Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Wish I'd Had These When My Kids Were Growing Up

Or How I am The Worst Mother Ever, pt 2.

Remember all the complaining I did about unsolicited advice from other mothers? I really meant it, back then, now I am wishing I had more mothers offering up tricks of the trade nine or ten months ago.

I am obsessive. I get into something and I read and read all about it. Infertility, 53 books, pregnancy 32 books, twins and multiples,12 books, how to kick your cherry coke habit, etc., etc. But when it came to baby books, I only got around to reading a few chapters of 2 of them. No one bought me What to Expect the First Year or The Happiest Baby on the Block, thus I didn't know what to expect and there was some unhappiness. I did however get and read for several weeks Dr. Sears' Baby Book which left me feeling horrid about not wanting my newborn twins to sleep in my pillow top mattressed bed for fear of SIDs, and boy did I have a fear of SIDs let me tell you.

So I didn't read as much about parenting because many of the books gave advice based on a single baby and to be honest, I just didn't have the time those first few weeks to look up every concern I had, I just pushed through doing what I thought was best. I thought that would suffice. Occasionally at first I called the nurses line at the pediatricians office but they would always hush my concerns or give me advice I was unwilling to follow (corn syrup in formula).

When I got advice from other people it usually came from older women who hadn't had an infant in their home in decades warning me to change from breast milk to soy formula, because that worked for her daughter-in-law. At some point I turned off listening to the unsolicited advice and just smiled as I told myself, what do these people know about my family or the way we live.

But then, I met some other mothers at Romp 'N Roll, playgroup and even Bunco who weren't so much offering advice as saying "Here's what we do and it seems to work". And all I can think is, where was all this information months ago. This is the advice I have been seeking. Advice in the form of true experience. People just discussing their day to day lives and me stumbling across tidbits to use in our home to make life easier.

Monday at Romp 'N Roll we were discussing the Nurses line at the pediatrician's office, apparently lots of mothers call semi-daily. I stopped asking the nurses months ago. But these mothers made me feel like I really should call when I have questions or concerns and don't stop if I get an answer I don't like. I know this sounds like such an easy answer but I had all but given up on my children's doctor's office being much help other than weighing and measuring our children.

And then later in the same conversation, the same group of five mothers were talking about sterilizing baby items. I am not a fan of dish washing bottles, nipples, etc., etc. I prefer to let them soak in really hot water in the sink or do the old boiling method. But another mom just mentioned nonchalantly that she just uses the Medela Steam Bags and has been since she came home from the hospital. She is a first time mom and I wonder how did she know about these little gems? Are they mentioned in my dusty baby books sitting on the bookshelf?

So I go to Target and there they are sitting on the rack, probably been there since before my kids were even born and I never thought to look for them.

So I buy 'em of course and bring 'em home and fill 'em up with 2 oz. water and some nipples that had been clean and viola, a minute and a half later I have sterilized bottle nipples.

(not my microwave or very pale hand)

I am excited folks, this will save a lot of time and things will probably get sterilized more often because I have a secret to admit, I am not a sterilization fanatic and only do the boiling method on occassion (go ahead and sigh for my poor children who have never been sick [knock on wood] but who will probably get sick now that I am going to be sterilizing everything they touch). If I had been using these since the twins were born I could have been a much better mother because I could have probably read two extra baby books by now with all the time I am going to save.

But I probably wouldn't have.


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