Eggs

Despite my mother’s comments that we should just give SCB food out of a jar, we actually make SCB’s food to eat. Well, ok, let’s be honest. Our nanny makes it most of the time and I am learning to make it. Is it bad to admit that. In any event, today I was making scrambled eggs and was so excited to give them to SCB to try when suddenly (gasp!), I realized that I had used this olive oil spray on the pan…which I then decided it was OK for me to eat the olive oil spray eggs but that I would use real olive oil for SCB’s eggs instead.

Suddenly I wondered to myself…it is interesting that I am OK eating the weird spray yet I actually washed the pan and started all over for SCB. Perhaps it was a good learning lesson that maybe I should get rid of the chemical sprays and just use the real thing too. She loved the eggs so it was a successful breakfast! I think there is something to be learned from going back to basics and using super plain ingredients. Would love to hear any food recipes that people love these days for their babies!! Write in and I will share the food stories with everyone!

The Great Nanny Debate

I always knew I would go back to work after my maternity leave ended. No offense to anyone that has their kids in daycare as I went to daycare when I was little but I always knew I preferred to have a nanny for SCB. Early on in my maternity leave, I started to interview nannies. I probably interviewed at least 15 of them (should have I interviewed more?). In the process of these interviews, I realized that most people can take care of a baby. However, can they take care of your baby AND actually care about your baby too? I didn’t want a robot, someone who was just working for the money (which, one woman told me that was actually why she was a nanny) or someone that I didn’t feel like I could trust (obviously but it seems worth mentioning).

After many, many interviews…there was one woman that stood out that my husband liked as well and had such a cheerful disposition that we hired her. She was the only person that showed up with her background check already in hand so I found that to be comforting as well. Luckily I got to spend my last month of maternity leave getting used to having a nanny and getting SCB used to it as well. I would use the nanny to watch SCB for two hours so I could go to yoga. It was a nice slow build up to the process but there would be still more adjustment to come.

My first day back to work was very difficult. When I got home, I was convinced SCB was ignoring me because she was mad she had to stay with the nanny. I think I had an expectation that the nanny would come in, sweep me and SCB off our feet and we would feel like we instantly had a new family member. I can see now that in order for that to happen, I need to open up my heart a bit more but it is hard. I think I have a lot of trouble knowing that I am not able to be with SCB all day. I am there for the full morning and night routine but during the day, I am at work. I think that our nanny does an amazing job but yet I still struggle with the whole idea of it.

I don’t know where things will end up on this nanny journey. Some days I think I need to just stay at home but I know ultimately that working is the right decision not just for me but for SCB once she is old enough to understand. I had a working mom as a role model and I know I learned a lot from it. I always want to make sure I am being the best mom I can be to SCB so at the very least, there is some comfort in that commitment and knowing that as parents, we all will do whatever is necessary to ensure our kids are doing OK. I know a lot of working moms struggle with balancing it all and hopefully here is some support to say you can do it!!

Stroller discrimination

I like to shop. Well, I take that back. I like to walk around the stores and sometimes buy things (unless my sister is with me and then I always seem to be able to shop more easily). I have realized though that during my (limited these days) shopping trips that I often find myself banging the stroller into all kinds of things…into the clothes, into the sales clerk, into the door of the dressing room, into the random person trying to shop. Now this isn’t because I don’t know how to look five steps ahead to see where I am going but rather because I have realized that stores seem infinitely smaller when you have a stroller. Even when I go to Carter’s, oddly the racks of clothes are SO close together that I find myself banging the stroller into the many racks as I try to maneuver around.

I guess the stores don’t need to cater to the many moms that would like to shop there but why not? Couldn’t they at least try to make it a little easier for us rolling around in the biggest stroller ever? These are things I used to not think about or ever even notice but I certainly notice it now! I find myself constantly apologizing when I am shopping – mainly to SCB when I run the stroller into something but also when I kind of run into someone who oddly won’t move slightly out of the way when they see the stroller coming. Is it my fault I ran into you when you refused to move? Please consider this a pre-apology to any of the people that I may run into this weekend!

