Does there ever come a time when we stop second guessing every action we make as parents? Every day I make a hundred little decisions that affect my daughter. Each one of these is insignificant in and of itself, but put together with all of the rest and a pattern emerges. Each of these decisions becomes a part of how my daughter sees the world, what I allow her to be exposed to and what I prevent her from doing.
I worry that I allow her to spend too much time playing by herself. That I should be spending more time helping her with shapes, drawing or just dancing around and singing. But then I think that by allowing her to play on her own, I am helping to foster her creativity and her imagination. I don't want a child that needs my constant entertainment. By forcing her to entertain herself, I am making it possible for her to do so.
I worry that I am not encouraging her to eat more solid foods. I worry that I continue to feed her the jars of baby food because it is convenient. They're pre-packaged and don't require refrigeration, so taking them when we go out to eat or to visit friends and family is so easy. I do try to give her real food, but I don't force the issue. At pretty much every meal, I offer her some bit of table food, optimistic that she will take to it and make a meal out of it. On most occasions, she will eat a bite or two and then turn her head away when I offer it to her or will throw what is on her tray over the side onto the floor. She has become more adventurous when it comes to food, but we are still a long way from giving up the jars.
I worry that I still get up and nurse her when she wakes up at night. She generally sleeps through the night these days, but on occasion she will wake up and despite my attempts to put her back down after a bit of cuddling and rocking, the only thing that reliably gets her back to sleep is nursing. I know she is not hungry, that she is only doing it for comfort. But I worry that she is too old for this and I am reinforcing this behavior by allowing it to continue. That this will make weaning that much harder.
Each stage of her life has brought with it a whole new set of worries. Decisions that I fear will negatively impact my little beloved. I know that in coming years so many more choices will be forced on me. I just hope I can make the right decisions.