Lauren Wellbank

One mom and her struggle to survive until bedtime


Tag: SAHM (page 2 of 4)

Parenting is not about the wins, it’s about living to fight another day

I’m sitting on the toilet, pretending to eat a fake carrot as my toddler stands less than an inch from my bent knees begging me to keep going.

“Eat more, mommy.”  She says, and pushes the carrot back to my face.  Again I make the “om nom nom” noise and pretend to nibble on the tip.  “It’s ice-cream!”  She yells, reminding me that I can’t even eat a fake carrot correctly, because now it’s been transformed into a fake ice-cream cone.  Get it together, mommy, her face says.  Parenting is kind of your job.   Continue reading

St. Patrick’s Day and Pregnancy; the two have more in common than you think

Every year since we first began dating, my husband and I have thrown a St. Patrick’s Day party.  The tradition began as “kegs and eggs”, which was basically just an excuse for some serious day drinking.  Over the years, as all of our friends began having children, it evolved into something a little more family friendly.

By the time we had our first child our annual green and orange clad shit show had morphed into something different.  It had become part wild party and part daycare, complete with an arts and crafts table.

We served champagne and juice boxes, we catered to everyone. Continue reading

Not my first time at the rodeo- how that second pregnancy is different than the first

When I became pregnant with my first daughter I was a consumer of information.  I googled, I read books, I asked every woman that I laid eyes on, that had birthed a child, all of my many questions.

I felt buoyed by the satisfaction of having knowledge.  Every ache or pain got googled or a call to the OB to make sure it was within the range of normal.  I checked and cross checked every item that I ate.  I even made the special no egg cookie dough when my craving got to be so bad that I thought I would die without it (it was garbage, by the way… spend the money, buy the good stuff). Continue reading

The not-so-secret ways that having a baby will change you forever

When people find out that you’re having a baby, they want nothing more than to share all of their pearls of wisdom with you.  From your mother, to the lady standing next to you in the cereal aisle at the grocery store.

A photo from our maternity shoot with our first. Taken by the talented Maria Kalitina.

Some of it will be good, some of it will be bad, and some of it will be downright dangerous (no, weirdo at the gas station, I am not putting a little whiskey into my baby’s bottle to help her sleep… although I am not opposed to putting  a little whiskey into me for, well, I don’t need a reason). Continue reading

When love takes you down the path that you never wanted to travel

We were standing in line at the Starbucks inside of our local Target.  I had just returned with two cup holders to attach to our shopping cart (for real, whoever came up with that idea, brilliant).

I attached them to our cart while loudly debating which drink I was going to order.  I read the calorie and caffeine count of each of them to my husband, something I only care about during pregnancy, and finally made a decision.  The man with the patience of a saint listened to all of it without comment before finally speaking up. Continue reading

I appreciate my husband, even if I never tell him so

A few weeks ago my husband had to go into work on a Saturday.  There had been a sudden influx of business and some technical issues. He eagerly accepted, as he does most opportunities for overtime, and let me know that he wouldn’t be home that Saturday.

At first I was a little put out.  As a stay at home mom the weekend means one thing, and one thing only, help. Continue reading

Ten surefire gifts for any mom on your list this Christmas

Well, it’s Christmas week*.  I don’t know how that happened (time has lost all meaning since I became a parent), but it did.

wp-1479752905380.jpgIf you’re anything like me you are still adding last minute gifts to your Amazon shopping cart and praying frantically to the UPS gods that they make it here on time.  And if you’re not anything like me, and all your gifts are purchased, wrapped, and waiting patiently for Christmas Eve so that they can be placed underneath your Christmas tree, well… feel free to keep that information to yourself. Continue reading

Motherhood isn’t a job, but here’s my resume anyway

I have an unpopular opinion that I’m going to share here with you guys today.  And I sincerely hope that the village people of the internet don’t gather with their pitch forks, torches, and try and storm my Barbie Castle in the night.

wp-1481640783836.jpg

“Trash Can Jenga”

Guys, motherhood isn’t a job.  It’s just not.  I can’t tell you how many posts/memes/articles I have read that begin with, “Being a mother is the hardest job I’ve ever had.”

