First food!

Baby’s first food was sweet potato avocado. It was supposed to be sweet potato but instead of steaming it I burned it…? Ooops. It was a toss up between sweet potato and avocado anyway. So it will be avocado for a few days. And then on to the next thing!

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He is just over 4 months old. I was originally wanting to delay solid foods anywhere between 6 months and one year, but he has been showing me more and more signs he is ready: extreme interest in what I’m eating, chewing motions, suddenly not sleeping through the night out of hunger. I was also surprised to find out  that introducing foods between 4 and 6 months is correlated with a lower incidence of food allergies including gluten intolerance.

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A Tuesday night.

Just got back from meeting up with four other single moms. Two are pregnant and two are trying or planning to get pregnant – so baby got a lot of attention! It’s so good for both of us to be around such interesting, funny, smart and honest women. I’m loving getting to know them. It’s one of those times where I think: how did I get invited to this?? and how soon am I going to get kicked out??!! What I mean is I really like them and I’m looking forward to meeting up again and again.

But for now, baby just went to sleep and I have about ten things I need to do before I can rest. Including find this book called Amazing Babies that one of the women recommended. This one looks good, too!

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Night!

 

Yoga for Single Moms!

Hey single moms! Check this out: http://yogaforsinglemoms.com/

You can put in your vote on the site for Yoga for Single Moms to come to the place you live!

Grad School.

I was supposed to finish my grad school program this last Thursday. It has been really hard to watch that date slowly approach. Even though I have a sweet baby to show for this hard year – it is a hard pill to swallow to not be able to follow through on a commitment. It’s a very long story, but I was forced out of the program due to my pregnancy and it was unbearably stressful to fight against that while I was pregnant. I don’t wish that situation on anyone. To play with the economic security of a pregnant woman is cruel. More on that someday…

For now I wanted to share something that was a great comfort and reminded me there is plenty of time for achievements.

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Photo via

Toni Morrison published her first novel at age 40 as a single mom.

 

5 of the things I love about mothering:

1. The clarity. Suddenly everything is clear in life: who my real friends are, what is important and what is not, how to spend my time, etc.

2. How he explores my hair and clothes while he nurses. It’s hilarious.

3. The way he greets me with a huge smile first thing in the morning. He is so happy after a good sleep.

4. Reading to him while he talks to me and the book. And he really has something to say.

5. How I actually miss him when he takes a long nap. Who knew?

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5 things I want my 4-month-old to know:

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1. He is safe and loved.

2. He is welcomed in this world.

3. I want to hear everything he has to say.

4. He can trust his feelings.

5. There is no rush.

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Susan Sontag’s parenting advice.

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photo via

It’s so funny, when I was a few months pregnant and starting to wrap my mind around what being a mother would mean – one thing that crossed my mind was: Susan Sontag was a single mother – how did she handle that?

That probably sounds weird but she is one of those people who crosses my mind from time to time so it wasn’t a strange thing to think about – though I never thought about saying it aloud to anyone. I should probably start saying some of this stuff because other people are thinking it too – one morning I accidentally came across her short list of advice on the Parenting magazine website:

  1. Be consistent.
  2. Don’t speak about him to others (e.g., tell funny things) in his presence. (Don’t make him self-conscious.)
  3. Don’t praise him for something I wouldn’t always accept as good.
  4. Don’t reprimand him harshly for something he’s been allowed to do.
  5. Daily routine: eating, homework, bath, teeth, room, story, bed.
  6. Don’t allow him to monopolize me when I am with other people.
  7. Always speak well of his pop. (No faces, sighs, impatience, etc.)
  8. Do not discourage childish fantasies.
  9. Make him aware that there is a grown-up world that’s none of his business.
  10. Don’t assume that what I don’t like to do (bath, hairwash) he won’t like either.

Fearing the logistics, the statistics.

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I found this article in Slate when I was pregnant and searching online for advice on being the best single mother possible. Another single mom recently sent me this article from Bloomsbury Academic. The statistics about children of single mothers are scary. I think we can change that story though.

I have met a lot of great single moms since baby was born. Seeing these women do such an amazing and loving job of raising their kids is a great comfort. As is reminding myself that people like Barack Obama – among many, many other successful people – was the child of a single mother.

Some days are hard. But most days I actually feel lucky to have him all to myself. 😉

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Get Your Sh*t Together.

One thing that is really important to me as a mom – especially as a single mom – is having a will in place. The possibility of leaving my baby behind should anything happen to me is a very hard thing to think about – which makes it hard to pick up the paperwork and get it done.

What helped me in a major way was getyourshittogther.org

It was started by a mother of two whose husband died suddenly and unexpectedly. She was unprepared and had to pick up the pieces one by one. She learned a lot from that awful experience and is kind enough to share. There is a lot of advice and materials on her website – INCLUDING FREE TEMPLATES!!! Her work is a huge help and I’m so grateful.

Smoothie for nursing moms

I drank about a million of these in the early days of nursing. Gave me tons of energy and I swear it helped fatten up my tiny baby! And it’s sooooo SIMPLE!

1 banana +

6 or so pitted dates +

about 1/2 can of coconut milk.

You can also substitute avocado for banana if you like (so good!). And add some ground flaxseed if you have it (that will give you omega fatty acids plus can help sluggish bowels. Just sayin.).

Use any blender. You can blend it right in the glass you serve it in with one of these stick blenders. I have the orange one.  And this is the perfect glass to fit the blender.

This smoothie is full of good fats and gives you energy to keep going. And going. Phew, those early days are hard work and breastfeeding really takes it out of you!

Hang in there.