March 2013 archive

Emergencies

urlMy son is 2 and a half. Everything in his life is an emergency. I find myself responding to emergencies all day, realizing only halfway through the emergency that it is not at all, in fact, an emergency.

Let’s take yogurt. Yogurt is an “emergency” in my house all day long. My son goes from zero to emergency over yogurt within 7 seconds of his first thought of yogurt. It goes something like this:

“Mommy, can I have a yogurt?”

“Sure, you can have a yogurt. One second.”

(Fast breathing) “Yay! Mommy! I can have a yogurt!”

“Yep!”

(Gasp) “Mom, I want a yogurt.”

“I hear you. I’ll get you a yogurt.”

(Panicked breathing) “MOM. I WANT A YOGURT.”

“Yes, son. Yogurt. On its way.”

(Hyperventilating) “MOOOOMMY! NO MOMMY! YOGURT! I WAAAAAANT A YOOOOGURRRRRT MOOOOOOOOMMYYYYYYYYYYY.”

Complete. And total. Meltdown. I haven’t even gotten to the kitchen yet and he’s a puddle of Abe on the floor mourning the loss of his yogurt that I told him he could have. As the yogurt did not touch his mouth within the same millisecond of his first utterance of the word, “yogurt,” he now assumes he will never have yogurt again.

Just a reminder, to put things into perspective, the first emergency I blogged about in this blog entitled, “Emergencies,” was about yogurt. Yogurt.

Yogurt was the emergency.

Another emergency? Diapers. Abe either needs his diaper changed THIS VERY MOMENT or never again in his entire life. There is no middle ground. And of course, when he’s thoroughly soiled a diaper, I must change it according to the law. So I might start by letting him know we’re going to change his diaper in 3 minutes to give him a warning. This makes complete and total sense based on his thorough understanding of time and space exemplified in the yogurt-emergency section above.  Once the three minutes is up, Abe is shocked that I’ve decided to RIP him from his activity with NO warning in order to beat him with my fists, i.e. change his diaper. I lay him on my soft, cushy bed with a diaper and package of organic, zero-chemical wipes already out and wrestle the strongest 36 inch tall human the world has ever seen without getting a drop of poop on my comforter because, well, I’ve been doing this for a while. As I do this, Abe screams, twists, writhes, and bargains to get out of the painstakingly long 30-45 second process of changing his diaper. He shouts, “It hurts!” and “No, Mommy, stop!!” The first few times he shouted these and similar threats I took him seriously. Rookie mistake. His screams turn to shrieks as I murder him (pull up his pants) and set him upright in front of me. Then…

“Ok, Abe. All done.”

“Oh, that’s so much better, Mommy. Thank you.”

I know I’m the one with the fancy degree, but does this mean my child is schizophrenic? Because that’s an emergency I could get behind.

 

Children’s TV – A Rant

urlChildren’s television shows make me angry. I don’t understand how children’s television shows are interesting to children. When I watch a children’s show, I think to myself, now this. This is interesting. It has bright colors and simple themes and characters that are funny and exciting. And then Abe hates that show.

But give him a Dora the Explorer or a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse an episode of the short-lived, poorly-produced, barely-acted Wheels on the Bus and he’s all in. And those are the dumbest shows ever. The plot lines make absolutely no sense. The characters aren’t interesting. Dora is a girl who can’t keep her English straight and Mickey is a mouse who used to be an icon but is now a total joke with zero interest in teaching anything of value.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is supposed to be about problem solving and thinking outside the box. Take the episode where Daisy holds one too many balloons, floats away, and no one panics. Zero fucks are given about Daisy. The whole clan is more concerned about which vehicle to take to the LightHouse and how many stairs it is to the top because, obviously, Daisy will just be there when they finally get up there. Or the episode where a giant ogre falls asleep in the pond and no one can swim around him. They spend 25 minutes problem solving a way to get around the ogre in the pond instead of just WALKING AROUND THE POND.

