Tuesday, January 8, 2013

From Mom to Mom

On the heels of so much sleep training bashing recently I have to share a few things I have learned so far about being a mom for my new mamas out there.
#1. If you think sleep training is letting your baby idly cry (scream or being generally upset) while you put your feet up in the other room, you're doing it wrong. Sleep training is assuring that your baby is fed, loved, dry, burped and not sick or colicky/in pain and laying them down to learn it's safe and ok to fall asleep in their own bed instead of your arms/bed/their car seat etc. Sometimes they may cry because they are tired and do not want to sleep because everything else seems so much more interesting and thats ok. But plopping baby into its crib and walking away without routine, wind down time, assuring they are ok and feeling safe... not ok.

#2. Take time to read the baby books and learn general things like babies cannot have certain foods before a year, straight water before 6mos (This can be DEADLY for a baby), how to secure baby in car seats and the car seat to the car, when they can have certain meds, etc Find out what safe alt treatments are out there for them and by what age groups. These things can literally save your baby's life.

#3. Whether you're a Stay home mom, working mom, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, cloth diapering, disposable diapering, vaxing, not, cir'c ing, not, etc You're right. Do your research and make the choice right for your family. The only right answer here is what works for you, family and baby. What you feed your baby AFTER the first year of life is just as important as what you fed it for the first year, so please do not be high and mighty about breast milk or formula then give your kids constant fast food and junk.

#4. This too shall pass.
The times that you haven't slept for hours, you are crying along with the baby and you feel like your legs may never get shaved again... It will pass. When your toddler seems to only have 1 volume and it's screaming. The tantrums seem to be unending and you feel like the worst parent ever.. This too shall pass. But so will the good things. The small moments, the rocking before bed, the private feedings, the firsts, etc. Those will also pass, so savor and enjoy them.

#5. Love them all the time, unconditionally.
Love and enjoy them for who they are even f who they are doesn't match with what you imagined or thought it should be. Love them no matter what.

#6 Be good examples. Most of the time kids that are rude, disrespectful, snotty, and unappreciative have parents that act like that towards them. If you wouldn't talk to your spouse or a stranger like that, chances are you shouldn't talk to your child that way. Model the behavior you want to see in them.

#7 Let them be a kid. Let them play, build, get messy, run, play, scream, and rompus. Preserve their innocence. We need more adults that aren't cynical and dead inside. You can learn just as much from them as they learn from you if you allow them to just be and you are open to watch it.

#8. Babywear. Not because its beneficial and wonderful and all of those things, but because it's convenient and amazing. HAHA I would have lot my sanity with 3 small kids by now without babywearing. Slings and boppys are more useful than a crib in the first 3 months.

#9. Teach them to love to clean! Trust me on this one. Having kids that thinks cleaning is fun, is awesome. And makes your job 1000x easier.

#10. Don't sweat the small stuff and pick your battles. I'm not going to fight my kid for an hour over a jacket when he may not be cold or get mad that while I type this my 7 month old has decided to experiment with pouring water on my coffee table and splashing in it. Because water will dry and not stain and he's having fun.

#11. If you have boys, teach them to be gentlemen, teach them to clean, cook, and sew as much as you teach them to build and fix. If you have girls, give them cars and powertools, not just kitchens and babies. Teach them they can be an astronaut or a geologist just like they can be a mommy. Teach all of them to respect themselves and others. To treat their body with care. That their bodies are sacred and to be respected with good food, rest and not to be given away. 

There are more. So many many more. But this was on my mind. Enjoy your kids and savor all the silliness and sweetness you can.