Parenting- The Good, The Bad & The Nasty

IMG_4824This weekend, I had a rare opportunity to get away for a night with the girls. The conversation as it often does shifted to our husbands and our children. One of the ladies in our company did not have any kids. She listened as we told horror stories about botched birth plans, sleepless nights & a variety of other less than pleasant experiences. After sitting silently for a while, she finally chimed in, “The more I listen to people with kids, the more I realize that I don’t want them.”

I realized at this moment, that this is probably the case for any non-parent sitting back & looking in. How many of us only talk about the negative things, whether it be about our work, our husbands or our kids? The good stuff is never nearly as much fun to talk about. I find my friends and I arguing over whose child was the worst infant & who now has the most tantrums & meltdowns.  I think mine normally wins. There are many different facets to parenthood, some are good, some are bad & some are just plain nasty.

All of these things began as early as pregnancy. Some people I know loved being pregnant, I however did not. I had every possible pregnancy symptom that there was. If only 5% of pregnant women had it, I fell in that 5%. I had morning sickness, let me correct that, I had all day sickness for 8 out of the 9 months. My toothbrush terrified me to the core because of it.
I had nose bleeds, carpal tunnel, round ligament pain, hemorrhoids, constipation & heartburn so bad that I did not eat in my 3rd trimester. When my ninth month hit, I could hardly wait for my pregnancy to be over. I was eating fresh pineapple & eggplant, massaging the webs between my fingers & tweaking my nipples while simultaneously bouncing on a yoga ball. That baby needed to come out.

When the time finally came, nothing went as planned. During my 24 hour labor I had 4 botched epidurals, endless Pitocin induced contractions & an emergency C-section that was a thing of nightmares.


In the hospital, I struggled as my daughter & I tried to learn together how to nurse & feed. Breastfeeding is not as simple as it seems. I cried for days as tried unsuccessfully to nourish my baby as an unsupportive nurse hollered at me for doing it incorrectly.

Once home, those tears continued as my nipples chafed, the lack of sleep set in, and I flipped through books & websites trying to find ways to get my daughter to stop crying.

Parenthood is a difficult thing.  You surrender your independence & your freedom to this little creature. You don’t realize how much you took for granted before. Things like running to the store for milk or going to the bank are no longer a simple process. Sleeping in is a thing of the past, unless you consider 7 am sleeping in. Your immaculately decorated home now looks like Romper Room threw up all over it. Trips to the grocery store alone feel like a day at the spa. You need to schedule time to take a shower. Privacy in the bathroom is non-existent.
You get pissed on, puked on & pooped on. You may even get lucky & have all three done at the same time. Freshly picked boogers will be handed to you on a regular basis. Your lunch menu consists of half-eaten, soggy cheese sandwiches & left over juice with backwash. Breastfeeding, diapers, potty training, tantrums & tears, these are all a part of being a mother or a father. I have been exhausted for the past 2 years, 8 months and 16 days.

Before we made the decision to start a family, these were the things that scared me off from wanting children. My friends never shared the good things with me. If you think that you can handle all of the above, remember that there must be some reason that even after all of this, women are still willing to try for baby #2. Being a parent is tough, but trust me when I say that it is worth it.

Here are some of the things that make it all worthwhile…

The first time you hold your new baby in your arms
The anticipation & excitement of every milestone
Watching & hearing them laugh
Every kiss, even the snotty nosed ones
The first time you hear mama or dada
Seeing them grow & transform
The sweet sound of all the I love yous.
Seeing parts of yourself mirrored through your child
The awe & excitement in their face when they experience something new.
All of the funny things that they say that make you smile or laugh
The pride you feel as you watch them learn new things
Being the one that teaches them those new things
Unconditional love & forgiveness
Hearing them screaming “Mommy!” when you come home from work
Hearing them sing
Baby feet

What are your favorite things about being a mother? Let’s share all the great things too.








A Serious Case Of Mommy Brain

I want to thank my friend Deb over at All About Parents for giving me the opportunity to guest post about ‘My Serious Case Of Mommy Brain’ on her fabulous blog. This post was originally posted on her site.

