Friday, September 9, 2016

I've Broken All the Parenting Rules I Set for Myself

As a first time mom, I was ambitious. I wanted to give my baby the best I could offer. Since we spent the first year together literally 24seven, I had the privilege to practice all the things that was told to be good for the baby.

No salt and sugar intake la,
no more than 2 hours screen time la,
no screen time while eating la,
no negative statements in front of Charlotte la,
always read before bedtime la,
always attend to her whenever she needs me la,
no speaking in baby language la,
breastfeed on demand la...
and the list goes on.

I am proud to say that I did it. I've passed my first year without much obstacle. If there's a score board, I think I scored 80%. I gave in 20% because of helpless situations but I'm still proud of my achievement. I feel even prouder when I get praises for what I did.

But now as I've started working, things changed.

She is now eating food with seasoning. Sometimes I try to minimize it but when she's at the nursery, I have no control over that. All I could do is to prepare her breakfast and snacks so she doesn't snack on cakes and biscuits provided at the nursery.

At home when she's agitated during dinner time as it's close to her bed time, I turn on ChuChu TV on Youtube so she could sit still to finish her meal. And also I could have some time to do all the washing up peacefully after she's done eating.

I'm sure she now has more than 2 hours of screen time besides watching ChuChu TV cause the nursery turns on Baby TV for them to watch from 4pm onwards. Sometimes they turn on a while too before lunch time.

I couldn't attend to her when she needs me most of the time cause I either need to cook for her in the kitchen, or get her water bottle refilled, or just simply need to go to the toilet and pee. Sometimes I gave up trying to cook or do whatever that can be done later and just compromise for outside food or just stay there beside her so she could comfort suck my soul out of me wtf. But again, how much can I compromise? How many times can I allow outside food to feed the both of us? So when I don't feel comfortable eating outside food, I have no choice but to put her in the playpen in front of the TV and left her crying while I prepare food in the kitchen.

This is when I've done cooking and came out of the kitchen. She refused to stand up because she's in the middle of a melt down wtf. She wanted me to carry her up instead of walking over to me herself. After I picked her up from the floor, she kept hitting my face as protest.

Sometimes I get so frustrated from listening to her crying alone in the living room I shouted in anger from the kitchen, asking her to just, please, KEEP QUIET!

It never work, obviously, cause she cannot understand yet. Instead, she cries even louder out of fear.

When we're done with dinner and bath time, I'll start her bedtime routine. Out bedtime routine consist of comfort nursing, reading, nursery rhymes, stopping her from opening and closing every drawer and cupboard, pick up the books she throws all over the floor, and repeat infinitely. Sometimes it takes a while for her to finally drift to lalaland. A while could be an hour to 2. If it takes that long, I might fold the mountain-pile of laundry and just let her do whatever she wants, like walking around clapping her hands and smile cheekily at me. I might stop in between to repeat the routine.

Sometimes it takes her less than half an hour to fall asleep. And when that happens, it means that I couldn't spend enough quality time with her. I will not be able to read or sing to her. But how much quality time is quality enough? And then I'll start to question myself if I've done enough for the day to make sure that she understands I love her? Did she get what she needed enough from me?

 I think the only thing that I am still practicing is not speaking in baby language. I used to stop people when they try to baby-talk with her.

"Charlotte, have you mum-mum?"
"Want to go gai-gai or not?"
"Go to your mummy and drink gut-gut."

Honestly it makes my blood boil when people talk to her this way. I constantly tell them that I don't speak this way and they shouldn't do that, too. But I often get replies such as,

"She's a baby ma. You say food she understands meh?" (erm, she doesn't understand mum-mum either.)
"I see baby I will automatically talk like that one wo. Cannot meh!? So babai one?"

Really. I cannot brain.

Anyway, it's been a month I've started working as full-timer and I live in guilt almost every single day. Being the sentimental one, I often cry myself to sleep. Not just because of all the rules I've broken, but also because I'm often stressed out and question myself if I've done enough.

And then I came across these 2 articles on the very same day, which was just a couple of days ago.

This article talks about how a mother is always stressed out because of the rules she set for her child. How she would just let her child cry out loud and not attend to her as so to "train" her not to be so clingy, and regrets it later when she doesn't even want to be around her as often anymore. How she wishes she could turn back time, take a step back and just be there for her whenever her child needs her.

Sounds familiar?

This other article talks about how a mom was taken back when her daughter asked her this one question, which I wish Charlotte will never have to ask. It's a really good read and it speaks to me.

This post not a boastful post nor about self-pity. I hope this serves as a reminder to any mom who is as stressed out as me, to take step back, breathe, and just live in the moment a while longer. Because before you know it, the baby that was once so chubby, clingy and difficult, will be all grown up exploring their horizons, without you. 

It's ok if she has taken a mouthful of ice-cream. It's ok if she dance and claps to the show on TV. It's ok if she's not talking yet. It's ok if she's not potty train by 3 years old. It's ok if her bumbum is marinated in poo because she's still wearing diaper. It's ok if she's not eating enough vege, as long as she eats. It's ok to give in in moderation.

It's ok cause we know we are still doing our best as a mother. 


At the end of the day, I know my baby still loves me dearly ♥


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