The Stuff I Rocked

I worry a lot. In fact, I worry so much that I worry about the amount of worrying I do. It sometimes becomes this giant circle of worry-suck that follows me around and tries to make me miserable. It’s with me at work, during my commute, at home, in my dreams … it’s just there all the time.

The past few weeks have been rough, y’all. Back to school, the husband being away, baseball practices for the Mouse, long trips, added expenses … all of this makes the worrying a little stronger. And today I woke up and knew this was going to be a stressful day. The first thing I did before I even rolled over and grabbed my phone to check the time was mentally run through everything that I had to accomplish: kids to school, commute, work, meetings, leave early, commute, stop for cold drinks, pick up kids, make sure kid gets changed into practice clothes, dinner, showers, homework, bed — and all the tiny little specifications that went along with all the tasks.

I started to hyperventilate. Okay, maybe not literally hyperventilate, but there was a good 7 minutes where I pulled the covers up over my head and contemplated just not leaving the house for the rest of the day. But eventually I realized that the school would call looking for the Mouse, work would text looking for me, and I needed to suck it up and just deal with this long-ass day, already.

I whine a lot on this blog. I bitch, and moan, and ‘tell it like it is’ when really it’s just me whining — and that’s okay, it’s my space and I’ll do what I want thankyouverymuch. I was all set in my head to whine some more tonight … but a funny thing happened: I rocked this stupid day. I mean, I rocked it hard.

the stuff I rocked

I rocked my meetings at work, and I rocked the actual work afterwards. I rocked collecting my kids during rush hour and even showed up to baseball practice 15 minutes ahead of time. I rocked take out dinner, and when I came home to a puppy who had shat all over her crate, I rocked taking the whole thing outside and hosed it off like a boss. I rocked snarffing down dinner, I rocked hot showers for the boys, I rocked stories and toothbrushing. I rocked making lunches for tomorrow, I rocked a load of laundry, I rocked a glass of wine HARD, and I even rocked the motherfucking Tooth Fairy bit.

My house might be a mess, my calendar might be downright frightening, and I will never EVER be that parent who volunteers to be ‘dug out mom’ … but that’s okay, because I (WE) don’t have to do it all. We have to look at our lists, pick out the ‘musts’ and do those — and then try to rock as many of them as possible.





A Return to the Crazy

Well – here it is, Labor Day weekend. Millions of parents throughout the country are looking around and thinking, ‘what the hell happened to Summer’? Unless you’re a stay-at-home parent … in which case I’m pretty sure you’re all doing the happy dance right about now. Props to y’all for surviving the Summer at home with your kids – you’re better people than me!

I swear, the Mouse was *just* coming home from his last day of Kindergarten – how the past three months flew by so fast I have no idea. In the span of one week of first grade we’ve gone from daycare and late nights with sno cones and movies, to homework, lunch box packing, and evening baseball practices. The ‘school year traffic’ is back for my commute. Somehow, we’ve gone through more coffee and paper towels in the past week than last month combined. Bedtime has been moved up a good hour. And oh yeah, the husband has been working out of town for the most of it.

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Last night, the family didn’t stumble up the driveway until after 8pm owing to the Mouse’s baseball practice, and dinner out afterwards. As I was collecting grocery bags, baseball equipment, work bags, and empty coffee cups out of my car and exhaustingly schlepping my way up to the house I grumbled to myself: Why do I do this to us? Why do ANY parents do this? It’s late, they’re tired, I’M tired, we have to get up early – who needs this extra stuff when just the day-to-day schedule is tough enough already? And it’ll only get worse when the Froggy decides he’s old enough for sports or extra curricular activities – what then? I might just lose it for real. Add with my work travel, the Husband’s crazy work schedule, two dogs … (this is about when my mind completely shut down).

I have moments like that a LOT – when the schedule gets really hectic, when I’m worried about one too many things, and I have a mini mental meltdown. I start second guessing myself: Am I making the right decisions for our family? Is this job I love so much worth it with the crazy commute and the traveling? Are sports really something my kids need to be messing with right now? Why on EARTH did we think adding a large, insanely hyper labrador puppy to our life was a good idea right now?

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The mental hyperventilating usually recedes as quickly as it shows up – I’m lucky that I have a partner around who can quickly recognize when it’s happening, and knows how to help me cope. “Our boys are amazing – they’re handling all of this much better than you think they are. The Mouse loves baseball, one late night a week is not going to kill him. You being happy with your job is the best thing that has happened to our family in years”.

I am a lucky woman.

But getting back in to the ‘routine’ is hard, y’all – there are lot’s of “pinnable” posts about helping your kids acclimate back into the school year, but what about us parents? This shitz can be rough. There is so much pressure for parents these days to be able to do it all: Be present in your kid’s lives, but give them space. Remind them they’re your whole world (these days are fleeting!), but make sure you have a career and portray a strong role model for them. ‘Clean’ foods in the lunch boxes. Is there backpack the right size, or too heavy? Team sportsmanship! Academics! Socialization! Ten hours of sleep! Reading time!

