When I was single in my twenties, the world was my oyster. My worries were paying rent on time, if I was going to book the last audition I went to, and what friends I would be hanging with on my days off. While I had the responsibilities of being an adult, I still possessed a carefree and laid back approach to life in general.
After I got married I felt the need to hold it together a bit more, for it wasn’t just about me, myself, and I anymore. I juggled the role of an aspiring artist, wife, small entrepreneur, while working part time jobs. Slowly my whimsical personality turned slightly more serious. I began to become obsessive about my to-do lists; I even made lists of the lists I needed to make.
After I had my first child, I knew life would never be the same, in a good, but upside down way. I would have to let go of my neat freak habits and go with the flow more. Before I had my baby I thought I knew what was coming. I planned out the next year and the baby’s schedule. I factored when I would have time to workout, write, and focus on my small skincare line. How would I balance being a mom, a wife, and staying true to myself? Well it’s been seven months and I’ve learned a major lesson; you can’t plan everything in life.
I still plan things for fun, my dinner meal plans, my yearly goals, and holiday parties, even the hobbies I want Charlotte to experience at a young age, but when it comes to the day to day details of motherhood, I threw all the rules and preconceptions out the window. I am now learning to Co-flow.
Co-flow to me isn’t about what is good for me, or what is considered perfect parenting by professional standards. It’s a way I have found to keep on keeping on and enjoy the rollercoaster of motherhood.
You can’t stress out about the small shit. I mean you can, but where is that going to get you, but being drained, on edge, and down on life. While I am a stay at home mom, my days tend to be a mix. Some days I am home all day and the house is semi-clean, and I have more time to spend one on one with Charlotte. I can read to her extra long, let her dictate when she is ready for her nap, and when she wants to play. Other days I’m dragging her around on errands where she has to go with the flow with me. She will pass out in the car, and wake up when I put her in the shopping cart. For the most part she is a happy traveler, but she has her cranky moments, we all do. When I got home a few days ago she was napping in a deep slumber in her car seat. Since we live on a private gated property and it was cool out I left a door to my car open and let her sleep while I quickly took in a few bags of groceries and popped a bagel in the toaster. I was planning on picking her up and bringing her inside when I had lunch, but she looked so content sleeping, that I decided to crawl quietly in the backseat and eat my lunch while she napped a bit longer. She woke up very content, and we had a lovely rest of the day together.
When we ran some errands earlier this week, I noticed she was happily knawing on some merchandise she snagged off a rack and was chewing on. She had three different teethers, a stuffed animal, and her bottle within arm’s reach, but she wanted something different. Quickly I grabbed the cardboard box of lip gloss before she ruined it, and pushed on. Moments later when I stopped to look at children’s goulashes for a birthday party, I saw her chewing on a sample rubber boot on the floor. I just let it go, it wasn’t worth the battle and it didn’t hurt anyone.
We are trying to introduce solids. At first, around 24 weeks, she was open to taking the cereal, but shortly after she started refusing purees and doesn’t like when we feed her. She prefers to feed herself finger foods. Some days she isn’t as interested in breastfeeding as other days, I don’t push it. I offer both the puree and the breast often, but if she feed herself, and now she is trying to drink out of adult plastic cups, why fight it? If baby is happy, mama is happy. People ask if she is normally a happy baby, and the answer is yes, for the most part. I think a part of it has to do with the fact that I am always happy, playful, and patient around her. She can feel that energy and it reflects in her daily demeanor. Some nights she isn’t ready to go to bed when papa goes to bed. We co-sleep, so we all normally turn in for the night around 10 pm, but sometimes my husband is tired and wants to go to bed earlier. When I find she isn’t ready I take her downstairs to play for a bit, and when she is ready for bed, she happily passes out for the whole night at her normal time.
Co-flow might not work for all moms out there, but I am enjoying it so far. It keeps me in tune with my child’s needs, and helps me calm down, relax, and not sweat the small stuff.