I don’t believe in living with regrets. It’s not that I don’t make mistakes because oh, do I make mistakes! It’s more so that I don’t agree with dwelling on the past. Who I am today is based on what I’ve gone through. This is also true in Motherhood.
When I was pregnant with my first I read multiple books on parenting. I was very aware of what the ‘right way to raise a baby’ looked like. I would breastfeed for a year, I would purchase the right toys to stimulate growth, and our child would sleep in our room, never in our bed! These concepts are all well, until you hit a bump in the not-so-perfect parenting journey.
When my oldest was six months old I went in for gallbladder removal surgery. I had been having severe attacks for almost a year and was constantly ending up in the emergency room. As I eliminated more and more fat from my diet to control the pain, my milk supply began to dry up. By the time my surgery arrived my son was completely formula fed. I cried a lot about that. I felt like I had failed both him and my husband, because we were now forced to purchase that expensive powder each week. I was sick, and that’s what I should have been worried about.
My second son was my easiest delivery. He was out within four hours and I was up and showering five minutes later. But within three months of his birth we began running into health complications. Blood in his stool, lots of crying, and no more than two hours of sleep at a time. I was determined to breastfeed him, but I had to cut dairy from my diet completely. We made it 18 months and I’m really proud of that! The one thing I wish I’d done different was letting him into my bed at night.
I know now that he wasn’t simply being a cranky baby. He was in pain and needed comfort and I wish I’d simply allowed him to sleep with my husband and I instead of forcing him to stay in his crib. At the age of three, he still requires a lot of physical touch when he’s upset. That’s just who he is.
By the time my third came around I’d thrown all the rule books out the window! I feel like I became more confident in my parenting decisions with each child. I have no problems disagreeing with someone else’s advice or methods, though I try to always be respectful and see it from their perspective.
Our daughter sleeps in our bed full time at ten months old. Though it’s not always easy, I truly think bed sharing has been a wonderful thing for us. It feels a million times more natural to have my baby sleeping next to me then being separated. Nursing has been easier, sleep has been better, and I haven’t had to torture myself with hearing her cry. I love having her snuggled up against my body during the night!
Once we move our daughter will go to her own room. I don’t plan to stop nursing any time soon, but I feel like the age of one is a good time for this transition. That being said, all three of our babies will be welcome to run to our room at any point if they need the comfort. We plan to get a king sized bed, so there will be plenty of room!
Here’s the goal, Mamas, and that goal will look different to each and every one of us; Do what you feel is right for your child and your family. Have confidence in your decisions and own them. Don’t allow yourself to be influenced by what your friends and family may be saying or posting on social media. If someone doesn’t agree with you, that’s okay. Respect their decision as you’d like them to respect yours. We can agree to disagree!
To all of you new Mothers, please go with your gut. Asking for advice is okay, taking suggestions is wonderful, but if something feels ‘not right’ to you don’t ignore it. From pregnancy to the day those kids leave our house, you are the parent!
Own your Motherhood journey. Please. The only thing you’ll regret is going against what you feel is right for your kids.