You Suck! Now That You’re A Mom

Being a good mom means putting aside your wants and needs for the sake of adequately protecting and raising your children. It means redirecting your focus from selfish insecurities and indulgences to no longer giving af about much else other than your babies, maintaining some version of a presentable household, and ensuring that your adultish responsibilities are met (ie: paying bills and getting your oil changed).

Being a good mom also means that you will slowly start to lose your cool, and I mean that in the rad, hip and happening sort of way (although you will inevitably lose your cool in the other sense of the word, too). The things that used to make you stand out and shape your personality and relationships have become a distant, fond recollection that you desperately try to cling to as you scroll through your Facebook memories and vye to resurrect that cool and with it side to you once again… but maybe next year, when you’re less busy.

I’m here to tell you that as a mom, you suck. Or, certain things you do suck. And it all starts to go downhill the moment you go into labour, greet your newborn, and face the fear of not knowing wtf to do with the thing the moment you get home. Suckage literally begins with your baby’s first latch and continues into every facet of your life.

While you start to decline in a number of areas of your life, this siphoning vacuum is balanced by the things you start to become good at since embracing motherhood, such as self-doubt, worrying, and Googling. Yay!

While every mom begins to suck in different degrees and circumstances, there are 7 things that most moms can agree on when asked what has gone from successful to epic fail since becoming a mom.

Cooking

You’d think with all these baby food tools and containers that prepping a meal would be made easier for moms, but it simply ain’t. IT. AIN’T. When it comes to making any sort of meal, whether it’ll be consumed by your tot or not, it’s gonna get burned, or be mushy, raw, or tasteless. Whatever the cooking faux pas, it’s going to happen because you just don’t have the time or the attention span to give two shits about whether it’s Master Chef worthy, just so long as it’s edible. Before babies, you had the hours, the budget, and the dedication to preparing a five-course meal for your friends. As a parent, you’re ordering take-out.

Socializing

Whatever the occasion pre-spawn, you were there. Sporting event at the pub? GAME. ON. Networking opportunity? SIGN ME UP. Girls night? In. Beach volleyball game? Eh…alright, whatevs. Now it’s like, “How’s two weeks from now, in the afternoon because my baby has an appointment, but we can squeeze in some time after their lunch and before their nap. Does that work?” Your friends really have to be accommodating and patient if looking to get in any sort of face time with you. As for invites to parties and other social events? That’ll take some MacGyver-like planning and rearranging on your end to make an appearance.

Fashion

Life before becoming a Mom meant disposable income that would be spent on furnishing your pre-baby body with labeled linens and branded swag. It meant taking a trip to the closest mall whenever you had a free day (which was often) and picking up a few things to accentuate your on point wardrobe. If you’re a mom, those days are no longer an option. Aside from the fact that all your money is being inhaled by your offspring, you just don’t have the time or the body to care about what’s in style anymore. Pre-twins I had Kate Spade and RW&CO, now I’ve got loads of Joe Fresh. Why? Because it’s comfy as f**k, it can take a hit of puke without me feeling remorseful, and I can pick it up while also buying baby food, eggs, and beer at the grocery store.

Awareness of Current Events

Okay, maybe this one is just me, as I don’t currently have cable or subscribe to any news publications, but I’m calling the odds that most moms don’t keep up with new business ventures, the stock market, politics, or who’s leading when it comes to major sporting competitions. If anything, we’re learning about the news via Facebook or by overhearing it while we’re picking up a convenience store coffee. At best, we’ve grabbed the tabloids at the checkout. So while we may not be able to contribute to a conversation on Trump’s latest actions as president, we can tell you the names of George Clooney’s twins.

Self-Care

This is not as shocking as it may seem. We do care about maintaining ourselves; shower, shave, brush teeth, deodorant, done. We cover the basics and that’s about it. Making time for exercise, doing our makeup or nails, plucking, or even brushing our hair, is solely reserved for special occasions or on days where you miraculously wind up with an extra hour to spare.

