The Faces of Modern Day Fatherhood

There’s a running joke in our family with the punch line, “I’m just the dad” [accompanied by the small smiled head shake].  Kids only want to snuggle with mom before bed? “I’m just the dad”.  Dad works insane hours to pay for college, but mom gets the thanks for the support? “I’m just the dad”.  Kids call to check in, and they just want to talk to mom? “I’m just the dad”.

When circumstances and timing are just right, it’s produced quite a few chuckles.   As parents we all have those moments when our kids unintentionally under-appreciate us, but my problem with the joke is that today’s dads are anything but “just the dad”. 

Listen to any of your grandmothers tell stories about their children’s births or what their responsibilities were when their children were young.  You know what I’m talking about.  Times were different.  Many dads weren’t allowed to be in the delivery room when their children were born.  Many didn’t change a single diaper. Dad’s focus was on providing for the family, and mom’s was raising the children.  Not to say dads weren’t rock stars back then too, but with different expectations, culture, and opportunities, things were just… different.

Today’s dads, however, keep adding to their polished fatherhood resume.  There’s nothing they are scared to do, nothing they can’t figure out, and nothing they aren’t a part of.  They are involved in every facet of their children’s lives, and bring such a powerful presence to their parenting team.  These modern day dads are severely underrated, and need to be celebrated and supported just like moms are.  They deserve it, and they’ve earned it.  

If you aren’t sure who I’m talking about, they are easy to spot.  They are the dads that walk in the door after work, take off their shoes, and run straight to the playroom to help build a block tower.  Its the dad that stayed up late on a Wednesday putting together a crib or dresser for the nursery without being asked.  The dad that takes his baby out for errands by himself because “he’s got this”.  They are the dads the kill it in the bedtime routine game, and then head downstairs to help pick up the kitchen before bed.  The dads that are active participants in discipline and teaching life’s hard lessons.  They are the dads that take the time to teach: mowing a lawn, how to read, tying shoes, or how to be a good friend. They are the dads that have the burning ache in their heart when they’re away from their children, because to them, there is no greater joy than watching their children grow and being in their presence.

Being a dad today is no easy task, and thanks to my growing Momtourage I was able to put together a collection of pictures that finish illustrating what my words can’t. To all those rock star dads out there – you’ve got a huge fan base over here. Keep up the good work!

This is what modern day fatherhood looks like.  Enjoy!

To the dads whose immense pride is worn on their face from the very beginning

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To the dads who make baby wearing look like it’s the coolest thing you can do with your child

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To the dads who take bedtime, middle of the night, feeding, and diapering duties seriously 

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To the dads whose kisses and cuddles are tender enough to heal all  

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To the dads with a sense of humor, who don’t mind getting silly, and love having FUN

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To the dads who understand the value of reading with their children 

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To the dads who ROCK the joint nap  

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To the dads who have passed the fatherhood rite of passage by carrying their children on their shoulders 

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To the dads who are present, in the moment, and on their level

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To the dads who teach, lead, mentor, and understand that the little moments are actually the big moments 

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And as if today’s dads weren’t doing enough, the real beauty comes as a product of their example – raising boys who learn from early on what it means to take care of others and be incredible fathers themselves one day.  

Giving baby some tummy time, while keeping him warm with a bandana and multi-taksing. :)
Giving baby some tummy time, while keeping him warm with a bandana and multi-taksing. 🙂

 

Unpacking “Help” in Toddlerese

There are basically three definitions of the word “help” in the Toddlerese Dictionary.  You know them.

Help /help/

exclamation 

1. used as an appeal for urgent assistance.

“Help!” (as their head is firmly stuck in between deck rails).  “Help!” (as they are stuck planking between the couch and ottoman and are scared to fall in between).  You know this one as a toddler actually needing help, but for something usually pretty ridiculous and picture worthy.

verb 

2. request to offer your services or resources to make the toddler’s life easier – not as urgent.

