Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Prissy Mom Chronicles (Lifestyles & Culture)





BLOG DESCRIPTION: Wife and mom of one dishes about her adventures (and misadventures) raising a boisterous baby boy in The Big Apple, while also juggling household, career, and maintaining her identity as self-proclaimed priss-pot!

MY REVIEW: Yes, it's an "I'm gonna survive motherhood and come out with my identify intact - if it kills me" blog. But a well-done one. This mother of a delightful not-yet 2-year-old toddler who is expecting her second son does a great job chronicling life around her household. The blog is full of pictures and video clips - fair warning to Kindle subscribers. The text is good and entertaining but there are a lot of pictures (and hey, he's cute - I'd have pictures too.)

You can follow along as she goes through the pain and joy of raising a boy and trying to maintain yourself while doing so. She manages to show us the real side of a toddler without the gory details that some mothers find amusing or funny. There is enough fodder to write about with a toddler, trust me. One does not have to stoop to descriptions of bowel movements and she doesn't. She has a supportive husband. On her profile, she says she is "A psychologist by day and a blogger by night." The blog has a feature called "Wordless Wednesday" which just features photos. She posts 2 or 3 times a week, but she is consistent. Her entries are amusing and wide ranging (as is her life.)

It will interesting to follow along and watch as the family grows from 3 to 4. Then she will have her hands full. Hopefully, she will still find time to write about it. I recommend the blog.

Sample post:
Sticking to Your Values as a New Mom
I was recently talking to a friend, another psychologist who has a child (a year older than Chase) at the same daycare, and we were discussing how important balanced sleep is for children. She stated vehemently that she protects Maya's sleep at all costs - and I told her that I do the same. The conversation began because I was trying to figure out how to finagle leaving work early to spend time with out-of-town family visiting, which would entail picking Chase up from school around his naptime (the kids go down from 12 pm -3 pm). I wasn't sure whether I should pick him up before, during, or afterward - but my main priority was making sure he got all the sleep that his little body needed. My co-worker/girlfriend was on the very same page - and ended up giving me some really great advice that proved effective. It felt good to have my concerns validated.

Because of how strongly I feel about this I found it best to establish a routine for my baby early. I've had a sleepy-time routine for Chase that, with my mom's help, we established within the first couple weeks he was born. This is the best thing we could have done. His bedtime routine consists of me taking him into the back at 6:30 pm, closing the door, dim lighting, changing him into pj's, quiet voices used, feeding, then story-time/quiet talk. He's in bed by 7:00 pm, and asleep shortly thereafter. His days at school are active and fun-filled, and his little body is physically and mentally drained by the end of the day. These days, Chase even tells us "Night-night" when its close to his bedtime and he's feeling sleepy, and will add emphasis by laying down on the floor with his blankie or walking himself to the back. He sleeps well and generally doesn't awaken until 6:30 the next morning, when we all get up to prepare for work/school.

Obviously there are the instances when exceptions have to be made, like while on vacation or when we travel and get home later than usual. But I think sticking as closely to the routine as possible is important - for him more so than us. Babies appreciate the consistency and familiarity of knowing exactly what is going to happen. It's what makes them feel safe, secure, and comfortable. I know enforcing a schedule is going to become that much more imperative as Chase gets older and begins sports and music lessons and wants to hang out with his friends, which is why I think it's important to establish a routine now.

I marvel at my peers who's toddlers are up, watching TV and running around the house with the adults, at 10, 11 pm... midnight. I suspend judgment, and bite the comments back on my tongue, when they tell me about how the baby went to sleep with them at 1:00 am. *shrug* It's not my place to impose my practices onto them. Everyone's household runs differently - and different ways of doing things work for different folks. I know that, personally, I'm not the best mom I can be at that time - and I'd be doing a disservice to my child to try and parent him when I am also tired and cranky and in need of my own "adult time."

With that said, I've found it important to set boundaries with folks around this issue. Nothing bothers me more than people who sporadically drop by at night to try and see our son - knowing full well that he is in bed by 7 pm. This disrupts his routine and I am the one affected most by it, since I'm the one who soothes him and puts him to sleep when he is throwing a fit due to being over-tired. When I was a brand-spanking-new mom I wasn't completely comfortable asserting myself on this matter. I got over that quickly. Its funny, I was told not too long ago that a few folks have viewed my choices unfavorably. The term "crazy" was even thrown around. I find these sentiments baffling. You see, I'm at home with Chase all day long on weekends (and home from work by 5:15 pm) and this is when anyone can spend time with Chase, if they choose to do so. And I encourage them to! However, folks don't choose to do so - I guess they're busy with their lives and own commitments, which I understand. But then they're indignant when I don't indulge said late night visits, and that I actually do enforce a routine. And I become the "over-protective" mom who isn't letting Chase spend time with folks. Well, those are my house rules, and how I've chosen to raise my child. Its disappointing and hurtful when folks don't respect them.

My dad traveled over 5000 miles to visit Chase - he spent a few days with us, during which time he was able to really bond with his grandson. He was so tickled with how cheerful and playful and well-behaved Chase was - and marveled at how in sync our routine was. The one thing my dad just kept stressing was: "Just do what you normally do - I don't want to disrupt your schedule at all." That made me feel so good - that he cared enough about Chase's well-being and also my "house rules" that he wanted to be respectful of that. I wish more people shared these sentiments.

--Wordless Wednesday
--The Nursery is shaping up
--Sports Fan Collection (Cocalo Kids) Giveaway
--Discovering the Magic of Spring
--It's . . . a Boy!!!!

Ann Currie publishes:
My Life a Bit South of Normal
Silver Pieces: The Strange and Peculiar

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