What is your parenting truth?

Parents aren’t perfect.

Sometimes it’s so painfully evident.

At BurritoBuzz, the intent is to make parents feel like they aren’t alone, to offer some guidance, and to show that parenting in its rawest form is pretty rough sometimes. The endgame: we all love our little ones so stinking much that we’d do anything for them. Most of us are just trying to be the best possible person for them every single day. Are all days perfect? Definitely not.

So we want to share some of our imperfections. We want to shine a light on the humorous side of parenting. Tell us your stories of your imperfect days. Your comical days. The days when you haven’t had time to shower and the T.V. is babysitting your kids. We want to hear it all.

We plan to compile an anonymous list of parenting woes and post it here on BurritoBuzz. So leave us your stories! Head over to our welcome page and at the bottom you can submit your truths.

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Who was I before “Mom”?

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Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and think “when did this become me?” Who is this woman with bags under her eyes, split ends, yesterday’s yoga pants, who forgot to eat breakfast but always always remembers to prep her coffee the night before? WHO is this woman that can’t remember the last time she bought clothes for herself, had a haircut, or watched a movie without stopping it 6 times? Seriously, who am I?

Having a baby changes you in ways you couldn’t possibly imagine. Physically, my body has endured all kinds of chaos and will certainly never be the same. Emotionally, I’ve learned that my needs happily come second to those of my son. My relationship with my husband has matured, my relationship with my friends and family has sometimes been strained or non-existent due to the demands of my work and home life. I very much live moment to moment. 3

I used to sit and drink tea with a book from the library. I went hiking, took pictures for fun. I played tennis (not very well), knew all the latest buzz on movies and TV. I did Jell-O shots with friends, had craft nights, and traveled to new cities on a whim.

I’m not sure I know that girl now, or even remember her.

Life has turned in to this chaotic, beautiful mess of jumping from one thing to the next. Waking early, going to work, making dinner, cleaning, giving Lucas a bath, getting ready for bed, sitting down to do more work on this super amazing blog or my photography business…

Planning, planning, planning. And lots of lists. And reminders to make lists (thanks, Siri).

I love being a mom more than I’ve ever loved anything. Ever. My son is my world, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I think about him every day, all day and most of what I do, I do so he can have a good life, with parents who love him and care for him in the best possible way.2

But how do I get back to the person I was? I’ve realized that it’s not entirely possible. The truth is, that girl is gone forever most certainly. I can retain bits and pieces, but my life has been poured from a mold that no longer exists.

Life with a baby means slowly regaining parts of you that you lose for a while. And I can tell you, the first year of having a new child is a blur. I cared very little about things other than showering and getting a warm meal. But now that I’ve adapted to my new life, I’m transforming into yet another version of myself that can be a mom and still retain parts of my old identity.

So who am I now? 

My life may not be centered around nights out and vacations and time alone with a book laying in my hammock, but I’m certainly having plenty of amazing adventures with my new little family, even if they’re sometimes just in my backyard or at a local park. I find time for me, even if it’s fleeting and infrequent. I incorporate my son into things that I used to love. We read together, hike together, listen to music and watch fun shows. And while it took time, I definitely finally feel like a new, better and blended version of my old self + my new mom self. 

So the truth? You will never be yourself again. But, you’ll be a new, better version of you. You adapt and become something so much more amazing, even if that means fewer Jell-O shots.

-Katie

…Not the mainstream mom.

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Oh the things I thought I would be as a mother BEFORE having my child… I was living in some crazy dream world.

I thought for sure I’d be the Pinterest moms in the photos. You know the ones: cute matching t-shirts, making all meals organic and from scratch, doing a different educational activity every day while also balancing a career.

Let me tell ya’ folks, I’m not that mom.

As I sit here in yoga pants and a shirt I wore in high school, with a pile of laundry next to me that has no less than 5 other pairs of yoga pants (ya know, enough to get me through an entire week,) I wonder if these supermoms really exist, or if it’s a big facade. (If you’re actually that supermom, just don’t tell me so that I can continue to think this is normal.)

We’re pretty active parents. We both work during the week, (I’m working part-time, and my husband full-time,) and run a business on the weekends. We grocery shop on a whim, clean the house infrequently and on turbo-speed during our son’s short naps, and our lawn looks like it’s battling some disease (it probably is.)

All those things I pinned on Pinterest while I was pregnant, planning to do when my son was finally here? I don’t think I’ve looked at a single one of them.

If I get through a day and have even 10 minutes to myself I feel pretty stinking accomplished.

 

Moderation. We hear it’s key all the time, but it’s so true. When I became a mother I completely lost myself in trying to keep up and have a picture-perfect life. It’s like I saw bits and pieces of how others parented, picked out all of the good, and tried to be that parent. I had zero time for myself.

And while I’ve learned to balance and make time for my own needs, I’m still often feeling inadequate thanks to the world we live in now where comparison is always glaring in your face (thanks, social media, you cruel bitch.)

