So, I’d like to start dating again. And I don’t mean men.
What did she just say?!
Let me explain. You know how when you meet a new friend and you don’t jump right in, instead you date them for a while. Grab manicures or a quick lunch (you know, things with timeframes on them) to see if it’s a good fit. Then you grab a glass of Happy Hour or dinner- if that goes well, you introduce the husbands and see if they mesh. So like I said, I’d like to start dating again. Match-Maker, Match-Maker, make me a match. A Mom to have fun with, that’s a real catch. Where do I put out an ad for that? Is there a Tinder for Mom’s? This may sound crazy but I’ve thought about it a lot and I am totally serious… I need Mom friends. It all started a little over a week ago…
It’s a Saturday and my Mama, Baby Boy and I are galavanting around town picking up finishing touches for my house. I am standing in the checkout line at one of my favorite home stores. Actually, I’m not in line, I am flirting with getting in line while I peruse the trinkets that the store so carefully places in my path for the up-sale. (UGH, Damn you up-sale!) Baby Boy is cooing happily in his Baby Bjorn looking around at all the things. (Sidenote, I LOVE more than anything on the planet wearing Baby Boy in his carriers. It’s one of my favorite perks of Mommyhood.) Anyway, my Mama and I were in the midst of discussing candle scents when a woman interrupted us. She apologized but wanted to know how I liked my Baby Bjorn. I enthusiastically offered my thoughts. She thanked me and we both went on our way. The whole conversation was maybe 72 seconds long but it left me overjoyed to be able to talk to another Mom about Mom things. (Pre-Mommyhood Dez would have definitely rolled her eyes by now and checked the score to the Tigers game… It is not lost on me how the times have changed.)
Next store, Mama and I were in the checkout line and this time Baby Boy was sleeping snugly in his stroller. The lady in front of me turned a few times to look at my stroller and finally asked how I liked it because her and her husband were thinking about getting the same one. I again enthusiastically offered her my thoughts. This whole conversation took about 139 seconds and again I was left overjoyed to be able to talk to another Mom about Mom things. (Pre-Mommyhood Dez would definitely have assumed I went off the deep-end getting excited about baby strollers… Again, it is not lost on me how the times have changed.)
As I drove home with my Mama and Baby Boy I couldn’t help but think about these Mama’s that I briefly talked to. I wanted to text them to see how they liked their Baby Bjorn and stroller. (That’s possibly super weird… I know.) These interactions got me thinking about how radically my life has changed in these last seven months. Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder who even am I anymore?! I know you might think I am kidding but I am FOR REAL! Do you know that I didn’t even watch the NFL Draft this year? Yeah, seriously. I settled for following it on my phone. Do you know I only watched half of the last day of the Master’s this year? Oy vey. Let’s not even talk about the fact that it’s mid-June and I have yet to pick up a golf club. I’m not going to lie, this makes me die inside a little.
In addition to finding my new identity while being a Mommy, I am learning that balancing friendships and Mommyhood is hard. I’ve realized that I have no idea where to meet other Mom’s with the same likes and interests as me. Where are all these fabulous Mom Groups I hear about? How do I find them? I am beginning to wonder if they are like good babysitters and delicious recipes… When you find a good one you keep it on the down-low so you don’t have to share… I mean, err, not that I do that or anything.
I feel like I need a dating app but for Mom’s… If it existed my profile would read:
Hi, I’m Dez. I am a Wifey of 10 years to Hubbz and we are first-time parents to a 7 month old baby boy who is our happy little miracle. We have a 5 lb. Maltese who is an old lady dog and thinks she’s a German Shepherd. I like yoga, football, the feeling of sand between my toes, Jameson on the rocks, delicious sushi, the game of golf, floppy hats and stilettos. I need me some Jesus like I need the air I breath… but I cuss like a sailor sometimes. When I am in the car alone I like to roll down the windows and drive with music cranked up as loud as it will go. I am a horrible singer, but I sing at the top of my lungs anyway. I love to hostess Dance Party USA in the middle of my living room any chance I get. I play a mean air guitar. My motto in life is “No pants are the best pants”. If you’re a Mommy interested in laughing till you pee a little and ruining your diet over Taco Tuesdays, by all means, #swiperight.
100 Days of Yoga has been interesting to say the least. I’m learning a lot about myself and my priorities. I’m learning even more about being mindful and living consciously. What is kicking my butt the most though is the fear. 100 Days of Yoga is terrifying and not for reasons you may think. It’s not the commitment or the physical activity that freak me out- it’s something horribly vain and kinda ugly. In my best effort to live my life out loud I gotta talk about the fugly.