Dora. Oh, Dora. The characters on your show…Boots is a mute monkey who wears boots (so they creatively named his “Boots”) and does nothing to further the plot line of any episode. Then you have a character named Swiper. Guess what he does? He swipes stuff. And every time he swipes something, everybody yells, “Swiper! No swiping!” Every. Single. Episode. Guys, he’s going to swipe. His name is Swiper. Stop leaving your stuff around and Swiper won’t take it. We don’t live in that world anymore where you can just leave your crap lying around in the forest and not expect a weird, bi-pedal fox to take it. IT’S HIS NAME. And let’s not forget The Map, who is a gay, drunk, ex-broadway star that repeats himself ad nauseam because he can’t remember anything he just said.

I can’t even begin to express my loathing for the Wheels on the Bus show. There are only three episodes because even the people producing it became so disgusted with themselves they couldn’t go on filming. One of the episodes focuses solely on two puppets who can’t remember where they live. They. Can’t. Remember. No one worries about the fact that two, supposedly adult puppets, simply forgot where they live after getting on a city bus. Everyone on the bus works together (you know, like people on public busses always do) to make a bunch of stops all over town to try and help the puppets REMEMBER WHERE THEY LIVE.

Don’t even get me started on Caillou. Stupid-ass name, brat-faced, Caillou.

You know what shows I like? SuperWhy. Now that’s an awesome show. And Sesame Street. Brilliant. Who are the test audiences that are approving all these horrible children’s shows? What are they, two-year-olds?!

Don’t Write That

photoConnie texted me at 3:30pm.

“I’m on my way!”

I put the final touches on the flowers on the dining room table and ensured the right music was playing. She walked in to our house a few moments later with a somewhat hesitant demeanor. Her face said, “Hiee!” but her body said, “I’m here on business, and I do have to keep this professional.” It made me nervous. Nervouser.

She sat down at our dining room table and spread out all of her paperwork. She began checking things off and flipping through folders, and I watched her. Feeling she was being watched, she stopped. “How are you feeling?”

“Nervous,” I said.

“Why?”

“Because, well…” I went on to talk about Gay Rights going to the Supreme Court. Of course, that had me anxious all day. I’m not sure why that was my first response. I guess because I didn’t want to admit that I was terrified I could be handed a kid within weeks. “I just get so fired up about this topic, I want people to be equal and I will stand up for them and their rights. I mean, this is America for fuck’s sake, and people can’t get married?! Don’t write that…”

“Write what?”

“The ‘f’ word.”

“Ok,” Connie smiled.

Connie interviewed us for about 2 hours. She asked about where I went to high school and what it was like. She asked how David and I met and I told her we met after his ex-girlfriend and I became friends when he dumped her and then I ended up secretly dating Dave a few weeks later without her knowing and then she hated me.

“Don’t write that.”

She asked if we liked our careers. She asked about our parents, our family histories, the different dynamics between us and our siblings. She asked us to describe our marriage, to which I immediately responded, “Normal but also adventurous,” and my husband immediately replied, “Boring.”

“Don’t write that,” I said.

“Which part?”

“Any of it. Just put that we’re best friends.”

She asked us about our house, how many fire alarms we have and such. It was about this time that David announced, “We need snacks.” He cut up cheese, got crackers and pretzels, and also a small tub of pimento cheese spread. He laid it all out and Connie ate as she asked us more questions. She asked us where we were born, where we were raised, what our relationships with our own mothers was like. She asked us questions for about 2 hours.

“Ok! So now I’m going to take pictures. Is that OK?” Connie asked.

“Sure! Um, just, go ahead wherever you want to go!” She walked around taking pictures of everything from every angle while I started cooking dinner. After taking pictures, she spread everything back out over the dining room table and began writing again. She made notes and drew lines and checked boxes. I chopped shrimp and sauteed ginger. “Do you eat shrimp?” I asked.

“Yes!”

“I’m making shrimp lettuce wraps for dinner, so, please stay and eat with us if you’re hungry!” I have never taken such care to cut perfectly cubed pieces of shrimp as I did last night. I chopped the cilantro like a damn 5-star chef. If you only could have seen the precision with which I whisked the peanut-sauce…As I prepared what I hoped would be the greatest meal I’d ever made, Connie started with the child check-list. This was the hardest part.

