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The phases of shopping for a new purse as mother to a one year old.

 

purses

So.Many.Options.

 

It should be small. Small enough that I can throw it inside a bigger bag for the kid’s stuff.

Strike that, it should be large. That way I only have to worry about packing one bag.

No. I’m done with putting my things in a diaper bag, I want my own bag again. I’m getting a small purse.

It should still be wipable, though. And have lots of pockets. Man, the pockets on the diaper bag are so great. I haven’t been this organized in years.

No. I’m getting a high-end, leather purse for me. I deserve it.

Oh, but what if I want to bring a book with me? It should fit a book.

Okay, if I’m looking at a mid-sized bag, I should look at less-designery labels. I can’t afford to spend that much on a purse just for me.

What about a mini backpack? Those are back in now. And that way my hands will be free all-the-time — that’s a revelation.

Wow, these bags look like they belong in Clueless. I don’t know if I can handle that kind of throwback. I might be too old for this.

There are some really nice diaper bags that double as backpacks.

I wonder if I can get a small “doesn’t look like a diaper bag” diaper-bag-backpack and use it as a purse. NO. I WILL NOT BUY MYSELF A DIAPER BAG.

OH this one has such a fun print on the inside! It’s like a secret. I can’t pee alone, but I can have a pop of color that no one knows about…

I’ll get this one. It will even fit a pair of socks and a rogue piece of fruit. In emergencies only, of course. This is for me.

I should hold off on buying it though, just in case it goes on sale. I’ll give it a week.

*3 months later*

I’ll just shove my wallet in the diaper bag.

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My Valentine.

To my loving husband. To the father of my rambunctious, high energy daughter.

I am so sorry.

I am sorry that some nights (most nights) I am too exhausted to cook dinner. I feel guilty for that. Other moms do it.

I am sorry that you have to take out the trash every week. Other moms do it.

I am sorry that I haven’t cleaned the toilets, instead choosing to work on my own web development goals. This should not be the priority structure of a stay at home mom.

I am sorry that I poke you in the back in the middle of the night because I don’t want to get up with her. Other moms let their husbands sleep. You have important work to do, after all.

I am sorry that I don’t have her enrolled in swim classes and music classes and pre-calculus classes, choosing instead to spend long lazy afternoons at the park, or playing at the mall. Other moms get so much stuff, expect so much, for their one year olds.

I am sorry that when you come home and she has been screaming at me and hanging off my neck all day, that I don’t want to hug you and catch up on your day. That all I want is space and time alone. Other moms are supportive and loving no matter what.

I am sorry I haven’t lost that last 10lbs. Other moms aren’t squishy around the middle, other moms look perfect.

I am sorry that I am not the perfect housewife, the perfect mother. I am sorry I haven’t spent mornings making hand-print art projects to surprise you with and baking cookies in the afternoon. I am sorry that I have found it nearly impossible to get much of anything done other than chasing our daughter around in circles. (And laundry. Lots of laundry.)

Thank you. Thank you for doing all of these things. Thank you for loving me, for being there for me, for supporting me through all the tears and many sleepless nights. Thank you for (I’m sure you will be) rolling your eyes when you read these apologies, for saying what I know you will say, that I am a wonderful mother and wife. Thank you for thanking me for the time I spend with our daughter. For telling me what an amazing job you think I’m doing, and for giving me the time and the space I need to focus on myself.

You are truly an amazing father, a formidably wonderful husband. I appreciate every single moment with you: my love, my life. I couldn’t imagine this journey with anyone else.

I’m cooking dinner tonight.

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Baby Topics I’ve Googled

What would we do without Google? I mean, really. I have very little concept of how people lived without being able to look something up at any given moment. I would have never made it through pregnancy, and all those late nights in the early days would have been much more (or, actually, possibly less?) panic fueled.

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INTAKE:

  • Breastfeeding vs Formula. Give yourself a chance to form your own opinion here before you dig into this never-ending black hole. Is breastfeeding important to you? Is it important to your partner? Discuss. Do not enter this battlefield of Google until you have formed some sort of plan of attack for your own family (and yours alone!)
  • (Breastfeeding) Caffeine intake. Alcohol intake. Anything intake. How much is too much? Good news here, the moms of the internet all seem to agree that coffee is always, 100% A-OKAY. Alcohol is always up to your discretion, but I loved the rule “if you can drive, you can feed.” As for everything else? Google would like you to know that you are probably killing your child, just like we’re back in pregnancy land. BUT! Even tainted breast-milk is still better than Formula. (if you didn’t read this as a joke, I’m sorry. I’ll work on my delivery.)
  • Formula differences. The difference between supplemental and regular? The pink and yellow containers? Say it with me here. MARKETING. But feel free to Google endlessly, looking up every single ingredient, and please Wikipedia the hell out of that. I’d like to read it.

