Mommy Diaries at 9 months: Things I've learned from my son.
*I encourage the other mommies who read this to respond with things they've learned from their kid(s), no matter what age!
I decided to write this retrospective after listening to my over-tired 9 month old cry in hysteria yesterday fighting his nap, and I stood my ground by not going in to pick him up. He didn't need to be held, he needed to be napping :).
1. I'm much less convenience oriented than I thought I would be: I sacrificed time to pump breast milk for my son who wouldn't latch on, so he would get the best food that was MADE FOR HIM. I've blogged about pumping before. It's certainly a great thing, but it's extremely exhausting at times. In order to keep the supply up, you need to pump when the baby eats so your body knows how much milk to make. Also, I make 80-90 percent of his food. I buy fresh and frozen fruits and veggies and puree them up. I buy mostly organic (frozen organic is WICKED cheap) and that way I can control what is in his food. I do use disposable diapers, but am considering changing that for baby 2 since they make all in one (AIO) cloth diapers…more to come on that in the future.
2. I'm MUCH more patient than I thought I was: While I sometimes find myself living from deep breath to deep breath, I certainly DON'T find myself as externally frazzled as some first-time parents I have come across. I attribute that to MANY things. 1. A supportive extended family. My mother stayed with us for like a month after Quinn was born. Scott and I handled all Quinn duties and my mother helped with laundry and feeding us, it was heavenly. My sister-in-law was great about giving me much-needed intelligent conversation when I needed it most and my brother, as usual, was there for comic relief. My dad and father-in-law provided encouragement from afar. My father being in China and my cute father-in-law terrified of newbie babies hung in the background. 2. (Which is technically 1) AN AMAZING HANDS-ON HUSBAND! Scott got right in there with baby care from day one and hasn't slowed since. Well..you know..he IS a man but he's better than nearly all I've seen :)He'll do baths, bottles, diapers, WHATEVER. **Simply put, my patience is a function of NEVER FEELING ALONE!** If you're ever going to have a baby, make sure you have a support system of ANY kind (friends, family, etc.)- you need it!
3. (extension of 2) Having a baby wasn't the Earth-destroying event so many think or say it is. Certainly in those first 6 weeks of sleeping in shifts Scott and I got snippy with each other, but lack of sleep does that. I think what really saved us was we planned Quinn. We discussed children and decided it was time, and we had 9 whole months to prepare as much as possible. We faced some cold hard facts which helped the transition: 1. You will lose a SIGNIFICANT amount of sleep (especially the first 6-8 weeks). Get over that fact early and move on. Period. 2. The lack of sleep won't last forever, but it DOES matter what kind of baby you have and what kind of parents you are. If you choose not to slowly ease into a structured schedule then expect the random acts of sleep to continue ;) 3. Babies bring SO MUCH JOY that it totally outweighs walking in to walls at 3:15 am…yep, I've checked, 3:15 am does actually exist…and 4. We wanted a kid, that comes with the good, the bad, and the ugly that they have to offer. Period.
4. The world is big, wonderful, beautiful, and terrifying. When your LO (little one) begins exploring the world on his own (by looking, grabbing, crawling, etc.) you relearn the world with him. It's an amazing thing to find joy in the funny texture of the carpet or the wagging tail of a fat old pug. It's also horrifying to realize what they want to put in their mouths, AH! I've learned to control as much as I can (put organic things in your mouth and that makes me happy, hehe) and pray for what I can't. I don't mind if he eats dirt, I welcome germs because I want him to have a good immune system. However I don't welcome kitty litter, pieces of paper, old food, staples, nails, electrical cords, dirty diapers, garbage, and actually EATING the tail of the fat old pug. Again, we must take the good with the bad on this one.
5. I love being a mommy and can't wait to do it again. Don't you worry, people have ALL KINDS OF OPINIONS ON ADDITIONS TO YOUR FAMILY. Not only do people have that unwanted pregnancy and newborn advice I blogged about in the past, people (often the same people) have advice on raising your kids (which is usually more unbiased than the pregnancy and newborn advice-usually) but they also love to suggest when and how you increase (or choose not to increase) your family. Here are some popular quotes that I will close this list with
*"Have all of your babies right away, then the diapering and formula stage is over with sooner."
*"Ugh, you want another baby ALREADY? Don't you think that's a little soon* (No I don't, thank you. I know it will have its challenges but it will have its joys as well- good day)
*"One kid is just sooo easy" or "I wish I had more than one"
*"2 kids is horrendous" "(insert any number) is wonderful/horrendous/etc."
--You get the picture :)
Well gang, I hope you've enjoyed this installment; it's certainly helped me reflect on the joys of mommyhood. Yes, Scott and I plan to start trying for another baby next year sometime. Due to my job it would be irresponsible of me to have a baby between April and July (maybe August) so we like to plan these things and, as we did with Quinn, just see what happens ;)