Tuesday, July 24, 2012


As a mother, this is something that's very difficult for me to admit.

I had a really hard time bonding with Skeeter in the beginning.

She's only two months old, so I know we're kind of still in the beginning. But in the beginning of the beginning, things were rough.

With Punkin, I was so securely bonded with him before he was even born that it didn't cross my mind for a minute that it might be a struggle. And it wasn't. My bond with him was immediate and it was the strongest sense of love I had ever felt.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant with Skeeter, I worried. I was unsure. I was scared. I really think this had an impact on how I felt when she was born. Of course I immediately loved her. She's still my baby and I would lay down my life for her in an instant. But there was just something missing there that I didn't lack with Punkin.

She's a fussy baby. She fights sleep with everything her little body has, and I'm so ashamed of how frustrated I would get with her for the first month of her life. It seemed like nothing I did helped. I couldn't calm her at all and I would just hold her and watch her cry and just beg her to stop. There were a few times I just had to put her in the swing and walk away for my sanity. I felt like the most horrible, worthless mother in the world. I was certain I had post partum depression and seriously considered seeking help.

I remember when I was pregnant with Punkin, Bestie told me if I didn't immediately bond with him, that was okay. That it happens sometimes and that things would get better. I blew that comment off. I was already so in tune to him that I knew I wouldn't have any issues. But now I'm remembering her words and thinking of how right she was. And I wonder how many other women go through this and come out okay.

As Mothers, I feel like we're expected to naturally be good at taking care of babies. To naturally have that maternal instinct that tells us what's wrong with a crying baby and how to soothe them to tranquility. Talk about pressure.

There are still hard moments. I texted a friend in a fit of self loathing about how there's nothing I can do for her just last week.

Deep breaths.

I am happy to report that things are much better. I look at her sometimes and get that overwhelming feeling of love where I want to squeeze her and kiss her and tell her how much I love her...so I do. I sing to her and wonder if she'll still want me to when she's Punkin's age and too squirmy to sit still for a song. I play with her and delight in her smiles and coos and try to keep it going as long as I can.

I keep telling myself it's just her temperament, and all babies are different. She's just as frustrated as I am when she's crying because she's so sleepy. And sometimes she just needs to cry, and that's okay. If I've tried everything in my power to calm her, then it's okay to just hold her and let her cry.

We're learning together.

Monday, July 16, 2012

"Extreme" Parenting

I came across an article today about a show that TLC is running called "Extreme Parenting". I was disheartened to read the "extreme" part means extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping and elimination communication practicing parents. Extreme? Really?

The really disturbing thing about this article was the reader comments at the bottom. People comparing breastfeeding to molestation and demanding these children be taken away from their parents. I can't even comprehend why another parenting style would cause so much outrage (excluding the obvious abuse or neglect).

I'm having flashbacks of that horrible Time magazine cover with the Mom nursing her 3 year old as he stands on a chair. No, it wasn't horrible because the child was 3. It was horrible because it sensationalized and sexualized extended breastfeeding. There was nothing loving or nurturing about that picture. There were plenty of wonderful pictures of mothers and children on the inside, but Time chose the most obnoxious one they could find.

TLC has decided to cash in on the debate that's been sparked, and I'm irritated to say the least.

Here's the thing: why do we care so much? I mean really? As mother, heck as parents, we have a tough gig. There's a lot of work to be done with little to no recognition or appreciation. But we don't care, because the mere fact that our kids wake up every morning gives us satisfaction. So why should another person care if how long I breastfeed or if I let my baby sleep in the bed?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that as parents, we all have things that we struggle with as far as child rearing goes. I don't think that these labels (i.e. attachment parenting, authoritarian, etc) provide a positive outlook. We should really be supporting each other through parenthood, not ripping each other for things like formula vs. breastfeeding. As long as our kids are fed and healthy and happy, why all the negativity?

I hate that the media is fueling this debate. I hope we can all come to recognize that parents need to do what they feel is right for their families, not for everyone else.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Skeeter is definitely starting to show her little personality. She loves when we play with her and when I sing to her, but only if she can see my face while I'm singing. She loves when her Daddy tells her how pretty she is. She gives him a big smile every time. She still wants to be held just so, and she'll let you know if she's not in the position she thinks she should be in.

