There’s This Thing Called Motivation?

So let me set the scene of my life the past few months. On any typical day I work between six and eight and a half hours. In the mornings I wake up using my FitBit (if there is anyone out there still waking up to the angry blaring of an alarm, I strongly suggest a change). I trudge through my closet into our en-suite bathroom where I slowly start to try and make myself look more like a person and less like a hair ball that crawled out from under a rock.

Still half asleep, I shrug at what I’ve managed to accomplish as far as washing my face and putting concealer on the dark spots under my eyes and raking my fingers through my hair before I brush my teeth and head back into the closet to wiggle into WHATEVER IS FITTING ME at this stage of my pregnancy. Most days it’s yoga Capri pants and a t-shirt as I have to be mobile enough to keep up with five-year olds.

Then it’s on to the kitchen for a quick breakfast before I’m out the door.

My workday moves oddly both slowly and quickly as I count down the moments until 6:30 when I can leave and race home. (Haha, just kidding. I don’t race anymore. It’s a slow walk at best.)

Hopefully I am home by 7:00, a walk that pre-pregnancy took me ten minutes but now takes me an eternity from work to my apartment. I take my main monster out for a quick walk so he can do his business.

Now, once we come back into the apartment, I have Toblerone’s halter and my pants off somehow at the same time, throw my pants over the back of my chair in the living room and immediately go to the fridge. Lately I have been good. I’ll make myself something like a bacon and egg sandwich with some milk or a grilled cheese and tomato soup before I head to the couch to eat it.

Once the food is gone, I lay on the couch in the exact same spot I always do and do not move for hours. Every adjustment I make is with a dramatic groan as I binge-watch things in Netflix, or re-watch things so I don’t have to pay attention.

Half of the time I don’t even bother getting off the couch to make dinner for my poor husband who works long hours at a physically demanding job and usually doesn’t come home until around 10:30-11:00pm.

Last night as I laid there in my couch groove, I had a memory of this thing called motivation. I vaguely recall it surging through my body, helping me power single-handedly through tasks. I had a long-standing Platinum Membership Card with motivation at one point in my life.

Yet, when I got pregnant, that card got revoked. Or maybe it expired and I never bothered to renew it… you know, without the motivation and all that Jazz.

If I took photos of my apartment right now, some of you would gasp! Hell, there are days when I feel a gasp coming on but can’t be bothered. I’m too tired for gasping!

It’s a depressing realization. Comparing the person you were, the tasks you accomplished every day, the routines and social encounters you kept up before to the lazy solitude you live in now.

I think what makes is most depressing is feeling like you honestly don’t even have the energy to do something about it. All you can do is cuddle a little lower in your couch canyon, call your dog over to cuddle and wrap your knit blanket around yourself as you wallow in it all.

At 28 weeks, I don’t think there is a single moment in the day when I am not exhausted. Add in the fact that my calves cramp every hour and a half when I sleep causing me to jolt away and massage them for five minutes, means I am getting even less sleep than the insomniac I was before I got pregnant. I can count the friends I keep in contact with on one hand… using only two fingers.

Pregnancy has become this overbearing beast that has taken over my whole life and I keep waiting for the motivation to do something about it.

In my head it all seems very simple. I have a plan. I need to start doing yoga to broaden my social activity and hopefully get me to a point where I am feeling good again. I need to throw away all the Knick-knacks that are cluttering up my apartment and make the space more functional for when a baby comes along. I need to start folding my clothes instead of piling them onto the mountain of clothes I keep on the bed in my spare room… a room where I was supposed to make a space for the baby but haven’t yet. I need to make a space for the baby.

All the things I need to do are there, but without that membership card to motivation, I can pretty much promise you they aren’t going to get done.

The fatigue and many aches and pains that go along with pregnancy make it hard to do anything else but just exist through the day. I wish there had been somewhere that would have told me that. All the articles I had read about pregnancy said it was okay to slow down and take a nap if you needed one, but they didn’t tell me slow would be my only setting and I would often wake from a nap feeling like I needed another nap.

