Category Archives: Funny or Cry

Surviving Postpartum Depression in 5 Easy Steps

Exhausted, anxious and in a total tear-stained daze, I stood in line at the pharmacy thinking to myself, “Fuck, I knew I should have eaten my placenta.” Never in my life did I think this particular thought would be running through my mind but when one is in the midst of Postpartum Depression, one’s mind is full of surprises. I did consider going down the placenta smoothie path when I was pregnant with my second child but ultimately decided I just wasn’t the organ-eating type. However, in that moment while waiting for my Zoloft, I found yet another thing I thought I had messed up. The last few weeks had been chock-full of those.

Fast forward a couple months. I have learned a tremendous deal about the illness that was slowly suffocating me and I want to share some of those things with you. So Dearests, I present to you with love in my heart, sanity in my brain and wine in my glass, Five “Easy” Steps for Surviving Postpartum Depression.

Step 1 – Acknowledge that you’re too screwed up to see how screwed up you are.   

Let me paint a picture of the true chemical cluster fuck that is Postpartum Depression. It’s like this, you know how you used to go out with your girlfriends on a Saturday night (I say “used to” because you’re a parent now, and the only thing you do on Saturday night is watch “48 Hours” while making a mental note to check on whether your spouse has recently taken out a new life insurance policy on you). Anyway, you used to get dressed up – dress, heels, hair and makeup – the whole nine. And, when you left the house you thought, “Hey, I look pretty good. I mean, not supermodel good but since I’m not a genetic mutant, this is as good as it’s going to get. Let’s do this!” Then, you would start drinking. And, all of a sudden…logic be damned, you’re Miranda freaking Kerr! A couple more drinks and now you are really feeling yourself. No one is hotter than you. You own this night. Hell, you own Miranda Kerr! Sound familiar?

The only problem with this scenario (other than your inevitable massive hangover) is that you actually look like a hot frigging mess. Your mascara is smeared, your hair looks like Nick Nolte’s mugshot and half your boob is hanging out (not the good boob either). Only you are way too drunk to realize it. The chemicals that have you feeling all hot to trot are actually blocking you from the reality of the situation – you are superbly fucked up. 

Well, that’s what PPD is like as well. The hormones, stress, fatigue, physical changes, etc have you so supremely messed up that it’s impossible to even compute how messed up you really are. My solution for this is simple. Ask everyone who truly loves you whether or not they think you are out of your mind and when they say yes, please, believe them.

Step 2 – Ignore everything you see on Social Media.

Truthfully, I think this should be a general rule of thumb to live by (except when it comes to MommyDearest Inc. of course!), but this is particularly true when you suffer from PPD and here’s why – parents lie, big time. During the course of my suffering, I posted plenty of joyful pictures, like this one…IMG_5025

and this one…IMG_5202.Aw, so sweet, right? And, while those pictures were truly a portion of life at the time, they weren’t the whole truth. The whole truth was not the kind of photo you post on Instagram. Nobody wants to see me curled up in the fetal position crying, (really hard to get a good selfie angle of that anyway). They want to see cute kids and smiling faces. I get it, I want that too. I just don’t want all of us Moms out there to feel like everyone else’s lives are picture perfect because that’s what we see everyday on social media, when really there isn’t a filter in the world that can clean up the craziness of what it’s sometimes like to bring a new baby into your family. 

Step 3 – Make sure your kids know it’s their fault.

