Bad Parenting

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Yesterday night I made a parenting decision that made me wonder about my to make decisions.

In bed, trying to get baby to sleep. Nursing, bottle, napping, and before you know it she’s sitting up, signing “eat!” and making her adorable “I’m hungry!” noise: “umm, mm, mmm.” I thought it made sense to keep her in the bedroom where she could eat and then go right back to bed. So I asked my husband to get her a snack. Rice crackers, please. Oh, and some almond butter.

When it arrived, I knew it was a bad idea. Small plate, big pool of brown. I ignored the risks and pushed on forwards. Surely we could contain the mess?

Surely not. Baby started dip-dipping into the almond butter (bang bang bang with the edge of the rice cracker). She dabbed with her fingers. Then sort of licked that off. The mess was already spreading. Within minutes almond butter had spilled from the tipped plate onto her shirt, into her hair, around her mouth, the palm of her hand (finger painting!). And my arms, chest, shirt. I was able to kick the sheets away so they were unscathed, but the two of us were a big, big mess.

For some reason, this disastrous decision made me laugh. I got us into the bathroom, washed up, changed clothes, and got back into bed. She was asleep soon after. Mess isn’t the end of the world, but initiating it – at bedtime – in bed – wasn’t smart. I know I need to find a way for her to eat more earlier in the evening, preferably with a bib and in front of a table.

Today left me wondering if my decision to work isn’t also a bad parenting choice. Moving from the rushed, not-really-attentive morning, let’s highlight drop-off at my mom’s. Sure, she was asking for her nana on the way there. But when it’s time for mama to leave, no way. I took off my boots twice to go back up the stairs and try nursing, hugging, kissing, etc. Still, she was complaining and upset when I tried to go. Fortunately my mom is great with her and got her interested in watching from the window instead of rattling the child gate on the stairs. Still: leaving my daughter SUCKS.

Work wasn’t a lot better. I haven’t been able to concentrate lately, meaning not a lot of work gets done. No idea what’s up with that, though missing baby is definitely part of it. I think I continue to crave life at home and still am not obsessed with making a career, even if I think about it now and then.

She’s surviving, work is okay, and our situation won’t be changing in the immediate future. I guess I have to let it go for now, accept that I work and make the best of a good situation.

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