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Thursday, February 27th, 2014
I find that right around 5 pm, when dinner is looming and the kids are typically at their worst, my mentality starts to shrivel. It’s why I founded The Failure Hour 2 years ago, but have been a terrible president as of late. My backyard has remained devoid of girlfriends, toddlers and wine.
Sure, I’ll get one together soon, but my emotions that go along with this time of day have confounded me. It’s not like getting dinner together and sitting down with the family are a bad thing. Sure, the bedtime routine can be tedious, but it can also be fun.
I realized my restlessness and blah-ness are because while many parents switch gears in terms of leaving work and coming home, my gears don’t really switch. I’m not in a boardroom or an office. And no matter what I’m doing–even if my kids are in school–I’m always wearing my mom hat.
From the caption here, I’m not saying I yearn for either side–the working mom or stay-at-home one (though I’m sure the cartoon will provoke outcry). It’s just that I never have the opportunity to “forget” I’m a mom. Well, except if I’m in Bikram. And dear god, the instructor gets more insufferable each time. The other day she said we could grow an inch by doing a certain pose. Seriously?
I’m not even remotely attempting to have a poor-me, I’m home all day with my kids moment. First, because it’s not true. I’m not home with my kids all day. Fia is in school 5 days a week, Em is in preschool 2 days now and on those days I have a free life to do what I want. Sort of. If you count trips to the grocery store, errands around my area, taking kids to and from school, if I’m lucky a workout (though that’s proved disastrous), meal planning (also semi-disastrous), and, if I’m lucky, a blog post. Thus, the mom hat. I’m not complaining. It’s part of what I signed up for when I slowed down in the career arena and sped up in the mom space.
So I have come up with an experiment to try.
There is a big comfy chair in our living room that we rarely sit on. Around 5 pm, I’m going to sit in it with a cup of tea, a glass of wine–anything that physically tells my brain I am crossing over (not in the John Edward way, of course). I’m going to attempt to sit and do some Sudoku. I know this probably sounds lame, but I need my brain to have some sort of “jolt” to shift gears. It’s a far cry from leaving a boardroom and coming home, but I’m hoping it will train my brain to look forward to 5 pm rather than dread it.
During this time I will unapologetically park my children in front of their favorite show for 30 minutes, which I usually do anyway. I call it our time to regroup. Fia will sometimes say, “Mama, can we regroup today with Daniel Tiger?” I see nothing wrong with this, especially since any show they watch is educational.
I’m hoping this shift, while not drastic, will be enough to take away the antsy, blah feeling. I will let you know. If anyone can relate and has other ideas, I would love to hear them.
Cartoon of mom via Shutterstock
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antsy, evening blahs, failure hour, me time, mom blahs, mom hat, preschool, restless, sahm, stay at home mom, Sudoku, tea, wine, working mom | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips
Friday, September 7th, 2012
I may have come up with my most brilliant idea yet. At the end of the day, between 4:30-6, my mental state falls apart. I am exhausted from schlepping in 100-degree heat, working on my lack-of-career, “pretend play” (read my rant), changing diapers, begging Fia to eat one more piece of turkey, telling Wayne to stop eating her piece of turkey, and on and on and on.
But as all you moms know, the day is far from over. In some ways, the hardest part is setting in. The dreaded dinner hour (what to make? I have no food), the bath (“No shampoo mama. I don’t want it! No!!!”), and book time.
Sidenote: has anyone tried “reading” Good Dog, Carl to their toddler? Yes, let’s show our child how to fall out of the crib, open a refrigerator, choke on food, poison a dog with chocolate, maim themselves in a laundry shoot, and drown in a fish tank. All without words. It is a hopelessly exhausting book. Not to mention full of stupid ideas.
In short, by this time of the day, I feel like a failure. I’ve failed as a wife (messy house, sh-tty dinner), a mom (Benign Neglect + 2 hours of Sesame Street/Super Why/Sid the Science Kid), and as a person (I swear running shoes, I’ll workout tomorrow).
What better way to get over it than celebrate! Introducing: The Failure Hour.
Bring the babies! Bring the wine! Let’s embrace inadequacy!
The pressure is so great on being the perfect mom, wife, blah blah, we may as well benefit from failing on all fronts.
A couple times a week at the allotted hour, we moms gather at my house, drink wine, and watch our kids get even filthier. Sometimes we feed them dinner; so at least one thing is checked off our evening list. As the sun sets and we sit around laughing, the rest of the night seems so much more manageable. Even bearable.
Maybe I’ll make this a national organization. Let me know if you’re game to start a chapter in your area. It’s easy. BYOB (Bring Your Own Baby–and bottle. Of wine, that is).
Founding Members of The Failure Hour
Occasionally a husband or two will join in. But they have to have at least one kid in arms to participate.
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alcohol, chapter, club, failure hour, Good Dog Carl, guilt, happy hour, national organization, pressure, pretend play, wine | Categories:
Mom Situations, Moving to Los Angeles, Must Read
Monday, May 21st, 2012
If you don’t hear from me for a few days please call the looney bins in Palm Springs. I may be in one. My mother used to show up at the psych ward with her typewriter so she could get work done. No sh-t.
