The holiest of all months for Muslims is less than a week away. I really want to be the person who is excited for this blessed month, who can’t wait to spend my time in deep worship. Instead I’m stressed. How will I make it through 16 hour fasts while working full-time, taking care of my very active 3 year old son, trying to get a few hours of sleep and getting time away for worship. If anyone has advice on how to get through it with a good attitude please do share! (Not fasting is not an option for me.)
Ramadan Kareem to you and yours 🙂
Well, it’s been about 2 years since I last blogged. With the millions of mommy blogs out there I doubt anyone noticed. But I blog mostly as a means of self-expression and I really miss doing it. I got busy. All you parents out there know the drill. Between being a mom, working full-time, trying to maintain my friendships, spending time with my husband, trying to get in shape, and reading the thousands of articles and blogs about whether or not women can have it all, there was little time to do anything else. But for this I must make time. I have always loved writing. I’ve kept a journal since I was nine years old. And damn it, I have a lot to say. Whether or not anyone wants to hear about it is really irrelevant. It’s a blog. Read at your own risk. I’ll write about being a mom, about my struggle to get in shape and stop eating the shit in all our food, and about the people who inspire me or anger me. This is my journal, like the journal I kept when I was nine. But it’s no longer behind lock and key. I’d prefer not to talk to myself, so join this conversation. Leave your comments. I’ll try not to disappear for a long time again.
All of the thoughts are mine and do not represent the company I work for.
Shout out to Liya Kredie who inspired me to return to this. Read her blog here:
I may not have a sleep trained baby, but I think my little man is almost potty trained. For the last month that’s the only place he poops. It all started when he was only a couple of weeks old and we noticed that he cannot poop unless he is sitting up. Things only got more complicated when he started to eat solids. He couldn’t do it with his diaper still on! It wasn’t a pretty picture. And I was a little concerned because I have seen many babies including my nephew poop regardless of how they were sitting.
I told friends at work about it and one told me I was lucky that he gives such clear signals. She recommended that we start putting him on the potty. She said parents in Europe start potty training their children at a younger age than here in the U.S. I was intrigued and did a bit of research of my own. According to Baby Center, most parents train their babies before their second birthday. In the U.S. they aren’t completely trained until their third birthday.
It turns out there’s even a name to potty training infants. It’s called elimination communication. Parents who do it actually start at a very early age— from birth to four years. And by 18 months the baby is usually fully capable of going to the bathroom on his/her own and not relying on a diaper.
He’s proud of himself too.
Now, I don’t think I could have started this before my baby turned six months. It seems too complicated to hold him over a potty at that age. By six months he was generally sitting up on his own. So we bought a potty and every time he gave us the poop face (moms, you know the one I’m talking about) we just put him on the potty. And for the last month that’s become the norm. In fact, he has not pooped in his diaper once. Just last week there was an article published on Huffington Post about a six month old who says “boo boo” when she needs to go to the bathroom. We’re not quite there yet. But I’m proud, nonetheless.
For weeks I’ve avoided blogging because I didn’t want to admit defeat. I didn’t want to face the world of super parents who have sleep trained their children while mine still slept next to me and my husband. I’m no super mom and I don’t really want to be one but for two nights my baby has spent half the night in his crib. Now for all the Cry It Out parents, that may seem like a minuscule accomplishment, but for me it’s nothing short of amazing.
There’s no particular method, just a slow process of getting him used to sleeping on his own. And I won’t leave him to cry, not even for one minute. I can’t say I have any evidence that letting a baby cry isn’t good for them because I don’t really know if it is or not. But what I do know is leaving my baby to cry for any period of time feels completely unnatural to me. I respect other moms who can do it. But I also understand why many moms don’t.
I’m going to wrap up this post before I make any enemies. If there’s one thing I learned since becoming a mom, it’s never insult a mother’s way of sleep training her little one. And so I will end with this thought: I’m going to enjoy this transition period because it means we both get to have everything we want and everything we need. We both get to sleep in our respective beds for a few hours, uninterrupted by the other’s movements. But we also get to enjoy the bonding time that comes with sleeping next to each other the second half of the night. In a few weeks (or months) he will be sleeping in his crib the entire night and he’ll probably be fine, but I will miss him terribly. As a working mom who only get’s to see my little one a few hours a day, there is no sweeter feeling than falling asleep while holding my baby’s hand.
One of my dearest friends is about to have a baby. A few weeks ago I put a list together for her of all the things I used when my baby was born. I’ve now put that list up on Pinterest for others who may be wondering what they will need initially. The list grows along with the babies. But this is just for newborns. I’ve just discovered Pinterest and I love it!
After receiving some great advice from friends and readers I took the first step to moving my baby out of our bed. Last night, after his bath time and his bottle, I put him in his pack n play. I was an experience that helped me learn a bit more about my son’s personality. For two hours he tossed and turned and tried to climb out. I was amazed with his tenacity and perseverance. At six months old, he was trying to figure out how to get out of the pack n play and into my bed. But I did not give up. And neither did he. First he tried to seduce me into picking him up by looking into my eyes and giving me a big smile. And while that ALMOST worked, I stayed strong. Then he yelled at me for about one hour. He didn’t cry. He just yelled, as if to say, “how dare you abandon me?” Then he tried to climb out. All I could do was bury my face in my pillow and laugh. Two hours later, he wore himself out and started crying. That is one sound I cannot stand to hear. Plus I think he was trying to tell me that he was thirsty. I know I would be if I exerted all that effort. So I picked him up, gave him what was left in his milk bottle and he passed out.
We made it through half the night with him in his pack n play. I woke up around 1 AM to pump and found myself counting the hours till 7 AM so that I could bring him into our bed and play. I only made it to four AM. And while he was perfectly fine, I wasn’t. He spent the rest of the night next to us. Tonight we will try again 🙂
And one note about the pumping. I have decided to keep going, mostly because my prince doesn’t seem to like formula. He’s the boss.
Two days ago my husband took baby boy to his monthly checkup. I’m usually the one who takes him and I really love his pediatrician. She is a new mom herself and so her advice resonates on a more real level. We chat as if we are two friends having coffee and talking about our kids. But I couldn’t go this last time because I had to work. So when my husband came home and told me his pediatrician needed to talk to me about a few things I was doing, I knew I was in trouble. And I knew what she was going to tell me. But I’m not one to shy away from criticism so I quickly picked up the phone and called her answering service. She called me soon after and after a moment of chit chat she told me what I didn’t want to hear but know is the truth: it’s time to put the baby in his own bed and his own room. Just hearing those words made my heart sink. But I know she’s right. My best friend, who is also a pediatrician, has lectured me on this in the past but that was before he was six months old and I thought I still had time.
Now though, I know that if I sleep train him he will soon sleep through the night without waking up and that by keeping him next to me as a snuggle bunny, I was only being selfish. I promised that I would try to at least put him in his pack ‘n play in my room. The idea of putting him in his own room, all alone, is just unbearable at the moment. And what I don’t want to do is go through reading another sleep training book. So if you would, I beg of you to give me advice. How did you sleep train your baby? How long did it take? And was it worth it? And please, please don’t tell me I have to let him cry.
One thing you should know about me is, growing up, I was always the teacher’s pet. I don’t like when the teacher is disappointed in me. So I have to get this assignment right. But unlike grade school, I don’t have a clear text book on how to ace this exam. I hope that you can help.