If the expectant mom is miles away, keep it simple by mailing them right from Amazon. She will get them in two days, and you won’t have to hit the post office. I seriously dread going to the post office.
One minute I find myself ogling at every little thing my baby does, talking baby talk with the best of them, and the next minute I am incredibly frustrated because my kids are screaming while I brush my teeth for the first time that day (at 2pm – hello coffee breath). I swear, I often feel like I am the emotional little monster in the house.
But I hope no one confuses my moments of frustration with my true feelings about my children and motherhood, and the joy I get from those precious moments of total sweetness in between the chaos. My babies absolutely know I’m crazy; they also know I am absolutely crazy about them.
Have you been on that roller coaster today?
If so, below is one recent example you’ll relate to, compliments of social media.
There comes a time in every parent’s life where bowel movements are as common a conversation topic as discussing the weather.
After almost ten years of marriage and two young kids, think you can guess the hottest topic is in our household?
If you guessed POOP, you are correct! And if you are disgusted that I would even type that word, you clearly do not have a young child.
Honestly, I don’t know when the turning point came. The point where I lost all modesty on the subject.
When the midwife was wiping my *ss during the birth of our beautiful daughter?
During the newborn stage when we were sleep deprived and changing 10+ diapers a day?
When our first daughter went through a phase where she would reach into her diaper and smear poop on her sheets?
When we potty trained our twenty month old and lost all dignity by referring to ourselves as “Poop Coaches” and offering “Poop Treats?” FYI Candy canes and popsicles are our aresinel of choice.
The first time we sent a text message that included a picture of our child’s “achievement”? I’m embarrassed to add that these texts have gone to family and friends at times.
At a recent dinner party where we conspired with friends to hide Miralax in our children’s sippy cups?
There have been so many defining poop moments, I really can’t say.
But the point is, there comes a time in every parent’s life where bowel movements are as common a conversation topic as discussing the weather.
And unfortunately the talk isn’t limited to the four walls of our house anymore. It’s at daycare, work parties, over a nice glass of wine…not to mention living forever on this blog.
And even for me, someone that lost all discretion awhile ago, a new low was recently achieved. Yesterday an acquaintance at church casually asked how I was doing.
Without thinking I responded, “Pretty good, but my daughter just had an explosive diaper on my lap.”
I sent that sentence out like it was a casual text update. After the words left my mouth, I was instantly remorseful. I crossed the line. I dumped my poop talk on someone that was not in the same life stage. That is how normal poop conversations have become. I can no longer see the social line until I’ve crossed it.
Forgive me for having limited social graces these days, but parenting young kids has a way of making you feel like a human Kleenex. I had a shower yesterday morning, but two hours later it felt like it had been a week. In just a few hours I had been spit up on multiple times, wiped boogers with my sleeve, cleaned out our toddler potty five times, changed a few diapers and a blowout onsie, cleaned up all the dog poop in the yard, and had my two year old’s naked butt sitting on me while I tried to get a home workout in. None of which was out of the norm. It was all a typical Sunday.
I don’t know if there is a point to all this, other than I felt like sharing what was on my mind. And these days, my mind has gone to mush. Brown, stinky mush.
Anyone else in that marital stage where you talk as much potty talk as we do?!
For twenty eight hours a week, I became the leading lady at the new topless bar in town. I had no choice. The baby had to eat.
The day my daughter was born, I started a new job. For twenty eight hours a week, I became the leading lady at the new topless bar in town. I had no choice. The baby had to eat.
It is true. Some people picture maternity leave as one long vacation. But women everywhere are actually busy doing some of the most demanding and thankless jobs during this time – sustaining human life. In my case that meant nursing, but I assume the hours are similar for moms using formula. There is plenty of work to fill the hours we used to use at our real jobs.
While being the leading lady at the topless bar is not less significant than a fancy job that you need a degree for; you’re not going to get paid the same. People (*husband*) may refer to you as the “Boob Lady.” Your shifts will be mandated every three hours by a loud, tiny boss. You’ll suddenly have to become a logistical genius to go on a mommy vacation (Target) for more than an hour at a time.
I am not complaining. I am just speaking in facts. Those first couple months a baby eats around eight times a day, for thirty minutes per session (prepping, feeding, clean-up). Each week the math works out to about twenty eight hours (during the newborn stage), with no days off.
