On spam, sleep issues, and making fun of people online

After 6 spam comments in 4 days, I’ve changed my comment settings to not show up unless I approve.  This is just the spam that’s getting through – I shudder to think of the spam that wordpress is catching…

For your enjoyment:  Newborn Bad Lipreading:

And for your further enjoyment: there are few things in the world happier than this pup:

Aaaannnddd….on to the Baby Stuff.

We’ve been struggling with establishing a schedule/routine for Baby J.  I’m amazed at people who can say, “Baby takes a nap at 11 every day” at four months.  I have a friend who does this.  The best I can tell you is that when Baby J wakes up at 10:30 from a nap, he’ll be back down for another nap around noon.  Each day is different, because his wake times/nap times are different every day.  I sometimes feel like I’m doing something wrong, but then I figure there are moms who are worse off.  At least Baby J can put himself to sleep (most of the time) without me rocking him or nursing him.  I realize part of the problem is just that his brain is maturing.  He was on a set schedule for a couple of weeks, then a Wonder Week/Growth Spurt hit (combined with a couple of vaccinations) and it got shot to hell.  Now we’ve got the four month sleep regression looming (or here?  He’s gone from sleeping 7-8 hours through the night to waking every 2-3), so I’m not even trying to figure out his schedule for a few more weeks.  (And please understand that when I say “schedule” I mean more of a routine, and fully baby led, lest anyone start yelling at me for putting too much structure on my child.  Then there are those who will tell me I *should* put that much structure on him…can’t win in the parenting game.)

I’ve also been struggling with the late afternoon nap/bedtime issue.  I would like to put him to bed around 8-8:30, but if I follow the whole “no naps after 6pm” guidelines he may end up having been awake for four hours.  Then I have people tell me his bedtime should be 6-6:30.  Which would be awesome, except then when the hell would he see his father, on the weekends?  Seriously, how do working moms get to spend any time with their babies, if they’re putting them to bed that early?  Figure get off work at 5, pick up from daycare, get home, and you’re looking at half an hour of bonding time.  That’s not enough, not in my book at least.  Once again, I’m so glad I don’t have to work (although that doesn’t help out Daddy with bonding time…).  Besides, babies don’t have any concept of time, so what does it matter if they sleep from 7p-7a or 10p-10a?  I’m struggling to understand that.

Ugh, I spend way too much time looking up baby sleep advice.  And right now, it changes so fast.  Like I said, I’m waiting a couple of weeks to get past the four month mark, then starting fresh.  I’ve got the Magic Merlin sleepsuit coming from the US (thanks to a friend with an empty suitcase, bringing everyone here whatever they can’t get here) to try to break Baby J of the swaddling (currently not technically swaddled, but his arms are pinned inside a sleep sack).  I’d like to eventually wean him off the pacifier, but his habit isn’t too bad at this point.  It calms him when he first lays down, but he often spits it out within a couple of minutes and doesn’t need it to fall asleep.  And he doesn’t use one very often when he’s awake, so maybe I should just let it go.  *shrug*

On to other topics…

I’ve done my share of laughing at people – not in a super mean way, but in a *side-eye* “Look what *that* guy is wearing” way.  I had a big change of heart last year, though, after reading about a Reddit user posting a photo of a Sikh woman with facial hair, and her response.  The guy who posted the photo ended up posting an apology, and these are the words he used:  “Making fun of people is funny to some but incredibly degrading to the people you’re making fun of.”  He says the photo was “an incredibly rude, judgmental, and ignorant thing to post.”  Suddenly, everyone I had ever made fun of, even in my head, popped into my mind.  How incredibly rude, judgmental, and ignorant of me.  Now, don’t get me wrong – I still think certain things when I see people, and I sometimes voice those things to those close to me, but I really try hard not to.  I try to think of what reason they have to wear what they’re wearing, look how they look, or do what they do.  Because here’s the thing — there very likely is a reason.  For example:  “I am the woman you laughed at on the internet.”  Same basic thing happened to this woman – someone took a photo of her and made fun of her, shaming her to the world, without knowing the why.  Why do we do this?  Does it make us feel better?  Have you ever done or worn something and thought, “I hope people know I’m just doing this for *x* reason.”  What if someone had taken a photo of you like that and posted it online with the express purpose of making fun of you?  Remember, everyone on the internet is an actual person, with feelings and emotions and reasons for what they do.  When this happens with teenagers, it’s called cyber-bullying, so why isn’t it the same thing when it happens with adults?  I challenge you, the next time you see a photo of someone that was taken with the intent to make fun of them, think about what might have happened the moment before that photo was taken, think about the why.

