rules of motherhood

Rules of Motherhood

In my time as a mother I have done a lot of learning. Some of the lessons have come easily, while some have taken a little more  time to understand.  Of all the things I have learned over time, these are the ones that have resonated with me and have become my rules of Motherhood:

*Make-up can help you look less tired.

*You will forget all the chaos and frustrations of the day when you look at your sleeping children.

*Your best is good enough. Your love is all they really need.

*Wine helps.

*Swearing doesn’t make you a bad mother.

*Taking a break from your children doesn’t mean you don’t love them. It just means you love yourself, too.

That last point.

It’s the one we all seem to have difficulty with, yet it is the most important thing to remember to make sure we can do our job well.

As mothers, we give. We give our bodies, minds, and souls to our children. We do everything in our power to make sure that they are physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy,  that they’re educated, rested, and experiencing opportunities to find themselves so they can develop their unique personalities. We sacrifice things we want and need so that they can have what they want and need. Our desires get pushed to the backburner. We lose ourselves in the world of motherhood by giving 100% of ourselves to our children, and we seem to forget that there is still “you” underneath our identity as a mother.

We love our children. This is evident in the way in which we treat them. When was the last time you gave yourself the same treatment?

Rules of Motherhood

Mama, you need to take care of your body. Sure, cleaning the house and carrying children keeps you moving, but you need to elevate that heart rate. Do cardio. Do yoga.  Eat proper, healthy meals. You wouldn’t let your children skip lunch so they could tidy the house, and they would certainly never be allowed to fill the void in their bellies with a third cup of coffee. Sleep. Shower. Paint your nails.

rules of motherhood

Mama, you need to take care of your mind. Read . Write in a journal. Meditate. Allow yourself the quiet time you need to be able to accomplish this. Send the kids outside or to watch a movie. Ignore the mess. Put on your favorite song and let go. Sing. Dance. Do a crossword. Learn how to make kombucha. Create.

Mama. Your soul. Take care of your soul.  Do whatever it is that brings you joy. Knit. Climb mountains. Volunteer. Think about the things that make up “you” other than being a mother, and embrace them. Don’t let them fall into the abyss of the chaos of life. When your children are less dependent on your care you will be able to regain your individualism. Don’t let that be a struggle. Maintain your relationship with “you” so “you” can flourish when the opportunity arises. Thank yourself. Tell yourself what a great job you’re doing. Buy yourself flowers.

Mama, you MUST do this.

So many of us are running on an empty tank, or even on fumes. It doesn’t take long for that tank to become depleted. You need fuel. Premium fuel. Taking good care of your children requires you to have energy, imagination, and patience. You simply cannot accomplish this if you, yourself is not filled up.

Motherhood involves teaching your children by example. Your children are aware of what you are doing for them. They are aware of the countless hours you put into ensuring they are cared for. They’re also aware of the bags under your eyes and the exhaustion in your voice. You are teaching them the importance of taking care of others. Give them the opportunity to understand the importance of taking care of themselves, as well.  Taking good care of your children begins with taking good care of yourself.

Mama, you are amazing.

You love your children.

Don’t forget to love yourself, too.

 

uncensored

Sh*t My Mom Says

Most Some of the time I’m pretty good decent-ish at censoring myself in front of my children. Try as I may, there’s the occasional time or five I slip up when I enter Adultland and speak to another human being over the age of 9:

“Did you hear about that man who had his penis bitten by a snake that came over the toilet?”

Thank God I don’t have boys or I could have been dealing with some major bathroom phobias. Lucky for me it merely triggered a conversation about penile reconstructive surgery, which led to a conversation about transgender folks, which led to a conversation about sexual orientation, which led to a conversation about acceptance and non-judgement.

“I only needed 3 stitches!”

When it comes to childbirth my kids are pretty educated. They know proper anatomical terms, the stages of labor, and that most women poop while birthing. When my 3 year old heard me say I had stiches, but couldn’t see any marks on my body I knew I had some ‘splaining to do. The look on her face when I explained perineum tearing made me realize that if I ever want grandchildren I should probably keep some parts of childbirth unspoken.

“She looked like a hooker…”

KIDS: “What does a hooker look like?”

ME: “Well….Ummmm…I dunno…lots of make up, tight shirts, short skirts. They usually look really done up.”

KIDS (looking at me up and down): “You DEFINITELY don’t look like a hooker then…

“We should do ___________”

Any verbal outpouring of thought is considered to be gospel by these people. Before I’ve explained that it was a mere thought they’re upstairs packing their bags for the weekend getaway that “Mom said we were going on”.  Unfortunately, this only applies to kid-approved activities; We should clean your room” is not picked up by their radar.

