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Planning a wedding? Stressful. Writing a thesis for your Master’s Degree? Very stressful. Being a parent? Crazy, out of this world, off the charts stressful. From helicopter moms to free range moms, breast or bottle moms, Type A moms to Hipster moms-parenting styles may not be in sync, but they do have one thing in common. Stress. So what’s causing all of this Mom Stress?
Here’s an idea. Let’s take two complete strangers (whose only thing in common is that their kids are the same age) make them hang out and endure awkward small talk while they watch their kids play and silently countdown the seconds until it’s acceptable to figure out a reason to leave. Pair that with the fact that you have no clue if the kids are going to be singing Kumbaya or duking it out Hunger Games style. That’s just a recipe for stress. A Stressicpe! Yeah, I went there.
Feeding Your Kids
At a minimum you are responsible for your kids’ three basic needs: food, shelter and clothing. The stress begins the first few hours after you pop out your kid. Will she latch?! Is he getting enough? Then they start experimenting with pureed food that they either love, throw at you or respond with a face that looks like you just gave them a bowl of dog poop. Then bring on the solid “people” food where you spend half the mealtime cutting food into tiny pieces and the other half worrying that your kid will choke on those tiny pieces. Next, comes the wonderful phase when they can totally feed themselves but deem everything “icky.” Followed by the phase where they’ll only eat three things. And there’s that phase when they won’t STOP eating and you can’t keep up. Of course, there will probably be some phase where they decide to be a vegetarian, a pescatarian, a freaking cereal-etarian. Spoiler alert, when it comes to feeding your kids, there will always be a phase. And it will never be fun.
I blame Pinterest for this one. Back in the day, it was simple. A costume and a pumpkin for Halloween. A tree and some red and green decorations for Christmas. Candy and a couple of hidden eggs for Easter. Not overly challenging, holiday prep was no biggie. But now, God help us, it’s like each and EVERY holiday takes two weeks of planning, $452 of craft supplies and a whole lot of magic (aka countless extra tasks for moms). Super elaborate Elf on the Shelf tableaus, amazingly intricate, practically professionally constructed Valentine’s mailboxes, Leprechaun traps for St. Patrick’s day?! Seriously, where does it end?
Remember when you were pregnant and you signed up for every single weekly pregnancy update email you could find? Yeah, me too. Then you have your baby and never unsubscribe and still receive 30 weekly updates with headlines like “7 things your baby MUST be doing by 12 months.” Then you click on the link and then freak out that your child has their own development timeline and isn’t deemed “on track.” Stresssssful. Look, I get it, it is important to make sure your child is hitting certain developmental goals and getting them the proper help if they need it. But, come on, how about a little wiggle room on these mandatory “milestones.”
Bedtime is one of those things that looks so nice in the movies. Wrapping a happy, freshly bathed child in a fluffy towel, snuggling up and reading their favorite fairy tale and finally kissing them on the forehead while they gently drift to sleep with a smile on their face. Sometimes (in movies) the bedtime routine is so truly magical that parents need to tip-toe into their sleeping child’s room just to get one more look. And that’s exactly how bedtime happens…in the universe where money grows on trees, pigs fly and an all-carbs all-the-time diet exists. Here on earth, not so much. In reality, bathtime involves 18 “required” bath toys and soaking wet floors. Story time takes approximately 90 minutes, seven books and a zillion questions. And going into my kid’s room once I FINALLY get them to sleep? I would rather walk on hot coals while juggling and listening to “the song that never ends” on repeat.
Being a “Good” Mom
So here’s a fun topic. I need to take a deep breath, sip some wine and clip on my Buzzies before I even get started on this one. It used to be simple to be considered a good mom. If you loved your kids and took care of their basic needs, you were deemed a good mom. These days it’s not so simple. Soooo much is expected of modern day moms that the qualities that made you a good mom 50 years ago are considered just the bare minimum in our society. Sure you love, feed and bathe your kids, BUT…have you started teaching them French? Did you triple check and make sure that their lunch is all natural, non-GMO, organic, and perfectly well rounded? Have you become a childhood sleep expert to ensure you selected the correct bedtime? Are the toys your kid is playing with appropriate for their blood type and zodiac sign?? The standards that society and we as moms hold ourselves to is INSANE. Some nights I keep myself up with thoughts of motherhood mediocrity whirling through my brain. Enough is enough. Being a “good” mom is easy. Just love your kids with everything you have and there you have it, you’re a good mom.
