I don’t know about you, but transitions in motherhood surprise me sometimes…
There are the transitions I’m TOTALLY ready for, like potty training, solids, learning new words, or getting a new carseat.
But those little moments? The ones that make you catch your breath and think…”Am I ready for this? I don’t think I am…”
Those are the tough ones. The ones that hurt a little.
Different kids have different affinities. I’m pretty sure at this point that a point of struggle in parenting (echem… I mean patience-growing in parenting) our littlest will have to do with doing it herself.
For example, when I expected her to be ready for pureed foods, she wasn’t. Adria wasn’t into most pureed foods and wanted chunky solids to chomp on.
Our miss-independent is really actually also a cuddle bug. At 17months there are certain things I’ve just taken for granted a lot of times…like rocking her at least a little bit before putting her to bed. Even before I weaned her, that was our special time.
Over the past month or so, we’ve really been trying to be consistent about nap time routine and bedtime routine when it comes to laying her down.
After bath time, and snack time, I’d sit with her (and her menagerie of stuffed animals and soft baby dolls). I’d have the quilt I made her snuggling us up, and we’d rock and sing and pray. Then I’d walk her over and lay her down and say goodnight
This used to include tears on her part for little bit, but then she’d lay down and fall asleep.
And now? She plays by herself for a bit and then goes to sleep.
(Just imagine me happy dancing here!!!).
This was great! I was THRILLED we weren’t listening to her crying, and that she was secure enough to go to sleep in her crib.
Of course, I’m thrilled about this. What parent wouldn’t be????
I LIKED the little routine. I liked the snuggle time, the quiet before we laid her down.
Then she changed it up.
One day she seemed more fussy and so I laid her down in her bed and skipped rocking her. Apparently, she wanted to go straight in her crib.
And then that happened a couple more times. Sometimes she will still let me rock her a minute or two, but its taught me not to take it for granted…
And I wasn’t ready for it.
We still sing the “BIBLE!” Song (aka: Jesus Loves Me) a time or two before we say goodnight and close the door. But now? sometimes I lay her down and there isn’t an extended period of rocking. Sometimes there is, sometimes there isn’t.
And though I’m happy to have such and easy “goodnight” for her…
I’m also a liiitttle sad about it.
“What???! YOU might be ready for this…but maybe I’m not...”
Maybe it’s because she she still needs me in a lot of ways, that I didn’t expect this quite yet.
She still likes her boo-boo’s acknowledged and comforted.
She still wants to be picked up and toted around (even when I need to do something else that requires both my arms).
She still snuggles close and wants to be near us.
She still needs her food cut up into small pieces.
When I told Dan that it seemed she didn’t really want to be rocked anymore, just laid down, I was feeling the change a bit… it surprised me it made me a little sad.
He reassured me she’d always be our baby, and said maybe I needed to rock her at other times when she was awake.
So, in all of this?? I’m trying to focus on a few things that I can be grateful for….
She feels super secure in her crib.
She likes to sit on my lap while I’m working (she’s sitting on me right now as I type this!)
She still likes snuggles in general and lays her head down sometimes on me.
She still has the same fun loving personality and determination.
She still snuggles in with her beloved stuffed moose and babies at night (and it is SO sweet!).
The bottom line? She still is the same sweet little one who needs me…it’s changing up a bit, and its just in a different way than I expected.
I think what I’m gathering about this, most of the most painful transitions in parenting, are not what I’d expect them to be. Its making me more and more aware that I need to appreciate where my kids are right now…and savor them here.
We have lots of rough days…believe you me. If it isn’t my kids attitude, it’s mine that is sinful, and needs discipline/adjustment.
I don’t savor the pooped pants, or the grumpy attitude, their choices to disobey God, or how much we battle of over various things. I’d rather skip all of that, if you know what I mean.
But when most days in motherhood feel like we are walking in waist deep water, in the ocean, and I’m pretty sure we aren’t making ANY headway, there are moments like this that prove to me that time is moving, and its all temporary.
I’m pretty sure (from hearing from older, wiser parents) that this experience isn’t unique.
So in those moments, when she lets me rock her. I take it in.
What has been the most difficult transition for you in motherhood? (I'd love to hear from you below!)
((SIDE NOTE: I’m not bragging about her sleeping AT ALL. If you know anything about our parenting journey, you have a REALLY good idea that we DON’T have everything figured out at ALL. Our first didn’t sleep through the night consistantly until he was 2! Littles can also experience sleep regression around 18 months, and my kids never sleep through when their teething, so I’m pretty sure this sleeping through and going down easy will end at some point. Right now, I’m grateful!…but still a little gut punched))