So, I wrote the list below last week after bawling my eyes out on the driveway (and inside the house) over my guilt. I had been chatting with a friend that morning and had asked her what her kiddo did at 10 months. I kept having this feeling that I just wasn’t doing as much with Henry as I had with C. She read off this whole list of “skills” her babes was doing at 10 months (she keeps track in an ongoing note on her phone), and as I listened, I got this terrible, sinking feeling.
For whatever reason, the two things that stood out the most to me were the fact that he was signing and the biggest one, that her son loved animals. HE LOVED ANIMALS? Does Henry even know what a flipping animal is? Shit. Seriously, besides Toby (our pup), have I ever specifically pointed out an animal in his entire 10 months of life? What the fuck? Why would I not show him animals?
So that was my mindset. (And all the other items below)
- I don’t read to Henry every day. With Charlie, I read two books before each nap and before bed. I’m only recently reading to Henry more regularly and it isn’t NEARLY that frequent.
- Henry doesn’t know his animals. Like, have I even ever shown him animals in a book? He sees Toby, but that might legitimately be the only animal he sees.
- I haven’t even really taught Henry to clap his damn hands. Ugh.
- I feel like the past 10 months have gone by so fast that I just feel like he’s a tiny baby who only needs food and love. He most definitely gets an overabundance of love and smooshing, but wtf. It’s like I’ve totally forgotten every. other. thing.
- I feel like we give Henry love and keep him from crying, but we don’t devote as much quality time to him. When have we played Henry-only games?
- Mark used to read to Charlotte every morning and play with her over lunch… Henry just doesn’t get that same level of attention. We’re chaotic and running around and I feel like we just take advantage of how relaxed he is.
- I feel so f..
Since I started this post, here’s what I’ve done and where I’m at…
First of all, I slept about 24 hours in 2 days. That helped.
Then, I reminded myself that I’m always doing the best that I can and that I should use this situation as a reminder of what I’d like to be doing with Henry and just try as hard as I can to do at least some of it.
So, I’ve been reading with Henry. Two books when he wakes up in the AM, from his naps and before bed. AND, GUESS WHAT? Henry LOVES books. He’s amazing at turning the pages and he loves books with the flaps. He can lift the flaps all by himself and he really enjoys it. See what I did?!? I learned something about my guy.
I’ve been showing him animals using his animal puzzle… to the point that he’s probably thinking, “Ok, mom. STFU and give me my puzzle piece so I can shove it in my mouth and move on.” But whatever.
And, most importantly, I’ve been taking some time during his awake time at work to just play with him and enjoy him. While having him at work is such a blessing, it’s also REALLY hard. Especially when I’m busy. It’s hard to shut off my work mind and go all momma on a situation and then switch right back. But, I’ve been doing it and things have been going well this week. We’ve had some nice time together and I’ve been getting a lot done.
I guess the MOST important thing is probably just giving myself a break. I get so caught up in doing everything and managing everything, that I feel totally paralyzed. In trying to do everything, I just shut down and can’t do anything… which, of course, just stresses me out even more.
I’m trying to just relax before my body (and/or mind) just explode.
Deep Breaths. Just Keep Swimming…
So many mantras.