If someone told me several years ago during my sorority days that I would use cloth diapers as a mommy, I would have laughed so hard my solo cup of hunch punch would have soaked their shoes. In my party girl mind, being a mommy would mean jars of baby food, lots of formula, and the YMCA nursery while I got my run in for the day. I was never going to give a pacifier (the dental bills!), never going to take my child to a nice restaurant at night (didn’t those parents know about babysitters?), never going to let the baby in my bed (um, hello, mommy needs sleep). And baby wearing? Please. I would be wearing the baby for nine months. Someone else could hold him after he was born.
And then life happened. My husband and I decided to try for our first child. Me, being the consummate party planner, began my research on how to conduct the best pregnancy possible. So began my attempt at being the healthiest pregnant mommy that walked the earth. Organic? Check. Extra folic acid? Check. Daily walking? You got it. My research and luck payed off, and my husband and I were blessed with a little blue bundle of absolute perfection. Our sweet boy, Sullivan, arrived in November. ?Then, everything I ever thought I would be as a mother was wrong.
First it was the breastfeeding. “Six weeks”, I said. “Anything more than that skeeves me out, and I’m not into it.” Here we are four months later, still breastfeeding. I enjoy it, and the little guy won’t take formula for all the money in the world. He likes his mommy’s boobs, thankyouverymuch. Will I continue doing it for another year? Probably not. Was it hard as hell to start? Absolutely. It hurt. A lot. But Sullivan was a natural nurser, and thankfully we had few problems. Nursing has been by far the easiest path for us.
Next, the pacifier. While not exactly a “crunchy” accessory, it’s an absolute necessity. For all those moms that I’ve ever judged for stuffing one in your screaming child’s mouth, I apologize. You were right.
Let’s also talk solids. Sullivan isn’t old enough for fruits and veggies yet, but I’m prepared. Armed with a steam basket and a food processor, I plan on making all his food while he is on purees. A) It’s cheaper. B) I know exactly what goes into it. I can be certain his food is nothing but natural. Does that mean I think jarred food is bad? Nah. I just like the idea of Sully’s first foods being as pure as possible.
And the restaurants? Yes. I have been that mother that has taken a three-month-old out to dinner to a nice restaurant. I’ve tried to keep him quiet, but he’s probably disturbed a few diners. But here’s the thing, a babysitter isn’t always available, and this mommy has got to get out of the house occassionally. Sometimes, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. You have got to do things for yourself.
Also, the baby carrier is my best friend. I won the lottery of Velcro babies, and my little man wants to be held. All.The.Time. The first few weeks, I walked around trying to do my chores with one hand while the other arm shook from holding a baby all day. Then I got smart. I went to our local baby superstore and snatched up a Baby Bjorn. I’ll be honest. Some days, the Bjorn isn’t close enough. Sully seems to sense there is a piece of fabric between he and his mommy and pitches a bloody fit. However, most days the Bjorn is an absolute lifesaver. Baby gets held. I get things done without feeling like my arms are going to fall off, and everyone wins.
Finally, cloth diapering. I believe my exact words when my mother first suggested cloth diapering were, “That’s disgusting. I don’t want to know anything about it.” Sullivan had different ideas. His little heiny was very sensitive to disposables. He broke out in a horrible, bleeding diaper rash the first month. In the next few weeks, Sully and I are jumping into the world of cloth diapering. Cloth diapers, here we come! I cannot wait to get started.
So here’s the thing, you can’t guess at what kind of mommy you’re going to be until you actually find yourself there. My ideas, my beliefs, my practices have changed so dramatically in the past four months. I’ve learned that motherhood is not a “one size fits all” deal. And maybe, just maybe, party girls can learn how to be crunchy, too.