A very interesting thing happened when I was pregnant with my daughter. My mind turned to mush. I became very forgetful. I could barely hold on to a full thought. I would begin a sentence & then forget what I was talking about halfway through. I couldn’t remember the simplest of things.
“Honey, can you pass me that long silver thing with the buttons that changes the TV channels?”
“You mean the remote control?”
“Yes! Thank you! That is what that thing is called.”
My friends warned me about pregnancy brain & that it would get worse as my pregnancy progressed. The thing that they all failed to mention was that after my daughter was born that pregnancy brain would turn into mommy brain.
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Can You Scold An Other Mother’s Child?


Being a first time mom at 38, I was the last in my line of my friends to have a child. I had a difficult time relating with all of these friends when I was childless. There were many things I just did not understand.

One day while shopping at the mall with two of my friends and their children, one of the kids fell behind in the group. At the time she was only a toddler. I watched as she walked over to the escalator. As she slowly stepped on, I screamed her name & told her to be careful. Her mother quickly scooped her up & we continued on our way. A little later, my other friend pulled me aside and reprimanded me. “You don’t do that.” she told me. “I didn’t want her to get hurt.” I replied. “You don’t ever yell at another person’s kid.” she told me. I learned that many mothers felt this way and took this to be some sort of unwritten mom code. I learned to hold my tongue when it came to other people’s children.

Fast forward a few years, I am at a birthday party & playing with my neighbors two sons. The mother stood at the entrance & watched as I entertained her sons with my goofy antics. One second the boys were jumping & laughing and then without warning they started to wrestle each other. I stopped, frozen with the curse of the mom code. My neighbor hollered at me, “Stop them! Break it up!” I quickly pulled them off of each other in a daze of confusion. What is the correct thing to do when dealing with other people’s children? As someone that did not have any kids of her own, I truly did not know.

After the birth of my daughter, my eyes were opened to all of the struggles and joys all of my friends had already experienced. It brought a new clarity and understanding. As my daughter reached a certain age, we began to be more social. I took her to the park, kid’s gyms, the library and anywhere where she could be around other children. Often the mothers would socialize and talk among themselves while their children played unsupervised. I found myself facing that same old dilemma. If I saw a child that was about to do something that could put themselves or others in harm’s way, I am I supposed to sit back and mind my own business or do I risk the mother’s wrath and speak up?

I will take the wrath. I cannot keep quiet if I see a child dangerously close to the end of a jungle gym. I won’t bite my tongue if I see one kid hurling toys at another one’s head. I won’t because what if the day I stay quiet, someone gets hurt and what if one day it is my daughter throwing toys or standing to close to the edge, I would hope someone e would speak up for me.

Recently while at an amusement park, I saw a young child struggling to get off her ride. She looked as if she might fall, so I gave her my hand to climb down. The mother very defensively grabbed her hand and pulled her away. What a strange reaction I thought.

As mothers, we all have the same goal, we all face the same challenges and we all need help once in a while.  Nobody wants their child to get hurt and I am sure nobody wants their children to hurt anyone else, whether it is physically or emotionally, so why is it so taboo to address another mother’s child. If it done in a respectful manner, shouldn’t we all welcome the extra set of eyes when our backs are turned.

Sometimes Mommies Cry


Motherhood is riddled with a wide range of emotions. From the day that your child is born, you are overcome with feelings like you have never felt before. You have never loved so much, laughed so much, feared so much or felt so happy. As much joy as your children bring into your life there are days that can bring you to tears.

 When our daughter was first born, I cried a lot. I cried from exhaustion, confusion & from the endlessly overwhelming feelings of uncertainty that I felt. I didn’t think that I was doing anything right. I could not get my daughter to sleep or stop crying. I was certain that I was going to be a failure at motherhood. Time went on and those tears dried up. Things got easier. As our daughter grew so did my love. Not that I didn’t love her before mind you, but watching her develop into a person with her own personality and mind was magnificent. It was nice getting to meet my daughter.

This week I found those tears again. This time is was not from the exhaustion or uncertainty is was from a wounded heart. It first began over the weekend. Mai reached for her toy guitar in one of her toy bins. She was having a difficult time pulling it out as it was stuck on the lip of the shelf. I walked over to her and asked…

“Do you need Mama’s help?”

“NO! Daddy do it!”

“Mai, Daddy is resting. Mama can get it for you.”

“NO! No Mama! It’s Daddy’s turn.”

