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Bad Parenting Moments: March 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Body is a (Shirley) Temple (of Doom)!

Some people take great pride in the wonderful care and treatment they provide their life's vessel. Me, my greatest accomplishment (aside from carrying and birthing 4 children) is eating an entire bag of Reese's Trees in one sitting (delicious bastards). I would LIKE to say that I practice safe satiating, but, I do not. In fact, look up glutton in the dictionary. That is me (smiling and waving with chocolate all over my teeth). In fact, I should update the definition on Wikipedia to include my several proud gluttonous feats. I have eaten 1/2 a cake in one sitting more times than I'd like to admit. I don't even know if I can count that high. When it comes to self control, I have zero. If you are a delicious and tasty treat, I will eat you until I'm nauseated and then I will eat a few bites more.

Oh, and don't worry, I'm not one of those thin people that you want to beat with a 3 foot tall chocolate bunny. I'm lucky. I'm just one of those people who can eat whatever they want and just get really, really overweight. I know, just blessed with lucky genes I guess. I am surrounded by thin moms daily. I assume they work-out. I have no intention of working out. If a murderer was chasing me, I MAY run or, I may just resign myself knowing he's probably in superior physical shape. "Ok, buddy...you win! Let's make this quick."

NOTE: I save all my despicably impressive gluttony for nighttime. If the kids are in bed, you can find me on the couch with some of these favorites: 1) A "family size" bag of Peanut Butter M&Ms. 2) A bag of individually wrapped Reese's treats in the corresponding holiday shape. After eating entire bag, I like to pretend I didn't by hiding the 50 empty wrappers underneath a layer of trash in the trashcan. Can't see them? DIDN'T HAPPEN! 3) Cake. I have a serious, serious problem with cake. Case in point, I ordered a sheet cake for our children's combined birthday party. At the end of said party, there was over 1/2 a sheet left. I had a dear friend drop cake off at the local Fire Department because I knew it would come home with me and I would eat the remaining portion in 2 days. Giving the cake to the Fire Department ensured that the Fire Department would not be arriving at my house 2 days later while I choked on frosting. A backwards thank you and preventative measure. Genius.

Aside from my Dessert Outbursts (DessertBursts...mmmm, sounds like a delicious dessert!), I am a relatively healthy person. Like with any problem, the first step is admitting you have one! SO, here it goes, My name is Bethany and I have a serious dessert addiction. At my intervention, please bring Reese's Eggs.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

BPM's first guest DADDY blogger!

Today, we are sharing our first Daddy guest blogger! Our BPM Daddys don't get the floor very often. I am pleased to be able to yield said Cheerio covered floor to bad(ass) Dad, Aaron Graff. Aaron is the father of 2 young boys and the inventor of a word I use almost daily, "Sadlarious". Let's give Mr. Graff some BPM love. Enjoy his guest blog post: "How Deadwood helped me raise my children!"


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Saturday, March 24, 2012

An Inconvenient Poop

"In the Parenthood Justice System, the people are represented by only one all powerful unit. The parent who investigates crimes and the same parent who prosecutes the offenders. These are their stories."

It was March of 2008. I was a new mom for the 2nd time. My son was 2 weeks old and my darling first born was just over 2. The transition for her had been rough. The transition for me had been rough. Lots of tears. Lots of jealousy. Lots of mistakes. Lots of "learning moments". Our daughter, OLD baby, was taking a nap. I was hanging out with NEW baby in the living room, nursing, making lovey dovey googly eyes at him. You know, the usual. I then heard my daughter call for me. A very (suspiciously) sweet and light, "Maaaahhhh-mmaaahhhh". I pick up new baby and head over to the door. As I began to open the door, I was hit with the unmistakable smell of nap poop. Now, parents know what nap poop is. It is, hours old, burn the hair out of your nostrils, stagnant closed door poop. It is vile. I brace myself by taking a deep breath so I can run in, grab O.B. (old baby) and get out of the toxic fumes. Sadly, it was not just low level breathable toxins that awaited me. It was so. much. worse.

The next few minutes are a blur. I'm fairly certain I went into a sort of trauma coma. I do not know how much time passed before I recovered, but, when I did, this is what I saw.

1) Completely naked 2 year old covered in crap from head to toe
2) Crap wall "mural" behind crib (looking back, masterful artistry)
3) Crib bars, rail, mattress, sheets, blankets and stuffed friends (with friends like my 2 year old, who needs enemies) covered in crap.
4) Crap filled diaper (how much crap was in there?!?!?!??) upside down on CARPETED floor.

I managed to muster some sort of quasi sentence out. "Annabelle..what...what...happening? What?!?"

Her reply, "Mommy, I eat it? Why I do that?"

The sound that came out of me at that moment can only be described as the deep, primal, guttural bellowing that people generally reserve for grieving death. (To be fair, part of me died at that moment). I sank to the floor, still holding my newborn, and started to sob while screaming, "NO...NO...ANNABELLE! NO. NO. You did NOT eat it! YOU DID NOT EAT IT."