Whew.  Off soapbox.  Now, I’ll leave you with this –

I love her thoughts on the messaging in the US about what a mother should do and the remessaging that needs to happen.  I needed the reminder that only I can make myself happy, and I need to work on that more these days.  I just hope it will get easier as Baby J gets older, because what would have made me happy today was to finish my cup of tea without microwaving it four times to rewarm it.  *sigh*  I don’t think it applies to babies who can’t take care of themselves.  How long until Baby J is able to occupy himself?

Categories: Baby J, Random | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “On spam, sleep issues, and making fun of people online

  1. Bob Atha

    Now Sara, just look for the wonderful moments of this day, because you will never get the chance to do it over again. And the next one will be even more wonderful because that is what rearing a family is about. NOTHING beats that!! Love You. JA

    • Thanks, Grandma, love you too! Can’t wait to see you in a few months and have you meet Baby J. 🙂

  2. Ha! The whole sleep thing is hilarious because you’re right — whatever you do, there will be *someone* telling you it’s not the “right” way to do it. Bottom line, figure out what works for YOU and stick with that. It’s why until Miriam was nearly a year old, I let her sleep whenever she wanted. If she was tired, she could nap. If she wanted to stay awake until midnight, that was fine with us (we’re night owls anyway). It was awesome because when we were both working, we still had plenty of time after work to spend with her and then it also allowed us to do a lot of things parents with young kids in bed couldn’t do — go to friends’ homes for dinner, take late walks, host people at our house, etc. Then about 8 weeks ago, all of the sudden, she just started her own routine and now night after night, she’s signaling that she wants to be in bed by 8:30-9 and sleeps until 8:30-9 the next day. Our friends that have been battling “sleep schedules” their baby’s entire life also noticed that about the same age, the kid just started doing their own thing and it wasn’t a struggle anymore. So there’s that. If you want baby J to stay up later so he has time with Daddy after work, it’s not going to harm him in any way! Especially if he can sleep as late as he’d like in the morning. I am told constantly that I’m a very “laid back” new parent, but I’ve just always sorta rolled with it, you know? It’s shocking to me because I like routine and structure and there hasn’t really been any of that since M was born and I don’t mind it at all.

    Re: making fun of people online — I think the same thing about Instagram. The other day Jon and I were taking the dog & M on a walk around noon on a weekday. We walked by a middle aged man passed out drunk on a park bench and I was really shocked that the girls behind us stopped to take pictures with their phones, chatting about how they will post it to instagram because “it will be hilarious! #daydrinking!!” I felt disgusted. I mean, sure the guy is passed out at noon on a Wednesday in public…but…it just didn’t seem right to then post that for your friends to make fun of. I’ve heard of people doing that for homeless people. And the website “People of Walmart”…it just makes me sad.

    • Yeah, I think I’m going to do some experimenting tonight. We didn’t have as much of a problem when we were putting him to bed later, even though he may have been awake for 4 hours. Then we started trying for earlier, and it’s been awful. I’ve been blaming it on sleep regression, since he’s that age, but maybe the later bedtime just worked for him? I’ve now read stuff about their circadian rhythm, and that’s why an early bedtime is “better.” I wonder if that works even in higher latitudes? We’ve had “regular” length days and nights lately, but we’re about to have only 5-6 hours of daylight – how will that affect things? And then next summer – 22 hours of daylight. Surely that screws with a kid’s circadian rhythm, right? So, screw it, we’ll do what works.

