Saturday, July 23, 2011

Parenting According to April

Like most first time mums, I was a little naive. Naive about the birth, and very naive about what my child would or wouldn't do. When pregnant I made statements like "my child will never have a dummy", "I will breastfeed and not use formula" and "Routines are best, my child will stick to a routine" and my personal favourite of the day "my child will only be in disposables for the first box of nappies, then it is all cloth".

Now, I don't judge anyone else for their parenting style or decisions, never have and never will, these were statements I was making for my own child and myself, and have broken in the last 7 weeks. "My child, my way"is very much my motto.

The dummy thing lasted until that first night when we got home and she would not stop screaming. I cried giving it to her, and sighed when she spat it out again. Since then she has taken it, but it is only when she is unsettled, especially when in the car. Silent child = safe and stress free driving mumma.

The no formula statement lasted for the first two weeks, then I got gastro and mastitis at the same time and basically banished myself from the small one. I kept on expressing, but as I wasn't well and very dehydrated, my supply dipped a bit and we moved to formula. I cried yet again. Through sheer determination, against advice from my very "breastfeeding is the only option" mum, I continued pumping and got my supply back up and Eliza continued on breastmilk and is still going with it. I know it wouldn't be the end of the world if she was on formula, some mornings at 4am I wish she was, but I really wanted to give breastfeeding a good crack and wasn't quite ready to give up just yet.

Routine in our household? What routine? We don't have one, and I am good with that. Makes for some interesting trips in the car, especially when you are required to breastfeed in a truck stop on the side of the freeway in amongst a bikie gang, but hey, it didn't kill me and it fed my child.

Nappies? Yeah, well at the moment we are avoiding looking at that giant bag of cloth nappies in the corner of Eliza's room. It all seems a little bit too hard right now, and sposies are a lot more convenient. I have tried them in the last week, but they make my baby girl look massive! I am trying to use one nappy a day and slowly build it up, but we will see on that one.

Being a mum is the hardest thing I have ever done, and I have cried many tears in the last 7 weeks. I am still not convinced I am good at it, nor do I know what I am doing, but in the words of one of my best friends today, I "am doing it, and she is happy and healthy, and that is all that matters". Wish that bloody mother guilt would piss off though!!!
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  1. You are doing a great job- just look at that beautiful, healthy little girl in the photo!

    My boy was about 12 weeks old before we made the switch to cloth- and even then, we use the 'cheat' cloth nappies that are basically a cloth disposable (no tricky snap combinations/covers for us, thank you very much!).

    So other 'no child of mine will ever...' things that I broke-

    *My child will NOT watch any TV before 3 years old (I still think I've kept this. Just because he has the worlds largest DVD collection at 2, it's not TV, right? :P)

    *My child will never eat in the car (I now have an emergency packet of biscuits in the glovebox).

    All part of parenting...welcome! :)

  2. You're only seven weeks in and by the sounds of it you're doing just FINE! More than just fine, you're doing GREAT! You have a little baby who looks nice and healthy and you're still functioning enough to write a blog post. What more could you ask for with a 7 week old?!?!

    I was EXACTLY the same as you when I was pregnant, what's more, I though that I had sufficient experience babysitting neices, nephews, and children of friends that I would fly through parenthood with nary an effect on my person. How wrong was I?!

    There is a time and a place for routine, and it's not with a little newborn, but according to 'the books', I was failing as a mother if I didn't have my child on a routine. Thanks, books, for giving me a healthy dose of guilt and most likely an undiagnosed case of PND.

    Cuddle that little baby, get a wrap/sling if you don't already have one and just keep doing what you're doing - keep her close, cuddled and fed.

    BTW when my Sprog hit between 7 - 9 months, that's when I started on cloth nappies and routine. The sprog was ready to deal with it then (I think this is because solids are established as main food and breastfeeding was supplementary - it was around the same time she transitioned to three square meals a day). I was able to let her cry a little by then. And despite 'the books' telling me if I didn't get my newborn on a routine by the time she was one week old that she would be ruined for life, routine at 8 months worked. Because even now, when the sprog is 3, I realise they have the memory of a goldfish :) and are easily distracted and are very versatile and adaptable.

    Sorry for the novel. You're doing a great job. Keep it up!


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