Talking On The Phone

I remember the days when I could sit on the phone and have a conversation that would easily exceed an hour. Time wasn’t even something I had to be conscious of monitoring, unless someone’s show was about to start or I was getting sleepy. Nowadays, having a phone call that exceeds five minutes is dreaded. You just don’t have the patience to endure it, especially while trying to detach your twins from each other because they’re slapping each other’s faces. If what you want is a phone call, you best schedule that shit before dialling those digits – or better yet, send a message – because chances are, she’s not gonna pick up.

Pop Culture References

Aside from learning mild details from the aforementioned and rare impulse buy of purchasing a grocery store mag, we can’t tell you squat about what’s happening in the world of music or movies. “Hey, you hear that new song by…” Nope. We’re gonna stop you right there. We have no idea what song or new artist you’re referring to. And while we would love to schedule a time to go see a movie with a friend, we have no idea what’s playing and all of the titles look foreign to us. We’ll check out who’s in it and decide based on that.

While there are some moms who probably rock at maintaining some thread of success in these areas, while also mom-ing her heart out, I’d like to hope that the majority share in the same dwindling areas of past successes as I do.

In the meantime, we moms take pride in knowing that while that phase of our lives is over, this new phase is something we embrace and cherish even more than being good at all those things. So while we might not be around much or rockin’ the latest trends, we are mastering a new challenge and it’s one that we most certainly don’t suck at: motherhood.

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I’m A Bad Mom

If you’re a mom, your ultimate fear is that you are somehow unfit to parent. You’re scared that your mom skills just won’t cut it and somehow you are not doing the best you can for the children you brought into this world. A lot of the time, this fear is ridiculous and obviously if you’re worrying about not doing enough, you’re already doing plenty more than others. The mere fact that you worry means that you care and are rocking the job more than you know. But when a medical professional says enough about your poor parenting to have your fears confirmed, it’s downright crippling. Two weeks ago I was in agony over the fact that I was professionally considered a bad mom.

For those who don’t know, our girls turned one on June 11. Woohoo! Their first birthday. We could not believe how fast the last year went by and how strong we were to have survived it. With this major milestone came the one year check-up with their pediatrician. To say it did not go well is a drastic understatement.

Upon arrival, our girls were measured and weighed as usual by the nurse. She gathered the stats and let us know that the girls lost weight since their last exam three months ago. Okay. We were a little shocked since they visibly grew and were now fitting into larger clothing, but we figured it would be up for discussion as to why once we saw the doctor. The nurse passed off their information to the doc and told us to wait.

No sooner did the girls’ doctor walk through that door did she start to verbally attack us. She said that she was not happy to see those numbers and gave us shit over their decreased weights. We were also unhappy to hear about the weight loss, but we had no idea it was as awful as she was claiming it to be.

Almost immediately I entered defence mode with her harsh questioning and remarks, being equally aggressive in my answers. She was making me legit pissed. Then she dropped a bomb on us that I’m not sure we’ll ever recover from. She threatened to call CAS. We could not even believe the words she uttered.

I backed down instantly and listened to her condescending and heartbreaking words. Their weight loss could lead to developmental issues. Their brains can stop growing. We couldn’t even believe we had put our girls in such jeopardy. She made us feel like the worst parents in the world and we believed that we were.

I broke down crying as she asked us questions about their diet. We let her know what and how much we fed them. Our meal and snack choices were great and she was surprised by this information. SURPRISED. She didn’t even care that we were feeding them so much. And trust me, we do. They gobble up so much food you’d THINK they were starving. They eat more than other babies, hands down. For whatever reason, the period between their nine month and one year visit they had dropped a little weight.

Well, we have a reason. And to this, we’re guilty. In an effort to wean our girls off of formula and replace the calories with food, we had diluted their formula with water so that they would eat more food and require less formula. This was working. This was done without our doctor’s consent, as we a) believed it was a smart choice, and b) did not know we had to consult the doctor in such matters (being first time parents and all). We had intended to work towards replacing it with fatty milk and was going to discuss this with the doctor at this appointment. When she learned about what we had done, she went off. She criticized us in a way that made us feel stupid and incompetent to parent and diluting formula was the most sinful thing we could have done for our children. This, it turns out, was why they were not gaining weight.

