Real Moms: Crusty Films and Complications

Hello there and welcome to the place where my  professional and personal worlds align.   I am a producer at ABC News Digital and one of the series I am working on is  Moms Get Real - where we pull back the facade of perfect motherhood and talk about what it is really like in the trenches of parenting.   Given that    I’m a single mom in Manhattan, there is really nothing I would rather do than get real about what motherhood is really like.    

Let me know if you have any show ideas that you think we should tackle in the comments section below.

So there is a crusty film on nearly everything I touch in this apartment, particularly – my cell phone, my blackberry, my phone and the remote control.  And let’s not forget the lower two feet of the stove, the fridge, and the dishwasher.   As well as the Bumbo, the high chair and 90 percent of Ellie’s toys.

I spend half of my free time trying to remove the weird grossness that has accumulated and the other half of my free time trying to get my 9-month-old daughter Ellie to stop from putting everything – including my shoes and toes – in her mouth.

Now you might be saying…”Cara, you made a mathematical error.  If you spend 50 percent of your free time cleaning Ellie’s messes and 50 percent of your free time trying to prevent her from mouthing everything in her sight – then that would leave no free time for anything else.”

And if you said this to me, I would say, “Oh no no no, that is not a mathematical error.  That is factual data right there.”

Here is the proof.  It is 7:48 pm on a Sunday evening and I just realized that I am still in my pajamas.  And they aren’t the cute kind.

I can’t show you a photo of myself right now because you would lose respect for me – forever.

So after I cleaned the crusty film, poured a glass of wine, paid bills online, ordered diapers, baby food and a quality white noise machine – but before I sat down to make a schedule for Ellie’s fall music classes and look for apartments in the NYTimes Real Estate Section and a whole host of other things that are too boring to mention…It hit me.

Tomorrow is never going to be any less complicated than today.

And by that I mean, the responsibilities, the demands, the cries are only going to grow…So I might as well embrace it.

As I said when recently asked about how motherhood was treating me, “My life is a hot-mess, everyone told me that was going to happen.  But no one told me that I wasn’t going to mind.”

No one also told me that my stomach would not go back to the way it was before.  Okay, a number of people did tell me that and I thought me and my flat pre-baby stomach would be the exception.  Alas, I am not the exception at all.  My belly button certainly has that worn in look.   (You moms know what I am talking about.)   So sad, yet so comforting.  And just another way I am reminded that I am not alone.

I really have to say – the most surprising thing about the turn my life has taken is how little I mind.  Yes I am tired.  Yes I wish there were two – or twenty – of me.  But the pre-baby me never knew how little the post-baby me would miss my old life.

When I was pregnant, I would walk by packed bars on a warm summer night and get so nostalgic for my carefree days.  I remember crying to a good friend, saying, “I just wish I knew what the future held so that I could have had one more night of not caring.  One more night of staying out until 5 am.  I just want one more night of freedom.”

Tears come to my eyes when I think about how much I ached when I said those words to her.

And she smiled at me and said, “Yea, but Cara, you had plenty of those.  You know you aren’t missing anything.”

She was totally right.  And not only did I have plenty of those days, these days are honestly a thousand times more fulfilling.

Wipe that surprised look off of your face – no one is more surprised than yours truly.


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