the domestic tales of four sisters

Dear New Mom …

Dear New Mom,

I’m speaking to you and to you only. Because I’m one of you. I’m just shy of 25 years old, I’ve spent most of the past 7 years babysitting and nannying other people’s kids, and I thought having one of my own would be easy. Labor and delivery went great. Brought the baby home, that also went great.

But then things started happening …

Friends started making comments on Facebook reminding me how I could do it better, or how I’m doing it wrong. I started seeing “shares” on social media of how babies died suddenly after their vaccinations or after mom put cereal in their bottle … as I was feeding my baby cereal. A week after her first round of shots.

I see post after post, tip after tip, information after information … all of it saying one thing:

I’m a bad mom.

I cry to my sisters, my mom, and my dad. They all tell me to shut up that I’m doing great.

But then one more person says something. One more person comments in a “helpful tone” or I see one more post about how breastfed babies live longer than formula fed babies. Or how formula contains arsenic and leftover soil from nuclear bomb testing sites. (Made that last one up … ) I’m told she can’t sleep on her side. She can’t sleep up to 40 minutes after she ate or she could choke on spitup and die like some drunken frat boy – but don’t lay her on her side or stomach! I’m reminded of how babies can’t have this, and is she holding her head up now? She should be. She isn’t? Oh you should have that looked at. She could have autism. She smiles a lot, have you had her hearing checked? She might be deaf. My friend’s baby died in his sleep two years ago right after she gave him Tylenol. Don’t give the baby Tylenol. Oh … you use Enfamil formula? You know they found rat poisoning in that four years ago? Yeah like 3 kids died or something like that. Don’t give her a bath in the sink. She shouldn’t taste solids before 6 months. Don’t you DARE give her peanut butter before 2 years of age. What do you MEAN you let her try a sweet potato! Do you understand that swaddling prevents SIDS? I don’t care if she pulls her hands out and screams when she’s swaddled – she could die, Kelsea! The baby food might say organic and preservative free, but they spray the containers with preservatives. DON’T LET HER SUCK HER THUMB! DON’T LET HER SUCK ON A BINKY! DON’T FEED HER FROM THOSE BOTTLES! RICE CEREAL KILLS BABIES!!!

STOP THE MADNESS!!!!!

This is my plea. This is my outreach.

My daughter is 3 months old. In the past 3 months these things have happened:

1) She fell off my lap and landed on a dog. Who then looked at me and judged me because I dropped the baby. She didn’t cry. Just grinned. It was like a ride or something.
2) She has been vaccinated.
3) She has had rice in her bottle. She has had rice cereal.
4) She has tried a sweet potato, sucked on a few jelly beans, and had a little lick of chocolate.
5) She has had formula, breastmilk, and expressed milk. Mostly formula. And now entirely formula.
6) She has been bathed in Johnson & Johnson – EVERY SINGLE NIGHT since she was 1 month old.
7) She has cried herself to sleep.
8) She has slept on her stomach.
9) She has been licked all over her face by the dogs.
10) She has coslept.
11) She has slept in her crib. And her bouncy seat.
12) She refuses to sleep on her back. Unswaddled. Only sleeps her side.
13) She will not sleep without her fuzzy blanket.
14) She pulls it over her face. Despite countless efforts to make her stop.
15) Sometimes she has to sit by herself and cry while I wash bottles, the dishes, vacuum the floors, or other things.
16) She drinks generic formula, name brand formula, and once she has tried organic formula.
17) I always make sure to get her face a little wet during baths.
18) She has received Tylenol twice.
19) She has drank out of a bottle that was only rinsed and not scrubbed and sanitized – exactly three times.
20) I have picked her binky up off the floor and popped it back in her mouth. Without rinsing.
21) She loves Baby Einstein and Rugrats. She watches them both daily.
22) Sometimes I give her “away” to her dad and go hide in the shower for 20 minutes. Even when she screams.
23) I drank coffee and wine/beer when I breastfed.
24) She has been on a schedule since she was 4 days old.

I am happy to report that my child is still alive. Even through all of my reckless parenting. Even through being a bad mom.

