One of the hardest parts of parenting, I think, is the plain adulting of it. Becoming the orchestrater of holiday magic instead of the recipient of it. Being the one who has to double check (or in my case quadruple check) locks and burners before bed to ensure the safety of not only you but your little ones as well.
The second hardest thing about parenting is having to parent while hungover. Truly, you have not “adulted” until you have struggled through 24 hungover hours while listening to the sound emitted from this face:
The owner of this face does not give one iota that I am hungover. In fact I think he knows, and is punishing me for leaving him in favor of a place where the G & T’s flowed like water. It’s worth noting that this picture was taken around 4:30 p.m. and Alex is still in his pajamas, a real testament to the state I was in
Parenting with the flu has the potential to be worse due to its longevity, except for the fact that when you have the flu you have a valid excuse to ask for help. Meanwhile I don’t feel right about calling in reinforcements simply because I wanted to squeeze every last drop – literally – out of my rare night away.
The source of my headache was a wedding Eric and I attended on Saturday night, which was beautiful and wonderful and filled with so many of my favorite people. It was also the first wedding I’ve been to in a few years that I haven’t been pregnant for, so I actually had the energy to stay until the end. I haven’t seen the end of a wedding since my own.
I felt about as elegant as I could feel in a dress I’d had to rent because nothing in my closet zips over my post baby rib cage, and when my accessories for the night looked like this:
For anyone reading this whose boobs still resemble boobs and have not started “searching for quarters” as my sister hilariously calls it, those are breast pump accessories next to my jewelry, and trying to use them while in formal wear deserves to be an Olympic Sport, or at least something you should be able to medal in.
Since having Lottie I haven’t had more than a glass of wine or maybe two, so I’ve yet to have to “pump and dump” to avoid intoxicating my child. I texted my best friend who is also my nursing guru to ask her if she thought I needed to do so tonight.
“Depends,” she said. “They say if you feel drunk, you should dump it. If you didn’t feel drunk you’re probably fine.”
There’s a thinker.
Alcohol affects me weirdly now postpartum, and there was one occasion a few months ago that I had to sit in my car and sober up for an hour after drinking ONE craft beer. Lucky for me on that night I was parked next to a Walgreens so I was able to purchase and consume one ENTIRE bag of fun sized Easter Kit Kats to expedite my sobering up. (See above, where I blamed my post-baby bone structure for my inability to fit into old dresses.)
Saturday night, however, I was not so affected by what I drank. I drank the perfect amount — just enough to get me onto the dance floor, but not enough to make a spectacle of myself at the late night food table.
“Awesome!” I thought. “I don’t need to dump this.”
At that very moment my childhood bestie sent me this picture of the two of us with our husbands, along with the caption “What the hell?”
I did a quick comparison between this and the one Eric and I taken earlier in the evening …
… and decided that there was enough of a difference that I should probably dump everything immediately.
I should say here that nursing did not come easily to me with my first two. I threw in the towel within a few weeks with both Evelyn and Alex. Partly because both times I got mastitis, and partly because I was ready to have my body back to myself.
Nursing is actually going well this time around, probably because by now I know that I will never again have my body back to myself, and so I’m much more relaxed about it.
Even so, this was just about the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.
So difficult, in fact, that I desperately tried to think of any other use for it, including three low-point minutes where I seriously considered using it as coffee creamer:
Oh well. I came home to my delightful children and somehow both Eric and I survived the day, with the help Annie and her cast of orphans who entertained my children for the first time from the big screen.
But it makes today the second Monday in a row that I’m doing both Monday and Sunday’s tasks after boycotting them on Sunday, which is a perfect example of the adulting part of this parenthood thing that can be a real bummer.
But the gig comes with its perks, too, like the sweet, unprompted hug and kiss I got from my son this morning … right before he puked in his carseat. I think they call that full circle.