MamaBlogger365 – My First Parenting Advice Column by Mary Rekosh

I’m going to write the next couple of blog entries in the form of a mock advice column. After all, my eldest is 6 ½, so I’ve been doing this “parenting” thing for a while now. Now, I’m not saying I’m the Larry King of being a mom or anything (although I, too, bear an uncanny resemblance to a garden gnome when I’m rocking suspenders), but I do have some years of experience under my belt.

Therefore, I feel pretty qualified to give parenting advice, but the problem is that not enough people ask me for it. In my head it happens all of the time, and the conversations usually start something like this: “Mary, you clearly have it together. You hardly ever leave the house with both your shirt and underwear on backwards, and when you do you definitely notice after less than eight hours of walking around like that. Your children have the self-control and table manners of some of the very politest species of rabid raccoons, and you are usually not hung over at PTO meetings. Also, you have only left your bra at the pediatrician’s office ONCE, and for a really good reason I’m sure. How do you do it, and would you be willing to take a break from your grueling schedule of being a perfect mom and housewife to give the rest of us some advice?

And then I respond: “Well, thank you imaginary-friend-in-need. It’s true that I pretty much kick bottom and take names at the parenting game, and I’m kind of A Big Deal at my end of the cul-de-sac. But before I drop wisdom-bombs on you, I need to clarify something: I have actually NEVER left my bra at the pediatrician’s office. That was my friend Ali, and I have to admit that I was so jealous when she told me that story. I would give my right eye to have left my bra at the pediatrician’s office (nursing moms will understand how this could go down, not in a bow-chicka-bow-wow way) and then had to have them call me to tell me about it before I noticed. That’s just pure blogging gold, right there, but I have to give credit where credit is due. Cups off to you, Ali.”

Anyhoo, here’s one of the questions that, had any of my friends had the good sense just to ask me them, would totally be in my inbox:

Mary,

Last Halloween I waited to shop for my costume until the last minute. All they had left at the costume store was a French Maid’s outfit, so now I’m pregnant (due at the very end of July). While my husband and I are in awe of the miracle that’s taking place right now and stuff, and I do wholeheartedly enjoy going to the grocery store and feeling no remorse whatsoever about purchasing only eight different kinds of salami and a box of Lucky Charms, I’m unsure about what to expect as far as labor and delivery are concerned. Was it magical for you?

With baited breath, or maybe that’s just the shrimp chips and American cheese concoction I had for lunch–

Betty S.

Ahhh, Betty, my first was also born at the very end of July (wink, wink). I feel your pain, and have since then shopped for Halloween costumes no later than August. For the past three years I’ve been Scooby-Doo. Anyway, the experience of giving birth is one part magic to nine parts total freaking torture. Get ready to have your mind blown, sister, and not in a good way like when you’re flipping through the channels and that one scene from Fight Club is on where Brad Pitt has his shirt off, but before he’s all bloody and chucking that disgusting lard all over the place.

I do think that you will find magic in the moment when you look into your child’s eyes for the first time and know for certain  – regardless of what you thought you believed (or didn’t believe) about God, and how He feels about your eating meat on Fridays, or bacon-wrapped shrimp or what have you – that there is definitely something more powerful than we are facilitating this transaction. After all, this moment is infinitely greater than the sum of its parts. It is bigger than eggs, sperm, fertilization and genetics. In fact, I think you’ll agree that at all of seven squirming, suckling pounds, this tiny human is much, much bigger than you are. Enjoy that moment, Betty, because it is pure bliss and disbelief. But I digress.

For me, one of the less magical moments was when I had been laboring for hours and my husband nonchalantly asked the doctor if she thought he had time to “run out and grab a quick sandwich”. He only did that ONCE, believe you me.

Equally un-magical was during the birth of my third child, when I had declined an epidural, was almost ready to start pushing, and my husband (same one, which may surprise you until you hear about some of his good days) complained to the nurse that he had a giant pimple on his forehead that was really sore. Ivan has many, many strengths, but timing and awareness of audience are not among them.

Bio: Mary Rekosh is a freelance writer, children’s yoga instructor and mother of three in Charlottesville, VA. She is also a parenting columnist and a blogger who hopes that documenting the found humor in her journey through motherhood will help others gain a fresh perspective as well. She believes that children are meant to be seen, heard and definitely laughed about.

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