She still thinks I’m hilarious. She still smiles at me. And she sleeps through the night. Gains weight. And grows.

See from the outside I look like a bad mom. From the outside I’m doing it all wrong.

But you don’t really know the whole story.

My child has slept through the night since 5 weeks. (Even though I do not!) I am not sleep deprived because my baby doesn’t sleep. I am sleep deprived because I am constantly checking on her because the world has convinced me my child will die of SIDS. At 5 weeks I started feeding her “AR” formula for her last bottle. This “Acid Reflux Formula” is just regular old formula with some rice starch in it. I didn’t do this so I could sleep longer. I did this because a normal 5 week old is waking up at least twice a night to eat, and my child refused. Cardinal Rule: Don’t wake a sleeping baby. I felt like crap having my 5 week old sleep through the night and then wake up starving hungry every morning – at 7:30/8AM! So I started giving her the rice formula.

Something amazing happened … She didn’t die.

As a new mom I’m sure you’ve heard it all. You have tried to go the right route, only breastfeed, don’t do this, avoid this, don’t do that, avoid that … you’re tired and overwhelmed and feeling like a massive failure. You wake up and check on your sleeping infant at least 4 times a night, because again the world has inundated you with the idea that the crib is a death trap and it is out to suck your child of their life. SIDS is lurking around every single corner in your frame of mind. You cannot escape it.

I know that our grandparents always scream at us and say things like, “Shoot! We drank and smoked while pregnant and drove in cars with no seatbelts! We rubbed whiskey on the teething gums!” But the reality is – they really DID do those things and SOMEHOW our parents survived. Somehow! Now I am by no means advocating that you give your kid whiskey, smoke and drink while pregnant, or not buckle your kids up. What I am saying is we live in a world full of fear and full of prevention and full of “don’ts!” but very few of …

You’re doing a good job…”
“Don’t sweat the small stuff…”
“Who cares if the house is dirty…”
“Who cares if the baby eats jarred food…”
“Don’t worry if you feed the baby formula!”

We are plagued with worry, fear, and worst of all … guilt. Guilt that if we don’t follow the books, the opinions, and the ideas of all that we are somehow failing and we are riddled with an all consuming guilt that (wait for it…) AFFECTS how we parent! Instead of being a hands on mom who goes with her gut and with her instinct and what she feels is right for her and her baby we allow the guilt to override and consume us and somehow make all of our decisions for us.

Here’s the brass tacks … I don’t give a rats ass how you parent your child. I don’t care if they share your bed, if they’re breastfed, or if they’re eating peanut butter before the age of 2. And you shouldn’t care what I’m doing with my kid or what anyone else is doing with theirs!

As a fellow new mom this is my plea for you – don’t allow the opinions of others or the books dictate how you take care of your child. If your baby is happy, healthy, growing, and developing … does it really matter what everyone else thinks? Stop allowing the guilt to remove your effectiveness. Only accept opinions and suggestions that you ask for. Do what works for you and for your baby. The rest is all just a blur.

Sidebar: For all of those who suggest, “make helpful comments,” and input advice here and there don’t think we hate you. Don’t think we are annoyed with you. But please do realize that what worked for you with your kids is by no means a roadmap to what works for another family. Kindly suggest when the opinion is asked for. Don’t scare us, don’t guilt us, reach down somewhere inside of you and remember how you felt as a new mom. Remember the nights of no sleep because of worry or fear. Remember everyone telling you over and over what you should and shouldn’t do. Remember the guilt. Remember how overwhelmed. Then step back and remind the new mom that she’s doing a great job. Ask her if she would like help with the baby so she can get an uninterrupted shower. Send her a card of encouragement. Remind her that this too shall pass.

Now if you’ll excuse me … my little obnoxious human is screaming at me and I have to shut her up with some nuclear bomb laden formula. Then feed her rice cereal thinned out with tequila. (Sarcasm Font.)

I’m going to parenting hell.

signaturek

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UPDATE 6/26/13: This post has received significant attention today, and we appreciate all of you readers and commenters! With that said I feel that I should mention a few things. This post was written two months ago and great news! My kid is still alive! I fear that the message behind this post is being inundated by people assuming I am encouraging my type of parenting on others. This is not the case. As I stated how you raise your child is your own right.

My child is not abused. She is so happy and so healthy. And we have a good thing going here. Our mother works as a director in a division of Child Protective Services. I don’t take lightly the accusation that I abuse my child as I have heard HORROR stories of actual abuse. Please be cautious using that word. The weight it carries can be detrimental to many. As far as allowing her to “cry it out.” You should note that as I am married to a man in the military I’m on my own most of the time. I don’t whine about this as there are many women who do this whole parenting thing on their own. However, I AM married and I do rely heavily on my husband in sharing parenting duties. Because he works such long hours sometimes it is impossible to rush over to every cry my daughter has. I keep her well-fed, diapers changed, and burped – but sometimes those dishes do need washed. And she had to learn to fall asleep on her own, because when she goes to bed I don’t. I am the owner of a small bakery, and I still have a home to manage (almost) entirely on my own. The “cry it out” period lasted roughly a week. I am the proud mother of an almost 6 month old who falls asleep when I lay her down awake at night, will chill out on the floor with her toys while I wash dishes or make phone calls for work, and sleeps 12+ hours a night and 4-6 hours a day. (I will toot my horn about that!) The Ferber Method is not embraced by all, and I get that. But in this house it’s what we use.

Many have commented that my choice to vaccinate is poor as is my choice to formula feed. I believe electing to vaccinate your child is your own decision. It isn’t something to be debated publicly. It is a choice my husband and I make, and there should be no judgment there. In regards to formula feeding… I breastfed and pumped for the first 3 months of my daughter’s life. Nine (yes, 9!) days after I gave birth to her I was in a car on a journey to move across the country as my husband serves in the military. Even though I had just given birth it was no excuse. We had to move due to his new orders. I pumped and breastfed as much as possible. Sadly my milk supply dropped due to significant stress as well as the move and I was never able to get it back up – despite many tries with herbal supplements and teas and gallons of water. Furthermore I had to switch contraceptives as I was having a bad reaction to what I was put on. Choosing to switch entirely to formula BUMMED me out. And the conversation I had with both my husband and my daughter’s pediatrician resulted in tears. I did not want to give it up. And my hope is that with #2 I can breastfeed and pump as long as possible.

I love my daughter. More than I will ever be able to put into words. The point of this post was to remind women like me that the discouragement and pressure we feel from others cannot wear us down. It was to encourage others around me that despite their choice to vaccinate or breastfeed – it’s ok!

As far as the jellybeans and chocolate – I should mention both only happened once. Both were just little licks. And her gut is doing great. It’s full of yummy, homemade baby food and covered in a ton of kisses from her mom. Who cherishes her more than anyone can fathom. Please also note that I don’t feed my daughter spoons of peanut butter. She’s clearly far too young for that. I choose to stay away from foods the pediatrician tells me to. Though surprisingly the list grew much shorter as the American Academy of Pediatrics has said that introducing new foods does not increase the chances of allergic reactions, but avoiding certain foods to a certain age is beneficial in the event of anaphylactic shock. These foods mainly being eggs, honey, and peanut butter/nuts. Your pediatrician can help you determine when those foods should/can be introduced. (Clearly I am not uneducated as some comments may lead you to believe.)

Many of these comments broke me. They made me cry a little and feel somewhat of a failure. But then I was reminded of something my mother always said … (She has 7 children. All of us healthy, happy adults.) “I raise my children to be people. To be human beings that respect and love others.” And in the end that’s what this is. Not jarred baby food, breastmilk, or formula … It’s raising tiny humans and teaching them how to be people. Human beings that respect and love others. And my hope is when my daughter is 25 years old and faced with insurmountable piles of judgment and hostility she stands up and remembers what I taught her … Not what I fed her.

