La Tela di Carlotta
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The motherhood moments that were not worth worrying about

Oct 26, 2016

We all worry about one thing or another, and when it comes to our children the worrying is amplified by a million.

I’ve always had a tendency to be a little negative and a little pessimistic (I’m sure my husband is now laughing at those “a little”), which usually leads me to over think and over stress—something I’ve been working really hard to improve in the past 10 years. And I have improved.

But when Oliver arrived into our lives, it became so much more difficult to keep my negativity and stress levels in check. It’s emotionally exhausting to be responsible for another person’s life.

If I look back at these past 19 months with Oliver, though, I realise that most of the things I worried about in the moment were absolutely not worth worrying about. But it’s probably true what many parents say: you learn not to worry only by the time the second child arrive.

So today I want to share with you some of those moments (the ones I remember most vividly), for myself first—because writing them down reminds me what they’ve taught me—and for you, too—because when I talk to other mothers I realise we all stress and worry about similar things.

The time when “Will I be able to breastfeed?”

Yes, the worrying started before Oliver was born. You hear it all the time, “I didn’t have enough milk”, “My milk wasn’t filling my baby” etc… Even though my midwife kept repeating that every mother (except a very, very low percentage) has milk, and the more your breastfeed, the more milk you produce, I worried I might be in that small percentage. And yes, there have been hard times (latching problems, mastitis, teething etc…), but I’m still breastfeeding Oliver today.

Your breastfeeding ability: not worth worrying about.

The time when the umbilical chord took longer to fall off

All Oliver’s friends lost their chords in 4-5 days, while Oliver’s took about 10 days. We worried (Is it infected? Do we have to cover it? Do we have to keep it drier/moister?), until one morning it was gone. Just like that.

The way of nature: not worth worrying about.

The time when I thought I had to stop breastfeeding at four months

I always wanted to breastfeed Oliver for as long as possible, but when Oliver was four months old he started teething. I was desperate: I thought it’d become too painful and that I’d have to stop breastfeeding soon. Not only it never hurt, but I never even felt his teeth on my breasts (except just recently that they’re more sensitive due to the pregnancy).

Breastfeeding and teething: not worth worrying about.

The time when Oliver ran a high fever for two days straight

We never take medicines and try to avoid doctors as much as possible. When Oliver had his first high fever, though, after a day an a half of 39,5 degree temperature and no other symptom, we worried and took him to two different (!) paediatricians (one private and quite expensive). The day after, the fever disappeared and his whole body was covered in a rash (it was roseola) which disappeared, too, in a couple days. The following times Oliver had fever, diarrea, vomit, colds, general discomfort, cough… we knew better and just waited for them to pass. And they always did.

Common illnesses: not worth worrying about.

The time when Oliver wouldn’t fall asleep on his own

I had read it’s really important for babies to learn to fall asleep on their own, without rocking them, and we wanted Oliver to do it, too. We tried several techniques and nothing worked, until one day, several months later, he simply started doing it on his own (not always, but we now know he’s capable of doing it and that we definitely don’t need to teach him).

Sleeping habits: not worth worrying about.

The time(s) when Oliver refused to eat

The first time Oliver refused to eat for weeks, I worried. We tried to figure out all the possible reasons, but as we couldn’t force him to eat, we just waited. He went back to eating when he was ready.

The first time he stopped eating any kind of protein (even his morning eggs), I worried. I started hiding meat in vegetable creams, which of course altered the taste so he wouldn’t like it as much. We decided to wait and let him eat only what he wanted. He went back to eating meat when he was ready. This keeps happening over and over again, but we’re now much more relaxed about it and the “problem” always fixes itself.

Changes in eating habits and phases: not worth worrying about.

The time(s) when Oliver stopped sleeping at night

After I decided to stop breastfeeding him at night, Oliver went through a phase of sleeping all night long. The first time he stopped sleeping well, I worried. I tried to look for solutions (belly up, belly down, more light, less light, more blanket, less blanket, going to bed earlier, going to bed later…), but nothing seemed to bring the magic back. Until one day he just went back to sleeping through the night. This also goes in phases, but we’re now much more relaxed (although not less annoyed ;-) about it.

Changes in sleeping habits and phases: not worth worrying about.

The time when Oliver ran swinging only one arm

This happened just recently and it might sound funny. For the longest time, Oliver swung only one arm when running. Normally, lots of questions would have crossed our mids, “Is it normal? Should we worry? Is it a motor disorder?”. But all those “not worth worrying about” moments have surely taught us something: so we didn’t worry, we just waited and now Olive res already starting to run swinging both his arms.

• • •

I guess what I’m trying to say is: children have their own times and go through phases that are always and hopelessly very unpredictable. But with each and every one of these phases the lesson for me is: it’s just a phase. Thinking—and believing—it’s just a phase lets me evaluate the “problem” more rationally, worry less about what I can’t control and (sometimes) act more calmly when presented with a stressful situation. It worked for me, maybe it’ll work for you too. It’s just a phase!

Have you ever had one of these “not worth worrying about” moments?

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The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Bean and seed mosaic
I'm not perfect. I'm aware
DIY yoga cards for kids
Children at the restaurant: let's recalibrate expectations
Don't ask your children to share their toys
Those "good job" that erode our children's confidence
Our Montessori birthday
Two alternatives to screens that my kids love
Using fear and threats to control children is never right!
"Stop crying!" doesn't work
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
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Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
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Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

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Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.