Because I’m Bigger Than You, That’s Why!

image

Discipline is a controversial topic. Like many parenting responsibilities, deciding how to teach a child the difference between acceptable behaviours and wrong doings is often difficult.  However, one thing is certain: any parent trying to teach his or her child will be confronted with advice from well-meaning people, whether he or she solicits it or not.  Parents are then left to choose between spanking or not, time out or in, and mainstream or alternative styles of parenting under the watchful eye of do-good advisors.

The problem with discipline is that no one style will work for all children. The problem with advice is that no one person is meant to instruct all other people in how to “train” their children. The problem with all of that is by the time you are figuring all of this out chances are that you are at the end of your rope with the whole situation, and you still have a kid that needs some sort of guidance.  So what is a parent to do?

First, if you are looking for a blog instructing you to spank your little one then click away now because that is not what you will be getting here. I believe that there is a fine line between a spanking and a beating, and in the middle of a spanking it may be hard to stay on the right side of that line.

I honestly believe that parents need to listen to their instincts. Most people who spank say things like, “I wish I didn’t have to do this,” “I hate hitting him or her I just don’t know a better way,” and “this is harder on me than you.”  Let me assure you that it is not harder on the hitter than the hittee!  There is emotional trauma and physical trauma being perpetrated on a child by the very people that are supposed to protect them. So, while you may not like what you are doing, you are not being damaged by your actions.  The fact that a parent would need to say the above excuses tells me that said parent’s instincts are screaming out against the discipline style.

I am not a spanker. I don’t want to teach my children that the best way to gain compliance is through intimidation and physical harm. I would rather my children act in socially acceptable ways because empathetically they feel that it is the right thing to do. For instance, I don’t want them to share a toy because I threatened to spank them if they didn’t. I want them to share because it feels good to make people smile.

I was spanked. I wasn’t abused, and I can count on one hand how many times my dad took the belt out in the name of training my sisters and myself “up right”.  However, the though of that belt stifled my will as a child. I no longer felt safe to be me. I grew up more withdrawn than my peers, and to this day I find it difficult to maintain friendships.  I associate this difficulty with my inability to trust people, which, in my opinion, stems from the breaking of trust that occurred after my first spanking.

Even if you don’t believe the spankings are doing any lasting harm, you can’t deny the hypocrisy of it all. How can we teach children to be kind while being cruel? To not hit after we strike them. To not yell after we scream in to their tiny ears.  How can we justify these things?

First, people find strength in numbers. Many people describe proper discipline as something which includes physical action. Phrases like, “snatch them up”, “bust their ass”, and ” tan their hide,” are common in my area. Really? That is how you want to treat the tiny being that you carried inside you for 40 weeks? I personally find it hard to purposely, and with out necessity, inflict pain or discomfort in my tiny beings.

I have been confronted with criticism over my lack of spanking.  My own mother has said that I do not fully discipline my children. Yes, she has gone as far as to compare my children with my sisters children and say that mine are unruly.  However, I cannot agree with her judgement of my parenting.  How can you compare a family which consists of five children with one only having two children? Obviously, we are louder because there are more voices. We create confusion, but only because there are so many of us travelling in so many different directions. I just believe that there are too many differences to make an accurate comparison.  Furthermore, spanking does not mean full discipline.  Spanking is a punishment. Discipline teaches a child. Discipline does not have to include punishment.  Therefore, I repeat there is no comparison!

I must admit that I do not know the best way to discipline a child. I believe that discipline should be gentle. I believe that children should be guided to making good choices through love and empathy. However, I don’t know how to do that.  I know that my children are all different. No matter how many times I punish my oldest she does not listen but if I talk to her about a problem she seems to understand and I see change in her behavior.  Also, my fourth child, a headstrong and active the year old, does not respond well to threats. Telling him that he will be sent to his room if he does that again seems to invoke some rebellious spirit in to him. Seriously, his grin widens and he is compelled to repeat the action. He functions much better with diversion techniques.

All of my kids learn differently. I am one parent, but I am learning how to parent five children all differently.  Obviously, I have rules and consequences, but when it comes to getting the rules to be followed I have been learning to adapt my style based on each child’s individual needs.

