My baby showers were painful exercises in small talk, awkward baby games and feigning excitement over another onesie with a duck on it. But they were also wonderful. They were gatherings of women who loved me and were excited for me and my baby, women who had been where I was going and knew I’d need all the onesies because babies poop on them constantly. They were a community of friends who were doing their best to prepare me for this new stage in life the best way they knew how with pie, punch and rectal thermometers. And it was glorious in that awkward way that all transition celebrations are.
Lyz is a freelance writer, with an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University. She also works as a blogger for the Huffington Post and a regular contributor to Mommyish, Mom.me and The Real Moms of Eastern Iowa, a hyper-local mom blog and most importantly BabyZone. Her writing has been published in Real Weddings, Guidepost, The Des Moines Register and YourTango, LearnVest, and Babble.com. She has been syndicated on MSNBC, The Today Show Website, Yahoo! Shine, and MSN Glo. She maintains a blog about pants, chicken nuggets and babies over on LyzLenz.com.
My favorite podcast, “One Bad Mother” regularly features parenting genius moments, where parents call in and share their moments of triumph over their tiny hordes. In that spirit, I present to you 12 parents sharing their own genius moments and helpful tips that they had to learn the hard way.
I worked out during both of my pregnancies. With my first, I quit working out when I found myself at five months pregnant, puking on my neighbor’s lawn during a run. After that, I did yoga three times a week. I still gained over 60 pounds and it took nine months, plus training for a half marathon for me to lose all the weight. With my second, I did cardio on the elliptical five times a week right up until he was born. I gained only 40 pounds and now, four months postpartum, I’m using Jillian Michaels DVDs to help me blast off the last 10 pounds. Which aren’t budging, no matter how many times Ms. Michaels tells me to “hit it!” Thanks for nothing, exercise.
I have seven siblings. No, we aren’t Catholic or Mormon. Yes, my parents are crazy. And sure, I love having siblings. I don’t always get along with them, but that’s the true value of a sibling: Someone who calls you on your garbage, steals your stuff and teaches you important life lessons about getting along. This summer, my daughter’s reign as an only child ended and while going from one to two kids has been difficult, I’m glad we gave her a sibling.
Before I became a parent, I was sure I wouldn’t get caught up in the mind numbing language of parents. I would mean what I said. I wouldn’t lie. I’d never do dumb things like yell, “Go to sleep!” Like it would actually make a difference. But now, I’m a parent of two and I say all of these things, all the time. Why? Because I said so!
My husband and I are opposites. I’m an extrovert. He’s an introvert. I’m a brunette. He’s a blond. Democrat. Republican. Mac. PC. Needless to say, we’ve had our share of motown throwdowns over how to squeeze the toothpaste and where dirty socks belong (not in the couch cushions!). We’ve known each other since high school, and I thought I knew everything about him until we had our daughter. That first year of our daughter’s life was hard on us and our marriage, but seeing him as a parent gave me new love and new respect for him. And I know that no matter what life hands us, my husband is the best father I’ve ever seen, and I’m so grateful to be on this journey with him.
I remember those long nights when my daughter screamed for hours for no apparent reason. My husband and I were uptight and desperate new parents and we ran around giving her gas drops, changing her diaper, patting her back, playing soothing ocean sounds. Nothing worked until someone mentioned swaddling. The moment we wrapped her up she drifted off to sleep. It’s like all she wanted was to be put in a little straight jacket with ducks printed on it.
The holidays are time for family, fun, food and babies freaking out on airplanes. If you are getting ready to embark on a journey with a baby and a toddler, please make sure you have whiskey waiting for you at baggage claim. Also, these tips are for you.
I knew I was pregnant when I started puking in the street during a morning run. My doctor told me it would get better, but as the weeks progressed, I found myself puking in bags in the car, at work, and even rushing from the dinner table barely making it to the sink. One morning, I spent more than an hour huddled over the toilet. My husband found me passed out on the bathroom floor. It was like college except a lot less fun.
One of the things about pregnancy that no one can adequately prepare you for is how your body becomes public property. You cannot walk out of the house without someone commenting, touching or staring at your stomach. Pregnant bellies are tractor beams for crazies. So file this story under, “About Freaking Time.”
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