The ONLY 3 Things Moms Need to Survive Parenthood

Well, friends — I had a bit of an “ah-ha” moment yesterday after a friend of mine posted this photo on Facebook of my little dude and two of his best friends. It was taken about three years ago, and after oohing and aahing over it for a few seconds — a light bulb went off in my head.

Because everything moms need to successfully survive the journey of motherhood can easily be summed up simply by looking at this photo.

 

(Cutest kids ever, right?)

Ok, let’s cut to the chase. If you haven’t already figured out the three key things every mom needs to survive parenting after viewing this picture — let me fill you in.

1. The only mantra you’ll ever need “This too shall pass” — As hard as it is, moms need to appreciate every second of the time we have with our kids while they’re little. Yes, it’s challenging. And yes, you’re exhausted and overwhelmed most of the time. And we’d all be lying if we didn’t admit to wishing away those precious moments at one point or another. You know — “I wish he was already in school,” or “I wish he would stop waking me up at 5 o’clock in the morning.” (Stuff like that.)

But you know what? I’d give ANYTHING — ANYTHING, to go back in time and sit at that table with those three kids on that lazy summer day again — even if it were only for an hour or so. And this time, I’d appreciate that day a whole hell of a lot more than I probably did then.

 

2. Wonderful friends — Yes, I know this one’s a no-brainer, but I can’t stress the importance of having one or two really good mom friends to laugh with, bitch and moan with, and lean on for support while trying to figure out the ins and outs of parenthood. And it’s such a bonus when your friend’s kids are around the same age as yours — because they grow up together — to where playing together becomes second nature down the road.

Those two beautiful kids who are sitting in that pic with my son? Yeah, they’re more than just “my friend’s kids.” We may not be blood related, but they feel more like a niece and nephew to me than two of my son’s buddies. And don’t even get me started on their mom — because she’s amazeballs too. I can 100 percent say that without her, her kids, and a couple other friends who also live in our neighborhood, I’m fairly certain I’d be typing this post from the confines of a mental institution.

 

3. Have you figured out number three yet? Take a look at the picture one more time and tell me what immediately jumps out at you.

Yep — the corkscrew. I didn’t notice it at first because I was too busy freaking out over how adorable our kids were when they were little, but once I spotted it, I laughed out loud.

Let’s face it — MOMS NEED WINE. I repeat — MOMS NEED WINE.

 

The end.

I’m A BFF Today…And I’m No Motherbitch

I’m so excited, because today I’m a BFF today over at Things I Can’t Say.

In case you don’t know, Shell over at Things I Can’t Say is my bloggy sis. She gets me. She makes me laugh. And she knows what a motherbitch is.

And unfortuantely, I know what a motherbitch is too. If you are curious as to what constitutes being labeled a motherbitch, go over and check out my list on Shell’s blog. And if you aren’t already following her, then make sure you do. Otherwise, you might be a motherbitch.

Have an awesome weekend!

*Comments Off*

The Butt-Sniff: A True Sign of Friendship

Good morning everyone! Please bear with me…I returned from my girls’ weekend in TN late last night and I’ve only had two cups of coffee so far. And two just ain’t gonna cut it today. Because Mama really can’t party like she used to. But I’m still one hell of a good hang if I do say so myself.

I spent the last two days down in Knoxville visiting my best friend and former roommate from my University of Tennessee days. She and I were quite the tag team back then. And I won’t elaborate too much on the kind of antics that we used to partake in, but I will admit that beer funnels were involved on more than one occasion. Oh yeah…you guessed it. We were the SUPER classy chicks on campus.

And even though our days of band parties on frat row and scoring free beer from the local deli on campus are long gone, we still manage to have the time of our lives every time we get together. We just happen to have a side kick with us now, disguised as her adorable 9-month old daughter.

One of our other best buds from college also joined us this weekend, and she and I took on the babysitting duties on Saturday evening so that our other partner in crime could indulge in the luxury of taking a shower and blow-drying her hair without having to lug the pack-and-play into her bathroom.

