The Fifty Stages of Sleep Deprivation

While my pregnant self had entertained the thought that baby number two would be my “easy” baby, my “sleeper” baby, I regret to say, I was wrong. “I know how to swaddle!” I thought. “I know The Happiest Baby techniques!” “I know about white noise and overstimulation. We’ve totally got this!” BAH… HA. The only thing I’ve got is an eight month old kid who never sleeps. Not swaddled or wrapped, not in his “last resort” car seat or even in a stroller. I have the kid who watches absolutely everything and lifts his head up to look around when a floorboard creaks, even if he’s been up for hours on end. I’ve got the kid who can fight sleep like no one I’ve ever met in my entire life, conk out for ten minutes, then party all night. I’ve got the kid who wakes up screaming the second a nip slips out of his mouth or his body touches something that lacks a pulse. Having gone through an intense period of sleep deprivation with this child, I now know how important sleep is. Sleep can seriously make or break you. Not sleeping for months on end can tear your life apart and leave it like that crap in the bottom of a hamster’s cage- shredded.

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Here are the fifty stages of sleep deprivation as I know them:

 

  1. You start taking your kid to school without your bra on, regardless of the fact that your breasts are literally everywhere.
  2. Showering becomes either obsolete or the only thing you do in your day that brings you back from the brink. Until everyone starts screaming and you realize it was completely not worth it.
  3. Everything your husband does annoys you.
  4. Everything your husband doesn’t do annoys you.
  5. You begin to understand how horses sleep standing up.
  6. Falling asleep on the toilet seems like a very legitimate option. Until, again, everyone starts screaming at you.
  7. You unload half the dishwasher before realizing your cupboards are filled with gross, dirty dishes.
  8. You have a stack of eighteen sleep books next to your bed.
  9. You’re too tired to read any of them.
  10. You tell yourself that all the Angelina Ballerina your daughter has been watching is educational.
  11. You contemplate hiring a “sleep coach” but hang up when you forgot who you dialed.
  12. Out of desperation you let your baby scream approximately one time while you sob and guzzle half a box of wine.
  13. You become so guilt-ridden at letting your baby cry that you stay up all night anyway thinking about his cortisol levels which are no doubt, off the chart.
  14. You begin texting, emailing and Facebook messaging anyone (even total strangers) who had a similar struggle for encouraging words.
  15. You eliminate “getting dressed” from your daily tasks.
  16. Thirty-two people a day tell you they have a “great sleeper.”
  17. Twenty-eight people a day recommend “wearing your baby” and look at you with crazy eyes when you tell them he doesn’t like to sleep that way since he was four months old.
  18. Twelve people a day tell you to let your baby “cry it out.”
  19. Fifty people a day tell you to “enjoy every minute” even when you can’t quite put your finger on what “minutes” are.
  20. You install The Wonder Weeks App on your phone thinking perhaps it’s just a developmental milestone.
  21. You delete The Wonder Weeks App when you realize it’s not a developmental milestone that’s keeping your baby awake. He’s been awake since birth.
  22. After your fifth hysterical phone call, your sister who has gone back and forth in the past finally decides to never have kids because “hell no, I can’t deal with that.”
  23. You email a “gentle sleep coach” just to see what the deal is.
  24. You tell your husband nothing will ever work and this is all your fault because you were too stressed during pregnancy and also sometimes ate brie.
  25. You give up ever putting your boob away or trying to get the baby to sleep anywhere but on you and recommit to cosleeping completely.
  26. People tell you you’ll never get the baby out of your bed, he’ll be nursing till he’s in middle school and that you’ll get divorced.
  27. You tell your daughter to be quiet 18,564 times a day.
  28. She resents this, starts whining all the time and begins her own personal sleep-regression.
  29. Your entire nights are made up of trying to get people back to sleep only to be so wired from the constant waking that you completely give up on sleeping yourself and begin starting your days at 3 am only to feel like it’s midnight by 7:30 am.
  30. You give up co-sleeping AGAIN when the baby sleeps very poorly this way, literally suckles and bites you all night as you lay awake morphing your body into exceedingly more and more uncomfortable positions.
  31. Feel like you’ve been through the washing machine at six am and want to close your eyes so badly just when you’re supposed to be starting your day.
  32. You fantasize about nothing other than sleep.
  33. People tell you co-sleeping is really the best for the baby and it always worked for them.
  34. You start gathering doctor’s phone numbers so your husband can go ahead with his vasectomy.
  35. Drinking coffee makes you feel like puking.
  36. Not drinking coffee makes you feel like puking.
  37. You start praying on the regular.
  38. You overhear your husband praying also.
  39. You tell yourself “this too shall pass” twenty-five times a day.
  40. You make plans to go to yoga even if you’re tired.
  41. You cancel plans to go to yoga when you’re way beyond tired, bordering on incoherent and no amount of downdogging will get you anywhere close to feeling sort of okay.
  42. You stay over at your mother’s house when your husband goes out of town for work AGAIN, so that you can maybe, possibly avoid calling him in the middle of the night and ugly crying into the phone.
  43. You try to distract yourself from the fact the he’s sleeping soundly in a hotel bed with no one pulling at his teet or yelling in his ear.
  44. Consider taking up day drinking but realize you won’t be a fun drunk like you used to be anyway so what’s the point?
  45. You finally check your email and write back to the “gentle sleep coach” and feel a shred of something that resembles hope.
  46. Have a kind of okay night with the baby and consider cancelling the coaching appointment and saving all that money that you really don’t have in the first place.
  47. Have a horrible night with the baby and shell out the dollars.
  48. Get the baby to sleep and stay asleep for the first time ever and think it was the best money you ever spent.
  49. Celebrate by pouring yourself a huge glass of red wine but fall asleep before you can drink it.
  50. Sleep for three uninterrupted hours and feel as if you can take over the world and wonder how it’s even possible that you weren’t a way more productive person when you were sleeping for an astonishing seven or eight hours A NIGHT on the regular.

