When it comes to people who constantly cancel at the last minute (or just don't show up at all) I truly believe that Mom's are the worst offenders. I'm sorry, but it's true. Mom's are chronic bailers.
Not all moms, but most moms. And we have good reasons!
Rather Curl Up On The Couch Than Paint The Town Red?
The baby is sick.
The toddler is tired.
The baby is tired.
The toddler is sick.
Someone got a papercut.
Someone lost their favourite toy, then someone lost their mind.
Someone shat their pants.
Sometimes we wonder why we even bother trying to make plans at all, right?
I know how exhausting it can be, and I've done my share of bailing in the last three years.
This Mom Says: Suck It Up, Ya Bunch Of Babies.
There was a time in recent history where I was on my way to visit friends in the city for lunch (with both kids). I tried to get out the door three times. We missed our train. We missed another train. I decided to drive. Then someone had to pee. Then someone was hungry. Then they were both crying. I was a nervous wreck and almost got side-swiped (not my fault, I swear). I was sweating. After 45 minutes of accomplishing nothing, I threw in the towel. I cancelled the lunch date. But damn it all, I tried. I really tried!
I hate letting people down, but sometimes the stars just aren't aligning for whatever reason, and I have to admit defeat. Especially if it's plans where the kids are involved: it's not worth totally compromising their emotional state for the sake of a lunch date.
With that said, I'm a firm believer in pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and trying new things.
As a mother, it is easy to become a hermit and a slave to your housecoat, I mean...to your children's naps and routines. Don't get me wrong: naps and routines are important, but so is freedom and flexibility. So finding that balance can be tricky. I truly believe that sometimes you have to make yourself uncomfortable in order to have fun and create awesome memories.
Cautious is boring. Live on the edge. Travel during someone's nap time ("what?") Say yes to a play-date that is all the way across the city ("but...my bubble!"). Eat lunch with both kids, at a restaurant that's not designed for kids. ("holy. shit!") I know. I know. I'm making you sweat. But really, it's good for all of you.
Routine. Balance. Spontaneity. Chaos.
Yes, they CAN co-exist, and I believe they should.
And if you step outside of your comfort zone, and everything goes to hell in a hand-basket? At least you'll have a good story to tell.
Like the time I had to pull off the highway three times in fifteen minutes because my son had diarrhea and my daughter was hysterical for whatever reason. We still made it to the Science Centre, and had an awesome day. I'm glad we didn't cancel our plans and go home.
It sucked in the moment, but looking back now - it was pretty damn funny, and now I have a fun story about rubber boots full of feces.
See? Fun times.
So the next time you're considering cancelling your plans because of (insert excuse from above-mentioned list), just remember that sometimes the best memories are made when you're least expecting it.
In two short weeks, my mat leave is over, and I'm heading back to my full-time day job. This hurts my heart. Not because I don't love my job (I do) but because I don't like working 40 plus hours a week and commuting. I'll miss my kids. A lot. There will be a huge adjustment period, and I'll actually need to start getting dressed before 2pm. And possibly start brushing my hair (if I have time.) I'm going to miss my afternoon snuggles, trips to the park, and spontaneous living room dance parties.
But I'll be honest: in many ways, I'm looking forward to going back to work. I enjoy what I do, and I like the people I work with. I also enjoy getting to use my brain in an "adult" way. (It's funny, because my day job involves writing for children and making the odd fart joke, but still...I consider myself an intellectual.) Okay, a semi-intellectual.
When I go back to work, it'll somewhat feel like a break. Yeah, that's right. I said it out loud. A break.
KIDS ARE F-ING EXHAUSTING LITTLE BEASTS! AREN'T THEY?
When I'm at work, here are the things I'll get to do that I don't get to do at home:
-drink my coffee while it's hot
-respond to an email in a timely manner (work related, of course)
-talk to other adults (this is only partly-true for me since I have my Mom to talk to at home every day right now!)
-eat my lunch and have my outfit stay clean (most likely)
-do afternoon yoga (yes, my work offers afternoon yoga!)
-read books (on the GoTrain on the way to and from work)
-shop (I work downtown, and there are stores nearby!)
