Just because I have a kid doesn’t mean I like kids

When I was pregnant I wrote about how people assumed you should love their kid because you are pregnant.  Wrong.  It was such a weird phenomenon. Turns out, it just keeps on getting better….I mean worse.

I may be in the minority but just because I have a kid doesn’t mean I like kids.  Or I should be more specific and say I don’t like all kids.  I mean, I did coach gymnastics for years and worked in daycare for years but then kids kinda burned me out and so did their parents so that is why I’m in the insurance world now.  Now my clients wear me out and act like children.

I digress.  I’m not a person who likes to stick my kid on others.  Also, my kids hates all people so that means I can’t really stick her on anyone to begin with.  Having a kid people assume you will automatically be a second set of eyes for their kid.  Especially in public.  Hey, I’m going to just go over here and grab my towel, have a conversation with my friend by the pool but I’m sure you will let me know if my child is ready to fall into the water.  I actually have my own kid to watch and this is mommy and me swim lessons, not social hour.

Just because I have a kid in my cart at the store doesn’t mean I will excuse your child when they won’t get out of my way.  Is it cute when little Susie is skipping down the aisle at Target, singing a song, in her own world, not paying attention?  Yes, because you are a good parent who apologizes and guides Susie to her own side of the aisle so we can pass.  Is it cute when little Susie purposely won’t get the fuck out of my way and wants to play a game of chicken on purpose?  Nope.  Please, dear mother, don’t give me that look that says “kids will be kids.”  No, instead tell your kid to show some respect and move their butt.  I have a cranky kid ready for a nap, low on puffs and I’m trying to haul ass through Target.

Before we had kids my friends were not in the habit of bringing their children to my home.  They would normally ask if it was a kid friendly event that I was having before they brought them.  That was cool and for our larger parties I have always announced that kids were not welcome or were welcomed.  I’m rude that way but it seriously depended on the tone of the party.  Since having a baby around people assume it is always okay to bring their children.  They also assume it is a free for all for their kids to go in and destroy play with all of my child’s toys.  Nothing has changed since our baby arrived.  I still don’t like some of their children and still don’t want them in my house.  They carry germs, disease, eat all my food, (and then bitch about my food) and tear the crap out of my house.  Also, my kid lives here so she is naturally going to be around for wine night.  I have no choice in that.  I have a choice in your child being here.  The answer is no.

This is repetitive from my initial pregnant post but there is always the over share person.  The person who you sit next to at the doctor’s office, work or the random acquaintance that you run into at the grocery store.  They see your kid and think it is fine to start pulling out pictures of their own kids/grandkids/niece/nephew/twice removed dog and start telling story after story about them.  Let me just say, I’m not a total hater, I don’t mind swapping war stories with another mother but you know who I’m talking about.  The people who don’t know when to stop, what is appropriate and THEN, with that story, they somehow sneak in a way of how you are probably parenting wrong.

Having a kid at your hip, like being pregnant, opens up a world of crap that people assume about you.  They bust in on your bubble and assume an open book.  Hey, we might all be in the same boat called parenting but it doesn’t mean I want to be that close to your kid.  Hell, I don’t even like my own kid some days.

What I have learned about being a Mom thus far

I’ve been raising one kid who is now 14.  Her situation, from day one, is unlike any other.  Our situation can’t be compared to raising Cora or compared to someone else in her classroom.  It is our own and different, I’ve accepted that.  I can tell you, starting all over from the beginning with this little one, I still don’t know shit. But I feel like I can look back and tell you a few things I’ve learned.

Sometimes my mama gut is dead on but 75% of the time it isn’t.  I don’t think mine works right.  I swear maybe the baby has an ear infection and I drag her to the doctors for them to tell me she is fine.  I’ve heard the Mom stories were their mama gut just saved their child’s life…meanwhile mine is over there licking the window and I have zero clue why.

I can’t buy baby crap online.  I’m certainly a walk in the store and stare at the packaging type of person.  I mean, I can manage buying diapers on Amazon and her pajamas, that I know we love, but that is about it.  Plus, then I start reading reviews and clicking on more options and then I’m more confused than ever.

