My Kid Stole My Cool

When Staying At Home Sucks

Posted on Feb 13, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

I am so, so grateful that I can stay at home with Elisabeth.  I know I am very blessed to have that as an option, and I try not to take that for granted.  And I love, love, love my daughter more than anything.  She is smart and funny and sweet and entertaining and our time together is priceless.

I just needed to put that all out should Elisabeth ever find this blog post and think I think otherwise.

Because some days being a stay-at-home mom sucks.

I have no desire to get in the working mom v. stay-at-home mom debate.  Who cares?  For those of us fortunate to have the choice, if working fulfills you, that probably means you’ll be a happy, healthy role model for your children, and so that’s probably what is best for your family.  If staying at home fulfills you, that probably means you’ll be a happy, healthy role model for your children, and so that’s probably what is best for your family.  But I’m willing to bet there are some days when working moms think, “Aghhhhh I hate my job and just want to be at home with my kids!”  Because I know for a fact that there are some days when stay-at-home moms think, “Aghhhhh I need to get out of my house and away from my kid(s)!”

Um, maybe I shouldn’t speak for all stay-at-home moms.  But if I’m the only one that feels that way sometimes, I’m going to be pretty embarrassed about admitting it on the blogosphere.  But seriously, some days are tedious and tiresome and just plain boring.  There, I said it.

Anyway.  Those days are rare.  Very rare.  I just happened to have one yesterday.  And now I need to blog about it because I feel partly guilty about harboring such feelings and partly in need of a good vent.

I went to bed Monday night with a raging headache.  I woke up on Tuesday morning – in the 5:00 hour – with a raging headache.  Knowing before 6:00AM that your day is probably going to suck, sucks.  Elisabeth decided to wake up at 6:15AM.  She told me she had no intention of returning to dreamland by emphatically throwing her lovey on the ground, followed by her pacifier.  Point taken.  And so our day began…

…And never ended.

Besides a short trip to the family gym on base, the pounding in my head kept us home.  I just was not up to going anywhere or doing anything.  No amount of Tylenol helped.  As nap-time approached, I prayed that Elisabeth would give me a good 2-hour respite from her.  You see, Elisabeth has gone back to her bad-napper ways.  We had a good thing going for a while.  Consistent, 1-hour naps, twice a day.  Some days, she’d even give me two 1 and 1/2 hour naps!  Those were the best days.  But now she’s dropped to one nap, and inexplicably, it has gotten shorter.  I was told that when babies drop to one nap a day, they usually sleep for a longer stretch of time.  Not my kid!  She’s been giving me about one one-hour nap a day.  That’s probably way more than you ever wanted to know about my daughter’s napping habits, but all that to say – she doesn’t nap nearly enough!

So of course, on this day of all days, Elisabeth outdid herself.  45 minutes.  She slept for 45 freaking minutes.  Uh-uh, that is not okay.  I spent the better part of the next hour listening to her scream on and off while trying to get her to go back to sleep.  I finally had to admit defeat.  It was shortly after 2:00PM.  I was expecting Damon home at 4:30.  I could get through another 2 and 1/2 hours.  Even if Elisabeth would be a tired hot mess (and she was), it was only 2 and 1/2 more hours on my own. 

Except it wasn’t 2 and 1/2 hours.  Damon got delayed at work and didn’t make it home till 6:50.  Got that? 6:50PM.  Remember how I said my darling daughter awoke at 6:15AM?  That is 12 hours and 35 minutes of exclusive one-on-one time with a toddler.  Well, minus the 45-minute nap.  I repeat: 12 hours and 35 minutes with a (SLEEP-DEPRIVED, IRRITABLE) toddler.  No other human interaction.  Zero.  I don’t know what all the fuss is about waterboarding.  This, this is real torture.

What does a 12 hour and 35 minute day with a sleep-deprived, irritable toddler look like?

It looks like reading “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” fifteen mind-numbing times in a row.  It looks like cleaning out your toddler’s closet, while she pulls out every diaper from the changing table, every book from the bookshelf, and every toy from her toy bins, so after the closet is effectively clean, the rest of her room is left in mass destruction.  It looks like trying to make dinner while your over-tired, whining kid claws at your legs begging to be picked up but you can’t pick her up because you have to stir the quinoa SO SHE HAS A HEALTHY SOURCE OF PROTEIN AT DINNER!  WHY DOESN’T SHE UNDERSTAND THAT!?

I was furiously scrubbing dishes when Damon walked in the door.  “I’ve had a really long day,” he said.  And unleashed my rage.

