Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bedtime Is Not a Team Sport {31 Days}


It was late. I can't remember the exact time--maybe 9 or 10 pm. But, I remember how I felt.

Annoyed. Mad.

Frustrated to the core.

Helpless.

The baby was screaming. My husband was short with me (because, let's face it, I was being bossy). And I had no idea what to do.

I decided, then and there, that bedtime is not a team sport. Josh and I both had different ideas. Mine was to tell him what to do. His was to wait and see what I said--because even if he did have another idea, I would get all ornery at him when he didn't do it my way.

This was definitely not how I imagined our marriage transitioning from a two-person nest to a three-person one. Although we did have many joyful moments as new parents, bedtime was almost always ugly.

I think, mainly, because neither of us knew what to do. How were we supposed to get this little baby to stop fussing? Let him cry? Not let him cry? Soothe him? Pick him up? Rock him?

Honestly, we weren't much of a team when it came to bedtime--unless you imagine two players from the same team getting into it on the sidelines.

I would often hoover and make sure Josh was doing it like I thought he should (which is ironic because I had absolutely no idea what we should do). I would take over if I thought I knew better. I would bulldoze my bossy self into the situation and make a mess.

So, that night, while I sat there hushing a screaming and tired baby, I let go.

I let go of the idea that I would always know what to do simply because I was Luke's mother. I let go of thinking that things would work best if I was manning the ship. I let go of thinking that I was only a good mom if I could get him to sleep--without any help. I let go of trying to score all the points by myself and ignore my team.

I let go because I saw the damage of bulldozing and alienating my team. My husband. And I let go because I saw how much my expectation that I should know everything only stirred up feelings of inadequacy and helplessness.

I can't tell you that I haven't returned to some of those patterns since that night. Because I have. I have been bossy and taken over. I have felt helpless and overwhelmed when I didn't know what to do. I have.

But, I've held on. I've held onto the grace that God offers me when I've acted ugly. I've held onto the middle ground that Josh and I have found in this new place of marriage + parenthood.

Even if we are that that awkward team that somehow wins the game in a sappy sports movie--falling over each other, missing the ball, but still cheering each other on with unreserved gusto!

I still may not be the best team player (thanks to my independent nature and desire to just do it myself), but I am so thankful for the teammate I have in this challenging and exhilarating sport of parenthood.

Did/Does anyone else find that working as a team with your spouse can be a challenge--especially with new transitions? I'd love to hear your stories!

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(see more about 31 Days of Letting Go and Holding over here)
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3 comments:

  1. It can definitely feel challenging. I'm with my kiddos all day, so I often feel like I know best. I have started to realize that, while my husband does things differently, his way isn't necessarily wrong. Sometimes it actually works better. I also try really hard to not correct him in front of the kiddos (more important now that our oldest is 3), but instead, talk to him about how he did something later. That way we can work together and talk through this crazy parenting thing :)

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  2. Great post Nicole! I can so relate. It's not necessarily around bedtime in our house, but Lord have I discovered a new bossy side of me! Especially in those early weeks. Thankfully we both have realized early that this isn't the way to go....but that doesn't mean it's easy to change. I am certainly still working on it. Trying to hold my tongue more often...thanks for sharing and making us all feel more "normal". :)

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  3. It has been so much harder to parent together than it was to learn to be a couple. I let go of all that baggage daily.

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