“Mommy has her period.”

Ok. This is less of a thing I’ve said in front of my kids, but rather TO my kids. They’re learning that “Mommy has her period” actually means: “STAY OUT OF MY WAY AND DON’T ASK ME TO SHARE MY CHOCOLATE.”.

They’re slowing getting it…

 

To avoid misinterpretation I always make sure to clarify what I’ve said so their active imaginations don’t go too wild. I also explain to them that they are never to repeat anything Mommy says outside of the house…it’s better for everyone  that way.

 

sisterhood, motherhood

Motherhood NEEDS sisterhood. Here’s how we make that happen…

Mothering is a tough bitch.

Some of us are having a hard time.  Some of us feel like we’re going to lose our minds on a daily hourly basis. Some of us try so damn hard day in and day out, yet still feel endless guilt about the way we dealt with our 2-year-old’s tantrum over not being able to eat all the cookies in the box (calling her an asshole behind her back wasn’t the best strategy but it sure made us feel good). Some of us have a hard time trying to maintain composure when we’re at our wits end. Some of us have a hard time keeping up with basic hygiene, let alone get ourselves looking put together every day. Some of us are doing the best job that we can do.

Some of you don’t seem to have this problem. Some of you seem to know exactly how to handle every situation. Some of your children never seem to misbehave. Some of you can seem to manage your children while keeping a perfect house. Some of you never seem to have any challenges. Some of you never seem to make mistakes. Some of you seem to be 100% perfect.

Some of you don’t seem to know how to keep opinions about some of our parenting to yourselves…

Guess what?

Some of US don’t want to hear it.

Mothering is exhausting. We are tirelessly trying to find out what works best for our children and our family. No matter what we decide to do, it’s wrong according to someone, and it’s extremely challenging to come to any sort of conclusion. That’s why, when we do finally reach a decision, it’s SO ANNOYING to receive unsolicited advice from some of you.

It’s not hard to get out of the “Some Of You” club. All you have to do is follow this one simple rule: Keep It To Yourself (K.I.T.Y). Seriously, unless you’re asked for your opinion it’s probably not necessary to give it. Unless you’re commending us on our attempts to be good parents or expressing solidarity during these tricky times…SOME OF US DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT.

Children are a powerful force. We will never be able to conserve enough energy to properly raise them to the best of our abilities if we are wasting our time and strength working against one another. If we help boost each other’s confidence rather than deflate it we WILL help give each other the tools to create a more productive generation. We have a choice. Do we choose to show empathy with a smile to another Mom who just yelled at her her screaming toddler because it’s probably her fifth fight of the morning and they’re both exhausted? Do we show nurturing by offering a seat to a Mom who needs to give their baby a bottle because it’s none of our business how anyone chooses to feed their child?  Or are we judgemental with dirty looks and off-hand remarks towards the Mom who is on her phone while her kids play at the park regardless of what she’s looking at?

We can choose to be divided or we can choose to be unified.

We should be in this together. We HAVE to be in this together. Motherhood needs Sisterhood.

It won’t take much to keep the peace. Simply relax, have a glass of wine (because you deserve it, Mama) and  if you don’t have anything nice to say: K.I.T.Y.

 

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New Job Posting: Full-time MOM! Suckers, I mean, applicants apply within.

 

It generally doesn’t take much to become a parent.

There’s no formal education necessary, no required skills, and no application process.

Imagine, though, if there was. Here’s what the top applicant would look like:

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Name: Mama, Mommy, Ma, Hey You, MOOOOOOOM…just not ma’am. Never call me ma’am (it makes me feel old).

Age: 29….forever.

Address: No idea. I’ve never seen outside the laundry room.

 

Credentials:

-PhD in Reverse Psychology

-Bathroom Kit First Aid certified

 

Relevant Work Experience:

-Poop Scooper at the zoo

-Negotiator in hospital Psychiatric Ward

-Custodian at LegoLand

-Chef at “Nobody’s Gonna Eat This Anyway” restaurant

-Chauffeur for drunken fraternity

 

Relevant Skills and Strengths:

-Strong ability to dismiss irritating, repetitive noise

-Hold daytime liquor well (I almost never slur)

-Comprehensive knowledge of suitable profanity for any given situation

-Zero modesty; I can pee in front of an audience

 

Availability:

24/7/365. I also function on limited sleep, can eat standing up, and hold my urine for hours (unless I sneeze), so few breaks are necessary.

 

Desired Pay:

Loving hugs and kisses are all I need.

Just kidding.

I’ll accept wine.

 

Personal References:

Ahriya: CEO of Energysucker inc.

