Thursday, August 25, 2011

Imperfections

As a little girl, I loved dolls. I played "mom" but never really cared to have anyone fill the role of the father. I never really dreamt about being someone's wife. The idea of marriage seemed so far off and foreign... but, oh, I could not wait to be a mother. I used to say I wanted 10 kids (of course, this is before my little brother came along ;). One birthday I even remember receiving special diapers small enough to fit my dolls, and I was elated.

Funny thing is, until recently, I never had any idea how much that child's play impacted my way of thinking as an adult. I'm sure there are many ways to psychoanalyze this situation, and I have. But I'll just say that I've put too much pressure on myself to try to be "the perfect parent". The first person to point this out was my husband's uncle, who is a psychiatrist. :D

I'm not playing the martyr. Believe me, I have failed plenty of times. The funny thing is, it seems I failed the most when I was trying my best to not make any mistakes. I don't want Mirabel to look back on her childhood and ever doubt that I loved her--that's been my greatest driving force.

I'll get down to the heart of the matter. I'm tired. Really tired. But I've allowed myself to let my fear get the best of me, so it's really my own fault that I'm so tired. I've read so much conflicting data on the best way to get a little one to sleep thru the night. Not to mention, I'm bringing my baggage along with me, so I'm too scared to try anything. I've made so many excuses, but I've finally decided that I really do know what's best for my kid. Not the most enlightening discovery, but to me it is. I've doubted myself too much. Now I'm making a decision and sticking to it...because it's what's best for EVERYONE, not just my kid.

That's what I wasn't taking into account before. Mirabel still sleeps in our bed. Poor Jose has started sleeping on the twin mattress that was supposed to be Mirabel's!!! My desire to be a good mother should not conflict with my duty to be a loving wife. Jose has been so understanding, and he never complains. He knows my heart, and in the end he just wants us all to be happy, so he has never said anything. A discussion I was having with a friend over the sleep issue is what brought my role as a wife to the forefront, and I'm glad it did.

I don't mean to sound like a 1950s housewife. I'm not trying to say that it's my duty to make sure to keep my husband happy (LOL). That's his responsibility (and, thankfully, I'm married to someone who knows that). But marriage is a holy sacrament. If Mirabel sees how I let her sleep in our bed, instead of her dad, she will grow up to believe that husbands should come last.
A strong marriage creates the foundation for a strong family. Without it, everyone suffers.

Jose and I are happily married. I love him more now than the day we got married. I don't remember the last serious disagreement we got into, but I want our relationship to grow even more. I want to be that old couple in love, the ones who still hold hands after 50 years of marriage. But if I want that later, I have to do something now.

I'm not going to take the complete Cry It Out approach. But I'm also not going to let Mirabel sleep in our bed and munch at Mom's 24 hour Diner until she's 10. I'm also not judging anyone, though. There will be a few tears, but I will comfort her. I'm sure more of those tears will come from me. But this is what's best for EVERYONE.

I didn't even realize that I was idolizing motherhood. Because of how tired I am, I often fall asleep before thanking God for his many blessings. Jose and I started doing Bible readings together, but by the time Mirabel goes to sleep, my eyes are already pretty heavy. It's true that a strong marriage creates the foundation for a strong family. But God is supposed to be the one that keeps it all intact. I know he wants my attention, too.

So tonight starts my version of sleep training. I'm so tired of reading books/articles. In the end, we're just doing what works for us and makes us all better people, not perfect people.

2 comments:

enjoyingnow said...

Good for you Sophie! Your words are so inspiring especially to me about discipline. It is very tempting to try to be perfect about everything. I am praying for this transition--snuggling with Jose at night will be worth it. :)

The Librarian said...

Sometimes our gut instincts are so much better than educated works. I hope everything settles down for you three!

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