5 New Mom Truths I Didn’t Know Until I Knew Them

I’ve been a mom for 4 whole months now so I’m pretty sure I know what I’m talking about.

1. You learn to function without sleep.

All I had to do was stop visualizing my life as “day” and “night”, and start visualizing it as nap #3 of 6 in a 24-hour period. So go ahead and have that coffee at 9pm, because nothing matters anymore.

Image result for coffee gif

2. Breastfeeding can be REALLY difficult. 

And just like pregnancy, I did not love it. I  wanted to, and I thought that would be enough to make it a reality.

 

Nope. I could not Desire Map my way into this delicate, hormonal endeavour called breastfeeding. But after doing it for 3 months, I can say YOU GO MAMA to anyone who manages to do it for longer, while eating, while lying down, while in public, while being covered up, while being stared at, while being given advice. YOU ARE MADE OF STRONGER METTLE THAN I.

3. Successfully putting your baby to bed is like a scene from The Hurt Locker. Or any movies involving bombs, really.

Their bellies are full, their bums are clean, the room is dimly lit, the white noise is whirring, the lullabies have been sung, and Baby is so sleepy it’s adorable. You debate just holding and snuggling them for the duration of their nap, but then you remember you have shit to do. And so, you must GTFO before this happens:

Image result for action movie disable bomb gif

If you succeed, this is how you will feel.

 

Image result for disable bomb gif

 

4. Any amount of personal hygiene will feel like a spa day.

If you’re wondering about the state of our hygiene as new parents, a mouse lived in our tub long enough to chew the shower curtain and drop 40 poops in it before we noticed. But once we decided not to burn said tub to the ground, man, those showers felt great.

5. Your love for your child will be infinite.

All the songs on the radio will be about them, you will sacrifice everything you once loved to take care of them. Every smile and achievement they make will convince you that surely it’s never been done before, and they are the first ones, and they are THE BEST at it.

But you’ll be amazed at how much MORE you love them when they sleep more than one hour at a time. It may occasionally happen at the expense of your husband’s feelings (“If you fart like that one more time, you cannot sleep here! At least muffle it with a pillow for the LOVE OF GOD!”) but it will be worth it.

Actually, everything is worth it.

Talk again in another 4 months…maybe…

Image may contain: one or more people

 

Liar, Liar. (Family Matters Part 3)

Part 1 and Part 2 are here for you.

“What have you been told about me?”

I had no idea how loaded of a question this was, coming from her side of the story. For a few more days, hours, I would be on Cloud 9, reveling in the joy that I had found my sister at last. I was a child at the county fair for the first time, wide-eyed and wondrous, having no idea that I was about to watch my balloon float aimlessly into the abyss while I retched on the pavement.

With sparkly eyes, I typed furiously : “I mean, not much, just that my dad and my mom were close friends, and mom really wanted a baby, so she asked dad to try to give her one. They knew it would be wrong, but they decided to try it one time, and luckily, it worked. And then we moved away when I was really little so I never actually got to meet any of you. I’m so happy I found you!”

There was silence on the other end for awhile. I waited anxiously where I was house-sitting…playing with the dog, coming back to the computer. Channeling nervous energy into Bugle consumption, back to the computer. Completely alone with 10,000 of my thoughts rushing through me at once.

Where is she? Did I say something wrong? She’s probably just eating lunch too. What if she hates me? She’s a mom of 3 girls, she’s busy, calm your shit. What if everything is about to change?

Finally! A message.

Cassie: I know a very different story, and I’m hesitant to tell you because I don’t want to hurt you or jeopardize our relationship so quickly.

Me: I want to know the truth. Please tell me whenever you can.

An hour later, the crushing pressure that had been building inside my chest all morning spilled out in sobs and muffled curses. I was glad to be alone, although the dog was concerned. As the pup licked my tears away, I felt like she was the only one I trusted in the world.

How could my mother have done this to me, to US? How could she have lied about this for nearly 20 years to my face?

An affair. Of course it was. Nobody just “has a married guy friend who decided to give the gift of a baby to a desperate single woman.”

You ignorant homeschooled hick.

It got worse. Oh, it got worse.

My dad had been a pastor, his wife the church office manager, his mistress the worship leader.

For three years. Before I was even thought of.

When mom got pregnant, she told everyone that she’d “finally” decided to go to the sperm bank cause, after all, she wasn’t gettin’ any younger! The church, friends and family rejoiced.

Cassie had been ecstatic. Mom was like an adopted aunt to her, and they would go on lunch-and-movie dates all the time. When I was born, Cassie babysat me multiple times. SHE F***ING BABYSAT ME, AND SHE HAD NO F***ING CLUE THAT I WAS HER BABY SISTER.

Oh, but our dad. He knew. He probably looked out into his congregation every Sunday and saw his dimply, brown-eyed bastard smiling right back at him.

A little over a year later, his wife finally figured it out.

Everything blew up, within his family, within his church – so my mom took off with me and little else. She’s been on the run ever since.

All those years I never knew why we couldn’t settle down, why we were always moving, why she never had time or desire to play with me as I grew bigger.

Now everything made sense. She had been in love with him, and every time she looked at me, she was reminded of the face she would probably never see again.

