Anyone who knows me knows that I like order and structure. I tend to be particular about routines and time lines. I don’t like being late (although my children don’t have a problem with it) and can’t live with disorganization. A fun time is purging the playroom.
Despite a brief fling in university when I didn’t make my bed (that lasted a week) or my high school grunge phase (I bought one plaid shirt), I have always been this way and it’s taken me a long, long time to come to terms with who I am.
Just like many new moms, from the moment I became pregnant to the time my first son was about six months old*, I was out of whack. I wanted so desperately to do the right thing that in addition to becoming a raging bitch; I also lost sight of who I was.
Every parenting magazine, website and pamphlet touted the benefits of attachment parenting and many members of my moms group seemed to have been indoctrinated so I tossed my check-lists and schedules aside and began my flirtation with all things Dr. Sears and anything else that seemed au naturel.
Let’s just say the flirtation was over as soon as it started.
A doula? Can’t do it. I like to keep all of my pent-up anger focused on one person during delivery and luckily for my husband, he fit the bill.
Cloth diapers? Seemed like a good idea at the time, but my noble quest to save the earth one Pampers at a time lasted all of about 1 hour.
A child-centric schedule? Are you kidding me? It takes the boys 15 minutes to put their shoes on with me yelling, “Put your shoes on!!!” Attachment parenting could cause me to gnaw off my own tongue.
It almost had me at the communal bed, but after several nights of being kicked in the face, I decided that my sleep trumped any notion that there was positive connecting going on between the hours of 9 pm – 7 am.
I had decided to put attachment parenting to bed (couldn’t resist the pun) and follow what felt au naturel to me.
And to bed it stayed until a recent conversation with Carol.
A few weeks ago when we were having dinner, I casually mentioned that my youngest had taken to refusing his diapers. He would push them away, shaking his head and say, baby.
I lamented to Carol that these power struggles were adding unnecessary stress to an already hectic morning schedule.
Carol didn’t seem at all sympathetic to my fight to make it out the door in time to drop the boys off at school. If anything she seem excited.
“The door is open!” She squealed, doing a little jig in her seat.
“What door?” I replied.
“The door! He’s showing you that he’s ready.”
Ready? He’s not even two. There is no way that he’s ready. The other boys weren’t ready until they were 2 ½.
But Carol’s enthusiasm was infectious.
“Really? You think? Don’t you think he’s too young?”
“Oh no! He’s opening the door. Help him go through it. It may take him awhile to walk through but he will get to the other side in his own time.”
This is what I admire about Carol, her willingness to just go with it.
And so I have. Regardless of schedules and messes, I am just going to go with this.
It’s the last time that I am going to do the potty dance with reckless abandon, have poo tracked through my house and pee on my drapes.
I have come to realize that I can’t keep this door closed for him just to keep one from closing on me.
* I got pregnant with son number 2. A sure-fire way to stay on the path to crazy.
Great read BA! For someone who has never been very structured, I am amazed at how much structure i now want in my life, now that I am a mother! She;s only 4 months old but I crave the day (I really hope it comes) when her naps are somewhat predictable (now they are anywhere from 30 mins- 3 hours), when she goes to bed at a reasonable hour (who knew it could take 2-3 hours for a bedtime routine before she fell asleep!!!) and when there is some predictability in her wake up time… here I thought i would be more of a go with the flow kind of mom 🙂
It’s funny how much you change when you become a mother. I have a very long list of things that I swore I would never be/do. Guess what I can do with that list?
Beth-Anne, I am so honoured to have featured in your writing and your thinking. You’re marvelous. And it’s true, I can’t help but be so excited for you and your littlest. Sending you warm (and clean and dry) wishes this very moment.
We’re working on it. It’s not going to be an easy process with this one but I am trying to embrace the casualness of the summer and allow for bare bums to abound!
I have 5 and try to stick to a routine as much as possible to keep my sanity and OCD in check. (I think my OCD has been caused by my scheduling though lol) I have learned over the years that as much as I try scheduling, keeping a routine and being on time (my biggest pet peeve is someone late) sometimes it just doesn’t happen. And that it ok. I loved this post! Good job!
5 kids!?! Bless you . . .
Haha yes five kids…Believe me it is a lot easier than it sounds.