May 21, 2018
When Brett and I started talking about parenting, I thought I knew exactly who I was going to be. I am a huge planner, as many of you know, so I read all the baby books, Googled all the symptoms, and prepared in whatever way I thought possible.
My vision of being a parent was largely based on my own childhood. I was very sheltered as a child, and so I thought I would do the same to my child. Mostly, as a kid, I hung out with my mom, read books all day, went to the library and the park. So, my vision included doing fun interactive things every second I could with our child. I figured we would always have the diaper bag packed with educational toys and would always encourage her brain development. While we were at work, she would be watched by our parents every day and I always thought day care was evil. Modern medicine was for sure the way to go, why would you go with anything else?
Then, Bailee happened.
I don’t really know what changed. Maybe I realized parenting is harder than I thought and that doing my best is enough. Or maybe, I just realized that everything doesn’t have to be perfect.
But, since Bailee was born I haven’t read one baby book. I rarely ever Google, unless I’m extremely worried about a sickness, and even then I try not to. My parenting style has been more about instinct. I do what I think is right in that moment rather than listen to the umpteen million opinions of other moms and Google. I have started a combination of modern medicine and homeopathic remedies. Yes, we do vaccines and doctor appointments and visits. But, we also use all natural cleaning supplies, diffuse essential oils, and use amber necklaces for teething.
Sure, we still encourage brain development. But I won’t lie. Sometimes the only toy we pack is her pacifier and Sophie for teething. I’ve been encouraging lots and lots of socializing through swim class, story time, and hanging out with other babies. Which leads me to day care. Boy, was this the biggest struggle of a lifetime. I never went to day care, so I automatically saw myself as a failure for even thinking about sending her. In order to not freak out about it, I had to make myself excited by comparing it to baby school. That was literally the ONLY thing getting me through it. But, it has all worked out! Bailee loves her teachers and she is getting so much developmental and socializing skills that I never could provide for her every day. Plus, she truly is learning independence.
Funny enough, what encouraged me to write this post was swim class. My mom attended one of our classes and took videos of all the kids doing the dunk portion of the class. When I watched the video, I realized I was pretty much the only mom completely dunking Bailee underwater. It made me start questioning myself. Am I not being cautious enough? Should I shelter her more than I am? But, then I realized that Bailee loved swim class. She started closing her eyes when she knew it was time for the dunk part. She even put herself underwater at one point.
I never thought I would be the mom I am today. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!