1. How many kids do you have and how old are they?
I have one daughter (Lucy), who will be 6 months on June 15th.
2. What is the best part about being a mom?
So far? I love breast feeding. But I think the absolute best part is that wonderful feeling I get when I make Lucy happy. Nothing is more rewarding than meeting her needs and nothing is more thrilling than making her smile and making her laugh. Plus the cuddles. I really love the cuddles.
3. What’s the hardest part?
Hmmm…I suppose the hardest part is staying sane on the rare occasion that she is inconsolable. It’s just so heartbreaking. But it’s also hard to interact with others now. Seems everyone thinks they have a right to touch or hold my baby without asking. And that makes me really angry. Plus there’s an underlying fear that people will criticize me for my parenting decisions. But I’m working on not caring what other people think since I’M the mama and I get to decide what’s best for my family.
4. What has happened to you as a mother that you never expected?
It’s been easier than I imagined, much easier. I’ve found that it isn’t nearly as much work as everybody makes it out to be, at least, not yet. And I’ve found that I have an easier time being strong and doing what needs to be done. I guess my inner “mama bear” has given me a better ability to buckle down and work hard when that’s what it takes.
5. If you could give a new mom one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t parent passively. By that I mean, do your homework. Think about the decisions you need to make. Research parenting styles. Learn about child development. Question your assumptions about everything. Make whatever choice you think is best for your kids whether that means sleep sharing or not, or home birthing or not, or whatever. But actively learn about parenting and parenting-related issues and then make the decision. Don’t let convention or others make it for you.
6. What our values and belief’s in raising your children?
I believe in attachment parenting. We practice safe sleep sharing, baby wearing, nursing on demand, and so on. Right now I’m reading Unconditional Parenting by Alphie Kohn. So far I really love what he has to say. My main goal is to have a healthy, happy adult as the result of my parenting. And I think the best way to get there is to meet Lucy’s needs and, over time, teach he to meet those needs on her own. And I think one of our greatest needs is to feel loved. So we make a big effort to make sure Lucy feels our love for her.
7. What was the biggest change that happened once you had your first baby?
Other than the challenges I mentioned above, I’d have to say our early breastfeeding problems. I had flat nipples and Lucy just couldn’t get a good latch for a while. There were times when I had to use every ounce of strength I had to keep myself from screaming in pain during a feed. But with the help of a nursing shield, and a little time for Lucy to grow and get the hang of things everything worked out perfectly. It feels like nothing but a bad dream now.
8. What is your favorite part of the day with your kids?
The last feed before bed time is wonderful. Everybody is feeling that happy sleepy feeling and we get to snuggle and reflect on the good things that happened that day. It’s those times that I wish I could make time stop.
9. Do you have a favorite age?
Well, in my limited exposure I’d have to say I’m really fond of Lucy’s current age. I do get nostalgia for her newborn days sometimes. But I love how much she can interact with us now. But at the same time she’s still small and easy to hold.
10. What do you and your kids do for fun?
Lucy loves being worn in a wrap. And she likes simple games, watching our two cats, watching anything really. She loves to look at things, her reflection, her shadow, fish swimming in a tank, anything with bright colors. And we have fun watching her.
11. How do you feel about kids and television? Do your kids watch TV?
She tries to watch the screen sometimes when we’re watching a movie but we always move her when that happens. We don’t think the way scenes change are good for a developing brain. We don’t have TV. When we watch things on DVD and whatnot, but we don’t have cable or anything like that. We like it that way. We don’t get inundated with advertising. And we can be really selective about what we do want to watch. We also find that we watch a lot less media and read more when we can’t just flip on the box and “see what’s on.”
12. What’s your #1 mom tip?
Get a wrap. Moms always joke about needing an extra set of arms. That’s essentially what a wrap is.
13. Where do you blog at and what do you write about?
I have a few blogs. But my main one is Domestic Dork at www.domesticdork.blogspot.com I write about anything and everything, including topics related to parenting, home management (but, as my title makes clear, I am *not* a domestic diva), politics, books, reviews, you name it.
14. Anything else you’d like to tell us about?
Killer Whales are not whales. They are the largest members of the dolphin family. That’s just a bit of trivia for you.