Tag Archives: Parenting

Working Woman

23 May

Since the weeks leading up to Bella’s birth I had been a stay at home Mom. My days were filled with housework, errands, kids and lots of little mindless tasks. It was not easy, but it was perfect. I watched them grow and change, I was here for anything they needed, I loved that time.

It’s gone now. Those breezy days of feeling like I might pull my hair out if I didn’t get to speak to at least one grown up. Keeping strangers on the phone when making appointments or ordering stuff. Those poor people, I’m sure I wasn’t the only Mama who told them EVERYTHING she was thinking about just to keep the adult conversation going.

Clearly I have an assortment of feelings about my time at home. I would never change it, if we ever had more (which we are SO NOT) I would do it again.

Now though, now I am a working woman again.

This new life is crazy busy and the things that slip past my attention are growing in numbers. I dove in head first, no floaties. Every day I get them on the bus and head to work, every day I try to find a free second to orchestrate all the things I used to have all the time in the world to manage, every day I suddenly notice the time and pack up and race off to this appointment, then that store, then to the kids before the after school program ends. I now remember why people get excited for Friday, and the weekend. Why stats and holidays are a big deal. How precious my time with my babies is, so much more now that I see them so much less.

The house is always waiting for my attention, always needing to be tidied, swept, scrubbed. It will keep waiting. The time I have at home now is for my kids, my husband, and for me. The dishes really can wait, the laundry is not going anywhere.

The other day Logan asked Scott when he would be able to see him more. His Dad explained to him that the reason we can have our home, stuff, food, activities and everything else is that Daddy works. Logan wondered when we would have enough money that he would get to see his Dad more. This breaks my heart, my boy is missing his Dad, and his Dad misses him, infinitely.  I would love to be able to offer him a date, a time, some idea of when we will all be able to spend more time together. I wish I could, but I can’t. What I can make sure he has is all of the attention I can give him when we are together. What we can offer is fun, laughter, cuddles, LOVE every moment we’re not apart.

I’m working, Scott is working. Our babies are in school. Our lives are busy.

The dishes will wait. We love our wrinkled t-shirts.

We will play and read. Sing and dance. We will love every moment. This woman will work for that.

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Twenty Four Months

30 May

They say time flies when you’re having fun. I say time soars when your life is full of love. These past twenty four months have gone past so quickly it feels like a blur. This is a very quick recap, in pictures, of the girl who made these months so magical.

May 25th 2010 – My heart broke, melted and exploded all at once, so full of love for this new being in my life.

The months that followed…

A very proud big brother

Daddy’s girl

Happy Halloween my little honey bee of love!

Full of smiles

Big beautiful eyes

Yum!

Fun in the tub

I don’t think I like what Daddy has done to me

Sleeping angel

And then, before I knew it, she was one. It had been a full year since my little love bug had come into the world. She was walking and laughing, asserting herself and full of hugs.

Happy Birthday Momma!

The squishy “cheese” face

Daddy’s Princess

Hey Mom, what are you doing on the floor?

Happy Halloween 2011!

Giggles

Look what Santa brought!

The merbaby

Wild and crazy hair, always in her face.

Super cool baby

I’m ready for Spring!

Twenty four months before this last picture was taken I spent the night pacing and crying. Terrified of the unknown, what would a new baby mean to my little family of three?

And now after two years of love and joy I know that my life, and my family, were not yet complete. We needed this girl to make us who we are today and to grace each of the days to come with her big heart and adventurous spirit.

I love you Bella.