I’m only partially kidding here. I think our natural instinct as parents is to shield our kids from seeing us sad. Angry, sure, that’s unavoidable given their tendency to act like holy terrors but sad, not so much. Thus, I was spending an extraordinary amount of energy trying to act happy around my kids who were, I’m quite convinced, trying to slowly kill me. Then one day, I just couldn’t do it anymore. It’s not that I wanted to lose my shit on such an epic level, but just like my inexplicable affection for Christian Slater even after all these years, it was a force bigger than me. I simply could not stop crying, even in front of my four year old. At first, I agonized over this and the potential damage it could do to him but then a friend reminded me that sadness is a normal human emotion he needs to feel comfortable with – especially if I wanted to avoid raising an emotionally stunted man (just what the world needs more of, amiright?). So, I explained to him that I was feeling very sad and overwhelmed and that I needed a break. And you know what happened? This kid, the same one who often seemed to take pleasure in doing his best to drive me bat shit, actually started to take care of me. He rubbed my back, telling me everything was going to be okay. He brought me his favorite stuffed animals to snuggle with and he even wiped his own butt! No wait, he’s never done that last thing, I’m just wishful thinking on that one. Seriously though, it was like that page in I Love You Forever where the son holds his old-ass mom in the rocking chair and sings to her – except much less creepy (I hope). Regardless of the potential Oedipal ramifications, it really proved to me that I shouldn’t sugar coat the situation as much as I had been. And neither should you. 

Step 4 – Let it all go to shit.

Eat chocolate. Drink wine. Stop working out. Let the dust bunnies pile up. Let the kids eat something from a box. Then let the dog eat the box. Then let your husband see that not only did your children eat processed macaroni and cheese for dinner but your dog is now pooping cardboard from having snatched the box while you were drinking wine in the bathroom. In other words, give up the act. You don’t have your shit together right now and that’s okay. You will rebound soon enough. In the meantime, cut yourself some slack and find solace in the comforts of being a total slacker. If it’s a good enough strategy for the Millennials, it’s good enough for you too.

Step 5 – Get help.   

For me, this meant finally taking the advice of my Dr. (and fellow Dearests) and starting medication. I also sought the help of a Chiropractor, a Healer and a Psychiatrist (it takes a village). It’s not easy to admit that to you. But, it’s a hell of a lot easier than spending one more day looking in the mirror and not realizing I was the drunk girl at the club with my bad boob hanging out.

Santa Baby – The Dearests’ Christmas List

Dear Santa Claus...
Dear Santa Claus…

Dear Santa,

This year the Mommies at MommyDearestInc. have a few special requests and while we’ve tried to be nice, we have yelled, bitched and possibly drank too much wine while having a good cry over the finale of “Grey’s Anatomy”, we can assure you that everyday we are just doing the best damn job we can. Yes, sometimes we are just trying to get through the day and others we deserve medals for the amount of crap we accomplish from sunrise to sunset. Please, we beg of you to overlook the short-tempered days when we’ve dropped our arms, said, “fuck it”, ordered Chinese food and popped on “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” so we could lose ourselves on the internet. We are only human, Santa, we are only human. Below you will find our Christmas List. We obviously don’t expect all of the items found there but one or two Christmas Miracles would be much appreciated.

Love,

The Mommies at MommyDearestInc.

