I didn't let my kids watch tv, eat candy before noon, have meltdowns in the grocery store, wear stains on their clothes or sleep in our bed. We went out to eat whenever we pleased, we never resorted to the germ infested mall play place and they were always content sitting in the front of the cart whilst I browsed the clearance end caps of Target.
And while I have to admit that Logan has been a fairly willing participant in my grand plan, she still has her moments and my days of "pre-parent idealism" are chucked out the window. Days where the tv is on all morning, breakfast is eaten on the couch in the form of "pouch" anything, candy is used as bribery all the livelong day, nights where she drifts off to sleep smack dab in the middle of Chris and several days a week when I really don't shower (a harsh parenting reality that I used to brush off as a thatmommustjustbelazy myth).
Although Weston is only just shy of two weeks (!!) old, we have been asked several times already if it's easier this time around. In which the answer is undoubtedly...yes.
Chris and I have commented that it has taken days, and sometimes even just hours, to figure out solutions to potential bumps in the road with Weston, where as the same issues took months to figure out with Logan. Case in point: reflux. I spotted it dead on with W on day 7 and by day 9, he had a prescription for Zantac. We struggled to figure out why Logan had the exact same symptoms for months before the doctor diagnosed her with reflux at almost 5 months! That's a whole-lotta heartache we saved this time. In addition to being able to identify problems faster, the solutions themselves are getting more creative.
It has taken me the last 2 1/2 years with Logan to grasp the idea of, 'whatever works' rather than striving for an ideal model of parenting because some days, any method of creating peace is worth breaking some rules.
This go-around, 'Whatever Works' is my mantra.
The idea is certainly not for everyone, and if you were like me pre-parent, sometimes causes some extreme eyebrow raising. I would have likely scoffed at more than half of the things I am willing to try while being an actual parent of two. 'Whatever works' usually breaks at least one rule in several books on any given occasion, but alas, as the theory states: it works.
Guilty as charged, here are a few of the ways in which I'm able to keep the house organized, the masses happy and eek in a bit of me time (how do you think I am able to write this post after all?) in addition to some overall parenting shortcuts.
- As mentioned before, Logan almost always eats breakfast on the couch while watching tv. This is generally when I check my email, Facebook, blog, shop online and pay bills.
- Likewise, we can often be caught eating lunch in the car. If I know that we will be cutting the morning close to nap time, I try and have her fed so that when we return home, I can slip her into her crib for the afternoon rather than delaying by squeezing in lunchtime. Fear not, we always eat dinner at some sort of table as not to always be on the go.
- I'm a big fan of snacks, stickers and crayons being staples in my diaper bag for when we get caught somewhere less than entertaining, like the car dealership for a repair for example.
- I pretty much let Logan take whatever she wants to bed with her. Sometimes, she sleeps surrounded by a million books and animals and blankets, but hey - she's sleeps 8 hours and it works for us. I did not put these things in her crib until recently, so no need to worry about SIDS. In this case anyways...
- But now you can worry if you must. Because in order to get Weston calmed down after a fussy bout of eating, stomach works best. And I admit to letting him nap in this stomach-down position every now and then...
- The Moby Wrap. I'm a big BIG fan of wearing Weston in the form of Moby. The wrap has been known to keep out little man content for three hours without a peep. Logan hated this thing with a passion, but we started wrapping her much later than with Weston. My neighbor suggested using it from day one and so far, he loves it!
...right about now, you may be thinking he sleeps a lot, yes? And he does. Granted he is only 11 days old, but for the most part he is a napping and eating machine at this point with little in between.
- Speaking of eating, I may do this on occasion:
It's one perk to not being able to breastfeed exclusively. Eating via the bottle certainly makes for more options in terms of feeding including "propping" the bottle and employing the help of your significant other.
- While getting ready in the morning (or mid day or in the evening for that matter), I have found a solution to keeping Weston away from Logan, I mean harms way, for the thirty minutes in which I am in the bathroom. This carseat canopy (click TODAY for a 40% off promotion) in addition to the carseat keeps him contained, fuss free and out of sight for the most part. Logan never did figure out where he was on this particular occasion ;)
I could go on and on but I think you get the point.
I am by no means meeting my expectations of a perfect parent nor what I envisioned my parenting skills to be like. I am however, happy. And my babies seem to happy and healthy-ish (heheh) on most occasions.
So if you were to ask me my best parenting advice today, I would be telling you the truth when I say, "Do whatever works!"