The boys were walking ahead of Mike and I, bouncing their way to school. They were with their friends, and, at times, had their arms slung around each other, only removing an arm to animatedly make a point. They looked like miniature teenagers, full of jokes and boasts and teasing. It was adorable.
“You know,” Mike began. Hesitated. “Parenting strikes me as this constant process of loss and gain. You know? Every day I get to know our boys better – I mean, who they are now – but there’s always this sense of loss, too. We’ve already lost the baby parts of them, and pretty soon they’re going to be– Oh, sorry babe. I didn’t mean to make you cry.”
Too late. I was on the sidewalk, frozen, with a hand clutched to my heart. Mike’s words had struck a chord – parenting is a constant process of loss. And, as our boys get older, life does get more and more fun (that’s the gain, I suppose), but I’ve been feeling this sense of loss acutely. I’ve always had this sort of desperation about me as a mother – a Please Time Just Stop kind of vibe that always made me go back in for one more mummy cuddle, to pick up and carry a tired boy even though he is almost as tall as me, and reading one more book at night. Ten years as a mother, and I still remain powerless to resist these things.
On the upside, Mike recently pointed out, in addition to the skiing and the travel that we’ve been doing…no one has peed in our bed as of late. And as much as parenting is a constant process of loss and gain, it is also a constant process of sleeping and peeing and staggering around at 3AM for a towel. (Do you guys change the sheets in the middle of the night? We did exactly NEVER.)
So we’ve begun the process of taking back our bedroom. The room that was once filled with diapers and wipes and nipple shields and breast pumps and butt cream and various bottles (none of which worked) and spit rags and changing pads and teething tablets (that have since been pulled #oops) and books on parenting and then later pee-stained sheets and towels and spiderman underwear and legos and a stack of books to read aloud…..
….is now mostly just filled with us. Mike and I. Our stuff. The boys still come running in on weekend mornings sometimes, for mummy cuddles, and they still go through clingy phases now and again which results in a night-time visitor (which I love)…..but those are becoming increasingly rare. Most of the time I fall asleep putting the boys to bed (I can’t seem to resist that request for one more book, nor can I stay awake for it), and when I eventually come-to and stagger out to find Mike…..the boys mostly just stay where I left them.
So it’s time. It’s time to swap out the pee-stained mattress (which, if I’m being completely honest I can still smell on a warm day OMG), and it’s time that I added a few adult touches to my bedroom. (I suspect that means something completely different to Mike, haha.)
In honor of being a Mama for ten years, and sleeping peacefully through the night for the first time in a decade….here is my own personal Christmas list.
1. Real Silk Pajamas Because #noPee
Fleur du Mal Silk Cami & Shorts, $248 and $128
There’s no doubt that real silk pajamas are a huge splurge. But I’ve been dying over this insanely pretty set from Fleur du Mal that easily doubles as sexy lingerie (or check out this red silk set for a slightly lower alternative, or if you don’t care about silk, this velvet set from Madewell is stunning). I just add cozy cardigans and legwarmers to warm it up on winter mornings. Speaking of which….
I’m obsessed with legwarmers-as-pajamas. First of all, they look surprisingly sexy with little PJ shorts (even flannel ones) and second of all, they don’t get all twisted up in the covers as you sleep. Plus, they’re easy to skooch off in the middle of the night if you get too hot AND if you have permanently cold feet, pulling them over your ice-cold toes works better than socks. (But probs not better than your husband’s warm back.)
3. A Romantic Light Over My Adult Bed
Feather Light, $490
For Christmas one year, my friend Jayme got an incredible light fixture. Her husband bought it and had it installed in the bedroom. It dramatically changed the space, and always struck me as an incredibly romantic gift. My bestie, A, just found this feather light fixture and it’s giant and stunning. I mean…it’s made of feathers. SWOON.
4. Obviously, a Cashmere Sweatsuit
Everlane cashmere sweatshirt and sweatpants, $140 each
The only thing that could make me wear sweatpants even more than I do now is to make them out of cashmere. I die. I can just see myself now, slouching around the house on a Saturday, swathed in nothing but drapey and cozy fabulousness. With my morning coffee and chocolate.
Who am I kidding? It would be a Tuesday, I’d be making lunches and wearing the damn sweatsuit to school drop-off and would still be in it when Mike came home from work that night.
5. I Like My Slippers Like My Friends: Slightly Crazy
Where do I even begin with these? Maybe with the name, “Fluff Momma,” or perhaps that I miiiiight be able to pass these off as that pet that Pax so desperately wants or maybe it’s that these slippers either scream Don’t Give a F— Somebody Fill Up My Martini or, and I really can’t decide here, I’ve Given Up Somebody Fill My Martini but either way there’s a martini or a faux pet in all of this craziness so OBVIOUSLY this is yes.
6. The Kindle To End All Kindles
Kindle Oasis, $250
One might say that I’m a fan of the Kindle. But they would be wrong: I am actually a Kindle devotee. And not the Kindle Fire #blasphemy because it’s e-ink or nuthin’ and if you’ve ever experienced the joys of reading your Kindle on the beach, you know what I’m talking about. The newest Kindle Oasis is perfectly balanced for reading, super light, more evenly lit, WATERPROOF, and with a battery that lasts weeks. I mean….this is basically porn for reading nerds like me, and I haven’t even opened the book yet.
ps. If you’ve never had a backlit, e-ink Kindle, I’ve been happily using the Paperwhite for years. It’s a game changer.
7. Speaking of Porn….This Coffee Maker
Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine, $250 (but is currently on sale)
We have this exact Nespresso machine. But I’m including it on my gift guide because I can’t stop pushing it I love it so much. It makes coffee so rich and so frothy you don’t need milk. The pods are recyclable (you send them back to Nespresso in the included mailing envelope). The one downside is that it sounds a bit like a rocket taking off while brewing, but brewing only takes seconds and you learn to recognize the sound for what it is: HAPPINESS.
8. This Water Bottle To Solve Marital Drama
Sovaro water bottle, $35
If you asked Mike what my most annoying trait is….I’d bet good money that it’s when I ask him to get me water. Um. Every night. It is annoying! I am a horrible person! I am also a thirsty person, it turns out, in the middle of the night, and it’s cold in this house, and he’s amazing at waking up and being able to fall riiiiight back to sleep. It’s a special talent of his that shouldn’t be wasted, that’s all I’m saying. But I’m thinking that this water bottle would be pretty on my nightstand and cut down on those middle-of-the-night water requests. And because it has a straw, the kids wouldn’t be tempted to throw it into their backpacks where all water bottles go to die.
9. A Watch That’s Both Badass And Timeless
Shinola Muldowney Watch, $900
Named after Shirley Muldowney, the first female drag racer, this watch is seriously stunning on. It’s neither shiny nor matte, and manages to be both tomboyish and elegant. It is expensive, but Shinola watches are all made in Detroit, and are of insanely good quality. We’re big Shinola fans here, and I love that they not only made a watch in honor of Ms. Muldowney, but that they nailed her badass, feminine vibe so freaking well. You can read more about the watch (and the brand) here. It’s one of the few watches I’ve seen that I actually would wear everyday.
10. A Stunning Ring To Start A Stack
I love a bunch of delicately stacked rings, but I wear so little jewelry, that I’d prefer my ring stack to grow over time and be meaningful. Plus, I love the idea of getting one every year for a holiday or a birthday. It’s almost better if they don’t perfectly match. A lower-cost alternative? This woodland ring is a stunner ($210) or this tiny letter ring ($144) can be customized with text. The one that says “mama” made me tear up, just a little (and is especially sweet layered with the ‘love’ ring).
New mamas, hang in there. Despite the intensity and the sleeplessness….things do get better. And some things? The other, sweet things? Like the smell of your baby and the way their thighs squish between your fingers? Well. Someday you’ll remember those things unexpectedly, all in a rush, while looking a ring that says, “mama”.