Attack of the Mama Guilts

Last night I felt guilty because my husband took charge of my tiny lady while I took some time away to write. Yep I felt guilty for leaving her with her loving father. Despite the fact that I could hear giggles and roars of laughter the guilt took quite a while to subside. But that’s me – guilty of a permanent sense of guilt! I even feel guilty for feeling guilty!

When I was pregnant I never understood the full and overwhelming force of Mummy Guilt. Sure I would feel guilty if I drank (slightly) more than the recommended daily caffeine limit or took some paracetemol for that raging baby back-ache but honestly that guilt was nothing to what I felt when I held that little baby in my arms. Suddenly every decision I made became riddled with the potential for a major attack of the guilts.

As a child my indecisive nature was a great joke amongst my family. They decided I should become a judge when I grew up – oh the joys of a sarcastic family! I was actually quite legendary for sweating over every little decision, getting everyone else’s opinion as if somehow everyone else knew better than me. In my eyes I suppose they did. I had little faith in my own opinion. This has only become worse since I became a mother. There are so many opinions out there and many of them differ from mine – how do I pick which is the best course of action? How do I decide? Nights spent scrolling google do not help with the decision process but that’s what I found myself doing during those endless newborn nights. Should I rock her to sleep? Should I use a soother? Should I teach her to self-soothe? I would forget amidst all the information gathering that as her mother I knew best. What works for one baby possibly won’t work for another.

But with every decision now layered with an undercurrent of guilt I just couldn’t decide what I should do; one wrong decision and I imagined I had sent my daughter hurling down the wrong path, never to return. As I grew more confident in my mummy skills the decision making did become slightly easier but the guilt never really went away.

Needless to say I have had many sleepless nights and I can’t even blame my toddler! The one thing she (usually) does well is sleep. I have a nightly battle to get her to eat her dinner but at least bedtime brings some peace. So those bags under my eyes are all completely self-inflicted. I can spend whole hours tossing and turning over the smallest of decisions. Currently I am wrangling with a pretty big decision – where to send her to school. So you can imagine the bags under my eyes are pretty huge right now.

Before I became a mother, guilt was more of a side-player in my life; only really making a grand appearance over something major like an argument with a friend. Now guilt is pretty much my side-kick; guilt and a giant cup of coffee. And guilt is such a pointless, negative emotion most of the time. Yet it seems to pervade motherhood like a bad smell. We beat ourselves up over everything and feel bad if we don’t achieve perfection. But I realised the other day perfection doesn’t really exist.

I was having a bad afternoon with my little girl – very cranky toddler, very stressed mother – so we went to the shop to get a break from the house. I watched jealously as a mother and her little boy played happily outside, the little boy beaming up at his mummy. Meanwhile my little terror was shooting mutinous looks at me because I had made her sit in her buggy. A while later, finished our shop, we passed the mother and son again. What a difference ten minutes can make. He was now wailing and his mother was trying to talk to him. Finally she huffed, grabbed him and walked off; little legs digging into her side as she went. Perfection, it seems, only exists in the moment. Within seconds it can be lost in tears and tantrums.

I probably won’t ever stop feeling the mum guilt but maybe, just maybe I will give myself a break every now and then. Maybe not every decision needs late night google sessions. Maybe I will make some bad decisions along the way. But that’s okay. Life isn’t perfect; it’s messy, loud and sometimes overwhelming. The trick is to take notice of those little moments when things are going your way, when guilt is taking a coffee break and your little tot is snuggling in for some mummy time. Those are the times that matter.IMG_2194.jpg


Parents: a soft place in a hard world

“You’re too soft on her!”

How many times have I heard this phrase? I imagine if I got paid every time it was said to me that I would be a very rich lady! Instead, the words just irritated me and eventually started to eat away at me.

I worked with children for many years and I was often described as “too soft”. At first it was said in jest then it became a byword for criticising my methods. When I first began to work in the early years sector I realised that, although we are all trained in much the same way, our methods vary widely. So it seemed that, yes, I was one of the ‘soft’ teachers; more likely to offer a cuddle than an admonishment. It is tough to stand by your beliefs when they are judged or held up as less than okay. It became tougher as the years went by. But, to me, it seems that childcare staff stand in for parents when they can’t be there. I tried to act in the way their parents would want their children to be treated.

