By: Kristen Clifford
I have learned over the past few years as a parent that sometimes the anticipation of something is a lot worse then the actual act of doing it. Before becoming a parent or before hitting each new phase of parenting you hear horror stories about every part. I have feared the anticipation of just about every new phase. I was scared to death of weaning Grace from breastfeeding, but finally at 15 months I did it, and you know what Grace was fine! No tears, no begging, no sleepless nights. I told her no more and she was fine. I was terrified for nothing!
Then came the bottle weaning, I, once again, was so scared. I was newly pregnant, with twins (although I wasn’t aware yet) and the thought of losing sleep over taking the bottle away gave me nightmares! I had awful morning sickness and was barely sleeping as it was, what if taking the bottle away caused even more sleepless night?! But you know what, we did it, and she was fine, once again! All the worrying for nothing!
The next scary step for us was taking away the binkie. I had just delivered the twins and Grace turned 2, we thought that it was probably time to take it away. I cried to my husband about how scared I was to do this, hey give me a break I was quite hormonal at the time! I mean I had 2 newborns who wanted to breastfeed non-stop and my husband was working late days to support us all. The thought of having a disgruntle, screaming toddler, on top of that was my nightmare. Well, one day, Grace forgot her binkie at my sister’s house so that night, hesitantly I put Grace to bed binkie-less. And guess what? Yup, no tears! I told her she left her binkie at Auntie’s house so we didn’t have it, and that was that. She asked about it a few more times the next day, but no tears, no temper tantrums.
On to potty training, now that was almost as bad as I imagined, not going to lie, but not for nearly as long as I thought. It was 3 really rough days, then maybe 3 so-so days, and wonderful bliss since! Oh, the joys of only having 2 in diapers, instead of 3!
Lastly I have been terrified about sending Grace off to Preschool. I’m a stay-at-home-mom and Grace has never been away from me, aside for 30 minutes a week at dance class. Her dance class ended in June and the last few weeks of it was like pulling teeth to get her to go into class without me and participate. This made me a nervous wreck about sending her to school, and on her 3rd birthday of all days. I thought for sure she would spend the day crying and that she would cling to me. I thought for sure her teacher would call me to come pick her up because she was so upset. But, once again, nothing, no tears! She ran into the classroom and never looked back. Not one tear has been shed! She wakes up every morning excited about school and practically drags me out the door!
The moral of my long winded post, I guess is that as Moms or parents in general we worry and antagonize about our children all the time. We worry that we’ll make the wrong choice, that somehow, even though we try our hardest we’ll screw it all up. But, you know what, in my experience it’s never as bad or as hard as you imagine. I wish I could say that knowing this makes me worry-less, but nope, I’m a worrier, it’s just the way I am. I think it came with my Mom gene!