Mar 16, 2017

Mom-ing

Grammar Nazis beware. Serious abuses of the English language are to follow.

I've always been a fan of the slang "adulting." It's a humorous way to poke fun at ourselves for struggling to get through basic human tasks that everyone does.

As much as I love the phrase, in the past few weeks I have felt it doesn't quite portray some of my newer struggling-to-get-through-ordinary-life issues. It's not specific enough. So I'm adding moming as a branch of adulting, alongside choring, peopling, and healthing. Also working but that's already a word.

Choring is self explanatory and I'm sure all my introverts will agree that peopling is hard and we don't want to do that today. Maybe next week, at a specifically scheduled time so we can mentally brace ourselves. Healthing is yet another group of things we should do but don't wanna. Which leaves moming, my latest crime against linguists, editors, and copy writers.

Moming is new to me and I don't feel I've quite gotten the hang of it. It seems to involve an awful lot of pacing, shushing, and general troubleshooting. As Ryan put it, we still don't have a reliable soothing technique. Instead we have is a list of things to try and every day we start at the top of the list and go through, hoping that something will work.

The biggest challenge is finding time for design projects and chores. Orion might nap like a champ or he might be awake for 6 hours at a stretch. And if that 6 hours happens to be fussy time, nothing is getting done until Ryan gets home or unless my mom is willing to come over. (Which she frequently is and for which I am extremely grateful.)

Time for myself is slim (still better than the first couple weeks). I've managed to read a couple books which makes me feel much better! But that time was stolen during feedings and often guiltily extended by allowing Orion to fall asleep on me instead of finishing his meal so I could justify ignoring the mountain of laundry or client emails. ("Whaaat? The baby is eating. Clearly I cannot be folding clothes right now!")

Speaking of which, how much laundry can one tiny baby produce? That's what I thought, anyway. But in his 6 weeks of life, Orion has peed on everything. He also has the ability to teleport pee outside his perfectly dry diaper while soaking whatever he's in contact with: clothes, blankets, our bed. I tell everyone this because it still astounds me, and Ryan usually follows with a few poop stories of his own. All our stories are about bodily fluids these days.

I'm getting a bit off track. So moming... it's messy, physically (refer to previous paragraph) and sometimes emotionally (although I like to think I'm becoming impervious to incessant crying). So far it's relatively easy because we just have to keep this small blob of humanity alive without worrying about how we're psychologically screwing him up. Yet...

Moming is trying really hard not to pee yourself because your muscles haven't quite recovered from labor yet and the trickling sound of the sink is making its siren call to your bladder. It's getting irrationally angry at the dog for sneezing because it woke the baby up and guilty for your secret wish that your baby would stay asleep for just 10 more minutes because you are so tired of the constant soothing. It's feeling like a bit of a mess and knowing you can't keep up with everything and trying your hardest to loosen your vice-like grip on the need to control everything.

It's also experiencing all those mushy emotions you told yourself you wouldn't fall prey to. It's taking way too many photos of your baby and then resisting the urge to plaster them all over social media because surely everyone else thinks your baby is as cute as you do. Right? Right???

Moming is reminding yourself that you're not an expert just because you kept your baby alive for 6 weeks and it's sealing your lips to prevent yourself from becoming a know-it-all. It's wondering how much you've changed and hoping those changes that are inevitable will be for the better. It's being excited to watch the baby weight drop off but also feeling a weird disconnect from your own body because is it really even yours or is it just a baby carrier and milk maker?

Moming is wild mood fluctuations from midnight sobbing over your inability to make your baby happy or contain his bodily fluids all the way to blissful gazing at his cherubic face as you wonder when you should start the next one.

Or at least, that's what moming is for me. What is moming for you?


Edit: I got all the way to the end of this and realized there's already a word for this, too.  "Parenting."  Bahahaha!  Maybe I am still sleep deprived.

8 comments:

  1. LOL. Another word for it is mothering ;) I like Mom-ing though!!! I totally remember this phase in my life and it can be so exhausting. I remember feeling like I could totally take on the whole world during a good long nap and feeling like the world was crushing me when everything soothing technique in the book wouldn't work. Moming for me right now is answering hundreds of questions a day, doling out tons of glasses of water in cups of desired colour, and bracing myself every once in awhile for an epic tantrum for no reason. lol. It's pretty fun ;) I actually do feel like I enjoy this phase of parenting when the kids actually talk though - I found it so frustrating not being able to understand what was wrong sometimes when they were babies :(
    You are doing a great job at moming!! Keeping a tiny human alive for 6 weeks is nothing to scoff at! :)

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  2. Bahaha. Moming is a thing, and it is hard. For me, it currently means making my child scream like 3 times a day when I wipe her nose (pollen+freak weather has us very gross atm) and trying to plan meals that are good for baby because...she eats kind of like a person now.

    We use cloth diapers, and everyone is always like "EW! GROSS! And what about that extra laundry!" Then stories like yours come out and I just smile and say "Yeah...if you're a parent, you're dealing with poop & laundry. Just the way it is." (this is not a smug CD comment, just a...yep, that happens comment)

    And the dog- YES! Our dogs love our baby, which is great, until they wake her up or come see why she's crying (which sometimes makes her stop crying, but never gets her to sleep...).

    The body disconnect- so weird. It's yours but not yours (or that's how I felt).

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  3. peopling is my favourite haha. teleport pee hahahahaha. i prefer moming over parenting or mothering. i have no moming to do yet, so i'll get back to you one day. i'm glad i like laundry, though i am sure i will like it less when there is so much of it to do. and i agree with heather, i think you're doing a great job and i am sure you're baby is as cute as you think he is!

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  4. Peopling is a popular word for me and Blue. Or "people" as a verb, as in 'I can't "people" today' hahah. I was actually surprised by the lack of baby pics, thought your FB profile pic is probably my fave! There are so many things I never would have thought of like the baby peeing everywhere or trying not to pee yourself. The incessant crying/constant soothing would be the death of me. You've kept a tiny human alive, so I think you're doing just great!

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  5. Hahaha- peopling. "Maybe next week, at a specifically scheduled time so we can mentally brace ourselves." Or so we can come up with an inoffensive way to cancel. Ha!
    You're doing a great job! Baby is alive. You're alive. Ryan is alive. Dogs are alive. That's a pretty solid win in my book. Thumbs up.

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  6. I am totally still trying to figure out moming with you! I had to laugh at the list of soothing techniques because we do the same thing...start at the top and work our way down because Zoe insists that every time is a new day and a different technique is needed. Body fluid stories always make for great conversation starters, especially at the dinner table ;) ;) And seriously...how much laundry can a little human really produce always shocked me until I had one to witness it. I thought people exaggerated. Come to find out, that wasn't the case.

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  7. My girls were masters at pooping up and out of their diapers, actually getting it in their hair. Parenting is hard and I can tell you I do want to see a hundred pictures of your baby. Babies are adorable. Its like pictures of puppies and kittens. I always want to see them. It gets easier and harder at the same time. With each stage something changes that makes life both easier and more more difficult.

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    Replies
    1. oh and I ask the laundry question daily and add to it dishes. No idea how I always have a pile of both.

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