Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spanking would hurt less

Yesterday, I read something that really bugged me. It was a blog post about mommy guilt -- but not the usual mommy guilt about kids watching TV or getting too much sugar or even sometimes just wanting time to oneself. No, this was mommy guilt brought on by something the writer said to her mother.

I don't want to link to the post because all the comments were very positive, so I'm probably the only person it bugged. But I'll give you the gist. The writer's mother was an immigrant from Hong Kong. She had a "demanding career" but still managed to be a good mom. That's not the part that bugged me. What bugged me is that mom very seldom raised her voice to her children in anger. No. Instead, she would "gently remind [them], 'Just remember, you'll be sorry when I'm gone...'"

The post continues with the writer recounting a situation where she "snaps" at her mother to not do something that makes the baby cry. The writer then feels guilty for it. The writer is so worried about the day her mother dies that she's consumed by guilt, even though she did nothing wrong.

The post stuck with me. I couldn't stop thinking about it. I'm sure the writer's mother is a great mother in most aspects, but I have a real problem with keeping your kids in line by telling them you'll be dead one day.

Part of why this bugged me so much is that when the S.O. was growing up, his mother would tell him she was going to die soon. (He tells me it's probably an Asian thing.) She's still alive, by the way.

The writer calls her mother "exceptional" and "self-sacrificing,"saying she realized, "not everyone is lucky enough to have the kind of mom that [she has]." It bugs me also, because my own mother was exceptional and self-sacrificing (as I think most mothers are, at least to a certain extent) and my mother would never have said something like that to her children. I can't stand the idea of a mother being so passive-aggressive and -- in my humble opinion -- mean.

I can't imagine myself using that kind of guilt to make Milo behave. It hurts me to think of him dwelling on me being gone. I know how it hurts to lose a mother too soon. And it breaks my heart for someone to hold that over a child's head.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Daddy Talk

Fear itself

For the weeks and months I've been a father I have had fears -- some mundane and quickly dismissed, some more long term and some without any resolution. My greatest fear right now is my boy himself, or more specifically coming into his room in the morning. I'm afraid of walking in on him and him not breathing.

I can't really explain why I have this fear. My rational mind knows that all is well but for months now I haven't been able to easily go into his room first thing. I wait for him to fuss about or cry or something then I know all is well.

I think it's part of my nature to worry about so many things. I worry about not being able to save enough for his college fund. I found out that Harvard costs $250K for four years. I thought that I had planned well enough ahead and we started his college fund the year he was born. Given that it seems we will still be behind in the end.

Now I'm starting to worry about what to do for schools.  I saw that the Colorado school system is being underfunded by $2.5 billion. I am already worried about what to do for my son. I have contemplated sending him to private school. Maybe taking that job that pays more but keeps me away more.

So many fears but I am glad to have them. I worry so much about being a good dad, an adequate father that I think I am probably doing a good job.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday Smiles

Milo's busy morning

Good morning, Mommy!

I think I'll wear this today.

Time for a little breakfast

And a manicure
And he's ready to start his day.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

No pictures, please!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday True Confessions

I have admitted before that I watch TV while breastfeeding Milo. And that is supposedly a No-No, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In the February issue of "BabyTalk," there's a guide to the first 100 days of your baby's life. Once again, I'm told not to watch TV while feeding my baby.

"During those early weeks, you'll likely be feeding six to eight times a day whether by breast or bottle. Don't be tempted to fill it by streaming a season's worth of Glee or texting your BFF. Christine Wood M.D., a pediatrician and certified lactation educator from Encinitas, California, urges parents to take advantage of feeding time to bond with their babies."

The article goes on to quote a mother who says, "I realized I was the luckiest person in the family because I was the one who got to spend the most one-on-one time with him, gazing into his eyes."

Let me get this straight, the article tells me I'll feed my newborn six to eight times a day. In reality, Milo ate every two hours. So ... 12 times a day, multiplied by 20 to 45 minutes for each feeding ... doing the math ... I was supposed to spend upwards of nine hours a day "gazing into his eyes"? When his eyes were closed 90 percent of the time (at least).

Unfortunately, I don't remember where I saw this, but I have read that looking directly into your baby's eyes during those middle of the night feedings is akin to giving him a jolt of caffeine, conflicting with the above advice.

I know this is just one more way to pile on the Mommy Guilt. I'll freely admit I have a TV addiction. And yes, I worry that Milo gets too much (he points his toy remote at the TV and presses buttons). But I also know that I spend lots of time playing with him, reading to him, cuddling him and bonding with him. I think the simple act of breastfeeding is the greatest bonding act I could perform. It's kind of hard not to bond when another human is literally attached to you.

I don't watch as much TV while breastfeeding now because Milo is more attuned to it. (Buffy theme song?! Let me see!) But when he drifts off for a nap, you better believe I'm streaming reruns.

It's hard not to gaze into those eyes. But nine hours a day? Please.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Daddy Talk

Note: As a new feature, I'm asking Milo's Daddy (also known here as "the S.O.") to take over the blog one day a week to share his musings, boasts, worries and other thoughts on parenthood. So, without further ado, I give you Daddy Talk.

I never realized how special it is being a parent. Sitting in a car with the boy sleeping while Pam is inside World Market, shopping for something. And I am just happy.

I don't dread him waking up or not being able to get something done later. I am just happy existing. Just happy at the chance to be his dad and experience this peaceful moment. He is a great kid even when he's not being such a great kid.

Playtime with Daddy

It's odd how much I didn't expect to change then how much I welcomed it -- whatever the change was/is. I surely am more accepting of picking up soggy Cherrios and stepping in spots of random drool than I ever thought I could be. Things just happen and it's not so bad. I kind of miss the really poopy diapers at 2 a.m. and the clingy baby. The good part now is that when he gets clingy the grip is so much stronger but the crying is so much stronger too.

