I’ve been drowning in a sea of spit-up. I’m a second time mother – this spit-up thing was something that I felt like I was well prepared for. What I wasn’t prepared for was a battle of pride – and so far, the spit-up is winning.
I’ve been called many things, but the one that sticks with me the most is the Cruise Director. I was the event planner, the coordinator, the detail oriented-schedule tied, manager of … everything. I was proud of the title, because it suited my type-A personality, it made me feel warm and fuzzy in side, and I felt like I was really well put together. In fact, my put-togetherness was what made me valuable.
You might see where this is going.
My second baby comes along, and while he’s an “easier” baby – I’m struggling more than I thought I would be. And I’ll be completely honest, I thought I could do better. I thought I was ready. Honestly, I thought I could just keep up with the laundry. Ha.
Where pride was killing me was my inability to ask for help. Being strong isn’t doing things alone. It’s being humble enough to acknowledge that you need help, that you’re not perfect, and that you never will be. It’s sacrificing the dishes for an extra cuddle. It’s crying in the bathroom while you sneak a look at your cell phone to catch up with friends you haven’t spoken to in weeks. It’s taking a breath, it’s wiping a butt, and it’s stumbling, crawling, swimming, and wading through snot.
And – ladies – remember, sometimes you need to verbally ask for help. Our partners can’t read our minds (thank god). I can’t even read my mind half the time. Tell someone you need help. Show them you need help. Don’t wait for the circumstances to change – because you’re hurting your sanity in the process.
And you know the lesser known consequence of pride? It hurts those who are hurting already. When they see your pictures of your perfectly coifed hair, your lovely little bedroom with no clothes on the floor, the toddler with a bow still in her hair hours later, that hurts the mom who feels like she should be able to compete. Now, I’m not saying that you can’t do your hair – the exact opposite. You can! You should! But, when you’re doing your hair, take a picture of how you’re feeding your infant a bottle, wiping a nose, and maybe crying (I cry a lot lately) to show the reality of how that hair actually got done.
Because, ladies, moms, dads, guys – we’re all in this together. And if we all think everyone else is perfect, it makes our imperfections a hell of a lot harder to accept.
Gone are the days of an empty sink, a full closet, and dry tissues. Here’s to the days of threenagers, infants, tears, and small successes.
Lindsey Sanford Schmitt is an ultimate Frisbee loving, marketing exec who loves Reno a little too much. She knits, reads, writes, and loves long walks on the beach. She’s trying out this new “standing-desk” thing – and finding that it’s not quite so bad. Lindsey is a recent mom of two, her little one was born on September 21st, and she still can’t sleep. Above all else, she believes in being honest with our struggles, to paint a more accurate picture of what motherhood means – leading to a supportive community of fellow swimmers.