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My Favorite Things

  • Naptime
  • Caffeine in various forms
  • Italy
  • The Beach
  • Family camping trips
  • The gym
  • Storytime at the Library
  • Rachael Ray
  • Running

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Opinions are like...well, you know...

I'm not sure why it is, but pregnant women are public property. If I had a nickel for every time someone rubbed my belly, I could buy the Buddha statue that people were mistaking me for. Along with the rubbing comes the incessant questions. Will you be breastfeeding? Will you be having an epidural or going natural? Have you taken childbirth classes? What's your due date? (A personal favorite of mine....because inevitably they say "Oh January 19th! That's my mom/cousin/neighbor/dog's birthday!" As if I am supposed to be super excited that my kid will share a birthday with some random person's relative/neighbor/pet.)

I think the questions in and of themselves would be fine if not for the opinions that came along with them, because with the opinions come the Mommy guilt, which comes before you're even a Mommy.
Random person (hereafter referred to as RP): Oh, you'll be having an epidural? You know that increases your risk for a C-section.
Hugely pregnant me (or HPM): Oh, well I actually wouldn't mind a C-section.
RP: A C-section?! You know you'll never have a flat stomach again (I especially enjoyed this coming from a single, childless person).

Once Captain Destructo was born, the opinions just kept coming, which I actually think was worse because I was so insecure about my parenting abilities. I had huge supply issues with my milk, so much so that we almost had to take Captain to the ER for dehydration when she was a week old. Instead of stopping breastfeeding, we just supplemented with formula, and combo-fed until she was 8 months old. I considered this a huge feat as it was about 7 1/2 months longer than I thought I would last. I was INCREDIBLY insecure about this. I would try to bottle-feed her in secret, especially when she was really young. When she got older, I would make sure people only saw one or the other-the boob or the bottle, so they wouldn't think I was weird. Obviously, this is not a long-term solution, and I was busted at a party when she was about 3 months old. A random friend of a friend approached me and said "Can I ask you something? Are you breastfeeding AND giving her formula?"
I wish I would have said, "No, actually this is whiskey. It helps her sleep. Is that not what you did with your babies?"
But actually I stuttered something about my supply and we left the party early because I was so upset (I'm a little sensitive, OK?)

Fast forward 9 months: my daughter likes to throw food on the floor from her high chair. Obviously this is not acceptable, and it's not like she'll be doing it when she's 13, but she's 1 and I feel like I have to pick my battles so I just ignore her and sweep after every meal. Same goes for restaurants, I always clean up when we're leaving, but if I picked up every bit of food after she ate I'd spend the meal under the table, and I swore I wouldn't do that again (that's a joke. A JOKE!). Last week we were at Macaroni Grill, and a waitress came by (same waitress who had been cooing over Captain Destructo the whole meal), inspected the hot mess that was the floor and said "do you always let her throw food on the floor?"
Cool me would have said what I was thinking, which was, "Well, no, usually I let her play with firecrackers and knives to distract her. You don't have any here do you?" But of course I just looked at her and said "yes, actually" and again we left.

My point in all of this rambling: I don't walk down the street and tell people what I think of their outfits (only in my head). So keep your stupid opinions to yourselves. I'm just going to ignore them anyway.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

One Year Later

It's hard to believe that it's been a year since I became a mommy. I've been a lifeguard, a coach, a teacher, a wife, but mommy has been the most trying, but most rewarding of all my job titles. But enough with the schmaltz, here's a list of what I've learned...and what no one wants to tell you about having a baby.

1. It's best to never utter the phrase "I'll never..." or "my child will never..." while pregnant or not yet a parent. In fact, "I never" is only to be used in a drinking game. For instance, "my child will never watch TV before they're 5" or "my child will never drink formula" were both used, quite regularly, by myself. Looking back now, it's a wonder M's first words weren't "Oprah" or "Enfamil." Additionally, it's best not to look at a screaming child in a grocery story and think of how your child would never do that. God hears you, laughs, and then gives you a child who does the same thing as you desperately search for a pacifier/graham cracker/animal tranquilizer in your diaper bag.

2. While you are pregnant, people tell you many lies, such as "breastfeeding makes you lose the baby weight" and "babies sleep for 20 hours a day." If anyone told you the truth, which is "breastfeeding may burn calories, but since you are still eating like a water buffalo and are too tired to get off the couch it won't matter" and "babies sleep for 10 minute spurts at really inconvenient times, like when you are trying to stuff your painful, engorged boob in their mouth or when you are taking them for professional pictures," you would probably throw your pregnant self off a bridge.

3. Your body changes in unbelievable, unpredictable ways. I had acne and dandruff right after Captain Destructo was born. It was super hot. Also, I was excited about pregnant boobs, but no one told me the flip side-when you stop breastfeeding they look like deflated water balloons.

4. Regular human principles do not apply to babies. Just because you sleep more on nights when you skip a nap or stay up late does not mean they will. In fact, they will sleep less, wake up earlier and be grouchy for the next few days. Also, it is possible for a baby to down a 6 oz bottle (of breastmilk of course, I would never, ever give my baby formula!), throw it up frat-boy style, and be hungry immediately after.

I'm sure I have so much more to learn, but the first year really has been incredible. God has blessed me with a husband who loves and takes great care of me, and a beautiful, healthy daughter, who has a bruise on her forehead, a cut on her lip where she tried to shove a piece of glass in her mouth, and who ate half a crayon in the bathtub. Eat your heart out, June Cleaver.