Let me take this moment to add more to the story. The reason we had diluted the milk in the first place (aside from weaning) was because the girls had been frequently vomiting in the night when we started feeding them more meal portions, snacks, as well as bottles of formula for their naps and bedtime. This reaction, we assumed, was because they were just eating way too much and that their stomachs couldn’t handle the extra calories. They suffered from reflux in the past and we knew that their stomachs were a little iffy at times. It was only then that we made the decision that it was time to wean.

When the doctor left the room, the both of us had broken down in horrendous sobs, fearful for our girls and feeling like the worst parents in the world. The nurse came in to comfort us and later admitted that the doctor told her that she was too harsh on us. I guess so.

This day was the worst we’ve ever experienced. I’d take late night vomits and explosive shits any day to not have to live through that torture again.

After recovering from our breakdowns and regaining some composure, our emotions quickly turned from defeated and grief-stricken to anger.

HOW DARE SHE TREAT US THIS WAY. We have the best of intentions for our girls and do everything we can to keep them healthy and happy. We worry about them constantly, protecting them and ensuring they always are in a safe environment. We always put their needs first and I can honestly say that we are doing the absolute best we can in making decisions that we believe is right for our daughters. We would never intentionally endanger their health, let alone intentionally underfeed them. And again I must say, we DO NOT underfeed them. There could have been so many reasons for the weight loss and it may not even be strictly because of the diluted formula.

Since their nine month visit, they’ve become WAY more active, crawling and even walking, and therefore burning more calories. They’ve also experienced their first virus (which can halt the growth of babies) and have been teething like crazy, causing them to refuse food at times. Not only that, but it’s common for babies to not gain weight, or even lose weight, between these two visits. All of this is new information to us, as we’ve consulted with other medical professionals and family members on the subject. All of this research just further fuels the fire within us over the doctor’s lack of understanding, empathy, or desire to come to any other conclusion other than that we were behaving like neglectful parents.

Aside from all the potential reasons for the slight drop in weight, they are both visibly healthy and happy girls. Their bones are not protruding from their skin. They do not look in any way malnourished, and they’re developing just fine. They are smart and curious and perfect.

As parents, we may not be perfect all the time, but we’re certainly not bad. And we’ve quickly learned that no one, not even a doctor, has the right to make us feel the way we did or have us question ourselves as parents.

We have began feeding the girls milk and fattier foods, as the doctor ordered. However, we will not be going back to that insensitive, offensive person ever again.

We are not at fault and we are not stupid. We live with our daughters and see how they behave and function every day. We know what’s best for them, usually. And when we don’t, well, that’s when we get the help from the doctor or someone else who knows more about babies than we do.

It’s true that it takes a village to raise a child, but that is only true if everyone is supportive and understanding of one another. While we needed to hear that they required more fat, we did not need to be threatened with CAS, been talked down to, or made to believe that we were putting our girls at risk.

This really sucks to share because it hurts me so much to admit that we had made even one mistake when it came to our girls. But I’ve accepted (even with my perfectionist tendencies) that people, including parents, make mistakes and it’s not anyone’s right to criticize you for making them, especially when your intentions are true and involve matters of your heart.

Stripped

The other night was probably the worst night I’ve ever faced since becoming a parent. When I say it was the worst, I may even be downplaying the description of how this night went down.

After surviving the first few months of newborn madness and round-the-clock feedings and diaper changes to two infants, we began to see the light and enter some sort of nighttime routine. We endured the first nights in their own room, their first colds, and the cutting of their first teeth. Even the blur of sleepless months we first experienced when the girls arrived at home was nothing compared to what we faced three nights ago.

At around 2:30 am, we awoke to the sounds of coughing and gagging. Drowsy from the noise we continue to listen and then jolt out of bed at the additional sounds of vomit splashing against little Chloe’s bed linens and crib bars.

For those of you who don’t know, we put up with eight months of spit-up from our girls and they had finally outgrown this nasty, annoying, laundry-soaking phase. What we discovered was NOT the spit-up we knew and trusted.

