Before I was a mom, I would look at other people’s kids and think to myself “really, how hard can it be? Why are their mouths always covered in something?” Now, I joke with my mom friends that I’m THAT mom whose kid has a permanent smear of some sort: i.e: reminence of teething cracker (aka: paper mâché for their mouths), banana mush, or drool.
Then, when I sit down with other moms to talk about our “problems,” i.e: sleep depravation, wetting through diapers, and rashes; I always feel like the sweaty frazzled mom. My kid, the only one screaming, smearing something impossible sticky all over herself, and who’ll only be soothed by the “nunu,” a word for boob which I lovingly adopted after watching the trailers to a documentary about African women who nurse until their “babies” are 6 or 7.
While other moms talk about their babies “sleeping through the night,” “eating solids like a pro,” “pooping in their potties,” and “taking their bottles,” but “not fitting into the right size clothing for their age which is such a hassle- ugh!” and “eating so much food that it’s hard to keep up,” I feel my palms clam up and my back drip with sweat. What the…? Did I break my child?
My friends problems sound like solutions – humph.
My baby wants to be on me 24/7, and by “on” I mean, standing on my lap, eating my face. She will only fall asleep on my boob. I call her my “little leech,” because she nurses through the night and wakes up about, oh 6 to 20 times, because the nipple falls out of her mouth. She doesn’t eat that much people food, because she still prefers the nunu best of all, and she barely just now started to stand up on her own. Did I mention she’s a year old? I know, I know, your baby walked at 9 months. I know.
So, as I drove home in a panic because I realized I’m the only psychotic mother who didn’t introduce a paci, didn’t pump (that much), still nurses 24/7, co-sleeps for naps and at night, wears her baby even while going #2, and can’t eat unless it’s maneuvering over my four-limbed octopus, I decided to feel better about myself and come up with 5 things I’m definitely doing right, and other moms should do too…so there.
1) KEEP SUNSCREEN IN YOUR CAR, not for baby, but for YOU. My mom once told me I should always protect the appearance of my hands, because you can tell a woman’s age by her hands. I always have sunscreen in the pocket of my drivers seat and spray it on before hitting the road. No sun spots for this momma. 2) WEAR GLOVES WHEN YOU WASH THE DISHES. Under the same premise as her previous advice, my mom taught me to always wash dishes wearing gloves. Soap scrapes off the natural oils on your skin and with time creates dryness, wrinkles, and abrasiveness. It’s established so strongly in our home, that we have “His & Hers” dish gloves, and my hubby will proudly rock his pink ones as he scrubs the dishes.
3) TAKE YOUR VITAMINS AND GIVE BABY HIS/HERS TOO…especially Fish Oil. Many women take vitamins for the first time when they get pregnant. They overdose on pre-natal support and once baby is out, drop it like it’s hot. Not this momma! I’ve had extensive education on the deficit of nutrition in our soil, food, and water, and have learned that no amount of “real” foods (which is what 80% of my diet consists of) can make up for the necessity in your body for cellular nutrition. I supplement daily, and I give my daughter her vitamins (high in iron and vitamin d) and baby formulated fish oil (100% mercury free). I always take vitamin D and Fish Oil myself, essential for mommy brain and mood swings…don’t pretend like you don’t have those too. 4) DRINK YOUR GREENS. A friend once asked me if I juiced “a lot.” I wanted to respond, “what’s your definition of ‘a lot’?” I have smoothies and green juices at least once a day if not twice and make them for hubby and baby too. I find it interesting that moms will feed their kids processed food from pouches (and I do too on occasion), but will be so scared to give them a “raw” green juice for fear of what’s in it. I’ll tell you what’s in it – bacteria! And fiber, and good carbs, and fats, and plant proteins, and antioxidants, and all the things baby needs to be healthy and strong. Bacteria is good! Pasteurized products are often lacking essential nutrients that only the raw goodies can offer.
Here’s my current smoothie obsession: 1 cup homemade almond milk, 1 bunch organic kale, 1 small Persian cucumber peeled, 1 large banana or two small, 1 scoop plant based protein powder, plus water and ice to desired thickness.5) WALK AND DO YOGA. If there’s anything you can teach your child from a very young age, is that an active lifestyle is a happy lifestyle. Walking and doing yoga are part of my DAILY routine. In fact, they are a priority in my life. I know yoga changed my life from negative to positive years back and as a mom, a daily dose of fresh air, sunshine, and dirty sneakers is all I need to change my sleepless nights into glorious days. By showing my daughter that sunny skies and deep breathing is the best medicine, I’m teaching her by example, and these little ones are imitation machines.
I may not have it all together. My baby will cry when we hang out. You might have to remind me of your name two or three times because I’m sleep deprived, I might have to rock my baby to sleep in my carrier while in the middle of lunch while yours sleeps peacefully in the stroller, and I will show you my nips at some point or another so take cover. But, I do some other things right for myself and for my little one, and maybe, just maybe, we can learn a thing or two from each other.