You can tell the veteran parents from the newbies. They're the ones rolling their eyes and laughing as someone states what they will never do as a parent. They're also the ones saying things like, "Hang in there...it will get...well, just hang in there" to their new sleep-deprived mom friends. They're too wise to state things will get better. Exhaustion is your life so buckle up and get a Coffee Perks Punch Card. You'll need it because you will be too poor to afford full priced coffee as regularly as you will need it.
New Parent: Registers for a wipe warmer, name brand clothes, and just THE CUTEST little headbands you ever did see
Veteran: Gets new parents a Nose Frida, burp cloths, and diapers because 80% of your life as a parent is cleaning up the bodily fluids of your offspring
New Parent: Buys books on sleep training
Veteran: Knows books on sleep training are not only ineffective, they waste important time that you could be sleeping to read it. You're pretty sure they're in cahoots with the energy drink industry.
New Parent: Makes baby food in the baby bullet using only organic vegetables
Veteran: "Give your brother a bite of your french fry."
New Parent: Buys expensive, research-based, developmental toys
Veteran: Turns on the ceiling fan
New Parent: Has baby strapped to them at Target
Veteran: Is strolling through every. single. aisle. at Target with a latte and sans kids. "Errands" are your escape. Don't bring your captors to your refuge, Rookie.
New Parent: "Don't let the dog lick her in the face!"
Veteran: "C'mon, Spot! Baby sister needs a bath. It was peas- your favorite!"
New Parent: Signs up for Kiddie Music, Little People Gym, and Story Time classes
Veteran: Hands baby a crinkly chip bag
New Parent: Gags when they get a little poop on their hand
Veteran: Didn't flinch when they had to clean the wall, bathe the baby, and shower themselves after a particularly difficult changing.
New Parent: Writes out schedule for the family
Veteran: Tells people, "I'll try to be there at 2:00 today but it could be next month before I see you. It depends on Johnny's mood when he wakes up. I'm going to try my best to guess the snack that won't send him into a rage but I've been wrong the last 3 days."
New Parent: "We have to sanitize all of the pacifiers in boiling water between uses and wipe them with paci wipes during the day."
Veteran: Found paci under couch, picked dog fur off of it, & popped that sucker back in
New Parent: "OMG. Little Billy rolled and bonked his head on the couch! I am the worst parent ever. Do we need to go to the ER?!"
Veteran: "Is it bleeding? A lot? Grab a band-aid, bud."
We could all learn a thing or two from them. Just don't ask in a text, unless you're asking for advice for your child when they are 3-4 months older; it will probably take that long for a response.
On Veteran's Day, it is time for another serious post. It never ceases to amaze me how incredible the community I work for is. Just this last field trip I had someone chaperone a couple days before their PCS (military move) while the moving trucks were at their house. I also had someone who got back from training and got his background check and volunteer packet completed and turned in at school that same day because we were low on chaperones. Additionally, I've had parents come on a field trip the day before a deployment and others come to meetings with me after having been on duty for 24+ hours. One parent came to parent-teacher conferences yesterday on crutches after breaking his ankle on a night jump the night before. I've witnessed a mom come in at lunch to say goodbye to her daughter before deploying that day. She ran back for another hug and we all cried. One of my little guys had both of his parents deploy on the same day for a year; his grandma came to live with him. This wasn't their first time doing that. Luckily, I have also been able to see my share of surprise homecomings and countdown excitedly with the kids when they know their parent is returning soon. This is just a part of their reality. They have long periods of time without their family member, holidays celebrated again at a later date, and many "see you later"s to their friends and loved ones. However, they also have friends all over the world, resiliency, courage, strength, appreciation, respect, and so much more. They are incredible. They all have so much going on in their lives and still make their family the top priority. Veterans, we appreciate all you do for your kids, the community, and our country. Families of veterans, we see and appreciate your sacrifices as well. You’re all heroes in every definition of the word and I feel honored to even be a part of your journey. ❤️💙
Look out for a different kind of veteran post coming soon. Veterans vs. Newbie (ie naive) Parents.
welcome to my mess
I've always dreamed of being one of those moms who makes Bento Box lunches with artisan sandwiches cut out into cute shapes along with carrot sticks and grapefruit that my perfect children will gobble up, but I am fairly certain my child is going to end up with a package of deli meat and a Snickers bar. I can barely get myself ready in the morning and I once screwed up a grilled cheese maker. Who knew the top part of the grilled cheese maker also heated up? Spoiler alert: everyone. I'm not sure who decided I was capable of raising a human, but they handed her off to me anyways and I love her more than I can begin to explain. However, love isn't magic--despite what Disney claims. I cannot suddenly wake up without 46 snoozes or manage my time well enough to have the opportunity to use conditioner in my hair. I'm still me. I just have a cute mini-me now. I have a master's degree in education and a participation award for adulting. Please follow me on my journey and give me a wave if you ever end up on the struggle bus with me. I also frequent the hot mess express, and I check my email on occasion. Wherever you run into me, just know I woke up like this. No, seriously...I didn't have time to do anything else.