I don’t know what it is about becoming a mom, but suddenly it seems that everyone feels entitled to tell women what to do. I’ve had complete strangers tell me that I needed to put a hat on my baby, or socks, or to not bundle her up so much. Excuse me, but don’t you think her um, MOTHER would know what she needs?
At the moment, Harley is five months old. She is exclusively breast fed and gloriously chubby. I mean, really chubby. She even has fat rolls at her wrists and her ankles. Her growth has continued to impress the sister when I take her to get weighed, and she is absolutely thriving. It is an incredible feeling for me – breast feeding has done so well for her. She went from being a tiny little preemie, to being a healthy chunky monkey. I am so grateful to be able to provide for her, to be able to give her the best possible food, and to be setting her up for a future of fewer allergies, illnesses and other issues. However, plenty of people have other opinions. Continue Reading
I have only been publicly pregnant for a couple weeks now, but one thing has already become abundantly clear – everyone thinks that they know more than me. More than me about parenting, about being pregnant, and about all the things that I should or shouldn’t be doing.
Okay, not everyone. And some people really do know more than us and can offer some helpful advice and ideas. But mostly… wow. I get strange looks when buying my husband his tobacco, and even stranger looks when buying beer and wine for the house. I have people questioning if I’m allowed to eat this or that, or straight up telling me that I shouldn’t. I’ve been advised to adopt all kinds of radical diets, to read up on the dangers of vaccination, and that certain decisions that Dean and I have made simply aren’t right, especially keeping our cats who are apparently going to smother the baby.
The best advice I’ve gotten has been from a few moms: in the end, ignore everyone and just do things however feels right for me and Dean. So that’s what I’m doing.
Yes, I’ve been eating sushi and camembert. I also occasionally have a small splash of white wine in my sparkling water or a sip of Dean’s beer if it’s a nice Kilkenny. I plan to swear in front of my child and promote gender equality in all forms, even if it means fighting for his or her right to wear a school uniform normally reserved for a different gender. I also plan on teaching my kid about all things gaming and tech and want Dean to teach him or her the basics of coding from an early age. You can think I’m an idiot, I think plenty of people are, but this is what feels right and so that’s what I’m doing.
And sometimes, it feels like a horribly lonely experience. Dean isn’t known for saying anything right – it’s something we often joke about. He does things right and looks after me so well and makes me incredibly happy, but he simply doesn’t say the things I want to hear when I ask him for it. But the other night, he said exactly the right thing at the perfect time.
I was getting changed and feeling overwhelmed by a new discomfort in my stomach after eating. My boobs were sore, my stomach was uncomfortable and I was fighting a headache without the help of any pain meds. It was not a good moment for me. And after being tough all day and pushing through, I stood there in our bedroom, naked, and I started making those pre-crying whimpering sounds.
Dean came in and asked what was wrong and I told him. He held me close, giving me a huge hug and simply said, “I know this sucks right now, and it’s going to be shitty for a while. But you’re not alone, we’re doing this together.”
And suddenly I remembered that we had planned this together, that we are an unbeatable team and could get through anything. Of course I then had to fight him off from trying to manhandle my nipples (he takes his “training for breast feeding” job incredibly seriously), but I felt so much better just knowing that I won’t have to do any of this alone, no matter how it feels some days. I have an incredible husband to help me, as well as wonderful friends and family who really are full of the best intentions and some really great advice, even if it doesn’t always seem that way.