Codependency is one of my LEAST favorite words.
I mean it.
Nothing makes me more shifty and uncomfortable then when someone questions my actions and asks "do you think you're being codependent?'. I just want to reply with "NO and do you think YOU'RE being codependent?" even if that makes no sense at all.
The truth is, it bothers me so much because as a mom, codependency can come more naturally to me than being secure, faithful, and doing what is best for my child, not just what feels best at the time.
So often it can feel terrifying as a new mom to make choices that may not make your baby smile. It can feel like my job is to make her happy and feel loved all day, not necessarily to love her even if it doesn't make her happy.
And let me tell you something friend, it is exhausting.
The singing, the dancing, the playing, the frantically searching for your favorite toy so you don't cry, the sneaking out of the house so you don't see me go, all of it. Now I'm not knocking motherhood-goodness no. Anyone who knows me has seen me act a complete fool to make my Maya smile. Seriously, like, I should be embarrassed. But that is not the same as codependent parenting.
Here is a definition for you, thanks to Webster: "dependence on the needs of or control by another".
This is really tricky and honestly can even be controversial. What qualifies as codependent and what is being a loving, caring mother? When is it too much or too little? How will she learn if I don't teach her? When do I teach her? How do I know if it is positively or negatively affecting her?
The truth is, this will be different for EVERY child in EVERY family, and for EVERY mother. For our family, sleep training was too extreme. For LaToya, sleep training was necessary and led to more peace in her home. Is sleep training too harsh or needed? That depends on you and your family, and it is truly up to you to decide.
I think the more difficult question we have to ask ourselves as new moms is “how will this affect my child and our family in the future?”, rather than “how does this make me feel?”. We have been talking a lot about reactive parenting on the show in Season 2 and it is a super duper difficult topic. None of us want to be reactive parents, but it takes time and loads of patience and grace to overcome. Becoming a mom is a massive transition and we must enter it with an understanding that we are not meant to be masters at this from the start, but we must be mindful in our decisions from the start.
As far as codependent parenting goes, I want to encourage you new mamas to start questioning your choices in the difficult moments-how will this affect my child and our family in the future? You don’t have to be deep into any habits, but we can all start with simply asking ourselves this question, in hopes that someday (soon please God!) our child’s behaviors and feelings will not completely dictate ours.
Can I get an amen?!