“Hi, my name’s Cammeo and I’m a momaholic.” What’s a momaholic, you might ask? I myself didn’t know until enduring the longest days of my life this past week – when both my husband and my mom incidentally landed themselves out of town, giving one helpless mama a much needed wake-up call.
Day 1: (cue Law & Order, dun dun sound)
The week started by dropping Garrett (now 17 months) off with the sweet nannies who watch some of the local neighborhood kids. Sounds harmless enough right? WRONG! Cue the waterworks. I’m not talking just any waterworks, I’m talking Wet n’ Wild sized waterworks. Had I not been nanny-blocked (a move clearly she had learned from years of dealing with other momaholics), I would have swooped him up in my arms and never made it in to work that day. But, le sigh, I walked away pushing back the tears and making it to work early for a change. All good right? Wrong again! As I dug hopelessly through my Zara bag, I got the sinking feeling that no matter how much I imagined a Mary Poppins-like scenario – my wallet was nowhere to be found.
So I text my more-than-supportive boss, who says she’ll say a prayer to St. Anthony (who apparently finds things), that I have to run home and retrace my steps until I find it. Naturally I go straight to the nanny’s house, selfishly hoping to catch a glimpse of Garrett and steal a hug while miraculously finding my wallet just waiting in the stroller where I left it…uh yah, that didn’t happen. Instead they had gone for a stroll, and I was left running back to the park we had been to the night before, then back through our apartment twice until finally spotting it hidden somewhere only a sneaky toddler purposely playing a sick joke on his mom would hide it.
Oh and the fun didn’t stop, that evening in a nutshell involved me picking Garrett back up from the nanny as he gave me the baby evil eye for leaving him all day with people who clearly just wanted to play with and spoil him (whata jerk!). Then, as I’m giving him a bath he decides to pop a squat (and you know what that means), yep, baby floaters. So as I proceed to try and fish them out with toilet paper, our toilet starts to overflow – which leaves me running to find the plunger just in time. All the while Garrett starts crying because apparently he’s realized how not cool that was, and proceeds to point and whine at his own poo. Now, if that didn’t make you LOL, then you need a serious poo humor check, cuz that shit is funny (pun intended).
Day 2: Fat Lip
After a whole fiasco of fighting bedtime, coupled with a full night of “teething wakings” – I’m ready to start the whole thing over again. And by ready, I mean, I want to hire a personal jet to go fly my mom’s butt back to L.A. – but instead I put on a happy face and greet yet another nanny who has so graciously offered to come to our place this time. Oh this will be cake…I kid you not, not 2 min goes by before Garrett pulls a whole Medela plastic icepack off the kitchen counter straight onto his face. I just hear a “thud, and a waaaaaaaaaa”, and then a voice in my head saying “wtf, when did I leave him in the kitchen?” Oh right, it was between getting the bottle of milk poured, putting his shoes on, putting diapers in the bag, then running back into the living room to answer the nanny’s 20 well-meaning questions. Thaaaaat’s when I left him – and now he’s screaming with a bloody fat lip and I’m totally going to be late for work, again.
Day 3: Epiphany
Coming off what was probably the worst fit-throwing, bedtime rioting, ballistic crying nighttime routine – I seriously began questioning if it had actually been me acting as his mom these past 17 months, or if I had some weird shape-shifting abilities (True Blood anyone?) that really just meant I had been checking out that whole time and had no clue at all what I was doing. But I pulled myself together – translation: I didn’t shower for the 3rd day in a row, and had totally come to grips with the fact that I was going to be at least 30 min late for work, possibly smelling like day old milk and shame, pure shame. So as I head out the door after successfully packing up the diaper bag, stroller, food bag, toys, and, oh yah and Garrett – I run into the 3rd nanny waiting out front looking at me like “why are you surprised to see me?” Then I realize, when the other nanny called to say Day 3 nanny was “here”, she meant she had been waiting downstairs for me for 20 minutes – not that she was waiting for me at their house, which I clearly I did not get the memo about and which also meant I had packed 2 weeks worth of supplies for nothing. Awesome…let’s just say, the next 30 min of me trying desperately but failingly to leave, because every time I did Garrett would scream bloody murder – resulted in aforementioned “wake-up call”.
Day 4: Confession
Hello everyone, my name’s Cammeo, and I’m a momaholic. From day one, ever since I found out I was growing this beautiful miracle of a human-being – I fell victim to momaholism. I Googled every pregnancy symptom, I downloaded every pregnancy app, I joined the Facebook mommy group, and I forced myself to listen to every bit of parenting advice anyone ever wanted to give me – because I was going to master this mommy thing and look good doing it. And guess what, I failed. Not failed as a mother, but failed to realize and be humble enough to admit that this mommy business calls for a whole lot of help. Not from dumb apps or social groups, but from the people we rely on the most and take for granted the most – our family. Hell, my own mother moved across the country to be with us and help with Garrett so that I could go back to work, and I still was too proud to truly tell her how much I needed her and couldn’t do any of this without her. My husband, good god my husband. If you were starting to like me, you’re gonna hate me now – because I totally have “that husband.” Yep, that husband who will go make that midnight run to CVS because you’re out of milk and used the last drop of ibuprofen. That husband who does the dishes and cooks dinner, just so that you can spend the last few hours of your day pouring all your loving energy into this baby that needs you. And lastly, that husband, who doesn’t deserve all the dirty looks, snarky attitude, and snippy comments when he’s not putting the stupid diaper on right – but yet he still smiles and lets you tell him anyway that the straps need to be “just like this”. He kisses you good night, and tells you “that you are doing everything right” even though he knows you’re fighting back tears, blaming yourself every time it takes more than 10 min to get the baby down at night. Because he knows that you are the one who will sacrifice yourself to get up and nurse/rock your little one back to sleep as many times as he needs it. You’re the one who just wants more than anything to make everyone around her happy, because that’s what moms do – they heal, they comfort, they nurture, and they love unconditionally. But I’m here to say, as I move slowly down the path to recovery, that if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that it’s ok to let those people who want to help you, help you. Maybe it’s an aunt or uncle, or husband, or father – set aside your momaholic tendencies and let them help. And not only that, tell them how thankful you are for their emotional and physical support – because if you don’t, you may just find yourself in a tub full of poo will no one but yourself to plunge your way out of it. And nobody wants to see that…
Calm Before the Storm: It’s moments like these (when he’s running around the living room in my Birkenstocks), that make all the craziness worth it.
Lifesaver: Zimmer Children’s Museum was a welcome distraction on night 2, nothing better than a ball pit and pizza to put a smile on this little fella’s face.
Better Days: Garrett getting in some daddy bonding time at El Matador beach in Malibu.