We are still waiting for my sister-in-law’s baby to be ready to meet this world. I was so sure he would be here this week, but that just once again shows the joy of being a parent – kids are quite unpredictable and will do what they need to do when they are ready. I am really humbled by the positive feedback I received from the previous post, thank you for the comments and likes! Following on, here are the next 5 little nuggets:
6. Nobody is perfect
I wanted to be a supermom and struggled to cope with the fact that I was not. Learning to take care of another human is not easy and sometimes you will make mistakes. There are so many articles and advice out there about raising children; from eating organic food, sleep training, co-sleeping, buying unnecessary gadgets to letting your baby feed herself without any spoons or plates at 6 months. It all gets a bit overwhelming. Although I tried a few things myself and stuck to principles I believed in, I found out that nobody is a perfect mother. You will have days when all your child wants to eat is the yogurt with the Frozen characters on and when her intake of sugar will be to the point where she looks a bit buzzed, but remember you are doing the best you can. My one friend (the same one who helped me realize that bottle/formula feeding was okay) once told me that I am the only person who can be my daughter’s mother and that God gave her to me because I am the only one who can love her in the way that she is supposed to be loved ( Thank you, Zandi!). Say this out loud when you feeling that you are failing “I am the only one who can raise (enter name here) to be the person they were created to be” – You’ve got this!
7. Take a break
There will be days when you feel like you want to throw the bowl of food that your toddler does not want to eat on the ground and just walk away. The stress of being a mother, wife and for some working full time will get to you. It is okay to feel that you need a break. Get a babysitter, if you are fortunate enough, let the grandparents or friend look after the baby for a while and take some time for yourself. It can be a nice relaxing bath, date night with your hubby or watching a romcom where you can just have a good cry. I tend to feel guilty and miss my daughter the moment she is not with me, but me-time is very necessary. Your child will sense when you are on edge and will likely either mirror your behaviour or be worse, not a great combination – Like the meme says – Treat Yo Self!
8. Get a buddy
The year my daughter was born 4 of my friends/family members also had their first child. I am very fortunate to have a support system of friends that understand what I am going through during each phase of my daughter’s development. Being able to text a friend and ask a question, talking about tantrums and listening to some of their parenting philosophies has been awesome and makes me feel less of a failure. Try to find someone who you can message or to who you can send a picture of their first tooth or a video when they start to walk. Someone who is in the same boat as you will be just as excited because they are there as well. Remember to be that friend for them when they need it when you receive the tenth picture of your friend’s child crawling, celebrate it with them.
Birthdays have always been a special event for me, so needless to say when I was planning my daughter’s first birthday I was swallowed in by the Pinterest black hole and wanted the perfect Pinterest board party. Reality eventually sank in and I scaled down. I am all for going a bit over the top with the first party, taking a lot of pictures and having special outfits for the day, but don’t blow your entire paycheck on the day. Make some of the decorations yourself, have your mother bake the cake, provide easy and simple food for the adults; they will be more hungry than the sugar-high kids and will need something they can eat quickly while running after Suzie who has taken the dog hostage on the jumping castle. For the second, third and so forth birthday parties, just make sure that your child has a lot of fun, gets to eat some of their own cake and plays until they can’t stay awake anymore. Keep it simple.
10. My philosophy of motherhood
Being a mother is hard work, you have to be there for your children even during phases when they are more attached to daddy and don’t want anything to do with you. You have to invest your time and effort into raising that little human to become someone others will want to be around when they are older. Although my daughter also watches television, that should not be where your child learns about colours and animals. You have to sit down on the floor with them and teach them the basics. I am not a perfect mother, I still lose my cool, give my daughter sweets before dinner, let her watch Shaun the Sheep for more than the recommended screen time all those articles suggest, I don’t comb her hair on some days and she has on more than one occasion slept in our bed with us because we were too tired to enforce self-soothing, but I love being a mother, spending time with my daughter and giving her the attention she needs. My philosophy on motherhood is very simple – Try my best, give her my best and let her know (sometimes more than 10 times a day) that I love and cherish her.
This video sums it up so well and is worth the watch if you want a giggle:
Be yourself, do your thing and remember that one day your children won’t tell everyone which degrees you had and how many hours you spent in the office, they will tell people of your love, sacrifice, and kindness. From one not-so-supermom to another – You’ve got this!!!
“Your greatest contribution may not be something you do, but someone you raise”