See, sounds pretty nice, doesn't it? Perhaps I'm compiling this list to try and psych myself up for the big day and distract myself from the fact that I'm going to miss both of my kids oh-so-much. But the truth is, I know for sure that I couldn't be a full-time stay-at-home Mom. I just couldn't.
I love my kids more than anyone in the universe, but somehow the idea of spending full days with them day in, day out, is...EXHAUSTING. I'd get bored. I'd go stir-crazy. I'd probably develop a semi-concerning wine addiction (at nighttime of course) and possibly need to attend anger management classes. Sad, but true.
I know myself well enough to know that I need stimulation outside of my kids. I need career objectives, creative projects, and socialization (with people above 3 ft tall) to feel energized and human. I'm a better Mom when I'm doing these "other things" as well. Does that make me an asshole? Maybe. But it's the truth. I want to be a Mom (and the best Mom I can be) and part of that means fulfilling my ambitions outside of motherhood.
Do I like working 40 hours a week and commuting? No.
Do I wish I could work less, and make the same amount of money? Yes.
Have I considered cooking meth (thank you Breaking Bad) and selling organs on the black market to make some extra cash? Possibly.
But, for now, that's not a reality (I need to get better at chemistry first). So when I go back to work, we've arranged the best situation possible: my mom lives with us, and she looks after the kids. She has the patience of a saint, and is the most loving human on the planet. I can't think of a better person to nurture, guide, and laugh with our kids in our absence. She also does our laundry, so that's a huge plus. Trust me, I know how lucky we are.
It's this peace of mind that allows me to step back into the workforce and enjoy my job. When I come home from work, I will enjoy my kids. On weekends? My only plans involve making snowmen, making chocolate chip cookies, and making memories. It's not perfect, but it's as perfect as it can get right now.
So please wish me luck with my re-integration into the workforce. I have my bags packed for my first day: lunch, pretty shoes, and my breast-pump. Fun times.
Potty training is fun, isn't it?
After months and months of endless potty training talk (and bribery), my son turned two and a half, and shortly after he decided he was done with diapers. He wanted to start going on the potty. Awesome!
However, what I didn't realize, was how often I'd be dealing with accidents. And leak-throughs. And refusals to wear diapers during naptime and during the night. Not Awesome.
This resulted in me changing his sheets at least three times a week and constantly scrubbing his bed in an effort to combat that oh-so-distinct urine smell. You know what I'm talking about.
I didn't want to get one of those crinkly, loud plastic covers for his bed because, well...they're crinkly and loud, and remind me of hospitals (I'm weird.) So during naptime, I'd quickly shove extra blankets or towels beneath him in an effort to save the sheets. This never worked and always resulted in more laundry. Which is everyone's favourite thing to do, right?
And then, one recent day, the Fairy Godmother of Bedwetting (my new name for her) came to me. She saved my life. And by life, I mean sheets. Same thing, right?
A smart Canadian mom had created a product that would forever change my life. *insert dramatic music* I'm genuinely excited about this for many reasons!
And Yippee! Sheets are all of these things! So...Yippee!
Yippee! Sheets are 3-layer waterproof bed mats specifically designed with bedwetting and potty training in mind. They are made with a 100% cotton top layer (with cute fabric design options), an absorbent middle layer to soak up the pee, and a non-vinyl waterproof bottom (that isn't loud and crinkly!)
They are reusable, so you can throw them into the washing machine and dryer and use them again and again. Your middle-of-the night (or middle-of-the-day) bed-changing nightmares will be over! They simply lay on top of the bottom bedsheet, and tuck around the edges of the mattress. Easy to put on. Easy to pull off. Honestly, they are amazing.
I also love that they offer smaller sized mats that can be placed in your stroller or carseat. This is especially exciting for me since we've had a few pee-accidents on the way home from the Science Centre lately (damn highway traffic!).
Another thought I had for these sheets was for breastfeeding Mamas. Many moms I know suffer from "drowning in my own milk" syndrome. If you place one of these sheets under you while breastfeeding, you could happily nurse your baby in bed without soaking your own sheets night after night!
So, if you're looking for a unique gift idea for a new mom, or want to give yourself a nice gift (the gift of not do so much laundry) I definitely recommend investing in some Yippee! Sheets. You can buy them online through the Yippee! Sheets website.
Also, your kid's room won't smell like urine anymore. That's a win for everybody.