What’s that word that means a spotlessly clean house that kids live in? Oh yeah, there is no word for it because it’s not something that exists. It’s not like my house is never clean. It is, for about 48 seconds until it begins the descent towards crumb, clutter and chaos again. Here’s the thing, trying to keep your house spic and span when you have little kids is like standing in the middle of a thunderstorm and trying not to get wet. Not happening. Do what you can to make sure your house doesn’t look like it should be on an episode of Hoarders, but realize that until your kids are out of the house, crumbs are inevitable, laundry will be piled up and don’t be surprised if you find tiny plastic toys hidden between your sheets.
Screwing Your Kid Up
Magazines aren’t the only thing that’s got a lot of issues. Parents got ‘em too! Try as you may to avoid it, there will be countless times that you worry that your own issues are going to screw up your kids. You can spend your life stressing that your issues and not so great decisions will have some detrimental lifelong effect on your child. Guess what? They probably will. But you know what else will have a lifelong effect on your kid? All the good things you do, all the positive traits they inherited and the amazing gems of parental wisdom that you will pass along. So just chill, it will all even out.
Stress has pretty much become synonymous with motherhood. There’s really no way around it, but there are ways to cope. Have that glass of wine, do the 90-minute yoga class, grab your Buzzies or even marathon three seasons of that Netflix show you’ve been dying to see. Just try to take a second to breathe and remember, you’re NOT the only one who sometimes wonders if you’re too old to run away. Mom stress is so real that now even neuroscience is stepping up to help moms. Buzzies, the innovative lifestyle wearable device, uses non-invasive BLAST technology to help reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep and control cravings and anger. Check it out at their website or on Facebook or Instagram.
This post has been sponsored by Buzzies but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
It goes without saying that moms are the most underappreciated people in the world. Mother’s Day is the time of year when moms are recognized for the amazing things they do on a daily basis. So naturally each May every store in town competes to prove they have the gift that will show mothers how much they are loved. Sorry Nordstrom, apparently you didn’t get the memo – the best things are life are free! That’s not to say I wouldn’t graciously accept a Louis Vuitton purse, Chanel sunglasses or a luxurious spa day, but that’s not the Mother’s Day gift that I am really hoping for. This year, and every other, there is just one thing I really want, a fantastic Mother’s Day memory.
Why just a memory? Because memories have powers that expensive tangible gifts do not. Will a purse help you when your kid decides to pour his apple juice all over the cleaning supply aisle at Target because he wants to make a “Slip and Slide”? Do sparkly diamond earrings subdue the sounds of a screeching toddler that refuses to go to bed? What about a box of decadent, gourmet chocolates? Will that lessen the grossness of being peed on for the third night in a row because your little one insists on sleeping in your bed? No! Motherhood is an endless roller coaster of highs and lows and sometimes in the middle of a low stretch you need a little something to tide you over until you make your way up to another peak. THIS is why my Mother’s Day memories are so important to me. It’s those snippets of pure love and joy that you hold so near to your heart and remind you that no matter how low the lows get, the highs blow them right out of the water. All the hugs and the kisses and the snuggles and the special memories. Some of my favorite mother’s day memories include…
These are the types of memories that warm my heart and make me smile. It’s all those little things that make every sleepless night, every tantrum, every “how are we going to afford this?!?!” worth it.
Yes, the best things in life are free. The second best things in life are almost free! The fab folks over at Luvs are showering mother’s new and old with some awesome diaper deals. Keep your eye out in this Sunday’s paper to save some big bucks on the diapers that can do the job that the others can’t do-do (haha get it?!). OR just print your own from luvs-coupons.
Stretch tabs, leak protection, money back guarantee, what’s not to love? If you want to be a super duper coupon queen, Luvs has also teamed up with Ibotta to save you a serious chunk of change. If you’ve never used Ibotta, Ugotta. Seriously, it’s awesome – just download it for free (IOS or android) and search “Luvs”.
This post was sponsored by Luvs as part of their #ShareTheLuv campaign, but all opinions,ideas and awesome memories are my own.
Time and time again you will hear mom’s everywhere complain about how tired they are. It’s kind of our “thing”. Non-moms will smile and nod when they hear us complain for the third time that week that it’s a “Venti” kind of morning. They may even commiserate with you and tell you that they “get it”. But, they don’t. Mom-tired is it’s own special mix of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion. So, why exactly are mom’s so fu*king exhausted all the time?
