We are so tickled that we have made it one year, making you laugh and/or roll your eyes in disgust here at Mommy Dearest Inc. Wow, what a year! We started this venture so unaware of what launching and running a blog entailed. The old saying, “The blind leading the blind” really rings true when observing us trying to figure out Word Press. The night before the launch, Theresa and Susan tried to code something and the entire site shit the bed. Thank God for Dennis (our Web Guy), who had that baby up and running – $125 later. And then, on the morn of October 20, 2015 we launched MDI and the followers just started pouuuurrriiing in. It was like an overnight success amongst our moms, aunts, sisters, cousins and a handful of friends. What a shock to learn that launching a blog was not the only thing you have to do for it to be successful. Who knew? Continue reading →
Let me just cut to the chase, prior to having my baby, the term “Mom Group” made me, well, cringe. I imagined the “stroller parking lot” at CPK teeming with crusty strollers filled with gummed up yogurt melts, crushed Goldfish, Cheerio smithereens and shellacked with a thick coat of apple juice. I envisioned a herd of moms trying to hold a conversation and eat a civilized lunch while their infants screamed and toddlers built forts under the table. I feared that along with my bundle of joy, my “parting gift” from the hospital would include a pair of black yoga pants, a spit-up stained tee shirt, an eighty ounce coffee mug and a year subscription to the “I Only Wear Slut Buns” club. Let me also say that I was foolishly under the impression that everything would be all rainbows and gumdrops after MY baby arrived. My plan would look something like Reese Witherspoon with her new baby; pulled together, glamorous, calm and collected. Little did I know the shit storm that was about to be unleashed into my world.
Flash forward to having an 8-week-old baby and after having yet another humiliating breakdown during my lactation consultant appointment, she kindly suggested (urged) that I join a Mom Group. I was so lonely and sad that I agreed to go, seeing that I wasn’t meeting anyone while holed up in my bathroom crying. So ladies, I bestow upon you this pearl of wisdom, unless you are a “sister wife” (minus the total creeper husband) and have your Mom Group living with you, you need to get your hustle on and find yourself a team of supporters. Here are the top five reasons why:
1 – Surprise! Your problems are not unique!
During the depths of our eight-week pediatrician-imposed lockdown, I was completely unaware that there were other new moms out there struggling with the same problems. My baby that won’t sleep anywhere other than the Ergo? Yeah, I had nothing on the mom who had to run the vacuum while bouncing on a yoga ball, humming and breastfeeding at the same time. Morale improved already! Strapping on the Ergo began to actually heal my back; it was like popping a few Doan’s and washing them down with a slug of Wild Turkey. And what I had coined “The Warthog Routine” (the snorting, grunting and frantic head thrashing when feeding) was happening right before my eyes to other babies. Previously, I was convinced it was an early indication of some terrible and rare condition. Not that this is a contest in one-upmanship, but talking with other moms who are in the trenches with you is such a relief. Just knowing that someone else was raising a baby warthog was enough support to keep me going until our next meeting.
2 – Bitches unite!
Perhaps you enjoy the alone time spent sobbing while folding onesies and listening to your baby howl but believe me, you need lady friends. Your baby may be the sweetest, cutest little peanut in the universe but after your partner goes back to work and you are flying solo – suddenly you are staring down the barrel of week six with 12-hour days ahead of you, and the one-sided conversation starts running bone dry. After being out of normal society for weeks, I was so desperate to talk and be around other people, I didn’t care if you had 10 heads, horns, and a tail. If you were at this Mom Group meeting you were fair game and I was going to be your friend, come hell or high water. When I walked into that room, I reeked of desperation. I needed friends who understood what I was going through. Being able to commiserate over your newly found night sweats and hideous mood swings is something only a new mom friend would understand. (Bonus: Your husband will thank you for this since he bears the brunt of both problems.)
3 – You need to get the hell out of the house.
