December 12, 2007

Better now?


Arun has really been into jumping these past few months. The past few weeks, he has taken his jumping skillz to a whole new level and is now jumping over things. Perhaps, a baby lying on the floor? The same baby who coincidentally has recently learned out to roll over onto her stomach? Good thing Arun is a damned good jumper. Be still my heart.

In other news, I went to Target YET AGAIN to get another prescription filled YET AGAIN. I also got to see my new boyfriend Greg The Pharmacist..... YET AGAIN.

SO..... I really appreciate all the comments lately - it seems opening up my comments to unregistered users helped folks. Truthfully, my unofficially announced goal for December had been to get better at replying to comments, but as you can see, I suck. However, I do feel bad that Blogger is being an ass about easily linkable commentary. SO.... here is what I will do about Making Nice. I do appreciate my readers. Many have become personal close friends that I have leaned on in hard times (oh, say, for the entire year of 2007. Gulp.) In a related note, one of the things that I regret about NaBloPoMo this year is that I did not make any new friends nor did I discover any new blogs. I was running 2 steps behind the entire month of November, so that was my fault, not NaBloPoMo's fault.

Therefore, to Make Nice, if you comment during the month of December not only with I respond in the comments section. From this post forward, I will also make a commitment to visit your blog as well through the month of December - leave your URL in the nickname field or the comments field. I will admit that I have considered and am still considering a move to Wordpress, which makes me sick to my stomach (the thought of re-doing everything? losing readers? starting over?) As I think about that, consider this my olive branch in the meantime for having the audacity to be a Blogger blogger.

Obviously, this would be the lamest post EVER to make a comment on, so I will offer up a topic for discussion. If you had one and only one piece of advice for a new mother, what would it be? And no, this is not a trick question - even if you do not have children, you can still offer up a pearl of wisdom. We have ALL been children at some point, so at least we can all offer up a advice regarding What Not To Do. Right?

My advice? Trust your Mommy Gut. No one knows your child better than you and your partner. NO ONE. Not even your doctor. I listened to my Mommy Gut on Monday morning and am so grateful I did. Anjali was not acting right, but there was nothing definable other than she had the sniffles and her eating habits had been off since the night before. However, I called the doctor and flat out said we needed to see someone. This is how we discovered her ear infections. I am new to ear infections (Arun's first was discovered just last week) so I would have had no idea otherwise.

So, what do you have to say to a new mother?


Two Shews said...

I'm considering Wordpress too, but I wish it came with fairies that just like, did it all for you. Crap.

My first time mommy advice? Hmm. If I had to pick just one thing? I guess it's this:

Parenting is a long-distance endeavor, not a sprint. You're going to stumble, and wear out, and that means you get to keep learning. But just keep trucking steadily along. It's a long, long run, but it IS a run and it will fly by. The point is the overall summary of your parenting-- not every single minute detail.

Also, (I know here's another): TV is not the devil we've been sold. Moderation in all things, even moderation, is key.

Anonymous said...

My #1 piece of advice is to let your husband be a father. Don't tell him what to do, don't criticize how he put on the diaper, don't change the baby's clothes when he puts on a completely clashing outfit. You get to grow and learn as a parent and so should he. Plus there are many situations where we back ourselves into routines that no one likes, and there aren't many opportunities to change it. Having a baby is a fresh start. You might not be able to get him to take out the trash, but you can make sure that you're not the only one who changes a diaper or feeds the baby some green beans.
I think giving my husband the free reign to be a father and not try to teach him or "just do it myself" has made him probably the best father in the world, and I'm glad he feels empowered to take care of his son. It's not a competition, and the most diaper changes doesn't win.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Two Shews,
So true! It is very easy to get sucked into the "this one little teeny thing MATTERS or your kid will not go to college" bit of thinking. I learned so much with my 1st kid and am STILL learning with the 2nd. Holy crap!

Yes, yes, YES. I wish I could write an entire post on this, but I have to respect X's privacy. Admittedly, it has been hard for me to let go and not be controlling, but I try really hard to let go. And it has been so cool what I have learned from X. Shocking, yet true.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

My advice (childless, of course) is to let kids have some breathing room for rebellion. Kids want to rebel, channel it to your advantage.

Example? My parents were strict as heck and expected a LOT from us academically. Except for 3 years, I've also always had a stay-at-home parent and both my mom and dad work insanely good hours so it was pretty difficult to get up to no good anyway (mainly because we were expected to be home).

But looking back I can appreciate all the stuff my parents tolerated that so many desi parents go crazy on. They let us drop out of Indian school, didn't push the language issue, let us date Americans, let us dress the way we liked, let us read whatever we wanted even Lady Chatterley's Lover at the tender age of 11 :P (they censored tv across the board because they think it's unintellectual), let us get piercings and stuff.

So yeah-I'm all for involved parents who maintain standards but even my mom and dad let me have some leeway and I think it's why I didn't go hogwild in college like so many other desi brats.

Carrie said...

