Keeping My Damn Mouth Shut

In my opinion, part of the reason we have the “Mommy Wars” in the first place is because we’re all so freaking insecure about our parenting choices (the main reason is the patriarchy but I do not have time to delve into the patriarchy, plus it’s Friday and I’m all worn out from wanting to scream and vomit from reading the NotAllMen blah blah BULLSHIT and I’m tired so I’m focusing on this).

They actually are kinda my thing but I’m sparing you today

In the short time that I’ve been a parent, I’ve been offered a ton of advice, most of it astonishingly bad. I’m not trying to say that I’m some paradigm of wisdom or anything but I do my best to stay on top of recent research and pediatrician recommendations, etc. I get that some people had their babies, like, 30 years ago, but still. No I will not be putting my child down with a fuzzy blanket draped over her. No I will not be having her cry it out at one month old. No I will not feed her solids at two months.

Not really though.

I have to bite my tongue a lot, which does NOT come naturally to me. And I shouldn’t misrepresent that I follow all of the guidelines to a T. We probably did cry it out a wee bit early (almost 4 months, rather than 4 months or later). I do (gasp!) use powder on Ellie’s bum when I’m diapering her for the night. I did place her on her stomach, laying on my chest during the first weeks and fell asleep with her there. And I’m comfortable with all of these things, obviously, or I wouldn’t do them. So I try to remember that MY things are going to be different from someone ELSE’S things, and keep my mouth shut accordingly.

However.

There’s a woman who I’m Facebook friends with who had a baby a week after me. I’m not actually friends with her – she’s the wife of a former co-worker of Tammy’s – and I find her insufferable. I posted a few times before we did sleep training, lamenting Ellie’s poor sleep. She commented a few times with things like “you’ll have to have baby [her son’s name] over for a play date so he can teach your daughter how to sleep! LOL!” And she posts status with the hours her child sleeps. “Baby [name] slept 10:30-8:15 last night! Love my little man!” “Baby [name] slept 9:00-4:30 last night! My lil man is such a good sleeper!”

Don't test me.

Yes I will.

So is it wrong that I get a strong superiority complex when I look at her postings on sleep training (that she did when her son was three weeks old) or his first time eating purees (when he was three months old)? And did I mention that this woman is a doctor? No, she’s not a pediatrician (she’s doing her residency in psychiatry), but wouldn’t a doctor listen to the recommendations of other doctors? And don’t they do some kind of rotation or learn some kind of basics of general medicine, which would include pediatrics?

judging you

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Milk Cow and Expectations

2 posts in 2 days! Cha-ching! I’m awesome!!

Mini drama this morning around pumping. I pump at work, and haul my pumping crap back and forth every day. Not that big of a deal, except that it’s heavy and bulky and I walk 15 minutes to the train from our house and 15 minutes to my office once I’m off the train. Ugh it actually is kind of a big annoying deal. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. Mini drama. I went into my office’s “mother’s room” to do my first pump of the day and realized I had forgotten those white membrane things which, naturally, are essential to the pump’s operation.
BP membrane

These things.

In my defense, I packed my bag while my coffee was brewing this morning (therefore before any caffeine hit my bloodstream). Anyway, once I realized, I totally panicked and called Tammy, who remembered that this breastfeeding support group place (offer classes, lactation consultants, etc) has an office a few blocks from my work. I dashed over there, bought the membranes, and made it back to my office in 20 minutes.

*****************

If you are lucky enough to have a kid (or kids) are you the type of parent you thought you would be? I’m obviously very new at this parenting thing, but I’m much more of a softie than I expected. Sleep training just about finished me. I spent the first few nights feeling like I was going to throw up. Listening to her cry is excruciating.

I also thought I’d be much more up to date on when Ellie should be hitting certain milestones (reaching, grabbing, rolling over, etc) but I actually have only a vague idea when she should be doing these things. And I really don’t care. Isn’t that amazing? Uptight, neurotic ol’ me, not lining up 20 pediatric experts to asses where my child’s development falls.

