I haven’t been here for a little while because I published my first book, Naked, and am now a very important and busy person. Just kidding. I’m still the same old ME who mooned her neighbor this morning from my front window only to realize she was coming to my house to say “hi” and then I had to talk with her in my undies while she was probably like, “please, God, put on pants.” Although, my book did make the Amazon bestseller list and that’s because all of you are amazing. So thank you! The real reason I haven’t been around much is because my husband has been traveling for work constantly and we don’t have childcare or family help so I’ve been a sort of single parent for a bit and it is killing me. I’ve always been a hard worker (like in my own way) but taking care of my little alone is some next level shit. It’s 24 glorious and horrible hours per day. One minute he’s making me laugh and cry because he’s so cute and I love him so much and the next he’s rubbing his own poop INTO HIS EAR and I’m counting down the days until he’ll start college. If you follow me on Instagram then you probably already know that right now he’ll only nap if I hold him (except right now and it is fucking amazing) and so I haven’t had any downtime at all. Here’s a summary of what’s been going on with me for the last few weeks:
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Yesterday in the coffee shop I overheard one woman say, “well she has time to get ready because she clearly doesn’t have kids.” They were talking about me. She’s now buried in the desert. But SERIOUSLY, sit down, Karen. Let’s not be super fucking judgy about everyone you see out and about. I do have a kid. I rarely sleep. I’m up at 5:30 every morning and usually spend most of my day in my pajamas chasing a super tenacious and active toddler who thinks that biting and shitting his pants are Olympic sports. My husband is home on the weekends and while the baby naps I shower and put on actual clothes and come write at the coffee shop (because taking care of yourself as a parent is important af). Usually you see me here dressed as a goblin shoveling my entire breakfast burrito into the face of my teething and hangry babe. Calm down, ladies. My makeup is not an attack on your yoga pants and it doesn’t tell you the 24/7 story that is my life. I love women. Let’s support each other and try to reframe the way we’ve been taught to attack each other. Like in this particular situation, “she’s cute! I hope she has kids at home and has FUCKING ESCAPED TO DO HER FOR A MIN.” Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk. Updated: This doesn’t only pertain to women with kids (this post is geared towards that because it’s specific to what happened. But obviously it extends to everything). Let’s just not be judgy assholes, period. Support your sisters. #momlife #momsofinstagram #amwriting #dobetter
That post blew up and it was surprising but also very cool. Unsurprisingly, a lot of people can relate to being sick of judgy assholes.
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“What’s it REALLY like being a mom?” One of my dearest friends asked me yesterday and I struggled to give a decent answer. Mostly because it’s so many things for so many different reasons. It’s really hard. It’s often very easy. It’s fun. It’s lonely. It’s fills a void and creates one at the same time. I’ve never felt so many emotions, so many conflicting emotions, about anything else in my life. My son is everything I could ever want in a tiny human being and more. I love every moment with him. I also need so many breaks from him so that I don’t burn out or get depressed because he takes so much constant care and energy. I spend many hours of my day preventing his imminent death and it’s exhausting. But I also spend hours every day smiling at him because he’s social and funny and has a face of a goddamn angel. But with a tiny demon trapped inside that comes out when I tell him “no” and he flails around on the floor kicking and screaming. There are also other layers that add to the complexity of motherhood. Like my ever changing mental state (I struggle with anxiety and depression), and my husband’s job. He travels a lot. He works late most nights. We never see him. And our family situation: We don’t have grandparents who are available to help in any way. I didn’t sign up to be a 24/7 solo caretaker and that weighs on me because I’m fiercely ambitious (more so even after having my son). I wake up every day ready to win life but often I’m only able to do a fraction of what I want and I’ve had to learn to be ok with that for right now. So what’s it like being a mom? It’s being a supporting character in your own life but somehow being happy about it because you’re so in-love (this doesn’t mean im ok with not pursuing what fulfills me. I will always do that and have managed so far one way or another). It’s hard. It’s fun. It’s scary (so scary). It’s joyful. And complicated. It’s complicated. #momlife #momsofinstagram
Question: Should that picture be my Holiday card this year? OR should it be the one where my son was RESCUED BY FIREMEN. We’ll get to that in a min. Mom of the year, right here, yall.
I got a lot of texts after I posted this of friends like, “honey, are you okay?” I’m okay, I promise. But sometimes being home all the time with a little is lonely. And I get lonely a lot easier than other people I think. I have a hard time finding connection and even though I enjoy being alone a lot, I still really crave deep and meaningful relationships with others. Nothing with me is ever easy, people.
Okay, now for the firefighters.
So this week I blew a tire and had to drop off my safe and functioning Rav 4 at the tire shop for four new tires (I am now poor. Send bread.) and when they called me to pick it up I realized I’d have to take F’s death-trap shithole car. The electrical is fucked, the door handles are broken, there’s no heat, and he refuses to fix any of it or get a new car because he is soooo cheap. Anyway, so a neighbor agreed to come with me so she could drive the scary car back so when she pulled up, I put my little in his car seat and threw my keys on the driver seat and slammed the door. I heard a “click” and frantically grabbed the door handle. Locked. All locked. “OH MY GOD NO! FUCK!” My heart jumped into my throat because it was freezing outside and my little hates the car seat as it is. Luckily, he was wearing a Patagonia fleece hat and had my Patagonia jacked tucked around him and topped with a fleece blanket. My neighbor speed-dialed the non-emergency line where the operator was like, “How old is the child? How long has he been in the car? How often do you do Kegels?” And my neighbor, originally from Queens, in her thick NY accent, was like, “You need anything fucking else?” Ten minutes later (and a very long game of peek-a-boo through the car window) a fire truck rounded the corner and pulled up in front of my house.
My favorite thing about firefighters is that whenever they exit their giant truck it looks exactly like a movie scene. The doors open, men (in this case) all jump down wearing a uniform that accents their fit form (because they’re often inexplicably attractive and this is why a group of firefighters should be called a Sizzle), and there’s a mix of both mild concern and jolly optimism on their faces. I immediately started to apologize, “I’m so sorry! I know you have better things to do. I SWEAR I’M NOT THE WORST MOM ON EARTH–” When the hunky first fireman cuts me off and says, “Oh! We’ve all done it. Welcome to parenthood!” And he laughed a sweet laugh and I immediately relaxed. The Sizzle surrounded my husband’s garbage car and peeked in and Leo smiled and waved to everyone like he’d just won a pageant. The firemen laughed and waved back. Then they got to work to get the door open with the help of a different neighbor who is a mechanical engineer. Another neighbor told me that one time she’d locked herself out of her car in the middle of the night and had to break the window. Another neighbor pulled up and said, “Did you lock Leo in the car? At least it’s not summer! HA!” And then the rest of my neighbors slowly made their way to my house until we were all standing around on my lawn and they were hugging me and rubbing my back and saying “it’s okay! He’s not even crying! He’s smiling!” And one neighbor was all, “Well you should have told me there would be firemen and I’d have put on lipstick,” and another one said, “If you need some action while F is out of town you didn’t need the entire fire department.” Because I have the best neighbors. About fifteen minutes later they got the car open and we all cheered, “Yay!” and they were kind enough to take a picture with Leo and gave me a hug. Then a neighbor gave me a bottle of Prosecco because, again, I have the best neighbors.
Leo was warm and toasty and entertained by the entire thing. I still hate my husband’s bullshit car and will never drive it again. And my car looks badass with its awesome new tires. The end.