Last night I was putting Riley to bed and asked what kind of story we should talk about, and he nonchalantly informed me that he’d really rather I go ahead and leave, since he was waiting for Daddy to do storytime.

“Well,” I said, “I know Daddy normally puts you to bed, but tonight he’s putting Dylan to bed. Why don’t I tell you a story about—”

He held up a small hand. “No,” he told me. “I don’t want any stories from you.” And he turned his back to me, at which point I kissed him goodnight and sadly shuffled from the room, because I didn’t know else what to do.

It’s true we’ve fallen into a routine of me reading books and rocking with Dylan in his bedroom while JB talks with Riley next door. That’s what Riley is used to, and he loves how JB tells stories about Riley and his amazing magical skateboard which is painted with flames (“And BOLCANOES!”). I get it, but man. Ouch.

I sat out in the living room fuming about the sacrifices we make for our kids, and the ingratitude. I started thinking of the actual physical changes I have endured in order to bear these children, and I created a little mental list of Permanent Post-Childbirth Collateral Damage:

• A belly that when seated resembles a Shar-Pei formed entirely out of crepe paper.

• A pelvic floor that constantly proves how the line between “coughing” and “peeing a little squirt of pee right in my own pants” has all but disappeared.

• Thicker and more luxurious hair, especially the ones sprouting from my chin.

• Skin tags: the gift that keeps on giving!

• Afrin-addicted sinuses that haven’t taken a completely congestion-free breath since before I peed on that stick in 2005.

• An indistinguishable expanse of flesh where my ass meets the back of my thigh.

• A rear end that is often unable able to poop anything larger than a Raisinette without enjoying a full 48 hours’ worth of enflamed anal tissue afterwards.

• Breasts that require the sort of penis-wilting undergarment that comes with four hooks and enough wire to trigger a full TSA patdown. Please note these undergarments are available in Beige, White, or Wad of Chewing Gum Placed Under a Desk.

Frankly, I think my son should be presenting me with a goddamn Purple Heart, not Heisman-ing my tender little feelings at bedtime. But kids are selfish, brutally honest, and care not one bit about the ravaged body parts it took to produce them.

And we still love their obnoxious, ungrateful asses. Even when they flat-out tell us we’re not good enough.

Now, if only I could arrange for Daddy—who apparently shits rainbows and unicorns when it comes to bedtime—to enjoy a sparkled-induced hemorrhoid or two, life would feel a lot more fair.

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Serenity Now
13 years ago

oh thank GOD I’m not the only with that list! This post made me laugh until I cried – but also, sorta made me sad – because I’m sure my little man will do the same thing one day. There are already times where he pushes me away for daddy, and I mimic that knife going into my heart and twisting. Le SIGH…I guess it’s all just part of parenting, right? RIGHT?

Wendy
13 years ago

I have the same list and, oh my god, what is the deal with the motherf*cking skin tags? They drive me crazy.

Happy Hour....Somewhere

Man, that was a giant OUCH. This brought back memories though. I remember saying something similarly atrocious to one of my parents (see, I blocked it out) and they looked at me and said, “Do you hear yourself?” For some reason, it was like a slap in the face I gave myself. Sometimes you think you can say things to your parents, and then you realize one day, nope, no, you can’t. I was young enough to cry but old enough to have learned a lesson…not that it stopped me altogether. I just saved it all up for my teenage years~!

Michelle
13 years ago

Thank you for the list–instant birth control!

Joanne
13 years ago

It is completely not fair. NOT FAIR.

pixielation
13 years ago

if only – IF ONLY – the new and wonderful ailments that women find after childbirth could be magically transferred to new fathers too. Now THAT would be justice.

I have to admit, rather than sit down and think about that list, I’d have sat down and bawled my eyes out.

Then I’d have gone back in to the child, tried to reason with him, and emotionally crippled him simply by existing in that state.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
13 years ago

We do deserve a Purple Heart!

Steph the WonderWorrier

This list sure makes a 24-year-old woman like myself take pause about The Many Babies She Wants To Have One Day.

Maaaaybe I should just adopt.

Tony
13 years ago

“Maaaaybe I should just adopt.”

She spared you from the list of things that happen to you AFTER they’re born. “Caveat Adoptor”

del
del
13 years ago

Damn, reading this made me laugh and these days laughing can be known to trigger the same response as coughing. Damn ungrateful kids. Luckily they are adorable.

ginger
ginger
13 years ago

Skin tags and chin hairs? I know this is not happy news, but that’s a middle-age thing, not a pregnancy thing. I sport both, as well as a sort of Fu Manchu-style ‘stache, despite my nulligravidarity.

Titanium
13 years ago

It gets worse. My favorite quote of all time from my daughter, as she walked into the room while I was practicing yoga…

“Mom, your butt looks like a horse’s butt.”

She was four.

Anna
Anna
13 years ago

And THIS is why I say a group of children is an “ungrateful” of children (a la a murder of crows).

