Letting go of some guilt…

For the longest time after B was born (heck, until a couple of weeks ago, really), I felt terrible if I didn’t spend every waking moment that wasn’t spent at work playing with or interacting with her in some way. From the moment she woke up to the moment she went to sleep and every moment in between, I felt obligated to pay attention to her and play with her and entertain her in some fashion. And on the few days when I *gasp* let her entertain herself while I read a book or a magazine or paid bills while she was awake, I felt like a Bad Mother.

Then, last week, when my husband dropped B off at my mother’s house for some Grammy Time, he stayed to chat for a few minutes, and my mom complimented us on how independent B is. When he asked what she meant, she said (I may be paraphrasing here, I wasn’t there, but, in essence…) “She loves to explore things on her own and figure out things for herself. If she wants something, she gets it herself. That’s good!”

When he relayed this comment to me, it made me smile, and then take a step back and really look at how I parent my daughter. Not how I THINK I should parent my daughter, the impossible unattainable Perfect Mother that I seem to hold myself up in comparison to, but the job I actually do as a parent, and D, too, now that he is feeling more up to it.

We keep her clean, fed, and well hydrated. She has plenty of clothes and we get her dressed every day. We cuddle a lot, and she has complete faith in our ability to catch her no matter what impossible direction she randomly decides to throw all of her weight. We play together, and she plays on her own. She lets us know when she wants extra attention, and we give it to her, because we want her to feel loved and important. She belly-laughs when we tickle her, and she cries when we say “no” to her.

I realized that while it’s fun to play with B, she seems to enjoy it when I sit on the couch and read while she plays across the room. And her eyes light up when I let her wander into another room (and watch her discreetly from around the corner). The more independence I give her in her play, the more she seems to discover. It’s like when I remove my adult perceptions of how we should play from the equation, she finds much more entertaining and imaginative ways to play on her own.

So I am letting go of the guilt I’ve always felt for taking an hour to myself while she plays on the floor with her toys. I’m letting go of this impossible “obligation” I’ve always felt to entertain her at all times. Learning how to play on her own and enjoy her own company is important. Isn’t it?

Today, she was playing and she held her toy phone up to her ear and said what I thought was “happy.” My mother-in-law recorded the same thing later, and while I was watching it, I realized she wasn’t saying “happy,” she was saying “Hi B—!” Made my heart happy to know that she hears that often enough, and with such enthusiasm, that it’s a phrase she’s learned to mimic. And it’s so cute that it sounds like “happy!”

Guilt-Free (Well, Less Guilty, Anyway) Mama

Briana's Progress, Mommy as a Human

I’ve been neglecting my blog again…

Life has been a little bit crazy lately (when is it not?), and I’ve fallen behind on my blog….again. I humbly apologize…but I can’t promise that it won’t happen again! šŸ˜€ I meant to write a 2013 wrap-up post way back at the end of December (a mere 10 days ago, but it feels like a lifetime), but obviously never got around to it. And now that I’ve sat down to write it, I’m not sure what to say. 2013 was a rough year. Not much good was going on. The best thing about 2013 was obviously my daughter…the list of bad things is much longer, but I don’t want to get into that. Let’s TRY to focus on the positive!

B had many milestones in 2013, given that it was still her first year of life. Rolling over, sitting up, scooting, crawling, solid foods, feeding herself finger foods, pulling herself up with furniture, cruising, talking, walking…all of it and more happened in the past year! It’s amazing to think how much our children change in just the first year of life! And I’m proud to say I didn’t miss out on a single milestone – I was present for all of them!

As a Mommy, I’ve had milestones in the past year as well. I learned that it was okay to accept help from people because there is no such thing as Super Mom. I (re)learned that I am not a patient person naturally, but I also learned that if I work at it, I CAN be patient. I learned that I am stronger than I ever knew, and that when the universe throws everything at me at once and tries to beat me to the ground, I keep getting up, keep coming back, and I put on my boxing gloves. (Don’t mess with this mama!) I learned that it’s okay to just need a break from Being Mommy and that I can ask someone to watch her for a couple of hours to pamper myself a bit. I went back to work and (glumly) survived the experience. I lost all my pregnancy weight…and gained six pounds of it back over the holidays!

Ah, enough of that. I am being a scatterbrain tonight and can’t seem to decide what this blog should be about.

B is walking now. She’s getting better at it every single day! She is so proud of herself. Last night when she walked to me from across the room, looked up at me and said “hi mama,” I got a little teary eyed. I couldn’t help it. I’m so proud of my girl!

I am going to try to start writing a blog every week again – call it my Blogging Goal of 2014. This blog won’t be worth much to my daughter (and future children) if I don’t stick to it. I may write a blog about our holiday adventures, but probably not…I’d rather write about “Current Events” rather than past stuff. If I can come up with stuff to write about. I don’t want to bore anyone. šŸ™‚

Oh, I WILL share this before I sign off:

Since D has started his new job, we’ve gotten nearly all caught up with our finances. We still need to finish paying off the balance at our previous apartment complex, but we are halfway there, and everything else is either all paid off or current! The plan is to get our own place again somewhere between March and April at the latest – it may be sooner depending on how everything goes. I am very excited to finally have our own place. Since we’ve been married (aside from 4 months right after our wedding) we’ve either been living with family or had roommates. Five and a half years into our marriage…it’s MORE than time that we have our VERY OWN place again. Be happy for us! šŸ˜€ We’re happy.

Happy Mommy