All in all, I feel there is a serious amount of stroller discrimination happening these days. There are actually stores where I have looked in and thought, “Nope, can’t bring the stroller in there.” I could have spent some serious money in that store but it is just too hard to maneuver. I supposed I could thank the store for allowing me to save my money.

Not a Pageant Mom

I could never be a pageant mom. I am watching a show on OWN where Lisa Ling is talking about pageant moms. I have quickly determined that of all the decisions my husband and I will make for our daughter, whether or not she will enter pageants is not one of them. She definitely won’t. I am trying to have an open mind and I don’t judge those who have decided to go that route but I know I could never do it.

I think it is important for SCB to value her inside values more than her outside appearance. I don’t see how you can make the argument that a pageant isn’t about outside appearances. I know the pageants have a “talent” section but I still think the big focus is around the child’s appearance. I don’t want to spray tan SCB when she is 10 years old (what one mom did that was featured on the show). It is very uncomfortable to watch as little girls are dolled up in full make-up, costumes that are way too risqué and have a little girl in tears because she wasn’t crowned the “queen”.

I feel like my parenting style is to let SCB choose what she wants to do so what happens if she decides she wants to be in a pageant because her friend just participated in one? I am hoping that day never happens (I know, I know, there are worse things) but I think I would be OK letting her know that I think pageants put too much focus on the outside appearance and I want her to feel good about her inside appearance more. Again, I don’t have any issue that pageants may be something some parents want to do for their kids but I know it isn’t right for our family.

Have you ever put your child in a pageant? Good experience or bad? Write in and let me know!

Cry it out

I used to watch those nanny shows and always wonder “how could you be a parent and let your kid run the house like that”?. For those that haven’t seen those nanny shows, usually an episode would involve the typical scene where the kid doesn’t want to go to bed and instead wants to run around the house. After the nanny comes in to teach them how to get their kid to go to bed, you realize how the parents need the training more than the kids do. Ok, so I can admit I was a little judgmental of these parents…especially as I found myself picking up SCB out of the crib as she was having a sky-high tantrum about taking a nap. Suddenly I felt like I was the one that needed to be on one of those shows!

I should remind everyone that SCB is only four and half months old now and yet she already knows how get her point across so I definitely have been getting the “I don’t want to take naps” memo. Everyone I know would talk about how you have to let your baby “cry it out”…but we have been so lucky because SCB goes to bed at 7 and wakes up at 7 so I always wondered how we could even let her cry it out because she was never really crying. Welllll, let’s just say I don’t need to wonder anymore. SCB has mastered the art of getting so upset that it is impossible for me to leave her in the crib. She used to respond to naps pretty well as I would have to go in and out of the room a few times but eventually she would fall asleep. As I told my sister, our cry it out plan consists of waiting “zero minutes” before going back in to either pick her up or give her the pacifier. I am wondering if we are going to need to change that as the days where she would slightly whimper have morphed into a full on Godzilla like tantrum, complete with leg stomping and a beet red face of anger, coupled with the saddest face as if I am leaving her on the side of the road somewhere.

I talked to the doctor today and she said we can either let her cry or because she is getting a good stretch of sleep at night, we can be a little more flexible on the naps. Amen to flexibility! I know there are moms out there that live and die by the idea that the entire house needs to stop because the baby needs a nap. I think as long as you are doing what is best for the baby and your family — even if it means napping in the stroller, then it is OK. I think for now, I will try to get her to take a nap but it isn’t worth the red-face, kicking and screaming SCB as she will only be exhausted for the day and I am not sure how much that accomplishes. We will see how it goes tomorrow.

Have you let your baby cry it out? How old were they and what was the experience like? Write in and let me know!