It’s not a job, and I’ll tell you exactly why it isn’t a job. Continue reading

A Letter to AARP on Behalf of my Old Uterus

Dear AARP,

I am writing to you today on behalf of my uterus.  Or maybe I’m writing on behalf of my ovaries, hell, how about you just accept this letter on behalf of the whole kit-n-caboodle. You see, I have been informed by my OB that due to the fact that I will be over 35 when I give birth, I am something called “of Advanced Maternal Age”.

Please, dear people of AARP, allow me to explain.

Apparently my lady bits have aged in dog years because the American Medical Association just called my multigravida elderly.  And the definition of multigravida is even worse than being called “elderly”, it means a woman (or female animal) that has become pregnant for the second time.  Yeah, esteemed board of AARP members, I said WTF, too. 

While I was busy enjoying my 30’s, and deriving great enjoyment from the fruits of the efforts of my twenties, my vagina was withering away. Unbeknownst to me, my entire reproductive system was growing older by the moment.  Basically the plot of the movie Jack was playing out in my underpants zone.  Every second I spent on winery tours or dates with my fiancé (now husband) my vagina was inching closer and closer to needing a daily nap and asking for the menu that features the early bird specials.

Nobody ever told me that on the eve of your 35th birthday your fallopian tubes would give a dramatic shudder, cough up some dust, and ask for an afghan and a large print crossword puzzle.

My OB sat there smiling encouragingly at me as all of this sank in.  She was more than happy to explain everything in great detail, making sure that I understood all the accompanying risks and requirements.

Having a baby at the ripe old age of 35 or older (or older… but by god, if you’re older than 35 how do your ancient eggs manage to get where they need to be while lugging around their oversized purse and walker?!  What is the logistics there?) pushes you into a “special” new category of mom. Special.

“Don’t worry,” she assured me when she saw the look of horror on my face as the words Advanced Maternal Age once more left her lips “it just means you are special. You’ll get some extra attention, but it’s really not that bad.”  There’s that word again, fellow AARP friends, special.

After a while of going back and forth she laughed and told me that now a days people don’t even begin their families until their 30’s and that being of AMA isn’t all that big of a deal.

It felt like a big deal.  It also felt like I needed to rush home and get my Medicare and Social Security paperwork in order.

Before I was permitted to hobble out to my car (head down watching where I was going so that I didn’t fall and break my hip), she issued me more reassurances and a referral for a specialist.  A geneticist, because old eggs have a tendency to produce babies with chromosomal defects (which of course was the exact reassurance that this wasn’t that big of a deal that I needed).

The genetic counselor was also full of words of encouragement and laughed at me during our appointment.  Telling me I was still just a spring chicken (something that, ironically, my grandmother’s doctor used to say to her when she would complain about the aches and pains of her 80’s).

“35 is just an arbitrary line they drew in the sand.” She said while I pointed accusingly at my paperwork where the words “elderly” glared back at me.

Elderly?!  Elderly my ass! Well… I guess more accurately that would be, “Elderly?!  Elderly my vagina!”wp-1478524388622.jpg

So, it is for this reason that I am requesting early admission. I would like to begin taking advantage of all of the discounts and benefits that are available to women (and their junk) of a certain age.

While clearly, I am still a spring chicken in the eyes of the world (and kindly, if somewhat patronizing, genetic councilors), the baby growing in the complete tear down that is my uterus would have you believe otherwise.

Thank you for your consideration,

The Brains Behind This Old Uterus

PS – Are there AARP meetings?  Is that where I get to meet Luke Perry?  I’d like to meet Luke Perry. 

Help! Mom Overboard!

