Broken

As a parent you aren’t prepared for a lot of things. The realization that when they tell you that you are in fact pregnant that it is for the rest of your life. The idea that this small adorable blob is relying on your for literally everything and doesn’t understand nor care that there are other ways to obtain food, clothing, and shelter. The physical and mental stamina one has to attain in order to keep up with said blob. Plus a million other small nuances that you never even thought of until they happened.

Tonight wasn’t the first night I felt this one but it was the first time I was able to put some sort of label on it. Tonight I was broken. This is what an exhausted mother looks like. IMG_20171110_225714 This is what a totally and complete melt down looks like. This is what feeling like a failure looks like. This is what utter defeat looks like. This is what broken looks like. A raw unedited unfiltered broken parent.

For about two weeks our daughter has become a Tron baby and refuses actual sleep. Today she napped for about 20 minutes. We put her into her crib around 10:15 pm and at 11:00 pm Tim went up to gather the screaming banshee because she cried and screamed in her crib for a full 45 minutes. Without stops, without time outs for exhaustion, without anything. Tim played a video game to distract himself from the screams coming from upstairs. I cleaned up the living room and playroom to distract myself. After 45 minutes neither of us could take it anymore and Tim went to get her and I went into the bathroom and was just…broken.

I am so lucky and have an amazing support system. I have my family, my friends of 10 plus years, a group of moms that I’ve met here in Exeter, and my husband. They are always supportive and all of them are first to yell, “You are an amazing mom! You’re amazing parents” when myself or Tim doesn’t feel that way. Let me tell you something, when you feel like you are doing poorly at being a mom it does not matter what people are telling you. You get sucked into a black spiral with barbecue sauce of shame. I felt like everything I do is wrong. I don’t wear her out enough during the day. I don’t do enough of a bedtime routine. I don’t do enough. I am not enough. Eva deserves more.

I decided to write this post because you could have a 100 mom friends, have an incredibly supportive husband, and a best friend a text away but still feel like you are alone in everything. I was alone in that bathroom. I was alone in my feelings. I was alone in my failure. At the end of the day, am I a failure of a mother because my daughter won’t go to sleep? Of course not. I rationally know that but when you are exhausted and have been watching your child all day there is no rationality, there are no calming words, there is only the spiral and the barbecue sauce. That’s it. I wrote this post because I want other moms to see, you are not alone. You are not broken alone.

Thankfully Eva had exhausted herself crying for 45 minutes straight that she went to sleep shortly after we brought her downstairs. Unfortunately when she exhausted herself she also exhausted us. For about two weeks straight Eva hasn’t gone to bed before 11:45 pm some days with naps some days without a nap. She sleeps pretty late into the morning but personally, I need my break at the end of the day. I prefer a moment after war to assess my current situation rather than mentally prepare for the day’s battles. Tim and I weren’t getting breaks. He was working all day then helping with Eva while I watched Eva all day and through the night. It was taking a toll on our mental well being and each other. We get snippy with each other and begrudgingly tell the other that they can go to bed because they watched her the night before until 1:45 am.

There are a lot of cool moments of being a parent, but sometimes you feel like that’s all you get. Moments. Then the not so great moments feel like they turn into a epoch. The last two weeks our house is and was the ice age and there was no sunshine. Today was a better day. We woke up and started our day. Eva and I went and got bagels and coffee while daddy got some well deserved sleep. We carried on. This all may seem mellow dramatic because who hasn’t had a bad day, night, or week? Somehow it feels different. Being a parent of a child makes those dark moments different. You aren’t concerned about yourself anymore, the entire future of your child is in that moment. Sadly those moments just leave you feeling broken.

 

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I’m a white housewife

This past Sunday myself and millions of people tuned in to see their favorite players jog out onto the field and play some football. On that Sunday most people found themselves picking their jaws back up off the floor after a very loud thud. Either teams did not go out onto the field for the national anthem or took a knee or locked arms with their teammates. After this happened there were scorch marks on social media sites from quick moving fingers. People outraged by what they had just witnessed. People applauding what they had just witnessed. People who wanted to point out that there were other things to focus on.

