Ignoring My Kids

Last week I did something strange.

A friend of mine sent me a text Friday night and asked if I wanted to get together Saturday morning. She said she would even bring me coffee. Ordinarily, free coffee would make me do just about anything, but getting to hang out with my BFF and drink free coffee? Sounded like a slam dunk to me.

I looked at my phone and paused. Something didn’t feel right.

My kids had just returned from two days with my in-laws. They were in bed shortly after they arrived home that day so I hadn’t been given much time to be with them. I missed them.

Rather than text my friend back with an emphatic YES as well as my coffee order, I replied with, “Ya know, this is kind of weird… but we just got Lily and Levi back after two days and I think I really wanna just spend some time with them.”

That’s right, folks. I declined adult interaction and free coffee to hang out with Lily and Levi.

Well that’s weird. Continue reading

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10 Ways to Annoy a New Mom

photo credit: David Locke via photopin cc

photo credit: David Locke

 

1. Call the baby by the wrong name. Guilty. I’ve done it. My mom friend handled it well, but talk about embarrassing.

2. Ask if she can cover up while nursing. Breastfeeding is one of the most patience depleting, emotional wrecking balls New Mom will ever face. If she covers up on her own, more power to her. If she whips her boob out to feed her new baby and you’re uncomfortable, dismiss yourself to the kitchen and start loading the dishwasher.

3. Show up unannounced. Call or text first and ask. Aside from being sleep-deprived, exhausted, and sore, there’s a good chance New Mom is also half naked because why put the boobs away if baby is just going to want them again in five minutes?

4. Tell her to sleep when the baby sleeps. Maybe it’s just me, but I hated this piece of advice. Sure, I’ll sleep once all 84 burp rags are washed and put away, my kitchen doesn’t look like a FEMA zone, and my legs don’t bare a not so vague resemblance to Bigfoot.

5. Offer to hold the baby so New Mom can clean her house or shower. You have it backwards. You should offer to do the dishes or make dinner or fold laundry while New Mom enjoys precious moments with her new bundle of joy. Continue reading

Mommy Guilt

The whole premise of this blog and my future book (assuming a publisher buys it) is the idea that I was completely unprepared for having kids. One of the things I had never thought about was “mommy guilt.”

Mommy guilt is an all consuming force that you can’t shake off or remove from yourself nor can you stuff it down with ice cream or Doritos. Once the baby exits the womb, mommy guilt rears its ugly head and perches upon your shoulder for eternity. My first moment of mommy guilt was when I had to ask Luke to change Lillian’s diaper in the hospital because I was a bit too sore to get out of bed. “I’m her mom. I should be doing this,” I thought as Luke changed her.

And so it begins. Continue reading

Kids Get It Right

photo credit: B.C. Angell via photopin cc

photo credit: B.C. Angell

We can all agree that kids make some poor choices. They eat crayons, consider the bookshelf their personal Everest, and would rather sit in the toy box instead of, you know, play with their toys.

I think there are a number of ways that kids get it right though. Here’s just a few.

All they want to eat is junk food. Well duh! Who doesn’t want a diet comprised solely of goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, cookies, and juice all day, every day? Screw broccoli; bring on the bacon cheeseburgers!

They don’t want to wear pants. Or any clothes for that matter. One thing I can count on happening every day is my kids whining and moaning when I insist on getting them dressed. They fight. They squirm. Their limbs turn to jello. It’s just a shirt, guys! It’s not the apocalypse. But on those hot days (okay, 80 degrees) when they can run around in just a diaper, I can’t say I’m not a little envious. Continue reading

The Downside of Sleep Training

Baby Clipart

I think the topic of babies and sleeping has always been, and will always be, one of the most talked about subjects in parenting. You know why? Because there’s no one way to get kids to sleep. That’s why there are eleven million books on the subject. No one knows what works. No one.

We did the cry it out method with both of our children. Well, I tried to do it with Lillian. When we were going through this with her, we lived in a one-bedroom so most of the time she’d either wind up in bed with us or I’d wind up on the couch. I was pregnant with Levi and had to be awake for work at 4 a.m. and I was sleeping on the couch. Does it make sense why this didn’t really work for us?

Now Levi… Levi kind of got hosed. Being the second child, I wasn’t nearly as sympathetic to him and his cries. If I knew for a fact he was clean, warm, topped off, and tired, I would lay him in his bed and let him cry all he wanted. Luckily for both of us, he caught on pretty quick and falls asleep on his own pretty well. Up until a couple weeks ago he was still waking up to nurse at night which I could deal with. I just needed him to be able to put himself to sleep. A 3am feeding is totally okay if it means I’m not sleeping on the couch while 112 weeks pregnant.

For us, sleep training worked. It helped teach Levi to fall asleep on his own. It taught him to self-soothe. I also think it helped him sleep longer stretches at night. It was great.

But here’s what no one told me. Continue reading