Tag Archives: breastfeeding in public

A brief guide to modern parenting

First of all, you should really already have kids. That biological clock doesn’t tick forever, you know. I mean, wait until you’re financially stable and all that, of course. It’s completely irresponsible to have kids before you’re fully prepared. But if you wait too long, that’s just selfish. Honestly, I don’t know what’s worse, those women having babies in their 40s or those young 22-year-old moms. But as any parent can tell you, you’re never really ready to have kids. So have them sooner rather than later. Once you’ve established your career first, naturally. Did you freeze your eggs yet? You haven’t? Well, nevermind. It’s already too late.

Now you’ll have a lot of important decisions to make as soon as you become a parent and the most important of all is what you feed them. You absolutely, positively HAVE to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is best for the baby and completely natural. Not to mention beautiful. Unless you are doing it in public, in which case you should be ashamed of yourself. That’s disgusting and you should really have more respect for yourself. Plus, stop being so smug about it. Not everyone is able to breastfeed and you should really stop shoving it in people’s faces.

Never ever set your baby down if you can help it. It’s literally impossible to spoil a baby with too much love, so hold them close at all times. That is, except when you are letting them cry it out. Babies absolutely need to learn to self-sooth at a young age or it can have dire consequences down the road in their development. Although you should know that technically this method is considered child abuse. Either way, don’t worry. Your kid was probably going to end up a serial killer anyway. I’m sure it’s nothing you did.

This next one I cannot stress enough. Stop helicopter parenting. Just stop. Children will never learn independence and the oh-so-important trait of grit if you don’t stop hovering over them. So, no matter how many times we call Child Protective Services on you, let them walk to the park by themselves for crying out loud.

Regarding discipline, at this point, everyone knows spanking not only doesn’t work, it’s psychologically damaging. And clearly all that New Age-y “get down on their level and try to reason with them” crap doesn’t work. Then there’s the behavior chart with stickers. Pfffft. Are you kidding me? This is why I’m not surprised your children are undisciplined godless heathens.

And please, please! Get off your phone and enjoy your time with your kids. What are you even doing still reading this? Time with your kids is so, so precious. It goes by so fast. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is more important than your children. Although remember they shouldn’t be the center of your world. Honestly, that’s what’s wrong with kids today, parents thinking their baby is a unique snowflake that constantly needs to be engaged in some enrichment activity. That’s not how it was done back in the day. Kids were told to leave us the hell alone and go play outside and God help them if they came back before dusk.

Anyway, remember it’s equally important to make time for your significant other. Have a date night. And don’t be bothered by the fact that if you’re a woman, you will be considered a bad mom for leaving your baby at home so you can finally relax for a few hours. And God help you if you try to enjoy a cocktail in public, you floozy. But please do take solace in the fact that dads can quite literally chug a beer while holding their infant and everyone will tell them what a fantastic and hands-on father they are.

In this brave, new, technological world we’re living in, screen time should definitely be tightly limited. You don’t want to raise a little media zombie, do you? I mean, even though refusing to let your kid watch TV makes you one of those ridiculously annoying hipster parents that we will never, ever get tired of making fun of. Seriously, chillax a bit, “bro.” A little Spongebob never hurt anyone.

And lastly, remember that however many children you decide to have is a very private decision and should only be a conversation between you, your partner and possibly your doctor. Speaking of which, how many kids do you have? I read somewhere that it’s cruel of parents to only have one child. Such a lonely childhood and all that. Did you know 96 percent of murderers in prison were raised as only children? So, when are you having your next one? You know, you shouldn’t wait too long between siblings. Then again, you don’t want Irish twins. Ha! You have how many again? Whoa! Trying for a whole basketball team, eh? All with the same father? Not that it’s any of my business. It’s just so rare for a woman to stick with the same partner for very long in this day and age.

Wait, where are you going? There’s so much more we need to discuss! Like how you have to vaccinate your kids even though vaccines contain bleach and octopus urine, and how Snapchat is really a front for an organization made up of pedophiles who seduce children with non-organic gummy bears!

