Category Archives: Moms

Why Motherhood is Like an Endless Spa Day

Time for your facial!

Yesterday I came to the realization that my life is uncannily similar to a getaway at a five star spa and resort.  I did not notice this at first because the execution is different than a typical spa, but all of the big players are there: yoga, massage etc.  To help us mommies realize how much pampering we actually get on a day-to-day basis I drew up a list of spa-like diversions that I get to enjoy!

1) Yoga: We start the day with a diaper change around here.  If your tot is like mine this means you stretch all four of your limbs into impossible configurations and hold the pose (wait, wait, wait) for 60-90 seconds with each diap. Occasional, with certain diaper poses we focus on breathing, so we practice conscious deep abdominal breaths and holding during the face-everted pose. Lucky us; we get to participate in diaper yoga anywhere from 6-10 times per day at the mommy spa! It brings a whole new meaning to “child’s pose.”

2) Facial: Your facial appointment coincides with breakfast time. Whether fruit, oatmeal or milk, breakfast ingredients are rife with micronutrients and antioxidants.  The expert application to our forehead, cheeks and occasional hair may go unnoticed by us, but our mommy friends at play date may be kind enough to point out our unconscious anti-aging mask.  Our little ones are keeping us young!

3) Acupuncture: It is well known that many important pressure points are found in the foot. Your tot knows this too and has strategically placed small pointy toys where you least expect them, so that you get the full benefit of the accupuncture as you bring your foot down into contact with them. Ahh, your entire nervous system has now been reset!

4) Meditation: Meditation is an important part of mental health and well-being. Luckily, your little guy or gal is eager to assist you with this.  Whether it be stacking blocks or re-reading “Little Blue Truck” for the tenth time, your tot is definitely has a mantra in mind for you. You repeat your mini Zen Master’s activity of choice until your mind is blank, and then you find yourself doing the shape sorter of your own volition.  Congratulations; your thought-purging is on par with a Buddhist monk!

5) Light Snack: Every excellent spa offers a light and healthy snack during the course of your stay; Mommyhood also ensures that you will snack lightly since you can’t remember the last time you sat down to eat a meal.  Don’t worry, you will get a few snacks during your spa day, as it will round out to four peanut butter sandwich crusts, eight cubes of cheese, half an apple, diced pre-chewed chicken, as many carrot sticks and you can eat and orange juice to wash it down.

6) Finally, the long awaited massage: After all of the cleansing of the day it is time to wind down with a massage.  You lay face down on the mattress or floor with your eyes closed and wait. Your little one begins the massage in an unorthodox manner, by climbing on to your shoulders and butting heads with you.  He continues to seek out all areas of tension and apply moderate to firm pressure. He uses varied techniques; climbing and applying feet and elbows liberally.  You find yourself dozing off and as the massage comes to a close your heart fills with bliss and gratefulness for another amazing day at the Mommy Spa!

The day has come to a close and you may not have noticed all of the rejuvenation that took place!  What a shame.  Don’t worry though, every day is spa day! Now go on with Mommy Spa Day and remember to RELAX!

What is your favorite part of Mommy Spa Day?

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Attachment Parenting Misnomers As Cued by My Attachment Baby

I’m an accidental “Natural Mama”.  When my son was born, I had no grand plan as to which parenting philosophy I would use. My only plan was to breastfeed for the first 6 months.  Well, this baby had plans for me; he may have spent the entire 9 months in utero hatching his plan. He was a classic high-needs baby, and had an undiagnosed medical problem for many months to boot. I was introduced to the AP community by a close friend and mother of 3. The community has been a huge source of support and normalization for helping me to meet my child’s needs and my own.That being said, over the course of a year, my misperceptions (or delusions) surrounding some of the AP terms have been made apparent (?) to me. Here are my tongue-in-cheek re-definitions of some of the common terms.

First let’s start with the name “attachment parent.” This term is only 50% correct.  No flack here for the attachment part, because yes, when you eat, wake, sleep, shower and beyond with your offspring, you are most definitely emotionally and moreover physically attached. My qualm is with the “parent” part of the term, because I will venture to say that there are attachment children and non-attachment children and you parent them accordingly. Some babies require that they are attached to you all of the time, and these are the attachment babies, which in turn create attachment parents.  I venture to say that Dr. Sears might agree, looking at this quote about his child here:  “After Hayden introduced us to high-need babies, we learned a whole new way to parent.” So, now the question is how to coin this term? I have an attachment baby? I’m a parent of an attachment child?  I can see the difficulty here, so we will move on.

Baby wearing: Baby wearing is a basic tenet of AP. It is  at the same time a non-negotiable and and a profound blessing if you have an attachment baby. Baby fussy? Won’t nap? Just “wear him down.” But let’s be a little clearer about who is being worn in this scenario. If you have a carrier (and you will get one if you have an attachment baby), your baby is physically strapped to you with cloth; he is being worn. After 35-40 minutes, you find baby-wearing to be physically wearing as well. For this reason it could arguably be called “parent wearing.” And after these shenanigans, you are both going to need a nap. Someone please cue the blessed event: co-sleeping.

