Sunday, July 20, 2014

Letting Go of the Mom Guilt (Or Trying To)

I've always heard of mom guilt... in jokes, serious conversation, and passing stories. I never knew how real mom guilt was until I became a mom! And we're talking 4 very short months here, so I can only imagine how much mom guilt more experienced parents have dealt with. There is guilt about almost every. little. thing. you do. I've quickly realized that my sanity is more important, and that I will enjoy this parenting adventure a lot more if I can just let go of the guilt. I'm going to call it like I see it. Sometimes, as moms, we do things we aren't super proud of, or we always said we'd never do, and that's just life. I learned that the quickest way for me to do something is to declare, especially publicly, that I'll never do it. Eating your words isn't fun. So now I try to say what I'd like to do or what we'll ideally do, and leave plenty of room for flexibility.

I said my kid would never get formula. Well, that was before chronic low supply, > than 10% weight loss, and tongue and lip tie were thrown at me on day 2. She had formula along with the teeny amount of breast milk I was making until she was 2 weeks old when I was able to source enough donor milk to get her back to being exclusively breast fed. Guess what? She lived! We may have to transition back to some formula depending on how much milk donations we can get, and I know she will be just fine (even if I cry the first bottle lol).

I constantly have guilt over missing pumps (mostly due to my sweet little girl not being able to handle more than 10 minutes without my undivided attention). I still somewhat struggle with this but I look at it this way... is it more important for her to have as much of my milk as possible (yes, important) or the time and comfort she needs from her mommy? To me, the latter is more important so if she's screaming like a banshee, the pump will wait (sadly the plugged ducts won't so I try to keep as much to my pump schedule as possible).

I said my baby wouldn't watch any tv until 2. I would like to stick as closely to this as possible, mainly for the effects it can have on their brain.... not because I want a mom badge. BUT going back to missing pumps, my baby LOVES THE TV. I basically keep it off all the time now because there is no way to have it on for background without her gluing herself to it. BUT if I'm about to miss a 2nd pump in a row and want to avoid aforementioned plugged ducts (and even lower supply than normal), you better believe I have turned the tv on for a few minutes here or there to distract her.

I said I'd wear my baby all the time because it's better for their physical and social development. I do wear her a lot, and I actually really love wearing her.... but... wearing a baby in the summer is HOT. Yes, I have a summer fabric. STILL HOT. Sometimes it is so nice to plop her in the stroller when we go for walks! And sometimes getting the stroller out is no more work than wrangling her into the sling. So hey, if a stroller makes life easier sometimes, then stroller it is.

Basically, I could sit... and have sat!... and stress over all these things, feel guilty, and think I'm not a good enough mom. But I am quickly learning that it is so not worth it. I enjoy my vocation a lot less when I'm sitting here grading myself on my performance. And I enjoy it a lot more when I just snuggle my baby :) .

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Mom and Wife

I've had people ask me why I rarely blog anymore. It's not that I don't have time; it's that I'm not choosing to blog with the time I have. My "me time" comes in small chunks, so it seems like I can barely start a thought and I'm needed elsewhere. Or I just want to veg my brain out more than blogging will allow when I have some quiet time. Or I have piles of laundry, tidying, cleaning, and organizing staring me down. I miss blogging, and I was really looking forward to documenting more of this stage of life to wistfully look back on, but for right now it's sitting on the back burner along with thoroughly cleaning the house :P. When Felicity is a little older, I'm hoping to pick it back up. But instead of writing about all the cute things she's doing, I'm choosing to just absorb it and be present in it right now, for the most part. 

But in case you wondered "What does she do all day?", here's a day in the life for me these days (times are very, very approximate). I keep thinking "boy, I'd love to get a routine down", but when I start thinking about it, I *do* have a routine, just maybe not the one I thought I'd have by now. But I'm enjoying life and the baby is happy, so the rest can wait :).

This blissful crib nap (her 2nd so far) lasted a whole 20 minutes!

8am: wake up; Felicity and I wake up together usually (woot, woot cosleeping). I give her a bottle and then try to get her to be happy on her play mat long enough for me to pump, or sometimes backwards depending on how long she nursed... she likes to nurse from about 6am on. If I wake up first, I rush out to pump before she gets up, then give her a bottle. Then I make and eat breakfast quickly and spend time with her on the mat playing and reading. 

