I haven't Halloweened so hard since my days at UCSB, and you know what...this Halloween was definitely my favorite of all time. Let me tell you why...plus the five useful takeaways I learned from this Halloween.
For any parent out there who wants to cling tighter to their baby whenever they think about their babies going to school, and a physical pain sits in your heart like a boulder on your soul...I have hope for you.
I constantly feel guilty for how much screen time my son gets. But often, when it's just the two of us and I need to get work done or do something around the house that he can't "help" me with, I need a little help from "Baby Bus" or "Leo the Truck." Sometimes I'm just freaking exhausted and need a few extra z's in the morning, so I let him watch while we cuddle or while he eats breakfast.
That being said, I have noticed that with the shows I let him watch, he is actually learning and engaging with the programs, and I think it's because they're designed in a way to teach kids. They're designed in a way to teach him in ways I can't or don't know how to. So, I wanted to share a few of the ones we enjoy at home, in case anyone else needs a little help from adventurous pandas or busy vehicles.
A few months ago, I wrote about successfully potty training our 20 month old within a month. Well of course we haven't gone without hiccups. So, I'd like to share our experience in case it's helpful to anyone else, because as usual, our son doesn't oft seem to follow whatever other people or books say is "normal."
The start to my son's and my nursing journey together was a difficult one, but I think even more difficult was weaning him. There wasn't any physical pain or blood like there was in the beginning, but there were definitely tears. Except this time, instead tears from pain, it was tears from mere exhaustion. After trying SO many different tricks and methods for trying to wean him, I finally found one that his two-year-old brain was able to comprehend.
Last year, I heard a lot of people say to me how hard it must be being a new mom during these times. I really had no frame of reference as I didn't know what it was like being a new mom during "normal" times. I imagine, no matter the time, particularly those first couple of months is hard for any new mom. Pandemic or no pandemic, I had to learn to correct a bad latch so that I could nurse my son without excruciating pain. Pandemic or no pandemic, it was still lonely going through my unique situation. And by unique, I don't mean I was in any exceptional circumstance, but just that even though many of us experience generally the similar things, we each have varying factors that affect each of our situations differently. So at first, yes it was hard, but I was also lucky. If not for moving in with my parents, I'm not sure what my husband and I would've eaten at times.
Ask me now how things are being a mom in a pandemic, and it's a different story...
We were ordering from a restaurant recently, when we were asked if we wanted a kid's menu for my son. It suddenly hit me...why do kids have separate menus? There's this notion that kids are really picky eaters, and they either can or only want really simple foods--I'm not really sure which, maybe both? But ever since our son started eating solids, aside from making food the right softness for him and avoiding honey and cow's milk his first year, our son has pretty much eaten everything we eat. So I'm wondering... are some kids really picky eaters or do we just think they are? Have we conditioned them to be picky eaters?
Some babies can sleep through the night as early as a couple months old, or maybe even younger! Some babies never sleep through the night. Our baby is one of those that has slept "through" the night maybe just a handful of times if even that. Though we dabbled with some sleep training, we didn't keep it up and I've learned a lot throughout the process that I'm incredibly grateful for.
Growing up there were two things I knew I wanted to be and was meant to be: a writer and a mother. As Mother's Day approaches, I've been reflecting on this past year of motherhood, and I'm pretty sure this is the year I get my first grey hair. Jokes aside, I've also been thinking about LinkedIn's attempt to be more inclusive by adding "Stay at Home Mom/Parent" as a job. It's certainly a good step forward, but I think it's still going to take time for people to change their mentality about how society views and thinks of parents, and especially mothers. We've all heard parents say that the most important job they've ever had is being a parent. Here are a few reasons why we need to take that more seriously and stop punishing mothers for doing the hardest job in the world.
Prior to becoming pregnant, I never thought about what postpartum healing entailed. In movies, we may see the mother scream from labor pains, but after that all is joyful, which is not true for everyone. While I was pregnant I had read a few articles that explained what would happen, which for some reason terrified me more than actually giving birth, but I still had no clue what I was in for. I had heard one celebrity say she didn't expect to be as sore as she was, but that still wasn't a clear picture of the pain and discomfort I would endure. Aside from the immediate postpartum healing though, I thought I'd track and share what exactly I went through during my first year postpartum, because I had heard from a few people that they didn't even feel like they got their bodies back or felt like themselves again until a year later. WARNING: Talk of pee, poo, blood below.