I feel like bed time is getting a little easier. I'm not sure if it's Austin and I learning what to do to get her to sleep, or if she's just learning that she's tired so she should probably just go to sleep. It still takes some time for us to get her down, but I feel like it's less time and when we put her down, she actually stays down. Punkin's bedtime has pretty much settled on 8:00. He goes to sleep pretty quickly when we put him to bed and it's early enough that we still have a little bit of time before we go to bed.

She sleeps pretty well at night. I'm luckier than most, I think. She goes down between 9 and 10 and she usually sleeps until 3:30 or so to nurse and goes right back to sleep until about 6:30ish. Then she nurses again and a lot of times will go back to sleep until 9 or so.

Twice she's slept straight through until 6:30 (knock on wood). I almost couldn't go back to sleep when I put her back down after nursing her the first time she did this. My body wasn't used to having that much sleep at one time!

I put her down for a nap a few days ago, and heard her crying a few minutes later. I went to check on her and she had rolled over! I'm pretty sure she managed to push against the side of the pack and play and gain just the right leverage to push herself over, but I was still impressed. She was not amused. I'm pretty sure she scared herself to hysterics.

Since I've gone back to work, I think Punkin is feeling a little stressed. He's been demanding more of my attention, especially when I'm holding the baby, which he wasn't doing before. We still give him lots of one on one attention, but he admittedly gets it more from Daddy than from me. I'm usually busy nursing or changing diapers or just holding a fussy baby. He's acting out a bit more where he had previously calmed down. I guess to him negative attention is still attention. I'm hoping to try and carve out some more time with him so he feels more secure, it's just a matter of finding that time.

Austin has been booked at Bonkerz comedy clubs throughout Florida, and is currently trying to set up a tour with a few friends around some college campuses. I'm so excited for him since he's finally doing what he wants to do in life (and getting paid for it). But I'm also nervous to have whole weekends where it's just me and two kids. Hopefully the older Skeeter gets, the easier it'll be.

He still loves her, even if she does steal our attention.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Back to the Grind

Yep. Back at work.

Yesterday was my first day back at work. After the initial teary good-byes and whines of "But I don't WANNA go back to work!", I made it through in one piece. Luckily it's slow as molases here right now and everyone is out on vacation so there's not a lot to do.

Back to pumping. It's not as horrible as I remember, but I think it's because I remember the end where I was barely pumping enough to keep up with Punkin's intake and it was super stressful. But we managed to make it through the first year, so I'm hoping I have no problems this time. Nursing has gotten so much better with Skeeter (formally known as baby girl) and I can't tell you what a relief that is. If I can make it to a year with her and not have to buy formula, I'll be so happy. She makes this awful smacking sound when she first latches on, but I'm pain free and she seems to be getting what she needs so I'm letting it slide.

She has also hit her 6 week growth spurt. She's a little grumpier and WAY hungrier than normal. I'm hoping it passes fairly quickly. Austin fed her a 3 ounce bottle this morning and she was still hungry. Punkin took 3 ounces a bottle almost until the end of him getting a bottle. Then again he was just so laid back it was crazy.

I'm starting to get a little stressed about how I'm going to manage work and home. I don't get home until 5:30 and then it's handling kids pretty much until they're in bed, which for Skeeter can be anywhere from 8:00-10:00. We've started putting Punkin to bed later because his former 7:00 bedtime just isn't cutting it. He's not tired at all when we put him down so he ends up just jumping around and yelling in his crib until he falls asleep. We've been putting him down around 8:30-9 which is a big change for me (he doesn't seem to notice the difference. He's still up at 7am). I'm used to having those hours before I go to sleep to clean/eat/watch tv with the hubs. Now by the time he's down and Skeeter is down, I want to go down. Last night I seriously considered skipping dinner and going straight to bed. I ate a bowl of cereal and by the time I was done, Skeeter was up crying again. Sigh. Here's hoping a real routine starts up before we're all buried under a pile of dishes and cloth diapers.

Snuggle Bugs