Tag Archives: Baby shower

Do You Like Being A Mom?

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The month after my baby ejected himself from my womb, everyone wanted to know, “Do you like being a mom?” They asked either because they knew I was originally terrified of having a kid or it’s the go-to question for new moms. Since no one before had ever inquired as to what I felt towards any of my other jobs, I didn’t know how to respond.

Did friends really want to know or was I meant to say something uncomplicated and perky like, “Yeah.” So for the first couple of months I chose to the restrained answer of, “It’s crazy!” Though my friends and family never called Child Protective Services, it was clear that my vague answer killed the mood.

No one explicitly tells a new mom how she’s supposed to feel about being a mom but the lack of complaint boxes gifted at baby showers gives you a hint. Unlike most jobs that consider collective bitching as a healthy way to bond with coworkers, the unpaid and most times lonely mom has to say how great her job is with a smile not seen since her naïve maternity photos. She must not only like getting drooled, peed and pooped on, she must squeal about it like one woman I met during Mommy & Me Yoga, “I LOVE BEING A MOM! IT’S BETTER THAN WORKING!”

But I disagree. It can’t be BETTER THAN working because it IS working for long periods of time with no happy hour to look forward to. I can’t fake my love for the position like so many glowing moms because I’m not crazy. The job itself sucks, no doubt about it: minimal sleep, breast infections, diminishing mental aptitude, loss of hearing and the vanishing ability to stay up past 9pm or move around the house at a regular noise-making speed. How can anyone like being a mom? Or a dad? Unless you were in a bad relationship to begin with, wasn’t life better before having a baby? Let me answer that: yes it was.

But this is where I feel I must be crazy because deep down as much as I think not having a baby was better, I can’t say it was because you can’t compare.

There is nothing greater than seeing your kid trying to walk around, getting spun about, greeting you with too much cuteness standing in his crib and laughing the whole day between a few cranky spells before nap time. Plus, introducing him to the world is like living out one of those movies where a time traveller from the past ends up in our time and you get to watch him as he gets scared, delighted and confused by everything around him. Sure I miss going out with my husband whenever we wanted to see a movie or a band, but now we do things we never did before because we have to educate our little guy on what the world has to offer.

So then, do I like being a mom? No I don’t like being a mom, but I love being my son’s mother and more importantly, I love him and would never go back to not having him. Sure the job could be easier and I could handle a few nannies (like ten of them), but strangely it’s the tough parts of the ride that help me bond with him and make my love for him grow. It’s like why Christie Brinkley married that one guy after a helicopter crash. What I’m saying is, who cares if you like the job or not–as long as you try to do it well and love the person you’re working for, that’s all that matters.

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Take My Maternity Photo, It’ll Last Longer (Part III – Sweet vs Sexy)

Continued from Take My Maternity Photo, It’ll Last Longer (Part II-Haunted)

The virgin and the whore–never shall these two meet except in maternity photos. Women complain about being labeled as one or the other, but when it comes to photos who cares. Being pregnant gives you the power to be every woman, so try both limiting views of our sex!

The Sweet and Virginal

Photos by Evi T’Bolt

No matter what set of looks you go for, the Sweet and Virginal is a must. Forget about how you got pregnant in the first place, you’re about to have a baby! These shots help build your own personal mommy pedestal for friends and future children who prefer their pregnant women as naive sacred beings rather than experienced women of the world.

Of course those countless years of tasteless hook-ups that led you to your new bump in the road can make it hard to be a born-again-innocent, but for photos, you don’t have to be innocent, just look it! So go for make-up free looking make-up, dress in your pastel baby shower best with relaxed comfy preggo jeans and  dazzle everyone with how impossibly fresh and unjilted you can still look. Because pregnancy isn’t about preparing to raise a child, it’s about taking grade school photos in a park to be a child again.

It’s even better with flowers…

…or a large phallic tree.

TMI Sexy

Now let’s get to what every woman getting a maternity photo really came for: to look hot as hell. After months of yoga pants and ultrasounds, a girl has got to let that inner sexy roar. In the States that means looking raunchy and showing off way too much skin. Doesn’t matter how universally beautiful or not a preggo may be, when they see models posing with their bellies like this…

…they can’t help but one-up that model and make it look even sexier.

