Whether your baby is a good or bad sleeper seems to be thee question asked by most people. Which in turn translates to: is your baby a “good” baby or a…a what? Do people say “bad” baby? This isn’t The Land of Oz and we’re not talking about witches, people. Only heartless scum say bad baby. The term these days is “high needs” which basically means high maintenance. But the last time I checked babies need to be held a lot, cuddled, and fawned over. When I think of high maintenance, I see Baby J.Lo making demands and screaming until her bottle is just the right temperature. This is not what Dr. Sears meant when he coined the term.
When I get asked if my baby is a good sleeper, I can’t help but feel like my daughter is being unfairly judged. She used to be the best sleeper in the world. From 10 to 6 without a peep. Then the growth spurts and mental leaps started happening and my perfect little sleeper disappeared into the quiet night. Now I’m lucky if I get a full 4 hour block of sleep before she’s wailing for her pacifier. But do I need to relay all this to a stranger at the grocery store? Heck no! So, I give the obligatory answer that she’s a great sleeper, even if it’s not the complete truth. I’ll never see this lady again!
I get it. People who have gone through raising their children, or who are in the process of rearing, want to know where you (or your baby) land on the sleep scale. Misery sure does love company! Perhaps the person asking the question had a notoriously un-sound sleeper and wants to feel some sort of camaraderie, or maybe it’s because they’re smug and want to gloat about their kid who sleeps like a log. Wherever your baby is on the sleep scale shouldn’t be any indication of how happy or unhappy your munchkin is! I try to remind myself that years from now the sleepless nights will be a foggy memory, but her smiles and laughter will be etched on my heart forever.
Blowouts are inevitable! Yellow, runny poop can hide in places you didn’t even know existed on your baby. What’s even worse is that sometimes they will just stew in it, perfectly happy without a complaint. Then the smell hits you. But it’s not a normal doo doo smell. Someone once described it as a breakfast food smell. No breakfast I ever had! Someone else said it smells like movie theater popcorn…way to ruin that for me. But the best thing about blowouts (sarcasm font needed) is that they wait until the most inopportune time to let it fly. Just when you’ve put a freshie on them, new outfit, plopped them in their car seat for a trip to the grocery store, started the car, and made it around the block…wham! Blowout city!
Now that the munchkin is eating some solid foods, we’ve entered a whole new realm of poop. (I know this is just what you wanted to read about.) New textures, colors, and smells! Oh my! The contents of her diapers closely resemble what she ate at her previous meal: think liquidy prunes. Yummy! Never did I think I’d be so enthralled with what comes out of her rear end. However, I’m not one of those moms who carefully inspects each dirty diaper, but I do take a quick peek to make sure everything is normal. Because sometimes it’s so much that you think she might’ve pooped a squirrel — like on Anchorman.
There is this whole method of infant potty-training called Elimination Communication where the parent looks for the baby’s bathroom cues then rushes them to the toilet or a nearby pot. This just screams disaster to me. I wouldn’t have the patience for it at all. Plus, you’d have to be agile enough to spring into action at any given moment. You’d probably be better off getting a parakeet and letting it fly around your house to poop willy-nilly on all your furniture.
Potty-training this early is enticing, but this method isn’t for me. More power to those who are brave enough to try it though. E.C. really gives new meaning to the term “baby poop” when referring to an unattractive shade of green or yellow paint! While I’m all for a “pop” of color in a room, baby poop is not really the look I’m going for.
Forget diamonds — concealer is a new mummy’s best friend! Cursed with spotty skin from an early age, concealer and I have been bosom buddies for a loooong time. But now I rely on it for fear of looking like the undead without it, as well as covering up PMS breakouts. Awesome. It’s no surprise that I would frighten young children first thing in the morning, yet when I look over my daughter’s crib she’s not horrified by my zombie-like appearance, she’s tickled to see me. Now that’s love.
