Little Boys.

You guys, my son thinks I’m the friggin’ best.  I know he’s only seven months old, but I can just tell.  I mean, a mother knows these things, right?  I swear I have never had a bigger fan in my entire life, or a better audience for my ridiculous antics and buffoonery.

Here’s my proof:

He thinks I’m the…

Best singer he’s ever heard.

My evidence is that every time I sing a pitchy version of Let it Go from Frozen, he giggles wildly and squeals at the top of his lungs for more.  And, like, not to brag, but when I stop singing, he cries.

Best dancer he’s ever seen.

He particularly loves it when I whip and nae nae, or when we reenact the final scene from Dirty Dancing.  P.S. I play the role of Johnny Castle, and he’s Baby.

Funniest girl he’s ever met.

I can make this kid belly laugh to his guts with my imitation of Peg from Peg Plus Cat saying, “We’ve got a reeeeeeally big problem!!!”, or with a fake English accent, asking him if he’d like “a spot ‘o tea.”

Best cook ever.

He’s especially impressed when I serve him lukewarm peas out of a plastic bowl.

You know, I could really get used to this, being my little boy’s best girl and everything, but the other day I got to thinking as we were curled up on the couch watching Curious George, will I always be his best girl?  Will he always think I’m the funniest girl he’s ever met, and the best singer, the best cook?  What happens when he discovers that I really can’t hit those high notes at the end of Let it Go?  Will he roll his eyes at me when I try to impress him with my dance moves in the car when he’s a teenager, because let’s face it, I’m probably going shimmy my shoulders, and put my hands in the air at red lights.  What happens when he discovers that I’m terrible at math, and that I can’t help him with his homework, because let’s face it, I’ve forgotten everything there is to know about math, and that I’m really only useful at helping him with two subjects, and those subjects would be English and Literature, but what if he doesn’t even need help with those subjects, because he takes after me, and he’s also good at them???

Oh, Lordy.

Okay, okay, okay…I know that I’m getting a little carried away, but I do wonder what will happen to my general psyche when I’m exposed, found out, and discovered for not really being the greatest at everything, and that I’m a human being with flaws like everybody else.

And I hope I can handle it when my son falls in love for the first time, or has his first elementary school crush.  I hope I can embrace it when he looks at someone else the way he looks at me, when he grins with his twinkly eyes and his whole face lights up, because I swear no matter how much time goes by, I’m always going to remember the way he looks at seven months old smiling the sweet little smile.

Is it weird that I already know what song I want to dance with him to at his wedding?  Because I do.  God Only Knows by The Beach Boys. 

Full disclosure, when I first found out I was having a boy, I cried.  I couldn’t believe that I cried.  I mean, what kind of a**hole was I?  I was having a healthy baby, and that should’ve been enough for me, but I cried.  At the time, I was secretly hoping for a girl.  As a woman I thought that I might know how to care for a girl better than I would a boy.  As my pregnancy went on, I embraced the fact that I was having a boy, and reminded myself after every successful doctors appointment of how thankful I was that my baby was thriving, but I’d be lying if I told you that daydreams of pretty pink dresses didn’t still occasionally pop into my head during the nine months.  Now that I have a son, and I’ve experienced being the mother of a little boy, I truly and honestly don’t care if I ever have a girl.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have a daughter someday, I really would, but if I don’t, my life is complete with this little boy that I fondly call Monk.

There’s something very magical about being a mother to a son, and something so hopeful about it, too.  As a mom you get this amazing opportunity to shape this little boy into being a good man, a respectful gent, and the type of guy that you’d want to marry.

I’m sure it will break my heart someday when he comes to me and tells me that he’s going to get married.  And I’m sure I’ll cry my eyes out when we dance to God Only Knows by The Beach Boys.  And I’m even more sure that while I’m having a nervous breakdown and nearly hyperventilating on the dance floor, he’ll probably be thinking, “Oh geez, mom, really?”

And I’ll just be thinking…

Does anyone know CPR_

I seriously might need an ambulance, or a doctor.  Thank God I married one.  But you know, it’s not like I’ll be able to help it or anything.  He’s my little man.  He’s my boy, one of the greatest loves of my life.  No matter how old he gets, he’s my baby, and he will always always always be the best friggin’ thing I’ve ever done.

The end.

Advertisements

The Tale of the Tiny Tummy.

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but there’s an epidemic happening in the world of pregnant women everywhere.  Aside from the pregnancy body shaming that happens in the media, which I find disgusting and disheartening, there is also an obsession that promotes having the “tiniest pregnancy bump ever.”  I like to call it the Oh My God, You Don’t Even Look Pregnant Disease.  Full disclosure, I too, suffered from this insanity while pregnant.

Look, people are curious about the pregnant body in general, I get it.  It’s fascinating.  It’s crazy to watch someone’s body changing, to see the bump grow, to see how the body compensates to build this little life, and when it’s you that’s pregnant, it’s even crazier.  Before I had a baby, I would look at pregnant women, and just stare.  I mean, not on purpose, but rather in wonderment.

