Gone Are the Days

There's so much we're unprepared for when we become parents. Life changes in ways you knew it would. (Yay for functioning on 3 hours of sleep!) But it also changes in ways you had no idea. (Thanks for the head's up that teething lasts for literally 2 years.)

The face of motherhood

When you become a parent, gone are the days of....

  • Happy hour without confirming with your significant other that he's good with the kids
  • A full night of sleep without waking up to a cry, or to make sure your child is breathing
  • Taking a trip without considering if there are kid-friendly activities
  • Feeling like you are doing everything right
  • Date nights on a whim
  • Standing in place without swaying
  • Unexpected Sunday Fundays
  • Putting yourself first
  • Buying groceries without contemplating organic or pre-cut vs not...or if you're a bad mom for buying processed muffins.
  • Partying without consequence
  • Getting ready alone, leisurely, or...at all
  • Looking at a coffee table without seeing sharp edges to poke your child's eye out, or seeing the sidewalk as a death-trap waiting to make your child bleed and cry.
  • Sleeping in
  • Going to the bathroom alone
  • Basking in silence, because now it means you're up to no good.

These are the days of:

  • Constantly asking, "Is that a good choice?"
  • Teething
  • Ear infections
  • Stomach viruses
  • Sleep battles
  • Questioning your every decision
  • Endless debates:
    • To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?
    • Public school or private school?
    • Breastfeeding or formula?
  • Planning around naps
  • A constant mind f**k where one day, parenting seems easy and you're ready for 10 more kids. And the next minute, you wonder why you even had the one.
  • Counting down to bedtime
  • Feeling overwhelmed - with feelings, thoughts, to-dos, and things
    • Counting to three
    • Timeouts
    • Parenting hungover
    • Going out to dinner at 5:30pm
    • Feeling guilty when you do something for yourself
    • Constantly picking up toys
    • Endless worry about your children's health, future and character that I can't contain my fears what life will be like for them

    These are the days. We're in them. Living them. Right now.

    But these days you're in now? They will be gone, too. 

    Someday, your kids will be calling you for money instead of calling you 1,000 times on their fake cell phones.
    Someday, they will recoil at your touch instead of being able to fit their whole body in your lap.
    Someday, your kids are going to have bigger problems than teething and infections.
    Someday, your kids are going to hate you. They won't remember that TODAY, they loved you more than anything.
    Someday, your kids are going to grow up. They will never need you again the way they do now.
    Someday, your home will be void of children and it will just be and your significant other. You will be able to go to dinner together every night of the week, and get drunk at your leisure, and sleep in when it suits you.

    And when you think back on the chaos of what it means to have children of all ages running a muck in your home, saying "Mom," no less than 1,000,000 times in a day, asking you hundreds of questions and mostly just driving you crazy (and then driving you to drink), you'll think, "Man. Those were the days."

    These are the days to remember.
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    Rodan + Fields Giveaway Monday!

    Mondays are always tough, especially coming off of a fun weekend. My in-laws were here, so we went to the zoo, went out for some yummy meals and spent lots of time outside so Liam could run around. Bryan and I also managed to sneak in a date night for a surprise birthday party for a friend!

    Let's make today a little better with a Rodan + Fields giveaway, shall we?

    Two of my favorite products are the Multi-Function Eye Cream ($60 value) and our Micro-Dermabrasion Paste ($78). There will be two winners - one winner for each product. Both products are amazing on their own or will enhance any skincare routine! (Even if it's not Rodan + Fields!)


    Our eye cream is dubbed eye crack, it's that good. It's a great all-around eye cream that utilizes peptides to visibly reduce the appearance of crow's feet, dark circles and puffiness, and noticeably brightens your eye area with optical filters that reflect light. It's one of our most popular products, and one jar often lasts approximately 6 months, if not more!
    Here's a skin tip: Exfoliation is the key to great skin. Why? Because:

    • Oil free exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells.
    • It enhances cell turnover and improves skin tone and texture.
    • It boosts collagen production to smooth away wrinkles, lines, and blemishes.

    Our MD Paste is an oil-free sugar and salt scrub packed with Vitamins C & E. Your skin will feel so soft and be noticeably brighter after just one use. It works with several of our products for a nice "mini regimen," or is great on its own. It can be used for face, body, feet and it lasts FOREVER! Mine lasts me 7 months, and I use it 2-3 times a week.


    There are three ways to enter - do all three, and you'll get entered three times! There is no purchase necessary to win.

    To enter:
    1. Find out which regimen is right for you with this 30-second perSKINality quiz and email yourself the results. (1 entry)
    2. Take the skin quiz, and tell me your results in the comments below. (3 entries)
    3. Share my giveaway on Facebook! (5 entries)
    Winners will be announced this Thursday, April 28, and is open to new and existing customers. 

