Welcome to the fabulous and sometimes insane life
of a working mother who is trying hard not to
let her whole existence be determined by her
cute little munchkins, yet continues to be drawn
in by the adorable and sometimes annoying tiny people!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Heaven Forbid if There is a Real Emergency

Picture it: Cairo...2011

I have just dropped my oldest off at dance (wow how nice it is when they are old enough to be dropped off!). The middle child and I are leaving and heading to our local dance shop to spend a small fortune to ready ourselves for our upcoming recital. I stop at the red light and wait. 

Finally, it turns green, but as I begin to push the gas pedal I notice a tiny puff of smoke come of the top of the transformer beside the red light. Needless to say, the red light went kaput. I proceeded forward by following the rule of four way stop, which any good driver learns about in driving class...or those of us who are not good drivers learn from almost wrecks or impending tickets!

Any who...I continue over the over pass that goes over the railroad tracks only to be met on the other side by another non working red light, but some of these drivers have obviously never taken driver's ed or gotten a ticket or almost gotten a wreck (although I see that happening in their future), because this red light was almost in pandemonium. By pandemonium, I clearly mean (seeing as we are in Cairo, GA) that there were four cars trying to figure out who should go and when. 

So after finally being getting through the stop light, I did what any good citizen and girl who loves drama would do: I dialed 911 to let them know about the power outage. Here is the conversation that followed:

Operator: Grady County 911
Me: Yes I wanted to report that the red lights on 5th street are not working

Operator: Red lights where?
Me: On fifth street
Operator: Where are you on fifth street
Me: I am at the over pass
Operator: Which over pass?
Me: (here is where I start worrying about our county's emergency system) The over pass on 5th 
****Let me interject at this point that there is only one, let me repeat, one over pass in all of Cairo.
Operator: Well...are you on east or west
Me: um....I don't know....I am on the over pass near the high school.
Operator: Which high school?
Me: (SERIOUSLY) Cairo High School (The only high school in Cairo!!!!!!!!)
Operator: Okay, we will dispatch someone
Me: Thank you

After leaving the store, I head home and come to where 5th street intersects with highway 84 (the major road in this small town), and there is still no one at the red lights! I do not blame the police...they probably couldn't figure out where they were being sent due to the lack of clear directions coming across the radio!

Now I am sorry if you are that 911 operator or if she is your sister or aunt or whoever but COME ON. What if I was injured? Or in a wreck? Or being robbed? Or on fire? Heaven forbid if there is a real emergency, because they will never be able to find me!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Breast May Be Best, But Sanity is Better

So I am now in my 4th week of breast feeding, and it is going pretty well. We have had some difficulty. One, she was not gaining weight initially so I had to feed her every 2 hours for a few days. Which in non-mom terms means pretty much around the clock!

How you might ask? Well...let's say you start feeding at 8 a.m. You will feed for at least 45 minutes to an hour. Then an hour later, you start all over again! Which, to help my little one gain weight, was well worth the sacrifice of sleep and any time to myself as well as any feeling in my nipples!!

Second, it appeared I still did not satisfy her. Which is quite odd, because when I pump it results in enough milk to feed a small African nation. But who knows? I mean, I am not a breast milk connoisseur. Perhaps, my variety was not from a good year and is not quite quenching or filling enough. Perhaps it needs to ferment a little more. So we started giving her 2 ounces of formula after every feeding resulting in not only having to heal nipples but also having to put them in the dishwasher.

Third, those explosive breast milk poopies are now hurting my darling's bottom. This happened with my second child. It appears that my milk is somewhat acidic and seeing as breast fed babies have extremely liquid poops the liquid tends to eat at that precious, tender, and soft skinned booty. Seriously, her diaper rash went from nonexistent to bleeding. We have special cream and all (our pharmasist has super powers), but as long as I am breast feeding it is not going to get any better. This is why I stopped breast feeding my second child after a month and within 2 days her bottom was good again.

So I have made the decision to give up breast feeding. Now, I must admit that besides all of the reasons I have stated above the most important (and perhaps selfish) reason is that I just do not enjoy breast feeding. Yes, I know it is the best. It is better for her. And I know it is good for me...best diet ever seeing as I have lost over 25 pounds in 3 weeks. I know it is supposed to be all wonderful and all, but for me it is not.

I don't like being the only one to be able to feed her. I don't do good on little or no sleep (best thing I have done so far is let my husband take over the middle of the night feeding). I don't like the time it takes away from my other munchkins. At least, if I am doing a bottle someone else can do it and I can go read a book with the girls or help them with their homework. I don't like having to hide in a backroom or in the car when we are out while keeping a watch out for perverts in other cars. I  hate that I feel like a cow and that I can't get out of the shower with out getting milk every where. And I honestly don't feel all that comfortable doing it. I despise the let down feeling...it makes me feel....I don't know...weird!

I don't need to be bombarded with comments and e-mails about how wonderful it is and it gets better after the first couple of months! This is my third child, and I know how good breast milk is. I have a freaking education and I read like there is no tomorrow. I am even considered by some to be the utmost authority on all things pregnancy and baby. I have seen similar posts from people declaring that hate breastfeeding only to be harrassed by seemingly helpful mothers who are encouraging them not to give up and that it will get better and to do it for their baby.  One thing I know is that you can't be a good mother if you are losing your mind. So if you are from the La Leche League BACK OFF! There are just many geniuses out there that were formula fed as there are that were breast fed. And my oldest got breast milk longer than any of my kids and was the sickest of all for the first 5 years of her life!