I will be forever learning as I travel through this journey called parenting. I see that every judgement I made about children and parenting styles before I was a parent was unfair, unjust, and uneducated. Now, I know that I know nothing about parenting. I have to keep learning about my kids and their needs.  However, I know that hitting is not the way to be the parent I want to be.

Advertisements

Vaccines: Thumbs Up or Down?

image

image

I gave birth to my daughter at home.  I made an educated decision to bring her in to this world with out the interventions I would encounter at the hospital. I took the “risk” to have a vaginal birth after a cesarean because I believe that birth is natural, beautiful, and safe. I did this because I believe the benefits of birthing at home out weigh the risks in a normal, healthy pregnancy.

I did a lot of research before I came to the decision to birth at home.  I weighed the pros and cons. The pregnancy felt long, but when the day finally came to bring my baby in to the world I knew I made the right choice.

As I said, I did a lot of research during this pregnancy. I learned more about pregnancy, birth, and parenting than I learned through out my four previous pregnancies. I am amazed at how narrow my focus was before my fifth pregnancy. I never really questioned what the doctors told me. Now, with my new wider view I am seeing clearly. Unfortunately, just because you can see clearly doesn’t mean you understand everything you are looking at.

I never researched vaccines. I knew that the number of people claiming that vaccines had harmed their children was on the rise. I was aware of the vax/antivax debate. But, I was never a part of that. I knew, with out a doubt, that my child was going to receive all of her immunizations. No, I am not “that mom” I am not going to put my child’s life on the line by exposing her to the dangers of measles, mumps, whooping cough, or chicken pox. Okay, I had chicken pox and it wasn’t so bad, but they say it can be deadly. I am not going against they. From what I hear they know what they are talking about. So, off to the doctor we went to get my baby her shots.

I dutifully held my baby down and allow them to jab her with a needle and inject….inject….wait! What the hell are they injecting. My mind began racing as she screamed her little lungs out. When her face turned some alarming shade of red I stroked her hair and reassured her that I would never hurt her, and this was actually being nice to her. I doubt she believed me. However, she won’t remember it and, thanks to those quick jabs she will stay healthy.  So, we left. I still felt like crap. It was awful watching her sleep thinking that at any moment she could succumb to one of the reactions I remember hearing about.

Two months later, it is time for her four month well-baby visit. She was so cute that day. She smiled and cooed for every one in the waiting room. I think her cuteness distracted the other parents from my three year old who was taking full advantage of the fact that the floor was so easy to scoot around on while laying on his stomach.  Maybe not, but she was pretty darn cute. The wait was horribly long that day. As we sat there in the in the office I was having flash backs from the previous appointment. I wanted to run. I imagined myself grabbing my son, and, like lighting, exploding through the exit with a such a flash those other parents would be blinded and confused. More accurately though, my chronic clumsiness would have probably caused me to trip over my boy while nearly dropping my daughter and diaper bag as I tried to escape. So, with fleeing not a viable option I started thinking I would just decline the shots.

HA! That’s what I would do! Just decline. How hard can it be to say no when they put the syringes on the table.

Hard. I ended up allowing them to inject my daughter with vials of unknown ingredients yet again. All of my other children survived, and so would she. Right?

The second we got home I started researching vaccines.  It was exhausting.  I was consumed by the information available on the internet. Then came the time to schedule her six month appointment. Unfortunatly, I was really busy and couldn’t schedule it right away. That is cool though, the delay allowed me to read more about vaccines and really get a handle on my decision.

Weeks passed and I still had not found the time to take her to the doctor. Every time I thought about scheduling it I suddenly became very busy.  My understanding of the great vaccine debate was not getting any clearer. The weeks turned into months, and now my baby is approaching nine months of age, and has not seen the doctor since she was four months old.

I honestly don’t know what to do. I know that her pediatrician is mainstream, and the group does not look at vaccines as a parent’s choice.  They also do not agree with homebirth. I have contracted switching to a new pediatrician, but I don’t know of any offices where I am likely to get anything but the same treatment, so I have simply avoided the whose situation.

