In the past couple weeks I have watched a couple posts, debates, and even some internet trolls chime in about parents essentially changing their minds about things they would do as parents. We all know that we were once that pregnant women making our agenda for parenting… no pacifiers, toddler naps daily, no meltdowns tolerated, and then we woke up… right around the time our children actually came into the world and the parenting journey started.
Gina explained it so well in a couple different posts I loved in the past couple weeks, one about her bosses, one about mothers on their high horses… the second of which was probably my favorite… I think my favorite part was:
My friend tells this story of how she was walking through Wicker Park one day when her son was about 2, and the kid was having a total meltdown. She was struggling to get him to the car, her face was hot with embarrassment, when she looked up to find the New Mommy playgroup (e.g. moms with babies under 1) sitting on their little blankets, staring at her with disgust as though she was some sort of unfit mother to “allow” her child to lose his shit like that.
She looked straight at them and said under her breath, “Oh, you bitches just WAIT.”
Exactly… Just wait!
I waited… and it took me till my oldest son was merely a couple hours old to eat my words for the first time. Everyone had told me repeatedly to skip the pacifier if I wanted to successfully breastfeed. I went into the hospital with the below sign…
Yup! No pacifiers, no bottles… I was not going to fail at breastfeeding… Needless to say after two days, no sleep, a horribly painful recovery, a reaction the the pain medication I was given, and a night in the nursery he got a pacifier, but not before the lovely night nurse asked me. I broke down because I hit the first wall of mothering… and I gave in to what was easiest to survive. Then became my tag phrase for parenting: By any means necessary. Which I still stand by.
I don’t know if I got lucky, or what, but we had little issues with nursing, and Camden nursed until he was 10 months old before self weaning. I think it had to do with being pregnant with Ben, although Camden was obsessed with actual food at that point in time. Whatever… he knew what he wanted, and I wasn’t going to force my child into nursing, or deprive him of food. Another time I ate my words… because I was determined to breastfeed for a year. Shit happens.
We have all had those parenting moments that make us laugh, cry, and give us that face of sheer horror. My husband has always seemed to remain cool through our number of parenting flubs in the three years we have been at it. But I remember the first time I saw it on his face. I knew he was going to crack… Benjamin was a week old, maybe not even a week old yet… and there was a sale at Carters. I realized I needed to go get some short sleeve clothes for him as the weather was getting really warm really quick. I thought we would have been able to use Camden’s long sleeve winter stuff for at least a month. Nope!
I had a coupon and despite being in so much pain, I was on a mission to get to the store. We successfully made it to Carters, and then decided we would go across the street to the mall for diaper changes and a feeding in their family room. Simple enough right? I ran into the bathroom and my husband started to change Ben. By the time I came out he was almost to the diaper change… and as he took his diaper off Ben farted. My husband in typical male style thought it was hysterical. We were all laughing… and then it happened… fart fart… SPLAT! Poop… breast milk poop… runny, gross, watery poop… ALL OVER MY HUSBAND’S CLOTHES! Shirt, pants… he is lucky it didn’t get on his shoes too! We all panicked… What the hell would we do? Well my husband finished changing Ben looking like a deer in headlights as I waddled across the food court a week post major abdominal surgery, and bought him a new outfit at the closest store that sold men’s clothing. That had to be the most expensive diaper change ever.
But how did we bite our tongues on that one? We would never be those people with a newborn in the mall… Ever!
Shit happens… literally… and things change.
Then there was the dinner out that left me blindsided by two boys who must have been traded for my kids… Troll comments, sympathy comments… but overall I was real. Which is what I pride myself in… I tell it how it is, whether my opinion from a decade ago has changed, whether my choices in parenting have changed in three years… or whether I make adjustment in what works best for our family with each new child that joins our family…
If you claim you will never change your opinion on something, or will always have perfect angels for children, you are full of shit… period.