Speaking of being confused, I have learned researching can make you crawl in a hole.  I was good about not Googling much when I was pregnant and just going with the flow.  I’ve tried to do that since she has been born but there are just some things you have to go to the internet for.  When should they start eating jar food/solid food, when do most drop to one nap a day, how to get rid of night bottles, how to get your child to fucking sleep through the night already, etc.  And you know what, it doesn’t matter what the internet says.  None of it.  Don’t even go to Barnes & Noble for the book.  Your kid will do that shit when they are ready.  Sure, the internet can give you ideas that you can try but your kid will sleep when they damn well please and eat real food when they want to, not when you are jumping around like a damn monkey making airplane noises.

Be prepared for anything.  There is a reason Mom’s have endless shit in their purses.  It is because they have been there.  Inevitably you will walk into a nice restaurant, on time for your reservation, with your 6 month old in an adorable dress, who will then choose that moment to have a monster, blow out, shit, in the car seat.  At least it isn’t in your arms.  You calmly resign to the bathroom and start where you can, with loads of wipes, while your family is being seated and your Husband orders you large alcoholic drinks. But it is okay because you packed the bag with a back-up cute dress, plastic bag for the poop dress, loads of wipes and an extra swaddle blanket to lay in the now disgusting car seat.  You walk to your seat with swagger because you just managed that shit (literally) and just pray that there isn’t a second blow-out…because you aren’t prepared for that.

I have learned people are going to judge you and you have to not care.  When your baby is climbing out of the shopping cart at Target, while you are checking out, and that bitch lady behind you is wondering why you can’t watch your child better, you ignore it. Because she doesn’t get that seatbelt doesn’t mean crap on that shopping cart and you have stopped short of actually purchasing duct tape to get her ass to stay put while you try to dig through clearance.

I have learned that when you ask others for parenting advice or their way of doing something with their child, listen.  Ask questions if need be. Then take that info and use it if you need to or don’t.  Realize that every family has different needs, lifestyles and goals.  What worked for their family may not work for yours.  Just because they love that car seat, you may not.

I have also come to realize I’m incredibly uncomfortable with my pediatrician saying Cora is developmentally ahead.  She has said this from the time she was born and I looked around at the other babies, lying there, shitting themselves, wondering how the hell my kid is different.  I see it now but don’t fully get it when every kid develops differently.  What difference does it make?  If she is so ahead of the game why did it take her 14 months to figure out that most people like to sleep through the night?  I mentioned to her pediatrician that Cora has gone after the dogs butthole to well, plug it with her own damn finger.  How smart can she be?  Smart enough to plug it on the first try, was her answer to me.  Gross. I’ll put that on her preschool application then.

Sippy cups.  I have never struggled buying something for my child more than a sippy cup.  Should be simple.  I heard horror stories of bottles but we didn’t have that problem.  Liked the first one we gave her.  But there I stand in front of sippy cups of varying degrees.  There are about 1800 stages for each type of cups and then there are sub types and age types and then I’m left looking for a life vest.  We have a cupboard full of ones she has tried and discarded.  Only one type she will use for milk, one sippy for water and one kind with a straw.  The rest are collecting dust and my lost patience.  And if we have another kid, that kid will surely want the exact opposite.

I give up on finding a mommy group.  I don’t want to be in one.  I have friends. Some with kids, some with none.  Making new friends as adults is tough enough.  It is made tougher when you are worried about your kid licking their kid or vice versa. Then you have to ask if their kid has had their rabies shot and then you fall in a rabbit hole of political talk.  Hell, I don’t even like some of my friends’ kids so lets just cut our losses and move on.

What are some of the best things you have learned as a parent?

 

Post Holidays and 14 Months

Our holidays have come and are almost over.  I say almost because I am hosting one last family get together this weekend at my home.  Then I can finally take my tree down.  Vacuum up all of the needles and then vacuum again because they are never gone.  I can pack away everything neatly, for another year and gain some control over my home again.

