Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I am a good mom

I realize I’ve been kind of hard on myself lately. The only thing I want to do is be a good mom to my little girl, and even though I beat myself up about what I could do better, I think it’s wise to interrupt these thoughts and focus on all the things I’ve done in the last few days that makes me a good mom.

-I greet my baby girl every morning with the biggest smile I can, wanting her to be surrounded in happiness.

-I spend hours poring over the internet and baby books trying to figure out the best way to ___ (whatever it happens to be that day – for some reason I think I do this more at work than at home – if I were at home all day I seriously doubt I would spend this much time on the internet researching stuff – I would just do it!)

-During the 10 minute drive between work and daycare at the end of the day, I focus on taking deep breaths and letting go of all the stress of work, and remember to be present for baby girl. It takes a conscious effort to transition to the mommy part of my life, and let go of the professional woman part of my life, and I try to mentally transform before I pick her up from daycare.

-During the two hours of wake-time I have with Alex every night, I try to focus only on her. I feed her, change her, play with her, bathe her, rock her, tell stories to her, put her to bed. Close to the end of the two hours, her daddy comes home, and the three of us always have some nice moments of family time. Hubs and I have been focusing on her, and our little moments of time with her, which makes me so happy. My favorite moment is after the whole bedtime routine is done, I put her in her crib as I’m finishing her last song, and she looks up at me with this huge smile. I then bend over and kiss her good night, and our last memory of each other every night is staring into each other’s eyes, smiling.

-My MIL is coming to town today for a week, and I have been thinking of ways for them to spend quality time together. My MIL thinks the sun rises and sets on Alex, and I don’t want to do anything to spoil this!

-I spent a few minutes with the daycare lady this morning, talking about feeding Alex. They asked me to increase her food as she seems too hungry before eating, and is pissed when the bottle is done. So with the hope of getting to 3 hour internals (I was hoping to push it to 4, but they’ve been feeding her after 2.5!), we’ve increased the amount of formula to 7 ounces from 6. She still has 6 bottles per day – seriously, I think 42 ounces per day is too much! But we’re also trying to get her to eat solid foods, which she hasn’t been too interested in. So hopefully when she eats more solids, her formula intake will decrease. But if you use the 2.5 x weight = ounces per day formula, at 16 pounds, she should be eating 40 ounces. But it still seems like way too much… Anyway, the good mom part is I’m trying – real hard – to figure out the right thing to do with little Alex and make her happy but not overfed.

-Last night after weeks of patient trying, I got Alex to eat about an ounce of solid food – homemade pears mixed with oatmeal cereal. (I’ve been making all her solid food except cereal, and it’s so easy and economical!) The trick last night was to distract her with a toy in one hand, and then shovel food in her mouth in the other. I know this isn’t a good long-term strategy, but I hope this helps her learn again what this solid food thing is all about. We had about 3 days of good eating before she got sick, and then it all was thrown out the window. When she got well again, we had to start over. But I’m hopeful that with time and patience she’ll figure it out!

-Every night during bath time, I sing songs to her, and she alternates between playing with her toys, and staring at me with those big brown eyes, with a little smile on her face. Seriously, it’s that face that gets me every time!!!

The overall theme of all of this is that I try. I think this is true for a lot of us moms. Sure, we could beat ourselves up over stopping breastfeeding too early, or doing something at the wrong time, and unfortunately we do beat ourselves up. But what we need to remember is that if we’re trying real hard, and we love our kiddos with all our heart, the rest will fall into place. I know I will screw up at times in this journey called motherhood, but I hope at the end of the day I will remember that I tried my very best to raise my little girl in the best way I can. This little 16-pound bundle of goodness has completely changed my life, and I love her more than I ever thought possible. And that makes me a good mom.

22 comments:

  1. What a great post to return to when you're feeling those horrible moments of self-doubt that plague us as new moms. It's so hard to know what the right things to do are for each child, but we definitely try our best. And it sounds like you are doing an AMAZING job of negotiation work-life balance.

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  2. You are a great mom =) We all try our very hardest and that's all we can do!