If I read all of this somewhere would it have put a pause on my plans to have a baby?

No.

What it would have done was given me a more realistic idea of what would happen to me during this pregnancy and maybe kept me from sobbing on the couch and wiping my nose on my dog’s ears while watching episode after episode of Queer Eye (Oh my god, I love it!).

In all the movies and shows I watched with pregnant women, it was one bad day and they seemed to bounce back. Just random emotional outbursts. It wasn’t this constant wave.

So what am I going to do about it?

I am going to buck up! I am going to grit my teeth and power through! I am going to do all the things I know need to be done and hopefully get my groove back… next week maybe.

Today I am going to power through my day and go back to that spot on the couch.

Fake It ’til You Make It

We’ve all heard the familiar saying “You’ve got to fake it ‘til you make it!” and that saying is one that can be applied to countless things in life. Whether it is a new job where you are just trying to find your way, spreading your wings and moving out on your own, being in a new relationship, and yes, it even applies to being pregnant.
With pregnancy being such a common thing, it blows my mind how much stuff is only discussed in whispers between close friends and family member, or going undiscussed all together.
Technology is at our fingertips at any given moment. I can’t tell you how many times in my life since getting a smart phone I have had a thought, opened up Google and searched for answers. It’s almost impossible to be out of touch, any question you mind can muster, there is an answer to be found somewhere on the Internet… that is unless it is an embarrassing pregnancy question.
I’ve had to search things like Is it normal to spend over an hour trying to have a bowel movement in your second trimester? Where do you typically gain weight during pregnancy? Is it normal to have a fanny-pack of excess fat below your belly and above your vagina during pregnancy?
If we are being completely honest, and those of you who have been nice enough to keep up with this new blog know, I pretty much always am, I don’t consider myself an overly intelligent person, yet, I also don’t consider myself stupid. With that being said, since I have gotten pregnant, my body is no longer my own. Every day I wake up and I feel less and less like the person I’ve known and looked at in the mirror for twenty-seven years and more like a stranger.
And every day, I have a never-ending list of more and more questions without answers.
It’s 2018 and there are literally blogs about everything. The blogs about parenting and pregnancy alone are countless! Yet, it seems like everything in this regard seems to be perfectly polished, wrapped up in a little bow, and sugar coated. The articles are decorated with Instagram-worthy photos that have you smiling, all while refusing to hit the nail directly on the head.
Why?
I don’t need to read that pregnancy is difficult, I am living it, I know. What I need are open and honest articles with real and yes, descriptive accounts on the ups and downs of pregnancy. Why? Because I am not a veteran at this, I have not weathered the storm that pregnancy can sometimes be before, and I am sure there are thousands of women just like me, trying to figure this all out and just looking to read one relatable article without all that… fluff.
It’s why I’ve turned away from blogs and parenting websites and gone down the rabbit hole of forums and communities on pregnancy apps. Because although there are a lot of uninformed people asking questions all of us learned the answers to in grade eight health class, it’s open, it’s honest and it leaves nothing to the imagination.
Ladies, Gents, if you are here I am assuming you are going to be parents or are parents already. You are or are about to be elbow deep in baby poop, leaking breast milk, you are going to have throw up, boogers, and other bodily fluids all over you. I doubt you are going to shy away from the all to real details of pregnancy. So isn’t it time we stopped whispering about it and started talking about it openly and honestly?
Isn’t it time you talked to your friend in her first trimester about adding some Restoralax to her every day routine so she doesn’t end up sitting on the toilet for over an hour, sweating and crying? Isn’t it time we told them about the hemmroids that have completely taken over your life and to be honest, aren’t as big a deal as all the commercials make them out to be? Isn’t it time we talked about those weird jiggly bits that have you raising a brow? The fact that your underwear is always slightly damp now? Or that there are days when you are so sad you can’t stop crying and you don’t even understand why? Isn’t it time we all admit that we are tired of faking it until we make it?
Christ, I am.
At this point, I have no idea what is going on or what I am doing day to day. Every day is a new, sloppy, emotional adventure that I am reluctant to start.
I never know if what I am feeling is normal and when I look into it I am given the general “Pregnancy is a rollercoaster” answer that has me pursing my lips and furrowing my brow.
Yes, I know it’s a roller coaster. I bought the ticket, I waited in line. But aren’t you supposed to tell me to keep my arms and legs in the cart at all times? Isn’t someone supposed to come by and check the restraints to make sure I am not going to fly off when this things starts doing to loops at high speed?
My husband and I are two blind people running around in the dark banging into walls, convinced eventually we will find the way out. Both murmuring over our shoulders “The door is here somewhere. I saw it earlier.” We didn’t see a door, we don’t even know how we got into the room.
Fake it until you make it.
Nope. I’m too moody for that moving into my third trimester. I think instead I will sit on the ground and cry until someone comes along and tells me what to do.
Hey, it works for kids, doesn’t it?

