I had to handle a mini crisis with my 6 year old daughter last night.
I think she felt under a lot of pressure in the exams so she needed a bit of alone time with me. I could see she was going to blow a fuse so I kept asking my 4 year old son to wait in his room for me to come. I promised to read him a story after I'd spent a bit of time with her. In the end it turned out to be a huge success (NOT): my son went off crying and feeling 'afraid'. His sister blew her fuse "no matter what saying she never got enough time alone with me". She got really nervous with her exams and a zillion other things came pouring out of her.
By the time I had (sort of) dealt with that and went to read to my son and give him a hug he was fast asleep and I ended up feeling really awful that I didn't get to hug him and tell him I love him before he went to sleep.
Seems I can never get it right!
Let Your Babies Decide
Let your babies decide! I’m a firm believer, three kids later (the figure three still boggles my mind), that no amount of books, articles, websites or advice from other moms can enlighten you on how to deal with your own. Period.
Equally important: Trust your gut! God gave it to us moms for a reason. Use it. Follow it. Put your faith in it. Case in point: I felt my eight month old had a fever last night. Unsure, I asked for confirmation from my husband. He ruled no, she has no fever. After a restless night of sleep, at 4:00 am, I gave up my attempts at sleep, got up, and got her some medicine. Why? Surprise surprise, she had a fever.
This gut feeling I am advising you to follow applies to absolutely everything, milestones and everyday occurrences. When moms ask me for advice on something (that boggles my mind too – I’m giving advice to moms? I should be on the receiving end!) I always say the same thing. Find what works for you, what you believe will work for you, and do it. Just because it worked for your sister, friend, cousin, neighbor… etc, doesn’t mean it will work for you and your kids.
When do you put your baby in a separate room to sleep? You decide. You test it, there is something to be said for trial and error. If you try it at three months because you read it in a book, or because your nosy neighbor told you that you should, and it doesn’t work, then follow your gut. Do it when you, and your baby, are ready. That is the only surefire way to make it work. When do you wean your baby? Same thing! Some wean at 3 months, some at 6, some later. They are all eventually weaned, whether you force it or it comes naturally. I would recommend you let your child guide you. If he’s fighting you on it, maybe he is not ready. Just because someone tells you it’s sick to be breastfeeding at 1, maybe you should give them a piece of your mind, rather than torturing your child to conform to their standards.
So what am I really trying to say here? There is no right or wrong answer in motherhood. So don’t feel like you are failing, or that you did something wrong, if your baby crawls at one year and your (insert relationship here) baby is running at one year. Your baby will be ready when she is ready. Best advice I heard when I was having trouble potty cleaning my second child, when I was fretting that he is much later than other kids his age: Have you ever seen a groom or university graduate still wearing nappies? Brilliant.
The point is, they will all progress, they will all learn to crawl, walk, talk, eat on their own, write, etc, etc. They will all (hopefully) graduate from college. So worry less and enjoy it more! They will be married, with their own kids, asking for your advice, and ignoring it ;), before you know it!
That’s really the one word that summarizes my entire 6 years of motherhood! Through all the magical heavenly good times, or the painful bad moments, being guilty is the one theme that has always been there. And the problem is, it just keeps on growing and getting worse!
You’re guilty about not giving enough, giving too much, not being there, not giving enough space, not doing the right things to support them, not doing the wrong things to make them learn… you’re guilty about giving your family priority leaving your career takes a dive, or guilty about having a career to begin with, guilty that you’re tired and don’t feel like blow drying your hair for your husband, for not cooking on daily basis, for not having a desert, for not having a side dish, for not adding garnish on the side of the plate… you’re guilty that you’re not spending enough time with your friends, for going out and leaving your baby with a care giver (husband, mom, sister, in-laws [God forbids], neighbor) taking your kid with you, see too much friends,, not seeing friends at all, seeing the right amount of friends who are not the right friends… you’re guilty about not taking time for yourself, not relaxing enough, not getting that tape you’ve always wanted to listen to, not going to the gym… you’re guilty about neglecting yourself…
You’re just guilty!
Coming to think about it, it might have even started before I conceived! Am I really waiting too long before I get another baby which means that my kid wouldn’t get the best from my body because it isn’t really in its best years? Am I taking enough pre-pregnancy vitamins and folic acid so my baby is health and bright? Am I being active enough so my body handles the baby, shit! Maybe I’m being too active that my body CAN’T handle the baby…
Then the home pregnancy test shows two lines… despite the unmatched happiness, a whole new wave of guilt shoots in. I’m not eating well enough, I’m not exercising as I should, I shouldn’t be this tired all the time, I should feel queasy and leave the baby without food, I shouldn’t over eat, I shouldn’t think about my pregnancy cloths and get that wonderful overhaul while the baby nursery still doesn’t have curtains!
And all of that guilt, the baby hasn’t even popped up. I don’t want to go one with all the other things you know I’m thinking about (& I know you’re nodding your head to), but it’s just that I can’t take it anymore.. I can’t handle the constant feeling of guilt towards something or someone.
I’m simply too tired, and feel so guilty that I am.