OUTPUT:

  • Poop. The color, consistency, amount, you name it. If it looks or smells funny (or if it isn’t there at all) – turn to Dr. Google. Because I know we all like to laugh about comparing baby poop, but I DO NOT WANT TO COMPARE BABY POOP. Please, do not tell me about your kid’s bathroom habits. I have enough shit to deal with on my own. (I crack myself up.)
  • Spitup. How much is too much? Should it be green? What about the consistency? These queries were surprisingly, very similar to the “poop” Googles. Just whatever you do, don’t image search.

SLEEP:

  • Sleeping habits. Please, for the love of all that is kind and good in this world, don’t go down this path. Everyone LOVES to brag about how good a sleeper their kid is. They are lying. And even if they aren’t, convince yourself that they are. Now go get yourself another cup of coffee and keep on truckin.
  • Flat Spots. Guys, if you are ever worried your kid might have a flat spot, go LOOK AT PICTURES OF KIDS WITH REAL FLAT SPOTS. (Then, cry.) Bottom line learned here? Your kid is perfectly fine. Stop obsessing. Besides, once they get hair you’ll forget you were ever concerned.

Got all of that? Feel like you’re getting a handle on the mom situation? Now try these out for size.

  • How to diaper change a rolling baby. (This is of course, a good while after the initial “how to diaper change a baby.” Because you know I looked that up.) Google says to give them toys! Distract them with a mirror! And then, adding insult to injury, there are tons of pictures of smiling, perfectly still babies who do not have their feet covered in poop and their head craned around their back, staring at you sideways like a demonic owl. Google, you failed me here, as my kid could care less about the toys I actually want her to pay attention to. Instead, here’s a trick that a mother of twins taught me – change them on the ground on a towel or your pee-vehicle of choice, throw your leg across their chest. It’s like having a third arm! Little stinker won’t be rolling anywhere, thank you very much.
  • Contraception options. Really.
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Hey Look, I’m a Pregnant Chicken Contributor!

If you didn’t catch my blog over at Pregnant Chicken, now’s your chance to check it out!

Read it? Good. Now I can continue.

The first unwritten rule of writing is not to read the comments. The second is not to respond when you surely break the first rule. Well, I’m going to take a moment today to throw all rules out the window, because there was one comment on Facebook that really stuck with me, and I think that I need to clarify a few things about myself, my writing, and this blog.

Jeez. Talk about the most depressing spin on having a new baby. Yes it’s hard, exhausting, and hormone fueled, but there is a brighter side. Cheer up.

Ok. Here’s the thing. Many women have a baby and feel like they are riding magical unicorns and the sky is raining rose petals. That their kid is the light of the universe; they instantaneously feel that unbridled joy, undying love.

This came from Pinterest, therefore the source is impossible to find. Much like the idea of pure, undying happiness post baby.

This came from Pinterest, therefore the source is impossible for me to find. Much like the idea of happiness was post baby. It’s not helpful to say “cheer up,” it won’t help me find something that isn’t there.

Many women do NOT feel this way. I am one of them. There was a fierce mama-bear feeling of protectiveness, sure, but to be honest, I didn’t feel that kind of love until my daughter was nearly four months old. Those early sleep deprived months, I searched the internet looking for help and found that I was a freak, that I should have instantly fallen head over heels in love with her and that by default because of this, I was somehow, already a bad mother, because I couldn’t find that elusive “brighter side.” THIS IS NOT TRUE.

My blog is for helping people find that brighter side. My blog is for the women who DO feel like having a new baby can be depressing. My blog is here to tell you – to show you – that you are enough, just as you are. You do not have to feel happy, you do not have to feel rainbows of love. That as long as you do your best, get help when you need it, and generally just hang in there, you are doing great. Better than great, you are raising a human, and that’s pretty damn impressive.

And hopefully, my blog will bring you some laughs along the way.

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Taking On Water.

I feel like parenthood is sailing a ship through stormy waters, hanging on tight and knowing that if you can push past those dark hours of the night, the sun will indeed rise again. Sometimes it is so very hard to make it to those first rays without capsizing the boat. But when the sky starts to turn, the blue slowly lightens and all of the demons in your head go running back to their hiding places, it is so undeniably beautiful that you swear it wasn’t ever raining at all.