Photos by Evi T’Bolt

Although we fear having a big stomach on off-pregnant days, when we are pregnant it becomes like a sexy third boob demanding exposure.

The general onlooker might not want to know this much about a pregnant woman‘s sex life, but the pregnant woman doesn’t care. You may not think you find her alluring anymore, but she is certain that one look at these pics will change your mind.

Tomorrow’s posting, last but not least: Healthy Yoga Girl.

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Gift Registry Hell And Babymoon Existentialism

View on our babymoon – Point Lobos State Reserve in Big Sur, CA

This week my husband and I are on our babymoon. Some people say babymoons are the last hurrah before your baby arrives outside your belly, but since it’s impossible to hurrah with a child inside your stomach who doesn’t like to drink, I see it more as a vacation from putting together a baby registry.

If you’ve never done one or started one, a baby registry is the one gate of hell every woman must pass through to earn her child. No one warned me, so let me warn you: if you are pregnant, no matter at what stage in the game, start your registry NOW! You would think it would be easy to pick out cute things, but no, it’s not easy because it’s not just about the cute stuff—you have to think about how many diapers and for what stage, what kind of diapering you’ll want to do (disposables or cloth), what size bottles and how many, do you want to risk an all-in-one convertible car seat or change them three times. I held off for as long as I could to dive into this mess so I could try and enjoy the different stages of my pregnancy before making our new way of life a reality we were still not required to live. Thing is, once you start picking out things, you learn it’s impossible.

It took me two months to figure out and compile mine. I spent hours every day trying to make sense of this world I had never thought about before. What kind of person am I and what kind of parent will I be? Will I want to travel the world with my baby? Do I want my child to be babied or strictly raised with little extras provided? What kind of career do I need to set myself into motion for and how will that affect what I need for the baby? I spoke to four different women, perused over three different registries, read recommendations written by five different mothers, devoured the Oprah hailed book BABY BARGAINS, and, if you’re like me and have poor girl neurosis that makes you think everyone else is just as hard up on cash as you are, spent twice as much time as other mothers-to-be making sure I had a range of reasonably priced items so, as if I have the power to do so, don’t let the world throw itself into greater debt.

And then just as I finished, it was time for our vacation and what turned out to be the drug-like experience of a babymoon.

To get high without getting high takes a lot of noodle dancing or somehow throwing yourself off-kilter by exposing yourself to a dizzying number of unknowns. Not that this was planned—the best trips rarely are—but we ended up throwing ourselves into this otherworldly spiral by spending our first morning of vacation in LA by getting our things together for the trip in an unusually relaxed state, followed by a drive down to Joshua Tree where we stayed somewhere we had never been to to attend a wedding outdoors somewhere in the desert with a jaw-dropping star-filled sky, a moving heartfelt ceremony, beautiful friends and more dancing than my back could handle. Eight hours later and no time to get acquainted with our surroundings, we drove north eight hours up to Monterey and went from dry brown landscapes with stickly shrubs to green-filled roadways atop mountains covered in healthy redwoods and cypress trees. That sequence of events in only 24 hours could not have been more disorienting.

After the long drive we passed out for a bit in our hotel room and when I awoke, I had no idea where we were or who I was. I tried focusing and reminding myself of our travel plans but could not resolve the feeling of being misplaced to save my life. Without anything to ground me, nothing seemed real. It was as if I was in the middle of a real-life version of THE MATRIX and at any second I could wake up with my brain attached to some world-imagining machine. My only recourse was to ride what was a feeling of weightlessness and near non-existence.

Hoping some movement and change of scenery would help, I accompanied my husband to a nearby British Pub and kept staring at him like some psychopath in desperate need of clinging onto some semblance of sanity. And then I remembered… I’m pregnant. To think about being pregnant with no relation to who you are or where you are is, as hippies like to say, a trip. I was sure the cognizance of my pregnancy would bring me back to earth, but it didn’t. I was surprised to find that something so settled in my body could still be a part of my feeling so out of my body. Pregnancy it turns out is not the grounding experience so many people make it out to be; it too can float right along with you wherever you go. All of those decisions on who you are and what you hope to be with your new family are made from habits accumulated over time. It’s those habits that get you stuck and make you feel a false sense of being grounded, not babies, because babies are not a habit they’re just babies.

