Calm, Cool and Committed

Three Moms and a Dude


By Mamma Fratelli

DISCLAIMER: This blog is about swearing. It contains profanity. I am a linguist, therefore, much like a proctologist, I am not offended by my subject matter. Rather, I see it as something to be studied. That said, not everyone wants to be a proctologist nor does everyone want to read the F word on a leisurely coffee break. If I’ve just described you, gentle listener, please stop here.

It’s every parent’s nightmare. You pull up to daycare and instead of getting a happy account of all the fantastic ways that your child is just the best and brightest, you are met with a stone-faced teacher holding the carbon copy of today’s report. Timmy said “oh, shit!” on the playground. No! Not your kid! Where the hell did he learn such language?!

The question, really, isn’t where but why. What makes four letter words so appealing to toddlers and pre-schoolers? Why does he say “one, two, fwee” but pronounce “damnit” so beautifully? It’s all in the malignant nature of the disease.


Profanity has stood the test of time because of its design. Most swear words are short and consonant heavy, making them deliciously relieving to say. Think about it. If you touch a hot pan, what’s the first thing you do? You hold your breath and either let it out slowly or scream. That hard exhale makes you feel better. Don’t believe me? Slam you finger with a hammer and yell “AIR!” or “HOUSE!” It’s not as satisfying as the hiss and snap of “SHIT”, is it?


Children love things that get a reaction. Their life is fairly mundane and repetitive: scrambled eggs, finger paints, nap time… But, wow! Do Mom and Dad ever put on a show when Suzy dumps her chocolate milk on the rug or drops the iPhone in the toilet. Again. You are your child’s model for how to react in every situation and you certainly don’t do that loud, funny faced dance when you say the word “coffee” so that word must not be as special as “shit.”


Profanity often comes with an opening act. Something exciting happens right before the word is uttered, setting the stage for a perfect learning opportunity. Perhaps a police car put on its bright lights like they do on TV and actually followed Billy’s Dad’s car! How exciting! Now the boy is paying attention. Then, Dad implements the absolute supreme second language acquisition device: clear, isolated pronunciation. Some words are hard to learn because they come buried in long sentences or they have too many awkward syllables. If parents would just do something flashy to get kids to look then clearly and loudly pronounce each syllable of “refrigerator” in a total vacuum, more toddlers would be spouting off the names of kitchen appliances instead of simple stuff like “light.”


The tables have turned. Not only do four letter words often come with volume, emotion and a spectacular display of body language, Mom and Dad turn into begging, pleading, bribing fools when their cherubim imitate them. Pre-schoolers have never been offered all the cookies they could ever want for not saying “doggie” ever again. Grandma doesn’t clutch her pearls when kiddos say “dolly.” Kids are often at the bottom of the totem pole. If they can get their crimson-faced parents in time out, you betcha they’re going to do it!


You let it slip. Not you. Not Ozzie and Harriet. This is a no swearing house but dammit, that one just flew out! How do we keep a lid on our dirty family secret? First, let me digress. If you swear at home, you are not alone. Many parents let one fly here or there, especially if they didn’t have a sterile vocabulary before Junior arrived. Four letter words are like cockleburs, they get in the fabric of your speech pattern and are near impossible to dig out. So, step one is:


Relax. Beating yourself up will only put you in a sour mood. The human brain interprets all stress the same whether physical or emotional. It shuts down unnecessary functions like digestion and logic (and the language centers in the brain) in favor of the more limbic functions like roaring and gnashing teeth. If you can just shift the electrical activity back to your cerebral cortex, all will be well.


Switch off the limelight. Just bury the word in a pile of other boring concepts and Kiddo will quickly lose interest. The worst thing you can do is add emphasis to your slip up by creating another moment of dead air followed by the death sentence: please-don’t-ever-say-that!


Toddlers abhor the mundane. I feel for Gaylord Focker when his toe-headed nephew parrots back “asssssss hoooooole.” If the lad had said “window,” Gay wouldn’t have put on such a show and repeating it wouldn’t have been so delightfully entertaining. So, pretend like the kid said, “window” (and warn your house guests to do the same).