I have left the sector since but now I have my own little girl. And what do I still hear? You are too soft! Sometimes it is said jokingly, sometimes gently, sometimes irritably. What has changed is my reaction to it. Now I just say so bloody what? Yes I am soft, too right I am soft! My daughter will too often have to deal with a world of hard edges, negativity and judgement. I want to be the one place in the world where she is welcomed and loved just how she is; where she will find praise not criticism, love not hate, warmth not coldness.

I believe in being firm and kind; offering a safe place for a child often works better than cold words of rebuke. When my child is all worn out, after an epic strop, her emotions vastly over-whelming, I offer a cuddle. That doesn’t mean her behaviour is alright but it means I am here for her, no matter how how far her temper flies. I believe it is our job as parents to provide a soft place, a safe haven for our children. This doesn’t mean being overly-permissive or spoiling them. It means showing them understanding when they can’t cope with life, kindness when they have lost their way and a warm hug when that tantrum becomes just too much.

Too often we rush in with harsh words or reprimands because it is seen as spoiling a child if we are too gentle. I have had days where the Tesco temper tantrum causes me to be stern and angry; under pressure from judgemental stares I rush to assure on-lookers that I can deal with this, I am a strong parent. But when did being strong mean you had to be hard as well? There is a quiet kind of strength in being the type of parent who teaches through gentleness, who talks to her child, who listens. Children respond better when they feel understood; don’t we all?

So yes call me soft. I will gladly wear that badge. I will wear it with pride.

The Importance of Mummy Instincts in the Great Sleep Debate

Many parents today seem to be confusing the terms ‘self-soothe’ and ‘crying it out’. It is easy to get the two muddled up as many parenting articles tend to get the two mixed up. Today I read a blog by Sarah Ockwell-Smith on Huff Post Parents (UK Edition) which begged parents not to teach their children to ‘self-soothe’. She believed this skill was beyond babies (although she doesn’t actually clarify what age group she is referring to) and therefore not the correct way of helping a child to sleep.

She made the point that as adults we are capable of logic and therefore can soothe ourselves while a child can’t. This is true. However, are we really helping our children by rushing in when they make even the slightest of whimpers?

I will be clear. I am not talking about tiny babies. They need our care, around the clock, twenty four seven no matter how sleep deprived we are. They are only just learning about the world and need constant feeds, changes and cuddles. However, a baby that is beginning to drop their night feed might just be ready to sleep without constant attendance (outside of the baby monitor of course).

My daughter slept through the night until about five am when she was about four months old. She dropped the night feed all of a sudden when I woke and realised I had slept undisturbed for the first time in months. A surprise and a very pleasant one!

A child who self-soothes is not necessarily one who has been left to cry it out. I know we never tried that method and our daughter does self-soothe. We didn’t sleep train beyond the usual advice of bed-time routine and put child down drowsy but awake. Sometimes she fell asleep on her bottle. We still put her down. Perhaps we did sleep train but didn’t have a name for it. Regardless we have a champion sleeper and winner of the Nap Olympics.

I have, on occasion, made the mistake of going in when she has merely snuffled or coughed. Then she sees mama – ‘oh joy’ she thinks ‘playtime!’. I try to leave the room again and she cries. Well I don’t want to be a ‘bad mother’ so I go and pick her up. I bring her into bed. She chats to me for the rest of the night while I lapse in and out of consciousness. Husband is greeted by two grizzly bears the next morning and she is wrecked for the next few days. I am obviously a slow learner as I have done this on more than once.

However, I think the real reason I rush in and pick her up is that I have been tricked into believing, through numerous online articles and debates, that I am a bad mother if I do not respond immediately. If I leave her to settle for even a minute I am guilty of neglect. She is two. She knows how to play her mama. She knows daddy won’t play ball but mama is the ‘soft touch’.

Now I guess people will say ‘oh yes they are only young once though sure a few sleepless nights isn’t the end of the world’. All very true. But I know, deep down, my intervening isn’t doing her any good. I have sat with her on nights she is wakeful while every instinct is screaming at me to leave. My mothering instincts tell me she sleeps better without me. And this is true. I have seen first-hand proof of this but all the while I tell myself ‘but you are a bad mother is you leave’. This is what reading every parenting post out there will get you; utter confusion and guilt with every move you make.

