Sure, we’ve all heard the old adage “everyone can use more friends.” When you’re a new mom though it’s crucial, and I’m talking DEFCON 1 level crucial, to find friends that will not only be there for you – but literally carry you through this motherhood thing. I’m speaking from experience when I say, these eight “Mom Friends” need to be sought out, vetted, and secured before you ever even think of pushing out another human from your who-ha.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about these early days of motherhood. Maybe it’s because I’m about to go through it all again with a new baby girl, or maybe it’s just because these pregnancy hormones make me all kinds of sentimental (poor, poor hubs). What I think most about, though, and what I’m officially making as my “Mother’s Day wish,” is how I wish our children could remember the kind of love we have for them in the baby years.
No seriously, anyone who tells you a babymoon is overrated, is lying to you. I’m really just saying this for effect, since I can’t think of any mom in their right mind who doesn’t see the invaluable need for a weekend getaway before your life is taken over by yet another little one. As my husband (a.k.a. my editor) is reading this, I know he’s thinking – she’s trying to play all hard and cries with the best of them any time we spend more than a day away from Garrett. Well touche, my love, because I not only didn’t shed a tear this time, you may recall I was the one saying we need to do this again before number two arrives. Yep, that’s how great a babymoon is. Sure, date nights do the trick – but the catch is that you have to have the resources to do them like every week. Sorry to say that, fixing up a house and juggling new job situations, all while a certain toddler wants your undivided attention – has us prioritizing date nights the way I prioritize working out – man, a nap sounds so much better right now.
Last week I had started a draft for this blog post with a working title of “Happy Place.” Except a lot’s happened between now and then. As I laid awake after a much needed cry fest last night, the only thing I could think of was that it was time for me to “get real.” Too often we feel the pressures of putting on that happy face, even though we know well and good we are holding back tears or anxieties that eventually come to a head when we’re least expecting it. Last night was one of those times. I was preparing to give my son a bath just like any other night, but this night he insisted on having a “boo boo” that was going to hurt if he put his foot in the water. Oh dear. So for a solid five minutes (felt like 30) I tried every bribe in the book, until tears ensued and dad walked in asking buddy what’s wrong. To which I went off on a lightening speed explanation on why I’m so frustrated after trying to negotiate with a toddler for ten minutes, which results in said dad backing out of the bathroom slowly, very slowly.
In honor of The Second Shift’s #WomInspired campaign, I thought I would share my own story of empowerment and the very special professional role model I had that led me to a happier place as a woman, a mother, and a professional. The importance of women lifting each other up and serving as positive role models and mentors to those around us cannot be overstated. I was fortunate enough to work alongside Tracy Seng in my nearly five years at Los Angeles Magazine – someone who inspired my career, and has always supported those around her to follow their own path.
So it’s been a few weeks since we broke the news that we’re expecting a girl, and I thought it would be fun to share what first went through my mind when I found out. I still can’t believe that nowadays they can do a simple blood test as early as 10 weeks to reveal the gender, and a friend of mine told me that they literally just call you up and tell you what it is. Well she wasn’t lying, and when the nurse asked if I was ready to know all I kept thinking was “oh I already know it’s a boy.” Well, not so much. When I heard her say “girl” my first reaction was, “Really??” Then, I had to ask how accurate it was because I knew Grant would want to know, and she reassured me everything is pointing to a girl. So of course I got all teary-eyed as I called my mom to tell her, failing miserably at trying to keep cool swinging my 3 year old at the park. I then got so excited because I’d been devising a plan to surprise Grant with balloons and girly looking desserts when he got home from work. When he walked through the door it was that classic look all those dads on the Youtube videos have when their sneaky wives film their reactions – at first it’s shock, and then just the sweetest look of contentment. I sent a pic to Grant’s family and they all said it looked as if he were blushing 🙂
I don’t normally use my blog to write about the past, and more specifically the struggles I went through coping with my dad passing away from cancer. But when sharing something so personal means helping contribute to a very worthy cause, I couldn’t help but want to be a part of the #MyReelMoment campaign that’s bringing awareness to the disabled community of Houston. I have been blown away by the inclusive community here in Houston, and when Jillian from Cup of Charisma told me she’s now working with ReelAbilities, a free Houston-wide film & arts festival to promote inclusion and celebrate people with disabilities, I jumped at the opportunity to get involved.
Everyone knows 2016 was a crapshoot. I don’t think I know one single person who couldn’t wait for it to be over. So as I was mulling over just how to put into words what this year meant for us, it dawned on me – 2016 was a leap year. Now try and follow me here. A leap year, in both the literal and metaphorical sense, means to correct drift. So if you think about it – all 2016 was meant to do was get us back in synch and help us find our true North. I don’t know about you, but the older I get and the more complicated life is – it only seems harder and harder to follow my internal compass. But 2016 was a year for reflecting and looking inward, whether I wanted to or not. Many of you have read my initial recap of this year that I wrote back in Sept. Well a lot, and I mean A LOT, has happened since then.
Dear Judgy Mom at the park this morning,
I can see my son just offended you, and I’m sorry.
I’m sorry that my son, who just turned three less than a month ago, and who you undoubtedly took one look at and mistakenly took him for a five year old, didn’t live up to your high standards. Because here’s the thing – he does look five. At first glance, if I were you, I too would have scoffed at his behavior – running up and pushing aside your son who had at least four years on him and who he thought was done on the swing set. And I’ve been known to tell a kid (much, much older than Garrett) to let him have his turn, but minus the incredibly rude tone saying that “my son was playing there first.” And as you sat in the only other swing (as an adult), I’m sorry I didn’t thank you profusely for reluctantly getting up to let my son swing – because we all know how put out we feel to give up something to a child.
Garrett’s 3rd birthday came and went this week, and like most important life events – the build up is way bigger than the actual thing itself. I mean, I kept telling myself/repeating what I’d read from the mommysphere “the 3rd birthday is the one they start to remember.” That’s all I needed to hear and it was on. I picked a theme – construction, naturally. If you know my son I feel like his obsession with trucks is at a whole other level, so I felt like my creative skills needed to be kicked up a notch. I did the late night Pinterest binge to get the juices flowing, and hit up the trusty party planning spots the next day – Party City, Dollar Tree, Target and Hobby Lobby. I included photos below from his party along with all the décor and where I found them – hope it helps for future bday party ideas!