Chit Chat

10 Dec

On the days when I need to make some calls, once I have gotten the kids fed and dressed and off playing somewhere I like to sit down and get my calls done.
My children have an extra sensory perception which allows them to instantaneously detect when my attention is needed elsewhere, even if it wasn’t focused on them to begin with.
I begin dialing and Logan’s radar starts beeping. He is immediately before me, “Mom? Mom? Mommy? MOM!?” I like to respond to this approach with maturity and a real mothers touch so I reply, “Logan? Logan? Logan? Logan?” He squints and rubs his eyes, a move he makes when he is embarrassed or trying to hold back a smile, the smile breaks through. He recognizes that I am mimicking him, he thinks it’s funny and sees why I am doing it. He thinks for a moment and then says… “Mom?”
Bella, never one to be left out, has been climbing onto my lap while the momming has been taking place. She perches on my stomach. Sticks her finger in my mouth while I try to talk to whomever it is on the phone, then jabs a finger in my eye. She then gets really close to my face, looks me right in the eye, smiles her biggest eight-toothiest smile, and in her sweetest, softest little girl voice says, “Hiiiii”
*sigh* How can I really be mad at any of this? They are too sweet, I just shouldn’t be trying to communicate with the outside world…obviously.
If you are ever interested in witnessing this phenomenon you should try Skyping us, they go bananas when they can see the person I am talking to, and more importantly when they realize that the person can see them.

20111210-085703.jpg

Yes I know I can’t draw.

The Family We Get

9 Dec

All this planning to get together with family members, thinking about them, trying to decide on just the right gift, got me thinking. About family, about the clan we are born into and the expectations and rules that come with that.
There are a lot of assumptions built into family structures. For some reason somebody somewhere made some rules and most of us just follow them, unquestioning, because “it’s family”. I considered going on a rant here about all the stupid things I was and sometimes still am just expected to do in the name of family but I decided against this because my goal here is a touch more specific.
Right at this moment I want to talk about attachment. Something I feel I understand very clearly in one direction because of how much I love my kids. How I would go to the ends of the earth for them and never ever give them up for any reason. I don’t do it on purpose, I don’t feel this way because a parent is supposed to. These feelings came on their own. Bam! I had babies and my heart grew and emotions went into overdrive.
All these feelings of love and connection I have for them really makes me wonder. Is it different for other people? Obviously. Is it even more different for men. I think so. If you don’t know the child for as long, or don’t carry them within you is it easier to walk away? I expect so. If someone else you love and yearn to stay close too proposes that you can only be with them if you abandon your child, does that make it a decision you don’t even need to consider? Maybe. I suppose it depends on a whole host of factors.
These are some of the things that run through my mind when I go to the place in my mind that wonders about my dad.
I don’t think about it, or him, very much. I wasn’t that young girl pining for the father that was never there. I didn’t look at other girls with their fathers, the princess, daddy’s little girl, and envy them. If he had have been around for long enough for me to know him and then was gone I imagine I would have a harder time with it, but the reality is I just don’t know any different. I’ve never experienced that relationship so I simply don’t know what I’m missing, if anything.
When I see Scott with the babies. When I see him light up at the end of the day when they run squealing to him as he walks in the door. When I miss them while I’m getting groceries. When they get to a new milestone, or show little kid kindness, which is extra sweet. When I look back at how much they have changed in just a few short years. When I see how much being their father has changed Scott for the better. In observance of all of this I really struggle to comprehend how a father can know that his daughter is out there, growing and changing, and do nothing. Not call or visit. Does he wonder? That was a question I asked myself a lot. Does he even think about the one he left behind? How could he not? How do you have a child, meet them, know them for something like two years then vanish?
The conclusion I usually come to is that he is clearly not someone worth knowing anyway. If he can be so inconsiderate and detached why would I even bother caring? He chose not to know me, he didn’t give me a chance. What reason do I have to give him even a second thought? Dammit! Because now I have kids, and I love them and I cannot wrap my head around life without them.
This is where I go through that pro and con list in my head and try to weigh out how I should feel and perhaps even what I should do. On one hand he has never been a part of my life and going on with my life without any trace of him would really be no different. And what if I do reach out, put myself out there, maybe even meet him. What if he is wildly disappointing? What if meeting him is worse than the not knowing? What if he’s mean, what if he tells me he never wanted anything to do with me and is annoyed with me for wasting his time? Sounds pretty evil, but he’s kinda been doing just that for the past twenty some years. But wait! What if some day when he dies I think oh crap now I’ll never have my chance, more importantly, I never tried to make that chance happen for my kidlets. He is their grandfather, at some point they are going to be like hey daddy has a mommy and a daddy, why does mommy only have a mommy. They are going to ask me about him, and I am ok with being open and honest and explaining that sometimes not all of the character roles in our lives are filled. I want them to have it all though. I say that then I think wtf self?! How is a man who leaves his offspring a part of having it all? He is not. I don’t know how he doesn’t die inside when he realizes what amazing things he is missing out on. My kids are freaking awesome, and he’s not seeing that. The man is a Grandpa and he’s just like whatever. Well at this precise moment in time I say whatever guy who contributed half of my DNA. I would respect you more if all you were was a sperm donor.
I go back and forth on this a lot. I don’t know what will happen or where it will go.
I think when it comes down to it I do want to know him, but the him I want to know might not be the him he is. No matter what I expect to be disappointed to some extent and maybe once I can settle that with myself I will be able to make a choice. A choice that may be futile as all I can do is contact him, whether or not he agrees to talk to or see me is another disappointment trap all in itself.