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55 thoughts on “Dear New Mom …”

  • Love this!! You rock….I even put the sound machine in the crib with the cord. He survived! Who would of thought. 😉

  • What you’re saying is, “Go ahead and give your baby a poor start in life, because she’ll still love you, and probably survive”. And she probably will, too, and because you’re her mom, of course she’ll still love you and smile at you! She trusts you with all her heart, because I am sure you do love her, play with her, cuddle her.
    But some of your choices are still not the best, and I can see that you know it.
    I only hope for both your sakes that you won’t regret some of your choices down the road. And that not too many women reading this will follow your lead.

  • Hi Kelsea! I am also 25ish, though not a mom yet. I’m hoping to change that in the next couple years 🙂

    I have been spending the last year or so starting my research about fertility, conceiving, pregnancy, birth, etc. I’ve also worked at a daycare and been a nanny.

    I totally get where you are coming from. No one is going to be a perfect parent, ever. My parents were not perfect, and I will not be perfect. Everyone’s version of doing it right is different and you’ll never make everyone happy. You’re not supposed to! As long as your child is happy and healthy, and you are doing your best, that is all you need to do.

    With that said, I do want to just ask that you take a critical look at the amount of toxins we are exposed to every day, and the toxins we expose our children to. Vaccinations, genetically modified foods, and even “safe” baby skin products like body wash are a huge deal, and not one to be taken lightly.

    I know that I don’t know you, and I know that it’s none of my business what you do as a parent, but I always try to talk to moms about vaccinations especially, because I don’t want anyone to have to say “I wish someone had told me” when they are dealing with a vaccine injury. They are real, and they are prevalent, and they can be life-changing. You can take or leave my advice, but I just wanted to let you know that you have choices, and there is information out there that might lead you to make a new best decision about your family.

    • I see you’re one of “those people.” As someone who works with children (autistic ones at that) allow me to explain something to you. Not getting your children vaccinated is the most ignorant thing you can possibly do but let me explain why. Everyone else is vaccinated and then people like you show up and as different strains of viruses pop up your children get them this leads to more issues because strains change all the time so while children like yours breed them everyone else who is vaccinated starts getting ill. Polio was nearly completely eradicated do you have ANY clue how dangerous that disease is? Do you know it’s airborne? Did you also know that it comes on with NO warning? Last but not least were you also aware that because of people like you spreading false information on vaccines and not getting your children vaccinated you’ve brought Polio back at a quickening pace? I seriously doubt that you did. Polio IS coming back and it is attributed to people who do not get vaccinations. So, before you go judging this woman I suggest you take a long hard look at some of the choices you’re making. By the way, vaccinations do not cause Autism in case you happen to believe that as well and a 20min google search will show exactly that.

      • If vaccines are so safe and effective my unvaccinated child wouldn’t infect your vaccinated child. Trust the almighty vaccine huh?

        Do you know what’s IN those vaccines you pump into your child’s body? I’m not trying to say your a bad parent for using them. To each their own. But don’t condem me for making an informed parenting decision. It doesn’t all have to do with autism please get your facts straight. There are thousands of reasons not to vaccinate your child.

        • ^That comment is proof that you haven’t researched COMMUNITY IMMUNITY. Vaccines work because we’re all vaccinated! The reason your kid hasn’t contracted Polio is because parents like me believe in containing contagious diseases by vaccinating. The “almighty vaccine” doesn’t work on my 9 month old baby because she hasn’t received it yet! But you know what she can receive at this age? Polio! Measles! Mumps!

          We live in a global America where air travel is easy and convenient for anyone and eveyone from places that might not have access to vaccines like we do. What do you suggest I do? Stick my kid in a bubble until she’s fully vaccinated?

    • Oh, you spent an entire “year or so” researching vaccines? And in that “year or so” you have decided against them? And you try to educate other parents on the subject with your “year or so” of experience? Oh, really? So should we all just ignore the many many many years of research by real professionals and doctors and scientists because of your “year or so” of online research? Wow.

  • Apparently you only publish comments that cheer you on. Of course, you have that right, as it is your blog. But does that lead to honest debate? Obviously not. I am concerned for your baby, and your blatant disregard to reason.
    Is it dropping your baby on the dog? No, these things happen. Or picking up the soother and popping it back in her mouth without washing it? Not at all.
    But don’t you think that looking up the ingredients in vaccines and finding out what each ingredient will do to the human body would be a smart thing to do?
    And do you read the ingredients in formula…… the first ingredient being high fructose corn syrup…. can that be healthy?
    Anyway, your choice. Too bad you’re not dealing with a doll, but a real, live, human baby.

