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Nursing/Postpartum Tuesday: My First Bead Buddies Giraffe
This morning before I left for work I was walking down memory lane with my mom by watching baby videos on my phone. At the time I didn’t realize how much my son loved this toy, but looking back, it makes an appearance in several videos. The rings around the giraffe’s neck clink together in an attention grabbing way when you shake it, and I used it often to have his eyes track it around. The colors and patterns are also eye catching, and there’s plenty of appendages for a baby to grab at. The feet are also stuffed with that crinkly material that babies love. This would make a good toy for a baby to have in the car seat. It is $11.94 at Amazon and is eligible for Prime and free returns. My First Bead Buddies Giraffe This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!
Aww, this was the first toy my oldest really loved, starting around six months or so. My younger two never got into it the same way, but it’s one of the very few baby toys I’m saving.
The salmon mom discussions over the past couple of days have got me thinking. My default assumptions are that people are generally selfish jerks, that my husband and I are the only ones responsible for meeting our family’s needs, and that no one else is going to volunteer to help us out or make things easier on us. When other people do nice things for us, watch the kids, prepare special meals, etc., we very much appreciate and enjoy it, but I’m not going to waste my energy being disappointed when my husband’s mother is mean to us or his stepmother decides she is not going to fix four separate meals for various picky eaters or my mom decides she doesn’t want to drive 200 miles through the snow to spend the holidays with us. Some of our family members are just not nice human beings, and the rest of them are people too with their own needs and priorities. We are the only ones responsible for our own happiness, and there is just no point in demanding that other people conform to our expectations and then inevitably being disappointed when they don’t. Am I the only one who approaches family relationships this way?
Wow I find that shocking and sad! I don’t assume everyone is going to be able to meet my family’s needs or go out of their way to help us, but I’d be miserable going through life assuming that’s because everyone is basically a selfish jerk! I assume my friends and family love me and that other people are neutral, and that people are basically good and kind, but also that they have their own busy lives and emotional needs and I can’t rely on them to make me happy.
So I get to the same place as you just with a completely different lens.
I get to the same end a lot, too. I have a lot of bitterness and resentment about how little grandparent help we receive. I’ve come to terms with it and in some ways find it a bonding adventure for our sweet little family of 3 that we’re mostly on our own. I don’t think it is worth my mental energy to try to figure out the “why” behind it all. Selfish jerks? Who knows, but hopefully not. Busy lives? As busy as retired gets, I guess. In the end it is what it is, and we have to deal with it. Going deeper just causes too much stress.
I’m in the trust but verify camp. I assume people are good but busy, and self-involved, and fallible (just like me), so I am responsible for our happiness. I do hold my parents to a higher standard than my in-laws, but that’s history. My parents are loving and reliable, my husband’s parents are more distant and can be flaky.
This sounds very lonely to me. I do expect help and emotional support from my parents in a version that they can (and want to) provide. When they provide it I aim to be appreciative and grateful and when they don’t provide it I gently and lovingly raise it to invest in our relationship by trying to make sure it keeps meeting all of our needs. I do not expect the same of my in laws.
Boston Legal Eagle says
I mean, some people are selfish and some people aren’t. Just like some only children are selfish, some aren’t, some people with siblings are selfish too, etc. I don’t think you can just generalize without knowing a person. I try to surround myself with people I trust and who I think the best of. That means I don’t have a huge circle of friends, but the ones that I do I love and trust and think are good people.
It’s definitely harder with family because you can’t choose them, but my husband and I are lucky in that we have generally nice, loving parents. My own parents are local and have shown us that they are reliable and want to provide for our kids and make our lives a little easier. Our expectations of them are based on these past actions. In-laws are farther away and less willing to help, so we don’t go out of our way to visit them often or expect as much of them. Our expectations are based on past behavior.
CPA Lady says
Well I do assume that I am the one who is responsible for my own happiness and need-fulfillment, but I don’t think it’s because other people are selfish jerks. I think people are generally good to neutral and we’re all muddling through the best we can. Sometimes someone else’s best doesn’t look like what I would hope it would, but ultimately that’s none of my business, and the only person I am in charge of is myself. I ask for what I want and can deal with it if I don’t get it. I try not to assume bad intentions behind the behavior of other people.
