Truth #33 – No more personal commitments

It’s been a while and I’m sorry.  My apology is directed primarily at myself because yet again, what I needed took the seat at the back of the bus.  Thank you ladies for checking in but motherhood took a big shit on my personal commitment.

I’m sure that one day soon I’ll be able to commit to something other than my kids, my husband, and my work.  I do get it though… these are the days of sacrifice but it doesn’t mean that I’ve gotta take it up the rectum with a toothy smile.

It’s like I said…  I started this blog for a few good reasons but mainly for me dammit.  After long days of full service to my little ladies, it has been therapeutic for me to write a bit about it.  BUT because the last few weeks have been my personal March Madness, it is without a doubt MY hobby, MY enjoyment, and the commitment to myself that fell off the to-do list.

You may be reading this and thinking, “get a grip Nat, if you would just ask for help you shall receive”.  Perhaps.  But wouldn’t I be criticized, even ostracized by the tougher crowds if I would have put my blogging needs before my 2 kids under 3 with strep throat, marking 200 College essays and exams, sexy time, making healthy meals, grocery shopping, laundry…???

A simple example … Your bestie invites you to a party she’s having and you say ‘hell yeah’.  The night of the party your kid throws up a couple times and is lookin’ pretty green.  Probably gonna stay home now right?  Maybe you send your husband in your place?  But momma stays home.  The Mother Truth is that these days, ‘hell yeah’ equals ‘hell yeahUNLESS…’.  At least until our babies are grown.

My point remains that we neglect our interests in the equation of importance.  We make time to do family hour and kiddie corner but the me-time hobbies are ultimately among the first surrendered.  We are mothers and it is WE who signed up… and what a fulfilling lifetime contract it is.

Photos from here and here and here

Truth #32 – It’s not okay to criticize our kids

“Oh boy, he’s a fussy one isn’t he?”  “She has quite the temper!”  “All that kid does is whine and scream!”  “He is so spoiled!”  The aforementioned comments should never be expressed by company.  Not even if every last one rings true.  Believe me, obsessive as it may sound, you will never have a mother’s blessing to freely bash her baby.

As moms we see it all.  Every delight and every disaster.  We know what our children need and during those rare times where we may be at a loss, the last thing we want you to do is beat our baby down!  Look guys, it might not end well for you.  Truth #23 highlights all the reasons why we wish you could have seen them yesterday, because yesterday, our babies were fabulous!  Don’t be so quick to judge!

On the flip side… and there is a flip side, we have to be aware of when it is someone’s job to openly criticize.  If the kindergarten teacher is trying to tell us ever-so-gently that our child is becoming a problem, that would be our cue to listen.  As much as we feel the urge to fire back with comments like: “My goodness, he’s never like that at home!“, it’s time to bite your big ass mother tongue and support the individual in the mentoring role.

It’s so hard to take the direct criticism of our kids because we believe it’s primarily an attack on us.  Sometimes ladies, we are directly responsible for some of the shortcomings of our children but most times we are certainly not.  Every 2-year-old whines, every 3-year-old strategically ignores you, and every child runs from bedtime.  Kids are challenging because they can’t adequately express their feelings as they have not yet been given the proper tools.  This is often why they misbehave so unless you are an appointed disciplinarian, back-off our damn babies and leave the criticism to mama!

Photos from here and here and here


Truth #31 – We watch more TV than we admit

After the crafts are complete, the ‘time outside’ is checked off, and the books are read… we turn the TV on!  Damn right we do.  Often BEFORE the books…  Imagine that!

As much as we love hanging out with our kids and participating in their precious development, we need to get shit done!  Laundry, housework, cooking… and yes, E-mail, Facebook OR A good book!  So sue us!

Why are we so ashamed to admit that we all lean on TV?  Never let the TV parent your child no doubt but hell, if that square box didn’t exist, it would be a long ass day.

In my house, we have ‘No Media Mornings’.  No Television, movies or computers until lunch time.  The only thing related is music in the background.  Usually we’ll head out for a trip to the mall, grocery store, coffee shop or library.  We might top it off with a craft, colouring session or book.  Afterward, that TV sure is good lookin’ and yes, it is definitely turned on.  If the kids play amongst themselves, SCORE, Mommy’s turn!  Maybe Oprah, a dirty Soap Opera or the View.  These programs remain for weeks on my DVR for my viewing pleasure if I begin a rare relationship with my couch.

