February 2009 Archives


I had a baby. My 2nd baby, a boy. And then my life crapped out right along with his crazy diapers those first six weeks. My friend Stephanie told me before we got pregnant again, “You don’t want two kids. You think you do, but you don’t.” And now I know what she was trying to say. Oh, go ahead and call me a bad mommy. This will not phase me at all. 

What Steph meant, and there was no way to explain, was that being a good mom to one kid is very hard. Being a good mom to two kids is effing impossible. I have learned in these last 4 1/2 months that it’s not managing the logistics of potty training, snacks or changing diapers that causes grey hair. It’s not even the college fund or the sleepless nights. It’s the guilt. The enormous guilt that you can never give your children as much attention as you feel they deserve. 

You will never be funny enough, laugh enough, praise enough, teach enough, cook enough nutritious and simultaneously delicious meals. With one child, you kick yourself. With two children, you die a little every time you turn on Playhouse Disney or admit to yourself that you’d rather scrape your eyelids with a dull razor than play People House one more time. And when your friends and family remark how smart your kids are, you pray to God they are right and that their vocabulary does not escalate beyond your control. Because, if you are like me, your standards for yourself as a parent are even higher than they are your hopes for yourself as a human being. With one kid, you are set up for failure. With two kids - or God help you - more, you are set up to fail on the grandest scale imaginable.


I am afraid to babble to my son too much. Afraid that he will think this is real communication. He’s 5 months old and I am using quite a bit of energy each day trying to sound as sane as possible while getting so little sleep. Can he get cancer from my inhaling my perfume? Is my daughter’s preference for frilly dresses a sign that I have told her she is beautiful too many times? Will she grow up shallow? Are those cookies organic? Does this hand gel contain parabens? Exactly what causes cancer, dammit!

In my previous life as a sultry, snotty single woman (as I like to think) my only fear was that I wouldn’t find someone that I would make me feel comfortable enough to fart in his presence. All the rest was just minor -bills, lack of health insurance, crappy food -whatever. Now, I have a list of fears that could wrap around China - all involving the protection of my precious offspring. If my mother worried half this much, I owe her one hell of an apology. How did that woman sleep nights knowing I had the kind of personality I did? It’s a wonder she ever let me leave the house.


It’s funny, you know. If you are a parent and you are reading this, you might think I am going to offer some solution or at least post a link to the Canadian pharmacy where you can buy Ritalin. Believe me, if I had that kind of info, I wouldn’t be writing this. I don’t have a solution for this angst. Worse, I hear it NEVER ends. Even when they are 30-something and have kids of their own. But I can tell you this: 

You are not alone. And if you ever need to stop by my house on the way to pick up your wee one from preschool or in between doctor visits, I’m here. I have a box of tissue and your choice of adult beverages. But just one, okay. Like I need my kids seeing drunk parents in my living room more than once a week! Probably give ‘em cancer.