Thankfully, my breastfed baby has never had an illness.  I have had no real reason to seek out medical care for my baby. However, I would love to have measurements to tell my family how much she has grown.

So, here is where I am with the vaccine debate.  First, I know that many pharmaceutical companies are motivated by profit; therefore, the health and well-being of my baby does not concern them. Second, I know that many pediatrician are also motivated by profit. So, while they may have concern for my child, they certainly won’t speak out against a product that keeps the patients rolling in every other month for the first year of life.  Third, the only person my child has to protect her is me, and my decision in whether or not to vaccination could have deadly consequences.

Let’s say, for a moment, that I decide against vaccination her any further. Now let’s say an outbreak of some vaccine-preventable illness happens, and while ky fascinated children don’t catch it they bring it home from school. If she caught said disease and died I aid take full responsibility.

On the other hand, let’s say I do vaccination her, and she has some terrible reaction and ends up with seizures, permanent disabilities, or dead! Again, I will take full responsibility for not choosing the correct path.

I have no doubt that vaccines have saved lives.  I have seen pictures of children in iron lungs because of polio. I am aware that the risk of vaccine reaction is said to be low. However, no one can tell me of my child will be part of that small percentage off children that will react negatively.  I gave birth vaginal.after a cesarean based on my knowledge that the risks were small. Yes, only a small percentage of women, will have complications during a vbac. But, I also knew that avoiding the unnecessary interventions made my chances of a healthy birth great! So, why can’t I just accept that the risk is small and get her damn shots?

I was thinking, since breastmilk is designed to protect infants from illness, I would simply delay her vaccines until she weans, and then we would start slowly with single dose vaccines.  I don’t know how practical that is, but I do believe that my milk will keep her well for now, and by delaying her vaccines I can allow her immune system to mature.

I am not looking for a great debate here. I am looking for insight. Why did you choose to vaccination or not? Did you feel an altered or delayed schedule was safer? Why or why not?  Please, keep this civil. I will not allow any posts that I feel are attacking other posters for his or her beliefs on this matter. All parents should have the right to decide what is best for his or her child.

I Am A Mom With Psoriasis

image

I am a mom.  I also have a chronic medical condition.  I have been living with psoriasis for over ten years.  What is psoriasis?  It is thought  to be an autoimmune disorder where your immune system attacks healthy skin and in doing so the skin sheds skin cells much faster than the average person.  Where most people shed their skin every thirty days, I shed mine every three in these areas.  The constant activity does not allow the skin cells to fall off, and causes irritation so I am left with whitish scales over red inflamed skin.  There is no cure, and not all treatments work for all people.  Much about the condition is just not known. 

I remember when I noticed two scaly bumps on my right knee.  I didn’t know what was wrong with me, but I was very embarrassed about the appearance of my new rough skin patches.  In those early days I was obsessed with the aesthetics of my condition.  I remember seeing the dermatologist for the first time, and hearing the news that I would probably have these lesions for the rest of my life.  I was so depressed.  The worst part was that the lesions were growing, and there was no cure.

 

Fast forward ten years and I no longer seek the help of a dermatologist.  I have given up on the creams, body washes, and diets that promise clear skin.  I have watched my lesions grow and shrink.  I have adapted to the unknown associated with my condition.  I am still embarrassed in some situations, however.  I still cover my knees when I go out.  Although, I have psoriasis on my knees, elbows, knuckles, the top of one foot, and small spots scattered throughout my body, it is still my knees that bother me the most.  I am used to the pain of bending down and having my knees crack open and start bleeding.  I have adjusted my schedule to allow for my ritualistic lotion application after my showers.  Tis what I do.

So, I itch, and I scratch.  Sometimes I wake up with bloody sheets because of scratching at my knees in my sleep.  But, over all I have adjusted to my condition. 

