Thursday, May 25, 2006

Embracing Motherhood

Okay. I'm sure after my husband reads this post he will think that California is actually starting to grow on me. Maybe it is a little. Anway, over the past few days, I have really been reflecting on my role as a mother and how different it is than I originally had planned. Since Caleb was born, I have been struggling with what I felt was the best way to raise my children versus how society thinks children should be raised.

Moving to California though has allowed me to finally feel confident and validated in the way I choose to parent my children. I love having my kids with me pretty much all the time. I find I rarely need a break except that which I get when everyone is sound asleep at night. It is really quiet at 11:30 at night. I can spend time with my husband and feel connected with him without having an official date night. Creativity and patience is the key. I love snuggling next to Josiah in the night and nursing him when he wakes. Yes, he wakes often, we cosleep, and I'm not worried about it. I treasure the times at night when Caleb and I read books and he drifts off to sleep snuggled up on my arm especially since he chooses Daddy most of the time to put him to bed. I don't mind when Caleb wakes up in the middle of the night and needs someone to snuggle next to. I enjoy nursing and feel no pressure to stop as soon as Josiah turns one year old. There has been no pressure to leave Josiah for any reason. I get to homeschool my children. And I have a wonderful husband that fully supports me in all this. I have finally found other moms out here that feel the same way as I do about parenting. Our pediatrician is a big supporter of this parenting style. And yes, this parenting style has a name, attachment parenting, but I prefer to call it natural parenting since I am raising my kids the way that feels natural to me.

Was this what I envisioned when I was pregnant with Caleb? No. Do I have any regrets about natural parenting? No. Did I have to move to California to come to this understanding and confidence? Yes. Why? I don't think I would have gained the confidence and support elsewhere that I needed to proudly say how I feel outloud outside of my parents, mother-n-law and sister (and husband of course). Why did I write this on the blog instead of in my journal? In case new moms are reading this and feel like they are the only ones who feel this way (I felt so alone with my first), I want them to know that it's okay to pick your baby up when he cries. It's okay if your baby isn't eating solids at 6 months. It's okay if your baby needs to be close to you at night. It's okay if your baby falls alseep while nursing. It's okay if you're a mom that doesn't really need a break. And it's okay to love that baby more even when you turn around and realize he isn't a baby anymore and that he is a six year old boy.

I admit it Honey, I'm glad we moved, not just because God told us to, but so that I could fully embrace motherhood and all that comes with it with a joyful heart.


Mary Beth said...

Very beautiful and well written!

Kristen said...

Well said! I think the most important point you made is doing what feels "natural" to you as a mother...discovering what is best for you and your own little family makes everyone happy and calm.