Come now ladies, sing it from the rooftops.  We love that tube!  It keeps our babies busy when we need it to, and for us, it allows for a seldom one-way-relationship with a pint-sized adult on the other end.  We may hate to admit it but we love that TV!

Photos from here and here and here

Truth #30 – Gaining weight can stop us from having another baby

As much as Hollywood and things alike have succeeded in glamorizing a pregnant woman and her ‘curves‘, it’s just not reality.  Nobody looks like that except them celebrities who have nothing else to do but count the top-notch professionals working on them.

As much as we try to pretend we aren’t affected by it, we frown while gazing into every mirror on the way to everywhere.  We are effectively witnessing a very unfamiliar process kick off, making us increasingly less comfortable.  It’s unfortunate because although we’re sincerely blessed to bear children, we’re supposed to take the noble route and pretend not to care that we’re gaining a shit load of weight.   We definitely care!  Too much?  Yes, maybe too much but in the moment, it’s hard to watch your body expand, whether intentional or not.  It may even be enjoyable at first but after 8 months, just when you think you can’t possibly get any bigger, YOU DO!  If you’re one of the lucky ones who retain water around your ankles and feet, it truly is good times.

A baby is aggressively growing inside our expanding tummies and starring in its first of many future episodes of kicking our asses.  It’s the Mother Truth that once we give birth and mommyhood takes flight, we would do it all over again in the very next instant.  But once we begin to ponder another, having lost the weight or not, it’s hard to commit again.  It truly is.

I’ve known women who have decided that although they may want another baby, they don’t wanna sacrifice yet another significant thing, their healthy selves.  I’m not sure they can be blamed for that.  Personally, I would hope that if another baby is to be humbly desired, we would bite the bullet and board the vessel but I choose not to judge as we all know it’s no easy feat.

Photos from and here and here and here

Truth #29 – We wake while they sleep

“Women are more likely than men to give up sleep to care for children.”  Shocking isn’t it.

Researchers at the British company ‘Mindlab‘ did a study, as if we needed a study, confirming that women are nearly three times as likely to wake up for the purposes of caring for others, specifically their babies.  Men?  The following mind-blowing and catastrophically concerning sounds will wake them before their actual offspring in distress…


  1. Car alarm
  2. Howling wind
  3. Buzzing fly
  4. Snoring
  5. Noise from drains
  6. Crickets chirping
  7. Sirens
  8. Clock ticking
  9. Drilling/workmen
  10. Dripping tap

A baby crying, whimpering, singing, screaming, hell – a baby doing anything.  Not even on the list folks.

In my house, it is always me.  Some weekends I have been known to forcefully elbow my other half in an effort to kindly suggest that he might wanna take a crack at it.  The truth is though, I am waking him from a sound sleep almost every damn time.

My next thought was that this must be true only for stay-at-home moms and not for those who bring home the first-rate bacon.  Again, no such improvement in the ratio.  With these statistics confirming what we already know, what are we left with?  Acceptance.  We have to accept that nature is not our teammate in sleep.  Nature sucks.

Time for the Mother Truth.  Let’s say Daddy beats you to it.  Humor me as I know it’s tough to imagine…  It is highly unlikely that you are snoring peacefully in the other room!  Worse even, if the child fails to settle and raises the stakes with a good squeal, we are so not sleeping but rather debating on when we should get up and take over!

I know there are men out there who can prove me wrong and prove the study wrong.  There are also moms who demand an equal partnership and aren’t the slightest bit bothered by their partners handling their screaming children in the middle of the night.  Amen to you men and women.  Where do I sign up for the class?

Photos from here and here and here

Truth #28 – We hate playing with them all day

If you’re among the blessed to be home with your babies, everyday is a new adventure and every stepping stone can be conceived as your own personal success.  We feel good because we know we had a loving hand in their achievements.

Ain’t nothin’ better than playing with your motivated kids, seeing priceless enthusiasm when they say the ‘darndest’ things, and witnessing the intense learning when their sponge-sucking brains are in overload.

Ain’t nothin’ worse than playing the same game while forcing a smile because your child is newly obsessed with the long-ago-conquered shape sorter.  Barney sings quite a few painful songs but when they wanna hear Baby Bop on repeat, it can resemble torture.  Repetition is how the little ones learn but it’s definitely the reason we take our short walk to the crazy place.

Most days are filled with a happy mix of pain and gain.  When they do something you think is fantastic, you urge it to be shared but you find yourself staring in awe at your toddler with nobody clapping or getting choked up but you.  It’s hard to always marvel alone while in the company of only the child performing for you.

