Monday, March 5, 2012

Being a Mom. My way.

I had my championship race for one league this past weekend. I actually MISSED a gate and had to hike up to make it...and SOMEHOW because the course was THAT bad, I STILL got first! haha.  A guy on my team i usually beat, beat me by 3 seconds though! ugh.  I ended up in 1st for females,  so I guess thats all that matters.


I think this post is going to cover a lot. I have a lot going through my head…from my aww of the type of dad Andrew is, to the shitty things I have done. My own guilt, but also why I think being a mom is easier on me…and the type of parent I am…or think I am. And why getting alone time contributes to that...and its a GOOD thing. I have FOUND the balance I want.

Speaking of guilt though. Ani got her finger caught in the door the other day. The side the hinge is on. Daddy shut the door to feed Piri and her finger was in there!! I guess she screamed for an hour and lost some skin but has been fine ever since. (I wasnt there).  She is one tough little girl. I remember shutting my finger in a door and I cried all day and night!  If she claps her hands and hits the boo boo, she will cry...poor baby.  Daddy felt really bad. THe next day, I saw skin in the door. I took a photo, but I wont show it here. 
Poor thing. So, here is Anika's FIRST band.aid. (above)

Just thought I would update on something first. The whole EC thing… You know giving Anika the opportunity to go on the little potty whenever I go potty at home. Or, if she is acting like she has to poop, we put her on the potty (it started as a way to save ourselves from washing poopy diapers). Well, after I wrote about that on her 11 month post, she stopped doing it. She won’t sit on her potty. She just gets up and walks away….or runs away. This morning she stood up right after we both sat down and ran into her room naked. I finished up my business and followed her in. She looked at me, smiled and lifted her leg to pee on the rug. So, obviously she had to go! We were never “Training” her so, I just let it go. She has always liked sitting on her potty, but I guess not now. I just thought I would put that update on here. NO potty on the potty for Anika right now.
I think its more about giving her the opportunity to not sit in soiled diapers…but at the same time, Anika has NEVER minded a dirty diaper. When she was a newborn I always forgot to change them because I assumed she would get fussy when she needed a change, but she never did! Lol. I'm not proud of that, by the way. She doesn’t usually poop at night, but the other night I went in her room at midnight when I went to bed, just to check on her and I smelled poop bad. I assumed it was a dirty one in the pail that I didn’t rinse well. Nope, the next morning she had a big poopy diaper she was in all night. Whoops.
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The other night we were skyping with Andrew’s dad. We were talking about something…and then Andrew said “Dad, can you believe her (Talking about me). When I first started dating her she was a Republican wearing a suit and now look at her- she is a hippie” HA. I think it’s pretty safe to say, I have definitely tried a LOT of new things since becoming a parent. I mean, the breast feeding and cloth diapering were ALWAYS things I knew I would do. That’s how my mama did it, so I just assumed that was how I would. BUT, I never knew I would breast feed for this long…until a couple months into it. I mean, I didn’t even know a baby required formula or bm for the first year of life until I was pregnant! I just didn’t know many of these things because I didn’t need to. My friend always talked about her friend who breast fed her kids until 2 years old and I used to think “GROSS” or I thought hippies were all dirty, hairy people!
I STILL wear my expensive make-up (I don’t buy as much myself anymore, but ask for it for xmas!) and I still get my hair dyed. I still like wine and vodka, but don’t get to drink it as often. I still love to watch garbage tv like all the Real Housewives (minus Atlanta- that one annoys me).
I still love to Go OUT! I Think this might make me different from others. I know it’s hard for a lot of breast feeding moms, but since ANika has gone to a sitter since she was 10 weeks old, she takes a bottle. I am able to pump.
I haven’t hid the fact, that becoming a mom hasn’t been a big challenge to me. I think there are a lot of things that contribute to this.
1. I thought a baby was going to be so insanely hard. In my head, I made it out to be a lot worse than it is. I told Andrew for years I wasn’t ready. It looked like a lot of hard work. I said I was too selfish.
Granted, I might just have an easy baby. And with that being said, maybe God knows what I can handle and what I can’t. We also waited a bit and got on our feet. We were married 4 years before Anika was born. We both had steady jobs,we had savings,  and we owned a house first.
