Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

IMG_0319I’m 33, a mother of two, and officially back on the market.  No, I’m not looking for a man (I have a husband who cleans the kitchen nightly- who in their right mind would get rid of that?).  I’m talking about the play dating scene.  The meat market that is music class, Gymboree, a park, or wherever you take your kids as a stay-at-home parent to keep from losing your sanity.  These places are chock full of moms (I say moms here because that is mostly what I run into- although I do have a stay-at-home dad friend in the boys “gym class”) who, in between hovering over their kiddos, are also surveying the room, looking for a possible play date partner.   Play date partners are essential to help you through the monotonous days that sometimes comprise raising children under five.

You see someone who looks relatively normal across the way.  By normal I mean to say that she isn’t sporting prison tattoos or breastfeeding her five-year-old.  The two of you strike up a conversation.  Here is where kids really come in handy.  You ALWAYS have an ice-breaker, something to make small-talk about.  “Oh wow, he’s really mobile – how old is he?” or usually in my case “Wow, are both of them yours? I don’t know how you do it!” (uh, I have no choice, and that is also the reason that you have jeans and make-up on and appear to have washed your hair in the last two days while I am barely managing to sport this t-shirt which I may or may not have slept in last night- I honestly can’t remember).

My point is, there is always something to talk about, and contrary to the actual dating scene, its refreshingly never about yourself.  This somehow makes it easier for an introvert such as myself to talk to complete strangers with relative ease.   Although at least with the regular dating scene, you did have adult beverages which really made everyone so much more interesting and deep.  Maybe they should have a cocktail hour at the Little Gym.  I’ll drop it into the suggestion box.  Anonymously,  of course.

This small-talk sometimes leads to an exchanged number or email address and a promise to “get the kids together.”  Of course, all of your kids are under two and could care less about “getting together.”  Their main concern is whether there is an appropriate amount of Bunny Grahams in your purse for the ride home.  Everyone knows that the play dates are for the parents at this age.  So it doesn’t matter how cute or smart that little kid is, if his mom is a total psycho, the play date ain’t happening.

So you leave with the hope and promise of a new number or email stored away in your iPhone.  But how long should you wait before you text or email?  You don’t want the other mom to think you are desperate, that you can’t handle a day or two alone with your kids with nothing but you and a website of “Montessori- inspired” activities to keep them from a total breakdown.  Because of course you would never just put on the television at 3 in the afternoon and beg your children to watch Baby Einstein videos while you lay on the couch with a pillow over your head….

After the first play date comes the inevitable post-date analysis.  Was she totally offended that my boys smeared peanut butter and banana on her rather expensive looking carpet and drank her baby’s breast-milk?  Can I stomach the fact that she actually makes her kids gluten-free, whole-wheat, vanilla wafers from scratch and barely managed to contain her disgust when I whipped out very non-organic fig newtons to prevent a break-down on the ride home?  What about that I know waaay too much about her breastfeeding habits after one date?  Or maybe she’s just not that into me.

I have met some great moms through this process.  A couple of us have been dating for over three months! I also have one that I am reserving judgment on.  She may have swept her crazy under the rug just enough at the first introduction, but some of those dust bunnies were peeking out from under the rug on our first date.  Just peeking, though, so I think she deserves another chance.  That, and I’m pretty sure that by next Thursday at 3 p.m. I’ll meet Ted Kaczynski for a play date just to get out of my house.

IMG_0371

Read Full Post »

It’s nap time here. A truly blessed time of day in the life of any mother- and I don’t care how much you adore your child(ren).  My boys have recently started napping TOGETHER and CONSISTENTLY in the afternoon for between one and a half to two hours.  And it only took 11 months.  Sometimes, after I have finally wrangled them into bed, there are so many things racing through my head that I need to do, should do, and CAN do that I end up sitting on the couch with my dog and staring outside because I have no idea where to begin!

I’ve decided that on some days I should leave all of the bottle cleaning, laundry, cooking and bill paying until after my husband gets home and after the boys are in bed and use this time for me.  Which means I am working on blog posts again.  But until I finish the post I am currently working on, I ran across this quote which I loved and wanted to share.  I actually ran across it twice, the first time when I was watching a special on the History Channel over President’s Day weekend, and the second just today as I was reading another woman’s blog.  Enjoy.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

Read Full Post »

I once thought that lists as blog entries were a somewhat lazy substitute for organizing one’s thoughts.  I changed my mind a bit, however, because a list seemed the only appropriate way to distill into a halfway cogent structure the muddle that has been my brain recently.  I was thinking about what the subject of my next blog post would be, and feeling guilty again that so much time had passed since the last entry.  Every topic that came to mind of course was baby-related. This was frustrating to me because I had promised myself prior to giving birth that I would not be completely defined by my children, that it was essential to have a life and interests outside of them.  I confess, I also smugly thought that I would not become one of “those people,” you know, the ones who talk about nothing but their kids all the time.  Let me just say up front that the birth of my boys completely eradicated many of my smug thoughts about “those people.”  The following is a list of random anecdotes about my current life with twins so far that have been bouncing around in my brain like a pin-ball machine whenever I sit down to try to write.  I think I need to cut myself a break.  Having two three-and-a-half month old babies pretty much ensures that the only thing on my mind is BABIES (and occasionally the dog who lays on the couch all day and makes me feel guilty for neglecting her…oh, and my husband, sometimes).  So I figured I would get over my reticence to write about nothing but my kids and get it all out in one post.

