I figured they knew what they were doing, they seemed to have it all together. I never considered HOW they knew what they were doing, or WHERE that information came from. I just assumed they knew what they were doing.
Then I became a mom and I realized WE'RE ALL JUST FLYING BY THE SEAT OF OUR PANTS.
If you're not a mom, don't be fooled, we don't know what the heck we're doing. Sure we read books, study other moms, try and remember what our moms did when we sprawled out, face down down, on the floor of Target demanding a cookie......but really it's all just one big guessing game.
When we brought Eli home from the hospital I was so dumbfounded that he didn't come with an instruction manual. And thus my "winging it" lifestyle began.
Baby cries all night? Figure it out.
He won't drink from a sippie? Brainstorm.
He gets mad, picks up the closest hard object and throws it directly at you? Duck. Cry. Laugh. And then figure out where he came from. Because surely you've never behaved that way.
Sometimes through the learning process I make mistakes, and sometimes I have a victory and I make sure and journal it for future use.
Except I don't really journal, so I make a mental note and then never think of it again.
The biggest lesson I've learned is....if you're child is screaming bloody murder in your favorite TJ Maxx store just take him out immediately. Don't take the time to put every single item in your cart back. NO. Get out of that store before you start crying louder than your screaming child.
Wait till you get to the car to cry, so you can call you husband at work and cry to him, because that's just what he needs in the middle of his work day.
This is all hypothetical obviously.
Each age has brought a new set of questions to try and figure out the answers....
How many fruit snacks are too many in one day?
Does too much TV really affect him?
What is the appropriate number of baths in one week?
How long should I let his hair get before cutting it?
The hair one is tricky. My sister usually cuts her hair and we haven't seen her in awhile. Well I felt like Eli's hair was getting long but figured it was ok because it seemed to be a little bit of the "Biebs" hair cut, and what mom doesn't want her 2 year old looking like a semi grown pop singer with anger issues and saggy pants?
Then tonight we were at church and for some reason I was thinking about the length of Eli's hair. Not sure why that thought decided to consume my mind at that moment.
Probably because I was supposed to be learning about something that would help draw me closer to the Lord but there I was over in lala land trying to figure out what C list celebrity my toddler looks like.
And then it hit me. Maybe it was the Lord. Maybe it was the longest, most drawn out rabbit chase in my mind ever but I realized who Eli's hair reminded me of...
None other than ice skating queen Dorothy Hamill. I mean it's uncanny really.
So now I tackle the mom challenge of deciding whether to continue to let my son look like a former olympic queen, or cut his locks.
Some decisions are easier than others.
There is no instruction manual, but you become your own manual. Figuring it out every step of the way. Today's brain buster is hair length, tomorrow's may be tantrum tactics and next year it could be clothing choices.
It changes day to day, so you go with it, figure it out and don't doubt yourself. You have tomorrow to try and figure it out again!