I’m a very independent person and so is my husband. Our families are warm-ish but not close, if that makes sense. Like no one dislikes anyone or pulls a bunch of drama or any of that. But we don’t really hang out or depend on each other in day to day stuff. Which is fine.
Yeeps, choosing not to fix 4 separate meals and deciding not to drive 200 miles in the snow are completely reasonable (I might argue the most reasonable!) choices. You sound very entitled.
That’s my point–I am not going to get upset about these perfectly reasonable choices. It would be entitled to expect different choices.
But you said people are generally selfish jerks. These choices above are not selfish jerk choices. If you see these as selfish jerk choices, that reads as very entitled to me. I think a lot of the posters above are struggling with this because your conclusion is common (don’t expect people to cater to you; look out for your own happiness) but your reasoning seems off-base (because people are selfish jerks).
Then why did you start out by calling people selfish jerks?
I agree that those things don’t make someone a selfish jerk. I kind of do think salmon mom’s MIL (and husband) is a selfish jerk because they are refusing to let salmon mom meet her kid’s needs. Don’t want to make a special meal for a toddler? No problem, totally reasonable. Refuse to let me bring food for my toddler that he will actually eat? Huge problem, that makes you a selfish jerk.
I thought it was that the DH didn’t want her to bring alternate food, not that the MIL said no.
It was both.
I am a big believer in “when someone tells you who they are, listen.” And I adjust my expectations for interactions with different people to try not to set myself up for disappointment (and in some cases I have stopped having any expectation of a relationship with certain people).
I do have to say, maybe I was reading into salmon mom, but in her original post, it sounded like the MIL was trying to control the child’s diet because she thought it would be helpful for autism. That kind of thinking she knows better than kid’s parents & doctors about how to manage kid is a different level, IMO. I would probably want to limit interactions in that case, but realize that can be hard when it’s a grandparent and potentially an otherwise loving/healthy relationship.
um, yes. that’s a really sad view, though i guess it is an easier way to avoid disappointment. i do not think it is reasonable to ask someone to fix 4 different meals, but this MIL was serving salmon and cabbage – that is not something that most kids i know eat. even more she did not like when the op salmon poster brought her own food for her son. yes, i do think it is generally rude for someone to bring their own food to someone’s house but not for a small child with special needs. the MIL should want her grandson to be able to eat at her house
It was salmon and peas I thought. I’m surprised it’s seen as a kid unfriendly meal. Fish as a protein plus easy veggies like peas/carrots/corn are staples at our house. I definitely wouldn’t think of it as a kid unfriendly meal but I think that also shows how different families can be.
So Anon says
A lot of kids on the spectrum have sensory issues, including a sensitive sense of smell (think similar to how sensitive smell can be during pregnancy with the accompanying gag reflex). My son can tell whenever anything is on the verge of going bad from the smell alone when it smells fine to me, and cannot handle “strong” smelling foods.
This is me and I’m not on the spectrum. Pregnancy is extra miserable.
I missed this discussion, but you seem to have a super pessimistic and almost mean way of justifying an otherwise appropriate assumption, which is that you and your partner, and no one else, are responsible for ensuring that your family’s needs are met. Others have busy lives, financial responsibilities, etc., and all of that takes up a lot of energy. I certainly wish I could help out others more, but I am in the same boat as they are. Most people are just trying their best.
I agree that I’m responsible for my own happiness, and my husband and I are responsible for our kid’s happiness. Everyone is busy and involved in their own lives, although none are selfish jerks. But our family members help us out where they can, and we reciprocate when we can. For us, it’s part of being a large family. (Our local family is 22 people, soon to be 23.)
That’s not to say everything is perfect all the time. We have to negotiate boundaries with certain family members, but those conversations (and us enforcing our boundaries) usually improve things. I was disappointed last year because we received very little help before we moved–I just wanted someone to watch Kiddo for a few hours on the weekends before the move so we could pack, and only 1 grandparent stepped up.
There is a lot to be said for expectations based on how people have acted in the past. There’s no reason to set yourself up to be disappointed if someone routinely acts a certain way.