Mel
Mel
13 years ago

I just recently discovered your blog and I LOVE IT! I have a 2 year old little girl named Riley and I love with so much but oh somedays I wonder what the hell we were thinking. This blog helps me to feel so much more sane! And oh if my husband could get some hemorroid I would feel so much better about life and maybe even consider a second!!!

Georgia
13 years ago

Yet another (hilarious) “double-up on my birth control pill” inducing post!

Katherine
13 years ago

I could have written this myself today.

My nineteen month old won’t let me hold her, kiss her, pat her had. She doesn’t want me to get her out of her crib, or read her a story, or play with her. She prefers Daddy do everything. ALL. THE. TIME.

I have altered my work schedule to stay with her all the time – I work one night, graveyard to devote my ENTIRE LIFE to raising her, and she rejects me constantly.

You have no idea how much of a relief it is to hear that this happens to other people and that I am not just a monster FAILURE of a parent.

Part of it, ashamed as I am to admit it, makes me kinda angry at her – because we should be enjoying this time, you know? And it is hard to enjoy being hurt all the time.

melanie
melanie
13 years ago

lmao at that list…. I would have added thinning hair though to mine, because no matter how much they say that your hair comes back after the great “fall out” so far I say “they” are liars!

Tessie
13 years ago

I spent hours and hours and HOURS during my pregancy (and since) FUMING over the inequality of the whole process. Why did HE get the same baby *I* got, except without the souvenirs? 4 years later, and I’m still kinda bitter, actually.

Laura
13 years ago

This is the greatest thing I’ve read all day.

Danell
13 years ago

But Linda, you don’t LOOK like you have the issues on this list. I mean, you look f**kin’ AWESOME…on the other hand, when I get dressed in the morning: The Sharpei, IT IS OBVIOUS.

ElizabethZ
ElizabethZ
13 years ago

Love the list – I totally have that sharpei crepe paper belly. Hate.

Riley’s response sounds suspiciously like jealousy and hurt rather than across the board preference tho. Maybe try designating two nights a week as “mommy story nights” keep it consistent and i bet he ends up loving your story time every bit ass much.

ElizabethZ
ElizabethZ
13 years ago

as much. Ha! Sorry, damn phone.

Diana
Diana
13 years ago

Oh my God! You are out of control girl! That is just WAY too funny in it’s truth.
They are little assholes, aren’t they? whining little creatures -cute as a button, none the less.

Hillary
13 years ago

Experiencing this feeling of injustice RIGHT NOW as I listen to The Boy laugh uproariously at his daddy, who got home all of 10 minutes ago after I got the full brunt of the predinner crankfest.

Beth in SF
13 years ago

I once read in a column in Cookie magazine that we all have to resign to the fact that sometimes kids love mommy more and sometimes they love daddy more. Right now, ours loves me more, but I know my day of reckoning is coming. And yes, what fiery demon of hell came up with skin tags?

warcrygirl
13 years ago

Don’t be so hard on yourself; you look fabulous! I, on the other hand, have thighs that look like the surface of the moon. Tres Sexy!

Judy
Judy
13 years ago

Don’t worry, the shar pei belly goes when you do hit middle age and suddenly develop a stomach that looks like a seven month pregnancy, only not as full of promise and a lot squishier.

Meanwhile, ALL the hot men are in their 40s and hotter than ever.

Somehow, knowing we are the superior sex is not enough consolation.

monkey
13 years ago

Egads, these are the entries from you that make me squirm because my sister and I have always shown a strong preference for my dad (though I maintain that I absolutely love them equally). It’s just that my dad enjoys stuff that we enjoy (books, music, making jokes about current events) and my mom enjoys stuff like 1) religion 2) Indian soap operas and 3) Lectures about orderliness. Again, I don’t love her any less, it’s just that any conversation dissolves into a lecture or a fervent prosletyzation effort (you don’t need to convert a believer Mother, I think you’re doing it wrong actually)…and I’d rather just talk to my dad on the phone.

But you know what…you’re right. My mom is the one who made sure we weren’t dressed like hobos and our house ran properly and unlike the 3 of us, she actually has a stable temperament. She deserves better. Even if I will have to listen to a lecture about Krishna and hanging up my clothes *as soon as I get home*.

Kristin
Kristin
13 years ago

You’ve got to change up the routine. My hubby and I do every other night with each kid. One takes the 3yo and one takes the 6yo and then we switch the next night. The first couple nights will suck while Riley gets used to the new routine, but it will be worth it when you get to do the fun stories with Riley and still get the snuggle time with Dylan too.

erin
erin
13 years ago

Sundry, hands down you are the best damn writer on the interweb. After 2 kids (one born in 05 and the other in 07), I am also 8 for 8 on your ‘best of post-partum’ list. Another awesome, resonating post. Thank you for being here.

Carrie @ Who Knew?
13 years ago

Hilarious. Abso-fucking-lutely hilarious.

Lesley
Lesley
13 years ago

This may give you a chuckle – a clip of John Oliver reading Palin’s book to a group of kids. (Riley would make a great judgmental addition to the group).
http://tinyurl.com/yhsc7lm

(P.S. Though it hurts a wee bit, it’s also hilarious how to-the-point kids often are. Your description of Riley holding his hand up like a traffic cop had me in stitches.)

