Month: March 2016

Honesty And The Art Of (Not) Sharing

They say honesty is best. That being an open book is a good thing. Speak your mind, they say. To share is to care.

I beg to differ.

Or at least when it comes to parenting at 3am.

You see, even the kindest, sweetest and most reasonable of people have the ability to Hulk-out and absolutely destroy their partner with creative and hurtful insults, slurred out of sleepy, foul-smelling mouths at 3am.

Being woken up sucks. Being woken up by someone screaming at you sucks worse. Being woken up by someone screaming at you every night for any longer than one night in your whole life sucks the most, which, unfortunately, is pretty commonplace in the circus that is parenting. And this, in large part, is what can make parenting so hard, as you and your exhausted, foggy mind, wrestle with what you want to say to your partner, versus what really needs to be said.

It is here, in the inky blackness of your nightly 3am wakeup call, where sharing isn’t really caring, and brutal honesty is unnecessary.

But as it is currently 1:38 on a sunny afternoon, and I haven’t just been woken up by the shrill cries of a hungry newborn (or the rhythmic puffing of my husband’s snoring), I don’t have a good reason not to be honest.

You see, I have been keeping a secret.

It’s been following me around all morning, haunting me whenever I see something that reminds me of my discretion (or discretions, if I’m being truthful). The guilt nibbling away at me with the persistence of a toddler who has come into possession of a too-big, too-hard cookie. The weight of it resting heavily in my stomach.

Before you get all judgmental, you should know, it’s not entirely my fault. How I came into possession of what would prove to be my undoing was innocent enough. A favor, even. Something that would benefit our family, if used correctly. But I got greedy. More than greedy, I became addicted.

At 10 o’clock, on more days I care to admit to, the urge overcame me and forced me to take action. To indulge. “You need this!” my brain would reason. “You deserve this.” And so I listened, never once really thinking about the consequences.

Until today, that is, when standing in front of my stash, hand rooting around blindly to properly hide the bag after getting my fix, I noticed something awful. The bag was empty. Reality set in as I realized that over the course of a few weeks, I had eaten all 20 of the incredibly delicious, homemade breakfast burritos that were given to us (let me reiterate the us part) to help with dinners after the baby came. There was no sharing. There was no caring. There was no honesty in my shameful actions, as I balled the tin foil up and shoved it deep down into the recesses of the trash to hide the evidence. (And if you’re asking why breakfast burritos for dinner, we probably shouldn’t be friends.)

The repercussions of this discovery are three-fold. For one, when my husband finds out, he’s going to be… disappointed, which we all know is actually worse than being pissed. Although he very well might also be pissed, but since he’s probably reading this while pooping at work, there’s not a whole lot he will be able to do immediately, which will give his brain time to think about what he should say, and reconcile it with what he wants to say. The second reason this is problematic is because, hello, I’m addicted! What am I going to do at 10am tomorrow when my body starts calling for the magic elixir I no longer possess? The third issue is nothing can replace what has been recklessly consumed, except more delicious homemade breakfast burritos. My upstanding morals, however, make it pretty clear there is a quota of how many homemade breakfast burritos you’re allowed to ask someone to make you, and I think that number falls well under 20, and is probably much closer to 1.

So why am I telling you all this?

Well I’m not, really. I’m actually writing this as a longwinded and circuitous way of telling my husband, Honey, I ate all the breakfast burritos. It might make you feel better to know that I burnt my mouth nearly every single time. It also might make you feel better to know that in a panic, I even considered going to Whole Foods to buy 20 of those Amy’s frozen burritos, then removing the plastic and wrapping them in little squares of foil to try to trick you. But I did’t because I didn’t want to spend $45 or screw around with our wonky foil.

I know we say honesty is best, but don’t forget how we also like to practice not saying something if it’s going to be inflammatory and dickish. So yeah. I’m sorry. And I’ll do baby duty tonight, without the side of silent sass.

oops

Oops, I secretly ate all of something you wanted again. At least this time I didn’t replace it with a raw potato (though I did consider this).