-We have to feed a bunch of people, sometimes from our boobs, like multiple times a day. Every. Damn. Day.
-We answer the question “why” at least 343 times a day.
-We have to be nice and socialize with other parents we don’t like for the sake of our children. And everyone knows socializing with people is so exhausting.
-We are constantly grossed out by the fact that any given moment we can be covered in another tiny human’s bodily fluids. Sure you’re 10 pound infant is the most adorable thing in the world, but being projectile pooped on by that adorable thing is gag worthy every time.
-We are constantly vacuuming cheerios and scraping fruit snacks from our car floor mats.
-We spend an hour and a half looking for a tiny My Little Pony figurine that our kid swore was not in their backpack. Then we watch our kid take a nap while we continue searching and then finally find the pony…in the f*cking backpack.
-We hunt monsters out from their hiding spaces in closets and under beds in the wee hours of the night.
-We have to sprint through the grocery store last minute when we inevitably forget it was our day to be “snack mom”.
-We have to jump up and down with excitement towards the questionable arts and crafts projects brought home from preschool. Yes, I totally see how that brown squiggle line and purple circle is an elephant dancing in the rain.
-We are always chauffeuring kids around to back to back activities and playdates that they may or may not even want to go to.
-We have to teach tiny human beings right from wrong and how to be a good person. Pressure much??
-We always try to pretend to have our shit together even when everything is falling apart.
-We have to keep our kids clean or at least keep them looking and smelling clean. Thank God for baby wipe “showers”!
-We squeeze, suck, shimmy our way into clothes that aid in distracting from the omnipresent belly pooch.
-We run around the house picking up toys that seem to magically regenerate.
-We spend hours on the computer researching every rash, bite, funny sounding coughs that comes out of our child’s mouth.
-We lie awake worrying about everything.
-We are filled with so much love that sometimes our hearts want to explode.
Yeah, no wonder we’re exhausted. Yes, exhausted. But happy. And honestly, probably a little disheveled.
It never occurred to me that when you called my name 19 times to wake up in the mornings to go to school that you were just as annoyed as I was. As I would place my pillow over my head and mutter “Why can’t you just let me sleep?”, it never once crossed my mind that you might have been thinking the exact same thing.
Even after a hectic day, I remember you taking the time to cook a well balanced meal. I never once noticed a look of exhaustion on your face. I was too busy wishing we could just order pizza instead. Ironically, that was probably what you were thinking too.
I don’t remember you stressing over never ending piles of laundry.
Or forgetting to sign a permission slip.
Or sending me to school a little disheveled looking in a mismatched outfit.
But, I’m sure there were those days. You are human. There was a time when you were new to being a mom too. There must have been many times when you were exhausted/overwhelmed/scared that you were screwing up your kids. But that’s just another thing I never saw, another thing I never realized until now. And that’s what gets me through on the hardest days of motherhood. The days that I think I’m setting my child up for lifelong standing weekly appointment with a therapist to discuss how her mother failed her. The days when I feel like I can’t handle cooking another dinner/wiping another butt/listening to another meltdown. Those terrible days when I am scared to face my daughter because I don’t want her to see how tired, sad and angry I am. Those days when all I need is a hug and to talk to my mommy so she can make it all better.
Those are the days when I need to stop and realize that just because there are days when I lose confidence and doubt myself as a mother doesn’t mean my children will. Kids don’t notice the behind the scenes action. My kids won’t see my frantic early morning rush through the grocery store to buy oranges and graham crackers. They’ll just know that their mom brought snacks on snack day. They won’t witness me near tears on the phone to book a replacement clown last minute. They’ll just know they had an awesome circus themed birthday party.
Mom, I’ve realized that motherhood isn’t always as easy as you made it seem. I am flawed and messy and insecure. And that’s okay. Because even though you are a beautiful/perfect/funny/loving/superwoman mom, you are only human. Just like me.
There have been countless times since becoming a mother that I have wished that I could get a break. I have fantasized about having a day to myself where I don’t have to get the kids ready or cook dinner or clean the house. I have dreamed of a day where I can just stay in my pajamas and read magazines and watch trashy tv. Then that day came. What should have been a dream come true instead became a nightmarish reality. BED REST. Doctored ordered pregnancy bedrest, to be exact. Like so many other things in life, one quickly learns that the idea of being forced to lay in bed all day with no responsibilities is way better than the reality of it. As a life long lazy girl, I can barely believe that thought even came out of my mind, but believe me, once you’re part of the Bed Rest club, you’ll understand.
