Yesterday I was talking about my recent blog posts with my sister, and how writing is an emotional outlet for me. However she raised an interesting point, and threw down a challenge:
Why don’t you write about the things you’re doing right?
Totally valid point. I’m only focused on the negatives and the things that I’m unsure of. When I write and reflect on how things are going, I don’t pat myself on the back for a job well done, or remind myself of the things I’m doing right. This is just as important (if not more so) as analysing the difficult times.
So, after a day of pondering, here it is. A list of things I’m doing right.
- He’s alive: This is pretty important. I would be the first person to tell you pre-pregnancy that I didn’t have a clue about what was needed to look after a child. So for this one, I’m wearing a huge badge of honour because that’s a huge achievement!
- He’s well fed: At every weigh in he’s been given a green tick for his weight gain. It took less than 2 weeks to surpass his birth weight – after babies are born they lose weight then the challenge is for them to regain it. If the baby hasn’t regained the weight lost after 2 weeks it’s a cause for concern. Breastfeeding isn’t without it’s challenges, and I need to write a follow up post, but I’m happy to say that as a team, baby and I have figured it out and he feeds well now without pain. Even if he was formula fed, the fact remains that we are monitoring him and making sure he is always getting enough.
- He’s developing mentally and physically: He’s progressing in a development sense in a great way. He’s hitting milestones, like smiles and his neck strength. This week he discovered his voice, and has begun cooing at us. All of this shows that not only is he getting enough sleep/food to fund his development, but that he’s learning. All the time my husband and I spend with him is working.
- He’s comfortable: I’ve become a whiz at changing nappies, after some initial hiccups that saw pee go everywhere (I forgot that with boys you have to tuck their ding-a-ling away, oops). But now I can change his nappy, dress him appropriately for the weather and seat/lay him comfortably.
- I make sacrifices: Big one as a parent. I’m doing this right – I care about him, love him, and would move the world to make sure he’s OK. And holding onto my bladder/bowels for anyone is definitely a big sacrifice! Or taking a late lunch because I’m attending to his needs.
- I’m learning how to read his signals: In the beginning I had no idea of when he was tired, hungry or uncomfortable. Now I’m recognising the signs better, have him in a better routine of feed, play and sleep, and he’s starting to settle more. In the mornings we’re are greeted with happy smiles of a well rested baby.
- I’ve started to make time for myself: This is huge. Making sure that I take time for myself means that I’m happier and healthier. It means that as my fitness grows and baby grows, that I have the strength and stamina to keep up with him. It means that I’m developing habits that I can pass onto him so that he has a great role model to look up to. It took me 8 weeks to realise how important this was. Now we just need to make sure that Mario gets the same.
- I worry about things: This may seem a little strange, but I reward myself for the fact that I worry. It shows that I care. It shows that I want the best for my son to make sure he’s happy and healthy.
- I’m working on a strong family unit: Having a child is definitely a strain on a marriage. My husband and I don’t have much time alone anymore (I’m sure this will come in time), and with the sleep deprivation I turned in a raging nag monster. However, I love Mario more than ever, and we try to remind each other daily of that. I think it’s a positive that I reflect on what I need to do better, and Mario and I communicate together on what we need from each other. Communication is key to a healthy relationship, and so Mario and I are trying to make sure that we continue to talk. One of the best gifts we can give to our son is to raise him to see his parents respect each other, and love each other. I want to continue to be supportive and encouraging of my husband (and vice versa), exactly like we promised in our wedding vows. Leaving little messages and gifts to welcome my hubby home at the end of the day definitely helps.
- I’m doing the best I can: Every day I wake up and I try again. I do the best to my ability. I cry, I get frustrated, I have times where I need a break. But at the end of the day, I have done the absolute best that I can.
So there we have it – a big pat on the back for 10 things I know I’m doing right for my son. I feel better already!