Before I was a parent I had all these pre-conceived notions on how I would parent. There were things I said I would do, then there were those things that I swore I would never do. You guys know what I mean, I am pretty sure a majority of you can get this one. Parenting does not come with an owners manual. One thing I have learned is to do what works for you. The second time around I feel is easier for me. A piece of it is that I try not to put so many expectations on myself as a parent. There is no right or wrong in parenting. What works for one family may not work for another. And more importantly, what works for one child, may not work for the other.
Here is an example:
I was pretty hell bent when I had Chase that I would not co-sleep. I remember the first couple of weeks feeling so exhausted trying to get this new tiny creature to sleep in his co- sleeper. When that didn't work I tried the swing and the car seat. I was tired. Frustrated. What worked, sleeping on me! For the first couple of weeks Chase slept on my chest. If I allowed him to be on me, sleep would happen. Eventually Chase did take to the co-sleeper and graduated to a crib. But he always wanted to be close to me. I allowed Chase to start sleeping in bed with me. He would start out in his own space but eventually end up next to me. Here I was giving in to something I said I would never do as a parent. He is three now and does sleep in his own bed and room.
When Wesley arrived a short time ago I began co-sleeping with him right away. This time around I knew this was what was what I wanted to do with my child. I don't have a time limit of how long he will be next to me. For now this is what works for us.
Is it that I am giving in? This is my last baby. I don't look at it that way. I look at it that I have grown. That I continue to grow (I have alot more growing to do!) I am learning what works for me and what doesn't. I have forgiven myself for the mistakes I have made, the ones I continue to make. I don't know some days what is right. There are days I feel like I fail miserably. In a world with so much judging, I decided to stop judging myself so much. At the end of the day I just want to feel like I made the right decisions for my family and myself.
Every stage is in parenting is different. Right now I am learning to deal with the struggles of a toddler. Let's just say not every day is a happy one. I know there will continue to be ups and downs. There will be some stages that are easier than others. Yet I remind myself how very fortunate I am to be on this journey. I wouldn't change any of it. I would repeat every sleepless night that I have had, and continue to have.
I titled this blog "Discovering Me In Them" because that is what I continue to do everyday. They teach me, help me to discover, and together we grow. Sometimes I may stumble, flat out trip and fall on my face, but I get up and try again. Because at the end of the day, I have them!!