My children are used to my skin.  They don’t remember a time when I didn’t have psoriasis.  I do my best to explain this condition to them, and I often explain it to their friends.  I worry about whether or not any of my kids will end up with these scaly patches of skin.  After all, it is known to run in families.  But, I do not want to scare them with the fact that it may be inherited.  I would like to leave them money when I die not chronic conditions.  I do hope that they see these imperfections in their mommy and take that with them through out theirs lives.  I want this to be a lesson to them that judging a person solely on the exterior is easy, but not always the best idea.  It is wise to ask questions about a condition before judging someone.  Many people who see my knuckles assume I have been in a fist fight.  This cracks me up because I am very non-violent, and am usually walking around with my five children.  I am like “no this mommy is not a scrapper!”  We all judge, but at least we can make judgments on facts, not our own assumptions.  Or, that is what I am  teaching my kids. 

I try not to complain about my condition.  I almost feel guilty when I do complain because it could be so much worse.  I have cried for mothers suffering with much worse plights than my own.  Who am I to complain over itchy skin when there are mothers with no legs working so hard to be treated and feel “normal”.

Only now I fear it is getting worse.  While 2% of the population is afflicted with psoriasis, 10% of those people will at some point develop psoriatic arthritis.  Like rheumatoid arthritis this can be a crippling condition which knows no age barriers.  That’s right at 32 I very well may be starting down a path of a much more difficult way of being.  For months, my right foot has caused me a bit of discomfort.  I have tried new shoes, old shoes, no shoes to ease my aching foot.  I honestly did not think it was anything to worry about.  It seemed like a normal pain until I noticed that my fourth toe on that foot has started changing direction.  A funny bend in my toe now catches my eye.  Dr. Google says this could be the start of a hammer toe.  With no health insurance I am limited to the knowledge and fear inspiring diagnosis’s of the internet. 

Okay so my toe is turning it could be worse.  Great now it is getting worse.  The morning time ache in my right foot has turned in to an all day ache with swelling around the joint on my fourth toe.  Which, I was coping with until this morning when I woke up with my left foot hurting and my left pinky finger joint swollen, hot, and painful.  Oh no, is this how it starts?  Does arthritis just pop up in the middle of the night?

I have taken two extra strength ibuprofen which has afforded me slightly more range of motion in my left pinky and the ability to walk with out hobbling.  However, I am still in pain. But, as all mothers know there are no sick days for mommy so I am struggling through the pain and moving on with my day.  I don’t know what the next step is for me.  I don’t know if there are agencies that help people with no insurance receive care for chronic conditions.  I am going to consult Dr. Google on this matter to see if there is a way for me to go to the doctor.

Birthing Decisions and Political Correctness: What Can We Say?

I was involved in a Facebook exchange recently that left me wondering when is it okay to spread the word about a woman’s rights during pregnancy and labor, and when is it best to keep your mouth shut?

First, I will tell you how this exchange went. An acquaintance of mine has been having a difficult pregnancy. She has been filling her Facebook status updates with news about anemia and the transfusions she received for that. I offered advice about supplements and diet changes that brought me back from severe anemia in time to birth safety at home. However, this advice was not well received. I was told, basically, that her doctor knows best and that’s that. So, I left it alone.

More recently, the same woman posted that her baby is “at risk” because of too much amniotic fluid and fluid on the brain. Okay, now that sounds scary! Her update on this had to do with a possible cesarean as a result of the baby’s at risk status. I was delighted when she said later that day that she would not need a cesarean, but biweekly non-stress tests would be required. My exact statement was, “yay, no csection!”

The replies I received to that statement were shocking to me. Some woman I don’t know said, “csections aren’t bad!”

Next, she going to say formula is just as good as breastmilk right?

The other comment I got was from the pregnant woman, and she said, “I was hoping.for a csection.”. To which I replied, “a cesarean should only be performed if the mommy or baby would be endangered should the pregnancy continue, or through a vaginal birth.”. She then replied, “well, my baby is at risk.”

I wanted to say so many things, but the biggest thing that came to mind was that the U.S. does not have such a high cesarean rate because doctors hesitate to cut women open, so if the baby is such a high risk wouldn’t they have gotten him out immediately?

I said nothing. She did not seem to want my advice. She wasn’t asking me what she should do, so I let it be. She has had 36 weeks to educate herself on birth choices, and the risks of unnecessary interventions and she hasn’t so its not my job right? If that’s the case, then why do I feel like I have failed her in some way?