Sometimes all you wanna do is wake up the woman within by listening to Oprah preach, all you wanna finish is laundry and all you wanna eat is lunch, but all you seem to hear is ‘Mommy, Mommy, can you play with me???’  Their precious development depends on us but their constant stimulation is nearly impossible.

Not complaining, just a Mother Truth.  It gets lonely for a lady in her 24 hour baby world when she just wants to play some chess but go fish is the only thing on the menu.  It all becomes worth it however when in the middle of a story that you’ve read no less than 100 times, she stops you just to say “Mommy, you’re my best friend.”

Photos from here and here and here

Truth #27 – Staying home IS good enough

Today I preach.  It’s more than enough to stay home with your babies.  It’s beautiful, its traditional, it’s rewarding and it’s damn hard.  Why are we made to feel like it’s never enough?

There are many incredible women who have had the courage to admit to themselves that the home is not a long-term place for them.  They may have realized that they are better mothers when they spend the day at their craft and return home to be one with their babies.  These equally championed mothers prefer some time to recharge.  It allows them a moment to miss their children and at the end of the day, be their best selves together with them.  Bravo and rock on, go ahead and climb that ladder.  Woot freakin’ woot!

We won’t forget the mom who must return to work to assist in feeding her family, the mom who will lose her job otherwise, or the single mother with 2 jobs that only wishes she could stay home.  As a community of mothers moving forward, let’s commit to support the decisions of our sisters rather than judge harshly and unknowingly.

Onto the preaching I promised.  I feel lucky to have succeeded in getting under the skin of some of us moms, mostly those newer at the job.  I’ve heard stories of struggles, of the everyday rewards and rollercoasters and I can’t believe the underlying theme among us sexy homemakers!  We aren’t as proud as we should be to simply say that “WE STAY HOME”!

Why don’t we feel that it’s good enough?  Why do some people make us feel that way?  What has this modern world done?  It’s fantastic that we’re becoming closer to equal and rising above some thankfully ancient oppression but let’s not forget the rewards, the courage, the stamina, and the strength that it takes to stay home with your babies!

Don’t get me wrong ladies, it’s helpful to find a personal outlet other than your four walls where you may spread your pretty wings and tweak your interests.  Me? I write.  And what it does is make me better and more committed to my choice to be home with my kids.  We are witnessing the firsts, the too-short stages and the lasting memories.  We are continuing their education at home.  This used to be rewarded and respected.  It should still.  It IS “work” and we should be proud.

It’s enough… so that’s enough!

Photos from here and here and here

Truth #26 – We lie…

… to our husbands.

“It was only like 10 bucks.  I bought it big so he can wear it for a couple years.  It took me 2 hours to clean the snow off my car.  I did laundry all day long.  She was asking for you today Daddy.  Homemade soup honey?  Sex?  Sure thing, I would love that!”

Whatever the lie, don’t tell me you’re exempt.  Maybe I shouldn’t say lie – after all, it’s a strong word with a negative undertone.  What if I said that we stretch the truth?  We say nothing at all?  It’s for their own good!  For our own good!  Would we cop to it then?  It’s not likely and shame on me for letting the cat out.  The Mother Truth is that we do it because we think that they won’t otherwise understand…. understand how hard we work, understand how strange it is to be constantly performing but for no promotions… understand how much we need them to recognize our life’s work because this full-time job isn’t rewarded with a check.  We bend the truth because the whole truth can sometimes never be adequately explained.  At the end of the day, the last thing we want to do is argue.  So when we say ‘we’ll tell him later’ that means never and it’s just better that way.  Nothing good to say?  Say nothing at all.  What they don’t know won’t hurt them… a wife and mother had to have coined that one!

… to our kids.

Some of my latest work includes the following:

A stretch – “You have to wash your hair or else the bugs are gonna build a nest and bite your head.”  A fib – “The park is closed for a really long time.”  A full-on lie – “Barney goes to bed when it gets dark outside, Barney’s sleeping, Barney went to Alaska forever.”  There are so many more variations in the vault!!!

We lie to our kids to teach reason for action.  “I never tried that at your age or I would be dead.”  To prevent bad behavior, we exaggerate consequences by lying of course. There are certain things with which we must give them the opportunity to negotiate but bed and baths are not among them, curfew or night driving, a new coat or that damn PlayStation.  To get our children to cooperate, it often takes a good heartfelt lie.  As long as the consequence isn’t harsh, there is no harm in a fib full of good intentions.

