On Feeling Accomplished

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

If I saw my present-self four years ago, I wouldn't know who the hell I was looking at.
A work-at-home mom, trying to hold it together, wearing the same thing every damn day, practically jumping at every playdate opportunity just to socialize. And then there's the random stuff thrown in like running races and taking step aerobics classes with the geriatric group at the women's gym. Yes. I'm a stranger even to myself.
I've had a few conversations with a fellow mom friend (which, we became friends via Facebook, something I also never thought I'd do) about just this very thing. This is the life we dreamed of. This is the life we've always wanted. What we didn't really think about were the tough times, the day-to-day moments of tantrums, sleeplessness and the overall feeling of being just completely overwhelmed. But don't you dare complain. Because this is what you've always wanted.
I've had some pretty low moments. During the newborn stage, the teething stages, the sleep training stages--there are so many freaking stages and I'm sure I cried through all of them. I've cried while looking out my window many a time before, counting down the hours and minutes until my husband came home. For almost 2 years ( I can't even believe that as I write it) I've felt completely consumed by being a new mom. But this is what I wanted.
In a way, yes it's been lonely. Yes, I've had to "find" myself. I've had to really work hard to find things to do that make me happy and to make me stay sane. I love being a mom more than anything in the world, but it's consuming, and I'm not used to feeling like that. Call that selfish, tell me I should have known what I was getting myself into, but it's the truth. And thankfully, I don't think I'm the only one that's ever felt this way.
This past year I've done one 5K, two 10K's, and a Spartan Race. I will straight up laugh in your face if you call me a "runner", because that couldn't be farther from the truth. I hate running. But doing these ridiculous races has given me something to accomplish. It's something I can get a freakin' medal for. You crossed the finish line, congratulations. Nobody hands me a medal at the end of the day. The closest I get to that is a ginormous glass of wine, barely past 5 p.m. I feel like a freaking superwoman running those races. I don't do it for the times. I just do it for the feeling I get just for finishing. (Well, and for the brunching/drinking that occurs afterward. Duh)
So is this the life I always dreamed of? In a way, yes. I don't really remember my life before having my son. And I love this kid so much it hurts. But I still have to work even harder to bring back my own personal happiness- feelings of accomplishment and success for me. Not just getting a high-five because we made it through the day without any shit (like literally, shit) appearing on the carpet. 
Props to all the mamas who are livin' the dream, makin' it work and not compromising on your happiness and fulfillment. I'm still trying to figure it all out...

Potty Training 101

Friday, August 7, 2015

I feel that I need to address the craziness that is happening in our household as of late:
Potty Training.
Yes. I said it. Yes, my son isn't even two yet. Yes, I'm batshit crazy for trying to do this. However, we thought we'd give it a go, he caught on, and now we feel like we've gone this far, we have to keep going. 
But holy shit, it's intense. You decide to do potty training because the end result is a little more independence for them, and it's sooooo much easier, right? Well, before you get to that point, you've got to be on top of your game 24/7. Trust me, there are some days where I just want to say screw it, use a diaper and let's go on with our day. But, no. I WILL NOT GIVE IN. I WILL NOT GIVE UP
Okay, I think the Spartan Race that I did last weekend has gone to my head a little bit..Ha, more on that later...
Anyway, since we bought all the gear (i.e.: potty-seat for upstairs, potty-seat for the basement, potty seats for the toilets, a 'traveling' potty seat, underwear, pull-ups, alcohol..) we've been full force and celebrating small victories along the way. In the beginning, we started with a cute little chart and bought a bunch of stickers. At first, he was into it. He was excited. He picked out which ones he wanted and proudly put them on his chart. But then that quickly lost its appeal. So we had to up the ante.
Bring on the candy. Yep. No shame here. He goes, he gets an M&M. If it's a truly magnificent end result (I don't particularly enjoy talking about my kid's bowel movements, so I'll leave out the details) then he gets two. This is something that he can be excited about. But God forbid you forget to give him one...Or you eat the entire jar that's on top of the fridge and there aren't any left.
Look, this is in no way any kind of tutorial, and I have no tips or tricks or suggestions to offer. I have no idea what the hell I'm doing, all I know is, it's working, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 
Has he shit on the floor? Of course. Has the dog ate it? It's possible. Does he refuse to go? Absolutely, he does what he wants. But yesterday, while we were out running errands and he told me he needed to go, I busted out our 'traveling potty' in the back seat, sat next to him for what seemed like an eternity, and he actually did it. To all the people in the parking lot of HomeGoods, my apologies for the hooting-and-hollering that was coming from my car, with a half-naked kid and a toilet on my seat. This is my excitement these days: Peeing in a car.
We celebrated by making a trip for 'special toys' at Five and Below and he picked out a Donald Duck and Goofy figurine (Jeez, are these guys ever going to leave? They keep showing up at our house in droves..) He was excited. I was excited. We made it another day closer.
Best of luck to all of you who are in the thick of potty-training, whatever way you're doing it. I will say this, if you find a way, stick to it. Get everyone on board (I made Greg SWEAR he wouldn't F#*% this up by throwing a diaper on him when I was gone) and know that there will be days where you are literally shadowing your kid around your house making sure they don't pee or crap on your couch, your BAR CART, your bed, underneath the dining room table, underneath their slide, etc. It's intense, ladies and gentlemen.