100 Days of Yoga is terrifying because of the Social posts. Yep. Good old Social Media. (insert eyeroll) Everyday I Insta and Snap a pose of my yoga practice for the day. Here’s the problem… Have you ever seen a curvy Italian chick, 7 months post-partum with still a little junk in the trunk do yoga? I promise you, it ain’t all Lululemon and Lily Lotus models… It’s more like, “How do I duck tape down the boobies and make sure the bum of my pantalones don’t rip apart? Also, does this pose make me look fat? And where did that fat roll come from!? That’s not there when I stand up.” These are real thoughts that happen in my brain.
So here’s the thing I’ve realized. When I come to the mat, there’s no good downward-facing angle and selfie stick to accompany me. While I may be able to manipulate the Insta filters a little, at the end of the day, there is still a full-bodied full-body pose in that frame. That full-body pose full of imperfections laid out for all the world to see. For a girl that takes (probably) a little too much pride in her appearance, that’s terrifying to think about.
Each meeting with my mat brings me one meeting closer to being comfortable in my own skin. I am clinging to the verse in Psalms that reads “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works my soul knows it very well.” Note that I didn’t say I’ve mastered living that phrase… Just clinging to it, white knuckles and all.
I have come to peace with the fact that I am the proud owner of legs that resemble a running backs. And if we are being super honest, I will probably never in my life have a thigh gap. The thought of admitting that seemed terrifying but now that I actually typed it, I dig it! I thought this whole 100 Days of Yoga thing was just going to help me reshape my physical body… Turns out, it’s imploded my idea of what it means to be sexy and it’s reshaping my soul.
Habits. There are good ones and bad ones. Super beneficial ones and super quirky ones. We all have them and if we are being honest, we are creatures of them. We all have weird habits about the way we do life from waking up in the morning to how we interact with the world around us. Lately, I have been paying attention to these habits. Stopping the old habits that don’t serve me and incorporating new ones that do. In light of this, and totally by chance, I had a conversation recently with a friend and the 100 Day Project came up. While neither of us were currently participating, we did start brainstorming all the things that we could do for 100 days. I walked away from that conversation inspired. I was in that glorious space of not yet committed but definitely dreaming about what I wanted to do.
The glory was short lived… Because well, my sister. We all have that person that can literally talk you into anything… For me, that person is my sister. I don’t know how I feel about actually admitting that out loud. From waxing my arms when I was 11 (I’m Italian and boys are jerks at that age) to training for my first 25K run (I detest running). My sister has this profound ability to make me think the worst idea ever is the best thing since sliced bread… And let’s be super honest, I love me some bread.
Fast forward a few days from my crazy-inspiring conversation with my friend to a rainy Sunday FaceTime with my sweet sister. I made the mistake of telling her about my 100-Day conversation and how inspired I was. This is the spot in the blog where I allow you to insert a facepalm and call me a “Dummy” because I should have known better. By the time I hung up the phone I was completely and utterly on the hook for 100 days of Yoga. There was no rebuttal that could get me out of this and no excuse that she didn’t completely demolish.
So here we are… Day 1 of 100 Days of Yoga. My sister and I are doing it together so we are pretty excited for sister poses! If you want to follow along, I’ll be posting daily on Insta and Snap (@dezmelfi). 100 Days of Yoga begins today… Cheers to habits. Breaking them but more important than that, starting new ones!
Dear Sweet Baby Boy,
Today is my first Mama’s Day with you. Yes, I celebrated this day last year but it was different because I hadn’t yet seen your face. You were still growing and moving in my belly. This year though, I celebrate with you! I thought I had a happy and full life before God blessed us with you but I can honestly say it pales in comparison to what I have now. Sweet baby boy, you are my blessing.
I will never forget the sound of your first cry. Your Daddy and I looked at each other behind that big blue sheet in the operating room with tears in our eyes. 19 months of trying, 9 months of growing, 27 hours of labor, 2 hours of pushing and more prayers than you will ever know, you arrived! You took the world that your Daddy and I spent 14 years creating together and flipped it on its head. Everyday since your World Debut has been an adventure. There has been more laughing, joy and excitement than I can fathom sometimes. If we are being totally honest, there have also been tears and more “WTF am I doing” moments than I should probably admit. What can I say kid, Mommyhood isn’t always sunshine and roses… Thank God for His grace.
Baby Boy, the moment they laid you on my chest I looked at your alert little eyes looking back at mine and I made some promises to you, Mommy to her Baby Boy:
I promised you that I will be far from perfect, but I will always give my everything to be the best Mama you could ask for.
I promised I will make a million mistakes, but I will do my hardest to get it right.
I promised that I may not always like choices you make in your life, but my love will never waver and it will be given to you without conditions.
I promised that Daddy and I would raise you guided by 3 things: Jesus, Rules and Grace. Jesus because he is our everything. Rules because though I have spent most of my life thinking they were made to be broken, turns out they are a helpful boundary for being a good human. Grace because we are all imperfect, make a lot of mistakes and at the end of the day, in dire need of it.