“So I’m going to give you some possible scenarios and you are going to tell me ‘Acceptable,’ ‘Would Consider,’ or ‘Unacceptable.’ Ok?”

David was on the floor in the living room with Abraham and I was in the kitchen. Connie started. “A child with dental problems.”

“Acceptable,” we both said.

“Orthopedic issues?”

“Acceptable.”

“Difficulty connecting with parental figure?”

“Acceptable.”

“Difficulty connecting with maternal figure?”

“Acceptable.”

“A child who has been sexually abused?”

Pause. “Unacceptable,” I said.

“Would consider?” David asked.

“But we have Abe. If the child was sexually abused, the likelihood of him or her perpetrating is high. We can’t do that.”

“Ok. You’re right. Unacceptable,” he relented.

“A child who has been physically abused.”

“Would consider,” we said in unison.

“A child who was abandoned.”

“Would consider,” we said.

“A child who is drug-addicted.”

“Would consider,” we said.

“A child with behavioral issues.”

“Would consider.”

It went on like this for about 30 minutes. We discussed, we debated, and we deferred to Connie for suggestions, which she gladly helped us talk out. In essence, we built different versions of a child we would accept and then trusted that we could handle the things we think we can handle because, damnit, then we signed the papers. We signed off on the kind of child we agreed to adopt.

We signed. The papers.

“Do you drink wine, Connie?”

“I’m a social worker. Yes, I drink wine,” she quipped.

“I’m a drinker. I love me some wine. Don’t write that,” I said.

We clinked over shrimp filled lettuce wraps and the evening took a deep breath and exhaled a sigh of relief. We signed. That part is over. And as I refilled Connie’s wine glass I thought, Well, I guess we passed.

In the end, Connie and I turned out to be long lost friends. We know each other from a former life, we’re so similar in our behaviors and life stories. We sat on the front porch for hours, literally hours, laughing and being honest and telling our secrets. David passed in and out of the conversation, but mostly it was just us girls. “I’m so glad I’m going to Haiti,” she said at one point. “This would be way more inappropriate if I wasn’t leaving my job next week.” Don’t write that, I thought.

Finally, at about 10:15, I told Connie it was time for me to get to bed and she agreed it was time for her to head home as well. We came inside and signed the last piece of paper, something about SIDS, and gave each other hugs. My case worker ends up being my friend and all that panicking was for nothing.

We have 2 classes left and, as soon as those are complete, we are on the list and ready to go. And then, we could wait 5 years for a kid. Or, 5 minutes. There is zero way of knowing. And I kind of like it that way.

 

 

 

T-1 Hour

michelle-duggar-300I’ve spent this day organizing, cleaning, detailing, spraying, wiping, preparing, and cooking. I just realized I forgot vacuuming. I still need to vacuum.

I realize none of this has any bearing over whether or not someone chooses to place a child with us. Playfully leaving toy cars and trucks all over the house will not convince the case worker that we’re organized but still totally cool about toys lying around because, “Hey! We’re super chill and organized parents, all at the same time!” Buying yellow flowers for the dining room table won’t make or break this deal. So we’ll just say I bought the yellow flowers this morning for myself. Giving Abe a bath before nap time so he’s clean and fresh for her visit this afternoon is not the deciding factor, but he was really dirty and we got home late from Passover last night and there wasn’t enough time for a shower. And I let him watch Dora the Explorer the entire time was in the shower this morning so I didn’t get to clean him up then, and obviously, don’t tell the case worker I let him watch TV on the iPad this morning instead of being a parent.

Stuff that makes me a normal parent is the stuff I’m scared will click the blue pen in her hand and convince it to do something awful.

So I sat down to chill out for a minute and saw this: Duggars Considering Adoption.

