Puppies Don’t Train You To Become A Parent

Now that I’m a parent – OMG. I’m a freakin’ parent. – I’ve come to realize truths about parenthood that people don’t want to tell others about having kids.

For instance, childbirth isn’t something you forget. You are at your absolute most vulnerable to get that greasy human out of your contracting body. It’s not pleasant for anyone, producing everything from blood and feces to amniotic fluid and the most unattractive expressions and unforgettable displays of agony. Sure, it’s a process that welcomes your sticky spawn into the world, but no amount of doulas or breathing exercises will prepare you for the experience of giving birth, or the shock of what happens after giving birth. So if you’re dreaming of a simply magical delivery, there is no such thing.

Another thing that people say to others when it comes to preparing for a child is, “Get a puppy. Then you’ll really know what parenting is like.”

To this I call BS! Of course, there are similarities to owning a tiny dog and owning a tiny human, like having to clean up their urine and bowel movements and listen to their cries the first weeks after you bring them home. But the differences are plenty, and lie within those similarities. First of all, the cries of a new puppy eventually stop after a few nights, and you can even leave them in their very own crate to cry during this phase of sleeplessness. For babies, the crying lasts forever, and leaving them in their crib for hours on end is not an option…unless you’re wanting the neighbours to call Children’s Aid on your neglectful ass.

While both puppies and babies will puke and ruin everything from your rug to your favourite shirt, puppy vomits are few and far between. A baby can vomit every damn day, or in the case of my twins, after every feeding…for nine damn months.

It’s only in the toddler years that I’ve realized that this is the phase that people are talking about when they compare dogs to children. While it can never truly be the same experience for the level of care and attention it takes for two pups versus two thirty-pound people, these are just a few of the ways that I can totally see what people are talking about.

  • We have to train them on everything, from talking to proper toilet behaviour. Much like we train a dog to speak and do its business outside, we have to teach our children to speak actual real words and explain to them the basics of using a potty.
  • They both beg for food, like little fat and starving monsters. Whether it’s a puppy or a toddler, it doesn’t matter, they’ll both be on your heels, following your every move and crying for a bite of your toast. While you may feel compelled to kick them both off your lap, keep that move reserved for when you’re in the privacy of your own home.
  • When you leave the house – or bedroom, come nap/bedtime – they cry. Since both can’t communicate with you or understand the reason why you’re abandoning them, they just feel sad and confused and require tons of comforting. And while it pains you to leave them, you also know that you have to toughen them up so they don’t develop separation anxiety and live with you until they’re thirty.
  • They both require a lot of entertainment. Like, a lot. Toddlers have evolved past the point of silent, sleeping lumps and now have endless energy that must be spent on playing with toys. This is not unlike a puppy. Whether you’re tossing a ball around or chasing them, toddlers and pups are one in the same when it comes to the demands of playtime.
  • Giving medicine to them can be a challenge. You can either opt for holding them down or sneaking it into their food, but we all have to get creative when our little pups or people pups are sick.
  • Eating food off of the floor is not above them. Seriously. It doesn’t matter if there is hair or dirt on it, they’ll eat that two-day old strawberry they found under the couch.
  • Traveling with them is a nightmare. The packing prep and space they take up in your car is one thing, but both toddlers and puppies also feel the need to take road poops. So. Not. Fun.
  • When they do something good, you have to reward them. With toddlers, you have to get excited, clap your hands, and toss them a cookie with each new word they learn, with each pee-pee on the potty they take, and every moment they decide to share a toy or piece of their food with their sibling. For pups, you must also get excited, clap your hands, and toss them a cookie as they learn to progress as a dog.

With these examples that adequately paint a picture of what raising toddlers can be like when compared to raising puppies, I can also say that puppies are nothing like toddlers.