I understand the interest.  I also understand the tendency to say what you’re thinking when you see someone’s body changing, evolving into something otherworldly.  It might be tempting to blurt out what you’re seeing, because it’s probably assumed that the pregnant woman you’re saying it to, already knows.  I mean they’re pregnant after all, right?  They might already know that they look like they’re “about to pop” even with four to five months to go, but that doesn’t mean you should say it.  So,  right here, right now I’m going to make a bold statement that I hope no one ever forgets.  If you’re thinking of saying anything other than, “You’re glowing, and look beautiful,” don’t say it.  And please, also know that it’s never okay to tell a pregnant woman that her “belly really doesn’t look that big yet, but that her hips definitely look like they’ve expanded,” or after she has a baby, flippantly make a comment like, “Oh, look at you, you’re not fat anymore.”  Yes, you guessed it, this bitterness is stemming from a personal experience, both of which were said to me, the first while I was pregnant, and the second about six weeks after I had my baby.

Maybe all the coverage in the media where it’s speculated about how much weight a celebrity has gained during their pregnancy, is what has desensitized us all from being sensitive toward the changing body of pregnant women.  People, it seems, have become really comfortable with calling pregnant women fat, and categorizing where a pregnant woman has or hasn’t put on weight.

“Oh, she’s all belly”, is something that is often said to the woman who doesn’t look pregnant when you see her walking from behind, and really, is a nice way of saying, “Lucky you, you only gained weight in your belly.”

And there’s the, “Oh, she looks like she’s having a girl,” which seems to be the nice way of saying, “Honey, you’re wide from every angle.”

It all makes me crazy.

And then there’s the fat shaming.  Oh, the fat shaming.  Who doesn’t remember the fat shaming of Kim Kardashian during her first pregnancy?  The endless speculation of what and how much she was eating.  There were pictures of that poor girl’s swollen feet on every gossip magazine at the grocery store, and I swear I remember one article where she was wearing a black and white dress, and they compared her to Shamu.  She was pregnant, for godsakes.  And Jessica Simpson.  Everywhere you looked, there were unflattering pictures, chronicling her weight gain for the entire nine months.

I believe this compulsion to have the “tiniest bump ever” was born from a perverse play by play of any celebrity who has ever had a baby.  The constant keeping score of how much this one or that one gained, along with the assessment of how lightning fast the weight is lost post-pregnancy is also incredibly troublesome, and to be quite honest, makes my skin crawl.

I think this weight obsessed society surrounding pregnancy has caused pregnant women everywhere to strive for something unattainable and unhealthy, which is to not look pregnant, when you’re pregnant.

It’s praised when a pregnant celebrity “barely looks pregnant.”  There were recent articles praising Coco Austin, and how she barely looked pregnant six months into her pregnancy.  The headline read something like, “See Coco Austin’s Tiny Baby Bump!”  I think the article also talked about how she was still fitting into her per-pregnancy jeans.  And recently, Chrissy Teigen was chastised for “popping so early” in her first pregnancy.

#doesthispregnancymakemelookfat

What’s wrong with this picture, people?  Yes, it’s not good to over indulge in fried food and sweets while pregnant, and gain a hundred pounds, which can put you at risk for a bevy of complications that are not good for mother and baby.  It’s also not good, however, to worry so much about how you look.

I did.  I hate admitting that, but I definitely did to an extent.

Let’s be clear, I never let it stop me from eating.  No way, no how.  I ate, trust me.  I was always hungry, and boy, did I ever eat.  I gained a substantial amount of weight, too.  The problem, however, was that I refused to take pictures of my growing baby bump and pregnancy along the way.  I literally have no pictures to look back on, and remember that time in my life.  For my entire pregnancy, I maybe took four pictures, one of which I shared in my birth story post, and one that my husband forced me to take when I was on my way into the hospital to give birth.  I can’t tell you how glad I am that he made me take that picture.  I think it’s sad that I obsessed so much about how my body should or shouldn’t look that I never fully let go, and enjoyed the ride.

For the Average Joe, eh Jane rather, the media and society can alter the way we think of the pregnant body, if we let what they say dictate how we think.

No, you’re not supposed to fit into your jeans when you’re three months pregnant like that celebrity on the cover of the magazine, so let’s agree to stop perpetuating this notion, K?  Yes, it’s normal to “pop early” if that’s how it all evolves for you.  Everyone is different.  Everything is normal.

So, please ladies…

STEP AWAY FROM THE SKINNY JEANS.

I repeat.

STEP AWAY FROM THE SKINNY JEANS THAT USED TO FIT YOU.  THEY’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO FIT YOU ANYMORE, YOU’RE PREGNANT.  AND PLEASE DO NOT REVISIT THESE JEANS FOR A VERY, VERY LONG TIME AFTER YOU HAVE THAT BABY.

Are we clear?

