Procrastination Is My Middle Name

I’m the type of person who unpacks from a weekend away the moment I step back into the house. There’s something very satisfying about putting my things away in their rightful spots and tossing dirty clothes in the hamper. Within minutes of returning home, it’s like I never left in the first place. Maybe it’s so rewarding because I’m a homebody, or maybe it’s because I’m slightly OCD (onecrazydummy). It’s kinda scary when you identify with Annie Wilkes from Misery — noticing that the penguin figurine she has is pointing in the wrong direction! Yep, in my organized world, everything has a place and a direction too. Yet, it seems I’m lacking my direction now.

Procrastination has taken over my life! Nothing made me realize this more than the used paint brush that sat wrapped in cellophane inside my fridge for well over a week. It’s a trick I learned somewhere so you don’t have to wash your brush right away if you’re going to do any touch-ups. There were only a few minor spots to go over, but it took me forever before I actually finished the job. What motivated me wasn’t that there was an unfinished chore to be done, but that I was worried somehow the paint toxins were leeching into all of our cheese slices and nectarines, thus giving us some rare form of cancer…which it probably already has. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer. Optimism has never been my strong suit.

Before my daughter came along, I liked to do things in a timely manner…now that’s a thing of the past. And this is not just another ranting about how I don’t have time to do anything anymore…even though it sounds very similar. Because even when I have the time, I choose to put it off another day. So really there’s no excuse.

It’s one thing to realize that my time is better spent cuddling and playing with my baby than worrying about how clean my house is, but maybe it’s time to stop dragging my feet when there are dust bunnies the size of tumbleweeds blowing across my living room floor and a foot of freshly fallen dust on my nightstand.

3 Things I Took For Granted

1. Sleep: Well duh, that’s a no-brainer. Gone are the lazy Sunday afternoons, falling asleep on the couch to HGTV in the background. And gone are the uninterrupted nights of peaceful slumber. I wish someone would figure out how we could recharge ourselves each night without having to sleep for 8 hours. Like a cellphone or an electric car, we could plug in and feel as if we had slept all night. That would do wonders for my life as a new mom and aspiring writer. Think of all the extra time I’d have to procrastinate even more!

2. Vacations: The hubby and I are fortunate to have had awesome vacations in the past. Kauai, Mexico, Santa Barbara to name the most recent ones. But I guess I was a vacation snob — enjoying my time, but my life was already one long vacation. Only working a part-time job while pursuing my passion for writing, and taking care of a household that consisted of the hubby, me, and our animals…piece of cake! So while I looked forward to “going on vacation,” it wasn’t something that I needed because my life was too stressful or chaotic. Now, I’d just about sell my soul to be lounging on a white-sand beach under a blazing sun, sipping a drink with an umbrella in it. I wouldn’t even care that this body isn’t swimsuit ready — I’d go get the best spray-tan money could afford (since we all know tan fat looks better than pale fat) and I’d relax the hell out of that vacation!

3. Business Time: It’s no surprise that your love life (and by love life I mean sex life — sorry Mom) takes a drastic hit after the addition of your precious bundle. I take that back, maybe it was a surprise to the hubby. Gone are the spontaneous rolls in the hay…at least for a little while. “Business Time” before a baby is anything but business, and after a baby is exactly that…scheduled maitenance. Sorry dads, no new mummy is looking to jump back in the saddle, so to speak,  soon after having their baby. And once you do feel ready, her mere presence in the next room while you’re gearing up for the hippity-dippity is enough to thwart it before it even starts.

In closing, to all my friends who plan on having kids but haven’t started a family yet. Go on vacation, sleep like there’s no tomorrow, and have lots of sex in between. Then you’ll be ready.

Damn You Germs!

I’d rather walk barefoot across burning coals than be sick. Yes, I’m that melodramatic…especially when I have a cold. It’s one thing to be under the weather when all you have to do is lay around eating chicken noodle soup and watching the Kardashian sisters squabble about their oh-so-hard lives. But it’s a whole ‘nother thing if you’re sick and you have to take care of a helpless infant. Not my definition of fun at all!

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a big baby when it comes to dealing with a cold. I moan and complain about how much I hate being sick which doesn’t help matters or make the cold go away any faster. But I never knew what it was to be sick and have to put your sickness second. All I want to do is remain immobile and have someone wait on me hand and foot. I can barely read my daughter a story and forget trying to hum her a song as she drifts off to sleep. I sound like Marge Simpson hacking up a hairball.

If there’s a silver-lining, it’s that my baby thinks it’s funny when I cough or clear my throat. As long as she’s laughing and happy, then it makes dealing with this cold not the absolute worst thing in the world. It’s the 2 am and 5am wake-ups that are killing me.

It dawned on me that I must have messed up karmically since this is my second cold in just a manner of 2 months. What did it? That spider I killed the other day? Or that I didn’t pick up my dogs’ poop on our last walk? I guess I deserved it then.