What if your little ones aren’t so little? Be honest. Admit to them that swearing can be a sign of a poor vocabulary. Break out the thesaurus together and find some fun pseudo-swear words: “You curmudgeon! This is preposterous!” Make sure you also learn the definitions together! Then, hand over the power (they never outgrow that part). Every time they catch you saying a bad word, they get to “punish” you: make you do a silly dance, take them to the library, etc.


I don’t advise using sound-alikes in front of kids. Honestly, saying “Eff you!” has the same effect as “Fuck you!” Don’t believe me? Say it to your boss. Some euphemisms, or Granny Swears, are just part of our cultural lexicon and have taken on their own place in language: Darn it! Shoot! Geez! These all started as stand-ins for profanity. No doubt invented on the spot as some Colonial father touched a hot pan and said “Holy Shhhhhhhhhhhhh (think time) hhhhhhnikeys!” Yeah, his kid didn’t fall for it, either.


DIY – The New Designer Jeans!!!


Non-DIY-ers everywhere, RELAX! DIT is the next craze about to hit Pinterest. How do you know you are a non-DIY-er? Well, if you are anything like me, you originally thought “DIY” was a new line of jeans. Yes, I actually thought this as I was scrolling through Pinterest for the first few months. How embarrassed was I when I clicked on one of the links and figured out that it actually represented projects and crafts you can do independently to save money?!?!

Honestly, “DIY-ing” is not an appealing concept to me anymore (Okay, I still have a little hope!), mostly because of past, miserably failed projects. Every time I attempt a DIY project, it turns out a disappointing disaster and reminds me that the “artsy” gene skipped me. The last DIY project I attempted resulted in me covered in paint…from head to toe! Ever try to get a large amount of paint out of your hair? It’s almost impossible to remove without several washes, combs, chemical combinations and picking sessions (Although I am sure there is a DIY project dedicated to this somewhere that I missed.).

Coming from a family of six, I am used to doing almost everything with a small herd of people. Growing up, I shared a bed with one sister and a room with two. Mornings were a fiasco with my mom and all three of us fighting over the mirror and trying to get ready at the same time. If I was making cookies, my siblings were either helping or sneaking the cookie dough. There was no alone time for DIY projects or anything else…ever. Even when my dad was working on the car, inventing his next new contraption or building something from scratch, I was there…watching, asking questions, helping and chatting.  So, needless to say, I am a much bigger fan of DIT – Do It Together projects.  Whether I am cooking, taking the kids out, painting or attempting a project, I am much more likely to enjoy it and complete it successfully if I am collaborating and enjoying someone else’s company.

Despite this (and maybe worthy of psychiatric analysis), I have subconsciously surrounded myself with DIY-ers of all kinds.  People who create something noteworthy out of nothing fascinate me and earn my instant admiration! My husband is my favorite DIY-er. He can seriously just decide he is going to do anything, with no prior experience or knowledge, and do it. He built a large shed by himself (from the ground up, on a hill, surrounded by huge trees), built my favorite oak, ladder bookshelf and started his own travel business! My best friend started her own photography business with no experience at all and now creates masterpieces with her lense. Two of my bravest friends just recently quit their teaching jobs to venture out on their own, one selling timeless vintage clothing and the other one-of-a-kind baby accessories. Their blog explains the crazy transition that I envy on a daily basis! And, one other rockin’ mama quit her teaching job years ago, only to build her own Zumba empire! My list literally could go on and on!

My favorite DIY-ers!

Next time I see a DIY project I want to attempt however, you can bet that I will elicit the help of either my self-sufficient husband or one my strong, independent female friends! First on my list, learning how to hem my jeans! I already have my first DIT-er lined up to help me!

Forget DIY! DIT for me!


Whom do you love?*

The Hands of My Two Loves

Several years ago, writer Ayelet Waldman made headlines when she proudly announced she loved her husband more than her children. Moms across the globe were appalled at such a statement. In fact, she was called out on national television as a bad mother.

