Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Top Ten Tips for aspiring Super Mom's

I don't know about you, but when I brought home my first little bundle of joy from the hospital I was determined that I was going to be the worlds best mother.  My child would be the healthiest, the brightest, the fastest, the wittiest.  Actually, I'm almost positive that I caught glimpse of  my child  wearing red cape with Super Baby emblazoned upon the back as he was delivered  (No that is NOT the 20 hours of labor or the Demerol talking.).  Yup that's me, super baby's mom!!  Now where is my preferred parking spot?

Five kids and nearly twelve years later, I have long since relinquished my Super Mom title.  My exalted reign lasted exactly one hour after leaving the hospital.  I clearly remember the moment I unswaddled my little bundle to change his diaper and he turned completely blue.  I checked to make sure he was breathing, ran to the phone and placed a frantic call to our pediatrician.  It turned out my perfect little bundle was born with so little body fat that even on a 90 degree day, with no air conditioning, he had to stay bundled.  My Super Mom reign was over almost before it began.  Things did not improve from there.  By the time I had my second child, 17 months later, I was in a constant state of complete guilt.  Now I was splitting myself between two babies, a husband and the house.  Needless to say, nobody received enough of my attention.  I was overwhelmed by feeling like a complete failure as a mother and wife.  Once the twins came along there was no time for guilt.  I was running so hard just to keep up with four kids, all under the age of 3, that I was just on auto pilot, doing the things that had to be done just to make it through the day.
Today, I felt a bit overwhelmed.   I have a lot going on as I get ready for my trip back home.  As I was rushing around, trying to get everything checked off my to do list, I thought about the time all those years ago when I aspired to be Super Mom.  So tonight, I have made my own top ten list.  My top ten pieces of advice to any aspiring Super Mom's....hey my reign may have been short lived but I still held the title.

Top 10 Tips for aspiring Super Mom
10. Good baby swag does not a super mom make.  You will regret your designer diaper bag the minute your perfect little one has an exploding diaper in his back-up, back-up outfit.  At that point, all you can do is rinse it out in the bathroom and stick it in (you guessed it) your super expensive, designer diaper bag.
9.  Embrace the banana clip, stained t-shirt ( yes every shirt you own will have a stain on it within a few months), and yoga pant look.  I know you swore to your bestie back in the day that you would NEVER be THAT mom (most of us made the same solemn oath).  But you will, so stock up on banana clips before your bundle of perfection arrives.  It will save you from scrounging under the sofa cushions looking for one when you realize you have to run to the store for diapers NOW and you haven't showered in two days (okay lets be honest here, you're actually on your third day without a shower).
8.  Speaking of showers, as Super Mom these are a luxury to be prized above all things....except sleep.  Inferior moms will put their  babies into their cribs for five minutes to grab a slice of heaven (they may even let their baby cry....gasp).  But not you, as Super Mom you are required to either forgo the luxury completely until another, approved adult can hold your angel or you will bring the baby seat into the bathroom with you and leave the shower curtain open enough so that your angel never loses sight of you, in all your Super Mom Perfection.  It's a sacrifice, but being Super Mom isn't for the faint of heart.
7.  Sleep is for the weak!!  You thought you were something when you stayed up 48 hours straight to cram for finals in college. Ha! That's nothing.  Girlfriend, you will never see 8 straight hours of uninterrupted sleep again!  You will do a song and dance when you get three hours of interrupted sleep! Buy good concealer to cover the dark circles on the rare occasions you leave the house.  Super Mom's do not frighten toddlers with their raccoon eyes.
6.  Learn to eat, brush your teeth, brush your hair, talk on the phone and write a message down all with one hand.  This will save you many awkward moments as you adjust to the fact you have lost an arm.  No, they don't chop it off in the hospital after you give birth!  Nope, from now on your cutie patootie will have permanent residence in one arm.  Slings are quite in fashion now, they come in a variety of colorful patterns that cover your stained tee shirts.  If you are planning to go this route contact your friendly, neighborhood sling expert mom.  She will show you more ways to wear that sucker than ways Bubba Gump knows to cook shrimp.
5. All other moms ,who have babies within six months of your little dumpling's age, will feel the need to prove that their child is superior to yours in every way.  Being Super Mom, you know that this is untrue.  This scenario requires great delicacy because you are by now feeling the deep need for understanding, adult conversation.  I suggest that you compliment the other child's progress nicely.  Then as you are leaving your play date (every two month old NEEDS a play date.  This is imperative to proper social development.  REALLY, this is Super MOM 101 stuff.  Refer back to the chapter in your Super Mom manual the covers Baby Einstein, playing classical music in utero and teaching sign language to your little genius)....as I was saying, as you are leaving your play date just casually mention how your three month old now knows how to sign please and thank you.  This will allow the other mother to know who really has the smartest child, while avoiding the momma throw downs that sometimes occur at play dates.
4.  Cloth diapers and making your own baby food are all the rage right now.  However, from one Super Mom to another, your child will not suffer permanent emotional scarring should you choose to go the Pamper  and Gerber route.  You will have a few points deducted from your Super Mom score but the time and energy that you save ,on these things, can be used to teach your child more words in sign language, which will boost your score once more.
3. Amazon is your friend and Amazon Prime is your new BFF.  Every outing, whether to Target ( it is where all the Super Mom's shop), church, or a two week vacation, require almost the same amount of packing, gear and preparation.  To save yourself the hassle, order what you can online!!  Also, the "feels like a cross country move when I run to the store to buy diapers" phase only lasts a few years.  There is light at the end of this tunnel.  Then the "I am your personal chauffeur" phase starts.
2.  On a serious note, you will at times feel isolated and alone.  This is the hardest part of being being a mom of young kids.  This stage passes and you will again have friends and a social life.  In the meantime, have someone watch your special little bugaboo and have a girls night with your old girlfriends once in a while.  It won't be the same but those few hours of laughing will be a lifeline to you in your lonely days.
1.  There is no such thing as a Super Mom!!  That's the big secret that everyone has been keeping from you. We are all struggling, right along side you, trying to do our best and still feeling like we aren't enough.  Give your child grace to make mistakes and room to be a kid, give your friends grace as they struggle to be the best mom they can to their children and most importantly give yourself grace.  You aren't perfect.  Just take it one day at a time, friend.   I'm still taking it day by day.  Lot's of love, Kristine


Stephanie McCown said...

Kristine, this is brilliant! I love it! I found myself laughing, nodding in agreement, and sometimes even wanting to cry just a little as I remembered those early days of motherhood. My own Super Mom shirt is worn out beyond recognition, and now just reads, "Mom". Motherhood is such a struggle, and the pressure moms have today...with websites, magazines, tv shows, and myriad experts telling us how we should be doing things...it's all so maddening! It is a wonder we aren't all suffering from serious depression and inferiority complex! Thanks for writing this post. It is one every mom, new or seasoned, needs to read. :)

Sally Phillips said...

This brought back so many memories. I loved the part about taking a shower. It was such a luxury. This will help me to remember to give an extra smile to moms I see in the supermarket with several little kids in tow. Keep writing!

Kristine Meier-Skiff said...

Thank you so much Stephanie. You are so right, it is maddening to have so many different opinions flying at you from every direction. Thank God for his grace to get through it.-Kristine

Kristine Meier-Skiff said...

Thank you so much Sally:) I appreciate the encouragement.

grey rose (they/them) said...

hey, kristine! our mutal friend, marie williams, sent me here, because you are awesome. and i definitely need more awesome in my life!!

so refreshed by your words. looking forward to stalking you here ;)

happy weekend!

Kristine Meier-Skiff said...

Hannah it is so good to meet you!! Any friend of Marie's is bound to be fabulous. Love her:) Thank you so very much for your compliments. I can always use the encouragement to keep writing. I look forward to getting to know you more:)-Kristine

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