Thinking of changing the blog title to “Parenting: Whatever the Fuck Works”. The lessons that I am learning as a parent are nothing if not comical. I love the process, and I wish I could slow down time, but I also wish that I could throw 95% of the “how to books” and 100% of the advice from others down the disposal. PC almost bought a onesie that says “My mom doesn’t want your fucking advice”, but feared most people wouldn’t approve of swear words on baby clothes.
I read ALL the scary facts, I struggled through so many sleepless nights to keep PB in the bassinet and then the pack-n-play in our room or his crib. I walked so many endless nights back and forth back and forth until he was past the major risk age for SIDs. When that worry is over, you’re told not to let them sleep in your bed because then you will create bad habits. Well…Survival. That’s all I am saying. I’ve survived being a wife, and a mom, and a full time employee because sometimes I let him sleep in my bed, not for HIS survival, but for mine. I fall asleep as he falls asleep while he’s nursing and bad habit or not, it’s how I am able to get up in the morning.
“Don’t let them see a screen until they’re two.” I was so sure my kid’s retinas were going to be burned if he stole a glance while walking in the mall or at the babysitters. Turns out, there isn’t anything scientific about it actually hurting their eyes according to our pediatrician-more so that it teaches them to only interact in 2D vs. 3D. Ok I get that, and we still don’t plop him in front of the TV as a babysitter, but I no longer panic and shield his eyes like he’s being attacked with lasers. Whew. Good thing he survived that attack of Sesame Street that was on in the background!
“You should stop breastfeeding when…” When you feel like it. That’s the magic answer. Or when your baby is ready. But NOT when another mom tells you it’s no longer needed. Yes, he’s bitten me. Yes, it’s sometimes tiring, and I am sure my co-workers find it inconvenient that I spend 20 minutes every 4 hours tucked away in the back closet. But it’s also a magical little bit of time we get to share and selfishly, I am the one that’s trying to make it to a year. We went through a little nursing strike last month, and I thought I might turn into a mental basket case over it, but turns out we SURVIVED. All of us.
PC and I are still making our own baby food. Not because we “need to” or think we are better than the store bought, but because we got a Ninja Blender for Christmas and we like to justify the purchase among other reasons.
“Better not use a pacifier, it’s bad for their teeth. How about you shut the f**k up.” No really. PB weaned himself off the pacifier months ago, but still, there are times I wish he wanted it. He could chew on it instead of my nipple, and maybe, MAYBE when he has a meltdown in public it might buy me time to get out to the car. Am I an advocate for a kid taking their binky to fifth grade with them? No, that’s probably frowned upon, but let me tell you…if the kid wants to suck on something, next it will be his thumb, and that’s harder in my own view to take away than a pacifier.
Survival. You do what you have to do to get by. I appreciate everyone’s good intentions. Really I do (not).We will make mistakes as parents. I am sure we have already made plenty, but they’re our mistakes to make. Unless someone asks for thoughts or advice, safest bet is just to keep mum.
So here’s my “advice” to you new mom, do what YOU have to do. Do what works for YOUR family.