Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Mother's Day Challenge

This past weekend we visited with our friends J and R. They just had their first child three weeks ago and had that new parent look (you know the sleep deprived, glossy eyed, "are we doing this right?" look). After we left (we made sure to keep our visit short and that we brought them dinner) I thought back to those early days with Z. All the sleepness nights, the daily visitors, the constant worry and oh that ADVICE. I remember when Z was about a month old, I looked at Scott and said, "I can't take it anymore! We have gotten so much advice in the past few weeks and half of it contradicts the other half. What do we do??? Are we doing this parent thing right? What if we mess Z up?" It was the classic panic attack of a new mother. It was then that we decided to politely listen to all advice, read up on topics that we were curious about and do what made sense for our family.

Looking back on our visit with J and R, I realized that both S and I had given lots of advice. We talked about the positives of being a SAHM, nursing, Baby Sign Language and so much more. Now I feel incredibly guilty for doing that to them (I hope they didn't mind....after all they did have some questions). I am sure they are feeling just as overwhelmed as we did and are not sure what to do with all the advice that they have received.

I often look back at Z's life and remember all of the things that I (we) have done wrong. How could I have let my son sleep in a bouncy seat for 6 months? Why did I let Z watch TV starting at 6 months? (I always vowed he would never watch TV until he was two years old). Z has too many he spoiled? Z didn't sleep through the night until he was 12 months because I was so weak. Z is the worst eater, afraid of change and very bossy....these all must be my fault (I am sure S can share some of the blame :)). I could go on and on and on.....however in honor of Mothers Day, I have decided to celebrate those things that I (we) have actually done right :) So here we go.....

1. I nursed my son for 15 months and had to keep a very restrictive diet to do so.

2. I taught my son to use Baby Signs to communicate starting at 4 months old (he started signing at 7 months) and I am convinced this is why he is so verbal today.

3. We laugh every day!

4. S and I have read to Z every day of his life (we have never missed a day) and I am convinced this is why he LOVES books.

5. We sing every day!

6. We try to give Z as many new experiences as we can (outings to new places, family vacations, walks around the farm, playgroups, classes etc.)

7. We have taught Z how important family is and he loves being with his grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins.

8. Z is very polite (thanks to constant drilling and modeling).

9. We have taught Z to love and respect the outdoors (he adores the lake and farm the most).

10. Z is very kind and loving. I believe this has something to do with S and I and how much we love each other and how often we express our love for Z.

So there you go, I guess I am not all that bad ;) Believe it or not, that wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. So Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there (especially the greatest mother in the world, MINE ;)). I challenge all of you to reflect upon and celebrate all of the things that you have done right for your children. Your list might just surprise you :) Have a wonderful day!

The photo up above is three of the mom's who mean the world to me ;) S's mom, my mom and my Noni. I love you all and Happy Mother's Day!

This photo to the left is of my Pops, Noni, Mom, Dad and I on one of our many family vacations :)


Christina said...

That was beautiful.. made me choke up.. You are so right. its so hard in the beginning till you make that concious decision to do it your own way. I feel blessed that we also have such a wonderful child. Hope you have a great weekend.. Happy Mothers Day!

Raising Z said...

Thanks Christina :) Happy Mothers Day to you too!!

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