Being a Better Mama to my Baby

June 9, 2016

Dear Baby,

You don’t know this but last night after I put you to sleep I went out to meet a friend and we ran around the neighbourhood and specifically ran up and down flights of stairs in search of our 20-something year old asses. I’m sure that deep down, they are still there, right?

What’s great about working out with a friend is that I get to socialize and exercise which are the 2 pillars to me staying sane. Healthy mind and healthy body.

Baby, I love you, I really do but if I didn’t take some time to myself I would go FUCKING INSANE. After a day of entertaining you I need some me time and I am happy to say that as of late, I get a lot of it.

Whatever you do, parenting or otherwise I think that you need to take time out to do you. We all see those people who spend way to much time at their job, with their partner, being a mom and head towards burnout. The only way to stave off the inevitable crash and burn is to do you- even when you’d rather not. 

Last night I would have rather mopped a floor than gone out. I was tired, lazy, hungry, and really into a game of Two Dots but I dragged my sad flabby ass up and did it in spite of those things. Why? Because the alternative isn’t pretty. 

I truly believe that in order for me to function at my optimal self- for you and for me- I need the time to myself to engage and enjoy.

For the mind I need good conversation (like actual conversation that goes a it beyond my 9-5 Dadadadada- although I love that conversation too), to read, to engage with the Internet (ie. Read the news), to catch up with friends and get involved in their lives, to share stories about my life and get insights, to do nothing and just breath and to totally zone out to crappy tv (thank god for the Bachelorette). 

For the body I need to run and move, feel challenged and strong, to walk with my arms free, to sit and rest, to sleep, to shower, to eat delicious foods and to check in and make sure everything feels good. 

How could I be good to you if I wasn’t being good to me?

So Baby, I know that life can be really distracting and that anything can grab and steal your attention but know this: it’s always the right time to take care of yourself and nourish your mind and body.

You will be the best bersion of yourself if you take the time to be and forget the million reasons why you can’t. 

In the meantime, my ass is killing me today. Is that step one to buns of steel?

xo

Mom

Being a Better Mama to my Baby

Baby on the Move

June 8, 2016

Dear Baby,

As I write this I am watching you move from one side of your crib to the other at lightening speed (you’re supposed to be napping BTW, so you might want to stop). You are laughing and moving and this has been your status quo for about a week. Moving and making noise.

It’s crazy because the movement started so gradually that I feel like you were just barely going from sitting to a crawl position to full out crawling all over the floor in a blink of an eye. Like I looked away for a second and you had mastered a whole new skill set. And boy do you love practicing! Your dad and I were all like, no need to baby proof our shit yet- WRONG. We need to bubble wrap and pad the fuck out of our house. Immediately. 

If there is a raw edge of wood, a stack of empty plastic Tupperware, a fucking speck of dirt on the ground we can rest assured that you will be touching it, climbing it or eating it. That’s just the kind of baby you are. Curious and determined. 

And more than just moving around you are set on learning how to stand up on anything that might (or for sure will not) hold you. Your new favourite game is to sit in front of me and use my hands to stand up and sit down. This has provided solid chunks of entertainment (which is an awesome game for when I am too tired to perform my usual repertoire of songs and games for you- stand up, sit down. Game of the century). 

The extra bonus is that you seem to just wear yourself right out from all this action so naps (minus right now) have been a total breeze. You are usually asleep before I can sneak out of your room. 

The best part, by far is how extremely proud you look every time you make a move or get up to your feet from sitting. You look like you have achieved something and you know it and enjoying your movement and sense of acomplishment is just incredible as your mom. 

And Baby, I have to say that I want you to always feel proud of things that you do. Crawling is SO HARD. You are working so hard to move your tiny little body around and then you do it! You should feel immensely satisfied and pleased. This should extend to anything you try to do. Trying is amazing and when you succeed in something you work hard for, you should be the first one to pat yourself on the back (I’ll be right behind you). 

