A time for change

One of the biggest mistakes we made as first time parents was getting J in the habit of nursing to sleep.  Didn’t seem like that big of a deal until recently…but there’ve been a few things recently that have made this mistake very evident, and the consequences not so fun.

1 – as J gets older and I continue to nurse him, he doesn’t so much nurse for nutrition but more-so out of habit.  As part of that, he tends to “play” more than actually drink anything.  As my nips are quite sensitive now (yay pregnancy) this “play” tends to feel almost like torture – either being painful or just plain annoying.

2 – Since J doesn’t have much opportunity to socialize with other little ones being at work with me, the Hubs and I have discussed a few options – either childcare, or mommy/toddler classes – as a way for him to get this social interaction a few times a week.  If he does go into childcare, he has to be able to fall asleep on his own, and his nap schedule would change pretty significantly.  Likewise, if we do any toddler classes, they tend to fall right in the middle of his naptime as it is now.

3 – when the Baby comes, I won’t be as available at bedtime as J is used to now, as I will be splitting my time with Baby and Daddy will be helping with putting J to sleep as well.  I’d rather start to change J’s expectations around bedtime now then throw him another curveball when the baby comes and changes his whole life anyway.

So, we made the decision on Thurs. night to change a few of these things since I know that we’ll have a full 3 days in a row where we can implement these changes.
Change #1 – no nursing at bedtime.  We kept his bedtime routine the same otherwise, but instead of spending 5-10 minutes either nursing or rocking J to sleep, we simply snuggle him for a few minutes then lay him down in his bed and leave the room. This has worked spectacularly for the past 2 nights…I am simply amazed…
Change #2- only one nap a day instead of 2.  Today I  tried an 11am nap, but J wasn’t having it, so we did a 1pm nap instead after getting home from lunch with Daddy, and he slept for an hour and a half.  Plus he didn’t throw a huge fit earlier in the morning, which makes me feel better about only letting him take one nap.  I think this is still going to be the biggest transition though…and I’m kind of dreading it and how it will work at my office when I won’t be nursing him either…
Change #3 – less nursing in general.  Today J didn’t nurse at all.  He didn’t ask for it either.  Plus I’m OK with giving my sore nips a little break.  I don’t know that I am done with nursing J, but I certainly don’t intend on nursing him before naps or bedtime…we’ll see how that all works out going forward.

The fact that the last day and a half has gone so well with these changes makes me feel like my intuition as a Mama is working as it should.  Trust your gut! If you feel that it is time to make a change with the way you are doing something with your little one, why not give it a try?  In my case I have to be 99% convinced that it is the right time and the right decision, but so far my gut hasn’t led me astray when it comes to J and his needs.

Intuition – the good, the bad & the consequences

A mother’s intuition.  We’ve all heard the saying, but until you are actually a parent, you don’t realize the true weight of the truth 3 little words carry.  I always felt like I had good intuition about people.  I think it was more so a feeling of dread or uneasiness about people that were different than myself.  And by different I mean their values – what’s right and what’s wrong.  (Ahem – refer back to the previous posting about judgement).   Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve made bad judgement calls before – but in the grand scheme I feel like my intuition is pretty sound.

Then onto motherhood, where your judgement and intuition about other people in relation to your own child doubles multiplies times infinity.  Suddenly we become aware of every movement, statement, action, reaction of anyone who is anywhere near our precious bundle of joy.  You’ve got a weird walk and a creepy gaze? Back the &$#% off and don’t even look at my kid on your way.  The need to protect also multiplies to infinity.  I don’t know about other mama’s out there, but it hit me by surprise how intense this feeling of intuition gets as soon as you realize you are pregnant even.

Good intuition is a natural response when your main purpose in life suddenly becomes protecting and nurturing another person who is incapable of judging for themselves.  And as the Mama we do know (mostly) what is best for our child.  We are raising them a certain way and we’d like the people and situations they encounter to aid in that positive growth.

Intuition goes array when your own dislike towards another person turns into the uncontrollable urge to jab a pencil in their eye anytime they look your child’s direction or say a simple “hi” to them on their way through.  With “stop pretending like you know my kid” passing through your gritted teeth at a low grumble.

As a result your children pick up on both ends – they’ll be surrounded by people and situations that help them grow, and they’ll pick up on your disdain for the people you personally don’t like and probably learn that trait as well.  Well, crap.  Guess there’s not an easy way around that one…hindsight is always 20/20, right?

I personally haven’t mastered the ability to be nice to everyone in order to be a better influence on J…if anyone out there has figured that one out, you really should write a book.  It’s kinda like a mama bear protecting her cubs – like we literally become the bear…and just want to maul anyone or anything that hurts them…or could possibly hurt them…or might have the potential to someday hurt them.

For now, I’ll keep trusting my judgement and intuition.  If I don’t like something/someone and it gives me a feeling of uneasiness, then I’ll do my darndest to keep J from interacting with that thing/person.  Hopefully my mama intuition won’t lead me astray. So far, so good 🙂

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