Due to lack of salon visits, heat styling and mirror access, your hair looks like Medusa got stuck in a tornado.
You feel that a human’s basic needs are food, water, shelter, On Demand.
You no longer remember what it feels like to wear shoes.
You totally get Tom Hanks’ obsession with Wilson.
Your available credit has taken a major hit due to hours of uninterrupted online shopping.
You look forward to your weekly doctor’s visits like they are an all expense paid trip to Bali.
Your version of a leisurely afternoon stroll is a walk to the bathroom.
For the first time in your life you actually want to exercise.
Formerly boring tasks, like folding laundry are now the highlight of your day.
You become convinced that Steven King’s Misery was inspired by a pregnant woman on bed rest.
Your touch screen on your phone is damaged from excessive texting/gaming/googling.
You have a stalker level knowledge of all celebrity gossip.
You are jealous that the women on Orange is the New Black have so much “freedom”.
The idea of sleeping in a bed without crumbs cracks you up.
And to all the women out there who are surviving/ have survived best rest, here is a virtual high five. From a supine position in bed, of course.
Huge Boobs, Not Hot: Victoria’s Secret Model boobs without the cost or risk of surgery?! Sounds great, right? Wrong! Not only will your new knockers send you running to the mall to stock up on new bras and tops, they hurt too! Although your new Playboy worthy chest may look appealing, preg boobs are heavy, sore, sweaty and always getting in the damn way! On the bright side, huge boobs and a huge belly make the rest of your body look slimmer. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.
Your Level Of Gassiness Is Seriously Out Of Control: If you are one of those women who has never burped and farted in front of your man, now is the time to get over it. Let’s be real, there are only so many times you can blame it on the dog. There’s no use fighting it, just give into the fact that for the next 9 months your home will be filled with more farts and burps than a frat house on Mexican Food night. Sexy, huh?
Everything Gets Fat, Including Your Woo Haa: Every woman is prepared to gain weight during pregnancy. Your belly grows, your ass gets a little fatter and so does everywhere else. I mean everywhere. My beloved yoga pants have been benched lately not because my belly stretches them out, not because my butt is too big, but because my Woo Ha is getting fat! No joke, it’s one of those rarely discussed glorious side effects of pregnancy. Hmmmm, guess I missed the “Fat Vag” section in all the pregnancy books that I read.
You’ll Pee Your Pants: You’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about all the diapers you’ll soon need to buy. Well, hate to break it to you, but you might want to add adult diapers to your shopping list. Long gone are the days when you can cough/sneeze/jump without leaking a little bit of pee. From now on whenever you sneeze you will need to squeeze your legs and fight the urge to grab your crotch. It’s ok though, wetting your pants can be a bonding experience between you and baby, right?
Oh God, the Moods Swings: It’s no secret that pregnancy hormones throw your mood out of whack, but it’s a bit more dramatic and excessive than you might expect. One minute your husband forgets to take out the trash and you are filled with Lorena Bobbit level wife rage. And the next minute you’ll be so touched by the fact that he remembered to feed the dogs that your outpouring of love will have him wondering what kind of drug you are on. Seriously, I’m pretty positive Jekyll and Hyde was inspired by a pregnant woman.
You Will Eat Like an Animal: Sure you need extra calories for the baby. Of course, you will indulge in some of you weird pregnancy cravings. But, did you know that you will have an insatiable appetite that will cause you to eat snack after snack until you are surrounded by so many torn wrappers and food scraps that it looks like a racoon got into your trash. Yep, pretty much. You will sadly learn that the extra apple and string cheese you packed in your purse will not stand up to the unstoppable PREGNANCY APPETITE. Be afraid, be very afraid.
Leave a comment below and let me know YOUR pregnancy symptoms!
That’s how I told my husband found out I was pregnant. Followed by shoving a pee covered stick in his face. Creative and sentimental? No. Did it get the point across? I think so.
Since I lacked that “special moment” telling my husband we were soon going to be a family of four, I was hoping to make more of a splash when announcing to all of our friends and family that they better watch out because I am off of wine for the next nine months. I sooo wanted to be one of those moms who announced her pregnancy in a really inventive,creative new way. I spent hours on Pinterest looking for inspiration for some awesome way to say “Yo, I’m Preggo”. But,alas, I found that due to first trimester nausea paired with the fact that I am lazy and lack any craft skills whatsoever I totally failed to come up with any special announcement.
