The Independence Curve

My daughter is getting so intelligent that it’s beginning to pain me. She is no longer the small infant that we goo’ed over not so long ago. I remember when we first brought her home, I would put her swing right next to the couch and just watch her sleep all day long. I held those little fingers and toes in my hands and marveled over the idea that my body made hers.

“Sleep when the baby sleeps.” Yeah, right. Have you seen this perfect babe? And your advice is quite literally the advice that all parents get and CHOOSE to ignore.

I now enjoy the old pictures of how small and fragile she used to be, because it reminds me of how strong, capable, and smart she has become. We have so many wishes for our children, but they always somehow turn out better than we could have ever imagined. Where my daughter once cried for the things she needed, she is now belting out requests with confidence. Her vocabulary has expanded and I’m often wondering, ‘How did she learn that word? I didn’t teach her that word!’ It’s hard to grasp that she is learning from the world around her, and the world around her isn’t always with me.

Another thing about this time period, is that she is becoming less of something we own or have responsibility of, and more of her own little human with her own little human beliefs, wants, and interests. When you first have a baby, it feels almost like an object you own. You feed it and bathe it and take it with you wherever you go. It doesn’t do much, doesn’t say much. But then… Before your eyes, this little gift you lugged around with you is no longer helpless. It’s getting bigger and smarter and needing you less.

I have talked to my fiancée about this, because it’s probably one of the coolest things to witness firsthand. One day you are meeting them for the first time, and the next day you realize that they have developed favorite TV shows and favorite foods, they’ve met and loved people that you don’t know as well they do, and they even know what they do and don’t want to do! The amount of things that they are doing and feeling and learning that don’t rely on you teaching them is getting smaller and smaller. It’s scary and beautiful and amazing.

I’m on a learning curve. I am aware that her independence is going to make some things harder for me. I have learned that if she won’t put on her shoes when I ask, that all I need to do is grab another pair of shoes and let her choose which ones she wants to wear. All of a sudden, the decision to put on her shoes was completely her idea and I get to play along with my own wisdom. I did this with a shirt the other day too, and it worked. I’m learning – it may take awhile before I learn all of the cheats, but hey! Progress is progress, right?

EOD Thoughts: 02.09.2021

Motherhood tested me tonight.

I had really an overall okay day at work. The day seemed to go by fast, but I was in meetings from 10am to 1230, so days always seem to fly when I have a lot of meetings.

Everyday I get off of work and go pick up my daughter from daycare. This morning was rough when I dropped her off because she just screamed MOMMMYY when I tried to walk out the door. I hate mornings like that because I feel so guilty leaving her behind when she’s screaming for me, but sometimes that’s just what you’ve go to do.

When I picked her up today, her babysitter said she had been in and out of timeout all day because she was hitting and pushing down some of the other kids.

My daughter is definitely an alpha female. I can already tell she is a leader instead of a follower, but I’m beginning to wonder how in the world we are going to teach her the limit not to cross with her personality type.

Tonight putting her to bed was awful. She did not want to lay down so we had to just leave the room and let her soothe herself. It took her probably less than five minutes to quiet down, but the guilt of leaving her to cry always eats at me.

Parenting is hard. And the fact that it’s never going to get easier is exhausting to think about.

Regardless, I’m soaking in every moment we have together now- even if she almost pushes me to my breaking point sometimes. She makes my life better even on her worst days and I wouldn’t trade it for a second.


Tonight’s Reflection Quote:

EOD Thoughts: Night Two

Happy Tuesday!

It’s been a busy week already. It’s only Tuesday and I’m already looking forward to Friday.

Sunday night Della painted her pumpkin. I really can’t believe how well she did considering she isn’t even two, but painting a pumpkin at her age is way easier than carving one. Dylan and I brought our pumpkins inside but we didn’t get the chance to carve them yet. What have you all carved into yours? I haven’t decided on what I want to do and I need some inspiration.

Della’s painted pumpkin

Fast forward to last night.

Dylan continued with his new shift at work this week, so I was at home last night with Della. This girl gives me a run for my money sometimes because let me tell ya… This girl can WHINE. That’s pretty much all she did from 5 o’clock until 7 when she begged me to put her to bed. I put her to bed and she still continued to scream. Let’s just say I ended the night with a bottle of wine sitting on the couch binging Grey’s Anatomy.

