When Lydia was a baby I subscribed to a parenting magazine. I suppose I must have seen an issue with something like "How to get your baby to stop crying tonight" printed on the cover with a picture of a smiling, chubby baby dressed in an adorable little velvet dress and thought it was the manual the hospital forgot to give me. More than likely I was still in that new-mom stage of thinking. You know the stage- starts as your about to leave the hospital? The nurse comes in, takes the baby's security tag off of her ankle and says, "Okay, I'll walk down with you now." And suddenly panic starts to bubble up, and all you can think is, they can't let me go home yet. Seriously. Wait...really? They're just going to let me... leave? Are they sure they don't need one more set of vitals or something?
The stage that lasts a week or two. Or three or more. The one that finds you complaining how hard it is to get out of the house with a new baby to your sister-in-laws who politely smile and nod while their own six or seven kids run around at the family Christmas party. The same stage where someone says, "Oh, I was ready to leave the hospital hours after he was born." And you gulp and agree becasue you think that you must be a bad, bad mom if you didn't experience the same distaste to the safe, secure walls of your protected hospital room.
Somewhere in that quesy-nervous-stomach, sleepless-night stage a wave of weakness settles in. You stumble across something that might help you through- and you grab it up. In my case it was ordering (aparently) a lifetime supply of this magazine. Lydia will be four in November and this thing Never. Stops. Coming. Not kidding. I just got my November issue today. This must have been a whopper of a deal or something becasue I really only signed up once.
Every month it shows up in my mailbox promising me awful, untrue things like how I can trick my kids into eating more vegetables or how to have a relaxing meal. (Uh. Leave kids with sitter and go out to eat? Even I can figure that one out.) And the funny thing is- after you've read 6 months of it, the articles begin to repeat themselves. Same information- the words are just jumbled around and an even better more promising title is plastered across the front cover. Whew. It exhausts me just to read about all the things I should be doing. I should be buying organic foods. I should have gotten rid of Jack's plug-go at 9 months not 29 months. I should never sleep my baby on her tummy. Just reading it makes me feel lazy.
Now, I'm not saying there's never any good advice or that I have better solutions. Trust me, I don't have a clue what I'm doing. I'm just saying reading it makes me feel winded, exhausted, out-of-breath. It's a workout in itself to read about what good moms do.
So with that being said, please excuse me while I pour myself a cup of coffee and sit down to my most current issue. I'm off to learn how to get my kids to stay at the dinner table longer. They say I should give him a napkin to tear into little pieces or ask him to sit on my lap. Um. I don't even have a comment for that one.