Sweet boy of mine, while I know Mother’s Day is about celebrating being a Mommy, I can’t help but celebrate you. My joyful, inquisitive,
little very large bundle of love. You made me a Mommy and my life will never, ever be the same. I praise our Jesus for the incredible gift of Mommyhood. You, my son, have changed my life forever and it is the Best. Thing. Ever.
Dear Pretty Girl Ahead of Me In Line at Target,
You probably don’t remember me. I pulled my carts up behind you in line at Target. Yep that’s right, I said carts as in plural, as in I had two. They were stacked to the brim, literally overflowing with diapers, formula and baby gates for the new house. Child-rearing necessities for this season in our life. I had the Cartwheel app opened and coupons in hand… It’s possible to say that Hubbz loves me extra when I save ridiculous amounts of money. I looked at you with your oh-so-cute sandals and pedicured toes. I made a mental note that I really need a pedicure… And at least a quick coat of polish on my nails. I hear myself breath deep and sigh because, uhh, I haven’t even showered yet today. I watch you as you unload your cart. Don’t worry, not in a creepy way, but definitely kinda staring (sorry, not sorry). Your purchases looked glorious. A big floppy straw hat, some makeup that looked uber fun, a cute welcome mat with a pineapple on it… Giiiiirl! I like your style. Maybe in another life we can be besties because well, floppy straw hats, makeup and welcome mats with pineapples. ::Swoon::
I adjusted my baseball cap and looked back down at my two carts full of necessities. I laughed to myself because I used to be you, Pretty Target Girl. Never leaving the house without primping and makeup. Buying fun hats and cute welcome mats because, duh, why not! I watched as you gathered your things and imagined the amazing day you were off to have with your floppy hat and pineapple mat. I wanted to yell after you “Have so much fun with your floppy hat!!! It’s glorious!” but I didn’t because let’s be honest, that would make me a friggen’ weirdo.
I got home to find Hubbz and our little boy having Gigglefest 2017 on the living room couch. I laughed to myself as I remembered you and your put together appearance and how my life has COMPLETELY morphed into Mommyhood. I wouldn’t change not one thing about this life of mine and I would never go back to life before Mommyhood, but Pretty Target Girl, I do have some unsolicited advice to share:
Enjoy the solitude. I would give up eating sushi for the rest of my life for some solitude. While that seems a little dramatic, I can assure you that it’s not. I don’t want a lifetime of solitude… Just an hour. Being able to sit and enjoy a DVR without being interrupted 73,942 times would be the raddest thing that’s ever happened to me. I lust over an aimless afternoon laying in my hammock reading a book with zero cares given. Also, I miss pooping without being interrupted. While this may seem like TMI, I have birthed a child. Zero things are TMI anymore. I digress. Pretty Target Girl, wholeheartedly enjoy every moment of solitude.
Take vacations. Hubbz is trying to talk me into some insanely romantic fancy vacation for our ten year anniversary this year. I keep telling him I am unsure because I am a Mommy now and worrying is my pastime. “What if’s” get the best of me sometimes and I just can’t even fathom being far away from my son. What if we are gone and he gets sick? What if we are gone and he does some amazing milestone like walks or talks? What if we are gone and the End of Days happens and we get stranded in Bali and can’t get home. THEN WHAT!? See Pretty Target Girl, when you and your eventual Hubbz have a +1, your priorities shift and though you desperately need to be skinny dipping in an infinity pool overlooking the ocean, Mommy Guilt kicks in. So for the love of all that is glorious, any chance you get, grab a slightly too strong Pina Colada and get all toes in the water, ass in the sand. If not for you, do it for all the Mommy’s who need that right now.
Relish your sleep. Sleep is the most glorious and beautiful thing on the whole planet. I am unsure the last time I slept for 8 hours straight but I can assure you it was amazing. Right now in my life there is nothing on Earth sexier than getting a glimpse at the inside of my eyelids for a good 6 hours. Pre-Baby, sleep was like basically my favorite thing ever. From post-work naps to long weekend slumbers. The dark circles under my eyes were non-existent. Now, are they there or do I just have an amazing cover-up technique? You will never ever know! Pretty Target Girl, enjoy your 8-10 hours of uninterrupted shut eye. More than enjoy it, relish it, because before you know it you will be soothing a crying bundle of love at 3am wondering if you will ever sleep 8 hours at a time again.
Pretty Target Girl, I have a million more tidbits of advice to share but for now, these three are the most important. I love this role of Mommy but there are things about LBM (Life Before Mommyhood) that I miss sometimes. Missing those things used to make me feel like an awful human but sweet Hubbz assured me that it’s totally normal, plus there are things he misses too. We decided the most important thing to do is to work together to keep the things that we loved before still on the radar. I am glad I saw you today, Pretty Target Girl. You sparked great conversation and mindfulness plus you did inspire me to dig out my big floppy straw hat for our walks this spring and summer so thanks for that!