I wrote this when my first daughter was less than a year old (in May 2012), and pretty much all of it holds true for the second one…
Sometimes I feel like every other mom but me has it all together. It seems they have perfect babies who never cry and sleep all the time. What has been my saving grace is my ONE friend who had a baby as difficult as Avery. Hearing her stories make me think that maybe I’m not such a bad parent.
Anyway I thought I would write this post in case there’s any other not-so-perfect moms out there in hopes it might make them feel better. So here goes…
– Avery cries. Not too long ago a friend said to me that she can’t remember the last time her baby cried. Mine cries several times a day. Not for long periods anymore (the first few months it was non stop), but it happens. I don’t think a day has passed since she came home from the hospital that she hasn’t cried.
– For the first 5 months of her life I had to bounce her on an exercise ball until she fell asleep, then put her (swaddled) into her swing which was already turned on full blast. Usually she would wake up and the process would need to be repeated several times. If she didn’t sleep in her swing, she slept next to me. And no, it did not create a bad habit. Now she sleeps unswaddled in her crib every night and for every nap just fine.
– Her naps are usually only 45 minutes. This used to drive me insane. I read every book and Internet article I could get my hands on. I tried everything they suggested. Nothing worked. To go along with that – she is not on a perfect schedule. I tried it. I’m not anti-Babywise, it just didn’t work for us. Avery just does not have the temperament to be on an exact schedule. I started enjoying life a lot more when I stopped obsessing about it.
– I was a hermit until the last few months because she cried at the top of her lungs any time I took her somewhere. I just got the guts to take her to the church nursery last weekend…at 8 months old. People who don’t have difficult babies probably thought I was anal. But I just knew that she would cry and wouldn’t stop until I got her home and put her down to sleep.
– I’m not a health nut. Yes, I try to eat healthy but my diet consists of more than just organic fruits and vegetables. Growing up I remember eating “sugary” cereals like Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Fruit Loops and loving them. We didn’t go out to eat or eat fast food much – my mom mostly cooked- but to this day she still cooks veggies with grease. But neither my brother nor I have been obese or had health problems. I like to eat donuts on Saturday mornings every now and then and nothing tastes better on a hot day than an ice cold Coke. Having Big A has made me want to eat healthier and of course I’m not feeding her McDonald’s or anything, but will she at some point eat a Happy Meal? More than likely. Will we go out occasionally on Saturday mornings for donuts? Absolutely. If God chooses to let me live a long life but I go at 87 instead of 88 because of my meal choices, so be it. Enjoying my food was worth it.
– I feed her formula. I talked in a previous post about why she stopped nursing so I won’t go into it. But I feel like that’s the #1 thing moms judge other moms on.
– I failed at making my own baby food. All my friends talked about how easy it was, but it was stressing me out. Also (this may sound weird if you don’t know me) but I have this disease where my esophagus is really small and I choke easily, and I think Avery has the same disease. I couldn’t get the food pureed enough and she started choking. I also don’t buy the most expensive organic baby food. It’s all Gerber in this house.
– She has a pacifier. She probably will for a while.
– I hold her when she wants to be held. Some of the books say it creates a bad habit. All I know is that there will come a day when she won’t want me to hold her anymore. She’s only little for such a short time. I already miss when she would take naps with me.
– I watch TV. I don’t sit in front of it all day (who has time?) but I have it on while I’m playing with Avery. I guess since we’re home by ourselves, the noise makes me feel connected to the rest of the world. I haven’t let her watch TV – as in shows for her like Baby Einstein. I’m trying not to until 2 years (not sure that will happen) but after that, yes she will watch some TV. When I was little, I had all Disney movies memorized. I don’t have ADD and I know how to interact with others.
– If we’re in a public place and she’s not happy – anything goes. She can chew on whatever I can find in my purse if the toys aren’t fun anymore. I have also been known to feed her tons of puffs. But one serving is like 80 pieces so that’s ok right??
– I am usually wearing no makeup, workout clothes, and hair in a ponytail. I don’t have the energy to get dressed up to just be at home or go to the grocery store. Showers usually happen at the end of the day when she goes to bed.
– I nap when she naps. I know I should be cleaning or doing laundry or some Pinterest project. I don’t. I sleep.
That’s all I can think of for now. I’m not sure there will be other confessions but just in case, I wanted to leave it open. Hopefully this encouraged another “not-so-perfect” mom out there.