Category: Moms

Confessions of a tired mom

Before you become a parent, you have lofty ideas of the kind of parent you will be and the things you will (and will not) do. Then you have a kid (or two or three), you survive on a minimal amount of sleep and personal time and those ‘parenting ideals’ go right out the window.

I’m in a permanent state of tired as a parent and I’ve been know to tell a little white lie or take a shortcut here or there to make my life easier. I no longer judge other parents for showing up in pajamas to drop their kids off at school or letting their kids wear a super hero costume to the grocery store. We’re all doing our best to survive and stay sane while we raise happy, healthy kids.

Here are 10 confessions from this tired mom that probably shock pre-kid me:

  1. I have hidden in the bathroom to eat something I did not want to share with my kids.

  2. When my kids wake me up early on the weekends (ie before 6am), sometimes I hand them their iPads and some cereal so I can take a nap on the couch.
  3. I know all the words to the ‘Dora the Explorer’ and ‘Mickey Mouse Clubhouse’ intro songs.
  4. I have used baby wipes and hair detangler as a substitute for a bath when there just wasn’t time for a bath.
  5. I have sat in front of the television watching cartoons after my children have gone to bed, not realizing I’m still watching cartoons.
  6. I’ve told my girls we are out of candy/cookies/etc and then proceeded to eat the rest of the candy/cookies/etc.
  7. Since my kids are too young to tell time, I sometimes send them to bed 15-30 minutes early when they haven’t napped or are tired (or when I’m especially tired).
  8. I haven’t completed my 4 year old’s baby book and I have yet to start my 2 year old’s baby book.
  9. I let my children watch television before bed and even let them fall asleep watching it.
  10. I pay/paid my children to go potty in the toilet during potty training (whatever works right?!?).

Can you relate to any of these or have other mom confessions you’re ready to share?

A few weeks ago, I answered some of the most common mom questions regarding labor and delivery. Here is the next installment of mom questions answered: The good, the bad and the ugly of being a Mom.

What is the worst thing your kids have done?

This is a tough one. I guess the worst would have to be when my oldest was 2 (she’s currently 4 1/2), we were in a restaurant and she threw a glass on the ground. As it shattered on the floor, everyone in the restaurant turned around and looked at us like we had brought a monkey into a restaurant. Needless to say we promptly got the check, to go boxes for our food and left. I don’t think we went out to a restaurant with her for at least a few months after that incident.

What is your biggest pet peeve about being a parent?

My biggest pet peeve would be the constant judgement you get (or at least think that you get) from everyone around you. Whether it’s friends, family or a stranger from the grocery store, I feel like I’m constantly being judged based on the parenting decisions I make. Part of it is people actually saying judge-y things and giving unwanted opinions. The other part is my worry that I’m being judged (which may be in my head). Because of this, I do my best to try not to judge other parents. I feel like we all need to support the parents around us, no matter whether we agree with their decisions or not. We’re all doing the best we can to keep our kids alive right?!?

What is the best part of being a mom?

I think personally, I can often take being a mom for granted, because it really is awesome. I think the best part is when they put their arms around your neck and say ‘I love you mom’. Best feeling ever. It’s the one thing that can take away all the stress and frustration and turn me into a bowl of mommy mush.

How do you get your children to eat vegetables?

The only vegetable my children willingly eat is potatoes, in the form of french fries. On rare occasion, I can get them to eat spaghetti and I sneak extra veggies into their marinara. Check out this post for my marinara recipe and other sneaky ways I get my kids to eat vegetables.

Who is the mom you admire the most?

My mom of course. She was a single mom that put herself through college while I was in grade school in order to give me a better life. She always supported me and pushed me to do my best. She put me through college without any student loans and now she’s an amazing Grandma to my little girls. I hope I can be half the amazing parent she was/is.

How has life changed since becoming a parent?

When you have kids, your life becomes less about you and all about your kids. My weeknights used to include happy hour, going to the gym and staying up late watching television. My weekends were all about going out with friends, weekend brunch and lounging around the house. Now, my weeknights include picking up the kids, feeding them dinner, getting them ready for and into bed, then trying to stay awake long enough to have a coherent conversation with my husband. On the weekends, we’re hanging out at the park, playing outside or inside, watching cartoons, coloring, and binge watching shows on Netflix after the kiddos go to bed.