Recognizing Your Voice

At 27 weeks, if you have been talking to your baby enough it will recognize the sound of your voice and even react to it. That is what the pregnancy app I have on my phone told me, and I was a little skeptical at first.

Baby hears me all the time. Every time I open my mouth to talk, whether it’s to it’s tiny little ears or to the store clerk that sold me salsa, my little kiwi has to be hearing my voice, right? It’s not like I can press my lips up to my own belly and talk to my child.

Last night I was standing at the sink doing dishes when my husband got home from work. He did the usual thing he does when he comes home, he gave me a kiss, pulled up my shirt and said hello to our baby.

For the first time, our baby went wild! All the skin on my stomach seemed to move around, we could see my belly point and morph as our unborn baby wiggled around, all because my husband said Hello.

I couldn’t help my grin from spreading ear to ear.

Our baby knows him!

I genuinely think it’s the little things that keep up going through pregnancy. When there is a huge lump pressing out against your skin and you push it back only to realize it was the baby’s head, and baby turns and kicks you defiantly for the poking. When you play a song they react to, or eat something that gets them really moving. These are the things we need to hold onto when pregnancy seems a little too much to take.

This morning, when my baby started shadow-boxing my ribcage and I woke up in agony, it was hard for me to remember those moments. Harder still was it to hang onto the magic of being pregnant when I was hit with an overwhelming bout of nausea this morning that had me running to the bathroom every half hour. So between the throwing up, and being kicked by what I can only assume is a baby kangaroo in there at this point, my morning was looking very bleak and my mood was anything but pleasant.

As I spend my second consecutive day on the couch with little to no plans of moving due to the discomfort in my belly and the overly sensitive old belly-button piercing (the old scar tissue is also being stretched ouch!) I try to remind myself that in a few hours my husband will come home, he will give me my usual kiss, and then one for the baby before he says Hi and our little kangaroo kicks with more vigor than I thought it could muster.

No one is here but me and my pup today, and thank goodness I don’t have to pretend to be loving this when it’s just us. I am going to curl up beside him (he likes to be little spoon) and we are going to be couch hobos for the rest of this rainy Sunday.

Serenading My Baby

For the past few weeks my baby has been moving non-stop, but not in any way I could control. We are playing tag with the little kiwi, trying to spot visual movement from the outside, or get some forceful kicks when daddy gets home from work, but just as our baby was endlessly stubborn during our ultrasounds trying to find out the gender, the stubbornness continued.

One day, while lying on the couch with my belly hanging out lounging in my underwear, I thought to myself ‘Maybe if I play baby some music, I can get this little bean moving.’

But what to play?

My husband and his family are HUGE Phil Collins fans, his father played it for them when they were kids, and it stuck with all three boys even now into adulthood. He joked that if there was anything to get our baby moving, it would be Phil Collins.

I have to admit, I tried a few things at first. Some classic lullabies, some of my own favourites.

Nothing.

Still as can be, not even a flutter of movement. With a sigh and a smile, I put on some Phil Collins. You’ll Be In My Heart. It is one of my favourite Phil Collins songs since I was a kid watching Tarzan and thought the lyrics were so appropriate.

