Mom Jealousy

Oh jealousy, you fickle fiend, always rearing your grumpy green head at the absolute worst moment.  As if I wasn’t stressed enough – planning my son’s first birthday and traveling back and forth between the Florida coasts to visit family – that familiar feeling decided to come creeping up recently.  Logically, I know it’s just my own insecurities making me feel like I’m losing some imaginary mom competition (Mompetition?), but that doesn’t seem to help me shake the feeling.

Just can't shake it!

Just can’t shake it!

I’ll be honest.  I get jealous.  A lot.  I get envious of moms who appear to have it all, moms who seem to be able to do it all, moms who don’t worry, healthy moms, moms who have all the answers.  You name it, I’ve either been jealous of or insecure about it.  But I don’t really linger on the jealousy.  It’s more of a fleeting thought that flickers across my mind when I see a woman at the grocery store, hair perfectly in place, bright eyes, carrying multiple things with ease, that I wonder to myself how I must look in comparison.  Messy ponytail with strands pulled undone by little hands, bleary eyes, struggling to find where I last put my debit card.  How could I not feel a little twinge of envy?

yup

Riiight?!

It’s not all pity party, though.  Sometimes I get these “epiphany moments” where I’m inspired by some random BuzzFeed article, convinced that I’ve found the ultimate life hack to turn me into Super Mom or a Pinterest board with the perfect sensory play project to guarantee my baby will be the next Einstein.  I’m full of optimism that I can finally be the best mother my child deserves and the best me that I deserve.

Such blind optimism

Such blind optimism

Of course things never turn out that way.  Something will inevitably go wrong and then those insecure feelings come back.  It can be a vicious cycle.  And normally, if I find out that I’m not alone in my self-doubt, I’ll start to feel better.  Yet somehow this isn’t one of those times.  I’ve heard every woman I know, chronically ill or not, vent about their issues of Mompetition (I’m trying to make this word happen, if you can’t tell).  And sure, we get together for a GNO and all chime in with our own horror stories and commiserate with each other, but most of the time we still go back home full of angsty sighs that would make a 90s grunge teen look like sunshine.

Angela Chase ain't got nothing on me

Angela Chase ain’t got nothing on me

But you know what snapped me out of my ‘Envy–>Self-Doubt–>Repeat’ cycle?  It may seem totally insignificant, yet it was a game-changer for me.  Not too long ago I was out to lunch with my best friend and my son.  On paper he should have been fine; he had just eaten, napped, and been changed.  Except, right around the time when I was getting ready to eat, he decided to have a meltdown.  So there I was, in a restaurant full of judge-y eyes, feeling the “shame sweat” begin to bead up on my forehead, trying to gently bounce him on my knee and maintain a smile as if he wasn’t letting out a demon-summoning shriek.

...basically

…basically

And you know what happened?  My best friend, God bless her, looked me dead in the eye and said, “Hey, you are doing great right now.  We all need to feel validated and I’m here to tell you that you are doing great.”  At the time, I just shrugged, nervously laughed, and mumbled out an awkward thank you.  But as I drove home, with my untouched lunch in a to-go box and my mini-monster blissfully asleep in the car seat, I let her words really sink in.  She saw, as only another woman can, the exact kind of panic I was in.  And she didn’t try to flatter me with superficial cliches nor did she avert her gaze and pretend not to know me (which I wouldn’t have blamed her for).  Instead, she told me exactly what I needed to hear.  It’s not about comparing yourself to someone else; it’s about being told you’re doing great, warts and all.

Gorgeous

Gorgeous

So to all the women (mothers or not) who have validated me, I sincerely thank you.  And in case no one has told you yet, you are doing great.

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What’s Your Mom Style?

Remember the fun quizzes you would take as a teenager?  “Who’s Your Celeb Twin?”  “What Decade Do You Belong In?”  Well I figured we could have a little fun here, too, and talk about our different mom styles!

So each week we’ll look at a different kind of style of “mom-ing,” if you will.  Can we make that a thing?  Mom-ing!  It’s just so catchy haha.  Anyways, in today’s spotlight we have the…

Helicopter Mother

Sure, the term has some negative connotations these days, but it’s not all bad.  Right?  I’m a glass half-full kinda gal, so I like to believe that deep down inside, the Helicopter Mom just wants what is best for her child.  But sometimes she can get a little carried away with her good intentions.

 

Profile:

The term “Helicopter Mom” comes from her tendency to hover over her child/children.  She can be overly immersed in every aspect of her child’s life.  And not only is she aware of everything going on with her child, she is equally involved with their doctors, teachers, and the parents of her child’s friends.

fresh prince mind ya business

Just sayin’

Pros:

The upside to so much hovering is that if there ever really is a problem, they will know about it immediately.  An otherwise ignored illness, a bully on the playground, will all be caught and addressed by the all-seeing Helicopter Mom.

MY BABYYY!!!

“MY BABYYY!!!”

Cons:

The children of Helicopter Parents face a potential future of entitlement, inflated ego, anxiety issues, and a fear of failure.  If their parent(s) have been there their whole life, micro-managing everything, righting every wrong, coddling, and swooping in to save them from anything bad, then they may not be prepared to deal with the real world.

"Mom you're embarrassing me!!!"

“Moooomm! You’re embarrassing me!!!”

Subtypes:

Tiger Mom:

I can't help it, I love Supernatural

I can’t help it, I love Supernatural

Deeply concerned with academic performance and fiercely protective, these moms tend to be stricter than Helicopter Moms.  The end result is highly valued.  Success is measured by grades, trophies, and medals.