      • Okay, sorry…… I saw that my post was being moderated, and then it was gone….

        And yes, I’ll look up your recipes for making your own baby food! Did you know you can also make your own, healthy, baby formula? If you’re interested, Dr. Mercola and the Weston Price Foundation have some excellent recipes. My daughter-in-law made her own formula when she had to give up breast feeding, and her little guy was thriving on it!

    • How can you condem someone for formula feeding??? Some people just can not produce breast milk. What are they supposed to do, not feed them anything???

  • You are an ignorant new mom. Feeling guilt is YOUR issue. Not all you are doing is bad and some of it, is. But you can find that our for yourself. This whole thing is ridiculous and not really based in reality. Have 5 kids and some actual experience and then write this again. Good luck. You have a couple key things right – it is your business how you raise your kid and you shouldn’t feel guilt about it. At least not guilt created by others. No matter what kind of parent you are, every single one will have some kind of guilt. Let it be guilt from actual results and experience though. Only someone who is very immature, inexperienced and again, ignorant, would allow themselves to feel guilt based on what other people think. Again, good luck on your parenting adventure. I hope you don’t eat your words one day (but you will) 😉 I know far more knowledgable women who have regretted how they parented – you will not be any different.

    • “Have 5 kids and get some actual experience….” This is her first baby Lori. She is learning and building that “experience” you so IGNORANTLY refer to above. When you had your FIRST baby, were you confident and unwavering in every single parenting decision you made? I highly doubt it. EVERY first time mother feels a bit of anxiety and unease (and yes, even guilt). I found humor in Kelsey’s post, because I could identify with putting undue pressure on myself as a result of all the differing opinions and unsolicited parenting suggestions. In the past year I felt like a failure b/c I couldn’t get my daughter to latch and breastfeed. I felt guilty when I had to supplement formula (for 1 bottle) at 1-week old because she wasn’t gaining weight and I had to get my milk supply up. I felt guilty when I stopped pumping full-time b/c I had to return back to work (I was pumping every 3 hours around the clock for the first 3 months of her life). But guess what? None of that makes me a bad mom. I think all Kelsey was trying to say with her post is that WE ARE ALL DOING THE BEST WE CAN. As mothers, we all put enough pressure on ourselves to parent and raise our children the best way we know how. Let’s stop judging one another and just accept that we choose to parent differently.

    • So while you’re feeding your children the right things and cleaning them organically are you also teaching them to be rude, toxic hearted and judge mental? Because if so kelseas Emma will be the one to surpass your kids with her love and kindness that her mother has deemed more important. That goes for all of you nasty women saying mean things to kelsea. If you really cared you’d privately message her. Not try to humiliate her. Shame on you.

    • I also fed my sons formula and had them vaccinated…….and guess what…. they are healthy, young 24 and 22 year olds…….and were pretty healthy all their childhood… we can sit and worry about everything in life but whatever is supposed to happen will happen whether we are doing “all the right things”.

  • Sorry dude, I hate to say this, but you are making some piss-poor choices as a mother. I feel for your daughter.

  • You are doing a great job Kelsea, both as a mother and a military wife! Parenting has always been one of those subjects that is changed more than diapers! Don’t take Tylenol…I don’t think tylenol existed when I was pregnant with Trista, so I took Excedrin…oh no, caffeine! Don’t use baby powder…I did and she didn’t suffocate! She had all her vacinations and has lived to see 39 years next month. Hot water bottles work and they don’t scald themselves, etc.. I could go on and on, but my point is, there is always some “expert” who is going to come out in the next week or two with something you should or shouldn’t do and 20 years from now, they will realize he/she was wrong! Forget what others say, what the books tell you, and do what you want/feel is best for YOUR CHILD!