Really, Duggars? You deserve all the kids you want, you obviously take good care of them. But can you’ve got TWENTY. TWENTY. Can I just have ONE? Just leave ONE for me. I don’t want to be in competition with you. No one’s going to walk into your house and wonder why there’s crap everywhere. It’s because there’s people everywhere. No one is going to question how many kids are sleeping in a room or whether the flowers in the kitchen are fresh or dead/dying or if you’ve cleaned out your refrigerator/pantry/underwear drawer. They’ll be thrilled you’ve kept 20+ people alive for 20+ years. I’ve only got one kid, I find him overwhelming as hell, and I didn’t even eat breakfast this morning. Stop. We get it. You’re amazing. LEAVE A KID FOR THE REST OF US.

My dearest friend texted me as I started down a shame spiral about my worth as a mother and said, “Don’t detail everything. Perfection is not in the details. It’s in who you are.” And if I haven’t read enough Brene Brown to know that…

So, in T-1 hour, I will be touring my house, checking off lists, signing paperwork, and cooking dinner for my family. I have no idea how much bourbon is suggested for an experience like this, but I don’t think there’s enough in the house.

Fast Track

Help ButtonWe had to take several weeks off from our Adoption Classes because we were traveling for work so much. This past week we were able to jump back in to finish up the last four of these classes, and neither David nor I were excited to get back in to classes. Utter waste of time.

Our adoption case worker was in Haiti during the weeks of classes we’d missed, and when we walked into the flourescently-lit room for the next 2-hour snooze fest, she was standing in the middle of the room giggling in a bright red skirt. She looked like a completely different person. She was glowing. All the social work funk was gone. She acted like she was in love with every single person she was talking to.

“Connie!” I exclaimed. We met her on our very first trip to talk about adopting a child with this particular foundation. She took us into a tiny room and asked us a bunch of questions which quickly fizzled down into a senseless conversation that cracked us all up. We got on like old friends and we were so happy that she was our case worker from day 1.

“Hey, you guys!!! I have so much to tell you!” Connie exclaimed, spinning around so her skirt danced around her knees. We walked to our seats and Connie followed closely behind, holding her hands in the air in a “Wait until you hear this” position. “You guys,” she started, “I am moving to Haiti next month!” Just like that, a disjointed, kind of slow-track to adoption process came to a total halt. I heard the car breaks screeching in my head. “I fell in love with the country and, frankly, nothing was keeping me here. I’m going to move there and start over!”

“That’s amazing!!” we both exclaimed. And, of course, we meant it. Amazing people deserve amazing life experiences. But we both felt a little bit deflated, as though we were being abandoned by our one true ally in this process. And, on top of that, possibly extending the life of this limbo period during which we wait to get on the Kid List.

“Yeah!” she answered. “So that means we’re going to have to cheat a little bit.”

“Oh?” I asked.

“Right, so we need to do your homestudy next week and get you approved.”

The record stopped, the party paused, and all you could hear was a guy near the back of the now frozen dance floor murmur, “Whaaaa?”

“Next week?” I asked. “I mean, that’s fine, but, what does that mean? We aren’t even finished with our classes.”

“I know, don’t worry about it. I can get around it. We’ll have to be finished with everything before I leave at the beginning of April.”

“Everything?”

“Yep! You’ll be all set! Fast track!”

Let’s back up. The process goes like this: Eight weeks of classes, twice a week. Paperwork and homework must be turned in before the homestudy (about 6 hours worth of paperwork). Once that’s all been turned in and the classes are over, a homestudy is scheduled for sometime in the next 45 days. Sometimes it falls outside of that time period because the case workers are so busy. THEN, once two homestudies are completed, the paperwork is submitted for you to be added to the Kid List. That’s about 5 months. We started our classes in February. It is now March. We will be eligible in April.

So, obviously, I stopped breathing and started working on a panic attack. David didn’t say anything, though he probably could have knitted a sweater with his fingers had he a little yarn. Even real moms get 9 months. More than that if they plan a pregnancy. We’re talking about being eligible within 2 and a half months of starting the process. Which means at any moment, someone could call and say, “Hey, we got a kid for you. Come get him/her. Like, nowish.”

Whoops, I read that out loud and just had another panic attack while Dave finished a lovley, blue scarf.

“Isn’t this great?” Connie asked.

“Yes!” we both answered without any knowledge the word actually came out of our mouths.

“So let’s get out of calendars and pick a date!”

