For some reason, new moms like to ask me questions…a lot of questions. And as they ask me, I can see that little glimmer of hope in their eyes like, “This lady has 4 kids. She’s totally going to be able to give me some expert advice on _______ and my #momlife is going to get easier.” They ask everything from how to get a newborn to latch, to what’s the best age to start potty training, or how to get kids to do their chores. To which, I simply let out a huge “Bahahahaha!”
I’ve learned SO many things in my decade as a mom, but I can honestly say that I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even have half of the answers! For most of this rollercoaster ride the goal has simply been SURVIVAL. Each child came out of the womb COMPLETELY different from the last, their little personalities perfectly knit into their sweet, projectile-pooing, snuggly bodies. I just tried my hardest to keep up with them and maintain some level of sanity in the process.
So, with that said, there are a few “rules” of motherhood I have learned…sort of along the lines of Murphy’s Law.
1) Nothing will ever be “perfect.”
(So just get that crazy expectation out of your head NOW.)
2) If you don’t embrace the craziness, you will become a mean, grumpy, old lady.
(No, seriously! And no one will want to be around you or your scowling face as you yell at them.)
3) Don’t take yourself too seriously.
(This is very hard to do when you show up to a meeting with spit-up or poo, or BOTH on your blouse. Um, I mean, so I’ve been told.)
4) Never get too comfortable.
(Because the second you do, and start feeling proud of yourself, or your accomplishments, or your false sense order…BAM!…something will wreck your routine and you WILL be knocked down a notch.)
Well, that was exactly me a few weeks ago. Our new Au Pair had just arrived from Thailand and she was wonderful! The kids loved her. She was super sweet, considerate, responsible AND neat, a perfect fit for our family. I was FINALLY, (for the first time since my parents quit childcare duties and left for Bangkok) able to get in a full day of work…Uninterrupted. (Mind you, when you own a small business, you HAVE TO find the full-time hours even if you don’t have the full-time childcare). I was actually AHEAD at work, we were eating sit-down, home-made meals EVERY weeknight, AND the kids’ laundry was done before the weekend! HEAVEN!
To add to my already blissful state, Bella Magazine ran an amazing article on me, and balancing career and motherhood in their January issue. Yeah!…I thought to myself, “See, I can do this! I AM doing this! I am woman, hear me roar!”
No, really! Bella thinks I can do this. They even posted the article on their Facebook page. I’m KILLING this working mom thing!
My sweet friend even posted this on her page! #iknowsomebodyfamous
Surely, this means I finally have my act together, right?!
…Enter in, Murphy’s Law…
Aaannnddd…here is the worst. As I’m in an initial meeting with a new client, I get this text from our sweet Au Pair, Nam… (Images have been blocked out to protect the innocent…and to prevent you from gagging!)
I IMMEDIATELY started to itch! LICE?!…What the $%&*! (I didn’t even know that “louse” was singular for lice!!!) All I could think of was the stories a close friend told me about when her daughter got lice and it took her THREE WEEKS to fully get rid of it.
Soooo…this was us…
…and this… (Doesn’t my Eileen Gray table look nice next to bagged up lice pillows?!)
…and this… (I haven’t been to a laundromat since college! On the bright side, they are very efficient.)
…and this! (Well, this was just me.)
Then there was the moment of utter panic when I realized what the odds were that only ONE child would get it… NOT GOOD in our family!…
I quickly recalled that one scene in a Sarah Jessica Parker movie I had watched years ago (when I only had two little kiddos, and one on the way…and none bringing lice home!)
If you’re still with me, and weren’t turned off by the first few paragraphs, YOU MUST WATCH THIS CLIP!
So, as I’ve said before, in motherhood, perspective is everything! My perspective is CONSTANTLY changing. You will not survive (happily) if you do not embrace my four “rules.” The funny thing is that back when I first saw this movie in the theater, I think I still identified with SJP’s assistant—sleek, put together, on the ball, in the signature all black, and of course….lice-free. ☺
And in my 20s and 30s, Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker was DEFINITELY more relatable than this lady! I probably would have given her this same look…
“Pre-kid Theresa” would have scoffed at the idea of one day, being so disheveled. One day, not wearing stilettos to the office every day. One day, having “mommy brain” so badly she couldn’t remember her OWN birthday. One day, forgoing a night out on the town to collapse in her comfy bed and watch documentaries. And that Theresa most certainly NEVER thought she would so deeply love FOUR little, slobbering, puking, pooping, whining, screaming, demanding human beings that would one day bring home “little, tiny, bugs repelling out of [their] hair!”
But then, I wouldn’t be “Cultivating a Meaningful Lice…um, I mean Life,” would I?! Lol!
Keep on rockin’ on, mamas!!!