I remember the furor over this, and I can remember NOT being shocked by her proclamation. While I didn’t have children at the time to sympathize with her, I could definitely understand where she came from. After all, when we think of the phrase “one true love,” it’s a spouse, not a child that pops up in our minds.

Now, please, before we continue, I am NOT saying that I love Hubby more than Bud. That’s just not true. But I’m also not like those moms and dads who say their children will always outrank their spouses.

In my life, I love Hubby and Bud the same – but not equally.

I have a protective love for Bud. He needs me. I’m like a mama bear when it comes to him. I love him so much that I want to look out for him always. I want to protect him from heartbreak, from physical pain, from disappointments and crushed dreams. Truly my affection for him is a maternal one.

I don’t love Hubby like that. He doesn’t need my protection. And while I hope he’s never sad, he doesn’t need me to run interference for him. When I have a problem (or a joy), the first person I want to tell is Hubby. To some extent, Hubby knows me just as well as I know myself. He’s my confidante in every sense of the word. Bud will never (and really should never) fill that role.

I love my husband because he’s my best friend. I love my son because he’s literally part of me. I do not love one more than the other.

One of the things that keeps me up at night – seriously – is the thought of the future. One day, Bud will grow up. He’ll leave home. He’ll find a woman (or a man) whom he loves.

This woman won’t love him more than I do, but she will love him better than I can.

Trust me, I want Bud to have a wife who loves him, who can make him happy. But I will be sad, so sad, that the boy I devoted my life and love to has left me.

And that’s why I’m glad that I don’t love Bud more than I love Hubby. I know a few people who love their children more than their spouses and I worry about then. Eventually their children will leave. What will they be left with then? A spouse who remembers being second best for 25 years?

I’m not sure how those people’s twilight years will end, but God willing, I know that I’ll have someone holding me when I cry because Bud’s packed his bags and started his own life. And we’ll get through it together.

*Note: I write about the future and knock on wood. I hope for a long and happy and healthy life for my family.


The power of the buffing wheel…

A few days ago I was looking at some of our wedding pictures hanging on the wall, and what caught my eye immediately was how bright our wedding rings looked. I remembered that while we were on our honeymoon, a waiter at a restaurant guessed that we were newly-weds based solely on how lustrous our rings were at the time. After staring for a moment at the picture, I looked down at the same ring on my finger: tarnish. Four years will do that to brilliant metal.

I went down to the basement, fired up my buffing wheel, and buffed my wedding ring. Logistically this was not comfortable. For starters, my wedding ring is small – buffing a wedding ring is not the same as buffing an old candle stick: I had to be nimble yet deliberate whilst maintaining a tight grip on the ring. This brought about my next problem: heat. As if holding on to the ring was not difficult enough due to its size, now it was really starting to get hot. I tried wrapping an old rag around the ring in order to relieve some of the pain on my fingers, but this hindered me from really getting the metal against the buffing wheel. Once I finished buffing the ring, it looked darker than when I had started; in fact, I started to wonder if I had made a terrible mistake. Then I remembered what my dad taught me about buffing metal: the buffing is step one, the polish is step two. I grabbed a clean rag, and I polished my ring like there was no tomorrow. And when I finished – brilliance. My wedding ring had never looked so good.

As I was putting my now brilliant wedding ring proudly back onto my finger, I started thinking about my marriage: it has a bit of tarnish. Four years can do that to a marriage. My wife and I do not fight – we don’t scream or yell; we don’t call each other names. But sometime we argue, and there was a time when we communicated better. There was a time when after spending more than the length of one work day apart, we could not wait to get home to each other. Those days are not gone, but they have become muddled through time and a lack of attention.

