The moment I lost all inhibitions as the ‘the time savvy/schedule crazy’ Mum was when I sat during a sling training with Dr Rosie Knowles. All of a sudden my outlook on parenting changed and I felt like I had hit a different end of the spectrum.
Growing up, routine and schedule was constant in our lives. It had to be for my Dad’s career, being the eldest of four siblings with a 10 year age gap. Time restrictions were something I picked up pretty quick but never really realised until I started ‘adulting’ properly.
I remember I got so consumed in scheduling at one point that I had every 15 minutes in my diary scheduled to who, what and where and I became slightly OCD about it. It sneaked into my parenting style and this is what I noticed since having my 2nd daughter and after splitting with the girl’s dad. I was so worried about their routine being knocked that I started to miss out on the biggest 2 things of all – security & love.
My girls didn’t need a step by step guide on how to wake up and fall sleep every day, they needed constant attention, love, smiles, adventures and falling asleep in mum or dads arms and knowing it was the safest place in the world.
Why do we get like this?
I don’t know. Social media maybe? Or seeing the Mum at the school gates who looks like she’s come out of some time warped steam cleaning machine? Or maybe it’s the pressure we put on ourselves to better than we did the first time? Or because we think if we get it all right from the offset that they will just fall into line? Doesn’t all of this sound just a little bit crazy. I’ve declared myself crazy. End of.
We read books, we google the shit out of solutions for babies to stop crying, how we sleep train them, best way to get them to stop breastfeeding at night etc –
I think I have a solution, we don’t. We simply don’t.
Our jobs as parents are to nurture, provide for our children, reassure them, love, support and adore them. When the hell did that get so regimented? Schedules to make life easier? Do you know what makes life easier? A settled, secure, loved and healthy child. It’s as simple as that, I’m sure of it.
So one night I did the unthinkable… (Yep I can’t wait for you to gasp in shock and horror that I have taken this parenting route and I am flying my mama freak flag high and proud) after being told for so long to let them ‘cry it out’ or ‘you’ll make a rod for your own back’ – I lost it all.
You see, my youngest woke one evening, and it was a cry that was not painful, but she was distressed and something had upset her. Without hesitation, I went in and I picked her up and I took her into bed with me. And all I could think was – Love. This is love. She knows I will always turn up whenever she needs me. No matter how frightened or scared, I will always rescue her. No matter how many jabs I’ve had to the armpit or feet that have kicked me in side of the head, she’s getting comfortable alongside me, this is her place of comfort. But beautifully – no matter how dead my shoulder is or may be, her head will always rest there because she is safe, she is secure and she is loved and so very much adored.
We don’t get this time back. Soon they won’t be in our beds, their toes tangled in our hair. They won’t want to snuggle. They won’t cry to be close to you as often as they do now. So for any mum that was so worried about losing the routine, breaking the rules or feeling unsure of what’s best, all you need to do is just love. Since doing this, there’s been a change and a switch in our relationships. My youngest is all of a sudden full of love and cuddles, gentle nose kisses and dare I say it, a little calmer.
On the other hand I have now started to work differently in my career and business and excitingly feel like I’ve been more productive in doing so. Meaningful activity that is getting results in work and when my time is with my girls, I can switch off so much more easily. We don’t have to spin the plates anymore.
Have you ever felt like that mum? The one who wasn’t really sure what she was doing? I have many a time, so for anyone out there who’s felt the same, your not alone and I hope this has helped reassure you that a Mama’s instinct is right and you should just go with it. This picture just proved to me, I’m doing something right and now you will realise you are doing too.
Lots of Love Mamas