Babywearing Ballet: The Ultimate Mom Brainwash

Enough is enough.

At the time of conception your body changes. It. Just. Does. There is nothing that we can do about it. As the baby grows inside you, you grow. You grow a lot. You are now someone’s house. Nobody want’s to live in 700 Sq. Feet. Why should your baby be any different? That little sucker wants to flourish. That little sucker wants it all, and he takes it all. Your nutrients, your energy, your brain. You give it up because you already love him. Pregnancy is your first motherly act, it’s not about you anymore. It will never be about you again. This used to be okay, this used to be the norm. Mothers everywhere accepted the fact that they would never have a pre-pregnancy form after baby. Even if you are an athlete, even if you work your ass off. Things shift when you are pregnant, and some of those things are never going to find their way back to where they started.

But then it happened.

The media started flooding us with famous women who look “fabulous” after childbirth. Kate Hudson, Kourtney Kardashian … Snooki, for fucks sake…. SNOOKI!! I mean, you gotta love her drunk swagger but homegirl didn’t look too hot before she had the baby. And now here they are, all to-die-for and non-matronly looking, making the average mom (all the rest of us) feel like sub par pieces of shit. As if being the only source of everything for another human being wasn’t a daunting enough task, now we have to look great while doing it? Ugh. I’m so aggravated I could spit out my wine. But I won’t because… wine.

So now we have entered the hamsters wheel. Round and round we go… Diet. Exercise. Beauty Products. Keratin Treatments. Green drinks. Raw Juice. Vegan. Paleo. Yoga. Weight Watchers. Jenny Craig.

I’m already exhausted just thinking about it.

After the birth of my second child I took up running. It was difficult and boring all at the same time. I was never very good at it nor did I enjoy it much. I “trained” for 8 months, ran two 5k’s (okay, I’m lying, I walked most of the second one) and I stopped running as quickly as I took it up.

At the time I choose to run because I felt that “need” to get into shape. I wanted to be a MILF. I mean, who doesn’t? With the media showing us motherly beauty at every corner I just wanted to feel skinny. I wanted to feel something other than tired and old. Running was ideal for me at the time because I couldn’t afford classes, a gym membership or a babysitter. I had to do something that I could do with my son.

What I saw today knocked me into this I-fucking-give-up laden tirade.

Babywearing Ballet.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

I know some people are really into babywearing. I am not one of these people. When I wear my baby it’s because I have too, not because I want to. It’s because he’s crying and fussy. He needs to be soothed and I only have 2 damn hands (and 2 other kids).

Yes, I need to get back in shape. I know it. It’s time. I’m big, and fat, and looked better when I was pregnant. I like food and booze way too much to do nothing. And no, carrying around my 19 pound 5-month-old doesn’t count as exercise. I wish it did.

I’m just slack-jawed over babywearing ballet. If a mom has the financial means to pay for an exercise class, lets just stop now into shaming her to involve her baby. Jesus, can’t Mom just have one damn hour to herself? 60 little minutes? Just an hour where you drop the kid in the daycare at the gym to go do your thing? Now we have to strap our baby to our chest because, “G-d forbid”, we do one thing that’s just for us?

I do have some mom friends that are in STELLAR shape. Amazing, beautiful, mind-blowing shape. They exercise and have a huge amount of discipline and time to look this way, but none of them are 5 months post-pregnancy. Their kids are school aged and they use that time to their advantage. I could be like that in 3 years. {wishful thinking}

I’m troubled that the “bring-along-your-baby” fitness trend is the ultimate mom brainwash. Why would you pay $100 a month if it doesn’t include childcare? I won’t. I refuse. It’s batshitcrazy. We are told we need to look fit and young but we can’t have anytime to get it done on our own. “Here you go, look like a million bucks with a $20 budget.” That, my friends, is impossible. These famous new moms look like a million bucks because that’s what the going cost of beauty is nowadays.

I know what I can get for $20.

Tacos. I can get tacos.

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The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Guide to The Summer of George

I was a Seinfeld fan from the start.  Maybe it was the story about nothing.  Maybe it was Kramer.  Maybe it was the fact that it was so freaking scripted but it wasn’t Who’s the Boss or Cosby Show scripted.  I still can’t put my finger on the full reason for my reverence… but “The Summer of George” was my favorite episode.  Hands down.  Ever.

If you’re familiar with Seinfeld (and this episode) then you remember that George had been fired from his job with The New York Yankees.  While he’s wallowing in his sadness he discovers that he has been allotted a severance package that will last for approximately 3 months.  And that is when George decides he is going to “really do something with those 3 months.”  He’s going to read a book (from beginning to end, in that order).  He’s going to learn to play Frolf (Frisbee-golf).  This is going to be the time for George to “taste the juices and let them drip down his chin.”  Now, being the lazy bastard that he is, George doesn’t really accomplish many of his goals but every time summer rolls around, I’m so fucking jealous of George and the idea of “that” summer.

It is currently the third week of summer camp for my older kids here.  I’ve been feeling, a bit, low…. let me take that back,  the monotony of it all has made it Groundhog Day around here.

Summer is turning out to be just like Fall, Winter, and Spring.  The same.  But hotter… It’s like a shitty song on repeat and I’ve already skipped too may songs on Pandora to listen to something new.  The incessant loads of laundry and meal planning, the grocery shopping, the drop-offs, the pick-ups… there must be something else I’m supposed to be doing…

And then it hit me.

My older kids are in camp until 3:45 EVERYDAY!!  That is almost 2 hours longer then the normal school day for my Middle Monkey and my Hubby isn’t an asshole about my jobs around the house.

It’s almost like I’ve been given a severance package too… but this one is with TIME!

