When I fell pregnant with Tilly, I had so many ideas about the type of mama I wanted to be. I would cloth diaper, baby wear, breast feed and nurture my daughter, promoting gentleness and kindness. We wouldn’t use physical discipline and we would allow our children to explore their world in safety.
I am pleased and proud to say I have achieved all of this. I am not as pleased and proud to say that it hasn’t always been at the same time, or as consistent as I would like.
Alongside the parenting values I held dear, were online groups and resources telling me all the things I should and shouldn’t do. There were also wonderful, well meaning friends who gave me advice – some useful and some not so much..
See, the thing is – every single child is different. I know, shocker right? One of my most hated phrases is “oh you just wait until x, y, z”. Always accompanied with a humorous eye roll and a long suffering sigh. No matter what stage my child reached, it was great but oh my god wait till they’re 2 and then this thing will happen and that will lead to another thing etc etc. I felt like we were labelling our children as this and that before they had even met a particular milestone, expecting them to be clingy and whiny at age one, or tantrum throwing terrors at age two.
Yes, children develop and go through stages and phases and yes some can be super challenging. I want to take this opportunity to say I am by no means a perfect parent. I shout and curse and cry and am impatient and use the t.v. and biscuits as distraction and bribery techniques. This gig can be tough.
But, since shifting to Feilding I have been reminded of the parent I wanted to be and am capable of being and actually have been before. In the past, I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about not mama-ing well enough and comparing myself to others. Truth be told, I have taken advice and tried to implement it even if it has felt wrong.
I was obsessed with sleep training Tilly. Success to me meant my daughter sleeping through the night in her own bed. Guess where she sleeps now? Our bed. She started it as we were preparing to leave Christchurch and we twisted ourselves into a sleep deprived, psychotic mess trying to “fix” it once we moved. Then one day we were like, why are we doing this? Neither of us could come up with any reason other than because we should. So we gave that the middle finger and all snuggled in together. The Hubs, who works long days, particularly loves getting more cuddles at night time.
And yes, we do still do it. Thanks for asking 😉 #creativity
George sleeps well in his cot but still wakes overnight. So I feed him. And he goes back to sleep and I sleep and we are happy. He still breast feeds on demand during the day. Master G is a boobie monster and I roll with it.
I have also changed my language, and the language I have surrounded myself with. There are many wonderful and hilarious mummy bloggers/Facebook pages but some don’t always speak about their families very positively. And before you say but its just a laugh – I know that. But too much of it can be a bit of a downer (I think) so I’ve done a lot of unfollowing and unsubscribing in an attempt to take control of the language and attitude I surround myself with.
I believe it is important to remember that the best thing we can do for our small people is be present. Whatever that looks like. Listen to your instincts and listen to your little one – they have a voice that isn’t always made up of words.
Also, you’re doing a wonderful job. Ok? Ok. Be kind to yourself ❤
Ta ra for now