If you’re out there, and feel the pressure that goes along with all of this? Let’s all breathe a collective “woosah” together and have a glass of wine. The school year has officially started.

I hated breastfeeding

I know that the opinion I’m about to share in this post tends to be a rather unpopular one these days, but it’s one I need to get off my chest. In light of World Breastfeeding Week just ending, and the slew of beautiful breastfeeding images and articles that have shown up in my social feeds, I’d like to take an opportunity to share my experiences with breastfeeding – from a somewhat different perspective.

When I was pregnant with my first, the Mouse, I did everything a first-time pregnant mom is supposed to do. I went through birthing and baby classes, I paid extra to take a breast-feeding class, I spent an embarrassing amount of time on new-mom internet forums asking questions, reading the experiences of others, and generally planning how to be the best mother I could possibly be. When I was admitted to the hospital at 38 weeks pregnant I told the nurses and on-call doctor that the only ‘birth plan’ I had was that I wanted to make every effort to breastfeed.

To make a long story short – even after seeing multiple lactation consultants and trying to use a nipple shield, the Mouse never latched well. Also, while some mothers seem to be able to produce clotted cream out of their boobs, I was making a substance that was closer to skim milk. Even when my baby was able to latch, he would eat and eat and eat and that magical ‘hind milk’ never seemed to show up. At four weeks, I was dealing with a still-scrawny infant who wanted to nurse pretty much constantly, nipples that he refused to latch on to, and a state of exhaustion I had never even fathomed existed.

i-hated-breastfeeding

The husband and I cracked open a can of formula one night and never looked back. From that day on we were actually able to enjoy our child, and we became a happy family unit.

When I became pregnant with my second child (the Froggy) I had a much more realistic view of breastfeeding and all the work it entailed. I was convinced that if I could just get him to latch, that everything would be better. That I could be one of those moms in pictures looking down at their baby serenely, like they were actually enjoying every moment of it. I longed for that type of situation – where I could feed my baby and know he was actually growing and healthy, where it didn’t hurt like a bitch when he latched on, and where the members of my family didn’t resemble sleep-deprived zombies. I didn’t want to have to buy expensive formula, I wanted that happy nursing experience — but I also now knew my limits, and I wasn’t going to put myself through weeks of hell if I couldn’t get him to latch.

The Froggy arrived, and surprise – he latched perfectly from our very first nursing session. I still seemed to be making skim milk and putting on weight was slow going, but he was latched, and he was eating. He was eating all. the. time. Momnesia is apparently a real thing, because even with a latched, happy baby, I was once again looking down at my child at 2:34am and thinking, ‘oh my God do you ever stop eating and just sleep?’ I would look over my sleeping husband (who by the way was amazing at getting up for diaper changes and taking care of the big kid) and have nothing but resentment as I stayed up with our newborn, who contentedly chowed down and became more and more of an attachment to my body.

I hated being awake all night. I hated having to leave the room at family gatherings to feed my baby. I hated having to wear special clothing that made nursing easy. I hated nursing pads. I hated engorgement. I hated having to neglect my older son because I was the only one who could feed the baby. And most of all, I hated that I hated it all. I hated that I was such an awful, selfish mother who seemed incapable of sacrificing a few precious hours of sleep and normal clothes for her son’s well being.

I-hate-breastfeeding

In short, breastfeeding stressed me out. It dawned on me at five weeks post-partum that even though I could breastfeed this time around, I still hated it. I hated breastfeeding, and it had nothing to do with the logistics, and everything to do with how the process made me feel.

After a few days of making myself feel like the world’s most awful person, I cracked open the can of formula – and I truthfully didn’t let it bother me. Yes, I could have gone out and bought an expensive pump, but many of the same things that I hated about breastfeeding would have occurred as a pumper, and truthfully, I just didn’t want to. I just wanted to feed my baby, and get to enjoy him (and the rest of my family) without a million obstacles, so that’s what I did – and I never looked back.

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The purpose of this post is not to take away from the importance of educating people on the benefits of breastfeeding. ‘Normalizing’ breastfeeding is an important cause, and something that our society still needs to work towards. It’s great to see so many of my friends, family, and even celebrities stand up and say, ‘I’m nursing my child and this is NORMAL’. The underlying theme I’m trying to extract though is:

We should all be able to feed our children in the manner that we deem best for our families, and we should be able to do so guilt and judgment free.

I want other moms out there to know that if you spent last week staring longingly at beautiful photos of your friends nursing their babies, or feel some sort of guilt over not breastfeeding your child for whatever reason – don’t. It might not be the popular thing to talk about or admit these days, but there are others out there like you. Mom’s who just couldn’t, or moms who simply didn’t want to breastfeed – and that’s OKAY. Our babies are fed, happy, and healthy, and that’s the important part of the story.

No fucks given.

It’s amazing the differences between siblings. People comment often about how similar both my first and my second kiddo look – which is usually a nice way of them saying, ‘how the hell did you manage to have two blonde-haired, blue-eyed kids because I KNOW for a fact you color for you hair, Tottums’. Dude, […]

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