21

The wait is over – Motherhood Confessionals!

I’d like to start off this post by thanking all of the Mama’s who put their guard down and submitted Motherhood Confessions to me for this blog post. I quite literally couldn’t have done it without you!

I know I normally try to take a funny stance on my posts, but sometimes more serious posts are necessary. Like this one, for example. I read all the time about Moms who think they are failures and think they aren’t living up to the standards a “good Mom” should be able to achieve. What we don’t realize, is that we are all good Moms who are just way too hard on ourselves.

One of the Mum’s brave enough to submit some confessions eloquently described why I felt this was important. I’m including what the awesome Mama from Momma Needs Coffee wrote to me about submitting confessions (with her permission to do so, of course).

“I am really glad How to Ruin a Toddler’s Day decided to run this. I am always stressing out about the ways I think I am failing and trying to find ways to make myself better. I was going to write about a specific time when I felt like I had failed, but I realized that it was the day to day things that stress me out more than the one time occurrences. I realized that there might be some other mom’s out there who feel equally guilty while they are confessing things, even if it’s only to themselves. I needed to forgive myself for not being perfect. And at the end of the day, I am not failing at all. Why? Because my kids are happy, healthy and most importantly: LOVED.”

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Before I post the confessions, I would like to again stress that these are completely anonymous and posted in a random mixed up order. I’ve also put one or two in there of my own that I needed to get off my chest. If we learn anything from this post, I hope it is that we are all good parents, no matter how much we feel we might be failing. We all go through ups and downs, highs and lows, and moments of immense frustration. It doesn’t make us bad Mums – it makes us normal ones!

So without further ado, onto the confessions!

