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I keep hearing things that really bother me lately. Of course there is all the hype of half the population thinking that breastfeeding is somehow gross, unnatural, or worse- sexual. My goodness, I can not understand that. Feeding our babies are what breasts are there for. If men find them attractive, well okay, added bonus! But that should not take away from the fact that they are meant to nourish infants.

I personally am not on any kind of crusade here. I don’t care if you breastfeed or give your child formula. I believe that formula is good and that a baby can and will get everything that he or she needs from it.

I have already posted about feeding my son in public and how I will feed whenever, and wherever he happens to be hungry. I will do that whether it bothers people or not. I am not trying to make a spectacle of myself, but I am using part of my body for which it was intended- to feed my baby. This post, however, is not about public nursing.

I keep hearing about people, even doctors, who seem to think that young infants “need” other food. I am all for giving your baby solids at 4-6 months. Chris has no interest in baby purees, but he loves pretty much anything I put into his mesh feeder. However, I know that he is not, and really can not, get the nutrients he needs to grow and be healthy. He is not eating enough solid food to do that, for one. Plus, he still gets everything he needs from my milk. The same goes for formula. They have stages for a reason, to meet the needs of your baby as they grow and their nutritional needs change. So, if your baby is not interested in baby food or solids before turning one, who cares?

I have heard that you need to get your baby to eat solid foods so that you, the mother, can have some freedom. Well, I don’t know about other mothers, but I did not become a parent so I can have freedom. I don’t think of myself as enslaved or employed by my children. It was my choice to have them!

I have also heard that you don’t want your child to become dependent on your milk. Ummm…aren’t babies supposed to be dependent on their mothers? Sure, it is our job to teach our children to be independent and responsible. To teach them that the world doesn’t revolve around them. But when children are just babies, the world does and SHOULD revolve around them. It is such a fleeting time, and if you are not prepared for your child to be your world, then maybe you should have waited. It’s okay for your child to be dependent on you, at least for a year. When they are two you will hear “I do it myself” constantly. Can’t you wait until then to be “free”?

Not to say it is even necessarily parents themselves that I hear these things from. It is mainly non-parents and/or men. People that think they know everything, but have no idea how wonderfully inside out your world turns when you become a mother.

I am just sick of being judged. You can’t win sometimes, but feeding your baby should not be one of those times. Whether you breastfeed or formula feed I urge you to feed your baby. To hold them and rock them and comfort them while it is still possible for them to be comforted by nothing more than the feel of your skin. Experiment with solids if your baby is ready and shows interest, but if he or she isn’t interested, know that it’s okay. Milk or formula is all your baby needs, contrary to popular belief.

Busy Boy

My little guy intently watching his sister blow bubbles.

My little guy intently watching his sister blow bubbles.

Christopher is six months old now and he has such a personality already. He certainly keeps me on my toes! He is mobile and gets around very quickly by scooching on his back or army crawling. He can sit on his own quite well, the only problem being that he nearly gives me a heart attack when he decides he has places to go and just throws himself forward.

He is very mischievous and gives me this killer grin whenever he is getting into something. When I hold him he is usually reaching out his pudgy little arms for anything that he can possibly get his hands on. I watch him sometimes and I can see the wheels turning in his head. I know that he is planning out how he is going to get into something new.

Just like his Daddy, my little man is fascinated by how things work. He gets this serious expression on his face and concentrates hard on things. At the same time, though, he can be a goof and loves to laugh.

Leah is the one who can get him to laugh the hardest. He will get going to the point where he is sighing and trying to catch his breath. The only sound in the world better than my baby laughing is both of my babies laughing together.

It is hard to believe that one year ago I was just feeling the first flutters of movement letting me know each day that my baby was there, growing inside of me. I didn’t know for another month that we were even having a boy. And yet, here he is- this perfect little person who fits into our family so perfectly it feels like he has always been here.

Since my kids are 4 1/2 years apart there really hasn’t been any reason to stick them in the bath together. Tonight, however, it happened. Dave was late getting home. Leah really needed her hair washed (there was something sticky in it! Eww!) and Christopher was covered in the yogurt melts he was chomping on while Leah and I ate dinner. So, I filled up the bathtub and put them in there together.