Cora was completely overwhelmed by the holidays and all of the people.  We attempted a trip to see Santa because I have go see the big guy.  I swear I will pay for her therapy for it one day.  Christmas morning she hid behind a present or on my lap.  She gripped her hot wheels cars and stared at the chaos that was ensuing around here.  She watched, from a safe distance, as her cousin ripped into gifts.  One Christmas gathering after another and she finally got excited to open her own gifts.  We spent most of the time rescuing her from family members that didn’t understand she basically hates all people.

It seems that our little one has decided to take some big leaps and bounds over the holidays though.  A time when most don’t focus on making changes with their little ones, sometimes they do it for us.  Our schedules were completely off and we ran from here and there but somewhere in there, my terrible little sleeper, decided to start sleeping through the night.  Just like that.  No need for a cup of milk, no need for a snuggle and no need for sleep training or what not.  Happily (finally) exclaims “night, night!” and takes off to her room on her own.  Ready to go to bed whether the clock says it is time or not. She is still on two very long naps a day.  I’m certainly not ready to give up one of those naps and she doesn’t seem to be either.

She has also started letting us know when she needs a new diaper.  She will come up and tap the front of her diaper and then drags us to her changing table.  We still need to keep a onesie on her at all times or she will take that diaper off and take a wee on the floor.  I’m assuming this is all a good sign for potty training one day but I have no desire to start that right now.

The child has a ton of words and will repeat the ones you don’t want her to say.  She has also decided to start actually taking an interest in signing.  Which some find it nice for their babies to sign for basic communication, it is necessary in my home as both in-laws are deaf.  So she isn’t just learning basics, she is learning the full language from her Dad who is fluent.  Me, not fluent, but also learning.  All in all it is amazing how helpful this can be.  Her favorite thing to sign is “help” which she constantly uses in the truck because she wants help getting out of her car seat….while driving down the road.  I have never seen a kid hate the car so much.

We are completely off of jar food and feeding her is finally something that doesn’t give me complete anxiety.  She is finally getting better about food in general.  She still doesn’t care for any form of meat but that is okay.  Her favorite thing is cheese so if there was one sign she learned fast was “eat cheese.”  She will ask everyone for cheese just in case you are hoarding some in your purse.

At 14 months old she is at 20lbs and still in 12 month clothing.  Her puppy is her best friend.  I finally was able to put the top of her hair in a pony!  She still rocks only 6 teeth but man, I can see about 4 coming in right now.  Ouch.  Hence, a lovely mood.  Her favorite toys are still anything to do with wheels.  She loves to ask for the music to be turned on in the kitchen so she can dance around.  For Christmas we got her a Pottery Barn anytime chair.  Let me tell you….she loves that damn thing.  She has always been a bit obsessed with chairs and she sits on this like it is her throne.  She has made leaps and bounds in swimming lessons, which blows my mind and we are soon starting our second session.  She still hates people.

Hope you all enjoyed your holidays as well and are off to a great 2017!

 

Investing in our Marriage

Thirty days from today, the Hubs and I will board a plane, alone, and head to Jamaica.  We will leave behind our child for the first time and not just for a few days but for 6 nights and 7 days. My sister will be in charge of the baby and the dog.  Managing themselves to get to and from daycare and work.  Tackling a way to get everyone fed, bathed and to bed at a reasonable time.  Fingers crossed the baby will try sleeping through the night for her…..

I mean, my anxiety level over this is a bit high right now.

People have asked how I could possibly leave my child for that long for the first time.  Out of country, no less.  I bite my tongue.

Because what is waiting on that island is what I need right now.  What my husband needs right now is there.  What our marriage needs right now is there.  Nights where I can drink and not worry about how much.  I can pass out in bed and no worry about the baby monitor.  Not worry about when she will wake. I will not be tethered to her schedule but merely to my own.  I can eat as I please.  We can turn off our phones.  Unplug.  Someone else will make my bed and food.  We can have all the sex, whenever we want. Did I mention the sleep? Oh, and the warmth is an added bonus too.