  • Holy smokes, I can’t believe the ridiculously vicious comments people are leaving. My son is 16 months old. I didn’t produce milk so he was formula fed, had baby food from a jar as well as homemade when I had time to make it (yes, I said when I had time…I’m a self-employed working mom so I went back to work after my doctor cleared me), and had him vaccinated. What the “my way is so much better because I do everything organically” people fail to see is what’s ideal for them and their little ones isn’t ideal for everyone. My husband and I did our research on vaccines and felt the pros of vaccinating our son far outweighed the cons. (Again, to each their own). I raise my wine glass to you for bearing such personal thoughts with the world. Lastly, any mother out there who says they’ve never had any doubts about their parenting skills is full of it. All of us have, it’s human nature.

  • You poor poor woman. Don’t listen to these creeps who want to make other people miserable because they are miserable. I admire your positive outlook on life and parenting. It’s refreshing and much needed. What’s the use of living a long healthy life, extended by breast feeding and all the other currently popular opinions if your so unhappy, or stressed, or judged to enjoy it. Sounds like your doing your best to raise a happy healthy little person, who even if they die at the age of five from rat poisoned formula they were given as a baby, will have lived a thoroughly happy, enjoyable, and secure life.

  • Oh my God! These women commenting on your blog are AWFUL! The Mommy Wars are alive & well, and it looks like the other side is taking no prisoners.

    You are clearly NOT abusing your child, and while some choices you’ve made aren’t the best, show me ONE mom who has never made a less-than-perfect choice! Lord knows my kids watch tv & are bribed to pee in the potty with M&Ms, even though (gasp!!) I know they have food coloring.

    The lack of compassion in these comments is appalling. Bless these children growing up with “perfect” mothers but such venom!

  • My eyes just about rolled out of my head at some of these comments. I’d love to see one quality, peer-reviewed study on the dangers of vaccines. One. Please, I’m begging someone to offer me the opportunity to understand the hysteria that these people continue to promote in the face of solid science. I’m not even asking for one more than the number of quality, peer-reviewed studies showing that they vaccines safe, just one in the whole world.

    And I think all those judging above very clearly missed the point of this post, which is that we need to let other mothers parent the way they want without interfering or offering assvice.

    Please don’t let these women get you down, they’re not the kind of ones you want in your life or your child’s. If they really think the biggest issues in the world today are the first ingredient in formula (that they’re allegedly not even feeding their kids) or whether a stranger sleep trains a 4 month old and gets vaccines on schedule, they’re the ones who are likely to look back and regret things, not you, who I suspect will raise a well adjusted child who doesn’t spew ridiculousness at perfect strangers.

  • Seriously? People blow my mind with their lack of tact, grace and sense of humor. I’m pretty sure that we are all human and make mistakes. I’m a new Dad and have made some mistakes already and probably would not be brave enough to put myself out there but I love reading this blog and appreciate the humor that is expressed in the simple things of life. Kelsea is keeping it real and I love that! She doesn’t try to hide or sugar coat things, she just says them how they are. When done correctly, that is ok! It’s not ok to bash her or her parenting methods because you feel there is a better way. As so many have stated already, there will always be a new, better way to do things. This blog is meant to encourage and be a support for people and the sisters do just that. They offer all kinds of help and keep the readers engaged. If you don’t like what is being written, here’s an idea: LEAVE THE PAGE AND DON’T READ IT!!!! It really is that simple. Either respectfully comment or do as Thumper’s parents taught him: “If you can’t say something nice… don’t say nothing at all”. Keep up the great blogging Danielle, Sami, Hilary and Kelsea!!!! 🙂

  • What a great post! I felt so guilty after trying to breast feed unsuccessfully the first 2 weeks of my son’s life. I had no choice but to switch to formula. He had had all his vaccinations. My son is a happy, healthy, incredibly smart 4 year old who had his first peanut butter and jelly sandwich at 11 months old, fell off the bed an got a nice cut on his head at 18 months old and whose finger I accidentally slammed in the door at 2 years old which resulted in him having a fracture and losing his nail. We all just do the best we can with what we’ve got! As long as your child’s basic needs are met and he/she is loved and you teach them to be respectful of others and how to be a productive citizen, that’s all that really matters in the end.

