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Imperfect Mother

by admin on January 12, 2010

Welcome to the January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting resolutions!

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month we’re writing about how we want to parent differently — or the same — in the New Year. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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I have to say, 2009 was one of the best years of my life thus far.  I was blessed with the most amazing child, who couldn’t possibly be more perfect.  I’ve gotten to witness my husband transform from a mere man, into a wonderful father.  On top of all that, I’ve also experienced a deep change within myself.  I’m journeying through motherhood, and I feel like I learn something new everyday.  I’ve truly found my purpose.

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Before Axel was born, I had many ideas about what type of a mother I would be.  Everything was figured out.  I would do “this,” I wouldn’t do “that.”  However, like many mothers find, things don’t always go according to plan.  I quickly found myself feeling overwhelmed with guilt for not sticking to every little thing.  In my mind, I was always doing something wrong, whether that be not holding him enough, not playing with him enough, or just not being a good mother in general.  I frequently doubted myself, and now I see how silly that was.

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Nobody is perfect, and I now realize that I haven’t done as bad a job as I originally thought.  For the most part, I’ve lived according to the principles that are most important to me.  For my own record, I decided to make a list of the things I’ve done this past year that have made me proud or not so proud, and I thought it would also be helpful to write a list of things I would like to do better in 2010.  Maybe I’ll do this every year, and I’ll show the lists to Axel when he’s older.  Kind of a neat idea, don’t you think?

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2009′s List

  • Natural, drug-free childbirth  (I did it!  It was the most magical experience of my life.  It changed me forever.)
  • Skin to skin contact (Yes!  Axel has spent much time close to my skin, including right after the birth!)
  • Breastfeeding exclusively (I’m so blessed!  My boy has been a champion nurser, and my milk supply has remained plentiful.)
  • No pacifiers (No.  I failed the test.  He didn’t use them often, but he did some during his first couple months of life.)
  • No disposable diapers (I did use a few, for the first 2 weeks, or so.  I hang my head in shame.)
  • Cloth Diapers (Yes, except for the first 2 weeks, we have used cloth.  They are so cheap, and easy, too! They kept us from going broke this year)
  • Practice Elimination Communication (Woohoo!  We started when he was 3 weeks old, and it’s been a great success!)
  • Baby-wearing (Yeah!  We love our Ergo and Moby!)
  • Co-sleeping (Yay, our little guy sleeps with us!  It’s so comforting being near him throughout the night.)

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Unexpected accomplishments

  • I’ve become more understanding towards other parents and their child raising choices.  Not everything works for everyone.
  • I’ve learned to be more patient
  • I’ve become more responsible for my actions (not by choice, I was just kind of forced to :)
  • I figured out that it’s not all about me.  (I know, that’s hard to believe.)

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Things I Want To Do Better In 2010

  • I want to become less selfish
  • I want to concentrate more on my relationship with my husband
  • I want to be more nurturing, and understanding towards Axel
  • I want to spend more time outdoors with my family, enjoying God’s beautiful Creation
  • I want to teach my son about the world, through being a good example
  • I want to be slow to anger
  • I want to continue to grow the bond between me and my child, by being sensitive to his needs and desires
  • I want to love others before myself

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Wow, it looks like I have quite a bit of work to do before the year’s end.  I better get on it!

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated Jan. 12 with all the carnival links.)

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Miguel Kellon January 23, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Appreciate your site. Very interesting post.

Mickie Pellon January 17, 2010 at 3:47 am

Hi, great post.

NavegazingBajan January 14, 2010 at 3:36 pm

I also failed the paci test but my son only uses them occasionally. I also pledged to use cloth exclusively but we have been using disposables too which is why my first resolution is to use fewer disposables. I think you’ve given me an idea for a blog post – the shame you feel when you don’t live up to your crunchy expectations. The good thing about that though is that you hopefully learn to not sweat the small stuff.

Jessica - This is Worthwhile January 14, 2010 at 5:32 am

There’s something really magical about the year you become a mother – at least it seems that way for the two of us! I fell deeply in love with my husband as I watched him become a father. Who knew *that* would happen??

Lovely list :)

admin January 14, 2010 at 3:42 am

Craphead (LOL): Yeah, I’m not really big on resolutions anyway. (That’s only because I’ve failed way too many times, though!)

