To Leash or not to leash?

Last summer, my parents threw a July 4th barbecue. It was a yearly thing that we did and we always invited some of the family. Some of my boyfriend’s family came and some of my Aunts and Uncles came. I had made the decision to put my daughter one one of those children leashes. That’s how I was taking her outside before the barbecue even happened. Now, I don’t live on a busy street or anything like that but that doesn’t mean anything to me. Just because danger isn’t 10 feet away, doesn’t mean it’s not there. I have two hills at my house. I’m not as worried about the one going up as I am about the one going down. The one going down leads to a road where cars fly by. I choose to leash my child in her yard for HER safety. By leashing her, I know where she is at all time. I don’t have to worry about her running away from me and running down the hill into the road. I don’t have to worry about her running down the hill and getting hurt. I don’t have to worry if someones dog got lose and entered our yard. I don’t have to worry about the foxes that roam around or sometimes the bears. All because she’s leashed. Being leashed, gives her the freedom to walk without holding my hand constantly. It gives her the freedom to explore things and be a toddler. She may not be able to run around fully but that can come as she ages. The leash will teach her where she can go. The leash will help her learn boundaries and help her learn to stay close to an adult at all times. Anyways, I had her leashed at the barbecue. One of my relatives had the nerve to say something to me about my daughter being leash. I don’t remember the comment fully. Something about treating my child like a dog. I didn’t bite their head off but I’m starting to think I should have.

Because:

First of all: My Kid, My Rules. You had your children. You chose to parent the way you wanted too. You’re parenting days are over. This is my daughter and I’ll choose to parent her the way I want too.

Second of all: Yes, I’m going to leash her. You know why I choose to leash her. Because it’s the safest thing for her. Because I didn’t carry a child for 9 months so that I could be careless when she came out of me and risk her life in other ways.

Third and lastly: Watch her. First of all, it’s not always that simple. Accidents can happen in a split second. It’s hard to have your eyes on your child every single second of the time you have company over, especially if you want to mingle and talk and spend time with said family. Second of all, watching her doesn’t necessarily mean she’s safe. I could be watching her and in a split second she could run off. I may have longer legs than her and be older than her, but chasing her is not something I want to do. Running in places she doesn’t know is dangerous and so is me chasing her. I don’t want to risk her falling. I don’t want to risk her getting away from me.

I fully believe that using a leash on a child is a safe idea and it also gives them freedom. Would I do it if our yard was fenced in, No. But it’s not so I choose what’s best for my child. Some people will disagree with me and that’s fine. Just don’t look down upon me for choosing to parent my child a different way than you would parent yours. I want what’s best for my kids and I’m the only one who gets to decide that.

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I don’t want to be done…

As the months progress and I watch my second born grow, I’m realizing how fast time flies. She’s starting to be more alert and smile more. Before I know it, she’ll be holding her head up on her own and then from there she’ll learn to roll over and crawl and then walk and talk. My first born is already forming full sentences and learning new things every day. It’s a bittersweet feeling. Whenever I see pictures of my first born little, I can remember the time and how the days went. I can remember watching her grow. I just never realized that it actually happened so quickly. My second born isn’t even 6 months old yet. She’s almost 4 months old though, so 6 isn’t far behind. Even though she’s still a baby, I’m wishing the newness of her wasn’t passing by go quickly. She just recently stopped waking up every 3 hours at night. Sometimes she sleeps through the night. Sometimes she wakes up once or twice. She’s growing. She’s becoming older and it makes me sad.

It literally feels like the NICU days were just yesterday. I remember her birth. I remember my stay and her stay in the hospital. I remember the trips to the hospital. I remember knowing that it was best for her there but hating I had to be so far away. I remember feeling like a crappy mom because she wasn’t home with me. I remember everything so vividly. How the week went leading up to her coming into this world way to early. I remember being scared the night before I had her. My biggest fear was having to have a C-Section and I thank god every day that I didn’t have too. I remember all this like it just happened yesterday. But it didn’t. Soon, she’ll be 4 months old. And then so on and so forth. Before I know it, she’ll be a year old. And all I’ll have are the memories of all this. It makes me sad because she’ll be the last baby I have. Don’t get me wrong, I want more babies. I always pictured myself with at least 3. 2 girls, 1 boy or 1 girl and 2 boys. I’ll never have that though. Just because I WANT another baby doesn’t mean that I’ll HAVE another baby. As much as I’m not ready to be done, my brain tells me that I should be.

My heart breaks at the thought of being done though. If I knew she was absolutely going to be the last baby I had, I would have done things differently during my pregnancy. I would have taken those monthly pictures. I would have painted my stomach for Halloween. Or just took more pregnancy pictures in general. But that stuff didn’t happen because I found myself with no time. I found myself constantly busy raising my toddler. And I always thought to myself that I’d have at least once more, especially once I found out she was a girl. I love everything about my daughter but I also wanted my chance at a boy. And thinking about that boy just makes me yearn so much more for another baby. I was told by my gynecologist that I could have kids but they’d make me take a shot. It was offered during this pregnancy but I opted out since my first born wasn’t crazy early. But my brain can’t stop thinking about the “What ifs..”