“Mom. Please help.” (as she points to the kleenex box on shelf she can’t reach, wanting to take out every kleenex one at a time).  “Please help. Water.” (as he points to his water bottle on the floor of the car that you JUST picked up for him no less than 12 times already).

verb

3. an offering of assistance from your toddler to you – because through your own invitation or simple appeal of the activity, the toddler thinks their assistance will indeed be helpful.

 

THIS LAST ONE.  Numero tres.  The act of the toddler “helping” you.  This is the one.

No one talks about this act of toddler assistance, when some days I feel like it will surely be the thing that kills me one painstaking minute at a time. More so than the whining.  More so than the tantrums when leaving the playground.  And more so than alligator wrestling during each and every diaper change.  (I said some days).

If you’ve been around toddlers, you know all too well the “help” I’m talking about.  It can look like this:

Intention: help vacuuming.

Reality: toddler tries to hold and push your vacuum all on their own with NO help from you, resulting in a several minute struggle because its too heavy, and ending in tears because they couldn’t do it.  Hence, nothing got vacuumed, because your toddler now needs help coming down from their vacuum induced rage.  And if you’re thinking, “just remind her of her own play vacuum and you can do it together”, you are more than welcome to come over and tell her that.  I’ll be in the corner giggling.

Intention: help baking and cooking.

Reality: after bringing over a chair for toddler to stand on or bringing ingredients down to their level, you think you’ve got a firm grip on their hand that holds the mixing spoon.  Toddler refuses help, because after all, they’re the pro here? You calmly refuse to give them full reign, which incites immediate frustration from toddler.  Before you can say “here it comes”, that firm grip is not so firm, and there is food – everywhere. You swear under your breath as you clean up the unknown proportions of misplaced ingredients that that was the last time you let them help for awhile.  Until tomorrow. Blue berry muffins still turn out when half of the mix in your dogs mouth, right?

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Intention: help you go to the bathroom.

Reality:  Who knew that after being self-sufficient in the bathroom for 98% of your life you now needed help? You can’t say no – you want them interested in potty training and the process of going on the potty.  So, they help get you toilet paper to wipe with.  Which is fine, until you’re done wiping – but they aren’t done getting it for you.  Half a roll is on the ground, you’re stuck on the pot, and in frustration they quickly reach to flush before you tell them you’re ready.  All you’re left with is a few cold droplets of water on your butt and the shame in knowing your toddler just beat you in the bathroom.

Intention: help feeding the dogs.

Reality: This one is too easy to envision.  Toddler wants to dump food into bowls.  Gets distracted along the way (shocking).  Food ends up all over floor.  Some gets eaten by dogs.  Some gets eaten by toddler.  You don’t know how much food your dog actually got.  You find bits of dog food in kitchen over the next week.

Intention: helping unload the dishwasher.

Reality: They are playing nicely in the playroom, so you quietly open the dishwasher thinking you can quickly unload it sans “help”.  Your tot is the modern day version of Pavolv’s dog, however, and the simple sound of the dishwasher clicking open sends them running into the kitchen salivating with a thirst to help. You frantically get all the knives and deadly weapons up on the counter out of reach, and then proceed to let them help you.  Three dirty spoons, a broken plate, and 38 minutes later, the dishwasher is unloaded. How could you have possibly done it without them?

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Intention: help bringing in the groceries.

Reality: Most bags are too heavy to hand over.  You learned that when they tipped over sideways while trying to walk the bag through the garage and smashed into the wagon.  So now its a team effort between you and hubby. One sifts through bags looking for durable, non-breakable, non essential, light weight items to hand out. The other waits at the door to retrieve the items one at a time to avoid the toddler trying to walk up (and consequently falling back down) the stairs into the house.  If it was a large grocery shop, you know to run in the perishable fridge/freezer items first because they could easily go bad by the time your helper is done helping.

