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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mom, The Human Chew Toy

Three months down and still no routine. I don't know what I'm expecting - miracles, maybe. Just to get Mister Baby down at night in under two hours would be heavenly. I've been kind of resentful lately. Resentful and tired. I know this is mostly my fault - well, really all my fault. I feel guilty for even writing it down or verbalizing it, because I know people who would kill to have my problem. I don't even know who I resent - but I almost have to fight off the urge to scream out loud some evenings when all I want to do is something other than nurse a baby for two hours. I have a beautiful, chubby baby who obviously gets adequate nourishment from me, but sometimes I can't help feeling like a Human Chew Toy. I love breastfeeding, but sometimes I just need a break. Now that summer is here my husband can and does watch the children at length so I can have time to shop, putz around or do whatever. But somehow it's those evening hours that are hardest. I hate the fact that whenever I want to do something, I am usually too tired. Or when I have the energy, I don't want to do it. What the heck is up with that?
If I went to bed early, I muse, maybe that extra hour or two of sleep would make me feel better. Then again, maybe there would be no extra hour or two, because it always seems like that's when Mister Baby wakes up and needs something. By 9 p.m. or so, I'm usually so tired all I feel like doing is sitting at the computer and loafing. And after trying on several pair of shorts tonight that didn't even remotely fit, this has me even more depressed. I feel like I've morphed into some kind of fat slob over the course of the past three months, like I looked better pregnant. Whatever the case, I just wish I could lose 30 pounds and that someone could do it for me. LOL
I told my husband I wanted to go work out tomorrow before going to church. We'll see how that works out. I know as soon as I get back into a regular routine that it'll get easier; it's the starting out all over again that's the hardest part - starting from scratch. 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day, Dad, The Incompetent Boob

If you turn on the television during any given time of day and pay attention to the commercials, you'll see countless ads that feature a typical American dad. Grilling, golfing, whatever, he's usually the stereotypical archetype of what a father should be to most of us. Unfortunately, he's also often portrayed as a clueless, benign figure who doesn't know his butt from a hole in the ground. 
Image from
This is a phenomenon that my husband has recently brought to my attention. Usually I hit mute during 90 percent of the commercials, but every so often will half pay attention in time to see a mom bribing her daughter with money to convince the poor, hapless father that they need a complete kitchen remodel. Or, the wife will stand impatiently and glare at her oaf of a husband for even daring to assume that their list of home improvement projects is done, the husband looking cowardly at the wife like he's ready to be hit over the head with a baseball bat. What gives? You certainly wouldn't see these roles reversed. Can you even imagine such a thing and the outpouring of rage that would ensue?
How many TV actresses have played the role of laboring mother, screaming through clenched teeth at their helpless husbands, "You did this to me!" Perhaps us mothers should be thankful they put us in that position? Or at least realize that they are what gave us the ability to be mothers in the first place?
Apparently there is some buzz about the roles of fathers in commercials and TV - if you do a Google search you'll find extensive material discussing this. So why hasn't the ad industry caught on? 
My husband and I both agree, as do many others, that now more than ever society needs positive, strong father figures. How many judges overseeing bitter custody battles will give full custody to the mother of the child? In the case of Baby P, a British toddler who was severely beaten by his mother and her boyfriend, the biological father of the child was fighting for custody to the point of even attempting to kidnap his child in a desperate attempt to save his life. But the conventional wisdom of the court prevailed, and the child was sent home with Dear Mother and her live-in boyfriend, who then proceeded to brutally beat the child to death. Had dad only been given custody of his son, who knows where this young boy would be now? Healthy and thriving? Getting ready to start preschool?
Studies have shown that kids who grow up without positive fatherly role models in their lives are more likely to live in poverty, commit more crime and do more poorly in school. Therefore we know that dad does more than just bring home a paycheck and leave the rest to mom. 
No one wants to admit that sometimes mom can bungle things, too, like the times I've actually been so busy I forgot to give my kids lunch. Or when my sleep-deprived brain has done some dumb things, like forget diapers AND wipes while out in public only to have one of the kids experience a messy blowout of mythic proportions. And I can't tell you how many times my husband has remembered to bring those diapers and wipes, and will have already changed one of the kids when I forget!
We talk about paying tribute to dads on Father's Day, but perhaps we should really give them their due and stop portraying them as bungling idiots who don't know a thing except how to drink beer and grill hot dogs. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Rant of the Week: Jo-Ann Fabrics

I've debated on whether to strictly limit my focus on one thing: childbirth and other related topics. Then I decided that, like my attention span at the moment, it should be about anything that's on my mind - after all, that's what a blog is for. 
Lately I've had it in my head that I'm going to sew a dress. Yes, I know how to sew. No, I cannot find anything appropriate that doesn't look like a large animal gave birth or threw up on it. All the dress fabrics I see are covered in some kind of random, awful ethnic/animal/weird patterns. Not that there's anything wrong with ethnic patterns, they just aren't for me. Why can't I find something conservative, like a timid polka dot, a subtle stripe (ok, maybe not stripes, since I don't necessarily need to accentuate the growing thing that is my stomach and butt, and I'm not even pregnant anymore). See ... I knew this would somehow get back to pregnancy and childbirth. LOL
I'm going to lodge a formal complaint to Jo-Ann Fabrics, not that they'd listen. Complaining is something I do very well. I bet that since they have a ton of this ugly fabric left for currently 60 percent off right now, no one else is buying it, either. I must not be the only one who doesn't want to walk around looking like a paintball target. I want something classic, maybe a bit retro - not Copa-Cabana-Mexican-spring-break-drunken-party/Carmen Miranda's fruit basket. 
On the flip side, I've been sewing a lot of Barbie clothes lately. My daughter is just getting to the point of being interested, and surprisingly I've become obsessed with it. It's fun, especially because Barbie has a killer (if not totally unrealistic) figure. One thing about that - Barbie is much easier to fit clothing for, because she has no lumps and bumps, no bulges, and her figure is always a constant - she doesn't mind scratchy fabrics and Velcro closures rubbing up against her skin. And one thing I can control - she doesn't wear slutty outfits like her Mattel-manufactured counterparts do: somehow the prostitute Barbie look just doesn't sit well with me. She's much easier to fit than I am, for instance - someone who is rather short, a bit fat and slightly dumpy compared to the conventional pattern makers and their outrageous ideas of womanly dimensions. Some day they will get it together, too, and design patterns that actually fit people. Novel idea. But since I haven't even reached that point, I guess it doesn't matter. In the meantime, Barbie has a nicer wardrobe than I do!