(Somehow my post got screwed up when I tried to update from my Iphone – I had to redo some of the it again)
We are about to celebrate our 8th anniversary. I really can’t believe…we made it this far. Seriously, there is so much I take for granted, and so, yea, it is a miracle, and definitely God’s very own grace that we are here today. (More on this later…)
We also just celebrated the babies’ 6 months. So I’ve naturally been thinking a lot about the kind of parent I’m becoming these days. It’s surprising, to be honest. I’m not sure if it’s because I feel like I’m flying by the seat of my proverbial yoga pants or if it’s because I’m living in Bloomington (college-town that’s kind of crunchy) but I find myself in a different place from where I first expected to be by now.
I thought that I’d be focused on the babies becoming somewhat “independent” by now…whatever that means. In the beginning they were sleeping in the crib literally from Day 1. I just couldn’t fathom sleeping in the same bed with them and in fact, I’d heard from a few people that they should be sleeping in another room – “it’s not a ‘big deal’ to walk a few extra steps to nurse them at night.” So, I thought that they would be in their cribs 14 hours each day.
Now, somehow we’ve gone from one beautiful crib to two beautiful cribs (given to us by generous members of our last churches) to two beds (as in putting the babies down in two separate beds, ie ours and the guest bed) to them sleeping in bed with me now at night. Yes, we are co-sleeping. And I love it. I thought friend-Laura Choi was crazy for doing it and now I can’t imagine surviving the nights without being sandwiched between two deliciously sweet babies. Because I also thought they’d be sleeping through the nights, too. HA!!! Anyways, actually…I do treasure these moments, their little looks, especially since I realize in that very tiny back part of my brain – that it won’t last forever.
Thankfully, the cribs are convertible so we will get some use out of them eventually.
I thought that I would have some kind of “schedule” for them. I’d started out following a pseudo-EASY (Baby Whisperer) and BabyWise routine. I know there are huge qualms about these methods but I needed a simple schedule to follow to make sure the babies were eating enough. Making them eat every 2.5/3 hours made sense and for good or bad, it worked out since they were supplementing big-time along with my breastfeeding them. They gained weight well.
Now, there’s no schedule and I’m still breastfeeding them “on-cue” (vs on-demand). There is a basic routine – wake, change diapers, feeding them a couple of times, changing diapers, nap, feeding a couple of times, another nap, feeding-playing-feeding-bath-feeding-bedtime. Sort of. And it’s worked out fine and allows me to be more flexible and not completely freak out if each day looks different.
I thought I’d be done breastfeeding them by now. I don’t know why or how I got it in my head that I’d be done by 6 months (maybe watching friend-Lauren going beyond a year scared me). I just figured they’d be eating more solids and maybe even preferring the bottle.
They are currently breastfeeding (and I’m not feeling inclined to stop them since it seems like the longer the better) and eating solids – once each day, and have gone down from 8 2-oz bottles to 2 2-oz bottles. And I feel kind of bragg-y about it – I mean, it feels like an accomplishment. I think I would be more than okay if the cut off will maybe be a year – but I’m also hoping they’ll just naturally stop before then on their own. But, the night-nursing is going to be a bear to overcome in the future.
I could go on about cloth diapers, considering a more baby-led solids-eating, “sleep associations” and not letting them cry, babywearing, etc., and even my endeavors to try to read to them every chance I get during the day, sing silly songs, limit the amount of screen time, but not everything is working out that way (the babies absolutely love the Three Bears Song). There’s plenty of blogs out there that talk about various parenting methods. All this is to say that I am becoming something fundamentally different. And I’m accepting it. With only very little (most days) resistance. It’s kind of an adventure in itself. I’m not following a prescription or label, but just trying to go with my – something so basic to survival – instinct. Community is helpful, too. And sunshine and cool days.
I have a feeling this parenting lifestyle will be evolving as they grow and change, too.
(photo by a wonderful church member – Dick Darling)