Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Myths of the new mother

When I first became pregnant with Gabriel I AGONIZED over everything. I researched every product we bought! I watched birth videos and proper breast feeding technique videos; I researched the hotly debated sleep separating versus co sleeping. I read about childhood disease, childhood development, SIDS. I read every statistic on every website I could find dealing with everything from Bis phenol A in baby bottles to the safety of vaccines. In short I became an EXPERT on nearly everything imaginable dealing with babies - or so I thought.

Myth number 1.

It's possible to prepare for a baby.

HA. As I previously stated I was an expert on everything. All except Preterm Premature rupture of membranes, steroid shots, induction, gavage feeding, monitor reading, and all around proper care for a premature infant. And let's all face some very hard, very real facts. NO ONE is prepared for how a baby will change their very existence. It's just not possible to imagine giving up nearly every ounce of your freedom to a screaming, pooping, eating, sleeping machine...

Myth number 2.

Breast feeding is hard could it be?!

HARD. For one thing it hurts! The first few weeks are notoriously difficult for most people. For one, you have to get the baby to latch properly, this is a hell of a lot harder than it sounds. Next you have to deal with the drying effects of saliva on your nipples...can anyone say ouch? And if you are really lucky, like I was, than the cracked and bleeding nipples get infected and abscessed. YEAH. ABSCESSED. I gave up breast feeding my son at 4 months old, and although I breastfed my daughter for a was mainly successful due to having very little sensation in my nipples thanks to my first experience! Breast may be natural, but it sure as shit isn't easy!

Myth number 3.

Your baby should sleep consistently through the night by 6 months old!

This is a myth that every mother needs to cling to in those first few months of utter sleep deprivation. But this myth is SO false it's ridiculous. And I don't care what you say. I don't care that you're baby has been doing it since they were six weeks old. I don't believe you. There are too many variables! Growth spurts, teething, separation anxiety... No, your baby will not sleep through the night at 6 weeks old like your spouse's aunt's second cousin's baby did. It doesn't happen. Let it go.

Gabriel never slept through the night consistently until he was 2 years old. Read it and weep. Nightmares. Diaper problems. Sickness. Teething. Separation Anxiety. Consistently sleeping through the night is never going to be found with a baby. NEVER. The sooner you realize this the happier you'll be!

Myth number 4.

You're never going to be one of THOSE moms...

Let's tick them off shall we!

1. Your never going to be one of those moms who becomes too distracted to notice that their child is in a dangerous situation.
-Gabriel. 10 months old. Emergency room. He climbed onto a cooler while I was chatting on the phone and before I could grab him in time he fell on his head onto cement.
-Edie. 7 months old. Butt shuffled to the edge of the stairs while I was doing laundry and would have fallen if her brother hadn't had the foresight to grab her in time!
-Gabriel. 2 years old. Disappeared in a campground while I was preoccupied with putting Edie down for a nap.

2. You're never going to be one of those moms who let the TV babysit your child.
-That is until you have a second child and realize you can actually cook, or clean without screaming, whining kids under your feet. My kids get 2 hours of TV a day and the TV time is thoughtfully and skillfully planned around meal preparation times and cranky times!

3.You're never going to be one of those moms who feed their kids fast food.
-It will happen people, perhaps with a million promises that it's going to be a one time deal, or with a thousand justifications like "well I did get them apples instead of fries...and milk instead of pop or juice...", but whether you like it or not, there will come a time when lunch or dinner has crept up on you and you haven't had time to prepare something. Face it. Junk will enter their system and (barring allergies) will probably happen more than once in their life.

4. You're never going to be one of those moms who yell at their kids in hard is it to speak calmly? You are the adult after all...

And I could go on and on, but let's just call a spade a spade shall we! Motherhood is the hardest job in the world, so maybe we should stop judging other moms and their ways of doing things.

And finally Myth number 5.

Your child will be the most brilliant, talented, handsome, wonderfully behaved, child prodigy in all the world.

Biased. We all are. Let me say it and shatter your proud, parent world... most peoples children are not the most brilliant, talented...etc. in all the world...simply because...mine are...but also because parents love unconditionally. This means that you love your child (and will see what you want to see)even if they are the most stupid, untalented, ugly, mean, little shits in all the world.

Myths, mom and dads, are alive and well and living in my home. Hopefully I have excised them from some of yours!

1 comment:

Lonnie said...

Well said and so true!!