I love my kids to pieces, but sometimes I miss the carefree lifestyle we lived before we had kids (though I don’t know if I could stay up past 11pm on the weekends to go out anyways).

You are potty training and you find that your little one has smeared ‘poop’ on the wall. How do you react?

In my head, I think I would be screaming mad. On the outside, I would attempt to remain calm while I clean up my child and tell them that kind of behavior is not okay. Then I would hand them a rag and ask them to help me clean it up so they understand the consequences of their actions. This would be a really hard situation to not just freak out, especially for me.

We’ve been lucky to have never run into this kind of situation with our oldest. We’re working on potty training my youngest right now, so fingers crossed that this doesn’t happen (and that if it does I can remain somewhat calm).

When do you find time for yourself?

I’m really bad at this but I try to make it to the gym or out for a run at least 3 days a week (I work out at home the other days) in order to get some alone time. Also, my husband and I try to go out for at least one date night per month to get some couple alone time.

What is your biggest failure as a parent?

As a parent, you would never admit that you have a favorite child, even though you probably do. In our house, the ‘favorite’ situation occurred when we had our second child. I was breastfeeding which meant I was the main caregiver for our second child, while my husband took over a lot of the parenting duties of our first child. This naturally turned baby #1 into my husband’s ‘favorite’ and baby #2 into my ‘favorite’. We try really hard to not show any favoritism towards either child but sometimes we just gravitate toward one child more than the other.

About a week ago, my oldest asked why I give more attention to her sister than her. #PARENTINGFAIL It broke my heart! I never want my children to feel like I show an obvious preference towards one of them. She then said it was okay because her dad gives her more attention than her sister. We’re now making even a bigger effort to show equal attention to each of our girls.

What has been your proudest moment as a mom?

Whenever I see my oldest sharing with her little sister it makes me really proud. She is a great big sister, always giving her toys to her sister to play with, including her in games (or trying to at least), trying to teach her words and giving her hugs when she is sad. I’m so proud to be her mama.

You’re in  the store with a full cart and your baby starts crying frantically…what do you do?

This has happened to me more times than I’d like to admit. I would usually try to distract baby with a toy or one of the items in the cart. I’ve even been known to bribe my children with a cookie or other treat. If all else fails, abandon  your cart, get in the car and try again later.

What is guaranteed to make your child smile?

Tickling is usually my go to to get them out of a bad mood or make them smile. Also, doing something silly will generally put a smile on their face. My husband is much better at this than I am. He’s great about getting down on the floor with them, playing around and being super silly. He can always get them smiling and giggling.

What is the last thing your child cried about?

Earlier this week, my youngest was crying because my oldest called her a baby. I’ve never see two individuals love each other as much as my girls do but sometimes they can be downright mean to each other, without really understanding how they hurt each other. I can only imagine what they will be like as teenagers.

Have you ever been embarrassed by your child?

Yes. Most recently, I was out in a restaurant by myself with both of my daughters (what was I thinking). My youngest was acting up, screaming and generally causing a scene. As I was trying to get her to stop flinging food around with her fork, she proceeded to dump my plate of food into my lap. I was extremely embarrassed. However, I do have to say that it was probably not fair of me to be embarrassed of my 2 year old, for acting like a 2 year old, when I probably shouldn’t have taken her out to a restaurant when she wasn’t really ready for it.

Being a parent is the best thing in the world, but it’s also one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Watching my children play makes all of the sacrifices worth it (even though some night I’d rather drink a glass of wine and go to bed at 7pm).

I found this list of some of the most popular questions for moms and started reading the hilarious answers. I thought it would be fun to go through and answer some of the questions myself. So here are my answers, starting with the pregnancy questions.

What was your first reaction when finding out (you were pregnant)?

With my first child, I found out Christmas morning, which was exciting and made telling our family even more fun. We had been trying for about 4 months so we were hoping for it. It was a few days before my period was supposed to start but I took the test anyways because how cool to find out you’re pregnant on Christmas morning! I’m pretty sure I ran from the bathroom and jumped on the bed with excitement to wake my husband up and tell him about his ‘Christmas present’. His Christmas present for me was an espresso machine. Oops!