So Anon says
I come from it in the completely opposite viewpoint: people are generally good and trying to do the best they can. We are all humans, with all our quirks, past baggage, blind spots, etc. I also trust that other adults will draw their own boundaries to meet their own needs, just like I am responsible for drawing my boundaries, meeting my (and my kids’) needs and also asking for help. If someone cannot drive in bad weather, I respect them for speaking up and saying that. It has taken a huge amount of work for me to be able to ask for and accept help. I was firmly in the camp of “I can do all things on my own!” And most of the time, I can. However, I cannot both be at work for an important meeting at 4pm and be at my son’s OT at 4pm, so I will reach out to family and ask if they can take my son to OT. If they cannot, I trust them to say “no,” and I will come up with an alternative. I am responsible for my own actions and reactions to things, but one person cannot do all and be all to everyone. If someone isn’t kind, nice, or reliable (my ex) or throws a huge guilt trip, then don’t ask them, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to try and do life all by myself.
I am late to the party here but I would love to ask a follow up of OP – everyone seems hung up on this “selfish jerk” thing but more importantly I wonder, are you happy? Maybe this is a pessimistic view but it can also be seen as simply realistic. If you are not lonely and you are happy because your expectations are managed, I think this is totally fair.
To answer your question, I am trying to manage my expectations to be more at the point you are at. I wish for more help at times but ultimately, it’s on us and I am happy to have the ability to create our own happiness.
I guess I should clarify. I think it’s just realistic to assume that people are going to be selfish until they prove otherwise, and to assume that even when they demonstrate that they aren’t selfish, they are real people with their own lives and needs. You give to others what you can simply for the joy of giving, you gratefully accept what others are willing and able to give, and you don’t tie yourself up in knots expecting other people to meet your needs or change who they are. This is a way to maximize happiness and contentment. We regularly babysit at the drop of a hat for relatives who will never, ever reciprocate, partly because it’s the right thing to do and partly because we genuinely enjoy spending time with their kids. We never expect anything but trouble from my MIL, so when she isn’t horrible to us it’s a pleasant surprise. We don’t expect my husband’s dad and stepmother to make our picky kids a special meal, so we let the kids fill up on appetizers and bread and spend our energy enjoying our time with the grandparents. We understand that my mom can’t always come for the holidays, so we make other plans but gladly welcome her to join in those plans whenever it does work out. Wouldn’t salmon mom have been much happier if she’d just fed her kid before the dinner, let him eat whatever he felt like from the offered menu plus any snacks she’d brought with her, and not wasted hours fuming over the fact that her MIL was being passive-aggressive and disrespecting her and her child by planning to cook salmon? I just see so many posts here from people disappointed when their parents or in-laws don’t live up to their expectations, and I wonder whether people would be happier if they adjusted their expectations to align with reality instead of wishing that their parents would change to meet those expectations.
Audrey III says
Just wanted to say thank you to the person who suggested Marker-Miller Orchard in Winchester, VA for apple picking near Arlington, VA – we went over Columbus Day weekend and it was well worth the drive! Tons of apples left, great apple cider donuts, and a great playground for the kids to play at. This community is the best!
Yay, glad to hear it was good, that’s motivation for me to make the drive again.
So Anon for this says
My 3yo has a mild cold (no fever, no stuffy nose) but a loud cough. Not a wry cough or a hacking cough, but loud, especially when she lays down for the night. We’re giving her honey and running the humidifier.
My husband is convinced she has walking pneumonia or asthma or acid reflux and pretty much said I am a bad mom for not taking her to the pediatrician. He has anxiety and refuses treatment / meds. I’m going to spend my afternoon (I work part-time) taking my kid out of school and hauling her to the ped.
He’s [email protected]$(:)$” nuts, right?
Relatedly, has anyone gotten their spouse into therapy for moderate anxiety? It’s not debilitating, it’s just making me homicidal.
How long has she had it? Without trouble breathing of a fever, I’d let it go for a weekish before calling the ped to see if kiddo should go in. A call to the nurse might go a long way in calming your husband with minimal effort on anyone’s part.
Can he not take her himself?
If she’s not wheezing or doesn’t have a fever, I’d totally do the same thing. If the cough lingers for a long time (a week>) it may be worth a ped visit–asthma can present as a cough rather than wheezing and if albuterol helps it’s good to know!