Something else I thought I’d be neurotic about is sterilization of bottles and other things she puts in her mouth. We were SUPER anal about washing and sterilizing all toys/bottles/etc before she was born and now I’m like, eh, running bottles through the dishwasher totally works. It’s hot water, right?

Of course, Ellie has confounded all of my expectations about what having a baby would be like, simply by being who she is: contrary, high maintenance, funny, particular, loving, energetic, and utterly, entirely her own person who has wants and needs separate from my own. (I know. The nerve.)

What about you all? Has anything surprised you about your parenting style?

Hi Ho, Hi Ho…

My maternity leave is over, and I’m back at work. I feel like I have a million things to tell you, but the second I sit down to type up a blog post my mind goes blank and I sit staring at the screen, drool leaking out of my mouth, until it drips down and short circuits the keyboard, effectively ending my wool gathering.

Therefore, I thought I’d at least get a few things down, no matter how disjointed. Maybe it will kick start the blogging habit.

Ellie is…Ellie is fabulous. I miss her, desperately, achingly, while I’m at work, and yet a small part of me enjoys being able to (gasp!) go to the bathroom when I want to. Here’s some Ellie updates in bullet form:

  • We sleep trained her. Ferberized. Cry it out. Committed child abuse. Best thing ever. Around 2 months Ellie was a champion sleeper. Once we figured out swaddling, it was all gravy. I’d nurse her before bed, she’d fall asleep, I’d transfer her to the Rock ‘n’ Play, and she’d sleep for 6-7 hours. Then I’d get up and feed her back to sleep, and we’d both snooze for a few more hours. HOWEVER, around 3 months her sleep started to deteriorate, fast. No longer could I nurse her to sleep. She would fall asleep in our arms (bouncing/rocking/etc) and then wake up pissed off the second you tried to put her down. Within a few weeks we were bouncing her for hours at night, and every night wake up (which also increased in number!) required hours more of bouncing/rocking/shushing/patting/omfg will you go to sleep already. Shades of the first few weeks of her life (*shudder*). So we ripped off that band aid, removed the swaddle, and did progressive waiting. The first night she cried for an hour before falling asleep. There were 5 wakeups that night, but only one required going in and patting. I fed her once (I had decided I would only feed her after 2am, when I thought it was possible she was hungry, rather than wanting to comfort suck) and then we had to do the crying/going in and patting/progressive waiting all over again. The second night she cried for 45 minutes. The third, 20 minutes. The fourth, 2 minutes. Now, almost a week into training, she will grumble/babble to herself for less than five minutes and then go to sleep, waking once to be fed, and then go right back down. THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT, MOTHERFUCKERS. I feel good about it (after the first few days of nausea induced anxiety). I firmly believe sleeping and self soothing are skills that kids need to learn, and just like all skills, some kids need more help than others to learn and perfect them.
  • She’s with a nanny for the first two weeks of me back at work, until her spot in day care opens up. We had been assured her spot would be available when I went back to work (BECAUSE WE SIGNED UP 9 MONTHS BEFORE WE WOULD NEED A SPOT) only to be told in March that whoops! spot not available until maybe  the end of the summer. So we scrambled around and signed up with another family in our neighborhood to do a nanny share. And then – whoops! – the spot opened up June 2nd. So we are only using the nanny for two weeks. I kind of feel like we dicked over the other family but, we told them we were waiting for our daycare spot so, eh.
  • Ellie holds her head up like a champ, and really really  wants to sit up. She actually CAN sit up, but cannot balance and/or sustain sitting up, so we balance her on our laps.
  • She is a smiley, happy baby as long as she has constant stimulation. I hadn’t realized just how high maintenance she really was until I saw the other baby in the nanny share. Hello, mellow. This baby is a week younger than Ellie, but you can just lay her down, put a toy in her lap, and she’ll just…lay there, kind of batting at the toy. Try that with Ellie and wait for the screams of outrage.
  • Naps are still a disaster. Apparently sleep training is harder for naps than for nighttime sleep.

CRAP, I’ve got more but my lunch is over and I have to go pump. Hopefully it will be less than a month before I write again. What’s up with y’all? You miss me? I missed you!