The Truth About Motherhood
When I became a mother in 2001, I really thought I was prepared. I had been around babies, I read all those books, I bought everything
I thought the baby needed, I stocked up on diapers like you could never buy them after the fact, I bought the most expensive bottles, I spent days washing clothes in the “baby soap”, I washed and sanitized everything that the body would touch, I parent baby proofed the house with every lock, latch and bumper I could. I thought I had it under control. Then I delivered this bouncing baby girl, who decided NOT to cry upon delivery. That was my sign! I missed it, but there is was.. crystal clear. The world was hers and SHE ran it, she decided who slept and when and where. She decided who ate and for how long their meal sat before they could eat. Eating dinner hot was a thing of the past, without fail. Where was THAT advise in those books.
Then just when I got the hang of things, I was pregnant with baby number 2. How did this happen? Child one was using the toilet, sleeping through the night, eating off a plate that didn’t need to be sanitized ten times over, she was able to slide on her shoes! What in the world happened!! In 2004 when I delivered my bouncing baby boy, who SCREAMED upon delivery, I was sure I had it this time. I learned a lot from those books, but I also had a child. I mean how much different is one from the other. Don’t answer that! Just when I thought child one ruled the world, I was sadly mistaken. She never ruled the world, at least in comparison to child two. He screamed at bedtime until everyone was awake. He fell fast asleep. I lay him down and everyone hits the bed and he SCREAMS like the fire alarm. Up we all go. At this point and for the next 2 years, I had no idea what it was like to sleep next to my husband OR to sleep in a bed. I slept in a recliner, the way child two wanted it. HE ruled the world.
I had to get this situation under control. I HAD to rule the world. I needed sleep. I needed food. I needed a SHOWER. I began to find little ways to sneak in what I needed. As a mom,
almost everything you eat has to be shared, you sleep when they say it’s okay and naps are off limits because neither child will adjust their schedule and they won’t nap at the same time. I began to use some secret mommy weapons. Toys, those wonderful noisy toys that you dislike, began my weapon. I would get the loudest, busiest, craziest toy and set it in the middle of the floor with some brief playing. Then I unleashed them. I snuck into the kitchen (still able to see them playing on the floor) and grabbed anything I could and I ate, and ate, and ate. I don’t think I chewed. I had a split five minutes or less to eat my three square meals a day. Never mind the fact that I hadn’t showered, my hair was covered in spit up and whatever else they had eaten. SUCCESS! I had eaten. That mission was successful. I hadn’t learned to master sleep yet and was running on fumes. It was my best friend who called me and swore she was talking to someone else. I was a complete zombie. She shared with me the magic of mommy naps! MOMMY NAPS?! What?! Why was I never let in on this secret. So off to try the mission we went.
I grabbed my weapons; a baby Einstein DVD, a sippy cup for each, a few toys, pillows, mom’s blanket and their blankets. We made a little camp on the middle of the living room floor. I popped in the baby Einstein DVD and got everyone settled. They were in heaven! SCORE! Mom wins!! They quietly sat there and watched the DVD, occasionally one would dose off, sometimes they both would, but MOM, always did! I was in stealth mode. As soon as one of them moved off the little camping blanket my eyes were wide open and I sat straight up! I caught them every time, but I totally got a nap. Sleep.. conquered!
We’ve all had moments in parenting that we will try anything to achieve the goal we need to. I have heard everything from sneaking off into the bathroom for a moment of silence (how does this work, because mine follow me in, even now at 9 and 12?), to hiding in a very safe spot (for silence) during hide and seek and even tasting that baby food to get them to say “mmmmmm..”. CBS is debuting a comedy series called MOM, where you will see all kinds of this dysfunctional, yet workable parenting. Here’s a sneak peek at the fun new comedy series which premiere on Monday September 23rd at 9:30 ET/8:30 CT: