Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Musings

I can't wait till 'Rad can put in his own pacifier.  When he's fussing in the middle of the night or nap time, it's usually because his baba fell out of his mouth.  More recently, he's been popping it out of his little trap so that it tumbles between the slats of his crib and I have to reach underneath his crib to retrieve it.  It's quite an endearing display of his burgeoning expectorating skills.  A mother couldn't be prouder.

I don't know why, but I still get those pangs of anxiety when I have to take care of 'Rad on my own. It's ridiculous because I cared for him alone for 7 weeks while on maternity leave, and I know I've woe is me-ed about this before, but it's a feeling that still creeps up with something as simple as dropping his off at daycare on my own.  I don't know why that comes to mind as I'm sitting at home with him napping, but I'll have to deal with that anxiety tomorrow when I drop him off and pick him up from daycare.

I think it's part of that motherly guilt, about being worried that I'm not playing with him enough, playing with him too much, and when it's just me and him there's no one else to take that pressure off.  But that doesn't really stand to reason because I feel the same way when Z is just a few feet away.  The guilt comes on the strongest when I just let Connor play by himself.  I know it's important to give him that time, and it's good for me because it allows me time to do little chores around the house, but then my mind starts wondering...How much alone time is too much?  How much should we be reading books and playing with educational toys versus time just talking to and playing with him?  What about tummy time?  And I don't want him spending too much time on his back for fear of the flat spot on the back of his head gaining permanency...It's exhausting and I'm whipping myself into an unneeded frenzy.

Any concept I formed about the type of parent I would be when I was pregnant has seemingly gone out the window.  I remember saying I wanted to parent "organically," that I would just go with the flow and make decisions as needed.  Part of the present me wants to go back and slap the past me for saying that, not because it's a bad way to parent, but because I don't know if that's my personality.  Then there are times that I feel I'm doing just that and it feels pretty good.  It feels good to do things my way and not look too heavily to others for guidance.  I try to process any advice I get, but in the end the decision is all mine.  It feels like jumping off a cliff on a sunny day, seeing both the beauty and the craggy rocks below, and only once in a while realizing that you have a parachute.  I've never been the brave type, but I think it takes a whole hell of a lot of bravery to be a mom.


Tiffany said...

I wonder the same thing about the play time. How much time do you usually leave yours alone to play? And my ultimate guilt... when I have to get something done (like packing for a trip), I put on Pixar movies to keep her amused.

Jojo said...

Hi Tiffany,

Sometimes I let him play by himself for as long as he can stand it, which can be up to 20-30 minutes. Other times, it feels like it's been 30 minutes when it's really only been 5, but I end up rushing to his side to chat with him or shake his rattle just to let him know I'm around anyway.

I've been told and I agree that it's important to let him have his alone time, but it takes a certain degree of self control on my part to not feel like I need to be in his face all of the time.

I'm learning to control myself when he cries, too. I rarely if ever let him "cry it out," but I have to settle myself down when I hear him so that I'm not immediately rushing into the room to soothe him. 'Rad's learning to self-soothe as much as he can and it's great!