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To the parents of tiny helpers, I salute you.  Keep on keepin’ on.  Every day tasks take infinitely longer, the house can quickly turn dramatically filthier, and our patience meter can take significant hits when we are “assisted”, but we are determined to raise confident, independent, generous, and strong-willed young people. So we keep at it.   After all, are we really that important to take the extra time to teach them? We allow them to help us throughout our day because we know in the long run, the rewards will far outweigh the patience we put in.  And one day… one day… their help will in fact be our adult definition of help.  Right? (No seriously, some reassure me I’m right).

"Helping" me sweep out the garage.  Aka, stealing the good broom and sweeping our street.
“Helping” me sweep out the garage. Aka, stealing the good broom and sweeping our street.

 

 

 

Some Advice I’m No Longer Giving

I’ve given the same piece of advice countless times when new moms stress about getting everything done before baby. It usually sounds something like, “Just remember all that baby will need for those first few weeks is you! Baby will have no idea if he or she is being rocked or put to bed in a Pinterest perfect nursery.  They don’t know if your house is spotless! Just take your time and do what you can – you got this!”.  It sounds pretty good, right? It’s always spoken with the best of intentions, and at the end of the day, its the truth.

During my first pregnancy I didn’t feel an overwhelming need to nest.  Looking back in hindsight its kind of mind-boggling to me. We moved an hour away 1.5 weeks before the due date, and  I’m a “to-do list checking, everything has a plan, things need to be organized” kind of gal. Somehow, someway, I was able to take it all in stride.  Tayler’s nursery got done two days before she was born, and I don’t have any vivid memories of stressing over it.  Maybe I was too busy with work and the  move to succumb to those feelings, or maybe my hormones were in better check the first time around.  Either way, I didn’t have any overwhelming nesting instincts, and therefore felt my “all baby needs is you” advice felt good rolling off the tongue.

I’m currently 31 weeks into my second pregnancy, and all that advice sounds like at the moment is white noise with a few fart noises inserted throughout.  At this moment, I never plan on giving those words as stand alone advice ever again. What this fundamentally sound advice does not take into account, and is perhaps the most important this to consider, is mom’s natural feelings and emotional need to get things done.  What I didn’t realize until about 20 weeks into this pregnancy is that those, “I’m throwing out half of my clothes, you need to move the refrigerator now so I can clean under it, I’m not leaving this house till baby is born, and if you don’t help me hang things in his room right now I will unleash the Kraken on your ass” feelings are as real and as natural as eating spoonfuls of ice cream straight out of the carton.  My to-do list has been extensive, and those who aren’t helping me check them off are considered an enemy of the state.  I’ve gone on several hour cleaning benders on little sleep and a bad back, and I’ve spent countless hours looking at different kinds of cloud mobiles.  We’re fortunate to have many close friends and family getting married this summer, and while all I want to do is go let loose and celebrate such joyous occasions, all I really want to do is be home.  Being away from home gives me anxiety. I’ve organized baby boy’s clothes three times already knowing well that they’ll have to be washed and reorganized again anyway.  I was nearly in tears the other day leaving Babies R Us when they didn’t have the carrier I wanted, and I’ve literally went around all the baseboards and every inch of ceiling in baby’s room with one of Tayler’s tiny paint brushes and a tiny can of white paint because I didn’t think our edging job was sufficient when we painted.

These instincts are seen all throughout nature.  Rodents try and find the absolute lowest sheltered spot available.  Dogs pace and build nests with items they find throughout the house.  Rabbits dig and line their holes with grass and hair plucked from their body.  And birds insist on staying in their nest as much as possible. When its in our DNA to prepare for baby, no matter the level we feel it at, I think it needs to be embraced.  Not brushed off.

I’ll be the first to tell you some of my nesting habits during this pregnancy are completely irrational.  In my head I know that edging the entire room carefully by hand was crazy and no one would’ve known the difference.  I know I have several months to go until I’ll actually be able to use the carrier I want and have plenty of time to order it.  I know that leaving for a weekend is a good thing, making memories that will last a lifetime.  I know putting together little bookshelves at 11 pm isn’t necessary.  And as a second time mom, I know all too well that the mobile is for me – baby could care less. I know.  I know all of this. I haven’t lost touch with what is realistic and rational.  But it doesn’t change the feelings stirring within me, and I can imagine I’m not the only mom who has felt them in their own way.

I’ve thought about what kind of support I would want from my friends and family as I prepare for numero dos, and I’ve come up with a new approach.  First and foremost, don’t down play a nesting mom’s need or desire to get something done.  What may be trivial and silly to you, may just mean the world to her at the moment.  Don’t make her feel stupid.  Instead of pushing things back farther and farther on the calendar, make a plan for how and when you can get it done. Soon.  Together.  Time does matter. Don’t tell her not to stress (she will anyway).  Instead, ask her in what specific ways you can help her and when she would ideally like them done by.  Compromise on how much you pack on the calendar leading up to baby. Sometimes a need to stay home can feel overwhelming. While I’m not encouraging total hermit crab behavior, prioritize and choose which things are an absolute must.  Listen to her.  For this short period of time her hormones can trump logic, and she knows it.  Her brain, heart, and body are getting ready for baby – you can’t fault her for that. Just roll with it, and listen to her needs.  Be proactive, and help in ways you think she might like but hasn’t spoken up about yet.

Let momma bear be momma bear.  And when the time finally comes to bring baby home, she’ll be happily at ease knowing her nest is the perfect place to smother this baby with heaps of love and laughter.

 

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The Things I’ve Been Meaning to Tell Him

Tayler and I were building up towers of stacking cups in the playroom when I heard him moving around upstairs.  I thought that he was surely just using the restroom and getting back in bed.  It was too early.  My husband, Matt, was on a night shift rotation at the time, and he didn’t crawl into bed till nearly 3:30 a.m.  I was downstairs silently giving him a tongue lashing, “You better not come down here yet.  It’s only 8:30! You need sleep, too! REST!”.  A few minutes later, there he was.  Groggy and half asleep, but with a small crooked smile on his face at the sight of our daughter squealing and running around at the sight of him.  She was why he came down.

“Baaaabe! Why are you up already?! You’re exhausted!”.

“I have to head in to work a little early today, and I didn’t want to miss out on that time with her.  I just want to be with my girls”.

Oh.  How could I possibly fight that?

For the rest of the day that image of a hard working, sleep deprived, “I just want to be around my daughter” father stayed with me.  It was one of those days the gratitude in my heart for this man, my husband, spilled over the brim.

Since that day I’ve thought a lot about how today’s dads don’t have nearly the amount of support us moms do.  Matt doesn’t have a rock solid community of other dads to go to for advice, a quick vent session, or a simple “I hear you – I’ve been there, too”.  No one asks the dad how its going balancing work and family life.  They don’t have the online resources, blogs to relate to, or check-in’s from friends and family simply asking how life as a dad is going for them.  They don’t get the level of encouragement us moms often do.  The kind words that reaffirm we’re doing a great job at this monumental task of parenting little humans. I spend much time and energy every day trying to build up other moms and reassure them they have someone in their corner, but I overlook all too often the man who I share my home with and raise my family with.

Yet here he was… still kicking ass in his role as father.

I recently read an article written by a dad that talked about his frustration with being complimented at how amazing of a father he was when he was doing the simplest of things with his children.  Taking them to the grocery store by himself, changing diapers without being told, or getting up in the middle of the night for feedings.  To him, those were his normal duties as dad… nothing above and beyond.  Nothing spectacular or particularly noteworthy. To be complimented at the highest level for doing those things seemed insulting, like it put down what should be expected of dads today.  While I think Matt could’ve easily been the author of that article and I fully understand and appreciate the author’s argument, I still feel our cut-above-the-rest dads deserve more praise for doing one hell of a job.  While we consciously make an effort in our marriage to continually voice and show our appreciation for things we do for our family, there’s a lot I’ve been meaning to tell Matt.

