Before Lily was born, right up until they wheeled me into the OR for my highly unanticipated C-section, I was the perfect mom. And I don't think I am alone. I have heard many moms, both friends and strangers alike, quip how they were perfect moms before they had kids. My visions of perfection in my motherhood unraveled quickly. For starters, my un-medicated natural birth was out the door. And then I was never going to send my new baby to the nursery for a couple hours of sleep. Oh no, not me! Except, when the chips are down, and you have just had major abdominal surgery and you are really irritable because you forgot to eat the whole day while you were in labor because, um, that horrendous pain in your back was the ONLY thought in your mind, and now they won't let you eat for another six hours because of the aforementioned surgery, maybe getting a couple zzz's isn't such a bad idea. So you tell the nurses its okay for them to whisk your little bundle to the nursery for a couple hours. Not that I got much sleep anyway. It would be a year before I knew what restful sleep was again.
I was never going to let my child sleep in our bed. Nope. I was going to nip any battles to get a toddler out of our bed right in the bud. I was never going to start letting a baby sleep in bed, so I wouldn't have to break that habit later. Well, I broke my own rule within 12 hours of being home. Because when you are a human pacifier, sometimes you just do these things. And you know what, even though Lily slept in bed with us for the better part of six months (not usually the whole night, but parts of most nights!) we now blissfully have the bed all to ourselves. We have for about six months, and I miss snuggling up to my little baby. She is a wild sleeper now and usually wants no part of snuggling.
My children were never going to get pacifiers because I didn't want to do battle when they were off to kindergarten. I could envision it, the first day of school, walking up to the teacher, explaining that my child really is well adjusted, she just needs her pacifier and if they will just let her have it, things will be easier for everyone. But when the nurse gave her a pacifier after bringing her back from a vitals check - the one the doctor had popped in her mouth to check her ability to suck since she had a tight frenulum (tongue tied) - Matt and I looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders and said eh. I am sure this battle is yet to come, as at 17 months she still loves her pacifier. In fact, she uses it more than ever now since she can run to her room and grab it out of her crib.
Fast food and TV. Forget it. Not my children. Only home made baby food. Books and educational toys. Sadly Lily has had more Happy Meals than I care to admit. I know the PBS schedule by heart. I have seen re-runs of many, many episodes of Martha Speaks and Curious George. We have a playroom full of toys that probably hold very little educational value. But you know what, I decided I don't need to beat myself up. Lily still mostly eats nutritious meals and snacks. And while there are days she wants to eat nothing but goldfish, she will often choose blues (blueberries) over anything else. And if she is tired, she will definitely veg in front of the TV in her little Elmo chair - a TV which she now can turn on by herself. But she will also grab book after book and bring them to me, looking up with her adorable blue eyes and question "book?"
There are many more of my self imposed mommy rules that have been thrown to the curb. I am sure there are many more to come. And while I may not be the perfect mom, I think I am the perfect mommy for my little girl!