Diaper Duty

Erin and her son Lincoln

Diaper Duty - Join Erin on the journey of a lifetime.  Along with her first born, Lincoln, (born in 2010), Erin is learning the "art of being a baby mama"




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Instinctual Baby Behavior

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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Yesterday the daycare called to see if they should wake Reagan to feed her. She had a cold and must have been growing because she was working on what turned out to be an almost five hour nap (LUCKY!). My answer was an automatic “no.”

Of course, I don’t mind that they called and asked. I appreciated it (even though I wrote on the “About Baby” form to never wake her to eat). No biggie. My bigger question is why would you wake a baby to eat?

I’m sure some babies should be woken to eat for medical reasons and such, but with a healthy baby, why not rely on instinct? Baby is gonna eat when she wants to eat, sleep when she wants to sleep, and do other things when other things need done, right?

I’m a HUGE believer on listening to your body, and I’ve carried that over into motherhood by relying on what my kids’ bodies are doing to tell me the state of affairs.

Baby still sleeping? Baby stay sleeping. Her body obviously needed sleep more than food. She did end up missing one bottle during the day, but it was only one day and she was her happy, normal self the short time she was awake (and she made up for it later). So, I let it be. Today, she’s back to normal.

Do you rely on your kids’ built-in instincts? What do they tell you?

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Returning to Work: A little easier the second time

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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I returned to work this week after 12 weeks off, and I gotta tell you, I’m feeling all the emotions. I’m so sad and empty with loss, but excited and happy, too. My head and my heart are swirling.

Since this is my second time returning to work after baby, I am blessed with the fact that a lot of my questions are answered already. Things like "will my baby forget me?" and "will I be OK?" are already answered (the answers, by the way, are "No way" and "Of course, silly"). And while I cycle through everything I’m feeling for eight hours a day, I’m comforted (a little) by being an experienced working mom.

From experience, I know the guilt and feeling of loss don’t really go away, but that your head talks your heart out of it, and you press on with the day. I know I can call the daycare as many times as I want and check on the kids. I know that having Lincoln in daycare has only benefited our family the last four years and that it will probably continue to do so for Reagan. I know that I thought long and hard (AGAIN) about the decision to return and still thought it was what’s best for my family at this time. I also know how lucky I am to work at a company that supports me as a working mom and have a bunch of friends in the building.

But, I am sad. I miss my kids! Every second I’m away, I miss them. But, this time, I know it’ll turn out OK.

Did you working moms of multiple kids have an easier or harder time returning the second (or third or fourth) time?

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Daycare Devastation 2: Our REALLY Wonderful Center is Closing

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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Well, my friends, we’ve done it again. The Hills have taken down another daycare.

Not really…but, that’s how it feels.

Yet again we are faced with the closure of another center we placed our trust into and got love out of for over two years. This time was much more difficult.

We got word of the closure the beginning of last year. I didn’t want to talk about it with you all for a few reasons: 1. I didn’t want y’all to think we were bad luck!, 2. I didn’t want to think about it, and 3. I thought maybe the decision would change.

Unlike our last closure, this was one I thought could be turned around. I as much as possible to make damn sure I could tell Lincoln I gave it my all to keep his school open. The last closure was due to abuse allegations. This one, in my opinion, was an abuse of power issue.

So, we’ve move on once again. Though the center we love even more than the first is still open for another six months, we decided to pull Lincoln out early so we didn’t have to worry every day that TODAY was going to be the last. Since there was no warning of a closure, I expected there to be no warning if they decided to close it even earlier than promised.

“They” are not those who work within the daycare, but those who decide its fate nonetheless. The daycare is within a vocational school where a board makes the decisions. They made this one last year with, what I gather, were zero facts on the impact of this decision. I’ve shown up to the board meetings time and time again to try to tell them what a gem they’ve got in that center, but it is the end, my friend.

How do we move on (AGAIN!)? Well, this one has been a doozy. Lincoln is older now (4 instead of 2) and had his buddies and his favorites teachers (all of them!). He can verbalize now and has an opinion and wonders everyday why the heck we’re going to this new school.

How would you explain such a significant change to a four year old?

We’ve just been dealing with this as a loss. We have no other options. We tell Lincoln his old school is closed, but he’ll see his friends from there still (we’ve vowed to have monthly meet ups), and he’ll make new friends at this new place.  

I used to think it was hard trying to figure out what he was thinking when he couldn’t talk. I know now it’s WAY harder to actually have him tell me what’s going on in his little head. And, while I’m comfortable with the choice we made in his new daycare, I long for the other one. I think about it and the teachers there several times a day and wish things could be different.


ErinHillErin Hill is mom to Lincoln, born in January 2010, and Reagan, born in November 2013. She's learning as she goes and is experiencing everything a new mom goes through the second time around while seeing the humor, irony, and enjoyment in her adventures.

Erin is a full-time technical writer and co-founder and writer for SlimSavers.com in her "spare time." She lives in Plum with Lincoln, her husband, Adam, their dog, Roxie, and five (yes, five) cats, Nirvana, Gary Roberts, Elvis, Talbot and Forrest.

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Tips for Nursing in Public

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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I always giggle a little inside when I think of how many public places I’ve had my breasts out. Immature? Sure, but hilarious to me nonetheless. I was always shy about my body growing up, and if younger me would have known what I was doing now, she’s turn red and hide in her room blasting Nirvana.