Wow, cagey, you scared me, I almost didn't coment! There is no need to check out my blog, I just babble about nonsense....but I am going to check back here on the coments, 'cause it's a great topic. Hubby and I are trying for our first, so I need all the advise I can get. tee-hee, I probably won't follow most of it, but I want to know what my options are!

Jenny said...

Aghhh blogger comments =fried.
I try again -
Yes, trust your instincts/gut. (The one you never knew would be wearable, but its part of being a mommy, yes? That's a different post.)
I have documented many times my hubs freaking on me because I was taking a kid to the dr again, and in 7 yrs I have only been wrong twice. Its a ratio I can live with.
One another note, Starbucks? Wine? Taco Bueno? Anytime, anywhere. You make the call.

Bethany said...

Some really great advice has already been posted. I would only add: Go easy on yourself. You can't do everything and you don't have to. Don't kill yourself trying to be perfect- it's not possible.

meno said...

I just felt like saying hi to you today anyway.

My advice is for parents talking to imminent parents. Shut the hell up with the horror stories. "You better get your sleep now, ha ha." "You'll never have sex again. Ha ha."

And on and on, you know what i mean. Tell a happy story instead. Be supportive.

I have fear of wordpress. Or maybe just fear of change.

Mamma Sarah said...

Hmmm... advice:
Bond with your spouse as much as possible while it's just the two of you. Take time after the baby is born for date night. Believe in your gut as the mama. Don't settle until you are 100% sure it's the right answer (from the doctors).

Moderndayhermit said...

I just wanted suggest using a small javascript to forward your potentially old URL (here on blogspot) to your new URL. In case that hadn't been considered yet.


I love Wordpress.

Anonymous said...

Keep a sense of humor about parenting and being a parent.

Example: when my oldest was in 3rd grade she miss spelled the word galley and it kept her out of the school spelling bee to which she over-reacted and promised to never ever use that word again. She was truly devastated but hubby and I being the good parents that were are(not)promptly commenced teasing her about it - asking her to go to the galley for lunch etc that now she laughs about it and can join in the fun - at first she was beyond pissed at us but as we kept on she understoond that while it wasn't fun it wasn't the end of the world.

One of the few things we have done right. Oh and keep an open mind when it comes to those uncomfortable puberty/sex conversations it opens the lines of communication like I never expected.

Anonymous said...

Mine, courtesy of the total stranger that yelled at me yesterday because my son wasn't wearing a coat (we live in a is warm here):

A lot of people have opinions on how you raise your kids. Some will feel the need to share those opinions. Learn to smile vacantly and nod slightly. You don't owe anyone an explanation.

Dooneybug said...

I'd say that being a parent is one of the hardest things you'll ever love to do and don't let anyone make you feel inadequate. Anyone that says raising kids is a piece of cake is lying, don't let them fool you! Stay away from those who don't make you feel good about yourself as a parent. Follow your gut and you will do what's right.

When I had my first, I let a "friend" make me feel inadequate and wrong for wanting to get out of the house with my new baby. I listened to her instead of my own instincts and stayed home for weeks and was miserable. I wanted to go out and be a part of the world again and she told me that I was a bad mom for taking my new baby out so early in his life. I wish I would have done what felt right because I had a hard time with the baby blues from being so secluded. With my second I did what felt right and life was so much better.

Also, go to yard sales and second hand children stores for toys and clothes. You can always find great deals and discounts on practically new items! Save that money to pay for diapers.

Unknown said...

What great advice already mentioned.

My favorite piece of advice is from my mother. Put the kids to bed at 7. Even if they still wake up 2,362 times in the night, put them to bed. You can spend time reconnecting with your spouse, you can paint your toenails, you can read a book. Just give yourself the end of the day "me time," and don't ever, ever feel guilty about it. (Wait a minute, did I just give two pieces of advice.)

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Great advice - I am assuming you have to hide it a bit that you actually approve, right? Otherwise, it would not be rebelling.

All bloggers babble about nonsense! I will be checking you out anyway. :-)

Usually, I am the one to hesitate calling the doctor - my husband is the one who insists we call. Which is why we make a good team, I guess.

True! That is one I still struggle with.

YES. Enough with the horror stories! How rude and negative to rain on someone's parade by telling horror stories. I am always excited to hear about new parents and as such, only tell the good stuff.

Mamma Sarah,
X and I are guilty of not doing enough together as a couple - we definitely need to work on that.

Modern Day Hermit,
If I switch, I will be calling you. :-)

One thing that my own parents totally did right was teach us how to laugh at each other! I agree.

When someone gives me unwanted advice, I say "interesting" and nod politely. Why argue? And if you say "interesting. i'll have to think about that", then that usually makes them go away because you have given them nothing to argue with since you just said that you would think about it. Tricky, eh? PS. You need a blog, no? :-)

OMIGOD, I learned the garage sale lesson so late in the game. Everyone hear Dooneybug? GARAGE SALES ARE THE BOMB.

Anjali Sr.
We totally need to work on that. It is driving me crazy what time these kids go to bed.

MLE said...