Advertisements

8 Things I’ll do differently with my 2nd baby

I. Accept any and all help

If you would have told me three years ago that I’d be the kind of new mom who felt she had to do everything herself, I would have laughed so hard at you I would’ve farted, laughed even harder, farted even harder and then finished chugging my comically large glass of wine. But let me tell you, the second I heard my first born’s screams, it felt like they were physically tearing into me, causing me to whisk him away from whomever was nice enough to try to give me a much-needed break. I felt like I HAD to be the one to comfort him.

But this time? Good luck getting me to even take him/her back. My immunity to cries is nearly impenetrable.

2. Breastfeed in public

I’ll be honest. I’m probably the biggest breastfeeding in public advocate you will ever meet who has never actually breastfed in public. I always wanted to. I always meant to. But my son and I never quite mastered the smooth and barely perceptible mouth to boob maneuver. It was more like an awkward five minutes of fumbling, the breastfeeding equivalent of a freshman trying to unsnap his first bra. So I always chickened out and brought a bottle with us.

But I refuse to be intimidated this time. It’s just a boob. It’s not like I’m showing off my ankles like some kind of two-bit hussy.

3. Not worry about how fast I can drop the baby weight

I’ll lose it eventually. But there’s a only a small-ish window of time after having a baby that you can get away with still wearing maternity clothes and I plan to stretch that window to the limits of human decency.

4. Remember that crying is not indicative of my skills as a parent

And by crying, I mean both by the baby and by me.

5. Prepare the coffee the night before

The only thing that takes longer than labor and delivery is the amount of time it takes to separate coffee filters at 3:30 in the morning while you’re holding a hungry and screaming newborn against your leaking boobs that have transformed into rock hard (and painful) granite overnight. Life with a newborn would improve a thousand times over if I can only remember to take 90 seconds and set up the coffeemaker before I go to bed.

6. Stop worrying if I’m posting too many photos of my baby online

I am. Of course I am. I one hundred percent am. But who cares!? I created life, jerkwads! Look at it! I SAID LOOK AT IT!

7. Stop apologizing for being moody and hormonal

Am I being irrational? *hurls Diaper Genie at your face* Maybe. But my only job right now is keeping this tiny, demanding infant alive. And I have to do it with 20,000 tons of weapons-grade hormones hurling themselves through my exhausted body. So I can’t always be polite about it. Everyone should just automatically assume I don’t really mean it when I call them a “useless idiotic assface.”

8. Share every single intimate (and disgusting) aspect of my baby’s existence a little less

As a new mom, it’s impossible not to be obsessed with your baby. But it’s important to remember that even though to you, lil’ junior’s poop color and consistency is the most fascinating story you’ve encountered since you finished reading “Infinite Jest,” everyone else doesn’t give a crap (pun COMPLETELY intended). Even your partner and the grandmothers can only take so much. Practice in front of the mirror if you must:

“How is the baby?”

“Well, he’s kind of really mangled my left nipple with his overly vigorous sucking so right now he’s just drinking from the right breast so I’m a little concerned he’s not getting enough to eat although the doctor said as long as his poop is consistent there is no reason to worry but then he got that butt rash…I mean, he’s doing fine. How are you?”

And here are a few things I’ll do exactly the same…

  1. Skip laundry, let the dishes pile up and order pizza for dinner just so I can spend one more hour lounging on the couch while my newborn sleeps on my chest. I just made a human and I’ll be damned if I don’t make time to enjoy it.
  2. Continue to dress my baby in whatever ragtag outfit is the most diaper accessible. Cute, unstained, matching clothes are for creatures that don’t vomit and poop every 26 minutes.
  3. Trust my instincts. Everyone told me this before I became a mother and I thought every single one of them was insane. I barely had enough instinct to keep myself alive. But lo and behold, when I popped that gigantic Viking baby out, those instincts kicked in and they have yet to steer me wrong (introducing him to that little red demon Elmo notwithstanding).

