I am a naturally affectionate person, and I love my kids like you wouldn’t believe. I was the baby of my family—the youngest out of all my grandmother’s grandchildren—so I never grew up around really little kids (and definitely wasn’t in charge of caring for any of them). So when I had my daughter I was over the moon with affection and oxytocin. I wanted to snuggle her non-stop and smell her little baby head. I knew I would be firm, but gentle. I would listen to her. I would be compassionate and engaged.
As the saying goes…everyone’s a great parent until they have kids.
Mommy. Mommy. My head hurts. My knee hurts. My elbow. Mommy. I’m so sorry, Mommy. I don’t feel good. Mommy, it hurrrtttts! No, Mommy, I don’t want it! No, ohhh, my diaper…Mommy.
This has been our soundtrack. For weeks. Not days, weeks. Our little Phoenix came down with the flu a week after the New Year. Fine, we said. She’ll get sick. That’s what happens in school. You know little kids and their germs, right? I even blamed myself, because I had been unsure about whether to get her the flu shot due to all the controversy and some rather vehement opinions from the grandparents.
After two weeks at home, she was excited to go back to school, see her teachers and friends, and get back into her routine. For six days. By the end of the sixth day, she was running a temperature, and the next morning, we were back at the pediatrician. This time, the likely diagnosis is strep. Continue reading →
I’m a mom now, so I could start this letter by saying how I have three little girls and how it’s so important for girls to see powerful female characters and all that. But even though that’s important, that’s not what I want to say. This letter is from me.
Growing up I knew about Wonder Woman. I just didn’t really care about Wonder Woman. She was beautiful and awesome, but constantly overshadowed by characters like Batman and Superman. She didn’t really seem to have her own thing going on–if I ever saw her, it was as a member of the Justice League, a pretty chauffeur in an invisible jet. She never saved the day. She wasn’t a crunch player. She wasn’t an MVP. She was a token female and I figured she had to be dating someone or they wouldn’t have let her in. The original live action Wonder Woman from the 1974 film, Lynda Carter, was pretty awesome, but she still didn’t inspire me. She was so dainty. Lynda Carter was unbelievably refined and beautiful, and I had skinned knees and oversized Pokémon t-shirts. Unfortunately, she just seemed like another standard of femaleness that I wouldn’t hit. Continue reading →
Sunday was Mother’s Day, and I had no expectations. My husband and I have been arguing, money has been tight, and the schedule has been packed. I felt that there was no point in getting my hopes up that “it would be my day.” Being that my kid isn’t even two, I doubted I’d even get so much recognition as a macaroni necklace.
Mother’s Day is hard for all moms. It sucks to have people tell you that it’s all about you, when really, as soon as they say “Happy Mother’s Day” and throw their last-minute, everything-else-was-sold-out gift at you, they’re off the hook and it’s back to the same grind that you do every freaking day. It’s especially hard when your own mom isn’t around anymore. For the last nine years, Mother’s Day has been more about what I didn’t have than what I did. Continue reading →
Today is World Sleep Day, and there’s probably no more hot button issue for parents than sleep—how much they’re getting, how much baby is getting, and how can they get more of it. (As I’m writing this, I can hear my toddler hollering on the baby monitor. Sigh. Be right back). Continue reading →
It’s been quite some time since I posted. Valerie and I optimistically took on this self-care challenge at the beginning of this year, hoping to lead by example and help parents (especially moms) everywhere learn how to prioritize their own health and well-being. I was so excited. I’ve been burning myself out trying to juggle school, the (multiple) sites I write for, my full-time job, my part-time job, planning an overseas trip, my kitchen renovation, and of course, my toddler.
In one organization that I’m affiliated with, they say that when you make a new commitment to something, what will inevitably start to happen in your life is that you will see all the things that no longer fit with who you want to be. It’s not that things are so wrong, it’s just that you’re seeing them in the light of the new determination that you’ve made. Continue reading →
Okay, folks. We’re almost one month into this self-care thing. How’s it going?
Yeah. I thought so. Me too.
It’s HARD to take care of yourself. It’s hard to prioritize your own care in a world that is constantly pulling on you in every direction. How can you afford to take the time to take care of yourself when you can barely hold it together at work? Continue reading →
My daughter recently learned to walk, much to my excitement (and consternation). As a first time mom, I kind of thought that she would take one step, then another, and then be off and running. At least, that’s what everyone kept telling me. Turns out walking is much more of a process than I had anticipated. Continue reading →
I’m really excited about the Mommy R&R/babydroppings self-care challenge. I know that New Year’s resolutions can fall out of existence in just a day or two, but I think that this is a really important one for us to stick with. Most of us are leaving ourselves last, and the effects are piling up.
I’ve started already, and I hope you have too! I’m sharing my plans for the month here, in the calendar. Be sure to let me and Val know what you’re doing to love yourself, too. Tag your posts #TimeForYOU2017 so we can follow along 🙂