I Used to Hate Being Alone. Then I Became a Mom

I Used to Hate Being Alone. Then I Became a Mom

I grew up with a lot of fears and anxiety. But what tormented me the most was being alone. My sister and I are only 13 months apart and we shared a room for most of our childhood. The second we got our own rooms, though, I refused to sleep in it — I just couldn’t bare the thought of being by myself. As I got older, it only got worse. No matter where I went or what I did, I always wanted someone to come with me. It was the comfort of having someone right there, by my side, that helped me. And then I became a mom. Suddenly, all of those times that I’d begged for someone to keep me company for every step of my entire life was a reality — right there at my fingertips! And I didn’t even have to ask. My fear could easily be thrown out the window, because not only did I have someone by my side all the time, but I also no longer had the option of being alone. Before I had kids, I used to ask my girlfriends to accompany me to the restroom whenever we were out, because I didn’t want to go by myself. Now I’m lucky if I don’t have an audience … Share Quote FacebookPinterest When I was younger, I associated the thought of being alone with being lonely. The very reason it made me anxious was because I was so scared of what others would think when they saw me all by myself. My lack of confidence in myself not only prohibited me from going places, but it also...

The Playground Is Basically a Nightclub for Slurring, Stumbling Toddlers

As a recovering alcoholic, I pretty much avoid bars at all costs, but once my son transitioned into toddlerdom and the park became part of our daily routine, it was like I was back in a really bad Cancun nightclub during spring break. Here’s why … There’s always the same cast of characters. Putting people into categories is totally evil, but we all do it anyway. Archetypes can be identified as early as the toddler years; here are a few of my favorites and how they are like club-going counterparts. The Pretty Girl This little girl is always impeccably dressed and well-groomed, usually standing off to the side brushing her American Girl doll’s hair, while the other, less-refined children run around like banshees with their heads cut off. At the club, she is always at a bottle service table with her Chanel bag, giving the “as if” stink-eye to any dude who attempts to make eye contact. The Jock “How can a child that young climb up those rocks so quickly?” you wonder as you watch this 99th percentile creature dominate the playground like a pro. This big-little person has trouble assimilating themselves with all the other average height and weighters out there, who are clearly intimidated. At the club this individual, who rarely drinks because it isn’t part of their diet plan, flexes their muscles and the whole establishment swoons. The Dude/Dudette They’re the bully whose MO in life is making all the other kids in the sandbox cry. If there’s an adult companion in the vicinity, their main role is to repeatedly tell the little punk to apologize to anyone and everyone...
20 Things That Keep Moms Sane(ish)

20 Things That Keep Moms Sane(ish)

I am a adult, and sometimes I get hollered at for not being fancy enough or for driving too fast or that I need to stop singing “Hello”—by a 4-year-old. I often find that I need something to help me get through these days of being hollered at, simple things that give me happiness and help me feel like I’m more than a walking human Kleenex. Not that my children don’t give me happiness, they do, but they also give me fistfuls of food that they don’t want to eat and the common cold about 10 times per year. It doesn’t take much to make me feel better, so here are some examples just in case you need to feel better too: 1. ’80s music I’m looking at you “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and anything by ’80s Madonna or U2. There’s just something about certain songs that make me feel like I don’t have to be responsible for anybody else’s nonsense but my own. 2. Sunshine It helps so much, and sometimes I don’t even realize how much I need the sun until it’s been gone for a while and my kids start looking at me fearfully whenever my head turns full circle in their direction. 3. Online Shopping Even just for regular stuff like noise-canceling headphones, sturdy bathroom locks, or vats of chocolate wine (this seriously exists). 4. Target I know, I know. So cliche. But really, where else can I go in for deodorant and come out the proud owner of many somethings that are not deodorant and also fill the consumeristic void in my soul? 5. A Siesta I...
7 Things Guys Need To Expect Before They’re Expecting

7 Things Guys Need To Expect Before They’re Expecting

New dad Frank Priegue breaks it down for the pre-baby crowd. — Parenthood is a life-changing experience, and I love being a Dad. That said, any parent, or more specifically, this parent is letting you know your life is going to change because you WILL make sacrifices along the way.  I knew this coming in—at least I thought I did. If you are thinking about starting a family this is a must read—it will give you some insight on what lies ahead. Pregnancy – You want a sneak peek on parenthood? Pregnancy is a good place to start. There’s weight gain, sleepless nights, and moodiness—and that was just me. Prepare for a rollercoaster ride of Lamaze Classes, baby registries, and unsolicited advice from all sides. I don’t know what was rougher—dealing with my better half’s hormones or agreeing on the baby’s name. Don’t worry about the sleep deprivation—you’ll catch up once the baby’s born. New Baby/Clueless Parents – The first days are a blur of baby bottles, dirty diapers, and caffeine (mine, not the baby’s). Bonus points if you survive without getting peed on.  After a week of this your friends and family will want to see the baby.  Hopefully they will do more than post selfies with your child on Instagram.  Helpful hint, don’t be shy when someone asks, “What can I bring?”  It’s a limited-time offer so forget the chicken nuggets and go for the big ticket items like surf and turf. The Baby Tour – Once the baby’s older you’ll be required to take him on tour.  This is done for the relatives who couldn’t make it to your home or were afraid of the cranky...
The “Firsts” No One Tells You About

The “Firsts” No One Tells You About

I was prepared for the usual parenting “firsts.” First steps, first birthday, first wiggly tooth, first day of kindergarten … events I knew would both thrill and sting, just a bit. That’s the nature of having children: you can’t wait for them to grow up, but you also want them to stay little forever. It’s what makes everything bittersweet. And those big milestones reinforce just how fast it all goes. But I wasn’t prepared for the other firsts: the smaller, everyday milestones that aren’t listed anywhere in the baby books. Somehow, those have hurt a little more; probably because they caught me so unaware. Here are a few I’ve been ruminating about recently. 1. The first time they won’t let you kiss them in public. This happened just last week. My son is about to turn 8, and he is suddenly cool. He cares about his clothes, his hair, his backpack, his socks … he cares about his friends’ opinions. We were at dinner with three other families when he said something funny and I laughed and leaned down to kiss his cheek. He pulled away, and gave me that look. (I’m guessing you know the one I’m talking about.) Later that night he told me, “Mommy, how would you feel if your mom tried to kiss you in front of all your friends? Wouldn’t you be sort of … embarrassed?” I nodded solemnly and said I understood, but in truth my heart broke just a little. 2. The first time they take a shower by themselves. This is, by and large, an awesome milestone — it’s so great when they can wash their own...