I guess I’ll sleep when I’m dead

MM readers, Apologies for being completely MIA here. Aside from reposting work from other sites on this blog, I haven’t actually written on here in forever. Don’t blame me. Blame THIS GUY. I know he’s cute but he’s trouble.

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This baby is so sweet, guys. I love him to the ends of the earth. But at seven months old he’s still pretty much a nightmare sleeper. He’s up several times a night and usually has a hard time going back to sleep. If he sleeps with me, in my arm pit, he wants to suckle all night and I end up awake for hours. If he sleeps in the crib he’s up several times a night. His sister is usually up at least twice or three times for a potty or a snuggle, too. Being awake every single hour is taking it’s toll on me. I want desperately to nurse him till he’s a year old. I actually can’t imagine stopping now that we are seven months in. I think it would be very emotional. But every time I hear about how great someone’s baby sleeps who downs a big bottle before bed, I want to throw in the towel. However, I know I’m not quite ready.

Every night I hope the tide will turn and so far, it hasn’t. I have been telling myself for months now “this too shall pass.” But lately I feel like I’ve been waiting forever. I’ve been trying to hide my exhaustion. Trying to act normal. But at this point, I can barely even muster up the energy to fake it. For example, I’m still bra-less and it’s 3:30 and I smell like baby poop, not sure how. I’m sure it’s on me somewhere. There’s snow on the ground, but still. I also haven’t been showering… that much. Every time my husband goes on a work trip I completely fall apart. I called him sobbing yesterday. Like, hysterical, incoherent, ugly cry, sobbing into the phone. He’d been gone about five hours.