  • At my daughter’s first Christmas, we had to go to multiple family members homes to make the visiting rounds. With a baby less than 3 months old, and very little sleep that night, I was plain exhausted. We didn’t leave my father in law’s home that night until after 11pm to head home. My partner fell asleep in the car, and I was driving. It was a 45 minute commute. Thirty minutes into the drive, my baby started to cry uncontrollably. I pulled over 15 minutes away from home, and went to check on her in the back seat. Her winter hat had fallen off of her head and was completely covering her face which lead me to panic. But that wasn’t the worst part. She had fallen asleep at my father in laws house, so I put her in the car seat to sleep on the floor with a blanket tucking her in. When we packed her up for the drive, we must have forgotten to remove the blanket to be sure she was strapped in – she wasn’t. We drove 30 minutes on a highway with her in the carseat, but without being strapped in. I strapped her in and cried for the 15 minutes remaining in the drive, and then cried myself to sleep that night. I was a new Mom, and I’d failed at keeping her safe.
  • There have been times when I have left the kids in a diaper that I know is wet because I am preoccupied with something else. Not something important. Something like a game on Facebook, or reading a book.
  • I have plopped my kid in front of the TV so I could write more, I’ve hid in the laundry room to eat a chocolate bar while inconspicuously wiping the residue off of my face as I casually walk out, I’ve bribed and threatened all in one sentence…but one other thing I do feel bad about and need to work harder to stop is being on my damn iPhone. It has so many apps that notify me of things and being a lover of instant gratification and validation, I check them immediately, if possible, rather than waiting until free opportunities. WordPress has me bad…I love that damn notification sound. I don’t check FB very much on it, but definitely check texts and WordPress when they notify me. Both kids know how to work the phone from seeing me. When my daughter says something about me being on my phone, I say that I am scheduling playdates and activities for her and her brother..which is partly true and partly a lie. I’m doing that but also checking in to see what new comment just came to my post. So, there you have it. I spend too much time on my iPhone. Now that I’ve confessed, I may have to make an effort to stop.
  • I’ve yelled at my newborn asking him what his problem was on a few occasions (all the while knowing that I was the one with the problem because, y’know, the crying baby is crying because it’s the only way he knows how to communicate).
  • I keep “fast food” in the house for days when I am too lazy to put any real effort into cooking a meal. Frozen waffles, chicken nuggets in a box, a bag of fries, corn dogs. I tend to go through these pretty fast, even though I normally enjoy cooking.
  • One Christmas I was given some Lindt chocolates. You know the really yummy red balls. Whenever I ate one I’d give the kids a cheap Walmart foil wrapped chocolate. When I ran out of cheap chocolates I’d sneak eating my special yummy chocolates so I didn’t have to share with the kids. One day I got caught eating one and the kids wanted some, so I lied and told them I couldn’t share because these chocolates have alcohol in them. Lol Oops!
  • I’ve let my son cry in his crib “just one more minute” to “see if he can sort himself out” more than once in the middle of the night.
  • I snap at the kids. I lose my patience. More often than I want to admit to. I try not to, but I do.
  • I’ve been careless enough that my son ended up doing a face plant off the couch and onto the floor.
  •  I too, sometimes wait to see if the baby and the toddler with self soothe, partially because I’m tired and I really don’t want to get out of bed. I’m also guilty of the pajamas until three o’clock, potato chips as a meal, and toys when they really don’t deserve them because they have been misbehaving but everyone in the store is staring at me like I’m the world’s worst mother if I don’t buy them, offenses.
  • I love my kid more than life itself, and wouldn’t change having her in my life for anything. But sometimes I really miss life before her – things like sleeping till noon, making last minute spontaneous plans with my girlfriends, and generally being able to put myself first for anything. I love her, but I miss my “before” life.
  • Sometimes I wish I could go back to when I didn’t have kids. When I could sleep whenever I wanted. Eat when I wanted. Have extra money. Not have to wonder if I remembered to put the wipes into the diaper bag when we are out and catch a whiff of something unpleasant.
  • When my son was a little baby – about 3 months old – I went out for a few Xmas drinks with friends. I left a couple of bottles with daddy – one for the middle of the night wake up and one for the morning even though I’d be back. Anyway, my son just would not take the middle of the night one. There was no way I could feed him either. I’d had quite a bit to drink. We ended up just pouring just a little down his throat from a cup. He finally settled and went back to sleep. When he woke up for his morning feed he just refused the bottle again and screamed and screamed and screamed. With the calculations from the breastfeeding website, based on what I drank the night before I felt I still had about another hour to go before my breast milk would be 100% alcohol free but he just wouldn’t stop crying and in the end I fed him. He had a big sleep after that feed, I’ll never forget it, and I stood over him virtually the whole time as I was terrified I’d made him drunk. To be clear, I hadn’t had a drink for something like 7 hours, but still, it was worrying for me.
  • I love my daughter, but sometimes other people’s kids really annoy me.
  • I’ve gotten annoyed with my son because he was being needy and I just wanted to read one more post.
  • I sometimes sneak money out of my kids piggy banks when we are getting low on cash before pay day.
  • Forgetting baby wipes. I have done this. Numerous times. And not noticed until I had the diaper off one of them and no way to get anything. I used a receiving blanket and threw it out. When the baby spit up…I used the spare clothes that were in the diaper bag to wipe her and I up.
  • I’ve “not noticed” a few dirty/wet diapers so that my partner would have to change them.
  • I turn the TV on for the kids almost every day so I can lie on the couch and cat nap. I need it. I can’t function otherwise.
  • Sometimes I pretend to be asleep when the baby wakes up in the middle of the night in the hopes my husband will hear her and wake up to deal with her. If he doesn’t hear her, I’ll “nudge” him awake so that he does.
  • I cry a lot and wonder how other Moms do it. I don’t tell my friends that I’m having a hard time dealing with being a new Mom because I’m afraid it will make me look like a bad Mom. So I cry to myself.
  • I’ve told my daughter that her lunch/dinner is actually called “cake” or “cookie” just because I know if I use those words to describe her meal, she’ll eat it.
  • I sometimes feel resentful towards my partner for not doing as much to look after our child as I do.

 

That’s all I received for confessions from all of you lovely, amazing, spectacular Moms. I’m sure most of us can relate to one, if not all of the confessions on this blog post. And if we’ve learned anything from relating to these confessions it’s that we’re all in the same boat. We’re all Moms. We all struggle, we are all forgetful, but above all else, we all LOVE with every inch of our hearts. That is the most important common factor.

So let’s focus on the love, and not the failures. Because after all, we aren’t the first or last Mom to feel that way.

Xo.

(PS – Don’t forget to click to vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs – just click on that fancy button on the right hand side of my blog. One click = one vote!)

10

My second guest post – What a new Mom wants from you.

I’m so thrilled to have my second guest post up and published – and even more thrilled that I was invited to do so from a blogger who writes from a Daddy perspective, rather than a Mommy one. I find it refreshing to read things that come from life at a different angle than I’m experiencing myself. Plus, he’s from the same area I’m from, so we’re supporting “local” if you would. 🙂

The Blog post is entitled “What a new Mom wants from you”.

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It’s stuff I think we all want, but might not feel like saying because we’re afraid to admit we need help, want support, or can’t do it all on our own. I’d love you to take a peek and share your thoughts!!

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So follow the link, and head on over to Modern Man of the Cloth’s blog, to read the guest post featuring yours truly!
xoxo

 

26

Who needs birth control reminders…

…when you have a toddler who has regular temper tantrums.

