Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lessons From a Stay-at-Home Mom

Obviously I am no expert when it comes to parenting or being a wife or anything at all... except I am an expert at just being generally awesome.  Hahah!  Just kidding... kind of.

However, even though I am not nearly an expert or amazing at anything in particular- especially parenting considering I have been a parent for 7 months- I can still offer up a little bit of knowledge that I have personally gained through experience.

Let's begin:

1. Everyone has a different opinion about how things should be done.  It is your child.  God has given you instincts, friend... use them.  Every baby is different, and every parent is different.  Thus, there are going to be different methods of parenting, and guess what?  Unless you mess up royally, your child will probably turn out just fine.  Relax.  Hardcore on Baby Wise?  Your baby will be fine.  Hardcore on Attachment Parenting?  Your baby will be fine.  Personally, I like to mix it up- my opinion has always been "moderation is the key".  And you know what?  My baby will be TOTALLY AND UTTERLY DESTROYED!!!!  Now, see... if you believed that, you obviously weren't paying attention.  The real answer is, he will be fine.  =]  Okay.  Paying attention now?  Good.  Carry on then...

2. Everyone wants to brag about her child.  This irks me many times.  But it shouldn't. You know why?  Because the kid that doesn't walk until 13 months could end up being a surgeon, and the prodigy baby that starts walking at an astounding 7 months could end up being as dumb as a bag of rocks someday.  Sounds harsh?  Sorry, the truth hurts.  According to research I have done at least, their early development (early as in like... baby) doesn't really have any bearing on their intelligence and development later on in life.  So if you feel the need to brag about your baby's accomplishments, try to think how you would feel if another momma told you everything her baby has done and your baby hadn't quite made it to that point yet.  If that would worry you, then newsflash... it probably worries the other momma... so knock it off.  Obviously I know my child is just as smart and developed as the rest of them, but when mommas start the "Well, my kid is doing such-and-such" game, I start to unnecessarily worry about whether or not T.J. is up to par.  That isn't fair to anyone- especially T.J.  If it is purely an innocent comparison and just a fun topic both momma's are interested in discussing, then great!  That is a different story.  Alls I'm sayin' is, try to be respectful and considerate.

3. Don't worry if you look like poop on a stick, no one looks at you anymore.  Seriously, though.  It is amazing how when you are holding an adorable child, no one stares at you anymore to see how you look.  Sound depressing?  Cheer up, Charlie!  (...or you know, whatever your name happens to be.)  This is a good thing- be an optimist!  You can look like junkindoodles and a half and not have to worry!  Obviously I am exaggerating, but the truth is, you are a lot less the center of others' eyeballs' attention.  Follow those possessives?  ::phew::  Give yourself a pat on the back because I wrote that and it annoyed me.

4. It will never be about you ever again.  EVER.  "Mom!  Dad!  So happy to see you!  You won't believe what I have been up to; I-  You aren't paying attention to me, are you?  Nope.  Just took T.J. out of my arms and are snuggling him without even realizing I am here.  You don't seem to understand that I brought him here... to you... right now... why am I still talking to myself when no one is listening?"  Sum it up?  Grand.

5. Babies don't pay attention to what goes in their mouths.  I am sure you knew this one, but I find it interesting that I made T.J. a prune, banana, breast milk puree ::waits patiently for readers to finish vomiting:: and he gobbles it down despite the fact that it looks like cat diarrhea.  Oh, to be so innocent and carefree.  Brown slime?  Don't mind if I do!

6. A successful day is measured in naps and poops.  To clarify: naps and poops of the baby.

7. You and your spouse's main topic of discussion will probably be the quality and quantity of baby's poops and naps for some time.  This is okay.  But you may want to try forcing yourselves to discuss other topics.  I mean, yes, baby bowel movements and naps are interesting to discuss (not.), but you need to have some actual conversation about other stuff as well... such as baby's general behavior and the clothing he or she wore that day...  ;]

8. Babies have rough patches.  No one said parenting was easy.  And if they did, either they don't have kids or they consider raising 9 cats as parenting.  Your baby may go through a sleep regression... or maybe even ::gasp:: multiple sleep regressions!  You will live.  Suck it up, you probably got up more in the middle of the night to pee during your pregnancy than you do to care for your little love bug during a regression.  I know I did!  Your little snuggle bear may go through a rough teething time.  And why not?  They have sharp objects ripping their way through sensitive mouth flesh- sound painful?  It IS!  The point is: you will live, they will live, and things will always get better!

9. Get out of the house.  One of the best things I can do for T.J. and myself is getting out of the house- even if it is a quick 30 minute walk or an hour at the park with Trav when he gets home from work.  Being a stay-at-home mom, I can get completely stir crazy when I am stuck in our 2-bedroom condo for the entire day.  T.J. is a person, too.  He probably gets just as stir crazy- boring?  I think so!  Walking can be such a relaxing, fun way to spend some quality time in the fresh air with your child.  Whatever you do, just get out for a bit- it always helps us break up the day with something different.

10. Enjoy these days without inhibitions.  As a stay-at-home mom, I feel the need to make sure the house is clean and everything is done before I can really sit down and enjoy time with my baby boy.  Here's a plan... the dishes and laundry will always be there... babies aren't babies forever.  I have cherished so many days of snuggling with my son (especially when he was a newborn), making sure that I soaked in the time.  I can say without doubt that I got to spend significant time snuggling with him when he was bitty, and I don't regret it.  Guess what?  My house wasn't clean... I didn't look super put together.  But my heart was full and now my memories are as well.  Make time for the things that matter.

sldfgja;gasd;jsdlkfjsdl;kfjsd, That's All Folks!  (Betcha didn't know how that mumbled up jumble was spelled until now.  You're welcome.)

-Have anything to add?  Don't lie, you know you want to give your two cents (...or, who knows, maybe twenty bucks!)!  Utilize that lovely comment area to add your thoughts!  Gracias!-