Last Friday, during our crazy winter snowstorm, I got a text message from my good friend Kristen: I have an extra ticket to see Lady Gaga tonight—you want to come?
I gazed down at my three-day worn...err...seven-day worn baggy jogging pants. The ones with the ripped pockets and paint stained legs. Then I looked over to my active 11-month-old who was chasing the dog. Hmm—an excuse to leave the house, get dressed, and rock out to a musical legend? Let me think about it.
I had two hours to get ready, and Kristen informed me that we would be getting fully Gagad (this means—wearing a wig and anything glittery and awesome) *insert extreme excitement* The only thing better than showering and getting ready to go out, is showering and getting ready to go out...dressed up in COSTUME!
So I tucked my purple wig into my bag, and excitedly kissed my husband on the cheek, "Au revoir!" But before leaving the house, I quickly grabbed my breast-pump. Sigh. Yes, the reality of being a 30-year-old-concert-going-new-mama is that when your son still feeds every 2 hours all night long, you need to plan your partying accordingly.
I raced out the door, caught the train, and arrived in the city: ready. to. party.
I felt a bit like a 17 year-old who had gotten into her parents liquor cabinet as I raced down the street to my friend Kristen's house with a bottle of wine in tow. (And by 17, I mean 14. We started partying early in cow country, where I'm from.)
We consumed some wine, had a quick dinner, and then made our way over to the ACC. We were fully wigged, glittered, and ready to go.
Once we got to security—they asked to look in our bags.
I'm guessing that most of the other concert goers WEREN'T carrying a breast pump. Certainly they were going to wonder what type of bong I was transporting and would want to publicly examine it. In hindsight, I should have let them because that would have been a hilarious spectacle!
When it was our turn to cross through, I looked at the young security guard and said,
"Just so you know. I have a breast-pump in my bag."
"What's that for?" he was clearly confused and a little intrigued. Thinking it was something possibly awesome and sexual...
"It's to drain my boobs of milk. I'm still breastfeeding my son, and if I don't pump, my breasts will explode. So I needed to bring it."
"Oh. Okay." Awkward stumble as he steps backwards and ushers me forward.
Once inside, Kristen and I got a few drinks, and the bartender asked for our ID. Yep. That's right.
Purple wig = Fountain of Youth.
I proudly flashed him my drivers license, and just incase he wasn't good at math, I thought I'd help him out, "Yeah, as you can see. I'm actually 30. And I'm a mom. I have a son. And a breast-pump in my bag. But thank you for asking to see my ID. You just made my night."
If you're wondering if I actually said this, the answer is YES. You are welcome to party with me anytime. I promise to embarrass you with my brutal honesty (and breast-pump). Luckily Kristen is used to this behaviour, and barely batted a false eyelash.
We grabbed our drinks, headed into the concert and proceeded to make friends with the couple beside us as we rocked out to every single song with 100% enthusiasm.
Halfway through the concert, however, my breasts were starting to look like a botched implant surgery, and I knew it was time to pump. But I didn't want to miss anything. So I did what any good concert-going-mama would do. I draped my coat over myself, and I pumped while sitting in my seat.
Some people drink at concerts. Some people do drugs.
Well new mamas like me...we PUMP. I was rockin' out with my pump out, and I was having a great night!
It all came to a sobering end when on the GO train ride home I realized it was 1:30am and my son was going to be getting up in a mere 5 hours. I shuddered at the thought, and briefly closed my glittery eyelids...nearly falling asleep and missing my stop.
A perfect end to a perfect night.
As a new mom, I have received a lot of advice.
Some good, some bad.
Some solicited, some unsolicited.
From everyone. Everywhere. All of the time. In fact, it started when I was pregnant and hasn't stopped.
In all honesty, it doesn’t really bother me when people offer me advice. One thing I have learned, however, is how to tell when you’re about to receive bad advice.
Here are a few pre-cursors to bad-advice giving:
Any sentence that begins with “Back in my day...” or “I don’t have children myself, but my aunt, sister, neighbour, hair dresser says that...”
“I don’t know if this will work for your baby, but when my dog is bad...”
“No offense, but...” Nope. Sorry. Already offended *kick to shins*
All jokes aside, in the past ten and a half months, I have received a lot of GREAT advice from experienced moms.
Some of the most down to earth advice I got was from when I partnered with Playtex and interviewed some Moms. I asked them for their best piece of advice for a new mom. Then YMC asked all of you—the whole group of Yummy Mummy readers. We received so many amazing responses and helpful info! I thought it would be my motherly duty to share some with you.
