Things I’ve heard myself say more and more in the last few weeks:
There’s no need to cry.
Get over yourself.
Figure it out… you’re smart.
My statements were in response to LadyP’s activities, respectively: Tears from a tiny tumble (after trying to stand up by herself), screams while I kept her strapped in her high chair just a little longer (so I could finish making dinner), an impressive tempter-tantrum (because she didn’t want her diaper changed) and, last but not least, grunting and whining about finding herself facing the ‘wrong way’ in her walker.
You’re fine. There’s no need to cry. Get over yourself. Figure it out… you’re smart.
In other words, I’m quickly turning into my mother. (Thank God.) I’m finding more and more that I’m seemingly a no-nonsense, tough-love, don’t-expect-me-to-honey-darling-you-for-every-little-thing type of mommy. The scariest part is that I’m having an inexplicably easy time with it. I LOVE my LadyP, and we laugh and joke and play and cuddle and smile and sing constantly…. but she’s got to learn to figure things out, be resilient, be self-sufficient and realize that not every moment in life will be met with lovey-dovey mommy stuff. I’m one of those parents who genuinely don’t feel bad if my baby girl is fussing about being in her playpen. Or complaining about putting her bib on. Or crying and whining in her crib because she doesn’t want to go to bed. Let her cry, she’ll figure it out (unless she gets hysterical, which then I’ve sometimes had to go in there to make sure she’s not dying or anything). I don’t react to every wince, every whimper or every whine. Am I heartless?
I remember getting plenty of love and support growing up, but I don’t remember being coddled or getting sympathy for every silly little thing that didn’t go my way… which I’m beginning to appreciate more and more. I learned that if I fell down (literally or figuratively), I had to get up, figure it out, try again and move on with my life. It prepared me for countless unexpected trials and triumphs throughout my childhood, teenage years, twenties and beyond (not too beyond though!). I learned how to be strong, figure it out and cope, and I want LadyP to be able to navigate her own way to fabulousness as well. I don’t believe that every single feeling has to be recognized, coddled and solved by me (her mom). If it truly matters, I react. If it doesn’t… take a wild guess. But that’s just me.
Yes, I’m a fan of tough love. Am I crazy? Tell me. And please also tell me if I’m extra nutzo for thinking that occasional faces like these are just a little bit cute: