The Goosecamp Adult Coloring Book for New Parents

Apparently, an “adult coloring book” is a collection of very detailed drawings with mature themes, such as flowers or Christianity.

I made my own adult coloring book, which is for new parents. These drawings are meant to relax you, as you color in teeny tiny dots with a marker the dog just tried to eat and get nauseated by your own smell, which is a combination of baby vomit and old poop.

Enjoy.

Drawing 1: You’re Late And You Finally Got Your Baby in the Car Seat and She Used That Moment to Blow Out Her Diaper

 

BLOWOUT.jpg

 

Drawing 2: Old Lady in the Grocery Store Parking Lot Yells At You Because It’s 60 Degrees And Your Baby Is Not Wearing Socks To Walk The 100 Feet Between The Store Entrance And The Car And Is Therefore Doomed 

LADY YELLING ADVICE

 

Drawing 3: You Turned Around For One Second And Now Your Baby Has Just Eaten Driveway Gravel

GRAVEL EATING

 

Drawing 4: Your Baby Is Allergic To Pants, Particularly In Public, And Everybody Is Judging You Because Please Put Pants On Your Baby

HATES PANTS

Psst! The coloring book is REAL and available HERE: http://glamcamp.co/collections/for-you/products/a-coloring-book-for-parents

Advertisements

The 10th Circle of Hell: Postpartum Yoga

Welcome to class! Find a comfortable position, close your eyes, and relax.

It is so great that you finally got away from the baby, not that you would ever, you know, not want to be near your baby for five minutes. You read that article about attachment parenting, right? So good. I think we can all agree that going to the mailbox without your baby will probably cause severe emotion problems and bipolar disorder. I slept in my mother’s bed until I went off to graduate school at the Institute of Graceful Bending, and now I’m dating Jude Law’s younger brother who has hair.

Relax and remember, you are in a safe place. The great thing about Equinox gyms is that no one really sweats here? Well except you, but maybe that’s because you wore such a large sweatsuit. Is somebody wearing… barbeque sauce? It smells like ribs in here. I hope no one brought food into class, because I’m allergic to dairy, wheat, alcohol, soy, tree nuts, farmed fish, cheap textiles, and scientific literature. I love juicing so much!

Okay. Surya Namaskar, sun salutation time, guys. Stand at the front of your mats, and then hop or pedal your feet back, coming into downward dog.

Very strong pose, Pringle, just tighten up those hamstrings a little. I’d move them for you, but you’re just too tall! You look amazing, by the way. How old is little Taylee now? 4 weeks? Wow! Well of course she’s sleeping through the night already; your breastmilk is powered by flax, chia, and walnut oil. It’s definitely all about the omega-3’s. I can’t believe you’re back to a double zero size already. Thank Buddha you can get your Lululemon’s customized these days.

Focus on the breath, and exhale into Warrior 1. Nice, guys.

It’s okay if you’re the only person in the class who needs to go into child’s pose every 5 minutes. No one here is judging you. We are just all looking at you to make sure you’re okay. Are you still breathing? It’s really hard to tell with that huge sweatsuit and your more elaborate size. By the way, I think you’re so brave for coming here. Namaste. Oh, you have a little something in your hair here. Ohmygod, is that baby feces? I’m going to need you to buy that mat, okay. Wow.

Core work! Did anyone here have a C-section? No, right? I gave birth at home in a tub of organic eucalyptus flowers, which bloomed the moment my son crowned. I was in labor for THREE HOURS, which sounds so long but really was okay because I just meditated and let my inner goddess guide me. I had a huge orgasm when he came out, and then I had the best quinoa salad. He breastfed no problem.

Oh, really? You had a C-section? I believe we are all entitled to let our intuition guide us, so okay, but wow that really sucks for you huh? Did you try to have a real birth first at least? I should send you this article I read in The Homeopathic Guide to What You’re Doing Wrong, though. I have a monthly subscription. It might change your life.

Savasanah, guys. Lie down in corpse pose, and just totally relax. I’m going to come around and rub some essential oil on your temples, because this room is really starting to smell like lasagna. Seriously, does someone have food in their bag? Because I read this study about why carbs are bad and basically, they stop your brain from functioning. It’s like your neurons see a bagel and are just, bye.

Begin to bring awareness back to your body, like, all of it. You guys did so good today. Most of you seem to really love this new motherhood thing, and are really great at it. If it’s still super hard for you, maybe try reading some more articles and getting more exercise. It’s a really bad time to be so lazy.

Ommm.

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 3.17.27 PM

19 Things I Said I’d Never Do Which I Did Within 3 Months of Becoming a Mom

  1. Think that 5 am is a reasonable time of day to get up

  2. Consider a sweatsuit to be a practical, flattering outfit

  3. Own 3 strollers, because they all serve very different purposes, ok?

  4. Have someone else’s poop touch my body and not run screaming into a bathtub full of Lysol

  5. Consider four hours of sleep in a row to be “a real improvement”

  6. Sing Daniel Tiger songs in the shower, and occasionally hum them in public

  7. Have an Instagram feed of entirely pictures of a bald wrinkly blob with eyes

  8. Let a human being drag their hands around on the floor gathering dog hair tumbleweeds and then stick them in my mouth

  9. Memorize a mental checklist of 47 things I need every single time I leave the house

  10. Bite a black bean in half and feed it to someone

  11. Have porn star boobs

  12. Join a bunch of Facebook groups and participate in thoughtful discussions about what kind of rash that is

  13. Get peed on

  14. Post photos to the internet of someone covered in disgusting foods and sauces

  15. Eat dinner in restaurants at 4:30pm

  16. Invent a song about a washcloth

  17. Go to Starbucks with barf in my hair

  18. Tweet a cute garbage can company

  19. Think that one hour alone with a book and a breadbasket is afterlife-level paradise

IMG_5184

Ugh, Feelings

I’ve always loved that scene in Good Will Hunting where Matt Damon walks into a therapy session with Robin Williams, claps his hands, and sarcastically exclaims, “Let the healing begin!”

