6 Month Sanity Check

This morning I looked at my husband and said, “You know, for having been at this whole parenting thing for six months, I think we’ve done pretty well.” And so, I decided it was time to go through the list of things we thought we wanted to do as parents before the small one arrived, and see how many things had fallen by the wayside (i.e. how many of our friends with kids could now officially say “I told you so” after rolling their eyes at our grandiose plans for how we were going to do things differently).

What We’ve Stuck With

Cloth Diapers – still easy (but we’re still not eating solids… yet), still what we use at home. We do use disposables when we’re out of the house, but that was always assumed to be the plan.

Breastfeeding – Yippee, I’ve officially breastfed the small one exclusively for 6 months. Now where’s that medal from the American Academy of Pediatrics? No really, I’ve been lucky – as I’ve never had a supply problem, the small one is a champion feeder, and I have the pumping thing down to a science, it’s been easier to breastfeed than it would be to run to the store and buy formula. If things keep up like this, I don’t think I’ll have a problem hitting the one year mark. I hope.

As Little Plastic as Possible – Sure, a couple of toys have snuck through, but by and large we’ve held our ground. We’re still using glass bottles, most of the small one’s toys are wooden or fabric, and we’ve avoided contraptions like the Diaper Genie which basically wrap plastic diapers in more plastic, hidden in a plastic bucket. In fact, my husband is so committed to the no plastic thing, he just sent what is very likely a highly offensive email to his entire family asking them to only buy natural material, made in America toys for the small one whenever possible. I expect sacks full of crap from Walmart as retribution.

The Schedule – The small one has been on a self enforced three hour routine since practically day one, and he seems to love it. When we try to run errands and can’t get him down for his nap in time, he’s even so amicable as to warn us of our neglect by turning up the fussiness so that we never let things get to melt down mode. Honestly, this kid is so committed to his schedule that if I tried to nurse him just for comfort, he’d arch his back and stare at me like “woman, don’t you know we don’t eat for another hour?” So for as much as I bitched about reading Babywise, the whole eat play sleep routine has been perfect for us.

Division of Labor – It’s now been three months of me working full time and my husband doing the stay at home dad thing, and we are as committed to it as ever. We’re just so fortunate that he has the sort of job he can do from home, as adding daycare to the mix would be a financial and emotional stress that both of us are so grateful to avoid.

What We’ve Eased Up On

Organic Everything – While I was pregnant, nearly every single thing I purchased for the small one was made of organic cotton (and I felt guilty about the few items that weren’t). After he was born and the baby clothing started pouring in, I found myself avoiding those outfits people gave us that were decidedly not organic (i.e. the plethora of fleece pants). And then the small one outgrew everything and we started to dress him in what we had (because let’s face it, Carter’s sizes clothing knowing that parents want to use something more than once, unlike the organic, boutique-y stuff which runs like designer, boutique-y adult clothing – small and highly shrinkable). And guess what? The kid didn’t get a horrible rash and die – in fact, he looked really adorable in all those overalls. So now I try to buy organic whenever I’m shopping for the small one, but I happily dress him in the clothing we’re given (it helps to have a sister in law who works for Ralph Lauren – my child now owns more Polo than I do).

Constant Fear of SIDS – We still put the small one down for naps and bedtime on his back, but we have been tucking him in with a light blanket for a few months now instead of using a sleep sack. We started with the blanket once we stopped swaddling, as he would wake up from the cold otherwise, and I’ve never come in his room to find the blanket anywhere near his face (if anything, he now scootches out from under it).

What We’ve Dropped Completely

French – Yes, my husband used to read to the child in French. I’ve not just talking The Little Prince, I’m talking Voltaire. As he’s gotten better at doing more work from home, the daily language lesson was the first thing to go.

Yoga – Before the small one was born, I thought that I’d be back at yoga by week 6 and that I would get back into shape while still on maternity leave by handing the small one to my husband after he returned from work and getting some daily “me time” at the studio every afternoon. And then we had a C-section and the doc was all “no yoga for 12 weeks,” which happens to be the length of maternity leave. Once I was back to work, the thought of losing any of my precious non-work time to yoga instead of spending it with my baby seemed incomprehensible, which is to say that I have not been to yoga even once post partum. Oh well. I’ve lost the baby weight, but this belly is definitely worse for the wear.

Overall, I’m rather proud of how much we’ve stuck to our guns, although I freely admit that had the small one been a more difficult baby, this sanity check would be dramatically different. My husband and I constantly talk about how screwed we’ll be when the next kid acts like a normal baby (doesn’t sleep through the night at 10 weeks, has reflux, is a fussy eater, gets sick, cries). So the small one gets all the credit here.


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