My potential disappearance is because we are going on “vacation.” It includes a stop at Disneyland. In reading that sentence, I can’t believe this was my idea.
We are heading to Palm Springs for two nights via land of Mickey. The desert is 105-degrees right now. Fia gets burnt even in the shade. She also gets carsick. Massively, as seen on our horrendous trip out to LA this fall. And Emmett barfs and farts. Constantly. This is going to be a helluva roadtrip.
Anywho, I convinced Phil to take off 2 whole days of work (Gasp! I’m not bitter…) to go to the desert. We hadn’t taken a family vacation since last May in Costa Rica. That’s when I got pregnant with Emmett. Oops. This will be a far different trip. I’m not reading 50 Shades of Grey, therefore this trip won’t involve sex. Just diapers and barf.
Right now, as I sit here in the cozy cafe typing, I feel like a smug veteran mother. I can handle this, right? The hotel asked if we wanted a suite on the 5th floor. Oh, no-no-no I said. I’m a MOM. I know better. I know that lugging a stroller with a raft, water wings, Emmett’s diaper bag, 40 bottles of sunscreen, snacks, and my Kindle (dare to dream) through a hallway, to an elevator, to the pool will take up the entire day. I’m smarter than that. I know the only way to go is a poolside room. In fact, I booked two. They adjoin. This way Fia and Phil can sleep peacefully while Em and I tackle the night.
Yes, this “vacation” is sounding more appealing by the sentence.
I had to research about 15 hotels in the Palm Springs area. The ones my mom friends recommended were full. Then there were my non-mom friends. I got a list of about 5 hotels that had things on their sites like, “no pool toys allowed.” One said, “While we welcome guest of all ages, we are a boutique hotel with an intimate setting and backdrop that is not always ideal for children of all ages. We warmly welcome dogs.”
Well folks, that definitely takes Feral Fia out of the equation. My girl who loves dirty feet and messy hair is pure Mutt. I think this hotel wants the Pomeranians. I finally found a place that has, are you ready? A Splashtopia! Whatever the f–k that means. All I know is when I saw “availability” and “splashtopia” in the same sentence I felt like god was on my side.
I have a list of everything we need to bring. Included on it are our two noise machines (one for each room) and wine. Oh no, please teetotaler moms. Don’t begrudge me on this one. It’s vacation for god’s sake. Which now means survival.
The best advice I have gotten thus far is from a friend who said, “Go with low expectations. You probably won’t find it relaxing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.”
Yes, in motherhood, “fun” takes on a whole new meaning. I know my babies won’t let me down.
Picture of family vacation via shutterstock
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Baby Travel, boutique, diaper bag, milestone monday, motherhood, noise machines, packing, pool, travel, traveling, vacation, wine | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Have Baby, Will Travel, Mom Situations
Saturday, May 12th, 2012
Ah, the boob. Between the Time Magazine story and my blog, I’m now actually sick of my breasts. In light of that, I thought I should post some of the positive comments from my controversial post (ie: Why The Boob Rocks).
In all seriousness, I got to thinking that while I’m opinionated, I also like to consider myself fair. And in my rebuttal post, (My Boobs Are Taking a Hit. Ouch!) I only singled out the negative comments. My hypnotherapist would be disappointed.
Here are some of my favorites from you guys.
(#1) Breastfeeding rocks !! It helps and makes things easier & it goes even better if you have a husband that helps out & don’t see it as a job but as team work! I love my Boobs & Husband!
(#2) It forced me to stop and sit down, rest and think. That was priceless for my sanity. Now that I have #2, same story.
(#3) I’m breastfeeding #4 and feel exactly the same way as the author. Sometimes I feel like it’s the only one on one time I get with him! So I AM going to enjoy nursing him, even if that means my three other boys have to learn patience and my husband has to get up to make breakfast.
(#4) Thank you for this article. My husband and I are trying for baby #2 and this helps me to put everything in perspective. I was worried that I would drown in extra childcare duties but maybe it won’t be so bad after all! LOL. And I SO miss nursing. Excited to continue with the next child.
What’s funny is my blog became a huge debate on a) how the husband should or shouldn’t help and b) my selfishness in pushing for my husband to help/wanting to have alone time with my infant and c) breastfeeding while having a glass of wine.
Alcohol is always a controversial topic when it comes to the boob. You already know where I stand. But here are a few more commenters who feel the same as I do. And let’s all be grateful we live in a country where we CAN speak our minds, as opposed to a place like, say, Iran (where I would clearly be dead by now). So cheers ladies!
(#5) While pregnant at a nursing class at NY Presbyterian Hospital in NYC I happily learned–As long as you don’t pass out, drinking while nursing is fine! Breasts are filters. Placentas are sieves. Drink Up!
(#6) Omg ladies, get a grip! Yes sometimes the toddler has to run amok a bit while I nurse #2 but he hasn’t burnt the house down or eaten the dog yet. A glass of wine isn’t going to hurt anyone- moms and docs around the world agree. This is my life too- but husband travels so I do a lot of juggling. It was meant to be funny- not as a “everyone do as I do or you’re a failure”! Lighten up!