“I know you’ve had a hard day!  Flying jets is soooo tough, Mr. Pilot-Man!  Did your day involve washing approximately 13,579 dishes?  Did your day involve scraping chewed up broccoli off the floor?  Did your day involve negotiating nap-time with a cranky midget!? I don’t think so!”*

Okay, most of that rage was in my head.  However Damon must have sensed all was not well and quickly said, “Why don’t you go take a break, hon?”

I dropped the dishes and bolted for the bedroom, shut the door and climbed into bed with a book.  A non-picture book, at that!**

Those three minutes by myself before Damon came in and asked me where to find Elisabeth’s PJs were splendid. Probably the highlight of my day.  And that probably sounds pathetic.

Like I said, these days are very rare. But when they happen?  Suckity suck suck suck.  Eloquent, I know.

But without these days, I wouldn’t appreciate the great days we have 99% of time.  At least that’s what I’m going to tell myself.

*To be fair to my husband, he does other work besides flying jets.  I don’t know what, exactly, but I know he works very, very hard for us.

**If I’m being technical, it was my iPad.  A book on my iPad. Does anyone read real books anymore?

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It’s All About Poop: That and Other Lessons I Learned My First Year (and Two Months) of Motherhood

Posted on Feb 2, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

My baby is fourteen months.  That means I’m two months late publishing this post.  So without further ado, the most important lessons I learned during my first year (plus  two months) of motherhood, not ranked in order of importance.  Feel free to pass this along to expecting or new parents – this info right here is priceless.  1) Your conversations will mainly revolve around poop.  Deal with it.  While in Hawaii, my dad asked me what I had found most surprising about being a parent.  My response?  “How much I talk about poop.”  It’s gross, but it’s true.  When I was pregnant, I went out for coffee with a few other moms and the entire conversation was dominated by talk of poop and nursing.  How cliché!  I vowed I was not going to be one of those moms that could only converse about a baby’s bodily functions and breastfeeding.  Then I had the baby, and realized that all moms are those moms.  It is unavoidable.  Because that is what your life primarily revolves around, at least for the first six months or so.  Hubby comes home from work:  “Hey hon, the baby had four massive poops today!” Go to play group: “Hey ladies, how do you handled your child’s constipation?”  To the flight attendant on your cross-country flight: “I’m sorry, but I have to ignore the fasten seat-belt sign.  My daughter just pooped up her back.”  The babes poop.  All.  The.  Time.  And since a baby’s bowel movement is a major indicator of his or her health, it’s kind of important to pay attention to.  So no matter how uncomfortable you are talking the potty talk, get over it. 2) Celebrities aren’t lying when they say they lost their baby weight by breastfeeding.  I always assumed when I saw someone like Heidi Klum modeling lingerie like, three weeks after giving birth, and then credited her weight loss to breastfeeding that she was a) lying through her perfect white teeth to seem more relatable or something and b) had a personal trainer and chef to whip her back into shape mucho fast.  BUT SHE’ WASN’T...

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So, uh… are you free tonight?

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 in My Kid Stole My Cool

Remember when you were in the dating scene and someone would call you up and ask if you were available to go out that night and it was totally offensive because, like, do they not think you have anything better to do?  As if! But actually you didn’t have anything better to do but you weren’t going to admit that so you lied and told this person that you have some amazing plans you just couldn’t break. I am so glad I’m not single anymore.* Or perhaps you were the one doing the asking and you wanted to see someone but were afraid to ask because you didn’t want to offend them by implying they had nothing better to do than wait around for you.  (This mainly applies to men – is it so hard to plan ahead, fellows?) Well today I realized this same game-playing now applies to babysitters.  I think it was more fun when it was prospective boyfriends. Here’s the deal:  Damon and I had plans to go on this tour to a Japanese village where they are doing a big Christmas tree lighting event tonight.  We were going to drag Elisabeth along, which in retrospect seems like a poor choice, as it is an outdoor event lasting several hours and it is winter.  Mom fail.  Anyway, late last night an impromptu dinner out was planned for a family in our squadron that is leaving on Monday.  Well obviously good-bye dinner trumps Christmas tree lighting.  But then this morning the scramble for the sitter began. It was 8:30AM.  I needed a sitter for 5:30PM.  This was not good.  Everyone would be booked, I was sure of it.  And plus, I totally didn’t want to ask, because who does that?  That was only 9 hours notice!  Surely my go-to babysitters have better things to do then wait around for jobs to pop up that evening. Not wanting to offend my adult babysitters with lives and children of their own, I started with the teenagers.  Let’s be honest, a teenager living on a small base in Japan probably doesn’t...

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