Dec 4, 2010

Packing my Bags

Well, ladies (and gents?), I'm in the process of moving my blog.

For more info, email me at or DM me on Twitter.

See you on the other side. Kisses!

Dec 1, 2010

What's in a Name

So, I've decided to move my blog. Perhaps use this opportunity to reinvent myself.... Like Madonna?

I don't know.

I'm trying to make the most of the situation and perhaps have a blog that's a little more focused. Or perhaps a new attitude or angle that will get me to write daily, rather than when I can stop reading all the other blogs and find time to write mine.

Sitting here trying to find a new name. And I have nothing. Nada. Zero.

Every name I come up with is already taken. I guess this is what happens when you get into blogging seven years too late.

I can't even remember how I'd come up with Flucky Mom. But I liked it the moment I thought of it.

What's in a name any way?

There are so many brilliant blogs out there that don't have the most original names. In fact most are pretty generic. But the women behind them are one of a kind. Smart, witty, accomplished.

Maybe my new blog name should be "Generic Mom."

(Of course not, I wouldn't reveal my new name on here. Kind of defeats the purpose.)

Perhaps it's my former ad girl background that's got me all worked up about finding a good name. After all, your blog name/title is almost like your brand name. It's a first impression. Should I be self-depricating, sarcastic or truly insightful about the name I choose? Should it be something clever? Something that ties back to a part of me?

Ok, so now I'm setting myself up for utter disappointment. Of course nothing that I wither (a) come up with or (b) still available in the bloggersphere will meet all my criteria.

Think, think, think....

For now, all I can think of is how annoyed I am to be in this situation in the first place. Maybe I should be "Pissed-off Mom." And of course, that name's already taken too!

How did you pick your blog names?

Nov 26, 2010

Outed on Thanksgiving... And Silenced?

I discovered blogging way passed the shinny coolness of it had already vanished. Everyone and their mothers has a blog. Some good, some great, some terribly bad. When I decided to start writing and sharing personal stories with complete strangers, I wanted it to be with a purpose, which is how I started my infertility blog -- The Infertility Doula -- I wanted a place where people still coping with infertility could come to and find emotional and practical advice from someone who'd been there. I felt my voice was unique in some ways.

It didn't take long to realize how much I enjoyed writing that blog. And that writing had become a big part of my daily life. A fellow blogger (Repro Jeans) recently talked about how she's always writing in her mind, albeit not all of it makes it to the Web.

So then I decided to create this blog, where I could write about motherhood after infertility and perhaps create another community for women to support one another. Selfishly, I also created it in order to be able to write more often, write more personal stories, stories that involved my child, my family and my thoughts.

In a sea of countless so-called mom blogs, I didn't know if I'd stand out. But as I began to write and find my "Flucky Mom" voice, I discovered that the more personal my entires, the more comments popped up in my inbox. And ultimately, through this anonymity that blogging offers me, I've started sharing pieces of myself that  most of the people who know me in real life don't probably know.

Blogging in some ways is serving as cheap therapy. Writing things down has allowed me to start taking a good look at myself. I have countless entries sitting in my draft box that while have yet to be visible to you have gotten me to think quite a bit about decisions I've made and decisions I'd like to make. Most importantly, all of these thoughts, sound bites and straight out venting sessions are private.

The obvious irony of course is that I have no problems sharing them with perfect strangers, my handful of regular followers and those of you who are just stopping by. But disclosing them to people who actually know me would be unthinkable.

So imagine my surprise when I heard my DH (My best friend. The only person who I can share my deepest thoughts with) out me at the end of Thanksgiving dinner.

Talking about blogging and the Web with his step-mom, I hear him say "Oh, yeah, and E has two blogs. Infertility Doula and Flucky Mom."

I felt like my whole world was pulled from right under me. I jumped right in and said "That's a private blog (referring of course to Flucky Mom). I like my anonymity."

"So it's like writing a journal?" asks my MIL.

"Yes, except that I get to be anonymous."

And not five minutes go by before DH blurbs out the name of my blog again! At which point everyone is making a mental note of it.

I know that his indiscretion was not intentional. I don't think he even realized what this blog had become for me. But damn it, it made me so angry and truthfully, terribly sad.

Sad because I have started to love this blog. It's not much, it's not big, it's not the most groundbreaking, but I do love it.

But now what? Do I shut it down? Do I find a new voice? Do I reinvent myself? ... I don't know.

I don't know. All I know for now is that I big piece of me has been taken away.

Nov 17, 2010

From Urban Woman to Suburban Mom: An Uneasy Transition

UrbanSuburban Mom's recent post about the "dating stages" of new friendships reminded me how alone I feel out here.

