Mommy War Tag? No recipe? Nope, no recipe this time. For quite a while, I’ve been contemplating whether I should expand my blog or not. To blog about other stuff as well, and not just recipes. Because, sometimes, there are things happening in your life, that you really would like to tell about. Or things you’d like to share.
Lately, I’ve been following more and more mommy blogs. Blogs full of great, funny, sometimes sad stories, DIY ideas, reviews. Which means a lot of fun stuff to read and loads of inspiration. And a lot of recognition. What do moms encounter in daily life, what is on our minds or keeps us awake at night? What kind of funny things, and less funny things, are our kids doing?
Mommy War Tag
But then… doubts. Are my readers waiting for this? A food blogger, who thinks she has something meaningful to say? Will I have enough inspiration? You know what? I’ll never know until I try. I had put the idea aside. Until a few days ago, when I read The Mommy War Tag on LisetteLoves and the feeling came back. And when Lisette even suggested that I should also do The Mommy War Tag, I knew it. I’ll just do it!
And I thought the Mommy War Tag is a good way to start this whole thing. All questions reflect some hot issues, a lot of people have fierce opinions about. And people get quite opinionated about them. Which can cause very heated discussions. Hence the title ‘Mommy War’ tag. Most questions are about a time that is way past us, the boys are now 6 and 8 years old. But now, several years later, I can reflect on the questions. And answers. How did I/we handle those things. Was there a difference between the first and second child? Would I do things differently now? This tag was actually first published by Mama Zoekt Uit. So, here we go:
1. Do you breastfeed or formula feed?
I started breastfeeding with both the boys. Our oldest got heavy cramps after just a few weeks. Very normal, was the answer. Advice: be careful what you eat and drink. But the cramps got heavier each day. I hardly dared to eat or drink anything anymore. After 8 devastating weeks, we had an appointment at the pediatrician. He couldn’t fin anything. The stomach felt totally normal to him. But it wasn’t normal that this baby boy was screaming and overstretching every waking hour. I would not leave his office until he gave some kind of (decent) advice. Very hesitatingly, he said I could buy a formula at the drugstore, specially designed for babies with heavy cramps. But… ‘this is totally up to you and you alone’. As if to say: you should not do this, keep breastfeeding (bad mother). Well, I raced to the nearest drugstore and bought that special formula. After just two days, our baby had transformed. A difference like night and day. And after a week, no cramps at all.
When we had our second child, I wanted to try breastfeeding again. Yet history repeated itself. After a few weeks, he started having heavy cramps. But, we had learned form our first child and we started on the formula a lot sooner. They are now both very healthy boys.
There is a lot of pressure to breastfeed, which sometimes is just absurd. That a pediatrician will make you feel guilty is just bad. I’m not arguing that breastfeeding is the best for your child. I’m sure it is. But sometimes, life turns out differently. It’s not working for everybody. And whatever reason your formula feeding for… it’s YOUR choice. YOU should do what feel right for you, not for anyone else.
2. Do you co-sleep with your child or does he/she sleep in his/her own bed?
The first few months, we had a crib in our bedroom. After that, they slept in their own bed. It only happened on very rare occasions (sick/nightmares) that they slept in our bed.
3. Do you use disposable nappies or reusable/washable ones?
We’ve always used disposable nappies. I’ve actually never thought about using washable ones, to be honest. Not very environmentally conscious. But we could bring the used nappies to a collection point (where they also collect incontinence pads), after which they get recycled.
4. Do you only buy wooden/sustainable or plastic toys?
Haha, oh well. Before we had kids, I would quite vehemently state that I only wanted wooden and sustainable toys. Boy, did that turn out differently. For one thing, plastic toys are less likely to cause huge bumps on your head when thrown at you. Yes, that definitely is something to consider. And you can’t control what others will gift you/your child. But the most important reason of all: those awfully noisy, annoying toys happen to be the most favorite ones. Bye bye principles.
5. Do you buy baby food or do you cook strictly fresh food?
Again, tried ready made baby food with both boys. Alas, that didn’t work out as planned. They just did not want it. Spit it out right away. Well, I couldn’t blame them. So I cooked and pureed fresh baby food every week. Freezer was always well stocked. I didn’t mind, really. Just sometimes, it would have been an easy option for traveling (taking a frozen container isn’t always a good option).
6. Do you use a baby carrier or a pram?
I wanted to use baby carrier, but back in those day, I was quite ‘heavy’. It just didn’t work out.
7. Do you start potty training at an early stage or does your child still run around in nappies when he/she is 4 years old?
What both kids taught us: you can’t force it. We’ve tried books about potty training, reward stickers etc. But never a hard approach. They were both three years old, when they ‘flipped the switch’. From on day to the next, just like that. Dry day and night.
8. Do you shop at Primark/Walmart, or do you only but from ‘honest’ labels for your child?
A very noble thought, to only buy from ‘honest’ labels. But let’s be honest here. I don’t have the budget to do that. And there is one other thing the boys taught me: a very expensive pair of trousers are just as vulnerable around the knees as a cheap copy.
9. Are you a drill sergeant or is there room for negotiation?
No, certainly not a drill sergeant. But sometimes, a ‘no’ simply means ‘no’. In the long run, a child will benefit if you are consistent. However, the boys do reach a certain age now where do ask their opinion or that we consult them. And sometimes, we negotiate. Within certain boundaries, of course. It does show them that, even though we might have the last say in a matter, their opinions are valued.
10. Do you let your child cry or are running to hi/her immediately to comfort?
That was a tough one with our first child. I had to resist the urge to go running at the first cry. Along the way, you do learn to identify the different cries. It it serious or not. When they fell, I did not run up to them right away. I’d rather encourage them to get up, that it’s not and that they could keep on playing. Unless they really did hurt themselves. But often the crying is caused by the scare and not actual hurt. And most parents very well know their child’s cries and know when a situation is serious enough. But then there are other parents. Ready with their condescending stares or even remarks. Like if you’re a bad parent. Now, the boys will come home and proudly show their ‘battle wounds’ ;-).
Well, that was the tag and my first non-food blog post. Quite exciting, to be honest.
Thank you for reading 🙂