My mommy guru (sister-in-law) used to tell me the wonders of a highlighter pencil and how it could brighten up the dullest of faces. But to me, it was just one more thing I couldn’t be bothered with, plus I didn’t have kids yet and didn’t know the importance of looking well-rested even if it was just smoke and mirrors. I was already putting moisturizer, concealer, foundation, powder, eyeliner, and mascara on…wasn’t that enough?!?
Apparently the answer is no!
I didn’t know what it meant to be truly tired until my baby came along. I also didn’t know what it meant to look truly tired until my baby came along. There’s nothing worse than someone saying, “You look tired.” Really? Why don’t you tell me how fat my ass is while you’re at it? What do people think they’re accomplishing by telling someone this? That once you hear it, you’ll realize they’re right, drop everything, and take a nap right away? This observation is almost always followed up with, “Why are you in a bad mood?” Gee, I wonder…
When I see pictures of myself now, my eyes are happy but they’re beyond droopy. I see the same thing in my hubby’s eyes, but he’s not battling the dark rings that I am. It’s probably because he gets to sleep through her 3 am wake-ups. Lucky bastard! He doesn’t know it yet, but I’m going to figure out a way for him to breastfeed number two, whether it’s taking hormones or what! That way maybe I won’t have to glop on so much concealer to cover up my racoon mask! And in the meantime, maybe I’ll have to buy those wonderous highlighter pencils…in bulk.
How do I
force teach my daughter not to be a mean girl? I would be devastated if she was the schoolyard bully or the Queen of the Snobs, but I don’t want her to be the victim of these girls either. It’s a tricky subject because I’m sure peer pressure has a lot to do with it. Thank god I’m nowhere near having to actually figure this one out, but it’s already giving me anxiety. My niece, who is only six, is already encountering “girl crap” as my sister-in-law likes to call it. The drama, the tears, and the attitudes…hormones aren’t even involved yet. Yikes! I wish I could just skip over years twelve through eighteen. Boarding school anyone? No, I could never send my daughter away. Who could afford that? I mean, I would miss her too much — yeah that’s it!
I wasn’t a mean girl growing up (at least not intentionally) but I had my share of mean moments. Nothing like writing nasty things about other girls in bathroom stalls or starting scandalous rumors, but I remember getting in fights with my friend who lived next door. We’d ride our bikes all over and play Monopoly after school. There was one day we started quarreling over who knows what. Hair was pulled, shins were kicked, and bikes were knocked to the ground. It was ugly. Then, the next day we were back to Monopoly again.
I don’t remember apologizing, but we probably did. Did her mom call mine and tell her about our scuffle? Or were we left to work it out on our own? I don’t know, but according to my mom, kids fight. They love each other one minute, hate each other the next, and have moved on in the blink of an eye. When parents start meddling, that’s when the real problems begin. She’s right because if another mom approached me about my daughter’s behavior you better believe my Mama Bear claws would come out.
I know my daughter will have her share of spats and I wish I could protect her from all of it, but I can’t keep her in a bubble…or could I? Hmmmm….
as a closeted Taylor Swift fan! There, I said it – so think what you will. I don’t shop in the junior’s section anymore (teen girls don’t have this much junk in their trunks!), I don’t know what the newest dances are (do kids even remember The Running Man?), and my craziest night of the week is when we order a pizza and watch the new episode of Secrets of a Stylist on HGTV. In other words, not exactly Taylor Swift’s demographic. But I like to think I’m still a young girl at heart — charmed by poetry and romantic ideals about love. Or maybe I’m just becoming an old fuddy-duddy, my music tastes mellowing out with my old age. (The fact that I used the term fuddy-duddy is proof enough that I’m no longer too cool for school. Ugh, I’m full of them.)
I’ve always liked a wide range of music, but this has been my dirty little secret. I was even embarrassed to ask my hubby to get Swift’s music for me. It’s not like I’d go all Kanye on her and try to take away her award or anything as mean, but I wouldn’t exactly admit that she was on my iPod either. But now that I’m a mummy, I might as well own up to all my imperfections.
