I am the first to admit that Baby B had some serious cheeks a couple of months ago. Honestly, I loved those cheeks! They were absolutely satisfying to kiss. Also, absolutely adorable. (Her cheeks have thinned out but are still wonderful for kissing!) I, however, am still so bothered by the remarks people would make about her.
Although she is a little tiny human, she is still a human. With feelings. She may not yet understand but maybe she does? I’m continually surprised by how much she does understand. How can we know that on some level these comments aren’t affecting her? With so many young people being affected with body insecurities, why would we start putting these ideas into our children’s heads as infants?
Now, let’s suppose that Baby B, at just eight months old, was not affected by these comments. Her big sister, however, was affected. I know, because Little A called her baby sister “chunky” many times. I had to explain to her what chunky meant and also that it is not a nice word to use.
In pointing out Baby B’s “cute little rolls” or her “chunkiness” or stating “my kids were chunky but not THAT chunky” you are pointing out the differences in her body from the others in the room. And, again, if Baby B doesn’t understand this, Little A at three does understand it. Perhaps she now sees that her sister’s body is shaped differently than hers or she may be wondering if you are going to also point out the rolls on her little body? Either way, I have been fighting to keep these types of concerns from her innocent mind.
Thankfully Baby B’s weight was not a health issue and not something that I was concerned with. However, for some families those comments about weight could also bring up health worries. Also, I’m positive that comments about weight with my first child would have made me concerned enough to ask Dr Google. As a new parent there are so many new things to worry about and unfortunately, other’s comments turn into big worries even when that is not how they are intended.
I am not denying that Baby B had full cheeks and more rolls than many babies. I am just concerned with the ways that are thought to be acceptable to talk about these cute little children. Even if our sweet babies don’t understand our words, our older children may.
Today was one of those days where nothing big happened but there was enough little excitement to make you want bed time to come a little earlier. The day started out normal enough, I had the usual not wanting to get out of bed feeling because I slept like a newborn and because it’s cold outside of the covers. The Hubby went grocery shopping (this is usual and yes he is amazing), and brought home a surprise for Little A; a Finding Dory coloring book with markers. Little A’s first markers. We learned she is not quite ready for markers.
In a dash to get outside with a blankie that mommy said to leave inside Little A managed to open the trailer door for the first time. As I changed Baby B’s diaper Little A summersaulted out the door, down the three foot tall metal steps and landed on the plastic rug covered gravel. Thankfully Little A had a couple little scratches but no bumps or bruises. After the fear and tears went away she was back to her normal adorable self.
Today was also the day that Baby B’s bassinet was retired. It was at least a month overdue but the bassinet fit so well in the trailer and for some reason I am scared she won’t sleep as well if I change her sleeping arrangements (this is silly because the longest stretch she slept in her bassinet last night was two hours, can it get worse?). While the pack n play is humongous in the trailer, it seems that Baby B enjoys playing in it. I hope that she also loves sleeping in it.
The hubby also managed to get the ceiling mounted range set up in the new house. Yay for house stuff getting done and yay for a handy husband.
K. Dinner then getting ready for bed and trying to get Little A in bed early.
In no particular order and to be continued, as I am learning more every day.
1. You don’t need sleep. Well, you need it but not as much as you think. You can survive on very little for very long. You might be a little crazy and you may feel like you left your brain at the hospital but you will manage. And don’t keep track of how many hours you are sleeping, seriously it’s just depressing so stop.
2. Love. There is so much and as a parent you get to experience it in very new ways (wiping up poo and spit up but also those precious baby snuggles). With baby #2 there is even more, don’t worry about running out, you have much more love than you know.
3. Coffee is a very good motivator. There have been so many mornings that I felt like I need about eight more hours of sleep to feel slightly refreshed but I remembered there was coffee in the kitchen and I crawled out of bed with the baby in my arms.
4. Facebook in the middle of the night can be awkward. Facebook was always there to keep me company when I had a sleeping baby in my arms and could barely peel my eyes open. I recall after little A was born and I was on my lunch break scrolling through my pictures and came across a picture of a family I didn’t know. Seriously, I didn’t know a single person in the picture and the only way it could have gotten there was if I downloaded it from Facebook in my sleep or almost sleep. I have also awoken to messages that my friend requests had been accepted (even from people I didn’t know!). Hmm I wonder how many friend requests were not accepted?
5. There are so many sacrifices. They should actually change the name “parent” to “sacrificer ” because that is what it’s all about (that and the hokey pokey). Nothing is on your terms. Your life begins to revolve around your little beings whether you admit it or not.
6. BUT you MUST learn to put yourself first sometimes. Like when the baby is sad but you are starving, grab a snack before you pick up the baby. She may fall asleep and you may put eating off for hours. Don’t be like that, your needs are also important.
7. It won’t last forever. None of it. When you have tried EVERYTHING and your little newborn won’t stop crying just remember that they will stop, eventually. It might seem silly but I know that it comforted me when I had an unhappy baby to remind myself that she wouldn’t still be crying next week, tomorrow, or in a couple of hours. Also, some day they won’t want to snuggle so sometimes let yourself snuggle them without feeling guilty about the dishes, laundry, and all of those other not fun things.
8. The second baby is much easier and the toddler is more difficult. You’ve already had a baby, you got this. But your first child is inevitably in a new stage to you and figuring out how to adapt is the hard part. Plus the first baby is having a massive life change.
9. Breaks are so very important for everyone! You need a break, your spouse needs a break, and the kids need breaks. Make time for them even if your break is just taking a kid free shower, you will be a better parent/ spouse/ person afterwards.
To be continued…