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Health On Motherhood

Why Acknowledging Thin Privilege in Motherhood is a Must

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

Let’s start with privilege. People get up in arms about the word, as if they can help what they were born into. Genetics, society, whatever. You’re right, you can’t.

Which is exactly why it’s so important to own it.

Privilege isn’t stating that life for you is never hard. It’s saying that life for you is never hard for a particular reason. Like in motherhood, life isn’t hard for me because I’m thin. Life is hard for me in other ways, but my weight has nothing to do with how I might be oppressed as a woman and a person.

So, it needs to be owned. I have thin privilege, and here is why it’s so important that the mothers with that same privilege need to be kicking and screaming about the status quo of postpartum bodies.

I’ve never known the struggle of “losing the baby weight” yet I hear society demanding that it be done in a matter of weeks, if not months. I’ve never dealt with the apron that develops after a c-section, or diastis recti that can prevent a woman from losing that baby pouch. Yet, women are expected to heal, get back to work, maintain the house, or whatever it is that society asks for.

This is NOT to say I haven’t dealt with my own self-image issues postpartum. This is NOT to say that I do not personally struggle. This is acknowledging that society does not see me differently. I am not shamed for not having “bounced back.” No one is asking when I’m gonna pick up working out again or setting a healthy example for my children.

What I need to do with the privilege that I have is speak when other women are backed into a corner. Speak for the woman ahead of me in the grocery store when some ignorant person asks when she’s due, with a small baby in the carrier in plain sight. Chide other women with thin privilege that boast about the weight “just falling off” as they continue to rant about how they just don’t understand why it’s so hard for other women. Obviously, they didn’t breastfeed, right?

Except, not, you twatwaffle. Perhaps that mom is struggling with PPD, and healthy eating, or eating at all, isn’t the top of the list. Maybe that mom is a single mother, with no time to do anything except work, pick up kids from daycare, and swing through the drive thru. That mom might have a serious medical condition that prevents exercise and the medication that keeps her out of the hospital causes her to gain weight.

YOU DON’T KNOW HER STORY. And more importantly, a woman’s worth is not tied to her weight.

It’s time to acknowledge that every mother is a warrior, making the ultimate sacrifice by carrying a child. It changes your body and there are some things that will never bounce back, even with the best diet and exercise regimen.

People with thin privilege need to knock their shit off and speak up against society for the stupid expectations. You may not experience the struggle, but many women around you do. Time to step up for your village.

 

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On Motherhood

8 Reasons Why Everything is Covered in Dorito Handprints

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

Doritos are one of my toddler’s favorite snacks. They are also one of my husband’s favorite snacks, which means that my toddler has access to them more than I would typically allow. It’s great that my husband wants to spoil his daughter a bit and I’m thrilled they have a snack to bond over. At one point in time, I might have cared that her cheesy handprints now cover most of what we own.

  1. I have two children now. One being a toddler and the other being a newborn. That’s honestly everything you need to know.
  2. My husband likes to hand my toddler random snacks, with complete disregard for cheesy handprints or dinner time.
  3. Most baby items are white or pale colored. I don’t understand. How am I supposed to keep white things clean with a toddler around?
  4. I only have so many hands. If I’m holding the baby, it’s pretty tough to put the baby safely down, grab the wipes, and chase down the toddler in time to prevent Dorito handprints.
  5. “Don’t touch that” is apparently the same as “yes, please put your hands all over the white bassinet.”
  6. “Don’t touch anything” is apparently a challenge to touch as many things as possible in the time it takes to tackle the toddler.
  7. I don’t have time for more laundry. Hence the stains. Sure, if I attacked the bassinet or the bobby or the white bear with bleach or whatever other cleaning agent in a timely fashion, I’m sure the Dorito handprints would come out. But I don’t have time for more laundry. Last week’s laundry is still on the floor. So.
  8. I don’t have the energy to care about trivial things like Dorito handprints. I have other things to worry about. Just grab me a wipe and let’s move on.

