Parenting is one of those things that no amount of instructional books can fully prepare you for. I babysat a lot growing up. I knew quite a bit about babies and I read a lot before Lydia's arrival. I felt like I had a plan in place and was ready to go. Perfect, right? Well of course I bring my sweet, innocent little bundle home and she decides that she doesn't like the plan. She has her own plan. And part of that plan is to change the plan as soon as I think I've figured out what the plan is.

But despite all of that, I do feel like I have learned a lot as a parent just through my experiences thus far. I've battled through colds, ear infections, sleep training, traveling with an infant, learning to nurse, learning to spoon feed, treating dry skin & diaper rash, and cleaning up whatever liquid of the day is spewing out of my child. I feel like a mom. :) When I first started this mommy gig, I was so terrified of messing up. It was as if some part of me truly believed that I would kill my baby (or at the least scar her for life) if I didn't do things the "right" way. A billion opinions are out there and if you aren't careful, you'll find some that practically imply that you WILL greatly mess up your child if you don't do things THEIR way.

Well I did things MY way and Lydia and I are still here. I suppose I don't really know yet if I've scarred her for life, but the constant smiles and giggles give me pretty good indication that she's doing fine. This morning I tried to think back on how I've done things the past 6 months. Is there anything I would change? They say that the first child is your practice kid and that you know better ways to do things with subsequent children. So, have I learned anything in retrospect that I'll want to change for kid #2? Honestly, I can't say that I have. Partially because I am not so naive as to think that kid #2 will be exactly like Lydia. Things that have worked with her may not work with #2... and things that I could not for the life of me get Lydia to do, #2 may fall beautifully into compliance. Or maybe I'm just tooting my own horn and think I managed to do things so perfectly with my "practice" child that I'll just do it again with the next. Ha!

I suppose my current mindset is just evidence of how being a mom has changed me. I went into it with all sorts of ideas and plans, a belief that if I followed a certain set of guidelines my baby would be happy and healthy... and so would I! But as it has turned out the #1 thing I have learned about being a mom is that you have to roll with the punches. You can read up on the methods and guidelines, but you will ultimately learn to pick and choose little bits of that knowledge to piece together methods that are unique to you and your family. I think it's probably pretty rare to find a mom who followed any textbook method to a T and had it work out (except maybe the author of the textbook!).

So is there really nothing about my "method" that I think I'll change next time around? Well... maybe a few adjustments to diaper changing to avoid flying poop splatter on the wall, or some choices of medications that ultimately weren't necessary, or possibly a bit more bottle use so that #2 doesn't decide that bottles are for sissies... but you know what? I'm not making any plans just yet. ;)
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1 Response
  1. Kim Says:

    Thank you for writing this today. :)


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