The first time I heard Swift’s song, “Never Grow Up” I balled my eyes out. Perhaps I could’ve blamed it on my hormonal imbalance being 3 months postpartum, or the sweet strum of the acoustic guitar, or because I was looking into my daughter’s doe eyes while it played in the background…whatever the reason it really hit home. Maybe it reminded me of my past – growing up and realizing all that I put my mother and father through and how at times I still wish I was their little girl being tucked into bed by their loving hands.
There are two ways I could use this song. 1) Save it for my daughter’s wedding and cry my eyes out for her entire father/daughter dance or 2) use the song to punish my daughter when she’s grounded for sneaking out of the house or whatever it is the kids are doing in 2026. She will have to sit and listen to the song on repeat until she realizes that life is simpler when you’re little and she’s in trouble because I love her too much, not because I’m a mean mummy! Looks like I’ll be going with door #2!
Have kids and babies always been so fashionable? Or is it a new trend that I’ve only started to notice since joining the mummy club? When I look at baby pictures of myself — I wasn’t dolled up in leopard print or pink, frilly tutus with the words “Princess” and “Glamour Girl” printed on them in big, glittery letters. My mom dressed me in floral rompers and white Little House on the Prairie bonnets. (See below.) Now does this call into play my own mother’s sense of style? Or was that all she had to pick from? (My mom claims to have good fashion sense, but I’ve seen pictures that have made me question her taste level…but maybe the 80′s were to blame for those fashion misses.)
Today’s baby clothes are anything but boring. There’s cargo pants for little boys. What for? To hold their Swiss army knife? There’s even high-heeled shoes for little girls who can’t walk yet! Whaaa? Then there’s the countless onesies with silly slogans turning your kid into a walking, er, sitting billboard. It seems like we’re rushing them into being grown ups. (I don’t want to delve into that whole ugly mess about what’s age appropriate, but it has opened up my eyes as a new mom.)
Babies couldn’t care less if they’re wearing the newest designer threads. All they care about is if it’s clean and dry. It makes me laugh how obsessed we are to have mini-me’s running around. Guitars & skulls for boys and animal print & rhinestones for girls. I’m going to sound like the biggest hypocrite because I can’t help myself when it comes to leopard print…but everything in moderation.
For wanting to keep her a baby as long as possible, I didn’t start off that way. In the beginning, I admit that I didn’t even want her room to look like a nursery. My vision was of a bright and modern kid’s room with an eclectic mix of colors and accents. Her room is just what I wanted. But whenever I see the quintessential nursery with soft pastel colors and perfectly swathed cradle, it makes me want to redecorate. So, will I look back at her photos years from now and wish I hadn’t dressed her in zebra leggings with a hot pink shirt instead of opting for a more classic look of a white dress with tiny rosebuds on it? Who knows! But what I do know is that she looks too adorable for words in whatever she’s wearing, so I’m sure I won’t have any regrets.
There’s no telling a baby to use her inside voice, and this is precisely the reason why we haven’t visited the library yet. It seems that my daughter has officially found her voice, and it is anything but quiet. She went from sweet babblings to full-blown conversational dialogue. Sure, she sounds like a mini-German fascist spouting off propaganda and her chin is covered in more drool than a bulldog’s jowls by the time she’s done, but she’s happy as a clam to be “talking.”
She’s literally one of those people who talks just to hear her own voice. I’m waiting on pins and needles to hear her say “Ma-ma” and “Da-da” and actually understand what those words mean. But veteran parents tell me that once they start talking, they don’t shut up and you’ll never have peace and quiet again. The first time I heard this, I looked at my sweet bundle and thought, I’ll never want you to shut up. Have I wanted to silence other people’s children? Does a bear shit in the woods…of course!! Other people’s kids are annoying but my own perfect angel baby?The center of my world and fruit of my loins? Never! The unsolicited advice was like someone telling you not to get married as you’re standing in your dress mere seconds from walking down the aisle. It’s mean and unneccesary…not to mention waaayy too late. Yes, you can think it, but keep it to yourself!