Advertisements

Maybe He’s Teething? When Science and Sleep Deprivation Collide

Not to brag, but my husband and I seem to have an uncanny ability to make babies who don’t sleep. We don’t want to make anyone jealous, but our babies are professional not sleepers. We have high hopes that one day, in the throes of a fitful night of no sleep, they will find the cure for cancer, or maybe solve that whole world hunger problem. But for now, they just keep us awake while we rock, shush, sway and wonder WHAT THE F*CK IS GOING ON WITH OUR KIDS SO THAT THEY DON’T SLEEP?! YOU ARE SO TIRED! WHY WON’T YOU GO THE F*CK TO SLEEP?!

Okay, that came out a little on the intense side, but I’m feeling a little intense about how much sleep I’m not getting. I am also feeling a little intense about needing to find a solution pronto so that I stop aging faster than Mother Gothel from Tangled after Eugene gives Rapunzel her snazzy new ‘do.

mother gothel

#SelfieSaturday!

I am not alone in my quest for golden slumber, as my exhausted husband is equally as desperate for some shut eye before he heads back to work next week. And just like when Baby 1.0 was a newborn, even knowing all she needed was time (19 months to be exact), we find ourselves frantically pacing around our living room, a fussy baby in one hand, and a freshly rejected pacifier in the other, wondering what we are doing wrong.

Because we are scientists (okay, I’m not a real scientist, but I once got a 104% on a biology test), we try to talk it out. We try to think through it. We try to be reasonable and rational, and above all else, scientific, because science doesn’t lie like assholes on the internet. And just like any good scientist, we start by asking questions. So many questions. Too many questions. Questions tumble out of our mouths like termites from a broken nest, wriggling around and making everyone edgy. Just this morning, my husband and I found ourselves in an all too familiar question spiral that pretty much went word for word like this:

WHY WON’T HE SLEEP AT NIGHT? Maybe he’s teething? Maybe he’s in a growth spurt? Maybe he’s too cold? Maybe he’s too hot? Maybe we should swaddle him? Maybe we should swaddle him with one arm out? Maybe we shouldn’t swaddle him? Maybe we should change his diaper more often? Maybe we shouldn’t change his diaper so much? Maybe we should hold him more during the day? Maybe we should be putting him down to nap by himself during the day? Maybe I’m feeding him too much? Maybe he’s hungry? Maybe we need to up our white noise game? Maybe it’s too noisy? Maybe I’m trying to put him down too soon in his sleep cycle? Maybe he needs to learn to fall asleep when he’s drowsy but awake? Maybe he has gas? Maybe this is normal? Maybe this isn’t normal? Maybe we should rearrange our room because maybe he will sleep better in that corner? Maybe we should Google it?

And I’m not even kidding, folks. This is *actually* how our conversation went. Sleep deprivation has turned us into crazy people.

Now a good scientist would pick one question, run an experiment to test the variable, and draw a conclusion that addressed their hypothesis. A good scientist would read the research, and trust that our baby, just like every other baby out there, will eventually learn to sleep. A good scientist would be patient, knowing results take time.

scientist

My scientific credibilities are about on par with what Bill Murray brings to the table.

But a good scientist, I am not.

I am a very tired, very irrational, very moody, very tired regular person who is very tired, and very desperate to find any kind of help that will give me even the tiniest chunk of sleep. So if you’ll excuse me, I am off to rearrange my room, order the latest swaddle sack off Amazon, feed the baby for 15-20 minutes on each side, burp him, rock him, assess his temperature, possibly change a diaper, turn on an appropriate amount of white noise, and attempt to put him down approximately 5 minutes after he enters deep sleep, which should be evident by slow breathing and floppy limbs…unless of course I decide to go the whole “drowsy but awake” route.

Yeah. Wish me luck.

Image credits: Mother Gothel, Bill Murray, cover image

To The Superheroes Who Keep Standing When I Would Fall Down- Latest BLUNTMoms Piece

Our conversation starts normally, with particulars exchanged in moments squeezed between acknowledging, encouraging, and parenting our kids as they ping-pong around the room. Ages of children are offered, current employment statuses discussed, and of course comments about the weather are made because this is what adults talk about (right?).