Two weeks ago, I would have told you that I was jealous of my friend*.  That her life was perfect and that she had it all together.  That her marriage was happy, her child was perfect, and everything had gone and was continuing to go exactly how she had planned it.  She was the mom that I envied, that I compared myself to when I was in the weeds.

What would she do in this situation?

How would she have handled this better?

She is potty training her kid?  What is wrong with me and my kid that we haven’t even started that yet?

And then we met for coffee.  She laughed at me when I told her my assumptions.

“No, no no no.  I have no clue what I’m doing.  Don’t do what I do.”  We laughed, talked about other things, and went about our lives.  She went back to work and I went back home and started dinner while my daughter sat at my feet begging me for chips.

Chips, you better believe my friend would never give her child chips.

It was somewhere between that third and fourth potato chip that it finally hit me.

I have been comparing my entire life to half of someone else’s story**.

And I’m not the only one.

Facebook, Instagram, and the 24/7 flood of “look at me and how great everything is” makes it almost impossible not to do it.  All we are seeing is the best side of people, their projected image of their life.  Then we take all the parts of our life and compare how we are doing.

img_20161024_102356

Happy day at the pumpkin patch.  No irony here.

We don’t share the pictures of the screaming at the top of their lungs temper tantrums, the sleepless nights, the jealousy we feel when our husbands go out for a night with their friends while we stay at home and watch another two hours of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  We share the pumpkin patch pictures, the happy faced child in her ballerina outfit, and the home-made-free-range-all-organic-chicken soup pictures.

And we compare our entire lives to those brief glimpses.

Recently a mom I met online shared that she was feeling particularly terrible about how she parents.  She complained that everyone she knows is doing it so much better than she is.  That she has friends with multiple kids that work and go to the gym and have spotless houses and manage to get their kids to soccer on time.  There she is with just the one child, no career outside the home, and can’t seem to manage any of it.

And, why are some people so much better at this than others?        

I immediately thought of my friend.  Even the people that seem like they have it all together, don’t.  At least, they don’t think that they do.

Maybe it’s just that they show the best side to the rest of the world.  Maybe it’s that the things that we fail at seem so much bigger than the things that they succeed at.  Maybe we’re own worst critics.

I decided then, in that minute, that parenthood pushes us all overboard.

For the most part we all start out on the boat, dancing and having fun.  Then come the kids, the boat shifts, and we all go into the drink.  We’re all in bad shape once we hit the water, but some of us are better swimmers, or at least more graceful.  Yeah, in the beginning we’re all drowning and swimming for that life boat.  Some of us do it with grace, some of us flail around for a while, but we are all outside the boat and trying to get back in.  Some of us just get there faster.

So my message to other mom’s is this, don’t judge yourself based off of what other moms are doing.  Maybe it seems like everyone else is doing the breaststroke while you’re helplessly doing a doggy paddle.  Maybe you can’t even see the life raft.  Maybe you’ve decided that you are staying right where you are and the boat will just have to come to you, thank you very much.

Parenting is all about survival mode.  We’re all doing our best.  It doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect or Instagram worthy.  Our kids just have to be clean-ish, fed, and loved.  That’s our job.

Well that, and to find a way to be happy with how we’re doing, and if we can’t manage that, figure out what we can do to make ourselves happier.

Parenting is hard- the kids, the responsibilities, the mountains of laundry that seem insurmountable, let’s not go borrowing any more trouble.  We have enough to worry about just trying to get back to the boat.

*I say “friend” and talk about one instance but this is actually a combination of a few of my friends that I admire and look up to who are kind enough to remind me that they don’t really know what they are doing sometimes either.

**Not that anyone has ever accused me of knowing what I’m doing or being the gold standard but I just want to state for the record that I have no goddamn clue what I’m doing either.  Despite any well-lit, heavily filtered, Instagram photos you may stumble across.

Older posts Newer posts

© 2017 Lauren Wellbank

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