My Big Plan – Part 2

7 Nov

I want to be more specific on the being a better parent part of my plan.

I believe I have excellent intentions when it comes to being a parent. I believe I have an open mind when it comes to seeking out new and improved ways of being there for my kids. I believe I am accepting of the parenting choices that others make. I know I love my kids in a way I can’t actually put into words.

However all the good intentions and love int the world do not a perfect mother make. I get mad, frustrated, irritated and sad and I can sometimes take it out on my kids. I yell, I shut down and sometimes I even withhold my attention out of spite. Ugh. I’m so disgusted with myself right now.

I have been reading about positive parenting. The idea of using positive reinforcement versus negative consequences has always been a good idea in my head but the truth is I haven’t been putting it to practice all that well. Bad Sarah!

The goal moving forward is to really use this positive thing, like really. Not just think about it, but you know…do it. I read these two posts:

http://www.authenticparenting.info/2011/10/practicing-punishment-free-parenting.html

http://www.authenticparenting.info/2011/10/four-alternatives-to-punishment.html

And realized it is who I feel I am as a Mom and so I need to really work at doing it. For the last week or so when Logan has been upset about something and behaved in a less than desirable fashion I have gotten down to his level and asked him how he was feeling and why he did what he did. He often has an answer for me. We talk about a better way to handle it next time and we hug. After we are both smiling and feeling better. I don’t want to punish them when they do things I don’t want them to. I want them to be able to recognize their emotions and deal with them in a positive way. So my hope is that if each time they get a bad feeling running through them I am there for them they will learn that it is OK to have those feelings and we can learn together the best way to deal with them. They are people. I often find it hard to wrap my head around this thought. I know it’s obvious. but when I really think about all of the emotions and thoughts that are going through them all the time I think WHOA. And then I think as if I expect them to just know how to cope with all of this. Well adjusted adults have a hard time dealing with all of that stuff. At the end of the day I think if I can treat them the way I want to be treated. With love, understanding and support than I think I will be doing a good job.

I am not going to use yelling, threatening, withholding, time outs or removal of privileges. This feels right for me. It’s not easy because I have been doing these things so far but I believe the change will be SO worth it. It’s really not easy because popular beliefs in regards to parenting include these things. It’s hard to be different with an audience who doesn’t see it your way.

When Logan and Bella were babies I knew right away that I wanted to be a parent who followed most of the ideals of attachment parenting. I co-slept(sleep), I nurse, I kept them close, rarely put them down. Let them lead the way when it came to when they ate, slept, learned new skills, moved onto solid foods. I now need to work at doing the toddler and preschooler equivalent. I need to let them lead the way. Follow their cues and be in tune with how they are feeling and what they are needing.

When Logan was new and I was at a doctors appointment feeling overwhelmed and in tears my doctor said, “All he needs is love and those dumb things” (pointing to my boobs) and that helped me to trust in myself to do the right thing. As they grow and change it’s still pretty much the best advice I have heard. All they need is love. What comes from the love I have for them is my drive to do the best for them that I can.

What I Thought I Knew, And Still Don’t Really Know

17 May

The years we spend caring about what others think of us start pretty young right? I think they do. I recall those years. Being worried about how I looked, what I said, how smart I was, or was not. Stressful. Most of those years I spent walking around assuming I was the only one with the thoughts I had. Feeling different and weird, and like I was always being singled out, in a negative way. Self conscious? Um yes. Shy? Also yes. I felt like no one in the world could possibly feel or think the way I did and so no one could understand me. And if they could not understand me they could not care about me, not completely. Pretty sad little thought process but it was there. Looking back now I see I was very self absorbed. I really believed that anyone who looked at me would form some kind of judgement in their mind.

