It’s about to get ranty in here….you are either going to love this post or hate it, I’m not sure which.
Lately I’ve been plagued by a disease in my Google Reader. I’m going to call it “I’m a better parent than you nanana-boo-boo stick your head in do-doo“. I used to follow healthy-living fitness blogs now I follow a bunch of helicopter parents trying to out do the world with their amazing-ness. I call BS.
I had my children relatively “early” in life. I was 25 when I had my first. Which by some standards isn’t early at all. But for my group of friends I was close to first. I went to college, got my dream job right out of school, met a fabulous guy and the rest is history. I didn’t have a blog then but I am 100% sure that other than the people in the room that day and my sister, I never shared with ANYONE what really went on in that delivery room. Nor would I, EVER.
Yet the new blog moms wrote them in SHOCKING detail complete with photos! I read one and it made me as a mother of two uncomfortable. Not for the writer. But for the child and his friends that will someday find those posts at a very awkward phase in their life, and be horrified by them. I promise. You say no but I know what little boys are like…trust me I don’t believe this story ends well.
My secret hope was that by skipping the so-called “Birth Stories” my bloggers would bounce back to normal. Sadly this hasn’t happened in fact, it seems to have only gotten worse?! Rather than admit what every real new mother I have ever known in my life has…that having a baby is a crazy new world that NO sane person is truly ready for. Or that humility has hit them at a rate they have never previously known. These women seem to be what I can only assume “pretending” to be something quite opposite. Turning into “I’m a better parent than you nanana-boo-boo stick your head in do-doo”
As a reader I now have been lectured about new parent etiquette. Instructed about how a newborn should behave. (really?) One even wrote how she survived her baby’s first cold with the help of a book. Seriously? I was the parent of a newborn three years ago this time and these are not the memories I have. I remember being ovewhlemed. Laughing to myself that I wasted my time with unrealistic book reading while pregnant.
In hindsight I’m now realizing I must have been a HORRIBLE parent to newborns, since these were not at all my first experiences. So for those of us who live on planet Earth and are experiencing parenting for the first time let me share with you how it went for my family. Not the way we want to tell people it went but they way it really did.
- The First Day: I spent the entire first day in a fog. I was tired and overwhelmed with the news that my baby was in the NICU and would be there for a while. There were no pictures. There were a lot of tears, doctors and questions. The first time I saw my baby was at 5am in a room where incubators were covered with towels. That night a baby next to my son passed away. Granted my experience was different from most but at no point would I have EVER wanted a picture taken. Even with my second little guy who was completely healthy. We took family photos right after (I’m in a few of them looking a hot mess and I didn’t post those publicly). If I want to embarrass my children with them in the privacy of our own home someday that’s my prerogative. Also don’t get me started on “maternity family photos” WTH do you do with those?
- The First Eight Weeks: (other titles = Holy Sh*& Balls) For most of this time I remember day dreaming about sleep. At any given time I would randomly fall asleep in place. And let’s be completely honest there were times I did. I can remember my mother in law stopping into visit. I was feeding my youngest. Or apparently I was before I feel asleep on the couch, while my then 2-year-old entertained himself. Weirdly as she woke me up by moving the baby. In that moment, I remember for the first time thinking What in the HELL am I doing? I couldn’t even be embarrassed, I was too tired for that. My husband was working 16 hours days between school and work, there was no nighttime relief. (Taking turns? Seriously what is that!) I just remember it being an extremely difficult time for all of us. I’m not even sure I showered during that entire 8 weeks. And I know I never wore a bra. I didn’t workout, I promise you that. My days sort of went like this:
6:30am- Toddler wakes up wants food.
6:35am- Get out of bed zombie style, put cereal in bowl, try not to fall asleep. Get toddler dressed.
7:05am- Baby awakes for food, feed baby
1:00pm- Possible chance both children are asleep at same time. Catch up on life via facebook. Call insurance company to fight about paychecks since I work on commission.
9:00pm- Husband arrives home, see him for 10 minutes before he goes to bed.
11:00pm- Final feeding go to bed myself.
(The gaps in this day include, laundry, changing diapers, pumping, feeding, cooking, cat naps and other super glamorous events)
- Back to Work: waking up hours before you need to be to work still not sleeping is about as fun as it sounds. This entire journey is a RUSH. Rush to work, Rush to get to daycare, Rush to get home, Rush to eat, Rush to spend 2 hours with your children before it’s time to do it all over again. I have no idea how people with 3 plus children do it. And those Duggars GOD BLESS YOU. I can barely keep up with two. I’m bringing work home hoping to squeeze it in before I pass out after my kids are asleep. Workout? WHEN? I’m feeling horrible about myself. My clothes don’t fit. My face is acne filled thanks to my hormones and I still from time to time BUST out into tears for no reason. Living the dream seriously! The only thing that gets you through these days are the smiles on your children’s faces. And the fact that they can’t yet talk so you assume the smiles are happiness and not gas
Honestly though looking back those were tough days but they were easy compared to temper tantrums and other things you can’t control that hit around age 2. People understand a newborn baby crying. It’s quiet and sweet. When your toddler throws his first “I don’t want to do this fit” in front of 30 complete strangers you realize this isn’t the joyride you signed up for. There are days when I would trade the meltdowns and sibling pestering for the newborn days when I at least controlled the show.
Bloggers I’m telling you while you are pretending that these are ALL wonderful, amazing days the real bad days are a few years in the future.
I’m just asking for some honesty if I make the attempt to follow your blog and read about your healthy-living at least humor me by making it real. Life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. I would appreciate a little humility. Let’s face it most of us got a big ole SLAP in the face of reality when our children came along. There are days I seriously consider calling my mom, apologizing for anything I may have done to upset her as a youth and ask to move back home.
I’m a good mom don’t get me wrong. I have two amazing little boys that I would do absolutely anything for. Most of us are good moms but it doesn’t make you a bad mom to admit you have a breaking point. I was scared and horrified becoming a mother. It was the first time in my life another person was allowed to poop, vomit and scream at me for hours on end without an apology. Are there wonderful moments of pure joy and happiness? Of course there are but there are also days when locking myself in the bathroom for 10 minutes of peace isn’t out of the question.
My children are the best thing I’ve ever done. And with them came lots of CRAZY new awkward experiences, but also a happiness I’ve never known.
I guess what I’m discovering is the more deep I get into the blogging community, the more I want to shake the Stepford out of some people. You just became a mom, please stop telling us all how you have it all together and you are so perfect. Any of your readers with children is calling out your Bull. I think it’s also bad because it’s making me question how much of what you were an expert on prior to children you may have stretched the truth on.
My only goal on this blog is to keep it real. I’m going to tell you if I hated it, if I quit it, if I downright failed at it. Why? Because that’s just as important as the victories. In fact it might be even more important than the victories. You don’t ever learn something in life unless you get knocked down. So please share with us those moments too, make them as real as your “expert” advice.
I’m sorry former favorite blogs and bloggers, I’ve deleted you from my readers…..I just can’t…..