I’m not going to lie, I wrote this post for a reason.  I wrote it to start a revolution against the obsession with the teeny, tiny baby bump, and the fat shaming toward pregnant women everywhere.

So, now I have to ask…

Who’s with me?

The end.

Oh, Judgement.

“Wait.  So, you’re not breast-feeding???”

I’ve been asked this question dozens of times over the last six months, so let me answer it now, and forever hold my peace.

No, I’m not.

There.  Now everyone knows.

Yes, I know how beneficial it is for my baby.  Yes, I know how much money we would’ve saved ourselves from not buying formula.  Yes, I know that breast-feeding helps you lose the baby weight.  And yes, I know a million other reasons why it’s so wonderful, so please don’t rub it in.

Before I had my baby, I remember having lunch with one of my mommy friends, and the subject of breast-feeding came up.  I told her that, yes, I had every intention of breast-feeding my child.  I told her that, because it was true.  I absolutely had been planning on breast-feeding for months.  In fact, I had my bright, shiny and new breast pump and all its accessories, waiting in its designated spot on my dresser for my baby to arrive.  Breast-feeding?  Breast pumping?  I mean, it all seemed like a no-brainer to me.  It would come easy to me.  Of course it would.  It’s the most natural thing in the world to do, right?  So, why wouldn’t it?

Why wouldn’t it?  Why wouldn’t it?!  Bwaaaaahahahaha.  Because sometimes things don’t go according to plan, and that’s just the way it is.  Every somewhat, well-adjusted adult on the planet knows that.  My mommy friend warned me of this, too.  She told me that although she did breastfeed, and even though it came easy to her, breast-feeding was not like that for everyone.  I silently listened with blissful ignorance.  Surely I wouldn’t be one of those moms who had a hard time, I thought as she spoke.  My entire pregnancy had been pretty straight forward, so why should this be any different?  I mean, my mom breast-fed me and my brothers.  I assumed the odds were stacked in my favor.

But I was wrong.

Even with all the will in the world, you can’t make something work that just won’t work.  And I’m an extremely willful person, too.  That’s a nice way of saying stubborn, by the way.   If I really want something, I don’t raise my white flag until I’ve exhausted myself to my absolute breaking point, and that might mean a trip to the ER, which is exactly what happened about a week and a half after I had my baby.  I was so rundown from birth, recovery, and taking care of an infant that my milk barely came in, and I got a migraine so severe that it took needle injections into my skull, and an MRI of my brain to make sure I didn’t have a bleed.  When I left the ER after the migraine incident, I was advised to pump whatever milk had come in, and dump it out, because the injections I had gotten could be harmful to my baby.

I could barely keep my eyes open for days after my ER visit, and I was so weak, but even after all that, I still wanted to breast-feed.  I was no quitter.  No, not me.   So, I continued to pump and pump and pump, until one day, I just stopped, stared at the breast pump that had become a torture device, and started to cry.  Even with all of my gung-ho pumping, I wasn’t even getting two ounces.  I sat there, and asked myself why I was putting myself through this.

Why was this so important to me?

To answer that question simply, I just really, really wanted to.  I mean, I wanted to so badly.  I had this deep desire to do this wonderful thing for my child, and I felt cheated.  In keeping true to my headstrong nature, it was hard to accept that it wasn’t working, but deep down I knew it wasn’t. I was sick, exhausted, emotional, and looking back at that time, dangerously close to landing myself in the hospital for a third time if I had kept going.

I put the breast pump away, took a deep breath, and felt something curious.

Relief.

Oh, sweet relief.

 

freedom!(2)

 

Yes, I wanted to breast-feed for my baby, but if I’m being honest, a big part of why it was so hard to give up on, was because I feared what all the other moms would say.

Judgement, whether real or imagined, can really make a mess of things if you let it in.  When I said goodbye to that fear, and when the day finally came when I no longer felt defensive when asked if I was breast-feeding or not, I felt like I could finally breathe.

I’ve realized over the last six months that every mom has to do what she has to do.  Meaning, we as moms, can’t be so hard on ourselves out of fear for how we might be judged by each other.  Everyone has their own way of doing things, and honestly, everyone is just trying to survive.

You’re not pureeing your own baby food with organic fruits and vegetables? 

You’re not using all natural, recycled diapers?

You send your infant to daycare, because you have to work to support a family?

You send your infant to daycare, because you choose to work?

You’re a stay at home mom, and you don’t have any timeline about when you’ll go back to work?

You’re vaccinating your baby?

You’re not vaccinating your baby?

You let your kid watch television for a little too long today, because you needed five minutes to yourself?

I could keep going, but you get the point.

Something profound might happen if we shut our minds off to the silent judgement that occurs while reading that Facebook post, or when you see that mom open up the cookies in line at the grocery store before she pays for them and give them to her screaming kid, or at the playground when she loses her cool because her kid is refusing to leave.

Maybe, just maybe, it might leave room for us all to enjoy ourselves a little more.

The end.

Photo by me.