Our lives have new meanings as a mom, and so do words.
Alarm Clock (Without Kids): The device that wakes you up
Alarm Clock (With Kids): The device that goes off 3 hours after you got up to remind you what your life used to be like
Blue Cup (Without Kids): A cup that is blue in color
Blue Cup (With Kids): The cause of World War 3
Party (Without Kids): An event full of booze and questionable decisions
Party (With Kids): An event full of boogers and WHO THE HELL GAVE HER A SECOND CUPCAKE?! We aren't going to sleep for a week.
Going Out to Dinner (Without Kids): A social event in which delicious food is consumed
Going Out to Dinner (With Kids): Shovel it in as fast as you can before someone needs a....too late. No warm food for you.
Coffee (Without Kids): A drink that is consumed on lazy Sunday mornings
Coffee (With Kids): Life
Friday Night (Without Kids): The night in which you put on your heels, go out with the girls, and drink all night
Friday Night (With Kids): The night in which you put your jammies on, curl up with your Netflix, and try to keep your eyes open until 8
Shopping (Without Kids): A leisurely activity often done socially with friends
Shopping (With Kids): Can I go without the kids? No? Can it be ordered on Amazon? No? Then we don't need it.
Jogging (Without Kids): Something done as a workout
Jogging (With Kids): Something done to keep your offspring from killing themselves. Stay out of the...! Don't touch the..! You're going to...!
Cookie (Without Kids): A sweet treat
Cookie (With Kids): Something grandparents give to get back at their kids for all the sleepless nights they had
The Cutest Thing Ever (Without Kids): Puppies
The Cutest Thing Ever (With Kids): Literally everything your child does
Being a mom also comes with some brand new vocabulary:
Mom Hand: When you cup your hands to catch vomit. Why? You don't know. They still got it everywhere and now you have to figure out what to do with that handful of vomit.
Poopocolypse: When your baby earns a bath and makes you consider putting your house on the market.... The smell may dissipate but the memory will last forever.
Want to know the most hurtful thing you can say about a teacher? That they don’t care about their class. I say this as I’m leaving 30 minutes after my duty day to go get my 3 month old daughter because I had things I had to do for my class. And you know what? It doesn’t end there. I have more to do at home. I also have to go to the store to grab class snack for those kiddos who forget it. Class snack is not all I buy. I buy supplies, treasure box toys, stickers, etc. I don’t do it because I have to, I do it because I care. I care about little Johnny’s wiggly tooth and that little Jill’s mom is sick. I care about the fact that little Bobby doesn’t have crayons at home to do his homework, so I send some with him. I care that little Susie is having trouble with the “th” sound and that little Kelly skips 35 every time she counts by 5. As I’m feeding my baby I’m worrying about the child who perpetually doesn’t have a snack having enough food when he’s at home and trying to come up with a way to send some home without the parent being offended. As my husband is giving the baby a bath I’m grading papers and planning strategic intervention groups. As I’m going to bed I’m reviewing how my day went and what I can improve on. When I’m up at 3:30 AM feeding my baby, I’m thinking about strategies to help little Lucas communicate with his peers. And I’m by no means “out of the ordinary”— there are teachers everywhere doing all of these things. Every day. We care about our students. We care about their education, their family, their happiness, their interests, their goals, and their lives. We love them as our own and we continue to long after they’ve left our rooms. We do everything we can to make sure they know they’re loved and that we care about them. So, please choose your words wisely. ❤️
...is a phrase dripping in sarcasm and utilized pretty much daily. Yet again I had this idyllic picture in my head of how something with my baby was going to go and life laughed in my face. We were going to get dressed up in cute fall outfits, wander around the pumpkin patch with the sounds of happy babies as our soundtrack, and leave with pictures that Anne Geddes would be jealous of. It was close to 90 degrees out and it had just rained. If swamp baby booty is a thing, the Swamp Thing would have nothing on her. Not a good start. My husband frequently points out that the adventures I drag her on are not actually for her and just for the photos. I can't just fill up a photo album with selfies. Our second child would have no good ammo for the "You don't even care about me. Look at all the fun things in her baby album and mine is just a couple of selfies on the couch that never made it off the computer" argument, and what kind of parent would I be if I deprived my future child of that? So we prop our babies up against our pumpkin arrangement and with sweat dripping down our backs we tirelessly try to make them smile. Anyone who knows me knows I have a bit of OCD and yet I plopped my baby down in dirt and then laid in the dirt myself to try to get her attention at eye level. Then my sweet, 3 month old baby fell over. Face planted right in the dirt. And the 3 adults just laughed hysterically. No worries, the baby isn't still sitting in the dirt at a pumpkin patch. I was able to pull myself together enough to pick her up. She didn't cry so I brushed her off and went back to it. As always, Kins exacted her revenge by spitting up on me several times. The pediatrician says "acid reflux" but I say "spite." Then we get back to the car and realize we have left a door open the entire time. It was probably subconsciously to air the car out as we had to roll down the windows of the car due to her poop smell before we got to the pumpkin patch. I'm not ready for her to eat solid food. Her poop already smells like a grown man's after competitive chili cheese dog eating. That should make her dad happy though; it might be a dating deterrent.
Occupational hazards. Every job has them. Some more than others. There are a lot of things that I say and do as a mom and a teacher that I didn’t realize would be part of my life. At this point, I’m essentially a cheerleader for another human’s bowel movements (C’mon baby! You can do it! Get those yucky poops outta there!). And half of those times she gets that poop out right on mommy’s clothes. I’m not sure what the average number of blowouts are for a baby but... I have an overachiever on my hands. Harvard, here we come.
Here are some of the other fun things that come with our job descriptions:
-Wiping vomit off of you with a baby wipe and continuing on your day. Well, maybe throwing a little body spray on top of it if you’re feeling fancy.
-Kids sneezing in our face. Repeatedly.
-Wet shoelaces. Why are they wet?!
-The bathroom monitor in the boy’s bathroom coming out and saying “I have some bad news.” The terror that come over me after that phrase was indescribable...
-Sniffing another human’s butt in public.
-Catching vomit. With a trash can, with your hands, with your face.....
-Having a student crawl out under the bathroom stall and then give you a big hug.
It’s a miracle I haven’t had the plague. Unfortunately hazmat suits are out of my budget. I’ve looked.
Parents can add a lot to their resume. They are maids, chefs, teachers, chauffeurs, personal shoppers, stylists... but they’re missing an incredible opportunity. They can add bomb squad specialist on there. I'm fairly certain anyone who can cut a baby's nails can also diffuse a bomb. The steady hands and focus needed during such a tense time is no joke....
And also, I cut her skin a tiny bit and I'm fairly certain I'll never forgive myself. 😫
On a related note-- anyone know what the Guiness World Record is for longest baby fingernails? If we have a goal it doesn't make me a coward. 😂
If you don’t get enough experience during your baby nail cutting years... you will have other opportunities. Like when those sweet babies become teenagers... choosing your words to not incite a blowup is much like picking the blue wire or the red wire.
Alligator wrestling may be an option too. It’s all in your muscle memory once you’ve changed a toddler.
Then comes threats of bodily harm to your spouse. I mean, are you even really married if you haven’t threatened to karate chop your husband in the neck? If you think dieting is a test of your willpower- think again. Those people who try to get pregnant to make their relationship stronger are in for a rude awakening. The only things that will get stronger while you’re sleep deprived with a screaming baby is your willpower and your relationship with the Lord. “Lord, give me the strength not to hurt this man sleeping peacefully while the baby screams.” I have gotten excessively good at sighing loudly enough and flopping back down on the bed violently enough to wake him up because if I’m not sleeping... nobody is sleeping. Not only are you exhausted as a mom, you’re smelly too. Hell hath no fury like a baby whose mom has tried to shower. There is some cruel Fibbonacci Sequence of motherhood. 0 happy babies, 1 minute shower, 1 minute sleep, 2 AM feedings, 3 outfit changes, 🎶 5 golden rings 🎶... that have fallen to the floor but are still going in baby’s mouth because I went through all the paci wipes in 3 days and have since given up on... well, most things. I’m just considering it as getting a jump start on “second time mom” behavior.
The mom club. You’ll know when you’re in it. You will be able to see another mom out in public and say “I’m one of you” with just a look. A very tired, frazzled look. A look that says “I’ve seen some shit. Literally.” I was inducted this very way- with my baby rocketing her poop all over my arm and the wall across the room. If the eyes don’t give away the membership status, the appearance should. You will find that our offspring are much more put together and fashionable than we are. My baby matches and is accessorized. My version of accessories these days is a spit up stain. I’m at the mom level of “that’s an acceptable amount of vomit to wear out of the house.” I’m just waiting to level up to the point where someone awards me a mini van. That’s how that goes, right?
Tomorrow I will return funny anecdotes but it just doesn’t feel right today. The hate and violence that is in the world breaks my heart. It makes me incredibly emotional thinking about my sweet baby growing up in this time. Today I am re-sharing a post I made before the beginning of the school year. My thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by the senseless tragedy in Las Vegas.
Things are weighing on me heavily and while I can't say much politically because of my job what I can say is:
I'm about to start a new school year with a class full of first graders whose parents fight for this country. This will be my seventh year with the privilege of working with these amazing families at the school. These little six and seven year olds will come into a new class. Some will know some friends from kindergarten, but there will be a lot of new faces being a military community. There will continue to be students coming and going throughout the year because of this. They will accept them in and make friends with people because they're PEOPLE, not colors or religions or political parties. They see someone who also likes dinosaurs, who has a different favorite book but loves to play tag and who makes them laugh. Love is the default of children. Hate is taught. While creating a wonderful classroom community is always a goal, I am approaching this year with even more passion for creating a community of love and kindness in my classroom. We will respect differences. We will make sure to include everyone and make sure no one feels lonely or excluded. We will welcome new friends. We will interact with kindness and compassion. We will get to know each other and love everyone for who they are as a person. Focusing on the children will get me through as I see hope for the future when I watch them comfort those who are sad, make each other feel accepted, cheer each other on, and give hugs to friends in need and just to express how much they love each other. Love wins. It always does. We just have to continue to nurture it. Go get 'em, teachers. Keep making the difference. ❤️
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.