This week we transitioned our almost two year old preemie to a toddler bed. We had tried this once before and he just was not ready. Now we decided to give it a go again. The first night we let him sleep in a big boy bed, I put a pillow next to him and piled pillows by the bed. All the things I knew to do. Then at about 1 a.m. I heard him fussing so I ran in there and he had rolled off into the pillows.
I went ahead and put him back in his crib because as a preemie mom I just automatically go to that “Oh, he’s just not there yet” place. Most of that has to do with the fact that I have a hard time letting him grow up because he was preemie, but another part of me defaults to that because of the fear I learned during or NICU journey. We weren’t giving up, though.
The next morning we went to MOPS and I told them what had gone on the night before. They gave me the most wonderful suggestion: put a pillow under the fitted sheet. Guess what? It worked! Dusty has not rolled out since!
I think as preemie moms it can be hard to transition our babies and kids into new phases as they get older. We watch them grow and we’ve seen them overcome so much, but there’s always that part of us that is afraid if we let them grow too quickly they will get hurt. Or we worry that they just aren’t ready. And even full-term moms have trouble taking suggestions from other moms because we all do things differently.
Since I started MOPS, it’s been great. I’ve learned that these are women who are not going to judge me for the mistakes I make but instead give me the grace to make them. They are there to support and help me through the journey of being a mom (and a preemie mom). The truth is we should all be working together because what it all boils down to is that the only thing that matters is that we all love our babies and we all are doing our very best.
As moms we are going to make mistakes sometimes and that’s just how life goes. We just have to give ourselves some grace. Grace to make mistakes. Grace to forgive ourselves. Grace to let go of our mistakes. Don’t be afraid to let your preemie try new things as they get older. They are incredibly strong and brave. I think as they grow we can forget how truly strong they are now and can be when challenged because all we want to do is protect them.
But the truth is as moms we have to give them room to grow.