Thursday, May 29, 2014

Some Things I Have Learned As A Mom

I am not a parenting expert and I don't claim to be.  But I have been on this rodeo ride for a few years now and I may have learned a thing or two. Some by trial and error and others out of stupidity. Either way, it has made me the Mom that I am and I'm rolling with it.

I love both of my children dearly. With all my love as H.B.Nanna says. But the truth is they both came into this world a hellin. H.B.Nanna decided she wanted to start the party early and made her grand entrance 5 weeks early. There was a NICU stay, a heart monitor and fights with the insurance company.  The Boy...well I may have eaten some spicy eggplant parm in hopes of making his arrival and my release from the hospital coincide with some holiday fireworks. It didn't work.  Oh the eggplant did but the arrival and hospital release didn't. There was physical therapy, occupational therapy, neurosurgeons, and a helmet. It hasn't been easy but I wouldn't change any of it.  It makes them who they are.

So having said this, I am not trying to scare any Moms to be. I mean, who really listens to those who have actually gone through labor or kept a child breathing for how ever many years they have been alive, anyway? These are just a few things I have learned over the last 5 years {almost} 5 months.

Never wake a sleeping baby. I was told this routinely when I was pregnant with H.B.Nanna but I didn't listen.  I didn't get to hold her until she was 2 days old and all I wanted to do was hold her and stare at her. Who cares if she woke up?!  But then I discovered that it wasn't a bad thing to let her sleep. If she needed to sleep, I needed to let her sleep. And chances are I could have used the sleep too.

We spend so much time wishing our children would just sleep through the night. And we brag about when it finally does happen so why would we wake them?  It is human nature to tell someone you are hungry or if you need to use the restroom. Babies are more than capable of doing that, even at a very young age.

Children thrive on routine. At least my children do.  They know that after dinner it is time for pajamas and wind down.  The Boy has his milk, they brush their teeth, they each get 2 stories and 2 songs and then they go to bed.  They are in bed by 7:30 every night.  And they thrive on it.  I can always tell when they have been up late or the routine wasn't followed.  They are crabby little things!

Routine isn't a bad thing. It's helps you and it helps your child. Don't be afraid of routine. Your child will learn to expect what is coming next and will less likely give you a hard time.  I didn't say they won't...but they are less likely.

It's OK to let them cry.  They will survive crying for a couple of minutes when you put them to bed or when they wake up.  I don't jump up the second the Boy starts crying in the morning. A) it is probably before the sun is up and B) he is more likely to go back to sleep if he doesn't see me come in the room.  If I go into the room he wants to get out of the bed before I have both eyes open. The only time I don't let him cry is if it is a cry that lets me know something is wrong. Or I think he is going to wake his sister.

We have done the cry it out at bedtime thing with both children.  They both survived.  There have been nights that H.B.Nanna has cried herself to sleep at 4 years old.  The nights where her attitude is terrible and she says rotten things to us and she goes to bed crying.  I don't like to admit that this has happened but it has only made things better, for her and for us.

Your child isn't going to starve. This is more geared towards toddlers. You see, they will fight you at dinner about the food you are making them eat.  How dare you make them eat something that will help them grow big and strong. We have tried counting bites.  It sucks.

"How many more bites do I have to eat?" 
"I don't know...just start eating!!"

The truth is, they aren't going to starve if they go to bed without eating their dinner.  I remember a time growing up one dinner when I didn't want to eat my peas.  { I still don't like peas!} My parents made me sit at the table until I finished them.  They left the room, I put them in my napkin and put it in the trash.  They came back into the room, saw that my peas were gone and checked the trash can. BUSTED! If only we had a dog.

No Mother is perfect. We are going to have good days and bad days.  Your child isn't going to remember just the bad days and not the good days.  As long as you give them love and support then in their eyes you are going to be the best Mom ever. Always.

It's not about the "stuff." Baby gadgets that do this and baby gadgets that do that. Things that make this or that easier.  Seriously, they have stuff for everything these days. You don't need wipe warmers unless you plan on taking it with you everywhere.  At some point your child is going to have to use a cold wipe. Sorry! 

We tend to go overboard during the holidays.  But we don't go crazy through out the year.  They get new clothes and shoes and we go places but I don't buy toys and stuff every time they ask.  If they start to think that they can get whatever they want whenever they want then that is when we start to raise a generation of spoiled children.   It's ok to say no to the stuff. They aren't going to be mad at you forever.  They will get over it.  Just ask H.B.Nanna!

Your hips will never go back to the same place. True story.

It's not about you anymore...it's about your child.  The sooner you realize this the better.  That child is now your number one priority. Your life doesn't have to stop but it now revolves around someone else and their needs and wants. They may need to eat before you make coffee. A hot shower may have to wait till nap time.  It isn't the end of the world! You might just be crabby and stinky!