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.


JG said...

Oh, Ruth! Finally a blog posting! Now I'm ready for the next one! :) I think that is a great post...I really like the ones that are more like a journal and less like a scrapbook! (Although, new pictures are always nice...where's that Christmas tree???). I was surprised about the cloth diapering, though! And a little worried about being able to do it myself...I like the part about thinking motherhood will be nirvana and then getting frustrated. I think a lot of women (including myself) buy into the idea that motherhood is the ultimate expression and realization of the feminine experience, and that great harmony will descend upon us once we bear children! Totally not true, huh? I'm glad to have a friend who can help me temper my fantasies a little before I enter the madness myself! Great blog. I still think you're super-mom!

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