Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Chance to Change?

Lately I've been wondering a lot about my thoughts and ideas on parenthood and how, if I get the opportunity to do it again from the very beginning, I would do it differently (I am so so so NOT pregnant, not for a while I hope, but that doesn't mean I don't think about it).

First of all I would find a fairy to grant me three wishes and every single one of them would be that The Bear and I would agree on all parenting issues. That would basically have solved ALL of our contention the past 2 years of our lives together. I hate knowing that if we disagree one person is going to feel that they "lost" and perhaps their parenting opinions don't matter as much. Mostly that would be The Bear. He knows it and I know it. I don't love that it is that way but I'm not foolish enough to deny it. Somewhere in my heart I believe that if we both had supported* each other a little more the difficult months would have been easier to move through. I wouldn't have felt like I was constantly searching for a way that we both agreed with and just stuck to the same thing from day 1. There is no going back but I hope if we do it again some day there will be less debate on how and what to do and more action. Consistent and calm action.

Secondly, and this is a big one, I would stop WONDERING, out loud mostly, how to make my child do what I wanted and expected. The wondering led to discussions, which led to disagreement, which led to attempts at other ways, which led to frustration, which led to more disagreement, and ultimately led us back to the same thing I was doing in the first place. If I just did what my heart told me was right, without the tears (my own) because things weren't perfect and complaints of exhaustion and frustration, we would have moved through with less contention and those long months wouldn't  have dragged on and on. I hate recalling all the conversations wherein I analyzed every little thing she did trying to figure out the best way to parent her (sleep, let's be honest, I've stressed about sleep this.entire.time). I would have been so much happier if I just stopped talking about it. In the end I am who I am and I can no sooner let her cry for hours on end when she just wants me close to her than The Bear can stop eating cake pops from Starbucks. It's part of who we all are...compulsive cake pop eating and all.
Sleeping with all of her things
Thirdly? Stop trying to control everything. I'm a control freak when it comes to my beloved daughter, I can't deny this even though I feel a little ashamed from time to time. Next time around I think it would ease a lot of that new baby pressure if I didn't freak out quite so much. Chances are The Bear is not going to snap her neck when he pulls her out of her bed for a diaper change but according to me it's a miracle Mad survived the first 6 months when he was in charge of her care. I won't stop missing my babies when I am away from them for even a moment, I won't stop sending huge lists of "how to's" when they go to Grammy (my mom) or Manna's (his mom) house, I won't stop describing every detail of how I get them to sleep, I won't stop loving them with every inch of my being....but I really hope that I can leave The Bear with our new baby without agonizing over the fact that he doesn't do things exactly the way that I do. Mad is proof that he did something right (a lot of things) because never has a little girl loved her father more than my Mad loves her daddy. He is the first person she looks for in the morning and business trips are getting so difficult now that she spends half her days asking "where he is?" until the moment he walks through the door. I love that because I love him so much too, so I totally get it. We both like shoes, shopping bags full of new stuff, and an AngryBear. Twinners!

But....if I didn't change a thing? Well, I have to think that despite all my (many) flaws I must have done something right. Because I made this (with a little help ;) and I think she is pretty.damn.amazing.
Playing in her hut. She loves this thing.
*The fact is, The Bear was so supportive of me and my choices, even when they didn't line up AT ALL with how he thought things should be done or what he was used to in his family. He might not always understand what I do, or why I do it, but he will always defend me. I really love that about him and it is just one more reason why I am so lucky to have him. I was the one who struggled to support any way of doing things that wasn't MY way. So, I fail, I'm working on it. I promise.

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