19 things I gave up when I became a mom

There’s an article floating around my Facebook newsfeed entitled “27 Things You Must Say Goodbye to When You Turn 27.” I read it mostly for the LULZ, because, at 27, I was pretty certain most of the things on it I had said goodbye to long ago. I wasn’t wrong. I had a mostly “Eh” response to it (unlike other people, who were much more, errr, emphatic about it). It did, however, make me think about all the things I said goodbye to when I became a mom.

1. A clean house. Gone are the days where my living room is not coated in a layer of toys, board books, and all the pillows and throw blankets from the furniture. These days I’m happy if the mess is contained to one room and not spread through the whole house.

2. Being on top of my laundry. I was never very good at keeping up with my laundry before, but eventually it all got done/folded/put away. I am pretty sure, since A was born, I have not had ALL the laundry done at one time ever. In fact, and I’m a little ashamed to admit this, we have dubbed our guest room as the “laundry room” as all of the clean, out of the dryer laundry gets dumped there and stays there until it gets folded. I was sorting it the other day and was pulling 12 month clothes out of the piles. A hasn’t worn 12 months since December.

3. Or my dishes. Of all the chores, the one I must do compulsively is the dishes. I cannot stand dirty dishes in the sink. I was slightly more lax on this when we didn’t have a dishwasher. Since acquiring one, I am less forgiving. However, it seems there is always a dish to be done, or a dishwasher to be unloaded, even if I literally just washed all the dishes five minutes ago.

4. Spending more than 10 minutes getting ready for anything. I used to have a very long, involved, and detailed routine in the mornings for class (grad school, not undergrad) and work, which could be doubled if I was going out somewhere fun. My basic routine now is shower, debate whether I truly need to wear make up/dry my hair before deciding nah, I don’t, and throw on whatever is clean and not too wrinkled.

5. Leaving the house not covered in some sort of unidentified stain. You would think this pertains mostly to mothers of newborns, but it carries on to toddlerhood. Even with my child self-feeding, I’ll still take a grubby yogurt hand to the chest and not notice it till it’s too late. At least I hope it’s yogurt.

6. Using the bathroom alone. I had always hoped this one was something other people exaggerated about, but alas, it is not. I now have a peanut gallery, every. single. time.

7. Taking showers so long all the hot water is gone. I used to love taking long, hot showers. I considered it a good shower if my skin was slightly singed from how hot it was and all my digits were pruney because I had been in it for so long. I don’t even know what I did during these long showers. Draft grocery lists, ruminate on how so and so at work had slighted me, contemplate the universe? Who knows. Now I’m just lucky if I get to take a shower daily.

8. Buying clothes anyplace other than Target. I mean, it’s just convenient. I’m already there for everything else I need in life, I may as well buy my clothes there too. Plus, who can resist Target’s clearance section? Not me.

9. Watching whatever I want on TV. My Netflix queue, once filled with high quality movies and television like Clueless, Steel Magnolias, and How I Met Your Mother, is now filled with Sesame Street, Dinosaur Train, and all of the Tinker Bell movies.

10. Eating whatever I want. And not because I am worried about being super healthy or not gaining weight, but rather because now there is a small creature who thinks everything is for sharing, and wants whatever it is I am having, no matter how many times I tell her “It’s yucky! You won’t like it. Yucky yuck yuck.” She’s just not buying it.

11. Sleeping past 8am. Even when given the opportunity to sleep in, my body just can’t physiologically do it anymore, thanks to countless early wake up calls. Plus, those hours before A wakes up are some of the only hours I have to myself. All of this depresses me, considering I used to sleep in past noon on the reg.

12. Having a clean car. My father and husband would argue I have never kept a clean car, and to some extent they are correct. It is not my number one priority in life. But adding a kid into the mix just made my already cluttered car 100x worse. My backseat is currently covered in daycare report cards and coloring sheets, even though she hasn’t been in daycare for two weeks.

13. Getting anywhere on time. I used to be so freaking punctual. I spent most of my high school days perpetually late, so I worked really hard to correct this in college and grad school. For several years I was even perpetually early. That’s over. Now I’m lucky if we are leaving the house at the time we were supposed to be somewhere.

14. Or staying anywhere until the event is over. I used to close any and all parties down. I was known to be at the bar till last call. Now I’m like “Oh sorry, but the baby’s bedtime was 10 minutes ago, gotta run!” at 7:40pm.

15. Day drinking. Unless it is a special occasion, or I have someone else to take care of A, this just doesn’t happen anymore. I actually did get to participate in some day drinking at my best friend Bailey’s wedding last month, and it was awesome, but John had to wrangle our toddler the whole time. You can’t have it all, can you.