And while we were watching the munchkin, she started making some cute little grunting noises. I immediately assumed that she had “done her business”, so I did what any mother would do in order to verify that a “Code Brown” had occurred. I picked her up in front of me and took a huge whiff of her tiny little tush. And my other friend looked a little bit horrified when I did it. But she’ll be a butt sniffer too someday. She just doesn’t know it yet.

As a mom, I have sniffed my own child’s ass in order to confirm poopage more times than I can even dream of counting. And it may sound kind of gross to people who don’t have kids, so let me put it into perspective:

It’s a hell of a lot better than sticking your finger into the side of the diaper and having it come out covered in fudge. Not that I ever tried that method.

I always knew that I loved my friend, but I was really reminded of just how close we are when I stuck my nose right up to HER baby’s butt. I didn’t even think twice. And it didn’t even gross me out in the slightest. Because even though I’ve only seen that baby two times since my friend gave birth to her, I love her like she was my own. Because she is a part of my friend, and my friend is a part of me. And she would totally sniff my son’s ass too.

The Mommyologist and BFF

Double Trouble

We had a great laugh about the whole ass-sniff scenario, and I started telling her about another close friend of mine up here in CT who has two kids. There was a point about a year and a half ago when her kids and mine were all still in diapers. And we would smell something in the room, declare that someone had pooped, and then she and I would start picking up kids, regardless of whether they belonged to us or not, and would sniff their butts to see who had the steamer.

There’s no need for Hallmark cards or any of that sentimental shit when you are a mom. I’ve discovered the true sign of a lifelong friendship. It’s reciprocal butt sniffing.

Ok, it’s time for that 3rd cup of coffee now.

"Mom-Code"

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I booked the babysitter and were able to escape for a little rendezvous consisting of the traditional date-night dinner and a movie. We decided that we were in the mood for a few laughs, so we went to see Couples Retreat with Vince Vaughn. We are both big fans of his movies and just love his sense of humor, so this flick had been on our list for a while. All in all, it was a pretty cute movie and definitely had a few belly-laugh moments. For some unknown random reason, I started thinking about this movie again yesterday while pushing my son on the swing in our backyard. I remembered how in the film, there were a couple references made to “Man-Code.” I am sure that each and every one of you have heard of this little thing known as Man-Code, and if for some reason you haven’t, it’s pretty much a no-brainer. Man-Code is a little set of unwritten rules between males that they don’t ever discuss, but the concepts are just generally understood. Breaking the Man-Code is a complete and total no-no, and usually results in a full on brawl of one sort or another, and someone going home with a black eye or two. A few examples of the code include not hooking up with any of their “bros” ex-girlfriends, pretending not to notice one of their male co-workers while visiting a strip-club after work knowing full well that if that co-worker were to notice him, that he would keep his lips zipped and adhere to the Man-Code, and not divulging any information that is brought up around the poker table on boys night to his wife when he gets home that night. As I chuckled to myself a little about the Man-Code while my son laughed on the swing, I started realizing that moms also have an unspoken set of rules that are meant to be followed under any and all circumstances. We truly do have our own “Mom-Code.” I decided that it was necessary to the survival of our sisterhood for me to go against the grain and write down a full set of rules describing the Mom-Code. Here goes nothing!

“Mom-Code” according to The Mommyologist”

(Note: These rules are in no particular order)

1. If Mom #1 notices that Mom #2′s thong is popping out of her low-rise jeans and is visible to the public as she crouches down to tie her child’s shoe, it is Mom #1′s duty to stand behind Mom #2 to conceal that thong until she stands back up, at which point she needs to be notified of the thong-flash so she can pull her jeans up a little. This rule also applies to exposed butt-cracks.

2. One mom should never have to apologize to another mom for her house being a complete and total mess before coming over for a playdate. The reasoning behind this is that Mom #2′s house is a mess also after trying to wrangle kids and at the same time tackle the dishes, the laundry, phone calls, emails, and whatever sort of destruction the children do to her dwelling while she is trying to accomplish those household tasks, so she will understand and will not think poorly upon Mom #1 if the remnants of last night’s lasagna are still soaking in a pan in her sink.

