If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far about motherhood it’s that every baby is different and no one thing is a solution for EVERY baby.
Before Lila was born I did my research and felt strongly that I would “do” certain things as a mom. I was excited to wear her in a sling next to my body, have her sleep in a co-sleeper in between us and cuddle with her on the couch. Well none of that panned out the way I thought.
When I put her in my Moby Wrap, she immediately squirmed and screamed. When we had her in her co-sleeper in our bed, she awoke with every shift we made, leaving us all exhausted. When I tried to cuddle her, she pushed off me, eager to explore her world.
See, what I didn’t realize when I made my mommy plans was that Lila was not going to be some object for me to “do” things to and/or for. Rather she is her own person with her own desires, and she will definitely going to let me know what she liked and disliked!
I began to understand that my job was to toss out my preconceived notions about how to be a mother and instead observe Lila so I could learn about her, understand her and care for her in a way she liked. Once I started to do this, I stopped feeling frustrated that I couldn’t “get her” to do things the way I had planned and started enjoying the new directions she took me in.
Instead of wearing her in a wrap, I gave her freedom to explore her world on a blanket. Instead of having her sleep in our room, I enjoyed the restful nights sleep we all got once she was in her own crib. Instead of days spent cuddling, I watched with a smile as my curious girl inspected every little detail of her environment.
And the beauty in all this? The way we did it is not “the” way. It’s just what worked for us. It was how Lila taught me how to help her blossom. Some other baby may get this same confidence by being in a sling or sleeping next to his/her parents.
I guess the point of this post is to tell other moms that just because someone is adamant that their way is the best, it doesn’t mean it’s best for ALL babies and it certainly doesn’t mean you should feel guilty for doing something different. You know your children better than anyone, and once you give up on the quest to perfect parenting, you’ll be surprised at how clearly they are telling you what they needs.
They say being a parent is an adventure, and so far I’m loving the new discoveries I’m making each day about how to best be Lila’s mom.