9ish am: put Felicity in the swing for a nap. Try to shower and pump again while she's sleeping. Give her a bottle when she wakes up and, if I wasn't able to pump before that, try at that point. If I'm going walking with the neighbor, I do it around 9 and the nap/shower happens closer to 9:30.

11am: a bottle somewhere between the 10-11 hour, sometimes an activity like story time at the library but more often than not still trying to get my bearings for the morning... finally drying my hair or putting in a load of laundry, and keeping the baby happy. I might put her in the jumper to buy some time to get things done.

12/1: try to pump again, eat lunch, and another bottle for Felicity, and try her for another nap. Both this and the 9ish nap are pretty short- maybe 40 min to an hour. She usually falls asleep in the swing so I just do whatever I can get done quietly.

2ish: pump again, bottle at some point, and try to go somewhere. Either run errands, a fun activity, etc. It's usually this point in the day before I feel put together enough to leave the house! Bottle at some point.

2:30/3/4ish: what I call a 'nursie nap' for Felicity. She nurses to go down for a nap and won't sleep without me there. So I either nap with her, play on my phone while she naps (both of these in bed), or set us up on the couch, her on the nursing pillow, so I can watch a little tv while she naps. This used to annoy me, but now I enjoy the cuddles with her and the forced down time for myself.

4/5: I sometimes watch Ellen, pump/bottle routine, and usually Felicity goes on the mat or in the jumper while I do a couple more chores.

5/6: Steven gets home and takes over with the baby so I can pump and get dinner going or finished. She gets a bottle. If we bathe her (um... every once in a while) we do it then.

7-7:30: I nurse Felicity down to bed. 

8ish: pump, and we both have a bit of down time. 

9: together time! Talk, play games, watch a show, and usually eat ice cream :).

10: last pump of the night (well, until 1am and 4am!) and bed!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Felicity Marian: 4 Months

Weight: We will get a weight on the 27th but I'm thinking Felicity might be close to or at 13 lbs!

Height: I'll have to update this after her appointment.

Medical Issues: I'm thinking she is having some reattachment of her tongue and lip ties because symptoms are coming back :(. Other than that, she is doing wonderfully.

Sleep: Felicity is a fantastic sleeper at night! She goes to sleep around 7:30 or 8, wakes up once for a bottle (and one night slept through!) and then is up for the morning around 7:30-8:30. She does wake around 6 and want to get in bed and nurse, but I don't mind it since it buys me quite a bit more sleep. Plus, I love the morning cuddles. She isn't such a great napper with some naps only 20-40 minutes, and some days without any naps over an hour. If we travel (which we've done twice this month) her naps are even worse. 

Clothes/Diaper Size: She's in size 2 of most brands of diapers! Her thighs are finally chunky enough for cloth!!!! She's in 3 month clothes and 3-6 month sleepers! She is growing soooo fast! I am pretty sure she'll be higher than the 5th percentile at her next appointment. 

Likes: Eating her hands, the 'johnny jumper', the leaf toy from her boppy mat and the 'loopy' infantino toy we got her for her play gym, holding burp cloths, "swimming", having people smile and talk to her

Dislikes: Anyone but mommy trying to put her to sleep, laying down for any reason besides sleep, being hot, more than 3 minutes of tummy time, getting sleepy when she's not at home

Nicknames: Stinkaminka (carried over from last month), Tinka (shortened version), Monkey, Monkey Bear

Milestones: It was a big month! She learned to blow raspberries and suck her thumb. She laughed for the first time and rolled from back to belly! Also, she had her first time at the beach and her first time out of state (visiting my parents) this month.

I don't want to forget this!: Since we were at the beach with family for a week, they got to witness some of her 'firsts' this month. It was so special to share that with them! I also loved Felicity's first time in the baby pool on our trip. She kicked and splashed... I had so much fun watching her explore the water! Felicity's first laugh was one of my favorite 'firsts'. It was for her daddy which I loved because it was so special and rewarding for him. She laughed a few times while he played with her and luckily my mom got it on video because she's only done it once since.