The Honest Mommy

Uncensored thoughts on parenting & more

A quick update April 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 2:22 pm
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Things have gotten quite a bit better on the nap front for Mark (6 months old). The bad days are fewer and farther between than ever.

I am bummed that I can’t get out and shop garage sales like I have the past few summers. Having a baby to cart around, not to mention trying to respect baby’s napping needs, really puts a damper on things.

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Sleep schedule for 3-year-old April 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 1:53 pm
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Still trying to figure out an optimal sleep schedule/rhythm for my 3.5-year-old, Adam. Yesterday he finally fell asleep for his afternoon nap around 3:00 p.m. He was still sleeping at 4:00 p.m., and normally I would be very diligent about waking him up at that time, in order to not mess up his bedtime. 

I really wanted to try something different, so I let him sleep until he woke up, on his own, around 5:00 p.m. I was sure he would be up super late last night, but he wasn’t. He fell asleep around 8-8:30 p.m., which is normal for him, AND…. he slept until almost 7:00 a.m. this morning, which is certainly “sleeping in” for him.

So far today, he seems to be in very good spirits, and there has been very little arguing, whining, pouting, and so on (all signs of him being tired).

I’m wondering if I should go against everything I’ve read, and just let his naps happen, whether they go after 4 p.m. or not. I think it’s worth a try, since what we’ve been doing to this point hasn’t exactly been wildly successful.

 

So Many Constraints April 4, 2009

It has really struck me over the past few months how constrained my life is right now. By constrained I mean that I cannot, as a general rule, do what I want to do, when I feel like doing it. The reasons are as follows:

1) Pumping breastmilk. For the first few months of my son Mark’s life, I hardly left the house, mostly due to my pumping schedule. It not too easy to run errands or socialize when you have to factor in a 6-7 times/day pumping schedule! I am down to 3 times/day now, which is certainly easier to maintain, but is still a challenge. No matter what day it is, no matter what fun things might be going on, I need to pump before bedtime, which takes at least 30 minutes. Not such a big deal, if I could sleep in once in awhile. But every morning, after waking up I race to the pump, while every minute that goes by, I am leaking (wasting) milk into my nursing pads. Not to mention that having a 3-year-old and an infant isn’t very conducive to sleeping in in the first place.

2) Naps. Adam, 3 1/2 years old, still takes an afternoon nap most days, so that is part of our schedule with only a few exceptions. Mark, 5 months, was a very difficult napper when he was younger. Some days it seemed I spent half of my waking hours just trying to get him to sleep (typically 3-4 short naps per day). Things have gotten easier, but I protect his nap schedule (as much as he has a schedule) quite diligently. To say that I feel tied down to the house would be an understatement. If we are somewhere like church and he doesn’t get his morning nap, my life is a hectic hell until I can get him his nap; therefore, I am not too interested in skipping or delaying his naps! In fact, Sunday morning church has taken a backseat to Mark’s morning nap. If I have to arrive late or not at all, so be it. I realize that I am in the minority in my approach to this, but I am not willing (or able?) to handle the stress that results from missed or delayed naps.

3) Bedtimes. Adam needs to have lights out around 7:30 p.m. Mark is “completely finished” for the day around 6 p.m. most days, occasionally later. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be in a restaurant or even at a friend’s house with Mark after 6 p.m. or even 5:30 p.m. And, of course, I don’t feel it’s fair to him to put him in that situation, unless it’s for something very important and/or very occasional (travel, important appointment, etc.). As a result, we don’t have much of a social life. If anything, one of us goes out while the other stays home and takes care of bedtimes. (As for a babysitter or grandparent putting him to bed… that is another topic entirely. We tried that last night, with disastrous results.)

3) Weight Watchers. In January, I joined Weight Watchers with at least 30 lbs to lose. So far, I have lost 17 lbs, and I am very happy about that. At the same time, anyone who’s done WW or any other plan knows that it takes dedication and structure, day in and day out, to make progress. I can’t just throw caution to the wind a few times or even one time per week, and also expect to lose any weight at my weekly weigh-in.

Last night, at a get-together at a friend’s house, all of the above-listed factors came into play in a very typical fashion. My MIL came over to babysit, and when I left the house, I was concerned about Mark [bedtime factor] because he seemed to be going downhill fast, with stranger anxiety and with getting tired. Sure enough, my husband, who was still home at the time, had to intervene and put Mark to bed because he had completely gone off the deep end.

I had left home early so I could go to Subway and get a Weight-Watchers-friendly dinner before going to the party. For me, I am much more likely to succeed if I can have a filling, healthy meal before being exposed to all sorts of fattening yummies. I spent a few hours at the party, and had only a few sips of margarita [pumping/breastfeeding factor] and almost nothing to eat [Weight Watchers factor]. Then I had to leave early (around 9 p.m.) so I could get home, relieve the babysitter, pump, and get to bed at a somewhat decent hour.

To an observer, I suppose I would appear to be rather a dull sort — no eating, drinking, being merry, or staying out past 9 p.m. In fact, I am a little self-conscious about how I am perceived, even though normally I’m perfectly comfortable being seen as the straight-laced one.

But the bottom line is, I cannot achieve the goals I need and want to achieve if I don’t consistently make decisions that respect the inherent boundaries of the above list. I have to take care of myself (sleep, health, losing weight) and protect my children’s sleep; if I don’t, there are prices to pay. I guess this is all part of being an adult and being a parent.

 

Dropping to 3 pumps per day

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 2:39 am
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Big decision yesterday- I made the leap from 4 pumps per day to 3 pumps. My schedule will be approximately 7 a.m., 1 p.m., and 9 p.m. I will need to pump longer at each session in order to make up for the dropped pump session, but two of the three sessions will be when the boys are asleep — a major plus. And since this eliminates the late afternoon pump, it should be easier to run errands or get dinner ready.

I have been pumping for 5 1/2 months, and at this point, I want to make sure Mark gets some breastmilk, but I am not willing to stretch myself to the limit for the sake of every last ounce. It is certainly a factor that I have always been an LVP (low volume producer) and therefore Mark has always gotten a fair amount of formula no matter how much time or energy I put into pumping.

This means that I will be sad to see my supply decrease, but not as sad as if I had never had to give Mark formula before.

A good friend stopped over two nights ago, and I ended up sharing about my struggles with pumping. After some hugs and tears, and after he left, I gave a lot of thought to the matter and realized that this was the right thing to do right now.

This evening, my thoughts and prayers are with every mother who is struggling with issues around feeding her baby – breastfeeding, formula feeding, pumping — any or all of the above. It is such an important issue, but it can be hard to keep perspective as well.