  • You are a wonderful parent, don’t let anyone let you think otherwise. I have an 8 month old who has been also sleeping through the night since 4 weeks old. Oh let me mention the reason for this is because we began feeding her cereal at 4 weeks! That’s right, a whole bowl full of rice cereal every night before bed at 4 weeks. We began Gerber baby food at 6 weeks and she has been off of formula (Except 4 oz before bed) and on juice, yogurt, chicken, spaghetti, pork chops…well let’s just say whatever my husband and I eat she eats! This has been going on since a little before 7 months! That’s right! My pediatrician is even okay with it. She is happy, healthy and very advanced in both physical and cognitive skills. She began crawling, pulling herself up and walking with two fingers all in one day…oh that was at just a little past 7 months old. She understands words like “No” “Smile” “Hi” “Bye” just to name a few. She waves and says “hey” to people and then says “Bye bye” when it’s time to leave. She looks at her daddy and says “Dada” and looks around the house for me screaming “Mommmma”

    When I am busy unloading the dishwasher or doing something around the house and she wants me and begins crying, I finish my task and let her cry it out. We have a pit-bull who licks her daily! She has fallen a few times, scraped her knees, and even had a few bug bites…but I guess that will come with life seeing that she doesn’t live in a bubble!

    She has been getting a bath in a tub filled with water since the day we brought her home from the hospital. She was only breastfed until she was 3 months old. She has had all vaccinations that she should have up to her given age. Basically if you read the “books” on how to “raise a child” do the exact opposite and you have our little lady’s life thus far.

    Sorry this comment was scattered, but I can’t even believe some of the comments that you have received after your posting. I am a fifth grade teacher who also has my early childhood degree and Masters degree in Education so I feel like I am pretty knowledgeable about human development and the like. Let me add, I definitely can tell the difference between my students whose parents allowed them to live life and those that were strictly “by the books”. There is no one right or wrong way to raise a child. Vaccinate or don’t…breastfeed or formula feed…let them cry it out or rock them! Do what you think is best, keeping loving her, and she will live a long, happy life!

  • nice attempt at back peddling – still think there’s lots of room for improvement here! your justifications are sad.

  • After reading all the comments left by all the mother’s, I have one thing to say: I would REALLY like to get the last 5 minutes of my life back. But since I can’t, I will just say: Kelsea, you totally rock as a parent.!You have a wonderful home life and you are giving your child the best of the best. Nobody on this site will ever convince me otherwise. You and your husband are doing a great job. Please ignore judgmental, ignorant,”holier-than-art-thou” advice. Go with what you know. You have awesome people who are around you that actually have good advice for you and your child. Listen to the people God put in your life. The people who care about you and your child. Oh, and listen to God. He gave you your child. Bring your questions to Him. He knows what you both need.

  • Holy cow. Well these comments were sure an interesting read! I read this post a while back and it made me laugh. After reading your update, can I just say I TOTALLY get the urge to explain and defend yourself to some of these umm…”passionate” ladies (I was trying to think of a nice word 😉 ) because I would want to respond as well. But I hope you don’t feel like you need to. The ones who have their head on straight and are people whose opinion you might take into consideration already understand the point of the post and don’t need an explanation. Try to let the silliness on here “go in one ear and out the other”! I enjoy your posts and this was one of, if not my fav so far. 🙂 Keep up the good work, mama!

  • I completely agree with you, Kelsea! You’re not doing anything wrong. I, too, got (and still get) a lot of flak for some of the choices we make. The hardest part for me has been that most of the unsolicited advice (and worse) has been from family. My son will be 2 in a month and a half and I still get far more, ” you’re doing it wrong”s than any sort of encouragement or praise. It’s hard constantly hearing the people I thought would be there for me when I needed it most spend more time telling me that he should already be potty trained and dressing himself and not sleeping in a crib. What we do works for us, and that’s all that matters. I don’t tell my sis-in-law that her vegetarian, dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free, preservative-free, yeast-free, dye-free, organic, raw food only diet she restricts her kids to could be the cause of their (minor) developmental delays and learning disabilities. (though I’m certain the overly restrictive diet is the main reason her youngest two, aged 4 and 3, are exceptionally tiny.) I don’t tell her she shouldn’t still be breastfeeding the 3&4 year olds. I don’t tell her that I think they would get a better education in a public school than from their high school drop out mother choosing to homeschool them. Those are her choices and though I don’t agree with a lot of what she does, and certainly wouldn’t do that to my kid, that’s her business. I’ve had to learn not to let her get to me and make me feel like I’m doing everything wrong because it’s not her way. I’ve always known that i was doing my best, especially everything being new, but it’s always good to hear a reminder when what you hear most is negativity and discouragement.
    So, all that to say… you ARE a great mom, Kelsea. Stay strong and keep loving that baby like only you can do 🙂