16. Not making/getting dinner because “I just don’t feel like it,” and just eating Cheetos and chocolate chips straight out of the bag (with cheap wine as a chaser). I am now responsible for providing healthy, balanced meals for A. And because she gets hungry, like all the time, I have to either cook or pick up dinner daily even when “I just don’t feel like it.”

17. Having the “latest” anything. The MacBook Pro I am writing this on was purchased in 2009. Just yesterday, I bought a new charger for it since the original one died. That $84 was the first money I spent on this laptop since I bought it. And I am going to happily use it until the keys fall off. My iPhone is an iPhone 4, purchased in (brace yourself) 2010. Yes, I bought my iPhone four years ago. Here’s some context for you: I have only been married three years. But my kid? She has all the newest toys.

18. Leisurely drinking a pot of coffee while doing crossword puzzles on the weekends. This was something I used to do every weekend, without fail, since grad school. I’m not sure I know what leisure means anymore.

19. Actually, weekends in general. And Fridays for that matter. Friday-Sunday lost all meaning with A’s birth.

Of course, I gained a lot more than I lost when I had A. I learned what it means to love someone else unconditionally. I learned what it means to give yourself completely to another person’s well-being, and to be happy to do so. I gained a world full of smiles, snuggles, hugs, kisses, and giggles. And truthfully, I don’t really mind the mess. I save a lot of money on make up by not wearing it daily. A spoon left in the sink isn’t going to kill me.

I do kind of wish I was better about the laundry though.

In response to the original article, here at the age of 27, I still enjoy everything bagels with full fat cream cheese, because c’mon, I don’t have weekends anymore. Throw a girl a bone.

For the love of lovies

When A was about 9 months old, I introduced her to a lovie. John had just moved to Indy, and for whatever reason, I just felt like she needed an attachment object and that it was the right time for one. I picked up a set of Aden & Anais muslin security blankets at Target on a whim, mostly because I thought they were adorable.

While she took to sleeping with a “blankie” immediately, it took her a few months to really attach to it. By the time we moved to Indy, she was up to “must have to sleep” level of lovie dependence. Now, three and a half short months away from two years old, we are at full on lovie love in our house.

We are up to four lovies in the rotation, and at any given point A will have anywhere from one to all four on her person. I tried to keep it down to two, but she is like a bloodhound with those things and finds them no matter where they’re hidden. When we get her out of her crib in the morning she gathers as many as she can (typically all four are in bed with her).

I let A dictate when she wants/needs a lovie, for the most part. If she has one in her hands when we leave for daycare, I let her take it in the car. If she wants to take it in with her, that’s okay, but if she chucks it across the backseat when it’s time to get out, I let that be okay too. I always try to keep one close though, because if we’re out in public and she starts to meltdown, the touch of her lovie can delay it, at least for a little while. If we don’t have a lovie when she wants it? Get ready for defcon 5, because She. Will. Lose. It.

I don’t know how long she’ll need/want her lovie. Just like her thumb sucking, it’s not something I plan on stopping just because she reaches a certain age. Both things help her self soothe, and I feel like she will phase herself out of it when she’s ready, which is definitely not now. She is so stinking cute with her lovie trailing behind her, like a little girl Linus (which we have taken to calling her; this child has so many nicknames).

Plus, I took my blanket to college with me and actually slept with it until A was born and we started co-sleeping, and I like to think I turned out kinda normal.

Normalcy

It’s been a pretty awful week.

A has been cranky, work has basically been hell, and life in general has just been difficult. I’m exhausted and don’t feel well, but I can’t figure out what’s wrong. I’ve been in a funk since Noni passed away, so all of this has just been adding to my general bad mood.

And then the Boston bombings happened on Monday, too. (And then explosions in Texas yesterday. Good god. What is going on in this world?)

I haven’t written a post here about Boston, because honestly, it saddens me to my very core. I love that city. I had some of the greatest times of my life while I was there, I met amazing people, and I was able to get to know my family in a way that would not have been possible if I hadn’t lived there as an adult. If I had to pick anywhere else to live in this world, I would choose Boston.

So it’s unfathomable to me this could happen in such a great city on such a special day.

I hurt for my second home. I hurt for its amazing people. I hurt for everyone who was hurt or lost someone they love. I hurt for my friends and family still there. I hurt for myself and my daughter who will never get to know the Boston I knew.

Right now it just seems like everything sucks.

I want to get back to normal, but is there even such thing anymore? When is it acceptable to write about diapers, baby toys, and the infant feeding debate again? I don’t know, but now doesn’t feel like it.

I’m just…sad. And overwhelmed. For a lot of reasons. And that’s okay. Sometimes I forget it’s okay to feel what you feel no matter why you feel it, and I don’t need to make excuses for my emotions. So I’m just gonna be sad for a little while, and hopefully soon I’ll feel better.

I will be back to our regularly scheduled mama drama soon. Promise.