I think radio shows give you a special shout-out if you’re a first-time caller.
Today’s guest post, Tammie of The Graying Chronicles, is a first-time mom. First-time parents get a special shout-out all their own. It often involves stress, second-guessing, and general anxiety. Or in Tammie’s case, it involves a blog.
Tammie’s here today to give a glimpse of what she’s learned on her maiden mom voyage.
I love Tammie’s blog. She tackles parenthood with an understanding of the scope of life it entails, the tears and the laughter. Her writing is lively and honest. She’s been a friend of the CD for quite some time, and it’s an honor to have her here today.
Please give her a warm welcome, and check out The Graying Chronicles, too.
Parenting has no shortage of guilt and blaming oneself for issues you should have control over, but notably don’t. It’s also one of the scariest things I have ever done in my life. From while they are still in the womb, to infancy and beyond, you would think it would get less terrifying as you move onward. I found that this is a lie!
I had my share of scares while I was pregnant. When I was about 3 months along, there was an episode where I thought that I might be losing my little peanut. I rushed to the doctors, had an ultrasound only to see my little bouncing around like crazy. Then again at around 8 months along, the doctor had to strap a monitor around my belly so she could keep track of my baby’s heart rate for an hour. I remember sitting in a darkened room, alone, crying because I had no idea what was going on or what could be wrong. Thankfully, it ended up being that the baby must have moved positions while the doctor was originally monitoring it’s heart and everything was perfectly fine. Nothing like stopping my heart though.
When she was born, my life changed. She was perfect! Having to have a C-section, I had to stay in the hospital a little bit longer. Then the day I was suppose to go home, her temperature dropped some, so they decided to keep us both another day. Being paranoid and terrified, I was able to milk another day out of the nurses. I remember one of them telling me, “You have to go home Friday.” That drive home was the longest 25 minutes of my life. And maybe it was just me, but it seriously felt like every car on the freeway was aiming for our car. When we got home, I remember putting her in the cradle in the living room, sitting in the kitchen and just crying. I’m sure it was partially from the surge of hormones, but I was also scared to death that I was royally going to screw up this child’s life. What if I did something wrong? I am responsible for a life now. How is this possible? It reminds me of a comedy skit done by Jim Breuer. What’s funny about this, is that I first saw this stand-up routine on TV was when I was pregnant. I laughed so hard at everything he was saying about parenthood, but little did I know that it was exactly as he said it was. One part stands out and rings truer than anything I had heard before. The very first 45 seconds of this clip is how I feel as a parent, and I’m sure a lot of you can relate.
I will say it again, it is some scary stuff! Let’s fast-forward 5 years later to my daughters well check visit. The doctor is concerned about my daughter’s weight and wants a blood draw done on her to check for pre-diabetes. My heart drops. She is bigger than most 5 year olds, but she isn’t huge. She is also very tall for her age. There is diabetes on both sides of her family, so how could I have let this happen? Yes, I completely blame myself for all of this. It’s hard not to. I am the one that cooks. I am the one that puts the plate in front of her. I am the one that caves and gives in when she refuses to eat anything I originally give her and just make her something I know she will eat, just so that she won’t go to bed without eating dinner. Giving in to her because I am tired of the consistent arguments at the dinner table. Seriously, I despise dinner time in my house. I’ve read articles on how to get your child to be a better and healthier eater. I’ve tried some different techniques, all of which have failed. It’s not easy dealing with a strong willed child, which is what she is. That entire weekend I was on pins and needles, worried about what the results might say. Thankfully, everything seemed to come back okay, but changes definitely need to be made. I don’t think I would ever be able to forgive myself if something happened to her. Yes, I may be a little hard on myself, but in some ways I have to be. My daughter is everything to me. I would go to the ends of the earth for her.
So, I’ve started putting my foot down when it comes to meal time. New rule in this house, which goes for husband too, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” I’ve adopted a friend’s technique, which is still in the early stages and feels like it’s back firing, but I have to give it a chance. Basically, I give her dinner and she has the choice whether she eats it or not and how much. The deal, however, is that if she doesn’t finish her dinner or doesn’t eat it at all, that plate goes into the fridge and if she comes to me later saying she is hungry, she is only allowed to eat what is on that plate from dinner that was placed into the fridge. Seems simple, but she is already testing her limits with it. Tonight, in fact, she went to bed without eating any of her dinner because she decided that she didn’t want it. I reminded her that if she was hungry later that her plate will be in the fridge and she can eat that. She didn’t seem to care much and never said she was hungry. It kills me that she went to bed not eating anything and that she is that stubborn not to eat her dinner. I’m sure she is waiting to see if I will cave, and the old me would have ten folds by now. The new me, although killing me deep down inside and crushing my soul, will not cave and I have to believe that this little game of hers will stop and she will start eating her dinner like she is suppose to. I’m telling you, strong willed children will test you to no end. My husband is much better at these games than me, probably because he is just as stubborn as the child.