Tag Archives: milestones

*Hides Under Rock*

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June 6? Really?

I was talking to a friend of mine about my blog(s). Oh yeah, I have one. She was asking me about the sites I have and I explained all the reasons I have my particular ones. This blog in particular is all about my mom related journey. I had been thinking about writing for some time, but July was so crazy. I just went back and saw that my last entry was June 6. How embarrassing.

The point of this “mom blog” was to try to get my name out there.. or at least my words. I feel I’m a good writer and have something to say. I have acquired more hits than I had expected over the months (Thanks Twitter!) and people are still adding me on Twitter due to this particular blog, but alas, I have not written since June.

I could make up a ton of reasons about why I haven’t, but does anyone really care? Bottom line is that I’ve had tons to say, but not sure how to say it. July actually WAS a busy month and a huge milestone as my daughter turned ONE on July 29.

I have much to say on that subject, but went back and forth on whether I wanted to make it public. I wrote her a letter and shared some things with my husband, but this is only the second time in my life (that I can remember) where I didn’t want to share something so personal, intimate. I guess that’s a good thing. Even someone wanting to be public and not really caring how public I could be, there has to be a limit. Although my letter would have been awesome to post, I really want it to be for her eyes only, whenever she chooses to read it.

What I can share is where I am now and how different I thought it would be.

I basically feel the same. I’m not as tired, but feel the same. I love my daughter, she’s fun to be around and I find myself gaining more confidence daily. I thought I’d still be in a rut, not meeting people and/or being exhausted. I guess the exhaustion was there in July a bit, but it was due to being my “old self” as my husband and I were able to catch some local (music) shows like we used to thanks to such GENEROUS friends who babysat for us. I’m still humbled by the people in my life–it’s awesome.

I’m feeling more myself these days–physically and mentally–and can honestly say I have a new emotional outlook on life. I don’t think I’ve said once this entire year that I was depressed as I used to. I think due to the fertility drugs I took more than a year ago, now I really know what depression feels like. I may have had a down day, but due to my daughter, I just plowed through it as I didn’t want her to read my negative body language and worry her. It actually worked and kept me more “up” than in any time in recent or past history–it’s a great accomplishment.

Now that Jackie is a year old, people ask me “what’s next?” I feel I should have an answer. In fact, I thought I would have a hard and fast one, but the answer these days is “I don’t know.” Part of me wants to go back to work, the other part of me is really starting to enjoy my daughter now that she’s more alert, expressive, communicating and learning. However, I’m clear that I can’t give her all she needs–or at least this is what I’ve told myself for months.

So should I go back to work and find a great day care to basically raise my child? I could and I wouldn’t feel bad about it, but I think there are other options. My next step, as I have said for weeks, is to research what day cares actually do all day with toddlers. I know it depends on the facility, but maybe I could offer her more one on one than a day care could. Play is important, but structured learning is too. I can say, just due to writing this, one of the next things on my list is to ask my mom friends their experiences and also do some internet research to see what I can add at home.

What I do know is that I want her to be around more kids, as from an early age it seemed that she learned a lot from the bigger and/or older kids in the classes I was in. We haven’t been in a class since mid-June so there’s been a lacking there. I know another music class is in order for the Fall.. but what else?

Aside from her, I think it’s also time for mom.. or uh, Kathy, to go to the next step personally. I get inspired by so many people in my life, many who are reading this, and I just need to get in gear. It’s time to dig down to that REAL old self and do some old fashioned time management and goal setting. Some goals are in process but many of them are in my head as usual. It’s now time to get out from under the proverbial rock and get in action. I definitely don’t want my 40th year to come and go without any personal accomplishments. Now, the first goal is to answer the question:

“What do I want?”

Comparisons

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As moms, and parents, we all compare our kids, don’t we? I recently saw a unofficial poll on BabyCenter asking moms how much they compared their children. The answers were “always,” “sometimes,” and “never.” I have to admit, I said “always” because, well, I do. It’s understandable that I would compare my baby to others because I compare myself to others. I’m seeing a pattern here.

I know it’s “bad” but it’s almost automatic. I do it because I want to make sure she’s “doing OK,” but is that just masking something else? I can literally see she’s doing OK with my own eyes. If I wasn’t in a large city, going to moms groups or talking to other moms with small babies, I would say Jackie is doing fabulous. So why is it when I go to my moms group I have to be sure she is “keeping up” with the other little ones? It’s crazy. It’s mom brain crazy.

