Weekend Update

Our weekend was busy and full of little parenting worries. Not my favourite kind of weekend. 

Worry 1: pressure to leave my baby

Friday night was tainted by an emotional discussion between my wife and I. We’ve been getting a lot of offers from people wanting to babysit Avery so my wife and I can have a date night. I want to be emotionally available to my wife, and she really needs some alone time with me after 7 months of always coming second. But, I’m just not ready to leave Avery with someone other than my wife. She’s been going through a long phase of “making strange,” and my instincts are to slowly help her ease into social situations. Those offering to babysit assure me that it’s ok if she cries the whole time – they can handle it. No offense, but I’m not worried about the adults in that situation. So my wife and I continue to debate how and when we’re going to leave the baby with someone else for a date night. 

Worry 2: Eczema

We decided to miss Avery’s last swimming lesson of the season because her eczema spots on her cheeks were open and weeping and we didn’t want to get pool water in them. It was sad to miss because Avery LOVES the pool and we love seeing her having fun. 

Mid-Saturday-morning we went to a parenting book club meeting at the public library. That was nice. I love talking with other like minded parents. Hearing that others bed share and struggle with feminist parenting dilemmas, and just being around people who don’t pass judgment on my parenting is refreshing. It makes me feel like I suddenly have a cheer squad backing me. 

Saturday afternoon we ran errands, did a lot of cooking, and I did some work. The house did not get cleaned, I did not shower or even look in a mirror. Self care fail. 

Sunday morning we left for the city where we picked up some used building supplies for our chicken coop (my wife’s building us a chicken coop this spring!) and then we were off to Avery’s cousin’s first birthday party. My sister-in-law did such an amazing job throwing a Wiggles themed party – everything was rainbow and it looked like a Pinterest party gone right. 

Worry 3: my baby being labeled as anti-social 

At these kinds of social functions, though, Avery tends to get passed around a lot. She doesn’t like it, and she gets labeled as not liking people or as being a mommy’s girl. We’re already working on teaching Avery (and friends and family) about consent, and don’t want physical interaction to be forced upon her. If she cries and gets upset when someone new takes her, I want to let her come right back to her safe zone (with her Mo or I). I like to slowly introduce her to people and ask if she wants to go to them (even though we kind of have to infer her answer based in body language right now…)  But others out there believe in letting her work out her fears through tears. Unfortunately I pried her out of several people’s arms at the party when my wife had passed her around, and by the end I started to get frustrated. People assumed there was something wrong with her because she was being so “anti-social”. They even got the baby thermometer out, assuming she must be sick. Nope, I know my baby. She’s not sick, she’s sick of the grabbing hands. So that had me feeling quite judged as a parent, whether intentional or not. Oh and note to self – don’t admit to bed sharing around old school parents…. 

Worry 4: constipation 

Becuase of all the stimulation on Sunday, Avery didn’t breastfeed well. I only got her to have one small feed through the entire day. By evening, I noticed her straining more than usual. She woke a few times during the night crying (which she doesn’t normally do while next to me). This morning she struggled to pass some hard rabbit-like poops. I’m focusing on offering her the boob all the time throughout the day today, and her solids are going to be prunes and pears. 

I have to call the doctor today to ask what to about eczema that isn’t clearing. It keeps blistering and scabbing and weeping and I don’t want it to get infected. The corticosteroid is doing nothing and I’m concerned that overuse is going to thin the skin. 

I just want to look at my baby and feel like she is perfectly happy, healthy, and carefree. Do we ever get to that point as parents, or will there always be something to worry about? 

This post was written in reponse to a daily prompt:

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17 thoughts on “Weekend Update”

  1. Poor baby and mamas! Sorry you had to deal with judgement. It’s so normal for babies at that age to not want to be passed around. I hope you have a nice relaxing week. I hear you on the date night issue. We’ve been on 2 and they were really refreshing, but we were also anxious to get back to the baby. Don’t rush yourself. You want to be able to relax and enjoy the date. And if that means you have to wait a bit longer before you got out, so be it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Parenting is hard! Particularly when surrounded by people who don’t respect your choices about how to parent. We’re with you on the “babies are not property to be shared but their own little people with wants and fears and we should respect that when we can!”

