Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Reasons Why I Am A Bad Mother

I hope the fall TV season starts soon. Nothing makes you feel quite so loser-ly as settling on the couch, pressing play on the Tivo and hearing “Previously on Fat March…”.

We came home from vacation to a completely defrosted refrigerator and freezer. Not good. I think I didn’t close the door all the way when we left for vacation. Everything was ruined. All sorts of salad dressings and frozen homemade pasta sauces and chicken broth and cheeses and ice cream and juices and my beloved Dr. Pepper, once cool and delicious, now thawed and warm. But all that was nothing compared to the devastation of losing all of the frozen breast milk in the freezer. My precious Maddie milk, that I was parsing out to her just a little a day in order to s-t-r-e-t-c-h it out, so I could say she was breastfeed for (x) months.

Replenishing that is going to be a problem. For reasons I don’t understand, my right breast has closed up shop. No more milk on that side at all. My oversized bigger-than-the-other-side breast is the only source of nourishment. I breastfeed Avery and pump in between for Maddie. But my milk may be drying up on that side too, since Avery seems increasingly hungry after BFing and pumping usually yields low amounts. I know I can’t really blame myself. And even if it was my fault, I have the ultimate trump card of “I am taking care of two newborns.” But still it makes me feel like a bad mother.

Other reasons why Child Services might show up:

• I am remiss in instituting tummy time. Flipping the girls over onto their oversized bellys and watching them struggle to arrange the arms and get off of their stuffed stomachs is just so is difficult to watch. They look so uncomfortable. And when I look into their eyes before they smash their noses into the floor again I can almost see them pleading with me to stop the madness. My justification for this is that they both have very good muscle tone and they have been supporting their own heads since almost birth. Besides, Maddie rolls to her side all the time, usually to gaze lovingly at her (other) mother or to get away from her sister. And Avery’s fat rolls keep her head nice and erect.

• Maddie will grow up thinking her name is “When did she nap?” and Avery will think that her name is “When did she eat last?” These are the phrases we toss around most frequently in regards to these two babies. Maddie might also respond to Maddiegator, Maddie-kins, Madd-a-licious and The Madness of King George. Avery might respond to Aviator, Aves, Ave, Avy-kins, Little Friend, Mini Friend and Chunk-a-licious. But Madeline and Avery? Blank stares.

• I let them watch TV. Something about the bright lights and moving pictures calms and mesmerizes them. Avery actually cooed and laughed while watching a fashion show on the Today Show. They both get fidgety if we pause a show for even a moment. I started this practice at 12 weeks 10 weeks 8 weeks 4 weeks old. Yes, at a mere month of age, I discovered that television will be an active parent part of our children’s lives. I like to say that they are watching Meet the Press and PBS and C-Span, but that would be a lie. Big Brother, My Life on the D List, Top Chef and the aforementioned Fat March are on the Tivo list. Like I said, it is summer and the pickins’ are slim.

• Maddie already has diaper rash and Avery has super-dry alligator skin. And both girls get dust bunnies between their fingers. Dust bunnies IN my children. I have to be responsible for these things to a point.

I could go on, but my ego can’t take it.

I finished Harry Potter. I was not as pleased as others seem to be. But that is a whole nother post.

An empty refrigerator is an interesting thing. Almost a metaphor. Like a clean slate. Yes, I was the one to leave the door open. But the fridge should have sensed my flaws and compensated by NOT defrosting everything. Obviously this picture was taken during happier times, before the fridge chewed up and spit out our hunted-and-gathered foods. Below is a self portrait from vacation. How pretentious does that sound? Self portrait. Ha!


nailgirl said...

Aww dont beat your self up over it. Shit happens. I am a firm believer in the church of t.v lol. I grew up at the church of t.v and Check me out lmao! Any hoo that does blow about the breast milk.

Katie said...

It sucks that you had to return form your vacation to a mini disaster at home. As if there isn't enough stuff to deal with when you get home (laundry, mail, phone calls etc). But think of the bright side, you got rid of anything old and expired as well.

Audra said...

Sucky about the fridge! I too share your view about Harry Potter, I was very disappointed!

Anonymous said...

Have the children checked out "Scott Biao is 45 and single?" I highly recommend it.


Dee said...

That sucks about the fridge! All that hard work down the sink. I also agree with Harry Potter. I enjoyed the book but the last chapter just didn't do it for me. And, Riley also really enjoys BB and Top Chef. But I'm even worse, I've let her watch the Girls Next Door. Poor kid!

calliope said...

major bummer about the fridge. & what a pain to come home to. I am also in the club of "didn't like the end of HP7".

& who knew other people were watching BB?!?! It is my secret shame. I even read message boards to find out who got nominated & the veto before the show airs...

Oh- & wasn't there something in the news recently about how all of those special videos for babies were actually bad? I just remember some talking head saying, "so the babies are better off watching american idol".


Eva said...

I am so, so sorry about the breast milk. That is my worst nightmare. The amount of work that goes into pumping an ounce, I can't imagine losing a whole freezer supply.

