Thursday, February 5, 2015

the kind of mom i thought i would be

Reading the lives of so many moms on the internet with their aspirational lives and perfectly dressed children had me making up mental mom rules of the kind of mom I was going to be. Then reality happened. I mean after you labor naturally for 30 hours and end up gutted like a tauntaun anyway, your high and mighty ideals kinda go out the window. Also: babies do what they want so deal with it.

Alice is dressed about 90% of the time in adorable one of a kind clothing from: ANYTHING THAT’S FREE. No, not unique and special clothing from companies that only me and a select amount of moms who read trendy mom blogs know about, she is dressed in whatever you can buy at any retail store. Sure, she has a few unique items I ordered from the internets but mostly she wears what grandma gives her or what I find on super sale because I don’t know if you know this but babies outgrow their clothing fast and you have to keep buying things at regular intervals so it gets expensive.

That’s the part of the mom I thought I’d be that I wasn’t prepared would affect me. MONEY. Right now we’re a mostly income family and thank God we can do that and have Matt watch Alice instead of hiring outside help or putting her in daycare. But that means that I am counting my pennies around here and ain’t nobody gonna be buying some $30 fancy leggings for a baby that’s gonna grown out of them in three months. I guess I could DIY clothes for her. But yeah right, when would I do that? From 7pm-7am when I could be showering/eating/watching tv/blogging/reading? And definitely not during the day when she’s awake, I’d rather hang with her. And so her clothing is stuff that was free or very cheap. I do have the occasional moment when she’s gotta have something like gold mocassins and a neon pink sweater vest outfit but those are rarely over $20. I am particular about the clothes I do buy and luckily my mother in law has my taste down so Alice never gets items like “Mommy’s Little Princess” with pictures of Hello Kitty on them or any baloney like that. I do have some mental rules when it comes to her clothing and people are pretty good at knowing that.

I was gonna be Mrs. Cloth Diaper. On top of all the laundry we have to contend with I was really not into the idea of doing yet MORE laundry in a DROUGHT no less. So we’re using Honest company disposable diapers. I do kinda wish we would get her into the cloth ones as she gets older because dang this is gonna go on for years and again: MONEY but the ease of disposable, forget it. We got enough to deal with.

I wanted to be 100% breastmilk and we are about 97% breastmilk. I bought formula now for the times when she’s extra hungry and I’m tapped out. And do I feel bad about it? HELLS NO. I actually really like holding her close and feeding her with a bottle and know for certain how much food she’s actually getting and not having to sit there forever while she nurses and nurses. It’s refreshing actually. Plus if she decides to take her two tiny teeth out for a drive, I don’t get bit. So win.

I was going to have beautiful wooden toys and nothing that is tacky and makes noises. That was never a real rule, I was just hoping for it. But she did get a few makes noises presents and she enjoys them so whatever, they stay. I have some control over the toys we buy for her so I’ve been able to keep it semi decent with design and aesthetic and we have good toy storage methods which I think is key: cute storage helps hide ugly things. I would never call her toys ugly though. My baby loves them and they make her happy so they are the most beautiful things in the world. 

My baby would not have a pacifier. We gave into that around oh, 3 weeks? It helps her sleep. She loses it and then puts it back in her mouth on her own now and that keeps her quiet and helps her sleep so yay pacifiers. We are trying to phase them out because I don’t want them to mess up her teeth and I know that happens so we only use them for nap time and bedtime though now that she can put them in her own mouth if it’s sitting near her and she sees it, she’ll grab it and put it in her mouth while she’s playing which I think is so cute but don’t want to make it a habit. It’ll be a slow weaning process in a few weeks so wish us luck.

There’s some things I’m pretty proud of that we’ve accomplished like how she sleeps in her own room at night most of the night. She has a fairly simple bedtime routine and goes to bed fairly early which is nice so I’m glad I was able to have that sort of discipline set up in our home.

I was going to make my own organic baby food and I have! And now we’re doing baby-led weaning where you let them eat real food without doing purees. It’s really fun watching her gum some real food and practice chewing and it’s really fun watching her stick her face out and open her mouth wide for pureed carrots on a baby spoon. Also, luckily the grocery store nearby only has good organic baby food which we keep a small stash of in case I forget to make some so that makes it easy on me but thankfully she’s eating the purees I make with the baby food maker we got as a present (that is so rad I love it!) I did not know that watching my child eat would be so great.

I was going to do a lot of baby carrier-ing. Which I only use on occasion and I do enjoy for the ease of transport and such. It keeps her quiet during church and is helpful for grocery store runs. It hasn’t become this big bonding hippie thing for me though, it’s definitely about convenience.

I’m also proud of her nursery. I really like it as both room for a baby and room for mommy to hang in that I don’t hate. It’s got toys in it and colorful elements but it doesn’t have cheesy baby crap or inspirational quotes or murals or that business because that ain’t me jack. And it’s practical. SO SO practical.

Overall though as far as level-headedness I worry about one thing in regards to Alice and one thing above all others: food. Is she eating enough? Is she growing enough? Is she too small? I worry about it every single day. But other than that I think I'm a pretty level headed person and a pretty chill mother. We'll reassess this in a few months when she starts her mobility phase but so far... pretty good. 

So don't beat yourself up about anything you said you'd do or not do in regards to your baby rearing. Throw all those expectations and crap out the window. If there's something you really want to do then read up on it and prepare yourself for it as best you can but don't hate yourself if you didn't do it or had to bottle feed or fed her gerber instead of organic whatnot. Just keep the baby alive and happy. That's it. That makes you a good mom. And that's the kind of mom to be.

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