Monday, February 29, 2016

Mommy Monday Blog Hop!


Welcome to The Mommy Monday Blog Hop, always #MMBH on social media!


Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Selfish Reason I'll Never Speed Again

It was a busy Sunday, I had spent the morning packing up my husband's truck to drive north and drop my son with Grandma. I never thought just a couple hours into the drive my one year old son and I would be in an ambulance headed to the hospital.

Damage from the accident

It all happened so fast. I started fishtailing over some black ice, and couldn't regain control of the vehicle. Before I knew it we were rolling.

I remember everything: thinking that if I hit the car next to me we would all die, glass flying sideways across my face as the vehicle was flipping, and the most vivid memory of all -- frantically reaching to see if my son was alive once the truck came to a standstill.

It's a moment I wish upon no parent. The first possible second I could I ripped my seat belt off, lunged into the back seat, threw off the debris that was covering my son, and screamed his name. But this is a good story. I don't know how, but my son was completely uninjured.

damage from the crash
In the aftermath of the crash the inevitable questions started about what exactly happened. The truth is I've always been a pretty big follower of the 10% rule when it comes to speeding, thinking it was totally fine to go faster than the posted speed limit as long as it was within ten percent. This crash could not have changed my thinking more.

I replay that moment in my head - reaching back for my son not knowing if he was alive - and I sometimes envision the more morbid outcome. It makes me so sick to think about how many parents have experienced that horror as their reality.

We were lucky. And with this crash there isn't much that I had control of. But I did have complete control of how fast I was going.

Simply put: I will never speed again because I don't want to blame myself for the death of my child.

Speeding might not be the principle cause of an accident, but it certainly undoubtedly impacts the severity of the damage. There are so many variables with driving that you can't control. I know now that the rules of the road within my control need to be respected, if for not other reason than so there is no question on my part if the worst happens again.

I'm not suggesting I'm going to now drive at granny speeds, or that when my son isn't with me I'll be a speed demon. I'm just saying that I will drive at the posted limit from this point forward, even in those areas of the city where everyone goes above it. So keep my story in mind the next time you are frustrated behind someone coasting at that marker, and be kind. They may have just got in a rollover accident, like me, or possibly they know the impact of speed in an even worse way than I do.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Ask Me If I'm Pregnant: I Dare You

About 5 years ago I had someone ask me when I was due. I had my first child in late 2014.
You do the math; It was crushing.

Yes, even this big, don't assume.
 I have never been a thin small woman, but I certainly don't think I have ever looked 6+ months pregnant (except for when I actually was pregnant, and I looked about 17+ months). I'm not sure what prompts people to inquire about a woman's pregnancy when they aren't positive, but it needs to stop. And I have a very easy plan I think we can all get on board with.

At the time I was asked about being pregnant I responded in a super awkward way. I was worried about making that jerk feel bad, so I lied and told them I actually was with child. Later I went home and felt so sorry for myself that I ate a bag of chips and then felt guilty for perpetuating the habits that apparently made me look visibly pregnant.

The comment affected me quite a bit, which is obvious considering I am writing about it 5 years later. But I think what makes me most upset is how I handled it. That person needed to be taught a lesson, and instead I clammed up and left them to go stab at other women's self esteem in the future.

So here's the very simple plan to end this problem:

1) Don't ever ask a woman if she is pregnant. Literally ever.

2) If you are ever asked if you are pregnant, and you are not, shame the fuck out of that person. Tell them it is incredibly rude to ask. Tell them you absolutely are not, and that they should never ever ask that question of anyone again. Make them feel so bad that they never even dare to ask another woman if she is pregnant, because obviously they have horrible judgement, and shouldn't be trusted with talking to strangers in an acceptable respectable way.

Two steps. That's it. If you follow these simple instructions we just may eliminate this awkward situation from ever happening again.

So share this blog and lets get this movement started!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

To The Mom Alone With A Toddler At The Pool

To the Mom alone with a toddler at the pool,

I saw you yesterday at swimming lessons and I couldn't stop thinking about you. It seems like such a simple thing - taking your child to the pool. But I know these basic events, things meant to be fun, can be exhausting.

I'm sorry I never offered to help you when your child was running on the wet floor and you were trying to get changed. I know how hard it can be to watch a toddler, especially in a weird wet place where you have no choice but to get naked at one point. I'm sure running after a child in a towel half draped around you feels demeaning. I wish our pool facilities offered good options for parents.

Please know I can relate, and hope you don't feel embarrassed. I want you to know that I see you.

  • I see you trying to prevent a squirmy restless toddler from entering the pool before his lesson time.
  • I see you dreading the inevitable fall when your kid runs on the wet pool deck.
  • I see you trying your best to participate in the songs that occupy 75% of the swimming lesson curriculum, even though they are just so stupid.
  • I see you giving up half way through the lesson, because 15 minutes of making your child cry is long enough.
  • I see you wishing you had an extra set of hands, or eyes, to deal with your kid while you pulled everything out of your locker.
  • I see you praying your child won't fall off that small bench he was laying on while you reach for something just out of your grasp.
  • I see you hesitate about how modest you will be, and then forgo everything because it's just easier and faster to be buck naked then worry about another mom seeing your postpartum body.
  • I see you spend all the time making your child dry and comfortable, and 1 minute or less on yourself.

Most of all I just want you to know that I see how great of a mother you are. Sometimes the small things we do for our kids are really hard, and no one acknowledges them. So, mom at the pool with a toddler, I just wanted to say that you rock. Your child is so lucky to have such a selfless mom.

Oh, and the next time I see you, I'll be sure to offer to chase your little one around for a couple minutes so you don't have to worry about running around with your lady bits exposed.



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Living In The Online Parenting Present

The internet can be a pregnant woman's best friend. With such a new, scary experience it's reassuring to be able to google every strange pain or weird sensation. But delving into the depths of the interwebs can also be a black hole, especially when it comes to parenting.

mom doing online research

Have you ever been suck in a wiki loop? It's that thing where you go to look up one thing on Wikipedia, and before you know it you have clicked on 20 links and you are learning about something so far removed from your original mission. That happens when you look up parenting advice all the time, and it is so overwhelming.

One of the best things I have learned is to stay in the present. Not with life in general, because that is way too zen for me, but specifically online. Sometimes I catch myself thinking about things that are so far ahead in the future: potty training, discipline, kindergarten, puberty... it goes on and on, further and further into time. 

If you start looking up all of these future parenting issues now, are you going to remember anything you read when they actually come around? More likely than not, you are going to be re-reading all the same articles and blogs, or there is a new best way of solving that problem, and the time you spent 'future parenting' will be time you could have gone and grabbed yourself a beer and done something for yourself for a change.

Not to mention the anxiety that already comes with all the predictable, but certainly not understood, parenting milestones to come. It seems like once you finally have one thing figured out, a whole new set of challenges comes your way. If you start thinking about current parenting stresses, the ones that could possibly come up next, and the distant ones, you are going to be a head case.

So fellow parents, lets all just live in the online parenting present. Forget first sleepovers and first boyfriends and first cars, and just google the things you need to know today. Ask your mommy groups about the most pressing of problems, and forget the fear of the future unknowns. Because doing the best you can right now with what you have is pretty much the best gift you can give your child, and yourself.