Real Mommies of Any County

The Promotion August 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — erikaann77 @ 12:25 pm

I’ve recently been promoted in my household. No, not from wife to mother (although that happened too). No, this is a much bigger promotion…one that I barely had to work for. You are looking at the new C.W.O. of our home. Chief Worry Officer.The promotion came 10 short weeks ago when I went into Labor with my son and since that time I have really progressed in my new position. I’ve actually never moved so quickly up the ladder in any position in my life!

As the C.W.O. there are many things that are required of me. In fact, in order to even recieve the promotion in the first place, I had to ask several questions while I was in labor. Is the heartrate steady? Why is my blood pressure dropping? Is the baby okay? Why am I so cold? Why do I feel like I’m going to pass out? Ugh, I really wish I had a computer so I could google that. Is the baby okay? Why is the heartrate dropping? Is it normal to not feel my legs? Am I Poooop-inng!?

Since recieving the promotion, I have really excelled in my position. By the end of the first day as C.W.O., I was even impressed with myself at how much work I could get in one day with a newborn. Where is the baby? Why are they taking him away? Where are they taking him? When is he coming back? Is his ear supossed to look like that? Why does he have hair on his forehead?  Is that going to go away?  I need to google that. Is his penis normal? Does the circumcision hurt him? I definately think he’s in pain. I need to google that. Is he cold? What’s an AGPAR score? Is his normal? I need to google that.

Several days later I left the hospital and headed home. My job as C.W.O. then took on a whole new list of responsibilities. Is he in his carseat too tight? I can’t see him. What is he doing back there? Is he breathing? How come he’s not making any noises? I hate these stupid rear facing carseats! Honey, can you pull over. I’m going to sit in the back to make sure he’s okay. What if we get in a car accident? What if he get’s sick? What if I get sick? What if something happens to us? Who will take care of him? Should we have a will? How much is a will? I need to google that.

Once we got our new little bundle of joy in our home, my job as C.W.O. started to come very naturally. I didn’t even have to work at it anymore. It was like I was BORN to be a C.W.O.! Where should I put him? Will the dog be okay around him? What if we need to get rid of the dog? Who will take him? Is it normal for him to spit up this much? I mean, he’s really spitting up a lot. This cannot be normal. Is there something wrong with his digestive system? Is this because I’m not breastfeeding. I’m a terrible mother. Maybe I should try new bottles? Maybe I should switch formula? Maybe I should just google it.

I realized the night that we brought him home that being a C.W.O. is not a 9 to 5 job. In fact, my duties as a C.W.O. continued through the night into the early morning hours. Is he swaddled too tight? He looks really uncomfortable. I mean, he looks like a mental patient in a straight jacket. I should losen him. Or not. Should I give him a pacifier? What if he becomes that child who walks around Target at the age of 4 with a pacifier? Maybe I should just let him chew on his hands. But I can’t chop off his hands and I can take the pacifier away. I think I’m going to google that in the morning. Is he moving? Is he breathing? I’m just going to nudge him a teeny bit to see if he moves because I really don’t think he’s breathing. Oh crap, I woke him up. It’s okay little guy…Mommy just needed to check and see that you were still alive. You are. Good. Night nite!

In the weeks following my promotion, all my friends and familiy were amazed at how well I had taken to my new title. Some even thought that I was doing TOO good of a job and suggested that I take a vacation. But I told them C.W.O.’s do NOT take vacations! In fact, if anything, I needed to work more overtime! Can babies go outside when it’s hot out? Couldn’t they overheat? GOOGLE!  Can I put sunscreen on him? No? Okay, well I guess that solves the question of going outside. Well, maybe we’ll just go for a walk. Oh shoot, there’s sun shining on his legs. Let me adjust the canopy. Ugh, now there’s sun on his forhead. Let’s just go home. We can sit on the deck when the sun goes down. What if he gets a mosquito bite? That would be terrible. I can’t imagine the poor guy getting a mosquito bite. Can he have mosquito repellent? I should google it. No mosquito repellent. Okay. Hmmm. How about a citronella candle?  Is that okay for him to be near? Oh forget it, we’ll just stay inside. Is it too cold in here. I’m cold. He must be cold too. He needs more sleepers with feet. Grandma!!!

