Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Different Mommy, Different Kid (PART 2)

START with PART 1 to see how my parenting journey has changed.

Tula and Mommy! Ivy's first ever picture taking experience... and she says Tula is saying "I'm not so sure about this!?!?"

So I should have known from the start things would be different with Tula. I planned for her to come on September 8th for many many many months. I wrote it in ink on the calendar, people!! You would think that would be no problem for a mama who had no signs of labor with baby number 1. Well, when Tula had a different agenda she was born a week early the teeniest little thing ever!

As soon as she arrived a calm spread throughout my body and I said without a doubt.... I can do this and I can let it be! And I really have this time around. I have made it a priority to keep the promises I made to myself and Tula and it has been a glorious road. I have not had any moments of stress involving when she should eat, sleep, and be awake. I have not had to worry about "ruining" her if I hold her too much or let her fall asleep in my arms. I have not had to cover my ears while we let her cry so we can "train" her. And really... Tula has trained herself.

She sleeps anywhere...well, except in a bed, if I am being totally honest! But it has worked for us and been wonderful- we can go eat, shop, run errands, go to church and do it all without considering Tula's sleep schedule because it really doesn't matter. She is awake when she wants to be and goes to sleep when it is time. Now I know your thinking.... she isn't trained AT ALL... but really she is on the eat, wake, sleep pattern just like I "worked" so hard to get Ivy on. She eats and is awake for anywhere from 1 to 2 hours and then she sleeps for anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. She goes to bed around 8:15 and wakes up around 6 or 7 depending on the day of the week. It has been so nice to let go of typing schedules, predicting her day to the science and instead I've just let Tula be!

The biggest change has taken place in my working mommy heart. I think I felt so guilty working with Ivy because I wasn't getting enough time to love on her. I spent so much of my time worrying about controlling everything. I was so sad to turn around and leave her in the morning. Please know that even though I was a different mommy last time I don't think ANYTHING I did for Ivy was bad. I wasn't hurting her in the least. I did things that many moms and dads do but for me, it was stressful and I was always questioning my decisions.

This time I leave and go to work at peace with the mommy that I am. I love my job, my students, and the great teachers I work with. But I come home and I am a mommy. Ivy and I play and Tula and I cuddle. I feed her any time she is hungry and I hold her a lot! I rock her and let her fall asleep in my arms. And I really love all the time I am spending with her.

She has had some issues with choking (snotty nose and acid reflux) when she is laid flat so she is sleeping propped on the boppy pillow in our bed. Does this mean she will be there forever? Heavens, NO! But I am not stressed about it. It is convenient when I feed her during the night. It is safer than putting her on the boppy in HER bed. And it gives me a good night sleep so I can be rested to be a mommy to Ivy and a teacher to 22 SMARTIES the next day.

I never imagined I would love being a mommy more this time, but I am just doing what works for us. I look at Tula's needs and our family's needs and I make a decision. I make parenting choices with confidence and without worrying about others judging me. I am relaxed and thankful for this stage. I am not bent out of shape about sleeping through the night, rolling over, or an exact formula to introducing rice cereal in the next couple of months. I know that Tula will only be a baby once and I am loving every moment of it! I am reliving Ivy's baby-hood as I experience Tula's each day... and at times I am laughing at how crazy I was! My husband thanks Jesus that I have revolutionized the mommy that I am.... and he is only hoping this attitude spreads to all areas of my life. :)

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I think as s soon-to-be-mom I am really starting to stress about what our schedule is going to look like. I just can't imagine how different it is going to look with three people in our family! This really helps put things into perspective and let's me know that even if I don't have the "perfect schedule" things can still work out. I admire you as a mama! :)

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  2. Awesome, awesome, awesome! I am so happy for you! You really are an inspiration for us eventual second-time-moms. (For me that'll be in like a year, but still! It's coming!) I'm so happy you've found a great balance for all of you! Tula seems to be doing wonderful!!

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  3. You are such a great mom Sarah! I am so glad mommyhood is going so smoothly this time. It defiantly is all about BALANCE and FLEXIBILITY! We actually did more of the "strict" scheduling with Gabby. I am fairly confident that the strictness of it all has made her the stubborn kid that she is:) (I had NO idea what I was doing with Naomi...no one I knew had kids yet!) . The transition to three however has be truly a breeze! We try to eat-wake-sleep and then just go with the flow for the rest! It is FABULOUS!
    Hopefully Tula grows out of that reflux soon. It is so no fun:(

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  4. You're such a good mom!

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  5. It was fun reading these posts because I can totally relate. I tried so hard to get Kaylan on my schedule and insisted I knew what was best because after all, I'M the mom. My husband is the 2nd of 5 kids, his youngest brother being 12 years younger. I'd insist I knew what I was doing and struggle for hours, then the minute I handed her over to Aaron, he'd have her completely calmed down and fast asleep almost immediately and I'd just bawl my eyes out thinking I was a horrible mother. Aaron was so sweet to help me along without making me feel like I had no idea what I was doing. Having Kenna just changed everything. It was so much easier and I was way more calm than I've ever been in my entire life. It's easy to not sweat the small stuff when you can look back and know for certain it DOES get easier with time.

    Isn't it crazy to look back on your first-time-mom days? Thank goodness we never stop learning and growing!

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Thanks for your encouragement as I travel through this season of life called mommyhood!