parenthood

get you a man who can do both.

alternate title: a love letter to my baby daddy.


have you guys seen those memes? the ones with two photos of the same man side by side, but in one photo they’re dressed to the nines, and in the other they’re all nerdy and/or casual? i believe the meme started with this:

drake meme[source]

i love this meme. i love it so much. and i believe that i’ve got a man who can indeed “do both”.


in the last week, i’ve watched Mister Man put the finishing touches on the fence in our backyard that he built with his own two hands, then come inside and play “chase me dad!” with our daughter for an hour. i’ve watched him go to work to earn a living for our family, then come home and make dinner for us while i’m busy with one baby nursing and the other trying to sit on my lap at the same time. 

he is tough and he is gentle. he can work with tools and comfort a baby with those same two hands. he is equally comfortable at a dive bar on friday night or at church on sunday. 



there’s nothing like having a baby with someone to bring out their best and worst characteristics. after having a second one with Mister Man, i can say that this baby daddy of mine is pretty much the perfect man. he would tell you otherwise, because that’s just the kind of guy he is, but it’s the honest to goodness truth. i don’t tell him enough, but i can’t imagine anyone else i’d rather be married to or raise kids with. 

so i guess what i’m trying to say after all that is this: make sure that when you make your decisions about life partners or baby daddies, that you get you a man who can do both.

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amelia: twelve months old.

and then she was one.

and life went on as usual. except when she stopped nursing and started climbing big kid playground equipment and just generally acting like a toddler, seemingly overnight.

but who needs babies to stay babies? i mean, missing the baby stage is how siblings get made, right?

if you can’t tell by these photos, then let me inform you: our girl is a feisty one. all 19.5 pounds of her. she is one going on five, and she knows that if she tries hard enough, she will eventually learn how to do anything. which means that we are running after her a lot on the playground, because she thinks that the five year olds want to be her friend (she calls them “baaaaybees!”) and she also thinks she can walk down the stairs alone.

i’m not quite sure where she got the feistiness, but Mister Man tells me he has an idea of where it may have come from…

she knows where her head, ear, nose, eyes and tongue are. she can say baby, poopoo, watermelon, bellybutton, num-num, bottle, and is adding new words everyday. her favorite thing to do besides dance is to pick cherry tomatoes from the garden and eat them as fast as she can.

she is learning how to give hugs and kisses, and she loves to facetime her far-away family. she is quite the social butterfly and likes to make sure she has waved at every single person in the grocery store by the time we leave.

she is our hearts and our souls, and we sometimes just stare at her and wonder where she came from, because it couldn’t possibly be from the two of us goofballs. and yet here she is.

darling amelia. thank you for making me a mom one year ago. thank you for making your dad the most wonderful dad i could imagine. every day with you is the best day, and we are so blessed to get to spend the days with you. we pray that you grow up knowing how loved you are, and that no matter what happens in this life, you will always be our little girl.

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you’re doing it right.

i’m talking to you.

to the mom who feeds her baby from a bottle and the mom who wouldn’t think of any other way than breastfeeding; you’re doing it right.

to the mom whose baby sleeps in her room for months and the mom who puts her baby in a crib the first night and never looks back; you’re doing it right.

to every mother out there who follows their instincts and does what is right for their babies; you are ALL doing it right.

***

all babies are different. every tiny, new human is an individual right from the very start. no two babies are the same. as such, no two moms are the same. and yet all the advice given to us is done in the language of absolutes: you must wait to give a pacifier OR ELSE; you must swaddle OR ELSE; you must you must you must or else or else OR ELSE. like if you don’t do it the way the advice giver says, your child will end up stunted and dumb and a failure. yet for every single piece of advice that worked for one baby, there is an opposite bit of wisdom that worked for someone else’s. for every pacifier user there is an equally happy thumb sucker, for every snug as a bug swaddled babe there is an equally happy flailing one.

i’m about to lay some truth on you…

if you are keeping your little one full, warm, happy and healthy, YOU ARE DOING IT RIGHT. there is no right way to be a good mom, except for the way that works best for you. and you should never feel guilty about ignoring the advice people give or the snarky things they say when they find out how you parent. nor should you hide how you parent for fear of what the masses will say about it. never be shy about your choices. you are a mother who knows her child, and you are never to apologize for that.

i feel so strongly about the choices i’ve made for my little girl in her three short months of life. i will tell anyone about them in sickening detail (you’ve been warned). what i will never do is tell you that my way is the best way, or the only way. it’s just my way. it’s what works for my little diva of a daughter, and for her dad, and for me.

so go ahead and put those cloth diapers on your baby, or don’t. wear your baby, or don’t. let them cry it out, or don’t. you do you mama, and don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t doing it right.

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