    Good luck!
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    The Daddy Phase

    When I found out I was pregnant with a boy, all I heard was, "Boys love their mamas!" I was so excited to be a boy mom, and to have that special bond with my son. I have been enamored with Liam since the second he entered the world. There was no "bonding" period—he took my heart and ran with it.

    In the early days, we were inseparable. (Literally.) He slept on me, he nursed from me, I carried him everywhere. He wasn't a baby that "needed" to be held all the time—I just loved cuddling with him. I spent all day some days on maternity leave snuggling with my sweet little boy.

     

    Any mother will tell you that at the beginning, it's hard to help Dad feel included, especially if Mom is nursing. I remember worrying that my husband felt left out, and we had conversations about how he didn't really know how to help. 

    I felt protective of Liam, and like I knew best because after all, I was his mother, I spent the most time with him and for God's sake, I carried him for 9 months. Thankfully, I recognized the problems that thinking like that can present, and together, Bryan and I came up with a routine that allowed him to create his own bond with his son, and do things his own way, without me suggesting it was wrong.

    Liam is a happy, healthy, smart, sweet little boy. We taught him to give and blow kisses, how to be gentle, give hugs and snuggle. I tell him every day, multiple times a day, how much I love him.

    So imagine my surprise when in late October, I noticed something: Liam started to prefer Bryan. He would get SO excited he got when Daddy would get home from work or walk in a room. He got upset when Bryan left. Bryan would leave the kitchen to go down the hall and Liam immediately yelled, "DAAAAA!" When they played or read together, Liam was just enamored. It melted my heart, seeing these two so obsessed with each other.

    I brought up Liam's noticeable parental preference to Bryan one night and he thought I was crazy. I think he just didn't want me to feel bad, so as he does, he read about it. As it turns out, "Daddy Phase" is very normal. Apparently, at some point, babies already know that they have an unbreakable bond with Mom. They trust Mom to love them, no matter what, and so they turn to Dad to build the same relationship. It made sense, to both of us. I thought it was sweet, the way Liam over-the-top adored his Daddy.


    But things have changed. It's now six months later and we are still in The Daddy Phase—and I no longer think it's cute.

    When Liam and I are alone together, it's amazing. We have so much fun. He showers me with hugs and kisses freely, reaches to be held, brings me books to read, and engages me to play. We have our own little private game of chase that involves me chasing him up and down the hall, eventually "getting him," and tickling him while he squeals and belly laughs in delight. We are mother and son...the best of friends. The dynamic duo I always imagined.


    But the second Bryan walks in the door, I become invisible. Unneeded. Unwanted.

    Liam squeals for Dad in a way he doesn't for me. He lays his head on his shoulder in a show of tender of affection without being asked (or begged). He crawls willingly into his lap to sit and relax, or read a book.

     

    Bryan and I alternate bedtime with Liam. Some nights, Bryan will finish reading Liam a book and have said his goodnight. When he goes to hand him to me, Liam rears his body away from me and cries. Hysterically cries, the shrill, can't-catch-your-breath kind of cry that sounds like he's in serious pain or really sick. I hand him back to Bryan—all is fine.


    He hurts himself—walks into a wall or smacks his mouth on his crib. If I'm right there, I snatch him up immediately, covering him in kisses and hugs and reassurances and "Shhh Shhh Shhh, you're OK, you're OK." Frantic, in pain and hysterical in my arms, he looks for Dad...wants Dad. Reaches for Dad.

    Do you know what that feels like? To have the one person you love most in this world shriek in your face and push you away? To that say to be rejected by this child—who was part of my body, who used to need and depend on me for everything, whom I love more than life—hurts my feelings, is an understatement. It is excruciating, and it breaks my heart.

    Bryan tries to help by encouraging Liam to interact with me. "Mama will read you the book!" he'll say. My enthusiastic,"come here buddy, let's read!" is met with a whiney cry and a slow jog back to Dad's safe embrace.

    I'm sure it's exhausting, whether you're the mom or the dad, to be constantly needed. Hell, I was the one who was constantly needed, a mere 12 months ago. I understand that I haven't done anything wrong. I know Liam loves me. But that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt like hell, or that I don't feel like a failure as a mother.

    From afar, I watch Liam freely dole out hugs and snuggles and kisses and adoring looks to my husband. I treasure the fleeting affections I may or may not get on my way out or in the door. I yearn for him to want me the way he wants Bryan.

    So when he shrieks at bedtime, rather than torture him by making him cry it out while we rock together—I just give him a quick kiss, tell him I love him and hand him to Bryan before either one of them can see me cry. And then I do cry, feeling an ache in the space between my jaw and my chest where his little head should be snuggled.


    I know he is a toddler, and may not even recognize what he's doing. I know I should be grateful for the way he and Bryan love each other. I know this is somewhat normal. I know I'm not the only mother who is going through this. I know I should "take advantage of my alone time." I know this too shall (probably) pass.

    But knowing all of that doesn’t take away the pain or the insecurity of being rejected by my baby.
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