Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Teach a boy to fish

Do you ever think about how you would be described by the people that love you? I do. Sometimes I have to check in with myself and make sure my behavior matches the girl I want to be. I can say, “ I want to be a good friend….I want to be a great wife…a loving sister...I want to be a caring and present Mother” but anyone can say those things and so I try to figure out what I want each one to look like - to make sure I am actually doing and not just wanting.
As you know, it's hard, because once you start spinning that one plate, another gets dangerously close to falling over. The great thing about Women? We can spin many plates at once....but often we get frustrated and mad when one falls....and we focus on the plate that fell...and often fail to recognize how awesome we are for all the ones that are still spinning...
The great thing about Men? They can accept when one falls without emotion, and get it respinning or start spinning a whole new one without involving self-loathing and judgement...(but they can't spin as many as once).
How's that for gender stereotyping statements that I swear are true?
What I do know...
  • I’m more Sears than Baby Wise
  • I am more Obsessive than Compulsive, ( but I am a little of each & OK with it ;-)
  • I am more casual than fancy
  • I am more beach than snow
  • I am more outside than in
  • I am more Carrier/wrap than stroller
  • I am more emotional than analytical
  • I am more run than walk
  • I'm more Type A than Type B
If you are the opposite kind of person, we will get along just fine by me, as long as you are yourself. If you are Authentic. Your Beautiful Self. Love Button.
I think it’s most important that you do what works for you in parenting and in your one sweet life. You have to listen to your inner voice. You can ask people you respect, whose style & methods feel like home to you…but at the end of the day, if you go against your grain, it won’t feel right to you at all.
I let Greyson sleep in my bed until he was 9 months old and I held him all the time. I'm so glad I did, friend. The way he would look into my eyes and connect with me as a baby stays with me until this very day.
PhotobucketBitty G, one day old.
Because of that, he couldn’t fall asleep unless I was holding him. As you know- when you have a baby- (or a problem) all sorts of people like to give you advice in what worked for them…Family, friends, the 72 year old woman with lipstick on her front tooth at Target…
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I heard from a Mom-- You have completely spoiled him. You need to make him cry more
I heard- You need to get him out of your bed IMMEDIATELY! You have created a Monster! He will be in your bed until he is 5 years old. I heard many other messages that made me think- oh no! I am clearly doing it all wrong! And my natural instinct is clearly so wrong too! I naturally do everything the opposite of how you are supposed to.
There were many times I thought I had screwed him up for life.It took me some time, and another baby to fully realize the only sure-fire way to do something wrong- is to try and adopt someone else’s way. To deny your inner instinct.
Parker slept in my bed for 4 months and it was heaven. I got to spend twice as much time with him. I would't take back one single night.
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As soon as I would put him here, in my little nook --that God custom made for him, he would fall asleep immediately.
At first I fought it, and then embraced it because it just worked for me. It felt right. When it stopped being heaven and I needed more sleep- I made that happen on our own schedule and was at peace with that decision. I still rock and kiss and cuddle him to bed every night because it makes me so happy. Because it's one of our most special and quiet moments of the day.

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If it’s possible- I actually held Parker more than Greyson. Some people barely recognized me if I wasn’t wearing him in a wrap.
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If that means I spoiled him than I will proudly say, “I sure did!!” When he was 5 1/2 months old he started crawling and since then, he doesn't want me to hold him as much anyway. I try and follow my natural parenting instincts because I am a better Mom when I do. I didn’t try to be a Baby Wise Mom, because I am not. I used the Focker method--"I hugged and kissed that little prince like there was no tomorrow!" And if co-sleeping and baby wearing aren’t your style-If you are a Baby Wise Mom, I don’t think you are a bad Mom at all. I know you can still “spoil” your baby with love and attention in the ways that work best for you and your family.
The more life I live, the more I realize that there is no one way for anything ….
I've realized that what worked for me...may not work for you. If you ask for my opinion or want my help I will give it to you in a second...but I won't judge you if you don't take it. I think the best way for me to make a big decision is to start with a big pot of my own instinct. If I need input, I may add a little pinch of what worked for another, and a little shake of what I read in a book. If it's still not seasoned to perfection, I may add a dash of advice from a friend. It's different every time. And what works for me one day...changes sometimes too. And so I work to just roll with it.
In case you just joined this little family and don't know, on Mondays we have preschool at our house. We call it 2U for Two University. Except for Greyson, all the kids are Neurologically Typical and all of them are 2 years old. Greyson needs to see appropriate play and communication modeled by Typical kids in order to learn. It's out of his comfort zone and it's hard for him, but it is so good for him too. I trust my inner voice that it is exactly what he needs. We had to try some other things that didn't work first to arrive here at this good place. We are so lucky because the teacher, Miss Paula, is provided to us as part of the State funded Early Intervention program.
On Monday, Teacher Paula said, “In order to help your little ones have good self-help skills, allow them to open up their own snacks and drinks. Don't do it for them.”

Such a small thought, but such a good point. As a Sister...as a Friend...as a Mom I don’t like to watch anyone struggle…I want to jump in…I want to fix…I want to help…I want to advise...I want to make it easier… but sometimes the best thing to do-- is to not. Not jump in with advice. Not do it for them. Not give suggestions. Help, by not helping. Whether they are 2….18 or 42.
PhotobucketWorking on Brushing teeth all on our own.
PhotobucketI literally have to clench my hand tight so I don't jump in and help.
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PhotobucketSometimes I am allowed to help.
PhotobucketHe is working on throwing stuff away by himself.
PhotobucketAnd putting his dish in the sink by himself.
PhotobucketOpening his drink by himself. Notice still clenched hand.
PhotobucketDespite some faulty neurons, I still look at him and think- "How did I wind up with a little boy so beautiful and perfect?" Do you know those moments when you think- "Do all Mothers love their babies this much?" I've heard from so many of you- you do. That's why I like you.

Photobucket Working with him to slowly and calmly walk with me- instead of running away when his feet hit the ground. Many Spectrum kids have no real fear of danger. He will run into traffic and not process when we call his name. This helps us keep him safe and us sane (ish).
And like the Kids at 2U, I am learning...
I am learning there are times to jump in and help...and times to sit back with a quiet mouth. Because I certainly don't want to be that lady with lipstick on her teeth at Target.

So, I didn't make it to 70 Members yesterday...but guess what? I don't care. Number 69 made my day with a magical message. Heck, made my week. That was better than making it to 70.
Thank you to all my friends that have shared a link to this blog. Please, keep sharing and resharing! It's such an amazing awesome testament of love. I truly appreciate you.
Because of your help, we are changing the World to recognize and to include all sorts of different. Different like my son, Greyson. Friend, it's clear to me that you already know when to jump in and help. THANK YOU!
So Much Love,
Chrissy

5 comments:

  1. Loved this. Totally me. I can't tell you how many times I was asked when I was going to "put that baby down". I held all my babies as much as humanly possible, cuddled, kissed and rocked them to sleep every night. And I don't regret a single moment. I do agree with you however, that everyone must do for what works for them and their children. Mother's instincts are amazing!

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    1. I love it, Jenn! I always love to hear when another Momma that shares my brain waves. Thank you for letting me know! Our instincts ARE amazing!

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  2. Great post. I am a little Baby Wise and a little Sears. I am all about finding the best in different approaches and finding a balance. I call it "sifting out the crazy!" LOL! I really, really enjoy your words and photography!

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    1. Thank you April! Clearly you have NOT done a good job of sifting out the crazy because I am still here!!! ;-)

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