I eventually realized that people weren’t really that concerned about everyone around them. They weren’t walking around looking for people to criticize. I remember very clearly driving down the road, probably with my Mom, and looking out the window. We drove past a house around dinner time and there were lights on inside. I don’t know what was different about that moment but just then it hit me. There was a family (or some people, or one person) in there having dinner and likely conversation about stuff. They had their own lives, their own concerns and I had nothing to do with it. On some level up until that point I had been assuming everyone else on the planet was essentially an extra on the set of my life. There most often to make me feel bad about myself and every now and then to befriend me. I wouldn’t say I consciously felt this way but looking back it sounds about right. I have to give myself some slack here and point out that most tween and teens have this perception of the world, at least I believe they do.

Somewhere in the course of my social development I came to a new conclusion, and started basing my assumptions and interactions on this new thought. That everyone was just like me. That people more or less go through the same thought process that I do and would mostly come to the same conclusions as I did if faced with the same decisions. That there was a logic, a way of seeing things that was universal. This method of understanding the people around me quickly showed it’s flaws, not that I let go of it or anything. When someone expressed an opinion different from my own I was confused. I tried to put their words and actions into my predetermined formula and they didn’t fit. It was frustrating. Why didn’t they have the same thoughts that I did? Aren’t we all governed by the same basic rules of how things work? What is right and wrong, good and bad? I still struggle with this. I”m stubborn and hard headed and when someone disagrees with me and I don’t understand why I get annoyed.

I have this innate need to understand. To get to the bottom of whatever it is I am thinking about or dealing with. To say it irritates the people around me would be an understatement. Scott gets the worst of it, and to him, a man who has truly mastered the art of the one word answer, my repetitious why’s  drive him up the wall.  More recently I have learned that my need to understand may be more of a need to control than to truly comprehend. Using the word understand makes it sound passive and interested. Really though I think my constant question asking is seeking out an answer I can change or manipulate. When things don’t go the way I want or expect them to I search for a way to change them. I have a hard time accepting that I can’t get my way.

Presently I have been able to recognize my selfish and manipulative traits and try to change them. And my most recent conclusion about humanity is that I was wrong. I am not especially different with everyone around me serving as background noise. And I am not just like everyone around me. Everyone is especially different. Not only physically and in opinion, but in thought process and decision making. We all have a different sense of the world and the people in it. I perceive the world in my own unique way, as does everyone else. It sounds obvious I know. Yet somehow I spent the majority of my thinking life believing otherwise. Perhaps it was my youth, naivety or narcissism.  I don’t know. What I know is that my children, like all others, will likely go through similar phases where their perception of their surroundings will not be accurate.  And that will be difficult for me, as their Mother. To try to guide them through their lives in a way that will lead them to a more complete picture of their world. If I just tell them they probably won’t really believe me. But I can’t leave them in the dark either. Breadcrumbs here and there containing what I have learned in my time is likely the best I will be able to do. They won’t hear most of it, I didn’t. What they do hear they may think is foolish coming from someone who could not possibly have ever experienced youth, that’s how I saw grown-ups when I was younger. If I wanted to let myself go there I could get really worked up about how scary what lays before me really is. How many ways I could ruin my kids. Send them down the wrong path or lead with the wrong example. It’s to big to wrap my head around completely I think. I’m not going to try, or even let myself start to panic the way I normally do when I see a situation ahead of me I will not be able to control. I am consciously choosing not to map out every option and detail. To deal with what comes as I see it and use the very best judgement I can at the time. I will make mistakes and sometimes maybe wish I could change things, but I promise to myself that I will always remember that I did the best I could.

That’s what we are all doing isn’t it? The best we can with what we have? I think so. And I think that’s a pretty great way to be. Always try your best. You can never look back with regret if you know you tried your best at every turn.