      My original draft post included People of Walmart, but I took it out. I’ve always wondered how many of those photos are taken on or around Halloween. Again, I think about the times I’ve worn something “strange” to the grocery store, on the way to a costume party or something. It is sad when it happens, like the girls laughing at the passed out guy. Maybe his wife left him yesterday because he lost his job last week and he just said screw it, I’m getting drunk.

  3. spam + internet trolls:
    dirty bastards!!!! i have comment moderation + registered commenters only on my blog it’s the only way to keep the trash out.
    i’ve had some nasty stuff so the gates are UP!

    baby sleep schedules and deprivation:
    this is the 4th time i’ve heard about the woes of it this week. 😦
    i think these babies are in on some inside joke.
    big hugs to you!

    i’m not a fan on making fun of people and i don’t much care for self denigration either.
    i just read a bit about how people who for example … someone who points out how fat another women’s butt is in a pair of jeans… that is her own insecurity coming out about her own issues. hmmmm

    i’m with you, there are just things you are going to notice. mile high lime green mohawk, a tattooed face, 3 sizes too small skin tight leopard bodysuit wearing woman at the bus stop… stuff that’s out of the ordinary.
    i’m an observer, i’m going to raise an eyebrow. yea i’m looking. i’m not staring. i’m not snickering. but i am going to look.
    you betcha. there’s a shock factor to that. pretty much if one has that going on… they want to stand out from the crowd and be noticed for the sake of identity or self expression. rock on.

    am i taking a pic and posting it on the internet to use as fodder. no. that’s just dicky.

    that whole people of walmart site… i think 99% of that is staged. i really do.
    i’ve been to walmart plenty of times. i’ve seen some sketchy fashion choices but i’ve never seen the outrageous things they put on the internet that supposedly rocked up on those stores. i just don’t buy it. way too bizarre to be real.

    i’m a reformed coffee drinker turned tea drinker. have you tried pukka brand tea? i’m in love.
    little thing i do… i make a pot of water and put it in my lady thermos. i call it that because it’s not a big one. lol maybe mine is 1/2 liter??? it was from ikea.
    i just keep adding really hot water throughout the day to my cup without the microwaving. but i’m not big on microwaving anything. thought i’d pass that on.


    • Yes! I’m going to notice, of course, because I’m supposed to, but I’m not going to make fun! And I’m certainly not going to take a picture. I keep thinking about this thing that happened a few years ago – I was at this club in Tallinn and this woman was out there dancing, in her own world. And I was laughing, because she just didn’t give a f*ck. But I was laughing and pointing, and I feel really bad about it every time I think of it, which is more often than you might think. I should have been laughing and saying, “You go, girl, do your thang.”

      And, yes, some of those People of Walmart are so out there, you have to wonder about how legit they are.

      I only have a cup or two of tea a day – right now it’s the Mother’s Milk tea to help with milk production, since I haven’t been nursing as much on the one side. So it’s not something I want to keep a thermos of, since I kind of have to time it. (I’ll drown poor Baby J if I drink it the wrong length of time before nursing – literally!! My letdown goes into overdrive!)

      • you shouldn’t beat yourself up too much over the tallinn incident. pretty good chances the woman had been drinking and she really didn’t give a F at the time. also if she could watch herself the following day on vid of her dancing she probably would have laughed and pointed at herself.

        no doubt it was a total holy shit do you see that kind of moment who wouldn’t go WOW!!! be gentle on yourself.
        given the next opportunity maybe you’ll jump in there and do the ‘i don’t give a F dance’ with her.

        gotcha on the tea! 😀

  4. Mary

    I read some of the sleep books. I don’t think it matters when the baby goes to sleep as long as he is getting the right amount of sleep. Our doctor wasn’t ever really concerned with what time the twins went to bed. She was more concerned about the total amount of time. I am not sure if you read this already. I got a good laugh when I read it. It is so true. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ava-neyer/i-read-all-the-baby-sleep-advice-books_b_3143253.html