MommyDearestInc.’s Christmas Wish List

  • Some god damn peace and quiet.
  • Just once (we don’t want to be greedy) we’d like for our children to go get dressed the first time they are asked.
  • No more crying. When the child is upset, they will simply say so (even if they can’t talk yet).
  • The entire La Mer skincare line
  • A luxurious trip to Bora Bora
  • Susan Dearest should really have a new car since 5 years ago someone kicked the side in and last year someone stole the navigation, the backup camera and the heat/AC controls.
  • Daily scalp massages
  • Magical Nail Gnomes who appear while we are sleeping to keep our nails shining bright and who clip our kids’ daggers while they are at it.
  • An unlimited amount of whatever we are craving in that moment
  • Wine, tons of it
  • Someone to cook our family healthy and delicious breakfasts, lunches and dinners everyday. We hear this can be found over at Goop and we want it too!
  • An ass wiper
  • An ageless face and timeless style
We'd like her ageless face and timeless style, thanks!
We’d like her ageless face and timeless style, thanks!
  • A lifetime supply of SoulCycle (bring Theresa Dearest something else or she might think that Krampus came to town)
  • To poop in peace
  • For everyone in LA to start using their effing turn signals! It’s a part of the car for a reason!
  • For one person, just one, to open up a door for us when they see us struggling with a stroller, diaper bag, crying child, etc. 
  • Painless hair removal
  • Time for painless hair removal
  • A car that cleans itself
  • A house that cleans itself
  • Children and/or dog who clean themselves
  • For our size 27 jeans to feel loose again
  • A week of sleeping alone without anyone kicking us in the back, snoring or flopping their arms on to our faces while we try to sleep. Hell, we would even accept one night of this.
  • A Waddlectomy
  • For a diet of coffee and cigarettes to be OK – because we’ve read that it makes you really skinny and not that being really skinny matters but man, would it be nice for something fun to be healthy.
  • A new wardrobe of casual, yet sexy clothes
  • Weekly massages
  • Sisley mascara
  • An assistant who will help field the nonstop questions from a 4 year old, grocery shop for us and keep our imaginary staffs in line so that our houses look like those places in the magazines.
  • First class tickets whenever we fly. Fuck it, a private jet would be better (hot pilot included).
  • For lunches to pack themselves
  • And finally, for peace on earth because if we can’t have all of these luxuries, we’d love for those truly in need to not have to deal with the bullshit they have to deal with these days!

We might be asking a lot but the squeaky wheel gets the oil so there’s no harm in asking!

O Christmas Tree

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Me, age 3, checking out the gifts under the tree.

Ahhhh, the annual tradition of driving out into the great outdoors in the wood paneled station wagon, listening to Dominick the Donkey, and bundled up (aka, sweating to death) in the car to go chop down the Christmas Tree.

My Dad was not Clark W. Griswold, in fact he couldn’t have been further from it. Our Christmas tree adventures didn’t include singing carols from the backseat, they involved going to the fire station tree lot, about a mile from our house, while listening to Werewolves of London. It was usually about -5 degrees outside but somehow still raining. I remember my Dad, wearing his LLBean duck boots (possibly offering the worst traction available in an outdoor boot) while holding a cigarette between his lips as he hoisted the old tree on to the roof of our mint green Saab. All of us holding our breath, waiting for him to slip on the ice and fall under the car because of his poor footwear choice. Getting the tree was usually a pretty stressful event when I was little. The tree never fit into the stand the right way, the stump was always cut at a perfect 45 degree angle, so it would take hours to get it to stand up straight. My Dad owned a very small saw that was about as sharp as a butter knife and every year he used it to try and even out the stump situation. The day would end with everyone covered in a thin layer of sap AND since we grew up in the Great Northeast, the tree would usually be covered in snow, which meant that it would need to sit in the garage for a week while it melted and EVENTUALLY dried out before we could bring it inside.

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Christmas dinner 1977 at my Cesha’s house. I am showing the camera my food while my Dad looks on disapprovingly.

After moving out of my parents’ house there have been many a Christmas tree fiasco to claim as my own. There was the year that my then boyfriend and I were living in San Francisco and we put up an 11 ft. tree only to have it fall down during an earthquake while we were at work. Then, there was the year that my husband and I moved into our house and got our first tree, only to realize that it was way too tall and we had to hack a foot off the top before being able to stand it up. There was also the year we paid close to $250 for a tree. And of course, we can’t forget about the year the tree fell off the car and flew into oncoming traffic on the freeway. You can relax, everyone lived.

Now that we live in sunny Los Angeles, getting a tree has become and entirely different ballgame. No longer is it freezing and raining when you get a tree. Last year it was a sunny, 90 degree day when we got our tree. 90 degrees! For the first time, I was sweating my ass off from the actual heat outside rather than wearing four sweaters, a ski jacket, scarf, hat, 5 pairs of socks, boots, mittens, and 2 pairs of pants – then getting into a car that has the heat on 80 so we don’t all freeze to death.

