Welcome to Paisley Petunia…part two!
I find inspiration in pretty pictures, endless possibilities in a bowl of Meyer lemons, the meaning of lifetime devotion in the wagging tails of our 3 rescue dogs, end-of- the-day bliss in a glass of red wine and now, the boundless, soul clutching meaning of life in the faces of my 2 little angels.
It's a happy, creative, joy-full life we've got here in the LA sun. Come play! Bring wine.
The Parent Trap-
I don’t know why it took me so long to see this for what it is. I guess I just needed it to really smack me upside the head (both literally and figuratively) to see the light. I know being a twin mom is hard, being a mom to one toddler is hard, being a mom to any living, breathing creature of any age is just hard. True it is also rewarding, amazing, touching, life changing, etc. It’s hard for different reasons at different stages but it?s no less hard at any one phase (as far as I can see.) It’s an ever evolving process of things working themselves out and then falling apart in different ways. It’s all just a phase-the bad and the good. Just when you think things are smooth sailing from here on out, oh just you wait. That’s a phase too. It’s just the way it is.
When my babies were new, tiny premies it was hard because they were so small and I was so new and scared and unsure of myself as a parent. I really didn’t know what to do. So I asked everyone; looked for advice on the web, from strangers in Starbucks, from our pediatrician, our night nurse, from my mom, from other moms, basically everyone. And for every person I asked I got a slightly different answer. Some days, I was rendered motionless because I had so many options I couldn’t figure out what was right for us. Sort of like the first hour of the first day of the Neiman’s shoe sale. Too many freaking choices *brain explodes.*
Time marches on even if you’re standing still in confusion. We muddled through bottles and boobs eventually graduated out of the tiny premie-just keep me alive phase into a regular infant-you’d think I’d be harder to break now phase. But then came weaning and sleep training and argh *brain explodes again.* I mean seriously there are as many opinions on getting your baby to sleep as there are babies who need to get to sleep and parents trying to make that happen. I struggled with decisions on methods and response times and everyone in my house did something different. It was an awful, confusing, jumble of inconsistent, exhausting soup. Imagine how confusing for the babies. Finally, after a long process of doubts and guilt and really hard nights; born of basic survival-we found a plan and agreed on it. Even today when the going gets tough we reapply those principles and stick to our guns.
So why I’ve found myself in this same boat again with our new situation is a mystery to me, except it’s not. Why have I spent 8 weeks doing one thing one day and one thing the next, doubting every move, choice, or non-choice I make? I don’t know, yes, I do. Because the consequences of my choices, of what I do now are serious. Repercussions to be felt for many years to come- for me, for the babies, maybe even for their babies. I mean, boob or bottle is a debate to be had for sure but timeout-discipline vs. hold them tight and never say no is probably going to have some lifelong impact on their behavior and likely, my relationship with them. Who knows which is right? Only the mommy who is trying to figure it out, is who. What’s right for her and her babes, might not be right for me and my babes. What applies equally to everyone is that doing nothing is worse than doing something reasonable.
And so, came the familiar moment of clarity when for maybe the 100th time my son whacked my daughter on the head and this time- I lost it. Not my proudest moment as a mom. I lost it because I felt helpless and the situation felt hopeless. Neither of which are really true. “I just don’t know what to do!” Sob, whine. *Wrong* I have plenty of ideas of what to do but I need to believe in myself and have confidence to do it. I need to be the bigger, braver person here because I’m the Mom to these two babies. I need to buy the ticket and hang on for the ride. Not question every decision I make. Indecision and inconsistency have caused things to be 10 times worse. Cowboy up Christina. It’s not supposed to be easy and teaching tiny, unsocialized cavemen how to grow up into well behaved adults is not going to happen in one week. Anyone who tells you they don’t have “those problems” is full of crap. They might not have that specific problem but they have a different one because kids aren’t robots and no one is perfect.
My unsolicited advice to
myself my new mom friends is this: stop asking for advice (sometimes.) You know more than you think (most of the time) and no one, I mean no one, knows your baby like you do. Don’t doubt your very own, innate ability to make a decision that can be the right one. Of course, be alert and humble enough to know when it’s time to raise the white flag and regroup but give it a chance, give yourself a chance and give your kids a chance. Successful parenting is a process. Give it a little time. Then give yourself a break, a pat on the back and big glass of wine. You’re raising brilliant babies and you’re doing a great job.
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