It would be so easy for me to say, “Not my prob, Bob.” I am a white housewife. I live in a higher middle class. I live in New Hampshire, a very white occupied state. I own my house. I am married to a man. I have a beautiful blonde haired blue eyed little girl. We are the poster people for the American dream. I’m one step away from taking NyQuil shots of being Ms. Doris Day. I could ignore what I saw and go on with my life. After seeing all the articles, opinion articles, editorials, news casts, social media rants, pointing of fingers I realized something. I’m a mom now.

Eva is only 16 almost 17 months old. She doesn’t speak yet and honest to god has no idea what happened Sunday afternoon. Just like she doesn’t know what happened in Charlottesville, VA last month. Part of me is glad that she is still in that blissful innocence age. Her biggest concern right now is how to move that empty laundry basket into the play room when it is clearly bigger than her. The idea that one day I’m going to have to sit down with her and explain racism in our country, boggles my mind.  It’s going to be up to me and Tim to explain what is going on around her. Explain to her what the other kids were talking about. At some point that innocence is going to be taken away and there is no amount of Gorilla Glue or duct tape I can use to cling onto it.

We as parents need to have a dialogue because here’s the cold hard truth. We the parents, the adults, are the ones who raise these children. We are the ones that give them the first views and morals of the world. We are their appetizers into a confusing utterly infuriating and frustrating buffet line of life. We have to talk to them about racism so they know how to avoid it. We need to talk to them about what ninja racism is because I’m sure you’ll hear many people say that it isn’t as bad as when our parents were young because at least groups of black people aren’t being beat in the street every day. Which, sure, that’s not happening every day. It still exists though. The black community still fights to go to Walgreen’s and not be followed because of their skin color. They still fight to not have horrific names scribbled across their garage doors and cars. They still fight to drive down the highway without a heart palpitation because they realized they were two miles over the speed limit.

Sunday was not an isolated incident. It wasn’t petulant children walking out of a test at school because they think the teacher is mean. It wasn’t a violent act that ended in arrests, tears, and the perpetual fear that we as a country are still fighting a civil war that supposedly ended 152 years ago. People are screaming that it was the definition of disrespect because there are men and women who fought for that national anthem and that flag that waves. A flag that represents freedom, passion, fight, blood, sweat, and tears. An anthem that still makes grown men weep and brings a sense of pride to the most non patriotic person.

Our country is phenomenal at selective memory. As much as our ancestors fought for that flag and as much as our friends and family still fight for that flag, we have to remember that the black community fought for it just as hard. “Well, Amy, wouldn’t that make it so important that they stand and respect the flag?” No it isn’t. People are arguing that kneeling is a slap in the face of military personnel and their family and friends. We don’t know what they go through on a daily basis and we don’t know the wars they fought to protect that flag. We are forgetting that in the same respect most of us in this country don’t know what it is the be black. We don’t know what the black community goes through on a daily basis and we don’t know the wars they fight every day. I can say with full confidence that I as a white housewife with a Prius will NEVER know what it means to walk into Walgreen’s and be followed because my skin is darker than theirs.

Colin Kirkpatrick wasn’t a spoiled NFL player who was stomping his foot and sassy walking away from his parents yelling at him. He was a black man who was tired. Tired of his family and friends being called thugs. Having every stereotype thrown his direction because his Afro was bigger. Tired of turning on the TV and seeing another race motivated story splashed across headlines with a angle this way or that depending on how conservative that news organization is. I have to be honest. I get it. People think he doesn’t understand what it meant to get that flag to wave but I have to ask, do you understand what it means to keep it waving? This country is a place of freedom. It’s a place where our crown jewel monument says, “Give me your weak, your poor, your hungry”. A woman with a torch to welcome any and all those who need that help. We fought to make that monument an testament of truth not flourish of language and I think it’s a disgrace we’ve let that ideology die.

We need to have conversations about race because it’s still relevant in this country no matter what overlaying issue you have. If you live here as an American citizen you have every right to stand or kneel and say, “I have a problem with the way I am being treated.” I desperately want to look at Eva and explain how things used to be here but how they’ve improved drastically. I want her to go into the world looking at every person for who they are, race and all. Now look, I’m not a political analyst. I am not a politically correct person. I’m not a part of the military and I’m not black. I’m a white housewife that has to raise her children to be better members of this society than what we are seeing right now. They have to be the change because there has to be a change. It’s starts with them, WE need to give them the push.

 

I see you

Having a toddler running your house and life can be exhausting. Honestly, put me and my toddler in a room with someone you’re trying to get information from, start Moana for 15 minutes and then shut it off. That person will talk real fast. As parents we try our best to do what’s best for our babies. We feed them, we clothe them (most times), we bathe them (most times), we cuddle them (all the times), we do a lot. Then that baby becomes *dun dun dun duh duuuunnnn* a toddler *shudder*. This gila monster that runs around with octopus arms and grabs everything in sight. They have negative self preservation and zero social etiquette so everything is up for grabs. We tell them, “No, don’t touch that” a thousand times before breakfast and, “I don’t know what you want….those aren’t words.” a thousand times before nap time. It is exhausting. To this though, I say to my amazing toddler, I see you.

20638134_10104291379288359_232226290667852263_nI see that you are bright and curious and have been plopped down into this incredible world with completely innocent eyes. You want to touch everything because you want to know what it does and how it works. You want to taste everything because hey, it could be food. You want to see everything because maybe it’s something you’ve never seen before in your entire life. You want to reach your little arms out so far that the whole world comes rushing into them because you can’t wait to get everywhere yourself. You’ve been given these amazing sensing gifts and you want to use them.

I see that you are trying. You are desperately trying to tell me what you want. You watch mine and dada’s mouths because you are studying how the words we make are made. You are trying to become more vocal when something isn’t right or when something is. You sequel with delight because that nice dude in the deli gave you a piece of cheese only to have me covering your mouth and saying, “We don’t scream in a store”. You are trying to figure out how fast your legs can take you and how far your voice can reach. You are trying to become this little person and you need help getting there.

I see that you are in fact a little person. Adults try to box in children and what their milestones are or what is wrong with them or when they are suppose to do things because I’m sorry my love, but you can’t tell me these things yourself. As much as I think you came into this world manufactured for my desires, you are in fact a little human. You have bad days, you wake up on the wrong side of the crib, you get hangry with the best of them, you get sad, you get excited for the little things, you love, and sometimes you just want to hang out. I see that you are trying to be that human I want you to be sometimes, but I need to let you be you.

I see your frustration. Once you weren’t a newborn anymore your decisions weren’t your21463062_10104392785639219_7513888671990358890_n own. We started putting you on a schedule. A schedule that we created. You don’t get to decide when you get picked up and put into a constricting car seat. You don’t get to decide when or what you’re going to eat. You don’t get to decide what activities we are going to do that day. You go with the flow and I know that gets frustrating. You want to run with the wind and dance in the rain, some days we will do that but today we have to go to the grocery store. I see your frustration and I promise you, someday soon you will get more say in these schedules.

I. See. You. Dada and I made you out of the best human emotion. Love. We wanted you so badly that it seemed like nothing else mattered. You were given to us and you were and are our greatest achievement so far. You are loved unconditionally and to see you become Eva has been our most spectacular journey. You are hilarious. You are sassy. You are caring. You take it in. You are inquisitive. You are fearless. You are independent. You are stubborn. You are not a morning person. You are so loving already. You are Eva.

