I’m “THAT” Mom

“Don’t be THAT mom.”

This phrase haunts me. I feel ashamed that I’ve said it; and I would be willing to bet there’s not a woman reading this who hasn’t said this to a mama and meant it to be sage wisdom.

I’ve been thinking on this phrase for months, after a dear friend and dedicated mama came to visit with her family. Her sweet almost-one-year-old often has trouble falling asleep; so to help her, they walk her in the stroller or take her on a drive. One night her husband loaded their baby in the car for a goodnight drive and she looked at me and said, “I was never going to be that mom.” And my heart felt so sad. This woman is THAT mom who doesn’t want her baby crying in her crib for hours. This woman is THAT mom who pumps 5 times a day in order to feed her baby nutritious, immunity-building breast milk for the first year of her life. This woman is THAT mom who loves her baby. I learned so much about being a mom from my friend that weekend.

Before becoming a mom, I said I wasn’t going to be THAT mom who takes her baby on a drive to help them fall asleep. Guess IMG_0191what? I’ve done this when Grace refuses her nap for 1.5 hours and I am about to pull my hair out.

I wasn’t going to be THAT mom who shamelessly breastfeeds her baby in public. Guess what? I refuse to cover my daughter’s head in public because her eating offends you. Guess what? It shouldn’t be the social norm that I need to leave a conversation or a social situation because my child needs to eat.

I wasn’t going to be THAT mom who babywears because their child doesn’t like to be put down. I’ve vacuumed the whole house with Grace in the carrier because she would not stop crying. Guess what? I love baby wearing. And Grace loves to be carried. So it’s a win-win.

I wasn’t going to be THAT mom who lets her baby sleep in her bed. Guess what? Grace sleeps in our bed [part of the night]! Oh the horror! And I bet you would be surprised at the number of people who bed share but keep it a family secret. And for those of you concerned: No I’m not afraid we’ll crush her. And guess what? I have been getting a full night’s sleep since 2 months. Sleep regression? What is that??

And just because Chris and I have chosen this parenting style for our family does not mean we think it’s for everyone. Because every baby is different, every mom is different and every family is different.

No 16 year-old is going to need dad to drive them around the block to fall asleep. No 18 year-old will want mom to carry them everywhere (and I think my back hurts NOW). No 20 year-old will want to share mom and dad’s bed. Every stage is a temporary season which brings new challenges, new joys and new judgements.

We should love THAT mom who is struggling with a nap schedule and exhausted from driving around town 3 times a day for hours. We should encourage THAT mom who is having anxiety about leaving her child for the first time. We should be patient with THAT mom who calls the pediatrician for every sneeze. And we should support THAT mom who doesn’t want to let her baby cry it out.

I’m THAT mom. The one you’ve warned other moms not to be. The one I’ve warned other moms not to be.

And I’m a damn good one.

 

 

 

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Lovin on New Mamas

After having a baby myself, I learned the true needs and desires of a new mom. First, mom doesn’t want you to show up for a visit empty-handed. Second, once the baby has arrived it’s likely she has everything (plus some) she needs for the baby; so don’t show up with 100 outfits. Third, she wants to hold her baby and she has every right to; so unless she has the “I have to go to the bathroom, please hold my baby look,” don’t swoop in for the hold.

I have been guilty of all of the above. And if you’ve done any of these things, mom likely understands and appreciates your love, presence and support – even though it may not have been in the way she’d have preferred.

Sophie

My beautiful niece, Sophia Anne

On September 6 I became an aunt to a beautiful baby girl named Sophia Anne. And while I am so full of joy over her arrival, she lives in another country and I will not be able to see or hold her for months. Also, I’ll not be able to love on my sister-in-law and make her dinner, clean her bathrooms or walk up and down the street with a screaming child so she can nap. All things my sister did for me.

My in-laws took a short trip to England to help with the new baby and to help my sister-in-law, and since I could not go I opted to send a new mommy survival kit. These are all items I wish I would have been gifted after baby Grace’s arrival. Because honestly… mom needs love, too.

This survival kit revolves around my life’s mantra – Ain’t nobody got time for that. Because new moms don’t have time for ANYTHING except holding their baby, feeding their baby and having an emotional breakdown.

TIMG_0167his kit included:

  • granola bars
  • gum
  • face wipes
  • tinted chap stick
  • nursing tanks
  • Mother’s Milk tea
  • a book

Here is a download of the content I used for each of the tags. You can modify, as needed. I should also mention the gift included a hilarious card that asks, “How’s your va-jay-jay?”

Hopefully this will give you an idea of how you can love on new moms and not just on their babies. Flowers for mom is also a lovely gift!

Beet Greens. It’s What’s For Dinner.

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My adorable sous-chef

This is our first year with a vegetable garden. Some crops thrived while others did little-to-nothing. Beets, thankfully, thrived.¬†Beets were something I ate often as a child but wasn’t introduced to eating the greens until recently. They are peppery, delicious and good raw or cooked.

With an abundance of beet greens in the house and little of anything else, I pulled together this super simple and healthy dinner. I supposed you could substitute the beets greens for another leafy green if needed.

Happy cooking!

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Beet Green Pasta

  • 10 oz pasta, cooked according to the package
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 2-4 garlic cloves (depending on how garlicy you want it)
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced thinly
  • 3 cups beet greens, coarsely chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

In a larger skillet add a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Cook red onion for 7-10 minutes. Grate garlic into the skillet, add the salt and pepper to taste and cook for 1 minute. Add currants, cook for another minute. Add beet greens and saute until wilted.

Add pasta to the skillet and mix together. Add a little more olive oil and salt and pepper if desired.