When I pulled out the guitar to hand it to her, she threw herself on the ground sobbing and kept asking for Daddy.

This was just one of many incidents similar to this that occurred over the past few days. With every diaper change or bath or bedtime story, my daughter cried and said that she wanted Daddy to do it. I felt as if I was just picked last in gym class, dumped at the prom & lied to by best friend all in the same day. I felt a sad little pit planting itself into my stomach. I tried to tell myself that she was just going through a Daddy phase this week. Lord knows that she has done the same thing to my husband, but this did not bring me any comfort. Tonight after Daddy gave her a bath & got her ready for bed, he had to leave for work. I tucked her in to read her a bedtime story. She pleaded and sobbed & asked for Daddy. I opened the book and started reading through her protests. As I read, she cried. I could feel my own eyes filling up with tears. After a few sentences she finally calmed down, snuggled in and listened. She looked up at me and smiled and said “Mama, one more book.” Of course, my baby. After she fell asleep, I drowned my hurt feelings in a bowl of frozen yogurt. Looks like mama might have to grow some thicker skin before the teenage years hit. I better buy some more yogurt.





Very Inspiring Blogger Award


A big thanks goes out to my friend Mari at Living In Mommywood for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Please stop by to visit Mari & you will see why she was also nominated.

It is always a lovely feeling to be nominated to for one of these awards, especially one that comes with the title of very inspiring. I am often inspired by so many of you, that I really hope that I am able to do the same for some of you. As I near 500 followers, I feel very honored to have gained so many readers and to hear your thoughts & comments. I feel as if I have made some great friends within the blogging community and I have learned so much from you all. It will be difficult to choose just 15 to nominate.

Here are the rules:

The Rules are simple:
-thank and link the mommy or daddy who nominated you
-list the rules and display the award
-share 7 facts about yourself
-nominate 15 other wonderful blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they’ve been nominated
-*this is optional: you may display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you, spread the love!

7 Facts about Me

1. I don’t know how to swim. I know this may seem weird, but it is true. I am not afraid of the water, in fact I love it. I love kayaking & have even been white water rafting, but I cannot swim, not even a little bit. Luckily Mai takes swim lessons so that she won’t end up like mommy.

2. Halloween is my favorite holiday. I am a 40 year old woman that loves to play dress up. Wigs are my favorite. I probably own about 10 different wigs.

3. I eat frozen yogurt every night. In fact I am eating a bowl right now. Sometimes I eat it with Captain Crunch thrown on top. Sometimes I squeeze it between two graham crackers with honey drizzled on it, but every night I am eating it.

4. I am addicted to the Hunger Games series. I sometimes think I am a teenage girl trapped in a middle aged body.I love the books & the movies & have a slight crush on Peeta.

5. I don’t sleep. Ok, I sleep sometimes, but for the most part I am a horrible sleeper. I have had insomnia for as long as I can remember. People always ask me when do I have time to blog. I reply it is easy when you don’t sleep.

6. My husband & I met playing beer pong. We were partnered up at a Labor Day party & entered and won the tournament. This of course was back in my younger drinking days.The rest as they say is history.

7. I am a big time movie quoter. I can relate almost anything in life to a quote in a movie. Most people do not get me…that is except my husband. I was lucky enough to have found my movie quoting soul mate. “He had me at hello.” Come on guys that is an easy one,

My Nominations:

1. Janine’s Confessions Of A Mommyholic

2. MomLife Now

3. Run Salt Run

4. Discovering Parenthood

5. Going Dad

6. ForcingThe Bloom

7. Average But Inspired

8. From ABC’s To ACT’s

9. Cooking With Toddlers

10. Scrawling Consciousness

11. Ducks In A Row

12. Ginger Snap Crafts

13. This Ole Mom

14. Pursuit of A Joyful Life

15. PB&J With A Cold Glass Of Milk

How Having A Baby Changed My TV Viewing Habits


It is amazing how truly ignorant you are about the life of a parent before you have kids of your own. How many of us have watched our friends or random strangers with their children and thought “Oh, when I have kids I will never do that.” I know I did. One of my dumbest comments ever was “My whole life isn’t going to change just because I have a kid.” Oh, how I laugh thinking about that now.

“I will still make time for my friends, go out & do things for myself”, I said. Well part of that was true. I do still try to make time for my friends, but Oh how things have changed.