With this mothering thing there comes choices and priorities you intend to keep come hell or high water Breastfeeding is one for me. When I first started traveling outside of the house with my first born, I’d take a bottle of breast milk with me to avoid what I thought would be a mortifying and stressful experience. I would think “How would I even do that? Just whip it out? Where? When? EVERYONE WOULD BE LOOKING!” The day I forgot my “just-in-case bottle” I got over this. If you are breastfeeding but fear or worry about doing it in public, here are some tips that helped me to comfortably nurse in any public place.

1.  Know the law

In Pennsylvania, we can breastfeed “in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be present, irrespective of whether or not the mother’s breast is covered during or incidental to the breastfeeding,” according the Pennsylvania Freedom to Breastfeed Act. A great resource for learning the federal and state laws for breastfeeding and pumping at work is www.breastfeedinglaw.com. Most states have laws that say anywhere mothers and children are permitted, breastfeeding is also permitted. Booya! If it makes you feel better, have a copy of the law with you. I figure if I say the words “it’s the law” people will usually leave me alone and walk away. People are afraid of laws!

2.  Cover yourself

Sure, the law says I don’t have to, but I sure feel better when I know I’m not “educating” small children from the bench at the grocery store. Yes, you can tell me it’s natural and there’s nothing to hide, but it’s just better for me and everyone around if I cover myself. Plus, not everyone feels that way. Get yourself one of those cleverly named “hooter hiders” or something similar or just a nice big piece of fabric like a swaddle or receiving blanket. I’ve grown very fond of my receiving blanket/nursing tank combo. The receiving blanket is soft and “grabs” to my clothes and the nursing tank covers my back and squishy belly while I’m nursing.

3.Location, location, location

When I was at Walmart the other day, Reagan got hungry. I knew their photo center in the back of the store had a bench so I high-tailed it back there and fed her. It turned out there was a lot of traffic back there. I didn’t know there was an entrance to the employees’ lounge and public bathrooms. However, I could have cared less. (Why didn’t I go in a fitting room? Well, I didn’t think of that until now, smarty pants!) In addition to knowing some goods spots at places you go frequently, you should also know that there is ALWAYS a place to go. However, never, ever, EVER nurse in a bathroom unless it has a specific area for you to do so. I did it once at the beginning, and I will NEVER do it again. There’s no reason for it (and it’s gross). Go to your car if you have to, but never, EVER nurse in a bathroom. PLEASE!
   
4.Keep the other kid(s) busy

No mom wants to run after her other children with her boob hanging out when they go rogue while she’s nursing. Have snacks and/or activities on hand to keep them occupied or pop-a-squat in a non-busy location with some room for them to run free while you can still maintain visual contact. If all else fails, make them sit next to you and threaten their lives and all they value if they move.

5.Act as you always do while nursing

It doesn’t matter where you are, nursing is something very special between you and baby, in my opinion. Talk to your baby, hold his/her hand, pat his/her bum – do what you do and enjoy it.

6.Take as long as it takes

It’s sooooooooooooo easy to rush it when you’re in public. You know how that ends, though – with a still hungry, crying baby two minutes later.

7.Be confident!

As we’ve discussed, you’re not doing anything wrong. When people walk past, don’t lower your head in shame or embarrassment, look them in the eye and smile! Sometimes they smile back (women). Sometimes they look at the floor and pick up the pace (men). Sometimes they turn around and go the opposite direction (teenagers). Whatever!

 
What are some tips that have helped you nursing mothers feed your babies in public?

 

 

 

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Admit You're Not Perfect but Still Fantastic

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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"Sorry, I was hiding in the shower…"

Yep, that’s what I texted to my friend who was looking for me while I was hiding from my responsibilities. Having two kids ain’t no joke, ya’ll. I knew I could handle it, and I’m handling it – as long as I get those 15 (OK 30) minutes in the shower.

I told myself that this year I’d blog the truth. I have before, but I’ve admittedly left out some things (most of my feelings) fearing the comments that would come back. However, one of the many reasons for this blog is to help other parents. Who am I helping if tell everyone when I’m struggling or hiding in the shower? This whole parenting thing isn’t 100 percent perfect. No one has it perfect. NO ONE! I know I’m a good mother, and so are you (except if you’re a dad. Then, you’re a good dad!)! I know I’m not a bad mother, and neither are you (no bad dads either)! I’m speaking the truth. I wrote previously about how we should admit our faults, our mistakes, and our "duh!" moments. It helps us all so much.

So, I hide in the shower -- every day. I’m not crying in there or anything. I’m getting clean, listening to my music (possibly dancing and singing), and I can’t hear a damn thing outside of that bathroom. No crying, no "mommy, mommy, mommy," no "where’s this" or "where’s that," no barking from the dog, no me trying to figure out how to divide myself equally in half for both kids and figure out how to still show my husband I love him. For those minutes, I’m me just taking a shower. No, I can’t help with the baby or get Lincoln a snack. I’M TAKING A SHOWER!

We talk about nights out with the girls or date night. The shower is my “girls night out.” It’s just short, daily, and alone (you dirty birds!).

Do you have an “unusual” escape?


ErinHillErin Hill is mom to Lincoln, born in January 2010, and Reagan, born in November 2013. She's learning as she goes and is experiencing everything a new mom goes through the second time around while seeing the humor, irony, and enjoyment in her adventures.

Erin is a full-time technical writer and co-founder and writer for SlimSavers.com in her "spare time." She lives in Plum with Lincoln, her husband, Adam, their dog, Roxie, and five (yes, five) cats, Nirvana, Gary Roberts, Elvis, Talbot and Forrest.

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.