An Uncomplicated Life Blog

Monday, October 16, 2017

Total Lies Told To Me About Parenting

Every parent thinks they know best. These are the best lies I was told from other parents about parenting!

Just like every soon to be parent, I thought I knew exactly how things would go when my child was born. I thought I'd breastfeed for at least a year (hahahahaha) and I thought we'd co-sleep (aaaaahahahahaha hell no) and I thought a whole lot of things. In addition, I had people tell me a whole lot of things about my thoughts on parenting. These people could see my ignorance, and they also wanted to take out their own short comings on me. These, my friends, are the biggest "I told you so" parenting lies I was told!

Common myths and lies told to new parents about parenthood, babies, toddlers and children

"You'll end up letting your kids eat in the car."
I was adamant about never letting my kids eat in the car. Have you ever seen a car where the parents allow the kids to eat in the car seats?! It's a wreck. The car stinks. There's literally crap and food particles everywhere! I told all my friends and family that I'd never let my kids eat in the car, and they laughed at me. "Oh, just you wait!" they said with creepy glee, as if they were waiting for me to fail. Well wait on, jerkholes, because my kids still aren't allowed to have anything other than water in the car! Yup, I've made it 3 and a half years and there's no snacking in my car. See, I like nice cars. I drive a nice car. I like my nice car to actually be NICE. As in, clean, maintained, conditioned leather, washed, etc. And it is. What's the point of driving a luxury car if you treat it like crap?! Two kids later, and my car is still immaculate. We have snacks before we go places and I've actually taken food out of their hands and tossed it in the trash. My three year old will toss his own snacks because he knows there's no eating in the car! (I also don't eat in my car, ever, because you can't tell your kids not to do it then do it yourself.) So... That was a lie.

"You'll end up feeding your kids fast food."
Y'all know I don't do fast food. And by do, I mean eat it. I don't see a reason for it, honestly: Why can't you wait to get home to eat? Why can't you pack healthy snacks if you're going to be out and about for a while? Why don't you get healthy food at a sit down restaurant? This also plays into never eating in my car - we just don't eat and run or eat on the go. Ever. But when I told my friends and family that, they laughed. They said, "Oh just wait! You'll have a hungry kid and stop through a drive through!" Well, think again guys. Maybe I care too much what goes into my and my children's bodies, but I don't go to the drive thru. Like, ever. No eating in the car, and no fast food.

"You'll get your baby on a schedule, then have to break it because you want a life."
Now what is true is that I want a life... But what is not true is schedule breaking! Otto is the only napper left, so we do things in the morning before nap or in the afternoon after it. If we go out to eat, we go at 5pm so that we're home in time for a 7pm bedtime. We do NOT miss a nap and we don't do late bedtimes, ever! My kids (and me) are really into routines and while our daily activities change regularly, the structure of the schedule never does. When we do date nights we leave after 7pm (and are home well before 10pm, haha!) and if we go to a birthday party or some kind of daytime social event, it fits in with nap. Period. Why so crazy about the schedule? My kids walk themselves to bed at night and fall to sleep without issue. All I do to get Otto to nap is lay him in his crib and walk out. These kids know exactly when to sleep, thankyoubabyjesus.

"iPads will be your best friend when you have a toddler!"
NOPE. No. I've been against screen time since the beginning. My kids KNOW/were trained not to even touch my phone. In fact, Henry asks if he can carry it and put it in my purse and acts like it's a special treat when I say yes. We don't have the TV on until the 5:30 news and the boys get 20-30 minutes of a movie to watch as they drink a sippy of milk before bed. That's literally the extent of their screen time during the week. On weekends, Henry can play iPad games for an hour while Otto naps, and many times he plays with it for a half hour, then asks to go outside or simply puts it down to play with his real toys instead. I've been against over-stimulating musical/flashing light/noise making toys since day one. Personally I think it negatively impacts their social development, over stimulates them, and is bad for eye and brain health. So, ugh, yeah. I don't rely on screens, and that was a big ol' lie.

Why are these grown ups telling you all this rubbish, mommy?

Here's the thing about parenting: We all have our priorities. Some people will tell you total lies about YOUR parenting because you have different priorities. Clean car not your thing? Then you'll let your kids eat in it and it won't bother you. Healthy food not a major concern? Then you'll hit up the drive thru. Don't need good, consistent sleepers (and sleep yourself)? Then you'll throw off the schedule to attend that party or stay out late for a good supper. See what I mean? I'm sure I've told some mega lies about parenting to my own friends, because we prioritize differently.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

What Pregnancy is REALLY Like

Some women love it, others can barely stand it. Here's what pregnancy looked like for one woman with two very different experiences

This is a sponsored conversation my Mums The Word and The Stork OTC. All opinions are my own.

If you saw my post a few weeks back, hubs and I are on the fence about adding to our family. The thought of having a newborn again is frightening! It's also gotten me thinking about the two very difference experiences I had while pregnant. One was a breeze and one was extremely challenging. What if I get another challenging pregnancy?! Ahhh, there's so much to consider when family planning, isn't there? I've shared both of my birth stories here before (see here and here) but I haven't really talked about what those pregnancies were really like.

