I Don’t Want My Kid

Now before I get angry letters from people going off on me about how some people wait years to have their own children and still don’t get kids and on and on…let me clarify. 

I was a nanny for two and a half years, a preschool teacher for five, and a babysitter since I was 13. I will ignore an adult if a child is talking to me, I think crafting and dancing are only more fun with a child, and I am fluent in Toddlerese. I am more patient with a child than I am with any one 15 or older, and their simple wonderment and awe of the world is inspiring to me. I love children, everything about children.

…but there is one flaw that anyone that HAD children forgot to inform me of. As a nanny, teacher and babysitter I could take breaks. I could go home and miss the kids. I could call in sick – or dead. I would walk into the house or school and the schedules were already set, the rules were already made, and the boundaries were already drawn. I never questioned if the care they were given was enough, if their schedule wasn’t working, or if the boundaries were too loose or too strict. If I couldn’t stand the kid or the family, I could walk away. I never pondered on just how badly I was going to mess them up, or even felt like I made mistakes. I was Mary F$%&ing Poppins in how awesome I was as a child care provider. 

Then I had a baby. When they say “It’s different with your own kid” you always assume they mean because you love them unconditionally, everything they do is amazing, and you become this mother bear that would kill someone for harming them. Though all that’s true…it’s not entirely accurate. 

“It’s different” because suddenly you would rather cut off your own hand with a butter knife than move that child from the swing – the one you’re not supposed to let them fall asleep in. Ever. Suddenly you contemplate how much puke or drool is worth the wrestling match of changing their clothes so they aren’t wet, and overnight your house becomes a replica of Hoarders because this little being eats more often than you do, sleeps only when it’s totally inconvenient for the entire human race – and refuses to sleep when it’s killing you both, and poops everywhere right after you make the decision to wrestle him into the new clothes, and through the screaming finally win the wrestling match. 

“It’s different” because you analyze and agonize over the fact that you need a babysitter and worry both about if the babysitter is good enough (even if it’s grandma), and if you are a horrible mom because you NEED the sitter in the first place. 

“It’s different” because you would willingly sell your right kidney in order to just get one solid day of rest and completely to yourself. Because you so desperately want to have someone else set a schedule for you and have your kid actually follow it. Because you want someone else to tell you baby clues such as “If he’s wiggling a lot, even though he’s tired and won’t eat…he probably pooped,” instead of needing to figure it out on your own like some awful Lost in Translation puzzle with a bomb attached to your back. 

“It’s different” because when you KNOW they’re hungry but refuse to eat, which only makes them scream more because they’re getting hungrier by the minute while they are bowing backwards and your boob is hanging out and your dripping milk everywhere BECAUSE they are screaming…you understand why lions will eat their young. 

“It’s different” because the reason you are “glowing” has nothing to do with the ads showing a loving mother cooing over her amazing precious child, but because you haven’t showered in five days and you are covered with drool, pee, spit up and sweat. 

“It’s different” because as much as you want to have sex, you either don’t have time, are too exhausted (or too grossed out with your hygiene) or because you realized sex is what got you here in the first place. 

“It’s different” because you don’t want them to grow up too fast, you have the camera out ALL THE TIME so you don’t miss any cuteness, and cry when you realize the outfit you brought them home in is now too small…and simultaneously are begging the Almighty to get through this phase as quickly as possible without needing a Clicker like Adam Sandler. 

…and as I found out last night: More than anything, “it’s different” because when you’ve finally hit the breaking point, and completely loose your shit – no no. Really. It was BAAAAAD. – when you give up, give in, blare the Angry Girl Music and dance with your baby while teaching them to sing at the top of their lungs, that smile you get because they just needed you and think you are hilarious is the best thing in the world. 

I reached my breaking point. I lost my filter. I cranked P!nk and Adam Lambert and Adelle, and sang to my baby like I would have a bottle of Captain a year ago. Then we played in the tub, I laughed as he learned (and LOVED) to splash…and we went to bed. I passed out next to this infuriating, irritating, exhausting, frustrating, tiny human being. 

And I got it. “It’s different” because for the first time ever…it’s totally all worth it. 

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The Nanny Tips #2

Instead of the tiny “splash mats” that are sold for an arm and leg to put under a baby highchair (that only cover a two foot diameter anyway…) invest in a high quality plastic round table cloth. They last longer, are bigger to actually catch things, and are probably cheaper than the designer things anyway. 

The Nanny Tips #1

If your little ones love waffles and pancakes, but you hate the mess and sugar of the syrup, cut the waffle or pancake into strips after they are cooked. Pour a little bit of syrup in a baby bowl and let them dip their new finger food. Easier clean up and less sugar!

I need HOW many?!

Ok. I’m setting this up with the fact that I am overly logical and planning oriented. I will plan every single detail of events, but I’m not so OCD that when the plans change I freak out. Even if the plan is: Around noonish we’ll head to the mall, maybe ride the train depending on who’s driving, we will probably eat downtown, and be home around 6. I know an approximate time to start and end, possible desitination, and if I have to bring more lunch money than the $5 food courts warrent. But nothing irritates me, or sets me off, more than reenacting the vulture scene from Jungle Book “What do you wanna do?” “I dunno. What do you want to do?” “I dunno…what do YOU want to do?” I’d rather not go anywhere, or literally have the plan be veg in front of the TV watching Grey’s Anatomy eating HoHos and cheese balls than the brainless back and forth.

