"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Parenting Do-Over

      Lately we have been having the kids sneak in our beds at night. And believe it or not, just this simple act has caused me much confusion concerning the way I parent. I am curious as to how I would raise my kids if I could erase all the books and info on parenting I have stored in my head, What would I do differently and how would that affect me (us) now?

      When I compare what I did with Claire to now Noah , I realize there is a significant difference. I don't feel as though one way was more superior then the other, although I will admit that I have made more bad choices with Claire for the reason the she was my first and I had no idea what I was doing. Oh how I deeply wish I could redo just a few things I have done.. but such is life, and I suspect I will have many more of those moments to come.

     So as I was saying earlier, I have been having 2 adorable little monsters, one in particular (Emily), sneaking into our bed at night/early morning. Who knew this would cause me to think and rethink and be so confused? In my mind, when I let one of those stinkin cute monkeys crawl in bed, I feel a bit like a failure as a parent, I'm not doing my job, which should be to teach them to be confident and secure enough to sleep in their own bed at night. Instead I am a slacker mom who is too tired to get out of bed and talk to her and teach her to sleep in her bed. What a terrible mom I must be!! That's when it hit me: there are other moms having their kids sneak in their beds, most likely at the same time as mine are in mine; and maybe these moms are telling their child to go back to their own bed and as the child reluctantly turns around, this mom feels the guilt of not being there for her child, for letting her child down and how lonely that child must feel!

     I am going to try and put these ideas that are swirling around in my head to rest and not think about what I 'should' do but look at each moment with a clean slate and new mind. After reading so many ideas and different parenting styles, it's very confusing up here in my head and I sort of need a do-over before I lose it! You know what, I actually don't mind all that much if a child sneaks into my bed a few times at night, some times I actually (gasp!) enjoy cuddling with them at that time. Sometimes I wish we had a larger bed, but that doesn't mean I hate sharing, I just hate having feet in my face. Then again, there are times when I or Matt would rather them go back to their own bed and so then we simply tell them to go back to bed. Why must I make it so hard on myself?

    If I could do it over again, I would have read the Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg and stopped there. So a word to new parents: It's ok to read a parenting book but don't read too many and even when you read one, sometimes you have to forget it altogether and just do what feels right! And just because it feels right to you, doesn't mean it feels right to another mom and guess what? That is ok and that is what makes us different!

I understand that most parents or soon-to-be parents probably know this, but I am the type of person that wants  to do everything perfectly and correctly which in return messes me up way more in the long run.

 It only took me 5 years and 3 kids to get this, lol.

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