(#7) Get a grip ladies! I found the humor in this article, so should you all. My husband was deployed for the first 8 months of our daughter’s life and I’m finally getting a 36 hour break while he takes her to a family wedding and I stay home. Am I selfish? Probably. Am I ecstatic that I’m finally getting a break? Hell yes. I also have a drink while or before or even after I breast feed my daughter (yes we are still breast feeding at 13 months) and she is perfectly healthy, happy, and active. Relax, have a glass of wine yourself, and find the humor.
(#8) Geez girls some of us seem to have our negativity hats on today.Instead of thinking she’s being selfish try thinking she’s teaching her daughter to be more patient, more self soothing and self sufficient (skills she’ll need as she get older) as for her husband…let’s see…ummm…she’s letting him be a dad! Raising kids is frustrating even for us Mom’s and 80% of the time someones not going to step in for us and take over as she clearly says she does for her husband. If this was a piece written by a father who admitted he took a little quite time every day under the guise of doing something else (honestly do you think their “guy stuff” is all work and no play? My husband has admitted it’s not and he does some of it to get away from the kids too). Your comments would be quite different and I’m pretty sure the word selfish wouldn’t have been uttered.
(#9) Being a mom IS a JOB. Regardless is he works or not, he should help. That’s the problem with a lot of dads, they thing they can just push the children off on the mothers because most women fall into that “oh well my husband works” crap. Even if moms do work the men still get a get-out-of-jail-free card simply because they’re men. Did any of you ever think that…hmmm…before baby #2 she did spend time with child #1 and now she wants to give baby #2 as much as attention as she can to bond with it more while giving the dad and their daughter time to bond? Didn’t you read where she said while her husband goes back to sleep she plays with THEM (being BOTH her children). And drinking ONE GLASS of wine is harmless!
(#10) How dare you call her a “Lazy mom” just because she likes spending one-on-one time with her children, and yes she may be getting a break but she is still bonding with her new child while giving dad and daughter a chance to bond.
(#11) Last feeding happens, then wine time! Best time of the night.
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attachment parenting, boob, bottle, breast, breastfeeding, drinking, formula, newborn, nursing, Time Magazine, wine | Categories:
Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
My boobs have become a secret weapon in survival. And not just because they feed my child.
When Fia came, it was all me all the time. I was drowning in her barf and tortured from lack of sleep. I became resentful that everything was put on me, even though yes, I am the mom.
Flash forward to Emmett. I am the picture of calm. That’s not an adjective you would typically use to describe me. But between hypnotherapy and the beauty of the boob, it’s a totally different scenario the second time around. Phil on the other hand seems to have postpartum frustration. He stomps around; I sit in lotus. He’s angry; I meditate. Here’s what shifted:
Fia’s melting down at dinnertime? Sorry honey, I gotta go feed Emmett.
Fia’s awake at 5:51 every morning? Sorry honey, Emmett’s hungry.
When you have the second baby, the parenting of the toddler falls more on the dad. Or at least in our house. I’m not kidding when I say that I get an extra hour-plus of sleep every morning because of this. AN HOUR. PLUS. Do you understand what that means? That’s like winning the lottery every day. I lay in bed with my little man as he nurses and we drift off to sleep. It’s heaven.
Cut to Phil downstairs with Fia screaming for Elmo, spilling orange juice and crying for eggs (Phil hates eggs and can’t make them. He claims he will barf. And we have enough barfing in our family with Em’s reflux).
At around 7 or 7:30 (the latter if I’m feeling greedy), I serenely float down and take over. Phil goes back to bed for an hour. I cook eggs, clean up the OJ and read the paper. I hold Emmett and Fia watches Sesame. Or we all play. It’s great. And to be fair, Phil wakes back up refreshed. Don’t feel too sorry for him–I’m not killing the guy.
At night, as Phil is trying to get Fia to eat, I’m sitting in the living room, a glass of wine in hand, watching the news, nursing my boy. Ahhhh… this is the life!
I’m lucky to have such a hands-on husband. I don’t know what I would do if he weren’t. But I wouldn’t have married someone who didn’t look at our relationship as a partnership of equals. I will admit that the scale is tipping a bit more in my favor lately. I’m taking it–guilt free. I carried these babies for 10 months. I endured another c-section. And I know that eventually everything circles back to the mom. This is a temporary reprieve.
When Emmett’s reflux started to increase last week I panicked. Not only because I want to breastfeed him for health reasons, but for my own personal Zen. Hell, if I keep getting these kinds of breaks, I might breastfeed him until he’s 4. Or 14.
So for all you moms out there expecting baby #2, this is my big secret—use the boob. It’s survival for us. And justified because it’s also survival for your baby. Nothing wrong with that.
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babies, barf, bottle, breastfeed, breastfeeding, formula, hypnotherapy, reflux, sesame, spit up, toddler meltdown, toddlers, wine, zantac | Categories:
Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips, Must Read