My outlook on parenting has been pretty laid back. I don’t get bent out of shape about many things, and have mellowed, as a person, since becoming a mom. The same thing happened to my younger sister. She was wound up as tight as a clock before having kids, and once she had her first one, she just relaxed. I remember being shocked by my little sister’s transformation – and here it’s happened to me now. But I’m not so shocked by it this time.
My outlook on everything parenting-related is that, “this is temporary.” Breastfeeding woes? They’re temporary. A baby who wakes multiple times a night? This will pass. Food strikes? Give it a week or so. Tantrums and fits? It may take a while, but this too shall pass. A refusal to eat dinner? Represent the food later in the evening.
So far, this outlook has worked wonders for me and my sense of calm.
When we went into transitioning Matthew to the big bed, I told myself that whatever happens, however long it takes me to get him to sleep each night – that it will pass. The first night was rough – I had to lay with him for an hour or maybe even longer. The second night dropped to 35 minutes and I thought I was rocking it. I was wrong. That was temporary 😉 The next night jumped up to 45 minutes and most nights after that took about 40-45 minutes to get him to sleep. (I am staying with him until he’s asleep because I just don’t want to have the fight about him getting out of bed. I want him to think that when he goes to bed – that it’s not an option to get up and wander around his room.)
Last night went really well. I was shocked, but I thought it was temporary. Tonight went even better! I think we’ve turned the corner to a much better, much faster bedtime routine. The last two nights, Matthew has welcomed bedtime stories with B (he used to cry for me every time). B is having him sit beside him verses on his lap, and Matthew seems to enjoy that. The last three nights, I’ve been taking his big blankets away after we sing because they were distracting him (covering himself up, then taking them off, then covering up again, etc.). He is more settled this way. The last several nights, I’ve encouraged him to lay on the pillows instead of me, and we’re both more comfortable. Matthew falls asleep laying beside me, not on me, and he doesn’t need to face me or touch me to fall asleep. We’re getting so close to me being able to lay him up on the pillows and walk out the minute his little eyes shut.
I was only in Matthew’s room for 21 minutes tonight. Before this transition, I was in his room with him for 13 minutes each night (I know this because of our singing routine). I will happily spend 20 minutes with him each night going forward if he’ll let me! Matthew was asleep at 8:55 – just 17 minutes after B walked out of the room. He hasn’t been asleep at 8:55 in over a month!
And.. Matthew’s still sleeping through the night. I’ve only had to go in to calm him down (AKA keep him in bed) twice in the nine nights he’s spent in his room. Sure, I went in to lay with him at 5:40 this morning to keep him in bed, but that has only happened twice as well. He’s getting up earlier than we’d like (6-6:30), but if we can get him to sleep at 9:00 each night, I’m OK with that. It’s a give and take. As long as he gets 9 hours of sleep each night, and 2-3 hours of nap time each day, I don’t really care what time he gets up in the morning (well, I do care because before 6:00 is not acceptable).
Everything is temporary. That outlook gets me through the tough times, and helps me marvel in the great times! I need to remember this in two weeks when we bring a new baby into this house!
June 11, 2013 at 10:45 pm
Great outlook!! 🙂 And a great reminder! I am so glad to hear that Matthew has taken to his big boy bed so well. It sounds as if it is just getting better and better too. 20 minutes sounds perfect. I hope he keeps it up! I will be checking back in with you when it is Lids’ time to make the switch because I am nervous it will not go so well!
June 11, 2013 at 10:50 pm
Oh my – I was so nervous about this. Even with my outlook on it – I was a wreck. I don’t think we need to be nervous… it will be what it will be. HA!
June 11, 2013 at 11:20 pm
Definitely a great vantage point to be parenting from. I’ve gotten better at this myself but sometimes it’s easier said than done! 😉 As for the switch to the toddler beds, I keep saying the girls aren’t ready, but sometimes I wonder if its ME who’s not ready…
June 12, 2013 at 4:26 am
“Everything is temporary.” Perhaps this should be tattooed on me to help keep me calm during parenting 🙂 Or maybe you can just remind me when I start to freak out! So glad the bed transition is going well!
June 12, 2013 at 5:52 am
And then it stormed all night. Gah! We need to get the arched window covered STAT. I went in at 4:30 to calm Matthew down and he just laid there and watched the lighting for an hour before deciding he was done… And up for the day. TEMPORARY problem, temporary problem that will be fixed today.
June 12, 2013 at 9:43 am
I TOTALLY love this outlook on parenting. People remark constantly about how relaxed I am about things, and I really had NO idea I’d be like this as a parent, but I’m happy about it. 🙂 I hope you have no problem maintaining this attitude with 2 kiddos in the house – I’m sure you’ll do great!!
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June 12, 2013 at 8:41 pm
I love this attitude. I actually read this yesterday and helped me make it through the night. Charlotte is waking up ALL NIGHT these days- it’s worse than when she was a newborn. I am DYING. But you are right- it’s only temporary! I just wish it would hurry up and be over- I need sleep!
June 13, 2013 at 8:09 pm
Love this, thank you for writing it. It’s such a good reminder at any stage of the game.
June 14, 2013 at 9:42 pm
I’m so glad you’ve had a smooth transition into the big boy bed. I’m with you on everything is a phase and “This too shall pass.” I used to stress all the time over every little fuss, whine, cry, etc. Was it teething, was he getting a cold, etc. I finally had to just STOP and relax. Aiden will eat when he’s hungry and will tell him when he’s tired. 🙂 I love this post, it’s so true!
June 15, 2013 at 9:19 am
I think we’ve probably talked about this, but one of the sagest pieces of advice I ever heard about children was, “good or bad, it never lasts.” So true! Savor the good and be patient with the hard.
June 15, 2013 at 1:39 pm
What a great perspective. Very wise. A wonderful reminder on the tough days.