This is what a Saturday night out with one of my friends looked like before and then after kids. We went from nursing beers to nursing babies. What a difference a year made.


This was just one of many changes in my life. I think one change that you will see in any household after having a child is the presence of cartoons & sing-alongs on the television set. I find myself at work singing the theme song to Little Einsteins, & humming the Hot Dog Dance. The Bubble Guppies & the clan at Mickey Mouse Clubhouse are regular guests in our home.

What I didn’t realize is how much it would affect my television viewing after she went to sleep. Programming that I once found desirable suddenly has become disturbing and offensive to me.

It was not unusual for my husband & me to have weekend long Law & Order marathons. Now I can barely watch an episode without cringing. I already have irrational fears when it comes to my child, so to see a program that centers around crimes that are often committed against children makes me sick to my stomach.

My husband & I were big into Breaking Bad. There was one episode that showed a 6 year old boy getting shot and killed while riding his bike. If you watched the show, I am sure you know the one. The image of it haunted me for days.

It is not just the crime dramas that I can no longer watch. I now find some of my old favorites such as Family Guy to be offensive. I realize many people have this feeling already, but the truth is even with all it’s political incorrectness & crude humor it was one of my favorites. I now have difficulty sitting through a full episode. Is it because I have so closely monitored inappropriate content for my daughter, that I no longer feel that I can watch it? I am not sure. All I know is that I am thankful for re-runs of The Big Bang Theory, because that seems to be the only thing that I find suitable for myself to watch these days, that and Sophia the First.

Countdown to 40 – Bucket List For The Second Half Of My Life

befunky_artwork.jpgI talk often about how quickly time has flown by since the birth of my daughter. In 1 1/2 weeks she will be turning 2 1/2. It seems almost impossible. Almost stranger than that is on that very same day, I will be kissing my 30’s goodbye & turning 40. Ouch! This has been a hard realization for me. For me entering my 40’s finally signifies to me the end of my youth.
I look in the mirror & the face looking back is different than the one I remember. There are more lines. The grays from my head seemed to have spread & set up new residency in my eyebrows. My skin is now much looser and things that once were higher… well are not quite so high or perky anymore. It makes me sad, but is reality.

We all grow older. Our faces & bodies age, our looks fade, things begin to ache for no reason & you wake up in the morning feeling hung over even when you don’t drink. You become more forgetful. You become more forgetful. Oh & you tend to repeat yourself. I am certain I have told the same stories to my husband about 101 times. Sex symbols from your youth begin to grace the covers of AARP & even worse than that people now call you ma’am.

My first 40 years on this planet have had their ups & downs. In my life I have made a lot of mistakes. I have been good and been bad. I have had my heart broken and also broken a few hearts. I learned that soul mates are real & married mine. I have seen people I love die & I have brought life into this world. I have laughed, cried & felt utter joy.

I’ve been lucky enough to have seen many places & have done many things…

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But there is still so much left I want to do. What things do I still want to accomplish, see or learn? It seems as if there is so much. My bucket list is a long one. Here are a few highlights of an otherwise long list…

1. Be there for my daughter’s wedding

2. Go to Cambodia

3. Learn another language

4. Hike Macchu Picchu

5.Write a children’s book

6. Hold my grandchild

7. Learn how to fence

8. Visit all the U.S states

9. Grow old with my husband

10. Go to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan

11. Run a marathon with my husband

12. Go to a masquerade ball

13. Learn to belly dance

14. Pay off our home

15. Get a tattoo that represents my mother

I have not lived a perfect life, but I have lived a pretty good one. I can’t wait to see what the next half will bring.

What’s on your bucket list? I would love to hear.

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How Toddlers Make Friends

It is utterly fascinating to watch my child & not just mine, any child really. The way a child sees and approaches life is so different than how we do it as we get older. Today was another great example of this.
After a fun day playing outside with my daughter, we went to an ice cream parlor in town for a little summertime treat. While we waited in line to place our order a little girl a few months younger than Mai approached her. At first Mai was uncharacteristically quiet and standoffish. Her mother came over and introduced herself and collected her daughter. A moment later the little girl whose name was Lily returned. My girl became her usual self and began to talk with Lily.
As she was speaking I noticed her bending her knees slightly and moving into a squat.
“We walk outside and Dukey took a biiiig poop. He poop on the ground” She gestured to her bottom as she continued to squat and tell her story.
Several tables of patrons broke out in laughter as they overheard this exchange.