Yesterday I was so fed up, so sad, so defeated. I texted my doula (and friend).  I told her I’d been crying all morning. The baby was finally asleep after hours of trying to get him down for a nap. But all I could do was sit and cry. I haven’t wanted to say it out loud, how bad his sleep has been, how hard it’s been on me. I’m so past “mombie.” I’m really feeling the strain of sleeping for less than four hours a night for months (which according to the book my doula/friend brought me, is really, extremely bad for your health). I just wanted to reach out to someone and I’m glad I did. So she came over, tried to help me get the baby to sleep (which of course didn’t work because she’s no longer lactating and the only way Tenny wants to sleep is latched the fuck on). But then she took Piper to play with her girls for the afternoon. I nursed the baby and rested with him. Then eased him into his crib and he stayed there for a short while at least.

Sometimes just having human contact, just having someone say you aren’t crazy, you aren’t doing everything wrong and… I’m sorry you’re going through this just helps so much. I’m also so thankful for the mothers of the world who have bared their souls to me and told me about their struggles, too. When the going gets tough, I need honesty more than anything. Honesty saves me. I think mothers really want honesty. Properly-timed honesty, but still. Thanks to everyone who has given me that over these past seven months. Your struggles don’t make you weak. Your ability to share and be honest and maybe help others makes you brave.

I promise to write more soon. XOXO

5 Ways Life Has Changed Since Having My Second Kid

Recently, I went from being a mother of one to a mother of two. The first few weeks of having two children had its challenges. Everyone was short on sleep and I was constantly occupied by the newest member of the family—my infant son. But Dad stepped it up, giving big sister a ton of love and attention and I was actually quite satisfied to be clutched by this new baby round the clock. I was happy to spend my days (and nights) getting to know the tiny person who’d already occupied my body for the better part of a year.

While there was undoubtedly more on my to-do list, overall, things didn’t seem that much harder. I even told a friend who inquired about how my life was different that it really wasn’t. While, yes, there was new baby who cried in the evenings, we were still doing the same things we’d always been doing.

Now five months into having two kids, I take it all back. I’m no longer high off birth hormones and newborn fumes. The acid trip has worn off and real life with two kids—one preschooler and one infant—has set in. Though I’m overjoyed to be reveling in what I feel is my “complete family,” I can now say with complete confidence that having two kids is no freaking joke. I’ll be the first one to fully acknowledge that having one child can be tremendously challenging, as well, but here’s how my life has changed since I gained one more.

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Continue reading on Mommy Nearest… 

8 Chores you should pawn off on your kids

I don’t like doing most chores. In fact, during my entire freshman year of college, my sheets never made it into a washing machine once. I know, it’s disgusting and totally sickens me now, thinking of how they were a very light shade of beige by the end of the year. At some point in early spring, I almost couldn’t take it anymore and was getting ready to tear them off my bed, but my roommate made a suggestion: “Well, you’ve made it this far, you might as well just keep it going.” I was easily persuaded.

Come summer, I think I just threw them out and vowed I’d do better the following year.

But my while my “better” might have meant a few more trips to the laundromat, my hatred for doing chores, especially dishes and laundry, hasn’t subsided that much since 2003, the year I graduated from high school. I do these things now, and frequently, but I only do it so that my kids aren’t running around in filth. It appears I value their health a bit more than I did my own.

I’ve always suspected that a little too much was done for my sister and me when we were young (and not so young). My room was often cleaned for me. My laundry was washed and folded. On occasion, I rinsed a dish and put it in the dishwasher, but usually, I just put it in the sink and left it there, as if that was half the battle. I really don’t remember doing any chores as a kid… ever. And while I think there is some value in letting kids be kids, I also think doing chores as a child makes adjusting to doing them as an adult much easier.

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Continue reading at HuffPost Parents… 

9 Rules for Grandparents to follow at the holidays so they get invited back next year

When a parent becomes a grandparent, a series of chemical reactions take place in the human brain. This release of hormones (endorphins, oxytocin, etc) is known to contribute to what is generally referred to as “The Grandparent Effect” – grandparents doing whatever the hell they want with no regard to consequences all in the name of love.