The other day, we ventured out for a Christmas tree adventure in Culver City. We hit up the Delancey Street tree lot (check out the link to read more about this seriously awesome foundation) to pick out a tree. We documented the excursion of the kids picking out the biggest and smallest trees on the lot (and brushing each others hair with the small pine branches they found on the ground – ensuring no scalp was left without a wee bit of sap).

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Check out this $$$$ tree!
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Mini trees!
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Here, let me comb your hair with this “natural” brush. BTW, my mom knows the best way to get sap out of your hair.

After we managed to pick a tree and de-sap the kids, a much needed snack was in order (to avoid a hangry meltdown). So, we got some delicious snackaroos from Public School across the street – while the girls honed their “Watch me! I am turning into a unicorn!” skills at the table (after one recovered from the aforementioned hangry meltdown and the other recovered from smashing her wrist on the table edge and they both recovered from bickering over who would sit where).

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I am gathering all of my powers and will now turn into a unicorn!
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I am channeling my inner unicorn.

When we were fully stuffed from our tasty snacks, we managed to all make it home with the tree and the kids intact (probably because we were all glued together from the sap situation). My next step is to get the tree up and decorated, so don’t worry, there is still plenty of time for a tree disaster to occur this year! Surely it will be decorated on the bottom only, half of the ornaments will be broken and there will be more pine needles on the floor than left on the tree. Stay tuned friends, this is going to be a doozy of a tree – I can just feel it!

Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!

Sweet Brown Eyes – A tale from the playground

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To protect the identity of Old Brown Eyes, he is not included in the pic.

You know when you roll up on the playground and there is a kid there that you can just tell is going to be trouble? Yesterday was that kind of a day. Upon arrival, I spotted him right away, he was lurking around the ladybug teeter-totter, just waiting to make his move.  He looked about 4 years old and had big brown eyes. He immediately made a beeline to the swings where my child and her buddy began playing. I sat down on a bench to keep an eye on the playing and to catch up with my friend. About three sentences into our catching up, we notice the boy with the brown eyes making some major adjustments to the inside front of his sweatpants. Hmmmmm. We see that his Nanny is close by but is yapping on her phone while (not) attending to a smaller child who is having a ball going down the slide backwards and headfirst. At this point, Sweet Brown Eyes is one millisecond away from exposing his man parts when he quickly changes his mind to shake his booty in the faces of our kids. To his delight, our kids find this endlessly funny. My friend and I are debating if we should step in and put the kibosh on the fun when Brown Eyes tries to entice our kids into showing their underwear. Uggggghhhh. Attempt one at stopping Ole Brown Eyes begins. “Hi, soooo the underwear part and showing or touching your private parts at the park doesn’t work for me. That is something to do at home, in private.” Brown Eyes agrees that this doesn’t work. Perfect! Btw, Nanny still hasn’t noticed what Brown Eyes is up to and has somehow managed to miss his announcement that he has an “itchy butt” and shoved his hand down the back of his sweatpants to give the ole bum a well-deserved scratcharoo.

Our kids take off across the playground (sans Brown Eyes) so my friend and I head that way to keep an eye on them. We take a seat and start over with our catching up. As if on cue and like a shot, Brown Eyes comes darting out from under a slide wielding a 4-foot, 20 pronged branch and is manically chasing our kids up the steps to the top of the slide tower. WTF? Attempt two at stopping Sweet Brown Eyes. “Hi there, so the stick part isn’t working for us. It is not safe to wave a giant branch near peoples eyes since someone could get hurt. See all of these pokey parts? They could hurt someone.” Brown Eyes reluctantly agrees, puts down the branch, and meanders off to find something else to destroy. I scanned the playground looking for the Nanny only to see her still on the phone while the younger child found the 4-foot branch and was dragging it along behind him. Seriously??? Moments later, from behind, I hear stomping on the ground and there is Brown Eyes, crushing bugs left and right. Gleefully stamping on each of them while my child and her buddy watch in a state of fascinated horror as they start pointing out where the bugs are so Brown Eyes can do his work a la Dr. Kevorkian. Attempt three at stopping Brown Eyes (and our kids), “Hi, ummm, so we are outside and in the home of these bugs, the killing part isn’t working for anyone.”. Brown Eyes quickly crushed a few more before finally agreeing. Btw, Nanny is now about a quarter of a mile away in the sandbox with the smaller child (and branch). We are unsure if she even knows Brown Eyes is still in the park.

