Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mistakes I've Made

We've all made our share of mistakes in life. Whether it was the decision to pick up a cigarette 2 years after you've quit, or to sneak out of the house when you were 16 to go and make out with your boyfriend, or to wear that hideous white sweater that makes you look like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man. We've all been there, but really the only person you hurt making those mistakes was yourself. I'm talking about the mommy mistakes that we make that may or may not have our kids in therapy when they're out in the world.

I've made my share. It first started when Isabella was a teeny tiny newborn. She'd wake up in the middle of the night to eat and be changed and I would take her downstairs, turn the lights on, and feed her while watching TV. Ummm, how was my child ever supposed to catch on that dark meant night which meant sleep if I was stimulating her with noise and light? It only took me 7 weeks to realize this and to correct it.

Then there was the rocking. Oh the rocking. I rocked this kid to sleep every night for months. Because it was easy, because it worked, and because for the love of God I was so very tired and had no other tricks up my sleeve. I don't know how I managed to get her to put herself to sleep by herself in the crib at night, but somehow I did it and she would put herself to sleep from the time she was around 7 months or so. But I never did any nap training and until very very very recently I was still rocking my one year old to sleep for naps. I needed to correct it. My only options were to rock her to sleep until she got so heavy that she threw my back out, wait until she was old enough to reason with her, or fix it now. I decided to fix it now. A few hellish days of crying and now my baby puts herself to sleep for naps which is a day I never thought would come. I'm actually going to write a post about it because I know that children's sleep habits are so very interesting to read about.

I'm a schedule mama and proud of it. In school a schedule and routine keeps my students happy. Any teacher will tell you that routines are basically teacher 101. So I created and stuck to a schedule for Isabella because it helped me map out my day and made me feel more secure. But I was a bit too rigid I think. I don't need to have a mommy meltdown because she went to sleep at 7:15 pm instead of at 7. I was always just so scared that the tiniest flaw in her schedule would lead to catastrophe. It never did and after over a year of parenting I'm finally realizing that I can be a bit fluid in her schedule. If she wakes up early she might need two naps, late maybe one nap. If she takes a long second nap it's not the end of the world if her bedtime is a bit later. I'm learning to relax and I'm learning to let go.

Those are my major mommy mistakes thus far. Unfortunately I know there will be many many more in my future. I guess the important thing is to correct your mistakes when possible, learn from them and move on. We're all doing our best here.

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Babes Mami said...

I love reading your posts because our kids are about the same age and we seem to hit things around the same or within a month. I know we were both having tough CIO days at the same time.

Anyway...yeah. I love me a schedule! I used to get upset (and my non childless friend laughed at me and I cursed her future crying baby) because he would need to eat at noon and we wouldn't get home until 12:13 or something.

Sarah said...

I love having a schedule. It give kids peace of mind knowing what to expect too. It's a win/win :)

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