I guess the real trick is knowing your own child. Does your child really need you? Some children may very well need that attention at night. Mine doesn’t. Honestly I think we just got lucky. So my advice, for what it’s worth, is do whatever works for you and your child and your family. If self-soothing works; do it. If cuddling all night works for you; do it. Don’t let yourself, like me, be seduced into going against those instincts. Mama (and quite possibly even dada) knows best.

The human face behind the debate

I had a little epiphany while we were at the zoo the other day (and not just about how important mama instincts are). As we were taking a quiet moment in a shady part of the zoo, watching some birds hanging out in the sun, another family joined us and sat a little way away. After a few minutes we decided to keep on trekking. As we passed this little family of four I noticed the mother was breastfeeding. She looked completely relaxed and at peace with the world. It was a lovely sight. I gave her a smile as I went by and she smiled back; two mothers just acknowledging each other. But it made me stop and think. A great way to encourage other mothers, especially those who may feel uncomfortable about public breastfeeding, is to just offer a simple smile. That may be all it takes to relax somebody and put at them at ease in a sometimes challenging world. The mother breastfeeding for the first time. The mother whose children are killing each other in the breakfast aisle. The mother with the loud toddler. The mother whose baby won’t stop crying. A smile can really help. I realised that the best way we can show our support to other mothers is just showing we get it. We either have been there or we can understand what they are feeling.

I read an interesting article in Empire magazine this morning about a new film coming out called ‘Loving’. It deals with interracial marriage in 1950s America. The director, Jeff Nichols, made an intriguing point. He said “I don’t like things that preach. I don’t think that’s how you further the conversation. You further the issue through showing people the humanity at the base of the issues – which we so often forget.” This statement really had an impact on me. Perhaps this is what has happened with infant feeding. It has become a highly charged debate with everyone from politicians to celebrities weighing in on both sides and we can sometimes forget that behind every decision is an actual human being making a choice out of love; whatever that choice may be. So what can we do? Well as mothers we can take a step back, stop and think. Why do we fuel the Mummy Wars? We all keep adding energy to these heated debates; infant feeding, early potty training, ideal age to start school. I’ve judged (and been judged I’m sure) but I am now trying my best to see the bigger picture and not just leap to assumptions (they make an ass out of you and me, don’t ya know). We can start by showing other mothers some solidarity. So the next time you see a woman struggling with a toddler who is having the mother (pardon the pun) of all tantrums, catch her eye and share a little sympathy. It might just make her day a lot easier…and it will definitely make you feel great.

This Girl’s Life

One minute you are young, remarkably wrinkle free and sailing through life on a breeze of blissful irresponsibility. Then you decide to become a parent. How hard can it be you chuckle as the two lines appear on the supermarket pregnancy test (carelessly thrown in with a bottle of wine, soft cheese and some extra strong espresso – what are the chances after all that it will happen so quickly). You partner seems oddly silent but gamely tries to show no fear (the sweat on his forehead is a dead giveaway). He will later drink the wine himself and devour the soft cheese while you watch jealously drinking your decaf tea. This will be just the beginning of the many sacrifices of motherhood.

As the months fall by (and that date on the calendar looms closer to reality than ever before) you begin to realise that life will truly never be the same again. It’s not just that you can no longer sleep or that you count your cups of coffee or that the stairs has now taken on Everest proportions…it’s that feeling that you are no longer really alone in your own mind. Every thought is overshadowed by The Baby. Will this help The Baby? Will this harm The Baby? What is the best thing to do?

It is no longer just your own life you are living; it as if you are living (not just eating) for two. Your body holds two people; two hearts beat in that body and two brains work away at keeping everything ticking over as it should be (one of these brains is very tiny and underdeveloped but then the same could be said for your brain some days). It is a great responsibility to live two lives at once, sometimes you don’t feel up to the challenge and consume a vast amount of calories as food is now a substitute for everything you are denied (wine, sex – too uncomfortable – and a decent night’s sleep).The months drag by, your feet ache, your back has given up the ghost and people joke that you must be carrying twins.

Then the day dawns when this girl’s life becomes this mother’s life and the world as you know it morphs into an alien landscape, a sparkling riot of colours; love has never felt this deep or scary before. A soft smelling bundle of warmth is placed in your arms and life will never be quite as free or as easy again but with your price of freedom comes a love you have never known before. There will be struggles ahead and sleepless nights and days when you just want to cry but…you will be rewarded with sticky kisses, warm cuddles and a life rich in meaning. You will still carry that girl in your heart, she will never be left behind but the joys and sorrows of motherhood will strengthen her; they will mould her into a woman and this life will be something totally unexpected but very much worth every ounce of pain.

