I’ve said on this blog before that I second guess myself all the time as a parent. After all, I’ve spent so many years just wanting to get pregnant in the first place. And when I finally did, I could only focus on the baby that was coming, not, you know, actually parenting or anything.
I was tagged for the #RockingMotherhood challenge by the lovely Kristin over at Our Common Chaos. I’m so thankful for this opportunity to reflect on these 10 ways I’m rocking motherhood because it forces me to write down the ways I’m actually, you know, not sucking at being a mom. Because it’s so easy, isn’t it, to focus on the ways we are failing, or aren’t doing well enough in. So here they are the things I’m winning at in motherhood, in no particular order.
We eat dinner as a family. True confession: Chris and I ate a lot of dinners sitting on the couch downstairs watching TV when it was just the two of us. When Olivia started sitting up in her high chair with us, we sat together at the table consistently (though she did get a kick out of eating dinner with us downstairs on Superbowl night).
I laugh more. I’m learning, slowly, how to let things go. How to laugh when I would normally roll my eyes in frustration. There are days when there is more eye rolling than laughing, but overall, Olivia makes me a better person.
I’m carefully crafting a daughter who likes to read as much as I do. We read a lot. She has a little over 100 books. I counted. And reading is one of her favorite things to do. We can sit together for hours (or, half an hour tops because you can only read board books for so long) as I read out loud to her. She may sit there listening and help turn pages, or she may walk around and grab other books to look at, but I know she’s still listening.
We get out and try new things. Now that she’s walking and the weather is nicer, I can’t wait to start getting out again. But we take her out to eat, take her on nature walks, go to the library. We’ve done free music classes, went to new play places, and met lots of new babies. She soaks it all up.
I work at my marriage. I want to portray to Olivia what a healthy marriage is. I may have covered my eyes and groaned when my parents kissed in front of me, but then I went to the houses of my friends whose parents were divorced or absent, or didn’t touch at all. And I want Olivia to see us kiss and hug. I want her to know how much her mom and dad love each other. We get out once a month on dates alone and actually like having sex with each other even though we are (gasp!) tired and (gasp!) have a baby.
I shower every day-ish and my house is relatively clean. I do want to make sure I am living in the moment and play with Olivia, but I am one of those people that actually feels better when the house is clean. It’s not always like that, and if you visited our house in the last night, I’m sorry. But I do try to keep up with it and find that when I shower and get ready for the day early on, we’re more likely to get out and actually do something.
I’ve breastfed for 15 months. I’m nursing a toddler. Enough said. But really, I’m proud of it.
I am learning to be ok with mess. Ok, so you know how I said above that I like when my house is clean? It doesn’t always stay clean. And I’m learning to live with the mess and let go of some of my type A.
My daughter and I have a strong bond. And we have since the moment she was born. I know how many mamas took a bit to bond with their babies and infertility doesn’t guarantee a blissful beginning. But my husband and I decided from day one to be there for Olivia to show her she can trust us. She slept in a rock n play next to me for the first 7 months, and I made sure to pick her up when she started fussing in those early months. She only woke to nurse, so I was fine with doing it. I held her a lot and I nursed her on demand. She plays wonderfully by herself though, and knows that I’m there when she needs me.
I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone. Those that know me best, know I am kind of… a baby at times. But since Olivia came, I’ve learned to break free of some of the uncertainties that come my way. I took Olivia on a plane with me alone, even though it was my first time even traveling alone, and cared for her solely for a week at my friend’s house. I’ve gotten so much better at making small talk (because OMG I hate awkward small talk) and I’m so much better at multitasking. In fact, I’ve gotten pretty good at managing the day to day running errands and taking care of a baby.
Here are a few amazing mamas I’ve nominated for the #RockingMotherhood Challenge so check them out!
Amie at Is it time yet?
JAllen at Mine to Command
Amber at Old Lady and No Baby
Meredith at Mommy in Leggings
Cristy at Searching for Our Silver Lining
#Rocking Motherhood Tag Rules