In my experience, everything got a little easier with the second child. Overall, I had a better routine down. But, it still took at least thirty minutes to execute. Every three hours I would change baby, nurse and burp baby, freeze the let down milk I had collected and clean the collection cup (read how I’ve managed to build a serious freezer stash with ZERO pumping), then rock baby back to sleep or let her play on the mat.
Now that it is my second time working at the topless bar in two years, I understand that the role is temporary. My job description will change over time. “Boob Lady” doesn’t have to be my lifelong identity. However, it is a significant part of who I am right now.
And for those that have ever wondered what a new mom does with all her free time during maternity leave, come visit her at work. On the couch, where you tip her in foot massages and quality dark chocolate. **Shirts are always optional.**
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One time I got after my parents for wasting too many wipes when they were changing the baby for me.
With my first baby there were so many unspoken rules.
Not the real rules like babies should sleep on their backs, but silly rules I created in my head.
The strangest one, that I can remember right now, is that I decided we would use just one wipe for pee diapers and two wipes for poop diapers. One time I got after my parents for wasting too many wipes when they were changing the baby for me.
Looking back it was ludicrous that I thought I needed to control the number of wipes we used each time.
It’s clear I just felt like I needed to be in control of something. My world was spinning out of control those first few months as a new mom, and I didn’t know how to deal.
Well let me tell you, there is no counting of wipes with the second baby. Not because I don’t love her as much to try to control everything in the world, but because I have more perspective.
Besides, this baby has her own agenda. The moment I start wiping her, she decides to start peeing again. If I’m lucky I can whip the diaper back up in time. But when she’s really cunning, she waits until I have just removed the old diaper, to swap in the new one, and she lets loose. Needless to say, there is a lot of wash. I thought getting peed on was supposed to be a boy thing? Shows how much I know.
It doesn’t matter how many wipes I “intended” to use, I am wiping all the lady parts down again. I burn through wipes faster than I can count. And it’s ok, because #2ndtimemom here. Who the heck cares?!
As annoying as she can be, that frozen girl was on to something. LET IT GO.
First time moms, second time moms, all the moms – what are/were you trying to control in motherhood that is plain crazy when you can think rationally about it?
For some of you, you are probably too deep in to new motherhood for you to pinpoint it now. But if your brain literally hurts all the time (like mine did), and you can barely think in full sentences, there are probably a few things on your list to start letting go of.
I don’t want to be the only crazy person up in here. Feel free to share your #crazymom moment.
You’re in a safe place. I’ve got your back mamacita;)
Thanks for commenting on my body’s beach ball similarity, said no pregnant woman ever. I just left shaking my head.
Sure, I’m emotional. I’m 33 weeks pregnant with baby two. I’m at the point where my tears have few limits while scrolling through social media. Puppies – blub. Babies – Blub. Blub. Inspirational stories – Blub, blub, blub.
So it’s no surprise I was extra annoyed by the Ralphs cashier yesterday. But some people really are so clueless when it comes to how to talk to a pregnant woman. That, or they like to compare everything about their birth experience to the experience you must be having, because you know, every pregnancy is the same.
As the cashier was ringing up my bounty, she asked, “So when are you due?”
I smiled and replied, “January.”
“Oh wow, you look like you are ready to go now. That’s what I looked like when I gave birth!”
Seriously – Are some people just unaware of the vomit they are about to spew when they open their mouth?! I’ve gained a total of 22 lbs., which mind you is already more than I gained in total with my first pregnancy (so I’m a bit self concise), but honestly, I didn’t think it was totally out of control…until now.
The grocery store train wreck didn’t end there. She declared, “Early January, I hope!”
“Actually January 23rd,” I mumbled.
She didn’t even pause, as if she had noticed how awkward the conversation had become. Biggest eye roll ever.
Thanks for commenting on my body’s beach ball similarity, said no pregnant woman ever. I just left shaking my head.
I’m not suggesting you walk on pins and needles around every obviously pregnant woman. Just please stop to think of something positive and uplifting to say before you open your mouth.
Pregnant mamas have a lot on their mind. They probably haven’t had comfortable sleep in awhile, they may feel like they are running out of acceptable clothes that fit, and they’re probably starting to think about this gigantic watermelon that soon has to exit their perfect peach.
After two pregnancies, the grocery store conversation was obviously not the only clueless run in I had. Here are a few things I’ve heard that I wouldn’t recommend using as your one liner:
“Is it really safe to be running while you are pregnant?”
