We’ve been going through a very difficult phase trying to decide whether or not naptime is still a necessity. Mason has never been a sound sleeper, but recently putting him to bed at night has become quite the ordeal. Even if we start the process at 8:00pm, he sometimes takes over an hour to fall asleep. So, we decided to try skipping the mid-day snooze to see if that would help. Initially, it seemed to be working because he was drifting off more quickly at night, but then he started getting extremely cranky midafternoon. Eventually, I guess, the lack of sleep accumulated because he was absolutely miserable for 2 days straight. We attempted to dine out at restaurants twice over that weekend and had to leave before even placing our orders. Oh, and we received plenty of disapproving glares as we carried our kicking and screaming toddler out into the parking lot.
Before I had Mason, I thought I knew exactly the type of mom I wanted to be one day. I had a very clear vision in my head of what motherhood would look like and some seriously high expectations. I can think of so many things I swore my children would never do – like watching TV, or playing on an iPad at the table while at a restaurant, or throwing a temper tantrum out in public.
kid would never.
kid would know better.
I would be able to control my
Then, something incredibly humbling and eye opening happened: I actually became a mother. I quickly learned that my preconceived notions about parenting were pretty unrealistic. If there is one thing I’ve come to know (and I’m still pretty new at this since Mason is just a toddler), it’s that you learn as you go. Parenting style is not one-size-fits all for moms and dads OR kids. Heck, it’s not even one-size-fits most! Even if you’re on your second or third child, what works for them might not be effective with baby number four.
It’s always a good idea to educate yourself and try to prepare for the challenges that parenthood will inevitably bring. There are various parenting self-help books available and, of course, an experienced mom or dad may be able to offer a pointer or two. But even if you do access all your resources – guess what? You’re going to make mistakes because you’re human and child-rearing is not a perfect science. I promise that nobody has it completely figured out.
I’ve been guilty of comparing myself to those “perfect” moms on social media. You know the ones I’m talking about. We all have those pictures on our news feeds that portray a Pinterest-addicted, always happy, never stressed, fashionably dressed and impeccably groomed mom. Guess what? Even she
doesn’t have all the answers and I’m willing to bet she falls apart behind the camera, just like we all do. And who knows -maybe she thinks the same thing when she sees my pictures, too!
So the next time you find yourself wishing the earth could swallow you whole while your child pitches a fit at the grocery store and it feels like the whole world is staring, remember that you are not alone! And if you happen to be sitting in the booth next to the family whose outing has been cut short due to a tantrum, maybe you could offer a sympathetic smile to remind them that they aren’t the first and definitely won’t be the last.
Our sleep struggles continue. Mason refused to nap at school yesterday and fell asleep quickly in the evening. However, he was up shortly after midnight sobbing uncontrollably and calling for his daddy. I’m not sure what happened – we’re thinking he probably had a bad dream. We’ll eventually solve this nap dilemma, but in the meantime we are doing the best we can, one day at a time. We’ll never have all the answers, but we will always give him all our love, and that’s more than enough.