Epic Fail: One Of The Biggest Mistakes I've Made As A Parent...

Lately, when I look at my son, I see more boy than baby. Needless to say, this makes me so very sad. He is growing up way too fast! I want to somehow figure out how to it all down. Unfortunately, this was not always the case. Starting the first few weeks of my son's life, I started wishing for milestones he was nowhere near meeting. I dreamt of the days he was walking, or talking, or a fully weaned baby that would sleep through night. Now that he is, I wish he was still that cuddly little sweet baby that would stay where I left him, let me hold him as long as I wanted, and didn't run away from me in the grocery store screaming, CAN'T CATCH ME, MOMMY!!!

Wishing for milestones is probably one of the biggest mistakes a parent can make. I know this because it's one of the biggest mistakes I ever made. My baby was perfect and wonderful just as he was at every stage of his life. The time I spent wishing for him to be more than he was, wasted precious moments that I wish I had back now.

Parents hear all of the time, "It goes by so fast, cherish every moment." It doesn't take long to know how true that statement is. So then, why do we push our kids? Why do we wean them on to solids too soon? Or wean them from nursing too soon? Or worse, spend hours freaking out because our child did not meet a specific milestone the day the parenting books said they would. I think I know why, because we all want our kid to be the best. We push them to be the best they can be, even if they are not ready to meet our (unrealistic) expectations.

Something FTD and I have been struggling with recently is whether or not to move Ollie into a toddler bed.  I do not want to do it. FTD, is all about it. He wants to move Ollie into a Toddler Bed ASAP.  Being that we just moved, I think now is certainly NOT the right time.  FTD says that I couldn't know that until we try. Well, I don't want to try!  I want to let Ollie sleep in the comfort of his crib as long as he wants.  It's his bed. His space. And he can hold on to that as long as he wants!

So who is right? Who knows.

What I do know is that Ollie will be in a big boy bed eventually. He will not stay in a crib for the rest of his life. Just like with the milestones he has already met, some he met early, some late, some on time, but all he eventually met. Pushing him to meet milestones he is not ready for will not make things easier.  In some cases, pushing him only made things harder.

Pushing too hard always results in the same thing for both of us, frustration.

In a way, he decided when he would meet all of his milestones. As much as I tried to will him to sleep through the night, he didn't do it until he was ready.  He also crawled, walked and said his first words when he was ready. Sure, I encouraged him, and gave him the tools and toys to help him along in meeting his milestones, but ultimately, he took those first steps not a day before he was ready.  

Being a parent is so incredibly hard sometimes... a lot of the time. It's our job as parents to encourage and push our children to be the best they can be. That being said, pushing or wanting a child to be or do something before they are ready just because you want it, is most likely always going to end in failure, frustration and/or regret for both of you.

Learn from me... Don't waste your precious time with your child wanting them to be anything more than what they already are, your perfect little blessing.

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com


Unknown said...

I was having one of those days where you think your child will never reach a specific milestone (ie. sleeping through the night) and this entry really spoke to me. I'm tired, frustrated, emotional and find myself online too often searching for the "answers". But you said it perfectly - she'll reach the milestone when she's ready. I should sit back and enjoy my little ball of drool and cuddles at 3am.

Thank you :)

Uplifting Families said...

I feel your pain. My youngest is three and he is my last. It has gone by too quickly. I love that he is independent now but at the same time I miss all the cuddles. Thankfully, he still cuddles with me sometimes.

Des said...

I totally agree. With my first child, I tried and tried to potty train him. It was long and it didn't work. Then, as if overnight, it just happened. I kind of learned my lesson to stop "pushing" - which is in my nature. All of my kids have found their way... eventually. It is true, you have to enjoy them and love them, and say yes! when they as you: "can I sit in your lap? because one day they don't want to sit in your lap anymore, and we realize we would go back in a heart beat to those moments... don't worry about the crib... when the time is right, everything falls into place naturally :>>>

April McCormick said...

Yay, thank you! It's so nice to hear I am not alone, and that somehow I am helping. Strangely I do miss those 3am cuddles. I just miss that little cuddly baby I used to have.

April McCormick said...

Thank you! That boy is staying in his crib as long as he wants. I'm learning to encourage more than push... Plus, he is so damn stubborn (he gets it from me) that I know pushing is the fastest way to go backwards.

claire said...

Ask yourselves who's ready or not ready for the next step. Is this his last bit of being a baby? Amber has been in a bed since just before her second birthday, but she's still in nappies and although I'm looking forward to not changing nappies I keep putting it off as its the last thing of being a baby. What about compromising, take the side of his crib off over a weekend so if he's up and down like a yoyo or up way to early dad can get up and deal with him, and it is easy to put the side back up if it doesn't' t work. Without trying surely you'll never know if he is ready. Xx

Indywrites said...

Life would be simpler if actually realised all things happen when the time is right.
Nice post.