And around here, time is like money.

I’m really going to live.

I’m going to do all the things I don’t normally do!

I declare this… “The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Summer of George”!

Here is my Top 10 list of things to do…

10. Go see the movie Chef, during the day, with my 4 month old baby.  {Because no one takes a baby to the movies… but I have to see this}

9. Drive to the Eden “strange fruit” winery (which is over 1 hour away) and buy kiwi wine.  {Because no one takes a baby to a winery… but I have to try this}

8. Finally hit up a spinning class.  {Even though I’m petrified}

7. Put on a bathing suit and take the baby to a public pool.  {Ugh, but it has to be done}

6. Get a pedicure. {Because damn, my feet are toe-up}

5. Travel the 30 minutes to the Norman Love Confections and take the chocolate tour.  {Because chocolate}

4. Take the baby to the beach and only pack one bag and an umbrella.  {It’s harder than you think}

3. Have lunch or brunch with a friend once a week.   {Because friends and food}

2. Read a trilogy.   {From beginning to end, in that order}

1. Eat a peach, alone, without any children asking for a bite, and let the juices drip down my chin, just like George.

You Want a Piece of Me?

Everyone wants a piece of mommy.

Everyone.

This isn’t always a bad thing.  But it is an exhausting thing.  And I’m starting to wonder where their need for me ends and where my need for myself begins.  And just writing that sentence down makes me feel super guilty.  Which is really fucked up.

I’m not blaming my family.  Don’t think that for a minute.  I made the conscious choice to bring all of these little people into the world.  There were no surprises, no “oops” babies, no regrets.  But how can I still tend to all of their physical and emotional needs, while still preserving a slight sense of self, and not feel bad about it?  Considering it’s 1pm and I just realized I haven’t brushed my hair or teeth today (I know, gross) I really need to figure this out.  I did remember deodorant though, so I’ve got that going for me.

A good mommy friend of mine just opened a spinning studio.  It looks beautiful and exciting and she’s been asking me to come in and take a class.  Who am I kidding?  She’s a personal trainer, she doesn’t ask.  She’s got my number because I need a drill Sargent and I love her sweet ass for it, but I’m not gonna lie… I’m scared shitless of so many different things about this, so much so, that I’m really walking the plank with little baby steps.

Fear number 1…

I am in awful shape.  My baby is 4 months old and the only exercise I’ve done is lift a wineglass to my mouth.  I have no endurance, a sagging, three-peat, c-section belly and I’m winded after a diaper change.  What if I make a fool of myself, even more than normal?

Fear number 2…

I haven’t had great experience with spinning class.  I took a spinning class once at the local YMCA.  I was young, in shape and childless at the time.  I did the class for 10 minutes, said “Fuck this”, hopped off the bike and scrapped the shit out of my shin on the pedal.  While I hobbled from the class, bleeding, I vowed to only stick to workouts I like. Which, by the way, have turned out to be “no workouts”.

I’m amazing at not working out.  I could take the gold medal in that.

Fear number 3…

And this is the most completely ridiculous and irrational fear… What if I really, really, like it?  What if I like it so much that I have to get a sitter for my kids and actually make time for myself?  What if I actually get in shape?  Will I be able to maintain?  Will I have to make separate meals for me and the rest of my family?  Will working out cause me to miss out on things I’d normally have to sit around and bear the burden of being the only one to do them?  Can I make a plan and follow through on it when it has nothing to do with my children’s happiness but everything to do with my health?  Would that make my selfish?  I feel so strange about taking time for myself although it doesn’t make any sense when I say it aloud.

Eek!

She tells me that all I have to do is stay on the bike.

If I can stay on the bike I’ve done it.

If that’s the case I might just sit there and not pedal.

The Big Box Store Meets The Little House

 

After many years of avoidance I finally re-upped my Costco membership. These kids eat A LOT! And we eat a lot.  And the baby hasn’t even started eating solids yet… so yes, I’m screwed.

Costco is the place where dreams are made and bank accounts are broken. As a new member, you don’t really know what is a one-time-only bargain price and what they stock on a daily basis. So every time I hit that bitch with a list, I buy the items on said list and then some extra shit that I think is a good deal.

While I’m shopping I’m usually thinking “this is a good price” or “oh man, I can’t swing that now, hope it’s here the next time”. And everything seems small when you’re at Costco… because the place is so fucking big. Most items (that aren’t big-ticket) are under $10. Then I get to the checkout line and I die when I see my total. Then I bring everything to the car and die again because I have 2 car seats, 3 kids, a stroller, a soccer bag, and my huge diaper bag already taking up necessary room … and I realize, if I can barely fit this shit into my car, where the hell am I going to put it in my house.

Which leads me to the real point of this blog… I don’t have a small house. Well, maybe it’s small for 5 people, but my house seems so much smaller because I’m terrible at organization, and I don’t like to get rid of things.

We built this house. We’ve lived here 11 years and we still have no freaking clue where to put shit. We definitely need to throw things away. Lot’s of things. But there is always that nagging feeling that you’ll need this obscure thing someday and you won’t have it and you’ll say, “Damn, I had that… now I have to go to Costco to get it.”

I don’t like that feeling.

I bought a Foodsaver at Costco today. You need a Foodsaver if you’re going to have a membership at Costco… unless you are trying to get really fat (which I’m not). But I have no clue how to use it… besides its awesome ability to vacuum suck a bottle of wine. Ironically, we drink wine pretty fast so I really don’t need to store it for long periods of time… but I digress.

So tomorrow the big kids start camp and I’m starting my new project. The Costco project.

Out with the old (please) and in with the new from the big box store.

Or just out with the old.

Hopefully I make the cut.