This cold has shown me that my days of being cared for are over. Now I’m lowest on the totem pole. I have to be okay with that, because as a mummy I don’t get to call in sick…ever. So I say, damn you germs (fist shaking in the air) and pop another cough drop in my mouth.

My #1 Wish

To stop time or at least be able to pause it like on the awesome 80’s sitcom,      Out of This World. All Evie had to do was touch her index fingers together, and voila, time simply froze. It was only when she clapped her hands like cymbals that time would pick up where it left off. If I had this ability, I could keep my daughter a baby for a little longer because her days as an infant are speeding by. Plus, think of all the laundry and dishes I could get done. Who am I kidding? I’d be sleeping all day and watching reality TV marathons.

In only 10 days, she’ll be 8 months old and I seriously don’t know how that happened. I don’t like using the term literally, but it literally feels like we just celebrated her 7 month milestone. Now I know why people have more babies…to show time who’s boss!

When I was little, our family used to go on an annual trip to a church camp in the mountains. I wasn’t so thrilled about the church part, but man did I love the snow and ice-skating part. 100 days before our departure, I counted down on the dry-erase board in my room. It took f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

It’s weird that you wait and wait an epic 280 day (sometimes longer) countdown when you’re pregnant just to meet your little munchkin. You keep telling yourself that it will be here before you know it, even though it feels light-years away. But then as soon as you pop that sucker out — wham! Time decides to fly by at “ludicrous speed” to quote Spaceballs.

Now that I’m a mom, my life has become a constant deja-vu moment or Groundhog’s Day. It feels like a hazy dream where I know what will happen next. Except that it’s not a dream, she really does need to eat and be changed again. I wish I could go back to when it felt like I had all the time in the world instead of laying in bed at night wondering how another day managed to sneak by.

Whoever said that time flies when you’re having fun is right. My days are so filled up with love and happiness (not to mention monotony and repetition) that time just sort of stopped existing for me. So, in a way, I guess I got my wish. Maybe I should’ve wished for a billion dollars instead!

Bad Mom Complex

Ultimately, I know I’m a good mom because I don’t smoke crack and I haven’t forgotten my baby anywhere…yet . But there’s this silly part of me that worries, “I don’t want them to think I’m a bad mom.” It’s a phrase I use too much these days. My hubby is constantly flabbergasted that anyone would call me a bad mom, yet I’m always so preoccupied thinking about it.

“Uh oh, we better put socks on her feet or someone will say I’m a bad mom. She scratched her face because her nails are too long. She yakked all over herself and there isn’t a spare onesie in the diaper bag. Shame on me!”

I put a lot of  pressure on myself to be “perfect” at my new job as Mummy. I guess I’m going to have to get over my perfectionist ways, and quickly! I’ve learned that baby + perfect don’t mix unless you’re talking about how perfectly cute she is! Things don’t always go as smoothly as you envisioned, but hopefully everyone survives and maybe you learn what not to do next time. I guess this is probably how my parents felt at one point, and look at me — I still have all of my fingers and toes.

Guilt fuels my “bad mom complex.” Take for instance, this blog, which I love working on. Most days I write while she naps, but other days I find myself typing in between playing with her while we sit on the floor. I should be focusing all my attention on her, yet I’m not. Nothing like a baby trying to eat a power cord to get you to stop working though! Yikes! I try to rationalize my guilt by saying that a mom who works from home would be battling the same issues and since writing is my job (even though I don’t get paid for it) it’s okay. Yet somehow the “bad mom complex” rages on!

It’s so easy to say “The hell what other people think,” but it’s another thing to actually teach yourself this carefree attitude once you’ve been a people pleaser since you were born. I guess I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully when she’s thirty she’ll have all of her fingers and toes.

Super Nanny = Birth Control?

Why didn’t I ever watch Super Nanny before I went and got knocked up?!? Had I tuned in, perhaps my husband would’ve won the argument to remain a kid-free household. (We all know who won that one!) But now that we have our beautiful daughter we’re glad we took the leap to become parents. I can’t imagine not ever knowing her. Ask us again in thirteen years…we might be singing a different tune. Then again, some of the worst of these hellions is under the age of five. So we might be closer than we think to dealing with our own little Tasmanian devil.

Lord, I hope that I never need the help of Super Nanny. The children on this show scare the crap out of me. Cussing, hitting, screaming, breaking things, extinguishing their parents’ will to live. I don’t know who’s going to be the disciplinarian out of the two of us. My hubby likes to think he will be a strict dad…but we all know what super strict parents gets you. Hello, rebel without a cause! I refuse to be a grandma at 45 though, so maybe he’s right when it comes to setting rigid rules. But our daughter already has him wound so tightly around her itty bitty finger, I doubt he’ll be anything but a big ol’ softie! I’ll probably end up the bad cop…naturally.