I was brought up a city girl. I never lived in a suburb or a house for that matter. So when I met DH and we eventually started talking about "the future" I made it very clear that the 'burbs are not my thing. "But what about a yard and having space" DH pleaded. "Sorry, I don't get that life style," I answered.

Cut to us four years later, coming to the end of our lease and starting to look for a place to buy. We had become quite domesticated by that point -- preparing elaborate meals in our closet-sized kitchen, illegally BBQing on our minuscule terrace and hardly ever going out past midnight. So we were looking for a large, more comfortable place, with a nice big kitchen and closets (you know, so that we could finally take our wedding china out of the coat closet).

In the most bizarre turn of events, we found ourselves a long cry away from a loft in Brooklyn (that I wanted) and into a lovely house in Westchester. Yes, to my utter surprise (and that of my friends and family) I actually fell in love with a house, in a charming town in the 'burbs, with great schools and 25 minutes into the heart of the city. I was sold. Spontaneous purchases of big-ticket items is not like me -- I research and agonize over almost all decisions I make. But here, I suddenly pictured us happily living in the 'burbs with a couple of kids and a dog.

After a blissful 6 months, our infertility woes began and the next 3 years were the darkest times of our lives. With each failure and passing time, living childless in a community designed to raise a family, I hated myself for ever getting wrapped up in an imaginary life. This big house, with its four bedrooms and spacious living areas became my prison. I'd never felt this claustrophobic in my life, not even in our little apartment in the city.

Eventually, we became pregnant and the pregnancy resuscitated the dreams I had for us. I loved my house again; decorating the nursery, thinking of our son growing up in this town, and us finally being able to integrate into the community. K was born and after a few months I felt awake enough to begin the socialization process. I joined a few classes and was introduced to a couple of moms. But rather than feeling content in my new role as suburban mommy, my worries slowly started to gnaw at me -- "What if I don't make friends here? What if I start feeling lonely again?"

Meeting new moms is one thing, but connecting with them on a level that goes beyond the "how cute are our babies" conversation is another.

You see, meeting these other moms reminded me of how out of place I have always felt out here. I have been told by an older friend (a lady who's lived here 20 years, who's been a great friend and mommy-matchmaker) that the other moms find me "intimidating." I try to downplay myself and blend in as much as I can. But apparently, my urban streak is just too much a part of who I am to camouflage.

And therein lies the issue perhaps. Why is it that once people move out to the 'burbs, so many of them completely banish their old selves to morph into homely, now-that-I'm-in-the-burbs-I-don't-give-a-shit look? I'm not expecting anyone to wear a Chanel suit all day long, but there must be a happy medium somewhere. Plus I'm not just talking about the self-maintenance part, but also one's ability to have interests outside of kids. I love art, fashion, food, politics, travel. I want to talk to someone about those things too.

Back when we lived in the city, I assumed that a good chunk of city-folk moved out to the 'burbs once they had kids. But looking around me, I don't see any familiar faces (maybe because 99% of our friends are still hanging onto the city-life; raising their two young kids in a two bedroom 900 sqf apartments). Despite my best efforts to socialize, I feel like a stranger in a foreign land; unable to integrate and conform to the local customs. What astonishes me about this deep dissatisfaction is that I grew up moving around every 3-4 years. I pride myself at my abilities to adapt to new place, people and situations. And yet, here, I'm unable to feel whole.

Having a child didn't turn out to be the magic bullet to transform me from urban woman to suburban mom. Although, I still hold out hope... "Maybe next year" has gotten me to the five year mark. So, as I write the check to guarantee a spot for K in pre-school next autumn, I say "maybe next year...."

Nov 10, 2010

What a Difference a Break Makes

It's amazing what a day away from your kid will do. I don't know if K just woke up in a better mood today or that I got my babysitter to watch him while I went into the city for a lunch date with hubby, but I have to say, I feel like a whole new mommy.

Up until recently, I never understood why SAHMs ever needed a day time babysitter. Perhaps it was because of the infertility struggles or my naivete about motherhood, but I imagined that once I became a mom, I'd want to spend 24/7 with my kid. Why wouldn't I, right? I mean, they're so cute and after all, if you've decided to no longer work full-time, then what else could you possibly be doing?

Well, that plan worked for the first year. Once K turned one, I realized that I was going to have my hands full and started looking for a part-time babysitter. Many months and crazy babysitters later, I finally found the angel that is Maria. My son loves her. And I love her because of it. But most importantly, I need her to help me be a better mother.

After yesterday's loss of temper, I knew I had to walk away from K for a day. A change of scenery. A lunch date with DH in a cool place downtown. Oh, and a little shopping to revive the me that's since been covered in spit up, snot and crayon marks. I miss that old me -- sometimes. Just getting dressed up to meet DH was better than a visit to the spa.