Nevermind Beyonce; you are rocking it too!

This morning I read an article by Marissa Lawton on HuffPost Parents UK about how mothers are always complaining about a lack of time. Time has become a more precious commodity than sleep as quite often we use some of that time to catch up on the sleep we missed for various reasons (teething toddler, nursing infant or too much coffee). Life as a mother is tough. Some days it’s really, really tough. Time just seems to fly through our fingers and those moments of the day where you manage to carve out a bit of me-time are few and far between. I know that if I want to achieve anything for myself during the day I have to multi-task like crazy when the tiny lady is up and then work like a demon writing, writing, writing when (if) she takes a nap. I know I could sure use some tips to help find extra minutes in the day.

Ms. Lawton’s article suggested various solutions to help mothers glean back some of much needed time. The point of this article was to help not patronise but unfortunately Ms. Lawton chose to use celebrities as examples of mothers who manage to balance a successful career with motherhood. Beyoncé was put forward as a mother who is able to manage a successful career, a strong marriage and her life as a mother. Well yeah of course she manages all this she has a team of nannies, chefs, assistants etc to help her achieve all of this. Now yes she did start off without this team but then again she started out as a young single woman so we can’t really use her achievements to compare against our own can we? It is not helpful or realistic to do this. Okay maybe we all should have worked our butts off from the minute we turned 16 but then again not many of us wanted world-wide domination. For myself I’ve always been a late bloomer; late to get a boyfriend, late to marry, late to find my path in life. I don’t like to compare myself with celebrities as their way of living is so far removed from my own that I can’t even imagine what would work for them would work for me.

I am currently working on an article about how, as mothers, we tend to compare ourselves unfavourably both with each other and with celebrities. We look at other mothers and think ‘how does she do that?’. We look at celebrities like Beyoncé and think ‘how does she keep it all together?’. The truth is it’s not really useful to compare yourself to anyone else. Beyonce, as stated above, has a team of assistants. That perfectly dressed mother who passed you in Tesco probably just had a shouting match with her toddler a minute before you saw her. That neighbour holding down a full-time job, a marriage and three kids probably has moments of complete and utter panic. The truth is that we all have our ups and downs; those moments of sheer mayhem and chaos. In general, however, the chaos is locked up tight at home and we put on a smile to the outside world.

Mothers we all have our own ways of living. We all have our own paths to follow. Sometimes it may seem like everyone else is doing better than we are but that most definitely isn’t the reality. Even the much-lauded Beyoncé has bad days. She may not speak very openly about them but Lemonade didn’t sound to me like the musings of a very happy lady. Do yourself a favour and forget Beyonce, forget Tina Fey, forget every celebrity you ever met and forget about your neighbourhood moms. You are doing the best you can with the time you have and this phase of motherhood, of busy days and sleepless nights, won’t last forever.

The mystery of the sea

This morning we decided to go and collect some sea-shells. My ultimate aim is to paint these shells gold and silver and perhaps make a little jewellery box. But, as I’m not the most crafty at the best of times, this may or may not happen. I’m sure the shells will be painted and an attempt may be made at the jewellery box but I imagine the image in my head will be nothing like the reality!

But back to this morning. I actually expected it would be a typical Irish summer day i.e. that it would fool us with gorgeous sun and cloudless skies then release a torrent of rain just as we stepped out of the car. I even made detour home to collect the rain coats as I’d forgotten them when we first left the house. Shockingly it stayed dry. It even became sunnier and by the time we hit the beach the sea was sparkling with sun shimmers reminiscent of a Disney movie. It is really lovely to visit the beach very early in the morning. There is hardly another soul in sight beyond the odd jogger or friendly dog-walker so you can pretty much pretend that you own the beach; it’s your very own private lagoon. Granted this fantasy is slightly ruined every now and again  when a lone figure strolls by but still it’s nice to dream!

