I’m the Mommy Now thumbnail

I’m the Mommy Now

3 Things by Alyssa Hertzig, The Sparkly Life

3 Things by Alyssa Hertzig, The Sparkly Life

Truth

Three years ago, my daughter Sadie was seven months old and still hadn’t mastered the art of sleeping for more than two hours at a time.

I was exhausted and desperate, but reluctant to sleep train her, terrified of the “cry it out” method.

One afternoon, I was on the phone with my best friend Dana, complaining about the situation.

“I can’t do it,” I told her. “I know that Sadie needs to learn to sleep, but it’s too hard—I can’t just let her cry.”

That’s when Dana said a simple sentence that has stuck with me ever since: “But you’re the parent,” she said. “And even when it’s hard, you have to be the parent.”

Seems obvious, but it’s easy to forget—especially in a scary or difficult moment. I’m no longer the frightened little girl who can just call for mommy when the going gets tough. I’m the mommy now—and I have my own little girl (and, since two months ago, a little boy, too!) depending on me.

I was put to the test a few months later when Sadie had a febrile seizure, which brought us to the ER in the middle of the night. We were told that our tiny little baby needed to have her blood drawn — and I was distraught.

Now I’m no fan of needles coming in contact with my own limbs, but for babies it’s a zillion times worse. To keep them still, they are strapped down onto these medieval looking straightjacket contraptions, one arm left exposed and vulnerable. The moment my daughter was locked in and about to be stuck (screaming all the while of course), I sobbed to my husband I had to leave the room—that I couldn’t take seeing her like that.

I started towards the door, then stopped suddenly when I remembered those six words: “You have to be the parent.” And I knew then that I had to turn around.

My daughter was scared and upset and she needed her mommy. Sure, it was upsetting for me, but it was a much bigger deal for her. I needed to suck it up. I was the parent now. And I needed to act like it.

Ever since, this has been my mantra — and it will continue to be.

No matter how tough it is or how temporarily unpopular it makes me with my kids, I will always remember to be the parent.

Hertzig0-67 Tip

When your kid says something funny or sweet or particularly clever, write it down.

You think you’ll remember that adorable thing your daughter said months from now, but unfortunately you probably won’t.

I find baby books to be a bit of a chore, so I have an open Word document on my computer called, “Sadie Says the Darndest Things.”

Every time she blurts out one of her gems, I quickly type it (and the date) into this running list. Maybe one day I’ll compile them into a book for her. Or maybe I’ll spend the eve of her eighteenth birthday pouring over the list, bawling, and wondering where the time went.

Either way, I’ll be glad I have it.

Find

I am completely obsessed with the Fisher-Price Rock n’ Play Sleeper. It works as both a baby seat for hanging out or napping during the day, as well as a cradle at night.

Since it keeps the head elevated similar to a car seat, both of my babies slept so much better in it compared to a flat surface. Plus it’s lightweight and folds flat easily, so you can tote it from room to room or take it on car trips. It’s amazing.

In fact, at this moment, my son, Nate, is napping in it right next to me, and I’m gently rocking it with my foot as I type. How awesome is that?

photo-61

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Contributor: Alyssa from The Sparkly Life
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  • Our Muddy Boots July 18, 2013 at 8:07 am

    We moms are in a tough spot. I too love the mantra “I’m the mom”; It encourages me to listen to my intuition and trust my baby and child. When my body is screaming out “I can’t let her cry, she needs me!”, I listen to it, I honor it.

    I am learning not to dismiss my mother’s intuition as silly, but trust it as the very thing that has gotten our species through! Everyone around us (as exemplified in your story above) tells us to ignore it, that being a parent means overriding our instincts and making our baby experience pain and sadness, and suppressing our own emotions and biological imperatives. This is a societally imposed constraint though.

    Our babies and children cry for a reason and we can be comfortable listening to them and tuning everyone else out. Sure, sometimes when it comes to medical stuff our kids have to endure pain, but often times this can be avoided too (not saying that is so in your case, of course!).

    We moms are being told day after day that we do not know what we are doing, but we do. We do know what we are doing and it is time we remind each other of that, instead of the converse!

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  • Jennie July 18, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Good truth. I run into so many parents who allow the kids to make all the calls instead of bucking up and being the parent. Yes, it’s very very hard sometimes, but that’s our job! We’re not actually parenting if we do otherwise. And I forget this myself sometimes . . . especially now that I have preteen/teenage boys and they are at eye level with me and can speak as if they know what they’re talking about. I have to constantly remind myself I’m STILL the parent regardless of how much they THINK they are capable of handling.

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  • Jessica Smock July 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    There are so many things in parenting that are beyond our control. Sometimes it’s hard to see when there is something that we can do, just because, yes, we are the parent. I had the exact same experience with my non-sleeping baby. Sometimes you just have to do what’s hard, just because it’s your job.

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  • Star July 18, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    thanks for the lovely post.
    i absolutely love the rocker as well.
    I bought it when my daughter was an infant, since my babies also slept better upright.
    I was so very happy someone invented a solution to my problem!

    There Is one problem though, all of these wonderful baby contraptions we all use nowadays cause the baby’s head to flatten. I had a real problem with my daughter. It wasn’t bad enough for a “baby helmet” but we went to check it a few times.
    Until this day her head is very flat and it’s very obvious to me. Because of this I learned from an Occuptional therapist that all these contraption are actually really bad for babies development.
    She says that babies should really be flat as much as possible.
    There is a helpful website called flatheadprevention.org. For anyone interested in tips for avoiding this problem.
    I knew so little about this and it caused me a lot of headaches.
    So I just want people to know!

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  • jennymacfuq July 18, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Love “and follow” the tip about writing it down (or typing) those little “quotes” that you’ll no doubt forget. My daughter is 2 1/2 and is really talking a lot and saying the funniest things. I’ve kept a baby book and a journal (although I don’t have the time to write near as much as I used to) to chronicle these things in hopes of handing it down to her, or, at the very least, reading it to her later.

    Also, love love the FP Rock and Play sleeper…it’s all our daughter slept in during the day/night until she was 3 months and we started putting her in the crib. I’ve advised other Moms to be and they always tell me how much they love it too.

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  • Jenna@CallHerHappy July 19, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    This is by far my fave 3 things post! #1: when you said you left the room, I nodded my head and said, “yes! I would do that too.”, but then you said you went back, and that really hit me. It’s something I will always remember now :)

    And, I keep a list on my phone of things my kids say, and once in a while, I put them in a more permanent place.

    The Rock n Play is so awesome that we have two. My youngest is sleeping in it right now, and we have one upstairs for him to sleep in too!

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