In Theory...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A church friend of mine recently told me something that really resonated with me- you are a parenting expert before you have kids.  After that, you admit you have no clue. 

In theory, I would exclusively breastfeed.  I didn't even want to pump bottles of breastmilk for Siena unless it was a dire emergency.  I was a lacto-nazi, you might say.
In reality, because of their teeny tiny tummies, newborns sometimes want to feed every 45 minutes to an hour, meaning you have maybe 20 minutes to recoup before she's ready for the breast again.  Sometimes your breasts need a rest, and it's not a crime to have dad or grandma feed baby with an occasional bottle.

In theory, I would wear my baby all the time in the moby wrap/ergo carrier/ring sling I bought.  We would be bosom buddies all day long. 

In reality, baby sometimes overheats in them, even when she's stripped down to her diaper.  In reality, it's still really hard to cook, eat, do your makeup with a baby strapped to your chest.  And the other day I bonked her head with the hairbrush I was using and she cried and cried.  I do have to say that outings with the moby wrap have been really successful.  We've done the mall, parks, and walks around the neighborhood and she is lulled right to sleep, and we don't need to lug around a stroller. 

In theory, I would forgo swings, bouncers, and all those baby gadgets that our grandmothers didn't need to raise their babies.
In reality, just 20 minutes in the swing in the morning would give me time to hose the spit up off of me, make the bed, and put on a real outfit.  All tasks that make me feel more sane   (Too bad Siena doesn't like the swing I got her.  She is more content laying in her bassinet staring at the ceiling than swinging.  I just ordered the baby bjorn babysitter bouncer off ebay though, and we'll see if she takes to it!)

In theory, breastfeeding is a natural, enjoyable process that would come easily. 
In reality, it's hard work!  It's didn't come naturally to me or Siena, and we needed lots of assistance from a lactation consultant.  We're making great progress though, and it no longer seems like such a big deal.

In theory, baby would sleep in our room or even co- sleep in our bed for the first few months.  Then I'd be able to nurse her in bed, and we'd both get more sleep this way.
In reality, our gassy baby Siena makes crazy gremlin sounds at night.  Grunting, groaning, moaning like she's in labor.  So much for sleeping in our room!  We all get more sleep if she's tucked into her Moses basket in the nursery.  Also, nursing in bed sounds great, except when baby spits up all over your comforter or you wake up in a puddle of your own milk. Not so cozy, right?
In theory, we would already be potty training our baby using this book. Sounds crazy, but I personally know someone who's successfully potty trained their 6 month old  Also, the chick who played Blossom (Mayim Balik) did it with her kids :)
In reality, I'm just trying to survive all the diaper blowouts and leaks I experience each day!  Who has time to read? I did start the book though, and I think it's totally doable.  I'm eager to get out of diapers, especially since the ones that work best for us happen to be the most expensive/"green"/organic diapers.  Go figure! 

In theory, I was anti-pacifier. Not sure why, I just was. I guess some people made them out to be a horrible habit or a crutch for lazy parents.  So lame!
In reality, Siena has been binkified.  At this point, our little sleep deprived baby needs some help getting to sleep when all other methods (bouncing on the yoga ball, swaying in our arms, shhhuusssshhhiingg in her ear) don't seem to be working, or when Siena is fussy in the car or restaurant and I obviously can't give her the booby pacifier right that moment. 

In Sum, I stand corrected!  I admit I know nothing, which means I'm starting to know something :)


loveandsplendor March 2, 2011 at 10:39 PM  

you are growing so gracefully into this new role as mommy <3 i love watching you care for your babygirl!!!

Rachel March 3, 2011 at 1:39 PM  

You're smart, Kris. We're all imperfect and different things work for everyone.

And you know, we all survived and I'm pretty sure our parents didn't have nearly as many baby books with rules in them.

Bethany March 3, 2011 at 1:56 PM  

thank you for transparency & real-ness with us!!! i'm not thinking of having babies any time soon, but so many friends around me are, and it's encouraging to hear some of the many ways that reality fleshes itself out :) :) :)

Lacey March 3, 2011 at 3:57 PM  

Ha! You are totally speaking my language. I threw out most of my own parenting theories when our little one came along 4 months ago. Now, I am still throwing them out and readjusting to what 'reality' looks like with a baby. Isn't it funny how we know it all beforehand? I even heard people say that and didn't believe them -- how arrogant of me!

Jody Strom March 3, 2011 at 10:43 PM  

After having my own kids, I had to go back and apologize to a friend for not following her directions for watching her baby b/c I thought I knew better! Being a mom is all about being flexible, humble, and being a problem solver, huh? I love the chapter called "Growing Pains" in Rachel Jankovic's book, "Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches" - it all about adjusting to the time your kids are in - it is great! Sounds like you are doing a marvelous job!

christina {simply modern weddings} March 4, 2011 at 11:52 PM  

i seriously love your dose of reality posts! to me, you are really a supermom and a inspiration!

Vera D. March 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM  

I was missing Treasured Petal and I hadn't realized you had moved. I love your personal posts about motherhood (and childbirth -- oh my!). I am looking forward to discovering these realities firsthand -- thank you for sharing.

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