Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Parenting is the start of second guessing

I guess I've lost a little of my enthusiasm for blogging. I have more enthusiasm for "real" life these days. That's not so bad really.

But tonight I was talking to a friend of mine who's sister just had a baby. Her sister was induced at 41ish weeks. The baby didn't tolerate the induction very well and she had to have a c-section. My friend was saying she's sure her sister has some "mommy-guilt" about being induced and that leading to the surgery. I told her parenting is the beginning of a lifelong journey of "what-ifs".

What if I wouldn't have been induced?
What if I would've tried harder to breast feed?
What if something's really wrong and I'm just letting him/her scream?
What if he has a food allergy reaction?
What if I picked the wrong daycare?
What if vaccines give him/her problems?
What if they aren't eating enough?
What if they're eating too much?
What if the food isn't enough variety?
What if I hold them too much?
What if I don't hold them enough?
What if they're a bully?
What if they're too shy?
What if they aren't developing quick enough?
What if they have an ear infection?
What if it's something really serious?
What if they do poorly in school?
What if I'm a bad example?
What if I lose my temper?
What if I'm too lenient?
What if they break my heart?
What if they're irresponsible?
What if I can't give them all I want to?
What if I could have done better?

For me at least, those first few months of parenting are filled with SO MANY QUESTIONS. And that's coming from a maternity nurse! There are soooo many decisions to be made, and lots of them don't have clear cut answers. And you'll hear so many different suggestions for the same problem. And they all have worked for someone. But you have to figure out what works for YOU! and YOUR baby!

That's the thing. In Christ He equips us to be the parents our kids need. But it is such a monumental task. We all do the best we can. Some days your best is just getting by, spending the day in jammies, no bath and eating takeout. Some days you'll have it together and get out for a walk, go to the park, do a craft, clean the house and make dinner (at least I hear some moms can do all that in one day!).
A lot of times you have to just take in the options then go with your gut.

For instance even just now. Sophia is starting to get a cold. She's congested. I made sure she had some Tylenol, a bath, a nice full belly and warm PJ's. She went to bed fine, but woke up an hour later. John put the humidifier in her room. I aspirated her nose, checked for fever, gave her a bottle, some Hyland's teething tablets (she's still not fully cut her top molars) and the other half of the bottle she didn't finish at bedtime. She finally quieted down as I was rocking her. Then after a few minutes she decided she wanted to get up and walk around the room and be awake and play. I tried to get her to cuddle and rock again. Nope.

So I decided to just put her in her crib. Poor thing, I felt she wasn't going to sleep at all unless she was just totally exhausted. And I'm going to have to be up with her tonight so I want some rest too. I know it was miserable for her, but I just let her cry. She cried about 30 minutes. In the moment of hearing it it feels like forever. But now she is quiet.

She hasn't been consistently sleeping through the night for about 3 months. Some nights she does, but that's becoming the exception and not the rule. To be honest, I can get up once maybe even twice a night and it doesn't even phase me. But getting up 3 and 4 times a night is tiring for sure. It's just seemed like every time I'd resign myself to doing cry-it-out bootcamp, it would be inconvenient. We'd be going out of town, she'd be kinda sick, breaking teeth, other reasons. Sleep bootcamp is not all that fun for parents either, initially. But it has rewards :)

So last night she was up 3 times. I wanted to let her CIO the second time, but John thought she sounded hungry and so he fed her. Plus he can't sleep through her screaming. Between 8:45pm and 7:20am she had 3.5 cups of milk. Crazy! So then I start second guessing the CIO. I'd sure hate for my baby to be awake because she's hungry. But maybe she's just using the bottle for a crutch? She should be able to make it through the night at this age. She has been able to since she was very young.

So today I made sure to offer her more food and milk during the day. I stuffed her as full as I could. Which isn't easy because she's either being very picky or very willful these days. Lunch involved a lot of tears and me yelling once, ashamedly.

But now I'm trying to remedy months of poor sleep while Sophia is fighting a cold. Another inconvenient time! But I'm determined to get us back on track, soon!

So educate yourself, go with your gut, and try not to agonize over every decision! There are too many of them to be made to major on the minors.

Here's to happy parenting and a full night's sleep!

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