Sounds like the kind of topic I would be excited to write about, right? For me this is often a wonderful, but difficult area.
Mostly I feel in the trenches of life. Stuck in the day to day. The humdrum. Always so busy.
So there isn't much time spent in thoughtful reflection.
If there is, I'll tell you what I'm not likely to be thinking: How well I am or I am not doing at this parenting thing. If I did, I would be much more likely to see the fails than the wins. I'm also more likely to share the fails. Like I did here, here and here. Why? I don't know. I think it has something to do with being a female.
When I read the writing prompt this week, I didn't know what to write.
I asked the hubby.
Me: "If you had to pick a Parenting Win, what would it be?"
Hubby: (with hardly a pause) "When I became one."
What a simple and beautiful fact.
(I should end this here, but I'm a blabber mouth, so there's more)
He went on naming moments when he felt pride in his parenting skills. It was nice to hear him name them. I agreed with all of them.
That got me thinking. There are things I certainly see as parenting wins.
Like, Animal is a happy, healthy and active boy. He's becoming a person and I can tell he feels safe in expressing his wild ways. He feels safe to do so, because he feels safe and secure and that is a WIN.
Sometimes, like all moms, I'm pressed for time. Instead of cooking him a healthy breakfast, I make him a PB&J, wash some fruit, put it on a plate and call it a day. I hurriedly pack our lunches and if he catches sight of green beans, broccoli or some fruit I'm chopping up, he'll go crazy. He stuffs his little mouth with big bites of veggies. Or at dinnertime I watch him shovel brown rice into his mouth like it was ice cream. He loves salmon. It makes me so happy. It is an amazing win for me to see his love and appetite for things that are not typical toddler fare.
The biggest win for me as a mommy however is a regular bedtime.
Oh how we struggled the first weeks and months of his life. Time has softend the memories of sleepless weeks and months, but I KNOW it was horrible. I was just a shell of a person trying so hard to be the best mommy I could muster. I was living past exhaustion on a daily.
I was so envious of other mommies with their little sleepers. They could just take their baby anywhere because they slept in their car seats, their carriers, their arms. Not my guy. Only attached to a nipple (my nipple) it felt like...
I was desperate for sleep. I asked other moms what they did. What I heard was: Nothing, because their babies just napped and slept. Or they used a family bed or cry it out. Well my son didn't nap without lots of help. We tried the Family bed, only that would turn into the mommy and me bed, and I just couldn't let my husband sleep on the couch every night. Not to mention I hoped and prayed that we would have a sex life again and that was not going to happen with us in separate rooms. Last we didn't have the heart for cry it out, plus we live in an apartment. Who wants to listen to someone else's crying baby? No one.
I read articles, books, message boards. I watched You Tube videos, read blogs. Then one day I happened upon a book on Amazon. I ordered it, read it and took it's advise to heart. As did the hubby. It worked. Like a charm.
We have had our ups and downs. Not so many downs anymore. This morning Animal woke up at 6:40, I walk into his room and pull him out of bed at 7. Even though he can climb out of his crib, he didn't. He waited for me to walk in, then instead of reaching up for me, he climbed out of his crib and ran to me for a morning hug.
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