The Baby Stage Goes By So Fast

pair of baby girl shoesA few days ago, I went over to my friends’ house to meet their new baby boy. Since having my own babies, I can really appreciate how lucky I am to have a chance to visit during the first few weeks of a baby’s life. I feel so lucky whenever friends or family let me in on this intimidate time.

The new mama is often hurting in delicate areas and the new dad is often overwhelmed. I can appreciate just how much effort it is to put a happy expression on your face when you are really a weepy ball of hormones that is also leaking milk. You know that you are really in the category of ‘close friends’ when new parents ask you to come over and spend a few hours with them and their new little one.

Continue reading “The Baby Stage Goes By So Fast”

It Goes By So Fast

pair of baby girl shoesA few days ago, I went over to my friends’ house to meet their new baby boy. Since having my own babies, I can really appreciate how lucky I am to have a chance to visit during the first few weeks of a baby’s life. I feel so lucky whenever friends or family let me in on this intimidate time. The new mama is often hurting in delicate areas and the new dad is often overwhelmed. I can appreciate just how much effort it is to put a happy expression on your face when you are really a weepy ball of hormones that is also leaking milk. You know that you are really in the category of ‘close friends’ when new parents ask you to come over and spend a few hours with them and their new little one.

Continue reading “It Goes By So Fast”

A Survival Guide for Introverts Parenting Small Children

Recently I saw a thread on social media in which other introvert-parents were lamenting how they never get to be alone anymore. One of the people on the thread hadn’t been home alone for over a year. She said that since her baby was born, her only time to herself was during her commute to work. Ouch.

I just want to tell this woman and anyone else that never gets time to yourself: I’ve been there and it wasn’t healthy for me.

Continue reading “A Survival Guide for Introverts Parenting Small Children”

Please Stop Body-Shaming My Baby Girl

My baby girl is barely four months old, but she’s already the size of a six month old.

She weighs about eighteen pounds.

At her last check up, she measured above the ninetieth percentile for both height and weight. She is a very big baby.  Her thighs are each made up of three soft rolls of flesh. And her cheeks are so chubby that her face is wider than it is long.

My little girl’s big proportions are a source of pride for me.  Every pound she’s gained represents countless late-night feedings.  Her growth is my reward for enduring clogged milk ducts and exposing my breast during every public outing and family dinner.  My baby is healthy and beautiful and actually, she’s height-weight proportionate.

My older child was also a large baby. But unlike my baby girl, no one seemed to feel the need to constantly discuss my first child’s weight because he was a little boy.  When my son was two months old, his cheeks hung down like a bull dog.  They dwarfed his chin, which sat between them like a punctuation mark.  People talked about how he was cute. They said they had always wanted to have a baby with big cheeks.

No one ever worried over my son’s future BMI or tried to convince me to feed him less.

baby, mommy, cheeks,Now that I have a girl, her weight has been a constant topic of conversation.  Recently my husband posted a photo of our baby to his Facebook page.  In the picture, my daughter is dressed in a green and white striped dress.  He captioned the photo with the words, “My little girl,” or something like that.  I realize now that i probably made a mistake when I commented, “There’s nothing small about our girl.”  It was a stupid thing to say, but when I wrote it, what I really meant is that our baby is growing up so fast and she seems so mature already.  Unfortunately, people who saw my comment took it to mean that I was calling my daughter fat.  A handful of people began commenting on her size and what she was wearing.  “Maybe horizontal stripes aren’t her thing.”  Others wrote more comments trying to defend her.  I know that everyone was only joking around, and really there was no particular comment that offended me.  But as I read the thread beneath her picture, my heart sunk.  Here was my baby girl, only a few months old, and already her body was on display for others to critique or defend.  Can’t a baby just be a cute little baby?

Even though she’s a girl? Do we have to always pick apart her appearance?

baby, stripes, headband

The whole thread on Facebook could have been brushed aside if comments about my baby’s weight didn’t constantly happen in real life too: in the produce section of the grocery store, at a funeral reception, or when I hand my baby off and hear, “Wow! Hello, Chunk-Ball!” I know that the folks who are concerned that my little baby is destined for a future of obesity mean well, but it’s happening so frequently that it’s starting to bother me.  I’ve been asked by more than one person, “Are you sure you should be nursing her so often?” And another person suggested that I give her a bottle of water when she cries instead of always offering my breast.  Talking about my daughter’s weight feels strange and uncomfortable.  When I look at her, I just see a happy, healthy baby.  I love kissing her bald head and blowing raspberries against her soft tummy.

