Someone I’ve never met DM’d me a couple weeks ago telling me she loved reading my blog, thought I was funny and relatable, and that my bluntness “was a breath of fresh air.” I’m writing this 100% to brag to you, and have you guys know that someone out there thinks I’m funny. And that I’ve been compared to a “breath of fresh air.” No other reason other than that. So ya, that concludes this post.
Just kidding. I got to thinking about the word relatable. So I looked up the word.
2 “enabling a person to feel that they can relate to someone or something: Mary-Kate’s problems make her more relatable.”
I’m not Mary-Kate, but I do got problems. So I hope that in some way I can ENABLE you to feel like you can RELATE to me. So this is my blog post today. It’s about telling you guys the truths of motherhood. And maybe it’s the truths you won’t say out loud, you just think them in your head. It might be the truths you feel you can’t say out loud because you’ll be judged as a mom. Or it could be the things you do as a mom that you would be horrified if someone found out. So I’ll say them for you. And you can judge me, just not out loud. Only in your head. Capish?
1. Have you ever considered (or actually given) giving your kid tylenol when they didn’t need it, only because the label said “may cause drowsiness?” Ya, me neither.
2. Kids books are boring. And so not believable. Like, you’re telling me this stupid hungry caterpillar ate chocolate cake, a pickle, a lollipop, salami, an ice cream cone, cherry pie, sausage, swiss cheese, a cupcake, and watermelon, plus all that fruit… and he magically becomes a beautiful butterfly? If I ate all that there would be very little about me that would be “beautiful.” A more accurate story would be that the caterpillar was a glutton and died of clogged arteries and diabetes. And that is why gluttony is a sin. And that kids is why you drink a green juice. THE END.
3. Do you ever worry your kid might grow up and not be smart? I’m being honest. It is a legit worry of mine. What if Olive sucks at school? I did. What if at parent teacher interviews you get the “Olive is a bright student, if only she would apply herself….” (I only know the wording because, well….. my parents kept my report cards). Whatever.
4. You are somewhat happy your kid can’t quite talk yet. Or her words to her dad might be “west ed” and “McDonald’s.”
5. Your kid is boring. Like, they’re cute and all, and you wanna kiss their cheeks…. but you can only play peek-a-boo so many hundred times in an hour before you start to wonder “Does this kid seriously not know that I’m not hiding?”
6. “Leave me ALONE.” DO you ever think that? I think that a lot. Like when I’m cooking. Or on the toilet. Or in the shower. Or at 6:00 in the morning. Or trying to eat. Or trying to enjoy a friends company. Or trying to make out with your husband. Or vacuuming. Or doing my makeup. Or doing my hair. Like I said… I think that a lot.
7. Wishing naps lasted all day. Or at least until your husband came home. I ONLY think that when I have a ton of stuff to get done (*wink wink*) But man, a 6 hour nap would definitely help a mother out.
8. Ever given your kid fruit snacks and junk food for lunch? Or completely forgot to feed your kid all together? Cool, me neither.
9. Used them as an excuse to not go out? “Olive is super tired, so I won’t be able to make it to the book club this month. And she’ll probably still be super tired for next month’s as well. Thanks so much for the invite though!”
10. Here’s the one that I probably shouldn’t admit. But Mary-Kate and me gotta stick together. I sometimes wish for my life before her. And I promise it’s not often. It used to be, but not anymore. But there are days that are really hard. And not physically. But emotionally and mentally you’re spent. You have nothing else to give. You’ve been screamed at, smacked, whined at, had food thrown at you. Been puked on. Had poo go under your fingernail. Had them “help” empty the dishwasher. Found your keys in the garbage (true story). Had a hard book corner hit you in the eye. Your arms are are tired from holding them. And you still have to clean up the trail of mess they’ve left and make supper. Those are the days where I think “what would I be doing 2 years ago?” I would probably have been baking. Or shopping (in peace). I could have watched a movie by myself. I could have hung out with a friend without lugging around 18 lbs of diapers, wipes, extra clothes, snacks, etc. I could have been organizing my sock drawer. Anything. And sometimes when I think about it I get the slightest of tears in my eyes. Like last week. When Olive sucked all my energy and I went into the pantry to take a deep breath and cry. And when I came out Dane asked why I was crying and I said “it’s the onions.” (luckily I was chopping onions right before). It wasn’t the onions. It was Olive. Those days are hard. Those days I think back to two years ago. Before Olive.
11. “If the baby wasn’t here, my life would be normal.” Ever have that thought? And then immediately think to yourself “I can’t tell people that. I can’t say that out loud. If you say these things people will think you’re an unfit mother. Someone will try and take my baby away. They’ll put me in a mental hospital. Maybe there’s something wrong wth me? Maybe I’m actually a bad mom? Moms don’t think these things.” Well, I’m here to tell you that I don’t know if these are normal thing to think. I’m here to tell you that I don’t know if other moms think this way. I’m pretty sure (like 99.9%) that it IS normal, and that other moms DO think these things, but I can’t say for certain. I CAN tell you, that I, Claudia Redel…. think these things.
Olive has changed my life. I’m not gonna write “for the better.” Not yet. But she has changed it. I’ve become more patient. I have become more nurturing. I’ve somehow learned to run on no sleep. I’ve become more organized (most days that isn’t very apparent). I’ve become more understanding of what my mother went through (AT 20!) I’ve learned to trust my instinct more. I’ve become more sure of myself. I’ve become more confident (not in the mom bod department). I’ve become more protective of what is mine and my territory as a mother. I’ve become less judgemental of other women. I’ve become more compassionate to other moms. I’ve had to learn to stand my ground on what I think is best for my daughter.
I’m learning to juggle what it means being a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend. Some (most) days I feel like I’m failing at all of the above. But I’ve kinda learned to not give a flying squirrel’s booty. Because Olive needs me more than anyone in this WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD. And while that is some intense pressure, it’s also one of the most rewarding (so cliche, but also kinda true). Because when she sees me her brown eyes light up and she runs to me and says “MAMI!!’ Or when she grins with her teeth when I’m being a silly brain and she laughs at me like I’m literally the funniest person ever. Or when she puts her head on my shoulder and pats my back and says “Shh, Shh” cuz she’s trying to put me to sleep (nice try Olive). Or her little hand that insists on helping me put lotion on my skin after the shower. Or when she wants a sip of my drink she makes eye contact and bobbles her head up and down and points with her tiny finger and says “ya? ya?” Or when she needs help or wants something she shows all of her little teeth and says “peaaaassss.” Those moments are worth it now, when she’s asleep in her crib. But not in the bad moments. In the bad moments you just wanna scream so loud and cry so hard. (See? Honesty).
Hey Olive, have you changed my life for the better? Ya. You have. Thank you.