Doesn’t being a mom suck?

I could easily sit here like an unoriginal, boring blob and list all the things I miss about being childless.

It would be a tome. It would literally (yes literally, Shane) take you an entire day to read through. But since most of you (unless you’re a fellow lady of leisure) don’t have that kind of time (nor do you really care–you’re only reading this blog because you’re at work, procrastinating like you usually do) here is an abbreviated version:

  • That thing that happens when your brain shuts down for ~8 consecutive hours and you awake feeling refreshed and rejuvenated–sleep! That’s it
  • Constantly referring to your cats as your “furry children” and thinking people find that adorable when secretly they kind of pity you
  • Intentionally booking a trip to Varadero over Christmas because you’re a godless heathen who is fiercely avoiding travel because YOU ARE ALWAYS THE ONE WHO HAS TO DO IT
  • Taking a “What kind of candy best represents your personality” Facebook quiz because you’ve always thought you were a ‘Snickers’, but lately, you’ve been thinking you’re more of a ‘Big Turk’
  • Casually experimenting with recreational drugs (if you’re my mom and you’re reading this just kidding mom and also, I call bullshit because all my mom knows how to do online is check her email)
  • Your flat(ish), scar-free tummy and award-winning rack
  • Not planning for the future because probably your liver will only last another two-to-three years at this rate
  • Only having to wash vomit out of your own hair
  • Casually throwing on your once-a-week load of laundry (it’s cheaper on weekends but usually this has to wait until Sunday night because you were too hungover on Saturday)
  • Guilt-free Coach bags and two-for-five-dollar Lindt chocolate bars at Shoppers Drug Mart (as you have probably already guessed, I still buy the chocolate)
  • Napping for pleasure and/or due to boredom and not for absolute, desperate necessity
  • Exceptional personal hygiene
  • Getting blackout drunk on a Thursday night because you’ve nicknamed Thursdays “Thirsty Thursdays” and you think you’re clever

This weekend, I attended a wedding. As you may recall, I generally loathe any celebratory event that brings others joy. However, as these nuptials were those of one of my oldest friends, it was a prime opportunity to genuinely have a great time, get embarrassingly drunk and knock over a decorative tree.

However for me, sobriety was mandatory (that’s not to say I didn’t have a great time, it’s just that alcohol makes everything so much more fun), as this well-dressed young man was tagging along:

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Who brings an 8-week old to a wedding? Someone who doesn’t have a f*cking babysitter, that’s who.

Near the end of the night as said young man was screaming bloody murder outside the reception hall, another friend who was keeping me company (and who was several drinks deep, bless her), noticed my look of sober panic and frustration and with great sympathy in her voice, said, “Doesn’t being a mom suck?”

wat

As I processed her question, undoubtedly posed in an innocent, lighthearted way, I instantly knew the answer.

Yes, I’m running on very little sleep.

Yes, he’s been screaming like this for 15 minutes and I can’t get him to stop.

Yes, I’m 10 pounds too heavy for this dress.

And yes, I am stone cold sober at an event where the second-most sober person is currently dancing on a chair.

But no, I told her, smiling through the ear-piercing screams, being a mom definitely doesn’t suck.

Sure, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, and sometimes I spend the one shower I take every three days crouched with my knees to my chest, sobbing uncontrollably. More times than I care to admit last night, I even thought about throwing back a couple shots and letting someone else worry about the baby. Everyone wants to hold a baby, right?

But today, I woke up without a hangover. My iPhone, ID and credit cards were all accounted for and I still had a fistful of cash. Most importantly, I woke up without the usual morning-after foggy panic as I try to piece together which humiliating thing I did the night before.

But best of all, instead of spending the morning hugging the toilet and writing apologetic messages to everyone I offended the night before, I got to spend a lazy Sunday morning with this sneeze pot:

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And that didn’t suck, either.

The first six weeks: a story of survival

Word to all new moms and new moms-to-be: unsolicited parenting advice is a rite of passage. Chances are that if you’ve just popped out a baby, or are very close to the worst day of your ladybits’ life, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Everyone and their cat has something to say. And I hate to tell you this, but most of the time, we pretty much have to grin and bear it.

Good news, though. Not all of it has to be unsolicited, and some of it can actually be pretty valuable.

One of the most honest–and what turned out to be, completely accurate–truths bestowed upon me in the very early days postpartum, was from a young, professional mother of two who seriously has it all figured out. Already more successful and put-together than I’ll ever be, she knew exactly what was coming, and she wasn’t about to sugarcoat any of it.

“The first six weeks,” she said sagely, “are all about survival.”

sur·viv·al
noun
a new mom simply making it through the day.

I know I’m running the risk of sounding like a combat veteran–someone who would legitimately know more about actual survival than my privileged ass ever will–and for that, I apologize. But survival is really the only way to describe how I’ve managed to get through the last six weeks without a serious mental and physical breakdown and/or a dead baby on my hands.

This newborn thing is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do, and I once had to sit through a church sermon trying not to giggle every time the pastor said how Jesus was “hung”.

You can't threaten me with hell, I'm an atheist

You can’t threaten me with hell, people. I’m an atheist.

I know my tale of “survival” isn’t unique. But this adorable–and still very much alive–barf bag is six weeks old today, and I’m so proud of how far he’s come.

Chunker has a clean bill of health and is smiling up a storm. He is more awake, more active, and has finally figured out the whole oh hey, this is what a boob is for! thing.

Although sleep continues to elude us all, the fog has started to lift.

Survival mode is winding down, and it’s time to take the advice of another wise mom of two:

“Enjoy him. And don’t wish away the time.”

liam mom selfie