My son is smart. Loving. Ornery. He’s exactly what a toddler should be, even if he isn’t doing Pinterest crafts every day and using baby sign-language or whatever the latest craze is.

So here’s the reality: my son is SO well-balanced, and so am I. Sometimes that means that he’s walking out the door with cheerios in his hair, or that the TV was on an episode longer that it should have been during the day, or that I haven’t had time to clothes shop for myself in an eon, and I live on coffee and dry shampoo.

Here I am world, imperfect. Imperfect, but somehow whole. I’m not leading a lesser life because I don’t add up to what other mothers add up to (whether they’re faking it or not. I’m speaking to you Hilaria Baldwin.)

-Katie

Things that Change when you Become a Parent

  1. You’ll have to eventually learn to enjoy food again. The first three months of your newborn’s life will be spent in survival mode, meaning that you will infrequently get a meal (or a shower.) Once you finally remember to eat again, you’ll eat either quickly, or your food will be cold. You forget what it’s like to just sit and enjoy a warm meal. So at some point, you have to stop eating like a savage and return to normal life… even though this really might not happen until your child(ren) are several years old.
  2. You’ll resort to things like drinking coffee in the shower. Because showers are now quick instead of the relaxing 30 minute shower you used to take… you’ll multi-task as much as possible. If you’re looking for a cup that does great in the shower, check out this Contigo cup. It’s the most bad-ass coffee chalice out there.

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    My coffee cup in my shower. I have no shame.
  3. You’ll talk about poop, at least 10 times a day. “Did the baby poop?” “How much?” “Consistency?” “How many times?” And when you finally realize how much you talk about poop, you’ll realize that life has certainly changed…
  4. 7:00 AM is sleeping in. You’re lucky if you get a few hours of consecutive sleep when your baby is little, but even after that point… sleep regressions attack when you least expect them. And when 6AM rolls around, your little exhausting human is ready for another day.
  5. You’ll constantly wonder where people’s hands have been. Most of us thought about this a lot before, but when you have a baby, you’ll constantly be asking people to wash/sanitize their hands. Let’s be honest: we don’t want gross germs getting our babies sick. Babies and toddlers are difficult enough without being sick, and sickness turns life into an almost unbearable mess. You’ll likely have 4-5 dispensers of hand sanitizer littered throughout your house, and a few more in your cars.
  6. You’ll worry about things like war, apocalypses (zombie apocalypses included), tornadoes, floods, 10x more than you ever used to. You might even have an emergency bag ready and have scenarios planned out in your head. MREs can be purchased here, apocalypse preppers.
  7. You’ll have weird numbers programmed in to your phone. Emergency babysitters, hospitals, doctors, poison control. And your phone will have a long search history on Google of things like “carseat safety” “is this amount of spit up normal?” and “how long until my baby’s crossed eyes go away?”
  8. Going somewhere must be a planned activity. Leaving the house as a family now means at least 30 minutes of prep. Diaper change, feeding, packing, making sure you have a stroller… and taking at least 5 minutes to put on those tiny, tight shoes of theirs. Impromptu Chipotle run with friends? #YeahRight
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    One of our favorites.

    You’ll probably cry, even if you’re not a crier. I quite literally cannot finish the books “Love you Forever” and “Wish” without getting choked up. You might cry when your child hits milestones, or when certain things are no longer happening anymore (breastfeeding, bottle feeding, crawling, babbling, snuggling, etc.) You’ll be sentimental about toys, clothes, a random piece of paper that your child played with for 5 minutes… Even if you’re a total minimalist, getting rid of baby things is heartbreaking sometimes.

  10. You’ll finally understand what you’re parents have been telling you all those years, that “someday we’ll understand.” We get it now. I’m sorry for rolling my eyes at you, scoffing, and/or stomping away and slamming my door. Your love for your child compares to no other kind of love, and as parents, we just want our little ones to be safe, happy, healthy, and loved.

-Katie

 

Parenting Advice: Guilty?

8cbae746b97a743e4ea5dd0d19b52680I’m a first-time parent, and if I wasn’t already sure of that before, having received parenting advice from virtually every individual I know with a child, I am definitely sure of it now.

The first few months after having a baby, especially your first baby, are overwhelming. My husband and I were together nearly 10 years before welcoming our son into the world. Though a very wanted, and awaited change to our lives, we found ourselves treading water. My thoughts were a jumbled mess, which were due to a nice combination of fatigue, hormones, and flat out doubt of my parenting-abilities.

I spent many nights reading, Googling endlessly for ways to do things. Was I swaddling correctly? Should my baby be drinking this much? Drinking this little? Why is he crying so much? Should he be making these wheezing noises? When does cradle cap end? If I could have a running list of things I typed into Google, it would certainly span the lengths of encyclopedias. And more likely than not, I’d laugh at some of those questions now as a more experienced, more comfortable new parent.

