9 Reasons Why We Need To Form A Mom’s Union

Being a mom is one of the most rewarding jobs on the planet, but let’s be honest here – this job also comes with burnout, sleep deprivation and zero compensation.

Because my kids are little, most days I feel like I’m drowning. I check the clock what feels like every few hours only to realize a measly ten minutes have passed. When did the days get so long, and yet I still can’t seem to get caught up – the work never ends! I find myself trying to prioritize every little thing. Should I feed my kids or do the ten loads of laundry staring me in the face? Well, I guess I’ll go another day wearing these same yoga pants and a shirt laced with baby puke.

These horrendous working conditions prompted me to daydream about forming a mom union, and here’s why we desperately need one:

We get paid for sh*t – The going rate to be a mom is currently a big fat goose egg. If you added up all the things we do I’m sure we could easily rack in a six-figure salary, plus a few bonuses.

No comp days – Have the flu? Strep throat? Sorry, get you’re butt to work. When you’re a mom, there are no days off. You can’t tell your kid, “Sorry you’re not eating today because mommy is sick.” You have to pick yourself up and take one for the team.

No paid vacations – Taking a vacation with kids can get pretty pricy and even if you do get the chance to go – it’s not really a vacation for you. You’re doing all the same mom-work just in a different location.

We work 24/7 – Middle of the night? You’re on call. Weekends? No sleeping in. Evenings? Yep working those, too. No breaks for you.

No one cares about your CEO title – Just because you’re the CEO of the household doesn’t warrant you special privileges. You still have to wipe butts and snotty noises, and your kids won’t listen to you either.

We have to deal with hazardous materials – I’ve spent the last 5 years cleaning up vomit, feces and God knows what else. I’m pretty sure the hospital should just provide HAZMAT suits when they send you home with your baby.

We get beat up – Especially if you’re a boy mom. Everyday there’s flying toys and wrestling going on in my house. Enter at your own risk.

No recognition – We only get one day a year that is dedicated to us. What’s up with that? I think we should have a mom-hour every day. Who’s with me?

Hold several positions – Moms hold many positions to include: chef, maid, financial advisor, bookkeeper, superhero, monster killer and boo-boo healers.

Where’s Freddy Prinze Jr’s. soccer team friends when you need them? Where’s this village we say it takes to raise a child? All the people in my village are drowning, too. All I’m really asking for is a 15 minute break so I can at least pee alone, send an email without a toddler trying to attack my laptop, eat a meal sitting down and be on-time somewhere just once. I would also suggest throwing in a guiltless shoe fund. That’s not asking for much. Even though we do not get monetary compensation or much recognition for our endless efforts, we do get unconditional love and lots of kisses and hugs – which in the end makes it totally worth it. But it is nice to dream…

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What’s new with MGT2S?

Hi MG2S friends!

As you may have recently seen – my work has expended and is now published on many new sites. As a writer, this has been a dream come true for me. There is nothing more cool than seeing your name and photo on major global sites like Huffington Post, Scary Mommy and the TODAY Parenting Team.

This is happening!

This is happening!

I will continue to post regularly on here and have also provided my author pages below so you can follow me there as well.

Along with this expansion, I’ve recently signed two contracts for my work to be published in humor anthology books. I’ll post links on where to buy them as the information becomes available to me.

Reall 10motherhood book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want to personally thank you for all of your support and for sharing MG2S stories with your friends and families for the last 2.5 years! I’m forever grateful.

*As someone who had a lot of help and support from other bloggers and writers out there, I’d love to now pay it forward. If you are a blogger and/or writer and need tips/advice on how to get your work published or gain a following – please feel free to email me at holly (at) hollyrust (dot) com.

Here’s to the continued success of Mother’s Guide to Sanity!

Xo,

Holly

 

 

If you’re a parent of a toddler you’ve already realized they come without a filter and essentially will say anything and everything unapologetically. As someone who gets embarrassed easily, I’ll admit that this filter-less jargon often sends me over the edge. I tend to turn bright red and run for the hills, or go into a ten-minute explanation about how my kids normally don’t behave like this. I’ve even gone as far as saying that I was the nanny. Just kidding, but I’ve thought about saying it on more than one occasion.