For about 10 minutes all of the kids find a game of pretend camping and are busy making S’mores under the slide when suddenly a squirrel mistakenly finds its way down near the swings where two other little boys are playing. I normally dislike squirrels (ever since one somehow found its way into our kitchen, terrorized us for about an hour and then got stuck behind the microwave and had to be chased out by my Dad) but this squirrel, I felt for him. These two boys saw him immediately and started chasing him around in circles. At first it looked as though the squirrel was actually playing with the boys because he was running all around, stopping and turning around to look and see where they were and then running off again, you might even think that he was having fun! Or maybe the squirrel was old, perhaps suffering from dementia because he was slower than most squirrels and seemed confused or maybe he was just dizzy from running in circles. Either way, about 2 minutes into the squirrel game, Brown Eyes noticed what he was missing out on from around the make believe campfire. As if in slow motion, I could see his face light up as he leapt up “YOU FUCKING SQUIRREL!!!!!!!” he screamed as he bolted out from under the slide and chased him up a tree, with my child and her buddy hot on his heels, screaming the same.

Fuuuuuuuuuck.

At this exact moment, the Nanny magically appears out of NOWHERE. I see the look on her face as she hears my child and her buddy screaming the F word while chasing Brown Eyes to the tree (the squirrel is now LONG gone so it now appears that my child and her buddy were chasing Brown Eyes while screaming the F word). Panicking, I run over to help solve this little pickle, and the Nanny turns to me and says, “Your child has on such cute pants. And she just yelled the F word.”. Stunned that this woman has the nerve to tell me that my child has just yelled the F word when she has missed the last hour and a half of what was going on with the child she wasn’t watching was ALMOST too much for me to take. “Interesting you should say that, she was repeating YOUR little guy, but thanks for letting me know.”

I hate the playground.

This might be Hell

The handy storage spot for the toilet brush adds a certain je ne said quoi.
Note the handy storage spot for toilet brush.

Simply put, here is a morning that I hope to never repeat. Ever.