What we faced was not only a massive amount of partially-digested vomit, but also a sad and smelly Chloe, paired with the most rotten scent we’ve ever encountered in our pre and post-baby lives. If I had to describe the smell, I would file it next to old Kraft Dinner that was prepared with spoiled milk and then fermented for a month.

We immediately took action; me grabbing the baby, and JD grabbing the soaked sheets while suppressing his own urge to gag. The bed and baby were both stripped. My shirt and hair had vomit in it from Chloe’s need to cuddle her spewage-slathered face into my chest. BLEH!

The next four hours Chloe and I stayed up to watch cartoons as she fought her stomach to puke again, as well as fight her need to sleep. Every time she almost fell asleep, she would startle herself awake and begin to cry. Nightmare.

If you thought that was the worst of the night, you’d be wrong.

At 6 am, I hear Sophie begin to wake up. The normal time, but I was just not ready to face the regular morning routine. I waited fifteen minutes before going to check on her, when she began to get annoyed and whine for attention.

I finally visit her and get hit in the face with an even fouler smell. Could it be that the vomit stench remained in the room? I open the blinds and look at my daughter.

POOP. EVERYWHERE.

POOP ON EVERY BAR OF THE CRIB.

POOP ON HER BLANKETS.

POOP ON HER ONESIE.

POOP ON HER LEGS.

POOP ON MY SOUL.

She had the most extreme case of diahrrea I had ever witnessed. Even from myself.

I could not deal with the scene before me. So I scooped her up, put her in the bathtub with her onesie and diaper still on, and woke up my better half to help me cope with my emotions, which at this point were running as wild as Sophie’s sphincter.

After I scrubbed the feces from her body, I grabbed a rag and a shred of strength I had left on reserve and went to assess the bedroom damage.

As I stripped a second bed of its linens and began to scrub the mattress, I began to hysterically laugh-cry. Not laugh to the point of crying, but I simultaneously experienced two emotions at once: bawling my eyes out and laughter.

I peed myself. And then I stripped off my vomit and piss-covered pj’s and went on with being a parent.

The beds were stripped. The girls and I were stripped. All I have left to strip is the horrific memories of the night from my mind.

Snot Pretty

Any new mommy’s worst fear is that their babies will get sick. Until now, we’ve been fortunate enough not to experience this. Mommy brought the germies into the house.

After 9 months, the most gruelling days have arrived. Both babies are sick for the first time. UGH! I’m not talking about a little sniffle and a wee ahh-choo. We’re facing the brunt of any nasty cold; sneezing, coughing, congestion, sore throats, runny noses, yellow crusts of snot in their nostrils, and the smelliest, filthiest shits you’ve ever seen.

Side note: I’m not the kind of mom that penny-pinches when it comes to these types of disasters. You ruin your pants, they’re going in the trash. No way will I scrub the turd out of your pjs, throw it in the wash and it still leave a stain. You wreck it, to heck with it!

There are boogers in their spit-up and bags under their eyes. They take breaks from their bottles because they can’t breathe through their nose. They’re sleep deprived, miserable, and are wearing the saddest faces I’ve ever seen. It’s brutal.

For all you worried mamas out there, I’ll point out now that they are both fever-free!

While they want more attention, more cuddles, and more Kleenex, I’m happy to comply. Never has any (fellow sickie) mommy dug deeper into the purse of patience. I push my heavy head and dripping nostrils aside and tend to my babies because, when put into perspective, they’re LITERALLY facing the first cold of their itty-bitty lives! That is, aside from the day they left their warm, cushy sacks and were born without any say in the matter.

Truthfully, I kinda like it. They’re building their immune systems AND I’ve never felt more motherly than I do right now. My heart goes out to my snotty spawn and I just want to make them feel better. If they could ask for cupcakes right now, I’d totally give it to them. I’m sure this is the kind of attention that the “man cold” sufferer seeks.

The mom vibes are surging at full capacity! I’ve never felt so “mom”. Like, I mom. But, this is the type of mom-ing that you think of being classic mom; tucking you in, feeding you soup, kissing your forehead. I’m doing it, guys!

So, I’ve learned that there’s taking care of your babies, and then there’s really taking care of your babies.