Starbucks napkins.  That wasn’t enough.  So then I used her burp cloth to get as much as I could before putting on a fresh diaper.  She still has poop on her legs and in various other spots, but it is better than nothing.  This is the part of the story where you think I just hop in my car and drive home and text them on the way that I’ll pay them back later for the food I didn’t eat and the sangria I left melting at the table right? 

Nope.  That is what a normal person would do.  But dang it, I wanted adult conversation and to finish my drink.  So what did I do?  I wrapped my baby covered in crap with her blanket to hide the evidence on the bottom half of her body, and head back into the restaurant like everything was normal.  I left the evidence of the explosion in the trunk of my car and I went back inside to finish my Sangria.  MOTHER OF THE YEAR.  Zoe laid in her car seat while I scarfed down my food, sucked down my drink and quickly asked for the check.  My friends kept offering to hold her but I insisted that she should stay in her seat.  I tried to dodge the real reason as much as I could so not to draw attention to myself. 

Even though I hate to waste it, half of that pitcher remained untouched because I didn’t want to stay longer than I needed to.  I quickly said my goodbyes and put Zoe in the car to drive home.  As you can imagine, my car STUNK.  We had to drive home with all the windows rolled down until I could get her to the house and bath her and put on some clean clothes.  End of story, right?  Wrong.  I get home and am completely frazzled by what happened to see Logan taking his post yard work nap on the couch.  I head straight to Zoe’s room to clean her up and change her.  I still can’t stop smelling poop.  Maybe it’s on me and I didn’t know.  I wash my hands completely and change clothes just in case.  Why do I still smell it?  Oh, that’s why… while I was gone and Logan was sleeping peacefully, our dog ate something and now has had diarrhea ALL OVER our brown living room rug.  I mean EVERYWHERE. 

Sweet Zoe at 6 Months
I wake Logan up, show him the dog’s mess and hand him Zoe and told him to deal with it.  Momma needs a minute to decompress.  So I go on the patio, stick my feet in the pool and just start laughing.  Who the hell did I think I was going with only a diaper in my purse?  You aren’t nailing this mom thing at all.  You are at amateur status at best.  You should be thanking God on a daily basis that your baby has survived.  Never get cocky again!

So what is the lesson that I learned in all of this?  I now keep an emergency diaper bag in my car AT ALL TIMES.  It is stocked with extra clothes, diapers, wipes, burp clothes, formula, toys, etc.  You name it – it is in this bag.  That way, if I want to look like I am cool, put together mom with a baby on my hip holding nothing but a little clutch and Zoe has a surprise moment like this, I can quietly excuse myself to the car and will be prepared for any situation that comes up.  I also ALWAYS have plastic bags in my car so that I can wrap up all of the soiled items and easily dispose of it instead of driving in the stench of failure on my drive home.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mom Friends – Your Best Allies and Your Worst Frenemies

I truly believe that it takes a village to raise a child.  I would have already had a serious melt-down and would have walked out on my family, if it wasn’t for my strong network of women who knew exactly what I was going through.  (OK – so I wouldn’t leave, but dang would it be hard!)  However, these strong, beautiful, supportive moms that listen to you complain about how sleep deprived you are, can also be your worst critics.  The worst part is that it is never intentional.  We truly want what is best for our sisters, but deep down inside part of us want to be doing a little better.  We want to believe that we have this parenting thing down a little more than everyone else.  We all can fall into at least one of these categories from time to time and in the process, make our best friends feel inadequate.  I’ve come up with 5 that I’ve encountered so far.  Which mom stereotype have you been guilty of?

The One Upper Mom
This mom friend calls you up to see how you and your baby are doing.  She’ll ask you about various milestones that your child is achieving.  But she asks in a way so she can use it as a platform to brag about her child.  ‘Is your baby rolling over yet?  She isn’t?  That’s strange because my little Janey has been doing that since 4 months.  But don’t worry; I’m sure yours will do it soon.’  ‘Is your baby sleeping through the night yet?  She’s still waking up?  My little Janey has been sleeping through the night since the first month, so sorry I can’t help you there.’  Every time you hang up the phone you look at your perfect angel and start wondering why she isn’t at the same level as little Janey who is also a few months younger, yet accelerating in all the developmental mile-stones.  Since my baby isn’t rolling over, does that mean I can say goodbye to her future as an athlete?  If my baby isn’t talking yet, does that mean that she won’t be a genius, and her future as an award-winning medical researcher who discovers the cure for Ebola is over before it started?  

