It's been 18 months of motherhood so far, and there have been no shortages of ups and downs on this rollercoaster! The only constant it how much I love my kid, and the fact that I wouldn't ever want to go back to life without him.
I have been stretched and pushed further than I thought possible, and possibly further than I was originally willing to go. Painful, at times. Always worth it. Like most things in life, if it's hard, it's usually good and right and totally worth struggling through.
There's one thing I feel I struggle with quite frequently, and that's the idea that I'M THE MOM.
My little man is quite opinionated. He knows where he wants to be, what he wants to be doing, what music he wants to be listening to while he's doing it, where he wants me to be in relation to him at all times, what toys I get to hold and what toys he gets to hold, what food he will eat, etc. He's opinionated, yet also easygoing? It's hard to explain. Basically, if it's just us at home, he thinks he's the boss. Anywhere else, he's more willing to trust me to take the reins.
My thing is, I should be holding the reins the whole time, right? I get confused on this. I want him to feel his freedom to choose most things, but I don't want to be a pushover. I want him to be able to do the things that make him happy, but I don't want to let him be in a dangerous/incredibly messy/inconvenient situation. I want to get him to stop crying, but I don't want to just hand over whatever he wants whenever he wants it.
Do you get what I'm saying??
Basically, I don't want to be selfish. But I also don't want to be so selfless that my child is running the household, and sometimes I'm not sure if I'm drawing that line correctly.
For instance, if a situation arises and Nathan is upset with me because it isn't going the way he wanted it to go, I usually stop and think:
"Is it not going the way he wants it to go because I just don't feel like it?" or "Is it not going the way he wants it to go because it's actually unsafe/super messy/inconvenient?"
If it's the former, I usually try to adjust to fit his wants. To me, if there isn't an iron clad reason I shouldn't be playing with what he wants me to play with, or taking him outside when he wants to go outside, or getting him a snack when he wants a snack, I feel like I should just do it. Even if I really don't feel like it, or if I have other things on my to-do list
. If it's the latter, I will always say no. But I have this weird GUILT that just gets me because he's sitting there crying and I start to think, "Well, maybe there IS a ways I can let him touch the hot oven!!!" Even though that's ridiculous, and that's when I repeat to myself - I AM THE MOM.
I'm the mom.
That means it's ok to say no, right? That means it's my DUTY to say no. I have to protect him! I have to teach him.
I guess my real question here is, if you're a mom, where do you draw the line? When do you decide to say no, and how do you decide to say yes? Do you always put your wants aside to satisfy your child's? Or do you feel just fine saying no when you don't feel like it? And if you're not a mom, what do you think your philosophy is?