If your marriage is at all like mine, then you know what I mean when I say that relationships can fall into patterns. You say one thing and your spouse hears another; you think you’re disagreeing humbly, but they are getting offended by your arrogance; you didn’t mean to invalidate your spouse’s feelings, but they are genuinely hurt by your inclination to trivialize their point of view. And if your marriage is at all like mine, then you know what it feels like to have the same conversations over and over in an attempt to fix these patterns. However, since these conversations seemingly yield no results, they are simply repeated, and now the conversations themselves are just another unhealthy pattern. These patterns are abundantly common, and they can quickly take the brilliance away from a marriage. I am not ok with these patterns. I don’t see these patterns as major problems now, but if they aren’t addressed, then I see them becoming gateways to major problems in the future.

After pondering this for a while, I tried to come up with a solution. In the end, I decided to suggest marriage counseling. I know the stigma behind counseling: couples go to counseling because they are having major problems; couples go to counseling because it’s their last hope; couples go to counseling because they scream and yell. I don’t buy it. While some of these may be true for some couples, they simply don’t apply to my marriage. So why do I want marriage counseling? I want marriage counseling because I see it as a buffing wheel that can bring some brilliance back to my marriage. I want marriage counseling because I don’t know how to fix everything. I want marriage counseling because I need someone who knows more about marriage than me to say, “Thedude, did you ever think about it from this angle?” I can’t stress enough that my wife and I have a pretty great marriage: we laugh, we get along, and we’re still in love with each other. But we have some patterns of communication that are simply unhealthy, and I’m not ok with allowing those patterns to become norms.

When I suggested counseling to my wife, she was hesitant at first because counseling is a time commitment, and we’re busy people (what couple isn’t busy these days?). But my feeling is simple: what’s more important than having a healthy marriage? I told my wife that I wouldn’t try to convince her, but that I wanted her to think about it. Within a few hours, she approached me and said she was excited to dive deeper into our marriage. I’ll tell you a secret: that was sexy. There is nothing more attractive to a man than to hear his wife say that she wants to make their marriage better. We got referred to a licensed counselor through our church, and we start in a few weeks.

I can probably guess what some of you are thinking right now: “Well that’s good for thedude and his wife, but me and my spouse would never need counseling – we can fix our own problems.” Hey, maybe you’re right. Maybe you and your spouse have been having the same arguments over and over, but you’ll quit when you’re good and ready. It is certainly not for me to say that counseling is always the answer. I am sure that not everyone needs counseling, but I think it would be hard to find a marriage that couldn’t benefit from it.

I know this won’t be all kittens and rainbows. It’s probably going to get a little uncomfortable and pretty heated, but we will hold on tight. And what I have to keep telling myself is that the counseling is only step one – I’ll call that the buffing step; actually using the counseling and making positive changes is step two – I’ll call that the polishing step. In the end, I know that my marriage is going to be brilliant again. And I can’t wait.


Saying Goodbye to Summer

Tomorrow three of the four of us start back to school (one of us is on maternity leave right now — hint: it’s not The Dude).  Even though we love teaching, it’s always a little hard to say goodbye to summer, because there are many, many things we won’t have time for during the school year.  The following is a list of what we’ll miss.  See if you can guess who said which one!

  • Staying up late
  • Consistent friend and family time
  • Going to market
  • Lazy Sunday evenings
  • Sunscreen
  • Going to bed and not thinking about tomorrow
  • Baking pies
  • Coffee on the porch
  • Flip flops
  • Not wearing makeup
  • Sleeping
  • More than one nap a day
  • Not showering every day
  • My sanity
  • Snuggles after naps
  • Keeping up on cleaning

What do you miss when summer comes to an end?

1 Comment »

Mama Baby Air‏

I don’t know if you can tell what you’re looking at, but that’s Doodle Bug, my two-year-old, sleeping with his hand on the side of my face. I couldn’t count how many people have referred to bed-sharing as a mistake when talking to me. Not as a judgement. Not as a criticism. Simply sharing a parenting decision they made or wish they had made differently: “bringing our daughter into our marriage bed was a huge mistake – totally ruined our sex life” or “I’m so glad I didn’t make the mistake of letting the kids sleep with me” or “Junior crawled into bed with us when he had the flu last month and now I can’t get him back into his own bed – huge mistake!!”

