motherhood lessons: do what works for us

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?

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About Reaksmey

hi :) i'm reaksmey (reeks-may) and I love to think, reflect, and grow. do you? my life includes a handsome husband and a lively infant. here's where i write about how i grow through life's ups and downs so that i can humbly encourage you daily.
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2 Responses to motherhood lessons: do what works for us

  1. Amy says:

    Reaksmey, I could not have read this in a more perfect moment. I just sat down after going through a tumultuous and tear-filled time trying to put MY son to sleep for a nap. I was so upset because I was trying to follow what some expert said to do to avoid forming bad sleep habits, and I regretted ever reading her book because it has just made us crazier and more confused. Thanks for reminding me that we should just do what works for us. Love you!

    Reaksmey Reply:

    Aw! I am so glad that you were able to take time to read this when you needed to hear it most. What an encouragement to you and me alike. You know your baby the best; that is how God created it. I have had to remind myself to stay connected to that natural insight that we all have that connects us to our babies. Getting caught up in those books, and what the world tells us, can drive us nuts! Back in the day women didn’t have a lot of these issues because they didn’t live the lives we do now, or have created for ourselves. Problems are problems if we make them out to be one… Keep up the great work my friend!! Nathaniel only needs love and his basic needs met and you are more than capable of that, and more!

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