Remember when I said I’d write an annual life review after succeeding (or surviving) a year as a new mom? Today is the day I will start with my first lesson and each Friday continue rolling them out. I look forward to sharing them with you and making time to reflect on this incredible journey.
Lesson #1: Do what works for us. Many people would tell me this and share how they do “out of the box” parenting approaches, but I never really owned it. I still don’t fully, but I am getting there. This wisdom is important to me because as a new mom, I look to others to see or hear how they go about things. For example: getting their child to sleep through the night, how they have their husbands help, how they find “me” time, how they adapted, etc. My downfall was by listening, doing it, and holding onto the “that works for them” so it should either work for us or because it doesn’t, there’s something wrong with me. I didn’t spend time thinking about what works for us before diving into what works for others. Big error on my part because I was not rooted in my beliefs and values and therefore wavered based on others’ opinions. When I look back and recall all the things I did to get Zane to sleep, I think of myself as a crazy lady. Why did I need him to fit the mold or some other child’s mold? And why did I leave him in the middle of the night crying endlessly praying that he’d self-soothe? Looking back, much of what I tried did not work for our child, and what finally did is being there for him and holding him until he stopped crying. I wish I had the insight to just treat him the way I like to be treated as an adult when I am crying. And another topic I wavered on was how much Daniel should help me, namely at night. It’s amazing how much kudos he gets (deservingly) of helping me at night or even during the day when he is the working man. And somehow it is expected and overlooked that it’s okay for a mom to be a sleep deprived walking zombie. For a good year I listened to others and held back on asking for his help until I hit rock bottom. It should never have gotten that carried away. I should have been strong and firm with what I needed to function and not cared how others go about it in their households. Now I know, and him helping me here and there has made all the difference in the world. As I continue to own this lesson, I am growing into the mama I want to be. I want to be confident, rooted in my own beliefs and values, and strive to be congruent to who I am and how Daniel and I want to run our home.
Did you experience this as a new parent?