I know, you’ve been reading along here for awhile, and you’re thinking to yourself, “Self? Life in the Mommyhood sounds pretty nice. I’ve gotta get me some of THAT.” Or, any other sort of vaguely urban gangsta-type talk (like the kids say) to indicate, “Yes, I think it would be nice to be a stay at home mom.”
Well, I am here to tell you, “Yo bitchEZ.” Or something. Okay, I should never try to talk like that again. But I have to say, there are days when living in the Mommyhood is tough. It is Hard Core. It’s a dog-stabs-dog-in-the-back-and-then-eats-dog kind of world.
Okay. It’s really not. But it can be challenging, in its own way.
My issues. Let me show you them.
- I have been beaten up by my baby. Yes, that’s right. She’s laid a beating on me. I have pinched nerves from my neck out on the left hand side. My left arm is the arm that I have been using, for the last 11 months, to hold Stinkerbelle as I rock her to sleep. Now, That Baby is no longer the tiny little 11 pounder we cuddled all those months ago. Oh NO. She has doubled in weight, and that weight? Is MUSCLE. I mean, That Baby is STRONG. The doctor marvels at the quads on this child. It’s insane. So, while I have been rocking her at least twice a day for the last year, she has been using those strong little legs to push and wiggle and squirm and push some more and roll around, until finally my shoulder just went, “Dude. Seriously. I quit.” So now, if I am in any other position except slightly reclined with my shoulders back, I get pins and needles and numbness in my arm and hand and fingers (at best) or pretty serious pain in my shoulder and arm (at worst). I can’t walk with her in the stroller. I can’t bathe her. I can’t play with her. I can’t sleep. I can’t do stuff around the house that requires leaning forward. But worst of all, I can’t snuggle with her. And that sucks. But I am getting massage, and physio if it’s called for, so hopefully it will be fixed relatively soon.
- That Baby has licking issues. Seriously. She licks EVERYTHING. It is, quite frankly, gross. Now, I am not a helicopter mom. I don’t sterilize everything. I don’t wipe the house down with disinfectants and Purell. As a matter of fact, I consider it a good week if the kitchen gets swept and mopped. And That Baby? Has been known to try to lick A CAT. So, you know, I’m pretty unconcerned about her getting schmutz and stuff in her mouth. I figure, we ate dirt and survived, and so will she. HOWEVER. Even I, with my laissez-faire go-ahead-and-lick-the-window-if-it-makes-you-happy-the-neighbours-already-think-we-are-nuts parenting style, have seen the lines in the sand, my friend. And oh yes, I am drawing them. So you have to know, it’s getting out of hand. Like the grocery cart, for example — do we really NEED to lick the handle? Yes? AND the bars? Yes? And the strap-that-holds-the-kid-in-the-seat? REALLY? By the end of a trip through the store, my food is all damp, for the love of doG. But rest assured, she is an equal opportunity licker. If it’s standing still, or she can catch up to it, she will lick it. And I swear, as doG is my witness, if I have to holler “Sit DOWN do NOT lick that TELEVISION AGAIN or I am going to LOSE IT what is WRONG with YOU?!” one more time, I seriously AM going to lose it. But we got some of our own back the other day, when she licked the bottom of her (admittedly gently used) shoe and made the “AAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHH” face like something nasty was stuck on her tongue. I pointed at her and did the I-told-you-so and made the smug face. I admit it.
- My cat has become a hermit. It is documented: We have four cats, all with varying degrees of neurosis. Cinnamon is a ‘fraidy cat. This is no secret. But even the SOUND of That Baby coming down the stairs sends her scurrying to the basement to hide. And I am beginning to feel bad for her. I am beginning to feel like a bad cat parent. I have no idea if she’s eating well, or if she has mats in her fur, or if she’s tunnelling out of the basement for freedom… I really don’t know. Because the SECOND there’s a Hint of Baby, the cat goes “POOF!” and gets all low to the ground and scurries for the basement stairs like some sort of furry orange caterpillar on speed.
- I have lost all social skills I may previously have had. I have become so housebound, just me and That Baby, that I find I am spouting off at just about any adult who will listen. It’s like it’s the Church of the Adult World out there, and when I meet someone I’m in the Stay at Home Mom Confessional. I am telling people, strangers, the most bizarre minutiae of our daily life. But what’s funny is, I find other moms (and some dads) doing it too. Today? It was a street corner therapy session. I was going one way (in an ill-considered walk attempt with That Baby in a stroller), and I came upon a dad with his child coming the other way. And we both stopped walking and just started BLAHBLAHBLAHing. And then another mom, a total stranger, saw us talking about signing from, like, 3 MILES away, and she came over and confessed how she took sign language with her kids and it was really just therapy for the moms and that her kids didn’t learn hardly anything… and then she tried to convince her 3-ish year old son to give That Baby a flower. And the look on his face was “OH MY GOD YOU PEOPLE ARE ALL INSANE I AM GOING TO RUN INTO TRAFFIC JUST TO ESCAPE THIS WEIRD CULT.”
So. Yes. I love being a stay at home mom, I really do. It’s just some days it seems to be a little surreal. We get a baby bonus (or whatever it’s called, I don’t care enough to look it up, as long as it keeps coming) from the goverment, and they call it a baby bonus, but really? It’s danger pay.