5 Things No One Says To Working Dads

CapturePublished on Scary Mommy

So there’s some inequity in the workplace, yes? Apparently this is a thing. As in, women still get paid less for doing the exact same work as men, and we don’t get paid when we take time off to have babies (you know, to support the human race and all). But there’s even more madness for women who are working moms, who often pay a higher emotional tax for the decision to work than our male counterparts. Being a working mom, here are five things I’ve heard so many times that I want to stab myself in the eyeball and that I guarantee my husband has never been asked:

1. Are you coming back after the baby’s born?

It’s a funny question, really, that so many moms hear while they’re pregnant. I don’t blame people for being curious, as it wouldn’t be atypical to decide to stay home, but I don’t think men are ever questioned about this. It drove me nuts that even as the higher income earner in our household and with a more advanced degree, I was the only one who got this question.

2. Does it bother you that someone else is raising your child?

Okay, just stop with this one. Just stop. Daycare is a blessing for our family, a place where my daughter safely learns and thrives in leaps and bounds. My husband and I raise our child, okay? Inferring that her teachers raise her is as logical at 8 months old as it is at 8 years old, and I’m fairly certain no second-grade parents get this question. Whether they’re infants or bubbly teenagers, all kiddos spend time with other caregivers, but our values and beliefs—the heart of our family and what we hope to instill in a future generation—are set at home by us. It breaks my heart when people ask this, but has my husband ever received this question? Negative.

3. Are you coming back after the baby’s born?

It’s a funny question, really, that so many moms hear while they’re pregnant. I don’t blame people for being curious, as it wouldn’t be atypical to decide to stay home, but I don’t think men are ever questioned about this. It drove me nuts that even as the higher income earner in our household and with a more advanced degree, I was the only one who got this question.

4. Does it bother you that someone else is raising your child?

Okay, just stop with this one. Just stop. Daycare is a blessing for our family, a place where my daughter safely learns and thrives in leaps and bounds. My husband and I raise our child, okay? Inferring that her teachers raise her is as logical at 8 months old as it is at 8 years old, and I’m fairly certain no second-grade parents get this question. Whether they’re infants or bubbly teenagers, all kiddos spend time with other caregivers, but our values and beliefs—the heart of our family and what we hope to instill in a future generation—are set at home by us. It breaks my heart when people ask this, but has my husband ever received this question? Negative.

5. Are you coming back after the baby’s born?

It’s a funny question, really, that so many moms hear while they’re pregnant. I don’t blame people for being curious, as it wouldn’t be atypical to decide to stay home, but I don’t think men are ever questioned about this. It drove me nuts that even as the higher income earner in our household and with a more advanced degree, I was the only one who got this question.

2. Does it bother you that someone else is raising your child?

Okay, just stop with this one. Just stop. Daycare is a blessing for our family, a place where my daughter safely learns and thrives in leaps and bounds. My husband and I raise our child, okay? Inferring that her teachers raise her is as logical at 8 months old as it is at 8 years old, and I’m fairly certain no second-grade parents get this question. Whether they’re infants or bubbly teenagers, all kiddos spend time with other caregivers, but our values and beliefs—the heart of our family and what we hope to instill in a future generation—are set at home by us. It breaks my heart when people ask this, but has my husband ever received this question? Negative.

10 Reasons the Baby Thinks I’m a Creep

CapturePublished on Scary Mommy

Babies are fascinating for all kinds of reasons, none more prevalent than the fact that they can’t tell us what they’re thinking.

When my daughter learns to speak, I’m pretty sure she’ll have some direct feedback about the way things go down at our house, and what she wishes I would do differently. Like when I forgo heating her bottles, inflicting a gnarly baby head rush with cold milk. She’d also probably let me know that all kinds of things I do every day are completely creepy from her perspective.

Here are a few of the ways I’m confident I creep her out on the daily:

1. I watch her sleep. All the time. I know video monitors are common, but imagine trying to fall asleep knowing you were being watched from afar.

2. I have a legitimate desire to eat her cheeks and toes. In fact, I refer to them as edible when I describe her. I read there’s actual science behind this maternal desire, but that doesn’t make it seem any better!