 

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On Motherhood

I Can’t Remember the Last Time I Brushed My Hair

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

Right now, the one-month old is sleeping and the sick toddler is watching a movie. (And no, I DON’T want to build a freaking snowman.) I’m sitting at my computer with tired eyes and cold coffee, desperately trying to get some work done while the two of them are sort of settled for all of five minutes. The newborn keeps threatening to wake up, because going an hour without eating is apparently unacceptable. And the second he does, my toddler will also make a demand, I’m sure.

This is motherhood. It’s not pretty.

It’s beautiful.

It’s the most raw experience I’ve ever had. Never have my emotions been so transparent. Never have I felt so vulnerable. Never have I had to make such a sacrifice for needs other than my own, and that’s what makes it so beautiful. Creating life (and then keeping that life alive) is the most pure thing that has ever happened to me.

Despite this acknowledgment of an experience so unique, I’m tired.

I can’t remember the last time I brushed my hair, honestly. I’m pretty sick of the diaper rash from the pads that I’ve been wearing for weeks. I still can’t wear my wedding rings because my postpartum skin is more sensitive than my newborn’s. I spend my evening hours waiting for the final poop of the night before I can finally get some sleep, and this is after wrestling my toddler into her own bed.

I’m also doing a lot of crying. I feel like I’m failing at least ten times per day, mixed in with brief moments of success amidst cuddles and spit-up and dirty diapers. For those moms posting gorgeous Instagram photos with hair and makeup done, I’m envious. I also know that’s not how you started your day. Whatever face we put on for the world, there is an internal struggle. There is constant second-guessing. This. Is. Hard.

So for your moms that haven’t got the energy to do anything but roll from one set of sweats to the next, I see you. You’ll have time to brush your hair some day. It won’t always look like this. Despite the unkempt look, I hope you are still experiencing happiness. I hope you haven’t brushed your hair because of lack of time, like me, and not because of depression. For those moms that are looking glamorous, I see you, too. I know it wasn’t easy to get ready for the day, and I sincerely hope you feel as good as you look. I hope your hair and makeup is the self-care you deserve, and not an attempt to convince the world that everything is fine when it’s not.

Motherhood is not glamorous, but it will always remain the most beautiful thing I’ve ever done, despite my unbrushed hair.

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On Motherhood

4 Reasons You Need Mom Friends

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

Motherhood is no joke. You will say and do things that your younger self would have been horrified with, and you won’t even blink an eye. You will have days that will make you question all your life choices, despite the love for your rambunctious children, which is why mom friends are so important. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but really, it takes a village to keep moms sane.

As wonderful as non-mom friends are, there are just things they don’t understand. At least not yet. But you can’t text them at 3am because the baby is up gnawing at your nipples for the millionth time, because they’re either sleeping (the bastards) or they’re drunk (why else would any non-parent be awake at 3am?). Moms need mom friends, for these reasons and many others.

  1. You need to know you haven’t lost your mind.

Kids are insane. It’s not just you. You’ll turn your back for all of ten seconds and your kid will have flushed their favorite toy down the toilet, broken an iPad, or gave the family pet a haircut. You’ll repeat “don’t lick that” more times than you can count, and you’ll spend time more time cleaning up bodily fluids than you ever thought possible.

  1. There are things you can’t say to non-parents.

Until you’ve been in the thick of motherhood, you can’t understand it. I don’t care whether you’ve got a million nieces and nephews, or if you’re a nanny, or if you live with a baby sibling. If that child is not your responsibility 24/7, you just don’t get it. And by “it”, I mean the shit-show that parenting is. Non-parents will judge you for wanting to skip town for a few days, but mom friends will understand completely.

  1. “Tired” doesn’t even began to cover it.

I can’t help but want to punch non-parents in the face when they say they’re tired. I’m sure they think they’re tired. I know I thought I was tired as a college student when I had stayed up all night and had to attend an 8am class. Now I know what real tired is. Real tired is one child staying up late for no reason and the other child tagging in either in the middle of the night or at the crack of dawn. And then still having to keep said children alive during the day.