Toddlers also have an innate ability to know when to make a lot of noise at the most inopportune times. When my son was first born I welcomed every milestone with enthusiasm. My heart would fill with joy with each coo, babble or giggle. However now that he has found his voice, I find myself missing those infant days where he just quietly slept and I would gaze at him adoringly from across the room. Now everything he says has to be amplified by five decibels for some reason. I’m never further than a few feet away; I can hear you kid – perfectly. Stop with all the yelling!

I, for one, would love if there were a mute button for toddlers. I don’t need silence all the time, but here are ten times in which a mute button would be nothing short of amazing:

  1. In the car. I love when my son sings his favorite songs except when I’m in rush hour traffic trying to maneuver between all the cabs, bikers, and maniacs on the road. The last thing I need to hear in the middle of this mayhem is a very loud rendition of “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!”

NOT

  1. On the phone. Kids have radar, which notifies them as soon as you get on the phone. It doesn’t matter if they were perfectly content building their Lego tower or watching their favorite cartoon, because as soon as you get on the phone they need you right that second. If you do not give them your immediate attention – colossal breakdown.
  1. In church. Every time the father says, “Let us pray,” my kid picks up his invisible microphone and yells out his toddler thoughts. Never fails.
  1. When speaking to another adult. Anytime you try to have a conversation, interruptions immediately ensue. At least my kid says, “Excuse me,” but he says it over and over and over again.
  1. On Saturday mornings. Why during the week do you have to drag your kids out of bed kicking and screaming, yet every Saturday morning they are up before the rooster’s crow? Something tells me I’ll be happy when they are teens and sleeping in until noon!
  1. When telling a white lie. Like when I tell my other mom friends we don’t watch too much TV and my son interrupts and says we watch it all the time. Busted. It’s winter and I’m out of entertainment ideas – no judging! I thought we were on the same team, kid?
  1. When trying to watch TV. As soon as you sit down to watch your shows when the kids are in bed, and they suddenly now need more water, have to potty, etc., basically until your hour is up and it’s your bedtime too. So much for that brain-wasting hour of Bravo TV.
  1. When taking them along to OB appointments. This last pregnancy I had to take my 3 year-old with me to all my appointments, and he always tried to check out my lady parts and asked the doctor a million questions like “Where’s her pee-pee?” Mute button now, please.
  1. When they repeat things you didn’t mean to say in front of them. Like when I slammed my finger in a drawer and yelled out a profanity, which then snuck into his vocabulary at school. I’m sure his teachers think I’m the mom of the year.
  1. When you’re on the potty. “Momma are you going poo-poo?” “I want to see!” “Did it hurt?” Can’t I just go to the bathroom without getting interrogated? Not so much.

mom potty

How much easier would our lives be if these little people didn’t have a permanent megaphone attached to their mouths, or if they knew when they were being wildly inappropriate? I guess until that day comes, I’ll just have to pack on the bronzer to mask my flushed neck and face when my kids embarrasses the crap out of me.

Hi Everyone!

After a year of trying to put together this Vlog series, I’ve finally finished filming my first video!

I’m typically a jazz hand, flailing arm type of storyteller so it was very difficult for me to be “serious” when sharing my tips. My boys were much more tame because of the cameras, but we did manage to catch some great moments from the dreaded nighttime routine.

Few things:

First: Yes, my son thinks he’s Batman and has for the last several years. :)

Second: Thank you to Kerramel Studios for your patience and all the work you do for me! You’re amazing!

Enjoy!

Holly xo

7 Reasons Why Moms Really Are Superheroes

As a mom of boys, I spend a lot of time chasing villains and shooting spider webs out of my fingertips. Every day my son assigns me a new mission and then briefs me on what to do to catch the bad guys.

“Okay Mommy, today you are Elastigirl and Mr. Freeze is taking over Chicago, so we have to stop him! He is making it so cold outside and the flowers can’t grow!” As I run around doing yoga poses, because basically that’s really all Elastigirl does, I can’t help but laugh.

