Check out the link at the bottom to a great blog post! I forgot how last week was world breastfeeding week! Cheers! It’s fitting that I just read this blog post while sitting at the airport, anxiously awaiting my plane that will take me home to snuggle (and nurse) my sweet girl. I read this while silently suffering through some VERY sore boobs. Lucy is only nursing morning and before bed now, so I didn’t think it would be a big deal to go away for 48 hours. Boy was I wrong. I never thought I’d miss my pump so much! Note to self: if I ever make another trip without baby while still nursing, bring at least a hand pump. That said, I laughed and cried a little reading this salute. I echo her words (written way better than I ever could)! I have an infinite amount of respect for all the breastfeeding mamas out there, who have nursed for any length of time. Happy reading this lovely blog post!
Well, mama is on a trip. Without my girl! I left this afternoon for 48 hours away from my little one. It was so weird, sitting at the airport. I felt a little lost. I have traveled a lot with Lucy in the last year, so much that it seems I’ve forgotten simple things like, what do I like to eat when I’m traveling? What do I do with myself during the hour I’m waiting for the plane? My brain is on auto pilot to find food Lucy likes, the nearest restroom with diaper changing station, the nearest kid-friendly store, and if there’s a toddler/kid play area (for the record, the Nashville airport has an awesome one!). Sitting alone, reading my book, I felt so strange. And a little sad.
But I’m here now! I’m visiting one of my best friends and her fiancé, and we laughed and enjoyed a long, relaxed dinner. I didn’t worry about the kids menu, or stuffing food in my mouth just in case I had to tend to a little one. I’m thankful for this time. I miss my girl, but taking little trips like this remind me that I am also still a person separate from my daughter.
In my anticipatory tears last night about leaving Lucy for 3 days (or, 2.5), supportive hubby Whit told me to go have fun! Go crazy and have TWO beers while I’m out at night! 🙂 Tomorrow is a day planned with yoga, a late brunch, shopping, and a delish dinner out. Thankfully, I have sweet besty friends who want to see me, an amazing husband who was excited about having daddy-daughter weekend, and a little girl whom I know will be shrieking with excitement when I get back to town on Sunday. I will sleep peacefully in thanks for all that. And for the great beer I had tonight!
The term “working mom” is funny to me. I mean, I am one of those. But what about the moms who don’t have paying jobs? As if they aren’t working, right? I’ve talked about this with my mommy friends. Stay-at-home, working, part-time, full-time…it’s all hard. Being a mom is hard!
Speaking from a working-outside-the-home mommy, though, once a day, I feel the “working mom” guilt wash over me. Lucy spends more of her waking hours in daycare than she does with me (yes, I’ve counted). She gets dropped off in the morning to a school where others will care for her, while I head off to my schools where I care for others’ children. The trade seems unnatural. Some mornings I just want to turn around so bad after dropping her off, run back in there, and steal her away for a day of fun! I feel like that’s the stuff that happens in the movies. Most days I’m counting the minutes until I can leave, then I get home and I’m trying to cram meaningful moments into a 2-hour period. And I know I’m lucky. Very lucky. I have a great schedule. I get more breaks than most. I am usually home with my child by 4:30. But it’s still tough.
Sigh. This was really not meant to be a venting post. In truth, most days I’m super proud of who my daughter is becoming despite my working mom-ness, or, partly, because of it? My girl is independent, social, and she Loves school. Loves with a capital L! We pull into the parking lot in the morning and she’s already squealing, “kids!” She can’t wait to see her friends. I’m beyond thankful for that. She started the toddler class this week (!!) and she is truly in her element. She would certainly not be experiencing all of these things if I were home with her. I know I don’t have the energy that her new teacher, Miss Becca, has, providing 8 hours of pretend play, outside time with other kids, a daily art project, circle time (today they practiced some Spanish and learned about the globe!), and musical instrument exploration. All around, Lucy is not lacking in stimulation or snuggles (even if they aren’t all from me). And with all that, she still drops whatever she’s doing when she sees me in the afternoon, and runs to me like it’s been ages and ages since we’ve seen each other. I love that part of our day! And I desperately need to let go of the guilt. I know it doesn’t help anything. I know it doesn’t make our relationship better. Lucy, I hope, as a working woman, I make you proud. I hope I set a good example for you. I hope you know one day how much I try to be the best mommy for you. That would make it worth it!
