Reflection: Looking back to what type of mother I envisioned I would be,
to the type of mother I actually have become!
Before I had babies:
I always wondered what kind of mom I would be before I had children. Would I be a pushover and let them walk all over me? Would I be strict and shout? Or would I be sensitive and cry for every bump, scratch or fall they incurred? To be honest, I secretly thought I would be the sensitive one. How can we shout at someone we love so much? That was before I had babies!
Even leading up to the birth of my first born, I had read books, and attempted to prepare myself for it all. None of that even came close to the real thing. For the first few months, I held this fragile, mini person in my arms, still unknown to how I would mother it. Yes, I knew how to take care of him in terms of feeding, changing, bathing, and napping. It was the more pressing questions of how will I discipline and teach him things for the future. As parents we have to build the foundation so they can build their dream home. I felt like that was a lot of pressure on my shoulders.
We all strive for something in the middle. Not too overbearing but not too soft either. Striving and succeeding are two different things. I did what I knew best, I followed what my mother did. Ok, granted I probably took it to a whole other level of strict than she ever did, but my momma was no pushover, I can tell you that right now. She hardly yelled because she didn’t have to, one look and we were all petrified to our very core. That’s power. She was strict when she needed to be and there for us when we needed a cuddle. I wanted to be like her!
After I had babies:
What I became was a whole different kind of mommy then I ever thought I would be. Sergeant mommy! Where was my super sensitive, crying for my children’s little ouches, or running over and picking them up at the first sign of a whimper? Instead I made strict routines and I stuck to them like glue. There was feeding times, and naptimes at the exact same time, everyday. I found it easier to follow such a tight schedule then going through the day panicking, what do I do now? Once they were put to bed, they were not picked back up until morning. I would sing, hum, rub their bellies if they stirred in the night, but I never picked them back up if they started shouting. It was one of the best parenting advice I ever received. It quickly taught both of my kids it was nighttime and they learned to self sooth back to sleep. Buba at 7 weeks slept through the night completely until present, and Missy Moo at 8 weeks slept through the night completely until present. I rarely ever have to go into them to reassure them. It shocked me that I stuck with it for so long and shocked me even more that it really worked. After hours of tummy rubbing, and humming, I thought Buba would never self sooth but it was worth it in the end so when Missy Moo came along I did the same with her. Where did this Sergeant mommy come from? I envisioned late nights rocking them both back to sleep in this beautiful cream rocker I bought, stealing cuddles in the process. Moments I do wish I had experience at least a little, anything for a sleepy cuddle.
As Buba got older, it was time to start disciplining. I tried the naughty step, I tried time out in the corner, I tried popping him on his butt, I tried it all. Things I thought I would never do. He really didn’t start throwing fits until recently so I got off lightly the first two and half years. As we approach three, he is turning into a testing machine, testing his momma’s patience right down to a thread. The only thing I found that works is putting him in his bedroom, on his bed for a quiet moment until he decided to be a good boy. At first it took will power to listen to him sob so uncontrollably, crying out, “Mommy I love you, Mommy, get me”. I stuck my ground. Lately, it only takes a few seconds and he is shouting down the stairs, “I be good now Mommy!” Then he can return. I stick to my gut feeling of what is right and wrong. I know so many think I am mean with my strict routines, and tough love but it never did me any harm.
“Just call me Sergeant Mommy!”
Just because I am Sergeant mommy, a name I was given by some of my friends, (thanks) doesn’t mean I don’t love both my children unconditionally and show them love each and everyday. I hug and kiss on them so much so it is just short of chapping my lips. It may not be for everyone but I have found that both of my children respond to routines and consistent discipline really well. They both have always slept good for their naps and overnight. They know what is expect of them and when, which is very helpful especially if you are travelling far like we do a lot, to and from the states. When I say it’s naptime, on a plane, they nap.
It’s funny thinking back to how I was with Buba and how I am now with Missy Moo and what’s changed? Most people say, they have completely changes their ways. I often wonder if that’s why most siblings are so very different. For me, very little has changed, to be honest. I am not as over anxious as I used to be if she doesn’t finish her meals, or if she hasn’t pooped in a day I am not running her to the doctor’s office, this time around. The one thing I refused to get more relaxed about is her routine. I still feel it is important for her to have the same strict routines for feeding, bathing, napping and bedtime as Buba did. I don’t know maybe I just got lucky with two great sleepers. If so, thank you, and amen. If not, I think they should be treated and have the same rules as each other.
So I am the sergeant mommy that will leave the park in the afternoon, at the same time each day so that my kids eat dinner at the same time, and have their bath and bedtime the same time, each day. It may seem repetitious but for us it works. I still haven’t master’s my momma’s glare yet, working on it. When I attempt it now, Buba looks at me like, “what’s wrong with your eyes, Mommy?” No I am not crossed eyed, I am just crossed! Don’t get me wrong I do think a sporadic break in their routine wouldn’t kill them nor looking the other way when he pushes his sister over, because sometimes they have to teach themselves, but my OCD only allows it sporadically! lol
Looking back I never thought I would be sergeant mommy, but I am ok with it. Becoming a member of the Bad Mums Club and fully admiting that shouting occurs in my house, not that I like it but sometimes it does make us all feel better, even for the kids to release some frustration, after all, aren’t we all human?
* This is not open for debates on which parenting style is best, or what is right and wrong in parenting, it’s just a tongue cheeky post about how I am the very opposite kind of mother than I ever thought I would be. Have some fun and join in! Click the link below: