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Posts Tagged ‘women’

Confession: I was a shitty mom even when LJ was in utero.  I HATED being pregnant. HATED it. For a hypochondriac with a smidge of obsessive-compulsive disorder: growing a tiny human being in my belly turned me into a crazy person (because being an OCD-ridden hypochondriac suffering from panic attacks wasn’t crazy enough. I needed more crazy.). Ask my husband. Ask my doctor.  Ask my old employers, my friends and parents. They’ll all tell you how unbearable I was. My doctor can tell you how I called him at home in a hysterical panic on both Christmas Eve AND Superbowl Sunday because the baby didn’t move for like, one second. My old principal can tell you how she would find me in the school nurse’s office during every prep period, because I was CONVINCED my blood pressure was through the roof. My family can tell you all about how much I complained and cried. Usually at the same time. All the time. ALL. THE. TIME.

I wanted to be pregnant, I really did. Yay! Babies with their tiny toes and wispy hair! First smiles melting our hearts! So cute so cute so cute! I was ordered to enjoy every minute of being pregnant, because after all, I would “glow” and feel great! It would be “magical”!

Let me tell you: there was no glowing involved, unless you count the melasma on my fair-skinned upper lip that made it look like I had a freckled Tom Selleck mustache. My hair didn’t morph into long and lustrous Rapunzel-like locks: it lost some of its curl, turned brown and gained 2 pounds of frizz. The hormone-induced post-nasal drip made me cough so much that I pulled a muscle in my chest that took months to heal. While I didn’t mind gaining weight at all (and I gained 40 lbs!), my frail, veal-like body DID mind. Apparently years of buying new yoga gear without actually DOING yoga was a mistake. I developed excruciating sciatica and pelvic separation at just 20 weeks: just when I was starting to show.  As I was expanding to grow this tiny human, my body was screaming, “WTF?!” I was pathetic.

My poor, poor husband. He was FREAKING OUT. He’s quick to admit that he was terrified of what was happening at the time, and it didn’t help that I was often found googling “pregnant pain in side” in a puddle of tears. He probably didn’t love when I’d frantically call him at work because I ate goat cheese in my salad and was now convinced our baby would be born with no feet and an IQ of 12. Hypochondria + google + ocd + panic attacks + pregnancy = RUN FOR THE HILLS BECAUSE THIS BITCH IS CRAZY. I was obsessed with every little ache; every little bump; every little flutter. If I could have rented an ultrasound machine, I would have stayed on the couch for the entire 9 months just watching. Waiting for something to go wrong (with the blood pressure cuff attached to my arm, of course).

I was so busy being batshit nuts I didn’t get to enjoy one second of it, and that’s why I felt guilty. Oh, the overwhelming, soul-crushing guilt. While friends were struggling with their fertility I had been lucky enough to get pregnant the moment we took the goalie off the ice. I was blessed, yet I felt awful and complained all the time: clearly I was an asshole and a despicable, ungrateful person. The guilt made me feel like a terrible mom before I even became one. Late at night I would lay in bed alone, hugging the gigantic full-body pregnancy pillow while my husband (still freaking out) played Call of Duty on the PS3, and I would talk to the baby in my belly: reassuring her that I loved her and was excited to meet her despite that fact that I sounded like such a miserable wretch.

In the days following my due date, when it was 9000 degrees outside, and I felt completely alienated from every pregnant woman in the history of the world: I turned to mint chocolate chip ice cream, and waited. Again, every woman kept assuring me that since it was my first kid, delivery would take forever, but I’d have an epidural and everything would be fine. Again, they were WRONG. So, so, SO painfully wrong…

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Mean mommy

In honor of the last day of women’s history month, a month where we recognized the strength, tenacity and fearlessness of females throughout history: I’m writing about rainbow cookies. Yep. That’s right, and no, I haven’t hit the bottle today (yet). Here’s the story:

LJ takes a music class a few blocks away from our apt every Friday at 4pm. 4:00 is an asinine time to register your toddler for any class, simply because it’s the tail-end of nap time: the sweetest, most precious time of every day. Waking up a sleeping kid; shoving a snack in their face; tossing them in the stroller all groggy-eyed and sprinting 3 blocks to cheerfully belt out “She Sells Seashells” is quite a feat. Usually, in order to get her up without a freak-out, I bribe her with something ridiculously tasty. M&Ms, chocolate covered pretzels, Oreos: whatever will do the trick and make everyone’s lives easier. It’s not an everyday thing, I swear, she usually eats really healthy organic food… but sometimes in a pinch we all need to bribe them. Cut the crap and be honest.

So on one particular day recently I grabbed a GIGANTIC rainbow cookie from Russo’s for her to nosh on in the stroller.  We looooove rainbow cookies in our home despite their horrifyingly bright, cancer-causing food coloring-laden craziness.  By the time we reached music, just as the previous class filled with younger babies was letting out, LJ was COVERED in rainbow cookie. Eyeing my kid’s chocolate smeared face while she struggled to put her baby in a ginormous Kelty backpack carrier, some mom I didn’t know looked at me and asked,

“What is she eating?”

“A rainbow cookie,” I replied.

“Oh. That’s an interesting snack,” she proclaimed with a raised eyebrow while she continued to struggle with the Kelty.

INTERESTING. I was thinking she’d say “Yum!”, or “NomNOM!”… but no.  She judged the sh*t. out. of. me. She SHAMED me, and all because of my kid’s SNACK. I sat there while LJ devoured the last neon crumb and watched this mom leave (heading back to the Appalachian Trail I suppose with that absurd backpack), and I thought about how NASTY we mothers can be to one another.  (Yes, I realize I just ripped on her also, but at least I only did it in my mind.)

Were moms always so bitchy and judgmental throughout history? Were women always so MEAN to each other? Did they get banned from playgroups for feeding their kid formula? Not using cloth diapers? Sleep training their babies? Or is this a new competitive phenomenon? You would think that becoming a parent would be the tie that finally binds us all together after the cliques of our younger years. After all, this parenting sh*t can be tough. We could use the support from one another, even if it’s just a sympathetic wink while your kid is face-down in a tantrum at the foot of the slide. At times, though, this seems WORSE than high school. People are more mean, and it sucks.

Sure, I have mom friends that I treasure and adore, but as a whole? I’m not about to celebrate women until we learn to play nice.

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