So I’m going to be totally honest here. We’re in the midst of sleep training Bobby. And we’re doing it with some good old-fashioned Cry It Out, because we are monsters who hate our baby and happiness and want everyone to suffer and kick puppies in our spare time, the end. Or not really but that’s what some people would assume based on the fact that we are letting our baby cry himself to sleep and learn to self-soothe. I’ll write another, longer post on why we do cry it out and how it’s gone. You can also read all about Ryland’s CIO journey because with her I went off the sleep deep end and was a total lunatic about it. No seriously.
But I only mention it, because I’ve realized there are some things I need to get off my chest, some 100% honest, filter-free, mom confessions. These are not the type of things that typically make it into people’s social media or online presence, because well, they’re not exactly parenting of the year material. But you know what, I kind of prefer honesty over being called anyone’s idea of a parent of the year. And I feel like there’s a lot of parents out there that can probably relate to some or at least most of these. So here goes:
1. On rare occasions, I have left my children in the car to run inside a store to pick up a to-go order or grab George from doggie daycare. Now let me be clear. I only have done this on perfect temperature days, no hotter or cooler than the mid-60s. I also have a remote ignition on my car that automatically locks the car when it turns, so I know that no one besides me can get into the car while I’m gone and know that it will be running with the AC and/or heat on (although again, I don’t do this if it’s cold or hot). This is the kind of thing I never thought I would do. And then I had two kids. And sometimes one or both of those kids falls asleep in the car, and I park right next to Zoe’s Kitchen or Chipotle and can see the register and know my order is ready and paid for, and that I can either run in and grab it and be back in 2 minutes or I can get both sleeping children out of the car, lug them inside, lug them back outside, and buckle them back up, a process that will take 10 minutes minimum and potentially trigger a massive tantrum.
2. 80% of Ryland’s diet comes out of a pouch. On a good day maybe 75%. She just loves them and wants them constantly. She loves yogurt from a pouch, fruits from a pouch, veggies from a pouch. They’re easy and mess free and I can toss them to her in the back of a car or on a walk or while I’m feeding Bobby. And when she refuses to eat the dinner I prepare for her (approximately 9 out of every 10 dinners), sometimes her dinner is literally 3 different kinds of pouches, an appetizer pouch, entree pouch, and dessert pouch.
3. Speaking of desserts, I bribe my child with cookies. A lot. To come inside, to get in the stroller, to behave at Wegman’s. Her vocabulary is still fairly limited, but my goodness, does she know the word “cookie.” I may or may not sometimes travel with a little ziplock baggie of rainbow cookies to bust out in severe tantrum emergencies. In general I use food as a bribe on a daily basis.
4. I use our television as a babysitter. Also a lot. When I need to shower or write or feed the baby or simply just need a mental break. Some days this means the TV is on for hours, most of the morning before lunch and then most of the afternoon after nap. I tell myself it’s okay because we mostly watch Sesame Street. And Sesame Street makes kids smarter! Right? Although to be totally honest we don’t only watch Sesame Street. There’s a lot of Netflix movies. We all have Trolls and Moana and Sing pretty much memorized, including the 4.5 month old.
5. I sometimes bail or cancel plans, because the thought of getting both of them out of the house (and it’s only 2 of them, I know people do it with 3 or 4 or 7!) is enough to make me feel exhausted before we are halfway through getting dressed.
6. I co-slept with Bobby for the first 8 weeks, with Ryland for the first 5+ months. Because I needed to sleep to not lose my mind and using my boob as a pacifier seemed like a pretty fair trade-off.
7. I used to be pretty exclusive about buying Ryland organic food, especially produce and dairy products. Things may have dropped off since then, considering there are two giant vats of (regular, they don’t sell the all natural at Costco) Jiff peanut butter in our pantry (the other 20% non-pouch portion of Ryland’s diet is PB sandwiches).
8. I kind of hate Mommy & Me classes, particularly ones that involve a complex activity. I signed Ryland up for an 8-week gymnastics course last summer and immediately regretted the decision after the first class when I learned that it was mostly the parents going through the gymnastics course while their toddlers ran in circles and tried to body slam each other on the trampolines. Swimming was slightly better, but still involved a lot of adult involvement and participation and “silly time” while the kids stared blankly at us like we were imbeciles. Here’s the thing. I want Ryland to be involved in activities and try new things and be adventurous. She’s 2. I’m 32. I kind of know what my lane is at this point in life. I don’t really feel the need to do these things with my children, and I know that makes me a big old stick in the mud, but I have a fairly low tolerance for public humiliation, and trying to contort my body into a yoga pose while my toddler hangs off of me is past that threshold. I’m not going to sign up for Mommy and Me ballet class or Mommy and Me krav maga. I will wait until the kids are old enough to do these things without me, and I will happily cheer from the sidelines.
9. When we went to Bermuda last year with Ryland, we drugged her with Benadryl for the plane ride…
10. Even though I’m breastfeeding, I still occasionally (i.e. nightly) have a glass of wine. In reality, the amount of alcohol that gets passed through breast milk is infinitesimal. And at MOST if I’m out to dinner or something and Bobby is getting a bottle with a sitter, I’ll have 2 drinks. But still, wine.
11. I also may have had an occasional (half) glass of wine (after the first trimester) of pregnancy. On special occasions and only a teeny bit. Bobby and Ryland both seemed to have turned out okay (we think).
12. Speaking of pregnancy, I also ate cold deli meat with Bobby (if you look up the research, the chance of listeria from cold deli meat in the US is barely existent, you’re much more likely to get it from ice cream or packaged lettuce), and I really, really CRAVED deli meat.
13. I also ate brie. And other soft cheeses. And a lot of tuna.
14. I am super awkward with other parents in playground, play gym situations or even at Ryland’s preschool. I never know what to say or if I even need to say something. Needless to say, I have not made a ton of new mom friends 😉
15. It’s so much of a fight to “do” Ryland’s hair that I typically give up halfway through trying to pin her down to put a clip in and let her go out in public looking like a disheveled muppet.
16. On a related note, I don’t know how to do a little girl’s hair. Not the first clue. I don’t even know how to do my own hair!
17. I sometimes drive my kids around so I can eat a snack and listen to a podcast in peace.
18. If she’s being quiet somewhere in the house, I sometimes ignore Ryland for a long time, like way too long, long enough for her to draw a mural on a wall with crayon or find a tub of Vaseline.
19. I gave both Ryland and Bobby a little bit of formula the first few days of their lives before my milk “came in.” Even though I’m a nurse. Even though I know all about colostrum and the importance of feeding on demand in the beginning. Because I just needed them to SLEEP and give my boob a break for like 5 minutes.
20. Last night Ryland ate a peanut butter granola bar and a fruit pouch for dinner. Because I just didn’t have it in me to make her one more meal that would be promptly fed to George.
There are so many more but I’ll stop here before someone alerts child protective services. Anyone else have any “bad” mom confessions? Bring them on!