Annabelle begins sobbing and shrieks, "WHY I DO THAT?"

At that point, Mother Bethany bitch slapped Falling Apart Bethany on the floor. "GET YOURSELF TOGETHER! Welcome to motherhood!" In a daze, I picked myself up and began to formalize a plan of action.

Step 1 - Put. Baby. Somewhere. I set up new (and now favorite) baby in his bassinet. Ok, I can do this. One step down.

Step 2. - Find gloves. No gloves to be found. Ok, I'll improvise. Wrap hands in saran wrap. Check.

Step 3. - Retrieve toddler (from Hell) from her room. If we can even still call it a room. I remembered thinking, "We may have to move."

Step 4. - Shower toddler with bleach? No, that can't be right. Ok, no bleach.

This went on for HOURS. I meticulously corrected every foul, ungodly thing my daughter had done. At the end, not even CSI (The S, clearly standing for something else) could have detected the horrific event had even occurred.

I don't like to talk about it much. It is one of those parenting stories that will live on as family folklore. Maybe one day, a few generations from now, they'll forget all about it. Sadly, I never will. It is burned into my brain and corneas. In the history books of my time as a parent, this will be my Vietnam.

After this happened, I was not (and still am not) afraid of ANYthing. I know I can do it. And, if for a second I doubt my strength, I can count on Mother Bethany to give me a good bitch slap back to reality.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Our first BPM Member guest blog. It is practically perfect in EVERY way!


Please take a few minutes out of your morning to thoroughly enjoy our very first BPM member guest blog. I laughed, I wanted to cry (for Mary), but, the tears ended up being from laughter. This is a perfect, honest parenting moment. Enjoy and, let's all have a moment of silence for our comrade, Mary. Mary, we salute you.

Enjoy this blog? Please follow her blog on wordpress!

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Bitching Hour

Every day, around 3:30 p.m., my palms start to sweat and a deep seeded sense of dread takes over. My eyes get shifty and I start staring at the clock. I know what's coming, 4:00 p.m., The Bitching Hour.

I do not know what happens in the cosmos at 4:00 p.m., but, at that exact time, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY., my kids go completely bat sh*t crazy. Crazy, like, googly eyed, psycho in a dark alley crazy. Crazy, like, contemplate running outside, knocking wildly on neighbors doors while screaming, "HELP!" at the top of my lungs crazy. I have noticed that my neighbors start pulling shades and frantically pulling out of their driveways at around 3:45 p.m.

When I go to bed, 4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., haunts my dreams. I have feverish nightmares about slow-motion running while covered in leftover fish sticks and boxed macaroni they are hurling at me while laughing maniacally. Please. Send. Help.

From 7:00 a.m. to 3:59 p.m., I love my kids. At 4:00 p.m., cue Michael Jackson's Thriller.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I love ya, Tomorrow!

I realized this morning in the shower, that's where I do all of my serious thinking since it's generally the only 15 minutes in a 24 hour period I am alone, that this group is growing, I am considering growing a brand, a website and, I'm asking all of you and your friends to come along on the ride with me. Essentially, I am asking for your trust. That is a big deal. It's, quite frankly, a huge deal. Most of you don't know me and, even if we pass in the streets or share a passing conversation, we don't know what each other are made of. Some of you I have never met. Some of you live outside of the United States. So, let me introduce myself, tell you some of my secrets and then, when I ask you to join me, I hope you'll say, "Wherever that crazy lady is going, I want to be there too!"
The biggest part of my life is being a mom. It is so immense that I have often thought, who am I without them? My kids define me. I would be lying if I said anything else. I do not have hobbies (outside of my children's hobbies), I do not exercise (evident upon looking at me), I do not have a career (I left that in 2008 and have been home with babies ever since). Since the birth of my first child in 2006, for all intents and purposes, Bethany Kriger Thies has ceased to exist. Since the second my children were born, I lived for them. My interests were their interests. My time = their time. My schedule = their schedule. My life? Most definitely enveloped in their lives.
I wouldn't have it any other way, but, it can be lonely. It is lonely to lose a part of yourself even when the gain is so immeasurably great. It is lonely to not know yourself outside of mom. And, in that loneliness, there is a huge pressure to be perfect at the one thing you know you are. Every year since 2006, my New Year's resolution has been to be a better mom, to be more patient, to be more present, to be...MORE. If it is the only thing I know I am, then the failures, even tiny ones, seem overwhelming and sad. Am I a bad parent? Is every impatient word I've spoken seared into their tiny brains? Will they grow up and ignore my (desperate and constant) calls on their phone?
At the end of every night, when I'm lying in bed I think, "Tomorrow, I WILL do better. I will do more puzzles. I will make 3 nutrient rich and delicious meals that my kids will devour. I will brush my hair, put on non maternity clothing and look presentable during school pick-up. I will be a GREAT mom, scratch that, a PERFECT mom." As we all know, perfection will always be denied.
I want to continue this group because since I started it, it makes me feel ok about my moments of weakness, my impatient moments...my human moments. And, in the process, maybe I can let the full-time job of molding my piece of the future generation not seem so lonely. We are all in this together and I feel that more today than I did 1 month ago when I , with a little fear, publicly announced that, every day, I have bad parenting moments. Several. Ok, more than several.
Thank you for sharing, for laughing, for reminding me that failure, when honest and owned, makes for great recovery and for coming along on this ride.
Who am I? I'm still figuring that out, but, for now, I am a proud mom of 4 and proud to share this new part of my life with all of you.

