Leah's Take on the Hardest Things about Parenting This Week

Posted by  | Wednesday, November 21, 2007  at 12:00 AM  

As some of you know, my family is in the process of moving from San Francisco, CA to Chicago, IL. We aren’t taking a Uhaul, so we are selling everything here before we leave. And by everything, I pretty much mean everything. Our house has been turned upside down the past week as we move things out and pare things down. I’ve been holding up pretty well, but this morning things sort of hit me hard. Samuel has finally come to the end of his rope and can’t take the mess any longer. All of his toys have either been sold or packed in a suitcase, and we definitely don’t live in a “home” any longer – just a space filled with a bunch of junk. I’ve also been so preoccupied with selling and giving away everything that he hasn’t had much attention from me.

All of this to say that the hardest thing about parenting this week for me is realizing how much the way I spend my time affects my children. I know I am guilty of rushing Samuel along, or expecting him to sit at his high chair even after he is finished eating just so I can do what I want to do. This happens on a week to week basis. This week in particular, however, as I’ve rushed around with moving stuff, has just made me come face to face with this reality.

As a mom, and especially as a Stay at Home Mom (I mean, this is what I’ve taken on as my JOB), I want to give my children quality interaction. When we sit down to play, I want to be able to focus on them and their development, not be preoccupied with something else I’d rather be doing. And I know that Samuel needs real learning and challenges to help him develop. Quantity time with me isn’t going to cut it – I need to focus on the quality of our time as well. I find this to be such a challenge as a mom. How do I create meaningful, interactive, educational time with my son? How do I prepare myself each day to make sure that things around the house are taken care of, but not at my son’s expense?

This is all weighing on my mind this week. I am praying that the Lord will help me to keep my priorities in focus: Love the Lord, Love my Family, Love Others. I am thankful for this challenge this week because it is teaching me to evaluate how I spend my time and how I am investing in my son.

Thanks to all you readers as well who have been commenting this week! We are all very encouraged!


Leah said...

Ladies- Thanks for sharing your struggles this week. It is so encouraging to hear of other ladies who struggle in similar matters.

So here's my question/situation: as a first-time mom of a one year old, how do you know when it's time to make a change in a schedule or routine? I have to admit, I envy those moms who seem to trust intuitively in their ability to parent, and in their knowledge of their children (at least outwardly express that confidence). I am a second-guesser: what if I am doing it wrong? What if this isn't right? Recently, my little girl has started to rebel against her afternoon nap. She has always been an amazing napper, so this is hard to handle. If she doesn't nap, by about 5 or 6 at night she is fussy and whiny. Yet almost every time I put her down for her afternoon nap (not her morning one) she cries for the entire time. It is so hard to know what to do. Part of me is very selfish as well--I don't want her to give up her second nap because that means less time for me to relax/work while she's resting. So my second-guessing kicks in again: "you don't want her to nap for her own good, but for your laziness, etc." I realize I need to trust in the gifts God has given me, but it is so easy in this parenting business to be besieged by doubt and questions. After all, there is this precious little life that you are responsible for!

Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

A lot of time when you get rid of the first nap, they take a much longer second nap. My kids normally nap from 2-3 hours in the afternoon. A lot of time to read, clean, talk to friends and so on! From what it sounds like- your little one is ready for 1 nap. Just beware, you mornings might be a little crankier while you make the transitions. But in about a month it will be a routine. Sometimes it means lunch might be a little earlier just so they can make it up until the afternoon, slowly adjust the times so they are they way you would like them to be.

Christina said...

I would try shortening the morning nap before dropping it altogether. This has worked for us. There is no way Will would be ready to drop it altogether, but I have to limit it in order to preserve the afternoon nap. (this was taken straight from my fav sleep book, Healthy Sleep habits, Happy Child) We still put Will down around 9am, but I don't let him sleep past 10:30. He is usually ready for his afternoon nap by 1pm (sometimes a little later) that way.

If she still fights the afternoon nap, then maybe she is ready to drop the morning nap!

Renata said...

I know what you mean about spending time with your child as I have struggled much with this as well. Just to forewarn you, it doesn't get easier with another child. I'm not being negative, but a good friend of mine had a harder time coming to grips with that because no one pointed that out to her before. But when that time comes, remember your children now have the gift of spending time with one another. Something Samuel didn't have earlier on.

Anyway, during this transitional stage, take some time, even if it is just 15 minutes to do something with him. My daughter is a lot more content if she sees me sitting on the floor to play. Otherwise she wants to be held or nursed, which makes it practically impossible to do anything that I need to get done.

As for his intelectual development, he'll be fine. You may not even notice what you are already doing to stimulate his intelect. As he gets older, you'll be able to do more.

Well, I actually have two kids sleeping and another one in my lap waiting for that quality time. So I better go.

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