Lawnmower Parent:

lawnmower mom

…and these moms mean it!

Also known as a Bulldozer Mom, this mom will go to any length to make sure her child never has to face any kind of obstacle or problem.  She will mow down or bulldoze anything that poses a threat to her child, whether it’s making a bad grade disappear or canceling play dates with rough kids.

Peacock Mom:

Your child may have an inflated ego...

Your child may have an inflated ego…

Proud as a peacock, this mom frames every doodle, takes loads of pictures, and fills your Facebook feed with all her little one’s accomplishments.  Not only does she love showing off her own child, she is constantly comparing her child to others.  “Oh your son isn’t crawling yet?  Mine has been crawling for two months now.”

 

And that finishes the first installment in a series on different mom styles!  Stay tuned for the next mom style!  Remember, everything on here is just for funsies and shouldn’t be taken too seriously 🙂  Hope you enjoyed it

Is “Me Time” Necessary or Narcissistic?

Every mom, newbie or old pro, knows her baby is the number one priority.  At least that’s what society tells us.  Everything from film to television to social media tells women that once they become mothers, they are to wear their unkempt hair and blood-shot eyes as a badge of motherhood pride.  We’re supposed to be tired, selfless, angels who never complain about performing the same endless tasks without ceasing.

But guess what?  That’s not reality.  The reality is that yes, we get to a point where we don’t care if there’s a little spit up on our shirt, but we also know that we need a break every now and then, too.  I’m not suggesting you put in earplugs and take a bubble bath while your baby cries in the other room.  I’m suggesting we all stop pretending to be robots that are capable of indefinitely living on no sleep and able to do everything without help or support.  After all, even robots break down.

So here are some of the reasons I think we should start a new trend of unapologetically taking care of ourselves so that we can continue being the awesome mothers we already are.  And just for fun, all the gifs are of Leslie Knope from Parks & Rec because why not?

It Helps You Compartmentalize

Sometimes, when you’re knee-deep in dirty onesies and your hands are full or drooly toys, you can get overwhelmed and your to do list can seem insurmountable.

leslie thoughts

Enjoying a nice cup of tea for a moment allows you to take a step back and look at the problem with a fresh pair of eyes.  A little breather can make any to do list less Mt. Everest-y and more pitcher’s mound-ish.

It Lets You See Your Child Differently

When you are with your baby 24/7, life can become a routine.  Feed the baby, change the baby, play with the baby, calm the baby, repeat.  Did I mention life has no pause button?

leslie oh ann

Even a little time apart can put your baby in a new light.  All of a sudden it’s not a routine you have to keep up with; you get to watch this funny little human grow up right in front of your eyes.

It Clears Your Head

This one is a no-brainer, no pun intended.  When you’re running around worrying about doing the laundry, taking care of the baby, and running errands, you can easily become frazzled.

leslie music

Even meditating for fifteen minutes can give you time to clear your head of any fears or worry and be able to face the day recharged.

It Extinguishes Anger

We all get angry, don’t lie.  Whether your baby soiled his clothes for the umpteenth time or your partner forgot to clean the bottles, even the littlest things can cause you to see red when running on little sleep and a fried brain.

leslie angry

Stepping away from the situation can put things into perspective and calm you down.  You may even laugh about whatever it was that initially got you grumpy in the first place!

It Can Make Your Partner Appreciate You More

You know that saying, “A pictures is worth a thousand words,” right?  Well thirty minutes with a fussy baby is worth a million words.  You can tell your partner a hundred different ways about what all goes into your day and that the baby isn’t always a perfect little angel.  But…

All moms are like ninjas crossed with Jedis

All moms are like ninjas crossed with Jedis

Some one-on-one time will show your partner just how hard you work while taking care of the baby, and I bet you will be more appreciated.

So go on ladies, it’s time to do away with the guilt and the fear of judgement.  After all, if you don’t take care of yourself, then you can’t take care of your baby.

A Day in the Life 2.0

Once before, for funsies, I did a little glimpse into what happens in a given day of a high-risk pregnant woman.  Since everyone seemed to get a kick out of it, here’s a day in the life of a new mom with a chronic illness in 10 gifs!

1. Wake Up via Crying Baby

NOTE: This is what I want to say, but do not

NOTE: I would never say this, I just think it… very loudly

2. Calm Down Baby

It could all go horribly wrong at any moment

Much like trying to pet a wild animal, attempting to cuddle away the cries usually ends in scratches and more crying

3. Prepare Bottle

hot fuzz

Trying to function early in the morning whilst holding a baby in one arm is akin to trying to walk in a straight line after one too many lagers

4. Burp Baby –> Take Cover –> Change Baby

hammer

This one is pretty self explanatory

5. Attempt to Have Educational Play Time

Oh, Max, this is just the beginning of how uncool you'll think I am

Oh, Max, this is just the beginning of how uncool you’ll think I am

6. Try to Sneak Out to Pee/Eat/etc. While Baby Plays

If only I was this stealth

If only I was this stealth

7. Don’t Let Baby Kill Himself

So much energy, so little coordination

So much energy, so little coordination

Repeat Steps 2 – 7 ’til Bedtime

The days begin to blend together

The days begin to blend together

8. Do Any/Everything to Get Baby to Sleep

Praying is a viable option, right?

Praying is a viable option, right?

9. Wonder if Baby is Really Asleep

Babies are sneaky little tricksters, like mini-Lokis

Babies are sneaky little tricksters, like mini-Lokis

10. Rejoice! Baby is Asleep!

Be happy (even if it only lasts for a few hours), you've earned it!

Be happy (even if it only lasts for a few hours), because you’ve earned it!