Co-sleeping. This term suggests both mother and child are sleeping in the same space at the same time, often for naps, more-so for overnight.  In reality, one of you may be sleeping (baby) while the other feeds, re-positions, feeds again, burps, changes, feeds again and repositions, then feeds some more. Yes, it is precious and peaceful to be with in bed your little one, but you may come up short as far as actually sleep goes. Perhaps this is why the term “bed-sharing” was coined; to address the false pretenses of the above term.  It should be acknowledged that the terms bed-sharing is equally suspect.  Bed sharing is more aptly described as bed-relinquishing since somehow the littlest person takes up 90% of the prime bed real estate.

Baby-led weaning: Synonymous with extended breastfeeding. Not to be confused with cessation of breastfeeding. It could more aptly be called “toddler-led weaning” to convey how it is actually gonna go down in this situation. 15 month and going strong here!

Amber teething necklace: The baby does not teeth on this necklace. No, he does not chew on it as you might think.  Baby accessorizes with for its natural pain-killing properties from infancy through toddlerhood, and as the unofficial AP precious gem, it is functional AND stylish. It is also well-known in the community that there are counterfeits circulating. If you have taken a hair drying to your strand, you are in neck-deep! Wear it with pride!

Unbeknownst to me ahead of time, AP-ing was how I would survive the first year of my child’s life. We are thriving now still using these ideals as a touchstone, and looking back I am so glad for how I grew into being a mother. Thank you to all of mom’s out there who supported me with solid advice and understanding when the nights were long. If you have an attachment baby or you may also have the sense that some of the terms are innocently ironic or profoundly accurate. Much like all of parenthood, sometimes words are shorthand for what we all know and understand, and sometimes no words can describe it and we must define it for ourselves.

People of Target: Moms of Target Edition

I have been a Person of Target for as long as I can remember. My mom used to take us to the one four blocks from our home on the weekly, when it was still just a modest sundry-stocked chain. I remember hiding in the circular racks while my mom sifted through the hangers, then staring at rows and rows of Barbie’s and baby dolls in the toy aisle. I used to joke that the photo department was one of my first memories.  That was my Home Target.  I have come of age with Target over the years:  walking there with my sisters during our pre-teen years, buying shoes and a clutch for a homecoming dance in high school, getting M&Ms and a movie on a junk food run in college, etc. My love affair deepened as the NEW TARGET era (N.T.) swept the nation a half-decade ago, and my Home Target expanded into all of its complete-grocery, must-have-seasonal and Starbucks-cup-holder-genius glory. I found a new Home Target when I moved away, where I feel as much at home as I did finding my mom in the shoe section at age 8.

Now, besides being a Person of Target I am a Mom of Target, and I will maintain, a self-made expert.  I was beholden to put together this list of other Moms of Target and their characteristics for your shopping convenience on your next Home Target outing. See if you can recognize yourself here:

1) The stay-at-home mom:  Target is an important social outing in her weekly calendar. You can identify her by her coffee in hand and lack of merchandise in the cart.  She is there to socialize not only her baby, but herself since she has not had an adult conversation in two days.  She has a tendency to sidle up to anyone with children in hopes of a chance of exchanging a smile or a wave.  Be kind to her;  you are her new friend!

2) The brand new mom: This mommy is on her first outing with her very adorable 4 week baby.  Mommy may have gotten dressed for the first time in a while, and this may be her first foray back into the world outside of her nest.  Daddy may be along-side.  They are choosing between  Carter’s bum character onesies, and eventually decide on both. Pacis, diapers and nursing bras are also on their list. Make sure to coo over their baby and tell Mommy she looks great!

3) The must-be-blogger mom: A rare sighting, this mom makes a Target outing look glam. Her kiddo’s outfits are perfect; her hair and make-up are flawless. She is effortlessly pulled together, and is simultaneously doting on her children and photo documenting each cutesy move. Naturally she is here for the seasonal swag and craft supplies, with which she will create delightful childhood memories to blog about.  Why can’t I…?

4) The seasoned mom: With 3-4 kids in tow and perhaps a husband, this mom at the weekly Target trip to get all of the necessities in between practice and dinner.  Her cart is full to the brim with groceries, toiletries and new athletic shoes.  Her kids age 8 and under know the drill and are on the mission with her. Watch for a herd and a fast-moving cart!

5) The working mom:  This mom is super-busy and is grabbing Cliff bars and dinner items before swinging by daycare and heading to the gym.  She needs no cart; she expertly juggles her venti, cell-phone and merch. She’ll multitask at the checkout; it’s gonna be in and out.

6) The mom’s-day-off mom:  This mom has not had a break in a while, and stumbled out of the house at her MIL’s instructions, for some “me” time. She tries to remember how to shop, she is not quite sure what to do with herself alone, and she may look lost.  You will see her also with a frap in hand perusing the cosmetics section of the store. Later she is idly wandering around clothing and eventually lands in the children’s department where she will make the bulk of her purchases.  She will leave for home sooner than she should.

7) The soon-to-be mom: You can I.D. this mom by her burgeoning bump.  She shops maternity, cribs and car seats.  You nod knowingly and approvingly.  Another one for Team Target. 🙂

Now you know who you are. Happy Shopping!