Those Little Worriesome Things …

Yesterday I was reading a post over at Literal Mom that got me thinking. It was about how as new moms we tend to make a big deal over unimportant issues regarding our babies, thus making it obvious that we are “baby” or inexperienced moms.

At the end she asked people to share their experiences, what their worries were as new moms and how they think about the same issues now. I answered, then gave it some more thought. I realised that new or soon-to-be-new moms have lots of fears and worries, and that perhaps if I share some of the ones I faced, it may help you be a little more prepared.

Before I had kids, I worked as a fulltime nanny/caregiver/teacher for two adorable rascals, one boy and one girl, 7 weeks apart in age. I spent almost 3 years with them, from the time they were babies, and thought I knew what to expect when I had my own. Well, I knew the basics, but nothing can prepare you for the worries you face with your own child. Why? Well, when you care for someone elses child, your concerns stop with your workday. Their parents have full concern and responsibility for them; you don’t.

Like every other new mom out there, I was unprepared to face fears and worries when Logan was born. So many small things can scare you if you aren’t aware of them. My goal now is to try to help you alay those fears so you can feel a little more in control with your baby.

Ok, so here goes. Some of the things I worried about when I had Logan … well, I have to admit I worried that he would even be born. I had a rather unstable pregnancy, spotting monthly from the third month on. (See the page Logan’s Story for more details.)
Once he was born, new worries surfaced.

– I used to worry that I might smother him while I was sleeping since he was so tiny.

Logan’s first time in a cart.

– I vowed that I would never turn my back on him in public, even for a second. (Once when he was 7 or 8 months old, we were shopping and he was sitting in the cart. My husband came from parking the car and took Logan out of the cart and walked a distance away where I couldn’t see them in the short 2 seconds I had my back turned. Scared the hell out of me, thinking he had been stolen.)
– I never let him play on the floor unless I had just swept and mopped it.

– I made sure he never put anything from the floor in his mouth. I kept his bottles and pacifiers sterilized and his toys off the floor.
– I made sure everything he touched was clean, and that if it wasn’t clean, he didn’t touch it.

Fast forward 3 1/2 years. I have two more babies and find said fears slipping away. I do remember that around the time Scarlett was born, I read an article about the dangers of letting a baby sleep on their tummy. It scared me so bad that for weeks I only put her on her side or back, but it wasn’t until I remembered that Logan and Lila had both slept that way as small babies that my fear subsided. Why it hit me after 3 kids I don’t know. I guess we are vulnerable to fears no matter how many kids we have.

But we also reach a point where we see that most of these worries and fears are just that – things that we don’t actually need to stress over. Now, with Scarlett, she plays on the floor all day long, even though I only sweep daily and mop (at best) twice a week. She regularly finds stuff on the floor to put in her mouth and I just keep pulling it out, but I don’t freak out. Actually, all my kids will pick up and eat food they drop on the floor, even on the balcony (but I draw the line at stuff that falls on the ground outside). They have yet to get sick from such things.

I stopped sterilizing stuff for her after about 3 months, she plays with the older kids toys that haven’t been washed in forever. She has even chewed bugs and, worst of all, poop. But I think all babies try that at least once. I’m sure Logan and Lila did too, I just can’t remember it.

As for the other worries, well, I have never smothered my babies and all of them have slept in my bed. I found that letting them sleep on their tummies allowed them to sleep longer, since when on their backs they would jerk their arms and legs and wake themselves up.

I still don’t let them out of my sight for long in public, but I don’t freak out about it like I used to. You can never be too careful with your child in public. Here in India, kidnappings for ransom or sale is all too common, especially with children who have such fair skin like mine do. I read about such things in the papers all the time. I do still worry if I can’t see where they have hidden themselves while at the park right away, or if they run around the corner, will they still be there when I get there. It happens. I shouldn’t be too hard on myself and think that now I should never worry about them at all.

As mommies, we will probably worry about our kids for the rest of our lives. But we can make sure that if we have to worry, it is about important things and not little things best left alone. So if you find yourself worrying, stop and think, is this something I really need to worry about or not? It will save you a lot of stress and your sanity in the long run.
What worries do you have (or did have) and how are you facing them?

If Only I Wasn’t So Tired…

One thing I never expected when I became a mommy was to be tired all the time. I feel like I never get enough sleep, can never get enough. Now that Logan goes to school and has to be up by a set time, I try to get up earlier so that I can have some time to wake up slowly, coffee in hand, and do something personal so that I feel I am getting some time to myself before the demands of the day start.

I wish I had an answer for this problem but I don’t. If you have never known what it is like to be really tired, have always gotten enough rest, then be warned: you will no longer know what it is like to feel rested once you become a mommy.

First, it will be the unpredictible schedule of your newborn that will exhaust you. You will wonder if you will ever sleep again as you wake up multiple times a night to feed and care for your tiny bundle. As baby gets older, you may get more rest when baby sleeps longer at night, but it will never be enough.