Being female is not easy. Body issues and learning how to accept ourselves is an ever-present struggle for almost every woman that I know.

I never thought that worrying about my daughter’s weight would start so young.  I thought we would get a few years; a little time for my girl to just be a cute baby.  I thought she had a little time before she started being judged by her appearance.  I thought she had a little bit of time before people started worrying about how much she ate.

I know that as my daughter grows up, no matter how skinny or fat she might be, people will continue to talk about her body and judge her by how she looks.  I know that right now she is so little that she doesn’t even comprehend these concepts. But as she grows, the struggle to keep her body-image from taking over her self-image is only going to get harder.  I want to teach my little girl that happiness needs to come from inside yourself.

That no matter how you look, what is most important is accepting who you are and loving yourself.  It doesn’t happen overnight, but it is possible.

baby, breast milk, smile

20 Questions 


Do you ever wonder what your child really thinks about you?  In graduate school, I had a class with a woman who had done a survey like this with her kids. In response to the question, “What does Mommy like to do best?” her son drew a picture of her washing the dishes. It ended up being the inspiration for her to go back to school and get her teaching certification!

Simple right? Now it’s your turn. Without any prompting, ask your child these 20 questions. Write down exactly what they say. If you feel like it, post your answers in the comments. Continue reading “20 Questions “

Reserved for Customers with Young Children

Before having kids, I thought those parking spaces reserved for shoppers with young children were ridiculous.

My husband and I would joke, “What’s next? Parking places that are only for red-haired people born on Tuesdays?”

The message board inside the store often has comments posted which say things like, “Where’s the single person parking?” or “Where is the parking for people who have dogs?” Reserved parking for certain people just because they are shopping with young kids? That’s not fair!


Now that I am constantly toting around two young kids of my own, I love these special parking spots. Sure, they are conveniently located right next to the front door, but really it is so much more than the shorter walk. Continue reading “Reserved for Customers with Young Children”

 If I Had The Chance To Do It All Over Again

Do you ever wish you could go back in time? What if you knew everything back in those first days of motherhood that you know now?

Here are a few of the things I would change if I could do it all over again…

 

1. I would not focus quite so much on my baby’s sleep patterns.

I was so fixated on trying to get my first baby to sleep through the night. I put a lot of energy into deciding which methods might be the best (least harmful) to make it happen. Looking back I realize that I was just scared I’d never get him to sleep through the night and therefore, I would never get a good night’s sleep again.

Continue reading ” If I Had The Chance To Do It All Over Again”

Motherhood Is…

In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to write something that captured the complex experience of being a mother. But I knew that was impossible.

One afternoon, I was walking along our quiet country road with my children. My three-year-old son was clinging to a fistful of crab apples that he refused to put down. His hand was small and sticky inside of mine. I could feel the warmth of my baby girl riding in her carrier against the front of my body. I thought to myself, if only I could put this feeling into words. But motherhood is more than the peaceful feeling of walking with your children, there are also moments when you are so frustrated you think your head might explode.

All of it is important. All of it is our experience as mothers. Continue reading “Motherhood Is…”

Saying It Out Loud (Guest Post)

saying it out loud

The first time I said “my child is autistic” I remember feeling as if I was in a movie where I could literally see the words floating in the air once they escaped my mouth…

And, God help me, I wanted to snatch them back. Continue reading “Saying It Out Loud (Guest Post)”

Motherhood Mysteries – The Very Important Things We’ve All Been Wondering About

motherhood mysteriesYou know you need some more grown-up time when you wake up in the middle of the night and your mind drifts to Clifford the Big Red Dog. Why is he so big? Why is he so red? How do that girl’s parents afford to feed him so much dog food? And somehow they were just okay with moving to a totally different house in order to accommodate Clifford’s size?

And how do my child possesses the ability to sleep at the most inconvenient times? He will never take a nap during a normal time but then he’ll randomly fall asleep five minutes before we need to leave the house. Continue reading “Motherhood Mysteries – The Very Important Things We’ve All Been Wondering About”