Henry was a surprise baby. Everyone thinks Otto was because he came so close after Henry, but oh no - it was Henry! It was October 2 and I was on a flight home from a day-long work trip to Houston. My period should have come at 10am that morning (yeah, I know even to the time of day when she's due to arrive) and it was now after 4pm. I had just run a half marathon a week before, so I figured that could be the cause of the delay. I ordered a glass of wine on the flight because I thought, "Oh girl, you better enjoy this while you can just in case!"

Next morning, I took a test and the test came back positive before the pee could even reach the control line. Well, hell! I thought. I'm going to need to figure out what to do about that wedding dress... And my bachelorette was planned for the following week. I wasn't immediately thrilled because of the timing, but hubs and I were planning on starting a family right away anyway so I got over the sober bachelorette and got excited about having a baby instead.

I felt nothing - no symptoms, nothing - for the first seven weeks. Then it was light a freight train hit me. I was nauseous, and had a non-stop headache but worst of all was the exhaustion. I remember being in my office at work and literally having to hold myself up at my desk, because sitting was too much work. I'd often leave work at 1 or 2pm and work the rest of the day from my couch, laying down. Soon, I developed such bad heartburn, I'd vomit my own stomach acid several times a day. I had serious food aversions and couldn't even let my husband eat meat around me or I'd heave and gag. I basically lived off avocado and cheese sandwiches and berries.

At 28 weeks gestation, I quit my job. The baby was breech and I swore he was going to head-butt his way out of my bellybutton. I was sick constantly. My face had changed shapes (my nose got HUGE) and I was retaining water everywhere. At 29 weeks gestation, I went into labor. My midwives put me on bed rest. At 35 weeks, I was referred to a MD to attempt an external cephalic version to turn the baby. It was unsuccessful and I was left covered in bruises. My midwives told me they were sorry, but there wasn't anything more they could do for me. I started the process of being transferred to an MD for a hospital birth, even though I had spent the last eight months preparing for a natural birth at the birth center.

At 36 weeks, my water broke. I called my husband to tell him he needed to come home and we googled directions to the hospital. We didn't even know where we were going because we didn't have time between the failed version and learning our way to our new birth location. We got to the hospital at 5:00 on a Friday, and had Henry four weeks early at 10:15pm via emergency c-section (they checked before they operated and yes, he was still stuck breech). My biggest memory was laying on the table, and having all the back pain immediately disappear as they pulled him out of me. I was SO glad to no longer be pregnant. Henry was, surprisingly, extremely healthy. He nursed right away and needed no NICU time despite his early birth date and being a white male, who notoriously have under-developed lungs.

Just 10 months later, we were ready to expand our family. My sister and I are only 18 months apart and were so close growing up, I wanted to provide that for my kids too. We tried for one month with no success. I talked with my mom, who was an infertility nurse for over 20 years, and she told me this was how she recommended women attempt to get pregnant: Have sex every other day the day your period ends. Keep your stress levels as low as possible and just have fun with it! My mom and I have the kind of relationship where that conversation wasn't awkward at all, and I took what she had to say to heart. I knew a part of my job would be managing my husband's stress levels too, since males play an equal role in conception. Since our kids would be so close and we had just started trying, we were able to keep things light and as "fun" as attempting conception could be!

The following month, I took a pregnancy test on Day 29 (the same day I found out when I was pregnant with Henry). It was negative. Dang it, I thought! Ok period, just get here so we can start again. My sister came into town, and we had a couple of late nights with wine. But my period never showed up. On day 35, I was super annoyed and went and bought what I thought was a bulk pack of pregnancy tests. I open them up, and wouldn't you know, I had just spent a fortune on ovulation tests! I became even more annoyed. I couldn't return an open box of tests! Luckily there was one pregnancy test in there. I took it, and again, the positive line turned before the control line.

With Otto, I became bloated and nauseous pretty much the day after the positive test. We had a big party planned for Henry's first birthday, and I spent a good amount of it sitting outside in the fresh air, trying not to get sick, sitting by myself! All of that started to clear up by 15 weeks and I felt much better.

I felt amazing in fact. I didn't have any heartburn. I had no back pain. He wasn't trying to create an escape route from my belly button like breech Henry did. He was head down. All was perfect! As far as pregnancies go, it was a breeze. I was able to work out the whole time and only put on 19 pounds (partially, I believe, because I was chasing after Henry the whole time). After the first trimester, I had no food aversions and could eat everything. In fact, I even loved spinach salads and all the other things "they" tell you to eat for a healthy pregnancy. 

My midwives welcomed me back to the birth center, but since I was only 19 months out from my c section, I decided to attempt my VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) at the same hospital with the same MD I was transferred to with Henry. I really liked the staff and loved the OB. I was 38 and a half weeks when my water broke at 2am with Otto, and 16 hours later I had him just the way I wanted, via VBAC.

The two pregnancies could not have been more different! One was a surprise and full of issues and massive discomfort. The birth went literally 180 degrees from the way I had wanted and planned. The other was planned and relatively easy. It was a textbook pregnancy and resulted in the birth I wanted. See, that's what pregnancy is REALLY like. You can do everything right and everything can get derailed. You don't get to know or prepare for how it will go. It could be easy and you love it, or it can be a long, hard nine months.

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