3. If Mom #2 comes over to Mom #1′s home with her children, and one of them knocks something over and breaks it, Mom #1 will not bat an eyelash while cleaning that item up and throwing whatever is left of it into the trash can. If the item were breakable and had any significance or worth to it at all, then Mom #1 should have been smart enough not to have it on display in a place where children freely roam. Mom #2 will politely apologize for her child breaking the item, but she is really just standing there thinking about the Mom-Code and wondering why in the hell Mom #1 would have something so fragile on display.

4. Time alone with other moms is our time to vent about anything and everything that is going on in our mom-world. If Mom #1 chooses to have a husband bashing session with Moms #2 and #3, the latter two moms will not judge her for one millisecond, and the next time that they are together without Mom #1, they will not bring up or discuss any of the negative things that Mom #1 said about her husband. She is a woman after all, and women need to vent, and what better way to vent than to vent to other moms about how pissed off she is that her husband didn’t get up in the middle of the night with the baby or didn’t pick his clothes up off the bedroom floor. If some sort of more serious husband offense is discussed and Mom #1 is completely irate with him, then Mom #2 and Mom #3 will be irate with him as well and will nod their heads in agreement when Mom #1 says, “I can’t BELIEVE he (insert bad deed here).” When the storm blows over a week or so later and Mom #1 declares that her husband is an absolute saint and she loves him even more than she did on her wedding day, Mom #2 and Mom #3 will happily congratulate her on what a total catch that hubby of hers is.

5. Moms-night-out is like gold and it should be treated with respect and dignity. When out with the moms for some much needed girl time, Mom #1 will not order an appetizer and call that her entree. If any appetizers are going to be ordered, then there will be a few of them ordered for the whole table to share, and they will not be non-fat. There are NO calories on Mom’s night. If the spinach and artichoke dip is ordered for the table then Mom #1 better be taking a bite or two of that dip because if she doesn’t have some of that dip, then all of the other moms at the table will feel like they are over-indulging. This rule especially applies if Mom #1 is skinnier than the rest of the mom group. She will then order a delicious entree and will share whatever desserts are ordered with the rest of the mom clan. (I am ashamed to admit that I have broken the dessert code more than once. It is my pledge from here on out that I will never let this unacceptable behavior happen again).

6. Whenever Mom #1 invites any other moms over to her house because she is hosting a jewelry party, spa party, candle party, food-tasting party, etc., the other moms will operate under the assumption that if they accept the party invitation, that: a.) they will attend the party under all logical circumstances and will not cancel last minute unless there is a dire emergency, and b.) they will understand clearly that they are expected to purchase a decent amount of items at that party so that Mom #1 can collect her free goods. For all fairness and reciprocity purposes, Mom #1 will then attend each and every single party hosted by any of the moms who attended her party and the same rules will apply to her.

7. (This Mom-Code rule seems to be the one that is most broken and ignored by mothers, and mainly by new moms. After their children get a little older, they start to see the light and hopefully start paying more attention to this rule, but I think it is necessary to try and start enforcing it a little earlier to save new mothers some heartache that they definitely do NOT deserve).

If Mom #1 confesses to Mom #2 that her baby was up crying the entire night before and she is completely exhausted and at her wits end because she tried every single trick in the book with that baby and he/she still would not go to sleep, Mom #2 will offer nothing but sympathy and compassion to Mom #1 and she will offer to watch her child for a couple hours so that Mom #1 can go take a nap or at least have a few minutes to herself. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES will Mom #2 look at Mom #1 and say, “Well, I’m sorry but I just can’t imagine what you are going through because my little angel sleeps through the night every night and has for months!” Read this one clearly ladies and let it sink in: Motherhood is NOT a competition! It is absolutely against the rules for Mom #2 to make Mom #1 feel like she is doing something wrong or that her baby is inferior in any way just to boost up her own credibility as a parent. Mom #1 will have way more respect for Mom #2 and their friendship will continue to thrive and grow if they lean on each other instead of compete with each other. (I really wish I’d known about this rule sooner. It would’ve saved me a lot of 4:30am sobbing sessions).