As a result, I was able to experience pregnancy in relation to me and my husband solely for what it was—time for a human to develop inside of me and time for us to grow with it. It was kind of cool to realize that no matter what our circumstances and way of life, there will always be one constant—the three of us exist. No matter the rocker, the carrier, no matter if I go back to school, if I’m rich or poor, we have this baby and the meaning behind it? Nothing. It just is. It is just growing. A little Zen I guess and not all that snuggly fun, but there was something so freeing about it all. We’re in this together and being a part of it means just being with it and each other. Suddenly the registry, who we are and all my worries about our future went out the window and our babymoon, as a time for one last relaxing hurrah, was free to start in earnest.

P.S. – Start your registry NOW!

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BABY SHOWERS ~ Where Women Become Babies

Friends and family have been waiting for years to see me act like an adult, so why as I’m about to have a baby and embark on the most grown up thing I’ll ever do, am I suddenly expected to celebrate like a little girl? Because it’s baby shower time ladies and gentlemen–the rite of passage that follows drunken bachelorette parties and sober marriages.

If you think women have come a long way, try suggesting to your friends options for baby showers other than the norm. I don’t like baby showers and nobody I know likes baby showers, except for the women who put them on and get a sick thrill from seeing their pregnant friends suffer. So my plan for my baby party was one last round of adult time set for a Saturday night with drinks, dancing, friends of both sexes, no games and no gift opening hour. But it turns out my instincts were wrong. A few months before my due date I learned that to have a baby a woman must become one.

According to American tradition, pregnant women are supposed to turn eight, play games, eat cupcakes topped with plastic toys and open gifts before the sun goes down as a way to prepare themselves for what lies ahead. To fully immerse yourself back into childhood, your baby shower must involve your closest girlfriends and zero boys. This is because women are innately built to act like children as opposed to men. In contrast to my own experiences in an all girls high school and living with seven other women for three years, it turns out that when women gather in a group they instinctually desire bright pastel party decor and game-packed itineraries to get to know one another. And at baby showers they can’t help but talk the way kids think adults talk by bringing up generic topics of conversation that cover all things baby. This focus in discussion may seem narrow and boring to the unfeminine eye, but with recent training I’ve discovered it has loads of possibilities. When talking about babies, you can talk about other people’s babies, what you’re hoping your baby will be like and the things that are cute about babies like their wittle hands and wittle feet. The topic of pregnancy is a crowd pleaser too; everyone wants to know if you had morning sickness and if you can feel the baby kicking. I just educated myself on breastfeeding, so now I can talk breast pumps, hands free bras for pumping and ask other moms how to do it. Then of course cute baby clothes…please I’m a woman, that’s all I’m supposed to be talking about anyway right? Clothes and fashion–now just a miniature version. Being a kid is great!

For years I had felt guilty for not being more mature, but this looming baby shower showed me that my real problem was that I just wasn’t being immature enough. Going out to clubs, drinking, playing video games now and then and not being more serious about everything around me is just basic teenager to early twenties kind of never-growin’-up stuff. That’s for babies! What our culture really wants is for women to go for the gold and stunt ourselves all the way back to elementary school days to act like sweet naive little pumpkins who prefer punch and cupcakes to whiskey and cupcakes whether they like it or not. And who better to propagate this belief than women themselves? Women make sure other women don’t make the mistake of throwing a party they really want. Girlfriends are always the first to gasp when you suggest you may host your own shower, or fake distress at the thought of no games. Baby showers are the time for women to stop thinking of themselves and  forget what brought them to a pregnant state in the first place–raunchy adult sex. From here on out, puritanical views of womanhood and life are key to what will lead to successful parenting, and it’s thanks to our fellow ladies that we can continue this tradition of making women who have already suffered months of body changes and nausea, suffer a little more for the sake of tradition. Face it, if baby showers weren’t worth doing in the first place, then why is it that men never made it a tradition of their own.

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