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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Give everyone a break, please

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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insecuremomI'm insecure. Are you?

With pretty much everything else in my life, I have an I-don’t-care-what-X-thinks attitude, and I go with it in a nice way, but when it comes to raising my kid, I care.

Why?

Because I don’t know what I’m doing! Because if I screw this up, a person goes down! Not a project, a job, a plan – A PERSON.

I know I’m not alone. Why do I feel that way?

I wish there was someone who was #1 Mom -- someone who I could ask all my questions to and know that her answer IS the answer. I know there isn't (because a lot of people have those mugs and shirts), so I do the best for my family and hope to God we all come out OK on the other side. Sometimes I ask for help, sometimes I go with my gut.

I’m doing the best I can. I told myself two years, eight months, and three days ago that’s all I could do.

What I worry about, choose, deny, and believe is what I think is best for my son. Please, give me a break. Give us all a break. Life is hard enough.

I’d like to believe you do the same. I’d like to believe you’re not put down for the choices you think are right for your family. I’d like to think the people of this world, especially the mothers, wouldn't do that (but, unfortunately, I've seen it happen). We do look for advice and help at times, but now, for me at least, I'm scared to. That shouldn't be. We should be helping each other by offering solutions and constructive criticism and encouraging and supporting one another.

If you are being put down or attacked for what you do for your family’s good, drop those offenders and contact me. I wouldn't do that to you. We’re doing the best we can.

If you’re judging the mothers (whose kids are happy) why? If it’s because you’re #1 Mom, contact me! I have a bunch of questions!!

[Special note:

In this post I did not mean to:

  • ask you not to comment
  • complain
  • whine
  • appear uptight
  • impose stress onto my son
  • appear overly stressed
  • misspell or use improper grammar, though I may have
  • imply anything about you
  • appear as if I hate being a mom or hate my family
  • try to make you change anything about raising your family
  • ask you to be anything other than compassionate and nice]

ErinHillErin Hill is a first-time mom to Lincoln, who was born in January 2010. She's learning as she goes and is experiencing everything a new mom goes through while seeing the humor, irony, and enjoyment in her adventures.

Erin is a full-time technical writer and features freelance writer in her "spare time." She lives in Plum with Lincoln, her husband, Adam, their dog, Roxie, and five (yes, five) cats, Nirvana, Gary Roberts, Elvis, Talbot and Forrest.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Picking Battles

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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Cartoon_FightYou may think this is going to be post about picking my battles with my two-year-old.

Well, it’s not.

It’s about picking battles with my 60-something-year-old mother.

My mom does and says a lot that Adam and I don’t like, and we try to limit Lincoln’s alone time with her to avoid any influences we don’t agree with. That sounds terrible, but, you don’t even know…so, let’s move on.

She watches Linc once or twice a month and during this most recent visit to Grandma’s, she gave him a T.V. dinner.

At first I was EXTREMELY jealous because when I was little, my mom never got me the Kid Cuisine I wanted. Then I remembered the lengthy discussion I had (often) with her and how we try to eat whole foods at our house with few ingredients and nothing processed. I recalled we just had a discussion when she was over my house and wanted pop and I told her why we’ll never have pop at our house so she best bring her own.

Now, she’s giving my kid the stuff I don’t – OK, won’t.

I said, “Oh. A T.V. dinner, eh?”

She said, “YEAH! I was going to get him a Happy Meal, but I thought this was healthier.”

I didn’t say anything. God bless her if she thought that. I’m not sure which the better of the two evils so we’ll just assume she’s right. We’ll give her a point.

I figured it’s a rarity when grandma feeds him. When she watches him at our house, I’ve got his food ready. She knows she is NEVER to give him pop. NEVER. I think I told her one time that if she gave him pop, she’d never watch him again. I’m 50% sure she was taking me serious. I was serious.

Now, ya’ll know I may be a little weird about the food, but what about something you value just as much? What if someone did the opposite of what you consider important (without harming anyone), but they didn’t spend that much time with your kid – like Great-Auntie Em gave Billy a toy gun or let Sarah stay up to watch Leno? Is it worth saying something?


ErinHillErin Hill is a first-time mom to Lincoln, who was born in January 2010. She's learning as she goes and is experiencing everything a new mom goes through while seeing the humor, irony, and enjoyment in her adventures.

Erin is a full-time technical writer and features freelance writer in her "spare time." She lives in Plum with Lincoln, her husband, Adam, their dog, Roxie, and five (yes, five) cats, Nirvana, Gary Roberts, Elvis, Talbot and Forrest.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Terrible two -- or is it four?

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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determinedkid“What number is this?” I ask holding up a round puzzle piece with a four on it.

“Two!” Lincoln says confidently.

“Two? Are you sure?” I ask trying not to wreck his confidence this early in his life.

“Yes! Two!”

“No, it’s not two. What number?” I ask KNOWING he knows it’s a four.

“Two!”

“Um…it’s four.”

“NO! TWO!”

“No, Linc,” I say. “This is a two,” I explain holding up the piece with the two.

“Yes,” he says, “and, that’s a two,” he says pointing to the four.

