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A few thoughts about breastfeeding…

 

I knew that I was going to breastfeed my baby.  Check that. I planned on breastfeeding my baby.  Of course, I also planned on an all natural birth without interventions and ended up having a C-section after over a full day of labor.  Plans! Isn’t there a saying about plans?

I had friends that breast fed, but I had no idea what I was starting. In hindsight my best advice was from a friend who said she struggled with breastfeeding for 3 weeks.  She said she was determined not to give up. I still haven’t given up, but I do have some thoughts.

  1. It is unfair that childbirth is so grueling and then is immediately followed by breastfeeding.  If you have the honor of completing either, they are two of the most challenging activities of your entire life. Childbirth is no walk in the park, but it’s relatively short when you consider your breastfeeding journey. I’m 8 months in and I’ve been tracking my stats.  I started out the first month at nearly 90 hours of breastfeeding.  That’s every two hours or so for the last 8 months. Let that sink in. The kiddo won’t wait longer than that unless it’s night time.  The kiddo is also in the 99% percentile for height and weight.  I suspect this has something to do with it. I’ve been in beast mode since August.
  2. Breastfeeding moms don’t care what you think.  This includes, but is not limited to: your opinion on breastfeeding, if you think my kiddo is too big or that I shouldn’t be feeding him in public or whatever, then just keep it to yourself. I do not need your approval and I couldn’t care less if you support me. I’m doing it anyway.
  3. Random nutritional fun facts. I get hungry. I need snacks. I don’t care what time it is or if my snack is cheese slices from the back of the fridge. I have also been known to eat that nasty Betty Crocker frosting in a tub when I want something sweet (just a few spoon fulls). I’m really trying to eat healthy, but I get hungry.  Rumor has it breastfeeding burns roughly 500 calories a day. Did I mention that I run as well? I’m training for a 10k. Some days, when I run, I’m guessing I need to take in an extra 1,000 calories a day.  
  4. Tucking in my shirt. Please!

 

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There should be an award for that

We joke that we live at time when everyone gets a participation trophy. There is even a commercial about it

I grew up before this current trend and if I had my say we…wait, that’s not what I wanted to write about. There are two things that we, as adults, don’t get awards for that we should.

First, I would like to institute the “I went to bed early” award. This would go to people who genuinely tried to get at least 8 hours of sleep. They left the gathering early, turned off the game and/or computer, and went to sleep. If you need inspiration to qualify for this award, you can watch this not for kids bedtime story. Sadly, this won’t ever be a real award. If you get a good night of sleep you have a clearer head and it’s a bit easier to deal with stressful situations.  Please, consider going the f*** to sleep.  Luckily, going to sleep early is it’s own reward.

Second, I would like to create an “I left work” award.  This award would be for people who put in their 8 hours of work and then go home. Award winners will probably leave some work on their desks, but hey, there’s always tomorrow. If you are an hourly worker or rely on commission then this award won’t be for you. Grind on. But for those that make a salary remember “the man” only pays you for 40 hours.  Your ridiculously high hourly rate is significantly smaller if you add in all the emails and phone calls you field on evenings or weekends or all those times you need to take a quick peek at a project and then get sucked into an 8 hour work day on your day off…and if you end up pulling an all nighter for work then you’re losing out on the first award as well. If you’re at all like me, you prefer to do the majority of living outside of the workplace.  That’s where my family is and that’s where many of the things I like to do are as well.  Get in, get out safely, and get paid.

What would you like to see awards for?

A few things I’ve learned as a new parent

I had a son in August and I’ve been home with him every day since then…until today. I have mixed feelings about going back to work and I learned a bunch of things about myself, parenting, and the kiddo while I was at home.  Here’s a glimpse of some of those things.

Netflix/Hulu/On demand programming can be my best friend as well as my worst enemy. Yes, it’s something to do.  I watched the entire seven seasons of Gilmore Girls in anticipation of the oh so terrible Thanksgiving reboot.  I also found that I no longer enjoy the same kinds of programming as I once did. I currently lean toward documentaries and fluff.  I have enjoyed Chill with Bob Ross. I think I need an easel.