At 38 weeks they decided to induce her labor. She believes it is because her baby is at risk, but I can’t help but wonder if an induction on a woman right before hurricane Irene hit our area is a matter of convenience for the doctor.  They did not schedule a cesarean, so I guess a vaginal birth wasn’t considered dangerous. 

I don’t know how to balance educating a pregnant woman and the risk of scaring her or worse making her mad.   I am not an activist. I am a mess during confrontation. Seriously, I want nothing more than a peaceful existence, but the education I received while under the care of a midwife during my fifth pregnancy was a powerful tool that has helped me to evolve as a mother and a person. I feel like the wool was pulled away from my eyes and finally I can see, with clarity, what is being done to all women not just pregnant women. I want to help educate and strengthen women.

I have not yet seen an update about how the induction went for that woman. I wonder if it ended up in a cesarean. I truly hope all went well for her and her baby.  I wish I had not chickened out of saying more to her.  Where is the line? Maybe someone out there can give me ideas for the next time I end up in a situation with a seriously under educated pregnant woman.

As a Mother of Five You Must Know Everything By Now!

image

When people see me walking with all five of my children I get a lot of looks, comments, and questions.  One of the most frequently asked questions is, “how do you do it?” This question is almost always followed by a statement about how he or she can barely handle his or her one, two, or three children. So, I am writing this to tell the world, or more accurately the one person that follows my blog, that  I don’t know everything about parenting.  But, I would love to share the few things that I have learned as a mother.

First, being a mom is messy! Be it pudding on the wall. Oh please let that be pudding!  Or crayons on the floor there are always messes. A clean house, in my opinion, is one that if you were to pick up all of the toys that cover the floor then it would look reasonably presentable. But, never, and I mean never open a closet door when company is over.

Second, kids always say exactly what you don’t want them to say in front of people. So, if you don’t want your children to comment on Aunt Either’s hairy mole, do NOT say in the car on the way to her house not to mention it! Seriously, chances are good that if you say nothing the kids will get so caught up in their new surroundings that they won’t even notice, but if you talk about it in advance you are guaranteed to have your kids staring directly at that hairy mole snickering and whispering until one of them bursts!

Third, newborn boys always pee when you open their diaper. I mean always. Urine streams are more powerful than you think, too. They can hit the ceiling, but are more likely to get themselves in the eye! Keep a rag handy to throw over his weenis ( yup, that’s what we call the wee penis) in those early weeks!

Fourth, poop stinks but it also shoots. Poop comes out fast and shoots straight. With spot on accuracy, poop will hit you! So stand to the left or right of that baby bum, because you never know when the poop will fly!

Fifth, formula stinks! Yes, formula stinks going in and even worse coming out! Also, formula stains everything it touches, so if you plan to formula feed (I hope you don’t) have stain remover, and be prepared for a lot of stink!

Sixth, kids will spend ten minutes in the bathroom wetting their toothbrush and making a mess, and come out with stinking morning breath swearing they brushed their teeth! If you don’t see them brush assume they didn’t!

Seventh, stress levels, while shopping with kids, rise in direct relation to the number of children present. If you take five kids to the store expect meltdowns. It happens. And the only people judging you are those with out children, so don’t worry because the rest of us are looking at you and empathizing!

Eighth, there is always going to be someone offering you advice whether you want it or not.  It sucks, but yes everyone thinks his or her way of parenting is best! It doesn’t matter if you spank or don’t, formula feed or breast feed, CIO or cosleep there are people that don’t agree with you. Stick to your guns and follow your instincts only you know what is right for you, but make sure you know what you are talking about before you go spouting off at the mouth. Nay sayers love to make you look or sound like an idiot, so don’t give them ammo.

Ninth, kids are always hungry when they are bored, always bored immediately after an activity, and never want to do any of your ideas. To battle this I start the day with a list if chores my kids can do if they get bored. I post the list, and I draw attention to it first thing in the morning. No one complains they are bored when chores are involved!

Tenth, and this is the most important. I have learned so much about parenting over the years, yet I know nothing. Each of my children has the ability to do something that will send me back to the first day I brought my first child home. I stand bewildered wondering how they could send me home with something but not tell me how to raise it! I know that I am learning something everyday, and look at each day with out a trip to the emergency room as a success. I look at the days with a trip to the e.r. as a lesson in love, patience, and wound repair and maybe a different kind of success.

