Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I'm not the kind of mom I thought I'd be

From my very limited pregnant understanding, there are different parenting categories, like attachment parenting, babywise parenting, more that I don't know, that you can decide to identify with once the baby pops out. I don't actually know anyone who has done this. Every parent of an infant (including me) that I know goes with one type of parenting. It doesn't have a fancy name, but in a nutshell, it's do the best you can to get through the day with a healthy child, question every decision you make - "is this going to ruin my child?" (spoiler alert, the answer is always yes), and for the love of god, try your best for everyone to get some f#$%ing sleep. So far, that parenting style has got us through nearly 8 months with no disasters, knock on wood.

I tried to keep my expectations of how I would handle motherhood low, since who really knows what life is like with an infant? But even so, I've strayed pretty far from the mom I thought I would be. Particularly in the following ways.

1. Sleep

We want this.
They want that. "Can't stop won't stop"
I love sleep. I figured I'd suffer through the first few months, then as soon as the experts said it was allowed, sleep train. I'm a teacher, so my job is literally to make kids cry (KIDDING). Obviously I could handle a few tears in the name of 8 glorious uninterrupted hours. Our pediatrician is all for sleep training right away, and pregnant me thought this was something we agreed on. Then I heard my own child cry and it all went out the window.

Here we are 8 months later, rocking to sleep, cuddling up, nursing to sleep (although lately that's not effective) and not minding the occasional co-sleeping.

Lazy Saturday morning.
I'm still all for it in theory. And tell myself I'll do it when we really need to. But I can guarantee it wouldn't work right now. If there's one thing all the baby sleep websites agree on, it's consistency. I know I would crack. So I regularly panic that he'll never get a good night of sleep in his life unless we move in with him as an adult and co-sleep, all because I was too weak when he was a baby.

Thursday I read some blog and it actually said, all in caps, that if you don't put your baby in the crib awake YOU WILL NEVER SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT. I'm not even joking, it said NEVER just like that. So naturally I panicked, because at that very moment Eric was snuggling Dalton to sleep, because he just loves sleeping on his daddy.

Then I realized - I'm a blogger too. Bloggers don't actually know anything. Some of us openly admit that, and some of us pretend to be experts for pageviews. Clearly she's in the latter camp, because we all already have slept through the night, on occasion.

2. Baby food

This just in - our kid likes buffalo wings and pizza.
I am definitely as busy as the average person with one child. I feel I could really hold my own in the classic "who's busier?!" pissing contest. I'm two episodes behind in Game of Thrones and that's actually an improvement over last week (but can I still talk about it with someone because I am DYING).

Just chew on this raw asparagus and stop bothering me. Winter is coming.

I got a food processor as a gift in August (from my friend with an awesome blog) and I was like, cool, maybe I'll make some baby food. I didn't plan to go crazy about it, because ain't nobody got time for that. It's actually really easy though, and I love to cook, and it turns out I love to cook for my kid even more. Soon he'll be a toddler and probably only eating chicken nuggets, so I might as well enjoy it while I can and attempt to make all his food and make it delicious.

It's definitely cheaper that way. I bought ingredients (beets, apples, carrots) for about the price of 3 of those teeny single serving jars and made about 15 baby servings the other day. We also do a lot of "here kid, have what we're eating", like penne with shrimp, feta, mint, and spring veggies (one of my favorite recipes make it immediately). I like that he eats all sorts of things that aren't usually considered "baby food", like chicken curry, for example.

I'm not on some sort of crusade against store bought food or anything. I bought puffs and teething wafers. I'm just lazy. It's a lot easier to buy and prepare one meal rather than one adult and a separate kid meal. I'm fine with the jarred stuff if I don't get a chance to make anything. Unlike formula, which I pretend to be fine with and I am in theory but deep in my heart I know I will cry the first time I give it to him, this I'm actually ok with.

2a. Organics

I've been buying all organic produce for Dalton, which I don't really understand because I was definitely under the impression it was a grocery store conspiracy before. BUT WHAT IF?! It actually doesn't make any sense because I don't eat organic, and still supply his actual nutritional needs. We also let him try pizza, buffalo wings, and a bagel with cream cheese this weekend, but I'm sure those organic beets canceled all that out. So far, we have not found even one food he has disliked.

3. Cloth diapers

I love our mother earth. I recycle. I bring actual silver wear to eat lunch at work instead of throwaway stuff. I tried to stop using paper towels except the reusable kind were inferior. But I wasn't about to become some hippie washing poop before heading off to my drum circle just to help limit waste in the landfills.

Then I had a baby and realized that once you are a parent, you are going to be dealing with poop, regardless of your diaper choice. We Facetimed with my BFF Kari and she gave us a tutorial, complete with a nursery tour and even modeled a diaper change. Modern day cloth diapers are pretty much just as easy as disposables, and soooo much cheaper.

Most importantly, they are significantly cuter.

Turtle power.

I mean...zebra butt.

Naturally, it was off the table until we owned our own washer and dryer, and now that we are actually living that dream, we made the switch. We haven't started sending them to daycare yet, but once we run out of size 3 disposables there, we will.

Long story short: I'm pretty different than I expected to be, and I'm still at the super easy stage. The part where I have to figure out how to mold him into a good person and productive member of society - TERRIFYING. Give me poop and 2am wakeups please.

Porch dinner date!

What part of adulting have you handled totally differently than you expected to?


  1. Not a parent, so take my opinion for what it's worth, but it seems to me that people have been raising children for a whole helluva long time before the internet made everyone categorize, identify and compete. People would maybe read a book or two, listen (or not) to advice from parents and inlaws and aunts and uncles and then do their own thing. Are we better or worse off now that we have names for every single thing we do? Ultimately, I'm not just talking about raising children, but it seems like the interwebz really makes us define things that don't need definition. Like you say...do the best you can.

    1. Oh I agree 100%. My mom laments how Internet has ruined parenting constantly and she is completely right. But I can't unknow things!!

  2. Ugh, we are going through sleep trauma right now too. She'll sleep great for a few weeks and then she'll get sick or cut a tooth and go right back to waking up every two hours. And i can't listen to her cry! I CAN'T DO IT. (Even though I did with the first one, weird.) I rely on nursing for naptime and bedtime and nighttime wakeups and I realized THIS is how moms end up breastfeeding until their kids are 11. It's not because they want to, it's because they can't f***ING figure out how to get them to sleep without it.

    Anyway, cute baby though.

    1. It all makes sense now! This will be me. Lysa Arryn style.

  3. I definitely didn't think I'd be cloth diapering either, but here we are.

    I figure if it's done in love, whatever way you are parenting is probAbly ok.

  4. As you know, I almost always put Jude down asleep and he sometimes sleeps through the night. He sometimes wakes up and puts himself back to sleep even! Clearly that opinion is wrong.
    Dalton is so stinkin' cute! I can't wait for another play date. I have a feeling that Dalton will be bigger than Jude by then (if he isn't already)!
    I thought about buying some baby food jars the other day but my husband said, 'why start now?' so I didn't do it. He eats a combination of stuff I puree and stuff we eat. We even grilled him up a tiny burger the other night.

    1. Omg. A tiny burger. This is the cutest image ever. I can't wait to see him again either!

  5. Meh, everyone has different ways now just like I'd imagine they always have. Interestingly enough, we all manage to sleep. The moral of my comment is that the blogger you mentioned is full of shit (and I say that as someone who used a really watered down form of sleep training that did work for us and also as a blogger who is open about not being an expert in anything). He will eventually sleep and in the meantime, I cannot imagine a cuter face to wake up to. At least you're doing what's right for you guys. You're his mom, you know best.

  6. That blogger you mentioned is full of shit (and I say that as someone who used a really watered down form of sleep training that did work for us and also as a blogger who is open about not being an expert in anything). He will eventually sleep and in the meantime, I cannot imagine a cuter face to wake up to. At least you're doing what's right for you guys. You're his mom, you know best.

  7. you are by far my favorite mom blog to read and you can just see how much you love your baby! I love it.
    Can you write a post on the cloth diapers? Which ones did you go with and how do you like them so far? And for daycare, will they just put them in a wetbag for you or how do they manage that?
    I've been much more lax with this pregnancy than I was with my first pregnancy (which ended in MC). I am 16 weeks now, and just started reading baby books last week. I've always been a bit Type A, overplanner, etc, so even my husband has noted how at ease I've been.

    1. Your comment made my day!!! Thank you!! I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Congratulations on your current pregnancy! And about being lax - amazing! I so was not haha. I can definitely do a cloth diaper post. I should pretend to be a super duper expert right?

  8. I've never put my kid down awake and he actually does sleep through the night (unless he has a cold or is teething). We did all the bad stuff like nurse to sleep and co-sleep but it worked for us in that I just need to get through each day and have a healthy, happy baby sense.

    Also, WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR HUSBAND'S SHIRT? It's quite accurate -- those eyes! Why do the baby boys get such long and luscious eyelashes? Sorry for the caps, I'm just excited about finally finding a Father's Day gift and getting it before the actual day

    1. I bought one for my husband too! They have a bunch on etsy.


Thanks for commenting! Comments make me probably more happy than they should.