The Little Things…Like Feeding Yourself

One pumped bottle, one happy baby

One pumped bottle, one happy baby

While I’m sure there’s nothing extraordinary about my lack of free time as a new mom, it certainly is unfamiliar to me. When I was a student, and when I held a professional job, I always found a way to make my morning coffee and leisurely breakfast into my routine. Now that I have tiny human in my life, it seems like there’s never time for basic things, like breakfast.

In the past 24 hours, I have enjoyed only half a cup of coffee, and I can’t remember the last time I showered (actually, it was Sunday. I think.). Up until this week, I had been relatively good at juggling showers, meals, and down time for myself during Clark’s 3-4 hour naps. But, that all changed when Clark figured out that he, indeed, could interact with the world.

For the first few days, it was really exciting and adorable that Clark would stay awake during the daylight hours. I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time just watching his big, unknown-color eyes inspect our apartment. He looks at everything. Always. Constantly.

It was also particularly satisfying to see him start smiling socially. And, by socially, I mean any time he sees my face, hears my voice, or sees his daddy, Brian. If either of us are around, his little face lights up, and he starts cooing.

He really is adorable. And he’s a great baby. He never cries. So where does all the time go?

Well, the second Clark sits in his swing or lounger, I also sit down. Like the time spent lost in his cherub cheeks, so disappears the hours that could have been spent cleaning, eating, showering or napping. All because I sat down.

Once I sit down, I feel immobilized. Insomniac. Inhuman. Before I know it, a little grunt and the slight twitch of a lip disturb my stare down with the wall (which, for the record, I was totally winning).

And repeat.

I’m constantly exhausted. But it’s worth every aching moment for the little things, like a subtle cuddle or a playful bath. And, while you sit there amazed by the little things, you learn to appreciate the small things – like half a cup of coffee, a four-minute shower, and two bites of a breakfast sandwich.

My happy little boy :)

My happy little boy 🙂

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The Mayo Clinic Said It’s Okay

This morning, Brian (my husband) had to leave early for class. I must admit, I’ve gotten very comfortable with Brian being home 24/7, but the paternity-leave-fantasy-world I’ve been living in has come to an end. Boo.

So, without any pumped milk, in a panic to feed a fussy baby, I grabbed some ready-made formula from the fridge, poured it into a bottle, and fed it to Clark.

Yes, you read that correctly. I fed my baby cold formula. I fed Clark formula. And he made this face:

Mayo Clinic

 

And I freaked out. Was it okay to feed a baby cold formula?

Dr. Google to the rescue. The Mayo Clinic said it’s perfectly fine. Heart attack averted.

It’s funny how being  a parent will make you second guess the smallest things. Like giving a human being milk that isn’t warm.  Because no one ever drinks cold liquid. And babies are not people. Wait, what?

Yes, there are things you can’t feed an infant. But, breast milk and formula are safe. Whether hot or cold. For the most part. As long as you don’t go to a keg-er, then feed your baby. Or leave formula at room temperature for two hours. And I’m pretty sure the list goes on and on.

There’s a reason the paranoid parent stereotype suits the majority of new moms and dads. And, while our intentions are good, being full of anxiety can actually hinder your parenting abilities. If you’re not able to relax and think clearly, you could end up doing crazy things. Or being an insomniac. When it comes to parenting in the 21st century, there’s an app for that. And a baby monitor to soothe your maniac mind.

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Bitch Wars: Mommy Shaming

I’ll admit it: I have a love-hate relationship with the mommy message boards of the world. At times, these boards can be helpful, empowering, and entertaining. But more often, these boards become a slippery slope where the high and mighty gang up against the lowly “bad moms”.

Give me a break.

I would avoid the mommy message boards if real life mommy-shaming did not exist, but it does. Even among your “friends”, you’ll find the self-righteous mom who does everything by the book. The issue is, there are no rules. Yes, size 3 diapers say 16-23 pounds. No, my 5 week old son is not 16 pounds. Yes, the size 3 diapers fit him better than the size 2’s. No, I am not going to force him into smaller diapers because the package says so. I’m going to appropriately diaper my baby to avoid embarrassing, gross diaper blow outs. Calm down, diaper police.

Also, there’s an obsession with percentiles. Clark has gained a pound a week for the past 5 weeks. Normal? No. Healthy? Yes. Percentiles? I don’t give a fuck.

I’m too busy enjoying the time I spend with my baby and my husband to worry about milestones or medical graphs. Clark’s gaining weight. He’s a happy, non-fussy baby. I love him, and my husband, more every day. And I know I’m lucky. I know there are parents who need to worry about the little things to make sure their child is healthy. But that’s not me. That’s not my situation, and I refuse to be shamed into neurotic obsession over the “rules” of parenting.

According to “the rules”, I do everything wrong. I supplement with formula. My son wears newborn onesies with size 3 diapers. And there is zero routine going on in our apartment.

Clark stays up past midnight almost every night. Some days, we sleep until noon.

I’m not worried about a “routine” now, because pre-school is 3-4 years away, and I’m no expert, but I think sleeping and eating are more developmentally advantageous than a rigid schedule of awake time, bath time, sleep time, tummy time, and whatever daily insistence you force on a child.

It’s idiotic to suggest that if I don’t establish a routine with my 5 week old, he’s doomed to be a lazy shit in the future. But that’s what mommy-shamers do. And, really, it’s quite fun to read the hysteria when you have the soundness of mind to recognize the nonsense of it all.

Mommy-shamers prey on weak, well-intentioned women by proudly shouting, “You’re doing it wrong!” at anyone who will listen. Here are a few, paraphrased, examples of mommy-shaming at its finest:

  • You had sex before your 6 week well-visit? You’re going to get a uterine infection. And die.
  • You pumped and dumped? Milk from a drunk mom is better than formula! Formula should be punishable by law. The death penalty, to be exact.
  • Your baby is 4 weeks old and sleeps through the night? He’s ignoring his survival instincts! (I must be the worst mom on earth, because if that’s the case, I hope Clark keeps ignoring his “survival instincts”)
  • You’re going back to work? Daycare is evil. Quit your job, move to a mud hut, and breastfeed your baby and significant other. Breast is best!

I’ll stick with my “slacker” mommy approach. Maybe I’m doing it wrong. But you know what? Everyone is happy. Isn’t that what life and having babies should be all about?

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Nest? I Still Have Nine Days For That.

My due date is July 26th. Today is July 17th. Am I ready to bring a baby home?

laundry

Clearly, the answer is no. Pictured on the right is the bassinet portion of my baby’s pack and play, where he will be sleeping upon his homecoming, appropriately being used as a clothing drawer. You might think, “That’s not so bad, at least you washed the baby’s clothes!” And you would be thinking wrong. Because I didn’t wash my baby’s clothes. My husband did.

Moving on, I must warn you that the photo above is not the worst of what’s to come. Below, you will witness a horror so real and so vile that I will be shunned by the entire mommy blog community. Proceed with caution.

Naked Boppy Pillow

 

Yes. Yes, that is what you’re looking at: a naked boppy pillow, sprawled out and exposed on an undecorated baby mattress that is held by crib rails which are being used as a clothing racks.

But it gets worse. Much worse. That crib is in our bedroom.

Yes, it’s true. My baby does not have his own room. Even if I get everything done, I will never be able to Instagram photos of my son’s nursery (because he doesn’t have one).

And, finally, for the worst parental fail of all, the closet.

Closet

This is a closet shared by my husband, myself, and my baby. It holds my clothes, my husband’s clothes, and no baby clothes (but baby diapers, accessories, monitors, toys, and bath).

HOW WILL WE EVER SURVIVE?

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