The intro played, and baby was still. Then he started singing and my phone flew away from my tummy where it had been pressed. I couldn’t stop laughing. I placed the phone back where it was, holding it in place this time and let the song play through.

There was a dance party going on in my belly. Kicking and rolling, punches. I laughed all the way through the song and then switched to another song, not by Phil Collins to see if it was just a coincidence. Baby went still again.

Eyebrow raised, I played the same song again. There goes the dance party.

It’s become our night-time routine. Playing You’ll Be In My Heart a few times over while I relax on the couch and watching my baby react to the music. My hope is that when the baby is born and having those stubborn nights, when my husband and I are ragged and a moment away from sobbing from exhaustion, we will remember how our little kiwi reacted in my belly to that very song and sing it to our baby together. I hope it will bring our baby some peace, and lull them back to sleep so my husband and I can cry quietly in our room and wonder what the hell we were thinking doing all this in the first place.

Hey, I am not a delusional person. I know it is going to be rough. There will be tears! More from the two of us pretending adults and struggling new parents than from the baby!

Hopefully it works the way I am thinking it will, otherwise it will be the song that plays while I sob and rock myself in the corner of the bedroom when everyone else is asleep. I guess we will find out exactly how things will play out later.

Don’t worry, I will keep everyone updated!

Preparing Your Nest

Let’s talk numbers for a moment.

276,075 minutes.

4,601 hours.

191 days.

6 months and 9 days.

That is how long I have been pregnant. Today, I feel like I have been pregnant for a million more minutes than that. My baby is shifting endlessly and seems to favour my right side, so I have been uncomfortably lopsided all day, my feet are slightly swollen and there is nothing I want to do more than lie down until this baby is ready to come out.

It’s just been one of those days.

Now you know how long I have been on this journey. I have broken it down into minutes, hours, days and the traditional months.

How long is left?

When you think about it in the traditional sense of three more months to go, and also factor in that your first baby rarely comes when it is supposed to, it seems like there is a lot of time left.

Yet, I look around our apartment. At all the knick-knacks and junks we’ve accumulated over the years, all the dust-covered things we never move, all the cupboards and storage closets bursting at the seams with things we never planned to hang onto, but could never bring ourselves to throw out and I think to myself, Is there even enough time to get everything done?

I have 127,125 minutes left to clear out all the junk my husband and I have accumulated over the last nine years. That seems like a lot of time, unless I think about it as 2,119 hours. That still makes me feel like I not only have enough time to clear it all out but also to change some things and make our apartment more baby-friendly.

89 Days.

That doesn’t really seem like a lot of time.

12 weeks and 5 days.

This is about the time I start to lie down on my couch, throw my hand over my forehead dramatically like an actress in the 60s, and sigh until my dog comes over and lies on my ever-growing baby bump.

There are days when I get bursts of energy and convince myself that it could be the day I tackle some of the things on my ever-growing list. But lately, all that energy seems to die out quickly and I end up lying down something, mentally kicking myself for not getting more done.

I read all these forums and look at all these photos where mothers-to-be go through the nesting period. They clean their whole houses top to bottom, set up nurseries and baby areas in their homes and manage to get everything in tip-top shape before their bundle of joy comes into the world.

Right now I would say I am in the wishing-to-be-nesting phase. I wish I had the blind motivation that sometimes pushes pregnant women in the nesting phase. With the heat of summer slowly building, and working with five-year-olds all day, there is nothing I want more at the end of the day than to kick back with my feet up and do absolutely nothing.

Hopefully I will get something done this weekend.

There are only 2 months and 28 days to go after all.

One Hour Glucose Test

I had gotten the paperwork for the one-hour glucose test from my gynecologist almost a month ago and hadn’t gone to get it done. After speaking to my best friend and my sister about the test and hearing their horror stories, I was reluctant to rush in and get it done, plus, at this point in my pregnancy, I am getting a little tired of being poked and prodded.

However, after meeting my OBGYN last month and getting the same paperwork for the same test, I knew it was time to buck up and go and get it done.