“What if I took the shots and the baby was full term? Would my body be able to handle it? Would I be able to deliver naturally like my other too?”

“What if I needed a C-Section? I hear they’re very painful and the recovery time is longer than a vaginal delivery. How would I take care of two children while being in pain? Who would help me take care of myself? How many days would I want to cry because of the pain?”

“What if, even with the shots, the baby was born prematurely? How prematurely would it be born? Would it be born at the 36 week mark like my first born and be fine to come home? Would it be born like my second and have to stay at the hospital until she was cleared to go home? If born too premature, who would take care of my two other children while in the hospital? Could I handle leaving another child until it was well enough to come home? What if it was born way to premature and only weighed a pound when it was born? What if it had to stay longer than 12 days? How would I be able to afford that?”

“What if I took the shots? What if they didn’t work? What if I had a reaction to them?”

All the what ifs and hows and whys. They drive me insane. I yearn to have another baby. I don’t want to be done having children. I wanted three. I wanted a somewhat big family. I want to keep raising my children because it’s such an amazing family. Being a mother is something I’m good at. Something I feel like I was born to do. Watching my children grow and learn and become their own person is such an amazing feeling, especially because I’m a Stay at Home Mom. I can take credit for everything that they learned because I’m the one teaching them. When they become potty trained or learn a letter or their name or how to count, I can say “I did that. That’s because of me.” And that’s an incredible feeling. Being a parent is such a demanding job and even though it has it’s bad moments, I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I love being a mom and I’d love to have a third child. But just because it’s something that I want doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to happen. Because in my brain, I know it’s not plausible to have another one. And that truly breaks my heart.

Motherhood

As a parent, you want to do what’s best for your child. Also, as a parent there’s always many decisions to be made. Do you vaccinate? Do you breastfeed or formula feed? Do you co-sleep? Do you let them sleep in their own room? What do they sleep in? What car seat do you get? Do you feed them organically once they get old enough to eat food? Do you make your own food? No matter what you decide to do, you’ll be judged for it by someone. Instead of people supporting other people, they judge them.

I thought the choices I made were in the best interest of my children. However, my potty choice to potty train my first born wasn’t the best choice that I made. The sad thing is, I did research on different types of potties. The one I picked out had great reviews. It also had Mickey Mouse on it, which seemed perfect since Melody was into Mickey at the time. I bought it when she was too young to potty train, maybe when she was around 6 months old. I let it sit in my living room until I finally introduced her to potty training. At first, the potty seemed to work fine. I didn’t have a problem with it. That is until one day my child missed the potty and I had to clean the floor. The potty sits on a throw rug. Underneath the throw rug is a hardwood floor. The day that I had to clean the floor, I lifted the rug back and the floor underneath was a dark square. The rug also smelt like pee. So, first the potty ruined my floor. A couple months pass and my child has a rash on her back legs, near her butt. At first, I thought it was just her eczema and I put lotion on it every night. The lotion didn’t help and it continued to get worse. A few weeks ago, my boyfriend mentioned that maybe it was the potty that was given her the rash. LIGHTBULB!! I didn’t even think that it could be her potty. It made complete sense though. It was right where she sat on the potty. I’ve tried lotion and it hasn’t worked. I’ve tried cleaning the potty between every use and it hasn’t worked. Right now I’m trying ointment. I’ll be making her a doctor appointment this week so I can see what he has to say about it and hopefully he can prescribe her something stronger to make it feel better. I’m also looking into a new potty.

Word of advice: Make sure the potty you buy is a plastic seat. The potty I have is like a foam type seat.

Decisions, decisions, decisions

Life is full of decisions. Parenting is full of decisions. In life, whether you are a parent or not, you’re always questioning if you are doing the right thing. I’ve questioned everything I’ve done in life. There’s always the what ifs and the second guessing yourself. Right now I’m second guessing myself at trying to start a blog. I have no idea where to begin. The first few posts were easy to write because it’s something I want to remember. Now that I got them out of the way, I’m running out of ideas to write about. Part of me wonders if anyone even cares enough to read my posts. I feel like it’s probably nothing you haven’t read already. Part of me wonders if I’ll be to sporadic with my posts. I could write about a bunch of different things and not keep a theme. Would that be better? I have no idea. What do you the reader want to read about? What do you want to know about me? Do I pose of any interest? Are there certain topics I should be trying to cover? Or should I just go with the flow and write whatever comes to mind. Decisions, decisions, decisions…looks like I’ll have to decide.