moms

WHY Did Nobody Tell Me This??

When I found out I was pregnant, my friends who were already moms told me a lot of things.  Most of it, I realize now, was a bunch of BS created to lull me into a false sense of security so I wouldn’t have a complete meltdown and run away screaming (how kind of them to let me hold onto my sanity just that little bit longer).  Here’s a few things I wish they would have told me:

  1. You will never drink a full cup of coffee while it’s still warm again.  You’ll either get two sips in and be interrupted, so it turn ice cold and the milk curdles, or end up spilling it all over yourself while you try to juggle a squirming kid and a diaper bag, while body blocking two dogs from following you out the front door.
  2. If you’re a person who prides themselves on being punctual and makes smart ass remarks to mothers who are always late – Karma Is A Bitch.  You will never, ever, be on time for anything again.  EVER. Not even if you start getting ready two hours before.  Because just as you walk out the door, with time to spare, that will be the moment your kid decides to take a massive dump that smells like something died and ends up being a complete blowout so you end up having to throw them in the tub and hose them down.  Not that I would know this from personal experience or anything.
  3. Sleeping in will become a very rare and joyful event.  Hell, just sleeping through the night is like finding the lost treasure of Atlantis.  Sleep now.  Sleep often.  Sleep long.  Because gone are the lazy Sunday’s in bed.  I’m fully convinced that the amount of sleep your child requires is inversely proportional to the amount of sleep you need.  In other words, get used to being sleep deprived.  And if you don’t drink coffee now, you will start (and when you do, see rule number 1)
  4. Showers are a luxury, not a necessity. Same goes for make up and actually doing anything with your hair.
  5. Packing a diaper bag is an art form.  Imagine standing in the middle of the grungy mall  restroom trying to find a clean diaper, wipes, and butt cream, WHILE holding down a squirmy baby, and without dumping the contents of the diaper bag over said grungy restroom floor. You will learn how to pack a bag with military precision.  And yes, one little bag can fit diapers, wipes, cream, hand disinfectant, a change of clothes, bottles, formula, toys, books, soothies, AND the contents of your purse (so you don’t have to lug that around too) IF you know how to pack it properly.  Start practicing now.
  6. The road to hell is paved with good intentions (this is another one of those Karma Is A Bitch things).  Feel free to philosophize and spout off how you’re going to raise your children.  Sing it loud and proud.  About  how they’re not going to be the ones screaming in the restaurant.  And how you will never need to put your kids on one of those stupid leashes because you’ll be able to watch them, unlike those other lazy ass parents.  And how you will never bribe your children with candy, cookies, toys, or other ‘bad’ things.  And you will never feed them junk food, ever.  I suggest you write all of it down, then come talk to me when they’re two.  We’ll see how you did.

What would you go back and tell your pre-children (aka. SANE) self?

And…

IS934 033 200x300 And...I sit here and I watch the flurry of blogs, the rise of the twitter trends, the flash of emails.

‘Drinking’ vs. ‘Sober’.

‘Breeders’ against ‘Childless’

And I’m left wondering, do I really have to pick a side?

What if I agree with both?

Not because I’m wishy-washy.  But because there are merits to both arguments.

And then I think, why does it have to be an argument at all?

Why can’t we just accept that what’s right for one isn’t necessarily right for all.

Would it be that bad if it there were Moms who chose to drink AND Mom’s who chose to be sober?  Women who decided to have children AND those who didn’t feel that calling?

Really?  Is that so horrible?

I fall into the Drinking Mommy category.  And yet, I have the utmost respect for people like Amanda at Sober Mommy for her choices.  And I appreciate the fact she doesn’t vilify me for mine.  And although we’ve made different choices we can still be friends.  See how easy that is?

Cause really people…

GROW UP AND STOP ACTING LIKE YOU’RE IN JUNIOR HIGH!!!!

*ahem*

Judging Those Who Judge

We live in a small town.  It’s a fairly close knit community where if you don’t know someone directly, you probably know someone who does.

Being in a small town though sometimes means coming face-to-face with narrow minded thinking.  When I lived in the big city and came across people like that, I could scratch them off my ‘get to know’ list, and move on to other people and places.  In a small town that’s not always so easy.  Because if I do what I’d really like to do and tell someone exactly what I think of them, it’ll probably come back to bite me.

I take Vista to a physiotherapy group session every other week.  It’s supposed to be a good chance to chat with other parents who’s children are facing similar challenges and an opportunity for the kids to work on their gross motor skills and sensory integration issues.  Which is great in theory.  And the physiotherapist is really nice.  So are the other therapists and early intervention workers who come to work with the kids.  The problem is the other moms.

They’re complete bitches.

There.  I said it.

Oh, I know… you’re thinking “Well, Jenn…perhaps it’s not them that’s the problem?”.  Yeah.  I was wondering the same thing until an incident a couple of weeks ago.  But let me back up here…

The very first time I took Vista to this group, I hadn’t even had time to take off my shoes at the door before the other mom’s had sent one of their group to tell me to leave.  I wish I was exaggerating.  After I explained that the PT had invited us to be there, her only response was:

“Oh.  Well.  The other mom’s didn’t think you belonged here so asked me to come tell you to leave… but I guess if the PT invited you…”

Yeah.  I know.  Charming.

I figured it would get better after they knew we were supposed to be there.  It didn’t.  I found out why when one of the other moms came up to me after we’d been going to this group for a while.

Other Mom: “So, what are you doing here”

Me: “Pardon?”

OM: “Why are you coming to this group?”

Me: “Because the PT felt it would be beneficial for Vista to attend.”

OM: “OK.  But what’s wrong with her?  She looks fine to me.  I just don’t think you guys really belong here.”

And so we got to the crux of the matter.  Vista ‘looked’ too normal for their tastes.

vback Judging Those Who JudgeA couple weeks later, the PT having got wind of this conversation, took all the mom’s into a back room and had us talk about our kids.  The other mom’s were more than a little surprised to find out that we face some of the same challenges with Vista as they do with their children.  We had a long discussion about ‘not judging a book by it’s cover’ and how some issues aren’t always immediately visible unless you know what to look for.  Vista, for example, can walk, but has balance issues and locks her legs for balance rather than using core muscles.  This create problems with running or jumping.  She also has midline issues where she favors one side of her body over the other.  But all the other mom’s could see is: She’s walking, so she’s fine.

They were still cool towards me, until the week we got Vista’s MRI results back.  When I shared that we had found out that she was missing a membrane in her brain and the other MRI findings, all of the sudden I had a new group of best friends and I was instantly accepted.  I was stunned.  Vista was still the same little girl she was the day she walked into that group, but now that she had something verifiable wrong…well…that changed everything.

Ever the optimist I thought perhaps the mom’s had learned not to judge to quickly.  I was quickly proven wrong.

The next week a woman from the local Hutterite colony came with her daughter.  When we arrived I saw her sitting off to the side on her own, so went over to chat with her.  She was incredibly sweet and her daughter – adorable! But the other moms, true to form, didn’t even acknowledge her or speak to her.  She told me the other day that she’s decided not to return to the group.  And it’s not like I don’t understand why.  It just makes me sad.

And in a small town, there are no other alternatives.  Either you go to this group, or none at all.

So as much as I love my small town life… sometimes the people who go with it really suck.

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