I Don`t Know What Is

12 May

It is overwhelming and in my opinion a touch unfair how many books, shows, magazines, websites and who knows what else out there telling us how to parent our children. And the people? It seems everyone person I come across can tell me what I am doing wrong. What I am doing right almost never comes up. Granted, some advice is obviously needed. And there has been many occasions where I have gone looking for help on websites, in books and in my monthly subscription to Today`s Parent. When I was feeling uncertain about what to do regarding feeding schedules, when to expect teeth to break through, basically things that are more medical and often related to milestones.

So what is all this `help`accomplishing? Well, in my experience it has thrown so much guilt and shame at me I wanted to curl up in a corner. Parenting is tough, and scary. And the aim of all of the advice is supposed to be to make this a bit easier. But it is simply too much. Have you read Today`s Parent? There are contradicting articles in the same issue. They are displaying different opinions and options but to a parent who is just trying to find the `right`answer it is confusing and frustrating. So here is the big secret that I have learned so far and I want everyone to know and I would love to scream up from some elevated position. You have to do what is best for you and your family! There are a million ways to approach the many situations you will come across in your journey as a parent, people will try to tell you the `right`way. But what it comes down to is what is going to work out best for your family. There have been a few situations so far in my parenting life where I made an against the common thread decision and got a considerable amount of negative feedback from people in my life and read that I was doing the wrong thing in those books and magazines. It still upsets me, and I have spent so much time defending my position that any time these things come up I get my back up and go immediately into defensive and often argumentative mode.

The first came before I even gave birth and my almost due over sized pregnant self was quick to anger and not impressed when no one in my life wanted to agree with me.

The following, and everything I write, is obviously my opinion. And as such is not intended to tell anyone how to do anything. I do not really care and certainly do not judge the choices anyone else makes. What I say is in regards to the choices I have made and nothing more. See above advice if you don`t believe me. You have to do what is best for you and your family!

So, this first situation. It might be slightly awkward to discuss and it doesn`t come up much in mainstream conversation. But that`s silly it`s a real decision that people are faced with. Circumcision. There I said it. In both of my pregnancies to did not choose to discover what the sex of my baby was. I didn`t care. And so the the topic of circumcision was not a decision that was always on my mind. In fact I had not even considered it. It seemed to me that everyone I knew was circumcised and I was under the impression that it is just something you do. A part of having a boy was having that procedure done. So Scott and I have have said to each other yeah if we have a boy we will have it done, and that would have been the extent of the talking on the matter. Until one of my appointments with Dr. Bos. I don’t even know how or why it came up but he asked me, “If you have a boy will you have him circumcised?“ Yeah, with a bit of a shrug, as in isn`t that obvious? was my response. Why? His next question. I suddenly felt stupid because I didn`t have a real answer. Well, doesn`t everyone? I thought it was just something you did. Would you have a girl circumcised? NO! Of course not that`s horrific (my opinion). Then why do it to a boy? Unless I had religious reasons Dr. Bos informed me, there was no medical reason to have the procedure done. He then informed me of the risk, like with any procedure, of infection or error. And did I know that it was a procedure you have to make an appointment for at a later date? They no longer do it while you`re still in the hospital after the baby is born. And you have to pay. A few hundred dollars is what I have heard. The information I have gathered is that there is only one doctor locally who will perform this procedure and I have yet to hear good feedback from parents who have taken their boys to him. So now I had new information and I felt silly for making the assumption that I would just do that to my little boy. If as a grown man he really hated his foreskin he could opt to go through the (yes I know very painful, but it would be his choice) procedure to have it removed. If however, I had it chopped off for him and later in life he wished I hadn`t he`s S.O.L. I came home so Scott with this new choice, he was not impressed. It came up at family gatherings. Nobody was on my side. Everyone had a horror story of someone who knew someone who didn`t have it done and experienced complications requiring they have it done later on. And oh I did not know how much it would hurt my little boy if he had to have it done when he was older and more aware. HELLO people!!! It hurts when they are babies too. Have you seen those baby shaped molds they strap an infant into in order to perform the circumcision? Jeez. If you haven`t I invite you to find the episode of Penn & Teller`s Bullshit on this topic. When I heard the baby cry on that episode I almost threw up. And it wasn`t even my baby! I don`t know the kid. But I do have babies and the thought of them crying that way was physically painful for me. Despite the fighting and the disagreements we did not have it done. And I often come across someone who has had a bad experience having it done, or read a new article on why you shouldn`t I feel very relieved that I stood my ground and protected my little boy. From something I almost just did because everyone does.

