Letting Go of “All or Nothing”

Lately I have had so many ideas for posts I want to write. I keep them all in a note on my phone and until now, I haven’t had the time to actually follow through with them. But now that I’m focusing on taking care of myself, I’m making it a point to finally get my thoughts down. One of my favorite commenters Becky wrote on that post that she hopes blogging is something that still makes me happy, so that she can continue to hear from me. Truthfully, blogging DOES make me very happy. I love this little blog and all of the memories I’m able to preserve by writing it. I realized that I want to make sure I blog about things that are on my mind because I enjoy it and its therapeutic for me.

So with all that said, one of the things I have been thinking a lot about lately is how much motherhood has changed me. Obviously it’s changed me in a ton of ways, but one of those is my former “all or nothing” attitude. Being very type A, I used to have a hard time accepting doing things halfway or inconsistently. In my mind, if I couldn’t commit to it 100% it wasn’t worth committing to it at all. Looking back this was such a silly mentality to have. I have learned to let go of it over the last 5 1/2 months since having Kevin. It hasn’t been easy to make this change, but by doing it I have saved myself a lot of stress and worry over nothing!

Here are some of the ways I have changed my mindset from “all or nothing” to a healthier balance!

Running. It used to kill me when I wasn’t able to follow my training plans exactly. These days I am running once a week. Yup, just once! I am far too busy and far too sleep deprived to run more than that at the moment. And you know what? That’s okay right now. There are days when I could run but I don’t because I want to spend time with my family. I love running a lot, but I love my family more!

Breastfeeding. Before having Kevin I was 100% committed to breastfeeding exclusively. I knew lots of moms use formula, including my own, but I didn’t see it as an option for our family. Then I went back to work, struggled with my supply, and the baby wasn’t gaining enough weight. After many tears I couldn’t keep up with his demand anymore, so we started supplementing. I realized that any milk of mine that the baby gets Is extremely good for him, and that breastfeeding doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Cloth Diapering. I have been loving our cloth diapers, but sometimes (like when we are out and overnight) I don’t feel like dealing with them. So we use disposables instead, and I don’t care. Gasp!

Sleep. We were doing really well with baby Kevin’s sleep around the 3 month mark. He was sleeping though the night and we were all well rested. Then 4 months hit and he entered his sleep regression phase. Then we moved him to his crib and it was a tough transition for him. Once he finally got used to it, he rolled over and we had to stop swaddling him. Another tough transition. And then on top of it all he started teething. So I have learned that in order for all of us to get any sleep, baby has to end up back in our room most nights. Yes, we could sleep train him but this is working for us and we don’t mind. Sometimes he sleeps in his crib, sometimes we co-sleep. No big deal!

Solids. Yes, we started them before 6 months (5 1/2 to be exact) and we are doing a combination of Baby Led Weaning style and parent-led feeding of soft food and purees (skipping rice cereal and oatmeal as recommended by our pediatrician). We like experimenting with both. I don’t see anything wrong with not committing to one or the other.

“Healthy” Eating. I am way more relaxed about my food choices now. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my veggies and a big salad, but I don’t beat myself up if I have (a whole bag of) chips or (a bunch of) cookies. Life goes on!

I am still working on adopting this attitude in some areas of my life, especially when it comes to my mood. I am learning that a day doesn’t have to be perfect to be a “good”‘day, and that even on tough days I can try to find a positive. I’m also learning how important it is to be flexible as a mother, and follow those “mommy instincts” about what is right, rather than what a book or some “expert” says. It is so freeing to change my thinking in this way!

How about you? Are you an “all or nothing” person or a “little bit of everything” person? If you are a mother, how has motherhood changed you?

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7 responses to “Letting Go of “All or Nothing”

  1. Please write more about baby led weaning, that’s the way I want to start too! And what puree food are you giving to Kevin? I thought doing both two since not all food can be eaten with the BLW way.

    I need balance in life which means I’d never put too much energy or effort to do just one thing right nor perfect. so in that sense I’m a little of everything kind of person.

    Motherhood made me an even happier person, even more positive. I feel complete now. 🙂

    • I will write a full post on it soon, but I commented on your blog about some of the details. We’re still in the VERY early stages and learning as we go, but we love it so far!

  2. Oh my word, I’m very much learning similar things. I fight the all or nothing mentality a lot! I thought I had come a long way with that until I had a baby… Always more to learn!

  3. OKAY! I’m waaaaaaaaay behind! I have all my favorite blogs bookmarked on my work computer, which crashed and burned a few weeks back. I just got it back and am FINALLY catching up on all the blog posts. I’m so happy to see THIS post (and my name 🙂 ) in here!

    I completely, 100% feel you on the ‘all or nothing’. It’s me, to a ‘T’ … well, before baby 🙂 Being a mother has changed so many aspects of my life, that all or nothing simply isn’t possible. I used to spend 60+ hours at work each week, trying to make everyone happy all the time. Now, I realize that the most important people to make happy aren’t AT my work! I think I have a much better balance between work, life, friends, family, working out, etc. than ever before. (And who would’ve thought?! When I was in my younger 20’s and had all the time in the world, I was “so busy”. I didn’t know what busy was!!)

    Timely post and very well written. You SOUND happier in your writing – more relaxed, calm, and confident about your new role 🙂

  4. Pingback: Post Partum: 6 Months | Run Inspired

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