Obviously, I’m joking, and I fully appreciate the amazing love Grandparents give. But the hormone cocktail would help explain some of the bizarre grandparent behavior I’ve both experienced first-hand and heard about from friends that seems to peak at the holidays. In fact, it’s one of the biggest complaints I hear new parents talking about: “Why do my child’s grandparents think they can do whatever they want with my kid just because it’s Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanza? They should know better!” Or, to quote a friend, “Why are there candy cane flakes in my 8-month-old’s neck rolls?? She doesn’t even have teeth!”

If the grandparents are coming to town this holiday season, you may want to post this list up on your soon-to-be goodie-stuffed fridge. Or better yet, print it out and send it to them anonymously BEFORE all hell breaks loose at the “most wonderful time of the year.” Here’s what I’m telling my kids’ grandparents this winter:

Read more: http://www.mommyish.com/2014/11/25/rules-for-grandparents-at-holidays/#ixzz3K6f8mc2N

I did all I could today

I am weary, laying in my bed, half-asleep but not quite done for the day. The baby will be awake in an hour, or a half hour, or maybe three minutes. Who knows. Big sister was just up again because she had to potty, then a nightmare. Dad is out of town and there is no one to smack in the belly to tell to rock the baby at least once. That typical feeling that it’s just me is compounded right now.

Today was hard and I didn’t do my best.

I have those seamless days when everything goes off without a hitch. Like Monday when big sister woke, cheery and bright-eyed. At my request she ran into her room and picked out an appropriate outfit and put it on. She ate her breakfast without me having to ask her to stop messing with the baby and sit back in her chair. Well, maybe I asked her a couple of times.

I had gotten a few hours of sleep, at least, between feedings. The baby was bubbly and chirpy. The big girl put on her shoes, even tied them and smiled proudly. I dropped her off at pre-school. A quick kiss and she entered happily and started playing. I drove away feeling good, no guilt about leaving her, no worries about her missing me and her brother when we were gone. We got home and I nursed the baby back to sleep. I tidied, threw some dishes in the dishwasher and a load of diapers in the wash. I sat down and wrote something I felt good about. The baby woke, nursed and didn’t scream his brains out on the way to get big sis from school. The rest of the day went pretty much the same. Good moods and easy going children. If all days were like this, I’d have three more kids and a dog named Tilly. Or Vinny. Or Buck.

But all days can’t be like this. If they were no one would do yoga or cry and drink wine and write blogs about parenting. There would be nothing to cleanse your soul of, no struggles to relate over, no worries to send out into the world and hope you get something back. Some days you just do what you can do and hope it’s enough. Some days are like today.

I’m already awake when it starts because I never really went to sleep. The baby was up all night, and I mean, all night, tossing and turning with a stuffy nose. Every half hour or so, I offered my breast but he turned away, not hungry, just tired and fighting sleep. I rocked him and tried to sooth him but the night was still so damn long. The sun rose and that dreaded feeling came over me- “how will I make it through this day?”

Right away, big sister is being argumentative at best, just downright nasty at worst. She’s rough with the baby, too rough to let slide. She’s into everything, pulling out every toy, book, game. She doesn’t want to get dressed and in a few minutes, I’m down on the floor, shoving books back on the shelf while the baby pulls at my shirt and drools on my shoulder, pleading with her to pick out a sweater. Another fifteen minutes of this and I’m angry, but so is she. And she’s angrier when I sit down to nurse the baby and she has to eat breakfast alone. She’s whining and I’m sad and guilt-ridden and it’s not even 8.

Finally, after a lot more redirecting and pleading, we are off to school. The baby wails and turns purple while big sister covers her ears in the car. She doesn’t want to go. She wants to stay home. I remind her that mommy has to get some work done today and school will be much more fun for her. I drive away defeated with the baby screaming the whole way home. When we get there I nurse him and he falls asleep instantly, but wakes when I put him down. I nurse him again, hold him for fifteen minutes to make sure he’s hit his sleep-cycle. I put him down. He wakes. Finally, I rock him and hold him and just let him sleep on me for an hour while I write emails on my phone, asking editors I’m mildly intimidated by for extensions.

