Tuesday, May 5, 2009


One of the hardest things in life for me is figuring out which good things to do at which times.

Like tonight. 
Should I watch The Biggest Loser Finale? Or American Idol?
Make dinner? Or go on a walk?
Dishes? Or Laundry?
Nap? Or read about parenting and giving birth?

Ideally I wouldn't be so drained, tired, and overwhelmed and I could choose all of those things in one night. Ideally I’d feel like waking up before noon. Ideally we'd be independently wealthy and throwing money out of our helicopter on our way to kayak (in our own kayak...) in Alaska and it wouldn't be irresponsible or unreasonable. Ideally I’d weigh 105 pounds and never eat chocolate. But sometimes you sleep till noon, have a Cadbury mini egg for breakfast, show up at work in Utah in a regular old car without giving anybody as much as a dime, and weigh more than you want. That’s called being a grownup.

So, tonight I have some choices to make, but that’s nothing compared to the other choices I have. Especially when it comes to parenting.

I have a theory that mom’s only have a certain amount of energy. Rather than labeling with a number (which would be wrong anyway) we’ll just use percentages. I have 100% of my energy. How I spend it is up to me. 

Right now the split seems to be 50% sleeping 40% eating 5% puking and 5% blogging about the sleeping, eating, and puking.

When the baby is born, I’m betting it switches to 50% diapers, 40% cuddling, oohing and ahhing, 5% eating, and 5% sleeping.

But eventually I’ll have to get up, take a shower, and act like a mom. That’s when the choices really get hard. There are so many really great practices, theories, and things to teach your kids. And a lot of them are best if you start right away. So, how am I supposed to know what’s most important?

I hope we do the babywise (or something similar) thing so our child WE can sleep through the night.
I’m really interested in Elimination Communication, because I’d love to not be changing diapers my whole life.
I’d like to spend plenty of time signing and reading with my child.
I hope I’ll be better about meal planning and cleaning on a regular basis.
I should be offering choices a la Parenting With Love & Logic.
Teaching my kid to eat good food, make good choices, and of course read, write, and rithmetic are important.
I want to have plenty of time for playing and bonding.
Learning to interact with other kids and sharing is a must (although I don’t have a clue how to teach a child that).
What about the actual birth? Natural or drugs? hypno? water? bradley? In those precious first few moments of Baby Egbert's life, how do I make sure that Baby is getting everything Baby needs?

And that's just the beginning of the list of things I know about, and there are 10 million more that I have no idea about.

The problem is every one of these things take a lot of time, dedication, and making sure that you take some action every time something happens. i.e. putting the child in the crib when sleeping. Child on the toilet when taking care of business, etc.

The bottom line is, I only have 100% of my energy, and 100% of my time each day. So, how do I pick which of all these good things are most important and how do I pick what really doesn’t matter that much to me? 

What did you pick and why? What do you wish you'd picked? What am I completely forgetting about? How much time/energy do which things really take? How much time/energy do I really have? 


  1. When I don't eat right and my house is a mess I have 0% energy for the important things. When I eat right and get the sleep I need and the house is somewhat clean I have 100% energy for all the important things with a lot of energy left over for all the fun things. lol....now, I just have to talk myself into actually doing what I'm supposed to do. The joys of being an adult. Yay.... :)

  2. What's elimination communication? That whole thing about not changing diapers forever kinda caught my attention...

  3. I linked to websites about each of those things. Go back and read about it - it sounds like a lot of work, but I know someone who did it and LOVED it. :)

  4. Don't sweat the small stuff. And everything is small stuff.

    (yeah, right)

    I love you! You're going to be an amazing mother. Don't forget to be an even better wife. You don't have to do 100% of it all. You're a team. And when all of the Babies Egbert are grown up and having little Egberts of their own, you will still have your sweetheart by your side (whether the house is mess, your child didn't graduate :), or anything else!).

    P.S. Don't you HATE advice? But you did ask!

  5. For me the first six weeks is all about survival! Just cuddle the baby as much as you can and sleep as much as you can! After that life seems to calm down and you can settle into a routine! My advice to you is not to worry about all the many, many things you should be doing as a mother...that is a recipe for guilt! At the end of the day the most important thing is that your children know you love them...and I don't think you're going to have any problem with that :)

  6. My approach was to put energy into the things that would give me the most energy back. Hence, I was really really good about getting Baby Ryann to sleep on a regular schedule and was willing to put a lot of energy into that at first so that I could sleep too. I recommend borrowing mom's sleep book to learn more about that.

