Friday, August 5, 2011

such a softie...

All you oldest children out there know what I'm talking about when I say that when we grow up and leave home and then come back, it seems that our younger siblings are getting off WAY easier and getting sympathy more than we ever did. 

In my experience with my kids, this is occurring already.  I took Nola for her six-month check today.  And when she got her shots there was this sick feeling in my stomach like I was going to throw up with anxiety over having my baby in my lap in obvious helpless pain.  Never have I had that feeling with the other two.  The closest I've come to that prior to today was Natalie's first set of shots when she was 8 weeks old.  But I psyched myself up saying it was for her own good, she won't remember, etc etc.  And even though Natalie threw up the entire rotavirus vaccine and screamed so hard during shots that she threw up again, I stood strong.  In my vomit-soaked shirt I was steady as a rock.  Today, I was a total wimp.

Maybe it's because I know how fast babyhood goes by.  Maybe it's because I'm breastfeeding this time, and I never had that bonding experience with the others due to difficulties with reflux, jaundice, and low supply.  Maybe it's the fact that as a new new mother, I came into it like a lot of people do - with a fantasy an idea of what parenting would be for me.  I had all these things I wanted to do like cry it out and time out like Supernanny where you calmly explain why they have to sit on the naughty chair even though they're kicking you and screaming in your face.  Sadly, the scenarios I worked out in my head don't always play out in my life.

The truth is, it's never as we expect.  I think that's the biggest thing I've learned in my 4 1/2 years of being a mom.  For me, parenting is best approached with no expectations - at least no hard and fast expectations.  Of course there will a way that you expect your child to behave, but we can't put our parenting experience into a box before it even begins.

I'm so grateful to have Nola to help me learn the lessons that I missed with Natalie.  It's my hope that my efforts to let Nola teach me instead of the other way around will help me be a better mom to all my kids in the long run.

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