The rest of the day is the same. There are a few good moments mixed in. But overall, I am overwhelmed and exhausted and I know I’m not doing my best. My daughter is talking, talking endlessly and sometimes I go “yeah” or “okay” or pretend to be enthused but really,  I didn’t even hear her. I don’t even know what she asked me and when I realize this, it kills me.

After dinner, baths, snuggles, books, nursing and rocking and more nursing, I pour myself a glass of wine and drink half before dumping the rest back into the bottle when I hear the baby. I will go lay with him and try to get him back to sleep. It’s nearly nine. I’ve had about fifteen minutes to myself and I spent them sitting in a chair with my eyes closed, waiting for the next call of duty I knew was moments away.

Even when they are draining me, I can see how lucky I am for this family of mine. But I can’t always give them everything. They deserve the best of me. They truly do, but since they have all of me, how can I give them my best always? Some days I can’t give it because I don’t have it- it’s not in me. Some days I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel and going through the motions. Some days “good enough” comes in it’s place.

I didn’t do my best today. I did all I could and I tell myself, “it’s enough” because it has to be. Tomorrow is another day and it will be better, brighter, more rested. Tomorrow, there will be more laughter and no matter what I’ll give it all I’ve got.

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Why we should stop telling mothers to “enjoy every moment”

You’re in deep with a colicky baby. It’s been a month since you’ve slept more than twenty minutes straight. You finally understand the expression “bone tired” because you feel as if your body is literally crumbling beneath you. In an effort to be heard, to feel understood, to relate to a fellow mother you express your hardships- that your baby never sleeps, that motherhood is bigger than you thought, that you aren’t sure if you’re cut out for it. It’s so hard to even say the words but you desperately want to know that what you’re feeling is okay.

But before you even get past “well, I’m pretty tired…” there’s someone there to put you in your place. “Oh, HUNNY. Enjoy it,” she’ll say. “Enjoy every moment.” And just like that, you’ve failed again. Not only did you actually feel those things you felt, but you tried to talk about them, which makes you an even worse mother than you already feared you might be. “Enjoy it…” it echoes in your ears. Enjoy what? You wonder. All of it? Every goddamn hungry cry? Every inconsolable outburst? Every inconveniently timed poop explosion running down your blouse? The one you finally pulled from your closet in an effort to look like a woman, not a milk truck?

“Well, fuck,” you think. “If I’m supposed to be enjoying this then I’m really fucking screwed.” Because even if you enjoy a lot of it, or most of it, apparently that isn’t good enough. You have to “enjoy every moment,” to really be doing it right. Didn’t you know?

It doesn’t stop in infancy. When your toddlers are running a muck, getting into every last cupboard in your house, smashing dishes, coloring on the walls, mark my words- there will be someone offering up the age-old expression “enjoy it.” It may even be followed by the near constant reminder “it doesn’t last forever.” And in that moment you pray to whatever God you believe in that they are right.

Motherhood is the only arena of our lives that we are made to feel we should be enjoying every waking moment of. But underneath it’s obnoxiousness, the sentiment is usually well-intentioned. It almost always comes from a mother who has walked your same path but is too far from it to remember it accurately. She looks back and idealizes every part of motherhood, no matter what her experiences were. Because the truth is, when our kids are grown, we will all wish we enjoyed it a tiny bit more. We will wish for their baby soft skin, their stutters and that intoxicatingly wonderful new baby smell. No matter how hard or exhausting motherhood is, it does not escape me that this will undoubtedly happen.

