As I am sitting here, packing up baby clothes to sell or give away, I am thinking about how hard it is to give it up. The RacDad and I both agree that we are not going to have anymore of our own kids. Three is a good number and I don't know if I could physically or emotionally be up to the challenge of another hard delivery....no matter how much I love being pregnant and love having kids. We will probably adopt or foster once we get the baby itch again because we have a great home and there are kids that need a good one. But, it got me thinking about those things that you learn from your experiences that you wish you could impart to others to save them the pain or hassle of figuring it out on their own. Even though most people have to experience them to really understand, I still want to impart a few tidbits from a seasoned Mom.
The first thing is that you become a Mom when you get pregnant. Taking care of that little one starts the day it is conceived. What you do with yourself and with your body affects that little one. So listen to your doctors and your loved ones. If you are doing too much, that is not OK. You aren't just pushing yourself, you're pushing your little one too. If you need to sit down and drink some water, then do it. Don't be a martyr. The hardest part of pregnancy is knowing your limitations and not pushing them. It's very hard to sit on the sidelines while life seems to go on without you. It's not really going on without you, it's just beside you....patiently waiting for you to come back. It's OK to ask for help and it's OK to say that you just can't. Everyone will understand. They all want what's best for you and your baby. So take advantage of that time while you have it. You can ask The RacDad....he has stories about midnight chocolate cake runs and homemade banana shakes while I sat in the recliner with my freshly painted toes in the air. *grin*
Next is ask for help. A good Mom knows when something is just too much and they need help. Whether it's a science question that you just don't know or a screaming baby that you just can't hold any longer. It's good to ask and people will love to help. Call your neighbor to come over and hold the baby so you can walk around the block. Find a retired teacher to call to ask random questions to. Teach your little one the wonders of Wikipedia or even a good old encyclopedia. (We love YouTube for animal sounds and videos...especially the fainting goats.) Sitting with you and learning how to find the answers is just as important as being able to give them the answers. Plus, it's teaching them how to ask for help too.
When weaning a child from anything, do it gradually. Whether it's breastfeeding, taking away their pacifier or an old toy. It will be a lot easier for them and less painful for you to just take your time. Take it away for one part of a day and be consistent. Then wait a few days and take away another. Eventually, it will be done. If it's too hard, try to replace it with something else...a snack, a walk, a story. You'll figure out what works best for you and your little one.
Just remember that all of your actions as a Mom dramatically affect your kids. So when you want to raise your voice, remember that it is teaching them to raise their voices in a similar situation. Teach them by action. Be gentle and calm and they will be gentle and calm.....eventually.