Sometimes in Marriage, You Need to Take One for the Team

Sometimes in Marriage, You Need to Take One for the Team

It’s not that I don’t love my husband, because I do. And it’s not like I don’t find him attractive, because I mean … that beard and that bod? I dig it. But the thought of having sex six weeks postpartum? Let’s just say I wasn’t feeling it. NOTE: This is the part where you may want to stop reading if you know me (parents and in-laws, I’m looking at you). I never really realized how much hormones could effect a person until I experienced pregnancy and postpartum. My moods (and shall we say sexual prowess?) definitely changed during each time. With my first pregnancy, I was into it. But postpartum? Not so much. With the second, I wasn’t into it during pregnancy but postpartum I was a fan. The third time around though I was just not into it AT ALL. Let’s just say that a good chunk of my pregnancy was a test of patience for my husband — bless him. Having experienced these pregnancy hormone shifts before, though, neither of us were overly concerned. We assumed that things would fall back into a good groove once our baby arrived and everything leveled out. Finally, after nine 10 long months, our baby girl made her debut into this world and we were thrilled. Now things would settle back into place hormonally and sex would surely be good again — and most definitely far less awkward and uncomfortable. So we waited. But as my six-week postpartum check-up approached, I still wasn’t feeling overly enthusiastic about the prospect of a roll in the hay. My husband — ever the gentleman — didn’t push the subject (but he did make a...
What I’ve Learned So Far (10 Week Edition)

What I’ve Learned So Far (10 Week Edition)

There are a ton of blog posts out there that gently (and not so gently) offer advice to moms of newborns. We like this one from Liz because she hacks through the nonsense and offers some straightforward down to earth advice for the masses. (And seriously, baby smiles FTW!) 1. I need to have a shower everyday. After having my daughter, Ryley, a daily shower has become an absolute priority in a way it never was before. The first few weeks it felt essential because I felt so physically spent and disgusting thanks to my own bodily fluids post-labor as well as the baby’s. A shower was the only thing that made me feel like a somewhat functional human not covered in spit-up and poop. And now whenever I shower in the morning during the baby’s first nap, I feel like I start my day with a victory. Even if she goes off the rails and refuses to nap again in the crib, at least I managed to fit in one thing entirely for me. I think a new mom needs to do at least one “selfish” thing every day, whether it’s a shower or a glass of wine. And if you really want to multi-task bring the glass (or bottle) of wine into the shower with you. 2. My baby doesn’t like the car. I feel like this is one of those truisms of parenting you always hear, that a car ride will instantly lull a baby, and she will become a sleeping angel the second the wheels start rolling. This may be true for some babies, even...
Older Moms Understand The Myth of Perfection

Older Moms Understand The Myth of Perfection

I’m at the McDonald’s outdoor playscape — a place I would never have taken my first child. The junk food! The germs! The consumerism! The GMOs! But after 10 years of parenting and almost 40 years of living, I have developed the perspective that being too idealistic about what I will or won’t expose my kids to is just nonsense. It leads to nothing but stress and unrealistic expectations. I don’t love everything about moving into the “older mom” camp, but letting go of the idea of perfection is definitely a perk of being an older mom that I have fully embraced. So here I am at McDonald’s, letting my 3-year-old drink chocolate milk that’s probably full of hormones and antibiotics that will destroy his ability to have children. But hey, he’s occupied. And they have Wi-Fi here, so I’m one happy camper (smart move on the free Wi-Fi, Mickey D’s). He’s taken to playing with a set of twins who look to be just a little bit younger than him. They “take turns” sliding down the slide, which means that they keep kicking each other in the butt as they scramble to get in their turns, one after the other. It’s cute and endearing, and I’m just happy my kid is out of my hair for a bit. The twins’ mom strikes up some conversation. She asks how old my son is, whether he’s in school, yadda, yadda, yadda. But then she cuts to the chase. “Is he potty trained yet?” Isn’t it funny how you can inquire about the bathroom habits of little humans within 30 seconds...
5 Things I Didn’t Know About Pregnancy: A Father’s Perspective

5 Things I Didn’t Know About Pregnancy: A Father’s Perspective

Even though I’m a father of three, each pregnancy has been its own learning experience. I was the youngest in my family, so my wife was the first pregnant woman I’d ever lived with. I felt remarkably unprepared for the whole ordeal, particularly considering that pregnancy is something that’s been around since the dawn of human kind. It feels like I should have known more. Here are a few things I didn’t know about pregnancy. My hope is that it will help enlighten those first-time fathers out there. 1. Pregnant women cry a lot. When Mel was pregnant with our first child, I asked her to water the Christmas tree and she cried. “Don’t you realize how tired I am?” she said. Then she called me a jerk. I’d seen a million movies where a pregnant woman lost control of their emotions, and it was hilarious. But when faced with the real thing, it isn’t that funny. I was 24, and my knee-jerk reaction was to get pissed. But first-time dads, here’s some advice: If faced with this situation, just apologize and water the damn the tree. In fact, apologizing really should be your default. During that first pregnancy, Mel cried because the bank was closed, because the car was low on gas, and because I ate the last string cheese. I hate to say this, but a pregnant woman crying is normal. Pregnancy changes a woman in a lot of ways, and one of them is a new inability to govern her emotions. It took me until our second child to realize that my job as the father...
If Mom Ain’t Happy, Nobody’s Happy

If Mom Ain’t Happy, Nobody’s Happy

The past few months have been challenging. My own frustration, bitterness, and pessimism seems to match our nation’s collective angst. Perhaps the Summer of 2016 could best be called the “Summer of WTF” or the “Summer of Tragedy” or the “Summer of When-Will-This-crapshow-End?” We all seem to be feeling a bit beaten down, frustrated and scared. I hate to admit it, but as grateful as I am for all the joys in my life, I haven’t been very good about feeling grateful or showing gratitude for those joys. I haven’t been a very good wife, mother, or friend. I haven’t been my best self. There have been days when I’m not even sure I’ve been an okay-ish version of myself because I was a downright pain in the ass to be around. And quite frankly, I’ve annoyed myself with my own moodiness and sulking. Some of the reasons for this funk or despair (or whatever you’d call it) are somewhat obvious. The news headlines make me want to scream or weep on a daily basis. Adjusting to our summer schedule was difficult, and certain work projects that I busted my butt on didn’t produce the results I would have liked. An extra 5 pounds (oh, who am I kidding, it’s definitely closer to 10) have permanently attached themselves to my belly, butt, and thighs. And as much as I would like to say that I’ve made peace with this, the truth is, I have not. I want the scale to magically adjust itself without giving up my daily Kit-Kat bars and French fries. As much as I would like to...