Before baby arrived the Hubs and I always took Rebecca on one family vacation a year and then him and I took one tropical vaca a year.  We love to travel.  Cora has messed up that schedule a bit and we are determined to get back on schedule.  We need this time to invest in our marriage.  Sure, we could do that in a hotel room a few cities over for a night or two but that isn’t enough.  Life is going faster.  A baby kinda takes up space and time.  Sure, we do date nights but sometimes you need more than that to reconnect.

No, our marriage is not in trouble but as the winter has settled on us, we find ourselves not carving out as much time together.  There are no evenings on the back porch talking or long walks with the baby and dog to chat.  Instead we are huddled on the couch discussing schedules for the holidays.  Time slides, things slide, and we are two ships passing in the night as plow season has started as well.

So while people turn their noses up to our travel arrangements, we call it investing in our marriage.  Time away to unplug and focus on just us.  We are firm believers that the better our marriage is the better we are as parents.  We will miss our little one and I will worry about her endlessly but there is a beach, with a drink, and a lounge chair waiting for each of us.  Count me in.

What do you do to invest in your marriage?

beach

Stranger Danger

Every baby goes through a stranger danger phase.  It is completely normal for them to be unsure of their surroundings and not want to be near strangers.  It can take them time to warm up to others before showing their true personality.  Years of daycare, I’ve seen all types.  I’ve also seen the type of kiddos that seem to have zero stranger danger fear, they don’t know a stranger, in fact.  I hear that the mama’s of these types of kiddos are always a little more on edge.

Well, it turns out I have one that has extreme stranger danger.  Honestly, she always has.  When she was real little (just a few months old) and people would want to come over and hold her, she would have none of it.  She doesn’t go to Grandparents that she sees every few weeks, never has.  We have no babysitters aside from our day care provider and my sister who lives with us.  She doesn’t go to friends that come over once a week for wine.  It is fine if those people maybe want to sit 10 feet away from her, with us in her direct eye line, and then they can maybe speak a few words to her or push a truck her way.  They better not dare try to pick her up or touch her though.  We can’t leave her with anyone.

Please don’t tell me it is a phase.  It has always been like this.  13 months old and we can’t just drop her with a friend to watch her.  She will scream bloody murder until we come back.  No, there is no distracting her to calm her down.  The girl commits and doesn’t stop.  No, it isn’t because she gets a bad vibe off of them.  She has that vibe with everyone.  We can stay at my mom’s place for 3 days straight and maybe, just maybe, she will let her hold her for 30 seconds before protesting.

Here, hold my kid so I can eat.  Nope

Here, hold my kid so I can run to the bathroom.  Nope.

Here, let my kid come over for a play date.  Nope.

Here, go to the daycare at the gym so I can take a yoga class.  Nope.

You would think we were overly attached parents to our child with the way she acts.  She independently plays by herself just fine.  She goes to daycare just fine.  She will take off in the backyard on her own, exploring.  She has even started venturing to her room to play by herself without requesting us.  But the old lady saying hi to her at the grocery store requires full meltdown.

All of this, is tough.  Very tough.  Most friends and family don’t get it.  The ones that do are great about giving her some space.  Others, like my MIL, force themselves at her and it just creates a headache.  I don’t want to force her on anyone either.  The kid loses it.  It isn’t a game where she will get over it because she doesn’t.

Have any of you had this type of kid? It is tough.  Exhausting.  And it gives me anxiety.  We need to find a temporary babysitter while ours is out on maternity leave.  Even our current babysitter is scared to death of how she will act somewhere else.  I just keep thinking we will grow out of this but she hasn’t and doesn’t look like she is going to anytime soon.

 

Middle of the night wakings

When we were dropping bottles and formula, I was dead set on dropping that middle of the night waking that my child insisted upon as well.  I read enough sites, researched, asked around, figured there was no reason why my one year old couldn’t sleep her happy ass through the night.  She was merely waking up for a sip of milk and a cuddle. Nothing else.

