bits & pieces

I'm not an expert on any single subject, but I'm opinionated about several.

Yes, I’m Proud of That and No, I Don’t Like Your Book. March 22, 2011

Filed under: Parenting — nemecke @ 2:33 pm
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The other day I was really excited to start reading a book I had spotted called Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay and Other Things I Learned as a New Mom (already the title is way too long, I should have known). I feel like I’ve taken a pretty light-hearted approach to parenting so far and I thought this was going to be a fun, quick read that gave me additional fuel for my genuine “being a mom is super fun and happy-go-lucky” fire.  Turns out the author is actually burning a “motherhood is dark and dreary and a literal hell on Earth” fire. Who does she think she is? And why, oh why, are people reading this book? I’ve been racking my brain to find ways I can get all of my money back. Really if I even end up spending 1 penny on this I’ll be upset. For two and a half years at Barnes & Noble I found no issues with their 14 day return policy and slightly enjoyed turning people away when they tried returning something after their two weeks had passed. But now I’m the customer so…what kind of crappy, scheming, unfair return policy is 14 days?! I’m going to Borders. (Kidding. I’d never do that. Not when there’s Amazon and BookMooch). I could be reading the new Jodi Picoult book and instead I wasted my money on a book that shames every one of my mothering decisions. I took time to choose a pediatrician carefully, I didn’t put bumpers in the crib, I chose to breastfeed and I definitely look forward to new milestones. I’m proud of them.  But I’m a crazy, stupid, new mom according to this total waste of paper. Save the trees! This book is suppose to be funny. It’s just not funny. I’m not a book snob. I read lots of books and always feel the need to finish them but this book is stupid.

Ok. I’m not going to rant about that anymore. It’s not worth it. But sippy cups really could be for Chardonnay if you wanted them to be, damnit!

Before I started reading the anti-parenting book I kept on noticing how proud I’m feeling about the silliest things lately. I’ve always been a good eater but I’ve never actually felt proud of myself after polishing off a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (did you see they have a new kind with chocolate covered potato chips? Add to shopping list. . . ) but when B ate two cubes of baby food instead of one it was cause for celebration! When he moved from two to three I almost planned a party. My kid is eating THREE cubes of pureed peas for dinner plus baby oatmeal and breastmilk. He. Is. A. Champ.

When we decided to start giving him one bottle a day again to make sure he doesn’t have any issues with a bottle and to make sure our frozen milk supply doesn’t go bad it was really just another excuse for my heart to swell with pride. Six ounces at a time?! Unbelievable.

Successful tummy time, supporting himself up on his arms, unintentionally rolling from his front to his back, sitting up without a support, a good sneeze and a great burp. I am proud of it all! My own son is doing these things. How about that?! My son! I mean my God, what am I going to do when he’s the starting pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers I can barely contain myself when he figures out how to make Sophie squeak.

This is what parenting is all about. Enjoying all of the little moments because, right now, they are big moments. As parents we have every right to celebrate these little achievements and to be proud of them. We get to laugh at them and laugh at ourselves for bragging about bodily functions and growth chart percentages. If your goal is to document parenthood in a light-hearted and funny way then write about the silly things you do as a new parent in a way that makes other parents feel its okay, not in a way that makes new parents feel ashamed of their feelings.

I ate all my carrots!

I'm getting so strong!

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In honor of Mother’s Day. . . May 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — nemecke @ 9:07 am
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I figure it’s a good time to discuss a mom related topic. Turns out I have a lot of mom’s in my life and, it also turns out that I’m going to be a mom in about three months. So this topic in particular, I may just be able to consider myself an actual expert on someday.

People often say that being a mom is the toughest job in the world and you won’t find me disagreeing. I feel the same about moms whether they stay at home or work full time, either way they work and they work hard. Yes there are some women who are very divided on the topic. Those that work full-time often look down upon those who stay home and vice versa but I say get over it ladies. We all do what we have to do and we don’t always necessarily get to choose our path. After all, “direction, not desire, determines destination.”

No matter what path of motherhood life has in store for you, it is my belief that you grab it by the horns and give it all you’ve got. You be the best mom that you can be in your situation and you simply allow other moms to do the same without judgement. I guess there are some people who may look back on their childhood and wish that their mom had been around more. My mom had an amazing, successful marketing career that she worked extremeley hard at and certainly excelled at. And when I look back at my childhood I have memories of jumping on her bed when she got home from work so we could have “tickle torture time,” which, although it may sound dangerous, was my mom tickeling us until we were in uncontrollable fits of laughter.

I remember home cooked meals every night and eating together at the kitchen table. I remember her teaching us how to cook those meals so that we could grow up and know how to cook for our own families someday.

I remember her sewing Halloween costumes for us every year and her cheering us on when we put on roller-skating routines in our garage or our basement.

I remember her taking a picture every year on the first day of school and I remember her making it out of work on time to watch our volleyball, basketball and softball games.

I remember going to Stein’s Garden and Gifts every year so she could pick out that season’s flowers and plants and her letting us each pick out one kind of flower that we got to plant in her garden.

I remember getting a special Christmas ornament every year that symbolized a milestone we had reached the previous year. And every year when we decorated our tree, we got to look back at all the special notes she had written to us for each specific ornament.

My list could go on and on and on, but the point is my mom had a great career and despite that and being a single parent for part of my childhood, she was still an absolutely amazing mom. When I look back on my childhood with her I don’t wish for anything different at all. In fact, when I look back at my childhood right now, what I wish and hope for is that I can be that kind of mother some day. Whether I be a stay-at-home mom or I work out of the house, I hope that I am able to find as much balance, to provide as much support, to give as much guidance and to be able to love as unconditionaly.

Today my mom is one of my best friends and what an accomplishment that must be as a mother. To guide your children through childhood, to weather the storm with them through the teenage years, to let them figure out their own path through college, to wait as they make their way through the early stages of adulthood and to do all of that so successfully that your relationship with them stands at it’s strongest point where you can truly be mother and child at the same time that you are best friends – simply because you have literally gone through everything together. The journey has deepend love, strengthened trust, earned respect and created an unbreakable relationship.

Today, and every day, I am truly grateful for my Mom and will be proud to ask her for her advice as I begin my own journey of motherhood.

 “Direction, not desire, determines destination.”