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Next Life, NO Kids: March 2013

March 22, 2013

Want Ad for Mommy

I imagine a professional ad for Mommy might look something like this...

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March 19, 2013

A Letter To The Nervous Mother-to-Be

Dear Friend,

I am over the moon happy that you're having a baby.

Because you're terrified...and you should be.I have been thinking a lot about all of the things I want to say to you, tell you, and/or warn you about so I thought I'd write this letter.

First off, I would like to warn you that you are about to fall in love for reals, and meet the most important person in your whole world. The first time you look at this beautiful angel, you will wonder how you ever lived or breathed without her next to you. You will be amazed at how much love you feel for such a tiny creature you've only just met. She will steal your heart in a breath, and you will find yourself completely willing to fight off an angry mob of (fill in the blank) to ensure her happiness and safety. This feeling will never go away I have learned, even well into her teens while she's screaming obscenities at you and wishing you would get out of her life forever. Let's talk about that later though... much later. 

I want you to know that I will always support you. Be aware that there will always be Judgey McJudersons who will undoubtedly find fault in your parenting choices. They will judge you for the things you decide to do, and for the things you choose not to do. Haters hate, but know that I will always be on your side, even if I don't always agree with your style. I hope that you will come to me for parenting advice and I look forward to challenging you to go with your gut. You will know your baby better than anyone else in the universe, and the choices you make will always be the right ones as long as you trust yourself. I look forward to learning from you. Please try to always keep in mind that there is no such thing as The Perfect Mother Award. Unfortunately, there are many women who don't understand that, and fight for the title anyway. Our mothers didn't do it perfectly, and look how amazing we turned out! 

There will be times when you forget that there is beauty in making mistakes. You will compare yourself to other mothers who seem to be, "doing it the right way." When you feel like you've failed at whatever ridiculous standard you've set for yourself, I will always try to remind you that to the only one that matters, you are the best mommy in the whole world. 

There will be hard times and sacrifices. You and your husband will not always agree about everything, and some days you will disagree about everything. I promise you that it will be okay. The passion that you both feel will probably be fueled by the amount of love you feel for your little girl. If you are anything like me (and you are), it may also be provoked by fear that one false move could lead to her future astronomical therapy bills you won't be able to afford. I want you to know that I have these fears too. I also have no doubt that you will be an amazing mother. You are an amazing woman and the two often go hand in hand. It will not always be easy, but that's when we can and should lean on each other. 

I have lost count of how many times you have expressed that you don't know how I do "it". Honestly, I haven't a clue, I just do and you will too. The first morning you wake up a Mommy, you have more strength than you did the day before. I'm not quite sure how it happens or where it comes from, but it does. And when you are sure that you could not possibly bend another inch before snapping, somehow, you find yourself miraculously gifted with extra flexibility. I am so proud and honored to be a part of this journey with you. I look forward to offering hugs and swapping ideas about how to remove grape jelly stains from our favorite sweatpants. There will be boogers too; and a ton of poop and other wicked gross things, but lets go ahead and add that to the "as it comes" list. 

Although we are not sisters by blood, you are my sister, and my love for you is without condition or reservation. Let's lean on each other for support, and join forces against "the haters." 

We don't ever have to hate each other or be in competition. I'm here for you. When you see me on the street, and we lock eyes, please know that I am encouraging you. I hope I don't embarrass you if I can't help but tell you that look beautiful.

You are beautiful, and I want you to know. 

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March 18, 2013

The Real World, Teething Edition

Dearest Baby J,

You know Mommy loves you right? Good, because shit's about to get real up in here. I am writing to let you know that Mommy. Needs. Sleep. 

Sleep is the only thing that keeps Mommy sane and out of the loony bin. You don't want to put Mommy in a straitjacket, do you? Okay, so here it is.  I know you're teething, and I'm so sorry that it's so uncomfortable. I hate to see you in pain and I'm doing everything in my power to lesson it, but I'm gonna need you to go ahead and start putting in some effort. 

I have accepted the fact that you are a total booger monster and will leave your mark on everything you touch.  My fingers, clothing, and hair are constantly soaked with your saliva and snot, and I'm totally cool with that. I know you're hurting and I am here for you.  I just ask that you throw me a bone here. I'm not asking for like a whole night's sleep or anything; that would be crazy. I'm just asking for a little nap, without you on top of me, because as I stated in a previous post, co-sleeping is about as real as the Easter Bunny... not that the bunny's not real, I mean... never mind.  

I appreciate that you only want to be held by me all day. I understand that I must sacrifice any and all alone time, opportunities to shower, and personal space. I am aware that I cannot disappear for even a second, not even to use the bathroom, and am thoroughly prepared for the UTI I'm going to get.  I have been wearing you like a t-shirt, holding you through daytime naps, and nursing you whenever your little heart desires. Which reminds me... my nipples are not for teething.  I've stopped yelping because it makes you bite harder and laugh hysterically, but yeah... NOT funny, REALLY painful. Anyway, back to the sleep issue. 

