Parenting Moments of August

Parenting in 2017 is something I feel I am constantly failing at. I don’t keep up with trends when it comes to parenting. I do what is right for my girls and what is right for our family.  Parenting pushes you to your limits, when everything was just wonderful a moment ago, you are dealing with some sort of shit show (sometimes literally) and just trying to keep your cool and everyone safe.

I would do anything for my girl’s (within reason). They are my world, my reason for getting up (rested or not) every morning and the reason we sacrifice so much, for the benefit of them. Someday’s one child is more difficult than the other and sometimes they are both perfectly perfect. I like to remember the good days, because life is about making good memories, right?

With that being said, let me get something off my chest. Parenting is FUCKING hard. You are damned if you do or damned if you don’t sometimes. This past month has been so rough on me personally. My youngest has been teething, so bad and she isn’t sleeping much, which means I’m sleeping even less(4 hours on average!). She has been cranky, due to the teething and lack of sleep. My oldest started middle school. This in it’s own is so awesome and exciting but at the same time, it makes me so sad. Wasn’t she just 6? Where has the time gone? 

With middle school starting 10 days ago, she is trying to find new friends, fit in and figure out who she is. I get it. I will support her with what she wants to do, but with this she has frustrated me with how lazy she truly is. I know not every child is an athlete and I would never make her do a sport, if she didn’t show an interest. She decided she wanted to try out for Volleyball, prior to even attending this school. She also decided she wanted to try out for Cross Country, even after we explained what it is. On top of that she wanted to attend a program after school called Excel 2, which offers homework help, academics and once those are completed children can participate in a fun, rewarding activity.

As I signed these forms last week, for her to attend, I explained to her I think she is putting too much on her plate. She stated she still wanted Volleyball, but if she didn’t make that she would do Cross Country and then attend Excel 2 on the day’s she doesn’t have practice. (Okay great, she figured it out….good for her for overachieving.)

Well, like I predicted, she HATED Cross Country, because, get this….they RUN!? No shit?! Again, my child, not very athletic but hey she tried. Volleyball tryouts are here. “OMG, YAY, finally you get to try a sport you have been obsessed with for 4 years!” I say and she seemed excited, but not. (Maybe it’s her age, I don’t know) We remind her to look up different terms, head down to the park and see if you can jump in on a game to practice. Hell we will go practice with you, if you ask… 

In the two weeks prior tryouts, she never did. 

She even scored an extra day to prepare, when tryouts we’re postponed, but still no effort. 

Well she could obviously care less all a sudden. I got a text yesterday “Mom I wore the wrong shoes.” Okay, wait, what? You have known about this before school started, how do you not have the right shoes with you?! No answer. “Mom I threw up.” OMG WHAT? Like what are you doing to throw up? Do I need to come get you?! Then she came home from tryouts to tell me it was the coaches fault, because they weren’t instructed to stretch first.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?

So this week, my daughter has stayed up past bedtime (not researching Volleyball bit playing or something). She has been late to the bus, which is literally across our street and she even missed it. 

She has neglected to brush her teeth before school TWICE, because she “didn’t have enough time.” She has drenched the bathroom in water, because why the hell would you dry off on the rug next to the tub? She has then complained about any physical activity regarding sports, walking or the stairs and now it’s the coaches damn fault because she didn’t spend the 45 minutes before tryouts and become productive and stretch. She also found every reason not to go to tryouts today. 

I cant even.

Today was the second day of tryouts. She decided it wasn’t for her, because apparently everyone already knows everything about the game. (I assure they her do not, they probably just watched some informational videos on the subject instead of some stupid cat video on YouTube!)

As a parent who doesn’t want their child to give up so quickly, I let her decide what she was going to do, but I informed her I wanted her to attend because I think it would be idea to go give her best and learn from that if she wasn’t able to make the team, because hey at least she tried. I then informed her I was disappointed she was willing to give up something she wanted so badly because it appeared hard, but ultimately she had to live with her decision.

She replied “Please don’t say it’s my loss, ok?”

My reply was “Okay, but you will be paying us back for all the items you HAD to have us buy you for the tryouts.”

