Blogging Baby Size Six: Six things I swore I'd never do as a mom
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1. Eat my dinner cold. After organizing a particularly busy family lunch, my cousin Ellen looked at me and said, "Get used to eating your dinner cold." I smiled and nodded, frightened by the statement. Later my best friend and I laughed it off. "She doesn't know what she's talking about," Liz pshawed. "We're more together than that. You'll put the baby's food in front of him and then you'll serve yourself." What I didn't know then was the 42 times I'd have to get up from the table to get another food item because the child refuses to eat what's put in front of him.
2. Wipe my child's face with spit. Oh how I hated my parents' freshly licked fingers making a beeline for my cheek. I swore to high heaven that I would never do this to my own child. And I could have stuck to it -- if I could remember to bring wipes every time we go somewhere.
3. Put him in disposable diapers. "I'm going to get a cloth diaper service," I boldly told my friend Layal, a mom to two. She laughed hysterically. "Sure," she said sarcastically, "You go ahead and try that. Let me know how that works out for you." I was defiant. "I will," I retorted. And then I met those early poops. The ones that laugh in the face of cloth. The ones that seep through and splash up to the neck. And well... at least Toronto recycles its disposables, right?
4. Talk about poo. I wasn't going to spend all day talking about diapers and sleeping habits. I was going to talk about feminist literature and all the great movies I got out to see that week. I didn't have other mom friends, so who would even be engaging me in poo talk? Then, during a visit with our hyper-intelligent, journalist friends from out West, (incidentally the new parents of twins) we all exploded. "Can you believe the size?" "Oh just wait 'till he starts eating meat!" It was as if we'd been backed up in poo talk. The floodgates had been opened. Oh the relief!
5. Buy anything other than organic. I was a socially-conscious downtown hipster. I know the facts about pesticides and VOCs. It was going to be organic cotton sheets and onesies. Nary a pesticide would enter my son's mouth if I could help it. He would only drink goat's milk like my ancestors did. I would never feed him take out or Kraft dinner. Um, yeah, right. As we used to say in high school, "And then you woke up." Oh I try, but the organic store is so expensive. And far. And I am so tired. Heck, I wasn't even breastfed and I turned out OK...
6. Let myself go. I wasn't going to spend my days in sweats and greasy ponytails, wearing the same sweater every day. I was going to be a yummy mummy. I would take the hour to look fabulous each morning. And read newspapers. And iron my freshly washed pants. I sure as hell wasn't going to walk around with birthday cake on my sweater! Heh.
The bottom line is this: once I let go of these ideals and stopped trying to be what I thought was the perfect mother, I could relax enough to enjoy my son and be the mother I was meant to be.
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