01 November 2011

who's it for?

lately, i've been questioning a lot of the things that i want for ruby at this stage in her life, and asking myself whether they are for her good or mine. i understand that there is a balance here.. i don't want to do things solely for her and ignore myself, or vise versa. we spend nearly all of our time just the two of us, and i want our days, routines, and practices to be for both of our best.
one thing that this new question is causing me to reevaluate is the potty learning process. ruby had that down pat before we moved from raleigh.. she was not wearing a diaper at all while we were home, except for at nap and nighttime, and it started out this way when we first moved up to indiana. recently, she has completely backtracked in this area... as in, going anywhere but in the potty almost constantly, and really starting to seem frustrated with the process. i was starting to get frustrated as well, and felt myself wanting to force her into something it was looking more and more like she wasn't really ready for. these are the times in mommy-hood where i feel a lot of inner conflict.. am i going to mess her up by putting her back in diapers after all this time of working towards being potty trained? she seems so much older than she is because of how well she can talk and how smart she is.. are people going to judge me when they see me out in public with this seemingly very old (in fact, only 2 1/2 year old) child and wonder why she's still in diapers? how am i even going to know when she is ready.. it's not like i've ever done this whole parenting thing before. so, in the end, it came down to, who am i trying to do this for? solely for her benefit because it seems like something she's ready for and capable of, or for mine because i care about what other people think and feel like she should be ready? and when i realized that the latter was the true driving force now that she is showing less interest and ability and more frustration, i knew it needed to be put on hold for awhile. 
another area is napping.. oh naps. so much of me feels like i need for her to nap everyday. it's my "me" time, and when three or four days went by a few weeks ago and she wouldn't nap, i kind of had a panic attack. i tried to start forcing her to nap and disciplining her when she wouldn't, and then that question started popping in my mind, "who's it for?" if i can see it written all over her that she's just not tired and doesn't need a nap for a week straight, or ever again, then i need to realize that we can and should shape our days (and my sanity) around that.. because me getting overwhelmed trying to make napping happen when i'm clearly fighting a losing battle, instead of  spending my energy thinking of alternatives to the usual "sleeping time", only breaks us both down. i saw that her nap time was becoming more about me than about her.. about time that i wasn't willing to give up even when it was better for my little girl.
so, that's the new mental mantra for this mama.. "who's it for?" and i'm seeing that extend in my heart towards other areas of my life as well. i so long for my often completely "me centered" mentality to be shifted and reformed, and although it can be so hard at times, i know that it is also so good.

create in me a clean heart, o God, and renew a right spirit within me.
psalm 51:10

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