There are so many things I swore I would never do as a mother. I had all these great expectations of this amazing mother I was going to be with how I disciplined, how we raised our child, etc… I am the complete opposite mother than what I thought I would be. I think it’s unrealistic to put these expectations on yourself, before delivering the baby. For one, I was a first time mom, and I had no clue what I was doing. Secondly, the child you raise could have a completely polar opposite personality than you thought you’d have. These were both big factors in why I did some of the things I swore I would never do.
The first thing I swore I would never do, was co-sleeping. I have nothing wrong with co-sleeping, personally. I was just following the advice of others on this one. Like I said first time mom. But I was adamant about having my child sleep in her own bassinet or crib or whatever kind of sleeping vessel there was. What I didn’t count on was a c-section. I have mentioned my c-section in I think every post I have talked about my children in. So, as any of my readers know, it wasn’t expected. Being a first time mom and recovering from a unexpected c-section, we were just trying to survive.
The way my delivery took place, I had help for two days, before my husband had to go back to work. Since your weight lifting restrictions basically limits you from even lifting your newborn child, that meant I just basically sat in a chair and held her until Devin came home from work. Also at night time, I couldn’t lay flat, so I slept in a chair. My husband worked early mornings, so even though I did do it some nights, I never felt right to wake him when Scarlett would cry in her bassinet or for a feeding. So I just basically held her 24/7. This screwed us, because she was never and I mean never happy in any type of bassinet or pack n’ play, because she wasn’t being held. We finally got her a sleeper swing, once I was able to actually sleep in my own bed and that was a godsend. She slept great in that, then we transferred her to a pack n’ play, than finally her crib. We had zero issues with night time sleeping until maybe about seven months ago, when she got her first and only night terror. Just literally this week we have gotten her successfully to sleep in her “big girl bed” for three nights in a row, for the first time since the night terror.
The next thing I swore I would never do is use bribery as a way to get my child to do something. I was very very very stern on this one. I saw the effects of what bribery did firsthand in other kids. It gives you what you want that instance, but the child is strictly doing it for a reward. Not because she or he wants to or is listening to a command. This can seriously cause several issues not only with disciplinary cases, but also if you use a form of sweets or candy, can cause serious effects to the the child’s health and weight gain. My husband and I are both guilty of this, and every time I do it I want to hit myself. I tend to bribe Scarlett more with people; “if you are good we will go see Meemaw (or whoever is at the top of her must-see list)”. Devin tends to use her favorite sweets; “if you pick up your toys you can have a milkshake”. I don’t think rewarding your kids for good behavior is bad at all, but I think it should be the end result of a child’s good behavior, not a way for them to be good. This is something we really need to work on together as parents.
One of the last things that comes to mind I swore I would never do is overindulge in unhealthy foods. I don’t think I can be totally blameful in this aspect. When Scarlett first started trying food, I never let her having anything sugary (although other family members would often sneak it for her). When she was first starting real food she ate sweet potatoes, bananas, and a variety of baby puree foods. But even as a baby, she was very picky. If it was green in color she would not go near it. As she grew, her foods she liked got smaller and smaller. She will not even try anything I make. If it isn’t a peanut butter sandwich, frozen chicken taquitos, quesadilla, french toast, or cereal, or anything sweet; she will not touch it. I really tried, I tried so hard to make her eat only the healthiest foods. But it became so hard to get her to eat. I basically had to sacrifice my wants for her, so she would just actually eat. We try to hide healthy things here and there in her food, so she’s at least getting some good stuff. Eventually when she actually understands the concept we will be pushing the same thing my parents pushed onto me and I am the least pickiest eater on the planet; “if you don’t eat what’s in front of you, you don’t eat at all.” Obviously, I am way too concerned with her nutrition at this point to start this, but I totally plan to do it!
With all this being said, I think it’s going to be okay. What I have learned for the next baby is to not put so many unrealistic goals on myself and if I do, not to be upset with myself if I don’t reach those goals. I’m sad I didn’t stick to the things I was so adamant on doing, but in my eyes I think they are easily corrected offenses. We are already on the way to correcting the co-sleeping, we realize our wrongdoing in the bribery, and hopefully with time Scarlett will develop a better appetite. Our child is completely her own person and as long as we are guiding her to be the best version of herself, if we don’t get it right 100% of the time, that’s okay. I think even with her little quirks, she is still the best little human ever and I’m happy with who she’s becoming, no matter how feisty she can be at times!