Tomorrow is the date. Tomorrow is the day of our first homestudy. Obviously some dirty dishes and disaster of a play room aren’t going to reverse their decision to place a child in our care. But, I will tell you I’m super thrilled about the fact that I just planted a bunch of new flowers and David pressure-washed the front porch yesterday. So I’ll be spending the next 24 hours Febreezing everything and detailing our dining room table where, presumably, our case worker will sit tomorrow evening to eat the dinner I am going to cook for her and her little notepad full of Cohen notes. I guess I’ll let you know how it went tomorrow.

Monkey

Two years ago I drove passed by a sign outside of a church that said, “Daycare and VPK starting soon. Register now, ages 2, 3, and 4!” I watched moms walking their kids in to the church while Abe sat, a little pile of baby in the backseat, screaming and crying at the very suggestion that I put him in and use the vehicle we purchased solely for his existence. I longed to pull over and carry him inside and hand him to one to the teachers inside because I knew it would be almost 2 years before I could even suggest he attend a school. And at the point, there was no way in hell he would ever actually turn 2 years old, so there was no use daydreaming. Just drive, I thought. He’ll never be 2 anyway. 

Today, Abe carried his own backpack to the car for pick-up.

He started school a little more than a year ago, so young that he couldn’t even walk the entire way to his classroom. At 18 months, there was no option but to carry him and his big ol’ bag all the way to his classroom everyday. And as he got older his peers started carrying their own bags. He’d heave the straps over his shoulders and try dragging it down the hallway to his class and give up after about 10 feet. Lately, I’ve been carrying the big tote bag with his lunch, naptime sheet, and blanket to school everyday and handing it to his teacher at the front door. At pick-up time, I have to walk in to the hang-out-hallway to get Abe and pick up his giant bag. But recently the staff starting giving me some roley eyes and knowing stares as I approached the carpool line. Oh, that’s the mom who carries her kid’s bag for him. I always wanted to yell, “HE’S 2! I CAN STILL CARRY HIS BAG FOR HIM UNTIL HE’S 20 IF I FEEL LIKE IT!”

photoEventually, though, I succumbed to the pressure. I headed to Target to find a backpack. Between the Disney branded movie backpacks and the stupid, “I’m trying to make my kid look popular” backpacks, I was totally dismayed at the selection. Until I saw a monkey on wheels. Yep. A monkey backpack on wheels so Abe could drag it in and out of school! I scooped it up and brought him to Abe, who immediately shouted, “MY MONKEY!” and proceeded to drag it all around the house in pure delight.

Fast forward to today. I arrived at school to pick Abe up. I walked to the front door, prepared to walk inside and pick up his backpack. But instead, I saw standing there my little dude, all tall and proud, waiting for the door to open so he could show me how he carries his OWN backpack. His monkey. He dragged it behind him repeating, “Mommy, I have my backpack!” The teachers and staff all cooed and giggled, and I almost shed a tear watching this little guy who only a year ago could barely walk all the way in to the school dragging his monkey behind him. I got so excited I started texting people, realizing some hours later that, “Abe carried his own backpack,” is not nearly as exciting to other people as it is to me. To me, it was a huge milestone. It was as amazing as his first steps for the day he first said, “Hi,” to me. I’m becoming that mom, aren’t I?

Skipping It

lets-take-TWO-napsHere’s something I don’t understand…

What do people mean when they say, “Oh well, I guess he just won’t take a nap today,” when they do things like going to the zoo or spending the day at a theme park. How does that work? Are 2 year olds so different that some of them can just not take a nap and continue on being “normal” 2 year olds?

If I don’t give Abraham a nap, it doesn’t just result in an early bedtime. It is a nightmarish, 3-hour break down full of whining, screaming, shirt-tugging, food-throwing, head-banging mania that causes me Google the qualifying characteristics of a nap-induced-schizophrenic episode. He goes from a beautifully curious, conversational little boy in the morning to the spawn of what could only be associated with Satan by 2:30 in the afternoon. I often wondered when he was an infant if he would grow out of this little trend be the time he was a toddler, or maybe even 3. But shake a Magic Eight Ball: Outlook Not So Good. The kid, like his mom, needs his naps. NEEDS. Non-negotiable. My days revolve around naps.

