Thursday, January 28, 2010

The New Mama Curse

From the day we started talking about renting out my uterus to teeny mini-me's, I swore that once I was pregnant I would never be the mama-to-be that incessantly worried herself over caffeine intake, microwave death rays, intimate times with the hubs, ingestion of lunch meat...you get the picture. And, I'm proud to say, I succeeded. Of course, I had a few hundredths of a second where I worried about something I will never admit in public, and swore Gary to secrecy about, but that was at the beginning of my 9 month bake-off, so I plead insanity.

Now, I never swore myself to anything once the tot vacated my ute. I never gave a second thought to the daily schedule. I just knew it'd work itself out. But, every now and again, I have those times where I wonder if I have completely screwed up my child's life because his nap ran long, he didn't feel like napping, he didn't eat on one side long enough, his toes were chilly, he didn't feel as talkative one day, he wanted to go to bed 15 minutes ahead of schedule, he only napped on me one day, I had to yell at the dog...

:::head explodes:::
Thank God those times don't happen very often.

I told my mom once that I just didn't worry about motherhood. I am the oldest of 4, with my youngest brother being ELEVEN years younger than me. I've changed lightyears worth of diapers, I've heard the nighttime screaming, I've seen my mom used as a chew toy, I just felt fortunately exposed to the kinds of events that take place in a young'ins life. But, I also finished that sentence about not being worried about motherhood, with "but I wish someone else could make the decisions sometimes"

As natural & normal & organic as it feels to be a mama, I have to decide if things are OK. I have to decide if he's just feeling a touch cranky one day or it's gas. I have to decide if his body temp is part of 'Goldilocks & the Three Bears'--not too hot not too cold. I have to know that my inborn, maternal instincts are showing me the right way. The weird thing is, there are about a billion things I do naturally every single day that scare me once I stop and think about them.

Where this all comes from is because the past couple days, Jake had some trouble napping. Meaning, he felt like sleeping for a longer period of time on me than on his own. Code red, right?? Of course not. Gary came home on lunch, we talked about it, and leisurely came up with the manner in which we'd handle the situation. NO. BIG. DEAL.

For the people that really know me, they know, as well as we do, that napping is not the evil issue at hand; it's just hoping that we're doing right by the most precious boy to ever lay upon the planet (Sarah---you're the first co-mama of a boy to come to mind...please excuse my bias :) ) I look at Jake smile at me when I walk up to him and I just melt. I just want to do everything perfectly for him. I want to know there's no better way things could have been done than the way we did those things for him.

Normally, I have no issues. I am just head over heels for this little 15lb man and know that I'm handling things the best way I know how. But, I guess such is parenthood. I don't know that that will ever go away. I will always want to do my absolute best by him. And, I know by caring so much, & striving for nothing less than my parenting best, that I am doing what's right for him.

And, Gary as a father? Let me tell you...he's beyond a natural. If Jake decides to fuss because it's time for a nap, Gary doesn't pass him back. He changes diapers. He plays with him. He's dad-extraordinaire. The thing that is the clincher to make me in awe of my husband: he's the youngest. He never spent significant time around another baby.

I'd say as a parenting duo, we're the bee's knees. When Gary & I were trying to figure out a nighttime schedule so that we can get Jake to sleep through the night, we planned, we did it, it worked, & we were happy. The only part that really gets me in making a decision is that there are about a bazillion options on how to attack the issue. So, I don't go blind over links telling me the correct way to handle the situation; I pay little attention to the baby update emails; I ignore what other babies are doing. What is important is what we're doing, what our situation is. Nothing else matters. And, I think we've done purty good.

I'm just thankful I have the presence of mind to sit back and say "Freaking out is not a prerequisite to conquering mamahood" Yes, there will be times, which are few & far between, where I will think of all the ways in which to handle something, instead of concentrating on our particular situation & it will lead to a 5 minute internal meltdown, but I always recover.

Big girl undies come in size "simmer"

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