Being a parent is not an easy task; it seems like you have an important, life-altering decision to make every day with everyone giving you their very firm opinion. It’s overwhelming at the best of times. While we still face tough decisions on the regular, there are some that I am glad that Dan and I made. They may not be everyone’s cup of tea or suited to everyone’s lifestyle, but that’s the beauty of parenthood; there’s no perfect fit. Every family is different.
1. Aria has always slept in her own room
So many people were shocked when we made this decision but from the day that we brought Aria home from the hospital (and in hospital too actually), she has slept in her own bed, in her own room. The first two nights were a bit tough and we got up countless times to check on her, but in the long run it’s been one of the best decisions we’ve made.
Aria is an extremely noisy sleeper. I can hear her breathe (and sometimes snore!) two bedrooms down. She also does acrobatics in her bed every night. I’m an incredibly light sleeper and so by having her in her own bed, we all get a decent night’s sleep. The main reason that we decided she should be in her own room is that it would be the best for our marriage. Our bedroom isn’t off bounds to her by any means, but it is our bedroom and our bed and not a kid-friendly play area.
“They may not be everyone’s cup of tea or suited to everyone’s lifestyle, but that’s the beauty of parenthood; there’s no perfect fit.”
2. We encouraged Aria to play by herself, without us
This decision was almost made for her to be honest. Because I work from home there were and still are mornings when Aria has to entertain herself because I’m on deadline or completely snowed under. When she was little, she would play happily with some of her toys on the floor next to me and these days she will run from her room to the lounge entertaining herself, coming up with all sorts of activities and reading her books.
While we make the effort to spend quality, uninterrupted time with her daily (because this is also very important), I think that playing by herself has given her a sense of independence and allowed her imagination to really expand. She has had to learn to entertain herself with what’s available, or to really delve into her books.
3. We’ve always had a strict bedtime
Since she was tiny, Aria’s bedtime has been between 6 and 6.30pm. Yes, this means that we eat dinner a little earlier but it also means that Dan and I get some proper quality time together, or alone, whichever is more important on that night. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule; if we are out for dinner or at a friend’s house, there is no way that Aria would go to sleep with so much action happening around her, but on the average night it’s dinner, bath and in bed by 6.30pm.
Parenting is a minefield and just because these decisions worked wonders for us, it doesn’t mean that they will work for everyone. If you’re new to the game and feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all, rest assured that you will find your groove soon enough and everything will fall into place.
This article was writing specially for BabyYumYum by Mascara & Mimosas.
Sarah is a beauty-product hoarding mama who simply cannot get enough coffee into her system. You can expect to see a little of everything in her blog Mascara & Mimosas, from what makes parenthood a bit easier to her latest beauty obsession – or even what DIY she’s just tried.