PARENTING

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About six years ago when I was pregnant for the first time, I was talking to a co-worker that was also pregnant. This was her second pregnancy and she already had a toddler at home.

We were discussing mom brain. She told me that it just gets worse after the baby is born because you have to remember literally everything that has ever occurred or could possibly occur in the future and when. Things like how many ounces your newborn drank at what time on which side, when is their next pediatrician appointment, if they are old enough to start eating solid foods, if the cleaning supplies you are using will put them at a disadvantage on college applications and if they are pooping regularly.

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I always see posts on Facebook that say things like, “They aren’t the terrible twos, your child is just learning.” Or the ones that say if I am more consistent with my parenting, my two-year old won’t be so terrible.

Well, you know what I have to say about that?

Shove it.

Right now, I have a very terrible two-year old and I don’t think that he’s just learning. I think by the smirk on his face that he knows exactly what he is doing and wants to test just how far he can push me before I snap.

Disclaimer: I always have to provide a disclaimer.

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This is for my home girls that are dealing with a toddler right now.

Toddlers are equally adorable and completely terrifying depending on their unreliable moods, napping schedules and teething calendar.

When my oldest son, Henry, was a toddler, I was absolutely dumbfounded by how quickly he could morph from an adorable little pudgy dancing man in a diaper to a screaming, red-faced, angry tiny version of me over the color sippy cup he received.

I also did not think it was possible to be scared that you might make a child angry.

You know sometimes you hold your breath after you hand a toddler their dinner.

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Read this if you want to feel better about your life as a parent.

Those of you that follow me know that the entire reason I started writing this blog was to help other moms – and dads – feel better about their parenting skills, or complete lack of them as they google how to remove a bean from a toddler’s nose.

Three years ago, I was constantly comparing my family to the picture perfect family on Facebook, that only appeared picture perfect.

That picture was literally one second in time that was caught on camera. And everyone was looking at the picture and smiling so it was posted with the caption #BLESSED, probably a nice filter to smooth out any wrinkles, and could be used as a stock photo that comes in a picture frame when you buy it from Hobby Lobby for 50% off.

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I have probably said this one million times. But today I felt the need to say it again.

Social media is the highlight reel of everyone’s life, not their reality.

Of their vacation. Of their trip to the park. Their visit to the library. Even their grocery trip with a cart full of fruit, veggies, non-GMO, gluten-free, BPALPRTG-free food.

I am 100% guilty of this. I don’t want to post pictures of my real life on the internet for everyone to see.

I’m not going to take photos of my kids when they are wrestling each other in the playroom they have not cleaned in a month with too many toys, about 49 fire hazards and a poorly placed pair of scissors.

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My summer beach vacation has come and gone. I am so sad that it is over.

Each year, me, my husband and two little boys travel to Hilton Head to spend the week on the beach with the whole Johnson clan. We look forward to it all year long, and this year was no different.

The day before we left, I had approximately 47 lists of everything we needed to pack. I decided to take the minimal approach, so I only packed enough for a small village, instead of a large village, like usual.

You never know when you might need a cable-knit sweater or rain boots at the beach.

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I remember the first night I let my newborn baby stay with his grandparents.

Disclaimer: Of course I have to start this with a disclaimer because people can be very judgmental. I love my children more than life itself. I would take a bullet for them. But they also annoy me a bit from time to time and I treasure my alone time. So there.

Anywho, when my now five-year old, Henry, was about two weeks fresh out of the uterus, I was given a wonderful gift from a friend. They were VIP tickets to go see Old Crow Medicine Show at ROMP – a bluegrass festival that I love – in the town where I live.

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I used to be a total asshole. A snarky little beeotch.

This was before I had kids obviously. I’m still an asshole, just not as often and mostly when I’m sleep deprived.

So, this post is my apology to all the women in my life that had kids before me, because I was an asshole to them. I had zero idea of the impact children have on your life and how stressful and time consuming parenting can be.

The saying, “I was the perfect mom until I had kids,” is so true. I can’t even begin to count the number of times, “My kid will never do that,” slipped out of my mouth.

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Kids are exhausting. I don’t care if you have one kid or you have nineteen kids, they will wear your ass out to the point where you wonder if you can make it through the day.

Since I now have two mobile children, my life is more hectic than ever. I rarely get a “break”, and when I do get one, it is for maybe a day, tops. That is not enough time to fully unwind and allow my shoulders to return back to their normal position, not scrunched up under my ears.

So I have learned to take relaxation and what I like to call “life breaks” as much as I can.

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The other day, I posted a picture on my Facebook page of my one-year old, crying on the floor with a cracker in his hand at 6:30 am. He was generally pissed at life and didn’t want to take off his Mickey Mouse pajama shirt that was a 12 month – he wears a 2T now.

So I did what any thoughtful parent would do. I let him lay on the floor and cry it out. There was no calming him. This was a Class A tantrum – the worst of the worst.

I’ve gotten to the point where I can pretty much tune the chaos of our house out now.… CONTINUE READING