Being a parent is the best and some days the worst decision I ever made. Raising a toddler isn’t a game it is truly a blood sport. It’s so amazing and parenting is one of the only things on this planet where you can have such contradictory ideas in one paragraph and it totally makes sense. While we focus on what it is to be parents and while our objective most days is to make it to the end of the day, we need to see our children too. We need to see them for what they are and more importantly we need to see them for who they are.

I’m a messy mom, and I have to be okay with that.

When I became pregnant I wrote a blog post about what I did and did not want to do as a mom. I had 12 points that I was worried about in becoming a new mom. Number four was bullet pointed “Letting them think that I think having a clean house is more important than they are.” Well, let’s just say that this bullet point has been proven true over and over and over…and over again since Eva was born. At first our house was a disaster area and I chalked it up to the fact that we had a newborn baby running the show. Everything else fell by the wayside down a ditch and in a river downhill from a toxic plant. It was bad.

Then a great thing happened. I was able to clean one room and then the other and another. It was as if Hygieia came off Mount Olympus and touched me during the night. It made me feel so much better. I had a touch of PPD after having my beautiful little Raptor. A big part of my anxiety was my mess of a house. I felt as though I was being a lazy mom and a wife that didn’t care about her house anymore. I knew so many moms that had babies the same age as my little one or younger. What was my issue? Why couldn’t I get it together? I already felt as though I was drowning in a sea of burp clothes and the feeling that I was personally never going to be enough for Eva, Tim, or myself.

Then months went by and things started piling up and out again. The kitchen dishes were monstrous. The laundry seemed to touch the ceiling. The dust bunnies were planning a coup under the couch. The anxiety started creeping back in. I dreaded waking up because I knew the second I opened my eyes I was just staring messes in the face and they weren’t messes that my child made, they were my messes. It was getting to be too much. I did what I should have done weeks beforehand. I talked to my husband. I explained to Tim that it was all beginning to be too much. I felt like whatever I was doing was never enough. I’m lucky that my husband actually listened to me and told me that he would take over kitchen duties after dinner so we didn’t have to wake up to dirty dishes in the morning. This helped a lot.

In what seemed like the inevitable our house is still a mess even today. Tim was doing great in the kitchen and I was able to stay on top of toys through the house and vacuuming the big chunks every night. Then summer started and we got super busy. Then Eva decided that sleeping when it was even a little light out was for the birds, she is a reverse vampire. Eva and I started doing more activities during the day. It never seemed like I had enough energy at the end of the day. I would look at all the toys around the living room at night and think, “Why bother? She’s going to take all of them out again in 10 hours.” At least we had proof that our child at least touches every single toy at least once a day even if it’s to toss it out of the way of another toy.IMG_20170803_225045 I think it was about last week that I finally thought, “I’m a messy mom and I need to be okay with that.”

I tell Eva constantly that life isn’t here to service us all the time and she needs to be okay with that. I’m sure there are moms or dads out there who would argue that housework is part of taking care of your child. That a clean house was needed to have a constructive child. Sure we all have messes every day but cleaning them at the end of the day it was important to have a house in order. I remember going to a friend’s house after she had a baby six months after me. Her house looked like my house after I spent three days cleaning because we had family coming over for dinner. I didn’t understand what gene I was missing that my friend clearly got.

Of course there are also parents who will argue for me and say that raising children is insanely hard and if you can make it to an end of the day who cares? Which I do totally agree with because I didn’t understand what it meant to just make it to the end of the day until I had a toddler. With a newborn time isn’t known so days meld together. A toddler at least has some sort of schedule so days do come to an end. If a clean house is your biggest concern of the day then you’ve had a pretty good day.

I’d love to end this blog post saying that I’ve embraced that idea that I’m a messy mom and that’s okay. When I’m falling asleep on the couch at 8 pm and ache from running after a 15 month old all day I can fully embrace this philosophy. Then the morning comes and I feel a little more refreshed and the daylight shows far more than the night time. I see Eva walking across the toy coal walk in the living room to get to her books. I have to move dirty dishes to be able to make breakfast in the kitchen. I kick shoes out of the way to get us out the door. Then the philosophy becomes a little harder. All I know is I’m trying my best. I’m trying to be a good and entertaining mom to Eva. I’m trying to be a supportive partner to my husband. I’m a messy mom but I hope to one day be a “There’s only big chunks around” mom.

