FunEmployed! #adventuresinparenting

Originally I had this really long post about my job search and how it’s not going as planned, might as well make the best of this time blah blah blah.

No. Enough already, it’s time for fun posts once again. Today I made finger paint from SCRATCH! What!? Yes. And it was awesome and super easy and I loved it. And my kid, well she sort of loved it. She wasn’t as thrilled as I was with it but then again I only let her paint via a ziploc bag. She’s too young for the real thing, seriously there are not enough smocks in the world.

The inspiration for this project came from pinterest of course, where I spend a LOT of my time these days. I freakin’ love pinning all the things! Not to mention these extra projects are a good way to keep me occupied these days while I lay in wait for full time work.

The pins that inspired this project can be found here and here. And now for your viewing pleasure [WARNING: EXTREME CUTENESS IN FINAL PICTURE OF THIS SEQUENCE]:

Cute, right? There’s a lot of green paint due to my not having any red food coloring (durn you delicious red velvet brownies!! also a pintrest project). But I do have some leftover white paint and will invest in some red dye soon. I wish I could say my kid LOVED this and played with it for hours but this was like a 5 minute thing for her and then she was over it. BUT, I didn’t have to go out and buy any new supplies and it was fun to make! And come on chubby baby fingers playin’ with paint stuffs? Ah-dorbs.

#adventuresinparenting

motherhood: awwwkwarrrrrd…#adventuresinparenting

aaaaand she’s back!

so this particular topic has been on my mind for a hot minute. motherhood is awkward. it is and there’s no way around it. imagine this (or if this really is you, just look in the mirror): you have no children. you live your life doing whatever, going to bed whenever, eating and drinking what you want, showing up to work on time, staying behind a few minutes here and there to chat or finish an email. catch my drift? YOU get to do what YOU want because YOU answer to YOU.

and then suddenly, every single thing you do is connected to another human being. a tiny, almost entirely helpless human being. at the very beginning of my pregnancy, (you know, the stage before people know), i started randomly turning down alcohol, deli meat, sushi, soft cheeses, and runny eggs. basically every delicious thing my friends and family watched me consume by the truck load for years. and then the random napping begins because the first trimester is so exhausting. my boss caught me napping at my desk at one point and a few months later had to ask me why i spent my lunch break sleeping in my car. pregnancy made me feel as though i suddenly had no place in the world, like i was living this very temporary alternate life.

and it doesn’t end there. we all know how i feel about #overitpregnantedition. once visibly pregnant, the comments, the stares and the touching had me lurking around trying not to bump into people or i would rapidly find a seat at meetings or in class so i could sit down and cover my belly with my hands or a table. and as i got closer to giving birth, people seemed to be running circles around me pulling up chairs and offering to fetch me things like water, snacks and new, less swollen ankles. and i loved the attention, but it was still weird.

i’m not gonna get into the whole birth thing, that’s not really awkward it just is what it is. but then baby and i are now two disconnected people and since i am no longer with child, it’s a lot harder to hide the crazies. in my case, the biggest, most awkward challenge has been breastfeeding. it’s one thing to be attached to a baby in the privacy of my own home but it’s another thing to go to work and put paper up over the window to my office or having to answer quick questions through the door because i’m pumping. then there was that one time that i got so upset about a comment about my body that i started to leak everywhere. talk about having to walk away without a shred of dignity left.

my favorite moment of motherly awkwardness? washing pumping related equipment in public places like the bathroom. in front of co-workers. in front of a supervisor. in front of 18 year old undergrads.uhhhhh yeeeeaaahhhhh let me just…ok…i’m putting it away now….i just…..sigh.

how about when my daughter wants to nurse suddenly? know what she does? she tries to pull up my shirt, bury her head in my chest and if I’m really lucky, she will motorboat my cleavage. in public. yah.

then there’s zombie mondays that never cease to end. you can bet that if you want me to embarrass myself, ask me a really complex question at 9 am on monday mornings. you’re welcome. and if it’s 5 pm, don’t start a new conversation with me because i am not having it. i need to be out the door, in my car and on the way to pick my daughter up on time. i don’t stick around to chat it up, i don’t go to happy hour and i don’t want to grab dinner. i want to go home and hang out with my kid who goes to bed at 6:45. i’m on a time crunch and right now she’s my social life. if that means i have to be all behind on the gossip and the fun times then so be it. that’s what my undergrad was for.