Every relationship is different and every family makes the best decisions they can given what they know and believe at the time. For us, bed-sharing is not a mistake at all. It’s a way of life and I don’t regret a single night. Well, alright. Maybe I regret the night Doodle Bug woke up and vomited all over me, but every parent has been puked on. I was just lucky enough to get it in the face. While I was asleep. In the grand scheme of things, though, the happy moments far outweigh the gross ones. There’s nothing like the cuddles and kisses throughout the night. My babies used to be a part of me and having them nearby just feels right. I feel complete. Being a working mom, I walk around all day without a vital organ. When I get back home, it gets reattached and I can breathe again. I want to soak up as many moments with my babies as I can before they’re pushing me away to spread their wings.

Sunny is only a month old and a lot of people ask if I plan to bed-share with her, too. Yes. However, I will never be asleep in bed with both Doodle Bug and her. A breastfeeding mother is biologically wired to sleep more lightly in order to keep watch over her infant; a toddler is not. So, how do we do it? Doodle Bug “reads” quietly in my bed while I nurse and rock Sunny to sleep. Once she’s drowsy, I put her in a co-sleeper (bassinet attached to my bed) and then crawl into bed with my toddler. When he’s out, Daddy-O moves him to his floor bed and Sunny gets in the big bed a few hours later when she wakes up to nurse. A perfect system? Nope. The best decision for us with what we know and believe right now? Absolutely.

Here. Let me see if I can explain it better in rhyme.

Doodle Bug

Mama Baby Air

I can barely see your face but i know you’re there

I lay here in the night and just think and stare

Your tiny whimpers dance in the air

Your baby breath rustles my hair

I should get to sleep but I really don’t care

My elbow is tingling from you laying there

I could wiggle free but I wouldn’t dare

This silent moment that you and I share

Flees too fast~ it isn’t fair

Your bitty lips, that tiny pink pair

Pucker and suckle as if milk were there

Your pudgy hand is tangled in my hair

There is a book and a doll under my foot somewhere

You have on one sock but I put on a pair

Not sure if this is your arm or your teddy bear

I’ll have a kinked neck in the morning but now I don’t care

Friends say, “You have a crib. Just put him in there”

But when I’m at work and you’re at daycare,

There’s a void in my arms and a blank in my stare

I rush home to soak up every moment you’ll share

And when the sun sets and you’re breathing dream air

I curl up around you like a mama bear

You do have a nursery down the hall somewhere

And some day soon I’ll sleep here; you’ll sleep there

The walls plastered in posters and rock music in the air

Dirty socks piled on the old rocking chair

My arms will ache for a hug, you’ll say, “Sure, I don’t care”

I’ll smile and thank you but my heart will tear

I’ll wish our moments hadn’t faded away with the air

I want to have savored every moment as a pair

Not losing one chance to sniff your soft baby hair

And at the end of the day, that’s why I bed share

-Mamma Fratelli


Opinions (Not) Wanted

*Note from the author*
Hi!  Thanks for reading this blog.  Before you read this post, I wanted to clarify some things.  My first and foremost goal with every blog is to try and be witty and funny.  I am aware that sometimes I fail massively at this.  My intent is not to offend.  As Emily W states in her comment below, many people’s opinions are results of circumstance and upbringing, and not necessarily reflections of the person who holds them.  I know several people who don’t support gay marriage, or even think homosexuality is sinful.  I do not think those people are bad.  I think they’re simply misinformed, or poorly educated, or — more than likely — aren’t close friends with someone gay.  However, I will continue to take a stand against these badly-formed opinions because they’re hurtful and malicious.  The opinions are hurtful and malicious, not necessarily the people (although sometimes it is the people who are hurtful).

When you read my posts, please don’t think I’m attacking you.  I’m usually not that good at veiling my criticism.  Feel free to comment me and let me know your thoughts.

I hope you enjoy my writing, but if you don’t, I hope I at least haven’t offended you.



I’m opinionated.  Very.  My opinions range from the mundane (bread should be refrigerated) to the much debated (capital punishment is wrong).  I’m never shy about giving my opinion, especially on Facebook.