By 11 o’clock she was up crying again. We put her in our bed and tried to get her back down with no luck. But 2 o’clock this morning we were still pleading with her to go to sleep. I moved to the couch at about 4am so I could at least get some rest before I had to get up for work. When my alarm went off at 6:30, Dylan and her were both asleep and she was lookin reaaaal comfy laying in my spot on the bed (Go figure).

Tonight has been better. We didn’t put away the paint from painting her pumpkin so she begged to paint some more. I figured it would be easier cleaning the paint off of her than it would be to deal with a screaming child all night for the second night in a row. So I went to our basement, grabbed some bottles, and let her paint on them. I used to paint bottles and decorate them for homemade gifts, so I figured letting her paint some would be a cute gift we can give family. I always appreciate homemade gifts made by kids!

Now she is playing contently and I’m sitting in my nook writing away. I don’t have a lot to say besides that being a mom is overwhelming sometimes. I know I will one day miss these days, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes sulk when parenting gets hard. I just try to remind myself that tomorrow will be a new day. And really, that’s all we can do. Life is pretty crazy right now all around. I have so much anxiety about the upcoming election, the coronavirus pandemic, work, holidays, and Della. I’m wondering if there will ever be an end to all of the madness. I guess I should try to accept that life is going to be a bit different for awhile.

Hang in there, folks. Use this site as a platform to get your emotions out. We may not have the close contact relationships with friends like we used to, but we do have an amazing outlet for stress through writing. We will get through this stronger.


Tonight’s Reflection Quote:

When She is Asleep

Nap time is about the same time every day

We start our day with breakfast and play

I cherish our hugs and the laughs we share

But when she tires, I’m never prepared

I wish all day I had more time to myself

But when she’s asleep my books stay on the shelf

I plan what I’d like to get done while she sleeps,

But when she’s gone my insides weep

I miss her hair and I miss her run

There’s never a limit on our fun

When will this get easy?

Never, perhaps, because parenthood isn’t breezy

The Beauty of Fostering

One of my dear friends and her husband have been going through the process to foster kids since 2019. They made the decision after they realized that they wanted a family, but couldn’t have kids of their own.

This woman is one of the kindest souls I know. We’ve known each other since I was pregnant with my daughter and I remember the days sharing the excitement for Della to arrive. After my daughter was born, she begged and begged to “steal” Della for a Saturday. She would pick up Della on a Saturday morning and bring her back Sunday after church. Della would often come back wearing brand new clothes holding multiple new toys. I knew this woman and her husband loved my daughter like their own, so I had no doubt that their decision to become foster parents was the right one.

Today she walked to my desk right at 5 o’clock as I was getting ready to pack up and leave work for the day. She took a deep breath and said, “Sooo I’ve been wrapped up on the phone for the last half hour because our case worker called.”

I felt the excitement well inside of me. They just finished the entire certification process about two weeks ago. We’ve been waiting for the go-time call.

“We’re getting kids tonight.”

A smile immediately broke on my face and I asked her how many.

“We’re getting a 9 year old boy, an 8 year old girl, a 6 year old boy, AND a 3 month old baby girl.”

My jaw dropped.

She laughed and said, “I had to take a deep breath before I came over to tell you because I knew that would be your reaction!”

I clasped my hands together and shared my excitement for her. We talked more about it for awhile and then I packed my things and went home.

I have been smiling ALL NIGHT!!

To think that all of this is finally coming together is so exciting! Not only because we now have new kids to shower with love, but also because I know that they did not take this decision lightly. It was a huge, incredible, life-changing choice that they contemplated and worked towards for a very long time.

I feel proud to have stood by their sides in support through it all.

And it’s all finally falling into place.

To think that there are people out there that are willing to drop everything to provide for children that are being raised in less than desirable conditions makes me feel an immense amount of respect and admiration. Stories like this one give me hope that society is far better than it’s often betrayed because there are people that are full of compassion and understanding in circumstances like these. There are people that are willing to open their doors for others in need. There are people that do the right things for all of the right reasons.