I get that he’s a toddler, but I KNOW HE KNOWS WHAT A FOUR IS! He’s just being, well, two! (Hmmm, isn’t that ironic?) We’ve had similar disagreements over colors, shapes, the names of pets, etc. recently.

I understand resistance during dinner time, bath time, and bed time. No one wants to do that stuff, but to argue about something like a number or color? I don’t get it.

How come he wants to fight with me about that? He knew what a four was the day before. I’m assuming it’s one of those evil phases since it just started (and will hopefully end soon so I can stop worrying that important stuff like this is falling out of his head).


ErinHillErin Hill is a first-time mom to Lincoln, who was born in January 2010. She's learning as she goes and is experiencing everything a new mom goes through while seeing the humor, irony, and enjoyment in her adventures.

Erin is a full-time technical writer and features freelance writer in her "spare time." She lives in Plum with Lincoln, her husband, Adam, their dog, Roxie, and five (yes, five) cats, Nirvana, Gary Roberts, Elvis, Talbot and Forrest.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Field Trips: Is Two Too Young?

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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Lincoln has been going on a lot of field trips this summer with his daycare. I think it’s awesome they do so many activities and get the kids out of the daycare and into the world. They’ve gone to parks, a play at the Apple Hill Playhouse, the Carnegie Science Center and Triple B Farms.

Every time he goes I ask myself, “Is he too young to go on these field trips?”

On top of my wonders and worries, my mom always reminds me that she never let me go on field trips.

“I’d NEVER let you go. NO ONE can watch you as good as me,” she says.

I missed a lot of fun times. I may have also missed the opportunity to get snatched, too. Who knows?

So far, there haven’t been any incidents (that I know of). I’ve seen photos from these trips and there’s always a teacher hovering around. I feel confident that they’re watching him and the others as closely as possible, but there’s always the chance something could happen. I know this and in the back of my mind I worry like crazy about it.

I send Linc on the field trips because I know it’s going to make his day awesome. He gets to ride on a bus (his favorite part) and have fun times with his friends. I tell myself he’ll be fine and have fun. This makes it easier for me to let him go.

I seem to have a problem lately with figuring out if he's old enough or capable of doing something -- these field trips, playing alone with some friends in the other room, etc.

Would you (or have you) send your two-and-a-half-year-old on these field trips? How do you determine if your kids are ready for more freedom or responsibility?


ErinHillErin Hill is a first-time mom to Lincoln, who was born in January 2010. She's learning as she goes and is experiencing everything a new mom goes through while seeing the humor, irony, and enjoyment in her adventures.

Erin is a full-time technical writer and features freelance writer in her "spare time." She lives in Plum with Lincoln, her husband, Adam, their dog, Roxie, and five (yes, five) cats, Nirvana, Gary Roberts, Elvis, Talbot and Forrest.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Other People’s Children

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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playgroundYesterday at the park a little girl about three tapped me on the side and asked if I could help her climb up a pole like I helped Lincoln climb up it.

“I’m sorry, honey,” I said sadly. “I can’t. Where’s your mommy?”

She pointed over to a woman several yards away with her back to us fishing with a bunch kids older than this little girl.

“Get your mommy to help you. I’m sorry,” I said.

Last week, while sitting on the crowded steps of the river walk downtown waiting for the Fourth of July fireworks, a little girl about the same age was switching back and forth between sitting with her mom, who was sitting behind me on the steps, and her grandmother, who was close to the river. Each time this girl passed me, I held her hand so she could step down that big last step.

I felt weird in both situations – like I was doing something wrong.

So, I ask you, what do you do?

I try to measure the level of involvement by me, a stranger, in determining my boundaries. I also factor in the possibility of injury. For the girl on the steps, I was just holding her hand. For the girl at the park, I’d be picking her up and pushing her up the pole. However, my thoughts on our interaction may not be the same as their mothers’. Honestly, I have no idea what to do!

 I wanted desperately to help the little girl at the park. He mother wasn’t paying attention to her and never really turned back to make sure she was still there where she left her. She really wanted to go up that pole. I would have been fine helping her, but would her mother?

Neither the mother nor the grandmother said anything to me when I helped the little girl down the steps each time. No “thank you.” No “don’t touch my kid.” No nothing. Was I doing something wrong or not by preventing her from falling and smashing her face on the concrete?

Also, I feel weird when I tell another kid not to hit or push Lincoln or to take turns when they’re trying to cut in front of Lincoln in a line. I fully believe it’s in my right to tell a kid not to hurt or bully my kid, but I still feel funny about it.

What are your boundaries with a stranger’s interaction with your kids in these situations? Would you care if they helped him or her up the pole or pushed them on the swing or held their hand so they wouldn’t fall? What if they reprimanded your kid for doing something wrong to their kid?

What would you do for another kid you didn’t know?


ErinHillErin Hill is a first-time mom to Lincoln, who was born in January 2010. She's learning as she goes and is experiencing everything a new mom goes through while seeing the humor, irony, and enjoyment in her adventures.

Erin is a full-time technical writer and features freelance writer in her "spare time." She lives in Plum with Lincoln, her husband, Adam, their dog, Roxie, and five (yes, five) cats, Nirvana, Gary Roberts, Elvis, Talbot and Forrest.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.