So let me tell all of you new parents: It gets easier. It’s hard to believe now, and I definitely rolled my eyes at a few forum posts similar to this one when I was in those first few “survival months”… which we will refer to as the “dark ages.”

So, being a new parent I wasn’t prepared for all of the VERY assertive new-parent-advice that I would receive. Let me explain. There is a difference between saying “oh, this is how I did it as a parent. Maybe try this way!” and saying “no, you’re doing this wrong. You need to do________.” Or, even better, when an individual tells you how they did it, and then gossips behind your back about how wrong you’re doing everything.

So recently I conducted a survey with numerous questions, ranging from birth, to feeding, to weaning, to sleeping, etc. Responses by those that participated were so varied. Some parents used a birth plan, some didn’t. Some had medicated births, some didn’t. (You get the point.) There was NO PATTERN. What worked for each parent was extremely different than what worked for the rest.

My last question on the survey was “Do you often get unwanted parenting advice?” I allowed the answers of “Yes” “No” and “No, it’s always welcomed.” I got a few that responded with the latter two, but the overwhelming majority replied with “Yes.” 

My point? I have several.

  1. We’re all in this boat together. Sometimes this boat is a sinking ship. Sometimes we have to emit an SOS. Sometimes, we repair the leaks in our boat and keep on cruising. Don’t be critical of other moms just because your way isn’t their way.
  2. If you give advice: 1. Be kind. 2. Be understanding. 3. Don’t assume your way is best for all. 4. If someone is dropping hints that they don’t want advice, then stop.
  3. If you want advice: make sure you’re talking to individuals that won’t condemn you for your choices. Look for mothers that have had children recently. The hardest part of receiving advice from our own mothers and grandmothers is that it’s sometimes very outdated advice. (Some of it is great advice, don’t get me wrong– but some advice isn’t safe or medically advised.)
  4. If you’re a mom looking for solutions: there are other moms out there looking for the same solutions. Utilize forums and get a range of advice, it will help you to pick out the bad advice from the good. I’ve found Facebook groups to be particularly useful.
  5. If you’re a stranger, and you see a new parent out: generally, advice is not wanted. Instead offer encouragement. Being out in public with small children is already stressful enough, so try to be kind and understanding.

You’re doing great, parents. Google will be your best friend for a short time, but in a few months you’ll have this parenting thing mastered (it only took me 10 months, and I’m still learning every day.)

-Katie

 

I FEEL ALIVE

37285-Take-Care-Of-YourselfI feel alive! Says no new mom ever after having a baby.

I was so used to a standard of living, that revolved around ME. Coffee was optional, eyeliner mandatory, and anything short of a 15 minute shower was a sin especially if it didn’t include some great smelling exfoliate and my Clarisonic.)

Once that tiny human entered into the world? Game. Over. I seriously looked like I’d lived on the streets of Chicago for the past 5 years. No sleep. No time. Endless worrying. And the visitors. Ohhhhh the visitors.

I found myself scrambling to get my house clean and look presentable before people came over (and honestly, this hasn’t changed. Sure, my 9 month old is more independent now, but not so much that I really have “me” time. Showers are still 5 minutes long, and getting ready includes some quick makeup and taking a curling iron to my usually still-wet hair (don’t yell at me hair stylist friends! I know, this is bad.)

So, I figured I’d compile a list of items that made me feel ready for the day as a new mom.

  1. Dry Shampoo: I’m the type of person that showers daily. I just have naturally oily skin and need to shower to feel clean all the time. But, I swear by dry shampoo (again, as a person with oily skin.) My favorite? Dove.
  2. 300Yoga Pants: Not just any yoga pants, the good kind that sucks in the post-baby pouch.
  3. Facial Wipes: I paired Burt’s Bee’s with some Garnier moisture rescue. k2-_c5c724b7-2a9d-4f21-b5d1-8993f714444f.v2
  4. Coffee. Coffee coffee coffee. Just have it. A lot of it. Always. 
  5. A few cute, comfortable shirts that are larger than what you’d normally wear. I paired a ton of baggy shirts with yoga pants until I felt comfortable in my jeans again. And if you’ve had a c-section, you’ll really be thanking yourself for buying some comfy clothing.
  6. 14414958Elf Eyeliner, and Estee Lauder lipstick. Not everyone loves makeup, but I do. I worked for Dior for a while, and my family is basically composed of various makeup-artist types. So, I needed a few things that would last through the day. Elf cream eyeliner, and an Estee Lauder lipstick always survived the chaos.
  7. As always, take care of yourself. Vitamins, healthy eating, small workouts, and napping if you get the chance. All of this is easier said than done, but it makes a difference. (And to anyone dealing with some post-partum baby blues or depression, exercise and keeping yourself healthy will only aid you in getting back to your normal mentality.)

-Katie