We love you no matter what, Mom!
(Even when you take a thousand pictures of us a day)
There is a lot of pressure in the new mom community to do everything absolutely perfect for your new baby. And I mean, PERFECT. Research everything, select only the best baby products, use only natural and organic chemical free diapers, wipes and shampoo, non battery operated educational toys, nurse exclusively, never let him cry, make all your own baby food, and keep your baby in a bubble and never expose him to the outside world.
Ok, I am exaggerating. But sometimes it feels this way.
I've gone a little bit astray lately. I've been reading a lot of "new mom" blogs, and I've been getting caught up in a lot of these things again, starting to question the choices I made with Lucas and those I am making with Nathan. I have found my mind wandering and head spinning with anxiety over issues like sleeping and feeding. This morning, a little bit of clarity hit me. Smacked me in the face actually.
I was up early again, before the kids, and in those quiet moments of folding diapers and putting away toys, I realized that I've got a pretty good handle on this whole parenting thing. I am growing and evolving as a mom at the same time my kids are growing and learning. I realized I've got to stop reading those perfect mommy books and blogs, and stick to the real world parenting that I have developed by following my own rules. I need to remember that I've done this before, not by following the rules, but by following my gut and doing what works for my family.
What is real parenting to me?
It is nursing my baby when he is hungry, day or night. Letting him sleep next to me when he is restless. Holding him close when he is upset. Giving him some freedom to explore. Teaching him to sleep on his own. Putting him down when I need a moment. Letting Daddy give him a bottle of formula at night. Wearing him. Letting him "play" with other kids. Weaning on his schedule, whether I agree or not. Feeding him the best quality foods, from jars when I'm busy and home made when I have the time. Putting him in the pack 'n play with the most obnoxious, colorful, noisy toys so I have a few moments to myself. Using both cloth and disposable diapers. Letting my older son "water" the cement with the hose, share food with the dog, run around naked, pee in the yard, stay up late to play with daddy, and taste my iced tea. Using the television as a babysitter so I can have a shower. Driving the car until they fall asleep, no matter how much gas I use. Calling my mom five times in one day because I just need to talk to another adult. Dragging the kids to target because I need to get out of the house. Leaving the dishes in the sink, and the clothes in a pile so I can just sit on the floor and tickle, hug, and play with my boys. Finally, grabbing every spare minute I can find to breathe, recharge, and blog.
My point? Do what works for you. And be proud of it. I sure am.