I never put much thought into the actual parenting part that goes in to bringing up baby, or at least I never made it past the diapering stage!(Surely, I can’t be the only one? ) You think you get pregnant, have your bundle, and ride, sail, or drift off into the sunset…until one day you realize that the decisions you make will shape this little baby’s world and then you have your first ever panic attack! So, I try not to think about the day she’ll shout that she hates me, wishes she was never born, and slams her bedroom door in my face. For now, our biggest hurdle is when she becomes a fusspot because she missed a nap…nothing Super Mummy can’t handle!

1 Thing I Would Go Back and Tell my 13-Year-Old Self

Don’t hate your body! Easier said than done! I recently came across a photo album from when I was so young I couldn’t even order a drink in a bar, or cast my first ballot…we’re talking young. Looking at the photos with my 30-year-old eyes, I saw myself much differently than how I saw myself then. I was so skinny, and cute, and…insecure. As a teenager, I didn’t despise what my Mama gave me, but if a genie came along and granted me 3 wishes, one of them probably would’ve been to look like Niki Taylor. Shallow, I know.

I’d say I had the “normal” amount of body image issues growing up– no eating disorders, but I wasn’t completely comfortable in my own skin either. But who is at that age? Not many teens, especially girls. Which brings me to my next question. How am I going to make sure my daughter doesn’t end up with a warped body image? Take all the mirrors out of the house? Disconnect our cable & internet and never buy a fashion magazine again? That’s a start.

I know I have to put more emphasis on intelligence and what’s on the inside…yada yada yada, but I wish there was some magic button I could press that would relieve her of ever having to worry about her weight or what size she is. It’s really appalling how early all of this madness starts these days. Maybe I’ll teach her what a wise woman once told me a long time ago (not really, it was yesterday). She said, “Love the jeans you’re in now,” meaning be proud of what you’ve got no matter what size you are, because you might look back and realize you were hot stuff when you thought you were a schlub. She went on to say that it never really goes away either…fan-frickin-tastic! Although I’m not in the jeans I want to be in post-baby, I need to embrace them because in ten years I might look back and say, “Mummy wasn’t so bad after all!”

Guillotine of Fun

Our baby is barely 6 months old and it’s already established that Daddy is “The Jester” and Mummy is “The Guillotine of Fun.” Daddy swoops in and is all about laughs and getting smiles while Mummy is all about cutting fun in half and making sure baby’s needs are met. It’s just not fair. I knew before the baby even joined us that Daddy would be the favorite. I was a Daddy’s girl too, so on one hand it makes me happy that she’ll have a close bond with her father (and extra pleased that she won’t end up a stripper with daddy issues) but on the other hand I don’t want to be the bad cop all the time, unless doughnuts are involved.

Case in point: there we were, a happy family of 3 sitting down to dinner. Baby was next to me in her highchair: bib on and ready to chow down. I had my plate and her bowl of mush. One bite for her, half of one for me. It wasn’t quite working for her. I was too slow. So Daddy shoveled his food in and took over. Next thing I knew he was making airplanes noises and her face was covered in said mush. She was smiling and loving every minute of it. “Boring ol’ Mummy just sits there and spoons it in, but this guy is grrreat.” I could hear her thinking. But he had barely given her any food and it was almost bath time. After a couple more minutes, I took the bowl back and got the job done before his antics threw off our entire schedule.

I guess if I have to let Daddy win one then it should be this. I’m lucky enough to get to stay home with our daughter all day making her squeal with delight whenever I please. He gets a couple hours a day tops, so letting him be “The Jester” is fine by me. He still makes me chuckle–not an easy thing to do– so I know he’s qualified for the job.

Pass the Ginkgo Biloba, Please

B.B. (before baby) my memory was a steel trap! You could’ve asked me anything…the name of my kindergarten teacher? Mrs. Zirm. Who wrote the poem The Wasteland? T.S. Eliot.  The Italian city where St. Francis was from? Piece of cake…Assisi. But these days: 6 months A.B. (after baby) I’m lucky if I can remember my own name. I’ll be mid-story and completely forget what point I was trying to make. I understand this happens to people all the time, but this never used to happen to me. It’s weird and frightening. It makes me worry how I’ll be in five years.

One of my mom’s favorite phrases to me over the years was, “You just wait.” I used to (and still do) tease her about all of her wacky ways and this would always be her comeback. She was referring to me waiting until the day I had children thus rendering me a brain-dead stressed-out sleep-deprived lunatic. Well, of course she was right. My day has come! My brain barely functions yet the baby is thriving so I must be doing something right.

Sometimes I have a moment of clarity and can get an answer to a Jeopardy question, but most of the time the only thing I can think is, “I would’ve gotten all these answers before.” But really Jeopardy answers don’t matter because there is no time to be sitting around watching TV anymore when there’s a baby who needs feeding, changing, and a reading to. I miss my DVR almost as much as I miss my sleep!