Luckily for you, you get to sleep all day because you're not responsible for laundry and cleaning, or driving. You're a baby, and no one expects anything from you. No one is going to come home today and look to you for dinner, clean clothes, or a ride all over the state. No, they'll be barking up this tree, and if I don't get some sleep soon, I'm going to move out. Nighttime is for sleeping. Daytime is for laundry, cleaning, and playing chauffeur. We are not nocturnal, and I would appreciate just a little shut eye soon, seriously, I'm not joking. 

To recap, the Easter Bunny IS real, "co-sleeping" is make believe, and you need to sleep in your own bed or I will need impatient hospitalization. Any questions? Great. 

I love you SO big.



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March 07, 2013

Happy Judgment Week :(

Happy Judgment Week, Everyone!

I am beyond shocked and disappointed by all of the judgment I've been reading this week, on Facebook, and in some articles online. I would normally post the links, but honestly I don't want to further promote negativity. This post is not to judge the those who judge. That would be silly. This post is about how sad I am for the world, and how worried I am for my daughter.

Have I been living in a cave? Did I just come out of a very long coma? Is it because I'm turning 35 next week and the magic rose colored glasses are wearing off? When did we all start hating each other so much? Why has motherhood become just another thing to compete with my sisters about?

Being a mother is stressful enough. The pressures I put on myself on the daily to be "perfect" are anxiety provoking enough. Personally, what I need from you is support, not condemnation, judgment, and/or hatred.  If you can't offer me any of these things when I'm struggling, it's cool, but please just don't say anything.

What is fueling this? Is it fear of our own inadequacy that is driving all this hate? Can we only have empathy for others when their problem doesn't make us uncomfortable? If the existence of your problem causes me negative feelings, is it be okay for me to try to make you feel worse? Is it no longer our responsibility as human beings to offer a hand and/or assistance because we may not like someone or something they've said? 

I don't get it.

I understand we're not going to achieve world peace here, but I don't get the motivation behind kicking another while they're down. Perhaps I'm naive. Aren't we all, Shouldn't we all be in this together? There's enough shit to worry about as a mother. There are legitimate threats all around us where our children are concerned. Shouldn't we be banding together, to support each other or something? If I tell you I'm struggling, and you can't help me, don't you know someone that might? If you disagree with a decision I've made, can't you trust it's the right one for me?

Aren't we at the end of the day all just doing the best we can with what we have?  We all have fear and deal with it in different ways. Your way might not work for me and vice versa, but it doesn't mean either way is wrong. If you have the guts to tell me your truth, I may not always know immediately what to say, but I can promise when I do respond it will not be with contempt. I may not like you or the choices you make, but that doesn't mean I have the right to disrespect you and the way you live your life.

Let's be clear that our children are watching us. They're listening when we mock people for their differences. We are teaching them to be closed minded; that it's acceptable to treat people poorly if they don't conform to our way of thinking. 

We're raising bullies; kids who are afraid to death to be honest about how they really feel because they'll be judged, by us and by the world.

It's bad enough that magazines, television, and pretty much everywhere our kids turn there are pressures to be perfect - better. There are sexual pressures, and pressures to fit in. There is pressure to be skinnier, smarter, and more beautiful. There is pressure to be tough, and popular, and desired. What's worse is the suffocating pressure to be the -est of these things. 

I worry about my daughter. I am not powerful enough to combat those voices by myself. I cannot be louder than Facebook, Twitter, Elle & Glamour, etc. We could be though, all of us together. 

We could be louder than all of these things, and maybe even fix some of the damage that's already been done. But only if we stop fighting each other!

Do I often bathe in sarcasm? Absolutely! But I try not to use it as a weapon and more importantly, I am aware of when I should just be quiet (for the most part).

I am so sorry that some of you have been spoken to as if your feelings don't matter. I wish I could be louder than all of that noise too. Just know that you are not alone and be comforted by the fact that you are doing the best you can with what you have. Sadly, lashing back at the judgment with more judgment won't help. It will only serve to feed the negativity and create more drama. The people passing judgment need our help too. There is a reason that people judge and we really need to stop pouring salt in each other's wounds. Doesn't anyone hug it out anymore?

Anyway, Happy Judgment Week to all.  Maybe next week we can all celebrate "Live and Let Live Week" or "If You Need Anything, I'm Here For You Week", but I'm sure that's a stretch.

In closing, I just wanted to confess (in case you don't read my blog), that I am a perfectly imperfect mother!!!!! I make mistakes regularly and that is how I learn. If I stop learning, I stop growing. If my growth is stunted, I cannot be the kind of mother I want to be. You can help. If you can identify with anything I've said here, please try to be kind to the next parent, or person that may be struggling and perhaps they will pay it forward. I heard somewhere that negative comments stay with us twice as long as positive ones so we've got our work cut out. We have to be twice as positive to every negative. 



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