With my second, I cried right after I saw that the test was positive. I’d had a challenging week and though we had been trying to have a second child, we were beginning to doubt that it was the right time. Obviously, everything worked itself out, but at the time I was a mix of happiness and anxiety.

What was your most common food craving, or most unusual food craving?

Avocado. It’s kind of a weird thing to crave but I ate avocado on anything and everything during both pregnancies. During my second pregnancy, I was also obsessed with McDonald’s french fries.

What was the hardest part about being pregnant?

Having to abide by the long list of things you couldn’t do (no drinking, no deli meat, no sleeping on your back, no caffeine, no going in a hot tub, no advil, no this, no that). I don’t really like being told what not to do.

Did you find out if your baby was a boy or girl? Why or why not?

We found out at 17 weeks with both of our girls. We went to a special ultrasound clinic that would guarantee they could tell you the gender of your baby at 17 weeks (thought you usually don’t find out with your doctor until around 20 weeks). We’re impatient. We’re also planners, so we were really antsy to find out what we were having so that we could make sure we had everything ready and finalize our names.

With our first child, we had our parents come along. We were pretty much okay with either a boy or a girl at that time, though when we found out we were having a girl, I think my husband’s mind immediately went to worrying about dating and teenage girls.

With our second, we were both pretty convince we were having a boy, to the point where we started calling baby by the boy name we had chosen. When they told us it was a girl, I gave a half-hearted ‘Yay’ and then cried once we got outside. Now, I’m thrilled we have two girls, but at the time I was a little sad, especially because I knew it was the last baby for us.

Did you prepare for labor and delivery with classes, books, birth videos, etc?

I read ‘What to Expect’ right away when I found out I was pregnant with baby #1, so that gave me a rough idea of what to expect. My husband and I attended a 6 week class about labor and delivery that we both felt was pretty useless because we both knew that I was planning on getting an epidural and the class talked a lot about how to naturally handle pain.

We also took a CPR/first aid class, which was helpful, as well as a newborn care class, which did a really good job of explaining the in’s and out’s of breastfeeding.

Where were you, what were you doing when you went into labor?

With my first child, my husband and his entire family were out of town at a family reunion. I was vacuuming out his brand new car at the car wash a few hours before going to pick him up from the airport when my water broke. I ended up driving myself to the hospital. Luckily he was boarding his plane when I called to give him the news so he made it in plenty of time.

With my second child, I was induced so I was already in the hospital. Not very exciting.

What was your labor experience? Natural, epidural, meds, c-section? How long were you in labor?

I had normal births with epidurals with both of my girls. I’m a big weenie and I don’t do well with pain. My first labor was about 23 hours and the second was about 6 hours.

What were your first thoughts when you saw your baby?

I was smitten with both of my girls from the moment I saw them. With my first, I was a little scared considering I had absolutely no idea what to do with a baby. Luckily for my second, I figured it all out with the first.

Is your child/children named after anyone?

Both of my daughters share middle names with one of their grandmothers. Our first, Lucille Sue, has the same middle name as my husband’s mother and sister, while our second, Olivia Jane, shares her middle name with my mother.

What advice would you offer new moms about pregnancy, labor and delivery?

Pregnancy sucks. But some people love it. It’s nine months so either way, you’ll get through it. Rest as much as you can because you won’t get much rest once baby comes. And don’t freak out about getting all the baby crap. They need a place to sleep (most likely a pack ‘n’ play or bassinet in your room), some diapers and some pjs.

Labor and delivery can be scary, even with normal births like I had. If you’re planning on getting an epidural, get it as soon as you can. There is no sense in waiting for the pain to get worse. If you’re planning for no medication, good for you sister, but don’t be afraid to change the plan if you need to!

Want more mom questions answered? Check out my post about the good, the bad and the ugly parts of being a mom.

I never really thought of myself as a liar. Maybe I embellish here or there or tell a little white lie to keep someone from getting their feelings hurt. Definitely never would have called myself a liar.

And then I became a mom and found myself lying to my kids all day, every day. I feel bad but sometimes it’s just easier to tell you kids a lie to get them to do something you want them to do. Why argue about whether or not they can have a cookie when you can just say you don’t have any cookies?