Hobo Mama: Haha, I did feel bad at first about using disposables, although I quickly got over it. The main things was that I hated everyone seeing my son in them, because they would say, “so you decided against cloth, huh?” Lol. I’m learning to not put so much stock in what others say now that I’m getting more used to “mommyhood.” It’s just not worth it!

Brother: You are a loser.

Thanks for all the nice (and funny) comments!

Lauren @ Hobo Mama January 14, 2010 at 3:31 am

Ha ha, I like the one your brother added!

I love that you hang your head in shame over 2 weeks of sposies. You’re too funny! But I totally agree with it all and have enjoyed all of those things, too. In the same vein, I’ve also had to learn not to judge other parents for making different choices.

I’m glad you didn’t look at your astonishing list of things to do for 2010 and just shrug your shoulders and give up now. ;) I wish you the best in making improvements in all areas!

Your Brother January 14, 2010 at 3:15 am

You forgot the one.

-Learn to give your brother weekly paychecks.-

lol

craphead January 14, 2010 at 12:42 am

I, too, love the idea of going over what you did well last year and what goals you met. That’s a great idea, and I especially like the “unexpected accomplishments” you mentioned. It’s a good perspective and is more positive than simply a list of resolutions.

admin January 13, 2010 at 5:59 am

I’m terrible about keeping journals, so hopefully I’ll keep up with this blog and just make the lists on here every year, haha! Thank you all for the sweet comments. It helps to have a little encouragement every now and again. :)

Darcel January 13, 2010 at 5:19 am

Great post. I love your idea of making new goals for each year, and going over the ones from the previous year.
I also love natural childbirth. It is amazing!

Also agree with you about respecting others parenting choices.

BluebirdMama aka @childbearing January 13, 2010 at 3:34 am

Wow – what an amazing 2009! What a great list of accomplishments.

The list of parenting goals and accomplishments each year to give baby later is a cool idea – not only will it chronicle what he was going through each year, it will also give him an idea of what some of your philosophies and values were.

admin January 13, 2010 at 2:19 am

Natural birth is a great gift. A friend of mine should be going into labor anytime now, as she’s 2 days late, and she is letting me be there! I am so excited – I’ve never been to a birth, besides my own. I can’t wait! She didn’t have the experience she wanted the first time around, but has chosen to use a midwife this time. I’m praying things will go better!

As for Dionna Ford on Twitter, that is just hilarious! :)

Kate Wicker @ Momopoly January 13, 2010 at 1:17 am

Isn’t natural birth such a gift? I only wish more women could be empowered enough to know that it’s a beautiful and possible way to bring a new life into the world.

I failed the paci test with baby 2 and 3. They only had them occasionally and I still breastfed on demand constantly, but both of my last two babies were born a bit earlier and had terrible reflux. Couple that with my overflowing milk supply and sometimes they needed something other than mama so they could come up and breathe! :)

As for your goals for 2010, these could have been my resolutions. Being slow to anger is a big one for me this year and so is savoring God’s creation. Thanks for the added encouragement.

Blessings!

Sybil January 12, 2010 at 9:28 pm

That IS quite a list! I would offer one more: “I want to go easier on myself”. You sound like you are an extremely attentive mama who has a huge heart! Congrats on having the birth you planned for! Sounds like it was a really wonderful experience!

admin January 12, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Thank you all for the wonderful comments!

My marriage is very important, and I’m learning more and more that spending one on one time with my husband is really good for Axel, because we’ll be happier, and he’ll notice that. We’ve yet to be leave him yet, as we don’t really have anyone we trust, and I’m nursing him exclusively still. We hope to get away for a few hours, though, this summer.

As for being more understanding, I have a long way to go. But I’m a million times better than I was a year ago.

Thanks again, for reading, I look forward to checking out all of your blogs! :)

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama January 12, 2010 at 6:04 pm

This one is particularly impressive: “I’ve become more understanding towards other parents and their child raising choices. Not everything works for everyone.”
I think we all forget that sometimes, especially when we are so passionate about what we believe in. It would be a much nicer world if we could all be so understanding!

Paige January 12, 2010 at 1:11 pm

You goal of connecting with your husband really resonated with me. I think in 2009 (we also had our first in Feb of 09) our relationship was defined by being mutually in love with our baby. I want to make sure not to lose the “in love with each other” part of our marriage.

Looking forward to following your journey!

Mrs Green @ littlegreenblog.com January 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm

What a wonderful year your’ve had, full of blessings and love. I wish you every happiness and success for 2010. Your list looks great; challenging, but in our challenges we find opportunities for growth.

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