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Here’s another tidbit that you ladies may appreciate.  (Unless you have the perfect man, that is…)

Men are definitely from Mars or some other planet entirely.  Heck, for all I know they may be an entirely different species.  Funnily enough, boys and girls all start the same way, but something happens between birth and oh, age 30, that seems to only accentuate how different the genders are.

Here are some of my queries on the matter:

Are all men disorganized?  Forgetful? Persistently late?

Do all men have no cares in the world?

Are they all procrastinators?

Is it true that men deep down are simply look for a wife to replace their own mothers…women who will cook, do laundry, ask them how their day was, pack their lunches and remind them to take their wallets and keys as they leave home in the morning? Or is this only a problem with European men?

Is the real problem with men that they are enabled too much?  Particularly by their mothers?

I certainly have no answers to any of the above-mentioned questions, nor do I know whether I’ll ever have any answers.

I have come up with one theory so far though:  somewhere along the lines men are instructed to behave as though they are completely incapable of doing anything on their own by asking too many questions, or just half-assing a particular duty, in order so that women become so frustrated that they just throw their hands in the air, and say “Fine, I’ll just do it myself!”

To all you ladies out there, feel free to share your observations, or experiences…it would be nice to know that I’m not alone in dealing with these things…uggh!

 

 

Elder Advice

I won’t name names but for those who know me, you’ll know exactly who I’m talking about.

Here’s my beef:  Why is it that when you have a child, as happy as everyone is for you, certain people soon forget that this is an exciting time for you as you venture into parenthood and assume that you need to be told how to do everything?  (At this point I’d like to clarify that there’s a BIG difference between being given some helpful suggestions, that sound something like you could try this or that, versus being told “you should,” or “all you need to do is…”

Now, I’m no stranger to children because there’s a big gap in age between my siblings and me.  But somehow that fact is completely ignored as well.  Nevertheless I’m becoming very tired, very quickly of being told what to do and what not to do when it comes to my son.  I realize that I do not have the same experience as mothers with grown children, but I do know best when it comes to my own son.  And why is that so difficult to understand?  I know his cues better than anyone else.  (I acknowledge that I’m not perfect, and that I may make mistakes along the way, but as another friend of mine put it, it is now my time to parent, and my time to make those mistakes, just as our own parents did.)

At what point will the telling stop?  Or will it ever stop?  Do I just have to learn to let everything slide, or will the elders in question learn to adapt? (Who am I kidding, right?)

The Change

Hormones are out of whack.  Some days are good, and some days are not so good.  Body isn’t what it used to be and it’s doing some funny things.

 

 

I’m not talking about menopause here…

 

 

I’m talking about the body after a baby!

 

 

So here’s what I’ve noticed…(don’t worry I won’t get into the real nitty gritty)

– tummy still isn’t pre-baby tummy (not that I had a washboard or anything)

– hair is growing with full force (not on my head)

– the girls aren’t the same (they need to be coerced and coaxed more, like “Please sit pretty in this bra for just a few hours”)

– bladder doesn’t function as well (try sneezing)

– cramps are worse than before baby and more frequent

etc. etc.

Now why aren’t we told about these changes before baby? And what happens if there’s another baby?  Do the above-mentioned conditions only worsen?  More importantly, will the girls ever be the same?

Ah, sleep, my long lost friend…where have you gone? But more importantly when will you return?  As I write this I’m looking enviously at my son as he naps in his crib.  Why can’t I do that I wonder.  Thankfully, Julian’s sleep pattern hasn’t been too bad, but I can’t help but be jealous of those parents whose children sleep through the night almost from day one.  From the beginning, Julian was generally up only twice through the night for feedings, and then he progressed to only getting up once through the night.  The odd time, when he was sick, or something else was bothering him, he was up more than the one or two times.  Lately, however, he’s taken to waking up more frequently, or not wanting to go back down in the middle of the night at all.  I think I’m going to go mad!  To make matters worse, I can’t go back to sleep when he finally goes back down, so I end up tossing and turning for an hour or two.  Then once I’m finally back asleep, something else happens that wakes me up all over again.  