  1. Car has unidentified issue (involving some unexpected bucking and then shutting off completely), bring to dealership, afraid to drive it further.
  2. Get inside dealership and child promptly pees in her pants. Luckily (and shockingly), I actually have extra pants and underwear with me.
  3. In dealership bathroom trying to change child without her doing stuff like licking the handrail or putting her fingers in her ears because she is afraid of the automatic flush on the toilet. All the while, someone is knocking on the door with the urgency of massive diarrhea.
  4. Discover I have just gotten my period and have nothing with me for that situation. Toilet paper it is. Still unsure as to how I carry a station wagon sized bag and nary a tampon can be found inside but if in a pinch and you need 700 pens, I am your woman.
  5. Need loaner car. Which is about 10 miles away (in LA this is equivalent to about 2 hours). Have to take everything out of our car and get driven to the loaner place. Discover that loaner car employees are not allowed to help install car seats – this could not be any more unhelpful. Take car seat out of our car and put into dealership shuttle. Take car seat out of shuttle and lug into loaner place. Sweating like a farm animal. I hate the car seat.
  6. Child needs to go to the bathroom the minute we get to loaner place. Bathroom smells and looks like a zoo. To be exact, it looks like something from a horror movie. I want to die.
  7. Replace my toilet paper situation while child makes a PSA about the blood. Surely all loaner car employees hear what is going on in bathroom through the paper-thin door. Child then takes the opportunity to announce, “It smells like dog poop in here.” in her loudest voice. I can’t blame her, she is right.
  8. Wait for loaner car for an ungodly amount of time. Child running around like a maniac in waiting area…which is fiiiiilllllthy, btw. I spend my time avoiding the magazines which have undoubtedly been in the bathroom at some point, ensuring child hasn’t found an old M&M on the floor and is about to pop it into her mouth and making sure I am not sitting on unidentified stains on the upholstered waiting room chairs.
  9. Nobody has eaten lunch and we are out of snacks. Briefly consider buying Fritos and a Coke from vending machine but decide the better of it since I wasn’t about to go back into the bathroom to wash hands and since Fritos might give ME diarrhea and I would be forced back into that hell hole bathroom…and since I hate Fritos, I decided to pass. The last thing I need is diarrhea.
  10. Loaner car employee finally shows us loaner car (which is parked in the back corner of the lot under a massive tree that is home to every bird in LA) – a peach colored vehicle circa 1994 (this is an estimated color and year since the car itself is coooooovered with bird poop, rendering it impossible to identify) and gives us the lowdown on the hoe down on any scratches or dents on outside (also impossible to see through bird poop situation).
  11. Turns car on to show us how to use it. Horrified because car sounds like it doesn’t have muffler. Employee gets out to explain more about car while I just stare at his lips moving through the blue smoke that is pouring from tailpipe and hold back laughter because I cannot hear one word he is saying over the sound of blasting unmufflered car. Car sounds like it is idling at 8 RPMs and may explode any minute.
  12. Child begins crying because of the noise – and smoke.
  13. Loaner employee reminds me that this is a non-smoking car as I open door to find it looks like a 4 pack-a-day smoker has been using the front seats as an ashtray for the past 20 years. Seats are burned up with holes and reek of smoke.
  14. Screaming over the roaring engine, I ask if I will be charged for fire damage to the front seats of the non-smoking car.
  15. Install car seat for 10th time that day. Throw our shit in the trunk (which is surprisingly and miraculously odorless) and get the hell out of there.
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My usual state when installing the fucking car seat.

*Side note, when pulling up to stop sign or red light, the car goes from a roaring engine to puttering like it is juuuuuuuuust about to stall at any second. Had to keep revving engine when stopped. As if peach bird shit mobile wasn’t ridiculous enough, I could feel the stares as I revved the engine repeatedly while next to stopped cars at red lights. I imagined myself screaming “WHAT? YOU WANT A PIECE OF THIS??????” and then stalling out as other car left me in the dust.

Control Issues

 

So there I was, peeing all over the floor.

I really wish this was the start of a story about how I was wasted in NYC with my fabulous girlfriends and couldn’t be bothered to find a toilet so I threw caution to the wind and peed on the floor before laughing my way to find pizza at 2am. But alas, it is not. Rather, this is the beginning of a story where I, holding my one day old baby in my arms, pissed all over my bathroom floor while my husband, four-year-old son and dog watched in horror. To be more specific, my husband looked at me with kind, sympathetic eyes. Because that’s just the kind of guy I married. My son looked at me with utter confusion in his eyes, likely because I have spent the better part of the last two years trying to get him to stop peeing on the floor. Yet there I was, standing – frozen really – in a puddle of my own urine. And, my dog…well I couldn’t really see his eyes at all because he was too busy licking it all up. And thus began my journey as a mother of two. I believe this is also the exact moment where my journey of being in control came to a screeching halt. Control of my bladder (obviously), but also control of my life as I once knew it.