I’ve written about my mom, my mother-in-law, my daughter, my unborn son, and my Momtourage.  But I’ve yet to write about my sidekick, my baby daddy, my best bud, and my partner I’ve created this beautiful little life with.  Today is his 30th birthday, and I can think of no better time to tell him how wonderful he is in this role as dad, and how I will always continue to be his biggest cheerleader.

I remember how frustrated you used to get at times when I was exclusively breastfeeding. You understood and appreciated this gift we wanted to give our daughter, but you so desperately wanted to have a more active role.  You wanted to give her everything she could possibly need. Your desire to be so involved from the very beginning illustrated just the kind of father you would become. You have been a natural from the start. 

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I adore the fact that you are trying to create special times and memories for just you and Tayler to share.  You want her to look back one day, and have those special places, activities, and items that scream, “THIS is my dad”.  The Giving Tree will surely hold a special place in her heart. 

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I admire your effortless ability to know when and how to teach her new things.  Things that I myself, even after spending all day every day with her, don’t realize she’s ready for.  She is a nose blowing, tooth brushing, hair washing, stair descending, fork wielding maniac… because of you.  

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I respect how diligent you’ve become in problem solving when new stages and phases pop up.  You don’t always look to me for answers, you read and dig and find them on your own.  You use trial and error, come back to the drawing board, and try again when needed.  Many times you know when we need to change our approach and stay flexible, while I’m still comfortable and set in our current ways.  

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I revere your unwavering desire to always want to be around our daughter.  When you’re dog tired, you’re still present.  When she’s at grandma’s for a night, your heart aches.  And when given the choice to sleep upstairs quietly or nap on the couch with guaranteed interruptions… you choose the couch just so you can be near her.  Space and time away from her at times is healthy for everyone involved, but there is no calming that pang in your heart to be close to her.  

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I hold dear how much pride you take in being the one to provide for our daughter in all forms of the word. You work hard every single day to ensure she has everything she could possibly need.  After months of me nursing her to sleep, she had a hard transition allowing anyone else to rock her to sleep.  I will never forget the first night you were able to successfully put her down for the night without a fuss.  The emotion on your face when you left her room said more than any words ever could. 

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I find an all consuming joy in watching you play uninhibitedly with her.  You are on her level, as silly as can be, and absolutely shameless when it comes to making her laugh.  Her happiness and smile are the motors that keep your heart running.  

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I feel so grateful for your attitude on the kind of role a dad should have in the home.  Anything I do, you want to do, too.  The 1950’s are long gone, and so are those divisions of labor.  You have a hand in everything, which makes my life as wife and mom that much more enjoyable.  You are one diaper changing, bath giving, night time rocking, dinner slaying, carpet cleaning, and clothes washing son of a B.  You are the epitome of a MAN. 

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I am so appreciative for how conscious you are of making sure we stay a team.  You go out of your way to make sure we’re on the same page, working towards the same goals, and following through on our plans to get there.  Our children will only benefit from how hard you work at ensuring we are always presenting a united front.  Together.

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I feel so thankful for how you’ve always gone out of your way to build me up as a new mom.  You brush off my shoulders when I make mistakes and offer both hands to pick me back up.  You praise me and vocalize how wonderful of a job you think I’m doing.  You’ve got a keen sense for knowing when I really need to hear it.  You support, support, support, and step up when you know I need a break.  You take such incredible care of me, which allows me to take the utmost care for our daughter.  Tayler thanks you for that.  

