Before Charlie was born, I was an expert parent. I was a keen observer to many parents and their families and I KNEW what I would and wouldn't do. I had an acute sense of the best thing for all children and knew how easily I would implement certain things in our family. Because of this, I made a list. The list included several things I would(n't) do once I had children. After 13 months, I am reviewing some of the items on that list.
The List (abridged version):
1. I will breastfeed for one year at minimum and never more than 18 months.
2. I will continue to keep my relationship with Mason strong. We'll do this by monthly or twice monthly date nights. (We will be fine with getting a babysitter--what's the big deal?)
3. Baby will NEVER sleep in our bed. Ever.
4. I will not be a dog person that stops loving her dog. Not possible.
5. I will continue to take time for myself--doing hobbies like reading, knitting, running, etc.
1. Breastfeeding was difficult. It did not seem "natural", it did not seem "easy". It was time-consuming, awkward, painful, and hard. My mother (and her amnesia about life with a baby) insisted that it was never any of those things for her but 99% of my friends had similar experiences. (I'll trust my friends on this one--they haven't had 30 years to forget the ugly) After about 6 weeks, things did improve and I truly came to enjoy nursing. It seemed convenient and like a bonding experience but I always felt very tied down. I always had to be the one to feed Charlie and I despised pumping. When I returned to work and Charlie began sleeping through the night, my supply decreased and nursing became a struggle. I once judged mothers who formula fed their babies--afterall, how hard could it be to nurse? But as my milk went away, Charlie and I both became frustrated. When we finally switched to formula, things were so much better. I didn't dread feeding him, we were both content and happy, and it was still a comforting and bonding experience. Just because he wasn't nursing didn't mean he wasn't getting any benefits from me.
2. Ha! We are set to have a babysitter this coming Saturday. This will be the first person (besides my parents) to ever put Charlie to bed. Enough said.
3. Charlie's crib was not used for the first four months of his life--although he did nap occasionally in there. It seemed so huge and far away from us so he slept in the bassinet of the pack & play in our room for that time. Eventually, he was growing big for that and I knew I didn't want him to be used to sleeping "with us". We transitioned to his crib and haven't looked back. I really do hope this if we have a #2, we will use the crib from the start.
4. It's totally possible. Our dog is the most lovable furry friend one could wish for, but I'm afraid she was out rolling in something gross when they were handing out the brains. She's very tolerant of Charlie and doesn't do anything bad really, she just drives me nuts. And honestly, most of my friends' dogs drive me nuts now too. I especially have a hard time with the barking kind (love how cute our neighborhood Beagle and Shitzu are but man, do they ever shut up!?!).
5. I should have put this next to the date night one. Again, a year later, I'm hoping to actually do this! It is time that Charlie fit into our lives instead of the other way around, right? We'll see about that.....