Take last night for example.  We finally put  Julian to sleep in his crib.  Here’s an overview of the night… 

Julian: went down at 10, awoke at 12, awoke at 2, awoke at 3:15 for a feeding and went back down (praise God!), woke again at 7, and then again at 7:30 (thanks to my darling pooch)

Mom: went down at about 11 (couldn’t fall asleep any earlier than that), awoke at 2, awoke at 3:15, fell back asleep finally at about 5:30, awoke again at 6 (thanks to hubby getting ready for work), and again at 7, and again at 7:30 (thanks to my oh so darling pooch).

I don’t know who I’m more upset with. It’s not Julian, because I did read this section in the manual.  But I do know that I’m mad at Max (for barking at the man working across the street, and trotting back and forth and back and forth across the main floor), and I’m mad at the hubby (for not having his work stuff reading and for having to go back and forth from the closet to the washroom, and back and forth to the closet and to the washroom again).  but I’m also angry with myself.  Why can’t I fall back asleep in the wee hours of the morning?  Do I need to take up drinking? Or sleeping pills?  Should I invest in a pair of sound proof headphones?  Should I sleep in the other room? 

What’s the remedy?  Is there even a remedy?  Or should I just write off sleep as an old friend I was once so very fond of?

Don’t get me wrong…I love being home with Julian BUT I’m tired of the same things every day. Or maybe I’m bored. Or maybe I’m….I’m….just stuck.  (Is that even fair to say?)

Let me clarify a little (because I’m already feeling a little guilty for what I’ve just admitted).  I’m tired/bored of/with:

– sterilizing bottles everyday

– preparing formula everyday

– feeling exhausted (almost) everyday

– dealing with the ‘what am I going to do today?’ everyday

– trying to figure out quick, easy, and no fuss ways to lose the baby weight EVERYday

– looking forward to Mike coming home from work because I can tell him all about my eventful day and then sometimes it doesn’t really help to share with him how my day went most days

not getting a proper break most days

 etc. etc.

Now I do have fun with Julian almost EVERY day (unless he’s really having a bad day), but that’s not the topic of this particular post.  I realize that this “stuck” feeling may have a lot to do with fatigue and hormones, etc., but until I start getting a full night’s sleep every night and until the day where my hormones don’t run amuck will I continue to feel this way?

Julian is now approaching the 5 month mark.  I can’t believe it!

I just bought him his halloween costume, or shall I say, costumes (couldn’t decide between the monkey or tiger) and his first Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

We’ve also just booked our first family vacation which is only six weeks away.  Already I’ve begun fretting about the trip with him.  How will he be on the plane? What if he screams the whole flight?  What if he gets sick?  What if I don’t take everything I need for him? How can I best prepare him for the vacation? …..and so on, and so on…

Given that every day is still unpredictable with him (as far as his napping and moods are concerned), I thought it might be a good idea to try to get Julian into some sort of routine.  So I’ve done a little reading with respect to getting him into a sleep pattern.  Thus far, I’ve tried to implement a couple of things like putting him down to nap in the crib with him still awake and encouraging him to use a blankie or stuffed toy to soothe himself.  That said, I still allow him to use the soother.  I haven’t been at it for long, nevertheless it still feels as if I haven’t made any progress whatsoever.  Sometimes he goes down to sleep without a fight, but more often than not, I end up having to stroke his hair or put his soother back in his mouth, etc.

If anyone has any good suggestions to help…I’m all ears!

Those of you whom I’ve chatted with over the course of the past three months will not be surprised in the least by the subject of this new post – my trials and tribulations with breastfeeding.  I’m hoping I’m not the only woman out there who was very taken aback by how challenging breastfeeding was.  After all, wasn’t it always implied that this was a very natural and instinctual process?  Wouldn’t you just know how to do so?  Wasn’t there supposed to be this magical moment right after delivery where the baby would be put onto your chest and he/she would suckle just like that? 