I love how my son thinks I just pretend to be a superhero, but what he doesn’t quite realize yet is that I am, in fact, a real life superhero. Sure my cape may be invisible, and my special powers may not be as cool as Iron Man’s, but my powers do help me survive the day-to-day grind of being – a supermom.

If you’re a mom and haven’t realized that you too have these special powers, let me know enlighten you now.

We have ninja-like reflexes. How many times have you saved a cup from spilling milk all over the table, dove to cradle your toddler’s head before it met the hard floor, prevented a scoop of ice cream from hitting the hot summer sidewalk, and saved their batman figurines from being flushed down the toilet by their baby brother? Too many to count, I know.

We can be invisible. Moms are the queens of the army crawl! I do this practically every night when I try to sneak out of my son’s room after I put him down for bed. I sometimes find myself scaling walls, ducking in closets, rolling under beds, and I once even pretended to be a floor lamp just to keep out of his line-of-sight.

We have the power to do multiple things at once. No one can multi-task like a mom! I can listen to a conference call, nurse my baby, cook dinner, fold laundry, and do squats all at the same time. Can you do that, Batman? Nope.

We have killer instincts. We really do have eyes in the back of our heads. We have premonitions, too. We can see scenarios play out minutes before they actually happen. We also know that whenever there is an uncomfortable silence, sh*t’s about to go down.

Elsa has nothing on our ice-cold stares. All it takes is one glare for those little minions to stop dead in their tracks. When mom’s eyes start to squint and are coupled with pursed lips – they know what’s up. It’s time to run.

We have superhuman senses. Moms can smell a dirty diaper from three blocks away! We can also spot a micro-speck of food on their face right before we lick our fingers to remove it, and we can decipher between our kids’ fake cries and the “maybe it’s time to go to the ER” cries, too.

We have magic witch doctor lips. It’s amazing how a skinned knee suddenly doesn’t hurt anymore once mommy’s lips touch it. Our sweet kisses truly do heal all boo-boos.

Living in an era that propagates endless mommy wars, we can at least agree on one thing – at the end of the day we are all pretty super.super-mom

 

 

Remember your pre-baby body? The one that could pull all-nighters and sneeze without having to change out your under garments? I remember it too, and I miss it immensely.

While pregnant I took every precaution known to man to try and preserve my pre-baby body. I did pelvic exercises to save my lady parts. I lathered myself up with oil every night to try and prevent stretch marks. I ate extremely healthy (well, minus the ice cream) and exercised religiously to help prevent excessive weight gain. I even wore special bras that claimed to help maintain “perkiness”.

Fortunately my efforts did prevent a few catastrophes, but sadly there were other parts of my body I had to bid farewell. Since both of my boys are apparently decedents of Bigfoot, my petite body took quite a beating. My once beautiful, bragging-rights, rack is now nothing but a couple of enlarged milk bags destined for surgery. Trust me when I say, they won’t even show their face in a pitch-black room until further notice.

Since every mom misses something about her pre-baby body, let’s compare to what once was. Shall we?

Boobs. Every mom I talk to misses her boobs. After babies, they end up too big or shriveled up little raisins. Why can’t we have an in-between? Why must our boobs now resemble deflated tube socks or look like they were set out in the sun for three days straight without sunscreen? Not fair.

Nipples. Now referred to as giant flying saucers. If you’re a breastfeeding mom, you’ve lost all feeling too. Awesome.

Bladder. I once was the queen of holding my bladder all day at work. Not because I wanted to, but because I was always so busy. Now my bladder controls me. Go time – means go time. Who knew once you became a mom you would no longer be able to sneeze, laugh, or cough without saying a silent prayer to the bladder control Gods. (This was the second highest complaint I’ve heard from all my mom friends.)

Hair. Women with thick hair – beware. I use to have this lovely, thick flowing mane. My hair was my thing. People always complimented me on it. Now, after months of pulling handfuls out in the shower, I have feathered wings on both sides of my face. I would fit perfectly back in the 80’s.

Butt. For some reason my butt decided to melt into my legs with my last pregnancy. Nothing a few thousand squats at the gym won’t fix, because as a busy mom I have time for that, right?

