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Showering is Overrated and Other Lessons

I’m going to be honest with you: I was sort of a mess  before I had kids – you know, neurotic, controlling, not a great house keeper (God that sounds so 1950′s), kind of liked my booze a little too much (also 1950′s) -and since I’ve popped out this litter of shorties, life’s become even more messy. Despite all my many imperfections before parenthood, I would say my main problem was ironically that I was a perfectionist. It’s something I’ve always struggled with. If I can’t do something right, why do it at all? I have been hard on myself but equally hard on other people in that quest. If I’ve learned anything from having children, it’s that life becomes more complicated, messy and uncontrollable but that if you can learn to embrace that imperfection, you will know true greatness. I’m still striving for that. In the meantime…here are some other things I’ve learned.

  • Halloween Can Be Fun. 1 of 9
    Halloween Can Be Fun.
    I have proudly despised Halloween and all of its time wasting, humiliating traditions since I first became too old to go trick or treating without drawing odd stares. So what happened? The kids happened. It all started when a friend offered to loan me a costume for a then two-year-old Elby. "I'm not sure we're into that…" was my first response. And then I saw it. The Bumble Bee. Oh yeah, little stinger, puffy little body, netted wings, bouncing antennae —she looked like a little John Belushi circa ‘75! I almost shed a tear. You know what she said when she had this on? "I'zz a bee." Um hm. And that's when I became a big old Halloween whore. I've been one ever since.
  • My Husband Made For An Amazing Dad. 2 of 9
    My Husband Made For An Amazing Dad.
    How can you tell for sure that the person you're married to will rock as a dad? You can't, even when you're pregnant. Of course I had a feeling he's be good but I didn't know how good. Although looking back at my pre-kid life with Jon, there were definitely signs: he's patient beyond measure, he's good at making up cute nicknames and he used to work in a kennel so he doesn't mind dealing with a lot of poop. Even given all of that, who knew that those things would add up to a guy who reads bedtime stories, kisses boo boos and has never ever yelled "everyone shut the fuck up!" unlike the other parent in the house (it was ONE TIME).
  • Showering Is Overrated. 3 of 9
    Showering Is Overrated.
    Weird how before I had children I was really into showering. I thought it was such a fun, worthwhile activity. I was a person who made time for showering. But when life with children narrows to only a few options of how to spend your downtime, showering isn't always going to happen. Let's see, after a long day of kids do I want to watch X-Factor or shower and blow dry my hair?
  • Cupcakes Can Be For Breakfast 4 of 9
    Cupcakes Can Be For Breakfast
    When you have a tiny child you will break a lot of rules when it comes to what passes for an acceptable meal. I have experienced moments of pure unadulterated bliss watching Sadie eat a half a turkey sausage so if she wants to stuff a cup cake in her face I'm not going to tell her no. Mostly these days she sticks with waffles or yogurt but really, how different is a chocolate chip waffle from a cup cake anyway? Sadie actually doesn't eat chocolate chip waffles though because according to her they're "too sweet." I think she might be adopted.
  • If You Want To Be Good At Something You Have To Practice. 5 of 9
    If You Want To Be Good At Something You Have To Practice.
    You'd think I'd have already known this but it's one thing to know it intellectually and another to truly get it. Sometimes it takes watching your child struggle, get frustrated, keep trying and finally master it to make you understand the importance of practice. If only we could tell that to some of those American Idol kids!
  • No One’s Ever Died From Eating Something Off Of the Floor 6 of 9
    No One's Ever Died From Eating Something Off Of the Floor
    It seems gross to eat a piece of Pirate's Booty that rolled under the counter an indeterminate amount of weeks before and yet…my kids seem to not notice. Personally I've never seen a direct correlation between my child eating a little floor fuzz and coming down with an illness so until I do, I'm not going to sweat it.
  • People Can Survive On Very Little Sleep. 7 of 9
    People Can Survive On Very Little Sleep.
    I'm pretty sure you can die from not sleeping but I think it would take like, a month. So when you have a baby, and you go night after night with such little sleep, it seems like you might die but you won't. You can't. You won't look pretty but you can't actually die. If you could it would give you a better argument to your spouse to take over for you though. So just pretend you didn't read this
  • Goofy Is the New Cool. 8 of 9
    Goofy Is the New Cool.
    When I was a kid my mom told me that I once put potholders on my feet, plastic cat eye glasses on with a cowboy gun holster and chaps and wanted to go with her to the bank that way. One of her friends was with her and didn't want to be seen with me dressed like that. So my mom left her behind and took me as is. A couple of years ago, I had Elby with me at the mall wearing one leg warmer, swim goggles and a poncho when we ran into someone from an old Mommy and Me. She asked me what was wrong with Elby. I looked down at her and had to laugh, everything was exactly right!
  • I Needed To Stop Drinking. 9 of 9
    I Needed To Stop Drinking.
    This one wasn't as easy to learn. I wish it didn't take having kids for me to see it but it took what it took. Drinking never made any of the tough parts of parenting any easier. I thought it did. I believed that I needed to tune out and having some well deserved wine was an efficient way to take the edge off. But the truth is, it was just the only way I knew how to do it and the more I did it that way, the more I needed to do it that way and before I knew it I was missing out on the good trying to blot out the bad. So, I have to thank my kids for leading me to realize that there is another way, a better way. MWAH!

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