Well, it turns out that none of the above actually worked for me.  Clearly, the process has not been very natural or instinctual.  I definitely didn’t know how to properly do so and there wasn’t a magical moment right after delivery where Julian was put onto my chest for feeding.  For some reason, unbeknownst to me now, he didn’t nurse until a couple hours after delivery.  Maybe this has something to do with the disconnect between Julian and I, but I’m guessing there’s a lot more to it than that.  

Nevertheless my challenge with breastfeeding started right at the hospital.  Either Julian or I or both of us didn’t really have the breastfeeding thing down pat to begin with.  Nurse after nurse would instruct me how to properly latch and nurse him.  Wouldn’t you know that each nurse would recommend a different hold or a different way to latch Julian?  Soon after it was discovered that Julian developed jaundice, so he would need to be supplemented, and out came the lactation aid and formula.  Now, for anyone who’s familiar with the friendly lactation aid, you would know that this poses even more of a challenge for someone who’s having a difficult time breastfeeding, because the baby needs to be properly latched in order for the lactation aid to work well.  Somewhere along the line, I was encouraged to fingerfeed Julian as well, but no matter what, he always seemed fussy at the breast.  Perhaps he wasn’t been fed quickly enough, or he wasn’t getting enough.  I didn’t know which.  In any event, we somehow made it through those first couple of days and I was much more comfortable with the latch.  The doctor and nurse gave us the okay to leave and we made our way home.  I foolishly thought that I was now prepared for the breastfeeding road ahead. 

Hours later, something strange began to happen in my breasts.  They were sore and heavy.  Little did I know that my milk was starting to come in.  They became so engorged and Julian wasn’t emptying them well enough or fast enough that I could no longer get him latched.  Here we go again, I thought.  

Fast forward to today; I eventually got over my engorgement and re-learned how to latch Julian and was able to toss out the lactation aid (and the nipple cream).   Lo and behold though, I have now begun having a lot of difficulty with keeping him at the breast.  He seems to latch just fine but soon after begins to howl as though he is being harmed in some way.  So I try him at the other breast and the process simple repeats.  Latch, suck, swallow, suck, swallow, and scream bloody murder.  

What to do now? Yes, I’ve consulted the oracles of the Net.  Many have their assessments to share.  He may be displeased about flow changes.  He may be going through a growth spurt.  It may simply be a phase, etc. etc.  Till now I have been clinging to my one hope – the fact that Julian was nursing really well through the night.  (I couldn’t say the same about the daytime, but at least we had that one amazing feed at 3 or 4 in the morning.)  Now that that seems to be hanging in the balance as well, I don’t have anything else to keep me going.  

Ultimately, it feels as though I have failed at being a mom.  Yes, I know many amazing mothers (even my own), who haven’t breasted fed their children, and haven’t been less of a mother for not having breast fed their children.  But why must I feel so inadequate because I can’t do so?  Why do I feel this inherent pressure to carry on trying and in turn making myself feel worse and worse?  Is it simply thanks to the fairytales I’ve come to believe?  Or is it thanks to the many women I’ve heard who’ve said just how simple it’s been for them?  Maybe it’s thanks to the woman I bumped into at the breastfeeding clinic (where I went not once, not twice, but three times) who told me to stick with it because it’s been so wonderful for her and she even continues to this day to nurse her FOUR-year old in the morning and at night.  (I know you must be wondering how that even works.  She informed me that he hops up onto her lap in the morning and before bed…….)  Is it thanks to the many voices (my husband’s included) who boast about how breastmilk is the best for babies (fill-in-blanks with: and anything else just won’t be good enough)? Or is it thanks to my own need to prove that I can learn to do this, despite the other nagging voice in my head saying, well, if you haven’t got it down yet, what makes you think you still can? 

Where do I go from here?  Do I keep trudging along in the hopes that I’ll get it…finally?  (While I continue to beat myself up emotionally…) Or do I give up and just try and deal with the guilt of not being a good enough mother for Julian? 

Who knows….but thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next episode entitled “Breastfeeding, U.F.O.s and How Do They Get the Caramilk in the Caramilk Bar”.