2. I have a very supportive husband. It is no secret that he is the better parent between the two of us. He would NEVER play on his computer or cell phone while watching Anika. Or watch TV for that matter. Unless she was napping. He PLAYS with her and reads to her and takes her on walks!! It’s amazing how many things she has learned being home with him. She knows if she brings a book to Dada, he will stop what he is doing and read it to her. He can get her to eat or try anything. My mom always told me to find a guy to marry that loved children, and boy oh boy, This guy doesn’t just LOVE his kid, he shows it! She always comes first-  no tv, no phone, no facebook- ITS ALL about her. When he has her, he doesn’t let a messy house distract him like I do. I always see something that needs to be cleaned or laundry that needs to be put away. He lets that stuff wait until she is in bed. I need to be more like that. Last night I took her up to get ready for bed. When she walked in her room, she started playing with something. Once she started playing, I sat in the rocker and started checking my phone! A good 5 minutes went by and I didn’t say a word to her…she just played while I was on the phone. Andrew even yelled up “IS she sleeping? Feeding? Why so quiet?” Ya, I put my phone down and realized what an asshole I was being. I mean, sure independent play is great and she does it so well, but I WAS at work all day. I only get a little time with her at night- why was I not DOWN on the floor engaging with her? Gosh, I felt bad. I am not always that bad, but I have been a little lately and I feel bad.
3. That brings me to the next. IM at work all day, so that leaves little time for her to drive me crazy. There is no time for it. On weekends, I go do the grocer y shopping. I could leave her with Andrew, but I choose not to. Sometimes we all go but most of the times just the two of us. We go to the farmers market too. This past weekend we went to Lowes and I let her walk the whole time in the store. The stuff on low shelves there are big so she cant just take everything off like in the craft store. She LOVED the light and ceiling fan displays. She looked at those for a long time. Doing errands is so much more exciting than sitting at our boring house reading the same book over and over hahaha. Well, it is more exciting for me, and she seems to agree. I love to bring her with me. I love to interact with her out and about. She loves to “Talk” to others. WE also bring her to my races or wherever we go. I go stir crazy if I am home all day and night, so I always find little adventures to bring Anika on.
4. I have VERy supportive parents only a half hour away. And, I mean, my mom will do anything. I was able to ski race on 2 leagues this winter with the help of Andrew (and when he was working or sick) my mom would drive over and watch her at the ski areas while I raced. My mom thinks it’s good for me to race, so she makes it happen.
5. When Andrew is home and not sick, I will go out with my girls. The past two Thursday nights I have gone out for dinner and drinks after my ski races. Yup. I don’t even have to ask…Andrew knows I have friends, he knows I am social, and he would rather stay home anyway. Also, I’ve gone to a couple girls only brunches in the past few months. Andrew actually WOULD like to go to brunch, so we might go as a family soon. Sure, I miss my baby, but getting time to ME is good for all of us. It’s good for me, it’s good for Andrew, and it’s good for Anika. Andrew will even meet me with Anika so I can nurse her before heading out for the night (on race nights)! Yes, we make it work and its awesome.
Usually Andrew and I bring ANka out with us, BUT if we wanted a night alone without Anika, we could get one easily…and we know that option is always there. I think that helps too.

I know a lot of moms feel guilty leaving their babies to get alone time. I don’t. Anika is one well adjusted little girl. She loves her friends, she loves her sitter, she loves her Nona and Grampa…and she loves her parents. She has not had any sort of separation anxiety from us (yet). IF she screamed and missed me, it would be a different story.
Going to work or having alone time is something I have never felt guilty about. There are A LOT of things that would have been easier if I DIDN’T work. Like, breast feeding would have been easier (Pumping can cause supply issues) , doing EC would have been easier if I didn’t work. Feeding Anika the way I wanted to would have been easier, so I guess working is the CAUSE of things that have caused guilt.
I am guilty that I supplemented with formula for a while (When I was at work) even though I probably didn’t really have to. She didn’t really NEED more like I thought, and I could have done more to get my pumping production up. I feel guilty that she had rice cereal so early. I feel guilty that we introduced solids so early…Those things probably wouldn’t have happened if I was a SAHM.
I am guilty that I let Anika cry (not fuss, but CRY) in her crib for 20 minutes when she was only 7 weeks old because someone told me to. Not only did it feel incredibly unnatural, but then I read how damaging CIO can be. I should have trusted my instincts, I really should have. I am guilty that she fell down the basement stairs on MY watch….that I didn’t watch her better. I have guilt over a few other things I fed her that I wish I didn’t. The old saying goes “Know Better. DO Better” and I have and I will in the future.