 

Here’s my excuse for my post-baby body

Here’s a fun fact you may not know. When you are in the hospital after having a C-section, you are issued several pairs of giant disposable netted hospital underwear. If you’re having trouble picturing that, let me help you out: They are incredibly unattractive. I mean, these things are hideous. And completely see-through, leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination. (And trust me, immediately after having a baby, you want most, if not all, things left to the imagination).

body after baby 1

Now, I’m assuming these things have something to do with the giant gash you recently received on your lower abdomen. And since you did just undergo major surgery and infections are nothing to sneeze at (heh), you are in no position to argue when the doctor says you have to wear the giant netted hospital underwear.

Never being one to defy authority (or at least not the authority that is steadily supplying me with amazing weapons-grade pain-killers) I obediently followed my doctor’s orders. Although I can guarantee he probably wished that I hadn’t taken his words quite so literally.

I was in the hospital for four days. And for four days I wore those see-through granny panties. And only those see-through granny panties.

body after baby 2

It didn’t matter who was in the room, if the door was open or closed, or what I was doing, I was, for all practical purposes, buck naked. All. The. Time. With my body looking arguably the worst it ever had, I had it on display for all to see. Every stretch mark, every wobbly bit, every “hmm, that used to be much higher” body part.

It wasn’t that I had suddenly turned into an exhibitionist. Or that…pffft…I was actually happy with how my body looked. I just had a million other things that required my attention other than clothes, such as:

  1. The amazing human I just created.
  2. Getting up from the bed to go pee, which was a Herculean task that required six nurses, a crane and three, sometimes four, horse tranquilizers shot directly into me by an orderly standing a safe distance away.
  3. Debating what would hurt more, cutting my boobs off with a dull ax or continuing to breastfeed.
  4. Deciding continuing to breastfeed would probably hurt slightly less and then attempting to feed him again while 17 lactation specialists roughly squished together my boobs and his head.
  5. Trying to sleep during the 47 seconds I had in-between feedings, comforting my crying baby, nurses checking my vitals and eating an unhealthy amount of cheeseburgers from the hospital cafeteria.

So, being naked all the time just made everything so much easier. I was exhausted and sore and overwhelmed and screw wearing pants! Burn in hell, stupid bra! Even the hospital gown seemed too complicated, what with its TWO whole ties in the back.

Now, a woman choosing to be naked in the comfort of her own hospital room may not seem like a big deal to you, but for me, this was not only uncharacteristic, but downright unheard of.

Yes, I was one of those women who, like any good white girl raised in the Midwest, hated her body. I was never thin enough. Or hairless enough. Or shaped enough like a 12-year-old boy. So to hide my perfectly healthy and normal weight body, I mastered the art of changing clothes without flashing any actual skin. I wore overpriced bikini cover-ups to the beach, only taking them off once I was deep enough in the water to not let anything south of my chin show (and then flinging the cover-up back onto the beach). After a shower, I would race to my room while clinging to my towel for dear life (because God forbid I flash someone in my family my offensive upper thighs).

But now? Shoot. You’re lucky if you actually catch me with clothes on. I’m always walking around with my shirt hoisted up above my chest because I couldn’t be bothered to pull it back down after feeding Riker. After a shower, I walk around in my birthday suit because a towel is too rough on my chewed up nipples. And I’m still too exhausted and sore and overwhelmed to care about pants.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I am now completely comfortable with my body. I don’t know if that day will ever happen. But it does mean that I have a new appreciation for it. Because now it has a purpose other than looking good for other people. My breasts being perky matter less than the fact they are a food source for my son. My arms being toned matter less than them being strong enough to lift him and carry him around for hours on end. My hips being narrow matter less than me having a convenient perch to rest him on.

And let me tell you, it is completely freeing.

Because, quite frankly, my dear, I no longer give a damn.

A baby by any other name

I’ll never forget the first time I got the “Look.” In fact, I was still in the hospital, recovering from having a human being cut out of my abdomen, when it happened. The nursing shift was changing and the new night nurse came in to give me some more of those magical pain pills (that I’m pretty sure are made from unicorn manes and the sneezes of a baby panda).