So we gave it a try.  Crying it out.  Ignoring.  Counting her own sheep.  Then she got sick so we (we as in me, my husband didn’t do shit) put it on the back burner.  Then she got better.  Then she was teething.  Then she wasn’t.  And somewhere in there, in the middle of the night, I decided to drop it.  To not give a fuck that my kid wakes up once a night for a sippy of milk and a cuddle.  All of which lasts 10 minutes.  My kid lies right down for bed, naps great, and always sleeps in her own crib.  90% of the time it is only once a night.  Unless teething.  Because fuck teething my friends.

Sure, I would love to sleep through the night.  I really would.  I know my kid doesn’t need to be rocked, with a sippy of milk in the middle of the night.  I also know that this time will end.  How she hands me her sippy when she is done, pops her binky back in, curls up against me, clutches to my shirt and closes her eyes, while I rock her….that all will end.  A 10 minute routine that is just us in the calm, dead of the night.  Instead of forcing it to end, I have decided to accept it.

I do not accept the waking every hour, on the hour, for teething, like last night.  That I do not accept but that I apparently have zero control over as well.

I have also come to realize that maybe this is something she needs just as much.  She needs that cuddle and that closeness.  She needs the dead of the night.  It is almost like a meditation time for us both.  Clear minds and nowhere to be.  10 minutes to ourselves to reconnect and then back to dream land.  So I don’t have any advice for you mammas in the same boat.  I’m just going to ride this one out for a bit until it feels like I need to crack down on it or she gives up on it.  They are only this little once and I can lose 10 minutes of sleep a night  for it.

Unless teething, then send coffee.

Triggers

When I went through my divorce 6 (6!) years ago, I fully dealt with it.  I can say that I look back now and I just don’t know that person.  I don’t know that wife, that person who signed divorce papers, the person that cried a lot of tears and went through a lot of ups and downs.  Not that I am embarrassed (well, a little) but I have completely changed, as we all do in general and my life is different.  I dealt with it heavily by writing about it, going to therapy, changing my life, changing my attitude, changing my perspective, learning and growing.

I’m proud of that.

However, there are times, when the past never seems far away.  A co-worker of mine has found herself in the midst of her own divorce.  A divorce she knew to be coming at some point as her and her husband have been living separately, two hours apart, for two years.  She finds herself at my desk, almost daily, venting her frustration.  I offer her words of encouragement, advice when she asks, and support. It quickly has taken a turn into the pity party zone though.  The heaviness she brings in each day is suffocating.  To make it worse, it is also affecting another co-worker of mine, a good friend, who still has issues she still hasn’t fully worked through from her divorce. She then starts rehashing from the beginning as well.

I remember clearly the amount of people who were there for me in my divorce days.  I have always returned the favor to each person I have come across in the same situation.  BUT you can’t live in pity party world.  I don’t know how to support you but when you are literally doing nothing for yourself, I just can’t.  Worse though, this is happening at work, not in my home with a glass of wine as friends do.  No, at my desk, while I’m trying to get shit done.

Rehashing the same divorce topics over and over, daily, for me is a trigger.  I suddenly remember these details like it was yesterday and it makes me sick to my stomach.  I fully understand where she is coming from when she talks about the unknown future for herself.  I fully hear her words and nod in agreement when she tears up.  I feel the pain.  But that is just it, I feel the pain come from that scar deep down in myself and I then carry it home. That weight I shed a long time ago is suddenly on my shoulders for no reason because it is hers to carry, not mine.

I went home last week and explained it to my husband.  I suddenly just wanted a date night with him.  I needed the safety net of him, which was stupid and I realized I had to put an end to helping a divorcee in need.

I felt horrible.

I couldn’t walk into work everyday and have two people needing to talk this all out.  With a fresh week, I have ignored the co-worker when she pushes her chair to my desk.  I chirp happily about other things, don’t offer advice, and don’t ask her how she is doing when she offers me the saddest face ever.  Call me horrible.  The other co-worker, my dear friend, we resumed that talk over normal wine drinking hours.  And she also resumed that conversation with her therapist because she is doing something about it.

I’ve been there.  I did my time.  Suffered my pain.  I have supported many friends but the line has to be drawn somewhere.