I know people did this to me as a kid, so I don’t feel bad doing it to my kids. I mean, I turned out relatively fine. My favorite lie was from my Grandmother. If she didn’t want me to eat something, she would tell me “That will give you worms.”

Here are just a few of the lies I’ve told as a parent:

  • Cleaning is fun.
  • If you eat candy, your teeth will fall out.
  • The pool is only open on Fridays.
  • Shots don’t hurt.
  • Your toy must be lost.
  • Mommy’s phone can’t take pictures.
  • The park is closed.
  • Babies come out of your belly button.
  • The green stuff in your food is not vegetables, it’s seasoning.
  • Your bike doesn’t work in the rain.
  • The dog is allergic to people food and he will get sick and die if you feed him.
  • Dairy Queen is out of ice cream.
  • We can’t FaceTime with Anna and Elsa because they don’t have iPhones in Airendale.
  • Santa will come take your toys away if you’re bad after Christmas.
  • This isn’t a candy bar, it’s a vegetable bar for moms.
  • We don’t have batteries for that toy.
  • Chuck E. Cheese is only open for birthday parties.

What are some of the mom lies you’ve told your kids?

We all have a list of things we dream about doing one day but a lot of them never actually get done. A few years ago, I read a post over on Living Big about bucket lists and felt like I should start an actual list, in an effort to finally start crossing some things off. The last thing I wanted was to look back years from now and regret not having done the things I’d always wanted to.

As it should be, my bucket list is an ever changing document, as I’m continually adding new things.

Here is my personal list as of right now, including the things that I’ve done (because those crossed out items are so gratifying):

    1. Take a cooking class in a foreign country (channeling Julia Child of course)
    2. Run a half marathon
    3. Visit Paris in the springtime
    4. Go to New York Fashion Week
    5. Buy (and drink) a bottle of Dom Perignon
    6. Start a blog about anything
    7. Watch my daughters get married
    8. Start/join a book club
    9. Become a wine tasting expert (practice makes perfect)
    10. Learn to surf (preferably somewhere warm)
    11. Visit New England in the fall
    12. Own a piece of vintage Chanel
    13. Run Hood to Coast
    14. Learn to take amazing photographs
    15. Take part in a grape stomp at a vineyard
    16. Run in the Rock n Roll Marathon in Las Vegas
    17. Take a painting class in Tuscany
    18. Learn to play the guitar (at least one semi-recognizable song)
    19. Complete a triathlon
    20. Stay in a penthouse suite at the Plaza overlooking Central Park
    21. Turn stand up paddle boarding into a hobby

I think making a physical bucket list (on paper, your computer, your phone, your wall, wherever) is a great excercise to help you focus on what you really want to do in life. And it keeps you accountable and pushes you to start accomplishing things so you can check them off. Just looking at my list makes me want to start doing more!

I’m planning to start a bucket list with my husband and my daughters, as I know there are a lot of things that pertain to them that are not included in this list (I left those things purposely off this list so we could make our own lists together).

Wondering whether you should start your own bucket list? The answer is yes, but check out this post over on Living Big for reasons why you should and tips to get you started.

What items are on your bucket list that I should consider adding?

Head on over to Pinterest and check out my Bucket List board for more inspiration.

A letter to tired moms

Dear tired unappreciated moms,

I feel you. It’s been one of those days, weeks, years where you seem to give and give and just when you think you have nothing left, you give some more.

You give so much to your kids. You deal with hectic, beyond frustrating bedtimes, just to be woken in the middle of the night (sometimes multiple times) and then again earlier in the morning than you’d like. And if they don’t wake you, you’ll mysteriously wake on your own in a panic that they didn’t wake you so therefore something is wrong.

You rarely get praise or thank you’s and not because you’ve raised ungrateful children, but because they don’t realize everything you do and give up for them (and probably won’t until they have kids of their own).

Momma’s, really, you deserve an award, a trophy, a freaking medal for all that you do, day in and day out. But you have something better. You have a child. And while they can be a pain in the ass and drive you to your breaking point, they’re totally worth it. Sometimes it is easy to forget how fortunate we are to be moms and to be such and integral part of these little people’s lives.

