There was a time where I followed all the mommy-group guidelines verbatim.

Like, you gotta nurse for at least 12 months.  I desperately hoped to make it to a year, but my body just wouldn’t agree.  The thought of giving them formula was pure torture.

They told us to put them to sleep when they are drowsy; don’t hold them to sleep.  They are supposed to self soothe.  SPOILER ALERT: I never fell for this one and all my babies were fantastic sleepers.

Start rice cereal at 4 months and not a minute sooner; whole milk at 12 months…meaning exactly 12 months.

They need well-visits at 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, and 24 months.  On the dot.

That lasted about 2.5 kids.  Somewhere between my 3rd and 5th child I decided I was done with everything I was “supposed” to be doing {insert politically correct disclaimer of your choosing here}.  Momma was a ball of stress, and surprisingly {or not} the kids were reaching milestones no matter what I did.

Somewhere around the age of 2 they realized they could scale their cribs and escape bedtime.  No amount of self-soothing can counter-act ingenuity.

There was a tremendous amount of guilt to concede that they needed to be supplemented with formula. However, the amount of stress I incurred from trying to keep up with pumping at work was incredible.  So with #3, I caved and decided to supplement.  Holy freedom.  He survived it and thrived in spite of it.  Say what?  I wasn’t even phased, and neither were they, when I inevitably had to make the same choices with #4 and #5.

#1 and #2 did not have any sugar until their first birthdays.  My 4th daughter recently fed #5 M&M’s for breakfast and my first thought was:

“I hope she is full.”  

My first born {accidentally} received peanut butter at 11 months and momma flipped her lid.  My 5th grabbed a PB&J sandwich that a sibling left lying around and chowed down on it at about 7 months.  She loved every bite.  I celebrated:

“One less meal to make.”  

I make it to the pediatrician’s regularly.  But only because someone is always sick.  I didn’t even realize #3 had not been seen for his 3 year well-visit until he was almost 4 {maybe I can count that for both visits}.  But hey, they are up to date on all their vaccines, growing out of their clothes, using their imaginations to destroy, sorry, play and talking {back}; so, I figure we are on track, and beyond blessed.

My kids all have gone from eating everything in sight to the pickiest of eaters.  Some love fruits, some love veggies, some love meat and some love carbs.  My oldest, who I was the strictest with, is my worst eater.  My 4th, who i sorta threw in the towel, has the best appetite; a fruit and veggie fiend.  Point is: you never know.

You learn a lot from child 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 to 5.  The biggest lesson is: they are fine.  They will walk, talk, and feed themselves whenever they gosh darn feel like it.  Before you know it you will be saying:

“Sit down! “

“Be quiet!”

“You can feed yourself!”

…on repeat.


All you can do is try your best.  Follow up with their pediatrician.  Feed ’em right.  Keep ’em safe.  Snuggle ’em every second you can.  Let the rest go.  Pretty soon we will have big kids with bigger problems.  We gotta conserve our energy, folks.



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