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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8 notes

  1. Our generation never had green juices and we turned out just fine!! I am not a mama, but you obviously care so much about Birdie's mental and physical well-being.. and that's all that matters! You rule so hard :)

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  2. This reminds me of something I read while expecting my son - to enjoy pregnancy, because it's the last time you'll know everything ;)

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    1. That's the most brilliant sentiment ever!

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  3. Every kid is different, every momma different, every single thing is different when it comes to parenting -- and yet, it's all the same. In the end, we all raise our children to the best of our abilities. We try to mix it up, to keep ourselves (and our children) sane, healthy and filled with love. I'm a firm believer there is no one "wrong" or "right" way, and to try and teach/learn some idea of "perfect parenting" is just irresponsible. Good on you and your husband for doing what you believe it's best; because, like you said, you really do know best for you and yours!

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  4. Hi, I loved this post. You hit it right in the center. It made me laugh and cry. How I know this "french fries, TV, plastic toys-story"! When you become a parent, you have to become an improvisation-master at the same time - or you simply go under. :-) And it is so funny, you even get MORE relaxed with the second child, because how can you keep No. 2 from ice-cream and chocolate spread at the age of 2, when No. 1 is sitting opposite and happily enjoying all this (4 y)? Not possible. I had my principles about clean clothes, until my daughter (4y) started choosing her oufits for kindergarten each morning. Because if only THIS ONE LEGGINGS is possible, because it is the ONLY one matching the dress, and this dress HAS TO BE IT on that day, then we pull it out of the "dirty laundry" basket, I clench my teeth and let her wear it, hoping, the other parents will not think we are disgusting. But when I see her proud and happy, because she feels so pretty that day (instead of sobbing and going to kindergarten with a tear-streamed face), than I think: Oh, what the heck. I don´t care what other think. I have a happy child. Not clean (sometimes not even stylish- because her outfit combination is sometimes a bit weird), but full of happiness and self-respect. So I really loved your post and wish you all the best and good nerves in the future, especially when Birdie starts pursuing her own fashion taste. :-) Haha!

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  5. Hi, I loved this post. You hit it right in the center. It made me laugh and cry. How I know this "french fries, TV, plastic toys-story"! When you become a parent, you have to become an improvisation-master at the same time - or you simply go under. :-) And it is so funny, you even get MORE relaxed with the second child, because how can you keep No. 2 from ice-cream and chocolate spread at the age of 2, when No. 1 is sitting opposite and happily enjoying all this (4 y)? Not possible. I had my principles about clean clothes, until my daughter (4y) started choosing her oufits for kindergarten each morning. Because if only THIS ONE LEGGINGS is possible, because it is the ONLY one matching the dress, and this dress HAS TO BE IT on that day, then we pull it out of the "dirty laundry" basket, I clench my teeth and let her wear it, hoping, the other parents will not think we are disgusting. But when I see her proud and happy, because she feels so pretty that day (instead of sobbing and going to kindergarten with a tear-streamed face), than I think: Oh, what the heck. I don´t care what other think. I have a happy child. Not clean (sometimes not even stylish- because her outfit combination is sometimes a bit weird), but full of happiness and self-respect. So I really loved your post and wish you all the best and good nerves in the future, especially when Birdie starts pursuing her own fashion taste. :-) Haha!

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  7. i just discovered your blog and i'm in love with it! ❤ as a new mama i can relate so much! thanks for sharing your lovely life! xoxo

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