So from one exhausted, under appreciated mom to another, thanks for all that you do.

And to all the exhausted, under appreciated dads out there, I know that you experience the same feelings that we do as moms, so for all of your hard work and for putting up with tired, exhausted moms, thanks to you too!

As a pregnant woman and new mom, you worry about nearly everything. You’re bombarded with advice, warnings and recommendations from friends, family and a host of baby books and articles, which can induce anxiety no matter how cool you are.

During my first pregnancy, I worried that maybe I wouldn’t be a good mom. Maybe I didn’t have the mom gene, maybe I wouldn’t like being a mom. Maybe I wouldn’t have a natural mothering instinct and just ‘know’ what to do like everyone said I would. I didn’t have a lot of experience with babies. I had never held more than a couple babies before my first child was born. Her first diaper change was my first diaper change. But when they laid her on my chest right after being born, I knew that I would do everything I could to give her everything. It was definitely love at first sight.

When we decided to have a second child, I didn’t have the apprehension about being a mom. I mean, I had kept my first child alive for 2 years, and while I was nowhere near the perfect mom, I wasn’t worried about surviving baby #2 (or about baby #2 surviving in our family). And we already had all the baby stuff left over from baby #1 was, so we were pretty much set.

I think there were a lot of things that I did differently with baby #2. I was also less of a mess in the weeks after having baby, which I think everyone around me appreciated.

So, as a tribute to all the soon-to-be or recent second-time (and third-time and fourth-time) mommies out there, here are 8 things that moms do differently with baby #2:

  1. You don’t stress as much about what you eat while pregnant. With baby #1, you probably followed all the rules about what to not eat and drink. I cut out everything from lunch meat to coffee to sugar. While pregnant with baby #2, I drank coffee (like 1 cup per day, not triple espressos), ate sandwiches every other day and scarfed sugary treats to my hearts content. I wasn’t chugging beer or eating sushi, but I definitely became more relaxed with my restricted pregnant diet.
  2. You stop counting your pregnancy in days. You are chasing another kid around. You don’t have time for an app or daily countdown of the number of days remaining. I also didn’t know what fruit or vegetable they’re currently the size of.
  3. You don’t rush to create a perfectly coordinated nursery before baby arrives. Our first baby had a beautiful nursery, complete with Pottery Barn bedding, coordinating wall color and custom artwork that I made (even though she slept in a pack and play in our room for the first 6 months). Poor baby #2 had no nursery. She slept in the pack and play for 6 months and then slept in office/guest room in the pack and play until she was ready to move into a big kid bed in the bedroom she shares with her big sister.
  4. You don’t worry about breaking or hurting newborn baby #2. You’ve been here before. You are probably a diaper changing ninja who can feed a baby while phone surfing Facebook at the same time.
  5. You don’t dress them like baby fashionistas. With baby #1, you carefully pre-wash (in unscented detergent) and fold/hang all baby clothes, organized by month. They’re always dressed in a new outfit, complete with coordinating accessories, even if you’re not leaving the house. Baby #2 gets a mish mash of stained, pre-worn onesies and pajamas, because they’re just going to throw up or poop on them so why get them all dressed up? Oh and no one has time to fold baby clothes when you have 2 kids, so you probably just keep them in the laundry basket.
  6. You’re a little less concerned about dirt and germs. The diaper commercial that show the comparison between your first baby (where she makes the girl cover her body in hand sanitizer before she holds the baby) vs. your second (she hands baby #2 off the the dirt covered mechanic) is a bit extreme but true. With #2, I wasn’t crazy about people washing their hands before holding her and on the occassion that she used a pacifier, a quick rinse was enough ‘sanitizing’ for my peace of mind.
  7. You take fewer pictures. You’re too busy taking care of two kids to document their every movement with your iPhone. Don’t worry you’ll still take some pictures, thought they’ll probably never make it into a baby book (at least until they’re toddlers anyways).
  8. You stop doubting yourself (as much). You act like you know what to do because you do (or at least you have a pretty good idea). You’re not as hard on yourself and you don’t stress about every single decision and how it will affect them 20 years down the road.

All that really matters is that moms love baby #2 (and #3 and #4) just as much as the first child. You just spend more time being a mom than worrying about being a mom when you’re a second time mom.