Here are my five favourites and why I love them.
"Trust your instincts." ~ Melinda P. from Calgary, AB
No one knows your baby like you do. Listen to your heart.
"Make sure you build a support group."~ Sharon K. from Toronto, ON
This has been a big one for me. I was lucky enough to meet an amazing group of women online when I first became pregnant. We've since formed a private Facebook group, and chat daily. I've even been lucky enough to meet some of them in person. I've also met other new moms at the Early Years Centre, local parks, and my Pediatrician's office. I seek out new mom friends, force them to befriend me, and then invite them over for Halloween parties so we can take pictures like this:
"Self care is important—and that means deliberately taking time for yourself." ~ Ester G. from Bowmanville, ON
I don't take a lot of time for myself (note to self: I should do this more) but I do like to get pedicures while Cole naps in his carrier!
"The house will still be there tomorrow. It doesn't need to be spotless, the dishes don't need to be done, the laundry can stay unfolded. Take time and cherish every moment with your baby. It goes so quickly!" ~ Tara J. from Burnaby, BC
I currently have laundry sitting in the dryer. When Cole wakes from his nap, I'll throw the laundry onto his head, and we'll play in the heap before I fold it. I try to turn chores into a game—even if it takes me 10 times as long to do it. At least we're having fun together...
"Play and be silly with your children and always remember: a healthy and happy mommy makes a healthy and happy baby!" ~ Kaitlyn L. from Windsor, ON
This is hugely important to me. My heart feels the most full when I hear Cole laugh and squeal. I also feel like the most hilarious woman in the world. Note to self: do stand-up comedy again soon, and see if OTHER PEOPLE still think you're funny. Hmmm.... ;)
Thanks to all of you who sent us your advice!
*Cue Jerry Seinfeld*
"So what's the deal with first birthday parties anyway?"
Seriously. Why do parents go SO CRAZY over FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTIES? I honestly don't get it. Yes, the first year is a huge milestone—and so much HAPPENS during that year, yes. But why oh why do we have such elaborate and crazy parties for our babies?
From smash cake photo sessions to custom made birthday cakes, it blows my mind how much time, effort, and money some parents (most parents) put into the first birthday party. A party that the birthday kid won't even remember.
If you want to throw your one-year-old a party that is truly for HIM, here is what I think you should do to celebrate his special day:
When your one-year-old wakes up, allow him to smack you in the face for about ten minutes. He'll think this is hilarious. For breakfast on this special day, just give him a tub of yogurt and let him go to town. No spoon. No bib. Just 45 minutes of pure, cool, mushy-messy-yogurty-bliss.
After breakfast, let your one-year-old run around the house naked. If you have a little boy, he'll thoroughly enjoy all of this "play with my penis" naked time. "This is the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER! And it's not even noon!"
If you really feel like spoiling your kid, wrap up a dozen or so empty boxes. After he wakes up from their afternoon nap, let him have a present opening party. He'll shit himself with excitement (maybe literally) as he tears open box after box. And guess what? He'll be ecstatic to find that there isn't anything in the boxes! Woo Hoo! Empty boxes are the best! You can climb inside of them, and you can entice the cat to jump in them (and then spend 20 minutes being entertained by the cat in the box). I'm telling you: Leap Frog and Baby Einstein toys have NOTHING on empty boxes! If you really want to jazz things up—throw some tissue paper in the box. Because the only thing better than ripping paper OFF of a box, is pulling paper OUT of a box!!!
Holy crap, it's already dinner time. Your one-year-old's head is probably ready to explode: BEST DAY OF MY LIFE SO FAR!!!
And if you really want to end things with a bang, you can skip the specialty cake with handmade fondant animals—because do you want to know what your one-year-old really, truly wants to eat more than anything in the entire world? Your one-year-old has been trying to get at this for months now, and although he's come close (and have maybe already had a taste)...your one-year-old would desperately love an entire bowl...of dog food.
Now THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is how you throw a birthday party that is truly for a one-year-old!!!
With that said...I'm a total and absolute hypocrite. We've invited 80+ people to Cole's first birthday party, and here is the cake I plan on baking for his party (I know what you're thinking "a burger cake? wtf?") But if you saw Cole's Halloween costume (he was Coleslaw) you'll understand: we're not a typical family over here at the Warmberger (Warman + Schlumberger = Warmberger) residence. And...we like to party. So. We're goin' big with this one. Woo Hoo!
Now tell me, did you throw your one-year-old an over-the-top party? (Please say yes, and don't make me feel bad)