Knowing this, I can only deduce that when another mother says, “Oh well, I guess he just won’t take a nap today,” she means she will accept the fact that she will soon be unleashing The Hulk in mini form (which causes just as much damage as the full-sized version, in case you didn’t know), I think she should say that so I don’t feel so badly about the fact that if my child so much as misses the last 7 minutes of his nap he will go on hunger strike. And if she does in fact mean that her child can skip a nap with no consequence great enough to dissuade her from making that decision, I’d like to know what kind of medication she’s using.

Can your kid just skip a nap all willy nilly like that?!

Pot Kettle

judging-othersA friend recently said she used to loathe people who left their shopping carts in the middle of the grocery store parking lot. She thought it was so selfish they couldn’t simply walk it over to the cart return a mere 2 rows over. Now that she has a child, she jokingly ate her words and cracked up one day thinking, “Yeah, right. I’m going to leave my baby in the car while I return the cart or, even better, I’m going to return the cart and tote all my groceries and kid back to the car…”

 

It got me thinking, there are a lot of things I said I would never do. And I was pretty indignant about most of my I’ll Nevers:

  • I’ll never use formula, not even once.
  • I’ll never let my baby sleep on his stomach.
  • I’ll never cut my baby’s hair.
  • I’ll never let my baby watch TV.
  • I’ll never allow my baby to eat food from a bag or a box.
  • I’ll never let my baby sit in a grocery cart without a cover.
  • I’ll never let my child watch movies in the car.
  • I’ll never let my child play video games at the dinner table.
  • I’ll never let my kid eat in my car.

I’ve done every single of one of these, and now I understand why other moms were doing them, too. I understand why moms do all kinds of things they swear they would never do before they had kids. We’re all just doing the best we can! If Abe wants to eat cheese and berries for dinner, so be it. If he wants to sleep with four blankets and seven pacifiers, have at it. If he wants to jump on the couch before he sits on the coffee table to play Cars and Trucks, it seems like a fine choice to me. If you have kids, I hope you’ve given yourself a break today. And if you don’t have kids, give someone who does a break today. There’s probably a good reason for the Superman Costume and snow boots he’s wearing in Target.

Balance Shmalance

480254_10151788938189829_629141324_nAs I pulled out of the mall parking lot, headed back to the interstate, I saw a sign off in the opposite direction for the interstate I meant to take home. It didn’t point to the direction I was planning to head, nor the direction from which I came. I stopped. I stared at it and, eventually, I murmured, “95 that way?”
I began to turn the wheel turn towards the sign until my friend shouted, “ERIN! Why are you going that way?!”
“Because…because the sign says…”
“Oh, Erin. You’re such a rule-follower. Go back the way we came.”

I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. Black or white. Up or down. A rule-follower. If someone tells me I can’t eat gluten, I don’t. I don’t eat any of it. I don’t take a nibble of a cookie or a single strand of pasta. And I don’t understand people who do break the rules and cheat. Why would you do that? Why do you break the rules that are there to protect you?! AND WHY WOULD YOU PUT A SIGN TELLING ME TO GO THAT DIRECTION WHEN I CAN SEE THE INTERSTATE IN THE OTHER DIRECTION? IT’S CONFUSING.

When I started writing my manuscript, I read back my own words only to think Damn. Chill out. You don’t have to do everything according to the books. I couldn’t believe how in control, how in line everything in my life had to be. I started wondering how many cookies I’ve missed, how many processed bags of potato chips I’ve passed on, just because it was against “my rules.”