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Knock, Knock(ers)? Boobs There?

My breasts are a war torn nation. They are depleted, without hope and their landscape holds no luster. They have no formal government and allow themselves to be forced into any shape, structure or form of confinement that any "expert" suggests. They have given up. Combat has killed their spirit. A freak flag no longer flies over the once proud, proud continent of my chest. Cross my heart (bra), the only thing waving over here is my white flag. I also think they (whisper) may be depressed. Look at them. What once was round is now definitely a frown and there seems to be no real hope or structural possibility of turning their frown upside down. The law of physics has won...BIG time. I guess I should embrace them and salute their service, but, it's kind of hard to look at them and when I go to say, "Gee, thanks!" what comes out instead is an extended eye roll and a guttural, "UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH". What was once Disneyland is now the broken down carnival ride that is administered by a man with 3 teeth. Meet my new chest, Carnie Earl!

WHY am I talking about this? TMI? I think not. How many of us are living this right now? I'm willing to bet that some of you are holding your breasts up right now with duct tape, wishes and dreams. Amen, sister?

So, I'm going to say it loud and proud...I can NOT wait to have chestal reconstructive surgery. That's what all the scienticians are calling it. I am going to, one lovely day, have a chest that does not meet my stomach. I will be able to wear regular shirts without looking pregnant or like a hot air balloon. I WILL, have breasts that are in the general region where breasts belong. It will be glorious. And, when I'm walking (well, strutting) around town and someone whispers through gritted teeth, "Boob job!", I'm going to turn around, hold up a SUPER High Five and wait for Judgy McJudgerston to totally leave me hanging. And, when they pass, I'm going to say, "Sorry my boobs are too awesome for you!"

Until that day, I'm going to work on constructing a super bra out of household items. On my short list, ace bandages, the plastic portion of spatulas and some minor welding of cookie cutters

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Something's Gotta Give

Something’s Gotta Give

Hi, my name is Bethany and this is my BPM Creator Confession for the week of March 18th.

I am a stay at home mom (SAHM). Before I was a stay at home mom, I had a great career for 10 years in Human Resources. I want to state that because I have been on both sides of the fence. They grass has its green and brown spots on both sides.

The term stay at home mom has always bothered me. First, I feel that the term does not accurately reflect the job. My dissatisfaction with the term may come from my HR days where our copy room employees were titled, "Lead Reprographics Technicians". No, I am not joking. SAHM is such a meager title for such a huge job. And, frankly, on most days, I feel less like a SAHMom and more like a SAHMaid. Well, that is not entirely true. On most days I feel like the EXPECTATION is that I be a SAHMomandMaid. Can you imagine if the only thing mothers that stayed home did was mother? I can not. The world may stop spinning. People would be wearing burlap sacks to work and McDonalds would be the largest and most influential corporation in the world. I can see it now. So, for the rest of this post, I’m going to refer to SAHMs as Directors of the Societal Development of Quality Humans. That is a working title. It has not yet been approved by Compensation.

I find, sadly, that during my day, I feel guilty that I am not accomplishing more stuff (sh*t, really). I am disappointed that laundry goes unfolded. I am disappointed that I have been unable to mop a floor since COUGH. I am disappointed that my home is cluttered, dusty and that my kitchen does not smell of fresh baked goods or Lysol. I am disappointed that I can not find a home for all the crap that “lives” in my house. I look outside and see leaves that need raking, dirt that needs seeding, decks that need cleaning. I struggle to plan and make dinner every night. EVERY night. When dinner comes together, I feel victorious and then, a) no one eats it or b) complains loudly about its (varying degrees of) grossness throughout the meal. Then, I see my happy, healthy kids and I remind myself that their health and happiness is the goal. DUH!

The expectation is too high. We are too hard on ourselves. Society is too hard on us. Sometimes, our partners are too hard on us. Our job is to create and nourish the development of quality human beings. It takes a lifetime and it is hard work. We spend so much time sweating the small stuff at the expense of celebrating the BIG stuff.

So, my new checklist goes something like this.

Did my children smile and laugh today?
Did I laugh at their jokes?
Did we read together?
Did I encourage them?
Did I hug and kiss them enough?
Did I protect them?
Did I really listen closely to the things they were trying to share with me?
Did I do my best to give them everything they need to thrive?

I am the Director of the Societal Development of Quality Humans. The laundry can wait.

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