It's a beautiful day here in Virginia... a slight breeze, perfect for playing outdoors or cleaning with the windows open. In fact, Ben has taken Marley on her first fishing trip to a nearby river. Killian & I are sharing Saturday Snuggles while I gather ideas for a meeting I have tomorrow to discuss a wedding cake/cupcake order.
It's the perfect lazy day.
It's almost easy to ignore the "9/11/01" remembrance postings on Facebook. Everyone's status' asking "Where were you?"... I was pregnant with Chloe and woke up to the awful scene of the Twin Towers crash on the morning news. (Where were you?)
It's been a busy week, and I'm thankful for a lazy day.
This week Marley began preschool where Ben's sister works; in fact, she's Marley's teacher. So far so good, even though yesterday Mo commandeered a piece of play equipment as her ship saying "Arg-- no boys allowed!". I had some reservations, as I had never used structured care before. In the end, it's seeming to work out well for us and, really, it's like I'm dropping her off to hang out with her Aunt Nemmy! As an 'attached mom', I think we have unique concerns with leaving our kids to be cared for by someone other than ourselves.
(...and this was the point at which my laptop shut down, flashed the blue screen of death & sent my whole day into a tizzy! Thank goodness for Blogger's autosave!) :o)
As someone who has worked in the field of childcare, I think it's important for everyone involved to be on the same page regarding the level of care expected. As a 'connected mom', I am a bit more sensitive to caregiver to child ratio, as well as the willingness of the person I choose to be tuned in to my kids. Sometimes Killian needs to be held-- at this age, 'being held' is a need, not a want or a result of 'spoiling' him. Marley, more often than not needs gentle redirection and a constant source of 'stuff to do'.
As a breastfeeding mom, I need to know that the person who is watching my child will not only respond quickly, but will offer soothing beyond a bottle of milk. There's nothing like an overfeeding sitter to put a dent in a mom's freezer stash-- & her confidence in her ability to keep up with her baby's demand. Some things to help:
-Ask your sitter if she is familiar with the eating patterns of breastfed children. They tend to eat more ofen than formula fed babies, but smaller volumes. Unless the child is having complications or excessive weight loss, there's no need to wake a sleeping baby for a feed.
-Advise her of your child's hunger cues (I find that a vocalization that sounds like 'nyah' is a helpful clue that my kiddos are hungry), and that she should check for a wet diaper, gas, or even boredom before simply offering a bottle.
-Send ample milk-- For babies 0-6months, 1-1.5oz per hour away is the rule I've used, though I always like to have more than that on hand. Here's a handy calculator from kellymom.
-Make sure you nurse as close to possible to the drop off time. Advise your sitter that you will want to nurse at pickup/your return to home as well (if you desire to do so), and speak with her about how you would like her to handle hunger cues close to this time. There's nothing like showing up full of milk only to find that your little one just finished a bottle.
Most importantly, if you have a concern with the care your child is being given make sure you are honest and upfront not only with the person giving the care (& their supervisor if it is a structured facility), but also your partner. If you're a ball of anxiety and stress because you're worried about the care your little one is getting, it will disrupt your work and home environments. Vocalizing your concerns with your coparent or support system will give you a sounding board and help you work through some decisions that may be hard to make. (Whether to replace your sitter/caregiver, have a talk with them regarding your concerns, or decide that you will stay at home for a bit longer.)
Are you a WOHM (work outside home mom), a SAHM (stay at home mom), or a WAHM (work at home mom)? Do you use childcare daily or on occasion? Are you able to leave your child(ren) with a family member? Have you faced challenges in selecting a caregiver or has the task been a simple one?
I hope you all enjoy your weekend and before I go, I'd like to take a moment to mention a very special event that is taking place world wide. On September 12 (whether that be today or tomorrow depending where you live), please strive to do at least one nice thing for someone in memory of Marley Memphis Sutton of Australia. September 12 is Marley's first birthday, though she isn't Earthside to see any balloons, presents, or attend her party. She was born sleeping afer a long (heroic) attempt by her mom, Hope, to carry her as long as possible in utero. Their full story can be read HERE. (It's long, but worth it... bring tissues.)
Instead of throwing herself a pity party, Hope is throwing Marley (& everyone world wide) a "Marley's Lust for Life" day. All she asks is that you try to do something nice, appreciate what you have, and think of Marley. Hope is blessed to be celebrating this day holding Marley's little sister Scarlette who was born a few weeks ago. The event is facebook based & can be found HERE.