Well, first, it’s easier to maintain a level playing field on the web.  Not easy, just easier.  When I’m typing, the other person’s tone of voice, physical actions and facial expressions aren’t viewable.  It’s like watching a horror movie with the lights on and the sound off.  Have you ever debated someone who starts yelling at you?  Yeah, no fun.  A shouter usually win the debate because no one wants to get yelled at.

Second, there’s more time to choose my words.  When you state your opinion in person, you have to give it on the fly.  The internet allows time to think, delete, rewrite, and then delete again (though I don’t always use the delete key as often as I should).

Lastly, and as my husband would probably say most importantly, online discussions give people cojones that they wouldn’t have in a face-to-face situation.

This opinion-giving penchant of mine has caused some problems.  Relatives have unfriended me, my husband’s gotten yelled at for something I’ve said.  I’ve made more than one friend angry.

In order to stop getting in so much trouble, and to help you learn from my mistakes, I’ve come up with a few rules about giving opinions.  These apply to Facebook, but feel free to put them to use in other aspects of your life.

Opinion-Giving Don’ts!

1)    DON’T argue with someone’s mom.
Facebook is an odd place in that I’m now friends with several of my parents’ friends and several of my friends’ parents.  Never before have generations mixed in such a way.  Yet, just because you’re friends with your 5th grade bestie’s mom, that doesn’t mean you should challenge her tea party ethics.

2)    DON’T let everyone see your opinion.
A good way to avoid this is by creating several Facebook groups and hiding posts from them as necessary.
Helpful labels?  Husband’s FamilyMy FamilyJerks Who Don’t Know Anything.

3)    DON’T tell someone their point is invalid because they can’t spell correctly.
Even though this is true, it’s not a helpful argument.

4)    DON’T think you’ll change someone’s mind.
This is the hardest thing for me.  The reason I post my opinions is because I think they’re RIGHT.  And I want people to do the right thing.  Honestly, I want to make the world a better place.  My husband always asks why I bother – he says I won’t change anyone’s mind…

And that brings me to my final thought.

After reading all this, you might say I should have a fifth don’t – don’t express your opinions.

But that’s a terrible idea.  Remaining quiet is sometimes much, much worse than stating an opinion and ruffling feathers.  Sometimes we need to stand up for what is right, just like the Bible tells us – “But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door…”

Or, if you don’t like the Bible, it’s just like Martin Luther King, Jr. said –

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

So I challenge you — even if you’re passive, even if you don’t like controversy — stand up for what is right and good!  If you see humans attacking other humans, you must fight against the evil.  For surely, if you are silent and allow others to spread hate through their opinions, you are no better than they.

And with that I will leave you with my opinion, through someone else’s words.


Remove the Diapers!!

When I came home the other night, I plopped my purse in its usual spot. Look at the picture (Disclaimer:  I am NOT a photographer!!). What do you see?? Well, if you are anything like me, you see a mess.

Normally, coming home to this would irritate me. But tonight, I just smiled. Specifically, I smiled at the diapers, because they were NOT in my purse. Unless you are a mom, you have no idea what this means.  Once the days of hauling 1,001 baby things around in a huge diaper bag (or 2) ease, you graduate to just carting the absolute necessities. It’s such a relief to leave the over-stuffed diaper bag in the car for emergencies and just slip a few diapers, wipes and snacks into your over-sized purse when out and about.

But, as I was leaving to meet some of my favorite friends for dinner, I realized I did not need any of the baby items. So, I excitedly took everything “baby” out of my bag. Removing the diapers from my purse made me feel light, free and giddy. 

If I could feel this way all the time, I would have a lot less issues, I think! I, like many other moms, don’t have a lot of time to myself. Being a mom (Which I absolutely love!) and working full-time often makes me feel and act scattered, like the items in the picture. This can be pretty embarrassing at times!


Honestly though, if you know me at all, you know that I have always been a little bit scattered. I tend to be easily distracted, indecisive, forgetful of what I am supposed to be doing, unaware of my surroundings and often lost in a myriad of thoughts while staring intensely through what or whoever happens to be in the way. Ever since I became a mom though, this craziness has progressed to a new level. At times, I am so scattered that I can barely think or focus on one thing.