  • Here’s what I don’t understand…people are critical of other mothers for having their child vaccinated, but why aren’t people more critical of mothers who DON’T vaccinate and put their own child, along with other children they are exposed to, at risk for diseases we have nearly eliminated by vaccinating our children? They have done extensive research to show vaccinations have no association with autism, yet people just want to blame it on something so they won’t give it up. Vaccinations are GOOD. They keep our population healthy. Sheesh.

  • Kelsea – THANK YOU!!! You are a Darling! Your blog is awesome and it has relieved me of the “guilt” I’ve been feeling, just sorry it has picked up such negativity from other moms who think they’re doing it right! It is also so sad that our school education does not include “Raising Children” – in fact there is no hard and fast guideline out there on how to be the perfect mother. There are ante-natal courses that you can attend that give you an idea of how to do it right, but it is impossible to cover everything in those courses. It is very tough and daunting for first-time moms – how do we know if we’re doing it right? There are so many books, blogs, internet sites, other moms out there that we can ask for help, but so many of them also contradict each other, so how do we know for sure what is right and what is wrong? You started off your blog by saying you are talking to NEW MOMS ONLY and that you were being inundated with advice/comments on how to raise your daughter. A number of people who have commented on this blog did not read through it properly and they are clearly NOT NEW MOMS, you also stated a number of times that this is how YOU do things and it doesn’t mean that’s how everyone should do things. “STOP THE MADNESS”… That’s exactly how I felt too! I was tired of everyone trying to tell me how to raise my son!

    I always wanted kids, but started losing hope as I got older. My first and only child so far was born 5 months after my 40th Birthday! My son is now almost 18 months old and I too did a lot of what you’ve done. Having a child this late in my life has not been easy although many people out there would think I would know so much more than a younger mom. While I have 2 older sisters whose kids are now 13 and 18, I was never around when they were babies and I’ve had little to no opportunity to interact with other new moms, so I’ve had to learn to cope without much input from others, and yet way too much input from certain people – if that makes sense! I apologize for this message being so scattered – I have Bipolar and I sometimes struggle keeping my story-line together. Being Bipolar and having a full-time job has also taken its toll over the past 2 years – thankfully I have a very supportive husband and we make all decisions regarding our son together – sometimes with research and sometimes on gut feeling. Our son is the most adorable and bright little man and such a quick learner – we love him to bits! He doesn’t sleep through the night yet, but he has bundles of energy in the day. I also had to stop breast-feeding him around 7 weeks – I had an ankle operation and the meds I took to stop my blood from clotting was harmful for babies – I tried expressing but was unsuccessful and when my meds were finished my breasts no longer produced milk. He has also had almost all of his vaccinations so far and he has also fallen of the bed a couple of times. I wasn’t even aware until reading your blog that vaccinations can be harmful – and no, I’m not going to research it, we all had our vacs when we were younger and it doesn’t appear to have done any damage – and before the nasty’s out there try to pin my Bipolar on vacs – my Bipolar is hereditary and was aggravated by trauma.

    My biggest concern regarding my son was and still is “am I feeding him right?” Well, he has never gone hungry and he’s developing healthy. At the end of the day ALL MOTHERS out there are doing their best and even those who do research still follow their gut feeling. Keep doing what you’re doing! You’re an awesome mom and your children will turn out to be much better than the negative respondents that have left their snotty comments on your blog!

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