I went early, not sure how long getting seen would take and I find that most doctor’s appointments tend to be at least an hour and a half longer than you anticipated because of wait times, tests and what have you.

As soon as I got there, they gave me this small water bottle filled with orange liquid. It had a white label, black writing on it and a lot of information I didn’t quite understand on it. The nurse told me I had to drink the bottle in five minutes and then go up and speak to her so she could log the time I finished and begin timing.

Sitting in my seat, I tried not to make eye-contact with the woman sitting across from me who was staring at me without blinking. Unscrewing the lid from the bottle, I decided I was just going to down it without thinking about it.

The first sip seemed okay, until I swallowed and the aftertaste took over. It was thicker than it should have been in my throat, and tasted like orange syrup.

I drank it as quickly as I could and went back up to tell her I was finished.

Then, as I sat back down and pulled out my Stephen King novel to pass the time, I could feel my baby kicking around, tossing and turning. It seemed my little Kiwi felt the same way about this unbearable sweet drink, as I did. I read three pages before I had to scramble off my seat and run into the bathroom.

Baby did not want any of that, and neither did I, apparently.

I threw up and felt a thousand times better.

As I left the bathroom, the nurse looked at me as raised a brow. “Did you just throw up?” She glanced at her watch, noting the time.

I admitted I did, of course and was told I would need to drink another bottle!

I had never felt more like a child on the verge of throwing a tantrum than when she handed me another bottle. There was nothing I wanted more than to be done with this, and I most certainly didn’t want to have to drink more of that nasty stuff.

Don’t worry, I kept it down. Sat through the hour and went through yet another blood draw. After seeing the table full of vials they had taken, I couldn’t help but frown. How much blood did they need from me during this pregnancy? I think they had already taken more blood in six months of pregnancy than they had through the whole of my twenty-seven years.

The test is tedious, and the drink it less than appetizing, but this test will determine whether you have gestational diabetes.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, because if the test determines I am at risk, I will have to do the three-hour glucose test. *insert dramatic crying face here*

Like most tests during pregnancy, it was uncomfortable. I just keep reminding myself that it will all be worth it in September, when I meet my bundle of joy!!

Will my baby just get here already?!

The Battle For Maternity Clothes

For those of you who do not know, I am living here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Here in Toronto, there are so many clothing stores that advertise maternity clothing.

It has taken me a long time to get here, but at 26 weeks and 5 days pregnant, when all my clothes seem to be bursting at the seams, I have finally decided to be reasonable, and buy some maternity gear to provide me with some much needed comfort.

My list was not a long or unreasonable one. I went out looking for basic items to get me through the summer. I wants a maxi-dress and a sun dress, both with small straps and more of an open back to keep me from boiling over in the many heat waves I am sure we will have this summer. I wanted a pair of shorts, preferably denim so I could throw them on with everything and then a handful of tanks and tees. Sounds perfectly reasonable and easy, right?

Wrong.

Of all the stores I have looked up online, none of these stores seemed to carry their maternity lines in stores. I went to three H&Ms, two Old Navy’s, which had been my first choice for maternity wear as their prices were a lot more reasonable than Thyme and other stores specifically gears to pregnant women.

With Old Navy having their 50% off storewide sale, I was hoping to get clothes for the prices I would regularly pay. $10 tees and tanks, $20 dresses, $20 shorts. I am a bit of a thrifty shopper and don’t tend to like to overspend on fashion. This seemed like the perfect option.

However as soon as you mention maternity in any of their locations, the sales associates get this sad look on their face as they begin to explain to you that the maternity wear is only offered online and not in store.

Look, I can understand there may not be a huge market for that specific line, but you have a small section in the front of the store designated for pets, you can’t put a small section for maternity wear in the store? I don’t know many people going in to Old Navy to buy handkerchiefs and accessories for their dogs… I didn’t even know they carried stuff like that.

I was exasperated.

Why?

Because this is my first pregnancy, I have no idea where to even begin when I am purchasing maternity gear. Which is why I went into stores hoping to try some stuff on and gauge sizes and fits before I ordered anything online.