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I’ve had the pleasure of watching you grow from boy, to man, to husband, to dad over our 12+ years together.  And soon, our little family of three will become a family of four.  I can think of no better husband to share this journey with, and no better father to grow our family with. While I may not say it quite as much as I should, please know that I think the world and the moon and stars of you.  You’re not perfect, I’m not perfect, and despite those times she does really sweet shit, neither is our daughter.  Together, however, we make one incredible little team, with you at the center of it.  

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Happy birthday, love.

Your mother would be so proud of you.

Cheers to 30 more years.

We love you!

(And to answer the question a lot of you women are thinking: yes, he has a brother. But no, he’s not available. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey Dogs for Life

I need to send out a hug.  A giant, heartfelt, bear hug to all of you parents that have ever dealt with a toddler that’s a picky eater.  Why? Because OH MY GOD.

Dealing with a picky eater wasn’t even in my peripheral vision.  Not even on my radar. I guess that was one potential challenge of parenthood I overlooked.  Maybe I just assumed because I’m such a good eater that my kids would be too.  After all, I read that moms who eat a variety of foods while pregnant pass those flavors to their baby, therefore creating a pleasant, adventurous eater.  So that must be true, right? Gahhh.

I even remember before I had kids and would see other parents of picky eaters.  The naive, young, head in her butt Erica would tell herself, “Come on! Its not that hard! Its either what you make or they don’t eat! Simple.  Problem solved”.  I love giving that Erica the, “Haha, ok, because you know it all” eye roll.

This one isn’t about advice, or a “what works well for us”. It’s simply a hug.  Because dealing with a picky eater can be so overwhelmingly frustrating and trying.  Even knowing that its a phase, and knowing I’ve never seen an adult only eat turkey dogs and cheese… when all you want is to be able to nourish your child with plenty of vitamins and wholesome goodness for the energy and growth they so deserve… its all too easy to feel defeated.

This one’s for you.

This is for the parents who have brought out the Brezza or food processor time after time after time, determined to make your own baby food, only to have a messy kitchen and a stocked freezer that will never get touched to show for it.  

This is for the parents who have tried steaming, broiling, baking, boiling, and grilling.  There’s bound to be a preparation method they’ll like, right? 

This one is for the parents who have gone out of their way to eat good foods with enthusiasm and passion in front of your children repeatedly to show that if they would just try it ONE MORE TIME, they’ll like it! We promise! 

This one is for the parents who after a long day, consciously prepare dinner with a lean protein, vegetable, and whole grain that you know are sure hits with your tot.  You just can’t deal with defeat.  Not today.  Until you sit down to eat, and this fab trio you prepared is met with an adamant, “NO! NO! NO!”.  

This one is for the parents who purposely take their kids to Sam’s Club for free samples. So they can try new foods without you having to buy or make them.  They love and eat up the cherries for the first time, so you happily buy a carton.  You get home feeling victorious, clean and cut some up, and then she acts like you’re trying to feed her feces.  

This one is for the parents who have resorted to acting like flipping magicians in the kitchen, hiding and covering up veggies in ways no child can detect.  Until they do, and that whole portion of their meal is now deemed inedible.  

This one is for the parents who have tried to wait it out. Leaving little ones in their booster or high chair for awhile.  Surely, she’ll cave.  She HAS to be hungry.  I WILL win this one.  Until you don’t.  

This one is for the parents who have made so many smoothies they should moonlight at their local Jamba Juice.  If they aren’t going to eat their fruits and veggies, you’ll be damned if they don’t drink them.  

This one is for the parents who know the anxiety that comes from knowing they only have one shot at introducing a new food at meal time.  And the WHEN during meal time is critical.  Too early – the entire meal could be shot.  Too late – the entire meal could be shot.  It’s an art form, people.  

This one is for the parents who have felt the repeated devastation of wasting food.  Oh, the wasting of food.  You consider eating it yourself, until you realize its not healthy for your mental well-being or waistline.  Breaks my heart one tiny piece at a time.  

