Friday, November 12, 2010

Mamas: United We Stand, Divided We're F%#&ed

Being a mother is really, really hard.

Being a mother with no mother friends to talk to is even harder and this applies long before the baby is ever born.

Pregnancy is filled with amazing and wonderful milestones. It is also, filled with lots of weird-ass stuff that happens to your body. Obviously, you can ask your doctor anything, but there are some things that require a friend.

When I was pregnant with C, I found myself lacking a go-to resource for icky, highly-personal questions. Most of my friends who had children had them a long time ago and didn't remember. I did have a couple of recently or simultaneously pregnant friends, but I needed to address some very delicate areas that required a certain level of trust that I wouldn't gross them out. On occasion, I turned to pregnancy chat rooms. The problem with that is, everyone tends to post the worst case scenario and scare the crap out of the other mothers. So, a lot of my questions went unanswered.

As a result, I now have a very open policy that I share with any of my friends who become pregnant: there is no question too personal, too gross or too stupid to ask me. If it is a question that I am not comfortable with, I'll figure out a way to answer or help you get the answer.

Pregnancy can be very scary and confusing, but it is even more so if you don't have resources to answer questions like "should my nipples really look like that?" or "how the hell do I shave my legs if I can't reach them?" In case you are wondering - yes, they should and use depilatory cream or have them waxed.

But needing mama friends certainly doesn't end with pregnancy. The gross questions may slow down once the baby is born, but the need to talk to someone who is experiencing the same things increases in spades.

Having other friends with kids the same age allows you to see other types of parenting. Hopefully, your friends aren't the preachy type who make you think you are doing it all wrong. More than one of my mama tricks have come from my community of mama friends. Sometimes, you just need another perspective.

Plus, if you have friends with kids the same age, you get to go on play dates. Now, play dates don't sound fun to most people, but mamas know that you can make them really fun. A very good friend and I recently took our kids to the zoo. I think we had more fun than they did. At least until the lack of napping kicked in and everyone melted down, but it was still great to be out and have a chance to talk and catch up.

Something about being around other mamas takes the stress out of socializing with your kids. If I have a non-mama friend over, I usually feel a little more inclined to keep things in order, keep everyone happy and quiet. But other mamas understand the madness that comes with having small children, so I tend to relax a bit more.

Being a mother is really hard, but it is a lot more fun if you have friends to help you laugh it off, cry it out and have a drink with when it gets to be too much!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I learned the hard way

I think that it goes without saying that you should always, always have a set of clean sheets on hand for your child's bed. Same goes for pajamas.

But, I have a bad habit of leaving the clean laundry in the basement, near the laundry room. This is a habit that I will now break, at least for the sheets.

Let me tell you that, when your child wakes you up at a ridiculous time in the middle of the night because they have been sick in their bed, the last thing you want to do is trudge downstairs to get clean sheets. If I had just put them away, they would have been in the closet of his room and my only trip downstairs would have been to rinse out the gross sheets, which was bad enough.

I will also let you in on a little-known fact. If your spouse is out of town, that is the night that your child will throw up in bed. Or the power will go out. Or the basement will flood. You get the picture. Now go wash your sheets and put them in your kid's room.