3. I have an innate interest in her poop. Frequency, color, you name it.

4. I take pictures and videos of her obsessively. I have archives of images and video footage and it’s only been six months. You know in crime shows when the crazed serial killer has a massive wall collage of photos of their victim? That could be me, only in an adoring sense. And don’t get me started on the absurd noises I use to make her smiles for said photos.

5. I don’t always have the energy to shower. For this I know she judges me. I would be appalled if my caretaker neglected to bathe.

6. I taste-test all baby food before giving it to her. Come one, I know I’m not alone here. If I”m splurging for organic, I want to know it’s good.

7. Mom refers to herself in the third person.

8. Her carseat is rear-facing, so I have a mirror on the back-seat headrest so I can see her while I drive.

9. I choose her outfits based on my own moods. A case of the Mondays usually means we trend toward grays, whereas Fridays are bright and saucy wardrobe days.

10. I speak on her behalf and make up complete nonsense. This would piss me off beyond belief if roles were reversed. “Mom’s a little fussy wussy today because she’s just sooo sleepy. She really needs a nap. I also think she needs to poop.”

12 Things I Thought About Babies…Before I Had One

Published on Scary Mommy: November 2014 

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1. Maternity Leave will be a nice break from work. I mean yeah, I don’t miss conference calls, commuting or having to dress up everyday, but this isn’t quite the vacation I imagined. Because now I work 20 hours a day, without pay, while being covered in vomit and poop.

2. It’ll be easy to get out with the baby. Except that it first involves packing for approximately two hours, changing the baby five times (who undoubtedly will throw up on herself while being changed), folding up the stroller using magic origami and ninja skills to get it in the car, all while attempting to not get covered in baby puke as you execute prior steps.

3. I won’t need that much help. Unless you count always and all the time. I want help 24 hours a day. I want help for my help. I want constant assistance in all things.

4. I’ll fall in love with the baby immediately. I mean yes, there is an instant and inexplicable bond, and an awe-inspiring sense of wonder, but I think the real love comes a bit more gradually, as the terror subsides and you get to know the baby. It’s in full force now, and grows every hour, but the first few days and weeks were so ridiculously hard, that I think I felt the full spectrum of every emotion from love to hate to insanity.

5. Post-partum depression and emotions won’t be a big deal. Unless you consider debilitating sadness and despair easy to handle on no sleep.

6. The fatigue isn’t as bad as people say. No, it’s WORSE. As my brother reminds me, sleep deprivation is a form of torture for suspected terrorists. So, no biggie. You’ll just LOSE YOUR MIND.

7. I’ll be ready to go back to work. See numbers  5 and 6.

8. It’ll be easy to get back in shape since I’m not working. Not only is there no time, there’s no energy or desire. I’ve been a fitness addict most of my adult life, which makes it even more alarming that I could not care less about it right now. I have zero desire to exercise, and if I did, I wouldn’t have the time or energy to do so.

9. I won’t be influenced by things I read online. This one might have stood a chance if there weren’t 20 hours a day spent feeding a baby where your smartphone is your only outlet to the world. Enter Google madness.

10. I will naturally be good at being a mom. Maybe on some levels I am, in that the baby is healthy and thriving (hooray!), but I doubt myself constantly and generally feel like a total mess.

11. Nursing will be magical. It was, and then it wasn’t. And ultimately it wasn’t the best choice for us. And that was a tough pill to swallow, since society kind of shuns formula. I was amazed at how supportive momma friends were about this though, and I’m grateful for that.

12. I won’t rely on other moms for advice because I’ll pave my own way. Let me say this: I wouldn’t have made it without the love, guidance and advice of my friends and family. I mean that wholeheartedly. I am so, SO blessed to have a huge network of helpful moms and dads in my life, who have become the village I so desperately need to raise my daughter. They understand exactly what I’m feeling and fearing at any given time and are constantly offering reassurance. We all wear the same badge of honor and battle scars, forming a critical bond. I’ve also had amazing support from friends who aren’t parents, but still know just the right things to say and the best ways to help me feel better in the toughest moments.