I am the Tony Stark of parenting!

I am a goddamn parenting genius! .

.

.

.

OK, fine. Slight exaggeration.

Maybe I just exude parental confidence. {While inwardly I am pulling my hair out strand by strand and sitting in a corner holding myself and rocking back and forth.}

Whatever the case may be, people ask me for advice all the time.

It ranges from prenatal questions all the way to potty training and back again. And for the record, I am definitely not an expert in any of these things by any conventional definition.

What I am is a mama. I have almost 6 years of seniority in this position and according to a recent personality test I took (more on that in a later post) I have an above average amount of behavioural adaptability. Which I think is just fancy talk for I just know how to go with the flow!

I also like to listen to my instincts. My gut, so to speak. And for the most part, (teensy bit of bragging here) my gut is rarely wrong.

Why am I telling you all this?

It started last week when my lovely friend and kicks-my-ass-weekly personal trainer, Jessica, asked me for some sleep advice for one of her 5 month old twins. One was sleeping in his crib just fine and the other one just could not do it without Jessica being there with him.

Now of course, my first reaction when anyone asks me for baby sleep advice is to laugh out loud, because, as you may know, I have not had a full night of uninterrupted sleep since December of 2006.

My second reaction is to ask more questions. How does he usually sleep? What does he need? What (or who) is his comfort?  Jess answered all of these and the main theme that I uncovered was that he needed HER. The problem is that she needed her sleep.

So, in my infinite parental wisdom, I said, "Give him your shirt."

Huh?

Here is the way I understand it. Babies imprint on us. Yes, imprint, just like in Twilight with Jacob and baby Renesmee. It's an instant and forever bond and a big part of that has to do with our senses. Touch, taste, hearing, smell and sight. So when Jessica told me that Baby R needed her and she needed to be sleeping in her own bed, I said give him your shirt.

Because it smells like her. The first scent that he ever smelled, his soothing imprint, his mama.

So she did. She gave him her "I just taught two fitness classes, this smells A LOT like me" top and a few hours later I got this tweet.

https://twitter.com/infinitefit/status/256248507684491264

And yesterday, she texted me this sweet (sweaty shirt) photo!

It has been a week and he is still sleeping at nights all snuggled up with his mama's shirt.

Therefore, I believe this makes it official.

I AM a genius!

Patent-pending of course, but in the meantime feel free to use my very scientific GTFTS "technique" (which by the way, I have also used with some success with toddlers too)!

Happy Sleepy Times Mamas,

Natasha~

 

 

Mothers Before Me: Lessons for a New Life.

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival! This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about how the mothers before you influenced your choice to breastfeed. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


I know that I was breastfed as an infant. For all of six weeks. And then my mother had an acute case of appendicitis and had to have surgery and was told she could no longer nurse me. This was in 1972 and she was a 21-year-old new wife, new mom and a person who was not, nor has ever been one to question the wisdom of her doctors. And that was the end of our breastfeeding relationship.

She had three more children in quick succession after me and all three of them were breastfed for at least 6 months each, if not longer. We lived in the country, my dad was a ranch hand on a cattle farm and I guess if it was good enough for the cows and horses then it was good enough for the kids! And we were kind of dirt poor too and that formula stuff was more than we could realistically afford!

I mostly remember seeing my youngest brother nurse. I was four years old when he was born and I remember my mom always saying that Desmond was born on the breast and never left it! I also have a very clear image of my mother giving myself and my two younger brothers baths together and "squirting" us with her milk. Oh, don't make faces, it was a fun bath time game back then!

To be perfectly honest aside from my own mother, I don't remember seeing other mothers nursing while I was growing up. I was born in the early 70's and perhaps the big breastfeeding resurgence of the late 1970s and 1980s had not hit our local hospitals yet, or maybe the fiasco of formula marketing that Nestle and other formula manufacturers had unleashed on third world countries was not yet common knowledge. Whatever the case and reasons for it, breastfeeding was just not something that I saw a lot of, nor was it something that was talked about either.

I don't think that I thought much about breastfeeding or really started to notice whether or not people were indeed doing it until I was pregnant with my first child. It was a complicated pregnancy with a few months of bedrest and a guaranteed premature delivery and I had a lot of time to read about what I needed to do to ensure a healthy and strong baby. Breastfeeding was number ONE on that list!

Unfortunately, no amount of reading about breastfeeding can ever fully prepare you for the full experience itself. And I have to say that it wasn't until I met other committed breastfeeding mothers at my local La Leche League and SAW for myself how normal and wonderful and amazing of an experience it truly could be, that I fully appreciated how important it is for all women, of all ages, to SEE for themselves breastfeeding in action and know that it is a normal and incredibly awesome way to nurture and nourish a child.

Today the kids and I had lunch with a good friend, her 4-year-old daughter and her 8-week old little baby girl. As we were all getting ready to leave the baby woke up and started to get all fussy and was full on crying by the time we made it to our respective cars. My two and a half year old {nursling} daughter turned and said to me, "Mommy, Baby P is hungry and needs to nurse on her mommy's boobies."

'Nuff said.

My job is done.

Natasha~

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

~Mahatma Ghandi


Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Spring Fever

It is definitely spring in my neck of the woods this week. And to further prove that point, it seems that my mind and my body have gone into full-fledged Spring Fever mode. The result... ....I want another baby!

I think.

I mean I am pretty sure I do. Natural Urban Dad is not so sure. We are not quite on the same page just yet in this regard, either way. I keep telling him that three is the new two and he keeps telling me that he needs us to just settle into our life and not add more stressors to it.

I see his point and I know what he means. For us having babies is not always an easy ride. I have to be off my RA meds, a certain, ahem, device needs to be removed, and then well there is the whole getting pregnant part (fun) and then the pregnancy part (can be fun, but is often not for me).

Add to the equation the fact that I am a soon to be 40 year old woman and the risks that that entails with pregnancy and really it does look like the cards are stacked against me.

Yet still, my heart, my mind and my body yearn for another baby.

Maybe I am just ovulating and have a huge hormone surge happening right now. Or maybe all the oxytocin that has floated around in my system for the last four years of breastfeeding has effectively erased my memories of how tough this job really is.

And maybe, just maybe I am seeing my babies grow up and need me less and less (L refused to let me help her down the stairs today) and that realization, although wonderful for them and their developing little minds, is a bittersweet one for me.

20110420-050952.jpg

A little delirious with {spring} fever, Natasha~