I’m disappointed she didn’t stick it out and at least see if she would have made the team. I’m upset I’ve had to become even more strict on her this week, when it comes to her free time. (Apparently too much free time is a bad thing for her, she becomes lazy, rude and forgets to do the simplest tasks (like brushing her teeth!)). I’ve implemented new rules when it comes to screen time, too much of that is bad thing.

I don’t want to be that nagging mom, I don’t want to be at odds with her, I just want her to take the accountability and responsibility of her own actions. No child wants to hear their parents are disappointed in them. She ultimately decided Excel 2 was best for, (so why the hell did I drop $80 on sports equipment for you, for nothing?!?!). I’m all for academics and tutoring if needed followed by a cooking class, I just hope she sticks with this too.  

Parenting is hard, but these hard days too shall pass. It’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows. In order to get that rainbow, we need to have a few rough days. And maybe a taller wine glass. 

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The End of Co-Sleeping

Last night we did it. Not “IT”. Ain’t nobody got time or energy for that. But we did a big thing, we ended co-sleeping.

She turned 6 months old yesterday and we celebrated in many ways.

  • Yay, we’ve kept a tiny human alive for 6 months
  • Look how much our lives have changed since having her
  • Look, she can sit up all by herself
  • She is ready for food after a nursing session
  • She is in the almost ready to crawl stages and constantly moving
  • This child doesn’t sit still

We didn’t intentionally start co-sleeping, it just sort of happened when we got home from the hospital in January and I was so tired, I just wanted to lay down to nurse her. And from there, it evolved into co-sleeping, pretty much since day 5.

We were originally going to start this transition at 4 months old, we tried anyways. We attempted to have her sleep in the pack in play, in our room and it didn’t work so well. We gave up after a few hours. Last night though, we had worked ourselves upto this point.

We talked about it, for the past two months. “At 6 months old, she is sleeping in her crib for naps and bed time.” Don’t get me wrong, I love sleeping and cuddling with her, plus it makes night time feedings so easy. But I was also tired and just wanted a night, without being touched, nursed on constantly and sleeping on the edge of the bed. I also missed my husband. In that, I mean we all sleep together, as much as two adults can sleep with a crying, rolling and nursing baby all night. But I missed morning snuggles with him and laying in bed talking, instead of texting, so we don’t wake the baby. Of course other reasons, but that doesn’t need details.

So as we talked about it for the past couple months, last night was the night. I put her down for a nap in the crib yesterday, like I had all week. Some days were more successful than others, but 30 minutes alone to shower or finish a chore was great. We put had our routine set, dinner together, bath, pj’s, nursing and bed time.

Easy peasy, right?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No.

Dinner was a success. Bath was a success. PJ’s…well that was new. Normally she would just sleep in a diaper, in our bed, since three to a bed means more body heat and we didn’t want her to overheat. We have several cute pj’s for her, we tried on a short sleeve one, didn’t fit. So we moved to the next one and she really wasn’t a fan. But we proceeded. Then nursing time. No problem, it’s like an instant mute button. She latched on and was out in a matter of minutes. BUT I needed to get her upstairs in her crib.

99% of the articles I read about “Sleep Training”, state to put the child down drowsy. We’ve done that during nap time, but this was going to be new at bed time. She was asleep, what do I do?Sleeping Baby

I gently put her in her crib, with me practically in it, so I didn’t disturb her too much. I slowly took my hand out from under her head and BOOM, her eyes were WIDE and staring at me. Then the tears started. (FUCK Kristi!! RUN!) I then patted her back, said a few things to try and calm her down then slowly shut her door and walked out. Upset. It’s heartbreaking to hear her cry. I went over to my oldest’s daughter’s room and told her “So it begins”. She knew we were starting this and said she would be quiet.

I walked downstairs, a little gloom and my husband and I started to watch the clock. 10 minutes we told ourselves. We will give her 10 minutes of crying then go console her. He poured me a glass of wine and we cringed and waited.

