Be The Parent YOU Want To Be
Let me start by saying that I came to the table with a lot of judgement around labor and delivery and how I thought I would parent. Obviously I have a 6 month old so my “parenting” practice is small in the scheme of things.
What I mean is that there are 100 ways you can parent and no one way is better than the other. I am LEARNING this and I think it’s so incredibly humbling especially since I am a total control freak!
I thought for sure I would have a “natural” delivery because I watched so many documentaries and talked with moms who I admired who said that getting an epidural was not safe and I heard a lot of “our bodies are designed to handle this, just breathe”. Ok, just breathe you say? When you are 20 hours in and doubled over your hospital bed in so much pain thinking to yourself "if my husband touches me one more time I’m going to kill him and the smug little nurse". You may want to reevaluate your birth plan. So I did, and I got the epidural through the tears of pain and disappointment in myself that I had “broke” and got pain medicine.
Once the pain subsided and I could look at my husband in a loving way now LOL. I realized THIS was the birth plan I NEEDED and I was comfortable, happy and dying to meet my little Jack. Three hours of pushing later he was in my arms and all of that judgment I had around going balls to the wall without pain medicine seemed silly. Nothing, I repeat, nothing matters when you are looking at your baby.
Now 6 months later we are introducing Jack to solid food and again my inner judgment for how I was going to feed my baby came creeping back in. I was set on doing baby led weaning with Jack because he was going to be a good vegan baby who could feed himself, oh and did I mention he was going to be perfect as well? I had decided that too.
I sliced Jack up some sweet potato that I baked in the oven for 45 minute, and put them on his highchair tray. He immediately grabbed the sweet potato and was putting it in his mouth. He was looking at my husband and I and then smiling, he liked it! Success! Then he put another piece in his mouth and began to cough or gag or choke and turned bright red. I sprung up patted his back and he spit it out. My husband and I were just silent. I was on the verge of crying and so confused. Why was this happening? I thought baby led weaning was the best way OUR way...
So I didn’t give him solid food again for 3 days, I was traumatized. I just kept seeing his face (what I thought was choking) and I was sick to my stomach. I watched tons of videos on portion size for baby led weaning and decided to try again. As I was peeling him a banana I was tense, I felt sick to my stomach and nervous like I might barf. I couldn't shake the image of him possibly choking, but I handed Jack the banana and he took it right away and in his mouth it went. I looked at my husband and I could see that nervous smile where he may or may not be scared of me so he won’t say anything, then I looked at our sweet son and snatched the banana from him. We would not be doing any baby led weaning for now. In that moment looking at my beautiful child who could possibly choke again it was not worth it, just to tell people “we do baby led weaning” who the F cares!! In that moment it was a learning and maturing experience for me as a mama. There is nothing wrong with baby led weaning FYI. I have a really close girlfriend who does it with her son and they LOVE it! It works great for them!
Being so attached to an outcome that it’s making you crazy or ashamed or sick or whatever is not healthy.
So guess what? I pureed the shit out of an organic apple and Jack loved it. He slurped that baby down and I had the BEST time feeding him!
That is what I have come to find out, it’s about having fun and enjoying the moment and doing what works for YOU as a parent not anyone else.
In the “mommy” world there are going to be tons of opinions and ways of doing things. So let’s celebrate each other's boldness for not adhering to the “norm”, and support each other's decisions on how to parent.
And while we are on it, I sometimes CO-SLEEP!!!! I mean who the hell wouldn’t when you are going on 3 hours of sleep!
So go out and be loud and be proud of the kind of mama that you are!
I love ya!