Friday, May 28, 2010

What Kind of Mother Are You?

Fabulous Ladies of SATC 2

Hey Lovelies!

After watching Sex and the City 2 (loved it!) and writing my last blog, I got to thinking about what Miranda was talking about when she told Charlotte "motherhood kicks your a$$." I totally agree with her that motherhood can be very, very tough at times. In fact, with the exception of the fabulous fashion and friendship, that scene was one of my fave parts of the movie! I mean, there was so much truth and substance to that scene... and it was funny too! I can summarize it in two words: very powerful!

But that's a total tangent. Back to the point. After thinking about that scene some more, I got to thinking and began to wonder (a la Carrie Bradshaw): what does it mean to be a "good" mother? Does being a "good" mother mean being perfect all the time? I mean, even "good" mothers have not-so-good moments. And it's not like you give birth and suddenly learn how to be a "good" mother; it's not like babies come with manuals that tell you exactly what to do, when to do it, and how often it needs to be done.

So I asked myself the question: what kind of mother are you? And I realized that on different days I answer that question differently. I have my great days, okay days, and days when I think why the heck did the powers-that-be ever decide to make ME a mother?! Seriously. Let me tell you lovelies a little story. It was the end of my spring semester during this past year in graduate school and I thought I was going to go crazy! I can summarize those few weeks of non-stop paper writing and finals prepping in two words: tough stuff! The demands of schoolwork (I was taking FIVE classes!) and motherhood was really getting to me and there were days when I was just too darn tired to enjoy my duties. Like, I would have much rather slept in on a Saturday morning than take lovely Aiden to his Gymboree class. I'm just saying... During those horrific weeks, I'd gotten so tired that literally eveytime lovely Aiden would ask for something (read a book, play a puzzle, apple juice, almost anything else...), I would respond by saying, "hang on. okay, buddy?" Hey, I needed a minute or two to prepare my mind for prying my butt off of the couch. I don't know if it was the look of desperation on my face or what, but lovely Aiden would take pity on me and wait as patiently as a 2-year-old could. And I justified it by convincing myself that my response helped him work on his delayed gratification skills. Whatever makes me feel better, right? But I realized that I used that response a lil too much when one day, lovely Aiden asked for something and before I could even respond, he asked, "mommy, I have to hang on?" Ouch! Two words can describe how I felt after him asking that: totally awful! So I stopped responding to his requests with "hang on" so often, and I started responding to him more quickly because I wanted him to know that he can depend on me -- that I am a reliable mother.

So what kind of mother am I? Well, the response still varies on the day, time of day, situation, or circumstance. I'm nurturing, caring, compassionate, empathetic, and loving; but I am also a disciplinarian at times, frustrated at times, upset at times, and oh-so-tired at times. And sometimes... I'm just plain fun.

I challenge you to look inside of yourself and get in touch with your inner Carrie Bradshaw and begin to wonder, "what kind of mother are YOU?"



Sex And The City 2 on Motherhood

Hey Lovelies!

I just got back from seeing Sex and the City 2 and I loved, loved, LOVED it! I mean, what's not to love? The story line was good, the gals are great, and the fashion... one word: AMAZING! But what was even more amazing was the very real, very powerful scene when Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) spoke about the realities of motherhood and the fact that some days they can barely keep it together... over cosmopolitans, of course. One thing that Miranda admitted (and thank goodness that she did!) was that "being a mother kicks your a$$" sometimes. And I couldn't agree more. Being a mother is such hard work and since we ALL love, love, LOVE our child[ren], it's always deemed un-motherly and frowned upon whenever we vent about the nuts and bolts of motherhood. It's like we're expected to be totally put together 100% of the time, which is totally unrealistic. I mean, although I believe mothers have superhuman characteristics, we are only human. And if we are taking care of everyone else, who's taking care of us?

Like Charlotte spoke about in the movie, it's very important that we mothers take care of ourselves first... before we take care of our little ones. And while we all can't afford a week's vacation in Abu Dhabi, we must try to find a moment each day to escape, meditate, and re-fuel. This will make us all more awesome and effective mamas!



Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Toddler Property Laws

Hey Lovelies!

In my last blog I talked a bit about Aiden's [in]ability to share and I guess I didn't give him enough credit. I mean, he is a little guy who is desperately trying to hold on to the things that are dear to him. While I totally understand where he is coming from (I mean, I wouldn't want to share my blackberry or fave pair of stilettos with anyone!), I can't help but secretly wish that sharing came a bit easier for him.

I remember one time (well actually, several times... well actually, almost every day of the week), when I dropped Aiden off at pre-school and his classmates were engaged in a free play activity, he spotted his friend playing with a car. As soon as he spotted the car, Aiden yelled, "mine! my car!" But since his friend was playing with it, I tried to explain to Aiden that he couldn't play with it because his friend had it first. EPIC FAIL! Aiden was not trying to hear me. Enter meltdown. In an effort to avoid another meltdown, the next day Aiden's teacher saved that exact same car for him. When she placed it in his hand, he thanked her while grinning from ear to ear. Until he spotted his friend playing with a fire truck. Then he yelled, "mine! my fire truck!"

So after reading my last blog (hey if I don't read 'em, who else will?), I realized that I totally left you guys hanging, meaning that I didn't leave you with some fabulous piece of advice to help you get through this stage safely and sanely. I work at an Early Childhood Development Center in NYC and in our office, there is a sheet called The Toddler Property Laws that I thought I'd share with you guys. It really helps me understand this stage that Aiden is going through. Here it is:

Toddler Property Laws

  1. If I like it, it's mine.
  2. If it's in my hand, it's mine.
  3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.
  4. If I had it a while ago, it's mine.
  5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
  6. If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
  7. If it looks just like mine, it's mine.
  8. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
  9. If I saw it first, it's mine.
  10. If it's broken, it's yours. Nope. The pieces are probably still mine!

Funny, right? But while it might be comical, it's also pretty accurate. And now when I drop Aiden off at pre-school in the morning, and he spots something that he desperately wants to play with, I pick my battles and try to encourage turn-taking between him and his peers, instead of sharing. This works better. I have found that saying, "Aiden, when he is finished, then it will be your turn," works wonders because Aiden understands that he will get a turn to play with the toy, and his friends understands that they will not have to give up their toys permanently. It's just temporary. It also works the other way around. If Aiden is playing with somethng that one of his friends want to play with, I say the same thing. And they understand that with turn-taking their fave toy will be returned to them. This makes them much more willing to give up the toy.

Hope this helps a little. Happy sharing... I mean, turn-taking!



Sharing Is Caring... Or So They Say

Hey Lovelies!

During the entire time Aiden was 1-year-old, he loved, loved, LOVED to share pretty much all of his things. If he had had it and you wanted it, it was yours. Easy. So simple. I was amazed at how he was able to share his things and I gave myself a pat on the back for teaching him how to share. I thought that all those articles I read about in the magazines and on blogs about babies who didn't like to share were totally exaggerating. Obviously it was the caregivers who didn't teach and encourage their little ones to share. Right? Wrong!

Enter age two. And all of a sudden I have a full-blown toddler on my hands who just goes around snatching things that weren't even his to begin with and says "mine, mine, mine!" Was he a bit irrational? Yes! But was he very serious when he called the [insert amazing toy here] his? Yes! What the heck was I thinking when I didn't listen to the advice from those articles?! How the heck did I go from being the mother of a super sweet baby boy who loved to share to this irrational toddler who seems to think that the world revolves around him and his every desire? So I did the research and here's what I found:

He acts like the world revolves around him because in his sweet little toddler mind, he actually thinks that the world revolves around him. Duh, Alicia! Toddlers tend to be egocentric, which means that for the most part, they view their peers and others around them as mere objects who should respond to their every wish and want.

That's it! It's that simple. His ability to share at the age of 1 came from nothing great that I had done, and his inability to share at the age of 2 comes from nothing awful that I am doing. It has more to do with the stages that he -- and most kids for that matter -- is going through. And as with all stages of development, whenever I see that it is hard for him to share, I chant to myself over and over and over again, "this too, shall pass... this too, shall pass..."



Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

I was reading an article the other day about the so-called “mommy wars” that’s going on. Like the stay-at-home moms versus the working-moms, the breast-feeding moms versus the ones who say formula is just fine, the city moms versus the suburbs moms… the list goes on and on. But as I was reading the article, I began to think: Are these wars really about caregivers who feel that their ways of parenting is best? Or does it have something to do with insecurities? Like, do moms, especially new ones, feel the need to “put-down” other moms’ ways of parenting just to make themselves feel a bit better? Or is it a mixture of both strong beliefs and insecurities?

I must admit that when Aiden was a newborn and as he progressed through different stages of his development thus far, I let the “mommy wars” get to me. Before I gave birth, I vowed that I would breastfeed my kid until he was at least 1-year-old; I swore that formula was not as good as breast milk, and couldn’t understand why mothers would even give formula to their babies. When breast-feeding became too difficult, I wanted to quit. But I still strongly believed that it was better than formula. Until I went back to work. It really became very hard for me to pump while at work so I quit breastfeeding way before I thought I would. And up until my kid was 1-year-old, I regretted it and always felt that I shoulda breastfed him for longer, and that I coulda breastfed him for longer, if I woulda been more driven. And my guilt and insecurities didn’t stop at just breastfeeding. I shoulda stayed home longer with him, I shoulda found an apartment in the suburbs somewhere, I shoulda enrolled him in Mommy-and-Me classes a lot sooner, I shoulda started him on solids a lot sooner, I shoulda had him potty trained before the age of 2 ½… yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. The list can literally be everlasting.

Now whenever I feel an insecurity creeping up, or something out there that challenges one of my strong beliefs, I shake it off and remind myself that we are all doing the best that we can. I truly believe that. And if most mothers are doing the best for their family circumstance, then in the words that someone said some time ago, Why are we should-ing all over ourselves?

Hey, it’s totally okay if some other fabulous mom has a different way of doing things than I would do it, and vice versa. Who am I to judge? I don’t want to feud with her; I want to applaud her. For doing her best. So here’s to fantabulous parenting… the very best way you know how! Cheers!


Friday, May 21, 2010

A Bit About SweetAl

Hey lovelies!

So I realized that I was so excited about starting this blog that I forgot to tell you guys a little bit about myself. Like, who the heck am I? And why should you read a blog that I write? Well for the former, I have an answer. Somewhat. For the latter, I’ll let you guys be the judge.

My name is Alicia and I live in Brooklyn, NY with my son Aiden and boyfriend aka baby daddy, Richey (whom I may or may not marry, but we’ll get to that later. Maybe.). I attended Sheepshead Bay high school from 1998 – 2002, which no one in the real world ever seemed to care about. Then I went to Columbia University from 2002-2006 and graduated with a BA in Psychology. No, I’m not rich. And if it weren’t for my full scholarship from the New York Times College Scholarship Program, I wouldn’t have been able to go to Columbia in the first place because it’s hella expensive. The scholarship is for students from NYC who have overcome obstacles in their lives and excelled in school. While I'm not incredibly smart like some of the people I met at Columbia, I was just smart enough to get a scholarship and get into Columbia. Hmmm... I wont talk about all the obstacles I’ve overcome as a kid because I don’t know you guys well enough yet, but you can probably find the NY Times feature if you google it. Key word here being probably. Plus, my family would probably disown me if I aired all the dirty laundry on my blog. But maybe I'll do that in the upcoming months... who knows?

Anyhow, back to my introduction. After I graduated, I moved back to Brooklyn, taught 3rd grade, met a guy, did the deed, had a baby, became a career counselor for high schoolers, and lived happily ever after. Ha! If only it were that easy. Things actually started to get extremely complicated after I got preggo. Talk about drama! But we’ll get to that later too. Maybe. I was the first in the pack of all my friends to have a baby, and with the exception from advice from my older sis and my god mother (love them!), I didn’t really know what the heck I was doing and I found that I felt very alone at times. VERY. And that’s pretty sad. But I’m happy now. I kinda got myself together and finally feel like I’m swimming instead of sinking in this thing called motherhood.

