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Letting Go of Control

Yesterday, I had noted that Aerin generally seems to be an easier baby than Claire.

I now have another theory as to why may be so: it’s because as second-time parents, we are much more relaxed about EVERYTHING. For example, for the first few months of Claire’s life we religiously tracked her every breath with the Baby ESP app. This time around? We haven’t used it, or anything similar to it, once.

Earlier this week, Jenn of Orange You Sweet wrote about giving up control as a first-time mother. The post really resonated with me, because with Claire, I had practically driven myself crazy — and even made myself physically ill several times — because I had refused to give up control. I wanted to raise the perfect baby while maintaining the perfect household and keeping my husband perfectly happy.

And when I couldn’t maintain control? I made myself feel like a failure.

But the thing is, once you have children you are bound to lose control over at least one aspect of your life. You are no longer solely responsible for just yourself — you are also in charge of an entire PERSON’s life. And as much as you want every little thing to go perfectly with your child’s life starting day one, things are bound to go wrong because hey, it’s life.

So this time around? Who cares if the house needs to be vacuumed? Who cares if the kitchen is a mess? Who cares if you haven’t brushed your teeth in 2 days and showered in 3?

…Okay, I still care. A little.

But the point I’m trying to make is that I force myself to forget these things when there are more pressing issues at hand, like when Aerin needs to be nursed. Or when Claire is throwing a tantrum. Or even when I want some cuddling time with the little ones, or if I want to nap an extra 5 minutes.

Because now, I look back to a year ago and ask myself what in the world I must have been thinking when I chose to go do the dishes rather than spend the time dozing off with little Claire in my arms.

And for that, Claire, mommy is truly sorry. But I am learning. And I promise to get better.