Too many tabs

Sometime last week Tim and I were conversing about something and then I switched topic completely in my head. Before I totally changed topic on Tim I warned him, “I have about seven tabs open in my head right now. So a lot of random stuff is going to come out. Buckle up.” This. Is. My. Life. At one given time I have at least seven to ten tabs open in my head because as a mom and woman I constantly have things to think about and worry about. I’ve read articles and actually took a course in college about how this is how women communicate and operate. For some reason women are programmed to worry about many facets of life and home. I’m not saying that men don’t do this, that they don’t care, marwar rawr blah. It’s been shown that’s how this works.

I find it so true when I communicate with Tim. We’ll be having a conversation about one thing and in my head I jump over to a different tab. I’ll be a full five minutes deep into this tab and Tim says, “Wait, what? What does that have to do with *blank*?” and I have to reopen that tab that I had already closed when for Tim that tab has been open the whole time.

So, what are the most common tabs that I have open? Here’s a quick break down for you.

1.) Eva: There’s no specific part to this tab that’s just my number one constantly open tab. If I could have sub-tabs it would be, “Where is she?” “Is she okay?” “Do I play with her enough?” “Is she happy?” “Is her diaper still on?” etc. Really anything and everything pops up.

2.) Household to-dos: It took us a full year or so to get back on track with our lives. The house isn’t pristine by any definition but we can see carpet, we can see counter, we are miles ahead of where we were. Now that I don’t dread being in my house with hoarding like piles around me I begin to focus on other projects or chores that need to be done in the house. I keep a running list on this tab.

3.) Big house things: We need a new boiler. We need to have the pipe in the basement checked out. How hard is it to replace a faucet? Hopes of a finished basement. Hopes of a finished garage. When do mice come back to the house? Big picture issues that keep popping up every day of our lives.

4.) Money: Obvi. I’m sure this is a tab that many people relate to and constantly have open themselves. For me it’s, how much are we spending on groceries? Will we have any money to send Eva off to life with? Can we afford more Evas? Can we afford a new car? Will we ever retire? Will I have to crochet my ass off once the kids are in school full time and make monies? Why does the money make the world go round? Oooohhh, cute shoes, damn you, Amazon.

5.) Me and Tim: How are we doing? Are we having a good day (thankfully more often than not this is a resounding yes)? When was the last time we had time together? Should we make more time for each other? How unhealthy is us not really talking/spending time together after baby is in bed because we both have things to do/want to do? Can we handle more kids?

6.) The future: Can I handle more kids? A constant worry and fear in my head. Parents with one kid are all, “I love being a parent. It’s changed me life and I love it.” Parents with multiple kids, “My life is Mad Max 24/7 with Dora narrating. We have nothing nice ever. We have no money. We have no relations. We have nothing. Except children and goddamn Caillou” (take it away PBS. You’re supposed to help people, not hurt them). I don’t want to be that parent. I don’t really want that life sometimes, but I want more kids. It’s so messed up. Pregnancy and labor kicked my ass. I voluntarily want to do that again and again?