Lily’s response was to break out in song with an adorable version of ‘Ring around the Rosies’ This was all that it took to strike up a new friendship.

Quickly the two were chasing each other around the tables as my daughter exclaimed “Chase me! You can’t catch me. I gingerbread man!” They chased each other, hid behind the chairs & hugged each other. It was as if they had played together a million times and not just strangers that had just met moments before.

How wonderful it is that children have the ability to do this, to meet someone new without judgment or suspicion and welcome them without hesitation.

How beautiful it would be if we could all approach new relationships like this.

It got several of us tables to joking if only we could all make friends so easily. Perhaps on my next encounter with a new person, I will break into a discussion about my dog’s bowel movements and then offer them a hug. I will let you know how that goes.


The Thing About Parenting Is…



We all do it differently, but have the same goal.

Our other relationships & even our selves will take a backseat

We all want to be the best parents that we can be.

We will have days that we feel like super-mom or dad & there will be days that we feel as if we are failures.

It can be frustrating, exhausting & rewarding all in a matter of just moments.

You will judge other parents even if you don’t mean too. (Admit it, you do)

You always worry.

You will make mistakes.

Nobody warns you just how hard it is or maybe you just weren’t listening.

Time goes by quicker than it did before you had children.

You will accidentally injure your child at some point.

It is full of surprises.

You will get pooped on or peed on.

You will have disagreements with your spouse on how to raise your children.

You always want to talk about your kids, even if no one wants to listen.

You will not always have all the answers.

It makes you appreciate your parents more.

You see bits of yourself in your children & it is not always good thing.

You can hardly remember what life was like before you had kids.

It makes you redefine your ideas of a clean house.

You waste a lot of food.

You will always love your children, but you might not always like them.

You understand unconditional love.

It is a full time job, but the best career choice you will ever make.

It is beautiful!


What is parenting to you?

This Mother’s Fears

057Elizabeth Stone had it right when she said, “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” I felt this from the moment my daughter was born. I cradled my own heart in my arms, I watched it roll for the first time, sit up & crawl.

My fears began before she even left my womb. I was afraid of everything. I wouldn’t stand in front of the microwave. I gave up coloring my hair. I wouldn’t even look at a cold cut sandwich. When my daughter was born, it was the happiest day of my life, but I was scared and so unsure of myself. When I slept, if I slept it was with one hand on her chest. I often woke up in the middle of the night startled, thinking that I fell asleep while I was nursing and somehow lost her in the bed. It was a horrible feeling. I kept thinking as she got older and past a certain stage, I would relax a bit. I was wrong, with each new stage brought a fresh new set of fears.

With a house full of safety bumpers, safety stools, child locks & outlet covers, I thought I was prepared, but there is always something dangerous for them to get into or get hurt on. I think to myself, my mother-in-law is a pretty good seamstress, maybe she can sew me a cute dress made of bubble wrap, with a matching helmet of course. I hear stories of school shootings and I decide that I am home schooling. I hear about about abductions and I think is it ok to microchip my child? It is absolutely terrifying thinking that I will not be able to always protect my child.

I sometimes have crazy, completely irrational scenarios that play out in my head. We went on a cruise in January, I could not stop worrying that she was going to fall off the ship. I know this can not be a healthy way of thinking. This weekend we went to a child’s birthday party. I noticed that I was the only mother shadowing my child. The children laughed and ran and played freely. I felt very uneasy watching her walk up and down the stairs of their porch. There was cement at the bottom of the stairs. What if she fell? I watched the children chasing one another. “Be careful, you might run into each other.” I came to the realization that I was the only one doing this. I truly am the over-protective mother.

I know that someday I will have to let her go down the stairs by herself, take the training wheels off her bike and send her off to her first day of school.  She will get scratched knees and catch colds. She will get her feelings hurt and maybe have a heartbreak or two & I will feel her pain every step of the way. I pray to God everyday to keep my precious girl safe and to give me the strength to give her a little more freedom. Unless I can make a bubble wrap suit for two, I suppose I am going to carry these fears with me until the day that I die and then I will worry about her from above.