… so the message?

As long as there isn’t something more going on, like maxed out credit cards or boyfriends on the side, we do it out of pure, selfless, unconditional and squeaky clean love!  I would really enjoy meeting that wife and mother who always tells the truth because she  is a big-ass liar.

Photos from here and here and here

Truth #25 – Daddy’s do it different

We sincerely want them to do well but sometimes we can feel fearful for our ‘territory’ if they seem to be doing better.  I’m not insisting we’re all the jealous and controlling type so maybe some of you won’t relate.  After all, I am the one claiming to be Mother Truth so it seems I’ve opted to stick my big fat head out and cop to some of the madness filling our heads.

It’s super cute when your baby goes through an ‘I love my Daddy’ stage.  After having my second,  I even found myself praying the day would come!  Typically a baby cries for mom during the first few moments of their lives and a mother’s unique ability to comfort their new creation isn’t just written about, it’s very real.  There is no messing with nature.

Through reading and conversations with moms, I’ve learned that the pining for Daddy stage seems to creep up in the second year of their lives…  Right about the time your child realizes that you are the Enforcer and Daddy is the BFF.

I started a part-time gig this week.  My husband works and I stay home so he hasn’t really had much experience caring for both kids for a full day.  While I was having a particularly sensitive first day, he sent me this picture:

The title of the photo read: “Daddy’s do it different”.  I laughed out loud while looking at the wreckage that was my living room and it totally made my day.  It was my first workday away and he knew that I needed to know that I was missed, that he knew I was better at it, that this baby caring business is no cakewalk.  He basically told me with a simple picture that he gets it.  That it ain’t easy and that he appreciates the job I do.

My oldest has been Daddy’s girl for the last couple months and it’s sometimes tough to swallow that she isn’t crying for me anymore.  Beware of the shallow waters though mommies, tread lightly.  We have to be careful not to inject our relationships with toxic jealousy but rather bask in the opportunity for a much-needed and deserved breather.

The reality is that we do so so much because our typical day isn’t just babysitting but it’s laundry service, cleaning service, chef, doctor, teacher and disciplinarian.  Daddy will never be Mommy and Mommy will never be Daddy but both are needed equally.  Mommy’s do it all and Daddy’s do it different.  Sometimes, I wish I could be different too.  Thumbs up pops.

Photos from here and here

Truth #24 – We had everything to do with it!

Why do certain moms feel the need to tell you how lucky you are when they’ve become impressed by your kids?  “You are soooooo lucky, your kids are soooooo good.  I wish mine were this well-behaved.” For some reason they neglect you in the compliment as though you had nothing at all to do with it!

Funny thing though…They seem to blame you straight away when your child is a terrorizing pain in the ass!

Here’s a personal example… just gonna throw it out there…

My kids sleep in their own beds, not with me.  It’s just one of the hot spots where I refuse to bend.  What can I say, I just don’t want to share my bed with my babies.  Make no mistake, it ain’t easy.  It resembles hell actually, just ask my husband.  There have been more sleepless nights than I care to admit.  We even invested in an adult size bed for my 2 year old so that if she wakes up, we could fit beside her rather than have her end up with us.  No judgment here to those who cave because God knows it’s incredibly hard, but some moms feel the need to say things like, “Nat, you’re soooooo lucky that your kids sleep in their own beds, mine end up with us every night!”  Are you kidding me?!  Pain is gain ladies, we have suffered many a nights!  Not asking for praise here because that just happens to be my personal fight… I choose to suffer for my own sheets!  I am not trying to tell you who to share yours with but I’d like credit for the disaster I created for my own sleepless life, no?

They eat well because we tried everything!  They are polite because we starve them if they don’t say please!  They learned how to play on their own because we didn’t really wanna play with them all day long!  They are smart because we choose to continue their education at home.

By no means am I saying that your problem child is your doing, just that we should give credit where do.  It would be nice to hear “way to go girl” rather than “you’re so lucky”.  Let me be clear, if you have tough kids that really is difficult and I am so not saying that it’s your fault.  But if they happen to be generally good, we would appreciate some recognition.

What a day when motherhood came a knockin’.  Our main concern swiftly became raising good kids and transmitting onto them a crazy love whereby they will never have to long for it for the rest of their days.  All we want to do is succeed in this all too challenging life task; that of a good mother.  So, when we have managed to successfully check a box in a tricky area, rest assured people, we had everything to do with it!

Photos from here and here and here