10 minutes went by, we went up and consoled her. Nursed her a bit and when that didn’t work, we offered a bottle. My husband held her for a bit, and then I did again. She was calming down enough to where I thought I could put her in the crib. I patted her back and we went down again, to start the clock.

Another glass of wine poured, our oldest joined us on the couch and we watched the clock for 10 minutes. Googled some more sleep training advice and talked about how we have to be consistent and how only one person should go in next time.

If you have never watched a clock while a baby is screaming, you have NO IDEA how painful this. It is pure torture. The most extreme torture there is I think. You know they are safe and you want them to sleep, it’s for her own good…right?! BUT it is a heartache, a pure fucking knife through your heart and then trampled on as you try to stay strong and not breakdown and give in.

10 minutes went by, I ran up there alone. I consoled her, rocked her, attempted to nurse her and offer the bottle. Finally I got her calm enough to lay down. I laid her down and rubbed her belly. Offered the bottle in the crib (eeek, I know…I said I wouldn’t do this with her) and proceeded to rub her belly and had her musical aquarium on for sound. The whole time telling myself, “It will be okay. She needs to sleep alone. You don’t want her rolling out your bed. You need your space. She needs her space. You will all sleep so much better”. She was almost into a trance, staring at this magical, musical aquarium. (Get yours here). I quietly escaped out of her room, with the door cracked. I took a moment, at the top of stairs, to breathe a sigh of relief. (We did it!)

Our oldest daughter proceeded back to her room to play video games while my husband and I enjoyed kid free TV in the living room and I enjoyed another glass of wine. It was…… nice.

My husband woke up with our little one once over night, then I woke up with her to nurse her. The feeling of sleeping on my back and then my stomach and not on the edge of the bed was CRAZY. My body actually is hurting a bit, I’m sure it just needs to get used to it. We checked on her a few times over night, but we actually slept. It is 8:30AM as I type this and she is STILL ASLEEP!! (Yes, I’ve checked on her)

So, we all needed this. She needed this mostly, her body needs to sleep without being woken by her parents every move or the need to nurse all night. I know it won’t always be easy to get her to sleep on her own, last night was sure a test on our strengths to withhold picking her up and caving in. I can’t say I won’t ever let her in our bed again, but I’m happy to say, we survived one night, apart.

 

This article does contain affiliate links. It’s a chance for me to make money to support my wine habit! 

Breastfeeding ain’t for the Weak! 

The joys of breastfeeding. It’s going to be just like you thought it would be. Simple, blissful even and oh so beautiful. Like one of those movies or ads where they are feeding their baby in a meadow. Right?!?! 

Not! Reality is, it sucks, it’s hard, it’s frustrating, it is NOT that beautiful and there will be tears, from both of you. Lot’s of tears. 

Maybe you will have an ample supply of liquid gold a few days after delivery or maybe you won’t. Maybe you will have a low milk supply like I do. (That will bring on tears EVERY freaking time you supplement with formula.)

For me, the beautiful moment of breastfeeding was during the first latch. It is right after you bring that tiny human into this world, they latch on, they know what they are doing, or at least it seems. BUT after that, it gets frustrating, baby may not match perfectly or it hurts. Your nipples hurt so damn bad after a day. They blister, bleed and scab over (not so beautiful now, is it?!). Your tiny human sucks the life right out of them! The latches begin to hurt because your nipples are so tender. More tender than ever before. Your breasts slowly become full and you wake up one morning, not even recognizing your own boobs and that pain….. The pain from the engorgement is something you’ve never felt before and it is rough. You feel like your tits are going to explode. Like, literally, explode. Between that and your nipples hurting so bad, you want to give up. I understand why I did with my first born. 

For me, the low milk supply has been awful. I’m 6 weeks in and I have cried so much out of frustration. I don’t want to feed the baby formula. I don’t want to supplement at all, which leads to me crying as I feed her a formula bottle 25% of the time. It’s not that I don’t want to feed her, god no, it’s the fact I’m angry my body isn’t producing enough milk for her. Before someone chimes in about supply and demand, I know this. For every bottle I feed her, my body will make that much less milk. Well let me tell you, my body cuts itself off about 6pm everyday, since she was born. Sometimes earlier. We faced challenges within her first week of life too, with jaundice, which lead to the supplementing and this crappy cycle too. 