Every year I make the same resolutions for the new year (lose weight, get organized, save money, blah blah blah). And some years I accomplish some of these things, and some years I don’t. I was leaning towards ba hum bugging the resolution thing this year since I feel like it’s never really that much of a motivator and then I just feel like a failure (and that’s just dumb).

But in favor of making good small changes this  year, I decided to do something a little different, and a little more detailed, to change things up a bit. I’m making 5 resolutions, one for each area of my life. I’m also getting a little more specific than usual as I think vague resolutions are harder to keep. I’ve included a plan (yeah some of the plans are a little vague but just work with me here).

Wife
Resolution: I will make more of an effort to show my husband he is loved. Ok he knows I love him but I often get wrapped up in the kids and life and forget to really express to him how much I love him.
Plan: Do one thing every day to make him feel special and add a daily reminder to my phone calendar. Yeah this sounds dumb but I seriously need a daily reminder to keep myself accountable and make sure I don’t start slacking. Thinking around 7:30 pm right before kids go to bed so that if I haven’t already done something that day I can be sure to do so in the few hours we have alone together.

Mom
Resolution: I will work on being more patient with my kids. This I can be really bad with, especially during hectic moments like trying to get out the door in the morning.
Plan: Planning extra time for hectic activities so we’re not so rushed. Also taking time to slow down and enjoying moments instead of just worrying about checking things off my list.

Home
Resolution: I will get (and keep) my home more organized. No more searching for things because I can’t remember where I put them or because they’re lost under a pile of crap.
Plan: I’m taking a 40 bags in 40 days challenge starting January 2nd that will help me get rid of a lot if the stuff I’ve been hoarding over the last couple years (come back Jan 2nd to learn more). HealthResolution: I will continue to try to be the healthiest version of myself. Not only do I want to feel confident in my own skin and be healthy, but I want my girls to see that being strong and healthy are an important part of life. And that obsessing about being healthy is different than obsessing about being skinny.
Plan: I’m planning to eliminate most processed crap, dairy and gluten from my diet (not because I think everyone should but because I simply feel better when I eat whole, natural foods). I also plan to continue running, completing two relays and another half marathon this year.

Personal
Resolution: I will take better care of myself (including making time for myself). It’s so easy to get caught up in the needs of everyone else in my life and forget about taking care of myself (like forgetting to eat dinner) or not taking a few minutes to myself each day to decompress (so I don’t want to punch people).
Plan: Build in time each day into my personal routines. Maybe this means 15 minutes less of nighttime TV or using my lunch hours to do something for me.

I’m looking forward to the new year and what it has in store. Oh and I’ll also be redesigning my blog and moving my domain in the next week so stay tuned!!!

Once upon a time, Halloween was about finding the sluttiest sexiest costume possible, throwing it together with some fishnet tights or thigh highs (who wears those when it’s not for a costume anyways) and a fun party to wear it all to.

Now as a mom, Halloween takes on a whole new meaning. It’s all about getting costumes for the little ones that will fit over sweatpants and rainboots, and buying insane amounts of candy (we’re talking about enough to give an elephant diabetes). There’s also the fun of stealing ‘testing’ your kids’ candy to make sure it’s not poisoned. The parent that thought that little white lie up was a GENIUS! Funny how all the chocolate candy is usually the most ‘at risk’ for possible poison.

This year, I was given the task of tracking down two of the most coveted kid costumes for my girls: Anna and Elsa from Frozen. Knowing these costumes would go faster than socks at a Black Friday sale, I shopped early (like in September) and found the perfect costumes for my little ice princesses (which of course will be covered in chocolate 5 minutes after they put them on).

My ‘Mom’ costume these days generally consists of throwing on my trusty witches hat and calling it good. Sadly, my hat did not survive Halloween last year (thanks to some sticky hands and a rogue tootsie pop) so I was stoked when I saw these chic alternatives to a Halloween costume over on Dress Your Guests. Loving that I could easily throw something similar together from the items I have at home with some fun orange accessories and call it good! That means more time for candy ‘testing’.

If you’re looking for something a bit more costume-y, I’m  loving the casual take Stitch Fix did in their latest blog post about putting together a last-minute costume from items you already have in your closet.

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