My husband soon began to take notice of all the work I had been putting in and tried to get me to put my position as C.W.O. on the backburner for awhile. HA! What a hilarious suggestion! Not when there is so much more work to be done! How long should he sleep in his bassinet? I think if I move him to his crib he’ll get scared. What if I don’t hear him and he chokes on his spit up! Oh geeze, can that actually happen?! I should google it.  Is it normal for him to be crossing his eyes like that? I mean, it looks a little creepy. There must be something wrong with him. I’m going to google that. Am I holding him too much? Can you hold a baby too much? Should I be doing more with him? Should I let him cry a little? Okay, I’ll let him cry. For 5 minutes. Actually, three minutes. Okay…forget it. I think he’s too little to cry. That was a dumb idea. Should I wake him to feed him? I mean, he’s been sleeping for 6 hours and he’s never going to sleep tonight. When should he have a schedule? What does a schedule look like for a 10 week old? I’m going to google that.

You know what the great thing about being a C.W.O. is? JOB SECURITY! Not only are you busy with work all day long but you have work lined up for you for YEARS to come. What if I want to go on vacation? Can babies go on vacation? Maybe we’ll get a babysitter. Who could babysit? Can you interview babysitters?! I mean, I have some strict criteria. What if we leave him and he cries and wonders where I am?! Okay, nevermind. I’m not going anywhere. Dumb idea. When should he start preschool? Can we afford preschool? He has to go to preschool or he’ll be behind once he reaches kindergarten. He’ll have no social skills. What if he gets made fun of? What if he’s bullied? I want to talk to that child’s mother! What if he gets sick? Oh goodness, that is not a “what if”! That’s a “when”! What time is normal curfew for a teenager? He should have to call me every hour right? Maybe we could install that GPS thing on the car so I know where he is. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. What if he slams his door and tells me he hates me?! What if he bring home a little skeezer for a girlfriend? Leave the door OPEN! Better yet, stay in the living room. Better yet, I think she should just leave. What if he wants to go away for college? What if he never wants to come home? What if he meets a woman he wants to marry?! That makes me the #2 woman in his life! Oh boy…I’m hyperventalating. Paper bag please!!!!!

Ahhhhh…..you know the great thing about being the C.W.O., there is ONE thing that allows you to put your duties on hold for 20 minutes. A LARGE glass of wine. So, cheers to all the other C.W.O.’s out there. It’s not an easy job….but someone has to do it.

 

Translation August 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — erikaann77 @ 10:15 pm

It started when we were pregnant. “Wow, the baby is getting really big!”. Translation: You are getting fat. “My wife is really hormonal”. Translation: My wife is a psycho b&*%h. “Really, you’re not ever going to trrry breastfeeding?”. Translation: You are a horrible mother. 

It continued after we gave birth. “You look reeaaaaaal tired. Poor thing.” Translation: You look like crap. “Don’t worry, you’ll get your body back some day”. Translation: You’re still fat. “My wife is really hormonal”. Translation: My wife is still a psycho b&*%h. “Awwww…he just needs to fuss a little”. Translation: STOP picking your baby up whenever he makes a peep. “Maybe he’s still hungry? Is he still hungry? Maybe you should try feeding him?”. Translation: You don’t know what you’re doing. Obviously if the baby is crying it’s because he is hungry. “ohhhhh he’s colicky”. Translation: You’re baby is caaa-raaaa-zy!

I would respond to most of these things with a smile and a nod. Translation:  Yes, I know I’m getting fat. I realized that this morning when I tore through my closet looking for ONE piece of clothing that did NOT make me feel fat. But now, after chatting with you, this shirt is going to the floor of my closet with the rest of my fat clothes. Yes, I know I’m hormonal honey. I have a HUMAN being growing inside of me. A HUMAN BEING. No, I’m not going to try breastfeeding. Why? Because I don’t want to try. Would YOU like to breastfeed my baby? (in some cases, I feel like that answer would have been yes). POST BABY :Yes, I know I look like crap. I have spit up caked in my hair and I was up at midnight, 4 and 6am. I fell asleep at 645am only to be woken up again at 715 at which point I threw in the towel and gave up sleep for the day. I’m fat because it’s 9 thousand degrees outside in Illinois and my crotch was ripped open 10 weeks ago…together not making for ideal “working out” conditions. My “horomones” are out of wack because I just detached a HUMAN BEING from my body so if I would like to be a psycho for at least the next year, I think I get that pass. My baby is crying and therefore I am getting a physical reaction. There are muscles in my body that are starting to tighten. Therefore, I am going to pick him up. If he ends up a maladjusted spoiled child, you can blame me later. For now, let’s just go with…”He’s a baby. He needs his Mommy”. And no, he is NOT hungry. He just ate 15 minutes ago. I can feed him again but since he is NOT hungry and his stomach is only the size of a golf ball, I will make sure that when I burp him he is facing you so that the projectile vomit lands on your know it all lap. And finally, yes, I know my baby is fussy but stating to me that he is colicky is like me calling my mother-in- law in a bitch. My husband can say it but I can’t. It’s just taboo.

