No Judging: A Working Mom's Confessions
By Yessenia Anderson
I am going to preface this article by saying that I am a devoted mother who loves her baby more than anything in this world. I endured 12 plus hours of labor in an attempt to delivery naturally, breastfed for more than a year and cooked all liquefied baby foods at home. My heart and soul goes into giving my son the best start in life. Now having said all of that parenthood ushered in a reality that broke down all of my well intended plans.
If you are pregnant or a new parent I recommend that you watch “What to Expect When You are Expecting” and let yourself feel OK about being a less than perfect parent. As a way to pay homage to the ‘dudes group’ I decided to compile a few of my favorite scenarios that depict the wonderful plans I had and the not so perfect real life alternatives that were taken.
- Sometime in your lifetime you’ve encountered HER – the distressed mother yelling after her kids and mistakenly calling them by their brother or sisters name. I use to think to myself, seriously lady how hard is it to remember who’s who? It’s not that it’s hard but it’s that after zero sleep, a 40 plus hour work week and a never ending to do list your brain is mush.I am constantly telling my dog, Lucky ‘no’ and same goes for my son Alex.
“No please don’t eat that”“No give me that rock”“No no stop chewing on that shoe… Alex”
So yes it was embarrassing to yell out “No Lucky! Come here!” to my toddler outside of my house as the neighbor starred confused. I call my son the dogs name – No Judging
- Trust me I don’t leave my son with just any one. We actually changed day care providers because the care provided to our little one wasn’t up to par. Having said that we pay additional monthly dues for a membership at California Family Fitness and after many trial care days I was finally comfortable enough with staff to leave Alex in their Kid Zone in the name of health.But after a brutal work week and sleepless nights due to teething Brandon (my husband) and I did the unthinkable. We left Alex in the Kid Zone for about 30 minutes while we used their hot tub. I always thought to myself “I would never willingly leave my kid at a day care provider if I was available to care for him.” It was a wonderful thought in concept but a hard task to follow through with. 30 minutes was enough to get regenerated and have a conversation with my husband for the first time in a week that didn’t involve the phrase “Did he poop yet today?” We used the gym as a mini spa retreat – No Judging
- As I stated before I breastfed for a long period of time, made homemade baby food and was adamant about the fact that I would make sure Alex ate only healthy organic meals.Guess what? Alex didn’t get the memo. We now play the game of I make you a healthy meal and then put anything else in front of you that you will eat. Baby wins the food wars – No Judging.
- To date Alex, now 14 months old, does not sleep through the night. I read books on sleep training, tried different methods and consulted our pediatrician. My thought was that I would follow orders and make sure that I would get him into somewhat of a schedule to provide stability. Again, well intended plans that were somewhat effective when implemented.But then life happened. I was home sick from work, the kind of sick where reaching for the remote seemed to equate to a cross fit training exercise. That afternoon while it didn’t fit into the sleep schedule recommended I held my son for hours to ensure a moment of silence – No Judging
- Last but not least is the number one flawed parent dream that I finally succumbed to. The thought of having my baby sleep, crawl or walk in a house that was anything less than spotless was something I would NEVER let happen.Flash forward one year later. It was the weekend following my son’s first birthday. We had tons of family over and the house was even messier than the usual toy filled mess we live in. I clean during the week and on the weekends get in deeper but somehow like a cat you feed once – everything keeps coming back!So the alternative that weekend? My husband proposed a stay at the Holiday Inn down the street for the night in order to avoid the tornado ridden house. We eventually spent the weekend cleaning and restored our house to a pristine condition but for that night we laughed and had a blast in our beautiful room serviced space. We escaped our messy house and paid to stay in a four star hotel down the street – No Judging
Lesson here is your experience in parenthood might not mirror the Pinterest board you worked so hard on but amongst the chaos you must learn to give yourself a break, make friends with OK and leave ‘Perfect’ to those with two nannies.
Do your best and let that be enough. No Judging.