Sleep Little Baby….Oh Wait You Are Three!

image

I adore my Wee Man! He has the biggest personality I have ever witnessed in some one so young. His imagination knows no limits, and his vocabulary is unmatched by most of his peers. I am not bragging about my boy, okay maybe I am a little, but I am stating facts about my fourth child’s amazing abilities.

However, there is a dark side to my sweet boy. When the lights go out at night he is suddenly a ball of energy! We are not talking about a second wind here. No, we are talking full blown hurricane! This boy does not sleep!
Let me give you an example of a typical week in our house. I am giving you a whole weeks because the pattern takes about seven days with him. I am starting with Sunday, but only for convenience the days may not be accurate just the pattern.

Sunday
Wee Man is up when I get up. big Daddy says he was up all night. wee Man is impossible all morning. He is moving at jet pace. Running around the house like a wild man until he sits still.  Usually around nine or ten in the morning he passes out. Wee Man is out until around three in the afternoon.

Monday
Wee Man went to bed around Midnight Sunday night. He got up at some point and came to bed with Big Daddy, Lady Bug, and Me at some point. Thankfully we have a king-sized bed and a side-carred crib!  He wakes up between six or seven in the morning with me.  There is no nap for Wee Man until he crashes right before dinner! Now, he wakes up around eight and is up until 3AM! Big Daddy rests in between starting new movie for Wee Man, and getting him juice.  I sleep with Lady Bug who nurses all night so I am little help.

Tuesday
Wee Man sleeps till 11 AM. He wakes up refreshed and plays happily for most of the day. Bedtime comes around 8PM.  Wee Man is not tired. he comes out every few minutes to play until around midnight. He passes out, but ends up in our bed at some point.

Wednesday
Wee Man is up early again! This time he passes out around 1PM, which seems like.a.decent time, and I plan to wake him up no later than three. Ha ha ha the joke is on me because Wee Man is not easily awakened. If I do manage to get him up he is miserable. I decide to let him sleep.  Wee Man is up until 3 AM!

Thursday
Up at dawn, Wee Man is noticeably tired. The week is catching up with him. He is throwing toys, hitting people, and acting out of character. I wonder how on earth I will make it with this child. I vow to get him to bed on time, but I know even an hour of sleep will keep him up most, if not all, of the night.  I keep him up the whole miserable day, and he goes to sleep at bedtime. Unfortunately, he was so exhausted that he is up two hours later screaming. He wakes up throughout the night.

Friday
Wee Man wakes late. Around 10 Am he wanders out looking tired. Poor thing got a lot of sleep, but it was not quality sleep.  He spends the day tired and once again crashes early. He spends Friday night awake. Wee Man missed dinner, which he does a lot, and only has a grumpy, tired Big Daddy with whom to socialize. 

Saturday
Wee Man is cranky, tired, and stressed.  I know this life is hard on him. I hate what the sleep schedule, or lack thereof, is doing to him. His bubbly personality is able to shine through the.turkey haze of exhaustion. Every one is suffering. Big Daddy is sleep.deprived and cranky, so we are having a cold war. We don’t want to fight in front of the kids so we just don’t speak unless we have to.  Nothing seems good any more.  My mommy guilt is screaming in my war telling me that I am failing terribly. I turn around and great Wee Man passed out! Here we go again!

There you have it. Our typical week. Now, we do a bedtime ritual, when Wee Man is not sleeping before bedtime. We read books, take a bath, and calm down before lying in bed, but there is not a lot of calming my rambunctious three year old.  I honestly believe that many of his behaviour issues would be solved by a predictable sleep schedule.  However, many other like to give us their not so professional advice, which always includes initials like A.D.D. or A.D.H.D. he is three people! He sits still when needed, and I will not label him before he has had a chances to do anything in life. To call him hyper now will only make him thinks he is hyper forever.

