Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tuning Out and In

I spent a good several hours this morning reading some great parenting and pregnancy blogs. Since I lean towards the crunchy-all-natural types, I read a lot about attachment parenting, natural birth, and "peaceful parenting." Oh, and I found some awesome Jewish parenting websites! (my love for the Orthodox persists)

Then I took the dog for a walk on this rainy morning, just out and back, while chatting with a friend in England. Even though I worked up a sweat, the breeze felt lovely, so it was a good combination. And I thought, "I don't need that."

I don't need to be a part of the mommy wars. I don't need to have a stance on every new issue. I don't need to say that my decisions are best or better or even justify them at all, except to God and my family. I can do what I think is a good idea, change it as needed, and just do what needs to be done. I don't have to subscribe to those blogs to keep "up" on these issues, I don't have to worry about what other people are doing, I don't have to let everyone else's cacophony of fears into my head: I can tune all of that out.

I have such anxiety about being a mother. I woke up the other night realizing that I have not yet picked out a homeschooling curriculum or the brand of cloth diapers we'll use, and panicked. (I had our pediatrician picked out before we were married) My control freak tendencies, which took a vacation while I went through my I'm going to jump on a plane and go to Australia by myself and then go to law school in a new state and then fall totally in love with this guy that's just left seminary phase, have returned full force. I play things by ear when it's just me, but now that it's the baby, I feel so out of control. A whole other person in my life, who according to some parents, can be born just wanting to scream and will never be soothed until they're 18 months old? How will I ever survive? How will I ever live up to my mom, who is super mom?

Mom, at my wedding, watching my picture be taken...she's run two marathons, countless other races, all after the age of 50. She teaches 9th graders English, teaches 4th graders CCD, and makes dinner every night. She's my hero.

And the truth is, I still don't know. I don't know who this little person is that God has sent us, I don't know if I'm going to be any good at this, but I have to let some of this go. I have to walk away from some of this craziness and just say "You'll help me, Lord - you promised." And maybe eventually, if I say that enough, I'll believe it.


  1. You're going to be such an awesome mom! I mean when I think of: "If there's an emergency and I have to leave my kids somewhere I know that they'll be safe!" you are the first person that comes to mind!

    And don't worry! I've never met another 18-month unsoothable so that must back Sadie like the .001 percent of babies that never sleep until they're that old (I think it's cause her birth went so drastically wrong and she was injured).

    I've been meaning to email you back (I keep falling asleep at 7... before I can sew or blog or return emails...). We need to get together this week!

  2. It's totally okay to read parenting books and blogs because it is helpful to give you a general rule for what you find important in parenting. It's not until that child is born that you are truly finding out what works and what doesn't. I still go to some blogs to get tips and ideas for ways to deal with different situations with my three youngest because they are SO different than my oldest two. I totally ignore the "mommy wars" and avoid comment sections on those blogs and take only what I feel fits and benefits my family.

  3. cracked me up with your panic about not choosing a homeschooling curriculum or cloth diapers yet. I've gone through so many homeschooling curriculum changes, it's not funny. Everyone does. Same thing with cloth diapers. I've had the most eclectic collection of cloth diapers...some bought myself, some given to me. What works for one child, doesn't always work as well for another. I'm basically starting over with finding cloth diapers, since at this point just about everything has worn out or been given away, but you really don't have to choose 1 brand. I would suggest trying several different ones and see what styles you prefer and then you can slowly add to your stash.

    And, I'll be a great mom, no matter what.

    And, I've never known an 18-month old that was unsoothable.


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