As adults we often underplay our accomplishments. To be too proud is to be boastful or cocky but Baby, there is nothing wrong with being confident and enjoying your own accomplishments. No one else will ever give a fuck what you do (aside from your dad and I, obvi) so you may as well do it for you. 

In the meantime, going to go bubble wrap the legs of our wood table (kidding- or am I?)

xo

Mom

Baby on the Move

Things that Happen when you Forget to Feed your Baby

June 7, 2016

Dear Baby,

Yesterday was gorgeous. It was my kind of summer day- cool enough for a light long sleeve, warm enough for a t shirt and breezy enough that you wouldn’t sweat if you were to go on an hour plus walk- which we did. 

The walk was glorious. Flanked by your posse we headed down the belt line and to a park to play. It was only when you were laughing on a swing that the alarms in my mind went off. How long has we been out? What time was it? Did I have any food?

It had been a long time out, it was dinner time (for you) and I had one single packet of shitty mum mums (no offence to mum mums but they just don’t cut it as a meal replacement). It was time to hustle. 

I was duly thanked for being such a shit prepared mom by a serenade of you grumbling at me (you just started to really grumble when your angry which is cute but also scary). 

Total gong show. Thank god your dad was home to witness me hauling you inside and preparing your late dinner for you at the speed of light. I always love when he watches me totally fucking fail at adulting. 

With that, here is a lesson on always being prepared: WHAT TO HAVE IN YOUR BAGS AT ALL TIMES. whether you are a mom, student or professional- you can’t go wrong with being prepared. 

1. Wipes- I never knew how fucking handy wipes were until I had them on me for you. Wipes solve most messes, they can serve as toilet paper, they can blot out stains, wipe noses, wipe dirt whatever. They are fucking godsends and you should buy a little package of them (or a Costco sized bulk package for a baby) and carry them with you at all times. 

2. Kleenex- like wipes only dry. 

3. Protein- no one ever thrived on rice cakes (aka mum mums). A handful of nuts or piece of cheese or a bar will get you through the woods and back home to eat a prope meal in a pinch. 

4. Snacks- different than protein, snacks are a major component to a well rounded bag. Snacks can include; fruit, veggies, bars, crackers… Anything that will help satiate your need to eat. 

5. Hand sanitizer- explanation needed here? Becaus the world is a gross place. 

6. A seasonally appropriate scarf- is there anything a scarf can’t do? It can hide a stain, pose as a top, make you look more put together, keep you warm, keep you shielded from the elements, cover you up if you need to nurse or change or just whip out a tit for no reason. A scarf can be a pillow, a blanket, it can be your fucking confident if you need one. It can wipe shit up, act as a picnic table, act as a snow wipe for your car or function as a blackout blind so your baby can nap. It is the single best accessory out there. Take that, hats (just kidding. I love you hats). 

7. Poo bag (aka plastic bag)- I have a dog and a baby and someone is bound to poo in any given outing. Also good for storing messy shit, wet things, smelly stuff and garbage. 

Extras that you might want to have:

Lipgloss- chapped lips are so last year/ never. 

Tweezers- you can see the most amount of light eyebrow hairs in your car mirror in the sunlight.

Lotion- scaly hands are creepy. 

Pen and paper- nothing wrong with being old fashioned. 

Phone charger- imagine the horror of being left alone with no cell phone (just kidding- interacting with the actual real world might be a nice break, unless you are stranded somewhere in which case having your phone would be essential). 

Compact- oh what? You’re not vain?

Tylenol/ Advil- defence against headaches. 

I also currently always have; sunscreen, a hat for you, a change of clothes for you, socks (I hate being barefoot), head ties, toys, water and a change pad. 

Needless to say, I travel light. 