So in an effort to make myself feel better about wasting 20 hours scouring Pinterest and Google for ideas, I present to you the Greatest Pregnancy Announcements Ever. Maybe next pregnancy I’ll jump on the epic announcement train….
For the Italians:
For the Gossip Lovers:
For the Exhibitionists:
For the women who tell it like it is:
For the Accountants:
For the Intellectuals:
For the Breakfast Lover:
For the Bargain Hunter:
For the Ones Who Desperately Miss Happy Hour:
For the Ones With an Eclectic Pregnancy Palate:
For the Vintage Chicks:
For the 90’s Kids:
For the Movie Buffs:
For the Wine Lovers(I feel your pain):
For the Belly Bumpers:
For the Starbucks Addicts:
For the Toilet Huggers:
For the Tweeters:
For the Trivia Lovers:
For the Trekkies:
For the Landlords:
For the Gamers:
For the All Around Awesome Couple:
How did YOU tell the world you were expecting?
Don’t surprise me with a fancy dinner at an expensive restaurant. Want to really impress me? It doesn’t take much. Just handle dinner/clean up on your own and make sure I get to eat my meal without interruption. A hot meal cooked by anyone else but me trumps any Michelin star restaurant in my book.
Don’t buy me sexy lingerie. It’s a waste of money. You saw me give birth, the jig is up.
Don’t buy me chocolates. I will end up eating the whole box while I lay in bed and watch Bravo after everyone goes to sleep. Actually, nix that… buy me chocolate, but come up with a convincing story about how Godiva now makes all of their chocolates low calorie and sugar free.
Don’t give me breakfast in bed that you made with the help of our daughter. Why?
1) Three years olds are definitely not known for their food prep skills,
2) There is a 100% chance that my juice and coffee will spill when our daughter jumps on our bed and 3) who do you think is going to clean up the crumbs from our sheets and be responsible for getting the syrup stain off our comforter?
Don’t buy me flowers. Yes, I know it’s a sweet gesture, but I will spend the next week arguing with a toddler about picking the petals off and sprinkling them all over the floor.
Do set your phone alarm for alerts the week of, day before, night before, early morning of Valentine’s day. Hell hath no fury like a wife/mom who does not receive instant gratitude the second she wakes up on February 14th.
Do leave me alone. I mean that in the nicest way possible. Just for a few hours so I can have at least some time just to relax and read all of the trashy gossip magazines that I no longer have time to read.
Do insist that I take a nap. That’s really all I want ever. Bonus points if while I’m napping you fold the laundry that’s been sitting on top of the dryer for the last five days.
Do tell me I look pretty, ask me if I’ve lost weight and tell me how flattering my yoga pants are.
Do give me the the only gift I really need….a big hug and to be told I’m doing a great job.
For many years New Year’s Eve was my favorite day of the year. The glitz, the parties, the booze! Who could ask for anything more? I would spend days preparing: shopping for the perfect outfit, getting my hair done, finding the best party…you get the idea. I would spend the night eating, drinking laughing and then I would spend the next two days recovering. It was fabulous.
Then, I got pregnant. That New Year’s Eve was spent feeling fat and wasting a lot of time and money trying to create special NYE “mocktails”. The next year I had a newborn. That New Year’s Eve was spent pumping milk and wishing the baby would sleep more than 45 minutes at a time. Now I am in a whole new New Year’s Eve phase of my life: New Year’s Eve with a young child. After spending the last few days wondering how this New Year’s Eve would be, it hit me. This year is the first year that my NYE could be much like New Year’s Eve of my past, my date will just be a little younger and smaller.
There will be fancy clothes. Princess dresses, tiaras and a plethora of plastic jewels. There will even be some sparkly lipgloss.
There will be dancing. There will be plenty of hour spent twirling, hopping and butt shaking going down.
There will be noise. Never underestimate the volume level that can be reached by a kid with a wooden spoon, pots & pans and a celebratory noisemaker.
There will be drinking. Lots of it! Apple juice, milk, hot chocolate. I know you’re not “supposed to mix” when you’re drinking, but it’s NYE and you only live once.
There will be counting down. Maybe not the typical ball drop countdown. But there will for sure be a few Time Out countdowns.
There will be chaos. I can guarantee you that a 3.5 year old staying up late, hopped up on sugar and excitement will cause as much chaos as 20 drunk adults waiting for the ball to drop.
There will be passing out and drooling. From exhaustion. Maybe by me, maybe by my kid. It has yet to be determined.