Now, given, it hasn't been all sunshine and flowers.  I think that I still need to work on the whole baby doesn't know he's irritating you part. He just really wants his mama or to not be in his crib in the middle of the afternoon or something else babies want. I have on occasion asked the boy wtf in elevated tones and not gotten the response I would like. I have found that he responds much better to sarcasm though.  It's just making sure that I get the sarcasm going before the yelling at a baby part that I am really working on.

I always wanted to be that perfect dad that never raised his voice and calmly worked his way through it all. I haven't quite achieved that yet. Mostly I don't want to do things the way my mom did.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Smiles

Milo took a few steps all by himself this afternoon. Because I don't want to experience his entire life through a camera's viewfinder, I don't have a picture of that. I do, however, have a picture of how proud he was of his accomplishment.

Big smile!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday flashback

The 40-Something First Timer with Milo's grandpa (her dad) - way back when:

Milo and Grandpa at Thanksgiving:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

10 Months

Dear Milo,

Another month has flown by and you continue to change by leaps and bounds. You pull yourself up easily and cruise around the furniture like an old pro. You've even been trying to stand on your own, letting go of things for longer and longer lengths of time.

Your vocabulary is growing. You still mostly talk in babbles but you clearly say "Daddy," although not always just when you see Daddy. Today you pointed to the Simpsons character on my t-shirt and said, "Daddy!" (Hee!) You also say "Aw-gy" when the dog comes around.  You are very consistent with that word so I'm sure you are saying "Doggy."

You make Daddy and me proud every day. While the logical part of my brain knows that you're progressing as most any child would, it doesn't stop me from thinking everything you do is special and amazing. Obviously, I'm proud and amazed that you're my child.

You have a second tooth coming in and possibly even a third. I worried for a little while that they were taking too long to come in, but according to your doctor, later is better when it comes to healthy chompers.

You spend more time actually looking at your books and playing with your toys instead of just chewing them. You interact with us and others more now, as well. At the Little Gym, you enjoy playing with the other kids. You're fascinated by the older children and the things they can do.

Even though you're going through some separation anxiety, you are fearless when it comes to trying to new things. You climb the stairs like it's the simplest thing. And you love looking into cabinets and opening drawers. We have had to babyproof in earnest.

You are eating a wider variety of foods, including lots more finger foods and even some of the things we eat. You especially like Cheerios, bread, cheese and peas.

Your antics and your laughter can set me to giggling like a little girl. Sometimes you will come to me for a cuddle and it melts my heart.  I never believed my heart could melt like that. I never knew I could enjoy such simple things. When you lay your head on my shoulder and slip off to sleep, I fall even further in love with you.

Sometimes it feels like you joined our lives just yesterday. Other times it feels like you've been in our lives forever. These past 10 months have been incredible -- fun and challenging and filled with love.

I love you so much, Sweetness.



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

Milo vs the Boppy

And the Boppy wins!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Damned if you do

Being a mommy (or daddy) is hard work. Making it even harder is the seemingly never-ending judgment we face. It seems like no matter what we do, someone is going to tell us we're doing it wrong.

And every time some new study comes out, I worry that I've ruined my baby for life. The latest study (I've read) "suggests babies might get health benefits from skipping spoon-fed purées, and going straight to feeding themselves with finger foods."

Among those benefits is that the self-fed babies "may be more accustomed to a range of healthy, nutritious foods that are intact, instead of masked as purées, which could influence their preferences."

Milo eats both purées and finger foods. And I don't force him to eat more than he wants (as the study suggests regarding spoon-fed babies). He lets me know when he doesn't want more food.

And he'll feed himself if he wants to!
 The worst part of this story (besides my worry that I've ruined my baby) are the comments on Facebook for this story. (Interestingly, the comments [so far] at are not as judgmental.) Why are mommies so Us vs Them when it comes to raising our children? Breast vs bottle, cloth vs disposable, stay-at-home vs working outside the home, spoon-fed vs self-led.

So, not only are parents (especially moms) being told we might be doing it wrong by the so-called experts, we're telling each other we're doing it wrong.

I'll admit I some times judge other moms (especially the ones who've already lost all their baby weight!) but I try really hard to keep it to myself. And I certainly don't get (nearly) fanatical on Web sites. Unless parents are purposefully harming or neglecting their child, they're probably doing the best they can.

Being a parent a tough job. We shouldn't make it tougher on ourselves and each other.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday Smiles

If there's anything sweeter than a baby falling asleep in my arms, I have yet to discover it.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday flashback

Last February, I looked like this:

A year later, that "baby bump" looks like this:

And my tummy is almost flat. But I'm all too happy to sacrifice a flat stomach in order to see that smile every day.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Photo finish

Going through my photos tonight, I came across this picture.

It's not Milo. It's Milo's cousin Spencer.

This is Milo at about 5 months old.

Maybe it's the concerned expression. Maybe it's the chubby cheeks or the button noses. Whatever it is, there's a definite resemblance between those two boys. 

My nephew is now a handsome, smart 18-year-old young man. So, Milo could do worse.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Not-so-random cuteness

Totally posed cuteness

Is it too late for New Year resolutions?

It's been quiet here at 40-Something First Timer - too quiet. And it's time I did something about that. I'm working on a plan to beef up the blog and get more posts up more often (your advice is welcomed and encouraged).

Being a mommy is hard work, but I need to make time for me. I've always loved writing. I just need to do it more. Don't worry, there will still be plenty of random cuteness posts.