It was going pretty well. I had to hold onto Chris since he is just learning to sit on his own and I didn’t want him toppling over into the water. He did manage to stick his face in and drink some, though, and came up sputtering. I immediately stood him up so I could pat his back. He caught his breath, smiled at me, then looked down at himself as he began to pee into the water.

I was waiting for my little drama queen Leah to say, “Gross!!!” and demand that I empty the tub and refill it with fresh water. Instead she giggled and exclaimed,

“That’s funny ’cause I did the same thing when we first got in here!”

Oh motherhood, you are full of surprises.

Clandestine Mom Time

If I want to have a real, uninterrupted conversation with my mom, we have to plan a secret dinner. I have to literally sneak out of my house before Leah sees my mom’s car, and tell her that I am having dinner with a friend.

Last night my mom and I went for pedicures and dinner. We have been planning on it for a few weeks now and finally had an evening that worked for both of us. We relaxed while our toes were being done, chatted, chatted, and chatted some more.

I was home just in time to tuck Leah into bed. I showed her my pretty piggies.

“Mom,” she asked me, “Is your friend a boy or a girl?”

She said the word friend with the same inflection as someone who was doing air quotes.

“A girl.” I answered her.

“Really?” She asked, narrowing her eyes at me. “And what color did she get her nails painted?”

“Ummm, red like mine. But darker.” I answered cautiously.

I will not be surprised to find Leah inspecting my mom’s toes the next time we see her. I think she is on to us!

Dressing up means wearing a shirt- any shirt- that doesn’t have stains.

Getting ready means brushing your teeth (finally!) and putting your hair in a ponytail.

When your friends ask what you’ve been reading, you respond enthusiastically with, “I am SO into anything by Dr. Suess right now!”

Going to the grocery store alone counts as “me time”.

You know all the words to “Let it Go” by heart.

You have Santa on speed dial.

When your kid has a sleepover with the grandparents you are excited to eat in the livingroom, start watching adult tv before 8 o’clock, and go to bed early.

Instead of debating politics you debate about co-sleeping, formula, and circumcision.

You don’t remember how to have a conversation without mentioning your little ones (because they are your world!)

You sometimes hide in the pantry and eat chocolate so that you don’t have to share.

You find a discarded oreo cookie on the coffee table, shrug, and eat it.

You don’t get it when Sesame Street parodies HBO shows because you never have time to watch HBO anymore.

Most of all, you don’t mind any of the above because you love being a mom so much!

Add your own in the comments! :-)

Limbs

When Christopher was born, Leah stopped cuddling with me for awhile. She was good to her brother and did not lay a guilt trip on me for ending her reign as only child, but this was her one rebellion. She would cuddle her Daddy, her brother, her Mana, but not me.

This went on for 4-5 months. At first I fought it and tried to force my little girl into my arms, but that only angered her and pushed her farther away. And so, I waited for her to come back to me.

Recently, she did. She crawls into my lap and lays her head on my shoulder once more. It is blissful. It is also different. The last time she snuggled up with me, she was soft. She fit perfectly in my lap. Now she has to fold herself up, and she is all long limbs and sharp angles.

When did this happen? When did my baby girl lose all of her baby “chub” and become this tanned, long legged, beautiful girl?

Still, though, she will always be my baby and I am always reminding her of that. And so I gather her up- legs, angles, and edges, and fold her into my arms. She still fits perfectly, and I suspect that she always will.

Leah and my mom aDSCN1589re two peas in a pod. They are very close, and Leah calls my mom pretty much every night. I am also close to my mom and talk to her every day. I love that my daughter and my mother are so alike and love one another so much.

The only problem is that I rarely get the chance to converse with my mom uninterrupted, and usually when we all get together Leah commandeers her attention. Most of the time I don’t mind, but sometimes we try to talk. It generally doesn’t work!

Today we were planning to go over there for a swim. I asked Leah if she thought Mana would play in the pool with us. Her reply?

“Yes, mom, but remember when we are there it is not all about you and your mom!”

I didn’t know whether to laugh or say, “She was MY best friend first!”

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