8. Every mother knows that your body is just never quite the same after giving birth. You may shed every last pound of baby weight, but somehow your favorite jeans still don’t fit. It happens to the best of us. Even though our shapes don’t completely revert back to their pre-preggo form, this is not an excuse to start wearing “mom-jeans.” You all know what “mom-jeans” are and if there is any clarification needed as to what types of jeans constitute being labeled as “mom-jeans”, basically if the top of your pants is anywhere close to your bra-line, then you are officially wearing “mom-jeans.” Let this be a fair warning that if Mom #1 puts on a pair of “mom-jeans”, it is the duty of Mom #2 and Mom #3 to casually let her know that she is wearing “mom-jeans” and to stage an intervention if necessary.

9. This rule applies to all of the pregnant chicks about to enter the mom-sphere. If a preggo-chick is hanging out with Mom #1 and Mom #2, who have been around the block on the whole mommy thing for some time now and have learned a thing or two on their journey, preggo-chick fully sets herself up for any and all weird smirks and looks coming from the faces of Mom #1 and Mom #2 when she announces her perfectly thought out plan for how her labor and delivery will go, what she will and won’t do as a mom, and exactly what type of child her little one is going to be. The thoughts going through the heads of Moms #1 & #2 behind those weird looks and smirks go something like this, “Yeah, RIGHT! You just wait honey! You have NO IDEA what is about to happen to your little utopia!” Mom #1 and Mom #2 have a set of guidelines here too and are under the general understanding that the best thing to do in this situation is to just smile and nod knowing full well that preggo-chick will figure out exactly why she was getting such weird looks from them the first time that she wakes up in the middle of the night to a crying baby who has poop all the way up his back.

10. Adhering and agreeing to the Mom-Code rules means that you understand that under no circumstances is there ever any excuse for breaking the code or disclosing any of its secrets to members of the opposite sex. They have their code and we have ours and there is just no need for the two to overlap in any way. Of course, if any of your husbands decide to break the Man-Code and tell you any juicy secrets spilled at the poker table about any of the husbands of any of our Mom-Code sisters, it is your duty as a Mom-Code follower to fill her and the rest of us in on every single detail.

The Mommyologist’s Last Word: “I’m taking my official oath today to follow all of the rules of the Mom-Code to the very best of my ability. I am so honored to be part of this elite club! How about you?”

The Six Degrees of Friendship

This morning I took my little boy for the necessary, but completely unpleasant for all parties involved, task of getting his annual flu shot. My little stud took it like a champ and didn’t shed one tear…won’t his Daddy be proud of what a big boy he’s become! As I sat in the reception room waiting for the nurse to pop her head out of the doorway to the exam rooms and declare that we had indeed been chosen to enter, I got out my Iphone and took a minute to catch up on a little Facebook time. Ok, for those of you who are on Facebook with me, you know I practically live on there and really have no need to “catch up” but just go with it for the sake of this story. I clicked on my “notifications” page and was delighted to see that my dear friend from Colorado had commented on a Halloween photo of my little studmuffin. As I read her comment, I could feel myself getting choked up, as I always do whenever I think about or see anything from this particular friend. No other friend in my life has ever had this effect on me. Most people in my life know that I am a complete and total “non-crier”, unless of course I am really mad or extremely drunk. I started thinking about why this one person always causes me to react in a way that is so out of character for me. I realized that the reason is because she was my first “Mom-friend.” As I thought about this concept, I thought about how much your friendships change and evolve over the course of your life. I determined that there are about six different degrees of friends that I’ve encountered along my journey thus far.

The first group is my childhood friends. These are the friends who knew me before I became the blatantly honest and sometimes a tad bit irrational woman that I am today. They knew me in my innocence. They knew me when my top priorities in life were what Santa Claus was going to bring me for Christmas and whether my Mom was going to take me to the Burger King drive through after ballet class for a double cheeseburger and large fry. These were the kids that I couldn’t wait to play with after school, and I couldn’t wait to go over to their homes on the weekends for all-sorts of adventures and fun. That’s right, FUN. Remember when FUN was all that really mattered? For those of you from my generation or older, do you remember that we used to be able to play outside until it got dark and never worry that some psychopath was going to snatch us right out of our front yard? Yep, those were the good old days. I am fortunate enough to still talk to a couple of my childhood friends, and I’m lucky as hell that they still put up with me.

