This post was written for inclusion in the May blog carnival hosted by One Fit Mom (wait, that’s me! ). Today, participants share their funny, honest and even poignant confessions of how they are less-than-perfect parents (or parents-to-be). Please read to the end of the post to see the full list of links to other carnival submissions.
Eight months. Eight confessions. And believe me, this is only the tip of the iceberg. If I had the time, I could probably think of something for every week of poor young Oliver’s life!
1. I really hated breastfeeding at first. It was not the magical bonding experience I was lead to believe it would be. This probably had a lot to do with my early breastfeeding struggles. I dreaded every single nursing session for the first couple of months, and whenever Oliver cried, I would think to myself, “Oh, please don’t be hungry again.” When Oliver would latch, I would grit my teeth, wince, and then pull out my iPhone or laptop and surf the web in an attempt to make those agonizing minutes pass as quickly as possible.
For the most part, I never came to love our nursing sessions, with the exception of our nightly dream feeds. They were the only time Oliver fed without farting around, biting, getting distracted, twiddling, kicking, or any other one of his rather impolite nursing habits. There is nothing in the world like cuddling up with a soft, warm, sleeping baby while he nurses quietly and contentedly.
But alas, eight-month-old Oliver is starting to wean himself. He’s having shorter and less frequent feedings during the day, and last night marked his final dream feed. It was a bittersweet moment as I lay him back down in his crib.
2. Screen time is our cheap parenting trick. Yes, I know: every major child health organization recommends no screen time before the age of two. But this mesmerizing animated children’s lullaby buys me just enough time to clip all of Oliver’s fingernails with nary a fuss nor fidget. The iPad hath charms to soothe even the most savagely fussy baby on an airplane. And then there’s the iPhone — the mother of all crawling incentives. Indeed, I don’t believe Oliver would have learned to crawl nearly as early as he did if it weren’t for Daddy’s iPhone left carelessly on the floor, just out of reach. Whenever I start to feel guilty about screen time, I remind myself that at least we don’t have cable, so we haven’t gone as far as to plunk Oliver in front of the television for an episode of the latest über-creepy children’s program (shout out to The Wiggles).
3. I exploited the Exersaucer for naps. My naps, that is. On a few occasions that I was so exhausted I couldn’t keep my eyes open, I put Oliver in the Exersaucer to safely contain him while I caught a 10-minute catnap. I positioned the plastic monstrosity beside the bed to assuage Oliver’s separation anxiety, and he would giggle and make eyes at me, thinking I was interacting with him, when in reality I was dozing.
4. I was wholly responsible for Oliver’s first “dropping on the head” incident. It was under my care (J wasn’t even in the same city as us!) that Oliver happened to fall off the settee of my friend’s boat and land directly on the top of his head, on hardwood floor, of course. As I picked him up by his legs — he was wedged upside-down between the settee and the dining table — I felt like the most inept mother in the world. He was fine. They bounce.
5. I can’t believe I’m admitting this on the Internet, but we’ve driven in the car — twice — without properly securing our baby. The first incident occurred when Oliver was four weeks old and we were collecting his grandmother from the airport. We’d carried him into the airport in his infant seat and unbuckled the harness to let him be more comfortable during the potentially lengthy wait. The idea was that he would eventually be taken out of the seat to meet his grandmother. As it turns out, he fell asleep, so we left him in the seat. Upon returning to the car, we blithely clicked the seat back onto its base as we’d done dozens of times before, forgetting that our baby’s harness wasn’t fastened. Amateur mistake.
On the second occasion, we were on vacation and using the car seat in a rental car, without its base. After assiduously strapping Oliver into the seat, we drove off, only to realize upon arrival at our destination that we’d forgotten to secure the seat to the car using the seatbelt. Both incidents scared the crap out of us, and we established car seat “procedures” to ensure we would never repeat them.
6. I was a food hypocrite. J and I agreed that Oliver would not be given any grains, sugar or processed foods for at least the first couple of years of his life; however, it didn’t stop us from treating ourselves from time to time. On numerous occasions, we ate said contraband in front of our very food-aware, solids-eating baby, while he looked on with importunate eyes. We’ve stopped doing it. It’s cruel. Oliver has finally given us the motivation we’ve needed to kick the treat habit. Nobody wants to be “those asshole parents.”
7. Oliver has bumper pads in his crib. Yes, those much-maligned panels of cushiony goodness surround my baby’s sleeping space, and I know for a fact I’m not the only mom doing this. Bumpers are still sold in baby stores, and let’s face it, baby stores don’t stock products that don’t sell. I wouldn’t recommend that anyone else follow our lead (in fact, I’d categorically advise against it), but if you watched a mere five minutes of “Oliver Cam” (our video baby monitor), you would understand our decision. The kid does not stop moving, and without bumper pads, we’d undoubtedly be running into his bedroom every half hour throughout the night to extricate yet another trapped limb.
8. I let a hobo touch my baby. Not just any hobo, mind you, but my long-time neighbourhood panhandler whom I’ve known for years. He was so excited to meet then six-week-old Oliver that he leaned his face in super close and grabbed Oliver’s little hand, all the while cooing and oohing and ahhing over him. I cringed (his hands were filthy!), but I just didn’t have the heart to ruin a fleeting moment of happiness in this gentle soul’s otherwise tragic life — even for my baby. I immediately took Oliver home and scrubbed him.
Okay, it’s time to ‘fess up. What are your worst parenting transgressions?
- Cassie at Mama PhD ‘N Training discusses her cloth diapering dilemmas, and how they might be interfering with the progress of her dissertation.
- Carmen at I Love Being Mom shares the guilt and relief that came with the end of her breastfeeding relationship.
- Quinn at Sun Flower and Sunshine (whose baby is due any day now!) confesses her third trimester diet debauchery.
- Cheryl at Mommy & Co. learns firsthand why her mom may have made some of the parenting mistakes she did.
- Vicky at TGAW shares some of the hilarious mishaps of computer programmers turned parents.