Today, Isabella's daddy put her down for a nap without my help (I was out running errands) for the first time since she was, oh, probably 1 month old. yes! I know that seems ridiculous or even sad to some, but it was a huge milestone for our little family.
When I first became pregnant, I had set ideas on parenting and I wasn't going to sway from them. NO WAY would our child sleep in our bed. NO WAY would our child nurse past one year. NO WAY would our child rely on mommy for practically her every need.
So, now that Isabella is over 14 months old, just beginning to sleep in her own bed, nursing less but no end in sight, she is finally beginning to realize she can count on Daddy for important things in life too...like naps.
I was shocked at my own self-pity reaction at my sister's baby shower when my mom was able to put Bella down for a nap with nary a moment of need from me. Amanda Sue even had to ask if I was okay because I apparently couldn't hide my sadness and amazement at being completely left out. I felt silly shortly afterwards and have ever since.
Being a stay-at-home mom is definitely much more difficult and yet more rewarding than I ever imagined. But what I didn't imagine were the intense feelings that accompany being a mom who's with her child 24-7. Those emotions have ranged from fear, frustration and being overwhelmed to contentment, patience and pure joy.
We have so much pressure as new mothers to do what everyone else deems the correct way to be a parent. Working moms are often made to feel guilty for putting their child in daycare or with another caregiver. Stay-at-home moms are often made to feel they are holding back their children from the world. Pressure to nurse or to not nurse. How long to nurse. Pacifier or no pacifier. Co-sleep or in their own crib in their own room. Slip some cereal into the milk at six weeks, wait until 6 months for any food at all. It is maddening!
Finally, my husband and I decided we had to do what was right for not only our daughter but for us. We let nature take its course as much as possible. When Isabella is ready to change something in her routine, I am now able to sense it and follow accordingly.
I'm blessed to have a healthy, outgoing, loving and laughing child. Isn't that really what's most important?? I can give up a few of my own heartstrings to see my daughter continue to grow and flourish. If that means allowing Daddy, Grandma or anyone else she loves to care for her, then I'm a happy momma and willing to share :)