7.) What will kill my child: Being a parent today is difficult. Technologically speaking it’s great. Even today we walked downtown for breakfast with Eva in her stroller and a woman in her 70’s said how nice our stroller was compared to what she had back in the day. Ours is not fancy. I am not jogging anything around anywhere and I don’t need the stroller to talk to me. I have enough judgement in my life. As parents we have social media. Sage advice from generations before us. We’re a different society from decades ago and feel we as parents have the voice, so if I tell you my daughter cannot have eat hot dogs at the next family BBQ, my daughter will not eat hot dogs atournextfamilybbq!!! Yet I’m the one out of line. I constantly, constantly, see articles about how my child could and will die. Even if I keep her home in a play pen with the shades drawn and the doors locked, with no toys around her, she will die or be mamed. And it’s always met with, “We just wanted to raise awareness”. Believe me, whenever an unfortunate event happens to parents and a child my heart bleeds for them. I cry, I hug Eva, I pray to whatever being out there for her safety. But if I’m reading all these things correctly, she will either die or be horribly injured. It will be my fault. It will be a one in a million happenstance (I love the way that word looks, so sexy), and it will be god awful. It’s over saturating. As if I didn’t constantly fear every day that my life, my happiness, my everything will be ripped away from me. I need to hear about the dangers of choking hazards of the burp clothes I’ve been using for months. I hate this tab.

So yes, on any given day at an given hour these are the open tabs in my head. More often than not there are a couple more random ones in there for family. Friends. Pinterest. TV shows. Loosing that “Baby body…whatever that is”. Food. Alcohol. Food. You know, important things. Hopefully one day I can collapse all these tabs into one or two and focus on the here and now. I try to stop myself from looking at all these tabs at once and just stare at my daughter and my husband snuggling on the couch. The fact that I have a beautiful home that Tim and I worked really hard for. That my walls are full of pictures of family and friends that I love desperately. The fact that I do have multiple people outside of Tim and Eva that I love desperately. My life is open tabs. I want to some day close them out and only have one open at a time. Sadly, it’s not today and it probably won’t be tomorrow. Someday soon. Maybe when my life is Mad Max and I have drunk goblins all around me. Maybe I’ll close all the tabs then and just take it all in and save it to my cloud. I can’t wait for that day.

It’s just so cool.

Children aren’t for everyone. It’s true. Some people don’t want kids. Some people feel they can’t afford kids. Some people feel that kids don’t fit into their lifestyle. To these people I say, “You do you, Boo.” Everyone needs to figure out what or what doesn’t work best for their life. Not their parents life, not their friends’ life, theirs. If people aren’t okay with that decision they can go sit on an ant hill with a honey covered hiney. I don’t get many people in my life asking me why I wanted or had a child. Mostly because I don’t ask people why or why not they wanted children. However, I have asked myself the question, “Why DID you want to have children? I mean I get it, but why?”

I feel it’s a fair question to ask myself before peeing on a stick and seeing the word “Pregnant” cause mama does digital. I can’t deal with fuzzy pink lines. I would go crazy. I asked myself this before we got pregnant with Eva because I had to answer this question. I needed to. I loved my life before baby. Tim and I could go anywhere we wanted whenever we wanted. I could shower whenever I wanted. And while they’re some maintenance, Tim and the cats were pretty easy to take care of. Just feed them and give them a good brush once and a while and they’re good (Tim had a big beard, people). Why was I so willing, so determined, so…desperate? Why did I need to have this soon to be blob in my life?

Before deciding to get pregnant we had the conversation of, “If this never happens for us, are we okay with just each other?” The answer was yes. This was if pregnancy didn’t work and adoption didn’t work. If all our options faded were we okay being a married couple sans kiddos? Tim and I had been together for 6 years before Eva and lived together for 5 1/2 years. We were good being together just us. When we got married and moved into our house that last piece was missing. Her name is now Eva, but for a long time it was a blank piece. Friends of ours had babies and I loved being with those babies. I loved holding them, playing with them, loving them. When they would leave with their parents I was jealous that those parents got to go home with those babies. I wanted to have that little one. I wanted to be a mom.

To say I totally understood why I wanted kids is wrong. I knew Tim and I wanted kids and I knew that I was meant to be a mom. I was called a mom all through college and by friends afterwards. But not a normal mom, I was a cool mom. I had unconditional love and attention to give a little one(s). Tim always said he wanted kids partly because there are so many people who just shouldn’t be parents and we would make awesome parents and kids deserve to have awesome parents. I knew the yearn to bring a baby home that was ours…not a stolen one because that’s not “okay” by some people’s standards or whatever. I knew and understood that yearn.

