For the Soul

Before I Became a Parent

Before I became a parent, I thought I was going to exceed the standard of execution and follow-through for all the methods in “Bringing Up Bébé,” “Twelve Hours’ Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old,” “No Drama Discipline” and a plethora of other parenting books in our arsenal. Also, in the nine months before a baby rendered one or both hands virtually useless (or otherwise occupied) roughly 90% of my waking hours, Carlyle had amassed a sizable hardcover and paperback library of parental self-help titles, and all of their parenting methods seemed achievable. Continue reading Before I Became a Parent

Everyone Tells Us How Hard It Is

It’s just that the trials and tribulations of parenthood rarely resonate until we wake up in the trenches. We either assume the stories have been inadvertently exaggerated or we are internally (yet blissfully) confident that it couldn’t be that bad. Or — through no fault of our own — we simply weren’t drawn to the information because we were naturally occupied with our preparental lives. Blog posts about breastfeeding complications were not essential reading for the boardroom. Continue reading Everyone Tells Us How Hard It Is

Breastfeeding: The Most Unnatural Natural Thing in the World

Break suction and pry nipple out of gruesome bear trap in center of sweet baby’s tender face. Wipe away tears (mama’s; not baby’s, but sometimes both). Try again. Fail numerous times to engineer a comfortable latch. Submit to hungry newborn’s best efforts. Dig fingernails into bedsheets while shockingly inelastic, toothless gums knead nipples until raw. Grit teeth. Cry silently as burning in nipple matches searing inferno in postpartum vagina. Continue reading Breastfeeding: The Most Unnatural Natural Thing in the World