In order to cope, my mind and body have learned to run on autopilot. Some people like to refer to this as “brain fog” or “mommy brain” but to me it almost feels like an out-of-body experience, a type of iNsAniTy perhaps. For however long it takes, I feel myself going through the motions, but I’m not really there. As a result, I make a lot of mistakes. I run into things (with my car and my body), I drive right past daycare when I am supposed to be dropping my son off, inadvertently misspell words that I NEVER would have in the past, forget grammar rules that I previously mastered (pretty embarrassing as an English and Reading teacher), ask questions repeatedly (even after they’ve been answered) and don’t hear when people question me, forget important things on a regular basis and walk into rooms only to realize that I have no idea what I came to do.

When I feel like this, I long for sleep or some type of reprieve.

That’s why removing the diapers from my purse is so important. As much as I LOVE my kids, going out without them every once and a while (at least!) helps organize and calm my scattered brain. Whether I am with my favorite friends or out with my husband, I need the time…desperately!  It makes me feel “normal” for a bit, helps relax and refuel my brain and gives me time to miss and appreciate them so much more!

So, when I can, I gladly remove the diapers. And when I come home, I put all of them back in with just as much enthusiasm.




You Are the Parent You Want to Be

One of the best movies ever, The Wedding Date, has a line where the lead character (Dermot Mulroney) says, “Every woman has the exact love life she wants.”  The heroine, a single lady played by Debra Messing, takes umbrage at this, saying she didn’t want to be single.  Our boy Dermot counters that it IS true, and when she’s ready to not be single, it’ll happen.  Watch the clip here.

I think this line of reasoning applies to parenting, too.  Every mother has the exact life she wants.

Now, yes, I know there are some things beyond control.  I’ve tried to will, coerce, trick and drug* my three month old (known to this blog as “Bud”) into sleeping through the night.  It’s just not happening.

However, most other things ARE in your control.  When I was pregnant, every time I casually mentioned something I did that day, at least one person would respond by telling me I would never do that again after I had the kid.

Some examples.

  1. Me – “I slept in today.” The Hater – “You’ll never sleep in again!”
  2. Me – “I just saw that movie.” The Hater – “You’ll never go to the movies again!”
  3. Me – “We went out to dinner.”  The Hater – “You’ll never eat out at a restaurant again!”
  4. Me – “I just found a penny.”  The Hater – “You’ll never find money on the sidewalk again!”

That third one?  Several experienced moms informed me that it was simply im-poss-i-ble to take babies and children to restaurants.  They said I should resign myself to Lean Cuisines and the occasional Chinese delivery.  They said that if I was super lucky, I might be able to scarf down a chalupa at Taco Bell before my child melted down and I resigned myself to never eating outside of my house again.

And that’s when I decided to be exactly the mom I wanted to be – one who eats out.  Since his birth, Bud’s been out to eat dozens of times.  Sure, we’ve had to adjust.  Sometimes we wait an extra half hour to leave so he can feed before we go.  We mostly pick kid-friendly restaurants.  On our anniversary, we took six-week-old Bud to a really nice Italian restaurant… with bad acoustics, so if he started crying we wouldn’t bother anyone.

Many of you are probably saying, “She has a three month old, give it some time before she eats these words.”  And that might be.  I have 6 nephews, though, ranging in age from one and a half years old to 18, and I’ve seen each of them, at various stages of their lives in restaurants.  I know it can be done, and by heavens, I’m doing it!

Sure, there are several habits that the hubby and I are cutting out.  Like going to the casino at 2 am.  We’re actively choosing that adjustment because we don’t want to be the kind of parents who take a baby to a casino.  But we could be if we wanted to.  Because, yes, every parent is exactly the parent they want to be.

If you don’t like something about your life, it’s not your kid’s fault.

*In case you weren’t sure – I’m kidding about the drug part…

Isn’t this the creepiest rattle/toy ever?