-I have a fairly clear memory of a time when I was around 12, my dad and stepmom and I were playing a card game. It was one of those games with skips, and I had what I needed to win the hand but my stepmom skipped me. And I burst into tears. The thing is, I wasn’t crying about the card game. I mean, I wasn’t happy about it, but it was just a game, and one we’d played a million times so I knew how it worked and didn’t normally care. It was just an excuse. I was stressed and upset about other things (and probably hormonal, thank you puberty), and I needed to get it out but didn’t really know how. And so something as silly as a skipped turn in a game set off a meltdown.
I feel like this is something that’s really important for me to remember as Lily gets older. Toddlers have epic meltdowns over things that seem so irrational or ridiculous. Sometimes it’s a matter of remembering that just because it doesn’t seem important to us, doesn’t mean it’s not important to them. And sometimes they’re just carrying around a lot of big feelings and they need to let it out. I’m going to try my best to give her the support she needs in expressing those feelings (and not just try to “fix it!”), even when it seems bizarre or it’s an inconvenient time, though I’m sure I’ll forget to be patient as much as I mean to. Because I remember what it’s like to cry over something ridiculous just because I needed a good cry.
-I’m just… not gonna admit how long it took me to realize we can take (premeasured) formula powder and water with us separately when we go out instead of premade bottles that have to stay cool or they’re unusable very quickly. 😣😆 This is gonna make going out much easier!
-Though on that note, I need to work on resolving my feelings surrounding bottle/formula feeding. I feel absolutely humiliated mixing bottles in public (since at least if they’re premade no one can be sure if they’re formula or milk). I feel like everyone is judging me, and I just want to scream at them all that I TRIED to breastfeed. I wanted to more than anything. But it didn’t freaking work. And when my supply tanked it was supplement with formula or let her starve. I still pump dammit! It’s just not enough, and I prefer to save milk for nighttime feedings since it contains soporifics. I think if I was formula feeding by choice, I’d be able to mentally give everyone the middle finger. Go ahead and judge me, I dare ya. But as it is *I’m* judging me and so I automatically assume everyone else is and I hate it. And it’s not even that I judge anyone else! Are you making sure your baby is fed? Good, you go Mama (/Daddy /should we have a gender neutral parenting term?). You do your thing. But my feelings regarding my personal experiences with nursing versus bottle feeding are so tied up in knots that I struggle. It’s something I need to make a concerted effort to work on. Maybe some actual journaling (not just blogging) is in order.
-I keep thinking of things I need to do. I need to make sure and offer her solids more. Give her more baths. Make sure we go outside every day. Read more books. Clean the house. Cook dinners so we can stop wasting so much money on eating out. Start taking her to activities like library story time. Fill out her baby book. Crochet/make her some toys and quiet books. Learn to sew. Find used furniture to make into a closet or play kitchen or mud kitchen. Make it to more family dinners so she sees family more. Visit Memphis family. Set up sensory activities. Make sensory bins/baskets/bags. Do some daily journaling. Spend more time with Christopher. Spend more time giving the animals attention. Spend more one on one time focused on Lily. Get more me time. Eat more regularly. Get more sleep. And on and on and on and on and on. There literally are not enough hours in the day. Pretty sure I could just give up sleep entirely and there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day. I could combine a few (quality time outside!), but still. Once I stop pumping (which will be very soon) I’ll get back some of my time. But I’ve already cut way back in preparation for quitting, so not much.
At this point I’m just going to have to prioritize and accept that I can’t do everything. Because I’m not giving up the biggest chunk of my time that’s “wasted.” I still hold her for all of her naps. Assuming she would nap well if I started putting her down (a highly unwarranted assumption), I’m still not giving up that time with her. Those cuddles are the best part of my day, and give me so much joy! And she still seems to love it too. I know at some point it won’t make sense anymore. But other changes have come about naturally; she dropped her third nap without my making any effort, and has started sleeping without being held for the first bit of the night by her choice. So I’m going to keep holding her while she sleeps and loving every minute of it. Some day my house will be spotless (well… you know, sort of spotless) and meals will be home cooked again, and I’ll miss this time of cuddles and mess and take out. So I’m going to just appreciate it. Or at least I’ll try. It would be really nice to have just a little more time to tackle some of those things!
Wrote that part a few days ago and I’ve given it further consideration, and I’ve realized the real issue here. I really want to be the best. I want to do it all, be the super mom, and show everyone how much I’ve got this. I remember feeling stupid in high school because I wasn’t as smart as Einstein (yes, really. I was trying to grasp relativity and beat myself up over it), so this is nothing new. I’ve always had an all or nothing, if you ain’t first you’re last, mindset. Not healthy, I know. And especially in this context, it’s something I need to remember not to do! Like I said, there literally aren’t enough hours in the day for me to accomplish everything I feel like I “should.” My baby is thriving. My house isn’t a cesspit. My mental health is surprisingly not bad. My marriage is healthy. It’s time to start focusing on those things, and accept that I just won’t get to all the others. And I’m not a failure for not being “the best!”
-In the sense that a lovey is something a child holds on to to help them fall asleep, my face is Lily’s lovey.
-Sometime in the last day or so she seems to have discovered the concept of things being on top of other things. She’s suddenly trying to reach for things that are on her floor bed or cedar chest (which we didn’t plan to keep anyway, but now we really need to get it out of her room! There’s a lot of stuff on it that she does not need to get into, like sharpies. Eek!), and putting things on top of them. My mom is staying with us while Christopher is out of town, and Lily kept trying to put her binkie on top of her suitcase last night. And today she was putting toys on her high chair tray (it’s one that’s designed to strap to a chair but we just set it on the floor so it’s down on her level right now). Keep in mind she can’t sit up or pull up yet, so she’s doing all of this from her side or all fours. I have a feeling it may be the motivation she needs to start pulling up! I’m seriously starting to wonder if she’ll never bother to master crawling and just move straight to walking. She’s SO fast rolling, why bother?
-I just looked up from my book (independent play time while I pumped plus demonstrating that reading is fun!) and she was sitting up!!! I don’t know exactly how she got in that position, but I’m so excited! A big milestone, and she didn’t do it when I wasn’t here or something. ☺️ She was already going back down by the time I got the camera out, but I kind of got a picture!
Pretty much none of these made sense to include pictures with, so here’s the cuteness!