Baby + Sleeping

I have to make a confession. When SCB was four weeks old, I was the mom googling “four weeks old, nighttime schedule”, hoping to find some kind of answer. At the time, it seemed completely normal to want to put my new adorable baby on some type of night schedule so I could help her avoid building “bad habits”. If only I had read baby 411 instead of the book I chose to read that oh so simply stated that you could just put your baby down to sleep at night — not asleep, but awake and they would just eventually fall asleep. HA. (enter the sound of maniacal laughter)

Instinctively and realistically, those ideas just didn’t make sense to me. SCB had no real interest in going to sleep at night at four weeks old. Our nighttime routine consisted of either me or my husband getting plenty of exercise on the exercise ball while we bounced our baby girl to her heart’s content so she would hopefully fall asleep. The ball routine then morphed into the moby wrap routine where I got so used to wearing the wrap that I found myself wearing it even after SCB had already fallen asleep. I’m not complaining in a major way as we were fortunate that she would only wake up twice during the night. Now at four months, we put her down at 7, my husband gives her a dream feed at 11 and she wakes up around 6:30-7 AM – sleep success!

I have learned over these four months that all of the things that we were doing were completely fine at that point and we were nowhere near building bad habits. At that young age, anything goes and anything to get your baby to sleep should be OK. Once I saw 278 comments on Baby Center about ALL the different things people do to get their babies to go to sleep, I realized there is no “schedule” as pretty much every baby is different. It really is about your baby and what works for you. It sounds obvious and easy to say but sometimes it is easy to forget your motherly instinct. It is definitely nice when you can remember it!

I made a different choice when it came to getting SCB on a nap schedule. Rather than googling or reading anything, I just decided to try. Try as in try to put her down for a nap. For some reason, looking at my very awake baby and thinking there was even a remote possibility she would go for a nap, would make me laugh. Until I just decided to try. I have a system now where I put her down, give her a lovey, put on the sound machine and rub her forehead until she seems calm….and then I walk out of the room. Now, she may stir a bit where I have to go in and out of the room a few times but eventually she goes to sleep (I should add that we are not a household where the world stops when it is nap time. SCB also takes naps in the stroller). I also have the nanny following this plan as I noticed the nanny would rock her to sleep and I wanted to make sure that did not become the habit. I don’t let SCB cry it out but I am trying to build a pattern where she knows she is in her crib and can go to sleep. I am hopeful we never have to let her cry it out but we will see. Tomorrow is SCB’s four month appointment. Hard to believe how quickly time flies!!

Have some good thoughts on how to get your baby to sleep? Please write in as I think it is helpful for other parents to hear about what works for their baby!

Back to Work

After almost four months off for maternity leave, I went back to work. I have always been into working, perhaps some may say with too many work-a-holic tendencies. As I was headed out on maternity leave (I worked until Wednesday and was due on Saturday), my boss said “we will see how she does in the outside world”. I had made myself the promise though that I would truly stick with my maternity leave and would not let work get in the way of me bonding with our new addition.

I remember when SCB was about three weeks old that I thought I would return to work after my six week maternity leave was over. I had told my boss that I wanted to take three months as “everyone” seemed to say that was how much time you needed but about three weeks in, I thought for sure I would be fine with the six weeks. How quickly things changed. If I was going to tell a new mom how much time to take for maternity leave, I would say four to five months if you could get it. It would be long enough to bond but not long enough to where you could not even remember what it was like being at work.

I can say that returning to work is filled with a million different emotions. Even if you are someone who likes to work, it is very difficult leaving your sweet precious baby after weeks of taking walks, seeing friends “ooh and ash” over your baby and pretty much being free to do whatever you want with your child. I didn’t sit at my desk and cry or think that there was no way I could handle being back at work. I did however go into a full state of appreciation of what working moms go through when deciding whether to work or stay at home. For me, I have decided that working is all about flexibility. I felt that way before I even had a child. I think the kind of job where you are chained to your desk doesn’t really make anyone feel empowered. If I am allowed to work hard and be my own boss when it comes to making light schedule adjustments, the harder I work. When I feel cornered, stuck to a specific schedule day in and day out, it makes me not want to work at all. I have been fortunate that most of the time I have been able to build in this flexibility. I have always operated from the place that flexibility should be allowed if the work is getting done.

Having said that, flexibility now means something different than it used to mean. I didn’t have someone that I wanted to see who was going to bed at 6:30 or 7. Luckily at the moment I am able to have the flexibility I need. I am only a week in though. Will have to keep you posted as things develop. Would love to hear from all the working moms out there! :)

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