This one is for the parents who have sat there at night, rocking their little one to sleep, replaying the day through their head and cataloging every thing their child ate.  Most days, it never feels like enough.  

This one is for the parents who rarely get to eat warm food.  You want to share meals together, and you want to set an example every day of what eating well looks like, but when you’re up and down repeatedly – the chicken is never warm by the time you get back to it.  

You know how important nourishment is for healthy minds and healthy bodies.  Your child deserves the best, and you so want to be able to give it to them if they just let you.  You envision the day when a family meal time will go smoothly, without disappointment, interruption, or requiring a short order cook.  You’ve read the books and articles.  You get the unsolicited advice.   And you know, like all phases, this too shall pass.   But in the moment, when you’ve pulled out all the stops, sometimes throwing up the white flag feels like your only course of action.

Some of my wonderful dietitian moms have recommended this Ellyn Satter site as a guide for setting healthy eating boundaries and sharing the responsibility of eating well between you and your children.  Hopefully some of you find it beneficial – I know I have.  A lot of great resources.

Until then, I feel for you.  We’ll get through this, one GD chicken nugget at a time.

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Nice & Slow – A Pregnancy Remix

The other day I was jamming to some old school Pandora stations, and Usher’s Nice & Slow found its way onto the screen. If you were a tweener or teen in the late 1990’s, this song and that My Way album was your JAM.

(In case you need a little refresher – here’s the throwback for you)

As I sat there keeping up with every word in my head, I found the song rewriting itself as I went along doing my best white girl rap. I guess a song about those after work, I’m coming home NOW, booty call from your husband kind of days are in my rear view mirror for the moment, which made the song a little humorous and unrelatable. Without missing a beat my brain took care of that for me, and created lyrics a little better suited for this glorious “one toddler and one on the way” time in our life.

One day, this song will ring true again. One day.

Until then…

NICE & SLOW – A PREGNANCY REMIX 

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It’s seven o’clock
On the dot
She’s in her drop top
Catchin’ her zzzz’s – oh yeah

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I got a real pretty, pretty little thang that’s waiting for me
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I waddle up
Anticipating, pregnant love
Light headedness, don’t keep me waiting
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I got plans to lay my belly in ways that
You always see, boy you know what I mean

Let me take you to a place nice and quiet
There ain’t no one there to interrupt
We really gotta rush
I’m too tired to take it nice and slow
(baby remember all the things you used to do to me)

See I’ve been waiting for this for so long
We’ll be makin’ love until the girl gets up
Baby
I’m too tired to take it nice and slow
(baby remember all the things you used to do to me)

Now here we are
I’m so impossibly round
Contemplating just how I’m gonna lay me down
Sciatic you got me sayin’
My, my, my – My
I wish that I – I
Could easily roll over
And get this thing started right now

I wanna do something freaky to you baby
Shit, I think she heard me
{whispers} I—I wanna do something freaky to you babe
I just can’t call out your name

They call me PR-EGG-O–MO-MMA—E
Now baby do you see these big ole boobies?
Got a momma feelin’ like Dolly P
Every time that you roll with me, holdin’ me
Tryin’ to get control of these
Nice and slow
You know
Never lettin’ go
This baby’s messin’ up our flow
This is how the hook go

Let me take you to a place nice and quiet
There ain’t no one there to interrupt
We really gotta rush
I’m too tired to take it nice and slow
(baby remember all the things you used to do to me)

See I’ve been waiting for this for so long
We’ll be makin’ love until the girl gets up
Baby
I’m too tired to take it nice and slow
(baby remember all the things you used to do to me)

Now tell me
Do you wanna get sleepy
Cause, I’ll sleep now yes I will
I’ll sleep now yes I will
I’ll get to sleep now cause that was part of our little deal
I’ll sleep now yes I will
I’ll sleep now yes I will
I’ll get to sleep now cause that was part of our little deal – yeah
(now baby please help me up I gotta pee)

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**If I had the time, resources, man power, or knowledge base to make this into a music video, I totally would’ve. The vision is there. Someone call What’s Up Moms and tell them we should talk! Also, a little shout out to my husband for taking and taking part in these pictures without having a clue of what they were for.  Such a trooper!**

 

The Compliments I Wish More New Moms Received

It used to mildly annoy me. Then for awhile it frustrated me. And now, after having it shoved down our throats repeatedly, it kind of pisses me off.