  1. Moms need a village, too.

Moms need a group of non-shaming, supportive people that get it. That understand that sometimes you do have to bribe your child with a sip of iced coffee so that they will get their damn shoes on. That will comfort your crying baby while you handle the toddler tantrum, or GASP, go pee by yourself. A village is important for the children in your community, but it’s critical for moms.

I do treasure my non-mom friends, but I can’t ask them frantic questions about baby poop. I can’t call them crying because my toddler won’t stop throwing french fries at me. My non-mom friends are important for when I need to not think about my kids, but I need my mom friends in desperate moments because my kids are ALWAYS around. If you don’t have a village, check out your local resources like the library to find some. You will need them.

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On Motherhood

6 Reasons Why Mom is Tired Today (and Everyday)

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

I’m. Tired. But not in a “I didn’t sleep well tired.” It’s more of a “life is generally exhausting tired.” I struggle to pin it down somedays as to why I’m so tired, because it seems like a permanent state of being. Despite my exhaustion, I was able to scrape up these 6 reasons why I’m so effing tired today.

  1. The never-ending laundry.

How? How do so few people make so much laundry? Half the time I don’t even get dressed and my child wanders around naked. Yet there is still so much laundry all the time. I could even wash, fold, and put away in the same day and still find more laundry.

  1. “Mom!”

It never ever stops. There’s not enough coffee in the world to prepare me for the amount of energy my child has. Where does it come from? There’s not even a wake-up grace period. Just a vibrant “good morning!” in one manner or another from my child. And always at 6am. Every time. I could put her to bed at midnight and she would still wake up at 6am.

  1. Desperate attempts to get “me” time.

There’s a battle that goes on in every parent’s mind at night. Do you go to sleep the second the kids are passed out because you’re so freaking tired, or do you snag a few hours of utter peace? Most times my need for a little bit of “me” time wins, perpetuating the cycle of tiredness.

  1. The whining.

Oh my goodness, the whining. My toddler will ask for goldfish and then whine because her snack isn’t grapes. Uhm, what? I gave you exactly what you asked for, why are you still whining?! The blocks don’t stack right, her fingernail looks weird, or Mr. Noodle from Elmo’s world won’t call her on the phone. There’s always a reason to whine and it’s never easily fixed.

  1. The man-flu and related illnesses.

As if I didn’t have enough babies in my life, there is always my darling husband. He’s a good man, truly, but I do notice what I admit being a sexist assumption. I could have the same exact cold as my husband, and surprise: I would be doing laundry and he would be dying a slow and terrible death.

  1. Adulting is hard.

Adulting is the worst. I have to work because I have to pay bills. I have to eat. My child has to eat. There are tasks that need done that I am solely responsible for, and it’s just tiring. Then it gets worse when things like student loan notices and jury duty pop up. We had it so good as kids and didn’t know it until it was too late. Now, we’re just tired.

 

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On Motherhood

You Might Be a Mom If…

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

Mom life is so hard. I can’t keep track of anything, and I find myself saying the most ridiculous phrases. Mom life is adventurous, but this past week had me really thinking about all the craziness that goes on.

Organizing is in the toilet.

I’ve never been the most organized person. Even before kids, I was always losing things that I really shouldn’t be misplacing (like passports). Now that I have one toddler and another on the way, we are lucky that everyone is still accounted for. I have a hard time keeping track of my life, but I’m glad that my toddler is around to keep me somewhat organized. Scary, right?

Here’s a list of things my two-year-old helps me find on a regular basis.

  • My phone
  • My water bottle
  • Her milk cup
  • The remote
  • My keys

I can’t believe I have to say this.

As a mom, I expected to say the typical “stop picking your nose” and whatnot, but I had no idea what was coming for me. Here are only some of my most recent delightful phrases.