Wait, why isn’t he a bad dad for not taking her to the pediatrician? And if he has anxiety, he should be worried about making an unnecessary trip to the pediatrician and having her catch something else while she’s there.
Oof, that’s hard. I’m usually the health paranoid one in our relationship, but I would start with a compromise like having HIM call the doctor and asking if this sounds like something they need to see, and if not, what the criteria would be for needing to see her, e.g., if she starts running a fever, wheezing, etc. Information gathering and developing an if/then kind of plan for the worst case scenario is very helpful for my anxiety.
He isn’t your husband! You can’t get him into therapy! You must stop this and start following your parenting plan. He thinks she needs a doctor he can take her on his time.
Wait wait wait though, are you not the regular poster who goes by So Anon? If not, pls change your handle next time.
I had the same reaction. It must be a different “So Anon.”
It’s definitely a different person. The regular So Anon’s kids are a bit older, she does not have a 3 year old.
So Anon says
Hey! Yup. This isn’t my post. In no way would I ever call the dude my husband, ever again.
I would have your husband call the ped. The ped will tell him what to be on the lookout for before bringing her in. He will hear it first hand.
I have 3 kids and one had some breathing problems that only surfaced when she had a cough– her lungs were a bit damaged by RSV when she was young so it took until she got bigger and her airways matured for her to not have mini asthma-like attacks mid-coughing fit. She had a neb and we took her to the ER twice because she kept coughing and choking. The last trip was at age 4 and she’s 6.5 now.
side note: If your kid is an old 3 (closer to 4), you can probably give her cough syrup. There are kinds that are good for 4 and up that my ped gave the green light on at 3.5. Then there’s the good stuff which is for 6+.
2 Cents says
Dealing with a moderately anxious and depressed DH right now (whose default self-diagnosis, from paper cut to heart valve surgery, is “I’m going to die!!!”). I’ve laid out that he’s not at his best, which is short changing his relationship with me and our child, and he needs help. I gave him an option among 3 therapists, made an appointment with the 1 he chose and now he goes weekly—no excuses. And he now has a psychiatrist for meds. It’s helping. (And yes, it does sound like I have to be his mom for this but my choices were do it for him (because the depression and anxiety wouldn’t allow him to do it for himself) or rinse/repeat the crazy cycle we’re on.)
My therapist is helping me deal with my husband’s anxiety. It’s a relief to talk to someone who understands what anxiety does to a person. It has given me more compassion and strategies to make me a more effective communicator with him. Feeling much less homicidal, several appointments in.
2 Cents says
Yes, I should’ve added I also see a therapist and having that sound board has been a huge help through this.
Commiseration– DH will always bring the kids to the doctor before I will. Sometimes we are on the same page, but I usually don’t take it upon myself to call, set up the appointment, and take the kid. If my DH is concerned, he’s responsible for doing all that — and he will! Sometimes this means letting him take kiddo at an inconvenient time, like two years ago on Halloween at 6 pm instead of trick or treating, but you know what? He’s an adult and can make those choices. I support his choices that he takes action on.
I recommend letting DH call the nurse line (whether through your ped or your insurance) and have him speak with a nurse who can recommend treatment options and escalation criteria. It’s always what I recommend to my DH first (and what I usually do as well).
Our rule is that if we disagree on if the kids need to go to the doctor, whoever thinks the kid needs to go to the doctor, takes them. Only exceptions are for non-moveable things like court or travel. If we cover for the other because of court or travel, then they owe a cover for one time they don’t think the kid needs to go.
So Anon says
You cannot force someone into therapy and have it be productive. You can draw boundaries. When your spouse begins indicating that he thinks your kiddo should go to the doc, you can say, “I disagree. You are free to take the kiddo to the doctor. Let me know how it goes!” I would also encourage the book, “Anxious kids, Anxious parents,” which talks about how a parent approaching life with an anxious mindset predisposes a child to have a similar mindset. If this begins to impact your relationship or your child, I would encourage speaking to a third party about it.
Mama Llama says
What are the best grippy socks for early walkers (been walking about 2 months)? We have brazilian cherry floors that are apparently slipperier than most floors. I keep my son barefoot in the house since he can’t go more than a couple of steps without slipping in his current socks (which have just a few grippies), but would like something on his feet as it gets colder and I don’t think he’ll be willing to wear slippers.
