As you may or may not know, my mom lives with us and is the primary caregiver for our kids when we are at work. And guess what? It's awesome. It's a dream come true, for all of us. My mom is my best friend, and she's truly the easiest person in the world to get along with. In fact, my husband said the other day, "I think you annoy me more than your mom ever does." Ha. I wasn't even offended, because it's true.
My mom is awesome, and I dare you to even try not to like her. I double dare you. She's like a tub of Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream (and if you don't like that, then I don't like you.) Seriously, the woman is a saint.
So living with her is easy. And amazing. And that's why I've started calling her my Sister Wife (in a non-sexual way, don't make this weird.)
Since I'm off on mat leave this year, we share the cleaning, the cooking, and the chasing-of-the-toddler. We go to the park together, do laundry together (okay, she does the laundry, I can't lie), and eat lunch together. It. Is. Awesome.
And it got me thinking...
Maybe the Mormons are onto something?
After speaking with many mom friends, and from personal experience, I know that staying home alone with the kids can get pretty lonely at times. So maybe, just maybe, the answer is...Polygamy?
Just think about it for a minute...
You are on mat leave, or perhaps a full-time, stay-at-home mom. Your better half gets up early and leaves for work. It's 7:00am, you're exhausted, you've been up all night. The toddler wants to play, the baby wants to eat, you want a coffee, and the dog has to pee. All at the same time. But if you had a sister wife around, you could tag-team the morning to-do list. Sister wife could take the toddler outside to play as the dog goes pee, and you could make a pot of coffee and feed the baby. BAM. Done.
During the day, when you want to pull your hair out because the toddler is having an irrational meltdown over the wrong blue cup you can look over to Sister Wife and say, "Where did this monster come from?!?" She can tag you out while you go and take deep breaths into a paper bag on the back porch, because some days Lamaze class breathing is needed when you have a toddler.
Then, once you've semi-recharged, you can return to the scene and everything will be a-okay because Sister Wife distracted the toddler with a dump-truck and now he's happily eating his lunch. *crisis averted* Later in the day, you can return the favor to Sister Wife when the baby pukes in her hair and she needs to take a shower immediately.
See? Isn't this a brilliant solution? Why isn't everyone a Polygamist? Or to be fair, a Polyandrist? (Is that the proper plural term for Polyandry? Let's go with it...)
What I'm getting at here, really, is that phrases like "Many hands make light work," and "it takes a village to raise a child" are 100% true. Sure, you can raise children on your own with zero help from family and friends, and many people do this either by choice or by circumstance, but it's hard, and it's lonely. I don't think anyone can deny that.
Therefore, if you have help available to you in any way...TAKE IT! Do you have a neighbour friend who can watch the kids for a couple of hours so you can have a shower and run an errand? Awesome. Do you have a mother in law who will come over and offer you a hand throughout the week? Amazing.
It can be really hard to accept help, and even harder to ask for it. I know this because even I have a hard time some days accepting help from my mom. I feel like "I should be able to do this myself," so I sometimes deny her offers, which is incredibly silly. So I've tried to let go of my Super Mom mentality and accept the help whenever I need it. What I find is that I'm better rested and equipped to handle stressful and exhausting situations. It makes me a better mom and enhances the quality of the time I spend with my kids.
Help is good. Really good. So if you can, I truly encourage you to find a Sister Wife...or something like it. It's especially good if you can find a Sister Wife who likes to watch hockey with your husband on Saturday nights so that you don't have to!
To read more about trying times as a parent check out "Do Your Toddlers Freak Out Over Weird Stuff Too?" Or you can read about my personal experience of going from having one child to having two.
I love breastfeeding. I do. I love it. It's been easy (thankfully), it's economical (woo-hoo), and for me it's been a great bonding experience.
What I don't love is how my breasts have turned into shrivelled little ballsacks, but oh well, I'll deal with those later. And by "deal with those," I mean place them on top of expensive water-filled bras. Or fold them into origami shaped swans. Either or.
But today let's focus on the positives, shall we? Let's talk about the health benefits of breastfeeding, and the natural beauty of a mother feeding her child. Let's all join nipples and sing kumbaya as we frolick through the fields . . .
Okay, I agree. To celebrate and bring awareness, I'll share with you some of my favourite and frequent breastfeeding positions. Sound like fun? Here we go . . .
This one is classic. It's called: "Mama's Full Bladder & The Crying Hungry Baby."
I pretty much do this one daily. It's called: "Out For A Stroll While Feeding My Baby. Hands-free."
I call this one: "Two Car-Seats Side By Side Makes Feeding In The Carseat Difficult . . . But Not Impossible."
Or this one . . . "We Were Having A Shower, And Then You Saw The Boob And Realized You Were Hungry."
Or this classic technique called: "Lower Into The Crib While Still Latched, Then Release (And Tiptoe Out Of The Room)."
Or this semi-awkward pose called: "My Baby Is A Shithead In The Car And Screams, So I'm Feeding You IN Your Carseat And Hope That You'll Go The F*ck To Sleep So I Can Drive."
(And yes, I realize how this image could be photoshopped into something inappropriate. My mind is dirty, and I've already gone there—so I win.)
Now tell me (so I don't feel alone), what are some of your favourite or awkward breastfeeding positions?
If you've been following my blog, you might remember back in May I wrote this: Six Tips On How To Get Your Newborn To Sleep At Night. And my first "tip" was this: GET A BABY WHO SLEEPS!
Well, guess what? My baby who slept doesn't sleep anymore.
I want to throw a temper tantrum. I have thrown a temper tantrum. This just isn't fair. I've already struggled through 2.5 years of a non-sleeper, and he's just started sleeping through the night (and still not every night).
When my second baby was a good sleeper, I thought the Sleep Gods were on my side. I thought I had earned the right to experience a good sleeper. I was actually dreaming again, and not hallucinating during the day! I was able to detach my caffeine IV, and put together coherent sentences. I even started brushing my hair!
And then...around the 3-month mark, my beautiful little sleeper decided she'd had enough and we're up every 1.5 to 2 hours. Every. Single. Night.
It's cruel. It's painful. I've stopped brushing my hair.
Nothing tastes better than chocolate these days, and I catch myself feeling envious of my cat. Lazy window laying bastard.
Why, oh why did this happen? Is it because I publicly admitted to having a baby who slept? Can't I just throw salt over my shoulder or something to reverse the bad luck? Wrong superstition? Fuck me. I'm too tired to figure this shit out.
I guess it's a good weight-loss regime, right? Burning calories around the clock. Though it might help if I stopped eating chocolate.
Oh shit, now I'm thinking about chocolate. But it's 9:30pm, won't it keep me awake? Fuck it. I'll be awake again in an hour to feed the little monster anyway. Where are those chocolate chips...
To read more about my sleep adventures, here is a post about the first time I got a good night's sleep with my son (and it didn't happen again til a year later). Or you can read about how pissed I'll be if you ever wake my sleeping baby!