  7. Is the biggest loser finale really on tonight?! Agh... now I have to make a choice. Do I walk so I can have this baby sooner... or do I watch and see other people lose weight. Sigh. I'm torn :)

  8. I think the best way to approach it is one step at a time, take it as it comes. I have been trying to learn that, anyway!! But also, a lot times with parenting things just kinda happen when they do, go with the flow and it will all work out. Keep an open and mind and always learning, but DON"T kill yourself to do it.
    And I personally think that parenting takes at least 200% of your energy, but luckily the Lord will help you do more than you ever thought you could do.
    It's such fun, but you do always worry! LOL!!!

  9. No, the Biggest Loser Finale is NEXT week. So you can save the American Idol/Biggest Loser dilemma for then. :)
    Amy, I have lots of books about giving birth. You are welcome to borrow them if you want.

  10. We did the whole Baby Wise thing...kind of! From the get go Jordyn was on a eat-waketime-sleep schedule. But I still made the mistakes of letting her sleep in our bed, holding her for some naps, rocking her to sleep, etc. I would totally go back and change those things if I could because while it is fun to hold them all day, you get to a point where you would like to get in the shower or clean the house! My sister did Baby Wise religiously and her baby was sleeping through the night at 7 weeks!!!!

  11. I echo Linda. The first little while is crisis-mode. Sleep when baby sleeps, let the house go to pot. You need to recover after baby is born, so make sure you do that.

    My friend is a huge hypnobabies advocate. She is actually LOOKING FORWARD to birthing naturally again because she loved it? Hmmm... But go with whatever you feel comfortable with. Having an epidural doesn't make you a bad mom.

    Other stuff...meh. Do what you can/what you feel is important and don't worry about the rest.

    We signed a bit because Rachel enjoyed communicating. It's hard because I started early (like 6 months) and Rachel didn't "say" anything until she was about 9 months...or older. So I stopped even trying until she started signing on her own. (She signed "more" one day out of the blue). I don't "speak" sign language and I didn't think it was important to teach her many nouns...mostly I just wanted to teach her communication words. Potty, more, please, thank you, up, etc.

    Some parents teach their child "mama" "dada" "bird," etc. and I just think that's weird. She started saying mama about the same time she started signing so why would I want her to sign my name when she could say it verbally? I don't know.

    She still signs, and often makes up her own sign. It's fun and sometimes helpful. For example, "hot" without waving hands in front means "out." But "hot" while waving her hands in front means "hot" and therefore "don't touch."

    I'm a big fan of wearing your baby. That makes EC easier because you can read your baby's signs (not signing, but like...pushing...grumpiness before BM, etc) all day. And human touch is good for a baby, in my opinion.

    Of course I like EC. Rachel was day-time potty trained by 16 months. My cousin has been doing it with her baby since birth (we started Rachel at 5 months) and already he doesn't like to poop in his diapers.

    I used to meal plan for the whole month. Now I do it for a week at a time. A month was easier in the States, a week was easier here.

    It really does cut down on stress. Wondering what to make for dinner stresses me out.

    Fly Lady has some good ideas but it didn't work for me when I tried it right after Rachel. And it doesn't work for me now that I'm pregnant again. Why? Because those 15 minutes I should spend cleaning something I spend on the couch napping.

    Sleeping through the night...some theories don't work with some children no matter what you do. Nothing worked with Rachel. She's too gosh darn stubborn. Praying is what worked with Rachel.

    My friend likes "Happiest Baby on the Block."

    Ummm...but really, none of any of this really matters. All baby needs is love.

    Reading Freakonomics kind of made me cynical, but it also opened my eyes. Seriously, (within means) it doesn't matter what you do as a parent. Your child is going to learn to read, write, go in the potty, etc. no matter what "theory" you choose to use. Loving them is what makes the difference in their life. :)

  12. I am seriously impressed that you are asking for any advice of any kind while pregnant. I was a force to be reckoned with and NO ONE could give me advice without a looks could kill stare. My advice. Enjoy this whole thinking about everything while you still can, cause once you have a couple you just give up thinking. It takes too much energy. ; )

  13. So I looked at the EC link. That's interesting (and kind of wierd). Ü


Share |