The ocean looked wonderfully inviting but my daughter has a slight fear of the sea. It seems to fascinate and terrify her in equal measure! We learned this when she was very tiny and we brought her to the beach to paddle at the shore. She hated it! She hated the feel of the wet sand on her feet. She hated the waves. She just plain hated every bit of it so we left (in a hurry being gazed at by curious bystanders). Still we realised that it was our job to help her overcome this fear so we have returned time and time again. She doesn’t mind the sand anymore but says the sea is ‘too noisy’ and likes to keep it at a safe distance.

Despite my intense love for the sea I do understand where she is coming from. It’s vast and seemingly endless, it does make strange noises and it moves closer and closer up the shore. She can be forgiven for being overwhelmed. I just hope that through repeated visits and with reassurance she can become less afraid. I would love to see her make friends with the sea as I’ve a feeling they would be really good buddies once they come to understand each other.

Mama knows best

Naptime and Bedtime have become a bit of a battle in our house over the past few weeks. My daughter’s latest trick is propping herself up at the end of her cot, throwing all her cuddly toys out then shouting for us until she gets some attention. This can go on for at least half an hour sometimes longer before she finally gives up…or we do. Now I know some people might suggest she doesn’t need as much sleep anymore now that she is nearly two. Couldn’t we cut back on the naps? To those people I would say – are you f***ing kidding me?? This child needs her sleep and we need her to sleep. She is not a pleasant kid to be around when naps are off the agenda for the day.

All children are different and I think, as a parent, you are able to recognise when your child doesn’t conform to the developmental guidelines of a particular stage. I used to work in a creche and there were some two year olds who could last the day on very little sleep. Others….well the less said about them the better. They needed that rest! As children get older some drop naps altogether while some still benefit from an afternoon siesta. As it stands my tiny lady has quite an odd napping schedule. I always thought she would need an afternoon nap – all the books speak about an afternoon nap and thats what I was familiar with. But my tiny lady gets tired around half ten so its usually snack then bed at eleven am. She has her lunch when she wakes up and is generally good to go for the rest of the day…until the dreaded five o’clock slump but that’s a tale for another day.

I am very glad she attends a childminder rather than a creche as in a creche it is easier for the older toddlers to nap around the same time. Generally this is just after lunch around one o’clock. This is to allow for children to get maximum fun and activity time but it would not suit my little girl. If I try to stretch her nap past eleven then we miss the vital window of opportunity. After that it’s terror toddler for the rest of the day as she fights any attempts to put her back down. Thankfully her childminder works around her schedule not the other way around for this we are very grateful!

The point of this slightly manic blog is this; you know your own child best. So if she wants to nap for 15 minutes or three hours then work with her needs. If she wants to nap mid morning go with that. Don’t listen to the advice of others if you have a routine that works for you and your child. Yes there will be times when your toddler fights her sleep or just doesn’t nap but this doesn’t always mean she is ready to go without sleep either. Trust your instincts and trust your gut. Mama (and papa) know best!

Why can’t well just get along?

Breastfeeding and Bottle feeding: the eternal war with no winners only hurt feelings on both sides. As a society we have become obsessed with the way mothers feed their babies when all that should really concern us is that those babies are actually fed. We all know most mothers are doing their best; the best for their babies, the best for themselves and the best thing for their families. If you ignore any part of that equation baby won’t be happy either.

But I’m not here today to rehash all the old arguments or judge anybody except those who place unnecessary burdens on new mothers by sticking to a dogma that doesn’t always work for everybody. Yes breast is best. No-one, I imagine, would argue with that. However, and here’s the kicker, it’s only right when it works for all involved. Mother and baby must feel happy and comfortable in this relationship. This is not always the case. Some babies can’t breastfeed but thrive on bottles. Some mothers just don’t feel comfortable doing it. These are the mothers I am speaking to today.

Before I got pregnant I wouldn’t even wear a bikini when going to the local swimming pool, I abhorred shared changing rooms and don’t even get me started on cleavage revealing outfits… oh no I would have been much too embarrassed. I think this mortification started during my teenage years; I wasn’t too happy with my budding chest and would have done anything to hide it! This feeling still lingers so when baby was due I felt so stressed at the thought of breastfeeding. Having my boob on show around the clock? Oh dear God no! But I told myself it’s the best thing for your baby so suck it up. I tortured myself for a full four months (stress, anxiety, fake smiles hiding a growing discontent) before confiding in my own mother. She shrugged and said just bottle feed then. A weight was lifted. Hurrah I could look forward to my baby coming again! The only judgement I met with was a rotund nurse in my consultant’s office who tried to bully me into attending a breastfeeding class. She was met with a stern no. She later tried to convince me to just give the colostrum (liquid gold in her words) but this was met with a frosty silence. No my downstairs area might be about to become public property but my chest was staying under wraps thank you very much!!

