Life experiences have an incredible way of influencing our perspectives. At least for me, they do. After miscarrying twice my view on being a mommy has changed so much. In particular the last miscarriage has influenced the type of parent I am becoming. The few weeks after we lost our baby in January I would go into Noahs room in the middle of the night & carry him back to our bed. I just missed him. Needed him close to me. My heart was broken and Noah was such a comfort to me. Johnny understood.
Johnny & I had this rule that we will not let our children make it a habit of sleeping in our bed with us at night. The reason is because we value our marriage and want to be sure that we have alone time together. Not just to be intimate (obviously thats part of it) but just to talk, hang out, & snuggle. On most nights after Noah goes to bed at 8 we hang out in our room together. If Noah slept with us for the last 3 years there would be countless hours I would have lost with my husband simply getting to know him.
Over the last few months Noah has been crawling into our bed a few nights a week. Sometimes we don't know he is there until Johnnys alarm goes off around 6 am. We wake up to find him snuggled between us. Sometimes he wakes up upset in the middle of the night and as of lately I just want him to come sleep in our bed. Last year, this would not have been my reaction to him waking up at 3 am. Instead of letting him climb into our bed I would have explained to him that he must sleep in his room - and that would be the end of it. Our new rule seems to be he needs to sleep until 3 in his bed & then if he makes his way to ours, its okay.
Noah was six months old when we moved away from our family & closest friends to a take a new position in ministry. Although I was excited, I had a difficult time at first because my heart was sad leaving. As a result this life experience changed the type of mother I thought I would be. Instead of forcing him to take naps in his crib during the day, I let him sleep while I held him. Some family & friends thought I was crazy and didn't agree with my choice but I realized that time with him would never come around again. Moving allowed me realize that. So I took every moment possible to just spend enjoying him.
Life experiences have greatly shifted the way we parent & live life. I don't think everything through on a weekly basis in regards to our activities or what we do (like I thought I would as a mom). I don't like that pressure or stress. Its rare that I make a list of things to do for the week - because I don't want that to define our week in such a way. I don't make Noah sit to eat first before we play at a park or kids center. I just let him go & play, eat later. I don't enforce time out over every little thing - because sometimes it just isn't necessary. I let him run around the church like crazy (after service) because honestly, its not bothering anyone. Often, I don't make him pick up the toys in his room before bedtime, because I just dont think about it. Not a priority. I let him get covered in mud, dirt, & wash off with a bit of water before having a picnic.
I love the little boy that he is. I love how adventurous he is, his humor is impressive, his creativity blows me away, I love that he snuggles all the time with us, and his sweet spirit melts my heart. Life experiences continually shape the type of mother I hope to become into something slightly different than this momma originally believed she would be. I like it.