That cinematic moment exemplifies my ongoing approach to therapy in general, except that I say it with sincerity. I always start going again for a reason (I can’t count how many times I’ve started and stopped therapy). Maybe I was lost in a haze of raging insomnia, focusing my anxiety on a tender, stinging molar, or haunted by the mental imagery of prior trauma. I always want to start fresh, because therapy never worked for me before. This time will be different; I can be perfect from now on.

Somewhere, outside of myself, there is an easy solution. There is someone out there waiting with the answers, ready and willing to save me.

The solution isn’t gin, or the army of tipsy, swoopy-haired men I counted on to be transformative. It’s not my husband, or daughter. Changing boroughs didn’t work, nor counties. I’m still looking for it: the 1-800 number on a late night informercial that offers salvation for 4 easy payments of $39.99 plus shipping, no CODs. I want the easy way out.

The routine I’ve repeated with more than a dozen therapists is always the same. At first, full tilt fervor. I walk in, say nice to meet you, take a seat on the brown pleather la-z-boy, and summarize my life story in 20 minutes, all gruesome details. I am thoughtful, unfazed. I interchangeably use SAT vocabulary and therapy-speak. I immediately want the therapist to know that I am amazing, and we are done here.

It doesn’t work.

Even if I could convince every therapist in the world to tell me I’m fine, I am not always fine. I can tell my story with vigor, all sweeping narrative and astute observation, but talking at someone who’s being paid by the hour doesn’t kill my ghosts. They’re waiting outside in the car, haunting the Honda, laughing at my refusal to be genuine.

I started therapy again when I was pregnant. My best friend, who’s spent the last decade delivering babies and nurturing new moms, told me it was important. Being pregnant and giving birth can be extra emotionally difficult for survivors of sexual trauma. (Something to do with abdicating control of your own body for a year, handing it over to a midget dictator who is not exactly sensitive to your whims and feelings).

I repeated my usual performance, nudging the therapist to say, “Why are you even here? You sound terrific.”

My next act, if I make it that far with a particular candidate, usually involves them asking me how I “feel” about certain events. This always stops me dead in my tracks. I hate this question.

The real answer is that I try not to, at all costs. What I do is think about my problems, not feel them. Thinking about them hurts less. I want to think my way into an easy solution, think myself into a place where the feelings fade into the atmosphere like hot breath in cold weather. I don’t want to pay someone to let me sit on their shit-colored couch for 45 minutes and then leave the office feeling like a gaping wound for the rest of the day, dysfunctional and dripping with blood.

That’s around the time I stop calling and booking appointments.

I stopped seeing the therapist I saw during my pregnancy because she, like all the others, didn’t understand me. Never mind that she didn’t understand me because I didn’t let her, a minor detail.

I’m seeing another new one now. A severe postpartum depression set me straight; I will take any measure possible to ensure that I am healthy enough to care for Lu. No amount of dignity is more important to me than being able to care for my daughter.

I’m trying to take it seriously, to let the healing begin, if you will. I want to learn how to feel stuff and not immediately try to arrest it, push it away, think over and through it.

Yesterday, while sitting on her brown couch (because what other color could it be), Lucy crawling around on the floor banging blocks together to make sound, I read her the narrative I wrote recently about my sexual assault (A+ student!). This is ripe stuff, the work of someone who is clearly dedicated to her emotional and spiritual journey, perhaps even someone who is really almost just fine. The paragraph that follows the description of events begins, “Being assaulted was not my fault.”

She looked at me for a minute. Finally, she said, “Ok, but that’s not really how you feel about it, is it?”

Shattered. That knocked the wind right out of me. She didn’t buy my textbook summary, my saying of the thing you’re supposed to say about this kind of thing.

She’s right. I don’t think it’s my fault, I feel it’s my fault. And thinking about it doesn’t change how it feels. It feels like shit. I spent the rest of the day mostly lying on Lucy’s floor, exhausted from feeling stuff, while my daughter amused herself with toys.

I made another appointment for next week, a scheduled sacrifice, 12:15pm Thursday my still-pumping ventricles will be ripped from my ribs and held up to the light.

What’s different this time? I’m more willing to do the work because there’s a new emotional frontier that I don’t want to be shielded from: the one that’s two feet tall and has the world’s most squeezable cheeks.

FullSizeRender-19

I want to go all in. I want to be the best possible version of myself, emotionally whole, so that there’s more of me to experience her. I don’t want to run away. I want to finally learn how to coexist with the messy stuff I’ve spent decades trying to outsmart and outrun.

Maybe she’s saving me after all.