Nurse: “Aw, he’s adorable. What’s his name?”

Me: “Riker.”

Nurse: “…Wow, that’s…unique.”

baby name 1

Yeah. That “Look.”

If you currently have a child whose name would never be found in a 90’s movie about white cheerleaders and football players, you know which look I’m talking about. It’s a look that says “I am 100 percent judging you right now.” It’s a look that says “You are not fit to be a parent.” It’s a look that says “I also write letters to the corporate headquarters of Olive Garden when my meal takes more than eleven minutes to prepare.”

Yes, as the number of unique or unusual baby names has risen, so have attacks of Judgy McJudgerson face.

breastfeeding 2

Not sure you’ve gotten the “Look?” I made this handy chart to help you out:

baby name 2

In my case, the “Look” is usually followed by one of the following two questions:

  1. You named him after a “Star Trek” character?
  2. So, I take it you’re a big fan of prisons then?

To which I usually respond with:

  1. Named after? Pffft. No. Inspired by? Maybe. I like beards. And the way he sits down is really cool.* I don’t know. Shut up.
  2. I’m about to find out (whips out hatchet).

*Seriously, he does sitting down better than anyone else. Someone even made a montage of it:

In my opinion, it’s none of your business what I name my kid. And vice versa. (Unless, of course, you’re the jag-off trying to name your kid Hitler…don’t be the jag-off who names your kid Hitler). But the Judgmental Name Game is actually a good thing, believe it or not. And that’s because it prepares you for what the next 18 years are going to be like. And by that, I mean every decision you make from here on out will be judged relentlessly by everyone.

If aliens landed and the very first thing they did was walk directly into a Starbucks and log onto the Internet, they would immediately come to the following two conclusions about our culture:

  1. We worship cats…but only in, like, a totally ironic way.
  2. Mothers are the worst thing on the planet.

The Internet is practically drowning in “news” articles and blogs about how much we, as a society, loath mothers. You can’t throw a mouse or swipe a finger these days without encountering a headline like:

Top 10 Moms We Hate

Top 10 Most Annoying Mothers

Top 10 Worst Moms At Your Playdate

Top 10 Reasons We Should Make Every Mom Feel Like Crap, Regardless Of What She Does

Top 10 Reasons We Should Burn All Moms At The Stake

There are so many “moms” that we aren’t supposed to be and we have narrowed the confines of what constitutes appropriate mom behavior so drastically that there is exactly only one mom in the universe that fits the bills anymore.

And we all write articles about how much we hate her.

And I’m over it.

Because some days I am the mom in the yoga pants (who has no intention of doing yoga) sitting at Starbucks. And you know why? Because I’m tired and have been up since 4 a.m. and don’t want to wear real pants because none of my real pants fit yet and my kid has been screaming for an hour and I thought a change of location might calm him down and then I might, just MIGHT get 15 minutes to sit down and try to get my newspaper column done so for once I actually get it in on deadline.

And some days I’m that mom who does have her makeup perfectly done and a nice outfit on because my baby actually gave me an extra seven minutes where he was happy in his crib and I just wanted to feel like a woman for once, instead of a puke-covered, crazy witch hair, milking cow.

And you might catch me being that mom who is looking at her phone instead of her kid for a few minutes. Or the mom annoying you by talking baby talk with my infant. And occasionally I’m that mom who cusses. And sometimes I’m the mom rolling her eyes because you are cussing in front of my kid. And sometimes I’m the mom posting way too many photos of my baby on social media. And sometimes I’m the mom who writes about drinking too much on social media.

Stop telling me I’m losing the baby weight too fast. Or asking me what my excuse is for not having six-pack abs yet.

And stop telling me I absolutely have to breastfeed, but just, God forbid, not in public. Or that I’m not properly sleep training my two-month-old. Or that I should be enjoying every. single. moment. of this time because it goes so fast.

And for the love of all that is holy, stop telling me the 44 things I should teach my son.

Just.

Stop.

Being a mom is hard. Really, really hard.

So just get off our backs for a bit.

And go bug some dads or something.