If anyone is offended or put off I am sorry you feel that way. This is a place where I intend to express my thoughts and feelings. They are in no way meant to hurt anyones feelings I am just trying to be honest.

My second parenthood battle was brought up in a small way before Logan was born but was not a full out fight until I held him in my arms. At one of our prenatal classes we were learning about where baby should sleep. You know there is advice out there from every angle. The main opinion though is that baby’s crib should be in Mom and Dads room and baby should sleep there for at least the first six months. If for some reason Mom and Dad do not have a giant bedroom many experts suggest putting a mattress on the floor for Mom or Dad to sleep on in baby’s room so that baby can sleep in their crib but have a parent close at hand. Yes I think this is ridiculous. One mom to be in my class said there was no way she was going to have baby sleep in the same room because every little noise that baby made would keep her up all night, a monitor was all she needed. I was horrified but each to their own. My plan involved one of those side car style bassinets that attach to the parent bed and keep baby at the same level but in their own space, I was afraid of crushing him or her. Logan was born, and on our first night in the hospital he laid beside me on the bed. My fear of squishing my baby in my sleep had disappeared and the thought of him being anywhere other than at my side was not acceptable. By my side is where he stayed. A family bed, co-sleeping, whatever you want o call it Logan slept with us. He nursed until almost 18 months and when he woke in the night all I had to do was make sure there was easy access to boob. And we both barely even woke up. More sleep equals happier Mommy and baby. I heard though, oh boy did I hear it. It`s not normal. He is going to be a big baby. He needs to learn to be independent. He`s going to have to sleep on his own eventually. One little tidbit even implied that inappropriate feelings may occur since Logan and I are the opposite sex. Wow, did people ever hate that I had my baby in my bed with me. And after months of me bearing my teeth every time someone told me it was wrong they started asking, in what they thought was a nonchalant way, if he was still in our bed. I stopped talking about it. I didn`t bring it or anything that could imply that he was in our bed up. I felt ashamed. The way people had been treating me in this choice had caused me to pull back and not even try to deal with it anymore. Logan had croup around 17 months of age and was admitted to the hospital. They were going to put him in a crib so I had to request a full sized bed that I could sleep with him in. The nurse that took of us overnight was young and very sweet. She repeatedly brought me reports of all the other nurses who disapproved of me laying in bed with my son. She said she didn’t care but they were saying it was dangerous. It had been my experience that when he was sick I could respond much quicker if he needed me because I was right there and so especially while he was sick I would stay with him. The nurse came in at one point and said she had done some research and found that co-sleeping was only dangerous under certain circumstances. If the parent was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, especially tired or was a smoker. Some other things as well, but you get the idea. If a parent was going to be less responsive than it wasn’t safe. Obvious right? And yet people, even many nurses hear or read a portion of research which says it may not be safe and jump on anyone who sleeps with their kids without looking at the full picture. During my pregnancy with Bella my emotions intensified and this was when I was able to come to terms with it and be at peace with the choice I had made. All along I knew I was right, doing the right thing for my family and I finally fully felt that way. I had sought out and enjoyed some articles that supported my view. I loved one which talked about people in less developed countries who always had shared beds. It was a normal way of life, and those little boys were hunting wild boar at four years of age. And that article brought me to the conclusion that before we in developed countries were in these multi room houses that we also slept with our kids. It was normal even for us at one point but then it became cool to have several bedrooms in our homes and so we kicked our kids out of our warm beds and left them in the dark of their own. And you know what else I realized? That someday my child was not going to want to snuggle with me. Some day he would be too big and way too cool to lay down beside his Mom and fall asleep. So damn everyone else I was going to enjoy every moment that I could. When Bella was born and we spent our first night in the hospital she snuggled up on me nursing regularly. Around ten o’clock that night or night nurse came in and offered to take her from me. No thank you. “Well I’m not comfortable with you falling asleep while she is on you like that”. I really wanted to throw something at her or at least scream in her face but I had to deal with her ALL night so I smiled and said no I’m good thanks. Every 45 minutes she came back in and offered to take her, and every time I made Bella was at least laying on my boob if not actually nursing so that I could say she was feeding. Did I sleep that night? Hell no! I should have thought, that was the point of me being there, recovering from surgery and rest is a big part of that. Guess who my night nurse was on night two? Yup the same one. She even tried to tell me Bella shouldn’t have been nursing as much as she was. Actually we are supposed to have as much skin to skin contact as possible and she can nurse every second if she wants she is brand new you stupid b*tch. I’m still a touch angry at this woman. We survived, Bella now sleeps every night beside me, stretched out and taking up more bed than her little body should allow. And Logan like his own bed in his room these days. He often wakes around 3 AM (which is new for us, in our bed both kids sleep on average a solid ten hours at least) and Scott goes to see him and ends up spending the rest of the night in Logan’s room. We have found a sleeping arrangement that works well for us and we enjoy it. I hope that everyone is able to find something that works for them and they can stick with it without flack from anyone.