Feet. With the rest of our bodies changing so much you’d think we could catch a break on our feet. Not so much. My feet grew a half size and never returned to their original state. Goodbye to all my old cute heels I spent a fortune on!

Brain: Riddle me this. How can I remember my telephone number from when I was five years old, but can’t remember where I put my phone or keys everyday? I also can’t remember what I did yesterday half the time. Having kids makes you lose your mind. Literally.

Tummy: Not that I had washboard abs prior to pregnancy, but I definitely didn’t look like I won a burrito eating contest everyday – like I do now.

Was going through all this worth it? Yes. Would we do it all over again for our babies? Yes. These obviously go without saying, but while we’re being honest here – wouldn’t it be nice if we could wear a dress without squeezing into Spanx, and play jump rope with our kids without peeing ourselves? I know the answer, and so do you.

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My Breastfeeding Truths

Note: Breastfeeding is a personal choice and I support any of my readers / friends who chose to either nurse or formula feed. This post is not about which is better because that is for moms to determine what works best for them and their babies.

Well I made it. We made it. My son officially passed his one-year mark in late November and we are still going strong with nursing. For mom’s who breastfeed, you know this is a huge accomplishment. The road was not always easy and even though he is my second child, he was my first exclusively breastfed. My older son never quite figured out the whole “latching” thing, and I was a clueless new mom who felt like a fish out of water.

Once I realized neither he nor I knew what the hell we were doing, I immediately began pumping and continued to pump every day for ten months straight. While I can say I’ve learned to truly love breastfeeding with my second son, I still definitely hate the pumping. Between both my kids I’ve spent, collectively, over 3 months time pumping. That’s a lot of nipple tugging people! I’m so over it, but because I’m a human cow – Mr. Medela and I have postponed our divorce, at least for now.

I chose to breastfeed primarily because it’s free! My first son was born during the recession and my second son was born right after I left my corporate job, so finances were tight. Also, I had heard it’s easier to get your pre-baby body back when you breastfeed. Lastly, it’s beneficial for baby.

I realize each person and each experience is different, but I thought I would share some of my “truths” of breastfeeding with new moms or soon-to-be moms who choose to nurse. Hopefully this will minimize the surprises because as a new mom – don’t we have enough of those already?

My breastfeeding truths:

  1. It HURTS. Like HELL. Then after a few weeks…. it gets better, much better. Eventually the numbness sets in and the pain subsides, so power through momma. You can do it!
  2. Know that every day you’ll eat like it’s Thanksgiving. You lose a ton of calories a day just from nursing, so you’ll feel FAMISHED all the time. I tend to take advantage of the vast amount of calories I lose and sneak in some cake.
  3. There will never be enough water to clinch your thirst. Keep a bottle of water by your bed because you’ll wake up feeling as if you spent all night crawling through the Sahara dessert.
  4. Be sure to line your bra with nursing pads. It’s all fun and games until you look down and see two large wet spots.
  5. One boob will always be bigger than the other and it’s very noticeable, especially after you nurse.
  6. When you experience the “let down” your nipple becomes a shower head and anything in its path will get sprayed, so watch out.
  7. Your boobs will never be the same again. Let the dream go. Looks like I’ll be investing in some nice bras in the future.
  8. When your breasts are full, they can knock out Evander Holyfield with one hit. He is no match for my mommy boobs.
  9. Prepare yourself for Mastitis or clogged ducts. I would consider myself to have a high tolerance for pain and Mastitis knocked me on my a**. If feels like the flu – times a thousand. If you feel like your breasts are on fire and they start to turn red DON’T wait, get on antibiotics stat! Keep nursing, massaging and use a heating pad.
  10. When teeth come into play don’t scream when they bite you, it makes them bite harder. Learned that one from experience.
  11. When they become mobile, nursing sessions turn into baby acrobatics complete with thrashing arms and legs.
  12. All of the above are worth it because of the indescribable bonding experience. Those precious moments will stay in my heart forever.

I know my nursing days are coming to a close and I will admit the thought makes my heart heavy. I’ll miss when he holds my hand or rubs my face during sessions, and I’ll miss the feeling of being truly needed. I know my schedule and body will eventually thank me once the floodgates are closed, but until then I’ll just continue to savor the bonding – and eat lots of cake.