The Martha Mom
This mom’s life looks like it is straight off of Pinterest.  Every meal posted on Instagram is a gourmet masterpiece.  She throws parties for her children that are over the top with the amount of personal touches from the homemade birthday banners to the hand-stitched matching outfit for her child.  Obviously all the baby food for her child is homemade and she always has ‘rainy-day’ crafts prepared to keep her kids entertained.  While she doesn’t do this to be a show off and truly has good intentions with trying to provide the best for her family, it leaves you feeling like crap.  You worry that your kids are disappointed that their parties don’t look like that.  Your husband makes comments like ‘why don’t you cook like that?’  The good effort turns into resentment.  (I must admit, my friends would probably put me in this classification.  So here is my PSA in my defense.  I really do LOVE spoiling my friends as a small thank you for all that they do for me on a daily basis.  I’m not good with sending sweet cards and am terrible at returning phone calls, but when it comes time for your wedding or baby shower, I will be the first to volunteer so that for one day you can feel like the princess you are.  These parties or meals are my thank you card for being the great friend you are.) 

The Hot Mom
This mom had the best pregnancy ever.  She gained a perfect 20 lbs all in her belly.  Her body looked better at 9 months pregnant than yours did when you were in college.  When you see her a month after having the baby, her baby weight is already gone and somehow she managed to lose another 5 lbs without trying.  Apparently a side effect from nursing is an instant 6-pack.  I guess I just didn’t get that side effect.  Not only did she lose all her weight, but she was able to keep her pregnancy boobs.  So now she is a size 0 with double D boobs.  At the same time, you gained 50 lbs. during pregnancy and 9 months later after eating nothing but celery you haven’t lost a pound.  You wear frumpy clothes that are covered in spit up while hot mom is playing with her kids on the beach wearing a skimpy little two piece.  Rather than thinking, ‘good for her, she is a great person’ all you can think is ‘I hate that skinny bitch.’ 

Crunchy Mom
This mom is trying to connect with her inner native warrior princess.  She had her baby naturally in the bathtub at her house.  She is exclusively breastfeeding until her child is 8 and when her child does eat, it will not only be home-made and organic but it will also be vegan.  She uses cloth diapers that she made herself, along with her homemade laundry detergent, wipes and soaps.  She has chosen this alternative lifestyle for her and her baby, but judges you because you didn’t.  She is a stronger woman than you because you went to the hospital and requested the epidural.  She cares about her baby’s nutrition more than you because after 6 months of trying, you are giving your baby formula.  She clearly cares more about the environment because of all the poison I am putting into the earth with my wasteful disposable diapers and my Tide laundry detergent that is polluting our waters.  She sees you in public and rolls her eyes at your life decisions while you are trying to hold yourself together.  My kid’s insides are not going to rot because I gave her a goldfish cracker.  We are all trying to make good decisions here but sometimes, you work with what you’ve got.

The Baby-Obsessed Mom
This mom’s only identity is that of her child.  This is all she talks about.  Every story she tells is about something that her kid did.  She wants to show you pictures constantly, even though that child is sitting right in front of me.  All questions are parenting or baby related and all activities must be baby approved for her to bring her child to.  She has never spent more than an hour away from her child and has convinced herself that she is the only one that can make her baby happy.  Everyone else is holding them incorrectly, even though we have babies of our own that have somehow survived.  They are proud stay at home mothers who turn their nose at those who would dare think of leaving their child with a complete stranger to go to work instead of spending these fleeting moments at home with their baby.  I love my child and spending time with her, but I am not a bad mother because I also love my time away and enjoy my job.  So put the iPhoto montage away, join me for a glass of wine and let’s talk about a social issue or even celebrity gossip if you want to keep it light. 

 Okay, so I called myself out on the ‘Martha Mom’ but I have been guilty of all of these to a small degree at one point in time or another and I’m sure you have to.  Well, maybe not hot mom.  No one has ever looked at me and said wow, I can’t believe you had a baby, your body is amazing.  More accurately people assume I am already pregnant with number 2 – that is the only logical explanation for me to still have an extra 20lbs. around my belly right?  Note to everyone in the world:  Unless I am wearing a shirt that says, ‘Yes, I’m Knocked Up’ NEVER ask me when I am due.  For every month that it took for you to gain weight during pregnancy, you get a year to lose it right?  So if I drop it by the time Zoe is 9, I’ll be on track.  Or I can start a ’10 is the new 0’ campaign to get my husband to jump on.   It worked for age… it can work for weight.