While “enjoy it” may be good advice in theory, it’s not actually good advice for a struggling mother. The reason being that it doesn’t help her in any way, shape or form. In fact, it hurts her each and every time she hears it. It makes her wonder what is wrong with her when there is nothing wrong with her. No one enjoys all of motherhood and if they do, please point me in their direction so I can find out where I can get some of what they’re drinking. Or smoking. Or snorting. Whatever. If there is some magic potion that can make me want gobble up every minute of being a mom without ever wanting to scream into a pillow then I’m game.

But there isn’t. There is no magic potion, only time. It comes with looking back and sighing, “I sure wish I’d enjoyed it all a little bit more.” No doubt, it will one day come. But that doesn’t mean it’s not okay to struggle, to be human, to be a mother finding her way. You don’t have to enjoy it all to be a good mother. So let’s stop bullshitting each other. I won’t enjoy every moment. And neither did you.

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Sponsored Post: Introducing Jesse the Jack’s ABC App!

Let me begin this post by saying we aren’t big on apps over here. Correction, we aren’t big on apps for kids (duh, I love my apps)Believe me, it’s not because I don’t want a half hour to myself here or there or because I’m vehemently anti-technology. Hello, I’m a blogger! No. It’s more that I’m terrified of having to fight off my almost 5-year-old daughter from trying to steal my phone approximately fifty-five times a day. Whenever I’ve downloaded an app for her thinking, ‘this will be for an emergency car-ride situation only,’ she’s suddenly asking all the time if she can use it and so… DELETE. Bye-bye mommy time.

Luckily, my kid is starting to show some self-restraint as she nears her fifth birthday. Hooray! She’s also starting to show an interest in learning to read. Hooray again! So lately we have been starting to introduce the alphabet and pick out books at the library which pay attention to letters and spelling, even some of those “I can read” books. I’m not about forcing kids to learn to read before they are ready because I don’t believe young kids should have to struggle to learn something that is out of their reach. So it’s nice to see the signs that reading is on the horizon, all on it’s own, without any pressure from mom or dad, or the alternative-style school my daughter currently attends.

So when I was asked to review Jesse the Jack’s ABC Zoo App, I was like, ‘alright. We’ll give it a whirl.’ It is after all, the perfect timing for us in terms of where my daughter is developmentally. So we downloaded the app and I told my daughter we would first check it out together and then she could play it by herself for about 20 minutes. It might not sound like a lot but she was pretty amped given she doesn’t usually get free reign over the phone.

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We discovered the app has two modes- story mode and game mode. We wanted to try game mode first and see if it was something fun or educational or both. You’re introduced to Jesse, a cute Jack Russell terrier, who takes you to his ABC Zoo. The first screen comes up and says “A is for…” and it’s the child’s job to pick the matching animal. This would be slightly too challenging for my daughter, but there’s help. The child is given three choices to pick from and when you put your finger over each animal it says its name. There is an outline of the correct response that the child must drag the animal into.

Jessie the Jack's ABC Zoo App.

Jessie the Jack’s ABC Zoo App.

My first thought was “this could totally build confidence in learning the correct letters that start each word.” My daughter completed the alphabet in about 10-15 minutes and then wanted to do it again. Oh, I almost forgot the best part! When you get a couple of correct answers, Jesse the Jack does tricks for you. He flips, he blows bubbles, he plays dead, he even rides a skateboard. It’s cute and silly and my daughter thought he was hilarious. I wasn’t sure exactly what his role in the game would be, but I have to say, he’s a pretty good motivator that pup! Next we tried “story mode”, which was an animated story about the same characters in the game.

When it comes to Jesse the Jack and his ABC Zoo, I was definitely pleasantly surprised. While my daughter won’t always have free reign, this is one app that won’t get deleted. I’ll be down with letting her use it to reinforce the reading skills she’s learning elsewhere from time to time. To her, it feels like a special treat and I’m excited to know she is building confidence with letter recognition! Each child is so different, so I would encourage other parents to look for signs that their child is ready to begin reading. If they are, I think this app makes a great addition to other techniques learned at home and at school.

