Tag Archives: stay at home mom

When Your Baby Turns Six Months

My new baby will be six months old on Wednesday. I’m kind of in shock, but that’s probably just the months of sleep deprivation, eating badly, and getting barely any exercise talking. Hey, I’m not complaining, but the first six months of baby are pretty exhausting, even when it’s mixed up with plenty of adorable moments. I’m typing this one-handed in between chugging coffee and bouncing my wiggly side-kick on one knee. There is no longer any opportunity to do just one thing at a time. I’m starting to fear there never will be.

I was thinking about my first go-round with motherhood. When Tiny-Small was a baby I thought I was going to die. I remember very clearly collapsing on the floor around four months and just sobbing out of sheer exhausting. I am sure I googled “Can a mother die from never sleeping?” and “How many days can a woman go without sleep before she drops dead?” My husband was working so I never asked him to help with night shifts. I never really asked him for help at all because I felt like this whole baby thing was my responsibility. I was a total idiot, obviously.

With baby number two I have changed my thinking. I ask for help. I demand it even. So, baby number two has been easier to care for. She’s also got a much more laid back approach to life in comparison to Tiny-Small. I mean, the lactation specialist from the hospital diagnosed our new addition as “content to starve.” I’m not sure one can be more laid back than that. Still, having a newborn baby always brings a set of challenges to a family. I didn’t cry this time when we reached the four month mark, but I did sigh with relief because I knew we had reached a turning point. Things were changing. This kid was no longer just sleeping and eating. She was actively engaged with the world around her. She was becoming a “real girl.”

When Baby Turns Six Months
Sisterly Love

As we approach six months I can feel some of the strain starting to lift. Not only is she starting to sleep longer stretches, but she’s eating real food. She’s strong and sturdy too so we’re not so afraid of accidentally breaking her. She’s got a personality and laughs and complains and wiggles. It’s pretty fun. It’s like witnessing the beginning of self-empowerment. It’s like watching the awakening of what it means to be human. It’s like a religious experience. And it’s still so freaking exhausting most of the time, but I am delirious with the kind of hope that a full, uninterrupted hour of asleep at night will give you.

When Your Baby Turns Six Months
Someone has some cleaning to do…

Six months is that moment in motherhood where we can catch our breath for a second or two and survey the damage. What does a year of doing the bare minimum in house cleaning look like? What exactly is all of that stuff under my daughters bed? How many emails have gone unanswered? How many new plies of clutter and unopened junk-mail have burst onto the scene? How many new love handles do I now possess? What can I do to regain a little bit of my old self back? Is the fog of babyhood lifting? Will I soon be able to remember things for longer than three minutes without writing them down?

It’s also a time for self-reflection. I have two children now. How am I doing? Am I surviving? Did I make the right decision? Are we happier as a family? Yes. All yes. I was thinking back to when I started writing this blog. I was pretty angry and frustrated with motherhood. It was such a huge change that I wasn’t prepared for. I was having an identity crisis and obsessed with what I had lost or was missing. I wrote things like Existential Panic Attack Brought On by the Green-Eyed Monster. I was struggling.

This time I am so much more relaxed and accepting of my “new” life as mom. I know how to go with the flow and what is necessary to worry about and what isn’t. I’m a better mother and now that I have two kids I’m also a happier mother. Experience makes a world of difference. That and I am not so afraid that being a mom means I can’t be anything else. I know I am capable of doing more than one thing at a time. I’ve been doing it for years now!

What happens when your baby turns six months? You breathe. You Open Your eyes wide. You suck up as much joy as possible. You reassess. You smile. Then you find someone to entertain the little rascal so you can go take a much needed nap!

And if you are really, really lucky you find someone willing to come in and clean up your house. I’m still hoping to be that lucky as I sit here sipping coffee and pretending I don’t see that giant, stuffed broccoli staring at me from the hallway floor. I have a feeling I’ll be sitting here hoping for a nice long while.

 

Save

Save

Motherhood Is Like Being On Stage With Your Mic Turned Off

This morning I was in the shower, where I have all of my epiphanies, and I realized motherhood is like being on stage with your mic turned off. People are expecting you to perform and solve their problems and just be awesome, but at the same time they can’t seem to hear a word you are saying.

The other day, for instance, I was in the shower when I heard someone yelling, “Mom? Mom? Mom!” The yelling was coming from downstairs, but I figured if I could hear yelling someone could surely hear me yelling back, “I’m in the shower!” but I was completely wrong. This is what happened instead.

“Mom? Mom? MOM! Where are you, Mom? MOM!”

“I’m in the shower! I’m upstairs in the shower.”

“Mom? I can’t find you. Where is mom?”

“I’m upstairs in the shower!”