So I named this blog MomDelicioius for one simple reason: Mamalicious was already taken. So I thought about it and thought about it, and since I think that being a mother is absolutely delicious (it’s all good now that I have my stuff together), I figured this was a fitting name. So please don’t think that I’m this really great cook and this site will be replete with amazing recipes and whatnot because the only thing that I've successfully made in the kitchen has been a disaster. Seriously. I do not like to cook for the life of me. I always have this image of slaving over a hot stove, and since I overheat pretty quickly, cooking is just not my strong suite. Thank goodness for Richey (one of the reasons why I may marry him. Key word her being may.)

I’ve always enjoyed writing, but did not major in English as an undergrad. And now that I’m a fulltime graduate student at Columbia University once again (I bleed blue baby!) getting my Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Education (Ed.M) in Psychological Counseling, it has become quite clear to me that I will never major in English. But I still like to write. And I like to talk about feelings. So I figured why not write about my feelings all day long on the Internet for the whole world to see. Or at least all 15 of my readers to see.

I hope that you guys, my world wide web friends, will join me to look back on my trials and triumphs of leaving my glorious life of a 20-something “fresh-out-of-college” girl behind me, and becoming a 20-something mother and woman, and trying tirelessly to find a balance between the two. Hopefully it’ll be worth your while. I had to beg my older sister to follow me at first (can you believe it?) and warn her that leaving one comment one time does not a devoted follower make. I’m really hoping to get a lot of young mothers so they can have a place to learn what not to do based on what I did do. But we’ll see. If anything, this blog can be one more resource for us mothers! Cheers!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

First in the Pack

Hey Lovelies!

As I stated in my last post, I started this blog because when I found out that I was preggo, I did not have any friends my age who were also with child, and therefore had no one to really understand first-hand what I was going through. I mean, here I was fresh out of college, with a fulltime and no worries except when I was going to meet a friend for dinner or what killer outfit I'd where out on a Saturday night. No, I wasn't that shallow, but you get my drift. I had no real responsibility... other than myself.

Until I found out that I was pregnant. And the first out of my friends. As a result, I spent the first half of my pregnancy with mourning sickness, as in mourning the lost of my carefree lifestyle. And while all of my wonderful friends were extremely supportive and had very good intentions, for the most part, they had no idea what to do with a baby. And neither did I. After all, babies don't come with a manual (although I wish they did!). So what was a 20-something year old NYC gurl to do?

I'll be the first to admit that I faked it BIGTIME (yup, we women can fake it at more than just one thing... lol). I totally faked motherhood. That is, until I made it. And eventually it turned out to be all the wonderful and delightful things that I thought it would be. But it was by no means easy. So I hope you enjoy some of the tips and tricks that I've learned (and still learning) thus far.

One thing that I've learned is that on days when I was too exhausted to fake it (hey, those 3:00 am feedings can take a toll on you), I confided in my friends. And even though I was the first in the pack to have a baby, they were an incredible support system for me... and the father-to-be. So rule number 1: no matter how young or old you are, having a baby is a tremendous responsibility and YOU NEED A SUPPORT SYSTEM. If you don't have one, find one! Be it a friend, relative, or neighbor, find someone who has your back and will be able to support you when you need it most! Word!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Oh, Hello!

Hey Lovelies!

This is my first post in the mommy blog world and I'm super excited! I've decided to start this blog because as a young mother, I've had lots of ups and downs, trials and triumphs, good times and not-so-good times. My amazing son and inspiration for this blog, Aiden is now a rambunctious 2 1/2 year old, and while I have a lot more to learn about motherhood, I've learned A LOT thus far. And since I was one of the first out of all my friends to become a mother, most of the things that I've learned was a result of trial and error. This blog will account some of the lessons that I've learned during my umm.... slip-ups.

I was a little reluctant to start blogging at first because I don't have a degree in journalism. But I've studied mommy-ism for the past 2 1/2 years, and for nine whole months before that, and believe me when I say, I've specialized in Aiden-ism. So with that said, here's to mommy-blogging. I hope you guys enjoy it!

Happy reading!


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