The app ($1.99). and iBook ($.99) are available TODAY, October 22nd, on iOS (iPhone, iPad, coming to Android early 2015) for download. Go here to get them!

Find Jesse the Jack on Facebook here.

16 Things My Husband is Usually Doing Wrong (According to Me)

Like most loving, decent, kind and patient spouses, I don’t like to rag on my husband. I really don’t! But sometimes his actions make me question if he is in fact, watching an episode of The Office in his head instead of being marginally invested in whatever else he is doing. Like having a conversation with his wife or caring for our two tiny humans.

I love my husband dearly. I’d marry him again if I could. Sometimes I wonder how we even found each other in this crazy mixed up world. In fact, I’d make a list of all the things he is doing right, but it would be too long and too gushy and I’d lose my street cred. Even so, I’ve had to practice patience over the last five years of my life as a spouse and a mother because though raising little ones is tough, I think co-parenting (and co-existing under the same roof at all times) might be even tougher.

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Since my partner (for life, ahhh!!… still gets me) also happens to be such a good sport (remind me to add that to the things he’s doing right list)…

Here are 16 things my husband is usually doing wrong (according to me):

1. Not answering questions. I talk. He doesn’t answer. I talk louder. He still doesn’t answer. I talk REALLY loud and he says “geez, why are you screaming?”

2. Not having breasts and therefore not being able to do the midnight feeding, the 2:30 am feeding OR the 5 am feeding.

3. Moving too slowly. This typically pertains to when bedtime is looming, when we have anywhere to be at a specific time or when one of our kids is about 30 seconds away from a huge meltdown. Enter: slow mo.

4. Looking at his phone so much you’d think there was a real life naked woman in there who talks to him and doesn’t leave a trail of breast milk wherever she goes.

5. Coming home with sixty percent of what was on the grocery list and a whole bunch of stuff that wasn’t.

6. Two words. Selective. Hearing.

7. Two more words. Fake. Pooping.

8. Also, getting home from work and immediately excusing himself to poop when I haven’t pooped alone in five years and have been drowning in children all day.

9. Forgetting to flush. If it’s yellow, whatevs, I’m mellow. If it’s brown… PLEASE flush it down. I’ve already seen more poop today than you can possibly imagine.

10. Basically just pooping too much altogether for a thirty year old man.

11. Being able to sleep through crying, whining, and me being body-checked by children.

12. Falling asleep the second his head hits the pillow.

13. Working out twice and losing 8 pounds while I busting my ass at the gym five days a week and still have to wear pants with an elastic waist.

14. Buying so many kinds of good beer that I have no choice but to drink them. Hence #13.

15. Always needing me to find things.

16. Putting clothes on the little people. The tag goes in the back. Always in the back. How he did not think the backwards bathing suit on our four year old looked completely insane is beyond me. We are not raising a mini Christina Aguilera here!

If you don’t support women’s rights in birth, don’t call yourself a feminist

I recently read a post (and a slew of supporting comments) on a popular parenting blog about birth plans and why you shouldn’t have one. Yes, you read that right — why you shouldn’t. I get where the author is coming from. Can birth be unpredictable? Sure. Can having a vision of your ideal birth set you up for disappointment if it doesn’t go exactly as you had planned? Absolutely. The birth of a child is, after all, a day that most of us have thought of and wondered what it would be like since we were children. I know I did.

But you know what is likely even more disappointing than maybe not getting your ideal birth? Getting railroaded into unnecessary interventions during your birth because you didn’t know you could say “no.” Feeling completely and utterly unsupported during your labor and delivery because you unknowingly picked a hospital with an unprecedented 50 percent C-section rate. Suffering birth trauma or postpartum depression or anxiety as a result of what happened to you in the hospital on a day you spent years dreaming about, but no time planning for.

Continue reading at HuffPost Parents… 

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