Rejoining the free world seems like an insurmountable task during those first couple of months. Prior to my Mom Group, brushing my teeth required an hour of preplanning and scheduling. After joining the Mom Group, I would turn up the music extra loud to drown out the weird baby noises that gave me massive anxiety and gussy myself up; slap on some lip gloss, put my hair up, dredge up a cute outfit from the bottom of my closet, strap her into her car seat, then immediately take her out again to change her entire outfit due to an up the back blowout diaper and arrive with a few minutes to spare! No sweat (under-boob sweat doesn’t count). Waking up knowing that you have a plan for the day is a game changer, even if it is just going to Starbucks, everyone is just happy to get the f*ck out of the house.
4 – Your breast pump is not talking to you.
The same phenomenon as the hairdryer applies to the breast pump – turn it on and suddenly you think you have heard the doorbell or the baby crying – turn it off, go check, find nothing and repeat. I spent hours with that pump. HOURS. 3 out of 4 times I would have to turn it off because of phantom noises. Chalk it up to reasons 1, 2 and 3. Or perhaps I was so desperate for someone to talk to that maybe I did just hear the pump say, “Your hair looks great”. Thanks, Medela! Love you too, guuuurl!
5 – Your baby will be happier.
I know this sounds a little extreme but hear me out. After I joined the Mom Group and gained a shred of sanity back into my life, I could see in my baby’s eyes a new sense of calm, a new understanding if you will. Despite being my personal stage-five-clinger, she was happy to be surrounded by other 2 month olds who also hated the car with a burning passion and she thrived each time she spit-up someplace new. She needed all of the same things I needed, friends with something in common, new places to go and new people to see. And I swear, after I started slowing down a mile out from a red light so we never had to actually stop, when I looked in the rearview, she winked at me as if to say, “Yeah Mama, I got you”. We were a team.
The women in the photo below are my Mom Group. They are the ones who welcomed me with open arms when I arrived at my first Mom Group meeting. I would not be where I am today without what they gave to me – hope that things would get better, shoulders to cry on, ears that listened to the good, bad and ugly, they never judged or made me feel like I was doing it all wrong (even when it felt like everything I did was wrong). They had advice and suggestions when needed, kept me company and gave me laughs through the long nights of breastfeeding on our chat group. When everything else in my world was falling apart, they were there for me and THIS is why you need a Mom Group.
“Pass the bread”, my father requested. As my sister reached for the bread basket, the rest of the table held their breath, shut their eyes, winced and prayed for a clean delivery. Nope. As her arm moved in slow motion across her dinner plate, it innately collided with her glass of milk, turning it over onto the tablecloth and undoubtedly drowning someone else’s pork chops and apple sauce, causing chaos and dismay throughout our dining room. This happened almost every night for probably more than a year. We’re not absolutely sure why but we chalked it up to subconsciously looking for some sort of attention from our very busy, very stressed-out parents. When you are one of six children, you sometimes had to pull out the big guns to get noticed. Good grades, bad grades, runaway threats, expulsion, broken limbs, car accidents, awards, parts in plays, visits from the local police or small sectors of the FBI. You had to make yourself known if you were going to stand out. My sister’s was the spilt milk, mine was the visit from the small sector of the FBI on the night of my older sister’s wedding rehearsal but hey, no one’s keeping score here. Growing up in a big family was empowering and degrading at the same time. If you weren’t taking care of your shit, no one else was either so you had better learn to use the washing machine early, pour your own damn cereal and bribe your older siblings for rides from point A to point B if you ever wanted to get anywhere. It was survival of the fittest in a clan that size and while it made me who I am today, it is also one of the biggest reasons I decided that my first born would remain my one and only. Here are the reasons from my own experience that helped me shut the garage door after birthing my first and only offspring.
My mother would forget my sister and I (and occasionally a friend or two) almost every Friday after swimming class at school and we would have to go on to wait in the school Convent where the nuns would serve us up warm diet coke and brownies and continuously call my house only to receive a busy signal as our crib was teeming with phone disorder-laden teenagers. Eventually, one of us would make an emergency breakthrough on the line and tell my mother that she forgot us. How could she not realize her two youngest babies had never arrived home from school? I mean, she called me “Whoever you are” after running through everyone else’s name so maybe that explains it but in her defense, she was pregnant for 10 years straight with only quick smoke breaks in between each pregnancy. How was she ever to rid herself of “Pregnancy Brain”? Truthfully, she never did.