I need to feel like a woman. A woman who still takes care of herself. Who can intelligently converse about things other than which potty training methods work best or what to serve a toddler for lunch. The old me was interesting. Fashionable. And dare I say, desired.

For 4 hours, I felt good about myself again. I wasn't a mom. I was just a woman going about my day. And that break was enough to make me so excited to see my son. He too was so happy to see me. After Maria left, we played and "talked" as I prepared his dinner. He tried to test me, but the rejuvenated me handled things in stride.

As I write this, I'm back in my "mom" clothes, but I have my rock-chic (my look for today) self to thank for making me content to be called "Mama!" again.

Do you feel like a better mom when you take a break from full-time motherhood?

Nov 9, 2010

I'm No Angel

I just did something I'm very ashamed of. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a very small threshold for tolerating crap from people, but when it comes to those I love, I'm always the understanding and accommodating one. But today, just now, I lost my temper with my soon to be 2 year-old.

This last week he's been on a tear. He is hitting, throwing and not doing a single thing I ask him to do. I know, I know, it's the "terrible twos" but the aggressive behavior is not something I will ever tolerate from anyone. I've tried getting down to his level and talking calmly; I've tried time-outs; I've tried distractions. Add to it this fucking day light savings (a.k.a. 5:30am wake-up calls) and we've got a recipe for disaster.

So today, when K woke up in a particularly bad mood, I could sense that this was going to be a bad day. We played games on the iPad, we watched his favorite show, then we came down to play and draw. After fighting and putting him in time-out at least 5 times before noon, I was ecstatic to see it was finally lunch time. I served him his favorite lunch and K proceeded to throw food around (for our already fat dog to clean the floors). When I asked him to stop he threw his place out. And that's when I lost it.

I grabbed his face, told him "No!," took him out of the highchair and put him in his crib. Just like that. No milk, no book, no diaper change, no snuggles. Just straight up shoved him in his room.

There are a few things going through my head about my behavior. For one, what makes me most ashamed is to have lost my temper with a toddler. A child. MY CHILD. I went through hell to conceive him, how could I just so dismissively banish him to his room? He's a child who is still figuring out the world and testing boundaries. Why couldn't I just take a deep breath like I usually do and calmly remove him from this situation?

Second, when I think of how my own parents and friends view me as this devoted and perfect mother, I am ashamed not to have lived up to the image that everyone seems to have of me. And perhaps, it's more that I'm disappointed in myself for not living up to that image.

Third and most unnerving is the thought that I might turn into my mother. While I love my mother and have a great relationship with her today, I often look back on my childhood and remember her smacking me across the face on countless occasions for things that are/were unjustified (like not understanding a math problem while doing homework together). I don't want to become her. I don't ever want K to look back on his childhood and remember a mom who could be qualified as abusive.

I know I shouldn't just label myself for a first (and hopefully only) loss of temper incident, but the shame and sadness that I feel for what just happened is eating at me.

He's now fast asleep in his crib. I want to go in there, hug him and kiss him. Tell him I love him and that I'm sorry... but maybe the best thing is to sit with this guilt until he wakes up and never forget how shitty one can feel when you're not able to remain the adult in the relationship.

Oct 31, 2010

No Witches, Monsters or Superheros Here (at least not until next year)

"What are you going to be for Halloween?" has been the recurrent question directed at my son over the last week. I found myself having to come up with a variety of excuses and imaginary costumes in order to defuse the situation. Imaginary because K will not be in a costume. He wasn't last year and he won't be this year either. Yup, I am that evil mom who is going to deprive her son from turning into a pumpkin, a dragon or a superhero.

I have nothing against Halloween. In fact, I love the idea of trick-or-treating (especially when there's leftover candy at my house) and am pretty impressed with some of the inventive costumes I see around NYC. What I don't like about Halloween is dressing up people (read, infants, babies, young toddlers) in costumes that they have no say in picking. In fact, they don't even know what they're dressed up as. To me, it's just as silly as dressing up your pet. Sure, it's cute, but at the same time it makes me as sad as watching circus animals do tricks.

Once K is at an age when he can identify the costume and/or help pick it out (next year, I suppose), I will be more than happy to dress him up. But for now, buying an overpriced costume, that he will either refuse to wear come Halloween or become unrecognizable because of the additional layers he will have to wear seems like a complete waist to me.

Before you categorize me as the 'Witch Who Stole Halloween,' I did get in the spirit of the holiday and bought K pj's that look like a skeleton. I would post a picture, but that would fly in the face of everything I wrote above. ;)

Happy Halloween! Waaahhhhhhwwaaahhhh!!