Tuesday, September 24, 2013

if you don't have anything nice to say...

i lied to brielle's pediatrician last week. she asked if brielle was sleeping through the night. i said yes. she asked if brielle was in her crib. i said yes again. neither are the truth.

i lied because 1. i didn't want to get lectured and 2. it's not really her business. don't get me wrong. i love brielle's pediatrician. i think she is knowledgeable, passionate, and sweet. however, i knew what she was going to say, and i just didn't want to hear it.

i'm having one of those nights where i feel on the edge of a breakdown. brielle is teething and cranky. she woke up every single hour last night, just wanting to chew on something and cuddle. i don't mind too much, because i'm her mom, and it's my job, and it's the best job in the world. but still, i'm tired.

i've also become so frustrated with people these past couple of weeks. i hear and read the things they say to one another, and it makes me sick. i am so so very fortunate to have a close knit group of fellow mamas to confide in and to share support. but still, i come across the occasional know-it-all, the dreaded damn-it-all.

here's the thing. before you're a parent, you have all your rules set out. you'll breastfeed for a year. the baby will sleep in the bassinet for 3 months, then gracefully transition into her crib. you'll cloth diaper. you'll make all your own food. your precious baby's eyes will never watch a minute of television, and all her toys will be eco-friendly. then your baby is born, and your milk supply sucks, your baby has reflux, your laundry room is taken over by dirty diapers waiting to be washed, you can barely find time to make your own food, and speaking of, it's time to make dinner so you set your baby on a blanket to watch mickey mouse club house and gnaw on her plastic toy.

your baby is born, you go into survival mode, and just do the best you possibly can. for me, survival mode has become bed-sharing. it wasn't something i planned on doing, but at three months, brielle stopped sleeping through the night in her rock n play, and bam. just like that, we became co-sleepers. i am well aware that i helped form the habit, but i can't say i regret it. it's worked for us. we've all gotten sleep because of it. and guess what, that's what matters.

jake and i get a say in how we sleep and how we parent. that's all. not a doctor. not a relative. not a friend with plenty of opinions, but no kids. not a friend with plenty of opinions AND kids. nope. just me and jake.

and this crazy rant isn't just about me and jake and how we sleep. i have had far too many conversations with my fellow mom friends recently about this same frustration, about why everybody seems to have an opinion on everybody else's parenting.

guys, this is a tough gig as it is. if you want to know pressure, try being responsible for another human being's LIFE. i am well aware that every single decision i do or don't make will have an affect on my precious, perfect baby. that is stress. it SICKENS me to see other people, particularly women, and particularly other moms criticize someone else's parenting.

every parent and every baby is different. please remember that. some babies sleep great in their cribs, and some score a spot in bed with their mom and dad. some babies are in the 90 percentile, some are in the 3rd. some start solids are 4 months, some wait until 6. i could go on and on, but i hope you get my point. every situation is diverse, but for the most part, every parent is loving and raising their child the best way they know how.

brielle isn't going to be sleeping in bed with us when she is fifteen, and when she is fifteen, i probably wish she would. in the meantime, jake and i are going to transition her using the method and speed that we choose. and also in the meantime, i will do my best to support every other parent struggling to make the best decisions for their babies.

"most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragment, and we will make the goal." robert collier.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


i'm a strong lover of all things social media. i'm sure you have come to realize that about me by now. i just like people. i like to know people's lives. i like to share mine. i like real life, fleshy human life sharing too. it's just that doing it over the internet is easy, convient, and fun when real life isn't an option.  social media has allowed me to keep in contact with family from other states, half of my graduating class, and now complete strangers.

i still remember when the first stranger started following me. it's funny to write the word 'stranger' because, she may technically still be, but i now consider her a close friend. raincitybaby. well, i think she was technically still laurenryk at the time, but whatevs. i was confused when i got the notification that she was following me because 1. i didn't know her and 2. she was some trendy blonde from seattle that was way too cool to be interested in me. but she was also pregnant and seemed normal, so i followed her back. and so it began.

when i began following lauren, i had no idea i would soon be a part of the big, beautiful world of momstagram. through simply liking and commenting on her photos, i began to get more followers, most of which followed her. and as i followed more lovely women, i met more lovely women, and now looking at my profile, half of the people i follow have never met me in real life. creepy? possibly. but i don't care. they're my buddies.

the wonderful thing about instagram and moms is that pretty much every single one of them overshares. which means, i pretty much know each of them like the back of my hand. i trust they aren't actually some creepy 50-year-old man because each of them has spammed my feed with their weekly bump shots and their little one's gnawing on sophie the giraffe. and now instagram has video so i can hear their crazy baby talk voices and hear their precious baby's first giggles and learn how to moan like dying cats. i love it. it's like having little virtual play-dates every single hour day.

and now lauren, who may just be the momstagram president, our 'regina george' if you will (except she isn't a meal girl. actually may be the nicest girl you'll never meet ;)) started @askthemamas, with a couple of her other friends (also who she has never met in real life. so awesome!) anyways, this ig account has helped me beyond belief during these past months of mothering brielle. i am very fortunate to have a few real life friends also in the midst of raising their first child, and they have provided me with limitless advide and support. but it is also so amazing to have a database of questions and advice to and from mamas all over the world, right there on one little instagram account. it's phenomenal.

this morning i got super sappy thinking about how some of these women and i have been following each other for nearly a year now. back when we were posting our bellies, and nurseries, and baby showers, and we were the only ones who cared to know what fruit everybody's baby was the size of that day. then i thought about how they will all most likely virtually attend brielle's first birthday party. and then i got to thinking about how long we will continue to follow each other. it blew my mind. i could very well be in the midst of life-long friendships with these countless women i have never even met.

the thing i love most about the mom community on instagram is how free, true, and unconditional the love there is. becoming a mom is the most exciting and monumental time of your life. from the moment the test is positive, that's all you want to breathe, think, and talk about. unfortunately most of the people i came in contact with on a daily basis, didn't agree. but now it's ok. now i have a gang of mommy friends ready and willing to cry with me thinking about how fast our babies are growing, to laugh with me when i spilt breast milk on my shirt at work, to celebrate with me when brielle begins to crawl, and to join me in loving my sweet baby girl. because i really truly believe that these women love my daughter, which is crazy and surreal and amazing. they are invested in her life, sadly even more than some of my friends in real life.

and the love is mutual. i love ru's unbeatable style and blowouts, and gracelyn's parrot screech. i love ella's fascination with water bottles, and reagan's cheeks! i love thoren's naked butt next to linus and how much ben loves moe. nora's long hair, ruby's ability to fall asleep everywhere, elliot's sweet bond with his mama. There are TONS more (those are just the ones who babyspam me most often), but i truly love and feel connected with all of the mom's and babies that i follow. it's a friendship. some are in san jose, some are in florida (come west jenny), but i honestly can say they are all my friends.