I know you didn't ask for advice about this, but it may just be that Avery is going through a growth spurt. I've read, and found myself, that when the kiddos went through growth spurts, they wanted to nurse all the time, until they helped my body increase the supply, and then things slowed down a bit. If you can (and I know, it's insanely hard), you could try to nurse and pump as much as possible for a couple of days, and see if that helps your supply.

We found Eucerin creme -- not lotion-- was great for dry newborn skin.

All these things are inevitable part of parenthood. It doesn't make you a bad mom, just a human one.

singletracey said...

Normally I lurk... but wanted to pop out of lurkdom today to say hi and let you know that your daughters are beautiful and the family on your previous posts is great.

I admire you and personally think you are a great mother.. with two... it is doubly hard and your managing! great job!!

Shelli said...

Malka, at almost 2 years old (gasp, ack, how the F*ck did THAT happen?) responds to "Cheeky" and "tush-tush" WAY more often than Malka.

Don't worry.

And um the tv thing? Don't worry - they'll still grow up to be rhodes scholars, don't worry - they just won't have the "ooo, I MUST watch tv when mommies are gone" problem, because it will be a part of their culture already. Just like Malka. ;)

K J and the kids said...

I remember this all too well. Who ate, how much, who was changed last, when did they sleep ?

I think dust bunnies IN your children are referred to as shmegma :) ha ha

K J and the kids said...

OH I forgot.
SO SORRY ABOUT THE MILK ! OMG, it's like GOLD, that frozen milk. I would have CRIED out LOUD.

Also, I know others of given advice. I will as well :) Bag Balm. The best thing EVER for really bad diaper rashes.

Kerry Lynn said...

Shmeg between fingers - check
watch tv - check
breast milk went away - check
not calling babies by name - check

guess i'm a bad mom too. but you're not as bad as me because you have yet to clip the skin off a finger and make them bleed...twice! (you'd think i'd have learned from the first incident)

utRus said...

kerry lynn, i cliped my boy's finger too! child services coming to get me as well. oh it sucked.

that is CRAP about the breastmilk. i've got like 540 oz stored out in our sub zero right now and the thought of it being spoiled makes me sick to my stomach. but i guess we need to learn to let go of these sorts of things - i mean, truth is, your Aviator and Madikins won't be any worse for the wear. still sucks the big one, though.

about TV... well, i'm too scared to let my babelets even see a screen - TV or computer. have heard too much (probably unsubstantiated) stuff about autism and learning disabilities with too much exposure too young. but they WILL be watching plenty of retro Sesame Street at about 3 or 4!

you are NOT a bad mom. you rock. and you guys are gorgeous.

lagiulia said...

You are not a bad mom. NONONONONONO!
Because if you are, then I am too. I've done pretty much everything you listed (dustbunnies included). And I have too much shit in my life to add "bad mom" to the list. So this must not be uttered ever again, you hear?

F-in' A about the frozen breastmilk. I would've had a days-long fit. I don't want you to think of this as advice or judgment at all: are you interested in trying Domperidone for breast milk increase? Some friends have sworn by it. But if your answer is "Suck it, laG," I'll completely understand. And I think formula is a-ok. Afterall, I was formula fed and had nary an ear infection.

And TV? For a long time I held out, but when I began to go insane, I gave in. We're all about Barney, Sesame Street, and a DVD of "Mr. Mom," which to boys watch over and over again (okay, I skip over the soap-opera scene with the gun, but other than that they sometimes watch the whole freakin thing). And I feel really quite bad about that. But obviously I'm doing my best right now. TWINS, man. One thing I don't buy is the link between learning disabilities/autism and TV. I am now employed at a school for children with learning disabilities and have had to read a lot of books and do workshops about this stuff. Learning disabilities are about the brain you are *born with* and genetics, not about how you is raised. Even if a learning disability appears later on, it is still about the brain you were born with. So you may raise TV junkies, but other than that, don't panic for now. You're doing your best, right? TWINS. Dude, that's a lot of frickin' baby.

lagiulia said...

"How you is raised." Hmm. Maybe I have a brain issue myself.

The Kotars said...

Have you tried Baby Einstein? We had Baby Mozart actually and my son really dug it. In fact they have this feature, where you can press 'repeat play'. I would put him in his bouncy chair, press play and let him watch. I was able to actually do stuff around the house.

As far as the loss of breastmilk goes, well that just sucks. Pumping is SO HARD and it is very sad when that milk goes to waste. I was only able to bf for 4 months or so. The stress of going back to work, not having a good place to pump at work, etc...made me dry up. I drank a ton of water and nothing seemed to help me produce more. Plus my son was taking in as much as 16+ ounces a day and I simply could not keep up. I can't even imagine feeding two of him! So we switched to formula and everything was fine. But, yes, pumping is very hard!!

Check out Baby Mozart!!

ms.bri said...

Oh holy hell I am SOOO sorry about the breastmilk. That is heart-shatteringly crap.

I was raised with every TV in the house on at all times in every room (seriously - we had between 3-7 TV's throughout). I am far from a TV junkie, having burned out on it. I watch only a few shows with any regularity (when not on bedrest, mind you).

UtRus said...

This just out today regarding TV and kids:;_ylt=AoQPUBIm8XK9EtoLc3cZK10E1vAI