Speaking as a nonparent, but an avid parentblog reader (and former kid)

a)Don't be afraid to ask for help (especially at the beginning)

b)Take care of yourselves and your relationship (physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.-ally) - happy parents seem to make for happy, well-adjusted kids

These are the distilled-down sentiments I've picked up from reading parentblogs for years. I think my parents would have benefitted from those two pieces of advice.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

You're right-they were never like "Go you! You speak atrocious Marathi, swear and don't want to be a doctor! Awesome!" but they didn't go batshit and try to push me on those fronts either.

We have definitely had a tumultuous relationship at times (teens and early 20s) but I am struck at how different my parents are as compared to people as traditionally raised and behaved as they are. I think it has a lot to do with how tame/reasonably well-adjusted my sister and I are.

Anonymous said...

I'd say don't forget to be a couple in addition to being coparents. If mama/dada ain't happy, ain't no one happy.

Goofy Girl said...

In addition to all the great stuff already mentioned:

1) The Rule of Three - regardless of age, when you take your child out for errands, keep it at THREE stops. After three, you are playing with fire, my friend. And sometime you don't even get three.

2) Hugs Work When You Wouldn't Think They Would - (this one really applies to age two and up) When your child is having the temper-tantrum-est, crying-est, screaming-est, I-want-my-way-or-else-est fit, instead of yelling/spanking/getting mad yourself, take a deep breath, get down on their level and give them a GREAT BIG HUG. Most the time this throws them off their game and is kinda what they were looking for anyway (attention). This is SO counter-intuitive to me, but works!

Oh, and I have to give a big ole DITTO to the "Have Fun" part! Kids are really fun 90% of the time. It's the 10% that is the challenging part.

Christy said...

My advice is to never underestimate the power of a giggle. Some days, I am so tired and crabby, but one giggle from my little girl, and all is right with the world. The little things make all the difference.

Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

Along the same train of thought with the second piece of goofy girl's advice...

Pay attention to the kids when they're being good. Let them know when they are doing what you like for them to do. Give hugs and kisses and gentle touches (like a stroke on the back or a caress of the hair) for no reason whatsoever other than just because they're near you and you love them.

And, my favorite bit of parenting advice is never say never and just because you did something you thought you'd never do, don't feel guilty...because you are more likely to be a better parent when you try anything that might work rather than limiting yourself only to that one way you thought was best before you had kids.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Happy parents DO make for happier kids. Believe you me, when I am crabby, my attitude rubs off on Arun. There is definitely incentive to keep my bad moods in check.

I did know what you meant, but had to rib you a bit. No?

Co-parenting is a great way to phrase it! Right on.

Goofy Girl,
I swear by your Rule of Three. I also discovered that a hug can make great strides to averting a tantrum!

Just wait until your little one giggles WITH the older one. One of the sweetest sounds EVER. :-)

Celebrate Woo-Woo,
YES, acknowledging when your kid is behaving is key.

Colleen said...

My advice would be to always remember that each child is a unique individual. Just because something always worked with child #1, does not mean it will work with subsequent children. Enjoy the differences in your children and love them unconditionally. Show that love every say, even when disciplining them.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Children are unique? What a concept! :-) Yes, you are right. I am still amazed at how early a child can show his/her personality.

CPA Mom said...

the best piece of advice is one I got a lot and ignored. sleep when the baby sleeps. can i get an amen? i regret not doing that. no household chore is worth that.

Diana said...

This is what I get for being late to the party, yet again. Something not already covered....hmmmm....

How about being very, very careful what you promise. To a kid, your word is law. If you aren't sure you can keep the promise I'd suggest not making it in the first place.

Oh! and on those same lines, beware of setting them up too much for a treat, such as a trip to the zoo, if there's more than the slimmest of chances that it may fall through. Even when that's the case, it seems that something will often come up and you'll have to re-schedule and have parent-guilt over disappointing your child. For instance, nothing spells deathly illness like the promise of a fabulous outing in a few days.

TawniAline said...

ok :) i managed to stumble across your blog here and i still need to read over some older posts to get an idea of what you're about :) but sure :) i'll take a stab at it
My mommy advice- Learn early how to walk away before your breaking point rather than after you've hit it. learn how to step back and breathe- While we all love our children and would do anything for them, it is easy to take crying and whining personal. you have to step back and seperate yourself from it when things get to be overwhelming in order to effectively deal with the situation. That's the part that took me the longest to learn and made me feel the most guilty (when i didnt step away early enough and lost my temper and yelled ect). :)

Mojavi said...

i think this is the longest you have ever gone without a post so I am forced to comment..

My number one rule-

Rules for one kid are bunk for another, don't parent your children the same way. Different personalities need different parenting.. sucks they switch it up on you but that is the way it is :)

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

CPA Mom,
That was one piece of advice that I just couldn't follow - I HATE naps. Fortunately, we co-slept, so I did not miss much sleep after the first 2-3 weeks.

We are already encountering the "promise" issue since the little stinker remembers such things. Just the other day, I had to warn my husband about it.

I am still learning this one. It is SO hard to remove myself from "the moment" sometimes. However, you are right - the times that I do step away are the ones that end up being okay.

Yeah - I think I learned this on day ONE. It is amazing me to me how different Arun and Anjali are from each other - even as newborns.