I digress. So I plan, right?

One thing that I asked EVERYONE right before I had my son was “How many pads do I need, and how many breast pads do I need?” I never got a straight answer from any of my multitude of resources – chat groups, mom friends, MY mom, Google. I kept hearing the general “just stock up.”

It was infuriating. What kept running through my mind was “When you say ‘stock up’ are we talking first-period-at-summer-camp stock up or like zombie-apocalypse stock up?” It was so vague. “Well, you may bleed heavier, or longer, or shorter…or lighter…” Oh. My. Gawd. SERIOUSLY?

Lets put it another way. My husband and I chose to use cloth diapers for a multitude of reasons – monetary savings and sensitivities being the main, and actually cloth breast pads too. The diapers I chose are adjustable from 9lbs to 30lbs, and have cloth inserts and PUL covers (Ragababe for those interested. We LOVE them!). I calculated how many disposable diapers I would need to last 30 days – past the meconium and possibly enough time to give him weight so the diapers fit properly.

The average NB/Infant uses 10-12 diapers a day. I went with 10 for my average.

10 diapers x 30 days = 300 diapers (yea. In one month)

Huggies Pure and Natural (sensitivies) size 1 go to 14lbs and come 88 in a box. We were given 50 of them at my baby shower.

300 diapers – 50 = 250 diapers

250 / 88 in a box = 2.8 boxes

With this information we trot to Target and buy two big boxes and one bag. I figured we would have enough to last the month, maybe a few extra. We ended up needing a third box, because our average was 14 a day…and I still started using the cloth earlier than expected.

Also with this information, I realized 16 inserts would get me by with doing laundry every day. Fine, except if I was exhausted and forgot to put the load in. So we have 24 inserts.

See the pattern? I can adapt – but seriously I need a starting point!

So. This very long winded explanation of a post is to help all you OCD planning mamas figure out how many pads and breast pads to actually plan for.

At week 6 I had gone through 3 packs of overnights (40 per pack), 2 of supers (40 per pack) and 1 regular (54 per pack). This was with two friend store runs, and a husband emergency run. I’m also the type that will change my pad with the slightest blood. I find it disgusting and it can actually cause infection. I was never a heavy bleeder during my period anyway, so that may have had something to do with it. So if you are a first time mom – JUST BUY THE 3 PACKS OF EACH BEFORE THE BABY!

But here’s my thought: even if you choose to start with 3-4 packs of overnights and 3 packs of the supers and only use 1 pack of each, you WILL get your period back and can use them in the furture. If you don’t, put them in the same box you put all the out grown new born outfits in for the next baby – be it yours or your girlfriend’s. It’s not like they’ll go bad.

On to breast pads. I purchased washable breast pads with the understanding that if I leaked a lot, I’d probably need a few more pairs. As it was I had 8 day time sets, and 2 night time sets. That was very sufficient for me.

Then my son got thrush. Thrush, if you don’t know, is literally a yeast infection in the babies mouth and your breast. When people hear “yeast” they think bread or vagina. The vagina one usually grosses people out, me included. So when I heard my son had a yeast infection in his tiny new born mouth I was so upset…and disgusted. But here’s the thing. Yeast is all over our bodies, and inside. If you take an antibiotic you’ll usually get a yeast infection because the antibiotic killed the good germs too. It likes warm, moist places – like a baby’s mouth when he falls asleep while eating, or his tiny little fat rolls after sweating, spitting up, or peeing everywhere. If you are breast feeding, getting rid of the yeast is a serous pain in the ass because while on medications, apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil (I did all three. It was that bad.) you are STILL breast feeding so the yeast keeps getting transferred. Like if your husband gets sick, and you still make out with him. Now your sick, but you still make out. Now he’s sick. Get it? Awful, awful cycle.

To use washable breast pads during thrush only makes the problem worse because it is SO hard to kill yeast. I was soaking them in melaleuca (tea tree oil), boiling them to sanitize, using my plant’s UV light…it was awful. So disposables are preferable because you can change them, and throw them away.

Because I feed him every three hours and pump during the night, I have gone through 2.5 boxes in four weeks. Each box of my brand contains 60 pads (30 sets). If you want to know how many boxes to stock up on the first few weeks I came up with this:

Most infants each every two hours, which means 10-12 feedings a day.

10 feedings x 30 days = 300 sets or 600 pads

600 pads / 60 per box = 10 boxes

As I’m breaking these down I realized I am putting a very good fiscal argument to go for cloth!

Anyway. As a brand new mom, if you want to prep so you can get to the point of feeling like you’re starting to get the hang of things (6-8 weeks) and you want to actually PLAN for disposable items here’s the breakdown for you with what I paid:

Diapers $24 per box:
6-8 boxes or 530 – 700 diapers (without a store run)

Maxi Pads $7:
3 overnight packs or 120 overnights
2 super packs or 60 supers
1 regular pack or 54 regulars

Breast Pads $8 per box (if you change them every feeding):
14 – 18 boxes or 840 – 1,080 pads

Wipes $15 per box:
Get two large boxes of 720 or more. You’ll use them for everything and three times more than you think when they poop at first.

So when you want to start buying baby stuff in your first trimester – DO IT. Even if your partner whines. Because to buy all this in one pop is around $350, and they probably will loose it (my man did!). You have 9 months to plan and prep…make this a part of that plan. Trust me.