It's time your pressing questions were answered dear readers. I put out the call for questions and you responded. Today's installment centers around parenting babies and toddlers.
The following contains my best effort to answer those questions. Please, keep in mind that I am not a professional counselor, psychologist, or doctor. I am a mom of seven who has a few experiences under my belt and have figured out a thing or two, mostly through trial and error.
Got that? Okay, here we go:
- From Harmony: Pearl Will. Not. Sleep. unless I'm holding her (she wakes up and starts crying just as soon as I lay her down)...And when she's awake and not nursing, she is either crying or rolling around the house and getting into everything in sight...How do you get housework done with a baby attached to you all day? Is this typical baby behavior? Will my next baby be like this? And if so, how will I survive it?? And the most pressing question of all: can I get my house clean by the time my MIL arrives for Christmas? 😉
I have had all kinds of babies. There are those that are perfectly happy entertaining themselves for a half hour at a time playing with a cup and a spoon and a single Cheerio in the bouncy seat. There are those, like Pearl, who insist on your full attention at all times, and there all all varieties in between.
With those babies like Pearl, I had to develop the philosophy, "A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do". By that I don't mean taking long leisurely bubble baths whilst the baby screams his head off, but I have had to peel potatoes or load a dishwasher to the sound of a screeching infant on more than one occasion. If the baby is well fed and cared for and I have provided a comfortable place with a toy for entertainment, I go about my business as quickly as possible while singing cheerily to assure the baby that I am still available to meet his needs as soon as I finish my chore.
Doing this same routine each day for short periods of time will be a sort of training to a baby. They will come to expect that there are daily periods when they should expect to wait for Mommy to get through with a chore. Some babies are more offended by this than others and will choose to continue to protest loudly during the entire process. Some babies will figure out that they can use that time exploring what their fingers can do while watching Mommy. Nevertheless, the chores must be done. My husband calls this, "Short term pain for long term gain". Enduring the short bouts of crying will allow you to accomplish what needs to be done and hopefully train Pearl to entertain herself.
- From Mirage: Is it normal for things to be nuts when I'm home alone with two tiny tornadoes all day? Today I have a terrible cold. I let the kids out of my sight for less than 2 whole minutes to get some vitamins and I found my 3 year old running around naked waving her pants like a flag and my 1 year old surrounded by a whole package of pads in the bathroom, holding one over the toilet about to drop it in. Heeeellllp! :p
Ahhh... I remember those days well! I have always maintained that my most difficult mothering years were when I had only two children. Anytime The Mommy is the only one who can pour milk, or wipe bottoms, or tie shoes, or buckle car seats, or use discernment in the use of personal hygiene products for entertainment, there are some difficult days in store.
I remember thinking, "I can not even take a shower without fearing what I will find when I get out!" Once, when I had two toddlers, my 1 year old managed to dump out an entire bag of sugar so he could "ice skate" while older sister looked on in amusement.
Take heart! Time passes and children get older and more capable of contributing to the organization of the family instead of just the messes. The days are long, but the years are fleeting.
Just remember, don't get mad - get the camera. You'll laugh about those messes someday.
To be continued. Be sure to check back soon for more questions and answers.
Also, be on the lookout for some nifty reviews and giveaways I have up my sleeve just in time for Christmas!