all good things in moderation

9:38 AM

Prior to parenting I was a perfectionist, a "type A" if you will, but parenting has a funny way of weeding out all unnecessary things until you're left with the bare essentials. I had so many dumb ideas before Birdie was born - only wood toys, no tv and the idea that I would spend hours lovingly creating gourmet purees for her. The sentiment was sweet of course but in reality it was all a little silly. Because you're not the only one getting her toys and I definitely believe in the "don't look a gift horse in the mouth" mentality when it comes to gifts, because sometimes the only thing that will keep all of you sane during an especially rough bout of teething is good old Sesame Street and the motivation for turning your kitchen into an organic baby food factory will all but vanish the day she spits, splatters and throws your "gourmet" food across every surface in the room.
I've also found that parenting is so much about flexibility and constantly altering your course of action. I so badly wanted "baby-led weaning" to work but the truth is she just wasn't ready until almost eleven months. I wanted badly to get her sleeping all through the night by seven months but she just wasn't ready until a year. I think the most important thing to constantly remind yourself of is that "every child is different" and you must adjust all your expectations accordingly. She's fifteen months now and still not walking and although I'm dying to see her take her first steps I'm just letting her take her time. Just as with everything I know she'll do it on her time, when she's ready.
And just as important is our sanity as parents. We made a decision from day one to never adhere to certain principals if it comes at the cost of our sanity. For some time that meant co-sleeping, then it meant her sleeping in her own room. For some time that meant letting her eat mac and cheese every single day because she would refuse anything else (though we did sneak in a cup full of green juice here and there to make sure she doesn't turn into a solid). And sometimes that means letting her have a few of my french fries so we don't have to listen to her whine the entire car ride home, or putting a movie on or [insert any "not perfect mummy" activity here]. Because at the end of the day I would rather break some rules, so to speak, rather than find myself frazzled and neurotic which in the big picture is a lot worse for her precious tiny psyche than a few slivers of deep fried potatoes.
What I'm trying to say is that being someone's mama has taught me to let go of that ridiculous, unrealistic and perfect ideal of a mother I had created in my mind before our daughter was born. It's actually taught me to trust my own intuition, use common sense and know that ultimately no one knows or loves our little girl better or more than my husband and me and that when she grows up she won't remember the parsnip and persimmon puree with a hint of cinnamon or the exquisite toys whittled out of reclaimed birch wood but she will remember all those tickle fights, kisses, story times and hugs and that's something I never compromise on.

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