    • Ha – that part about cosleeping and how it will kill your baby made me snort. That was why I was so surprised when the nurses in the hospital said to sleep with him, I kept thinking that everything I had read said it was bad! I’ve seen other posts like that with conflicting parenting advice, but that’s the first one I’ve seen about sleep. And, yeah, everything is bad and good. I think, as with everything, moderation and middle ground is a good thing. That, and doing whatever the hell works. It’s just a matter of finding out what that is…

  5. Teemu

    This isn’t really related to this particular blog post, but I just finished reading most of your blog posts and I have to thank you for it, it was very interesting and fun to read.

    As a Finn, I just love to binge read on expat blogs about living in Finland, partly just to confirm that it’s not that bad of a place to live in and partly because it’s quite interesting to hear other foreigners view on mundane or not so mundane things around here 🙂

    I hope you and your family have a great time here, it seems like you’re a great bunch of people and hopefully you all get the sleep you need, there’s nothing worse than being tired all day long but unfortunately that’s usually how the things tend to go with the newborns. 🙂

    • Thanks so much! I’ve certainly run into some difficulties living here, but that’s to be expected. Overall I’ve really enjoyed my time here, and am glad for the opportunity. 🙂

  6. sara i was thinking of you all morning.

    although i commented on this already the making fun part and LOVED it (and i still think you beat yourself up a little too much over it) but it stuck with me because i really do NOT like it at all when people make fun of bullshit things about people JUST because they do not fit in what THEY consider ‘normal’ or ‘beautiful’. i mean it bothers me more every.single.day.

    so my point of why you are on my mind.

    a cousin (55) who i haven’t heard from her in 6 yrs found me on fb.
    freinds me …great cool always LOVED her always looked up to her.
    she looked like marsha brady back in the day so yes she was pretty, all my cousins so pretty. who didn’t want to look like that.

    BUT there was SUCH an emphasis on beauty, looks, body image growing up in my F’d up family.
    so pisses me off.
    pushed all the time… pretty pretty pretty that’s all your worth was based on. yes you know i have issues with my family.

    so me as you know… rocking out this whole age acceptance not coloring my hair. showing myself with no make up, etc. keeping it reals for the world to see. it leaves me wobbling between badass and what-are-you-thinking but i keep on being ME. i just keep on.

    soooo anyway…
    the cousin, friends me.
    leaves messages on my page.
    all the little hi-hi-how-are-you stuff. 5th message in after not seeing her for 6 yrs… for all the world to see…
    ”hey search cousin betty’s daughter… linda (and puts her full name).
    OMG can you believe what she looks like! seriously the family pretty gene SKIPPED HER!!!! and i know you are dying when you saw her picture.”

    i did the search because it was such a bizarre thing to message me that. no i was not laughing. no not at all.

    linda is a very accomplished cardiologist in LA. triathlon’r, marathon runner, VERY fit. there was NOTHING about her that i could see that constituted such a NASTY thing to say about her.

    i was FLOORED.
    my reply: wow linda.. good on her! she looks great! so accomplished.

    and my cousin kept up… ”THE HORSE TEETH ON HER MY GOD!!! AND THAT FOREHEAD.”

    i did not even answer. i was so ashamed that someone i even knew would not only say it but to write it on my page.

    i deleted the whole thing. just appalled.

    so anyway my mind went directly back to this post.
    marsha brady needs a wake up call on this subject. i’m hoping when she reads my blog and sees what i am doing she will see she needs to stop this kinda shit and get some humanity. if it’s okay with you i’m thinking about featuring a few of the vids you have here. it was such an inspiration for a post.

    • Wow. I don’t think I’ve called anyone “ugly” in damn near twenty years, since I GREW UP. Or I should say, I haven’t called someone ugly based on their looks, but I sure have based on what’s inside them – and your cousin sounds a bit ugly, regardless of how pretty she might be. (And sure, use anything you want! 🙂

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