Sharing a little straightforward honesty with you all today! Sometimes as new moms we are so hard on ourselves. It’s important to remember that your opinions can change and you are still a good mom for it! Read on for five things I never thought I’d do with my baby but have since done!!
Having a baby in my thirties meant that I had a pretty good sense of what I thought my mothering style would be. While I was definitely nervous about childbirth (you can read our birth story here), I was not at all hesitant to see what my mothering style would be. I’d done my research, discussed things with my husband and felt confident about how it would all play out.
Fast forward several months and I’m here to share my #momtruths. The things I thought I’d never do. Now some of them are kind of silly (number 3 I’m talking to you). But some may raise a few eyebrows. Some of you probably won’t agree with a few of my parenting decisions. But that’s the glorious thing about parenthood. It’s your own journey. No one else’s. While we are all in this together, my decisions are right for me and my family. They might not be right for you. And that’s ok!
If you’re comfortable enough sharing, I’d love to know what you thought you’d never ever do as a parent!!
Let’s start with the biggest shocker to me! Co-sleeping. Prior to having Aren I was adamant about not co sleeping. He would strictly be in his bassinet until it was time to transition to his crib. I didn’t want to risk rolling over on him, SIDS, blankets near his face- all of that.
Here’s what really happened. Around month four Aren was hit by the four month sleep regression. Like really badly. It was terrible guys. He would be up pretty much every hour. After about two weeks of being a complete zombie I decided to co sleep with him. But we did it our way. Ara ended up camping out in the guest bedroom during the weekdays, and Aren would sleep in his bassinet for his first stretch of sleep. Once I was ready to hit the sack as well, I’d place his DockATot in bed with me and he would sleep on that, besides me.
It helped immensely. It wasn’t the perfect answer and at times he’d only sleep if he was literally on top of me. But it helped. A lot. He wasn’t rolling over yet so we felt comfortable with this set up. There were things we did to make it safer (I removed the blanket entirely from his side of the bed). But we did cosleep for a full month. As he slowly got out of the regression I still would bring him to bed with me around months 6 + 7. He’d be getting up at around 5 and wouldn’t go back to sleep unless he was with me. So I’d bring him to bed (at this point he was no longer sleeping in his DockATot). I’d place him horizontally in bed with me so that he was between me and the frame of the bed. And we’d sleep for the next hour or two together. Once again this just worked for us so well. Around month 8 or he would grow to only be comfortable in his bed (thank god hehe).
But yes, even though I swore I wouldn’t co sleep. I did. And I would do it again in a heartbeat.
2. Allow Screen Time Under 2:
These days pediatricians recommend no screen time under the age of 2. And I get it. It’s not good for them! But to be honest, Aren watches a little tv. Even though I really didn’t think I’d let him till he was way older.
We play ball, read so many books, play in the playpen, the activity jumper. We go on walks, we eat meals as a family. We’ve started taking him to the park now that the weather is nicer. He goes to swim class and has playdates with kids his age.
But we do let him watch a little tv.
In the morning when I make my morning coffee I place him in the jumper with Sesame Street.
If I desperately need a little time to finish an email, cook something on the stove or even hop in the shower, I place him on the jumper and he will watch a little Dora or Wiggles. My 11 month old son watches and loves the Wiggles. There I said it. He thinks they are everything. And I am ok with it.
As parents we need to sometimes just survive. Burn the house down by forgetting there’s food on the stove or have him watch a little tv?! It’s a no brainer for me! When he’s a little older and there are more activities I can have him participate in, I will definitely reduce that screen time. But for now, sometimes it’s what helps us get through the day! Mind you he doesn’t watch more than 15 minutes or so at a time. And like I said, we read so many books. I’m not worried about his vocabulary not developing because the tv is on. I am confident I am still making the right decisions for him, despite what mainstream parenting says.
3. Dress Aren in Pjs outside of the house
Switching it up to something more light hearted. Um do you guys remember how many cute baby cardigans I bought? Yeah about that. At Aren’s first doctors check up I remember seeing a mom with her baby. The baby was wearing a footed pj set while Aren was wearing some extra outfit I picked out for him. I remember thinking to myself, Oh I will never have him wear pjs outside of the house! Fast forward oh I don’t know, one week after that. And he literally wore pjs 24/7 for about 5 months 😉 More comfy, easier to dress him, perfect for doctors’ appointments- I could go on. PSA to all my extra moms. The baby cardigans can wait till they are a little older!
4. Be that mom that can’t go anywhere without her baby
You guys I remember telling Ara that at the end of year one we should leave Aren with one of our parents and go out of town for a weekend. LOL NOT HAPPENING. And it’s not because I can’t be away from him. It’s because we as a unit don’t want to! We came to this realization that while we may from time to time need some alone time in our relationship, we’ve done all the travelling and eating at fancy restaurants that we want to for a while. We’ve been away on spontaneous trips, been to fun parties. We are ready for the next chapter which is time with Aren.
This last weekend we went out and celebrated my birthday at a nicer Montreal restaurant. And guess what? We brought Aren with us! He behaved super well and it just further solidified our decision to want to bring him with us in the future. Now if you invite me over and tell me no kids are allowed, I will of course leave him with a family member. But if you give me the option, chances are I’ll be bringing him with me!
5. Be crazy about naps
I’ve become that mom. The one that will leave a social gathering because it’s nap time. Before I thought that I’d be a little more chill. A little more go with the flow. But no. These days I’m a nap sergeant and I’m proud of it. Aren is a well rested and happy little boy and I swear it’s because he always takes his nap when he needs it. Sure there are exceptions to the rule, like travelling times, if he wakes up too early and swim class falls right in the middle of nap time. There are definitely exceptions. But 90 percent of the time we make sure he takes his nap on time and I wouldn’t change that for the world. I definitely thought we’d do a lot of stroller napping etc but it just didn’t pan out that way. He can take a 30 minute stroller nap but that’s it. And if you ask me, do you prefer a 30 minute stroller nap or a 1.5 hour crib nap, I’m going to go with the latter!
I guess you could say that the things that I thought would be more relaxed for us, like naps, ended up being more regimented. And the things that I thought would be firm no’s, like co-sleeping, ended up actually being ok. I’m sure I will change my mind about a few more things along the way- and that’s ok!
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