    With the babysitting offers, the thing I’ve seen work best is saying point blank: “that is such a kind offer, but I’m not ready to leave her yet. I’ll keep it in mind when I’m ready and will let you know.”

    You’re doing a great job.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! If only my wife was more on the same page about leaving her. 90% of the pressure I feel is from her, so I figure at some point we’re going to have to compromise because we’re equal parents…

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      1. Ah. Yeah. That’s a lot harder. You have my sympathies there. Do you have any mom friends who, in the next few months might be willing to consider trading date nights? It’s always easier on our kids when they have a playmate to distract them (although I agree, don’t try it for the first time between about 7 and 10 months – there’s that whole big stranger danger milestone there)…

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      2. Good idea! I said I might be ready at 1 year, my wife wanted us to try now at 7 months. We compromised to 9 months, but I should stipulate that I want the worst of the stranger danger to be over with by then. If it’s still going strong at 9 months I’m going to want to wait. I really have no idea how long it’s supposed to last. We’re hoping to start part time daycare in the fall, so hopefully not too much past 1 year…
        We definitely have friends who would be willing to trade childcare for date nights and Avery LOVES other kids (as long as they’re not handsy like the adults are 😉)

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      3. It sounds like you have a really good path going forward. It’s so hard when we feel like someone (even/especially our spouse) wants to do something with our kids that we aren’t comfortable with.

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  3. I’ll admit, we never went through the offers to babysit because we live to far away from our families and our friends all have their own kids to chase around all day. So part of me is slightly envious now that I am ready to leave little MPB. But absolutely understand your reluctance right now and fully support you saying I’m not ready to leave her yet. I promise you, you’ll have a horrible time out if you do it before your ready. So take your time, in the scheme of life you won’t regret it.

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  4. OMG, I am so tired of Worry #1. We had dinner with friends last night. I really like them. They are on the short list of maybe-someday babysitters. They are pressuring me to watch the baby while my wife and I go out for my wife’s birthday in April. I want to say “back off…when I’m ready to leave my baby, (as in, when my baby is ready to be left), I’ll give you a call!” They go so far as saying, “She’ll be fine. We don’t mind if she cries. You’ll see, it will all be okay.” And then they proceeded to “test” it by walking around the restaurant with her. What did she do? rage. I seriously don’t understand other people’s fixation with trying to get us to leave her with them. It’s so weird. Related, don’t worry about Worry #3 at all. Seriously. That is a good sign of a very healthy attachment and you are doing the right thing by grabbing her back when she cries. Less than 50% of adults are “healthily attached” and it’s because of people thinking they need to let a baby cry through being held by strangers. Avery has a strong attachment to you and that’s awesome.

    In other news, “Saturday afternoon we ran errands, did a lot of cooking, and I did some work. The house did not get cleaned, I did not shower or even look in a mirror. Self care fail.” describes every single weekend day of my life right now. Whatevs.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Stranger and separation anxiety is starting to peak around this age and like others have said, it’s perfectly normal for her to prefer you! I’d never call a baby “anti social” and I’m sorry you’re feeling pressured 😦 do what you feel is right!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Worry #3 all the way with my 4 year old. There’s a clear generational and cultural divide on unwanted hugs/kisses and it’s so frustrating that some adults don’t understand when to leave a kid alone.

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    1. Yeah it’s totally generational. The older family members give me the raised eyebrow or eye roll when I start talking about consent like it’s some kind of crazy feminist hippy ideology…

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  7. With you 100% on number 3. It really weirds me out when people tell my baby to smile and judge her based on whether or not she’s obviously happy/smiling. When we visited family, they kept passing her around even though she was clearly getting unhappy and then family got huffy when I intervened. They just… didn’t seem to realize that she’s not an object. It was so bizarre.

    Anyway, we are definitely going to be teaching her consent and respecting her boundaries and dealings with my family are going to get super awkward and they can just handle it.

    Liked by 1 person

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