This past weekend, my daughter brought home an electronic baby from her child development class. It's pretty life like and cries quite loudly. The baby has a recorder inside that deducts points if you show signs of neglecting the baby. Welcome to teen motherhood!
The first night was a rocky roller coaster. When the baby took its first nap, I gave my daughter one of the first pieces of new mom advice I had received. I told her to sleep while the baby was sleeping, She did.
About 45 minutes later when the baby woke up crying, she had a meltdown. With play practice and homework all week, she was tired. She had a hard time synching her electronic bracelet to the baby, which just made her more upset. My daughter was ready to take out the batteries. I reminded her that real babies don't have batteries so she better calm down or she'd never get sleep. She made it through.
Nighttime was the hardest for her and for me. The baby's cries were very loud. Every time it woke up in the middle of the night, so did I. I would creep in to see if she was taking care of the baby or sleeping soundly. She was always doing her mommy duty. I'd ask if she was OK. She always said she was. Then I'd go back to bed for another 1 ½ hours until it woke up again.
On Sunday the baby changed to “hard mode.” Think colic. Once around 10 p.m., after she had fed, changed and burped the baby, it was still fussy. She looked at me and said “Mommy, please! I've done everything. I'm tired and she won't stop whining and fussing. Help me!”
Now what good grandma would refuse? I took the baby, bounced it, patted its back and rubbed its bottom for about 10 minutes. After a good second burp, the baby went into sleep mode. Yes! Monday morning as she was getting ready for school I had to quiet it while she showered. But then it was right back to mommy. After all, this was her baby!
It was quite the weekend. She did an excellent job being a teen mom. She's decided that is not the path for her. By way of no sleep, my younger teen has decided the same. They'll wait until they are married, thank you.
“Grandma” learned that sometimes all you need to do is offer advice and a little help here and there. There's no need to take over. Let them experience
Marietta Taylor is the mom of two girls ages 16 and 14 and has been married for 17 years. The family moved from Chicago to Raleigh in 2003. The first few years were a wild ride and were the inspiration for her first book, "Surviving Unemployment Devotions To Go!" Read more about Mari on her blog and website. And find her here monthly on Wednesday on Go Ask Mom.