Tuesday, December 8, 2009

But will people think she doesn't have a mother?

My house is the tale of two children. I am sure that many people have experienced this. You start raising one child and think to yourself, wow, this is really hard. Then you are blessed with your second child and everyone tells you how much easier things will be with the second. (For all of those mommies that have just had a second, wink-wink, it is easier, please don't be discouraged by this post!) And don't get me wrong there are aspects that are easier. I actually have more "Dawn" time now that my kids are four and three because they play quite well together and there are really very few instances of blood shed. Also, I do feel that the pregnancy and the infancy time period with Mia (my second) were easier, partly because you just don't have time to wallow in any self pity. You already have a child and it becomes less about you and more about them. The sleep deprivation is less of a shock to the system the second time around, you are at least aware that when people say things like "just make it through the first six weeks" they are either giving you the punch line to a joke or they hired a night nanny after six weeks with their own newborn. It really should be, just make it through the first 18 years and you will be fine.

And Mia is actually easier, she has a sunnier more optimistic disposition. Not that that is better or worse, she just is a little less frustrated and more easy going than Jac. She also sleeps better, very rarely waking up in the middle of the night.  But she is also completely addicted to TV and anything electronic and I know that is a battle just waiting to be waged. My real challenge with Mia is her independence. I am not sure how independent I was as a child, but as an adult before I had children I prided on my ability to do things myself and not need anyone's help. Now as a mother in a new city, finding myself in unfamiliar waters I ask for help at least weekly if not daily. (That is a whole other blog post, asking for help is actually a wonderful gift we can give each other.)

Yes, she is an independent woman, I actually appreciate it. No matter how difficult it is to watch as she massacres a tub of butter in order to slather on a 1/2 inch slab of butter to her bread that is now torn to shreds, I understand that this is innate in her and my trying to help would only hurt her self esteem. Not to mention the fact that I am quite sure there will come a point when I am buttering Jac's bread, dressing him, putting on his shoes, etc and Mia will be doing all of these things herself. Not only does she already have the will, she is developing the skill because she practices doing these things herself all the time.

My biggest hurdle to overcome was so eloquently put by a mom of Mia's classmate. She has one of these fiercely independent little girls herself who is now five.  She said, "but I worry that people will think she doesn't have a mother." And that is really what it comes down to, our pride and worrying about what other people think. She has had more years to practice at it than I have, but she is strong enough in her own parenting that she allows her child to choose what she wants to wear and how she wants to wear her hair. Needless to say, there are times when she looks a bit bedraggled. But their house is more peaceful, less fighting about hair combing and matching clothes and more time to worry about what really matters. It all comes down to me being proud and not wanting people to think that I actually chose for Mia to wear her pajama top all day with a large rat's nest in the back of her head. I don't believe this will get any better as time goes on, but as long as the clothes are modest, should this be an issue in our lives? Eventually, she will want to comb her hair, peer pressure and all of that. And as far as wearing your pajamas all day, I think most of us have been guilty of that at some point in our lives. Soceity is pretty accepting of toddlers being toddlers, let's see if I can be also.


Daphne said...

She will be an amazing adult! There is no limit to what she can do!

Kelly's Lucky You said...

Ah, I am encouraged by the thought that someday she will want to comb her hair *sigh*. For Rosie, I thought it would be pre-school - like you said, the peer thing - but no, not yet *sigh*. By college, certainly, right? "Independence is good" "Independence is good" I'll be glad when she resists peer pressure in middle school. Yes, I am talking to myself, hehehe. Thanks for listening in!

I'm a new follower from UBP, I hope you'll stop by my blog and follow back.

Nice to meet you and your family!


Suzanne Jeanette said...

A couple weeks ago I took my two year old to his preschool class in mismatched clothes and complete and total bed head. I just couldn't fight the battle that morning. And funny, I found myself "explaining" to all the other moms why my kid looked a mess... they didn't actually care. I guess we judge much more than the people we are trying to impress, sometimes.

Great post! I'm new from UBP10 and I'm a new follower to your blog. Hope you can come check me out and follow if you enjoy what you see!