Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Kade's Mom"

I have a dear friend who sometimes calls me, "Kade's mom", which I enjoy because, let's face it--at this point in my life, that's a huge part of who I am.

I am many other things, including child of God, wife, daughter, and sister, but mommy is near the top of the list.

As a mommy, there are so many decisions I have to make for my son. I have to decide what routines we will create and when it is time to do certain things. I have to advocate for him because he can't yet advocate for himself.

For example, if I had followed all of the advice Kade's (former) pediatrician gave us, we would have been letting him scream and cry himself to sleep at six months and I would have stopped breastfeeding him at four months (since my milk was making him sick and the only solution was to give him "special" formula).

Instead, I chose to follow my instincts as a mother and do my own research. No, we did not always get to sleep through the night. I didn't expect that, though, when I had my son. You see, I'm not a big fan of convenience parenting. To borrow some words from a friend: "You don't stop being a parent in the middle of the night; You're a parent 24 hours a day, even when your child wakes up every hour!" A baby who is left to CIO is angry, afraid, and alone. They don't go sleep because they have learned to "self soothe". Have you ever cried yourself to sleep? There's nothing "soothing" about it. There are a million reasons a baby might be crying at night, and I doubt any of them are evil. :eyeroll:

As for the formula, Kade appeared to have a milk allergy. His pedi wanted me to immediately stop breastfeeding and switch to formula. I did my research and stopped eating/drinking dairy instead. And guess what? It worked. If I had just listened to the doctor, we would have missed out on 8 more wonderful months of breastfeeding.

I don't care how much you trust your doctor or pediatrician. If my pedi told me that Kade had an ear infection or a cold and it needed to be treated, I would say, "Go ahead!" However, I'm not going to take every.single.thing he/she says as law. I am the mom. Kade is counting on me and I will do my best not to let him down.

The question is--why are people fighting their natural instincts as parents just because of something a doctor said they "should" do? (By the way, I'm not talking about actual serious medical problems or even smaller ones like ear infections, colds, etc.).

Let's see--other things....

Oh, potty training. It almost seems to be a competition between people. Let's see who can potty train the earliest. My favorite response lately is that we just switched to cloth diapers and I plan to get plenty of use out of them first. I mean, I understand that not having to change diapers makes things easier, but goodness, you won't have to change their diapers for the next 60 years of their life. Start slow, and do it when your child shows actual interest in the potty. I can't imagine sitting a 12 month Kade on the potty. He would have been completely clueless. That's more trouble to me than changing a diaper.

Food is another one for me. Kade barely got a taste of anything besides fruits and veggies till he was 10 or 11 months old. Now that he's 18 months old (or will be tomorrow), people seem to think he can eat anything and everything. I don't care for him having treats or tastes of different things, but I seriously limit his intake of junk food. Pop is a big no-no and will be for awhile to come.

Then, there's his spiritual health. I know he doesn't understand everything we say, but we talk about Jesus to and around him a lot. We pray with him. We watch and listen to things that edify his spirit. He doesn't have control over the environments he is placed in and the things he sees and hears, but we do. We want him to be around things and people that affirm our belief and faith in God.

Being a mommy is a tough, but rewarding job. At the end of the day, if you feel that you have done the absolute best for your child (and not just for yourself) with your child's well being in mind, then you have done your job as a parent. Just remember that you are your child's mommy, and no one else.