I was a “judgey” person. I didn’t think I was, but I was.
As a mom of a toddler exploring her newly found independence, I have seen the light. Parenting is a tough job, and we do things that we could never have conceived of, prior to the joys of parenting.
My daughter doesn’t sleep well. At all. I basically mainline coffee just to get through my day. I also turn the TV on for my daughter when we get up. It doesn’t stay on all day, but she already knows the names of her favourite characters. I swore that my daughter would not get much screen time, and that she would play with only wooden toys. Wooden toys are expensive! She’s got a few, but, man, it could break the bank if I let myself go crazy with them. She would not have sugar until much later in life, and she would be breastfed.
Yeah, well, that didn’t happen. She had severe lip and tongue tie, which went undiagnosed for several months. This was not conducive to a functional feeding relationship. Her well-meaning, but almost strangled, mother in law gave my daughter a cookie when she was six months old. She was trying to solve the reason of my girly’s sleeplessness. She thought that she was hungry. This sleeplessness has lead to almost two months of barely functioning momma. The first thing I do, when we get up, is make coffee. And then I turn on the TV, so that I can transition into my day as normally as possible. I’m pretty sure that my daughter will be able to make me a morning coffee by her second birthday. She’s a quick learner. I’ve been with my husband for 13 years, and he still can’t figure that one out. I digress.
The pre-mom me would have been shocked at what Bean gets for food, some days. She has been exerting her control over her food choices. Meaning, if she doesn’t want it, she won’t eat it. And what she would eat yesterday has zero bearing on what she will eat, today. So, I have figured out what will work for at least 75 per cent of the time. Hot dogs (for shame!), yogurt (Greek, and loaded with sugar, I’m sure), and cheese. Lots and lots of cheese.
All I can say is thank God for my sister-in-law, my mommy friends, my cousins and my parents. They help me to feel like a not-so-terrible mom, and that I’m fairly normal. Parenting is a game changer. If we are lucky enough to be able to give Bean a sibling, I’ve been told that we will probably have to re-write our current parenting book, too. Bean is a smart, healthy and happy girl. She is the light of my life, and the bane of my nights, but I wouldn’t know what my life would look like without her. She has taught me a lot, and I hope to be able to return the favour. And, to all of the parents that I may have judged before, I am so, so sorry.
Would you like me to bring you a coffee?
Karen Huntley is a local mom who will be writing a regular column for The Pipestone Flyer.