mean mama


other people’s kids
August 5, 2009, 8:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

My family and I went away for a long weekend with two old friends and their families. It was wonderful (except for a flat tire and croup – so sorry if we made you sick, guys!).  There is nothing like catching up with old friends and feeling like you didn’t miss a beat. Plus, one of the friends has a little girl, so I was able to bask in the little girl cuteness of pink clothes and sparkly shoes.

One thing that is always really nice about hanging out with other people who have children your kids’ ages or under is that you gain some insight into parenting and into your friends.  The three of us all have different ways with our children, and it was nourishing to observe successes and struggles in parent-child interactions.  Seeing others taking more risks with their child than you would with yours and knowing it turned out okay is educational and reassuring.  Watching your friends patiently – so, so patiently – chase their toddler around the house while he screams because he doesn’t want his diaper changed just makes you love and respect them with new depth.

When I first had the twins and life felt very difficult, I was not able to be around parents for whom things were going relatively well (read, parents of singletons or healthy babies). Now my twins are older, and I have this amazing baby, and my perspective is so different. Many of the things I used to fret about in regards to myself as a parent have shrunk in my mind. I worried a lot about how much (or how little) attention and focus and energy – and patience! – my children were receiving, and it got in the way of being able to ever relax and enjoy in the midst of what was basically chaos.  But now, because my own insecurity has lessened, I am freer to enjoy others’ company without worrying too much about the nuances of child-rearing.  I think some of the bumps and bruises of early motherhood might be healing.

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On another note, we are going through round 2 of cry-it-out, and let me tell you something: it ain’t fun. It’s so not fun that I even called Briar this morning to tell her how not fun it is, and she graciously talked me through it even though she totally hates talking on the phone.  This baby can stand and cry for a long, long, LONG time. We are now on nap attempt #2 and about to max out our hour. Holy crap, people. If I can just keep from losing sight of why we’re doing this, I’ll get through it. Do I want to have a child who wants the boob in order to fall asleep but then rolls over my body every 30 seconds shrieking in entertained delight and pulling my hair with a look of expectation, as if my head will light up like a toy every time he does it? No. Do I want to go into another school year with suboptimal sleep.  No way.

But it still sucks.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

no, no fun at all. it’s both the duration and the pitch of the cry. screamy, shreaky, and perfectly designed to pierce your heart. ugh. and yet, sleep. so good for babies. so good for parents. i still think the misery’s worth it.

Comment by sn

Malka was a CIO kid, and some kids just need to learn to work it out on their own. And learning to go to sleep on your own WILL pay off – at 3.5, Malka will now announce that she’s going to take a nap!

Sending strength.

xo

Comment by shelli




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