So my conlusion is...where as I know that the breast is best, I also know that my sanity is better. Not just for me, but for my 3 girls and my husband (who had started to look at me with that "Oh My Gosh! When is it coming...When is she going to totally lose it?" look.

There I feel better now!

Monday, May 23, 2011

To Brag or Not to Brag: That is the question!

I was recently conflicted as a parent. What had happened was...

My oldest child got several awards at her end of the year program. She scored perfect on her first grade "End of the Year" math test. She had the highest A.R. points in all of first grade, and she got a trophy for making "All A" Honor Roll for the entire year. She was so excited! She came back to her seat with her smile shining brightly and showing her medals and trophy to her friends. 

Without a doubt I was bursting with pride, yet I found myself holding back. I didn't want anyone to think...I am not really sure what I was afraid of. Was it jealousy? Or people thinking we were bragging? I don't know.

I even caught myself telling her, as she turned to show off her prizes to her friends, not to brag. I mean I, personally, know what it is like not to get something when a friend does and to be upset. But she wasn't showing them her awards to make them feel bad, she was just happy and wanted to share the good news with her friends.

Even as we sat in the auditorium, I watched as parents around me uploaded pictures of their children and their awards to Facebook. When I got home that day and over the next few days, I watched as everyone I knew posted how proud they were of their children and their end or the year accomplishments, yet I held back. 

I wonder if it comes from being so competitive with even my closest friends in high school, or if it is because I have naturally found myself feeling jealous before and didn't want someone else to feel that, or maybe it was because I have, guiltily, felt disappointed when my child didn't get something that I know she really wanted. But most likely it was because I didn't want someone to think that I was bragging or boasting and for them to say something snide. 

Why? I don't know. I mean I do not think bad of anyone for posting great things about their children. In fact, I am happy for them, as friends should be for each other.We should be shouting it to the mountain top when our children do awesome things, and we should be thrilled that our friends' children are accomplishing amazing things. We should be spreading the news like wild fire. 

I mean think about...if the situation was reversed and someone's kid had gotten in a wreck, or arrested, or heaven forbid pregnant, that news would spread like wild fire. So I say it shouldn't be a question of whether  to brag or not to brag about the great things our kids accomplish. We should shout it to the mountain tops. We should celebrate with each other! And yes, we should brag!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blissful Forgetfulness

Blissful Forgetfulness

Let me be clear: I love my newborn. She is precious and delicious. I would not trade this experience for the world no matter how hard it is in the beginning. 

That being said there are some important parts of having a newborn that I had blissfully forgotten. I say blissfully because I am pretty sure the first 6-8 weeks of having a newborn is not something that appeals to anyone. There are lots of things that I had forgotten so I thought I would make a list of some for all those who are thinking of becoming parents or are already on their way. 

1. You will never sleep again. I am not joking nor am I exaggerating. You are literally not going to sleep at least until he or she starts sleeping through the night, and who knows when that might be. There are times when my four year old doesn't sleep through the night. Even if he/she starts sleeping for stretches of 4 hours at a time this is really misleading. What it means is that you will feed her for 30-60 minutes of those four hours. Then you will spend 10-20 minutes praying that she will go back to sleep, and then you will spend 30-60 minutes trying to actually get back to sleep. Then you will be jerked awake by every little noise he or she makes afraid that they are waking again. So that 4 hour stretch really is only the equivalent of an hour and a half or so. 

2. You will become obsessed with pee and poop. You will keep track of every wet and messy diaper your child has. It will even become part of your daily conversation! "Bo and Hope might be getting back together on Days of Our Lives. Oh and my kid had 6 poopies today!" Why are we obsessed? It is the only thing that indicates that she is getting enough to eat. It will even become normal to discuss how the poopies look..."black as tar, yellow and seedy, slightly green..." Also, (note to self) beware of explosive poopies, especially when you are changing the diaper. You must move quickly!!

3. You will feel like a worse parent. I am not sure if this happens to everyone or if it is just me, but the first time I had a child I felt like a complete and utter failure. I was unsure about everything I did and did not trust myself or my judgement at all. I felt like I was horrible at this parenting thing. When I had my second child, I felt much more confident about the baby stuff but felt like I was a horrible parent to my other child. I was so tired and all she wanted was my attention and I had none to give her. I spent most of the time feeling guilty. 

4. You will feel like you are going completely insane. First of all you will cry a lot...for no reason at all. The water works could start at any point in time. During a commercial, when someone asks you what you want to eat, when your husband asks you a seemingly innocent question like, "do we have any coffee?" You might even feel insane because as your sweet baby continues to cry inconsolably even after being changed, fed, and rocked you think "what is this creature?!?!? And what does it want?!?!?" Have no fear! The best piece of advice I was ever given was from my husband's aunt when she walked into the room and I was crying uncontrollably along side my newborn . She looked at me sympathetically and made an AWESOME proclamation, "It is perfectly natural to want to punt your newborn out the window, as long as you don't do it!" What she gave to me that day was the permission to feel frustrated with this bundle that I was supposed to be all lovey dovey over without feeling guilty.

5. How unbelievably AMAZING this new creature is! I mean you made her or him. He or she came out of you. Just a few days ago they were kicking you from the inside and now she is in your arms. She knows your voice already and will love to cuddle into your neck, which is the sweetest feeling ever!

So yes you do blissfully forget how hard it is to have a newborn. You forget the first 6-8 weeks can sometimes be described as He#$. What you don't forget is how wonderful this new addition is and how amazing she will make your lives. This is the knowledge that will sustain you on those long nights of no sleep...that and caffine;)