My child’s life – I arrive everywhere at least five minutes early, with prepared snacks and water in case of immediate hunger and inability to make it the ten-minute drive home. She won’t have to wait in a convent ever, for many reasons but it’s really the warm, Diet Coke I’m trying to avoid here.
I was fourteen years old the first time I ever flew on an airplane. Exotic was hitting up Avalon instead of Stone Harbor, NJ during the summer months. I would beg my parents to go to Disney World and my father’s response would be, “As long as I am paying six private school tuitions, you’re probably not going to meet Mickey”.
My child’s life – My kid is four and she’s already explored the likes of Mexico (twice), Italy (twice), Spain, Australia and bits and pieces of the U.S.A. She has an annual pass to Disneyland. If we had another kid, we’d have to rent some furniture during the summer months and call it “The Summer House”.
Nilla Wafers were a real treat. Do you remember those? Yes well, my mother would pick up a box of them every Sunday and we’d house that box in 20 minutes or less and then there would be no more “treats” for the rest of the week.
My child’s life – We talk about whether we’ll hit CoolHaus Ice Cream or Sprinkles Cupcakes on Wednesdays after school. She’ll never have to rummage through my purse to find some Baby Aspirin or a loose Life-Saver to get that sugar high like we did when we were kids.
My mother would give us all a teaspoon (or tablespoon depending on your age and state of awakeness) of Dimetapp. Yes, you heard me, the cough medicine. She’d sit us up on the countertop and disperse the liquid sleep/cough aid to her children before bedtime. We were all ok with this since it tasted of grape and the Nilla Wafers had been gone for days.
My child’s life – While I won’t deny the fact that I have exaggerated my child’s cough and announced to an entire international flight that she has been coughing for days while dosing her with Benadryl before a long haul, we do not drug her (no matter how tempting) so that we can get a good night’s sleep. I am not knocking my mother’s brilliance or desperation here but really? My poor, tiny liver. If I had more than one kid, I’d ditch the announcements to fellow passengers and line them up on the ticketing booth to dispense the drugs. Like mother, like daughter.
There was no way my parents could have or would have wanted to volunteer or be involved parents in school and outside activities. They were tired, they had no urge and quite frankly, I don’t blame them but you do it for your kid. By showing support for the community your child is involved in, you show your child you are invested in their success. Don’t get me started on my neglect issues, stay with me.
My child’s life – I give way more than I should and she’ll probably roll her eyes when she spots me putting away library books, the day after I ran the Dance-a-Thon and won the fight for healthy lunches at her school next year but she’ll know I cared, she’ll know I was invested…and I will bask in the glory that I am an amazing parent, much superior to my own. If I had more than one, I’d slow down at drop off while I forced them all out of a moving car.
I couldn’t get away from the chaos. It was everywhere I turned. Loud voices, instruments, televisions, peace was few and far between and I relish in quiet. I had no idea that I loved peace and quiet so much until I was well-into adulthood. Big crowds were a part of my identity, until I learned that I suffer from Claustrophobia, of course.
My Child’s Life – We bring her to spend time with her eleven cousins over the summer and winter breaks and it’s so great for her. It makes her feel important, like she has this huge family and over the years she’s even stopped physically pushing them away from her while screaming “NO!!” in her loudest voice, arms extended like Elsa trying to escape Arandelle after the Coronation took a bad turn, so I’m feeling pret-ty positive about her progress. If I had more than one, I’d be surrounded by the chaos that I thought I loved but was actually slowly killing me. My children would be killing me slowly. That’s something to contemplate, really.
I realize my life has been full of love and companionship. I’ve rarely ever felt alone and I wouldn’t change all of the crazy for all of the money in the world. We’ve made choices for our family that work best for us. We love to travel, live in LA and provide her with experiences I wasn’t allowed to dream of (mostly because I was in a drug-induced state of slumber). It doesn’t matter because in 20 or so years, we’ll all be reading, “How my Parents Ruined my Life by Making Me an Only Child” By: Stella Masciopinto. Stay tuned, it should be a good one.
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.
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).
