When I first launched my blog back in January, I made an agreement with my husband. He knew I was writing but he wouldn’t try to find my blog or read any posts until I told him I was ready. I had always planned to talk to him about everything right before I decided to go public. He fully supported this. He wasn’t concerned. He didn’t ask questions. My close friends and sister? Not so much.
If you know me, you know that there is no bullshit. No sugar-coating. Just open, honest truth. I’m not afraid to share, tell you how I feel, and I own my shit and who I am. I always planned to bring this to my blog. As I started writing my truth about motherhood, marriage, and sex, in came the frantic text messages and phone calls from various friends and family members.
Does my husband know what I’m writing about? Does he know how I feel about our sex life? Do I talk to him about what I write for the world to read? Jen, are you okay? Jen, are you going to do something impulsive like have an affair or run away? Jen, should we be concerned? Jen, do we need to come down to the South for an intervention?
There won’t be any new posts or updates for the next week because this mommy is taking a much needed and well deserved break! For the next four days I will be going to camp. You heard me…camp! As in Campowerment, “the sleepaway-camp-inspired experience for grown-up women.” If you want to learn more about what I know will be an amazing time, check out their website here.
I am tuning out, shutting down, avoiding any and all things technology and social media, and focusing inward. If I’m going to recharge my life, I’m going to do it right.
I will resurface sometime next week with a very detailed post about my trip and everything I did and learned while away at camp. I’m so excited to be able to share this experience on my blog. I hope you will check back and keep reading!
So there we were, awake and still in labor after a decent night’s sleep. I was loving the epidural and my husband was too. It made me very pleasant and easy to be around. I remember saying, “This is nothing like the movies. Movie labors and births are pretty…this is bullshit!” The only pretty thing about this was the green paisley hospital gown I brought to wear. And that didn’t end up mattering. I didn’t feel prettier. It just got covered in blood and who knows what else while I pushed.
Nobody tells you the truth before you have a baby. It’s like you can’t be privy to this secret club until you physically experience it for yourself. Sure women write articles such as “The Seven Things No One Tells You About Labor” or “Myths of Childbirth.” But they all sugar coat. I’m even sugar-coating right now…and I do not like to sugar coat…but no future mom really wants to hear about the blood and shit and screaming and fear and pain and overwhelming emotion. They just want to think about precious little babies and rainbows.
Maybe no-one would want to have babies if they really knew the truth. Perhaps that’s why we don’t tell you moms-to-be until after you have actually gone through labor and delivery.
At eight months pregnant, a close friend asked me, “B are you worried about any postpartum depression stuff?” I quickly replied, “Of course not! That would never happen to me. We are so excited about the baby.”
I couldn’t have been any more wrong! And I wasn’t just wrong, my case was textbook. Do you like to be in control? Duh! Did you move to a new house right before the baby was born? Of course…we couldn’t fit a tiny human and all the crap that comes along with him (and multiplies over time) into our apartment! Were there lots of people around when you had the baby? Um, it was Passover…how about at least 20 Jews arriving in the South to wait for this baby while doing the Seder thing. Did you have a long or traumatic labor? Hmmm…does labor for 20 hours, pushing for two, and then a C-section count? And the list of questions the therapist asked me at my first went on. And the answer to each one was always a big fat yes.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I should start at the beginning…the night my son decided to begin his journey to grace us with his presence.
Some moms think pushing a baby out of their vagina is the most beautiful experience. I’m not that mom.
Some moms would rather die than send their new baby to the nursery during the hospital stay. I’m not that mom.
Some moms live to breastfeed. I’m not that mom.
Some moms puree fruits and veggies, making homemade baby food for their little ones. I’m not that mom.
Some moms cook a homemade meal for their children every night. I’m not that mom.
Some moms tell you that having a child is the most amazing experience they have ever been through. I’m not that mom.
Valentines Day is so different when you have been with the same man for over 12 years (married for seven). I remember the first time I went to visit him at school. We were newly dating and it happened to be Valentines Day. Oh the pressure! Do I get him a gift? Do we even acknowledge it’s Valentines Day? Is he going to get me anything? If he does, is he into this more than I am? If he doesn’t maybe he’s not into this at all?
It turned out to be the perfect Valentines Day for a new couple. We had dinner as if it was any other night, but when we got back to his apartment, he surprised me with homemade molten chocolate cakes. Um, a guy who not only cooks, but can make his own molten lava cake? I probably knew I was going to marry him right then.
I’ve always hated Valentines Day. I never had a proper Valentine. I swear I was jinxed by my 8th grade boyfriend. We will just call him asshole. Asshole dumped me the night before Vday when I was in 8th grade. And to make it even worse, my so-called best friend knew it was going to happen, went with me to buy him cards and a gift, and didn’t tell me. What a bitch! And what an asshole! Who dumps his girlfriend the night before Valentines Day? I had already picked out my outfit. It was going to be my first real Valentines Day. Of course my life was over. I couldn’t show my face at school the next day. My mom made me go anyway and I hated her for 48 hours.
Have you ever gone to great lengths to make you child happy? I’m talking about ridiculous, crazy lengths to give them what they so adorably ask for. Or maybe sometimes, not so adorably ask for, but so you don’t have to hear the whining or crying or screaming. I’m sure you have. I have. We are moms. It’s what we do.
My son is most definitely spoiled. It’s not his fault. He is our only one, will always be our only one, and the first grandchild on both sides. When I say spoiled, I mean he has a great wardrobe and lots of toys. My first Moncler came at age 32. His…age two. He’s not in charge. Mommy and Daddy are. He sleeps in his own bed. We don’t give in to tantrums. The bath happens whether he wants it to or not. If he doesn’t like what’s for dinner, too bad.