Usually when I order things online, if they don’t fit they just sit in my closet for ages because I can’t be bothered to go through the hassle of returning things. So ordering maternity clothes online, when I have never ordered anything in those styles before, knowing they all cost a bit more, was very low on lists of things I was planning to do.

After hitting up several malls, and trying other stores, I went home quite defeated. I did go into Thyme just to see the differences in price, and briskly walked out after holding up a pair of denim shorts for almost $60.

Ummm, I have baby gear to buy, what in the hell makes you people think I am going to spend that on a pair of shorts I may not be able to wear once I give birth?

Why is buying maternity wear such a battle?

I ended up buying some clothes a few sizes up from Old Navy. I really didn’t want to miss the sale, and wasn’t willing to pay the other store’s prices. However, I was disappointed to know they didn’t carry maternity wear in store.

I guess the choice has been made for me.

I am going to power through this pregnancy without any maternity wear and hope I don’t split yet another pair of yoga tights… yes, it has happened.

Ugh!

 

Happy Father’s Day!

I think the hardest thing for a lot of men, or partners who are not physically going through the pregnancy, is connecting with their baby while still in the womb. To them, it’s easy to disconnect from it all, to forget how close they are to becoming fathers or mothers.

They can go through their whole day, go to work, think about all the little tasks that need to get done in their regular routine without even thinking about the baby that will be here all too soon. It’s not something they intentionally do, it’s not like they are purposely trying to stand on the other side of the glass looking in, but when you are not the one that is pregnant, it is easy to continue living your life even though parenthood is right around the corner.

When you are pregnant, every breath you take reminds you there is life blooming inside you. Every moment of discomfort, every flutter, every movement, every aversion to smells or cravings reminds you that all too soon, you are going to have to have a little person to take care of.

Today is Father’s Day. If I am being completely honest, Father’s Day has always just been another day to me as my father and I have not kept up a relationship since he and my mother went their separate ways when I was about seven. It was never really something I celebrated, so it wasn’t something I thought too much about.

However, since I got pregnant, today seems slightly more special. Excitement and anticipation make me want to do something for my husband, to celebrate the closing of this chapter in our life and the start of a new one.

My husband is not so open to it. He doesn’t want to celebrate being parents until the baby is here, in our arms, keeping us up and night and peeing all over us during midnight changings.

Personally, I think we are parents already.

I wondered if it was because he wasn’t pregnant, he wasn’t experiencing the all consuming things that I am. Every second seems to evolve around my pregnancy and my baby. Even the person I am seems to be shifting and changing because of it. In my mind, I am a parent now already.

I wish there was a way to wrap our partners up in everything, to get them as entangled in our web of pregnancy as we are. Maybe then, it would be easier for them to feel so connected, for them to celebrate a day that is as much for them as it is for the parents who are already chasing their little ones around.

Next year, I am going to go all out, he isn’t even going to know what to do with himself.

So to all the papas out there, Happy Father’s Day! I hope it’s a good one!

Little Ears Can Finally Hear

As a first time mom-to-be, I have downloaded over a dozen apps on my phone to track my pregnancy and the progress of my baby. I have no idea where I am supposed to be, when appointments need to be booked, how big my baby is, or at what stage they are. Theses apps help me feel connected in some way.

Opening the apps in the morning as religiously as some people open their Facebook, I like seeing how many weeks I am, how many days I have left to go, how big my baby is. What I like most of all, are the apps that tell you something new about the stage of your baby every day. It’s how I learned that my baby is covered in tiny little hairs that regulate it’s temperature in the womb, or when my baby had fingernails, or when their eyes opened. These are all things I would have been in the dark about before.

The big thing for me was learning when my baby would become sensitive or aware of certain things, like sound and light.

Knowing that my baby’s ears had developed and he or she could now pick up my voice and start to recognize it filled me with an excitement that used to be reserved for 24 hour breakfast diners.

