Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 24 - It’s called post-partum baby!

It happened after the “babymoon,” two weeks after Jake was born. Everything was perfect. I stared for hours on end at the little precious being that I had created. I was overjoyed to finally meet this tiny person that had lived inside me for 9 months. I wondered who he was, what he would become and who he would look like. I was totally captivated by his every little movement and jumped at every coo! I was in a swoony, blissful haze! I was in love! And, the icing on the cake was that I could finally sleep on my stomach. Heaven!

Skip to a couple of weeks later…

The happy, swoony hormones from my delivery were levelling off and were all wonky. My emotions like my house were now a complete and total disaster. My little precious little wonder looked less like a baby and more like a parasite that required constant feeding and diaper changing, needed to be held around the clock, and squawked whenever I put him down. I couldn’t remember when I had last showered and how long I had been wearing my pyjamas. I wondered whether the black circles under my eyes had become a permanent fixture. And, my boobs hurt! I couldn’t figure out what hurt most, the fact that they might explode or the feeling that someone had tried to sandpaper my nipples off. I wondered when I would get my figure back because I wasn’t keen on the stomach flap and the stretch marks that looked like a road map to my belly button. I mourned the loss of my old life. The one where I could party all night, sleep in, do what I wanted when I wanted. You know the life that had zero responsibility!

The hurt, hormones, sleeplessness, dark circles, flabby skin, crying, poopy diapers and constant caregiving is what postpartum is all about! It plain sucks…period! Here is some consolation, however. Every mommy goes through it! It’s like a right of passage to mommyhood. If you can handle post-partum you can pretty much handle anything your little monsters to throw at you. The “suckiness,” although “sucky,” is brief (and, like the actual act of childbirth will become a vague memory). Most things get resolved with time. And, what doesn’t go away, you just adjust to. Those little bundles of poopy messes and spit up are really easy to get attached to. They have a way of making you forget about your old life was like. Soon, you will wonder how you could have ever possibly lived without them. J

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 23 - A Mothers Guilt

People always talk about how great it is to have children. It is great! It’s more than great! It’s amazing and wonderful! Sometimes, however, there are those rare occasions where everything isn’t so wonderful. Those are the days where it just feels like its one long chain of messes, tantrums, whines, screams, and screeches after another. The tried, tested and true naughty spot is no longer effective. And, you feel like tossing your Supernanny Guide to Child Rearing Success out the window or maybe just calling her to see if she is available to babysit for a while.

All kidding aside, there are those days where you simply feel tired, frustrated and overwhelmed! You feel like you’re a terrible mother and like you’re not cutting it. And, to make matters worse you feel guilty it. But, I would argue that most moms feel this way at some point in time (just add it to the long list of things they don’t tell you about mommyhood).  After all, parenthood and motherhood isn’t all sunshine and roses all the time. It’s hard work! While it’s a totally rewarding and fulfilling job, there are just some days where you would like to call in sick because you would just rather curl-up on the couch for an uninterrupted day of reading or to catch-up on the latest season of Gossip Girl (when was the last time you did that?).

But, I think that the number one rule to getting through mommyhood is to remove the guilt and to give yourself a break. Let’s face it, these little buggers know how to push your buttons and pull your strings from the moment they come out of our womb. And, while we may love our little monsters to bits, they can drive us crazy from time to time! I’m telling you it’s ok to feel unmotivated, emotional, drained, or on the verge of a total meltdown. It happens! It doesn’t make you a bad mom either. It’s also ok to take a break from time to time…maybe you need a whole day off. Heck! Some of us may need an entire vacation on another continent to recharge batteries and to gain perspective. I’m telling you that it’s ok! And, that it’s nothing to feel guilty about!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 22 – Halloween Post Mortem

I didn’t feel entitled to write about Halloween because I hadn’t really gotten the hang of it yet. At least for me, Halloween with small kids seems to require a lot of tactical planning and strategy. Prepare dinner while face painting and disguising, put dinner in oven to keep warm, go out trick-or-treating (one parent stays home to give out candy), return home, serve dinner, eat dinner while running to the door to dole out candy. Repeat over and over, “No, you can’t have candy until you’ve finished all your supper,” sort candy, try to limit candy consumption during sorting, try to contain and limit household damage of strung out children hoped up on sugar, attempt to put little monsters to bed now crashing from sugar high, which may include whining, crying and tantrums.

Then, there’s the dilemma of what to do with the CANDY! Between the candy collected and the candy left over from the dole out we usually have enough candy to feed a small village until Christmas.

But, this year seemed to go more smoothly (meaning I didn’t feel totally exasperated). Plus, we also managed to keep the candy to a minimum which is always a good thing in my books. So hear are some lessons learned:

1)      In talking with neighbours we realised that the parents thought that each house gave out too much candy (for sure, no one wants to be the labelled the “stingy house”) and that the kids ended up with a full bag after only having done our street. This year, I did my civic duty and bought less candy! In order to extend kids trick-or-treating experience I only bought two boxes of 50 candies each and dished out two candies per child. We will forever be known as the “stingy house.”
2)      Prepare dinner early or order out before trick-or-treating. You will not have time to prepare a proper meal in between face painting, dressing up kids and dealing with sugar highs (trust me, I’ve tried).
3)      Go trick-or-treating early, sort candies and re-gift any candies that you or your kids don’t like. Did I say “re-gift”? Yes, yes I did! Pretty horrible, I know. But, Jake can’t eat gum and hard candies and doesn’t like liquorice. Plus, I’m pretty sure that there’s some happy Halloweener out there really enjoying Jake’s jaw breakers. Not to mention that it cut Jake’s candy stash in half. And, this makes mommy very happy. 
4)      Also, we limited the candy giving out time. Apparently there’s an unwritten Halloween code that if your pumpkin is turned off you are closed for business. So, we closed up shop at around 8pm when we had no candies left.
5)      Give in! Your child will eat candy, they may not want to wear their costume exactly the way it was intended, they won’t sit through supper because of the constant doorbell ringing, and they will have a sugar high. Don’t fight it, just ride it out…it’ll soon be over.