Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Just Winging It

So often, I realize that I try to overthink motherhood.  I try to read about raising babies and toddlers.  How to feed them the best foods.  How to handle tantrums.  But sometimes the best child-raising outcome is one that happens naturally.

Anna is finally potty trained!  I have been putting her on the potty in spurts of diligence off and on since she was 1.5 years old.  She is just over 2.5 years old.  So this long year of frustration over whether she was going to EVER going to go on the potty has concluded with much amazement that she simply decided one day to GET IT.  There was one morning where she went through 6 pairs of undies before 9am.  Another afternoon where she peed on my (new) couch not once but twice.  It always seemed like when I pushed she pushed back.  I tried rewards:  m&m's and marshmallows.  I tried a made up a potty song that was really not very catchy because I can't remember the tune now.  When she indicated interest in riding a school bus, I told her that only big girls who go on the potty can ride school buses.  I bribed her with the offer of taking her to the zoo if she went potty all the time.  Well, none of those things seemed to work and I did feel a little guilty for all of the bribing!  Finally, I relaxed a little.  Probably because I was exhausted of the whole issue.  I let her tell me when she had to go.  And she did, and has been dry for a month now.  Even more amazing, I thought that it would be another year of wearing pull ups at night but she has been waking up dry in her big girl underwear. 

So there is one example of how just letting things take their natural course has been effective.  I have also been pleasantly surprised with Clara's reaction to trying table foods.  I followed all the common "food rules" with Anna.  I fed her pureed veggies before fruits so that she wouldn't get hooked on the natural sweetness of fruit.  She doesn't like (many) veggies.  I never gave her samples of my ice cream and cake until her 1st birthday.  Clara has gotten the benefit of loosened "food rules," mainly because I don't want her to develop challenges with trying new foods like Anna.  So Clara gets little tastes of anything that she can gum.  She's had waffles, toast, hard boiled egg, scrambled egg, shredded cheese, string cheese, corn, peas, carrots, peaches, pears, pot roast, spaghetti, and even cake and ice cream!

So maybe part of being a good mom is overthinking each decision and worrying about whether I'm making the right one.  But I think part of learning to be a good mom is learning how to wing it.  How to let the "I'm not doing enough" and the "I have to follow the rules" go. 

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