If you are blessed with one of those rare babies who sleeps through the night from an early age, enjoy it. It may not last forever. Of my three, only Scarlett slept through the night for any length of time, and it only lasted about 6 weeks from when she was 2 1/2 months until 4 months old.

Sickness, teething, and frequent needing to feed will keep you up more than you knew was humanly possible. Lila used to nurse so much at night I had a hard time telling when one feed ended and the next began.

As they get older, you will still not get enough sleep. Your child may go to bed at a decent hour but you will find yourself using those hours in the evening to catch up on things like folding laundry, washing dishes, or even just trying to relax a little before you sleep.

Even if they have their own room, be prepared to find your child in your bed, sometimes all night. One way to ensure a little more sleep with your baby is to keep their bed in your room. That way, you can just lie there and fall asleep while you breastfeed. Some mommies prefer their baby to sleep with them for the same reason. I like a little space, and I always worry about the baby rolling off the bed (though it has never happened in the night) so if I’m awake when the baby finishes nursing I do move her back to her bed, but more often than not, she ends up sleeping with me the rest of the night.

Logan and Lila both climb into my bed at night, sometimes multiple times. It can get crowded and uncomfortable to have 5 people in the same bed. I’ve woken up to find one next to me on either side and one at my feet. How my husband can sleep through it is beyond me.

Currently, I wake up at 6:30 a.m. and am rarely in bed before midnight. Sometimes I am able to squeeze in a short nap after lunch when all 3 kids are down, and that helps a little, but I get the feeling that I won’t know complete rest until my kids are grown and living on their own.

How do you manage without enough sleep?

When God Created Mothers

This is one of my favorite writeups about mothers. I found it here.

When the good Lord was creating Mothers … He was into His sixth day of “overtime.” An angel appeared and said, “You’re sure doing a lot of fiddling around on this one!”

God nodded and said, “Yes, but have you read the specs on this order? She has to be completely washable, but not made of plastic.

She has to have 180 moveable parts … all replaceable.

She’ll have to run on black coffee and leftovers.

She’ll need a lap that disappears when she stands up.

She’ll have to have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped finger to a disappointed love affair. She will also need six pairs of hands.”

The angel shook her head slowly and said, “Six pairs of hands? … No way!”

“It is not the hands that are causing me problems,” said the Lord. “It’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”

“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel.

The Lord nodded and said, “One pair is to see through closed doors when she asks, “What are you kids doing in there?” … although she’ll already know.

She needs another pair here in the back of her head that can see the things she shouldn’t have to, but things that she has to know.

And of course, she’ll need a set of eyes here in front that will be able to look at a child when he goofs up. Those eyes will be able to say, “I understand and I love you,” without even muttering a word.”

“Lord,” said the angel touching God’s sleeve gently, “You had better go to bed. Tomorrow …”

“I can’t,” interrupted the Lord. “I’m so close now to creating something that is so much like myself, that I just can’t stop.

I’ve already created one who can … heal herself when she is sick, feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger, and can get a nine-year-old to stand under a shower.”

Slowly, the angel circled and carefully looked at the model of a Mother. “It’s too soft!” the angel sighed.

“But she’s tough!” said the Lord excitedly. “You cannot imagine what this mother will be able to do or the things that she will be able to endure.”

The angel asked, “Can she think?”

“Not only can she think, but she will be able to reason and compromise,” said the Creator.

Finally the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the mother. “There’s a leak in her!” the angel pronounced. “I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model.”

“That’s not a leak,” said the Lord. “It’s a tear!”

“What’s it for?” asked the angel.

The Lord said, “It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, love and pride.”

“Wow! You’re a genius!” said the angel.

The Lord looked somber and said, “But I didn’t put it there!”

At the Park

There is a really nice park right next to the school Glad works at, literally next to it. It is a famous park here and was recently redone. It’s one of the most beautiful parks I’ve seen here.

One of the many fountains.

That is Logan hiding in the grass.

Playing with some seeds.

Searching for more seeds. I love how Lila’s dress is billowing out.

After the park closed (they all close for several hours in the middle of the day), we went to visit daddy at school again. The goal is that Logan will get used to school and like it before he actually has to attend.

Claiming daddy’s spot.

Trying to get one of Scarlett and myself. I rarely have pics of me since I am always behind the camera.

Logan’s latest thing is building trains with Lego. For a long time he never used it except to throw it around. Then all of a sudden he started coming to me to show me what he had made. Now he always asks me to take a picture of his latest creation.

You will have to excuse the sometimes clear/sometimes not pics. My camera has become tempermental and will sometimes refuse to take clear pics, no matter how still I hold it. Also, I discovered that the flash will work from time to time but when it works is beyond my control. So frustrating.

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