The toy of the moment for him is anything he can push or pull on wheels. He is obsessed with his suitcase. He wheels it around the family room and plays airplane. He grocery shops at home with his shopping cart. He mows the imaginary grass inside our house with his green turtle lawnmower. Plastic golf clubs in their carry bag aren’t for playing golf. They are for wheeling back and forth in the kitchen. You can often see him walking around the house, suitcase in one hand, lawnmower in other. If it has wheels, he loves it. He wants it. He needs to push or pull it.
I think I had a nervous breakdown yesterday. Some of you will think I’m a baby. That this just comes with the territory of being a parent. But I’m not like you. I’m me. I love my son, but sometimes I don’t want to be a mom. Like this is not what I signed up for. That’s my truth. This is my struggle.
Let me explain. My son is clearly getting ready to give up his afternoon nap. I’m so not on board with this. I am not ready. I look forward to those two – three hours in the afternoon. I need them. When I don’t have them, I’m bitchy. Ask my husband, he will happily tell you! Lately, my son has been napping every few days. Of course the days he naps are the days our nanny comes. Little fucker! But we do quiet time. He has to stay in his room whether he sleeps or not. If he doesn’t fall asleep, he usually hangs in his bed and looks at books. Sometimes, he gets out of bed and destroys his room. These are the afternoons I dread. Yesterday was one of those afternoons.
When I go to his room to get him after his not so quiet time, he is naked from the waist down. No pants, no pull-up. I know this going in because I could see on the monitor. What I did not see on the monitor is what he informs me of the minute I open his door. “Mommy, I poopied on the floor!” “I poopied right there. And there and there. And I peed right there.” Holy shit! No pun intended. My toddler took his pants and diaper off and shat and peed on the rug. As I enter, he is trying to pick up the poop with wipes to throw it away. Exactly what we do if our dog poops in the house. How adorable. He is at least trying to clean up. Should I be proud of his cleaning skills? He is hysterical laughing. I am trying to breathe…trying to remain composed.
I’ll admit it. I had never heard of Chick-fil-A until moving south. It took me about three years of living here to even go to one. And I don’t know why because it’s awesome! And people down here love their Chick-fil-A chicken. They eat that shit for breakfast. In New York we eat bagels and cream cheese or scrambled eggs or avocado toast. Maybe a smoothie or some oatmeal pancakes and fruit. Down here? Biscuits, gravy, and chicken nuggets. And since this is the Bible Belt, they are closed on Sundays. Sunday is for church. Could you imagine a bagel shop closed on a Sunday in New York? They would go out of business! And do you know what the best form of birth control ever is? Chick-fil-A between the hours of 3pm and 4pm on a school day. It’s Mecca for moms and their screaming, starving, hyperactive, not wanting to go home and do homework complaining children. Thank God for drive-thru right? Well…
Today is Martin Luther King Day, which really means ugh, my kid doesn’t have school today. My kid doesn’t have school and my nanny doesn’t come on Mondays. What the eff am I going to do with my toddler all day? Luckily for us Jews in the South, the JCC stays open and so does the babysitting room. Since I can only workout for so long, what do I do after this? Of course. Let’s go to Chick-Fil-A! Drive-thru of course.
Have you ever been to the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru in the South at lunchtime? Cars line up all the way into the main roads. And these are adults, getting lunch for themselves. You would think that your chicken sandwich comes with a side of stripper! I should have remembered this when I had the bright idea to take my little one there today. I couldn’t even get into the drive-thru line. It was backed up from all angles. Cars trying to get in from every direction. The line was so long, they had people walking up to car windows and taking orders in person.
We are all guilty of it. I’m guilty of it. All the time. Looking at all of your Facebook and Instagram posts (friends and celebrities included), overcome with jealousy that your life raising tiny humans looks way more glamorous and so much easier than mine. Especially when you post those family photos and definitely when you post the ones from vacation. I swear if you go by Facebook and Instagram, everyone takes these amazing, easy vacations with their little ones but me. And they all love it. Smiling, happy, with your annoying hash tags and posts: “Heaven on earth.” “No place I’d rather be.” “This is everything.” “Live for these moments.” Celebrities, maybe what we don’t see is you handing your little ones off to their nannies after the photos and videos are taken. That would make so much more sense to me.
Well guess what, we just got home from a family vacation to Aspen. Yup, that’s right Aspen. And Aspen is dripping in glamour and money and beautiful people. And all the while we are there, I’m posting videos and photos on Instagram and Facebook of how excited my tiny human is to get there and see his grandparents and snow, which we obviously don’t get to see a lot of because we live in the south. Videos from the airport, photos from the airplane of my cute little son wheeling his cute little monogrammed Pottery Barn Kids suitcase and singing, “Aspen, Aspen, let’s go to Aspen!”
And that was me checking in to the Jas Cafe at The Little Nell with all the fabulous people who live and vacation there while my little one was sleeping soundly at the hotel room with grandma and grandpa. Then, photos and videos of his excitement at going to ski school for the first time. “Mommy, I going ski school and I going to throw snow balls.” All he wants to do is throw snow balls and it really is adorable. Okay one more video of my small child in his Moncler ski outfit playing in the snow smiling ear to ear after ski school. And you will all think and maybe even be a little jealous of this amazing trip your mom friend took to Aspen. Luxury hotel, extra help from Grandma and Grandpa, great shopping, amazing restaurants, etc. But guess what, it’s complete and utter bullshit! A total lie!