“Babywearing, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, hippie mama ISO mentor mom”.
If there was a classified service to meet mother friends this would be my headline. For being a first time mom with no close friends that are mothers I have relied on the internet to help me figure out which way is up in regards to parenting. I like to think that I’ve been doing pretty good so far but you can’t never know enough.
Thus the reason why I would love to have a mentor mom. I got this concept from the Rookie Mom blog and I must say that I see great potential in it.
“the most experienced mom is the one who is six to eight months ahead of you in parenthood; any bigger gap than that and they’ve forgotten what you’re going through.”
A six-months-more-seasoned mom has the best you-only-needed-it-for-five-months gear, the best hand-me-downs, and the greatest tips on what mistakes to avoid. She has already researched the playgrounds with the shady benches (and clean bathrooms!) as well as which coffee shops look at you funny if you breastfeed.
When you hit toddlerdom, she’s freaked out about researched preschools before you even thought about it. But, unlike your annoying sister-in-law, she still remembers your nap schedule and why separation anxiety is normal and not a fault of your crappy version of parenting.
How could anyone forget what you’re going through? Isn’t this the most life-changing event ever? Yet now, if a friend hands me her 6-week old so that she can tie her shoe, I think Holy wobbly head! Was my baby ever this small?
Google has been my mentor mom so far and I’m very grateful for it coming through for me whenever I wonder if it’s a growth spurt, teething, or have no clue is going on. But it’s still good to have human interaction. I think that is why I enjoy going to La Leche League so much, it’s great to interact with other moms with similar parenting styles.
I feel that It is unnecessary to defend breastfeeding in public. To me, it’s like walking in public. It’s a basic human right. Sadly the rest of the world doesn’t feel that way and we have to turn to the law to protect this right. I’m blessed to live in a state that has a law protecting my baby’s right to eat wherever he needs to.
Sadly most people are not aware of this law. I have gotten the exact state of the Florida statute printed on a laminated card that I carry on my wallet. I have never had to flash it as someone harassing me, instead I’ve had to show it to other moms that would approach me with the “that’s why I didn’t breastfeed, I wanted to be able to leave the house”.
Since when does breastfeeding your baby entails house arrest?!
As I keep adding to the list of public places that I’ve breastfed, I enjoyed a very interesting experience. I wanted to avoid being home when the pest control guy came over and I wanted the fumes to dissipate before I brought Shammy back. This meant that I had to nurse while out so I sat down in the dining area of a local department store and got down to it. An employee approached me and for a moment I tensed up thinking that she was going to ask me to stop or something but instead she was offering me use of a back room for privacy. I found that nice of her but I thanked her and informed her that we were just fine in her. Her response? “I just didn’t want you to be embarrassed”. Embarrassed?
“Embarrassed” is probably the least applicable word for breastfeeding in public. Self-conscious, sure, sometimes. Frustrated and fumbling trying to balance the kid while minimizing flesh exposure, yes. But not embarrassed at all.
To be clear, I don’t care if a woman chooses to cover for personal reasons, but I think it should be up to each mom and babe whether to cover or not. I never cover… never see the need to and Shammy doesn’t like it and makes a fuss if I try. Many times people didn’t know I was nursing. Discretion is key, and can be managed with practice.
Shammy’s biological clock has not adjusted to the end of Daylight Savings Time. This means that he goes to sleep at 7:30pm which is great to enjoy some relaxation time before bed but it sucks that he’s up at 6am instead of 7. Hopefully we’ll adapt soon and find a happy medium.
In the growing front, we are now using the Ergo carrier without the infant insert. Technically it’s supposed to be used until 4-5 months but he already has excellent head control and he enjoys being able to look around. Plus the carrier is now way easier to use.
Speaking of carriers, I have my original Baby K’Tan for sale along with other slings and some cloth diapers (pockets and covers). Comment if curious, at some point I’ll post a listing on Under My Crib or Diaper Swappers, gotta finish getting the stash organized and photographed.
And speaking of photographs… Shammy has overcome his papparazzi aversion and instead of trying to grab the camera from my hand will now smile for it. In 10 minutes I have been able to photograph more smile than in the last month combined. This is a good time to take him to a photo studio for some portraits.
Is my baby really cuter than others? I’ve refrained from making a judgment since I’m obviously biased but I have noticed that strangers seem to become rather obsessed with how cute he is. More so than I would expect. The other day I was at a consignment store and a customer was showing off her newborn girl, she got a “nice, congratulations!”, they saw Shammy and they start with “oh my good, he’s so cute!”, I even had a little girl, probably 8 years old comment on how cute my baby is. I felt bad for the other mom that was looking at us with a “what about my baby?” look on her face.
I was approached to submit his photo for a contest to be on the cover of American Baby magazine, as cute as that would be I wouldn’t want my son on the cover of a publication that I disagree with so much. Now if Mothering magazine is interested that would be a different story, lol.
On the sign language front, I’m gradually introducing signs to Shammy. I’m keeping it simple emphasizing one sign for now and occasionally sprinkling others during conversation. I’m using the sign for milk to signify nursing, hoping that when he learns it he’ll use it in public instead of trying to pull my shirt down. I can tell that he’s intrigued by it, every time I use signs he gets serious and very intent on what is going on as if he is analyzing it.
On the cloth diaper front, I need to get some new covers, Shammy is outgrowing the most frequently used ones (my favorite prints) and I only have 2 one size covers, one of which can be tricky to adjust. If anybody finds a tie dye cover, send a link my way.