I’m sure there will be times when mummy needs a break from the noisy chaos that is the very definition of children, but for now I’m enjoying every new “word” and sound that comes barreling out of her mouth. It’s only in the middle of the night when she wakes up to practice her new skill that I’m thankful for the pacifier and the silence that follows.
I gave birth to an iPhone and didn’t even know it! This is a true statement in the fact that I treat my phone like it’s my second baby: coddling it, cradling it, all but wrapping it in a soft, fluffy blanket and rocking it to sleep while singing You Are My Sunshine. It’s shameful how much I’m on my phone and I’m even more embarrassed to admit this. I want the world to think that I’m a good mom who couldn’t be bothered with Words with Friends, Facebook, or What to Expect. Yet, I’m practically addicted to these apps.
The hubby and I upgraded to smart phones a few weeks after we had our daughter. I was attracted to a phone that could take clear pictures and video since I was all about documenting every second with our little girl. I could care less about the apps…until I realized how easy it was to keep current on everything without bothering with my laptop. Soon, we were just like all our other friends with smart phones – constantly padding the screens with our fingertips and looking up random things that we just had to know the answers to right away — important things — like who that one guy from that one movie was. Critical stuff!
A week ago, I let my daughter play with my phone because there’s a baby piano app that she enjoys. (I’m so conflicted about letting her play with it anyway. It goes against everything I thought I stood for…but it makes her happy. Which scares me just the same because it leaves me wondering if I’m going to be one of those parents who lets their kid do whatever he wants just as long as he’s happy and quiet. “Now Timmy, be careful playing with that grenade…”) Anyway, there she was composing her next sonata when I didn’t even notice she went from playing to chewing and drooling all over it instead. Long story short, she drooled into the speakers, shorting them. I was distraught, worried that she ruined my phone for good. But three hours later, it dried and was fine. I felt so foolish for getting upset about my stupid phone. It is, after all, only a phone and not my second baby, or even a baby at all!
The Top 5 Things I Realize Now That I’m a Mummy
1) Boobs are Overrated. It’s not like they can cook you dinner or wish you a happy birthday, so why all the fuss? Why did I wish I’d wake up with the chest of a Victoria’s Secret model when I was a teenager? We’ll blame TV and the media. Now I realize that fun bags are just that–fun to look at for 5 minutes then they’re just…there. And now that I’ve experienced both worlds, I’d rather go back to how they used to be! (Maybe that’s #6–appreciate what your Mama gave ya!)
2) It’s Not About the Stuff. For months before I had my baby, I’d obsess about all of the things we needed to have before she arrived. The crib, the obnoxiously expensive rocking chair and baby bouncer, the clothes, blankets, beanies, and nursery decor. Who knew babies needed so much crap! But they don’t…it was me thinking I needed the crap. The baby gets here and poops and vomits on everything and you wondered why you cared so much about all the stuff.
3) Date Nights Are Crucial. Romance isn’t something that comes easily after eight years of marriage, and it was the last thing on my mind after giving birth. But now I realize that making time for just the two of us is more important than ever. Plus, it’s nice to clean the poop from under your fingernails, change into something that doesn’t smell like sour milk, and go out (even if you’re just pretending not to think about your baby every 10 seconds.)
4) Judge Lest Ye Be Judged. I used to get annoyed with screaming kids in public. Who wouldn’t, am I right? I used to hide in nearby aisles, grumbling and vowing that I would never be that mom. But I realize now that the mom of the temper-tantrum, shrieking child is going to be me one day. Luckily, my baby hasn’t made me sweat too badly yet, but I know it’s a matter of time. And I hope when that time comes, people will not be so quick to judge but will offer a knowing smile instead of a scowl.
5) Chores CAN wait: I like a clean house. I like organization and order. But I LOVE my daughter. Sometimes I panic that time is going by too quickly and why am I wasting all this time with dishes and dusting? Do I want to look back and remember having a clean house or remember the day we rolled around on the floor laughing and playing with her toys? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be on Hoarders anytime ever, but I realize now that the dishes will still be there tomorrow while my daughter will be a day older.