I have been looking around on the internet and nearly every site offers the Ferber method as my best bet at training him to sleep. First, who is coming over to hold him down in his bed to let him cry. There is no way my child will just air there and cry. We would have to threaten bodily harm, and even then he probably wouldn’t believe us and stay in bed.  I don’t let him cry.and I don’t hit him. If those are my only options, well then I guess he is not sleeping!

So, any ideas?  Any one out there with a “good sleeper” that can help a momma out?

Getting to Know My Teen One Status Update at a Time.

image

As my daughter approached her thirteenth birthday, I was horrified to learn that I didn’t know her at all. I looked at her and saw the little girl I gave birth to. I think I was lost in the memories of her youth.  My heart broken when she called her friend to share the latest gossip rather than sitting down with me to discuss the day’s events.  I found it increasingly difficult to be a part of her world.

I was spending a lot of time trying to get close to her, and the result was the exact opposite.  I was pushing her away.  The more I asked her about her friends the more she yelled at me.  When I commented on her status updates she called me a stalker. She was resenting me for intruding on her life.

My daughter and I were becoming enemies.  The tighter I held her the harder she struggled. Finally, I gave in and stopped prying.  With out my constant questioning I was getting no information so now she wasn’t mad, but I was completely in the dark about everything. There had to be a middle ground here.

Or maybe not….

I did make a lot of mistakes with this, my first child.
For instance, I bottle fed her. Maybe the lack of antibodies, skin to skin contact, and bonding messed up her delicate brain chemistry.  Or maybe the fact that I tried CIO with her ruined all trust between us, and this monster that stands before me in the shell of my sweet daughter is the end result. Maybe still it was the pesticides in her food. After all, I didn’t know about organic or msg when I first had her. Perhaps, I have failed her and should simply accept the fact that she hates me and I deserve it because I went terribly wrong during her formative years.

No. I refuse to accept that! Sure I made mistakes, but isn’t parenting an evolutionary process? Don’t I get to make a few mistakes and get to learn from them and be an active part in my child’s life? Yes. I think I do.

But how?

Here is what I have come up with. First, approaching her with questions make her feel attacked. Then, like an angry, scared animal in a corner she lashes out with a venomous tongue that stings. Instead, I read her status updates on the internet. But, I don’t reply to them. Nothing is more embarrassing to a teen than his or her mom shooting a “lol” on a status update. So, how do I use the updates to my advantage? Like a stealth ninja, I watch and wait for a time to bring up the info. My daughter has a horse at her dads house. So if I see an update referring to her horse I can ask if she has been riding lately. This is like a golden ticket to a conversation with her.  Almost any information can be turned in to a question that I can use to fish information out of her. 

Also, I let her come to me.  This works very well because she has learned that when she needs me I am there, but other than that I let her be.

Obviously, this only applies to those things that are not important. Things like sex and drugs must be talked about, but she doesn’t look at that as invasive to her personal life so she tends to be fine during those talks.

I hate that I have to have her status updates texted to my phone so that I feel like I know her, but I do feel like I am approaching our delicate communication situation in the best way that I know how.  Anyway, it seems to be working so far. 

Get Off the Phone and Do Your Job!

image

I had a disturbing wake up call the other day when I kept telling my 3 tear old, Wee Man, to
“Hold on one minute,” while I was trying to find a word on an app I like playing.  Finally, after more than a few “one minutes” he grabbed my hand and started pulling me to come with him then he shouted, “do your job!”

It is scary how those words sound coming from someone so small.  I realized, when I was finished being paralyzed by his words, that my job is being with my children.  Being the Robin in my son’s game of Batman or the victim of a paralyzing web in a game of Spider-man is certainly more important than finding out that fugly is not a real word.  But, the most shocking thing that I learned in this exchange was that my time doing other things is being noticed by my children.  I started wondering how many moments I have missed with out realizing it but my children remember.

I decided to ask my kids what they think about the use of distractions around our home.  The results were pretty unanimous.  All of the older kids agree that since mommy got her new phone she is on it more than she used to be, but its not too much.  They also think I should let them play with it more, because it is really cool. 