The FedEx delivery truck delivers packages early, UPS delivers way late, and because I live so close to the post office I suspect that some rookie is always delivering my mail. My neighbors drink a lot.

I am fast enough to catch baby spit up in the palm of my hand when the other choice is that it lands on my computer keyboard. I will never be able to put that on a resume.

I used to run. Pre-pregnancy I would’ve considered myself a runner.  I ran the first trimester of pregnancy.  After that quit because I spent more time going back and forth to the bathroom than on the track. I’ve been playing soccer and I will run again, but this year I’m not signing up for any half marathons. I don’t want to take that time to run so far when I could be kissing a kiddo. Don’t worry, I haven’t lost myself completely. I’m looking for 10ks in the area.  I will have no excuse not to be fast because I’ll be training with a jogging stroller.

There are “kids” and then there is “your kid.” He may or may not be different than everything I have read in books or online. I don’t freak out (as much) anymore if he eats more times than the average child or if he doesn’t sleep enough one night. I am no longer surprised as he blasts through clothes labeled 9 months even though he’s only 4 months old. I literally saw his toes poking out the feet of his pajamas this week. When people say kids grow up fast, they mean it.

People at the store smile at me more, rather they smile at the kiddo.  He mostly smiles back.  Babies seem to make everyone happy.

Many told me to “get my sleep in” while I was pregnant.  I woke up about 6 times a night to use the bathroom.  Now those same people tell me to “sleep when the baby sleeps” and it’s  such b.s. advice I can’t stand it. Maybe some day when he naps for a few hours at a time I will be able to follow their advice.  Currently it seems that when I lay down to nap he is quiet for about 20 minutes.  That’s not much of a nap.

I know I’ve learned other things and I look forward to continuing to do so.  Cheers and Happy New Year.

Don’t ask me that

I am a bunch of things and I’d like to think that one of those things is honest. In fact, sometimes I exhibit a bit too much candor (if there is such a thing). In other words, don’t ask me a question if you don’t want to know my answer. I always give an out. Do you want my honest opinion? If you say yes, then you should be prepared for the answer.

Recently I was thinking about how you can’t ask more of people than they can handle. For me that means don’t ask me to lie to you. I won’t do it. But in general you should keep individual personality traits in mind when you ask someone for help or their opinion or whatnot.

For example, don’t ask your friend who is always late for every event for a ride to the airport if you want to leave at a specific time and you’re going to be crabby that she’s late. She’s always late. You know this! It’s part of her very nature and you love her anyway.

Further, don’t ask Negative Nancy if you should go on the 10 day meditation retreat. She’ll tell you all the reasons it will be a terrible experience. Ask the friend that is always happy and sunny about everything. She’ll put you on track and she might point out some of the reasons this type of challenging experience would be fun.

Or don’t ask your friend who is obviously juggling family dinner and homework for help with your crisis… right now. She is busy and you won’t have her full attention. It’s totally fair to ask her to call you back when she’s got some free time.

In turn, don’t be that friend that lets someone cry about a serious issue while you’re helping with homework and cutting up onions. That’s not fair. It’s ok not to answer your phone when you don’t have time to talk or to tell someone that you’re in the middle of something and that they should call you back later.

This is a friendly reminder heading into the new year. Only ask people to help with things that they are capable achieving. It makes everyone happier.

Moms don’t take sick days

You may already know this, but moms don’t take sick days. Growing up I remember my mom taking a sick day once (it may have been more than that but it’s unlikely).  She had a migraine and images-2shut the bedroom door (shut the door!  Whoa.  Serious stuff there). I believe she said something like “Do not open the door unless the house is on fire!” and she also instructed my sister and me to be quiet in such a way that we were silent for the entire day.

 The past extended holiday weekend my family had the flu.  This includes me because I am part of said family. On Friday I felt fine. I went shopping with my mother and sister and I didn’t feel great, but I just chalked it up to a 2,000 calorie lunch.  It seemed like a good idea at the time. I even went to the gym and worked out…hard.  On Saturday I went to the gym early and felt worse as the day wore on but not sick. My husband was sick. I quarantined him in the bedroom. Throughout the day I felt progressively less swell and at one point I laid down on the floor with the little one and fell asleep watching The Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I was unable to admit I had succumbed. I thought I had simply worked out too hard two days in a row.

