Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Being a Mother

I got this in an e-mail and with Mother's day just around the corner I thought I would share. I've been thinking a lot about being a mom lately. Maybe it's because I'm doing it on my own, maybe it's just the stage I'm getting to with my first child, I'm not sure.

Before I had Zack I had so many ideas on how I would raise him and what we would do and how I would feel and all of that has been thrown out the window. I would have never guessed four months ago that I would still be sneaking into his room at night to check on him. I would have never known that when he takes his naps I would just stare at him just to watch him sleep.

I never would have imagined that he would sleep with me, or that I would love having him there so much. Right now I'm trying to put him in his own bed when he goes to bed but when he cries in the middle of the night I still rush in and bring him back to bed with me.

I'm sure some day I will just rock him and make him stay where he is but right now as much for me as for him I just swoop him up and cuddle him. Somewhere in the last two months I have lost my heart and apparently all sense of logic along with it. He will only be little once and in another couple of years I will have to beg for affection so right now, if he wants to lay with me and reach up and touch my face at three in the morning to make sure I'm still there I'm going to let him do it.

I'm really hoping that the bond that we form now will keep us close so that when he's 16 and he needs advice on girls he will know that he can always come to me. (No he's not allowed to ask for advice before then... this is my baby we're talking about!!)

So for those of you that have children what has changed for you? What have you done that you always swore you would never do? And for those of you who don't what do you see people doing and swear you will never do, maybe some of us mom's can explain to you why sometimes it is easier just to buy the lollipop than to listen to the screams!! :-)


Shane and Jessica Olson said...

Okay I will be the first person that is laughed at by all of you women who are already mothers and probably know far better than I....

I would like to say I would:

Not let my child sleep with me....even if it kills me!

Raise my child to be respectful...there are not enough respectful children these days. What ever happened to addressing your elders as Mr. and Mrs?

I could keep going but I will end with this one....

I would like to say Shane and I would be consistant and united.

...of course this is all hypathetical! :)

spellconjurer said...

I have lost my temper. I have yelled at the very people I created and loved the most. Through love, fear, worry and concern, I have said hurtful things. All of which end up discussed and explained. I have called my teenage son a jerk (when it described his behaviour) I have stood in front of him, staring UP into his face, shaking my finger and yelling that I am NOT afraid of him (as he tried to not smile) and I've pushed him into a corner to do all that. I do not yell in my normal life. Not at my husband, not at anyone. But my sons have been able to push me to the point that I feel I have to make an enormous stand, or get mowed over. In the end they will come to me, and sincerely apologize and say, "Mom I WAS being a jerk, and I'm sorry". Doesn't mean it will never happen again mind you, but somehow if you do not do it, they will learn to not respect you, or other people that they have to. Luckily I suppose, they do not disrespect other adults. They save this testing of their "powers" for me. They take out their frustrations, fears, and insecurities on me. I never, ever, thought as babies that I could insult them, or yell at them. I have learned. Mom's are people too, with feelings and when you get them stepped on it hurts. They need to know that. I never had many other preconceived notions about raising babies or children. When I was 16 I helped my older married sister care for her her newborn twins every weekend for 2 years. When that is your initiation to newborns, you quickly learn to wing it and be flexible.

Erin said...

Why do people see co-sleeping as such a horrible thing to do? We didn't co-sleep with P when he was a baby (waterbed, wouldn't have been safe), but he slept with us for half of last night. He probably spends at least part of the night with us a couple of times a week now that he's 3. Scary dreams, waking up to go to the bathroom and being scared of the dark, or waking up wet and needing to be changed--we all fall asleep again faster afterwards if he's with us. Sometimes we bring him back into his room, sometimes we don't. I always thought it was something a little "crunchy", and figured I would probably do it occasionally. But I never knew I would do it so often! It's just so nice to wake up by a sleepy little voice saying "I love you, Mama" and little arms sliding around my neck to give a hug (that's what happened this morning--it was too precious to ever think about giving up)!

What's really killing me right now is that I keep using "Because I said so" as a reason. He seems to have hit his "Why?" stage late (I thought that was a 2-year old thing) and a single thought can prompt 30 why's in a row.

I always swore I would be raising a respectful child also, and I am. I just never realized how hard it was to do so, and how much your heart breaks to punish a child for disobeying.

Anonymous said...

Co-sleeping is the way to go in my opinion if it's what the baby needs. When our son was born we tried the crib for 3 nights. After no sleep and anguish hearing his cries, his Daddy brought him to our bed where he nestled into my arms, finally content.

Everyone kept saying, "You'll never get him out of your bed" but, you know what, when he was 6 months old I put him in his crib (he had finally gotten so wiggly and seemed to want his space) and he slept straight through.

We had to wait until he was ready!

That said, when my daughter was born I figured I would do the same thing - 6 months of co-sleeping. It turns out she DID NOT want to sleep on my chest or in my arms like her brother did and she just wiggled and made little complaining noises all night. After the 3rd night she slept in the Pack N Play in our room which was just fine with me, too!

A Few of the things I swore I would never do:
* Use dessert as a bribe for eating. I just call it an incentive now. Bribing is paying someone to do something illegal :-)
* Spank - it turns out there are times when a quick, firm, swat on the bottom will get their attention in a way nothing else will.

Something I have said I wouldn't do and haven't done yet:
* Be that mother at the park that just sits their hollering their kid's name and random threats about going home or getting a spanking or not getting a special treat, etc. instead of getting up off their butts to help their kid learn to behave.

You're doing awesome, Heather.

Kbreints said...

I think that the co-sleeping issue... is a noon issue... as is most parenting advice that people give out. It comes down to what works for you as a parent. I have never co-slept with my kids, but I sure as heck would not want to be told that I shouldn't... as with most things. They are my children... .do NOT tall me how to parent my kids. You will see MaMa Bear come out FOR SURE!

Shane and Jessica Olson said...

Heather - Don't you have a waterbed? :)

Just Teasing!

Heather said...

Yes, I do. Actually this is why I didn't co-sleep with him for the first 12 weeks. Now that he's older he moves around so much that I don't worry about him. Besides that, he sleeps in the crook of my arm all night so there's really nowhere for him to go.

Anonymous said...

i was a single mom for my first son and no I did not get him out of my bed until I got into a serious relationship when he was five years old. He was fine. I needed him more than he needed me LOL.
With my second son he sometimes gets to sleep with mommy and daddy and but for the majority of it he sleeps in his crib.
One thing I always said I would do is have my kids on a set bedtime. And I do my 20 month old is in bed by 7PM and my 8 year old reads a book for an hour from 7-8 and then goes to sleep at 8. Never had a problem with my kids and bedtime.
I'm not lucky I'm stern.

One thing I said I would never do and still in the past 8 years of being a mom. I will and have NEVER snuck out of the daycare so my kids wouldn't cry. I think it's CRUEL. I used to teach daycare and the kids would be heartbroken. I know that if he see's me leave he knows I'm gone but I ALWAYS come back. He will cry but he'll be done by the time I'm out of the driveway. When you sneak out of the daycare or anywhere on your kids they begin to not trust you and they will then get worse about staying anywhere without you.
Let them see you leave. OH and don't EVER leave and come back when they cry. They're smart they know how to work you. When you leave YOU LEAVE no matter how hard it is!