Aidan, Fatherhood, Motherhood, Parenting

Child Resilience and Mommy Guilt

Let me tell you about my brave little man. Aidan is the most resilient child I know. When he falls down, he picks himself up and tries again. Aidan is almost 10 months old and has never had a serious injury, despite all the mischief he has gotten into. This all changed yesterday. 

Nathan, Aidan and I went to the library to check out some new children’s books. In the children’s section, they have a play area filled with toys, puzzles, pillows, legos and more. While I was picking out books, Nathan and Aidan were playing with all of the toys. I soon joined them and we played with Aidan for a few minutes, before he took off to play independently. Let me tell you, this child of ours loves to play and keep busy. He goes from one toy to the next. 

Aidan crawled over to a table with lots of little toys attached to it. Nathan and I sat on the couch and watched him play. He was giggling and talking to himself as he explored. While he played and we watched, Nathan and I started up a conversation on expanding our family. We were in a deep discussion when Aidan turned towards us and tried to take a step. When he took that step he fell into the table and hit his mouth on the way down. I have never heard my baby boy scream so loud. We rushed over to him and I picked him up. It wasn’t until he was in my arms that he opened his mouth and all this blood started pouring out. My sweet baby boy had busted his lip when he fell. 

Aidan cried for a few minutes and then calmed down as we took him into the bathroom to clean him up. Luckily, all four of his teeth were fine and he hadn’t bitten his tongue. His poor lip was swollen and both of us were covered in his blood. After we cleaned him up, I took him out to the car while Nathan gathered our books. 

While we were sitting in the car and Aidan was playing in his seat, an immense wave of guilt washed over me. I could have prevented my son from getting hurt, if I had been paying better attention to him. I shouldn’t have been talking, instead I should have been next to the table and playing with our son. How can I even consider having another child, when my son is getting hurt right in front of me? I felt like the worst mom in the world. As I wallowed in my guilt, Aidan looked up at me and patted my face and smiled. This little boy had just had a traumatic experience and here he was smiling and loving on me. 

Nathan returned to the car and saw my face. He knew right away that I was feeling guilty for Aidan’s accident. Nathan looked at me and said, “this is not the last time our son is going to get hurt and if this is the worst that happens to him, we should consider ourselves lucky.” He made me realize that I cannot be one of those parents who hovers over their child 24/7. Our children are going to get hurt on occasion and this accident was no ones fault. 

Aidan has already forgotten about the incident and has been his happy self since. He is very resilient like his father. It was very difficult to watch my son get hurt, but I am slowly realizing that as he is learning to walk and explore this won’t be the last time he gets hurt. While I still feel guilty for my son getting hurt, I know it is not because I am a bad mom. Accidents happen all the time with our children, we just have to continue to teach them to pick themselves up and try again. I have also realized, I am going to make mistakes as a parent, but like my child I need to learn to be resilient and forgiving of myself. 

Molly

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Aidan, Creating Memories, Fatherhood, Motherhood, Parenting

Finding Balance 

Over the past two weeks my son has learned to crawl and pull himself up using furniture. This of course means he is exploring every nook and cranny in our house. I love that he is so inquisitive and wants to learn. I do not love all the bumps and bruises he gets as he does so. As a new mom, I am trying to find a balance between being too over protective and allowing my child to be independent. I do not want to become one of those helicopter moms, but I also don’t want my son to get hurt. Does this mean I allow him to roam the house alone? Absolutely not. It means, I watch him as he explores and plays independently, because I want him to learn how to problem solve and recognize cause and effect. While I have thought about getting him a helmet and bubble wrapping the furniture, I have decided to go a different route. Rather than child proofing my house, I am going to child proof Aidan. While I still have outlet plugs and cabinet locks, I am not going to put away my pretties. Even at 8 months old he understands when he is doing something he shouldn’t be. My husband and I are teaching him early on, what he can and cannot play with. I do not want him growing up feeling like he is living in a museum. Even from an early age, Aidan has shown interest in how things around the house work. I do not want to take that desire to learn and explore away from him. While we will not allow him to get into any dangerous situations, by giving him independence at this age we are helping nurture his love of exploration and adventure. I hope as he grows older, this thirst for knowledge evolves. Nathan and I look forward to joining Aidan on all his adventures. One is never too old to explore and learn!

