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6 Ways My Standards Have Fallen Since Becoming a Mom

  1. Appearance

The days of curating an outfit, doing my hair, or putting on make-up are long gone.  In fact, on days alone with my child, I completely forget to address my appearance at all.  Like that time I went to the grocery store with nutella mouth.  Or when I answered the door nipple-first.

Every morning in selecting a shirt I ask the ultimate question “how fast can I whip my boob out of this?”  It’s like the WIld West, for boobs.  This instantly disqualifies about 60% of my shirts, and the other 40% my boobs are too big for.  And yes, that IS a problem because once you are too busty for a shirt it pulls in the armpits and who needs to be uncomfortable in addition to sleep deprived and generally frazzled.  Ideal clothing is clothing I can’t feel I’m wearing.  Like a Muumuu.  Every evening I look forward to putting on my nightgown.  It’s like being naked, but warmer.

Shaving/waxing any area of my body is so low on my list of priorities that I’m praying for au naturele to be back in style.  I find the concept of removing my hair for my own or any other peoples’ benefit laughably ridiculous.

Some good news: not washing your hair is just fabulous for it. My fat ass makes sitting on chairs comfier than ever and being soft means I’m a great pillow.

2.  General Regard for Cleanliness

standards down

It used to drive me nuts when my husband forgot to wash the back of dishes.  And now? COULDN’T. CARE. LESS.

Flecks of food still on the plate?  Eh, nothing a quick wipe of a towel can’t fix.

Food on the floor?  5,10, 20 second rule!

Is this stew from last week still good?  Let’s play leftover roulette!

One of my son’s first words was “dirt” and we’ve successfully taught him to take our sizable dust-bunnies to the garbage can. When life gives you lemons.

Dirty bathroom?  Nothing a verbal disclaimer to the guests can’t fix!  If a guest complains, write them off IMMEDIATELY.

Man, if my pre-baby self could see this house now.  Oh well – a dirty house is a house full of love.  Or something.

3.  Sex

starfishYEP

Not only in frequency, but within the act itself.  Good ol’ vanilla.  Try something new? Yeah right, I’m just going to lie here.  Taking my clothes off was effort enough.

I believe the term is “starfish.”

And let’s just say the baby wrist doesn’t help.

4.  How Children Behave

“Gawd, can you believe [friend’s] crazy kids?  That would never fly with me.”

The moment those words come out of your mouth, God notes you down in the list “Moms who Deserve Brats.”

Honestly, as long as my kid doesn’t bite someone, or make them cry more than once, it’s considered a playdate “win.”

My less than 2 year old walked into the kitchen the other day yelling “fucking dishwasher!” while my most pious friend was over, no less.

Judge me. I dare you.

5.  Screen Time

As an ignorant pregnant lady, I smugly knew that I would never let my unborn snowflake watch tv or ipad because all the studies say how detrimental it is to… something.

Now, I beg that snowflake to watch a video if it means 5 minutes of me getting to form a coherent thought.

6.  Social Life

Remember weekly or bi-weekly brunches with your buds?  Well unless they have kids too and/or you are all total masochists who like to bring babies to brunch, FORGET IT.  Your friends who don’t have kids yet just don’t get it.

My goal for Friday night is 2 hours of peace while I watch Pretty Little Liars, cuz that’s all my brain can handle.

In Summary

Yeah, my standards have gone down, but it’s just because I understand what’s important now.  That’s what I keep telling myself, so it must be true.

In a way, you gotta admit – it’s redeeming. Mama’s tough, and just like honeybadger, knows what she wants.

Now go sign up at www.villagemommy.com to meet moms near you with similarly aged kiddos and more.  Cuz we all need someone to talk to about all the ways our standards fall.  And yes, I’m biased.

Coping with Worry as a Mom

“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”
Elizabeth Stone

When my son was born, I couldn’t believe everything that I started to fret about.  It really was like holding my own heart outside my body, and leaving it completely exposed.

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This is what my heart looks like outside my body.

Was he breathing ok?  Did I swaddle him too tight? One night he was just a little TOO still after I had gotten him to sleep; I gasped and practically threw him down on the bed to inspect him and those beady little eyes opened wide, in an instant, before his brow furrowed to tell me he did not appreciate this interruption.  I resumed getting him to sleep from square one.  Sigh.

Of course, the fact that we worry is an indicator of our love – it is because we love and value these little individuals so much that the thought of anything happening to them is just too much to bear.

Fast forward to 20 months later, and I still have worrying spells.

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Yep, that’s a belt around his neck. IT… NEVER… STOPS

I get to my desk at work and then my mind runs through some of the things that could go wrong, like someone spilling coffee on him, or [insert awful thing that happened to a child recently].  It’s a normal part of parenting, to some extent. I suspect there is a genetic component as well, as my mother,  constantly worries that her grandson isn’t eating enough.  Like really worries.  Nevermind that he is developing well, tall for his age, and of average weight.

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Look at this fear-mongering book. Yes, you read that right “Parenting with Wit and Wisdom in times of chaos and loss” – SERIOUSLY?!

I know I’ll worry about him the rest of his life, but I try to keep it in check because it’s hard to enjoy life and be a good mom if you are constantly stressed.

Anxiety is Linked with Sleep Deprivation

Have you ever noticed that worrying can get a lot worse when you haven’t slept?  Yup, it’s is a side-effect of sleep deprivation, among others.  My labour lasted 36 joyous hours during which I hardly slept.  Then, those first few nights with him as a newborn I couldn’t sleep because I was so worried something would happen to him while he slept, like that he would roll over and get smothered.  It was a constant-panic clusterBEEP.  Plus my emotions were going insane – I would cry at the mere MENTION of that awful book that rhymes with “Shove You For-Leather.” If you must know, it’s this.

My Coping Strategies

One strategy I found helpful was self talk.  I would say to myself (in my head, but sure, out loud works too), “I am sleep deprived, and I am thinking these thoughts because of this state.  I need to focus on what I can do to get me back to a normal…ish state (cuz let’s not reach too high here)” and then I would try my best to take a nap and/or do a relaxation CD.  Does it sound ridiculous? Maybe.  But it really does help.  I also focus on the fact that the moment will pass, much like I learned to do with contractions during labour.  I guess those hypno-birthing techniques continue to come in handy, which by the way, can reduce the need for pain medication during labour.

Resources for Managing Anxiety and Worry

I thought the Mayo Clinic’s list of resources on this was pretty darn good – it even includes some apps!  Check it out here.

The Canadian Mental Health Association also has some great info on mental health as it coincides with parenting.

If in doubt, it’s best to talk to your doc about how you are feeling.  When you think about all that our bodies go through to create a baby, it’s no wonder that birth and its aftermath can have a huge impact on us psychologically as well.

Do you guys have any good tips to share?  Let us know in the comments.

DISCLAIMER: As a (former) lawyer and current expert on Hagen Daaz Rocky Road consumption, I am not qualified to give medical advice of any kind.