5 Maternity Product Names that Make me Cringe

Scary Mommy is one of my favourite “Cub is distracted for five minutes let’s have a cup of tea” reads. Sarcasm might be the lowest form of humour (although I think potty jokes are), but it’s also my favourite!

Scary Mommy’s recent mommy terminology post reminded me of a similar list that’s been floating around my head since getting pregnant:

5 maternity product names

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Couple Communication Roadblocks: A Screenplay

Typical Scenario, Maman Loup Household, 6:30 PM:

Mama has spent the day keeping Cub active and engaged, all the while working in the yard, getting groceries and keeping up with house work.

Papa has spent the day driving to and from Quebec City (7 hours on the road in total) to deal with staffing rearrangements for work.

Mama hears Papa come through the door. She thinks, “YAY! An adult to talk to!”

Papa walks through the door. He thinks, “Finally. Peace and quiet.”

Papa says, “Are those our buckets outside?”

Mama says, “Yup! I was out working in the yard today gathering up the branches and I have to wait till the green waste pick up next week to put them on the side of the road but I’ll bring the buckets inside after Cub is in b—-“

[Mama’s thinking: “I don’t want him to think he has to pick up after me so I want to make sure he knows I plan on bringing everything in once Cub is in bed. I want to make sure he knows I wasn’t sitting on my butt eating bonbons all day so I want to tell him how we spent the morning outside cleaning up the yard, plus, I haven’t spoken to anyone except a 19 month-old today and boy does this feel great!”]

Papa, visibly agitated: “Can you stop? Why are you justifying yourself? It was a yes or no question.”

[Papa’s thinking: “All I wanted to know was if they were our buckets. Why is she telling me her life story? I’ve been dealing with employees and customers all day, I just want to be alone and have some peace and quiet. She doesn’t understand what it’s like for me all day at work.]

Result: Mama’s hurt and Papa is angry.

Next time, Papa could say, “Good job, sounds like you had a busy day!” Mama can remember not to bombard Papa with chatter as soon as he walks in the door.

 

Typical Scenario, Maman Loup Household, 7:30 AM.

Papa Wolf is busy getting ready to go to work. Mama Wolf is drinking her coffee while Cub watches cartoons.

Papa Wolf says, “Don’t forget to transfer the money into our chequing account!”

Mama Wolf says, “I did it last night, you were lying right next to me and I showed you. Why don’t you ever pay attention to what I say? Don’t you remember?”

[Papa Wolf’s thinking: “Well obviously I don’t remember otherwise I wouldn’t have mentioned it. Why does she have to go on about it? Why can’t she just say she’s already done it, end of story.”]

[Mama Wolf’s thinking: “Why doesn’t he listen to me? I want to make sure he knows I talked to him about it last night so I can point out that he never listens to me and it hurts my feelings.]

Result: Mama and Papa are both annoyed.

Next time, Mama could respond “I did it last night, but thanks for reminding me!” Papa can try to listen more attentively to Mama. 

Sound familiar?

Motherhood Martyr Memes: My Thoughts

Don’t get me wrong. I’m the first person to admit that I often feel under-appreciated by my partner (not yet by my child… but based on how I treated my own Mom as a teenager, I am sure karma will be a b*tch). Being a Mom is challenging, most definitely. When I was on maternity leave and got the infamous “But what do you do all day?” queries, I was annoyed. When I started trying to juggle my own business from home and care for my son, the balancing act was often precarious. Now working 2-3 days a week and staying home with Cub the other days, I’ve managed to strike a happy compromise between my professional goals and my desire to be with my son.

But I do not believe for a second that, as a Mom, I have the world’s toughest job, despite the laundry list of responsibilities paraded out in this viral video for American Greetings’ CardStore or even in popular infographics like this one:

Stay-at-Home-Moms-Salary

Never once when I was planning to start a family did I imagine that it would be an easy-breezy, 40-hours-a-week, clock-in, clock-out type of responsibility. I didn’t have any illusions of drawing a salary for my parenting (though I am happy to point out that Quebec has excellent parental benefits). I chose to become a Mom because I wanted to raise children, and have wanted to be a Mother since almost as far back as I can remember.

The fact that these memes completely ignore the role of Fathers as parents is an entirely different blog post… but suffice it to say that, if I were a Dad, I’d be pissed.

So, what’s the “toughest job”? Well, it depends on how you look at it. From where I stand, the toughest jobs are the ones you wouldn’t choose to do if you had a choice.

A job you love, many say, doesn’t feel like work at all. So even a heart surgeon who literally holds another person’s life in her hands every day might not have the toughest job in her own eyes because it’s the vocation she’s chosen.

For many parents, a job that takes you away from your children might actually be the toughest job to do. I feel extremely privileged to not have to return to work full-time since becoming a Mother. However, the fact that I am not drawing a significant income puts pressure on my husband: as the main breadwinner, we rely on his job to support our family. He doesn’t love his job, but he loves his family and wants to support us, so he (for the moment) can’t pursue a career that would bring him greater joy. In my opionion, that’s tough.

Motherhood Martyr Memes obviously strike a chord: good Moms (and Dads) often put their children’s needs above their own and make sacrifices to give their children the best chances at a happy and healthy life. We don’t often reap immediate recognition and gratitude for what we do. It’s not until our own children have children of their own that they truly recognize the amazing job we’ve done. (PS: Thanks, Mom and Dad!)

So, thanks for the props… but I politely decline the title of “Toughest Job in the World.” I’ll leave the tough stuff to the first responders, the world leaders, the millions of people scraping a meager living doing the most menial and demanding tasks that keep us in the Western world clothed and technologically-equipped. And, by the way… most of those people are Mamas (and Papas) too!

 

 

 

Sleep Confessions: Co-Sleeping and Night Weaning My Toddler

Co-sleeping & night-weaning my toddler

Sleep.

It’s one of the top concerns of parents of young children, and one of the top questions we ask each other and we are asked by strangers. “How’s he sleeping?” “Is he sleeping through the night?”

Sleep at our house looks nothing like what I planned when I was pregnant, and it definitely doesn’t look like what I thought it “should” look like. I thought it “should” be baby in his crib after a couple months spent in a bassinet in our room. I thought it “should” be lie baby down in his crib and let him fall asleep alone. Certainly I thought there “shouldn’t” be any nursing to sleep! I thought I was “supposed to” train him to sleep in his crib by leaving him there to cry. Continue reading