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January 13, 2012

Questions & Answers

Below are a few questions - that as a new mom - I get often & attached are my answers:

Question #1 - So far, what advice do you have for me?
{We have LOTS of friends expecting babies right behind us,
and this is a question many of them have asked.}

My Answer: Do not compare yourselves to other moms and do not compare your baby to other babies. This is one I still struggle with at times. I have found myself in a number of situations (before and after having Caleb) where other moms have wanted to tell me exactly how to do things. While what they are saying may have worked for them, it does not necessarily mean it's going to work for someone else. Only you know your baby [and your situation] best - Trust your instincts, and do what you feel is best. This does not mean you shouldn't read-up, research, and ask questions to professionals and friends you trust, but avoid those who constantly offer their opinion without your asking - and if you find yourself in a situation where you can not avoid them, be ready to let their words roll like water off a duck's back. I'm still learning how to do this and am currently being coached by my mother and a few close friends.

I love the following article related to this topic {from What to Expect}:
Sometimes it seems as if everyone thinks they know what's best for your baby — and they're willing to share their nuggets of knowledge, whether you ask them or not. Then there are those delightful people who feel compelled to point out what you're doing wrong as a mother, as if their child-rearing experiences automatically make them an expert.
Unwanted advice and comments can definitely drive a mom crazy — but only if you let them. Next time you're faced with a judgmental know-it-all (and she may even be your sister or best friend) remind yourself that no one knows your baby better than you do — and that, yes, she really does like to play with her earlobes or that no, she wouldn't really prefer to nap three hours in the afternoon instead of two.
Try to keep your cool no matter how tempting it may be to snidely dismiss the advice or overwhelm the person with a host of facts that prove how right you are. While either tactic may be effective in shushing the offender, neither will foster friendly relations, and you may end up stewing over the encounter for the rest of the day (or longer!).
Your best bet? Let them say their piece (and listen with an open mind, because occasionally you will get useful advice), smile graciously (if through gritted teeth), then thank the person for their input, and move on. If the advice is coming from a friend or relative whom you know you'll encounter again, you might also offer a simple explanation of your choices. For example, if your mother-in-law wonders aloud why you're still nursing your ten-month-old, describe the benefits of continued breastfeeding and the recommendation that it continue through at least the first year of a baby's life. Then, once you've had your say, change the subject to cue the other person that the topic, as far as you're concerned, is not open for debate.

Question #2 - Are you breastfeeding?
My Answer: Yes! Has it been easy? No! While Caleb "latched on" perfectly and started feeding right away, this was a very hard thing to tackle while recovering from such a difficult delivery. There were days when I didn't know if I could continue, but I pressed on and I can honestly say that we are now at a point where I am able to enjoy giving Caleb this gift. I never thought I'd get past the pain and exhaustion, but it got easier and for that I am very thankful.

Question #3 - Is your baby sleeping through the night?
My Answer: Since "sleeping through the night" is technically 5-6 hours (for a four month old), then yes - He is sleeping through the night. However, I am still awake during much of that time - completing my "After Caleb Goes to Bed To-Do List"; so I miss out on the benefits of his current version of "sleeping through the night".

Question #4 (This is probably the one I get the most.) - Do you miss teaching?
My Answer: I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE teaching! I miss the kiddos that had - over the years in some way - started to feel like mine, and I miss working alongside so many great people, but I do not miss these things enough to leave my sweet boy in the care of someone else in order to go back. I am enjoying my moments with him; and trust me, the moments are flying by far too quickly for my liking. Sometimes, I wish I could stop the clock...While teaching has always been toward the top of the list of things I'm passionate about, being "mommy" is number one!