Thursday, December 13, 2007

My "plans" for being a mom versus reality

Around 5 months I started to get a bit frustrated and worn down. Mostly I think this was due to just plain being TIRED. Instead if settling in to full nights of sleep around 3 months as all the books I read (gets you in trouble every time) suggested he would, Joseph was actually waking more and more. By 5 months he was up 7-10 times a night and only taking a couple of 15 minute naps during the day. Not fun for anyone, and most of all probably Joseph! I finally figured out that a lot of his crankiness was because he was soo tired. It was time to make some changes. This is just one of the many ways in which I had been rigidly sticking to ideas of parenting I developed before I was a parent. Instead I realized we needed to figure out what really worked for us, which a lot of the time was quite different than my initial “plan.” My whole philosophy changed, as the list below reflects. Now I have much more time to get out and do fun stuff and even just to tickle and cuddle and play.

Plan: A beautiful, natural childbirth

What really happened: The opposite. A whole cocktail of drugs and medical procedures. You all know how I feel about this (not so good).

Plan: Cloth diapering

What really happened: Disposables! I have lots excuses. Too many to list here.

Plan: Motherhood as nirvana. Total bliss all the time.

What really happened: Definite moments of complete frustration and needing/wanting a break. Next month Joseph will go to daycare 1 day a week and I am beyond excited. Of course there are many times of amazing fulfillment and love too. I think getting some help will just make these all the more common!

Plan: Never using a playpen

What really happened: Agreeing that it is a wonderful idea. Haven’t really tried it yet but plan to. Actually I want to enclose a small safe area in which he can play by himself. Let's see how that goes . . .

Plan: Comforting Joseph every single time he cries.

What really happened: New philosophy: Sometimes he is going to cry sometimes this is necessary. We have started our modified method of Furburizing at night and it works!! He slept 8 ½ hours straight last night—a new record which I am pretty sure qualifies as a small miracle. Everyone, including Joseph, is happier when we get sleep.

Plan: Nursing

What really happened: Nursing! Joseph has no trouble with anything that has to do with eating. Now let’s see how well I stick to my “plan” of nursing for just a year.

Plan: Never being one of the over-obsessed, can only talk about my child, sentimental, tacky moms

What really happened: I just made Christmas cards staring Joseph; this blog is obviously only about one thing right now; I am considering “Babies First Christmas” paraphernalia; I think about the colors in his room; our house has various baby supplies everywhere. . . perhaps worst of all: I have trouble coming up with other topics of conversation. It obviously happened. Yikes!

Plan: Setting out on the biggest and most important adventure of my life.

What really happened: Despite all the complaining above this is still exactly how I feel. It is a process of figuring out exactly how it all fits together and things will keep changing I know. But I am still grateful and happy and BLESSED. Plus Joseph's hair is getting long enough to curl--too cute.