“You wanted that decaf right?”
A coworker who said, “Your pregnancy has been way to easy, something bad has got to happen.”
A cousin who said, “Why would you want a natural birth? You wouldn’t get your tooth removed without pain meds. Why would you do it with a baby?”
“You look like you’re ready to Pop!”
Obviously none of these made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Thankfully, I’ve had some positive interactions that have taught me what can really make a pregnant woman’s day. Here are a few:
“Wow, that’s awesome that you are still working out!”
“From behind you don’t even look pregnant.”
A coworker that wished me a quick and easy delivery.
An aunt who said, “I honestly believe you are strong enough to achieve a natural birth.”
A guy who simply clapped for me when I ran by him on the trail.
Strangers that held the door open, or offered to carry things for me.
Pregnancy and childbirth can be a real mind f*ck for a woman. Please don’t traumatize her with negativity. Heed the old advice: If you can’t say something nice, please don’t say anything at all. We really don’t want to hear it.
We’ve tested them all, night after night, just to make sure they really are fun reads for both the parent and their little tykes to enjoy together. No gift receipt needed!
Reading books to a toddler can create a magical time of routine and connection, but most children have the classics. They really only need one copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, though it’s a great read.
For a new title that they don’t already have on their bookshelf, try adding one of the following books to their collection. We’ve tested them all, night after night, just to make sure they really are fun reads for both the parent and their little tykes to enjoy together. No gift receipt needed!
All are available online, so you can finish that to-do task right now.
Here are The Top Ten Toddler Books (They Don’t Already Have), plus a bonus #11, just because we can!
The Watermelon Seed: A short and funny read about an Alligator that is obsessed with watermelon. His obsession takes him to a point of trouble…but it’s hard to stay away from the things we love most!
My Mom is the Worst: A story (from a toddler’s perspective) about how parents often try to ruin their kids fun. Parents make them wear clothes, clean up messes, learn and try new things! They really are the worst sometimes. There’s also a hidden story, within the story, for parents to enjoy along the way.
Don’t Push the Button: Larry is a Monster with just one rule for your toddler,]: don’t push the button. Alas, someone does, and silly antics ensue. Children love playing along with the instructions in the book: press the button, shake the book, tickle the belly. Sometimes it’s funny when things don’t go as expected.
I Love You, Stinky Face: A mother’s job is to make their child feel loved, even when others might shy away. The mama is this story is top notch. She finds ways to love on her little one even if they were a one-eyed monster or a stinky skunk. A mother’s love really has no limits.
Moo, Baa, La La La: A quick bedtime read that children can easily start to memorize and read along. All of the animals enjoy making their classic sounds, except the three silly pigs!
Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster: Who is more emotional, the mama or the monster? This baby monster is amazing at driving her mama bonkers. But at the end of the day, snuggles heal all. A fun and honest read for an exhausted parent that can’t help but love their little monster to pieces.
Hello – Highlights Magazine : These mini books are full of short songs, rhymes, and stories for little hands. Enjoy a year subscription of coated, mini magazines from Highlights (bendable and easy to wipe down). They’ve been teaching and entertaining children for years, and they have it down! Bonus, the Hello magazines are light-weight and compact which makes them easy to throw in the car or a diaper bag.
Dragons Love Tacos: Did you know that Dragons can’t stand spicy salsa?! This may be the longest book on the list, but it’s also one of the most hilarious for kids and adults to enjoy together. Even from a young age, children can enjoy the humor and creative illustrations. It’s one that will be in their collection long after their toddler years.
Everything is Mama: Most toddlers hit the “Mama” stage at some point. While it can drive a parent absolutely mad that their child can now only accept a banana from their Mama and no one else, it helps (a little) to find humor in it. This is Jimmy Fallon’s second book, and is the follow-up to: Your Baby’s First Word Will be DADA. Now, if only parents had that kind of power!
Potty: Poo-Poo, tinkle, and toot – whatever you call bathroom business in your house, toddlers can’t help but giggle. A simple read about the art of going potty, perfect for those that will begin potty training soon. It’s never too early to get them excited about UNDIES!
BONUS BOOK:Bathtime for Little Rabbit: This cuddly bunny needs a bath, but he’s not very excited to play along. The author makes this an interactive bathtime for readers by having them scrub, blow-dry, and lotion bunny. This tale will prep the little ones to play along with their own bathtime routine.