The following is an excerpt from my story, “Brotherly Love,” in the book, The Unofficial Guide to Surviving Life With Boys: Hilarious & Heartwarming Stories About Raising Boys From The Boymom Squad, edited by Tiffany O’Connor and Lyndee Brown of #Lifewithboys. Continue reading →
If you have young children, you have likely heard some iteration of the phrase, “Enjoy every moment,” repeatedly. They are the words uttered to you with a smile by the store cashier as she sees your toddler yanking at your hand. It is the comment on your Facebook post about finally getting the kids to bed.
Being a new parent is tough, but not tough enough to ever be sad, angry or even just a tiny bit annoyed by the situation.
That is what you are telling a new parent when you say, “Enjoy every moment.”
Hey, you! Yes, you with the beautiful round belly. I see you shuffling along, tugging at the waist of your maternity jeans, wondering how you could possibly ever fit into your normal clothes again. I see you hunched over in your chair, trying to make your belly look a bit smaller because it is so much bigger than your friend’s who is a month ahead in her pregnancy.
Do you know how sexy you are? And not in the creepy, depths of the Internet fetish kind of sexy. I’m talking full on, goddess, make the Earth shift with every movement sexy. Do you know that’s what you are? Do you know you drip with marvelous, soul-moving desire? Continue reading →
My youngest is 19 months old and still breastfeeds. I know writing the word “still” might seem both absurd and shocking depending on who you ask. This is what is working right now, so for me, this is normal. Like with most things related to my second child, I have much firmer, I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude regarding the parenting of my children.
My oldest was weaned very gradually, starting from the time he was about a year old until he was off my breast by 20 months. It was a gentle process that utilized the support of those closest to me. And, while, my son was/is a high needs child, having no other children to care for at the time meant I could focus my energy on assuring his needs were met beyond our nursing relationship.
My youngest son has different needs. In many ways, he is less demanding than my oldest. He was never the type of round-the-clock feeder. He also easily adapted to his role as the second child and the divided attention that is part of the deal.
Once you reach a certain age, you need to adhere to an accepted level of adulting. Sure, it would be totally fun to sit home in a robe all day drinking White Russians, but we can’t all be “The Dude.”
Society expects something of us grownups, and we can’t get away with the stuff we did in college and our 20s.
There is however, one exception. Parenting. Yes, having children entitles you to a hall pass for screwing your responsibilities. While most folks would not get away with these bad habits, somehow, those of us with spawn are not judged (or at least not as much).
My family was journeying home for dinner one evening, when my husband complemented me on the ease in which I coaxed our son away from the local playground. Shortly before we had to leave, I informed my then two-year-old that he could choose one more activity and then it would be time to go. I even had a little ditty to express my point:
“It’s almost time to stop, so choose one more thing to do. That was fun, but now it’s done.”
Hearing that song prompted my son to pick his last activity (one more time on the slide, from what I can remember), and I successfully prevented the dreaded meltdown.
Where did I procure this genius gem of parenting know-how? From one of the dozens of books authored by experts with multiple degrees? Or perhaps from one of my trusted mom friends or family? Nope, this came straight from the tiger. “Daniel Tiger.”
I often joke that becoming a mother turned me into a woman. That is if your definition of “woman” means someone who is emotional. Obviously, women and men can each have a varying degree of sensitivity, but I digress. Point is, before my first pregnancy, I was much more likely to mock the cheesiness of laundry detergent commercial than sob through it, and now, anything with a touch of sentimentality is enough to unleash the salty floodgates.
Blame the hormones. Blame the sleepless nights. Blame it on the rain. Whatever the reason, motherhood has me feeling all of the feels. One minute, I am elated by the sheer brilliance of my 3.5 year-old, the next I am frustrated by my one-year-old’s refusal to stay off of the furniture. This is the reality of parenthood I am sure you know well.