Before my 1st was born I made sure I read ALL the books. BabyWise, What To Expect During the First Year, Baby Whisperer…and the list goes on. I had been around kids my entire life but I didn’t have a clue about schedules, growth spurts, eating habits, nursing problems, baby blues. I was excited and nervous about having this baby.
When little C was born nothing went how I thought it would. (birth story for C coming soon!) While in the hospital I made sure to let him sleep in the nursery at night in-between feedings. When we got home I made sure to follow those books to a ‘T’. I didn’t hold him all the time. I kept him on a strict schedule. I documented all of his pees & poos. I timed his feedings. I timed the time in-between his feedings. I didn’t nap with him. I made sure he had lots of tummy time. I put him to sleep without rocking. I swaddled him up. I didn’t give him a paci. I was doing what I thought was best for him…..
Week 2 of little C’s life was hard for him & me. I had some slight baby blues, he HATED being swaddled, nursing was really hard for both of us (he would only nurse with a shield) and he was already in his own room. (we slept on the floor of his room during this wk bc family was in town and had our room) I remember one day during a late night feeding just crying, silently as to not wake my sleeping husband next to us, because it felt like the whole world was my responsibility now. After a few days that weight was lifted a little bit, but those first few months were hard.
I was able to be home with little C until he was 4.5 months old. I kept with my rules. No napping together unless sick. No holding all the time. Practice independent play. I did break on some of them – he hated to be swaddled and wanted rocked & nursed to sleep. I figured it was okay to do since it was the only way he’d sleep. I did break this habit at 6 months and he would only get rocked to sleep on rare occasions after that.
I regret so much of my parenting during that time with C. I look back and feel like I was so distant. Not that I didn’t cuddle & snuggle with him – or love him to pieces – I absolutely did! I just wish I would have taken naps with him. I wish I would have held him close as much as I possible. I wish I would have snuck him into bed with us on random nights to hold him close and smell his sweet baby-ness. I wish I could have stayed home with him & not gone back to work. I wish I knew how fast they grow up and that every moment is so special.
So now when C wants to ‘lay with me mommy” before he falls asleep, I gladly climb in next to him. When C wants to “sit with me mommy” while watching his favorite cartoons, I smile and plop him in my lap. I steal cuddles every chance I get, I swap eskimo & butterfly kisses when he lets me, and I praise God that I still get these little moments with him before he gets old enough to not want them anymore.
What is your biggest regret in parenting?