Mom Chat – San Diego

I was recently on a business trip out in California and as I was talking to some team members out there, I started to notice more and more that the parenting experience is very similar regardless of where you live. I had lunch with one mom and she talked about the pressure to breastfeed with her second child, even though she wasn’t able to with her first. People who were around while she struggled the first time were making comments like “well you are least going to try to breastfeed, right?” As the conversation progressed, we went through the typical mom conversation of pregnancy woes, hardships with giving birth, daycare and judgmental friends, family and strangers. It dawned on me after the workday ended and I was back in my hotel room that we had so much in common but came from completely different places and backgrounds.

This lead to an idea for a new series; Mom Chat. I’m going to interview moms when I travel to find out how we are similar, how we are different and to gather as much parenting knowledge as I can to use with P. I know there will be differences in opinions and different ideas about how to raise kids but I thought it was interesting finding common ground in a place where I don’t quite fit in.

Santa Barbara

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Sometimes Things Are Hard

Today was a “feel like you’re drowning” kind of day. There wasn’t anything specific that made me feel this way and nothing terrible happened but it just had that feeling. I’m being self-conscious about the amount of weight I pull around the house and feeling guilty that I took a day to work from home last week to go to doctor’s appointments that I was overdue on. I’m heading out again for work and I know that husband and P will be alone again to face the daily grind down one person. Husband is always supportive but I feel like both worlds just come crashing into each other. I know I’m not two separate people but I feel like when I get home I’m different. At work, I can be decisive, act on instinct and speak in front of tons of people with authority. At home, I feel like a bumbling mess who forgot to switch P’s clothes to the drier and is hoping they don’t get that mildew smell.

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Being a Mom is Lonely

Being a mom can feel very lonely. You always have someone around you but unless you know and hangout with other moms you are living in this isolated world of drool, bottles and endless videos of attempts at crawling. Family members are excited to see pictures and video but it is hard to get any time to yourself. Even when you do get time away you miss them and look at pictures and videos, which start the cycle of “I’m a bad mom because I’m here instead of home.”

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Cussing In Front of My Kid

“I’ll wash your mouth out with soap” was a phrase that I heard quite often growing up. You could also get a pop on the mouth or the ass depending on what you said. This wasn’t talking back because no one wanted the belt but saying something as simple as “shit.” I was driving listening to hip-hop in the car and I thought to myself ‘maybe I should change this so baby P doesn’t hear cussing.” The funny thing is I cuss in front of her all the time. My parents used to cuss when talking with adults and we heard cussing at family functions. It was known you weren’t allowed to cuss and no one was telling the other adults not to cuss in front of us. So when did the change happen, where adults are supposed to monitor themselves around kids?

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I’m A Judging Mom

When you think about what a good parent is, you have such a large frame of reference for “good parenting.” There are magazines, blogs, shows specifically to show how shitty parents can be, news articles and Facebook groups that hand down judgement as if they were Saint Peter himself. When our parents were growing up, they just had what they were taught by their parents, wholesome television shows and maybe a book on parenting.

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