I started out wanting to write about how awesome my husband is, and then this came out

I spent about 2 hours last night reading through old posts about life with a newborn (when Jessica was born) and the 9 months after that. I laughed at a lot of things and cringed at some.
Recently a friend asked me if we’re going to do anything different with this baby and this question caught me off guard because it’s a question I’ve never been asked before, but a great one and really thought provoking. The answer is, yes, we’re going to do almost everything different with this one. It’ll have been 3 1/2 years since we had a newborn in the house – in that amount of time, we’ve changed as parents, learned new things, adapted to changes and a new lifestyle with kids and our entire outlook on family is shaped daily with our experiences with Jessica. It’s always changing, never set in stone.
Being in our family is a very fluid function. We did a ton of scheduling with Jessica when she was an infant, and it worked great for us. But I also wrote how it bothered me that I didn’t hold her more. This breaks my heart – because as a mother, for some reason, I was ignoring my instinct. I can’t go back, obviously, and change things I didn’t know or trust but I can go forward. A lot of what we decide to do differently with this baby will depend solely on the baby.
So I can’t say for certain we’ll be doing this or that. I have found that I really enjoy and agree with most of what Dr. Sears writes about kids and parenting. He’s had 8 kids. I’m pretty sure he’s done the trial and error thing and I’m totally willing to learn from it. But I also enjoy a gamete of other authors – not all specific to childrearing, however very helpful in that regard.
A huge part of parenting for Aaron and I has been working on ourselves as people more than working on Jessica as a child or person. She’s 2 1/2 – and while now is the time to lay some ground work, she’s a child first and foremost. We cherish and celebrate that. She should be able to, in our home and opinion, get messy at the dinner table, if she needs to run – let her run, mom takes her grocery shopping and she’s been nothing but joy and asks for a special treat – why not? Sure! Pick out some ice cream, we’ll even eat it before dinner.
I’ve had strangers ask me if “this is my first?” meaning, do I have older children than Jessica? They always follow it up with, “you seem so laid back”. Well, thank you, I am. It’s my temperament to let things slide, I’ve learned some hard life lessons about holding on to anything that won’t matter when I’m not here. I still struggle with it, I’m not perfect – but on the day to day basis I work really hard at being in the moment and enjoying those moments. I also could care less than a heifers teat if my child’s sucker falls on the floor and she picks it up and puts it back in her mouth. You know, unless we’re in a public bathroom or there’s obviously something gross going on.
Her pacifier didn’t bother me if it fell, she’s allowed to walk on her hands and feet, like an elephant almost every where we go. She wants to wear her too-too out in public over top of her pajamas with her rain coat and snow boots? Why not? You go girl. Wanna sing some praise songs in line at the Post Office – how about Jesus Loves Me? Or I’ve Got The Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in my Heart?
She also loves rap music, even some of the stuff with questionable lyrics. And she knows the words when they’re on the radio. I’m sorry, but knowing those words and understand them is a whole lot better in my book than being worried about those words and afraid of them. We think it’s important to respect ourselves, other people and our things – which includes all outside influences going through a filter we’re helping Jessica form on her own. She’s her own person, with her own ideas, agenda and feelings. She is not a mini-Jodi or mini-Aaron. She’ll make mistakes, has already, and she learns from them because thats the environment we’ve decided to create in our house.
We certainly aren’t perfect people and we fall short of our own goals often yet still give ourselves gifts of time, money and chocolate – Jessica deserves that same grace and self love we foster every day in the mirror.

2 thoughts on “I started out wanting to write about how awesome my husband is, and then this came out

  1. Jodi you rock! You are just so eloquent when i comes to explaining your thoughts, I absolutely luv reading this! p.s. saw the Christmas card at Abby’s – it was great!

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