What kind of parent are you?

I think there are really two kinds of parents in the world.. the kind who are determined to fit their baby into THEIR life, and the kind who prefer to let life unfold around their baby.

I am definitely in category #2. 

Some people make cataegory #1 look easy, it’s true.  I see the pictures on Facebook, everyone smiling and happy as Little One is toted off to concerts and restaurants and cottages and road trips.  These kids fall asleep anywhere and never wake up when they are carried in from the car.  They blend in seamlessly with their parents’ social calendars and are happy as can be for hours on end in the car seat/stroller/baby carrier.

I don’t get it.

I’ve always felt that my decision to have kids means that I’m sacrificing some of that life for their comfort.  I do admire the parents who have successfully managed to rear these amazingly well adjusted kids, but I’m not one of them and to be honest, I don’t really want to be.

My husband and I butt heads over this issue ALL. THE. TIME.  He was one of those kids who fell asleep on restaurant benches or on a couch at a party.  He (claims to have) adapted well in any scenario and wants our kids to be the same.  It drives him nuts when I hesitate to go somewhere because of naps or bedtimes.  I’m not really interested in taking my two little ones out to restaurants or parties… I just don’t ENJOY it and neither do they!  When you have a two year old and a five month old, there is no socializing.  You don’t get to eat or drink or relax.  You are frantically trying to stop them from breaking things, or tearing around the place like the Tasmanian devil.  They get tired, cranky, dirty, loud and god forbid we get home past bedtime or they fall asleep in the car – it literally takes days to get their schedules back on track.

Besides, I feel like they are too little to tell me what they want or need, I’m always hyper aware of how helpless they are and how little say they have in their lives.  I feel a huge responsibility to always – ALWAYS – be thinking of what is in their best interests at any given moment, and act accordingly no matter what that might mean for my own plans.

I understand my husband’s point; he doesn’t want us to shelter them and have them miss out on fun opportunities because of my anxiety, but to me it’s just NOT worth it.  Besides, when they are up crying at 2am because of what we dragged them through, who is the one getting up and dealing with it?

Yup – me.

I’m trying to overcome some of these concerns.  I don’t want them to miss out on fun stuff either, so if my husband wants to take Cal to the Zoo, he can nap there or in the car.  I have to let go.  But I still refuse to force them into adult situations for our own benefit when it’s only going to mess with them.  So no concerts/dinner parties/late evenings out.  I’m sure it’s going to be a sticking point for us for a few more years to come, which sucks.  We just see the situation very differently, and I’m sure a lot of couples do.

So, what kind of parent are you?
There’s room for all types in the world… I’m just not sure there’s room for all types in a marriage! Lol!

B

Comments

  1. Caitie says

    I am so with you on this! I have been militant about bed/nap times. An afternoon of “fun” is often not worth the three days it takes to get everyone back on track.i hate when I am told “it’s not a big deal” HA,! Maybe not to them but it is to the person stuck with three cranky little miserable monster for the next few days

  2. Karla says

    I’m somewhere in the middle. Truly neither one or two. But it is absolutely there world and I’m just taking care of it – for now. Until they are big enough. The goal is the same though. Happy, well adjusted children who become healthy, productive adults.

    And – remember some of it is nature. I have one child that would happily go anywhere, ride in the car, sit in a high chair, fall asleep anywhere. And one who is the exact opposite. That’s just the way THEY are. Has nothing to do with our parenting.

    I think I’m the kind of parent MY kids need and I believe all moms do best to be the kind of parent THEIR kids need. If we take our queues from them we’re on track.

    Putting kids into adult situations can be an imposition on EVERYONE. I think it is important to honestly assess the situation. There are times where it’s OK and times where it is insufferable. Usually, you – mom is going to suffer the most as you mentioned.

    My husband and I are the opposite of you and hubsy. My hubs is the one who doesn’t want to take them anywhere. I think I’m realistic about what will work for MY kids. I’m OK with screwing up their “schedule” but I’m not OK with them being disruptive at an adult event. I think it’s unfair to everyone including my kids. It’s just rude and moreover, embarrassing!

    There are always the days where things that should work just don’t but going in at least, it has look like it’s going to work for EVERYONE. I know it may take a bit of extra effort on my part to MAKE it happen but I’m a mom after all. :o)

    Sorry for the loooong answer!
    K♥

  3. says

    I totally agree with you 100%. Even when I need to run out to the grocery store, I plan it around nap time. The most important thing to me right now is to stick as close to his schedule as possible. My son is 7 months old and we went to visit my parents at a cottage in sauble beach on Monday and I literally spent the day having a panic attack. He took his morning nap in the car on the way there which was fine but I couldn’t get him to sleep at all once we were there. He missed his afternoon nap completely. When we finally left the cottage (at 7pm) with my 5 yr old and my drunk husband (of course leaving me to pack everything up and drive the 2.5 hrs home-more stress. And who gets drunk in the afternoon?? really!) in tow, the whole way home I just wondered how this mess of a day was going to affect my son’s sleep pattern that night. My daughter and husband had a great time of course, but I just spent the whole day worrying. Definately not worth it for a “fun day out!”.

  4. Tammy says

    Hello there! I’m a new reader, who wandered over from Pregnant Chicken. Loving the blog so far! I felt compelled to comment because I also agree with you 100% — nothing brings out the judgey mom in me like seeing a baby strapped in a baby carrier at a cocktail party (although at almost all other times, I try to be a supportive, non-judgmental fellow mom). I am also working hard to relax a bit. My 20 month old daughter recently fell asleep in her stroller for the first time since she was a newborn while we were at Disneyland, and I was beyond relieved. I guess I could stand to be a LITTLE more flexible. :)

    • says

      Thank you!! Happy to have you here.
      : )
      Is your 20 month old your first? I find that my insanity is lessening with each child. I should have a few more, I’d mellow out completely! lol..
      I can definitely relate, but good for you for trying to be a little more easy going. I know in the end it will make is happier moms, but it’s easier said than done that’s for sure.
      Good luck, and thanks for reading!
      xoB

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