I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. Why wait for a fresh calendar to begin working on things you can accomplish today? It also feels like setting myself up for failure by jumping on the bandwagon just because of a certain date. If I want to improve on or stick to something, it’s because I’ve identified an area that I want to work on now, not in the future.
With that being said, I had what I would call “motherhood resolutions” when I first set out to be a parent. Our baby would sleep in his own room from the beginning, we wouldn’t give him a pacifier, I would use cloth diapers, I wouldn’t breastfeed in public. The list goes on. I’m sure you know where this is going – I ended up caving on many of the things I was adamantly against doing. Rowan slept in a bassinet in our room for nearly two months before transferring to the nursery we worked so hard on. He used a pacifier almost from the beginning. Disposable diapers are shipped regularly to our house. And when someone (cough, Arthur, cough) forgot to pack a bottle for our Christmas Eve dinner out, I whipped out my cover to nurse Rowan as privately as possible in public.
What changed? My son’s and our family’s needs overrode my desires. It would’ve been lovely to follow through on all the things I set out to do before Rowan arrived. But once he did, it became clear what would work for us and what wouldn’t. I beat myself up a lot about the co-sleeping in particular, because I was so set on the idea of keeping our room to ourselves. Yet at the end of the day, my husband and I weren’t comfortable or ready to be so far away from our son. Pre-baby, the 20-foot distance between bedrooms didn’t seem like much, but when Rowan came home, it seemed like miles. We did what we needed to do as first-time parents to feel at ease.
This isn’t to say that I didn’t stick with some of the motherhood resolutions I had pre-baby: breastfeeding, getting out of the house without baby from time to time, removing my fussy baby from a public space so as not to disturb others. Rowan is growing and thriving exclusively on breast milk, it was a struggle at first, but I powered through the discomfort of breastfeeding to do what was best for him. As much as I would like to be with Rowan all of the time, I’ve found a few trusted people to watch him while I go out. And if he happens to have a bout of fussiness that won’t resolve itself while we’re in a crowded, public space, I have no qualms about packing our stuff up to leave so that others can enjoy their outing in peace.
So while I would love to resolve that these last five pounds of pregnancy weight will be gone by the end of the month, or that I will make cloth diapers work for us, I’m keeping my resolutions simple. I’m resolving to be less harsh on myself when my parenting plans don’t go accordingly and continue doing what’s best for me and my family. What are your resolutions, dear reader?