 

Hello Motherhood…Goodbye Expectations

Filed under: Uncategorized — erikaann77 @ 8:08 pm

Growing up we all begin to gather ideas in our heads of what it means to be a “mother”. Our experiences with our own mothers as well as how we fit into our own families have shaped in one way or another what we think a mother should or should not be. Like it or not, before giving birth, we all have a plan. A plan of how we will get our babies to sleep through the night (I mean, come on, it’s okay to let your baby cry….riiiiiight?). A plan of how we are going to discipline our children (you know…”not like so and so”). A plan of how we are going to run our households (because especially if we’re not working, we probably should be cooking and cleaning right?). Everything seems so neatly packaged when we are pregnant. Sure, everyone has their worries and fears before the baby comes but at least for the most part we develop some sort of “plan”. We read books, we get advice from others and well…we “figure things out”. Let me be the first one to share with you my plan: Give birth. Come home with little sweet smiling bundle of joy. Glow for the rest of my life in sheer happiness. Develop a routine within week one. Start working out several times a week by week four. Get “pre-pregnancy” body back by week six. Have a baby who sleeps through the night by week eight. And finally, by week ten, I was certain I was going to be so bored that I would HAVE to start working again. PWEW…well ladies…guess what week we’re at right now? Week 10. And aside from “giving birth”, my “plan” has been at a stanstill since I got home from the hospital.

In my experience, I feel that as a mother I have many expectations. Whether I place them on myself or whether society has made me feel them, they are definately there. Whether you are a working Mom or a Stay at Home Mome, the expectations and pressure that is felt the moment that baby arrives is something that is rarely spoken about. Mother’s are expected to be happy and smiling and filled with “baby joy”. I have been asked more times than I can count, “How is being a mother?”, and I put on a huge cheesy smile and say “It’s so WONDERFUL! I love every second of it!”. Then I think to myself “Really? Every second?”. Do we as mother’s have to answer that way? Would it make us less of a mother if we said “Well, I’m tired. Really tired. And my child screamed for an hour straight yesterday. I haven’t showered in four days. I’m wearing a baseball cap because my hair is dirty not because I’m “sporty”. My sofa’s are ruined because of spit up. My stomach is squishy and I know you say I look great but you haven’t seem me naked. And I swear if that pacifer pops out my baby’s mouth one more time I am going to throw it across the room! (the pacifer, not the baby)”. Does it make us less of a mother to have real feelings? I don’t think so. And is it okay if all those expectations that we place on ourselves as mothers slowly crumble before our very eyes? I think so. Why? Because we are all just trying to be the best mothers that we can be. Did Brody sleep next to me in my bed this morning because I was too exhausted to keep getting up to try to get him back to sleep in his crib? YES (GASP!!). Is it my husband’s 30th birthday today and I have nothing…I mean nothing planned? YES (although 99% of that is his fault because he went to work today with the carseat in the car..but still..). Do I have three loads of laundry to do and nothing for dinner? YES. Do I run and pick Brody up everytime he cries? YES (Aagain…GASP). And yes, I can already tell you that I WILL be the woman at the store with the screaming child getting nasty stares. Why? Well, because I’m already out and I have a cart half filled with what I need and to be honest I’m NOT putting it all back or coming back later! I’m here now. I’m staying and if it’s bothering your ears so much then maybe YOU should leave! :).

So what is the point of all of this ranting and raving? We’re all Mommies just trying the best we can to make sure that our kids don’t end up royally screwed up at the age of 12 (or 30). Forget what everyone else expects of you. Go with what you feel. Chances are all the other smiling ear to ear Mommies out there have felt that same way at one point or time. None of us are perfect. We all love our children unconditionally but none of us are robots and it’s okay to have feelings! It’s okay to let go of everything we “thought” made a good mother and just be the best mother that we can be (and if that means you need to throw a pacifer against the wall…well, by all means DO IT!) 🙂

That’s my piece for today.

Stay tuned for more honest experiences and thoughts on Motherhood in the days and weeks to come.