and if you’re a mom too and you know what i’m going through, i’m going to want to talk about it. i want to ask you about what happened to your body and baby toe jam and baby poop. i want to know what you do to get your kid back to sleep, or how you deal with teething and feeding solids. i want to connect with you so badly that all the non-parent people in the group will feel shut out and skulk away. and i’m not going to feel bad because right now i need to feel like i’m not crazy and talking to others going through the same thing is what will help me feel that way. my social etiquette is out the window, i’m basically napoleon dynamite with smaller teeth. and i’m ok with that.

so in conclusion, no, i didn’t see that movie, i haven’t eaten at that new restaurant and i haven’t been to any good concerts lately [insert awkward silence here].but let me show you my 417th iphone picture of my 9 month old, k? #adventuresinparenting #thisismylifenow

when type a’s strike, or perhaps when type a’s are stricken #adventuresinparenting

Earlier this week I attended a lunch with my department to celebrate the end of my practicum and the beginning of my internship. All of the other interns were there along with our supervisors and the good food and conversations began to flow. Suddenly, one of the supervisors began asking myself and another intern, who is also a first time mom, (we are the only two interns with kids) what it’s like to have a child. She asked us what it’s like to always be tired, what it felt like to be constantly woken up, to have our homes turned upside down, and to be “dealing with so much”. I was shell-shocked. Work-wise, I had only interacted with this woman, let’s just call her Mz. Type A or Mz. A for short, three times in my life. She seemed very nice, professionally focused, and her office was always impeccable so I wasn’t entirely surprised about the kind of questions she was asking. But goodness, the assumptions! What did she mean by dealing with so much? And why were all of these questions so negative? As we (other intern mama and I) stared at her in utter confusion, she began to explain that what she meant was that it just seemed to her that having a child in your life spells unpredictability and chaos and that as a newlywed, she couldn’t imagine giving up so much control in her life and in her relationship.

As awesome-fellow-intern-mama tried answering some of her questions I pondered what my response to all of this might be. Did I even feel this way about having my daughter? I mean sure, having my daughter has certainly changed my life dramatically and there have been many things that have happened and will continue to happen that are out of my control. And yes, there are times when oh lord I could use more sleep. I knew this going in and I just roll with it because what else is there to do? I am a parent now. My mother and father stayed up with me as my teeth came in or until my fevers broke. They took off of work to nurse me back to health or to take me to the doctor. They left their classes and jobs early to take me to practice or performances. And they happily let me go when they were done with that part of their jobs as my parents. It came second nature to them and it comes second nature to me now.

But. Many folks already know this about being a parent. Mz. A was raised by caring adults and she is educated enough to know all of these things but that’s not what she was getting at. She was asking us what it was like to have everything about our very beings challenged 24/7. When I finally figured out what to say, all I could think of was “well, yes my kid still wakes up at night and I am constantly dropping everything for her but my experience so far has been you either let it get to you or you don’t.” Her response? “yeah but it just seems like it’s a lot of change and I don’t think I’m ready for that”. As I was processing this later with my partner, I was being very judgmental as I told him that because she has a Type A personality (definition here), she of course can’t imagine having such little control over something so small as a child. But upon further reflection, I feel as though I might have misjudged the situation.

Of course it’s easy for me to say, hey, if you let it get to you, that’s your problem. I have always been the kind of person that just goes with it. I never had a choice in the matter, I’m the youngest of three children in a unique way. My parents had me at 35 years old in the mid-80’s which was considered old at the time. I was born to an 11 year old sister and a 9 year old brother with already established lives. No one was ready for a NEWBORN. So, I have always had to just roll with it. I hung out on the laps of family friends or in a play pen while my parents kept going to their tennis matches or cheered on my brother at baseball games. I played on the floor while my mother fitted my sister’s bomba skirts for her dance performances. So naturally, I have learned to just go with the flow since the beginning of my awesome existence <–Youngest child much?

Mz. A wasn't saying no to motherhood, she was just asking us to please help her understand so that she too can someday be able to have the courage to give up so much control. I can make assumptions about how she thinks or how she operates but I will never fully know. All I know is that the thought of becoming a mom is rocking this woman's boat right now. I know what it's like to be in her shoes. I was once there, when I fell head over heels for a man 10 years my elder. It was then that I realized that if I stuck with him, I could potentially become a wife and mother much sooner than I ever imagined. I was only 22 years old at the time and I felt like I might be giving everything up much in the same way that Mz. A was implying. But eventually something just clicked and my fear of having a child turned to excitement, then anticipation and lastly, impatience over meeting our little booger but that's another story (i.e. #overitpregnantedition).

My only hope is that if Mz. A and her partner ever decide to have children, or perhaps are, ahem, somewhat thrown into having a child (hey, I was a happy accident. you're welcome.), that she finds peace with the unknown. If not well then g'luck lady, I have my own #adventuresinparenting to worry about.