  • Quit licking the conveyor belt, that’s only for groceries.
  • Stop licking your dad’s feet.
  • Stop swinging your diaper over your head.
  • Seriously, stop taking your diaper off.
  • We don’t touch poop.

You might be a mom if…

And finally, there are signs of motherhood that are common daily, and signify your constant responsibility for tiny humans. You just might be a mom if:

  • You share your meal or end up eating most of it cold
  • You drink cold coffee
  • You don’t remember the last time you showered
  • Laundry never, ever ends
  • You hear the word “mom” like it’s a broken record

Motherhood isn’t for the weak. Let us know what you struggle with each day, whether it’s keeping those keys handy or your toddler out of the toilet. Kids are lucky they’re cute.

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On Motherhood

Throwback Thursday is So Real for Moms

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

Oh man, what my Thursdays used to look like before becoming a mom. Now, I honestly don’t know what day it is most of the time. It all blurs into the same whirlwind of diapers and snacks and tantrums. Those pesky Facebook memories pop up, and all I can think about is what a baby I was and how I really should not have worn that outfit that night. This is the same Facebook feed I scroll through as I relish in the quiet of naptime, lounging in sweats and eating pudding and vanilla wafers.

  • #TBT to Thirsty Thursdays! Those college towns where every bar has a Thursday night special, and thirsty doesn’t mean your child asking for a drink in the middle of the night. Besides, could I even stay up that late if I tried?
  • #TBT to midterms and how you really shouldn’t have left that paper to the last minute, but here you are in the library at 2am writing something that is due Friday at 8am.
  • #TBT to playing hooky, from school or work, and hitting the beach with your friends. And you wonder what ever happened to that bikini, because you really liked it.
  • #TBT to the workplace, where everyone was talking about how excited they were for their weekend plans. Could you be talked into a Thirsty Thursday drink? Sometimes, but Friday was never as kind to you as it was in college.
  • #TBT to those early morning gym sessions! Before kids, you were hitting the gym or going for a run each morning to rise and shine. Now, you rise and shine to children’s feet in your face and pleas for cereal.
  • #TBT to sleeping in, because you didn’t always make it to the gym early. And there were absolutely no reasons to get out of bed until at least noon.
  • #TBT to actually doing my hair, my makeup, and getting dressed all in the same day. That trifecta is not one you see often anymore, not in my life.

If I even know what day it is, sometimes I can give Throwback Thursday some recognition. But as a mom, I’m just counting down the clock until bedtime, every day of the week. And I’m sure, when my little gremlin is grown, I’ll be TBT to the precious moments filled with snuggles and kisses. So I really try to enjoy these moments now, because there will be a Throwback Thursday that I’ll be longing for a messy house and noisy kids. That’s what I have to tell myself as my toddler screams and throws things at me. Hopefully this isn’t the moment I reminisce about.

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On Motherhood

On a Bad Day of Parenting, Don’t Tell Me I’m Doing Great

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

I love seeing other moms lift each other up. A sympathetic glance or a nice comment like, “you’re doing awesome.” Mom shaming is rampant, and I want more than anything for everyone to be more accepting of the way everyone parents differently. Except non-vaxxers. Sorry, not sorry. Don’t be a douchebag and try to convince me that herd immunity isn’t real or that my kid will get autism.

Anyhoo.

At the same time, I don’t want someone (friend or stranger) to tell me how beautiful I am when I haven’t showered in three days. I don’t want someone to tell me I’m doing a good job when, really, it hasn’t been my best parenting day. We all make mistakes and wish that we could start the day over. So if I’m clearly having a rough day and my toddler has made me cry (for possibly the fifth time), this is what I need from you.

Remind me that parenting is so freaking hard.

It really is. Parenting is something that you could never be prepared for, and every time you think you have it down, your kid throws a wrench into the system and changes it up. Or you get tricked into having another, because we are suckers.

Tell me that I make sweatpants look awesome.