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Poop, Poop, Everywhere.

40 minutes into a 4 hour road trip, and our little munchkin graced us with the diaper explosion of all time, the biggest and best in her short but sassy little life. Bonus time! We were stopping to pick up a pregnant lady (read as: can probably smell the footprints on the moon), who then had to sit in the back seat the entire trip with our little stinker.

I used a towel, an entire box of clorox wipes, and half a bottle of Febreze trying to clean that shit up. Also? We forgot wipes. HOW DID WE FORGET WIPES. (Don’t worry, we didn’t use the clorox on her cute little booty. Though I admit I did think about it.)

I love you wipes. I'm so sorry for anything I ever said or did to make you hide from our packing list.

I love you wipes. I’m so sorry for anything I ever said or did to make you hide from our packing list.

This poor kid. I get it now, how people always apologize to their first-born for screwing them up. But to be honest? I doubt I’ll be much more organized with any other kid either. That’s assuming that I lose my mind and decide that I want to do this again. I LOVE YOU BABY, BUT HOT DAMN, YOU ARE HARD WORK.

Side-note, anyone ever bleached a car seat?

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Baby Toys

Near the very end of my pregnancy I walked (waddled) around one of those everything-costs-less stores and saw a little stuffed lamb. It was the shape of a ball, fluffy and soft with big black eyes and a tiny smiling mouth. It had pink and orange crinkly wing like hands, and a soft belly, green with a mildly retro inspired flower pattern. I remember clearly picking it up and thinking she would need a toy. That this was a good toy, and that it was soft and sweet. It jingled lightly in my hands, a gittering single sleighbell from somewhere in the depths of the stuffing. In that moment, staring at this tiny toy lamb, she became real to me. I hugged it close, the cardboard packaging digging in to my belly. I probably looked as crazy as I felt, a massively pregnant woman standing in the middle of the toy aisle, hugging a stuffed lamb as if it were the last piece of hope on this earth. I cried that day. It was the first toy I ever really bought for her.

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We have this vision of what our babies will be like, act like. Here’s the toys that I’ve found actually function in life with a tiny. Though I will happily say – she loves that stinking lamb. 

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I Googled baby toy and this came up. This is the creepiest thing ever, I love it. Someone should buy it.

I Googled baby toy and this came up. This is the creepiest thing ever, I love it. Someone should buy it.

Sophie the Giraffe – Instant melt down killer. Bonus points if you didn’t drown her and your squeaker is still working properly. Ours sounds a bit like a drowning mouse. Squeeagggruckle.

Loveys – End-all-be-all most IMPORTANT thing in the world. My kid has three, two of them happen to have pacis attached to them which makes her love them even more. Pro tip: I have alternates and sleep with them in my bed so they smell like my sweaty armpits. She loves it.

Books – I love books. My kid loves chewing on her books. Smashing her books against the ground and my skull. Tearing manically at the pages. Even sometimes looking at the pictures. But I’ll take it any way. She WILL grow up loving Harry Potter damnit, one way or another.

Swaddle Blankets – our little roller grabs one end and wraps herself up like a burrito – and then gets stuck and flails her arms and legs like… a beached whale burrito. It’s wonderful. Entertainment for the masses.

Exersaucer – Wonderous, magical, circle of neglect. Great for enjoying a cup of HOT coffee or finally getting around to eating that sandwich you made 2 hours ago.

Jumper – see above: exersaucer.

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Things she actually wants to play with instead of toys: 

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My Phone – Technically not a baby toy. Technically the only thing she’s ever *actually* interested in.

Ceiling Fans – The best conversationalists.

Wipes Container – We buy the ones that come in the crinkly packages. IT CRINKLES. BEST TOY EVAR.

Tupperware – All the tupperware. Seriously, put tupperware on your baby registry.

The Cats. They’re not so into this.

Shadows and Windows – This kid can stare at a tree swaying in the breeze for what feels like hours.

My horrid smelling, acrid, nasty, disgusting, stained leather flip flops. TEETHER, BABY. The messed up part about this is that she doesn’t care if my feet are in them or not. She’ll chomp down happily on my toes as well. GAH GROSS NO.

The… Floor. Seriously. She faceplants and blows bubbles on the laminate. Licks it, whatever. If the flip flops weren’t bad enough.