Seriously. That’s reminder enough for me to take my daily dose.

It seems we have entered the phase of temper tantrums full force. It has taken a toll on me today. One minute she’s the cutest, sweetest kid you’ve ever seen in your life (and I’m not just saying that because I’m her mother and I’m biased…ok maybe a little, but she’s completely adorable!). Then, faster than you can blink, she’s gone all Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde on your ass and it’s like… “Whose kid is this!?!?!”

Maybe if I can teach her to do it on command, she could make herself a few bucks.

Maybe if I can teach her to do it on command, she could make herself a few bucks.

For example, today she was playing with her little plastic kitten. She had a stretchy bracelet that she was attempting to put around it’s neck like a necklace. She was standing there trying, unsuccessfully for many minutes, and becoming visibly increasingly frustrated. So I finally spoke up.

Me: “Hey L, would you like Mama to help?”

L: Running over enthusiastically with a smile on her face. Shakes head yes, and hands both over to me.

I put the bracelet on the cat’s neck like a necklace and go to hand it back to her.

She smiles, reaches out for it, takes it in her hands and then throws it across the length of the room while simultaneously dropping herself to the floor. Let the screaming, kicking, and full body throws of unbalanced emotions begin.

Oh crap. Remind me to keep her away from my car.

Oh crap. Remind me to keep her away from my car.

I’m meanwhile, just sitting there watching in amazement at the many ways my daughter can contort her body. I mean, I don’t want to give in and give her attention as it will just be negative reinforcement for her behaviour.

So I sat back and watched the show. When she realized that nobody was really paying her any attention she finally sat up and looked at me. This conversation ensued:

Me: “Are you finished?”

L: Crossed arms, hung head, and a pout. No words.

Me: “If you’re finished, please stand up and go pick up your cat.”

I know this is bound to go on for years to come. Thankfully my fiance came home tonight with a chocolate bar weighing 400g’s, and as long as my forearm. I’m going to need it!

I’m not quite sure how else to handle it really. This is a new phase. Do any of you have any suggestions on how to handle the meltdowns and make them less frequent?

(I’ve got the chocolate and wine handled, but that’s more for me after she’s gone to bed).

26

Barbie in “real” size. My thoughts.

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Have you seen this picture floating around Facebook recently? It seems every second person on my friend list is posting it lately, and I must say it’s brought a few thoughts to my mind. Some serious, some not, and some I wouldn’t have had before I was the mother of a daughter.

So here goes:

1) Hells yeah, Barbie finally has some booty! I mean, I could be wrong on this, but most men like a bit of junk in the trunk. At least most men I’ve spoken to anyway. Most women, have a bit of junk in their trunk. Some women have no butt, true, but most do. There’s nothing wrong with a little booty. Heck, isn’t that why “Bootylicious” was officially added to the dictionary?

2) From the side, looks great! From the front… something is off? Oh wait. I don’t know about you women, but I DO have a neck. I get that Barbie’s is too long (and thin). I see that you’ve made the neck a more realistic girth. But I am pretty sure I have more space between my shoulders and ears than that.

3) Sweet, you’ve given her some thighs! Would be great if they touched though. Just saying. I mean I know we all think thighs shouldn’t touch, but let’s be realistic. They do. They rub together. I think that’s part of a womanly figure myself.

4) I played with Barbie growing up, and I don’t remember ever thinking to myself “OMG I have to have THIS body when I grow up!”. Not once actually. I do remember saying “Mom, can my next Barbie have brown hair like me?”, and thinking “I wonder if Mom will find out if I just cut off a little bit of her hair”. You know you did it too. Half the fun of Barbie’s long hair was chopping it all off!

5) Do I think some people can be affected by the original Barbie’s body image? Sure. But I think those people likely had other poor influences as well though, and likely not parents who were active in teaching them about healthy body images, what’s realistic, etc. Just my opinion. I may get flack for it, but Barbie isn’t the only reason people have poor self-esteem and body image issues.

6) I’d rather my kid play with a Barbie than one of those Bratz dolls. Have you seen them?

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Could they dress them any trashier and put any more skanky styled make-up caked on their face? I think they’re a worse influence than Barbie is. At least with Barbie, she has been a veterinarian, a teacher, a doctor, a pilot, etc. Those Bratz dolls are just teens who put value in nothing except slutty clothes and faces painted up like clowns. Exactly what I want my daughter to be (insert eye roll here). Whatever happened to Skipper? At least she was spunky and athletic!