I dont have a lot of guilt for working because I want Anika to experience things. Without 2 incomes, we wouldn't be able to get ahead. I want her to have a college account so she doesnt have a ton of student debt.   We wouldn't be able to contribute so much to her savings account if we didn't both work.  I want to have money for her to ski or to dance, or soccer or whatever sport she wants to do.
 I don’t have guilt over: taking time for myself. I go to the gym most mornings before work and that makes me a happier, fitter mom. I have not been sick all winter and I KNOW exercise contributes to that. The healthier I am, the better I can take care of Anika. Also, I want her to KNOW that exercise is important, and I think we set a good example of that in our family. I pick and choose what I do for social gatherings. I get invited out a lot and I do turn many things down…so I don’t just go to everything and out every night of the week, obviously. Balance. I find the balance. Andrew is on the mend right now…actually he is doing really well and Thank you guys for the prayers. I really think they helped, I really do. Let’s continue to pray that he doesn’t have any flare ups for a LONG LONG time.

I guess what I want to say here, is that I think ALL moms- SAHM or Working moms NEED time to themselves. And, being at work is NOT the time I’m talking about. I have heard A LOT lately in my mom group about moms not getting time to themselves…or maybe they don’t want to take it because they will miss the baby. Trust me, until I did it, I thought I would miss Anika too much as well. And, yes, sometimes I am out and I do miss her, but I KNOW it’s good for us all. Just a couple hours out always makes me feel so good. Sure, I end up talking about Anika a lot, but we also talk about other stuff. RIGHT NOW in life, I FEEL Balanced. Balanced with work, mothering, wife’ing, exercising, socializing, housekeeping, etc. I feel good. Well, I don’t feel good about putting 3 pounds back on!! Eeks. I wanted to be to goal by Anika’s birthday and That is NOT going to happen. I need to get back on track.  But, other than that- life is good again.  Even though I have the things I have guilt over, overall, IM confident in the way I mother. I am confident in the person I am right now.  I am confident in my roles. 

This was over the weekend. Anika rode from the car to the ski lodge in style :)  Everyone was waving. Usually I wear her, but Daddy would rather pull her around in the snow. Even Andrew got on the slopes on Sunday!! It was a great family day. My parents and niece went up too. (The Mt. is 2 hours away from where we live and we had to leave SUPER early in the morning).

After my race, we stopped at a store with a big talking Moose. 

6 comments:

  1. This is a great post! You shouldnt feel guilty about tjose things- accidents happens. You are doing a wonderful job with her and that is evident.

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  2. Her poor little finger! One day Giada fell and hit her head three times, and even though there wasn't much I could do to prevent it, I felt like such a crappy mom! Feeling guilty at times is part of being a parent. But for most part I feel no quilt because I know I always have her best interest no matter what. You're a good momma Ashley, just know that. And time off for yourself is so important. I wish I could do it more often, but I honestly don't have a choice but to get free time about once every 4 months. It does need to be more of a priority and good for you for finding that balance.

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  3. Little A on that sled is adorable!! She is getting so big!! And I think you are doing the whole mom job perfectly! You some how manage to balance everything! I hope I can be that good when (and if) I ever am lucky enough to get to that point! I'm going to be bugging you for tips;)

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  4. I am so proud of you Mamma! I feel very lucky to have known you for so long and through so much. You were wonderful the first day of college (maybe your highlights weren't =P) and you're even more wonderful now. I only feel guilty that I don't get to spend as much time with you and to get to know Anika better!! I can't wait to see you guys this summer. You guys are a great example that having it all is do-able and absolutely worth it!! xoxooxox

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  5. You are an amazing mom! Accidents happen to everyone, don't beat yourself up over it!

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