We had a great and busy October frolicking through Denver’s prettiest season. And it is all thanks to my babies that I enjoyed fall so much more this year. Life really takes on a different meaning when you live it through children’s eyes.
Babies make everything seem like it’s new and exciting because, well, everything actually is new to them. Who knew the zoo would be so fun just because carved pumpkins lined the pathways? Or that Union Station had the potential to be the perfect dance floor for a spooky, Halloween song?
This was not Rafael’s first fall but it is the first year when he was able to appreciate it. He danced at Cider Days, trick-or-treated at the zoo and Union Station, partied at his aunt’s costume/Halloween bash, and wandered several pumpkin patches in search of the perfect mini gourds. And I was the mama feverishly taking pictures. I needed to because this was the best fall I have ever had on record and it was all thanks to these baby sharks/tiger/skeleton.
Sometimes, eating cookies for lunch… in the ball pit… while naked is OK.
We visited family for lunch yesterday. They ordered pizza, salad, and some cookies for us and my son refused to eat everything but the cookies. Normally, I would stress out at what he is or isn’t eating but this time, I chose to let loose and allowed him to choose for himself. It was liberating. For him and for me!
When we got home, it turned out that I needed to reserve my energy for what was coming… He refused to nap.
I recently read a fellow mom post about trying to put her daughter down for a nap for 1.5 hours… unsuccessfully. I decided that wasn’t going to be me so I brought the kids to the play area and set out to have a wild, tiring afternoon.
There, my son decided to get himself wet by sipping water then letting it drip down his clothes. Annoyed, I took his clothes off and threw them in a pile to wash later (along with the blankets and pillow cases he spit on in the process). Then I remember how well the cookies worked for us earlier—what if I just let him run freely around naked instead of dressing him and stressing over him getting dirty through play?
So there we were… playing in the ball pit for the afternoon… naked. Both happier than we would have been had I forced the healthy meal and ideal clothing on us. And because he was looking a little too skinny without a shirt on, I thought “a few more cookies couldn’t hurt”.
It is 8:30 pm and both of my babies are asleep. This is unheard of in this household so I’m savoring every second… with such stealth in an effort to maintain the peace.
This has been my dream for some time but I guess I’ve been living in denial (and delusion) that, when it comes to our meals, we can still maintain the same childless lifestyle—dinner out any time we please, anywhere we please. After all, how much harder could it be towing a few extra items/humans to a restaurant?
In an ideal situation, it takes a minimum of one hour just to get out the door. This consists of me pumping for 20 minutes, getting the babies dressed, and checking off the list to make sure the diaper bag is stocked of diapers, wipes, burp cloths, extra clothes, and the breastmilk/bottle/ice pack/hot water combo. And of course, this doesn’t include any of the millions of possibilities which occur more often than I’d like (poopy diapers, tantrums, etc).
So when I ponder how much harder it is to eat out now vs then, it turns out the answer is VERY. But the good thing is eating out won’t make or break us. In fact, when I made the conscious decision to surrender to this part of mom life, avoiding restaurants has actually had many pleasant by-products that include $$$ savings, less stress, and, for the first time tonight, an earlier bedtime.
I don’t know who came up with the whole “sleep while the baby sleeps” advice. This is my second newborn and I have yet to master this seemingly simple task.
My first baby always wanted to be held. So he napped on my chest for most of his babyhood while I, being a paranoid new mom, stayed wide awake in fear that I would drop him or smother him if I dozed off.
My new baby doesn’t always want to be held during naps. But she does require continuous tapping on the butt while in her dock-a-tot. If anyone has advice on how to tap baby butt while sleeping, I’m all ears.
I guess my point is this: once a woman has a baby, everyone will throw out advice for everything. But I wish they would realize that, while they mean well, it only puts undue stress on the mama. Every time a nap went by where I didn’t sleep while the baby slept, I felt like a failure. Like I wasn’t able to accomplish a basic, instinctual thing such as napping with my baby. This is supposed to make me a happier mom, dammit! But instead, I’m more tired, more stressed, and more crabby that I’ve yet again failed in delivering a picture perfect nap session.
So… I vow never to give unsolicited advice to new (or current) moms. Instead, I will try to be supportive and encouraging because, in this whirlwind of a ride, we don’t need another reason to think we’re failing at doing anything but our best.
I’m a mama of two and I am one that takes full advantage of the available social media and blogging sites with tips and tricks on how to properly do this mom thing. I follow select pages for parenting tips, meal ideas, fun activities, and even hip outfit suggestions. I don’t know how they ever raised kids without Instagram and Pinterest!
In doing this, however, I’ve become so idealistic to the point that I’ve developed some unrealistic expectations of my babies.
From sleeping patterns to eating habits to potty training… I’ve been inclined to expect picture perfection worthy of a blogger’s IG feed. And this has caused insecurities in my parenting skills. Why isn’t my baby sleeping through the night yet? Why is my toddler still in diapers? Am I bad at this? Maybe I’m breaking them…
I decided to document my musings to help me sort out these thoughts so that, in moments of doubt, I am able to better recognize when it’s real life and when it’s staged for the internet—when I’m being reasonable and when I’m being overly critical of myself as a parent. Hopefully, in doing this, I can sleep a little better at night… you know, all the 2.5 hours of it.