How do I cope with my body failing to make milk for several hours? I cry. I amp up my “milk making” foods and drinks. I stay hydrated. Then I get to pumping. I try to pump a couple times a day. 

Pumping is challenging too. I don’t get more than an ounce a day. No matter how many times I pump. That magical feeding time in the evening, where I don’t get a drop out for baby, well I don’t get a drop out in my pump either. My body is like “nope, not happening”. 

I’ve reached out to several people in my area who assist with breastfeeding. La Leche League, WIC breastfeeding peer counseling, my daughters Pediatrician and friends. I’ve concluded her latch is good, positioning is good, my diet and water intake is good. It comes down to the fact my thyroid is once again messing with my body. Even being on medication, my thyroid is affecting everything. If I wasn’t on medication, I probably wouldn’t have a milk supply at all. 

Between the early mornings, to late nights, breastfeeding sucks. It’s hard. It’s not like one of those magical stock photos in your magazine. It’s more or less like a nightmare on little sleep. Yet, it’s so fucking rewarding. Something about giving your baby breast milk, makes life seem good for a moment. Plus the bonding you both get from it is pretty amazing.

A few tips to make breast feeding simplier if you choose to do it:

  • Relax
  • Eat, snacks you can eat with one hand are great
  • Drink up, stay hydrated
  • Rest, often
  • Record some TV shows to binge on
  • Get comfortable, your going to be here awhile 
  • Cry, it’s okay. It happens, because this job is frustrating.

Regardless of breast feeding or formula feeding, your baby is getting nutrients to grow regardless. 

Celebrating Holiday’s 

As I prepare to celebrate our Christmas tomorrow with SJ, our oldest, on Christmas Eve, I’m reminded how hard it can be to “share” your precious child with their other parent. Of course I want him to spend time with her, I just hate she isn’t with me on a holiday.

I want nothing more than her to celebrate with us both, but that will never happen under one roof again. So we split the holidays every year, through an arrangement with the court. As a kid, I could see how this is kinda cool, you get two Christmases, two celebrations with family. 

I guess it’s not too different, from celebrating before a divorce. We would celebrate with my exes family one day and my family another. 

Regardless of having to pick her up or drop her off on Christmas Eve, we make it all as special as possible. So what, we have to celebrate it early this year. Next year, she gets to celebrate Christmas morning with her baby sister. 

Today, we pretended it was was Christmas Eve, instead of it being Christmas Eve Eve… We baked a dessert for our Christmas dinner, which we will have tomorrow. She got to pick one gift to open after dinner to open. We were going to look at Christmas lights, but momma tuckered out. So instead she is watching TV with her Baba (stepdad) while I type this and randomly stare at all the stocking stuffers I need to put in stockings…..

As a tween, she may not feel this is always fair, I get it. But we are doing the best we can on both sides to ensure she has a happy holiday and lots of love. 

If you are having to split your holidays after divorce or maybe you do something else? Please share.

Merry Christmas (Eve Eve ) 

First Day of School 2016

This past week our kiddo went back to school and while she entered into sixth grade, it felt like a bigger deal to me than ever. I really didn’t think I would be affected by it, emotionally. Honestly, I hadn’t thought about it prior that day, I mean of course I would add a sad face emoji when someone asked what grade she was entering this school year or I would make a sad face in person. BUT we’ve been down this road, she has entered a new school year for the past few years EVERY August. A new school year equals us being broke because of new clothes, shoes and of course new school supplies to shove in the brand new backpack.

