Sunday, May 22, 2016


I consider myself a pretty laid-back mom overall. We haven't had any big bloody injuries yet, but those medical issues she has had I've been able to take in stride. I let her get dirty, I let her try things, I let her fail at things. The one exception to my laid-back trend is milk production.

I work in the membership department of an association, and I'm elbow deep in data every day, and I enjoy being obsessive about keeping member records up to date. When I was trying to get pregnant, before my infertility diagnosis, I used FertilityFriend for a few years, faithfully entering the date each cycle began, my symptoms throughout the month, and my temperature every single morning.

When Ivy was born, I downloaded an app that compiled data on which side I nursed last, what time we started and stopped, and the duration of each session. Ivy was not a good nurser at the beginning, and it was a struggle to juggle latching and hitting the button on the phone - and then hitting the button again when she'd fall asleep or unlatch or fuss. In the end, I realized that I didn't need the app, I could just switch a little ring from hand to hand to remember which side came last, and I could just listen to my baby tell me she was hungry. It was liberating.

But the game changed again when I went back to work. I set up a Google spreadsheet of how much Ivy drinks at daycare every day, how much I pump at work, how many times I pumped (so I can see my average ounces-per-session), the difference between her intake and my output, how much milk I have in my freezer, how much frozen milk is at daycare, and then a graph of total inventory by day. It was fun to keep up with at the beginning, but then she grew and started drinking more, and it started getting stressful. When I get below 100 ounces in my inventory, I get concerned. When Ivy drinks more than I pump in a day, I get concerned. I add pumping sessions during the weekend just to catch up when she's "beat" me more than a few ounces in a week. A couple of weeks ago when I started sending food with her to daycare, I felt like a failure, even though she was ten months old and perfectly ready to eat food during the day. Nursing is SO important to me; and that, combined with my freakish propensity to obsess over spreadsheets and graphs, have made me a data monster, I fear. But unlike the app, I think this spreadsheet will stay with me until she's no longer getting most of her calories from milk.

What's your parenting neurosis?


  1. I think with Ryan (my first) I was very particular about a lot of things. With Hannah, I don't think I have any neurosis.
    You learn so much and what's important and what's not that, just like they say, by the second kid, you'll hand them over a homeless person to hold for a second while you dig out change to give. ;-)

    1. With that being said, I do have weird nightmares of some crazy person pushing my baby on the metro tracks when a train is coming or throwing them into the lion enclosure at the zoo (we live in DC). Still to this day, even though Ryan is 6, I hold his hand very tight at the zoo and on the rare occasion we take metro! Which is hardly ever because I have nightmare about something happening to the train because DC metro is known for its many accidents and unreliability!