Alicia Strnad Hoalcraft
Alicia Strnad Hoalcraft is hub manager for Forum Design Center. She lives in Moorhead with her husband and their daughter, Calliope. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Member for
- 4 years 4 months
MOORHEAD, Minn. — "Do you ever, you know, miss the life you had before you had children?" I could almost hear the question being whispered when I read it in my mom group. The answers started coming in — a trickle at first, then more as people gained confidence from other moms admitting that they, too, miss parts of child-free life. "I wouldn't trade my sons for anything, but I am so tired of feeling like I spend every moment taking care of them." "Yes! I love her, but sometimes I just want the peace and freedom I had before my daughter was born."
FARGO — I hear a lot about "mom guilt." It's the feeling that we're somehow not good enough for our kids or not doing enough for them. I hear women talk about how they feel bad for leaving their kids at day care or for not having enough money to buy the outrageously overpriced "it toy" for Christmas. I hear them say they don't feel right leaving their kids to go have dinner with friends or see a movie with their spouse.
Jan. 5: For those of you playing "Weird stuff Callie does in the morning" bingo, if you had "Screaming 'abba-cababra' for half an hour straight," you can go ahead and mark your cards. Jan. 30: Callie is having a discussion with an action figure: Wonder Woman: Callie, what's wrong? Callie: I have a headache. Wonder Woman: Oh, no! Do you want me to kiss it? Callie: No, I'm just going to rest and watch "Real Housewives." Feb. 13: "I need a paper towel. I spilled. I spilled on my shirt. I spilled! I'm dying a lot."
My secret to parenting success is my 19-year-old brother. You wouldn't guess it upon meeting him, but he's a darn good babysitter, a fantastic brother and an awesome uncle. He's helped us out of more jams in the past year than I could ever have imagined. (We do pay him for his help, though not as much as he could be getting if he spent that time working somewhere else.)
I just heard another person refer to Princess Kate's "morning sickness." I am enraged on Kate's behalf for this. This is her third time dealing with hyperemesis gravidarum, a disorder of pregnancy that involves extreme vomiting and nausea. Yet people persist in talking about this illness as if she could cure it with ginger and positive thinking. People with this disorder lose five percent or more of their body weight — often in a very short span of time. They face severe dehydration and starvation if they can't get adequate treatment.
They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. My daughter just turned 4, which means I've been a parent for more than 35,000 hours, so I'm pretty much a super expert at this point. I know that means you will take my word as gospel when I offer you these parenting pro tips, learned over the course of many, many hours. Half of parenting is just marketing.
My daughter woke up on the morning of her fourth birthday and demanded a bath. I filled the tub. She got in and reclined on the bath pillow, then said, "Please leave now. I need my me time. And close the curtain so I can have some privacy." A little while later, she yelled, "Bring me a snack. I need chocolate so I can relax." I guess being 4 is pretty rough. After all, just a few days earlier the poor thing had been stricken with the Purple Pox. It's a rare disease caught only by toddlers who are alone in a room with a purple marker.
OK, so we have enough chicken nuggets for Callie for a while. Did I check the ketchup? We have ketchup. When is that person's birthday? What should we get them? I have to remember to bring back the library books tomorrow. Ugh. Lights are still on. Turning them off because the electric bill was high again. I need new windshield wiper blades.
FARGO — I stared at the survey question, not sure I dared answer with the truth. "What part of parenting did no one warn you about?" it asked. I slowly typed, "I don't always like my kid." I gasped and deleted what I'd written. Why would I say that? That's not OK to say about your child, my inner voice chastised. "I don't always like being a mom." No, the voice said. That's not OK to say either. There are a lot of people who want to be a parent and can't. You should feel grateful for this.
If I had to sum up my childhood in one word, that word would be "books." Yes, I had friends, family, school, parties, playtime and more, but one thing that filled my days, brought me the most enjoyment and shaped who I became was the books that were my constant companions.