If you see me in jeans, it means I haven’t done laundry in a REALLY long time, or that my child has somehow destroyed all my leggings and sweatpants. It also probably means I’m having a bad day, because I avoid jeans at all costs. Even if you can’t compliment the sweatpants, compliment the confidence to step out of the house looking like a hot mess. Trust me, you won’t get an opportunity to compliment any other outfit of mine. I don’t wear much else.

Tell me that you’ve been where I am.

It doesn’t last forever, and I know this. But hearing that other moms have stood exactly where I’m standing, in a puddle of mom and toddler tears, makes me feel a hundred times better. There’s so much pressure to have it all together, but those expectations aren’t realistic.

Admit that kids are assholes.

Because they are. My daughter is my karma, one-hundred-percent, and she purposefully tests me. Oh, mommy said no? I didn’t quite hear that. Mommy asked me nicely? IDGAF. My toddler looks at me like she couldn’t care less. She rolls her eyes like a teenager! Pushing boundaries is totally normal, but I can still think it’s annoying AF.

Moms don’t always need to be told that they are beautiful creatures doing wonderful things for their children. Trust me, I know. I work my butt off to keep this tiny human alive, and I’m exhausted. I don’t give a crap if during that I’m still beautiful. Fantastic, but beauty won’t get my child to sleep any faster.

I need to hear that motherhood is hard. I need to hear that I have support, regardless of how I choose to parent. I need to hear that I am not the only one struggling. Those are the words that will help me on a bad day, and those are the words that will help remind me of the good days. And at the end of each day, I can remember that I love being a mom.

 

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Let's Talk On Motherhood

10 Questions Every Mom Asks Herself Daily

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

I run around in a confused haze most of the time, but I can almost guarantee that I ask myself these 10 questions daily.

  1. What day is it?

Being a work-at-home mom, I lose all track of days. The calendar means nothing to me, and I’m lucky to make it to all our appointments.

  1. Where is my phone?

Hallie knows the answer to this better than I do. Pregnancy brain has persisted into toddlerhood, and I can’t remember anything. Ever.

  1. Where are my keys?

My husband usually knows this one. I don’t have the car on a regular basis, and it can go several days before I realize the last one to have my keys was Hallie. Let the scavenger hunt begin!

  1. When did I shower last?

This is a shocking part of motherhood that I did not believe was possible. I forget to shower. All. The. Time. I get to the end of the day, and I’m just so tired, so I tell myself I’ll shower tomorrow. Apparently, I tell myself that a lot, and only realize when my husband is shocked that I’ve gone three days. Whoops.

  1. When did I last bathe the child?

Hallie only gets a bath two to three times a week, especially in the cold months. Her sensitive skin dries right out, so we limit time in the bath. I sometimes get to the end of the week and realize it still hasn’t happened. We get there eventually.

  1. Is it bedtime yet?

Is 6pm too early? Hallie seems to think so. Sometimes we cruise peacefully into the bedtime hours, and other days I am counting the minutes. Her attitude is unreal, and my patience has its limits.

  1. It’s too quiet. What are you doing?!

If Hallie isn’t making noise, I know that there’s a problem. Even if we are in the same room, and I’m focused on work, I have to peek at her to make sure she’s not trying to kill herself. Noise is always good.

  1. What is that smell?

I ask this question a shocking number of times each day. Sometimes Hallie has pooped, other times she has farted, or maybe it was my husband stinking up the room. There is always some sort of smell somewhere.

  1. What are you eating?

One of Hallie’s favorite activities is searching the floor for anything to put in her mouth. Dirt, leftover snacks, whatever. No matter how often I sweep, she’s the master at finding the crumbs I’ve missed.

  1. Why are you like this???

Is it just me? Sometimes I stare in awe at Hallie as she spins around on the floor making demon noises. Or perhaps she has just finished throwing every bit of food on her plate in different directions. Maybe she’s running high-speed through the house, screaming at the top of her lungs, for no reason.

I have so many questions that come out of my mouth every day, and rarely do I have a good answer. Motherhood is a daily adventure, this I always know.