And it’s worth admiring!

Raising Curious Kids

We are lucky enough to have found a house with a small extra room where we can store all of Della’s toys away from guests and avoid a house where cars, balls, and baby dolls line the carpets (Not to say that still doesn’t happen, but what house with kids doesn’t?).

This room is Della’s space to play creatively and explore her imagination and it’s right next to the living room where I can sit on the couch and still see her play.

I peered into the room and saw Della sitting on the table playing with some toys and looking at some books. My first instinct was to jump up and get her down, because ya know… the drop.

But then I stopped.

I just stayed where I was on the couch and let her test the water.

Within a few seconds, she turned around to look at me and began to wail.

She had leaned for a book that was just a little out of reach, felt the discomfort in her balance, and she asked for help.

Mom. WIN.

In all honesty, I’ve been waiting for some blogging inspiration for weeks now, and after this happened, it reminded of a video I watched about a week ago of an interview with Neil Degrasse Tyson.

If you are into astronomy or physics, I highly suggest you check out some podcasts or interviews that he’s done. But the particular interview I’m referencing is one where he talks about a child’s innate desire for exploration. In this interview, Neil explains,

“You don’t have kids with the intent of retaining a clean house. These are non-commensurate goals.”

“Your task is less to instill curiosity in your kids, than it is to make sure you don’t squash what is already there.”

Let them play. Let them fall. Let them learn. We, as parents, owe it to our children the opportunity to explore and interact with their surroundings. We may know what the outcome could be, but how will they if we take away their chance to learn?

Whether it’s jumping in a puddle or dropping an egg or even reaching for a book on a ledge, be committed to letting your children learn the causes and effects of interacting with their environment.

Raise curious kids.

Be cooperative with their education.

Let them learn on their own.

Watch the interview here:

Today I was Mom-Shamed

When you become a mom for the first time, you hear all sorts of arguments on what is “best” for your child. There’s the obvious formula vs. breast milk argument that even non-parents have probably rolled their eyes about once or twice. You can prepare yourself for the mainstream attacks on issues such as that, but you can’t prepare yourself for the family members that like to stick their noses in your business and pretend that they are trying to help you.

To be honest, I have been very fortunate to have respectful family on both mine and my fiance’s sides. For the most part they keep parenting choices up to us and even ask us before making decisions regarding our daughter.

Our daughter is currently teething. She is a slobbery mess that loves to chew on anything she can get into her mouth. Along with that, however, comes the crankiness and fits due to the pain of trying to emerge teeth through the gums. Poor girl. So she was having a particularly rough time at my sister’s while I was at work. She was fussy and wouldn’t stop crying, even after being offered toys, a bottle, tickles, cuddles, and a walk. I couldn’t think of anything else to tell my sister to do, so I told her, “Ya know what? I’ve got some pear juice at the house for her, and she really liked that last night. Go grab that juice and see if that helps!”

Della turned six months old on July 5th. We can now begin introducing her to baby foods and juices. The bottle even reads “6+ months.”

I immediately got a text from my other sister asking me if we had been giving Della juice.

I said yes.

And she came back with a long message saying how I shouldn’t be giving her juice, that it was bad for her, and that I needed to go get her some orajel.

It instantly pissed me off, not gonna lie! I’m very careful about what I do with my daughter, and most decisions aren’t made until I’ve done my fair share of research on the issue. Let’s be honest… 100% organic pear juice that reads 6+ months on the side of the bottle isn’t going to hurt her. It’s not like we even gave her more than a couple ounces of it.

I felt like I was being bossed around and shamed for a decision that I had already looked into. I know she meant well, but sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do, as a mom you will always face harsh criticism and scrutiny for what you do or don’t do regarding your child.

As adults we should be understanding that parenthood does not come with a manual. There are things you have to learn as you go. We should be more willing to accept that not everyone experienced the same things. Our childhood and background shape how we raise our kids, and no two people have the same past.

Today I was mom-shamed. And it sucked! But it reminded me that sometimes it’s easier to crucify someone for not being like you than it is to welcome all styles of life with open arms.

Next time you don’t agree with the decisions of a child’s mother, remember that she has probably already criticized herself enough for the both of you.