After having Eva people without kids may see me and wonder, “Now that you have one, what is so great?” For a while I honest to *insert your spiritual leader here* could not really tell you because it was so hard. Having a newborn was insanely hard. Yes being with her was wonderful. Having all the snuggles was amazing. Holding something that you and your love created was beautiful. But Dukes of Hazard it was hard. The months went on and Eva was growing fast. It seemed like every month was a new adventure and a new first. Then one day it clicked. It’s great having a kid because it’s just so cool. IMG_20170521_125238.jpg

Let’s start with you created this. Like you and your partner created this. And I mean that by any standards. You created this family unit. Either through labor, adoption, IVF, surrogacy, stork, plane, train, or automobile. You and someone created this. It’s truly awe inspiring. Then this thing that you created cries, poops, cries, poops, sleeps on college schedules, and then cries again. After all that they begin to move around. It starts with wiggles and then moves to rolling and then to crawling and then to speed racer crawling and then to walking and then to running. It’s so crazy you can’t keep up because you were juuuuussstttt getting used to the last phase. It all happens fast and if you don’t pay attention once and awhile you’ll miss it.

After the normal developmental stages they start to do other things. Yes eating solids was cool. Hearing mama and dada for the first time brought tears to my eyes but it’s the little things you didn’t expect. This week Eva started putting toys into bins which was a new concept for her. I’ve been working with her on it for a couple months. She can point to water when she wants it. When we say, “Do you want Cheerios?” she points to her Cheerios container. Yesterday we came home from grocery shopping and I said, “Okay, take off your shoes” and she did!!!! All by herself. I’ve been showing her how to take off her shoes but by no means was I teaching her what “Take off your shoes” meant really. Babies, man. They listen. Even at a year old they stare at you with that cold vacant stare that makes you want their approval or a glimmer that they are there watching you. And then they take off their shoes. Amazing.

The internets is a great place where moms and dads who are worn down and wore out can go and vent and expel and ask, “Am I alone here?” We can make blogs with a few key strokes. We can finally all come together in some way and say, “Today was hard. Yesterday was hard. Tomorrow will be hard”. I know. I’ve made those posts and I will make more but I also want to focus on the really great parts of being a parent because at the end of the day, it’s just so cool.

 

The invisible woman

A couple weeks ago I was getting Eva ready to do a quick run to the grocery store. Honestly quick. We were going to grab fixings for sandwiches for lunch that was it. Maybe a ten minute trip. I look at Eva and she was in her jammie jams from the last two or three or five nights, bed head, and a not so fresh diaper. I did what was the only logical opti18342828_10103985655521239_8432012106802694110_non. Hyper focus on what Eva looked like and what she should be wearing. I pull out our downstairs clothes tote and pick out an adorable pink peplum shirt, jeggings, and I brush out her hair. She was cute for our quick trip to the store.

I mean, right? How cute is that? Then I realized that I needed to get ready. You’d think that I would then put in at least a tenth the effort I just put into my daughter. Well, my friends. You would be drastically incorrect. Or maybe you guessed where this blog was going and knew all along and now your just shaking your head, “Yes. I knew that”. I was wearing a lovely pair of sweatpants about four years old and on their third day of wear. A gaming t-shirt that I took from my husband because he originally ordered the wrong size (I don’t game and barely understand what the shirt means). I didn’t brush my hair but did redo the messy bun so it wasn’t falling down giving Eva easy access. More or less, a pretty common outfit to run to the store in.

