Diaper Duty

Erin and her son Lincoln

Diaper Duty - Join Erin on the journey of a lifetime.  Along with her first born, Lincoln, (born in 2010), Erin is learning the "art of being a baby mama"




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Meeting baby's needs brings us both peace

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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Reagan is very different from Lincoln when he was her age. I think.

From what I can remember, Lincoln didn’t fuss, didn’t have separation anxiety, and was fine to play alone while I loaded the dishwasher or got a drink of water.

I may have made that up.

With only one child as my main focus and responsibility, it was easy to switch from one thing to him and back to doing what I was doing. With two, not so much. Reagan seems to be a little more difficult. I expected this. I felt lucky with Lincoln and convinced myself the second, no matter who he or she was, would be terrible because Lincoln was a breeze. I mean, that’s what I deserved. She’s not terrible, but she’s definitely challenging for me sometimes.

Before you get all “OOOooo babies are so hard. Yeah, stupid, it’s a baby,” I will admit I was SPOILED. Lincoln spoiled me. Having one child for four years spoiled me. I got it.

Last week was a difficult one for me. While everyone in my house was sick (including me) and preparing to host Thanksgiving, Reagan decided she would start the “MOMMY-OMG-DON’T-LEAVE-ME-EVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR” phase of life. Her constant crying whenever I’d put her down was wearing me down, and I told myself I was failing. I was a terrible mother. I wasn’t spending every minute my baby wanted to be with me WITH her, and I wasn’t “cherishing the moment that will be gone before I know it.” What can I say? I had to stuff a darn turkey! I had to clean up puke (constantly)! I had to pee!

Mid-week I told myself to fix it. After all, the way I was feeling was my fault. I either wasn’t doing what I thought I should be OR I was feeling terrible for no reason. I decided to act as I should and tend to my baby like she wanted – most of the time.

She hung out in her carrier on my chest while I peeled potatoes. She accompanied me in the shower. We sat when she wanted to sit and walked when she wanted to walk. We played. We danced. It was awesome.

While accepting this time in her life and meeting her needs does make everything take longer to do (so much longer) or at times prohibit me from doing anything at all, I know this phase won’t last forever. I’m not a fan of stress, especially unnecessary stress, so when my baby needs me, I’m there. I’m happy to report there’s no crying or self-loathing this week.

 

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My baby is one - My sunshine in a gloomy year

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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Memories by ChristyMy sweet baby Reagan is one! Where did this year go?

In a year filled with stress, family turmoil, a car accident, and the death of my father-in-law, Reagan was our sunshine – a shining light through some dark clouds. I truly believe she was given to us to get us through this year with smiles still on our faces. She’s literally been an example that life goes on.

When bad things happened before I had kids, I often got sad or frustrated far longer than maybe I should have. I often felt hope was lost when one little thing would go wrong (thanks Type A personality). With the kids, though, I know that we just move on and that they are the reason that has to happen. They are the bright side.

As my possibly last baby grows, I’m reminded that things don’t last – both good and bad. Everything ends. I love to watch her and take in what she exploring and learning that second. She loves to play with her kitchen and “make soup.” Stirring and stirring a wooden spoon in a little wooden red toy pot is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

I’m lucky I stop and watch my kids. I’m lucky I remember to. I look. I listen. Even in the busiest of times or a stressful moment, I see them. We’re always told (over and over) that our time with our children goes fast. It does, but one the most important thing we can do with these fleeting moments is be in them.

Happy birthday, Reagan, and Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

 

 

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Establishing a bed time for an older child

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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My kids don’t have bedtimes. I’ve respected the fact that Lincoln is a night person. As a fellow night person, I know how horrible it is to lay in your bed at 8 and count the hours until you fall asleep. Reagan puts herself to bed at 9:30 every single night. How nice of her!

We’re all in bed by 11. Linc has never really had a problem waking up or at school with this routine so we’ve seen no reason to change it.

However, lately, I’ve been feeling kinda ripped off.

I don’t get to do things “after the kids go to sleep,” including one of the big things I miss -- alone time with my husband.

I kinda wish I had some of that time, but, when wrestling with having time as a family vs. having time as a couple, family time (and late nights) always win.

I’ve been thinking of my options, but I was just wondering if anyone else has had to establish a bed time with an almost five year old. Were you successful? How?

 

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Date with a Man Who Wasn't my Husband

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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I finally got a date night, y’all. It’s been so long, and I was really missing my man – my son!

Lincoln and I had a surprise date after a birthday party we were supposed to go to was canceled, and it was so fun! (Reagan had a fever and was home with daddy.)

It’s been so long since it’s just been me and my boy out on the town. We talked, laughed, hugged, and kissed all without that baby interrupting. (Disclaimer: I LOVE my baby, but sometimes, you know, you just miss giving all your attention to the first born.)

ANYWAY! We had a great time. I miss being with Lincoln alone a lot. We used to do everything together alone, and he was my buddy.

He’s still my buddy, of course, but my time and attention is divided (and not equally). Most of my attention is on Reagan. She’s a baby after all. Linc is almost five and great at doing things on his own. Also, my husband “steals” Lincoln because (I think) he’s afraid of Reagan.

I’m glad we had our time together and hope to do it more often. When Reagan gets bigger, we’ll have some date time, too.

Do you go on date with your kids individually?

 

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Surprise! I can read mom!

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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Like every parent, I’m constantly surprise and taken off guard by my kids.

One day, Reagan can’t stand. The next, she can. Next week, I expect her to take off on those little feet of hers.

Lincoln is just amazing. His brain is growing a million times over every day. On Tuesday, he read me book.

READ ME A BOOK! (He's four.)

In September, I enrolled him in a phonics program at his daycare where he visits a special teacher for 20 minutes three times a week, and he can read a dang book now!

I’m not sure when kids are supposed to start reading. I assume in kindergarten the foundation is laid? Maybe not? Really, I don’t know. I put no pressure on him to read. He picked the class himself, and I couldn’t be prouder. One thing I’d secretly like him to be is a reader. I am not. (Say again? A writer who isn’t a reader? THAT’S RIGHT!) People who read seem so fancy and super smart to me. I’d love to tell someone I read the book they’re talking about, but then, well, I’d have to read the book. Not gonna happen. I’m OK with that.

Anyway, my boy can read!

What crazy cool thing has your kids done lately that’s surprised you?! Come on and brag!

 

 

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