The big day came, she was up early and came out of her room dressed in her new favorite dress and boots. “Wow, okay, we are starting this year off on a good start!” I thought to myself. I made her breakfast, did her hair to her liking and reminded her to brush her teeth. She insisted she wanted me to walk her to the office, so this meant I had to get dressed and look put together, no big deal, I can do this. I can make it look like I actually sleep at night and somewhat normal.

photogrid_1470498168034.jpg
SJ as a 6th Grader

When we arrive to her school, a bit earlier than I figured we would, I parked the car got out and walked her. She saw a few friends, waved hi and kept walking with me. I said, “Okay, do you want me to walk you to the classroom or are you too old for that?” She replied “Here is good, but I’m going to go to the playground to catch up with my friend.” With a kiss and a hug, I said “Have a great first day!” and she walked away to her friend. I waved to a few teachers and staff members I saw out and about and got back into my car.

I called my mom on my way out of the parking lot and she asked me “Did you cry?” The timing was perfect because I was tearing up as I was passing the school. I couldn’t believe it. How did I get so emotional? Oh maybe, it is the pregnancy hormones. Let’s blame that for a quick moment… But I knew it wasn’t just the increase of hormones. It was the fact my baby, my SJ, has entered her last school year in elementary school. This is is the last year she will be in “baby school”. This is a big deal to me. She is my baby, she has been my one and only for the past 11 years, how can I NOT get emotional over this big step?! So I teared up and drove home to wait for the time to come to pick her up.

Needless to say, the first day of sixth grade was a blast for her, she saw lots of friends from the previous year and she LOVES her teacher. I’m excited for her to complete elementary school but you can bet your ass I will be crying like an upset baby when she get’s promoted to seventh grade and starts middle school next year.

 

Mom Guilt

Mom guilt. Majority of us moms, have it. We all carry different forms of guilt. My mom guilt is different than yours I assume.

My daughter, was sick the other day. Upset tummy, restless and just all around feeling like crud. I had to go to work. This was my second week of work. What do I do?

Amazing awesome husband to the rescue. Stepdad of SJ, he stepped in. “You just started your new position, I can stay home and do double duty on Saturday”. But that mom guilt set in. “Nooooo, it’s my kiddo, you don’t need to miss work. I’m sure they will understand I have a sick kid.” But he insisted. SJ didn’t care who was staying home, as long as she could lay in misery in her own bed and NOT be bothered with school. My husband was able to work from home that day.

The next day, we send SJ to school, no fever, no vomiting ever happened. Just a case of icky tummy pain. She went to school, then I got the text (I know the awesome school nurse, no phone calls needed). She let me know SJ was in her office, complaining of an upset tummy. She gave her tummy meds, sent her on the way. PHEW! I thought. Then another text later that day, “SJ is back. No fever, but doesn’t look like herself”. I texted my husband to ask where he was. Out of town. Of course. How could I forget?! I text my boss to let her know I have a sick kid in the nurses office. May have to leave. I finish my morning task, contact doctors office to make an appointment for the same day (yikes, maybe it is something serious!!), let nurse know I’m on my way. Inform boss having to take sick SJ to doctor. Will not be back. Rush to sick Kiddo’s school and pick her up. Run to drug store to get Gatorade and Tylenol for her now headache. Rush home.

Waiting for doctors appointment.

Rush to doctors appointment. Not strep! Whoo whoo! But she has a fever now (ugh!!) And cannot return to school til Monday, permitting fever is gone. She has a stomach bug, it should pass.

Husband was able to stay home AGAIN on Friday. Thank goodness. But then the mom guilt set in. Same thing. I need to be home with my daughter. I need to be at work. Thankfully, my awesome husband talked me into going to work again that Friday. Since I have a new job, I need to be there. But I feel guilty.

This isn’t his duty. He did sign up to be a family man, when we moved in together and got hitched. But I carried her for 9 months. She is my responsibility. I should be home with her. If I didn’t have to work, I would be home with her. But I needed to be at work. New job. New position. I need to be there. It was my 2nd week.

But I always feel like I need to be in two places at one. I feel guilty for working and I feel guilty for being at home when my husband is working.

I’m thankful my husband is so damn supportive. You don’t see men like him often. I love him. I love how he takes care of us. As a family.

My guilt is different, I know. But in the end. We all have it. Right?

P.S. SJ is okay as of today. She was sick (vomit. Everywhere.) This past Saturday, but is on the mend and attended school today!!