18425176_10103985655486309_1789087807096947863_nI was putting Eva’s shoes on her and they were cute and strappy and fun. I put on my knock of Birkenstocks and realized, “I didn’t care about myself or what I looked like for even a second. That can’t be good.” I’m a stay at home mom so I don’t have to necessarily care what I look like when I walk out the door. And yes I know, you should never care what others think of you. You do you, blarg rawr blarg. The point is, when I worked full time I put more effort into what I was wearing and brushed my hair…almost every day…almost. Any who, this picture is more common to walk out the door than anything else. All you can think is, “I’m a mom. My raptor is my first and only priority. I have to get her ready to walk out the door.” You don’t even put yourself into that equation because let’s be honest, most moms don’t feel they deserve to be part of that equation.

Now, moms who work full time or part time or quarter time that have to put in effort into getting ready. Props to you. So many props to you. It amazes me that you can wake up get yourself ready and a child ready and head out the door into the world. That is not my world and sometimes that makes me a little sad. I love doing make up and getting ready. Before Eva I had a whole routine I would do when going out or meeting with people. I had an awesome vanity set up. I would blast my music and truly enjoy getting ready. Now I hurry through a shower, usually just a body splash cause who has time to do the hair? I run and grab something cleanish that doesn’t involve video game references (I steal a lot of Tim’s shirts) or childhood references. Usually jeans or leggings. I maybe do a five minute face and that’s dependent on the internal question, “Will there be pictures?” and then run out the door apologizing for taking too long.

I posted the above photos on a mommy group I’m a part of on Facebook explaining what I was feeling that day.  I even say that I dress that way because I already am gross so why does it matter? Which is such a sad statement and I would tear up if any of my friends said that to me about themselves. No one should ever feel like they aren’t worth putting on a clean shirt and brushing their hair. I got a whole spectrum of responses. Moms who understood and said that they also have these days or weeks or months or years. Moms who supported me and said that I was not in fact gross. Moms who thought that was a great outfit and I should be proud of myself getting out the door. That’s when it hit me. I sometimes feel like the invisible woman.

My daughter is beautiful and funny and interactive. She has big blue eyes and will stare into your soul when you first met her. Like with any other baby, she gets a lot of attention when we go out. Strangers will talk to her at the grocery store. Sometimes I’ve had people talk to her and not even acknowledge me. She’s a year old *side lean* a year old. She can’t really talk. She can’t hold a conversation. She can’t even tell you that she’s a one. So stop asking, she clearly cannot answer you, juststopit! These people will have full “conversations” with her or creepily play peek a boo and not even look at me. Or if they do it’s a quick glance to ask me her name or age or if she’s a girl. Every once and a while I will have someone have a full conversation with me but it’s about Eva and where she’s at developmentally. It honestly feels like sometimes I’m just the bow on top of the package.

I think moms know what’s coming in terms of their existence once the baby pops out. You are not a sole individual anymore. You are someone’s mom. You are the carrying case for a tiny human. You are there to serve as the mouth piece for an adorable blob gremlin that can’t speak for themselves. You are a spokesperson. Nothing more, nothing less. All day I sit with Eva and play with her. I try to teach her. We practice walking. We practice communicating. We eat and we love. Please don’t misunderstand, I love my life. I love being a stay at home mom. I love my daughter. 99% of the time she is my favorite subject to talk about. Sometimes though, I’d like to talk about other things. I want to reach beyond the realm of Beat Bugs and Maisy’s Big Flap book. I’d like to have a conversation with someone where I can get out a full sentence without being interrupted or cut off because they want to talk with my daughter who is one *side lean* one.

I know this may all sound like complaints and maybe it is but this is my life. From what I got in response to my Facebook post it’s a lot of moms’ lives. It’s so easy to fall into an invisible woman role because that’s what our role is now. Especially for stay at home moms because that is our entire life. 24/7, 365 days a year. Sometimes it’s nice to be invisible because when you have been awake since 3 am and have read I’m A Truck 75 times before 6 am you want to be invisible. You want to disappear a little while picking up bread, cheese, and ham. You need to not be there, but sometimes you know, it would just be really nice to visible to the world. Sweatpants and all.