The second crew of friends that is absolutely impossible for me to forget are my high school friends. Do I really have to say anything else about how important your friends are in high school? I mean, they are totally like the only thing that matters!! I remember that my world 100% revolved around two things: the telephone and passing notes in class. I was in high school before email, before Facebook, before Twitter, before the next God-knows-what IT thing that will be the go-to social networking site for teens to indulge in. Hell, I didn’t even have a cell phone until senior year and the thing looked pretty identical to the one that Zach Morris carried around on Saved By The Bell. I had the time of my life in high school. I loved every minute of it, and there was just nothing I loved more than my friends. When you really think about it, how could life get much better than living under your parents’ roof for free, going to a place every single day where you were surrounded by your closest peeps, then spending all weekend getting into tons of unavoidable mischief? Whether it was stealing wooden statues of Petunia Pig out of someone’s front yard or sledding at midnight at the local elementary school with a case of beer on hand and not for one second worrying that the cops would show up, these were some of the greatest memories I’ve ever had. Though I may never talk to some of them ever again, my “crew” will forever be irreplaceable. And to my co-conspirator on the whole Petunia Pig incident, you are my one-in-a-million friend and I can’t wait till we check into the nursing home together someday. You are definitely a member of Friend Category #6. Read on.

Ok, on to the third degree of friends, COLLEGE BUDDIES! I can sum this category up pretty quick: Beer, football, frat row, Spring Break in Cancun, beer, band parties, a dorm room that looked like something out of an episode of Hoarders on A&E, late-night calzones from Bellaroma Deli, beer, FREE beer at those band parties, skipping class to watch The Price is Right, and let’s see…what am I forgetting? Oh yeah, BEER! My best gal from this category has recently moved into Friendship Degree #6. You know who you are so keep reading for your shout-out from me.

Friend category #4 is a funny one. By this point, most of us are out of college and married, and now we have the pleasure of having “couple friends.” Sometimes I think that finding good “couple friends” who don’t hit the floor and cringe every time their phone rings and they know it is me and my husband and they don’t want to get sucked into another agonizing dinner date filled with our lame jokes is much harder than finding a husband was. Searching for potential “couple friends” is a lot like dating. Typically, I meet the wife first and she and I really hit it off, because quite honestly there are very few women in this world that I don’t hit it off with initially. We then decide that it would be “so fun to get our hubbies together!”, so we set up the first introduction. Telling the hubby about our plans with our “awesome new friends” usually goes something like this: (note: all names are ficticious) “Honey, on Saturday night Sally and Jim asked us over to their house for drinks. If things go well, maybe we can have them over here for dinner next weekend!” After that first meeting of drinks with Sally and Jim, the hubby and I talk about the night the whole way home speculating on how things went. “I think that they really liked us! That Jim is a real cut-up, and Sally is SO sweet even though she is completely anal about using coasters on her Pottery Barn coffee table. Do you think they will call us???” To all the married couples out there, don’t lie! You’ve been through a scenario very similar to this one. In all honesty, my husband and I are extremely lucky. We’ve managed to find some top-of-the-line “couple friends” who seem to tolerate our antics just fine. At least I think they do!

