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I am not a kid person. This may sounds like a cool, ironic thing to say when you are actually somebody’s mother. Like a way of creating a chic distance between yourself and the messy, vulnerable slog of parenting, or a frantic attempt to stand out amidst a homogenous sea of similarly-clad, similarly-voiced, similarly dogged-yet-dead-tired parents pushing strollers around the baby-friendly streets of Brooklyn.


But not being a kid person is not something I’m proud of. In fact, recently it’s become a surprising source of quiet shame. It just feels wonky to me lately, that I have a kid who I love but that, in general, I don’t love hanging out with kids and am not compelled to go out of my way to connect with my friends’ kids.

I’m three months away from having my second and I’ve realized I am definitely not everybody’s mom and I’m wondering…is that okay?

 

 

I only really thought about having a baby a few years after my husband and I had been dating when, concurrently, I began babysitting an endearing and oddly not-annoying kid to supplement my fledgling acting career. Before all that, I remember telling my friends in college that I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a mother. I remember hating all the babysitting I did as a teenager and wanting more than anything to go home as soon as I’d arrived at whichever neighbor’s house I’d been entrusted to monitor for the night.

I also remember noticing how my sister was always genuinely entertained by our parents’ friends’ small children – her ease in their company, how they made her laugh, and how she truly liked watching the cartoons they watched, playing their video games, dressing up their dolls, building towers with their blocks and doing whatever it was, with them. I do not, however, remember thinking it was weird that I didn’t feel like doing any of those things.

And then, three years ago – in a shocking turn, on purpose, and with much excitement – I had a baby. And I love him. I love hanging out with him (most of the time). I love talking to him. I love seeing things as he sees them and showing him the way I see things.

And yet, I am still not a kid person.

When my son and I go on play dates, I just can’t get pumped about imparting my child-raising techniques on other kids, like saying “Oh wow, cool!” in response to the things they say or handing out some of the snacks I always have on hand (a nod to our family legacy of sudden onset hanger). I also don’t need them to love me or even like me that much. Of course, sometimes they do (because don’t I sound like so much fun?). Sometimes they tug at my sleeve and shout with animation, “Katie, guess what? Fart!” These conversations – this one in particular – I am more than glad to have.

Sure, I’m willing to keep an eye on them, to share our profuse selection of noshes, and, if they’re in actual danger, to sprint to their aid. But I know other mothers who seem to really relish connecting with my child. I see other parents who, like pied pipers, gather children ‘round them with ease and cultivate a sort of zombie-toddler following.

This, I don’t know how to do. And I don’t want to know how. One kid is confounding enough!

In fact, the notion of actively assuming a second mother role to a friend’s child – an idea that appeals to many parents I know – sounds to me like a surefire way to further exhaust yourself in the marathon that is parenting.

But it isn’t exhausting for some people – it’s affirming or energizing or instinctive. I am in awe of such people (and only occasionally irritated by them). But I will never be on of them. No, I’m not a kid person; I’m just a my-kid person.

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Jessica Simpson celebrated her baby shower this weekend (after getting a cupping treatment for her very swollen pregnancy feet) and her theme and IG captions have fans thinking this was not just a shower, but a baby name announcement as well.

Simpson (who is expecting her third child with former NFL player Eric Johnson) captioned two photos of her shower as "💚 Birdie's Nest 💚". The photographs show Simpson and her family standing under a neon sign spelling out the same thing.

While Simpson didn't explicitly state that she was naming her child Birdie, the numerous references to the name in her shower photos and IG stories have the internet convinced that she's picking the same name Busy Philips chose for her now 10-year-old daughter.

The name Birdie isn't in the top 1000 baby names according to the Social Security Administration, but It has been seeing a resurgence in recent years, according to name nerds and trend watchers.

"Birdie feels like a sassy but sweet, down-to-earth yet unusual name," Pamela Redmond Satran of Nameberry told Town and Country back in 2017. "It's also just old enough to be right on time."

Simpson's older kids are called Maxwell and Ace, which both have a vintage feel, so if Birdie really is her choice, the three old-school names make a nice sibling set.

Whether Birdie is the official name or just a cute nickname Simpson is playing around with, we get the appeal and bet she can't wait for her little one to arrive (and her feet to go back to normal!)

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Mamas, if you hire a cleaning service to tackle the toddler fingerprints on your windows, or shop at the neighborhood grocery store even when the deals are better across town, don't feel guilty. A new study by the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School shows money buys happiness if it's used to give you more time. And that, in turn could be better for the whole family.

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As if we needed another reason to shop at Target, our favorite store is offering some great deals for mamas who need products for baby. Mom life can be expensive and we love any chance at saving a few bucks. If you need to stock up on baby care items, like diapers and wipes, now is the time.

Right now, if you spend $100 on select diapers, wipes, formula, you'll get a $20 gift card with pickup or Target Restock. Other purchases will get you $5 gift cards during this promotion:

  • $20 gift card when you spend $100 or more on select diapers, wipes, formula, and food items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock
  • $5 gift card when you buy 3 select beauty care items
  • $5 gift card when you buy 2 select household essentials items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock
  • $5 gift card when you buy 2 select Iams, Pedigree, Crave & Nutro dog and cat food or Fresh Step cat litter items using in store Order Pickup
  • $5 gift card when you buy 3 select feminine care items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock

All of these promotions will only run through 11:59 pm PT on Saturday, January 19, 2019 so make sure to stock up before they're gone!

Because the deals only apply to select products and certain colors, just be sure to read the fine print before checking out.

Target's website notes the "offer is valid using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock when available".

The gift cards will be delivered after you have picked up your order or your Target Restock order has shipped.

We won't tell anyone if you use those gift cards exclusively for yourself. 😉 So, get to shopping, mama!

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