The best advice I ever got, “If you aren’t holding your head in your hands crying in the first month or two, thinking that this might not have been the best decision you ever made, than you aren’t doing it right!”. I never full understood this until that moment.
I knew hard. I had kids resuscitated, been told the might die or loose their bowels at 6 days old. I learned how to startle one if they had a “Brady” (fancy term for a slow heart beat). One who couldn’t hold food down and held the other while he had a central line put into his leg. Did I mention that I almost bit the dust after giving birth and had an emergency C-section and started to learn to care for them less than 20 hours later?was ready to get out of the hospital and care for them on my own. I had this parenting thing down….until that damn moment.
I can’t say the exact day that shit hit the fan. But I will always remember the phone call to that same dear friend. I was bawling my eyes out on the phone in the bath tub telling her that I was a horrible mother and that my children should be taken away from me(This is when you know you have a keeper of a friend). She casually asked me where the kids were (always a good idea to do the safety check that someone hadn’t really lost their shit!). My kids where fine and with my husband. Me, I was a totally F#%king mess! I needed to put the kids on formula. Making formula while sleep deprived might as well had been he equivalent to asking me to decipher hieroglyphics. I was so tired that I failed to notice that they have pre-made formula! So after a nice soak, and lot’s of reassurance, life went on.
It is normal to freak out. Kids don’t have manuals. You make mistakes. Own them!
Here are my rants for the first year:
- The breast vs. formula debate. My opinion-Personal Choice! If you are a responsible parent, you have already read all the material on it. The reality is that sometimes you can’t breast feed and some people choose not too. As long as you are not diluting the formula because you had kids for a pay cheque-IT’S NOT MY BUSINESS!
- Paper diaper vs. cloth. I did cloth diapers. It was easy. BUT it was MY CHOICE. As long as you truly do not believe that a 12 hour diaper means leave your child in it for 12 hours because you are too lazy, or don’t care to change them-It’s not my business!
- Soothers-Yup I did the soother (pacifier) thing. One liked it, the other didn’t. I weaned the one that did when she was ready. As long as you are not a cheap ass parent who uses dollar store ones and allows the kids to keep it while it is cracked and unsafe, or until they are 4-It’s not my business!
- A messy house. And by messy I mean filthy! There is no excuse why you can not clean, and cook and care for your children. I have seen some nasty homes that I wouldn’t allow my cat in, let alone a kid. We all have days that go wrong, but seriously, if you have a bottle of formula that is growing bacteria in it, get off your ass and clean your house!
- Baby food. I made all of my own baby food except for when we travelled. It takes no time at all and you do not have to be a chef to do it. To this day I hear that I was a super mom. Not true. After we got through the testing for allergies stage, it’s pretty simple to blend your meals and if you want, add your own heat (pepper) later. So if you are the parent that buys baby food-stop bitching about the price and posting pictures on Face Book about mildew in food pouches and blend the food.
- Why do people buy strollers if they are too lazy to take their kids out? In some countries, children are bundled up and left outside for fresh air in the winter. Fresh air is good for children and for you. Take your fancy stroller, that was probably bought at for you at your shower, and USE IT!
- If you are lucky and have a lot of support. DO NOT tell parents who do not, how important date night is! Or how important a week away is to help your marriage. Good for you that you have that support, but truly most people don’t or choose to be with their kids. THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK!
- The crib. A crib is for sleeping. It is not a device to contain your child because you don’t want to be a parent!
- Television and technology. I had the T.V. on for background noise. It is NOT a babysitter! Not saying we all haven’t been sick or had a bad day and let them watch it for longer than normal, but seriously-if your kid sits in front of it all day long you need to ask yourself WHY?!
Ughhh, that feels so much better. I am sure I am going to make a lot of friends!