I will admit that, at first, most of my anger was self-righteous. I was already sick and tired of hearing about pastors’ infidelities, and now my parents were just another statistic, with seemingly no guilt – only owning up to their secret when they were caught. Yeah, they sound like real Christians to me. Hypocrites; nothing worse than a couple of those.

But then I realized something: nobody is perfect. Nobody is immune to loneliness or desperation or even rationalization when something feels so right it can’t be wrong. Sure, we hold Christians to a higher standard and can be eager to kick them when they fall off the pedestal. But maybe they were never meant to be put on a pedestal in the first place.

Once my high horse became more of a pony, I only felt sadness and hurt for everyone who experienced the ripple effect. My sister was 14 when she learned of the betrayal of those closest to her; it changed her, sent her down a path that would do more harm than good. I’m thankful that she was able to work through her (rightful) emotions and become the counselor for young people that she is today.
My dad’s wife endured the betrayal, the anger, the pain – and she stayed. She’s still with my dad to this day. I can’t speak specifically to the tenderness of their current relationship, but she keeps showing up. I know nothing of my brothers.

Little did I know, at that point, that this chapter of my life was not closed, even though I had made peace with everything – even to the point where I forgave my mom in the silence by never bringing up her past that was now known.

A year later, I would become driven by the need to find my dad and to speak to him for myself. And what do you do when all you have is his name, the field he works in, and a sister not willing to share more?

You hire a hacker, that’s what.

To be continued…

 Skyfall (Family Matters Part 4)

 

 

 

 

A Crapload Can Change In One Year

Yes, crapload. Stayin’ classy.

This time last year, I was the pretty harried receptionist/office manager/flak receiver at a dance studio that collapsed in on itself as soon as I left. Well, maybe not quite that dramatic, but it kind of seemed like it? I was also writing this.

Well, it’s that time of year again, folks. Summer is dying while managing to squeeze a few beautiful moments left out of her system, and Autumn (yes, Autumn, with a capital A. Still stayin’ classy.) is starting to show her true colours.

I’m a little bit excited.

Because while I love summer and its sunshiney grace on my poor soul needy Mexican skin, I miss scarves. And big sweaters, and crunchy leaves, and hot chocolate, and not having to shave my legs every other day. I am fruit-smoothie and sundressed out. Fall is my time to shine; layers are my friends, friends.

But unlike last year, we (Steven and I) are going to try really, really hard not to couch this one all away. Granted, we were recovering from a honeymoon chock full of puke, diarrhea and infected internal organs, on top of getting used to living with another human being who was actually not as picture perfect as we both imagined.

However, I think we love each other more now than we did on our wedding day, and it’s because of those very things. Taking care of one another up close while sick (or *ahem* unemployed or depressed or lonely…who, me?) creates a very special intimacy that gives you the freedom to be yourself – the good, the bad and the ugly version of yourself. And that in turn lets you start over and re-build what you thought was true love from the ground up, so, if you’re lucky, now you have a relationship that is more honest and gaining in grace. Without real truth, there cannot be real love.

So I personally am reveling in the fact that the first year of marriage is almost complete. It has been hard, but good. There have been more gains than losses. It is brutiful.

And it is moving forward!

For our anniversary –which is in 11.5 days YIKES–, we plan to travel. And not to camp either.

Now hold up. Camping is GREAT. But it is also how we spent our honeymoon, and most of the summer, so for our Honeymoon 2.0, we’re just gonna get in the truck with a couple bags for survival and drive somewhere nice. Somewhere we can breathe a sigh of relief, pamper ourselves a bit, and recharge for the winter. I’m thinking mountains and trees and fresh air and water and candlelit dinners and hot tubs and business time and walks and naps and drinks and laughter and pictures. Lots of pictures.

And as for what I call the Sunless Blues, well, this girl is prepared.

Vitamin D’s in gummy form because I am a child and won’t remember to take them otherwise.

Some flowers and tomatoes and basil and peppermint that grows out of little tin cans.

Auditioning to be a part of Trinity Western’s University choir tonight. If I’m accepted, that’ll get me through quite a few Tuesdays.

Promoting my doula business to the next level with cards and such. I’ve got a guy.

Having friends and neighbours over for homemade dinner regularly, instead of just saying that one day we’ll invite them and then ordering take-out for two. #followthrough

Which is also the perfect segue to better cooking and better eating. It is so easy to pack on the pounds during the cold months, but we’re determined to at least stay where we are, if not drop a bit. I mean, we bought a soccer ball, so it’s pretty for real.

A search for the perfect Halloween costume for my cat. Did you know that they have a Buzz Lightyear now? Every time I walk in the pet store, it’s like I have my own personal little Angel on one shoulder reminding me that I love my kitteh, and a Devil on the other snickering that Walter would look so cute as an Eeyore and he would hate it and I should get it.
Image  Image
And when they look like that….well, you can see why I’m having such a hard time making the right choice.

And of course with winter comes more down time. More down time means more music making. And that means our friend Jason is in luck.
The other day, he said to us, “If you guys don’t make another Agent Button video soon, I’m going…to flip…my lid. So now you know.”
Oh, we know. And so does Sean Bean.
Image

And knowing is half the battle.