So my tiny lady was born and thrived on her bottles. But still I felt guilty. I knew I’d put my own mental block about breastfeeding before (potentially) her health. I was wracked with guilt. Still to this day I regret not feeding her myself but I also don’t regret it all if you see my meaning. I know it was something I just couldn’t do. I am proud that I knew myself well enough to realise that and didn’t put my family though days or weeks of misery to confirm what I knew all along. My daughter is still healthy with only the odd cough or cold and as smart as she is healthy. I can take my head off the metaphorical chopping board. Now all that worries me is her ‘passionate’ (read stubborn, headstrong etc.) nature. But I still feel saddened by all the negative rhethoric that surrounds mothers who choose to bottle feed for whatever reason. I have no problem with people who do breastfeed – in fact I’m slightly envious of their confidence and determination – I applaud their ability to do this. I just wish myself and the Bottle Brigade could be left to quietly get on with our own way of feeding.

Of course not all women who breast-feed are out to judge. This is very far from true. They are more worried about a society that can be strangely out-dated when it comes to breastfeeding. More needs to be done to make it a normal part of our day-to-day lives. However, I don’t think that bullying women to do something they are not comfortable with is the way to do this. It will just make both mother and baby miserable. I’ve read numerous posts on the Fearless Formula Feeder’s website and the things those women put themselves through would shock you. They were told ‘breast is best’ so they went through agonies to feed their child that way. This is not acceptable. Women should never feel pressure like this. Encouragement yes, support yes, bullying no. Allow women, who have all the facts and figures, to make their own choice.

So I refer to my original question; why can’t we all just get along? Perhaps the way we can change is just by accepting each other. I think it’s lovely when I see a mother and baby sharing that special bonding moment during those early newborn feeds whether the feed is given by bottle or breast. It’s all beautiful. If we can just accept that it’s a mother’s right to feed her child as she sees fit than perhaps the world will be a better place for our children to grow up in.

For anyone struggling with guilt surrounding bottle feeding don’t feel you are alone. The Fearless Formula Feeder’s website is a resource I would highly recommend. Let the guilt go. You are a wonderful mother.






Lazy Parenting or Sanity Preservation?

I often find myself plagued by the question – am I a lazy mother? Today I brought the tiny lady to the park and she ended up playing sticks with another little boy. By playing sticks I mean throwing random bits of wood into the fountain and creating lots of splashy wet fun! Needless to say tiny lady ended up soaked to the skin and in need of a full change of clothes. Luckily we live five minutes away so this wasn’t a big problem.

But later I found myself wondering was this just an example of lazy parenting? I knew if I stopped the tiny lady from participating she would inevitably throw a strop. I’ll be honest I wasn’t in the form for a battle to see who was boss today. I couldn’t face her throwing herself on the ground and screaming while I made ineffectual gestures at picking her up. I felt tired just thinking about it. So yes I let her play in the questionably dirty water.

The same thing had happened earlier. The swings and slide were wet. Another mother cautioned her daughter against going down the slide while I quickly dried it with a ball of tissues to avoid a possible meltdown. She still managed to get wet but I found myself just not caring. I wondered was this just mere laziness or have I managed to become a bit more chilled out about things? When she was tiny I used to change her clothes if even a speck of dirt got on them; now not so much. She spends her days covered in various forms of gunk and USG (Unidentifiable Sticky Goo – a substance that just seems to grow around toddlers). Her hair…well the least said about that the better. She starts off with a cute pony-tail and hair-clips. By the end of the day her hair is down in her face, sticky looking and the hair-clips are long gone (side note – where do all these hair-clips disappear to??).

I have given up the fight; the battle to have a well-presented child. I see these other little girls all cute in their little (clean) outfits and hair up just so. I must admit I get a bit jealous when I compare them to my little mound of messiness. But that’s who she is. She hates getting dressed and don’t get me started on trying to do her hair. So I throw on whatever is easiest, don’t change it unless it gets really, really gross and I don’t bother too much when her hair becomes a tangle of ick.

Laziness or just a way to maintain my sanity? I’m still trying to decide.