  1. Poop.

Yes, poop.  I specifically recall a good friend of mine telling me that when you have kids, you will be obsessed with it.  When do they poop, how do they act when they poop, what does the poop look like, smell like, etc.  You get the picture.  I of course knew I would never be so banal as to let a bodily function invade my everyday discussions.  Ha.  For the first two months of my boys’ lives, based on a chart I kept, I could tell you the exact date and time of day each of them pooped.  A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I had a couple over for dinner.  The amount of time that passed before poop was discussed: 20 minutes.  (This couple also has a five month old).  I called my husband at work the other day.  I used to call my husband at work to plan a lunch outing at a new restaurant in town, to ask a question about some element of criminal law, or to ask a question about how best to pursue a certain legal matter.  The other day I called my husband to inform him that our son had pooped (our son had issues with this for several days in case you were curious).  The sad thing is, my husband actually paused a conversation he was having with someone in his office to discuss it.  I really hope this person has kids.

“You’re the Mom and you’re in charge? Yeah ok, we’ll let you think that…for now.”

  1. Things overheard at an Austin Mothers of Multiples Meeting.

I went to my first AMOM meeting in June.  I don’t want to be overly dramatic and describe it as life-changing, but I will.  It was life-changing.  After the general meet-and-greet,  we split into groups based on the age of each person’s children.  I made my way to the newborns/infants group.  A group of approximately twelve of us sat around in a circle and looked at each other.  One new mom who had six-week old twin girls broke the silence by confessing, “I’m here for someone to tell me that it gets better.”  The group released a collective sigh and what followed was what I can only describe as a group therapy discussion.  It was truly what I needed that night as I had completed my first couple of weeks alone with the boys after all the mom-saints left to go back to their own lives.  My favorite quotes from the evening’s discussion: “You have to just look at them and tell them, ‘I’m the mom!’ or they’ll gang up on you,” “My husband needs friends and I want him out of the house, does anyone else’s husband need friends?” and “Does anyone else curse at their babies? I mean, in a singsong voice and everything, but still….”

  1. The Sliding Scale of Cleanliness.

The same friend that coined “down the baby rabbit hole” (described in my prior post) introduced me to this phenomenon.  It describes how one’s standards of cleanliness and what constitutes good hygiene are once again magically altered by the birth of children.  Before children the standard was this: “Gross! There is a stain or some substance on my shirt, I’d better change it.”  After children:  “Hmmm, there seems to be a pee stain next to the spit-up stain on my shirt… well, as long as it’s not poop!”  A second scenario: Upon pulling back the covers to your bed, you discover that the baby you laid there momentarily earlier in the day while you threw on some clothes did in fact spit up in copious amounts.  According to the sliding scale of cleanliness, your desire to change the sheets is weighed against the exhaustion you feel and the knowledge that you will be up again in a few short hours.  Thus, you crawl into bed, lay directly on the spit up because, well, at least it’s not wet, and fall blissfully asleep.

“First step in the master plan: disarm her with complete cuteness!”

4.  Twin Celebrity

When  you have multiples, it is difficult to exist under the radar.  This has required some getting used to on my part because I am in my comfort zone under the radar and twins bring attention.  Constant attention.  Even with the incidence of multiples on the rise, having twins is still a novelty and people love to  inspect the phenomenon.  Sometimes this is not a bad thing.  Yesterday, a woman at the grocery store let me cut  in front of her in line even when she had already unloaded her cart.  She turned around and looked at me and the boys and demanded that I go ahead.  I was extremely grateful, although in my head I wondered just how harried I looked!  When I take the boys on the daily morning walk in the neighborhood, everyone that we pass turns to stare and those who are a bit bolder stop to peer into the stroller.  A couple of weeks ago at Sam’s Club, I received a hug from a complete stranger in the parking lot and assurances from two other strangers inside that I was blessed and that they would be praying/thinking of me.  Young children usually point and say loudly, “look- two babies!”  Yesterday at Babies ‘R Us as I was unloading the babies into the car and wrestling my behemoth stroller into the trunk, an older woman told me that I was a brave mom to leave the house.  I told her it was not so much an act of courage as it was an act of desperation! There is certainly no quicker path to the end of sanity than being confined to your house with two babies whose master plan is obviously to join forces and conquer mom.  In fact, the first advice I received from a fellow mother of multiples was “you can’t show fear.”

And now I have to end this brief snapshot of my life.  From the sound of it, it appears the boys are mounting an offensive against my husband in the living room, and I’m pretty sure they’ve detected fear.  Mom to the rescue! (or hopefully, naptime).

 

 

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: