Saturday, August 28, 2010

Reflections of a Newly Minted Stay at Home Mom

Well, I'm about two months into this new gig of mine, and it has been—well, everything. Wonderful, exhausting, rewarding, frustrating, brain-melting, challenging, joyous and all-consuming. I've fished my son out of a toilet, bought four new iPhone apps for my daughter, renewed my pregnancy carpal-tunnel issues and found pure joy in the occasional Starbucks run. A hell of a lot different from my life as a San Francisco advertising writer, but I've found that what's bad for my wardrobe is good for my soul. And I'm totally fine with that.

Many of my friends have asked me how the transition has been, and it's hard to find an answer that sums it all up. As committed as I was as a mom while I was working, there's just no denying the fact that at the end of the week, I had racked up 40 hours or so of time that had nothing to do with my offspring—in heels, no less. That's not good or bad, right or wrong, it's just 180 degrees different from my life now. Now, I think it's stretching it to say that I may have 12 hours a week of time that's not spent dressing, feeding, teaching, shuttling, playing with and cleaning up the poop of my children. And heels? Please. At the end of the day, I'm exhausted and I often smell funny, but my heart is full. That's pretty much the best way to explain it.

That said, here are a few reflections of my new life...

Children are both the best company you'll ever have and the worst. They give you moments that are so much more funny and brilliant and insightful than even the most funny, brilliant and insightful adults, then they follow it up by pooping on your couch.

Who comes in and slows the clock down from the hours of 4:00 to 6:30? Seriously, stop that.

I think I have to take a bit of my own advice when it comes to frump—not to mention apologize for my soapbox stand on it when I was still working. NOT THAT I'M LETTING DOWN MY GUARD OR GIVING UP MY FIGHT!!! It's just a hell of a lot harder when you barely have time to shower much less blow dry much less make up. I'm thinking of inventing a Mom Mask that is some sort of snazzy looking thing you cover your entire face and hair with that makes you look good without having to do any of the above. Anyone with me?

WHY AM I TIRED ALL THE TIME? Not like normal tired. Like I've gone through some kind of military sleep deprivation torture.

I find myself thinking all the time about moms 50 years ago, or 100. Can you imagine? No cartoons, no computer, no microwave ovens, no Starbucks, no pre-packaged snack food, no minivans where you can control the world with your index finger. I can't decide if I'm horrified or kind of jealous.

My kids are magical. So are yours.

I go to bed at night with the weirdest aches in the weirdest places. Why does my right bicep hurt? Oh yeah, because my (30-lb) 19-month old only lets me carry him on that side, with that arm. Why is my left thigh burning? Oh yeah, horsie rides. Why is my forehead sore? Oh yeah, head butt. It goes on.

I can honestly say that I have moments every day—even the brutal ones—when I am awestruck by something. A new word, a funny comment, a spontaneous snuggle, or just the sight of a chubby hand or breathtakingly long eyelashes. Even on the best days, that never happened at work.

I'm not very good at housework. But I sing a mean Old MacDonald.

Until we meet again!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tevas: Let's Discuss

If you've read my blog much, you're probably aware that I have a personal vendetta against Tevas. Basically, I have the same reaction to Tevas that many people have to rodents—I want to stand up on the nearest chair and shriek when I see them. To be fair, I don't have a problem with the actual shoe, per se, just the fact that it's been woefully misappropriated from mountaineering to motherhood. And because it's summer, and I now spend inordinate amounts of time in public parks, I see them EVERYWHERE. So, I thought now would be as good a time as any to talk about just why I find them so perplexing. Let's begin with the fabric that makes up the outer part of the shoe. Inevitably, regardless of color or pattern, it looks like something that should be tied around someone's neck with a backstage pass to a Grateful Dead concert dangling from it. (And I love the Grateful Dead, but that's not a compliment.)

Now, the straps. What exactly, does the average suburban mom (or dad) have planned in a day that would require your entire ankle and foot to be locked into a 5-point anchor system? I mean, that's more secure than my children are in their respective carseats. Maybe we could just strap our infants into men's size 14 Tevas and call it a day. It would certainly be cheaper, if not more aesthetically pleasing. I'm sure there are times where one's foot needs this kind of security—say, white water rafting or waterfall diving—but I really don't think an afternoon run to Trader Joe's applies.

Lastly, the soles. Holy mother of corrective footwear, do our feet really need the same tread thickness as an SUV? Maybe it needs all that rubber to hold down the NASA-quality strap system. Again, perhaps it comes in handy while walking through pirahna-infested waters or razor-sharp volcanic rock, but hardly the tanbark at the local park.

Please, I beg of you, KEEP TEVAS IN THEIR NATURAL HABITATS. And if you ever get the urge to wear them with socks, at least be kind enough to follow it up with neon paint-splattered wrestling pants to complete the look.