When I was a very new blogger, I met Femme Frugality and fell hard. This girl is a smart, savvy bargain-hunter and really knows her finances. The grooviest part is that she doesn’t work in the financial field at all and money-saving is just a hobby for her–one that she’s very good at. She’s also a mom AND planning a wedding. She is on her game!
Femme never fails to impress me–with her knowledge, her grace and her kindness. We’ve held onto our friendship for almost 2 years now and recently I had the chance to meet her in person! What a fantastic, special treat.
A few weeks ago I was actually sorting through the papers that have been accumulating on the kitchen counter since the day we had kids. In there, I found a paper with a list of questions for the doctor when DC1 was about a month old. Among others, there were these gems:
Sneezing? After eating?
Should we always feed the baby?
Pooping a lot?
Yes, that’s what was keeping us up at night along with infant screams. Colic didn’t keep my little one awake at night until 10 months old. Ineptitude did.
Before I get CYS called on me, I need to expand on the “always feed the baby” question. DC1 had some weight gain trouble at the beginning. I was breastfeeding and it wasn’t going well, but it wasn’t going poorly enough for my doctor to endorse formula. So I was supposed to wake up the baby every two hours and feed for at least a half hour on each side, without letting the little one fall asleep. That’s feeding the baby for 12 hours out of every twenty-four. And pumping after to keep up milk flow. And my OB was telling me to rest and sleep as much as I could for my own body’s recovery from childbirth. It sucked.
So the question wasn’t that out of hand. I was feeding my child. A lot. Hence the “always.” Because I literally meant should there be a human being or machine sucking at my teat every waking second of my life. Every waking moment was every moment. Because I literally did not sleep for more than five minutes at a time. The answer the doctor gave me was a cruel, “Yes.” I don’t know why I didn’t switch to formula.
I have no excuses for being so concerned about sneezes and poop.
When DC1 was about three months old, I set out a blanket, put some fun toys down and looked at my to-do list. I felt like I finally had things under control and could get something done. I cleaned. I made phone calls. I got some bills paid. I studied for my college tests like a madwoman. I kept glancing over at the blanket and all appeared to be well. I crossed everything off that list and was feeling pretty good about myself. Then I walked over to baby.
There were tears in eyes! No cries, no screams, just simple tears that turned into a smile when I picked up my baby in my arms. I knew from that day forward that I would never get anything done, but that was okay because baby’s little feelings were more important than any domestic or scholarly pursuit.
I thought our follies had ended after those early months. I thought we had everything under control. Until the other day when my fiance asked me, “Do you think we’re doing a good job with DC1?”
“Yeah, I think we’re doing a great job. Why do you ask?”
“Well, do you think we should be doing more stuff? Like brushing hair?”
“Hair gets brushed every time I do bath time…”
“No, I mean, shouldn’t we be doing it before we go out in public and things like that?”
So I’m totally screwing things up with my first child. Which is why I’m a Mom of the Year. There’s two silver linings on this huge cloud of future psychologist bills, though: all of our subsequent children benefit substantially from the trial-and-error method we’re sporting with DC1, and I’m finally beginning to understand more about myself as an eldest child.