In the meantime, gotta pack that bag and get going. 

xo

Mom

Things that Happen when you Forget to Feed your Baby

Baby by the Lake, Baby gonna Bake

June 5, 2016

Dear Baby,

We just got home from a night up at the cottage and like most things we do together as a family it was incredible and too fast. The cottage belongs to your great-grandparents and is a really fun place (once you get over the spiders- they have a particularly huge amount of spiders at this cottage). We got to spend the weekend there with them (which in itself is pretty awesome) and my mom and dad came up for the day.

In my mind I have always imagined you growing up a a cottage. I didn’t but “the cottage” is still one of my favorite places on earth. There is something about living peacefully and intentionally in a home on the water that calls to me.

Anyways, the day was perfect. The sun shone, everyone was happy and I was musing to myself how easy you are. Well, it would seem that I SPOKE. TOO. SOON.

We got to bedtime and all hell broke loose. for 2 hours you screamed bloody murder while I tried my darndest to get you to sleep. I used every trick in my fucking arsenal, Baby and to no avail. We did rocking, shushing, patting, cuddling, I tried lying with you, I tried walking with you. I tried singing, reading, I did fucking aerobics (just kidding). NOTHING SATISFIED YOU. You just kept screaming your little head off.

Sure, it was 400 degrees hot in the room you had been given. Sure, it smells and looks different from the place you sleep 99 percent of your life. Sure, the window faces the sun and since you go to bed hours before sunset it was bright as day. Sure, we had forgone your bedtime routine for extra playtime. Sure, you were riled up from said playtime. I could list a million reasons why this night was different from any other night and would have caused anyone slight distress but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t going to take this personally and feel like a fucking failure of a parent.

Nothing is a bigger blow to your ego as a mom than unsuccessfully soothing your hysterical baby. You cry, I cry. We all cry. You dad comes up to see why everyone is crying and gets his head bitten off. You cry some more. I wonder if I will ever recover from this horrible night. You continue to cry.

Of course, 2.5 hours later you fell asleep. I wish I could say I helped you do it or made it easier but I am pretty sure that after that long crying in my arms you just had no juice left to squeeze out and quite literally passed out. The silence was a relief but thinking about you crying yourself to sleep (even though I was holding you tight the whole way through) made me sick to my stomach- the pound of cherries and chocolate covered almonds I ate after didn’t help.

I didn’t sleep a wink after that. You woke up 2 hours earlier than usual and now here we are. You being your usual amazing self. Me calling the day incredible despite wanting to shoot myself in the eye for several hours of it. And that my Baby, id making the best out of a bad situation and focusing on the positive side over the negative.

There you go- lesson of the day. We can choose to focus on anything in any given situation. There is always a ying to a yang and an up to a down so it is up to you to craft your own story and shape your own experience. I can tell you only this: you will be so much better off if you can focus your energy on enjoying the good and letting the bad pass through you. If you focus on the negative, you will be a negative person and here’s a little secret: no one wants to be friends with a negative nancy.

In the meantime, I am off to wash the cottage grime off my feet- or rather the remnants of a glorious day (positivity. always).

xo

Mom

 

Baby by the Lake, Baby gonna Bake

Baby Boom

June 3, 2016

Dear Baby,

I’m really sorry because a few minutes ago as you played  with some toys on the floor I got caught up in my phone and missed you falling and hitting your head. It wasn’t hard or very bad but I sure felt like a total asshole parent for letting it happen.

It was silly. I have been waiting for an email to come in, went to check it, got caught up in another email and boom- down you went.

You only cried for a few seconds and my guess is that it was not at all impactful to you but to me it was a good and needed reminder to be present and in the moment. That email could have waited. Anything could have waited. I could have just waited.

We do ourselves a huge disservice every time we turn to text, email or scroll through our phone when we could be totally aware and alive in the moment we are in.

We all need breaks but the point of a break is to make one. To take a designated time away from your task at hand (which in my case is you) and do whatever you need to do to relax and unwind.

With texting and instant communication so rampant I often know that the conversations being had are happening simultaneously with what is happening in life. You are with your kid but on your phone, watching something but on your phone, in bed and on your phone.  The phone becomes an extension of your own arm and it’s kind of gross.

