I wrote a post in April entitled, "What I thought I knew about motherhood." This is a follow up to that. I wrote that one when Emerson was two months old, and a lot less mobile than she is now at seven months ha. She changes daily. I've learned so much. And this whole parent thing is nothing like I thought it would be. This is a post where I'll share my current confessions and the wins. It goes back to a theme I hope to convey throughout my blog: letting go a little bit. I was prepared.
I read all the parenting books. No, but really. What to expect for pregnancy week by week? Click here. Breastfeeding? Here's a book for that. Baby care and surviving the first 6 weeks? Got you covered. Baby sleep? All you need to know right here. Feeding baby food for the first time? I read that one, too. You're laughing. I'm not. I've read everything. "I am definitely prepared!" I said.
Your baby doesn't care about the books.
And then we had Emerson, and while I can teach all my friends these research-proven methods, and perhaps they will work for them, Emerson just seems to do her own thing in a lot of ways. She truly is such a happy child. Like ALWAYS laughing and smiling and such a little busy bee. We really got lucky in that regard. People stop me in the grocery store and say, "Oh my gosh she just smiled at me for 5 minutes!" "Don't worry, she's not perfect, I say ha ha." I'm kidding. Maybe ;)
My baby won't go to sleep.
Let's talk sleep. Does she go to sleep in a peaceful manner at the recommended 7pm? Ha! Nope. We've even tried to let her cry-it-out, and after 45 minutes of blood-curdling screaming, including staring at me through the crib bars like a prisoner, I just can't take it anymore. So, I cave and pick her up and as soon as I do that she falls right to sleep on my chest. And yes, I melt. There's no method for what we're doing, and it will probably change next week. I just say we are "making it" in the sleep department. What the night generally looks like: dinner, bath, read to her as she drinks a bottle, put her down at 7pm, let her cry for as long as I can emotionally take it (30 minutes is my max), go get her, lay her on my chest in our bed, and she falls right to sleep. Jon then puts her in her crib. She wakes up again around 11pm, I nurse her in our bed, and we both fall back to sleep. And she normally just sleeps with us the rest of the night. It is FAR from perfect. Judge me. I judged people who slept with their kids BIG TIME before we had our own. But, what I've realized is that every person who has a child is doing whatever they know to just get sleep. This is what is working for us right now. If we get 7 hours of sleep I consider it a win. And this "method" allows for that. Win!
My baby won't eat.
Eating all the cute little healthy finger foods like a good child? Another laughable moment. My independent baby shovels hot dogs and graham crackers in her mouth and spits out nearly everything else. I would say we are doing some sort of weird hybrid between Baby-Led Weaning and purees. She'll mildly eat purees. But the girl just really loves hot dogs and graham crackers. I swear we don't normally buy hot dogs. She tried them at a friend's house and freaking loved them. They were nitrate free at least? ha. What about breastfeeding? Doesn't she love the sweet serene moments just her and me in a quiet room? Nah. My child stares at my boob and cries. Thus, I pretty much exclusively pump all of her breastmilk unless it's the middle of the night. Then, I can sneak the boob into her mouth like a warrior ninja while she's still asleep. ha ha. I'm not too worried since the majority of her nutrition is from breastmilk. The fact that I'm somehow still motivated to exclusively pump is beyond me, but I'm taking that as a win. Win!
Here's the point.
Am I telling you these struggle moments to scare you? Of course not. I'm just being real. Sometimes we can be so prepared, and then we are a sent a child who, perhaps, is meant to burst our little bubble of what an ideal life should look like. Maybe we need to let go a little bit and realize we don't have to have it all together. There's grace for that. We don't need to be perfect. We aren't expected to be. Emerson is so good for me in that regard. She makes me stop and take deep breaths, and helps me remember my life doesn't have to have all the boxes checked off to still be inspiring or worth something. God tells us we are worth something. I'm glad it's not based on whether our child sleeps or eats good food ha.
Here's to letting go a little more.