We moved Kai to his room around 7 months. It would’ve been sooner but my husband was traveling for work for a few days and I didn’t want to deal with the transition alone so we waited until after. I told my husband it was his job as I couldn’t deal with the crying etc. On the first night I barged into the room, took Kai up and rocked him to sleep. Up until February, the rocking to sleep continued every night unless my husband was the one that put him down for the night. We shifted to sitting on the floor but still nestled in mummy’s arms to go to sleep.
Over the months he’s gotten bigger and heavier. The cradling positions have gotten awkward but it’s what he loves to do to go to sleep. I’ve always called him a “cuddler” because he really loves a cuddle to go to sleep.
The great debate comes when there are some nights when he doesn’t want to go to sleep and takes forever. This usually happens when I have things I want to get done before I go to bed. So there is frustration on my part and excitement on his. On those nights I wished we’d sleep trained him and I could put him down and walk out the room… but only on those nights.
Other nights, he hugs me to sleep. There’s nothing that melts my heart more than when he wraps his little chunky wrist around my neck as if to say “I love you mummy, don’t put me down please” or “I hope this makes up for the day I gave you”. The latter would be nice if he hugged me to sleep on days when he was a handful! My battle comes when I think, he won’t want to do this in the near future, so should I cherish it and enjoy it? Or am I creating a lasting habit of not being able to fall asleep at night on his own?
I’m trying not to read into it too much but I can’t help but think of what it could mean or what’s the next step instead of just living in the moment…
Now that I have a toddler, parenting lessons are happening every day but I’ve been trying my best to not just see it as a phase but understand what his needs are.
I’m learning that my little one loves to watch and be in the kitchen with me. He loves to see what I’m stirring, chopping, and putting in the oven. I can only hope it means that he’ll take up cooking as a hobby at some point. Not a chef though, I think it’ll be hard to get him to cook for family gatherings… so just a hobby.
Since we moved into our house though, he’s had more cupboards, a new gas range and new ovens to explore. I try my best to keep him away from them but I can only do so much. I’ve resorted to putting him in his high chair and giving him snacks while I cook. That way he can still see what’s going on but from a little distance. He’s also aware that after his bath, when he hears the gas stove ignite that I’m warming his milk to have before bed and insists on me picking him up so he can watch the pot.
I thought I could teach him to stop going in the cupboards and pulling at everything but his kitchen shenanigans have taught me a few things.
- One of the reasons he does it, is to get my attention. When he comes to me and I’m busy with dirty hands, he opens every cupboard door and touches things or pulls them out until I pick him up. I finally bought cupboard locks on Monday.
- Babies can’t talk and when they exhibit a certain behavior, in your frustration, it’s better to try to understand their needs than think they’re being naughty.
- I should’ve bought those locks when we moved in. Even though it’s only been 3 days and they’re driving me insane.
- This is a natural learning behavior – to be inquisitive. While it should be encouraged, I do not need to have it happen all the time so the locks will help me keep my sanity a bit. It is a teaching moment for both of us – it’s teaching me patience and he’s learning about the kitchen and what is used in it.
There may be a million books on parenting but the one thing you don’t need a book for is patience – it’s at the heart of parenting. We all have our days when our patience is wearing thin or is practically non-existent, just make sure those days aren’t the norm.
It’s something we struggle with as women because we’re supposed to be real life superheroes when juggling everything life throws at us. I struggled with it and recently a friend asked another mom and myself how we get everything done because she just feels like there isn’t enough time to get it all done. The consensus – we asked our husbands for help. We’re not asking them to take over everything but just to help with one thing that would ease us. For me, I told my husband cooking dinner and feeding Kai and getting him ready for bed in the evening was just too much, and he took over bath time.
We CANNOT do it alone.
Something is heavily sacrificed when we do. Even if it is just for a short time until our babies become more independent and self sufficient, we sacrifice something to make sure that they are cared for. Even for some who have to do it alone, they find a balance, but there is also some kind of sacrifice being made. There’s only one way to see it – if we are stretched thin, we can’t care for those who are extremely dependent on us.
I’ve been giving my all caring for those in my home that I was slowly losing my sense of self. The girl who would do masks at night, and paint her nails every now and then is just too tired and exhausted that she can’t even do those small bits of pampering, and is dying to post to her blog but just can’t manage to finish everything in time that she could write a quick blog post is gone… and she’s too tired.
I’m slowly getting back on my feet. I have a new home to organize and decorate and that will take time but I’m also trying to enjoy the little blessing I have as he’s just growing too quickly.
That’s the other thing… if we’re doing to much, we forget to enjoy and embrace the simple things and life just passes by and before we know it, we missed out on a lot that we were there for but not present mentally. So…