Talia: President of the Association of Tiny Dictators

Kaia: Facilitator of Attituders Annonymous

Nevaeh: Professor of Moody Preteens 101 at Mom’s-In-For-It University

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Oh snap. I think this bitch is hired!!

parenting-artcles-youll-want-to-read

Parenting articles you’ll WANT to read!

We’ve all encountered parenting articles.

They’re on social media, on the news, in magazines and the newspaper:

“THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO PARENT” articles, written by Dr. Iknoweverythingaboutkidsbutdontactuallyhaveany.

They are filled with “current and updated” information that contradicts everything you currently do as a parent and make you feel like the shittiest parent on earth.

I used to read these parenting articles until one day I clicked on a link to the “50 things NEVER to say to your child”.  By the time I reached #38 I realized I had said every single one of those things at some point or another. I then proceeded to spend the next 2 weeks feeling guilty over the inevitable irreversible damage that I’d done to my children’s psyches.

I now avoid these articles like they’re alcohol-free playdates. Instead, I focus on my attention looking for articles that I would WANT to read, such as:

“TOP 10 WAYS TO DISCREETLY DAY DRINK”

From stainless “coffee mugs” to a flask in your nursing bra that you’ve been wearing since you stopped breastfeeding 4 years ago. As long as you can maintain a consistent, healthy buzz and not slur your profanities no one will ever think booze is your preferred method of keeping your shit together.

“STEPS TO GET YOUR KIDS TO HAPPILY EAT A HEALTHY MEAL”

Forgetting threatening and fighting with them. All you need to do is bribe them with bacon and a little candy!

“SANCTIMOMMY AWARENESS”

Sure fire ways to spot these bitches before they make it within a 1 kilometer radius of you and your little angels. You know, the ones you’re currently screaming at while feeding them fast food and non-organic powdered sugar donuts while they sit in front of the t.v. watching “Orange is the New Black” for the sixth hour in a row.

“WHICH WINE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TONIGHT?”

Life’s full of tough decisions. This handy quiz will help with those extra challenging choices.

”BEST HIDING SPOTS IN THE HOUSE FOR YOUR CHOCOLATE STASH”

A list of Mom-approved spots that your little mooches wouldn’t even think to look, like the cleaning supply drawer or anywhere near the washing machine. *Bonus–these spots are also husband proof!

“HOW TO KINDLY RESPOND TO COMMENTS ON YOUR HOUSEKEEPING”

Telling Judgy McJudgy Face to “fuck off” while slapping a nice big smile on your face is no longer your only option!

“SEX AFTER KIDS: CLEAN THE HOUSE, PACK LUNCHES, SHOWER, CHECK YOUR E-MAILS, FEED THE DOG, LOCK THE DOOR AND THEN FOLLOW THESE TIPS FOR A WILDLY QUIET, POSSIBLY INTERRUPTED SHAG”

Rekindling a faded sex life has never been easier than now! Following these simple tips could lead to THREE sexy encounters, which is double what you got last month!

 

Parenting articles like these are hard to find. Please join me at the park so we can scour the internet for them on our phones and ignore our children while they play.

 

 

fourth and final pregnancy

The part of me that died when my fourth baby was born

I was 19 when I got “knocked up” with our first daughter.

I barely knew how to take care of myself, let alone support the life of another being.

When she was born, a part of me ceased to exist any longer.  I was no longer just “Me”. Freedom in it’s entirety would cease to exist for me.  I was no longer my number one priority. My goals and aspirations no longer involved only what I wanted for myself; they now considered what was right for this tiny being. I was a mother; and while my former self had come to be no more a new definition of who I was developed.

When our second and third daughters were born I didn’t experience the monumental shift in identity that I did with my first. I had already made the transition into motherhood and still felt the desire to continue having children. However, the pregnancy and birth of our fourth daughter extinguished a part of me that I had never considered before.  My childbearing journey had drawn a close when my youngest entered the world. I had made this realization during the time she grew inside of me but the finale surfaced mixed emotions within me. I am capable of bearing more children but  have chosen to not regard it as an option any longer. I have chosen to enter a new phase in my life; a phase that will allow the “Me” part of myself to gradually integrate back into my life. A phase that will allow me to merge my independence and what I want out of life with what is right for my family.  A phase that will allow me to take the experiences that I’ve gained through my journey of pregnancy, childbirth, infancy, and toddlerhood-the experiences that have allowed me to grow into the person that I am today- and apply those invaluable lessons to the rest of my life as a Mother, and as a professional.

I know there will be days where I will mourn the death of my childbearing years. These are the days I will celebrate my four beautiful daughters and I will remind myself that I am content.

My years of growing life inside my body have drawn to a close.

They will forever be gone…but will never be forgotten.