Let me back up a bit. I have always been a person who enjoys being in control. When I was in Kindergarten I sang in the church choir and I would frequently snatch the microphone from anyone who I felt wasn’t doing the song justice. I didn’t give a flying f*ck if everyone was supposed to get a turn. If they couldn’t get with the program, they weren’t staying in the spotlight. You might call that having control issues, I call it doing God’s work. This trait is something that has stuck with me in the decades since my meteoric rise to fame at Plaza United Methodist Church. And it has served me well. The need to be in control has helped me excel in many areas of my life, including academics and in my career getting people to do what I want…er, I mean producing Reality TV, where I really just act as a fly on the wall. But I digress…What I’m trying to say is, I never looked at my preference for control, my desire to be in charge, as a negative thing. But then again, I had also never peed all over my bathroom floor.

I feel like you might be wondering why the pee was all over the floor. Plenty of people have pissed themselves in a drunken stupor and not suffered the indignity of having their hundred pound dog lick it up. Was she naked, you ask? Dear god no! Once I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror after delivering number two, I vowed never to be naked again. But that is a different post, for a different day. I was wearing a nightgown. This nightgown in fact. IMG_0552Before I continue, let’s take a moment to discuss this photo, which was taken about four and a half years ago. The first thing I notice is how horrible the angle is (i.e. how huge my arm looks), which likely means my husband took it. He has an uncanny knack for making me look as fat as possible in photos. God love him. Second, my son looks like a straight up gangster (or is it gangsta?)! A gangster/a with serious man boobs. Well done, buddy. Well done. Now, back to this nightgown. I purchased this blue and white polka dotted frock from TJ Maxx when I was pregnant with my first. And, I loved it. It’s comfortable and perfect for nursing. No other criteria were required.  I have many fond memories of my post partum insanity in this nightgown. So, I couldn’t wait to wear it again for old time’s sake when I had my second. Also, I was too lazy to buy anything new. Underneath this nightgown on the day in question I was wearing a pair of mesh underwear, as modeled for you in this photo. You’re welcome world.

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As an aside, I must tell you, I LOVE mesh underwear. I feel like “mesh underwear” should be the secret passcode in order to enter the gang of motherhood. As soon as you say it to another Mom, instant recognition occurs and you know EXACTLY the goodness of which I speak.They became the single most comforting part of life with a newborn. With my first, I was a bit horrified of them initially and never thought to ask for more when I left the hospital. With this one though, you bet your bottomless mimosa dollar I loaded up on those suckers before they wheeled me outta there.

So, we’ve got nightgown and we’ve got mesh underwear. In the cookbook of wetting oneself, this is surely a recipe for disaster. But here’s the real kicker. I was wearing a maxi pad the size of a Buick! No joke, this thing was massive. It was practically a diaper, only there was no Elmo on it to help me decipher which was the front and which was the back. So why, Dearests, didn’t this maxi pad do its job, its ONE JOB and protect me from humiliating myself in front of my family by absorbing the damn pee??? I have no idea, really. Maybe that Buick-sized maxi knew something I didn’t. Maybe, just maybe, that maxi pad knew I needed something that drastic to happen before I could fully relinquish the hold on my need to control, on my need to make it seem that I have it all handled, when, as a parent, you never really have it all handled. You just have days when you get the pee pee in the potty, and days when you don’t.

What I realized in that moment, aside from the fact that I really should have done more Kegels, was that I may never be in control again. No, I wouldn’t always be pissing myself (would I?), but I would likely never have the ability to fully control my life in the way I wanted/needed to before. Having one kid had been hard enough on that desire. With two, forget it! Because, the reason I peed myself in the first place, Dearests, was that I had been holding my newborn in bed for hours, blissfully watching him sleep and marveling at the new life my husband and I had created. By the time I actually paid attention to the fact that I had to go pee reeeeaaaallllly badly, it was too late. But I didn’t care. I wouldn’t have traded a second of watching that baby breathe in and out for the ability to make it two feet further into my bathroom and onto the toilet.

Now, in the months since that day, I’ve been tested in big and small ways on whether I’m really okay with relinquishing control. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes my hold on that old trait is so strong that I can’t let go. But other times, I sit back and laugh. I laugh so hard at this beautiful crazy life, I almost pee myself. Almost.