So in the past months, I’ve begun seeking balance. The second that I tell myself, “No,” I pause and ask myself, “Why not?” Sometimes there’s a good reason. Because drinking a third glass of wine and then driving home isn’t a smart decision, Erin. But sometimes I can’t think of a good reason other than, “It’s a rule.” It’s why I’ve adopted the idea of yoga and a cigarette. A cigarette once or twice a week is probably not going to limit my life span by enough years that I’d look back and regret each one. It’s why sometimes I stay up late abusing my body with wine and hard laughter when I know I still have to get up with a 2-year-old in the morning. I doubt I’ll truly regret the joy I felt despite a slow pace to the morning’s activities. And it’s why sometimes I just eat the entire plate of food even though I don’t need it, I’m not hungry, and I probably won’t feel great when I’m done. I don’t do it everyday, but I can’t really consider this living if I don’t pig out on something utterly delicious now and again.

Balance is tricky when you’re a rule-follower. Giving myself permission to make some bad choices is my attempt at swing the pendulum in the other direction, closer to the middle. The rule-follower in me will never let me get too far in the wrong direction. And I don’t want Abraham growing up thinking that without following every rule the Earth falls off its axis. It’s the rule-breakers that change the world, that dream the biggest. Without breaking a rule or questioning authority, we never change and grow. So yes, balance in my life includes cigarettes and dirty vodka martinis with my girlfriends over fries and a juicy hamburger (without the bun, of course).

Have a beautiful, balanced weekend. 🙂

 

OUR Work Out

jillian-michaels-240x320An article recently in Fitness Magazine features an honest Jillian Michaels  admitting that finding time to work out as a parent is tough, saying, “At the end of the day, I come home, and I’m like, ‘Okay, let me bathe you, change you, feed you, read you books, put you to bed — wait, how am I supposed to do all this? Son of a b—-, this is hard!’”

Isn’t it, Jillian? Isn’t it hard?

While all I want to do is shout, “I FREAKING TOLD YOU SO!!!!!” at the top of my lungs, she goes on to say, “People can rub my nose in it, because it is so hard — so hard — to take care of yourself when you’re a parent.”

DUH JILLIAN! THIS IS WHAT WE’VE BEEN SAYING!!! SEEE??????

Ok, back up. Now that that’s out of my system, here’s the thing: moms are taking advice from and comparing themselves to women in a billion different situations. One of those situations for a good long while was that of the childless Jillian Michaels. She was shouting at us through our TVs, “Just get up and do it! No excuses!!!! Everybody has 15 minutes!” I know everytime she yelled it at me I felt worse and worse about not making the time to lift a dumbbell or run a mile (not that I’ve ever run a mile…). All the while, no one was mentioning to us that Jillian lived a completely single lifestyle, and by “single” I mean “no kids.” (Because I don’t know about you but when my husband and I were childless, we were single, wild, and free.) All she had to worry about was herself. How in the WORLD could she possibly know what it’s like to try to take care of other humans while taking care of yourself? It doesn’t just double your work-load. It triples it. Amiright?

Suddenly Jillian Michaels has a couple of arm-scratching, ankle grabbing whiners and even she can’t find the time to work out. And you know what? I’m not mad at her. She’s doing her damn best to raise those kids the best way she knows how, and if she gets fat, I’m going to send her a churro and a high-five because “take care of yourself” comes dead last once these little people make it into the world. We can preach about self-care all day long, and I will tell you that I make more time for self-care than the average mom can or does, but it isn’t as easy as sticking “Massage Appointment” into your calendar and calling it a day. It’s an act of God coupled with persistence and an incredibly stubborn, seemingly selfish attitude that gets my ass into the pedicure chair (which I HATE but my toes look cute when I leave, so be it). 

I’m glad Jillian Michaels admitted this is all harder than it looks. I’m glad she stepped up and said, “…I’ll just sit on the floor of the closet checking emails while Lu (her daughter) tries to figure out how to put on her shirt.” Because we all do it. We answer the phone, check emails, and fold laundry whenever we freaking can in between chasing 2-year-olds through the house after we’ve merely mentioned the words, “Nap time,” and carrying their little 30 pound bodies up the stairs after an attempted trip to the second floor results in a 15-minute game of, “Let’s try going up one step and singing a complete rendition of the ‘Wheels on the Bus’ before going to the next step,” because WE DON’T HAVE 3 HOURS SET ASIDE TO CLIMB THE STAIRS FOR OUR SACRED NAP TIME BREAK.

And that’s our work out. 

 

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