    On the overfeeding issue, I was concerned that my daughter was growing SO quickly and asked my ped about over feeding. She said it was literally impossible and that I should offer as much milk or solid food as my baby wanted. That was at about 4 months old and now she is 22 months and I can honestly say there are times I have wondered...she will eat SOOOO much some days but then there are others that she eats peckishly. She's maintained her weight at the 55th% since she was 12 months and we feed her as much as she wants. IMO, biology makes sure they know best how much their little bodies need. If she's still hungry after feedings and is eating more often then I'd have to agree that giving her more is probably indicated. Have you talked with your ped about it?

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  3. You are such a loving and thoughtful mom. I'm sure Alex knows how muhc you love her. She is such a blessing in your life, but like wise, you are a blessing in her life too!

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  4. I think you are an EXCELLENT mom. Also, it's been a while since we got a photo...I wanna know what this little one looks like now!

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  5. I think every mom gets stuck in that rut, or at least the ones who really care about making their kiddos happy. Mom guilt is just something that comes with the job. Its even worse if you naturally have a guilt complex. lol I don't think I've had a day since my daughter was born that I didn't go to bed wishing I had done something different with her that day, whether it was give in on the mac and cheese or a treat at the store, or not feeling like I spent enough good, quality time with her.

    You are right, all that matters is that you do your best. No one can ask anymore from you, and Alex will always remember you as an awesome, loving, caring mom.

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  6. " My favorite moment is after the whole bedtime routine is done, I put her in her crib as I’m finishing her last song, and she looks up at me with this huge smile. I then bend over and kiss her good night, and our last memory of each other every night is staring into each other’s eyes, smiling."

    This made me cry. You are an awesome mom. It is incredibly apparent in your writing.

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  7. You are a great mom and I know that this is such a stressful time. Your kiddo is a very lucky girl!

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  8. What a great post. I think we all need to remind ourselves more often of all the amazing things we do as moms for our children rather than focus on the things we feel guilty about.

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  9. Anyone who worries about it as much as you must be a great mom! :). Seriously, that smile is the best thing in the world!

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  10. :D It's hard not to worry about these things. However it sounds like you are doing a fabulous job! They say that infants will only eat as much as they need. So, just check with your doc if you worry about the formula amounts. I love that you make your own food - I have really enjoyed doing it myself too! Keep it up mom!

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  11. You are doing great sweetie, and trying our best is the only thing we can do. When you see that our child is happy and relaxed, I think you have done just right thing!

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  12. I love this post! You're doing an awesome job! You have the hardest job in the world, so it's good to give yourself credit! Hugs!

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  13. i second unaffected... that line made me cry too. you are right, you are a good mom. an amazing mom. your baby girl is loved, cared for, and happy. xoxo.

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  14. I have to disagree with you...

    You are a fantastic, incredible mom!! Not just good. I love everything about this post, especially your night time and bath routine. Keep taking such great care of that little one!

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  15. What a great post! You ARE a GREAT mom! You are doing the very best that you can and all of your love and hard work is amazing!! Enjoy every moment you can :)

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  16. I agree, this is a great post. We do need to remind ourselves of what we do right instead of getting hung up on the things we think we don't do quite right. I do the same thing you do when I drive from work to daycare!

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  17. You are doing great!!! Phi went through a weird phase of being hungry way earlier than her usual four hours so I obliged but after a few days she went back to her normal schedule. I think sometimes they just need more for a growth spurt or something. That is my theory. :-)

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  18. It sounds like you are doing a great job! What a wonderfully written post!

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  19. seriously, you are a great mom! Listen to all of the things you do for your daughter every single day - so much!

    It took cheeks a while to get solids, too. I started with him at maybe 5.5 months and he didn't really get going with it til 7 ish months and for a long time it was only one good go a day. Now at 11 months, he's eating just about anything and loving so much. He had tuna last night and loved it. Try to follow your babies lead a little bit on solids and what she's ready for - at least that's what helped me. Oh and keep trying the same foods over and over, eventually they like almost all of them (Except purreed peas - he still doesn't like those)

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  20. I love this post...and of course you are a good mom...you are a great mom! And like you said, you are trying your hardest and that is what is best for your little Alex. Parenthood is trial and error a lot of the time and anyone who tells you differently is not being honest. You are doing a great job!

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  21. I think we rob ourselves of the joy of being a mom when we're so hard on ourselves. At least, that's what I try to tell myself when I'm having one of those "coulda, shoulda, woulda" moments. Be easy with yourself. You want Alex to do that with herself when she's older. So show her, mama :)

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