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Four new mommies beta testing parenthood.

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Tuesday
Aug172010

Letting Daddies Be Daddies

"Honey, don't hold his head like that!" 

"Don't toss him around like that, he just ate!" 

"I think you put the bottle in the microwave for too long and now the milk is too hot!" 

I have caught myself saying things like this in the first three weeks of little Mo's life and as soon as they leave my mouth, I think, "Uh oh. It's Nazi mom!" 

This may be normal but the thing is, I don't want to get in the habit of telling my significant other how to be a parent and I certainly don't want to imply that he should second guess himself as a father. He is a great father!

I talked to Nathalee about this today and she agreed that it is hard not to tell the daddies in our lives what not to do, even if we adamantly think that they are doing it wrong. It made me wonder why we mommies feel the need to do this. Is it because we carried these babies inside of us for 40 weeks and consumed copious amounts of parenting literature to prepare? I think that is a fair point but how can we impart our knowledge and opinions without becoming bossy and discouraging partners? No one wants to be Mean Mommy! I sure don't! 

Maybe it is a matter of language. Maybe changing the way we communicate is a step in the right direction. For instance, "Don't hold him like that because he just ate!" could become, "He just ate so you might want to make sure that you hold him upright to digest before you play." Or something like that? I'm open to suggestions. 

In the end, I think curbing my propensity to micromanage this co-parenting relationship is probably a good thing. Except when it comes to safety. As always, safety should come first. But in the end, I can't be Daddy. I'm Mommy. I have to have faith that he knows how to be a daddy far better than I do. 

Tuesday
Aug172010

Nursery Decor: For the baby or mommy? 

Wow, I’ve never been much of a planner (procrastinator should be my middle name), but here we are with at least 7 weeks to go until the due date and our baby’s room is complete! We could have never done it without the help of my amazing mom who flew out to help us get our new home and nursery in order or my sister for her creative vision. And, of course, to all our friends and family for the lovely gifts that add just the right touch.

Isn’t it silly how some folks (myself one of them) put so much effort into a room that a little baby isn’t going to notice? I know I may have gone a little overboard, but I can’t help myself! I’ve posted a few pictures of our little babe’s new nest. I have to say we did a great job finding deals and steals from purchasing items off craiglist to store floor models. I'd be happy to share specifics in a follow up post if anyone is interested. In the meantime would love to hear your thoughts on nurseries - are they for the baby or parents (or more specifically, mommy?) ;) 

   

 

 

Sunday
Aug152010

My Baby Makes Me Look Good

I am extremely lucky:  I have been blessed with a very even-tempered baby.  I say lucky, because that’s what it is.  There’s only so much moms and dads can do to make sure their babies are well-rested, fed and happy—the rest is completely up to chance.  I was reading about Nic’s astrological sign, and it looks likes as a Pisces, it’s in his nature to be docile and malleable.

But him having such a sweet temperament brings up all kinds of questions for me:

  1. What if he’s a hellion of a toddler?  Perhaps he’s saving all of his rambunctiousness for when I have to chase him around the house.  His dad was a notoriously rowdy little boy, so maybe I’m in for it in a few years.
  2. What if my next baby is temperamental or colicky?  I know if I’m blessed with more babies, I will love them just as much as I love Nic.  But would I be able to handle a baby who cries all the time? 
  3. Am I as good to him as he is to me?  This one nags at me.  I think as moms, we all feel pangs of guilt sometimes.  Am I doing enough?  Am I focused enough on my baby or am I trying to do too many other things?  Am I making the right decisions about naps/ feeding/ vaccines/everything else?  I just hope that Nic knows how much I love him and how important he is to me.  I want him to know that I see him as his own beautiful little person and that I am so thankful for his smiles. 



Thursday
Aug122010

Packing for the big day – what are your labor/postpartem must haves?

We’re 32 weeks – a time when most recommend packing the hospital bag should you need to rush. Though I’m sure it will probably be sitting in my room for the next 9 weeks, I’m pondering putting one together. I’ve seen all types of lists of necessities, but I’m curious as to what you folks that have been through the experience had wish you had brought or wish you had left home. Here’s my initial list of basics – what else do you recommend?

-          Toiletries

-          Two nightgowns

-          Slippers

-          Magazines/books/laptop

-          Camera

-          Pillow

-          Diaper bag w/ pacifiers, nipple soothers, rattle toy

-          Take-me-home outfit

-          A blanket

-          Car seat

Oh, and you spouses, what do you wish you had taken to the hospital with you?



Wednesday
Aug112010

A Village

I stumbled across a book signing some years ago while out grazing on the newest titles at my local Books Inc.  The book was about motherhood, and although I was a long way off from it at that point, I decided to sit down.  I don't remember the title or the author's name, but something she talked about has stuck with me since.  She was of East Indian descent and she spoke about how she was afraid of having children in the United States because of the lack of community here.  In India, she would have had generations of women helping her raise her child.  But here, she would be alone. 

While facing motherhood, I thought about this a lot.  My own mother lives far away, and although I knew I would have support from friends and family, I wondered if those multi-generational households really have the right idea.  Is it unfair to expect women to do this on their own, when for centuries it has been a group effort?

Tonight I stumbled on this quote from one of my favorite mommy blogs, Dooce, "I really feel like the Internet has given us back the village we lost so that in those early days we can help each other through the madness of it."  She is absolutely right.  Blogging, Twitter, Facebook--it's taken us out of our single-family homes, out of isolation, and put us back into a village of knowledge, support and much needed humor.

On that note, I'd like to thank all of the mommies and daddies out there who blog with honesty and heart about this crazy adventure of parenthood.  And that goes double for my fellow mommybetas.  Nat, Jennifer and Alex: I'm glad to share a hut in the blogosphere village with you ladies!