My apps recommended I talk to the baby, sing, do all these little things like play music for them and stuff. I was delighted, but it seemed to be more difficult than I had thought. Mostly it consisted of me talking out loud to myself while my dog stared at me like a crazy person, realizing most headphones would NOT fit over my bump, and getting weird stares from my husband when I told him to talk to the baby. “Uh, what do I say?”

I would roll my eyes and act as though he was being ridiculous but that had been my exact thought when I started doing it.

Is there a way to do this without feeling silly? Probably not. My husband and I are still kids at hearts at times, and neither of us can resist teasing one another. My husband’s favourite pass time is mocking me when I say something that doesn’t make sense.. even to myself. This is the kind of grown up relationship we have.

Tackling things like talking to my stomach is definitely something that has us both feeling a little odd. Maybe in time we will just grow used to it. I will start monologuing to my unborn baby about my awesomeness, exaggerating my story, narrating my life in the kind of way that makes me seem like a heroine that most people wish they were, whose story is told across the world.

Did I ever mention I am a dramatic person?

Anyway, until then the two of us will both just pretend we are doing something completely normal until it… becomes normal. Isn’t that how life works?

Little Women

As the hot weather comes around, one of my own personal issues bubbles up to the surface. Now, with my hormones on a never-ending roller coaster, I find the issue that used to just have me exhaling dramatically and rolling my eyes now has my eye twitching, and me biting the inside of my cheek.

So what is this issue?

Age appropriate clothing styles for kids.

Look, with Instagram one of the most popular apps and sites, a lot of people care more about what they look like, they love to be wearing the most stylish clothes, and sporting the most adorable accessories, and I have noticed, that some of these accessories are their own children.

I see it every day, even though I am not on Instagram. I see the photos where the mom wearing her ripped jeans and cropped off the shoulder top with her hair in dramatic ringlets is standing side by side with her toddler, wearing a matching outfit whose hair has been just as carefully styled.

I do get it. I can see myself wanting to match with my own child, or having the whole family in matching colours and outfits. It’s adorable! I can hardly wait, however, there are some styles that I personally don’t find appropriate for my three-year old.

When I was a child, there were a lot of restrictions on what my sister and I could wear. My mother was no a religious person, the restrictions she put into place weren’t due to the church, or our chastity. It was merely because we were children, and my mother wanted us to dress as such.

We weren’t allowed to wear shirts with spaghetti straps, we weren’t allowed to wear skirt (although in the 90s, skorts were all the rage), and our shorts were the safari type, not the short kind that tend to be popular today. Our swimsuits were one piece with thick straps, our fingernails were without polish until we reached our teens… you know, we looked and acted like kids.

We got messy, we rolled around in the grass, we lived with a free-ness that came with not worrying about our hair or clothes.

If I have a daughter, I feel like I will raise her similarly to how my mother raised us.

Lately, I have seen such unbelievable fashion trends for toddlers. Crop tops, ripped jeans, even wedges. Every day I see something that has me stopping and rolling my eyes in disbelief.

In all seems to be pretty one-sided. Fashion for little boys, although limited seems to almost always be appropriate. I guess it is hard to dress them in styles that are for an older age group, without dressing them like little men which… come on, it’s cute! I guess the most I have seen is over the top hairstyles for boys, too much product, that kind of thing, which again, can be reigned in a bit.

Maybe what bothers me most about little girl’s fashion is when it is over sexualized. There is no reason for me to see your child’s belly and for her bottom to be hanging out of the bottom of her shorts. On top of that, in the summer, that is so much of their sensitive skin to be exposed.

Even just today at the park there were little girls in spandex shorts that barely covered their underwear, spaghetti strap tank tops, and they had rolled their tank tops up so they looked like little sports bras. Did I mention these kids were five?

It irked me. Maybe this is just personal opinion and other people out there see nothing wrong with it, but there is just something about seeing a five year old dressed up as though they are in their late teens, early twenties that makes me shudder.

Don’t worry, I am not approaching parents and kicking up a stink. Mostly, I pretend I don’t notice, that I don’t think it’s inappropriate and that I am not judging them.

Back to pretending, as usual.