Mommy Waves are current obsessions in motherhood. They come in phases like the moon, and are born out of necessity or escape. These waves are not a surfer’s delight of perfectly barreling swells. They are sporadic and crash and spew over the jutted rocks of real life.
Here’s a mild wave I have ridden many times. I’m standing in the checkout of my grocery behind a woman with a cart full of food. She totes a huge binder of coupons, and I watch her dish out a mere 30 bucks. “You just saved one hundred and one dollars,” the cashier proudly announces. The lady looks around and smiles as we all give her congratulatory nods.
“I can do that!” I declare to myself, and thus I spend weeks clipping coupons, subscribing to online coupon sites, and making my binder out of baseball card holders.
Then a real life wave hits. My children get sick, and I barely even have time to go the grocery store for milk. Sunday newspapers full of unclipped coupons stack upon my desk until I finally decide to toss them all and start over.
A Mommy Wave can be triggered by a blog or book I’ve recently read. It’s more often created by a parenting problem I’m madly trying to solve. These problems can spur another action called a desperation download.
Desperation downloads. A desperation download is defined as any parenting how-to book downloaded to your Kindle in an act of desperation.
Let’s examine a real-life Mommy Wave called sleep training (also known as parent sleep deprivation). Sleepless nights can trigger sessions of Google hits entitled “how to get your baby to fall asleep”. It also results in desperation downloads. I’ve downloaded as many as 3 books in one week to rescue me out of my current plight. I’ve read Baby Wise and Baby Whisperer, two opposite sleep training methods, in a span of 2 days. Thank you, Amazon Kindle.
My current wave is baby sign-language. I surfed it briefly when the girls were 6 months old. Yesterday, however, I watched this amazing video of a one-year old signing to her mother. My girls only sign around 5 words. “Eureka!” I declare, “I better catch up!”
Alright, Neighbor. I can hear your voice in my head, chiding me to not compare myself to other moms. I’m not comparing myself to this signing instructor mom. With twin pre-toddlers, I’m just struggling to do everything I can to make life a little easier. If we can skip a melt-down by having our daughter sign that she wants milk, then I’m in.
As I surf the signing wave, I’m reading blogs and purchased a few video downloads. I’m even thinking about buying a book. Did I mention surfing the Mommy Waves can be expensive?
The waves come and go, I hop on and off. I’ll spend hours on Craigslist posting items my girls have outgrown and buying gear for their next stage. I’ll meet other mommies in shopping center parking lots selling items out of our trunks like we’re dealing on the black-market.
I’ll obsess about my family’s eating habits, read a book, and become convinced that I need to be a vegan.
I’ll obsess about photography, be tempted to spends hundreds of bucks on a new lens. Yet after I work our budget, decide I can’t do that right now. Well, maybe I can sell something on Craigslist.
As I hang ten on the Mommy Waves, there’s an ebb and flow. I catch the wave closest to me, that’s pertinent to me and my family. I may be surfing out of necessity, or I may just be surfing to get to the shore faster so that I can rest. All moms need a break periodically.
A few weeks ago, my hubby took me to the beach for our anniversary. No surfing there. Just a tranquil walk on the beach hand in hand with my best friend. My soul is refreshed, and I’m ready to face the current of caring for 2 other beings 24 hours a day. Rest and rejuvenation fills me, and I’m ready to hop back on the Mommy Waves.
What waves or obsessions have you surfed or are currently riding?
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I love the title. I am so susceptible to fun and awesome things. I love your passion for trying whatever looks try-able! 🙂
Thanks! Unfortunately my passion keeps me ADD a lot! haha. What have you obsessed about?
Oh geez….let’s see….in the past few weeks I have gotten a new punching bag that I am LOVING, a xylophone that I am LOVING but not good at, and today… a GUITAR! 🙂 That’s just the past couple of weeks….
I’ve tried to teach myself guitar too! but quit after a week. Maybe one day I’ll pick it up again when my children try it out. 🙂 Hopefully, this wave will stick for you!
so true! i went thru those ‘waves’ too… sign language works for us. Avery only signs 3 words, but they are very helpful for him to communicate. i would love to save $$ on groceries and have time for photography… but we can only do so much… and that’s ok 🙂
Yes, groceries are probably the number one way I can save money. ahhh, if only.
I hear you….I’m there with google, kindle, the works!!
I love my kindle too!
Mommy waves can be exciting and dangerous (as obsessions), but also lead us to things we become passionate about, which is a good thing! 🙂 Great post, Maya – so relateable.
On the subject of signing, I feel success depends on two things: your child(ren) and their personality, and how consistent you are with the signs. There are many fun ways to reinforce signs, but by far, just using them in everyday life is the best teacher for little ones! I posted about baby signing a while back, if you’re interested: http://atlantamomofthree.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/teaching-sign-language-to-my-hearing-children/ Samuel is funny because he really didn’t show all that much interest in signing before he could talk, but in the last four months or so he has really taken off with speaking and signing (sometimes separate and somtimes combined). I had no idea he would like it so much!
Great article! I remember your post during my first signing “wave”. LOL. Kaitlyn is like Samuel. She didn’t start signing until this month. Now, she’s picking up one word a week. Ava started signing at 7 months, but really hasn’t signed any new words recently. They both understand a lot. Right now, their favorite is “more”. They clap their hands. Close enough, I say!