I know I've been a bit quiet over here on the blog. I've been all over the place! I've been trying to find my way and figure things out. But I'm back and I have a few things to say!!
I'm sure I'm not the only who feels a bit of anxiety when it comes to leaving your child in someone else's care. I'm not just talking about for a few hours of babysitting, I mean everyday! I am not only a first time mom but I'm a preemie mom! So when the topic of sending Jaxson to day care came up recently, my eyes got big and my palms a bit sweaty. With Jaxson being born extremely premature, I had to relinquish ALL control. I had no real say so as a parent. Yes I was his advocate of course, but when your child is in the NICU, there's only so much parenting you can do honestly. For the first 4 months of his life he lived at the hospital, being cared for by people who I knew nothing about prior to his birth. I was his mom but THEY were his guardians. Talk about a hard pill to swallow! When he came home at 4 months old, I took maternity leave to care for him and ultimately never returned to my Corporate job. Since that time I have started my blog of course, and a small apparel business. My main "job" is still caring for Jaxson and our home while my husband goes to work.
We talked about putting Jaxson in part time day care to in some sorts give me a break to get my "stuff" done and to also further his social development. Well through our discussions, praying and just kind of sitting on the idea; we realize now isn't the best time for our family. In theory it sounds great, but realistically we aren't ready YET. He also recently started Speech Therapy and we are trying to get him fully acclimated to that. I will say I am a bit nervous (just being honest) to let him go to day care. I want to protect him from the world for as long as I can. I faced some childhood trauma which has in some ways put fear in ME for MY child. And watching the news doesn't help. There are so many terrible stories about kids and day care, it literally makes me shutter. So, I think some of my fears are normal for a first time mom, and then the others are a little projected due to my personal issues. Looking at the big picture though, we want him to continue flourishing and I don't want MY fears to hold him back in life. I believe there are capable people out there to watch Jaxson, it will just take time to find them. And I am open to finding a great place for him to learn. So the goal right now is to have him start pre school at the age of 3! In the meantime, I will continue to nurturing him and teaching him daily. Also, this summer he will be re-enrolled in Swimming, My Gym or Gymboree again. These activities have assisted in his social and physical development. Thankfully he has done exceptionally well with his health over the last almost 2 years! Keeping him home at the advice of his Pediatrician has really helped his immune system and his development as well.
It truly is a blessing to care for my son and my home, while also having the flexibility to pursue some of my goals and dreams. Is everyday perfect? Nope the struggle is real! Some days are more exhausting and challenging than others because, well, I have an active and curious little toddler LOL. Trying to keep him occupied throughout the day while doing a few things that are also important to me isn't easy. But we are getting through it! This stage of life has literally made me question my own strength, similar to the time when Jaxson was in the NICU. Since becoming a mother I've realized that each stage has required a lot of prayer and flexibility. Some would ask if I feel like toddlerhood is harder? And to that I say that it challenges me in new ways I never knew existed. But when he was younger, we had big challenges too. There were more Doctors appointments, oxygen, medication, worries, fears. My nerves were MUCH more on edge! My consensus is that for as long as he is my baby, each stage of his life will present some type of challenge and or fear but hey that's ok, it comes with parenthood!
I would say that having a supportive teammate (my husband) makes the journey sweeter. We balance each other out as we are on this quest to find complete BALANCE.
So here's what I've done to create a bit of structure in my days.
Write my day out the night before. By doing this it allows me to be prepared for the next day and visually see what I have to do instead of just operating on the fly! It also helps me to not feel so much pressure when he gets up!
I also try to work at night after Jaxson has gone to bed. This is my true time for being relaxed.
I also write out (the night before) his meal plan for the day. Granted I am flexible because his taste buds change. However having a good idea of what he will eat is so helpful!
I dedicate 30mins-1 hour to do each specific task. I try to knock out household "to-do's" first thing in the morning while Jaxson is occupied with breakfast and cartoons.
I pick 1-2 days out of the week to do something fun and even educational out of the house with Jaxson for a few hours. He loves being social and trying out new things! The park is always fun (and free) but we also do indoor playgrounds, the zoo, etc.
I pray and read my bible and devotionals for the extra boost and strength I need to get through the day. Prayer works :)
Nap time! When Jaxson naps I go into the "nap time hustle" LOL. Because he sleeps for about 2 hours, I can get soooooo much done and I love it! If he takes 2 naps in one day, sometimes I sneak in a little cuddle session with him! Not only does it allow me to relax my mind, I wake up feeling a bit rejuvenated and ready to finish out the day!
I've learned that it is ok to say, "hey I need some help" or "I need a break". As women we just go go GO and then start feeling overwhelmed and full of anxiety. This isn't very healthy, so its best to let other's help BEFORE you are on the brink of a meltdown or anxiety attack!
And over the last 2 months my husband and I have taken 24 hours to just have for ourselves (more about this in my next blog post)