Yesterday was one of those days – a day where I had no clue what I was doing as a mom. They seem to be happening more frequently lately, and I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on what it means for my day-to-day decisions and my overall role as a mom.
I know very well that each age and stage of parenting comes with its unique joys and challenges, but I think this is the first time I’ve really felt those firsthand. Yes, the baby year can be difficult, but my pediatrician described it well to me at Eleanor’s 12 month appointment. She told me, “so far your parenting has been like taking care of a plant. You provide nutrition, safety, shelter, and a little TLC. Now is when the real parenting starts.”
And she was right. As Eleanor’s personality grows, so does my role in parenting her. I know the type of daughter I want to raise. I know the type of parent I want to be. But lately I’ve been struggling with how that looks day-to-day. How do I react to negative behavior? How do I praise the positives? How do I approach developmental goals? Again, there are SO many times I have no clue what I’m doing.
Some nights after Eleanor goes to bed, I’m satisfied in my day’s work. Other nights, my arms ache to hold her and do it all over again. Perhaps I didn’t react to a tantrum with patience or maybe I didn’t show kindness during a difficult transition. Almost every night Jeff and I recap our co-parenting decisions. Discussing what worked, what didn’t, and what we want to do moving forward.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that even though I certainly don’t have it all figured out, I’m doing my best. Taking a step back, thinking things through, and becoming more and more intentional every day.
Can you relate?