The Unlocked Life

In my neighborhood, the typical household composition goes something like this: a husband, wife, 2.5 kids under the age of 10, and a dog. My family looks something like this too. Everywhere you look there are kids and more kids. So it’s no surprise that there is an explosion of businesses and groups catering to mommies and baby bumps, and that I’ve met other moms and their little ones. People say that it helps to meet other moms going through the same things that you are (which it does), except that I’m beginning to feel a bit like the odd one out.
I know a forty-something woman who I’ll call Bonnie. For lack of a better adjective, the best way I can describe her is simply “cool.” She’s well-educated (holds multiple degrees), has traveled and lived abroad, is smart, funny, kind, and is an interesting conversationalist. She’s also single as single can be — as in never been married. I’ve often wondered why she’s not in a relationship. I mean, if I were a guy I would probably want to date her.
Recently, I welcomed a baby boy into my life and have been simply exhausted. It’s been a whirlwind of activity and emotions. With the constant visitors, it’s been a struggle just trying to establish a new schedule for my family (which consists of my husband, 18 month daughter and new baby), and just trying to stay awake and feel half-human again. Believe me, nobody feels sexy after not showering for two days, having 3 hours of sleep, and wearing a shirt covered in baby poop and spit-up.
Whenever a bunch of parents congregate with their children, one thing is inevitable: a little bit of competition flares up amongst the sticky sippy cups and cookie crumbs. Now, I’m not a competitive person by nature—you could run circles around me on the track field or beat me in a game of Scrabble, and it wouldn’t faze or bother me a bit. But when it comes to my daughter, my own flesh and blood, I can’t help by compare her development to other toddlers her age.
The longest recorded kiss in the world was set a couple of days ago on Valentine’s Day. The smooch clocked in at 46 hours and 24 minutes by a couple in Pattaya, Thailand, in a Kissathon contest in which they won a diamond ring and cash. This couple must really, really like each other to be joined at the lips for over a day, or they are the most competitive people I know.
While most of us would like to think of ourselves as flexible, adaptable beings, the reality is that the mere thought of even a necessary change makes the best of us want to run and hide. Most people are creatures of habit and slight changes to our regular routines can turn us into stressed out, crabby people. But as Roseanne Cash, singer/songwriter and daughter of Johnny Cash, says, “The key to to let go of fear.”
There are some people who just seem to “have it together” – they ease through life with minimal trouble, and seem to have a certain je ne sais quoi about them. They never seem to have problems finding a boyfriend/girlfriend, have good jobs, a great network of friends and are by all standards – successful. I’ve encountered a few of these fine specimens in my lifetime and am always left feeling a little awe-inspired…and inadequate.
According to Hallmark and several of those bizarre national holiday websites, January 26 is Spouses Day. This is a day meant to honor your significant other and show him or her how much you appreciate them. Some of you are probably thinking, “Isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is for?” Yes and no. While Valentine’s Day might have started off with noble and honorable intentions, it has turned into an over-commercialized holiday where you get a pat on the back for buying your spouse a box of chocolates and a mushy card. Spouses Day is all about doing something (not necessarily spending money) to show your better half you care.
I recently went to my obstetrician for a routine check-up and got onto the dreaded scale after the holidays (never a good thing to do, in my opinion). The nurse said, “You must have had a really good Christmas.” I cringed as she told me I gained 10 lbs. I packed on10 lbs. in a month! Even though I am seven and a half months pregnant, this is definitely not a good thing. This got me worried that I’ll have another huge baby (my first one was close to 9 lbs. which is large for someone my size). So the wheels started turning in my head for ideas on how to be healthier—physically, mentally, and emotionally.
When I was pregnant with my first baby, my doctor told me that she didn’t go watch a movie with her husband for two years after their first child. I thought this was absurd…until I experienced first-hand the late-night feedings, round-the-clock diaper changing, and all-around exhaustion that comes with being a new parent. Your little bundle of joy demands so much attention and care that it’s easy to neglect other areas of your life, namely your relationship with your partner.