We went to a Titans preseason game last night! Since kickoff started at Lucy’s bedtime, I wasn’t sure how things would go. But now that she’s a little older (and staying home with daddy this week), we decided some experiences are worth losing a little sleep. And I think we were right – she loved it! Here are a few pics…
Upon entering the game, they told us no bags (not even a diaper bag). Here we are waiting on daddy to run our packed bag back to the car.
Lucy was overwhelmed at first with all the people, noise, and the biggest tv screen (Jumbotron) she’s ever seen! I was happy I had her tucked in to the Ergo with her headphones and pacifier. She could experience it all from her pouch.
And then the music started. Lucy was getting down!
Eating her first Dippin Dots…
We did leave at halftime, but Lucy hung in there until 8:30! She was, by the end of the second quarter, trying to fall asleep in my lap and started asking for “bed.” Sweet baby! It’s good to have friends around, though. Lucy idolizes her big kid friends Janey (7), Naomi (4), and Charlotte (6). She got lots of snuggles and attention from them the whole night.
Overall, it was a blast! If you’re taking a baby or toddler to a game, bring ear protection! And an Ergo or carrier. The ear protection helped as much to protect her ears as it did to block out some of the sensory input. Lucy could still hear us, and still loved dancing to the music and clapping when (either) team scored. 🙂 Oh, and for all our Virginian fam, the Redskins won!
Since late last week, in addition to all those bath time shenanigans, something has changed in our little Lucy. She suddenly has decided she wants to go to bed on her own. Each night, we read a few stories, nurse, talk about the day, and sing a few songs (current faves are “light” – This Little Light of Mine – and “sun-sh-iiiiiiine” – You Are My Sunshine), and then she’s pretty much moving towards her crib. She says “night night mommy! I lo-lo (I love you)! I miss you!” and she sits in her crib reading her book. After a few minutes, she lays down and goes to sleep.
I know this could be one of those phases, and next week she’ll be screaming when I try to put her to bed on her own. But I also know she’s becoming more and more independent every day. I find myself savoring our snuggle time even more! My little independent bookworm, I “lo lo,”too!
A couple of weeks ago, something terrible (in Lucy’s world) happened. Lucy pooped in the tub. As soon as it happened, she started crying, jumped up yelling, “poop!” and scrambled to get out of the tub! Since then, bath time had progressively gotten harder. It started with her reluctantly getting in the tub, but not wanting to play, and crying “poop!” anytime she saw a speck of dirt. Poor thing was becoming a basket of nerves in the tub (she is definitely my daughter)! It got to the point where she wouldn’t even go in the bathroom, and she would even start crying at dinner because she knew bath time was next.
My mommy/behavior analyst brain was in overdrive trying to think of what to do! Phase I of “recovery” started with me coaxing her in the bath by me going in with her while nursing. It’s a little awkward trying to nurse and wash hair at the same time, but we did it! For a few days, that’s how we did bath time. BUT that’s not a sustainable solution, right?
The next day, Lucy’s (amazing) teacher suggested we try Lu going in in her swimsuit, since she loves the pool so much (why didn’t I think of that??). So that night, I came out like a fool right after dinner, in my swimsuit, sunglasses, and hat, and said, “who wants a pool party??” Lucy got so excited about getting her swimsuit on after dinner (and she got to take her pool noodle with her) that she (still reluctantly) got in the tub. She still cried, and her little arms clung to her pool noodle, but she hung in there!
After a few nights of this, I was able to slowly get out of the tub and she would stay in on her own for a few more minutes. We also worked on, if she saw a hair or piece of dirt in the tub, to splash at it and say, “get out of here!” We told her she was strong and she was taking charge of the tub. So there she and I sat for a good 15 minutes, splashing at the tub (and at the same one piece of dirt in the tub), telling it to “get out of here!” Once again, I looked pretty ridiculous in there (the things we do for our children!).
The next day, Lucy and I went to Target and I let her pick out new bath toys. She chose a ball game that has its own net, and I also snagged a pack of bath crayons. I was hoping that, with her new skills of “taking charge of the tub,” she could maybe remember how to have fun in there again! Lo and behold, it worked! She was timid when I started getting her ready, but I reminded her of her new bath game and that she could COLOR ON THE WALLS of the bathtub (she knows that’s a big no-no) and she was all about it!
Here is my girl, loving her bath time once again! She drew all over the walls, played with her new game, and splashed around. She saw a speck of dirt and splashed it, saying, “get out here!” I was so proud. And then she cried. Because it was time to get OUT of the tub. 🙂