My postpartum body is amazing. Really. No, I haven’t lost all of the baby weight, and it seems like it’s going to be more of a struggle this time around. (Thanks, second baby and advanced maternal age!) And I’m not talking about breastfeeding, even though I do think it’s pretty badass that I actually produce food.

No, what I’m talking about is the sheer amazingness of skin-to-skin contact. It is so magical and so wonderful, and yes, I totally sound like I’m high because that’s what it honest-to-God feels like. And I’m kicking myself for not doing more of it with my newborn once we left the hospital.

My life has been so frenetic since this poor kid was born eight weeks ago, and I’ve been feeling guilty about that as well as overwhelmed with the amount of crap I need to do. So last Saturday, I asked my husband to take our 3-year-old to the park while the baby was sleeping so I could get some stuff done.


Yeah, you can imagine how that went.

The baby decided to boycott her regularly scheduled nap, so the laundry stayed unfolded, the house stayed messy, the writing stayed unwritten and I stayed unshowered. That last bit had to change, though, because, frankly, it had been a few days, and more important, we were seeing people who showered regularly later that afternoon and I wanted to be semi-presentable.

When I finally managed to get the baby to sleep, I jumped in the shower, and, of course, she started crying almost immediately. Sigh.

I rushed through my shower to pick her up, but she wouldn’t go back down and she wouldn’t be soothed just by rocking. That’s when I decided to employ my superpower: Mommy’s Magical Boobies, as my husband and I had nicknamed them back when my son was little.


Fresh out of the shower, I was still in a towel and she was just in a diaper once I took her out of her swaddle. We plopped down on the couch, I popped her on a boob and the crying stopped immediately. When she was done, she cuddled up on my chest as she always does, but this time there was no barrier between us, not even a thin piece of fabric.

And I took a breath. A deep, calming, present breath.

The frenetic thoughts were silenced, and I just stopped. It was just me and her against the world, and my heart felt like it was going to burst. Even when the boys returned home, we stayed in our little mommy-baby bubble. Nothing was getting through it and nothing fazed me—not the Tasmanian Devil running circles around us or the fact that his dad gave him the iPad for an ungodly long time shortly thereafter.

With my son, I pretty much walked around topless for the first month of his life. For starters, I had read a ton about kangaroo care. All of that skin-to-skin cuddling releases oxytocin in both you and baby, and it promotes attachment, decreases stress (and even the potential for postpartum depression) and just makes everything better. This works even if you’re formula-feeding and also for dads.


But past that, as a first-time mom, I’d also been having a hard time with breastfeeding. I couldn’t be bothered to keep unhooking my bra and lifting up my shirt because he wanted to be attached to me at all times—and I was just too damn uncoordinated to do it gracefully. My solution? I just left it all off.

With my daughter, though, I’m an old pro at breastfeeding, and baby and I are both very efficient. Maybe too efficient, because we get the job done quickly. It’s great because then I can tend to my 3-year-old and shuttle him around town, and of course, I’m not struggling or in pain like the first time around. But on the flip side, I’ve been missing out this amazing bonding time, and I didn’t even realize it.

Well, now I do, and that’s why I’m making a vow to go topless as much as possible for the next two weeks. (At home, people. I’m not freeing the nipple that much.) I’ve only got a little time left in this magical phase, and I’m not going to squander it, no matter how much laundry there is to fold.

This post was originally featured on Dawn Yanek’s blog, Momsanity. Featured image via.

I’m a public transit gal and have been for a long time.

With the husband working on the other side of the city, out of range of the subway, it’s always made sense for him to drive to work. On days when I have appointments or work downtown, I hop on the bus and then the subway. Having a kid has reduced the frequency, but I’d still haul one of them in a baby carrier if I need to. I hate taking a stroller, but I’m totally fine strapping a kid on and doing what I have to.

People on public transit are f**king weird.

They’re even weirder when you have a baby with you. I think some people believe babies are like some kind of “carte blanche” moment to interact with someone you’ve never met.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I like to meet new people or exchange a story or two with another mother I run into. I love commiserating! I’m sure you’ve figured that out by now. I really don’t want to hear about how your mother didn’t love you because she gave you formula in the 60s, and that’s why you had trouble bonding with your children, who are now adults and estranged, but you think they’re doing fine because you heard as much from your friend and your sister*. Especially when you haven’t even introduced.

But despite the weird conversations I’ve had with strangers on public transit, I’d take a hundred of them or more over the assholes who presume that they can just come over and put their hands on my baby’s cheeks or fingers, without asking me first.

Last week, I was on the subway with baby C, who fell fast asleep on me. His head was covered with a slight bit of visibility. No word of a lie, this older lady bee-lined straight for him and went to lift up the hood that was covering his goddamn face so she could see him!

Like, are you f**king kidding?

I batted her hand away, and said, “HA! Don’t even think of waking a sleeping baby.”

I mean, seriously.

Yesterday, I was on the subway again with baby C. This time, the little one was awake. The lady next to us was giving him googly eyes and reached over to play with his hands.

Ummmm, excuse me?

We are in the midst of a measles outbreak. We are on public transit where a million people travel and touch and sneeze and all sorts of other things. You touch my baby’s hands, without asking if it’s okay first?

B*tch, please.

Well, that’s what I said in my head. But for some reason, I couldn’t say anything this time. I sat there, my skin crawling, wanting to scream at this woman for PRESUMING that this behavior was OK.

Is that because I’m Canadian (aka too goddamn polite)?

Or is it just because I saw her level of humanity and realized she was enjoying a moment with my adorable child, not thinking about precautions (because I’m sure she felt entirely healthy). It was thoughtless, but it wasn’t mean-spirited, so my Nice Gene kicked in (what? I have one too!) and made me just sit there while she played with baby C.

I don’t know what the right thing to do would have been.

What would you have done?


*Yep. That happened.

This was originally published on Glynis blog, Little Assholes. Featured image via.

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In this video for Variety’s “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors”, Felicity Huffman and Jennifer Lopez sat down and chatted about being working moms and how men just don’t struggle with “mom guilt.” There’s almost too much greatness in one interview, if we’re being honest. Watch these two badasses have an awesome, real, totally unfiltered conversation about motherhood.

The series airs June 12 and June 19 on PBS SoCal.

It’s the moment when they take the bed out of the room that you know it’s all over.

A few years back, my youngest kid went to college. And I was a nervous wreck about it all. As proud as I was that he was “all grown up,” I hated that those childhood years were behind him. Behind me. Me. Yes, it’s me everyone should be thinking about. The mother.

When he left for school, his room stayed pretty much the same. The closet still held his yearbooks, basketball trophies, and the clothes he’d outgrown years ago were still squeezed between his Varsity jacket and lone black suit. The room was still a bedroom — with a bed, dresser, desk. It was still his bedroom. And that made the leaving part so much easier.

And now, in just two days, that bed will be packed into a U-Haul and carted off to Alabama. Five hours away.

When I tell people my son is moving away, I get a lot of “Wow, that’s exciting…what an adventure.” What I want them to say is this: “Oh my God, I can’t believe he’s moving so far away.” Yea, again, it’s all about me, right? And yes, I’m excited for him. I am. As the youngest of four, he wants to fly. Be on his own. Start his own life. I get it. He’s got this. But I’m also nervous. And, yes, I’m sad. I’m really just kind of sad that it’s really happening.

I wrote in his journal last night. The journal I’d been writing in since he was a toddler. (Sorry, I guess I should have warned you from the get-go that this is going to be a sappy post. I will understand if you stop reading here — especially if you’re a mother. I hear ya.) So, yes, he’ll be taking that journal with him when he leaves. That last entry was a tough one. Went through an entire roll of toilet paper as I filled the pages with all kinds of motherly advice:

  1. “Change your sheets every week.”
  2. “Use baking soda to absorb odors in your fridge.”
  3. “Buy a fire extinguisher.”
  4. “Brush your teeth.”
  5. “Call your mother. Once a week, at least.”
  6. “Text as often as you like, but call.”

I scribbled and scribbled, madly gathering life’s questions and making sure I’ve told him everything he needed to know. Though I know I’ve been preparing him for this moment his entire life, why does it feel like I’ve missed something?

He’ll figure it out, I know. On his own. It’s how it’s supposed to be–even if it does suck for me, the mother.

My own mother arrives in town for a visit on Wednesday. How serendipitous is that, eh? As I sit here thinking of my son being so far away from me, it does make me think of how I just up and left all those years ago. I moved to an entirely different country without giving a single thought of how my mother felt about it. I never even asked her what she thought of the idea. I was a “grown up” capable of making my own life decisions. I didn’t really consider the fact that other people would be impacted by my decision to move away.

Yea, feeling a little selfish now.

[Insert full circle moment here]

As I reflect on my own decision to move away from home–as sad as I know it probably made my mother feel–I know I would do it all over again. It was my journey to take and no one was going to talk me out of it. I guess my mother knew that. She understood it. Her journey to independence began when she left home at the mere 18 years old. She packed her bags and moved across the country, from Newfoundland to Ontario. I’m sure her mother, my grandmother, was sad to see her go — and yet excited that she was beginning a new life.

So my son has his own journey to take, now. It’s his turn and the greatest gift I could give him is to let go and place my trust in him. I’m trying. I really am.

I will be fine (in case you wondered, since it’s really all about me). Just not today.

Repeat after me, “It’s a beginning, not an end. It’s a beginning, not an end.”

This week is going to serve up some life lesson shit. I can just feel it.

This article was originally published on Gwen’s blog, Eat Drinkn Play. Featured image via.

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For us children of the eighties, the upcoming years (and perhaps most recent ones) mark an important milestone: the dreaded, amazing, awful, wonderful, scary, liberating 4-0.

It’s hard to believe that the decade of Pogo Balls and leg warmers was so long ago.

Glo Worms, we hardly knew ye.

Still, the number of years that sits between us and parachute pants has done little to dent the impact that the eighties had on those who witnessed them through the eyes of youth. They were rad. They were awesome. They were far out. But, mostly, they were weird, even if we didn’t realize it at the time.

It turns out, there were also years we might have been doing all wrong. So, hop on your skateboard (no helmet required!) while we take a roll down memory lane.

And consider:

What we were afraid of:

Killer bees. Those mofos were flying in from Mexico or Canada or wherever at any moment. And we were certain they would kill us all.

What we should have been afraid of:

Lunch meat. We were on a first name basis with bologna and we ate it. Like, a lot. And now it’s apparently a carcinogen. So that’s freaking fantastic.

What we were collecting:

Garbage Pail Kids. We kept stacks inside our dresser drawers, such wholesome cards as Oozy Suzie and Up Chuck. The gum was an added bonus. Its staleness assured hours of chewing fun.

What we should have been collecting:

Star Wars action figures that we never took out of the box. Because not being able to actually open a brand new toy is every child’s dream.

What we were buying:

Cigarettes – Grandma sent us into 7-11 unaccompanied to get her cartons of Benson and Hedges.

What we should have been buying:

Squeezits – we could have hoarded them for when production so painfully ceased.

What we were wearing:

Aqua Net. Grade school popularity was tied directly to the height of our bangs.

What we should have been wearing:

Sunscreen with an SPF higher than 2.

angry beauty nbc jessica jessica alba


Why we were mad at our parents:

They wouldn’t buy us a Mogwai.

Why we should have been mad at our parents:

They let us wear shoulder pads to the family portrait at Sears.

What frustrated us:

The local deejay always interrupting as we tried to tape New Kids on the Block and Milli Vanilli off the radio. The Snoopy Sno-Cone Maker never having enough syrup. Wanting so badly to touch the middle of a floppy disk and knowing that doing so would end humanity.

What should have frustrated us:

The game Simon. That’s how carpal tunnel became a thing.

90s married with children kelly bundy shoulder pads poofy sleeves


What we wanted to drive:

KITT, a DeLorean, the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile.

What we should have wanted to drive:

Nothing. Empty handlebars and a friend with strong leg muscles could take us anywhere we needed to go.

What we asked Santa for:

The giant train from Silver Spoons.

What we should have asked Santa for:

An actual silver spoon. Silver’s a good investment.

What we wanted to be:

A Barbizon model.

90s 80s fashion model commercial


What we should have wanted to be:

A giant nerd totally into computers. It’s pretty much a guarantee of success later in life.

What we were perfecting:

The art of prank calling. I was always too much of a wuss to prank anyone, but I’d laugh in the background like a boss while my friends did it.

What we should have been perfecting:

Texting. Sure, no one except Zack Morris actually had a cellphone, but we could have prepared for the future by strengthening our fingers with one of those grip exercisers that everyone’s dad owned.

What we were memorizing:

The lines from The Breakfast Club.

What we should have been memorizing:

The lyrics to “Ice Ice Baby.” Though technically a 1990 release, when you can sing along to all the words in a car full of people – well, that’s just fun for everyone.

What we were proud to own:

A VCR. My parents still have one of the first ever made. It’s so heavy that I can’t even lift it.

What we should have been proud to own:

A record player. The older LPs get, the cooler they become.

What we were putting on everything:

Ranch dressing.

What we should have been putting on everything:

Ranch dressing. Ranch dressing for-freaking-ever!

What we were playing:

The Oregon Trail.

What we should have been playing:

A game that didn’t convince every third grader that they were dying of cholera (or maybe that was just me).

What we were learning:

That Control, Open Apple, Delete solved all the world’s problems.

What we should have been learning:

That Pluto was a giant poser, merely pretending to be a planet when it was really just Mickey’s dog.

What we were watching:

Growing Pains, The Cosby Show, Cheers, Who’s the Boss.

What we should have been watching:

Punky Brewster. I was obsessed with this show. Had I known it would only be on for a few seasons, I would have watched it four times a day instead of a measly three.

80s retro 1980s 80s s 80s shows


Who we had on our walls:

Kirk Cameron, Tom Cruise, Malcom-Jamal Warner.

Who we should have had on our walls:

Punky Brewster…..duh!

Featured image via. 

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Not too long ago, a fellow writer wrote a beautiful, touching piece called, “Today, Mommy is Sad.” It made me tear up because it took me back to the time when I was pregnant for the second time and struggling to deal with my conflicting emotions.

Today is a different story.

So, I’m writing a letter to my 3-year-old girl, in the hopes that I can come clean about my behavior today.

Today, Mommy is an asshole.

Mommy woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, sweetie. She’s really, really tired, and actually having trouble remembering her own name right now. If you have to ask several times for breakfast, it’s not because Mommy doesn’t love or care for you, it’s because she’s having trouble thinking straight.

Maybe it’s because baby C decided that 2am was a good time to wake for the day, and it took 90 minutes to convince him to fall back asleep. While she was trying/not trying to doze off on the couch during that time, Mommy got a bad crick her neck which undid all the relaxation that her wonderful massage created, yesterday. Oh well, $100 down the tube.

Or perhaps it’s because, when baby C started babbling in his crib and wouldn’t fall back asleep, your Daddy just flopped over and snored even louder. Mommy knows it’s her turn to get up, but she’s allowed to resent it anyway, right?

Mommy is really sorry that every answer to every question you ask right now is colored with sarcasm.

No, Mommy doesn’t mean it when she says that Halloween is never coming again. She’s just unreasonably ticked off that she has to answer this question in April. No, Mommy doesn’t mean it when she answers, “to Hell in a hand basket” when you ask her where you are going today for the 46th time. What she really means is that she has no good answer. What she really means is that she feels like an asshole for NOT wanting to take you anywhere, today.

Today, Mommy is a giant asshole.

Mommy is so fucking tired and no amount of coffee seems to be helping. Today, it may seem like you’ll be sitting in front of the television for longer than is appropriate. Yes, of course that’s exciting for you but it’s a shitty Mom crutch that she will feel guilty about for the rest of the week.

Mommy also may not have the energy to fight you on having Goldfish crackers and apple sauce for lunch today, either. At least there’s some fruit in the equation. Whatever. You can add another notch to the Mommy Guilt Belt.

Mommy’s voice may sound strained when she asks you to stop yelling your play-by-play of whatever show you’re watching from the next room while she tries to get your baby brother to nap. She wants you to know, though, that she realizes how thin her patience is today. She just can’t seem to help it. So she’s being an asshole.

There are a few things that Mommy should admit to, that she may not have been totally honest about today. First, your paint set isn’t at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Mommy just doesn’t want to have to set up all those paints, watch you completely soak through a single sheet of paper with seven layers of paint, and then move on to the next thing, leaving her to clean up.

Yep. Asshole.

Also, regarding your favorite battery-operated, noise-making, headache-inducing toy: it’s not broken. Mommy took the batteries out, because yes, she is an asshole today. That horrific tiny voice that sings your ABC song off-key will one day cause Mommy to gouge her eyes out with a fork. But today will not be that day.

Today is not a proud-parenting day. Nothing Pinterest-worthy is going to be created. Mommy may turn her head and roll her eyes when you ask to watch another episode of Caillou. She may put her hand in her pocket and give you the finger when you insist that 5 Goldfish crackers actually add up to 4. But she knows that she’s being the asshole, and not you.

Mommy truly loves you to pieces.

And she will try to do better tomorrow.


This article was originally published on Glynis’s blog, Little Assholes. Featured image via. 

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