I remember when my baby was five months old, we started going to Baby Group. It was my savior, my safe place, my guide to being a mom. I have eleven nieces and nephews but I hadn’t been that interested enough in babies to become informed about them. I would go over to one of my sibling’s houses, love them and then get the hell outta there. I am the youngest of six kids. I was unmarried and then eventually married but still child-free. I had happy hours and parties and openings and premiers and tons of fun things to do to actually give a crap about “raising” a baby. I left that shit to my awesome siblings. And then, one fine Christmas Day, I peed on a stick and ” PREGNANT” was pushed on me like a joint on a teen at a Lourde concert. Ooooohhh, feck.
I gave birth to that much wanted baby and yes, it was GLORIOUS and by glorious, I mean hellacious. I had PPD and mourned my old life more than one can explain with words. I was never happy. I wanted to be happy like all of those ladies in the magazines but I was not. Fast forward five months when the baby got chubby and started becoming a human who actually smiled and laughed at me, that was pretty cool! After five months of colic and hell, I started going to mentioned Baby Group. A place where parents went with questions about their kids and some amazing GURU gave you ALL of the answers! It saved my life. In this group there was a lot of talk about “floor time”and I was all, “I have to get on the floor with my baby?” I thought that was the place where my cats slept and where dirty shoes passed the time, I did not want to go there.
20 minutes of floor time a day was recommended. Ugh OK, so now I am on the floor with my kid, putting her on her acid reflux belly to make sure she didn’t end up totally daft. She hated it and I hated it but we stuck with it and she evolved faster than she had been when I was plopping her in the old Rock N Play Sleeper (which saved my life btw) and tuning in to “The View“. My kid is four now so bear with my TV references.
Time passed and many years of excuse making and most days, giving the poor kid some play time, she became a full-on preschooler. “Mommy, let’s play…”. Nails on a chalkboard to my ear holes. I don’t want to play anything, with anyone, ever! Ask Daddy, he loves to play. Daddy also owns his own business and has seriously limited time to play during the week and the kid was tenacious and wanted to play with me. I had to play every day at some point. It felt like Guantanamo Bay. You be the mama dog and I’ll be the baby dog. You be the mama lion and I’ll be the baby lion. You be the bat leopard and I’ll be the merpup. Shit got crazy and elaborate and I didn’t care for it one bit. Also, she’s very mandating when she plays, which I am fully aware will benefit her later in life but so would a little flexibility.
Now, Chutes and Ladders is laid out on the table like this year’s taxes.Those tiny squares preschoolers are supposed to move along while counting each one – RIDICULOUS AND IMPOSSIBLE. Face painting? She asks me to make her a cat and then cries and says she looks like a spider. Go Fish? I can see all of her cards, no fun. Old Maid? She still doesn’t fully get it, plus it’s totally insulting to strong, single females. War? Kid can’t even count correctly yet so where are we going with this? Pogo stick? I have to hold the stick the entire time. Ride bikes? I have to carry the bike 3/4 the way home. Painting? Yes, I like it but she differs from the allocated materials and starts painting her vagina, exclaiming she now is a grown up and has hair on her vagina! Woohoo! Paw Patrol? I damn the day I ever bought those over-priced little assholes. Her rocket ship looks like a giant penis and it just makes me feel uncomfortable. Barbies got into my house somehow, which means me dressing and undressing them the entire time because her little hands get tired of shoving those freaking plastic daggers Barbie calls fingers through holes half the size of the eye of a needle. I am not good at this stuff, people.
I love to take care of her. I love to read to her, I like puzzles and taking her out on the town. I like to make her lunches, buy her clothes and map out her life for her 🙂 I love being her mom but getting down onto the cat’s bed, A.K.A. the floor, where I start to wheeze and sneeze and God forbid start spotting all of the crap in the shag carpet, always ends up in me pulling out the vacuum and thank the tiny, little, blessed 7lb. 4oz. Baby Jesus, she thinks vacuuming is the best, damn game ever.
I know, I know, soon enough I will be appalled at her eye rolling and I will be SO heartbroken when she chooses her friends over me and acts like spending time with her parents is some sort of punishment but I think I’ll miss playing like I miss getting my heart broken, getting a pap smear or getting bamboozled into a play date with someone I can’t stand. I have my strengths, I know them and embrace them and I just hold my breath everyday and pray that she masters the art of independent play sometime soon. Ya’d think for an only child she’d already have figured this out!
