Friday, May 18, 2007

Balancing motherhood and leadership at the conference

As I mentioned before, I'm really looking forward to this conference, but I'm wondering about the challenges of attending with a then 8-1/2-month-old baby girl. She's 6 1/2 months old now, sitting up nicely and just gearing up to crawl. She hardly stays sitting up for long before she reaches forward to grab something and starts that airplane move on her belly--let's go! I'll be surprised if she isn't crawling by conference time. My schedule is full up, but I imagine I'll be ducking out of sessions early and skipping some altogether, depending on her moods and patience.

Too bad about airline space restrictions or else I'd be hauling my Boppy to the conference. At least then, naptime wouldn't be a big deal. I guess it'll be time for the sling or mei tai instead. I hope presenters don't mind my pacing at the back of the room while she sleeps or falls asleep. Actually, I'd be surprised if I wasn't the only one! It is LLL after all.

Maybe it wasn't such a great idea, but I also decided last week to try a new thing, which may present challenges at the conference: elimination communication, also known as natural infant hygiene or infant potty training. After a week at it, I've pretty much decided to only do it part-time with diaper backups. That should make it easier at the conference. It's just with so much naked baby time, I was actually doing twice as much laundry, using cloth diapers to clean up misses and then cleaning whatever DD had peed on! :) She doesn't really give me signals, so it's all timing. I figure that exposing her to the potty at this age together with cloth diapers will make it something familiar and maybe preferable to going in her diaper by the time she gets to the age that she can take herself to the potty.

Potty training was just such a hassle with DS (now 6 1/2 and still night wetting). I know I went about it the wrong way (for us anyhow). The rewards didn't really work, and it was too easy to get frustrated with him, thinking he should know how to do it. I never thought that maybe we had "trained" him all that time to go in his diaper. I don't know for sure, but I'm hoping this will make things a bit easier for DD. I'm just treating the potty as an option with no pressure. It's much harder to get frustrated with a 6 month old than it is with a 3 year old.

Back to the conference, I'll probably bring a mix of cloth and disposables with me and give her the option of using the potty when I am able and just try to be laid back about it. I'm sure it won't be my only challenge, but hopefully, it will all be worth the opportunity to meet other mothers and Leaders from around the world and hear sessions from some of my parenting "idols."

P.S. A little late in the game, I know, but I just learned today, while making a Group book order through Amazon, that LLL was founded by seven Catholic women. Nothing against the founders or Catholocism--I just found it interesting that I've been a Leader for over 4 years and didn't know this or how it has affected the founding or mission of LLL. So, I added Seven Voices, One Dream to my shopping cart. Guess it's time to learn!