I think it’s great that someone out there has made this new Barbie, but we still have a long way to go. Women come in all different shapes, sizes, colors and ethnicities. I get that it would probably cost Mattel a great deal of money to have many different sized and shaped molds to make so many different kinds of Barbie. But imagine the effect it could have on our young girls? They could finally get a Barbie that really looks like them, their Mom, their best friend, their teacher, or a multitude of women who are positive influences in their lives. The women who they already see as beautiful in their eyes, until society tells them otherwise.

What do you think of the new “real” Barbie that was prototyped here? Do you think Barbie’s body really holds as much weight on a child’s self-image as critics say it does?

26

To us, the (im)perfect Moms.

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This photo, I found circulating on Pinterest made me realize that I’m not alone in feeling as though I can’t live up to the impossible standards being flaunted around on the internet.

Becoming a mother has been, without any doubt or hesitation, the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. My little L lights up my entire world. She is beyond a shadow of a doubt, my greatest accomplishment in life.

Being a Mom, however, comes with a whole host of challenges. The biggest ones being the standards we hold ourselves to.

Who can blame us, really? People don’t talk about their challenges, their failures, their breakdowns, or the shortcuts they take. All we hear is how wonderful life is, how perfect their kids are, etc. So when we fall, we feel like failures.

Guess what ladies? PERFECTION IS BORING!

I’ve come to terms with being an (im)perfect Mom.

Things in my life that are (im)perfect, or I do (im)perfectly, and don’t have any shame in include:

– I buy frozen pancakes made lovingly by Aunt Jemima. Who am I kidding, she probably makes them better than I could. The time I save in the morning is crucial to my sanity. Besides, I make sure I get the ones that are whole grain.

-I buy pre-cooked roasted chickens at the grocery store. I don’t have time to roast a damn chicken by myself after work and still get my kid fed and to bed on time.

-Sometimes, rarely,  a Happy Meal makes a Happy Mom.

-Some nights, when I have no idea what I’m going to feed myself, little L gets “toddler finger food surprise” for dinner – usually consisting of some chickpeas, cut up cheese, some grapes, crackers, apples, etc. Basically a bunch of random finger foods thrown together. She loves it, it’s quick, and I make sure she’s got a bit of everything (protein, fruit, veg, etc.). Win-win for a tired Mom who doesn’t want to cook that night! Woot!

– I don’t pre-plan my meals a week in advance, and I shop on the fly. Pre-planning everything would take time and effort. Both things I wish I had more of, but I don’t.

– My kid does not get a bath every single night. Mostly because she has sensitive skin and bathing every night can dry her out. So every 2-3 nights works best for her. Do I secretly like that it can’t be an every night routine? Hell yes!

– I don’t make my own baby wipes, baby butt cream, peanut butter, Christmas cards/wrapping paper. I don’t make my own mosquito/bug repellant or know all of the uses of every essential oil for home remedies. Do I wish I were more like Martha Stewart? OMG Yes. Am I ever going to be? Probably not. I’m all about convenience and saving time. Making all that shit doesn’t seem like it would give me any more time, just take precious time away to make shit that I can buy at a store with a lot less effort.

– I don’t keep my cool 100% of the time. I let my emotions get a hold of me. I raise my voice sometimes, and catch myself. Then I feel horrible and guilty. I work all day and don’t have much time with sweet L, so I try to make the time I have with her happy and fun. Sometimes though, I’m not a fun Mom.

– Sometimes I cry for no reason (or for ALL of the reasons – all of the reasons you can’t think of or verbalize at the time because you’re too focused on how you’re crying and don’t want to be that Mom who breaks down and cries). Superwoman, I am not. Wonderwoman, I wish I were. But who doesn’t want this kind of confidence?

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– My sweatpants/Yoga pants are my go to attire. (Who am I kidding, I actually call them my “Fat” pants.). The Fat pants are spoken about lovingly by me. As in “Ohhhh yeah, home from work! Time to put on my fat pants!”. I don’t dress nice enough for my man. But sometimes (ok almost all of the time), comfort wins. I’m probably never going to be the mom who dolls herself up in her fanciest lingerie, face full of makeup, and perfectly done hair every day. If I manage to shower every day, I’m taking it as a win.

Am I perfect? Far from it. Do I wish I were better at things? All the time. Do I hold myself to standards that are too high? Most likely. We all tend to.

So this is going to be my conscious effort from now on. To embrace my imperfections. To know  they don’t make me a bad Mom. To know that even if other Mom’s aren’t saying it or talking about it, we all have our days, we all have our limitations, but we all have our strengths. We need to focus more on the strengths, and less on the comparisons to others.

Being (im)perfect isn’t so bad.