We’ve all suffered through watching a plethora of animated series with our kids. Some of them, like anything child related are unbearable, others cute, others mind-numbing. What I love most about these shows are the different opinions parents have about them and the dinner party conversations that ensue where one mom will be defending Caillou to the death (you know who you are) while most would argue his future as a member of the MS-13. I find it all super amusing. Here are some thoughts I have had while watching some of my daughter’s favorite animated shows.
Why is Barney still available for viewing and torturing parents everywhere? Like his predecessors before him, he too should be extinct.
Sometimes, I feel like I might be on the verge of a seizure when I watch the Paw Patrol. So.Much.Stimulation.
I think Wyatt from Super Why could use a humanitarian trip to Syria to show him what a “super big problem” actually fucking looks like.
Has no one ever noticed that there are children working in Sofia the Firsts‘ castle? Wonderful. Sofia’s off to enjoy a picnic with mother, send some of the children to prepare the carriage for her.
I won’t discuss Caillou because when we talk about him, we keep him alive.
Peppa Pig, your voice is like a thousand knives, impaling me slowly. I get it that you are a pig but every time you snort, I get the urge to call Dr. Kevorkian while snacking on bacon.
Curious George is actually teaching children that it’s ok to illegally smuggle exotic animals into the country and then hole them up in city apartments with unnamed men who only wear yellow and probably have Schizophrenia. Lesson learned, thank you.
Why is Dora now a budded-breasted tween? Stop it! Her fans will not grow with her, they will move onto something else. Stop being so desperate and making her look so pathetic. Oh, she has human friends now? That’s not interesting. You know what’s interesting about Dora? That she raised those twin babies on her own. She calls them her sisters but we all know that old game. Stick to your twisted life of raising babies and following a map drawn by a monkey – let your freak flag fly, girl, just not in my house.
Angelina Ballerina…if I ever get my hands on your back stabbing, whiney ass, you’re cat food.
Diego, you are a coat tailer who has never had an original idea in your life. You can thank your cousin, Dora for your career. If it weren’t for her, you’d be dealing heroin on the corners of the city streets of your ambiguous Latin American country . You know it and I know it but good on you for getting out.
The Magic School Bus should be called the Magic Bus of Horror and Fear yet they’ve revived it and put it on Netflix for children everywhere to enjoy. I am forever indebted and remember you every time my kid has night terrors. Merry Christmas.
This is a warning! The Veggie Tales IS A CHRISTIAN show! Not that there’s anything wrong with that but if you are not a Christian household, you’d better have your explanation shoes on when they come a asking who Jesus is.
LalaLoopsy has no fucking eyeballs. That’s all.
While watching The Dinosaur Train, no one else thinks, “So, this is a show about creatures that have become extinct”? Is it just me that gets sad about this? I feel like I’m watching a bunch of dead people that don’t know they’re dead yet, it’s awful.
What’s wrong with that poor kid’s parents in the Bubble Guppies who are always giving him crazy shit in his lunch? I constantly feel bad for him and he always sounds so defeated and sad. His fake parents are so mean and someone should call the fake child services on them.
Ruby, you are a condescending whore who should be slapped in that smug face of yours. Your poor brother, Max does not have the best ideas, agreed but that does not mean you get to insult his wants, needs and intelligence. God, I loathe you. I really loathe you. Every time your 50 year old voice over artist speaks, I rock myself to the safe place where you don’t exist.
And finally, The Mother Goose Club. Creepalicious tweens sing Mother Goose songs and act them out in dime store costumes made from a an ex-meth head turned costume designer. They sing so much but they don’t sing so well. Poor kids/adults on this show. I feel like they were kidnapped and made to do this in return for their promised freedom…which will never come.
Wrapping up, I freaking hate most cartoons and in today’s age, there are so many of them but I am forever indebted to them for allowing me to breathe once a day. I cherish them because they exist to assist me when I can no longer deal, like that moment at 5:00pm when I truly believe I might not make it until bedtime, I pour myself a glass of wine and on comes the neglectavision. Thank you to everyone who makes these awful creations, I really do appreciate you.