By Sunday I was toast. And here are the things that also happened while I was toast: I walked the dog, went to the coffee shop (I hope you didn’t get sick there, if you did sorry. I was in sick denial), the gym, PetCo (they had a sale and I got $20+ back), laundry, set up new aquarium, laundry, walked the dog, laundry, and laundry. The icing on the cake is that during this whole episode I also feed the kiddo every 3 hours or so which meant prying myself out of a warm blanket on the couch (you know so I didn’t get sick from quarantined husband in the bedroom) a few times at night.  This was especially cruel because last week he strung together a couple of 6 hours sleeps in such a fashion that I was sure he was on a roll. He was not. I should’ve never washed those lucky PJs.

I don’t say this to brag. I was honestly in denial and that’s why I think moms never take sick days.  There is always so much to do and if I’m awake every three hours well then I might as well get at it. On the other hand it will all still be there tomorrow!

Two rules I live by

I am not a rule follower.  Strike that. I don’t put a lot of faith in rules.  No wait, that’s not true either. I believe that “rules are guidelines for people who don’t know better.” That’s rule number one. Rules are great, but if you know what’s going on you can usually safely cut corners and/or modify.  And I’m all about cutting corners.

If you want to have an insightful conversation, ask others what they think about rules.  They can just fill in the blank.  Rules are ____________________________.  It’s sort of fun. My husband’s answer? Rules are meant to be followed.  You might be able to guess where we run into problems.

While we disagree about rules we agree that some rules cannot be bent and I find that lately my guide is answering life’s big questions (a guideline if you will) “Could I live with myself if _______________?” This is the second rule. For example: can I live with myself if I get into an accident while texting and driving? Nope. So I don’t do it. Can I live with myself if I have cheese curds for dinner? You betcha!

I’m not suggesting that everyone needs rules or to spend time thinking about them, but then again if you’re reading this you probably have some time to kill.

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It’s your technology, own it.

 

Our current technology allows us to do so much. You can text with friends a world away or view those cute kids in Seattle that you may never see in person. You can keep up with your cousins (sort of) and you think  “I should email them” every time you see and read informative articles they post. More importantly, you can also solve petty arguments over drinks with friends (FYI no one likes the smug person who looks up the answer to the question that was more fun to debate than to know the answer to. I know because I am sometimes that person.) Or you can just show your partner the shelves you want for the basement rather than trying to draw them on a post it note. You get the idea. That’s a lot of information at the touch of your fingertips, in your pocket, or in your purse.  But for cripes sake, it’s your technology. OWN IT.

Here’s what I mean by own it. Just because someone calls or texts don’t feel that you have to answer immediately. Your phone should be for your convenience. For example, don’t answer your phone at the gym.  You went there to work out, not chat about what you’re wearing to dinner tomorrow. I answered my phone at the gym last week. The call would have easily waited until I was finished.

Here are some other rules to help you own your technology:

  • Don’t bring your phone out during meetings. You can’t be concentrating on the conversation (maybe you weren’t anyway, but now everyone will know you don’t care and aren’t listening).
  • Put your phone on do not disturb when you go to bed or when you don’t want to be disturbed.  I’ve got my do not disturb set automatically from 10pm to 6am to help me get a good night’s sleep.  
  • Don’t answer your phone when you don’t want to or don’t have time to talk. They can leave a voicemail.
  • Don’t text at the table or when you’re supposed to be enjoying the company of friends and family who are right in front of you. Similarly please don’t leave your phone out on the table at dinner.  It’s too tempting, you aren’t that strong.
  • Don’t text and drive.
  • Similarly, enter the directions of the place you want to go before you’re driving down the road. The same goes for music or podcasts.  Que it up ahead of time. Find them first, then drive. It’s safer for everyone.

How to do you control technology so it doesn’t own your life?