Mom, mama, mommy, mother.

May 8, 2011 at 10:09 pm Leave a comment

When I was pregnant, on one hand, I had no idea of what to expect once the growing bean decided to make its entrance into the out-of-my-body world.  On the other hand, my head was filled with loads of expectations and fluffy, idealistic images of what life would be like.  I had no idea what parenting was all about, yet I had ideas in my head of what my life with my baby would be like. Because obviously I was going to be able to navigate parenthood oh so smoothly and direct my days Spielberg-style, effortlessly and flawlessly.  Of course I was never going to have my children sleep in bed with me; bad habits are for suckers.  FAIL.  Desperation calls for desperate measures, and co-sleep we did, for nearly 3 months.  Would I do it again?  Absolutely I would.  I miss the cuddles, but am happy and ecstatic that the little one feels secure enough to sleep on his own.  And obviously I was going to breastfeed exclusively, of course I was, all my dreams of my baby featured a foggy, dream-like glow to them, with me cradling my child to my breast.  FAIL.  Written about incessantly, we’ll skip it for this post.  Oh, and we probably don’t want to go the pacifier route, because that only creates addiction, and what good is an addicted baby?  FAIL.  Got a bit of a sucker on our hands, and a sucker who does not necessarily always only want my nipple.  Clearly my child will be sleeping in his crib by about 2 (if we’re going to push it, 3) months, and if my child cries a little bit, that’s okay, because I know he is safe, fed, dry and warm.  FAIL.  The sound of Cade’s cry makes me cry and makes me hurt deep within the depths of my heart, all the way down to my toes.  It breaks my heart, it really does.  Even if I know he is safe, fed, dry and warm, I just can’ t let him cry and cry.  I am not a fan of the cry it out method and am glad thus far we have been able to avoid that having to be an option.

But let’s take another look at this and try to be positive, shall we.  They are not fails.  They are simply decisions we made based on what we had to do at the time, and so, I think I can see them as successes.  I think.   Being a parent is about so much more than whether something is a fail or a success.  I don’t want to call our decisions mistakes, because that they are not.  They have helped shape our parenting styles, they have helped us to raise our son in a way that is appropriate for him, and in a way that meets his needs, rather than what we think his needs might be, based on a certain belief we researched, read about, or created within ourselves.

So even if these can be considered fails, by some standard which is a shitty standard to base things on to begin with, we’ve learned from them and they have benefited our family in one way or another, and that is really the only thing that counts.  Everything we do, we do for the boy.  If it suits him and is going to create happiness, security, attachment and confidence within him, then I’m game, and I’m all over that.  Momma guilt is the worst thing to have, ever, and I am guilty (sorry) for experiencing it.  Other than needing to slightly loosen up and place just a tiny bit more trust in my abilities and decisions as a parent, I haven’t quite figured out how to whisk myself away from the confines of that whole Feeling My Every Move Is Being Judged thing.  Like I’ve told Kyle countless times, basically every time we have to give the boy a bottle in public, I wish I could pass a copy around of this or this to detail my struggles and justify why I wasn’t breastfeeding.  I already know it’s ridiculous but can’t shake the nasty feelings.  It’s these moments where I need to proudly tighten up my mama shoes, hike up my mama jeans, and walk proudly knowing that bottom line, my son is healthy, thriving really, and happy, and there is nothing more to it.

To me, being a mom is so much more than the decisions I have made, and foolishly felt judged on.  It is about love, first and foremost.  And budding from that love, it is about an unreal connection, a joining of souls, a creation of a family.  It is about feeling a truly unconditional type of love, a love that will never go away, a love that is not dependent on actions or words, a love that only grows and grows, to become something so unreal, so profound.

It is about detaching part of my heart, and gluing it on to the outside of my body, where the other part of my heart lies within.  It is about the sacrifices we make, but more than that, it is not even considering them as ‘sacrifices being made’, rather, a responsibility of a mother, of a parent, that is made altruistically.

The birth of a parent comes internally and not externally.  For one, parental birth may be from the moment of conception, for another, it may be the last final push, when your child is placed on your chest, and for another, it might be the welcoming of a sibling group of 2 into your foster home, a place which will be their safe haven as need be.  It is about children, it is about expressing love and nurturing towards a child, be it in whichever way makes the most sense at that time.  It is about creating safe spaces, allowing children to grow up and be the individuals that will blossom within them.

I might have had expectations about who I was going to be as a parent.  I might have even beat myself up for making decisions that went against those expectations.  Perhaps I shed a tear, or maybe even several.  But when it comes down to it, I am going to make so many more decisions that I may question.  There will be many more moments where I will question whether I did the right thing or not.   And with every decision that I have questioned, there are a hundred more that have provided my son with a generous tool kit of life lessons, of skills, and most importantly, of values he will live his life based on.  There are little gifts that are greater than that, giving my child a beautiful start in life, and him knowing that I will be behind him the whole way, and more. 


Entry filed under: Mamabear, Post-Partum Party. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Mama Day. Hang Tight, Dear Ones.

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