I firmly believe that everybody has a parenting sweet spot. For some it's the teenage years - these parents are just gifted at defusing tense situations and know how to tactfully guide hormone-riddled adolescents to the safe haven of adulthood. Others love the primary school years (learning to read!). Some live for toddlers (so cute!).
Well, my parenting sweet spot lies firmly in the newborn phase.
Shocking, I know! Aren't mothers of newborns supposed to be quivering anxious wrecks, bordering on post-natal depression with dripping, bleeding nipples, bags under their eyes and unwashed hair?
Well, except for the bleeding nipples and unwashed hair my first year with baby boy was bliss. I loved it. Although it was difficult at times, it was also delightfully simple. It was so very very clear what my baby needed even if it was sometimes difficult to give: basically, he wanted to be fed, changed and held close to me or my husband. That was it.
Now I suddenly have a toddler on my hands. And I'm terrified. His needs and wants definitely no longer coincide. His second spoken word is "Nah" and yes, it means No. He has an opinion and a strong little personality.
I'm loving all the interaction but am appalled at the sudden complexity to our relationship. Sometimes he needs mummy desperately. Then he sends me away. Did I do something wrong or is he learning independence? When everything is "Nah", I wonder if I say No too much. Or maybe not enough. Is he not eating because he's upset or because he's having fun exercising his willpower?
You see where I'm coming from when I said newborns were simple?
All in all, I guess we're muddling through okay but if anyone has any advice for this phase, please (please please) link up below. Since my forte seem to be the generally unpopular stages of childhood, I'm hoping my sweet spot will come around again and the terrible twos will be a doddle. You can't help but hope, right?
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