I’m not a perfect mother. I may pretend like I am on Facebook and Instagram, but I make plenty of mistakes. We all do. We just hope our kids are young enough to never remember them. Or that we can buy them ice cream and pretend as though it never happened.
After only two years, I already have a lengthy list of motherhood mishaps ranging from minor to completely catastrophic. Here are just a few of the highlights… So far.
1. The First Night
I’ll just come right out and say it. We almost killed our kid before we even left the hospital. I can look back and nervously laugh only because somehow she survived despite our obvious lack of parenting skills.
Let me set the scene for our misadventure. I’m exhausted from being awake for over forty hours. It’s late. I don’t really know how late because time stopped making sense at some point during my twenty-two hour labor. I just know it’s dark, I have to sleep, and my baby loses her shit every time I put her in the bassinet.
I’m living in a Nightmare on Elm Street movie. I’m fighting sleep with every ounce of my being, and I’m losing. After carefully considering my options, which were none, I accept that I must trust my baby’s precious, new life with her father while I rest.
My faith in his ability to care for her is pretty much zero on a scale from zero to anything. I stare him straight in the eyes and whisper, “Whatever you do, do not fall asleep.”
Fast forward forty-five minutes or so. I wake up and look over at the fold-out bed where I am surprised to find my child’s father slumbering peacefully. There is just one problem. Where the fuck is our baby?
“Wake up! Oh my God!!! Where’s the baby?!”
He jolts up from the couch and frantically starts searching his pockets as though she had somehow ended up in there. No baby there.
At this point, I’m screaming hysterically.
“WHERE IS THE BABY?!”
This is the most fucked up game of hide and seek any kid has ever played
He leans down to the couch and pulls out a bundle of blankets. She’s inside, asleep and snug from being wedged somewhere between her dad and the couch cushion. She was alive, but I would never want to sleep again.
2. The Breastfeeding Incident
I fully expected breastfeeding to be difficult, but the hand I was dealt was a little ridiculous. I was sent home from the hospital with a nipple shield, a supplemental nursing system, and some useless advice from the lactation consultant. We were doomed.
As if pumping and feeding every two hours wasn’t traumatic enough, I had to fill a plastic bottle with milk, hang it on myself, tape a tiny tube to my breast, and stick a shield to my nipple. The wailing newborn in my lap further complicated this process.
I was intensely focused on my right breast – trying to attach this complex feeding apparatus to myself when out of the corner of my eye, I see a tiny hand frantically moving back and forth. She wasn’t waving to Mommy though. She was trying to call attention to the fact that Mommy’s enormous left breast was on top of her face, and she was having a little trouble breathing. That’s right folks, while preparing to feed my child with one breast, I was suffocating her with the other. The irony. Who knew breastfeeding was so dangerous?
3. Afternoon Snacks
My daughter is obsessed with cereal bars. Nothing in life makes her happier than strawberry cereal bars, and sometimes nothing in life makes Mommy happier after a hard day at work than a little alone time with Daddy.
Let me quickly break this one down. My kid in her highchair plus two unwrapped strawberry cereals bars plus a cup of milk, equals a ten-minute quickie upstairs. Simple math.
I’m not sure if this is questionable parenting or if it’s just fucking brilliant. Either way, it has happened a lot and will probably happen again. Sorry, not sorry for this one.
4. Sympathetic Sleeping Arrangements
Once upon a time, when my daughter was sick with an earache, I let her sleep in my bed. She needed me. I needed sleep. This seemed like the obvious answer.
Unfortunately, this was NOT the answer to anything. I can promise you that. Unless the question is, what’s the worst possible thing you can do when your child sleeps without issues in her own crib.
That night started a chain reaction of awful decisions that has ultimately led to my hips being permanently bruised from sleeping on the floor next to her bed every single night until she falls asleep.
5. The Worst Hangover I’ve Ever Had in My Life
It was 3 am when I finally got to bed. It was totally going to be ok though! I had done the math. My kid would sleep until 8. I could still get five hours of sleep. Except she woke up at 5.
I open my eyes and have to immediately run to the bathroom. She follows and stands right beside me as I vomit. Repeatedly. I am trying my best shield her from splashing toilet water and puke. She won’t move. She is mesmerized.
This is not your typical throw-up-once-and-be-done-with-it hangover. This is the kind of hangover where you need to lie on the floor and moan. Only I can’t because I have a small child watching my every move.
Have you ever smiled through puking and asked someone how their morning was? I have.
“Good morning, Baby!” Heave. I smile pleasantly with vomit dribbling from my chin. “How did you sleep? Mommy is fine! Don’t worry.”
Mommy is definitely not fine. Mommy’s entire body is covered in cold sweat and is shaking. Mommy has never been so sick in all of her fucking life. Mommy is dying.
“Why don’t you go see what daddy’s doing? “ Heave. “Daddy wants to play with you!”
Daddy is ten feet away in bed pretending like he can’t hear any of this. Mommy distinctly remembers Daddy saying something about it being ok to stay out last night because Daddy would get up with you this morning.
Mommy will never believe that lie again. Mommy is having water next time.
image via iStockPhoto