My second to last degree of friendship goes back to the friend who I mentioned at the beginning of this post. My first “Mom- friend.” There is no one else in this world who can ever be my first “Mom-friend” ever again, so I felt that putting her into her own separate group was the right thing to do. When I had my son, my husband and I were living in Colorado just south of Denver. We’d only been there a couple years and we really didn’t know anyone. Essentially, it was just the two of us and our little bundle of joy trying to make it through the first few months as brand new parents. I look back on that time and I can’t believe I’m still married. I’ve never loved someone so much one minute and completely loathed them in the next. In talking to other mommies over the past three years, I’ve found that this is pretty much the norm. And for those of you reading this who don’t have kids yet and think that your guy is the most wonderful man on the planet and you can’t imagine thinking a negative thought about him for a second…YOU JUST WAIT HONEY! Ok, I’m not going to get off on any tangents here, so back to my first “Mom-friend.” My son was born in March, and spring in Colorado is really gorgeous, so I spent most of my mornings out walking with the stroller to try and get my fat butt back into my skinny jeans! I remember the exact morning when I met my first “Mom-friend”, who I will refer to from this point forward as my Savior. I am not a super-duper religious person, but I do believe in God. I believe in talking to God and I believe that if there are things in your life that you can’t handle, giving them to God to take off your hands seems to work every time. This particular morning was a rough one for me. I was just feeling completely over-exhausted and especially lonely. I literally looked up to the beautiful blue sky above me and in my head I asked God to send me a friend. How pathetic is that? I mean, there are people who are truly suffering in this world and here I am, the suburban housewife, asking God to send me a FRIEND! Well, God must have thought my request was perfectly acceptable given my circumstances, and thirty minutes later, my Savior was given to me. I ran into another woman pushing HER stroller in my neighborhood and we stopped to say hello, introduce ourselves and chat. We wound up talking for about 15 minutes or so, and her little angel was only a couple weeks older than mine! To make a long story short, we made plans to meet up and go walking TOGETHER the next morning. That moment forever changed my life and I will never forget it. FINALLY, I had someone in my life who was going through the same challenges as me, having the same feelings of hopelessness as me, and just trying to figure out the new life of being a mom just like I was! Ok, it never fails. The waterworks have begun. Whether she realizes it or not, this girl absolutely SAVED me from complete and total despair and depression. The gift of her friendship is something that I will regard as one of the most precious gifts I was ever given. I miss her and think of her every day.

My last and final association of friends are also “Mom-friends” but they are more than that. These are my “Mom-friends” who are in my life on a daily basis and who are constantly putting up with my crap. These are those friends where NOTHING is off limits and there are just no-holds barred. These are my friends who truly “get it.” These are my friends for life…my “Lifers.” These women do not judge me and I do not judge them. There is just a general understanding that, “SH*# happens,” and sometimes this is quite literal. One of my “Lifers” became a “Lifer” within about a month or so of first meeting her. I remember the first time that I went over to her house for a play date. As I pushed my stroller up to her house, she was sticking her head out the front door and yelling at her dog. The poor little dog was in the front yard rolling around in her own turds. She was completely covered in poop when we arrived at the house. I know that my poor friend was completely mortified in this moment. I absolutely and honestly thought nothing of it, in fact I thought it was pretty humorous! I took my son out of the stroller, entered the house and sent him into the playroom to play with her little girl who was the same age. My friend was pregnant with her second child at this point, and she scooped up the poop-covered dog and put her in the sink in an attempt to clean her up. She realized that she was going to need the dog shampoo to complete this task. The dog shampoo was not under the sink, so she had to go upstairs to get it. I told her not to worry, that I would watch the dog to make sure she didn’t jump out of the sink while she ran up to get the shampoo. As soon as she went up the stairs, that little dog started trying to climb out of the sink. What did I do? I did what any good friend would’ve done. I went over, put my hands on the dog and held her down in the sink. Of course, now I was also covered in poop. May I reiterate that life as a Mom revolves around poop? Anyway, my friend came back downstairs, realized that I had her dog’s poo all over my hands, then realized that I was laughing about it and totally didn’t mind being covered in her dog’s poo. She looked at me and said, “Our friendship just went to a whole new level.” Not too long after that she had that second baby. The first time I went to see him, he threw up all over me. Yep, she’s a “Lifer” alright. We’ll be laughing about that dog poo long after our kids have gotten married. If things go according to plan, we’re hoping to be in-laws someday.

For my college bud who has now moved into the “Lifer” category, I always knew she’d be a “Lifer”, but I knew it even more-so after she had her first child a few weeks ago. Now she’s a mommy too. Now she “gets it!” After reading my early post on “The Evolution of Poop”, she immediately emailed me to tell me how much she loved it, and also to tell me that her newborn had a bout of projectile diarrhea all over her bedroom floor at around 3am the night before. She also mentioned that she and her hubby were too tired to clean it up and just put a diaper on her and went to bed. I couldn’t believe she admitted it. Now THAT’s a friend! Hopefully she will still want to be a “Lifer” now that I’ve told her daughter’s story on the internet.

The Mommyologist’s Last Word: “Hold onto your “Lifers” Mommies! There aren’t many people out there who will truly put up with your CRAP!”