I would probably just keep him in bare feet unless he seems actively uncomfortable. Even the grippiest grippers won’t be as good as bare feet, and kids are much more tolerant of extreme temps than I think we give them credit for.
If bare feet are definitely not an option then I would go with Roobeez. The gripper socks usually lack grips on the toes, which is problematic when kids are pulling up or tiptoeing or doing the other random experimentation that early walkers do.
Barefoot, or house sneakers? I’ve found all socks to be a little slippery.
somebody on this page recommended these socks (so positively that I bought them even though i didn’t really need them!) They are pretty great. But my 3 yr old doesn’t wear them, my 22 month old does:
search am*zon for n’ice caps grippy socks
That was me! I’m the resident n’ice caps sock pusher. They really are great socks and I’m glad you like them.
haha, you were so passionate about them that I bought them that day!
Zutanos? That’s what mine wore. We have regular, non-Brazilian wood floors though :)
I only mentioned the kind of wood because my relatives have pointed out that our floors seems smoother and slipperier than normal hardwood. For all I know, its not real wood and that’s the problem!
Mrs. Jones says
Pump for second baby? says
I need some advice for what to do about a br3ast pump this second time around. Last time I had a medela PISA through insurance, which I used at home, and a Spectra S1 that I bought on the river store and used at the office and for work travel after my 6 month leave, until baby turned 1. I was very happy with the Spectra, especially the battery option and the fact that it was quiet and adjustable options. But I’ve heard that pumps don’t work as well after a while (first baby will be 3 when this one arrives). And I had somewhat low supply last time (had to pump 3x at work and once after bedtime to get enough for the next day), so I’m inclined to get a new pump, either covered by insurance or in the $150-200 range. I am interested in the concept of freemie cups, but have heard some women get less output with it. I am also interested in the super mobile/compact aspect of the Spectra S9, Baby Buddha, etc, especially for work travel. The freemie freedom deluxe set is 100% covered by my insurance, but nothing else good (I am not interested in another medela…). For those with experience, is the S9/Baby Buddha worth paying out of pocket for? How is the output? And can I just buy some freemie cups to use with an existing pump? What would people recommend here?
I told myself after reading Emily Oster’s Cribsheet that I will put less pressure on myself, and may only pump 1x at work this time and make up the rest with formula. But if I can set myself up with the best pump setup going in, I want to do that. Thanks in advance!
I used the S9 and S2 with my first. Liked the S9 fine, it’s a little different feel than the S2/S1 and you may get a little less or just need to pump a little differently in terms of how you use the letdown etc. I thought it was fine and would use it at work and on trips (and I was EPing). I think the baby Buddha is $$$ right? I found the S9 for about $130.
My two cents. I bought a second S1 this time around (with insurance) and have been keeping it my office and my 3 year old S1 at home. FWIW, I think my old S1 seems louder but the suction is still the same or close. I have several friends who have gotten the S9 and been really happy with it. I’ve tried freemie cups and I get way less with them than with a traditional set up.
No Experience with S9 or Baby Buddha, but I have a Spectra S1, Freemie Liberty and the Hygiea Enjoye. (Also 2 Amedas from my first kid, but those have the functionality of a door stop). The Spectra, which is my primary work pump is on it’s second baby and still seems to be working great (I pumped for a year with it before). The Hygiea gets great output, but doesn’t have the convenient memory function of the Spectra, so it is my home pump. The Freemie- I use for commuting, for wearing around the house when trying to get things done, and I use it at work when I can’t get to the pump room (i.e. Meetings and events). It does take me 30-40 minutes to get the same amount of milk as the other pumps get in 20 mins, but I’m able to pump while getting things done, so I don’t mind that trade off.
I have the S2 (covered by insurance), the Baby Buddha (purchased myself), Freemie cups (gift), and a Willow (gift). I get the best output with the Baby Buddha and bonus, it also takes the shortest amount of time. I never got great output with the Freemie cups connected to my Spectra, and then when I was given a used Willow the Freemies became pointless. Freemies could be convenient but will not make up for an old pump battery that is losing suction, so maybe file that in the “nice to have” category but you’d still need a new pump this time around. The Spectra is the most comfortable pump of the bunch FWIW.