The last point I am going to touch on is not really a fight. Most people would actually agree with me on this one and the medical advice supports me as well. Breastfeeding. Logan did it until he was 18 months and would have longer but my milk dried up because of my pregnancy with Bella. It was tough and he and I cried together at night when he would try and try to nurse and get nothing from me. And now Bella nurses, not as enthusiastically as her brother but a very regular part of her day. I`m not going to go on and on like my other two points. You pretty much know why nursing is important and if you are a parent I am sure you have heard the `breast is best“quote that is thrown in your face constantly. And it`s not easy. I will never say it is. It is a battle full of pain and self doubt. Before I left the hospital I was bleeding, Logan spit up blood once and when I freaked the nurse reassured me that it was my blood coming out of his mouth and there was nothing to worry about, it happens. My irritation on this topic involves lots of nameless people who scowl and glare at me when I nurse my baby in public. Those can`t you go into the bathroom or something comments that send me flying off the handle. No, I cannot go into the bathroom or something, are you going into the bathroom to eat? Not even two months ago we were at the wellness center in the family change room after our weekly swim and Bella was nursing. We were sitting on a bench amongst the lockers and we were both fully clothed. There was barely any boob exposure. A little boy came up and asked me what she was doing. Eating was my answer. What is she eating? A fair question but before I could come up with an answer that might make sense to him his mother grabbed his wrist, glared at me and yanked him away. They need privacy she barked at him. Are you mother effing kidding me? Oh right I forgot nursing my child was basically porn and I was evil for doing it in public. Jeez people. Let`s be serious. Was she not just swimming with him? Did she make him close his eyes while she got changed so he wouldn`t see anything inappropriate? The kid might have been four. Re-freaking-diculous. He saw some side boob, oh my god call a therapist he is damaged for life!

Breathe…I have to remind myself. I get so annoyed sometimes….

So the point of all of this rambling is this. I don’t know what is a … a perfect parent. I don’t know what it is to do everything `right`.

When I became pregnant did I know what I was getting my self into? H-E double hockey stick NO! Did I know I was going to be a part of a two parent team who had to pin a 16 month old down and pry his eye lid open just to squeeze some gunk into it that was going to make it hurt even more than it already did? (damn you pink eye) No! There are some things about this whole having kids thing that SUCK! When I know that I have to put them through something unpleasant that is going to be good for them, and I have to hold them down as they cry it makes me sick to my stomach. But there is so much good stuff it doesn`t even matter. Am I perfect? Heck no! Have I made all the right choices? Not likely. Am I really good at being a parent? I think so. Why? Because I love it, and I love my kids. When Logan was new and I was crying in my doctors office because I was exhausted and overwhelmed he told me, “ All he needs is love and those dumb things (pointing at my boobs)“ and that made me feel better. It gets more complex than that as time goes on and they grow but the basics remain in place. Love your children and let your experience and knowledge of them and what works for your family guide you though all the tough decisions you have to make. You are going to make mistakes. That`s OK. Do what you can to come back from them. The fact that you worry about weather or not you are doing the right thing says to me that you are a good parent. If you are walking around thinking you have all the answers and you are infallible I fear what the future holds for you.

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