As a way to reflect on the first year of Kale's life, I've decided to write a series of posts chronicling our experiences following the principles of attachment parenting - specifically Dr. Sears' 7 Baby B's (with some baby-led weaning thrown in for good measure!). I hope you enjoy.
In your zeal to give so much to your baby, it's easy to neglect the needs of yourself and your marriage. As you will learn the key to putting balance in your parenting is being appropriately responsive to your baby – knowing when to say "yes" and when to say "no," and having the wisdom to say "yes" to yourself when you need help.
When I was pregnant I repeatedly told people with total conviction that I would "not become one of those mom's whose life revolves around their child."
Seriously. So embarrassing.
I was naive about how much my son would consume me. How much I would I revel in that consumption. How I would embrace it, struggle with it, and fight it all in the same day, the same hour, the same minute. Because nothing can prepare you for how a child truly throws your life completely off balance in the most spectacular and awesome of ways.
I have learned a lot about what balance means in the past year. I've accepted that it isn't something you achieve as a parent, but rather an aspiration you continually strive to attain. For me, balance means being able to give myself 100% to the moment that I'm in. It means moving between all of my roles in life (parent, partner, employee, friend, daughter, etc.) with fluidity, confidence, and a good dose of humility.
I still struggle with asking for help. I have days when I realize I've been a terrible partner. I'm only just starting to figure out the difference between Kale's 'needs' and 'wants.' I still feel guilty when I take "me time." But I think about balance every.single.day. and I even though I still allow myself to get swallowed by the consumption of being a parent, I don't let myself drown. Instead, I look for balance.