Molly

Aidan, Fatherhood, Motherhood, Parenting

Parenting Advice: In One Ear and Out the Other

From the moment you share the news you are pregnant, you become bombarded with unsolicited advice. Family members, friends, neighbors down the street and even the cashier at Walmart all feel the need to tell you the right way to raise your child. If you are anything like I was, as a soon to be mom, I was writing down these tips in my phone and saving them for later. The moment I had my son, I was up late reading every parenting article and thinking back on all the advice I had been given. A month and a half later, after reading and hearing so many opposing opinions, I looked at my husband and said, “screw it, we are going to do it our way!” Each parenting article contradicts another. The rules of raising a child change every couple years. My best advice is the advice a good friend of mine finally gave me, “do what is best for your child and ignore what others say about it. If what you are doing works for you and your family, who cares what anyone thinks.” She is a pretty smart cookie. As soon as I started listening to my gut and recognized what worked best with my son, motherhood became a whole lot easier and much more enjoyable. I never thought I would be trying homeopathic remedies or random tricks I thought of at two in the morning. What has worked for my son could be the complete opposite of what works for another baby. Who would have thought an adorable six pound little lad would make me question everything I had ever known. (Or thought I knew!) 

I remember my idealistic dream of my son sleeping peacefully in his bassinet for a few months before we transferred him to his crib. Did I take into account that my child would be a terrible sleeper and only sleep when he was on me? No, I did not. After a month of sleeping on the couch, with Aidan sleeping in his pack and play for 15 minute increments, something had to change. When you are as sleep deprived as most new parents, you will make choices you swore you would never make before your child was born. Enter co-sleeping. For two and a half months our little man ended up sleeping in bed with us. While many articles and the Pediatrics Association do not recommend bed sharing, many families all over the world do it. Nathan and I agreed before kids, we would never allow them to sleep with us. That changed pretty fast, when Aidan would only sleep if snuggled up next to me. We ended up loving it, especially because we all got the sleep we needed. When the little man started to wiggle around and roll from his stomach to his back, it was time to transition him to his crib. This was not an easy venture and once again I was dealing with advice on how to sleep train. A few people told me not to let my son cry it out or he would be emotionally damaged when he is older. Aidan’s pediatrician said to transition him by allowing him to cry and checking on him every few minutes. Once again, I had to do what worked best with my son. Aidan will not be emotionally damaged or have trust issues, because I chose to use the CIO method. After a week of letting him cry during naps and at bedtime, he finally learned to self soothe and put himself to sleep in his crib. (Hallelujah! I was no longer sleeping on the edge of the bed anymore!) My son turns six months in a few days and we are still learning what is best for our child. I will always be grateful to those close to us who give us advice, especially when it works. I do not and will not be made to feel guilty for doing my own thing. Nathan and I are good parents and while we will make mistakes, we have to do what is best for our son and not what is expected of us. This post isn’t to put down those who have given us advice, just to let other parents know it is okay to do it your way. Don’t worry about what the articles say, they change day by day. Who cares what worked for Susie Q down the street. Trial and error is the best way to figure out what is successful for you and your children. Don’t ever let anyone judge you or make you feel bad for how you raise your child. As long as you aren’t leaving your child in the car or letting them play with fire, you are a good mom and dad! Your children will turn out just fine. My little goober has so far. I will get back to you when he is in his teenage years. So forget about whether solids before one is “just for fun,” or allowing your child to scream for five minutes, while you finally shower is damaging. Parenting is challenging and as soon as you figure out how to solve one issue, five more pop up in its place. You will figure out this parenting thing, or at least learn to fake it like I have. Remember, as a former student of mine use to say, “do you boo boo!” 

Love,

Molly

Fatherhood, Husband, Marriage

Sacrifices 

If you know my husband, you know Nathan is one of the most hardworking men you will ever meet. Whether it is work, college courses or helping out on the farm, he gives 100% every time. He is also the most selfless man I know. His family will always come before himself. Nathan is currently working two jobs, so that I can stay at home with our son. That means his work day starts at 7:30 am and sometimes does not end until 6:30 pm. Most weekends he takes on odd jobs for extra money or is cutting wood to keep our family warm. Not only is this man working two jobs, he is finishing his Masters in Administration. Nathan carries a full load on his shoulders, all for the sake of bettering the lives of our family. He does not complain about how exhausted he is or make excuses to avoid helping me out around the house. No matter how tired he is in the evenings, he always makes time for myself and our son. His love for Aidan is so fierce and strong. 


He makes many sacrifices, so we can live comfortable lives and never go without. I feel so blessed to have married a man that loves unconditionally and will always be there for our family. We are so proud of all he has accomplished and so excited for what his future will hold. 


Sometimes we forget to simply say thank you for all that our significant others do for us. While Nathan and I are not perfect and we both make mistakes in our marriage, we do our best to show appreciation for all the other one does. This post is for you babe! Thank you for being such an amazing husband and father. Thank you for the sacrifices you have made and the dreams you have put on hold. Thank you for always putting us first. Aidan and I can not imagine a world without you in it. We love you to the moon and back! Enjoy a couple hours of playing Xbox, you deserve it!