Jen
Jen
13 years ago

I don’t yet have kids (pregnant with the first), but I really love and appreciate your honesty about parenting. So many people just want to blow sunshine up each other asses rather than admit that sometimes it sucks! I love your writing. You have my favorite blog, hands down!

Jenny Smerud
13 years ago

I have been a long-time reader and really enjoy your writing. This made me laugh out loud. I am a new mom and new to the battle scars… glad I am not the only one! Thanks for the wit and honesty of your site!

Megs
13 years ago

1. I’m almost 9 months out and still struggling with the seventh bullet point (related to the, erm, raisenette, um “issue”). Thanks for letting me know there’s no end in sight.
2. We’re still in the place where the baby constantly rejects his father for me, which is mostly, if not entirely, because of the ever-more-drooping milk-sacks I call my breasts. It sucks for my partner and it’s killing me because I want a break. But I know the day will come where I will go to comfort him and he’ll cry as a friend’ son recently did to her, when she went to him in the night–“Oh nooooo! Not YOU.”

jill
jill
13 years ago

wow. Yet again you nailed my life. I often remind the little one that it was MY tummy that was ripped open to give him life….but alas daddy trumps all at the moment. You totally summed up the body thing to:) All the crunches in the world and I’m still working on the c-section pouch from 2005

erin
13 years ago

perfectly right on, couldn’t agree w/your list more. bet your shar pei is the cute runt whereas mine is the fat kid pup with battle scars.

Carrie
Carrie
13 years ago

Linda, thank you for this post. So very true. Our 5 year old son can make me feel this way sometimes and tonight I was having a pity party because I feel like our 5 month old daughter is already starting to prefer Daddy! What the hell!? Anyway, you are awesome and I love your blog. The stretch mark laden pouch that is currently my stomach, not so much!

Bachelor Girl
13 years ago

My mom is fond of regaling me with the story of how her hair began to turn gray the instant – the very instant! – I emerged from her nether regions.

nonsoccermom
13 years ago

Hee. Sad, but so so true!!

kristylynne
kristylynne
13 years ago

Yep. All true and oh so familiar. My own 4-year-old was somewhat anti-Daddy for a while after Daddy returned from a MONTH-LONG business trip a few days ago. You’d think he’d be all over him, but nope. I feel bad for poor Daddy, but I know this too shall pass.

Michelle
13 years ago

Adding to the list the inability to fully evacuate my bladder without folding myself in half on the toilet and that weird, partially numbish skin around the C-section scar that sometimes gets itchy but I can’t itch it because I CAN’T REALLY FEEL IT.

Can I just tell you that sometimes I really NEED a blog entry like this? Fo’ serious, yo.

Felicia
Felicia
13 years ago

I would also add “gray hair.” Never had any until the day I was pregnant and now they seem to have taken over.

And based on your belly picture from your other blog, I do not believe you about your belly! I could illustrate your point quite nicely with my own belly picture though.

may
may
13 years ago

This, this is why I love you. You totally get it! I want to send a copy of this to everyone I know – except, you know, I don’t want them thinking about my hemorrhoids. Or my saggy boobs. Although, come to think of it, they probably do think about my saggy boobs, because holy CRAP, I need a new nursing bra. If I were a blogger, I could have a whole blog (you heard me! Blog, not post) about my boobs and their issues. Freaking kids.

Aunt Becky
13 years ago

I would like to add boobs that look like oranges in tube socks, please.

Beth
Beth
13 years ago

I know he’s just a little kid, but you should really tell him that saying things like that hurts your feelings. He’s old enough to learn to be more considerate.

Mama Ritchie
13 years ago

A-fucking-men. Thank GOD you put this into words, way better than I ever could. Sam smiled at everyone, including the fucking cleaning lady, before me, even though I nearly DIED for his ungrateful ass. When I did get a smile it was more of a Dick Cheneyesque smirk. And Charlie – god forbid I’m in the same room with him and my mother-in-law. I get the same hand held up to me with a “Go away, now, Mommy. We don’t want you here.” Why? WHY???

victoria
victoria
13 years ago

I’m not a parent, and I don’t know if this helps but — kids “reject” parents of whose love they feel 100% secure. That “rejection” might take place because (1) he knows you won’t reject him back and (2) he needs to establish his own boundaries.

So, uh, yeah. You’re “rewarded” for being a good parent by being completely taken for granted. Not fair, but maybe some consolation?

AndreAnna
13 years ago

I basically own stock in Always because I’m afraid the day I don’t wear a pantiliner is the day I will SneezePee.

It’s gotten better, but 16 months+ after last baby and I’m still having “incidents.” Thankfully, nothing that’s required changes of clothes.

But all I need is an allergy attack on a full bladder and it’s all over.

Joy
Joy
13 years ago

Wow. I see you are living the dream too. Did I say dream? I meant nightmare. My husband travels frequently and lately my son has been waking in the middle of the damn night to tell me his is “angry daddy is not home!” and wants to know what I am going to do about it. Thanks for the love you little poop.