Toddlers can be opinionated, picky eaters, and getting cuddles out of them can be a challenge. For us, we have to roar like a lion to encourage Chloe to give us a hug. Pffft. We’ve fully resorted to scare tactics in order to feel the love. Puppies, on the other hand, always want to snuggle. They will also eat whatever you put in front of them, which means nothing you buy at the grocery store will go to waste.

Puppies can’t say no, they can go hours being left at home alone, and they don’t cost nearly as much to raise.

Puppies can also walk themselves without having to be carried to places like the car or down the street, so long as they have a leash. And while toddlers can also wear leashes, it’s a far less acceptable method of toddler-wrangling.

That being said, we are not above the leash technique. So if anyone knows how we can kick this dog analogy up a notch by recommending a good twin leash, by all means, send me the link.

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I’m At A Loss

If you’re a regular follower of my mommy blog, you’ll probably be thinking, “Where the hell is she? Why hasn’t she posted? And like, why hasn’t her content been that great?”

First of all, back off. My life is busy, m’kay!?

I know I’d be confused if I were you. I have a little voice among mommy bloggers worldwide, and to be honest, I’m struggling to find my “angle”.

Do I want to talk about products for moms? Not really. Do I want to provide tips and tricks to new parents? Nah, I’m equally unqualified for this gig. Do I want to complain about all the things that every mom likes to complain about online every. damn. day? Kinda, but only when I really need to vent.

I’d love to go back to basics and really just use this space as a place to journal the day-to-day of my life as a mom. Boring, I know, but cathartic.

Some people have talked to me about how they enjoy the honesty, the rawness, and the humour behind my posts, and since that’s the positive feedback I’ve been receiving, that’s what I’d like to focus on. Screw affiliate marketing, product plugging, and helpful tips that mom can share with each other. While those have the most potential to be shared, turn profitable, and “go viral”. It’s not me. It’s fake, and a load of bologna. To be honest, I’m not sure who I am and what I even want anymore.

Pfft, priorities. Being a mom has really plugged up my upward grind.

My background is in marketing, but do I want to continue down that path? I’m not quite sure. Frankly, I find the marketing world to be full of bullshit and I’m becoming a tad jaded towards it all. While I love the idea of making money from it, I find the pressure of executing it to be an extra layer of stress to add my my already overloaded pot of nerves.

It’s a life that I’m slowly discovering that I no longer want and so, I am now on a path to try and discover what I do want. All I really know is that I’m a mother with a drive to succeed, but that’s not all I am.

Right now my absence from this site has primarily been because I just haven’t got the time or energy to crank out a blog, given the fact that I spend my days at the computer writing articles for an entertainment website. It’s not exactly fulfilling, but it pays the bills (most of the time).

All that to say, when I want to focus on my own project, I just can’t bring myself to the keyboard once my article quota has been fulfilled.

The second reason I’ve been absent has been because I just don’t know what I want to write about or share. I have many ideas for blog posts, and my day is definitely not without an entertaining story to tell, but I’m lacking a direction.

I feel like a bird without a nest and I’ve totally been having a bit of an identity crisis.

What do I like? What do I even want to do? Who am I, really?

*Cue Zoolander duck face, staring inquisitively into a pool of water*

Quite honestly, I feel like I’m drowning in the unknown.

To compensate, I’ve been attending events and get-togethers around the city – meeting with moms and professionals alike – to try and find a shred of inspiration to put me on a life path.

I’ve never really been one to ask for help, but that’s exactly what I’m looking for right now. I need to read all the things, hear all the advice, and be given a few words of wisdom to take the next step from marketer to mom boss.

As a mom (and a perfectionist), asking for help is something that does not come easy for me. What I’d love to know from… anyone, is if you’ve ever struggled to find your thing, if being a parent has ever thrown you off your path (if you have kids), and what steps you took to figure out what you want out of life (or if being a parent completely derailed you from it).

I’m the mom who wholeheartedly believes that she can “have it all”; family and career.

I just need a little push in the right direction, because I just can’t seem to muster the navigation on my own.

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.