It’s 8am and Baby J is sleeping. I keep thinking I should take advantage of this time and get something accomplished, like, say, clean the bathroom. But I’ve already sorted laundry, started a load, made the bed, cleaned and sterilized the pumping equipment, frozen some pumped milk, and brushed my hair and teeth, so I’m okay saying that I’ve accomplished a lot so far this morning, and it’s perfectly okay to play a game on my tablet. He’ll be awake soon enough, and then my time is his time again. (And, honestly, any day I’m able to brush my teeth before noon is a five star day already.)
I’ve broken rules already, rules I set myself:
- I didn’t want Baby J to use a pacifier. We had to break this one pretty quick, unfortunately. While in the hospital, he was on blue lights for jaundice, so when he fussed we were unable to just pick him up and soothe him. Pacifier was the only option. Luckily, he doesn’t usually want it, and doesn’t need it to fall asleep. He may use it all of ten minutes in a day.
- I really don’t like having the TV on around him. I’ll watch TV sometimes while I nurse him, but when he’s awake and not nursing, the TV is off, at least during the day. But in the evening the TV is on, and he does seem fascinated with the light it emits (“It’s so beautiful!”). So he gets more TV exposure than I wanted. But I do my best.
- Cosleeping is a big no-no, and yet every nurse in the hospital suggested it, and every breastfeeding site suggests nursing while laying in bed so you can get more sleep. Usually, Baby J sleeps in his Finnish Baby Box, at least overnight, but most mornings, when he’s restless, I end up pulling him onto the bed with us to settle him down. I can usually get an extra half hour to hour out of him, and every little bit helps.
- He’s currently asleep in the Rock and Play. I’ve read that the R&P can cause flat head issues, and he really hasn’t been big enough to use it until the last week or so – before that he would just slump over. Of course, I was completely unaware there were two incline settings, so he could have used it before now had I known, but I’m happy I didn’t. I don’t really like the idea of using a “babysitter,” at least at this age, not for an extended period of time. But in the last week, he’s better able to sit in it and entertain himself. Usually I sit there with him and we chat, but it has come in quite handy in the 15 minute intervals between nursing and napping. I can go to the bathroom, prep dinner, make my lunch – all things that seemed impossible when I had to hold him constantly while he was awake (or let him cry in the Pack and Play). Anyway, I’m fully against naps in the thing, and yet that’s where he’s currently sleeping. Because that’s where Daddy put him while I was pumping, and that’s where he fell asleep. And I’m not moving him. But this will not become a habit.
For every time I’ve broken my own rule or felt like a bad mom, there are ten times I realize that I’m a pretty good mom. Every time he smiles a big smile at me, I know I’ve done something right. Every time he laughs, I know I’ve done something right. Every time the nurse says his skin is perfect, or that he’s growing well, or that “he gets his mother’s milk,” I know I’ve done something right. Every time he breaks away from nursing, full, milk drunk, I know I’ve done something right. And every time he nods off to sleep without a fight, I know I’ve done something right.
I just need to remember that when I do something really wrong, like when he rolls off the bed at five months because I turned my back for a second. Because I know it will happen.
Now it’s 9:45, Baby J just finished nursing, and he barely got a big belly burp out before falling asleep in my arms. Milk drunk. Ever since he was born, one of my favorite things is rubbing my cheek against the top of his head and feeling his soft hair. That’s what I’m doing now, as I type this with two thumbs. He’s so sweet at times like this. Its sometimes hard to remember that when he’s screaming at eight in the evening. It’s a tradeoff, I suppose.