Photo credit: Sylvia Stutz Photography

Photo credit: Sylvia Stutz Photography

 

 

Why Being A Mom Is Pretty Freakin’ Awesome

A little over two years ago we started this blog to shed light and laughter on the extremely difficult job of being a parent. While we do like to take a more sarcastic approach to all things parenting, one truth remains certain – being a parent is the greatest gift of all.

Because we’re in the season of giving thanks and reflecting on all our blessings, we would like to share some reasons why we think being a mom is actually pretty freakin’ awesome.

Unconditional love. There is nothing your child could do that would make you not love them and vice versa. This kind of love is in the purest form and we are all so lucky to experience it.

You get to know and feel your baby first. There is something truly spiritual about growing a baby in your belly and the love that ensues the minute your eyes meet a positive pregnancy test. Even though pregnancy can be brutal, we are willing to go through it all over again just to experience these magical moments.

preggo belly

You are your baby’s first love. There is no other person on the planet your baby would rather be with other than you. They even memorize your voice while they’re growing in your belly. How unbelievably sweet is that?!

You are addicted to your baby. A newborn smell is as addictive as crack cocaine. It’s the truth, Google it. As a mom we get to smell our newborns as much as we want and people don’t think we’re weird. Well, most people anyway.

Your Children Make You A Better You. Even though kids can induce moments of insanity, the minute they flash you a smile it’s impossible to stay angry. They make us stronger and remind us of what is truly important in life.

Sebe smiling

Kids Make Life Fun – In A Different Way. I’m not going to lie; I kind of love watching cartoons on Saturday morning in bed cuddled up with my boys. I also love eating grilled cheese sandwiches, seeing Mickey Mouse, building forts out of sheets, playing in the rain and seeing their faces light up on Christmas morning. Kids make you act, and feel, like a kid again.

You Are Their Hero. They see the best in you, even when you don’t see it in yourself.

Mom gifts.  A handful of dirty wild flowers and dozens of painted pictures are the best presents your baby boy could give you. Their presents are truly from the heart.

Watching Them Grow. When they take that first step, learn a new word, enter into Kindergarten, learn to read, learn to drive, get into college – YOU helped them get there. It takes a village and you, mom, are the matriarch.

Even though our kids drive us insane, we can all agree there isn’t a minute we would trade (okay maybe a few minutes here and there – but that’s it). Either way, we’re so thankful for all the love and laughter our little one’s give us each and every day. Here’s to being a mom!

 

A Special Thank You:

As we close out another year, we would like to celebrate our triumphs, thank God we made it through the tribulations, and most importantly toast to our new beginnings. Thank you to all of you – our readers! We appreciate the continued support and wish you all a wonderful, healthy, prosperous, and joy-filled 2015!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Becoming A Mom Made Me A Cry Baby

We all know that pregnancy wreaks havoc on our bodies, but I’m pretty sure it alters our brains too.  Not only have I developed Momneisa (where you forget everything), but I’ve also turned into a emotional hot mess since having my kids. I used to pride myself into being the rock everyone leaned on. I was never one to get emotional or cry. Crying, although can be healthy at times, always made me feel weak and out of control so I mostly reserved it for the privacy of my own shower. Once I got it out, I’d pull my big girl pants up and move on.

Since becoming a mother, I’ve apparently misplaced my big girl pants. I essentially cry at anything and everything, especially when it comes to my kids. I would even venture to say I’m one cry away from a permanent role in a bad Hallmark movie.

Sometimes I actually laugh at myself once I’ve realized what I was crying about.  Why does everything pull at my heart strings now? Why does becoming a mom open up the flood gate of tears we used to be able to control? Do our hormones ever balance out? Should I just accept the fact that I’ll need to carry around a slew of tissues in my pocket moving forward?

Here are just some of the things I’ve cried over in the last few weeks – but first let me grab a Kleenex.

Get them ready!

Get them ready!