I’m not holier than thou. I am equally guilty but that doesn’t make it less gross.

So today a lesson for both of us: Be present. You won’t be able to do it always and forever but try when you can to send your awareness to the moment you are in- even if that moment seems boring or silly.

We all need a little more real life action and less bubbles of wireless conversation in our lives.

In the meantime, sorry about your little crash. I can promise you it will happen again but not because I am lost in cellular land.

xo

Mom

Baby Boom

Ouch, Baby

June 2, 2016

Dear Baby,

So with your illness under wraps and on the mend I thought we were through with mishaps in the home. I was mistaken. Yesterday morning I entered June with the sorest boob ever. Like who wakes up with a sore boob? This mom. 

Now I’m no stranger to sore boobs. Those 2 words pretty much encompass the entirety of my first 4 months of being a mother but since then we have come a long way and breastfeeding has gone from a fucking crap shoot to something I don’t even notice anymore (perspective is an interesting thing). 

So since we came to an agreement that breastfeeding would be manageable between us I haven’t really had any complaints. And then I woke up yesterday. 

I ask you this, Baby, WHO GETS A BREAST INFECTION AFTER ALMOST 9 MONTHS OF BREASTFEEDING?? This is elementary shit that almost always happens to brand new milk cows. Not veterans of the sport who are on their way out. 

But your mom is a special beast and without much else to do would up in the walk in clinic late yesterday afternoon. (As a side note, although my experience at the walk in clinic was fine, why are they always so gross? Why can’t there be a reasonably nice walk in? They always look so crusty)

The great news is that a male doctor got to check out my boob. Bad news is that it is mastitis and I am on a week long round of antibiotics now. The good news is that it changes nothing for us and we can go about our day as normal. The bad news is that it hurts like a bitch. 

So the idea of advocacy has come up a bunch recently and the importance of being your own best advocate and I want to stress that here again today. Only you know what you feel and only you can tell if something is wrong. As you grow up no one can help you but yourself and you need to develop and hearty and healthy relationship with you so that you can best address all these kinds of things. 

Don’t be scared to advocate for what you need and trust yourself to know what that is. 

In the meantime, your dad is sick too so I am home with a hot mess of a family. Let’s get some healthy vibes going on, mmmkay?

xo

Mom

Ouch, Baby

Baby Sicknesses are Super Gross

June 1, 2016

Dear Baby,

After a weekend of fevers and nights spent trying to find your tiny little ear hole in the dark to obsessively take your temperature, we found the root of your sick. 

It’s called Roseola and like many gross kid things, it’s gross. Basically you get a fever with no other symptoms for several days and when the fever breaks you develop this rosy rash. 

Roseola sounds like what you would name your Cabbage Patch Kid (holla to those 80’s toys that will be super irrelevant while you read this) but in reality, it’s not cute and cuddly. It’s just icky. 

The bad news: it’s a bit contagious so we are stuck home together for the rest of the week at the risk of giving it to your friends. 

The good news: we know what is wrong and you don’t have a fever/ aren’t being a super snake anymore. 

Anyways, we have some resolution. Which I think is the best thing of all. And which leads me to today’s thought:

Don’t leave issues unresolved. 

Obviously I was not going to leave your being sick unresolved (and our dad DEF wasn’t about to) but often we brush things- life, medical or otherwise- aside. Resolution is a really important thing. It helps to allow movement and growth. 

Anyone who has ever been dumped can tell you that some resolution allows you to move on whereas things left unsaid can haunt you for a long time. 

Ignoring or putting things aside just means you will have to deal with them later and I assure you that no matter how troubling they may be, later will be worse. 

So face that shit head on, Baby because you are strong and you can. 

In the meantime, can you take a nap so I can go finish breakfast? Resolution applies to my cold eggs too. 

xo

Mom

Baby Sicknesses are Super Gross