“Mom? I’m all alone. My mom left me. Maaaaaaaawwwwm. Maaaaaawwwwm!”

“I am right here in the shower!”

“Nobody is going to take care of me. Mom? Mom? Oh no, where is my Mom? Maaaawwwwwm!”

“In the shower! Upstairs!”

“Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom? MOM!”

At this point I just couldn’t yell anymore so I jumped out of the shower, flung open the bathroom door and yelled, no screamed, “I-AM-IN-THE-SHOWER!” I wanted to yell something more like, “I am in the #$%&! shower!” but I didn’t because I am a mother and you aren’t supposed to swear at children even if you really, really want to.

Then I felt a hand on my wet, soapy leg. I looked down and there is my daughter staring up at me, “Why are you yelling, Mom? I heard you the first time.”

Again, swearing at children is against the parenting code of ethics so I just gave her my best stink-eye and tried not to grind my teeth.

Whatever. I’m a grownup. I have to act like one.

Motherhood Is Like Being On Stage With Your Mic Turned Off

I got back in the shower while my daughter stood in front of the mirror putting my face cream on her body like spackling. I was just grateful that the yelling had ended. As I was rinsing my hair the water from the showerhead sort of faded into a mere trickle. My house was built in the 80’s so the plumbing is a mystery. If you flush a toilet while someone is in the shower the water just stops coming out of the shower head and because we have an on-demand water heater the water also gets ice-cold.

My husband, even with all of the yelling back and forth between his wife and daughter for the past five minutes, had no idea that I was upstairs in the shower. Even though I had specifically told everyone, “I’m going to take a quick shower,” just moments before taking said shower, my family had no clue what had happened to me or where I was. I stood in the shower, naked and freezing with shampoo dripping into my eye waiting for the water to come back on. I thought all the swears…every single one, but I remained silent and started plotting my revenge. I haven’t taken an uninterrupted shower in five years. I swear, if I try to take a shower when nobody is home my husband will mysteriously arrive having forgotten something and flush the toilet, run the dishwasher, or decide to wash his hands as if he were scrubbing in for surgery. I plot my revenge on a regular basis these days. Five years of revenge is staring to take a toll.

Anyway, that’s another story for another day.

What I really want to say is I know my family isn’t deaf because they¬† hear other people speaking and they hear dogs barking. They laugh at funny things said on cartoons and comment on birds singing. My daughter can hear a whisper about chocolate ice cream from a mile away. My husband can sing the words to all of his favorite songs with accuracy. My family members can physically hear, but for some reason they cannot seem to hear me.

That’s why motherhood is like being on stage with your mic turned off. People see your lips moving, but apparently no sound is coming out…unless you yell and scream really, really loudly. Then they just act like you are a total lunatic because at that point, naked, shooting daggers out of your eyes with soap bubbles sliding down your cheek, you really are a lunatic.

Motherhood. It’s a mad house.

Pass the chocolate.

 

 

Bungee Jumping Off The Laundry Pile

Ever have a laundry pile so high that you contemplated bungee jumping off of it? I have. I mean, not to brag or anything, but my laundry pile is so tall right now that bungee jumping could be a possibility. I am already calculating how much I could charge the neighborhood children per jump, I mean, if our neighborhood had any children that is.

People think climbing Mt. Everest is difficult, but that is only because they have never had to face Mt. Laundry armed only with a 1/4 cup of laundry detergent and a will to survive. I’m putting on my sweatbands and cranking up the Rocky theme song as I type this blog post because I am multitasking like mountaineers only wish they could. I am taking this mountain down one smelly sock and blog post paragraph at a time.

When you take a ten day road trip with your family, you arrive home with dirty laundry in the poundage. Even the laundry that once was clean is now dirty because, in the mad dash to exit the hotel before checkout time, clean laundry and dirty laundry began to commingle. Your luggage becomes a cocktail party where two worlds should never collide, but they do just like one of those gritty TV series on HBO.

Then you stare at the laundry you left behind when you began your trip (because it is still there, right where you left it, ten days later), both washed and unwashed, in piles by your washing machine and you wonder how three people could possibly own so may articles of clothing. Throw in the sheets, blankets, and towels from the house-sitter, who has been occupying your home for the past ten days, and you have yourself a real challenge. Like an Olympic challenge where gold medals should be awarded.

You will climb and conquer Mt. Laundry. You will bungee jump from it’s peak. You will be a laundry washing and folding hero, except nobody will notice because you are mom and everyone in your family thinks laundry is done by magic. There will be no accolades, no shouts of, “Thanks for that amazingly clean underwear!” and nobody will write a book about your epic feats.

Don’t worry though, I see you moms out there! I know who the real heroes are.

 

P.S. I’m writing over at In The Powder Room Room today! Check out my post: That Time My Daughter Called Her Dad a Pecker.