Pampers commercials – The marketing and advertising team behind these are brilliant! First thing I learned in sales was in order to create loyalty you have to make an emotional connection. Bingo, Pampers! Even though I cloth diaper these commercials make me want to buy Pampers. So enough of the cute babies sleeping and mom’s embracing all the amazing moments of having babies – it’s making me cry!

Lysol commercial – There was an online video that appeared in my newsfeed about bringing home baby from the first time. The video brought me back to that moment when my first son was born and the look on my husband and I’s face like: WHOA, my heart just exploded and by the way, what do we do now? Guys, I’m literally tearing up writing this! What’s wrong with me?

“Appreciating your mom” posts – Raise your hand if you appreciate and love your mom so much more now that you’re a mom! Anytime I see a friend post about their mom, I get emotional.  Love you, mom!!

My son told me he loved me – Every now and again, my older son will walk over and tell me he has a present for me. When I ask him what it is, he grins from ear to ear and says, “I love you, momma”. Then proceeds to hug me tighter than normal. Cue the water works!

I cleaned out my baby’s clothes – My little guy just turned one so it was time to go through all his baby clothes for donation. Looking at all those little onesies and knowing I’ll never use them again made me ugly cry.

My face minus all the make-up

My face minus all the make-up

I sold some baby gear – Same emotion as above. I had to use one hand to pry my other hand off the Jumperoo. My uterus didn’t want to let it go.

I couldn’t get my son in for a haircut – Sometimes parenting is really overwhelming! As a type A, I don’t like my time to be wasted. Time is not a luxury I have so when I took my son in for a hair cut and they told me it would be a 45 minute wait, I went to my car and lost it. I went home and cut his hair myself. Bad idea.

My son helped me decorate the tree for the first time – This was the first year he really understood the holidays. We put all the ornaments on together and after – I cried. Why? I don’t know.

I glanced at my baby in his crib and realized how big he suddenly is – Why do they grow so fast? I feel like every night I look at him he grows another inch. He is losing his “baby-ness” and it makes me emotional, of course.

Any story I saw about a child hurting or that is ill – I literally break down whenever I see a news story about a child that is sick or hurt. Why do I always click to read these stories when I know I’m just going to cry about them? It’s torture!

My “baby” turned one – Baby Center sent me an email calling him a toddler. Lost it.

I can’t be the only one who’s added “sensitive cry baby” to my personal resume, right? Maybe once I stop nursing the tears will subside? Maybe I’m mistaking love for being sensitive? Does loving something so much make you a cry baby? If so, I guess I’ll just continue to cry.

Surprise! I’m pregnant with my third child. There, I said it out loud. Now it’s real. My husband and I weren’t planning on a third, but had not yet ruled it out. I, still on the fence, was not ready to close down the baby shop. He, however, was ready the minute our second son was born. To say this comes as a complete shock is a bit of an understatement.

A few weeks ago I found myself pacing in a Walmart restroom waiting for the results of a pregnancy test (no judging, it was the closest place to work). What were probably just a few minutes felt like a few hours, and when the little smiley face finally appeared – I was paralyzed. How did this happen? Okay, I know how it happened. But still – how did this happen?

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Over the next thirty seconds, my brain went into overdrive. Sheer panic. Here were some of those thoughts:

 

Look at it again. It’s wrong.

Look at the instructions.

This can’t be right.

What does a smiley face even mean, anyway?

How?

How did this happen?

Did I take my pill?

My husband can’t control himself!

I’m still losing baby number two weight!

What if it’s another boy?

Can I handle three boys?

I need a new car!

Three car seats!

Can we afford vacations?

Party of five!?

PARTY OF FIVE!

No more guest room.

How far along am I?

Sh*t I had that girls weekend recently and drank a lot!

I need another job.

Husband needs another job.

Husband is going to freak out!

Two in diapers!

What if it’s a girl?

WHAT IF IT IS A GIRL?

I definitely need another job.

Wait…. I’m still in a bathroom at Walmart.

I should call my husband.

Pull yourself together Kari.

You’re pregnant.

I’m pregnant.

I can do this. 

Once I ended my conversation with myself, I felt my hand naturally cup my belly – and I smiled. Here we go again, but this time as a party of five. God help me.