My Baby Girl is growing up

Nalani turned one earlier this month, it was a great and sad time. Sad because it means my little girl is growing up.

Just 3 days ago she took her first 4 unsupported steps.  Needless to say we were excited and so was she.  There is nothing like watching you baby walking to you with excitement sparkling in her eye with her mouth wide open and her tounge hanging out in concentration.  We were so busy being excited and getting her to walk back and forth between us that we didn’t take any pictures.

It is amazing watching her learn and grow but makes me want to cry.  I want to cry because I know that in a few years I will be getting the eye rolls and the MOOOOOOMMM’s from her.  Right now I am the most amazing person in her life and I would like to keep it that way.

It is also giving me baby fever…I am going to miss the cuddling that Nalani and I used to do.  We still cuddle but she is so interested in moving and exploring that we don’t cuddle for long.  I wish I had a pause button to keep her at this moment for a little while longer.

What is your favorite age for your children?

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Hi Ho Hi Ho off to work I went!

Today is the first day of my weekend.  Last week was my first week back to work.  We had thought about me staying at home and being a full time mom, which I would have loved!  Unfortunately like a lot of families we need the two incomes to make it work for our family.  We were lucky though, we didn’t have to put our little monkey in daycare or a day home.  Grandpa watches her everyday and loves the time spent with her.

I miss my little princess and the time we would be spending together but I kind of missed having a life outside of being a mom.  The first day was the worst, thankfully I didn’t cry.  The week went well but I am sure grateful for my weekend and the time I get to spend with my monkey.

She learns so much everyday and I am missing it.  Soon she will be walking on her own and I won’t be the first one that she will be walking to, or even the first person to see it.  It is tough making the decision on whether or not to work, personally I admire and am jealous of those woman who get to be stay at home moms.

I hear all the time about how as liberated woman when we choose to stay at home and raise our families we are hurting all that woman have fought for.  I disagree!  Woman fought for the right to vote, to work, but most importantly the right to choose!  If a mother chooses to stay at home and be the guiding light for her children she is no less liberated than the mother that chooses to go back to work.  Why must one choice be better than the other?

I know some woman that went BATTY the whole time they were on Mat leave and others that bawled everyday the first week of going back to work.  Each person is an individual and we should accept that.  So next time you see a stay at home mom or a working mom remember they made the decision that was best for them and their family and you have no right to judge that choice.

Extended Family

Parenting is a hard job, one that you need support from your significant other, extended family, and friends.  Without that support system you slowly lose your mind.  They are the ones you call on when you need to make that doctors appointment and the idea of having a screaming child with you is beyond bearable.  They are your sanity and your saving grace.

They are also an alternative for your child to confide in.  We all hope that our children will view us as someone they can talk to when they are confused, excited, in love, unsure and all of it.  It is more likely though that your children will be more comfortable with an Aunt, Uncle, Grandmother, Grandfather, or some other significant person in their life.

That said I don’t understand why people choose to cut out the extended family of children especially when they are in a blended family just because the stepparent doesn’t like a person.  It is not the person you are cutting out of your child’s life that you are hurting it is the child who ultimately pays.

Thankfully there is a law in Alberta (not sure about the rest of Canada) called Right of Contact.  As a Grandparent you can apply to the courts for contact with your Grandchild.  If you are an Aunt, Uncle, or someone else significant in the child’s life there is another route you can take.  Your first step is to apply to the courts for the right to apply for Right of Contact.  Once you get that you can apply for contact.

It is sad that in this day and age when so many children are suffering from a lack of interest in their lives and act out in self-destructive ways, that parents will choose to cut out someone in the child’s life that loves that child and who has reciprocating love back.  For selfish reasons a lot of children are denied access to their extended family due to a fight between the adults that in no way involves them.

Adults need to start thinking like adults and move on from High School.  Once you have children your life stops being just about you and what makes you happy.  It becomes you, and your significant other (if there is one), but most importantly it becomes about your children.  Take into consideration the needs of the child and what is in THEIR best interest, not just about what makes you happy.

Comparisons

I hear other parents talking about there little ones all the time.  The advice flies fast and furious but also the comparisons of our children.

My daughter is 10 days older than another little girl that I know.  Apparently my little girl is “behind” in her progress.  Nalani is still learning to walk and will only say Mom when she is upset and needs some loving and Daddy when he gets home from work.  The other little girl has 5 or 6 words in her vocabulary and is progressing at a faster rate.

This used to bother me but now I realize that my daughter just likes to take her time.  Nalani is her own person, she is not your daughter or anyone else’s she is mine.  I choose not to push her in her learning process as she will get there at her own pace.  I would be concerned if she WASN’T learning, but everyday she learns something new.  Sometimes I wish she wouldn’t learn the things that she does.

The things I do with my daughter encourage her to learn.  I try to read to her daily, the key word here is try as she likes to grab her books and chew on them.  As long as she is interested in books at this point I really don’t care if it is chewing, flipping the pages, or me reading to her.  I let her grab my hands and take me for a walk.  She will hold an object up for me to look at and I will tell her what it is, the shape, and the colour.  We play games and sing all of which help her learn while making her laugh.  Her laughter is what I strive for, her knowledge that I love her to me is more important than how many words she can speak or how fast she learnt to walk.

Our children are unique human beings.  They are not you or anyone else’s child.  Encourage their curiosity and realize that sometimes they may fall behind.  Falling behind doesn’t make them stupid it just makes them who they are, amazing little people discovering their new world.

Remembering

The new year got off with a bang but not in the way one would hope it would.  On the first we found out that Nalanis Great Grandma passed away.

Great Grandma was so excited to learn that her first grandchild was giving her the first great grandchild.  She cried on the phone when she found out.  I had never met the lady, but knowing how important she was to Dave we made plans to head out to Toronto so that she would be able to meet Nalani.

May came quickly after Nalani was born and we were on our way.  It was a great visit and G.Grandma cried, Nalani did to everytime G.Grandma picked her up.  It was what we had hoped for, the ability for both of them to meet before time ran out.  Nalani won’t remember meeting her but at least we can say she did.

It is always hard when a loved one passes away whether it is expected or unexpected.  I know we will celebrate and remember the life of a wonderful lady while mourning the fact that she is no longer with us.