Halloween help says
Just realized our local Halloween party is this Saturday and I don’t have costumes for my kids, 3-year-old twins. Any easy alternatives to ordering a costume-in-a-bag from the river site? I am not crafty…
Have them invent their own costumes from whatever is in the dress-up bin?
Costume PJs. My 2YO is refusing to wear any and all costumes, so we’re putting her in skeleton glow in the dark PJs her grammy sent her. I’ve seen other iterations floating around (dalmation, wonder woman, etc.).
old navy has a bunch!
Carters usually has some too.
oh, costume PJs is a PERFECT idea–thank you!
do they have any team paraphernalia? they could be fans/players? also age 3 kind of seems old enough to have an opinion. what do they want to be?
Costume PJs from Old Navy? Variety of ears/tails from Target that they can choose from and wear with clothes they already have?
Target is selling an orange dress with cats on it plus ears/tails for like $3.
superhero pjs or occupational pjs from old navy – they have doctor, painter, astronaut.
If you don’t want to go to the store, order online. They have an in-store return option so overall less environmental impact than Amazon (no idea the point behind ‘the river store’ business).
I think people are trying to avoid mod?
Amazon doesn’t send you to m0d and “the river store” is annoying.
So Anon says
I am doing a character hoodie and matching sweatpants for my son.
On today’s ‘maybe I’m a jerk’:
College BFF texted me asking for studies that support the CDC vaccination schedule. I was… direct. I did not hold back and flat out told her that yes, I would get her some; however, there was no evidence that supported withholding vaccines without specific contraindication. I told her to talk to her pediatrician with any questions.
I flat out told her that I was concerned that she appeared to be exhibiting symptoms of PPA (every day she texts me that she spent hours crying or is ‘freaking out’ about totally un-troubling things).
She told me I wasn’t being supportive and she was just a ‘normal nervous new mom.’ Could I have been more compassionate? Absolutely. Am I a jerk? Probably. Am I done? No, I’ll obviously go over and be supportive but… GAHHH… Stop. Just… stop.
You are a good person for helping her (or trying to help her)
What is your goal in all this? If you are trying to get her to stop texting you, you probably succeeded. If you are trying to help her, you made yourself feel better but did not do a thing to help her.
There is a crazy and destructive amount of fear-mongering around pregnancy and motherhood. First of all, don’t give a psychological diagnosis unless that person is a patient of yours, you are licensed, and you have informed consent. Second, understand the depth of the motherhood shaming and fear-mongering, which makes it hard for all but the most strong-willed and robust women to exhibit any type of balance during pregnancy and early motherhood.
There is NO sense, none whatsoever, of risk analysis. Everything is a terror, everything is a worry, and a huge number of mothers equate uncontrollable, random freak accidents with preventable problems. As but one example, I’m in my late 30s and pregnant. It is weird how many people try to tell me to NOT be relieved that all my baby’s genetic and anatomic tests came back with good news, because “You’ll worry when your kid starts to drive” or “You’ll always worry about your child.” My stress levels dropped between when I got that positive pregnancy test (urine) and when I saw my baby’s heartbeat on an ultrasound – I went from a 30-40% risk of miscarriage to a 1%. My stress levels further dropped when all the bloodwork (cell free DNA) and 20-week scan came back with no problems. But people literally tell me TO BE WORRIED! (The one exception: a quality engineer.) It’s crazypants, and women are actively encouraged to live in terror.
In response to 5:08. A fifferent thought. I had PPD. It took a long time before I figured it out and sought treatment. After I had sought treatment I found out that several people were worried about me but said nothing and asked nothing. Maybe if they had pushed (as the OP did to her BFF) I would have sought treatment more quickly?
Not sure you’ll see this but, ABSOLUTELY I am not qualified.
Which is why I specifically said, ‘Hey, I’m really concerned that some of the symptoms you’re exhibiting (Note: Specifically:self isolation, lots of crying, extreme fear that you’re going to hurt your child) all sound a lot like PPA/PPD. I’m worried about you.’
I think I also might have compassion fatigue, frankly. Not just from her.