So, maybe I don’t use my phone too much.  But, let’s face it people have more access to technology than ever before.  I am surrounded by people with children, and I have noticed most of those children are being pushed in strollers while their parents have their beloved cell phones strapped to their hips.  I watch kids at the park playing carelessly as their caregivers are staring into a screen.  I have even had to alert parents that their toddlers were wandering away because the parent was so engrossed with whatever they were looking at that they didn’t notice their child was not beside them.

I know we all need time to ourselves.  We deserve it. We work hard day in and day out.  I swear sometimes if it wasn’t for the friendly faces I see smiling at me on the Twitter page I would forget what adults look like. But, as they say there is a time and place for everything, and I think the portability of our devices has caused mass amnesia on the population and we have forgotten where and when we should be using these things.

There have been numerous stories of people harmed because of someone texting while driving. People are dieing because our society is simply not paying attention to what they are doing. Multitasking has reached an all time high. But, our priorities seem out of whack. We are more interested in a message, tweet, or profile update than what is going on in our homes and cars. 

I have made pledge to my family to spend my time interacting with them. I always have nap time, and those moments where the kids are doing their own thing to get on my phone or, thanks to DVR technology, watch my favorite shows.  I don’t want to look back and wish I had been paying attention to more than my contacts when my kids were little.

Has it Been 6 Months Already?

Lady Bug being weighed following her birth

As I sit here with my Lady Bug’s legs hanging off my lap and resting on the couch, I am forced to wonder where the time went.

It was not so long ago that she spent two months crying from 7pm to 2am every night. I don’t want to go back, but I am sad to think that the infancy of my last child (fingers crossed) is coming to and end.

Everyday she grows a bit more distracted. I offer her the breast, which used to be her sole interest, and she kindly refuses in favor of watching the antics of her older siblings.

To make up for her missed meals, she nurses through out the night. I cling to her during the quiet time. I am guilty of picking her up while she is sleeping, and offering her my breast while she is still sleeping. I used to want nothing more than a baby who slept through the night, but now I find comfort in the closeness of her warmth during those silent hours.

A few months ago I would look to the sky and wonder silently why this baby wouldn’t stop crying. Why wasn’t breastfeeding enough? Why wouldn’t she just let me sleep. I almost gave in to the people who tried to convince me to just give her formula because that would make her stop. Now I look to that same sky and hope that time passes slowly. Please, let me not miss a moment. I need to savor each milestone. I need to burn each image in to my brain.

Soon, I will not have a baby. Soon, I will have a toddler whose intrest in me will decline steadily as the months go by.

I saved this post as a draft because I got too busy to finish it.  It was that day that I found Lady Bug’s first tooth.  Those little ridges poking through her swollen, tender gums prove that she is growing up.  While that may seem dramatic, it marks the end of the only life I have known for 13 years.  I have raised one baby after another, each time swearing it was my last, for 13 years!  I have nurtured each the best I could.  I have tries to be the best mom I could be.

Lady Bug is growing up

Now, with a heavy heart I realize that my baby rearing days will soon come to an end.  I will still be a mother, but I won’t have any heads to smell in search of that sweet, innocence found only in newborn scalp, nor will I be searched out when things seem scary.

I am left to wonder what is next.  When she pushes me away for the last time, what will I do?

Boob in the Mouth

Announcing a parenting innovation unmatched by any before it. ” Boob in the Mouth” solves many common childhood ailments!

  • Fussy baby? “Boob in the Mouth” will quiet your baby down quickly.
  • Tired Toddler?  Try a “Boob in the Mouth!”
  • Little one has a boo boo? It will be no more than a memory with a “Boob in the Mouth!”
  • Diaper rash?  Squirt a little miracle juice from the “Boob in the Mouth” on it and it will clear up in no time!

 

Boob in the Mouth 

 

  

 

  • Great for babies and toddlers!
  • No batteries required!
  • Great for daytime or nighttime use!
  • no need for bottles, pacifiers, or other baby soothers when you have a “Boob in the Mouth!”

No matter the problem simply insert “Boob in the Mouth” and watch it melt away!

Best of all “Boob in the Mouth” comes at no cost to you!

 

Get your “Boob in the Mouth” today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sizes may vary.  May cause drowsiness.  Not recommended for use while driving a motor vehicle.  Not available in stores! 

 

Previous Older Entries