Olivia Wilde looks incredible just three months after baby! Claire Danes was on the red carpet in a size zero just one month postpartum! I’m pretty sure Kristin Cavallari wore her skinny jeans on the way home from the hospital. And I’m almost certain Gisele Bundchen gave birth during a pilates class and finished her exercises once she delivered. These headlines are everywhere, and every day it’s a new mom that is applauded for an even better version of her body than she had before pregnancy, and she achieved it in no time.

WE GET IT. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WE GET IT.

I’m not on a media crusade here, I’ll leave that to the much more competent, much more influential people out there with the platforms to make a difference. And after really evaluating why it infuriates me like it does, it’s not even that I’m on a jealously rooted rant. (OK, a tiny part of me is jealous). Honestly, it just really makes me sad. It’s sad to feel like the only compliment our new moms receive these days has to do with how quickly they can make themselves look like they never carried and birthed a baby in the first place.

Now please understand I’m not knocking women who, whether through unwavering dedication and hard work or the jackpot of genetics, bounce back quickly. Being healthy and taking care of ourselves should be a priority, and it should definitely be acknowledged.

My problem is, there’s so much more our focus should be on when speaking about women who just gave birth. There is never a shortage of the, “you look great!”s, and “wow, it melted right off you!”s. So much so, they often feel artificial and insincere – its just something people say to new moms whether they genuinely mean it or not. While I know I got them, I don’t remember a single one. The compliments I DO remember, however, had absolutely nothing to do with my physical appearance.

I specifically remember the text I got from a dear friend (who, at the time, I didn’t even know really followed my motherhood journey). Out of the blue, she let me know how fantastic of a mother I was and how she hoped to be “a quarter of the mom that I already am”. I specifically remember the conversation I had with my husband, where he told me one of the biggest reasons he was excited to see our family grow again was because of me, because I was “such an amazing mother”. I specifically remember the conversation I had with my grandmother about how she was so impressed with all the experiences I was trying to give Tayler and all that I was exposing her to. I remember the compliments about breastfeeding, about patience, and about how hard I was working around the clock to give Tayler everything she needed. Those words all stuck with me and helped build me up because they acknowledged the kinds of qualities I think really matter to new moms. The qualities our focus should be on when speaking to new moms. Those were the compliments that reminded me my energy was being spent in the right places.

I imagine Us Weekly would have to shut down if they changed their focus. I’m not sure the headline “Olivia Wilde is an avid baby wearer!” would sell any copies. But for those of us who are around your every day new mom, the ones who don’t have night nannies, who make their own meals on a budget, and who try and squeeze in a jog or some squats when they find a free 20 minutes and their energy isn’t completely zapped – acknowledge something more than just her physical appearance. Let her know you’re in awe of how natural she is in her new role. Tell her you respect how hard she works at work and then comes home and works with that same tenacity. Let her know that despite the few hours of broken sleep she got, you admire how she’s able to keep her patience and provide lovingly for her infant all day long. Reach out to tell her you revere the fact that she has the confidence to go against the grain, knowing what she is doing is best for her and her baby.

A new mom has so much more going on in her life than only worrying about how far she is from her pre-baby pant size. Not only that, but many women love their new motherly shape and don’t want to look like they did before children. We need to acknowledge that fact and change the conversation so our new moms can focus on the things that matter and be reassured their priorities are in the right order. Compliment her heart, soul, and fierce love for her babies. Those are the qualities that are raising exceptional little people – not the inches around her waist.

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