And then a bomb is dropped: Her kid is sick. Like, really sick.

An instant weight falls upon my shoulders as I hear her talk openly about almost losing a child. A tightness in my heart, squeezing, squeezing, as she discusses an unknown future. I stumble with my words, an apology, a well wish, a heavy silence while my brain spins with horrible Hallmark-worthy phrases to offer up.

And all the while, she remains standing. Shoulders back, head up, strong as hell, she talks about what might come, and she is still standing.

This is an excerpt from my latest post up on BLUNTMoms. It’s both a tribute to the incredible strength found in the everyday woman, and a reminder that we all have the ability to access it when needed. Swing by and check it out if you find yourself in need of a pep talk.

Access the rest of the article here.

Greeting Cards For People Who Aren’t Baby People

Babies. Small, helpless, squishy, probably pooping. Upon laying eyes on a newborn, some people absolutely melt. They look past the weird shaped head, the peeling skin, the explosive farts and the projectile milk puke, and turn into puddles of love, cooing and baby-talking the afternoon away. But others? Well others don’t see past it, which I totally get, because let’s be honest, babies are weird.

Regardless of your reaction, upon learning of the arrival of yet another member of the human race, friends and family are often tasked with selecting the perfect card to congratulate the mother and father on successfully spawning. The isles of your local drug store are filled with flowery designs, in perfect pink and baby blue, bubbling with joyful wishes and sappy sentiments. This is all well and good if A) You like babies, or B) Have recently had a lobotomy.

But we all know this is bullshit.

There is nothing glamorous about new babies, or new parents. This isn’t to say there aren’t lovely things about your new life, but these lovely things are only lovely to the people who you share genes with. Never has this been more apparent than over the last two weeks when welcoming visitors into my dirty house, while wearing dirty pajamas, with dirty hair and leaky boobs.

In order to ease the burden of selecting a card that truly represents what you’d like to say, I have taken the liberty of creating a series of cards I feel would more accurately sum up the sentiments of our recent visitors.

1.boobs leaking

2.eye circles

3.showers

4.stork

5.boobs

6.spawning

7.cup


 

Cover image

Days Like This

Oh sweet baby Jesus. I forgot how hard this is.

Anyone who has had a baby will be quick to tell you how hard it is in the beginning, but much like the pains of labor fade (and they do, trust me, you DO NOT remember how shitty that part is), you don’t actually remember how hard it is until you’re in the thick of it.

But I’m here now, and I’m going to tell you, it is hard.

Your body hurts in ways you didn’t even know it could. Your brain is absolute mush. You are more tired than you’ve ever been. And on top of it, you are basically trying to solve a human Rubik’s cube with a very loud alarm that tells you over and over you are doing it wrong.

Even if you’ve already done this before, it’s all new again. Everything is different. Things that worked for your other babies doesn’t work. Or you’ve just forgotten (damn you Moby for making me relearn how to do fabric origami with a 15 foot piece of cloth on no sleep!). Or maybe some things are even easier. But regardless, everything is different.

Well everything except one thing: This is hard.

But here’s the thing. Some days the hard will be too much, or at least it will feel like too much. Some days the tears will outnumber the smiles. Some days all you will do is sit in dirty pajamas and nurse, shush and rock your way from sunrise to sunset, while your messy house, greasy hair, and smelly breath taunt you.

Other days, though, you will get up and get out and feel alive again.

Now there’s no balance to these days, and it may feel like the scales are heavily tipped in the wrong direction. But eventually it will even out, and even further down the line, the scales will tip the other way.

So from one mama in the trenches to any one else out there, sitting in dirty pajamas dreaming of a shower, a cinnamon roll, and about 97 hours of consecutive sleep, I am here to remind you that we will get through this part, too.

And in the mean time, I will be available for Twitter chat or Facebook messenger tonight, and every night for the foreseeable future from the hours of 10:30pm to 1am, when I hand our newest Rubik’s cube over to his daddy with strict instructions to not wake me unless the house is on fire.

IMG_1038