I was talking about this to a new friend of mine who is also a new mom. I connected with a few women in my first moms group at Isis Maternity here in Boston (Brookline). Due to her son being a bit younger than Jackie, I was constantly comparing Jackie to her son.. although they couldn’t have been any different! He was HUGE as a baby, Jackie normal or small, he was very strong and although Jackie was too, there was really no comparison. However, he’s been reaching his milestones quicker than Jackie. Was I doing something wrong, what was wrong with Jackie? What could I read, research, ask to make it better?!?!? It was really getting out of hand.

I was recently talking about “sitting up” more often than not and my friend “C” caught me. I didn’t realize I had been worrying about it, but once again, good reason to write things down, have a blog, etc. People catch you in your craziness and stop the insanity.

I asked her if I could re-post what she sent me in a message.. I thought it was brilliant and luckily she said yes.. so here it is:

“I think it’s really important for us to remember that we aren’t in control of our kid’s milestones. We can help them and encourage them to some degree, but their milestone markers aren’t ultimately reflections on us or of how we parent. Jax likely wouldn’t be getting up on her arms any more if you’d done lots of tummy time. It’s likely just how she’s wired. By the same token, I have friends who have babies that cry all the time, are not what we deem of as happy babies, but the parents are happy people, who shower their kids with love. The kid is just grumpy but will grow out of it. Some kids are super chill and don’t accomplish milestones at a fast pace even though their parents may be strong or active individuals.

I think we feel good about ourselves when our kids are developing well…and we’re allowed to feel good, but we shouldn’t get too attached in either direction. We need to hold onto something, but sometimes it means we put too much stock in our child as a reflection of our parenting. It’s hard to strike a balanced approached to all this. A constant learning curve, isn’t it?”

It definitely is a learning curve and, at least for me, I need to chill on the comparing. I can see more and more that this is more a reflection of me rather than wondering if my child is doing well. Honestly, I think this has more to do with how I am doing as a parent. Yikes.

For any parents reading this, do you compare and how much do you do it? Feel free to comment. I’d love to get your views.

Getting close!

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(Originally written: January 19, 2010)

Jax trying rice cereal for the first time

December was a month! Very busy with a lot of holiday preparation, doctor appointments and the normal December craziness.

I have been wanting to write for some time, but finally got a chance to get my thoughts together over the past week or so and decided to write today.

As I’m writing, Jackie is on her play gym and has found the “music and lights” section of the gym. It’s on one of the sides and you can turn the music on while lights flash. A few months ago she had no interest in this, but this morning, Joe turned it on and it’s like the best thing around. She’s really loving her gym now and it’s nice to see her playing with everything that is hanging down. We’re waiting for her to “honk” the nose on her Whoozit that she received from Omi and Poppy months ago.. she’s able grab all parts of it but hasn’t squeezed the nose to make a sound.. I predict it will be soon!

It’s still amazing to see the changes week to week. For example, she had no interest in her play gym 3 months ago, but now she’s loving it and practices a lot of her rolling over and cause and effect play there.

She’s still very social and if she had the choice, would rather sit on someone’s lap listening to conversation then play with toys. I’ve seen this over and over at play dates or even out in public. I have a feeling she will be one social bee when she gets older!

Overall, Jackie is meeting her milestones, but still a bit behind on pushing herself up on her hands. She still hates being on her tummy, although she’s been flipping around on her play gym anytime she gets the chance. She’s very strong, but for some reason is resisting getting up on those hands. I guess it’s a mixed blessing as I believe once she gets the hang of that, we may see some “creeping” and possibly crawling soon after that. We haven’t baby proofed the house yet, so I’m fine having her on her gym for now 🙂

The other major update is we started her on rice cereal and fed her carrots the other night. She seems to be fine with the rice cereal, but didn’t seem to understand the texture of the carrots. We decided we may have gone a bit quick starting on the veggies so we’re going to finish the rice cereal before veggies (on advice from a friend that has a 7 month old).

I also took Jackie to see President Bill Clinton last Friday, as he was in Boston to support Martha Coakley during the Senate race. Jackie did quite well as we were standing for 2 hours! People loved her and I’m glad I was able to give her that experience (although unfortunately she won’t remember it).

All in all, Jackie is an extremely happy (almost) 6 month old and laughs all time. She’s finding her voice by basically yelling like Chewbacca (similar to this baby, but louder!) every chance she gets! Usually that’s when she’s done eating and satisfied.. it’s pretty funny, but one day this past weekend she did it most of the day! She has a lot to say and I can’t wait until she’s able to sign. We’ve been using some signs since she was born and she seems to be picking up on a few. I think once she can use her hands more that will help her a lot and it will be fun to start to communicate with her in words!

Next week we are off to see her new pediatrician and I hope that works out well. I have my fingers crossed, but also have a good feeling about it. She’ll be getting another round of shots, plus her flu shots since she’s old enough now.

Happy 2010 to all!